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Get your coupons to prevent your analog TV from going dark next yearTV
If you haven't yet thought about the fact that all TV transmissions are going digital next year, now's the time to do so. This only affects people using analog TV sets to get TV over-the-air via an antenna. The government website offering the coupons says that those that get TV through cable without a converter box have to check with their cable companies. They're now taking applications for $40 coupons that can be used towards a selection of pretty basic digital-to-analog converter boxes that will allow the analog TVs to continue receiving channels. There's currently 14 converter options on the list.
The government is now taking applications for the coupons at The coupons can be redeemed at more than 14,000 local stores, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Kmart, RadioShack, Target, and Wal-Mart.

Coupons will be mailed out starting in February and should be used before February 17, 2009, when over-the-air analog transmissions will finally go dark.

The boxes are primitive, but that's by design; the government has no interest in subsidizing the purchase of snazzy new home electronics, so the devices perform only basic conversion and have limited output options. Still, for those who 1) don't want to pick up cable or satellite service and 2) don't want to buy a new TV, it will soon be the only way to keep the programs coming.

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