How to Enroll in the Converter Box Program
In less than a year, the DTV transition will take place. Consumers who still receive signals over the airwaves will be able to get up to two $40 coupons to offset the purchase price of an approved DTV converter box, which will retail for about $60 a box.
But just because a retailer sells converter boxes does not guarantee it can receive proceeds from the coupons. Participation in the program is not automatic for retailers; they must go through the steps to “self certify.” Retailers must apply by March 31, 2008. There are several steps to complete before filling out the online application, so start the process as soon as possible to make the deadline. Coupons started mailing February 17, and nearly four million have been requested so far.
Consumers who receive their TV programming over the air (via antenna) and do not have an ATSC tuner will need a converter box. Each household may request two $40 coupons from the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). Along with their coupons, consumers will receive a list of participating retailers based on zip code. The federal government will reimburse the retailer for the redeemed coupons.