Update: The Digital TV Converter program ended in July of 2009.Â Â The purpose of the program was to makeÂ it more affordable for the millions of OTA (over the air) TV users whose old analog sets would stopÂ working when the digital transition occurred on June 12, 2009. Over $990,000 was allocated by the department of commerce from this program. Â Since the $40 coupons had a 90 day expiration date, they are no longer of value even if found or bought (e.g. on Ebay). At the time, most digital boxes sold for about $60 and were able to be purchased for under $20 using these coupons.
Do you need a converter box?
Keep in mind, if you own a flatscreen HDTV or recent HDTV, you do not need to purchase a digital converter box.Â Â If you still have a ‘regular’ TV and want to watch free over-the-air digital television, you’ll want to pick up a converter box.
Since we still get a lot of requests for coupons or inexpensive digital converter boxes, we did a little research and here are the 3 cheapest digital converter boxes we were able to find online…..
- Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital to Analog TV Converter, [$40 on Amazon with 4 star rating]
- iView 1000STB ATSC Digital to Analog TV Converter Box, [$44 on Amazon with 4 star rating]
- Access HD 1080D, currently $38.95 (But have seen as low as $26.99) on Amazon with 2.5 star rating.Â (Be sure to read reviews first as some major issues with this unit were mentioned)
Previous information about coupon program left for historical purposes.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched a Digital TV Converter Box coupon program which will provide up to two $40 coupons for the purchase of basic digital tv converter boxes.The coupons actually look like gift cards and are accepted at stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and Radio Shack.
To apply for a coupon, visit:
https://www.dtv2009.gov/ApplyCoupon.aspx (no longer working, please see above note)
Since basic digital boxes sell for $50-$60, you should be able to purchase a digital box for less than $20. Keep in mind that these coupons are intended for basic digital converter boxes. They will not be honored for high end devices (digital recorders, combination digital recievers / dvd burners, etc.)
Coupons also expire within 90 days from when they are mailed, so you may want to request one coupon at a time. It took me about 3 weeks to receive my coupon. Here’s what it looked like…