Free Analog If You Want It

Are you watching analog television? Somewhere between 13 and 21 million households still are. By federal government mandate, all TV broadcasting must switch over to digital by 2009. To ease the transition, the government is offering up to two coupons worth $40 each to buy converter boxes. Big box retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart are lining up to sell the converters, and will begin offering them in mid February of 2008

The other major retailers include Circuit City Stores Inc., Target Corp., Sears Holdings Corp. and its Kmart outlets and RadioShack Corp. Wal-Mart's Sam's Club stores will also sell the devices.

"Over 100 retailers have been certified including a variety of small stores retail chains and these very large retailers," said Meredith Baker, who is the acting administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is overseeing the coupon program.

"We have nationwide coverage with over 14,000 brick and mortar stores involved as well as with online participation," she added during a telephone conference with journalists.

The government has set aside over $1.5 billion for the program, with no income limit for eligibility. They must really want you to be able to see them on CSPAN.

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