Study: 10 percent of households will require TV converter boxes
More than 26,000 Reno households will need to get TV converter boxes before television signals go digital in February, and many of them need to learn more about the transition as well.
Consumers Union reports Reno has 236,060 total television households, with 26,690 about 10 percent relying on over-the-air broadcasts.
The federal government is offering coupons to help fund continued TV viewing by those households.
Those who don’t subscribe to cable or satellite TV will need to purchase a TV converter box. It’s plugged between the antennae and the TV set and converts the digital signal to analog signal. Available at all consumer electronic stores, the boxes cost $50 to $70. People can send for two $40 coupons good for two
TVs. Call 888-DTV-2009 or go online at DTV2009.gov.
However, the coupon expires 90 days after it’s mailed, and there are a limited number of coupons, says
Anthony Wilhelm, director of consumer education and public information for the converter box coupon program overseen by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
A survey from Consumer Reports National Research Center found that while 64 percent know about the digital transition, 74 percent have major misconceptions about the impact on their television services.
Federal education programs want them to realize there are cheaper options than buying a new television set.
“If you’re going to produce roughly 80,000 ounces (of gold) a year at $800 an ounce … and gold is at $1,900 or $2,000 per ounce, that’s going to create a tremendous amount of cash flow.”