How do I get my $40 coupon from the converter box subsidy program?

This is archived content from Digital TV Facts. For up-to-date information on the digital TV transition, see the federal government’s site, www.DTV2009.gov.

The converter-box subsidy program will be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an arm of the federal Commerce Department.

The program has not launched yet, but here is what we know right now:

• The program will provide two coupons by mail, each worth $40 off the cost of a digital TV adapter, to households that request them. You may only use one coupon per box purchased.

• Applications are to become available sometime between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, in accordance with the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. (Under the law, analog TV broadcasts end on February 17, 2009.) Coupons will expire three months after they are issued.

• Coupons may be applied only toward purchase of a stand-alone digital-to-analog converter box. According to the subsidy provision, the box must not perform any other functions, but it may include a remote control.

Once the coupons become available, you may not want to wait:

Consumer groups say the $1.5 billion allocated to the program is not enough to cover all the analog TVs—73 million sets, by some estimates—that might need them.

For more information, see our section on DTV Converter Box Coupons.

THE LATEST: Updates on the digital TV transition