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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    Default Millions of $40 government coupons become available today...

    WASHINGTON - Millions of $40 government coupons become available Tuesday to help low-tech television owners buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting.

    Beginning Feb. 18, 2009, anyone who does not own a digital set and still gets their programming via over-the-air antennas will no longer receive a picture.

    That's the day the television industry completes its transition from old-style analog broadcasting to digital.

    The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores. Starting Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will begin accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.

    Viewers who have satellite or cable service will not need a box.

    To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at http://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).

    Congress, in ordering the transition to digital broadcasting, set aside $1.5 billion for the coupon program, which will fund 33.5 million coupons and other costs.

    The giveaway basically works under the honor system.

    The first 22 million coupons will go to all households that request them. That includes a residence that gets cable service for one television but has a spare TV that still uses an antenna, for example.

    The rest of the coupons, however, are meant only for those who do not subscribe to a pay-television service.

    The Nielsen Co. estimates that 14.3 million households, or about 13 percent of the 112.8 million total television households in the nation, rely on over-the-air television broadcasts for programming.

    Tony Wilhelm, director of consumer education for NTIA, said the agency expects to have enough coupons to satisfy demand. "We think the high number will be 26 million," he said. "Low end is 10 million."

    Members of Congress have criticized both the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Communications Commission for their work on the transition to digital television.

    In November, the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, released a report that concluded there is "no comprehensive plan" for the transition.

    Most of the concern rests with public education campaigns. While Congress allocated $1.5 billion for the coupon program, only $5 million was for education. The Association for Public Television Stations reported in September that 51 percent of participants surveyed were unaware that the transition was taking place.

    Since then, the broadcast industry has announced a voluntary public education campaign. The FCC is circulating a plan among commissioners that would make public education efforts by broadcasters mandatory.

    Congress ordered the transition to digital broadcasting to make more efficient use of the publicly owned airwaves.

    On Jan. 24, the FCC will auction off the spectrum currently used for analog television. That portion of the airwaves will be sold to wireless providers and is expected to bring in as much as $15 billion. A portion of the spectrum will also be dedicated for use by emergency responders.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 07:14 PM
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    Default

    I see no room for abuse in this program...

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    i have mixed feelings about this sort of government subsidy for private industry. Everyone is making a bundle on this federally mandated switch to digital signals....tv manufacturers, content producers, cable and satellite service providers etc etc etc.

    Raynd would say the economy and private industry should work completely independent and free of any government intervention whatsoever...i tend to agree with her but at the same time, private industry has a way of screwing people over and perhaps government intervention and supervision is required...but then again, government is often in bed with private industry and their perspective isn't necessarily objective and they don't always have the general public's best interest at heart...but then again...i do like high def tv....

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:57 AM
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    If people still are using an aerial antenae, they need to join the 21st century.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    I see no room for abuse in this program...

    Nice to see that the server set up for this program is overwhelmed and failing.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    But I don't wanna switch!!! j/k!

    Is this similar to what they're going to be doing with the tv's and lights??? I heard they were switching all of those over as well.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    I like high def and I like wide screen what I don't like is having my hand forced especially when the entertainment industry gets the government to put a law in place basically forcing everyone to buy upgraded televisions etc etc.

    Now there's another side to it in that without the law, perhaps the prices would be stay higher but the other side to that is that with the law, perhaps prices are staying high because people are forced into it...so who knows...i just think it an unnecessary intrusion of the government

  8. #8
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    I agree with you completely. Gov't shouldn't be involved here at all.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

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  9. #9
    Baseball Season!
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    This is another sad misuse of Joe Taxpayer. If you can't get the digital signal, plunk down a little change for a new TV. If you can't afford a new TV, buy the adapter. If you can't afford the adapter, maybe TV shouldn't be a priority in you life.

    TV welfare What's next? Goverment subsidized conversion of car cassette players to CD?
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Well I guess that makes sense.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen View Post
    If people still are using an aerial antenae, they need to join the 21st century.
    HDTV signals from OTA sources are of a higher quality than you can get elsewhere.

  13. #13
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VH_VAREB View Post
    This is another sad misuse of Joe Taxpayer. If you can't get the digital signal, plunk down a little change for a new TV. If you can't afford a new TV, buy the adapter. If you can't afford the adapter, maybe TV shouldn't be a priority in you life.
    Agreed, and it isn't.

  14. #14
    Good Enough ZORBA5150's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 05:15 PM
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    Default

    To be fair, every one should get a rebate from the government. All are equal...yeah right
    Wolfie is not Mike, but he's more than ok.
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  15. #15
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    88 million dollars is going to be handed out so that people's TV's will still work? Seriously? If any other utility that is a necessity becomes outdated, you have to pay for the upgrade to make it compliant with modern standards. Why is something that is not a necessity different? If they upgrade the sewers so that water doesn't back up in basements, my water bill goes up. If a new adapter has to be installed on my gas meter so that it's more accurate, I pay for it. I swear this waste of tax dollars ticks me off. The government is allowed to pass regulations for public safety so I really don't see why they then have to pay out millions to make it happen except to pander to private interests.

 

 

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