Federal help for digital TV

By: AP wire reports
By: AP wire reports

WASHINGTON (AP) - If you're a low-tech TV owner who has a set of
rabbit ears on top of your set or an old-style antenna sitting on
your roof, listen up.

Starting with the New Year, you will be able to obtain $40
coupons from the government to help you make the transition into
digital broadcasting. The coupons will help pay for special converter boxes that will convert digital signals to old-style analog signals.

Beginning February 18th, 2009, anyone who does not own a digital
set and still gets their programming using over-the-air antennas
will no longer receive a picture. That's the day the television
industry completes its transition to digital broadcasting.

The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70.
Viewers who have satellite or cable service won't need a box.

To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at www.dtv2009.gov starting Tuesday.

The government also has set up a
24-hour hotline to take requests, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).

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