Digital TV converter box coupons now available

With a year to go until analog TV broadcasts give way to digital, the federal government on Tuesday started mailing $40 discount coupons for digital converter boxes to consumers who requested them.

Do you need one? And if so, do you really need one now?

Only consumers with older analog TVs who get their programming solely over the air — not through cable or satellite service — will need to plug their rooftop antenna or pair of rabbit ears into a converter box.

If you use an antenna to watch television, your older set won't work after Feb. 17, 2009. One year from now all over-the-air TV broadcasts will be strictly digital.

Analog TV is going away and your old television can't receive the new digital TV signal. So, if you use an antenna to watch TV, you'll need to buy a digital converter box for your older TV.
As a side note if you use satellite or cable, you aren't affected.

Converter boxes will sell for $50 to $70 and the government will even help you buy one.

They will send households two coupons to buy converter boxes good for $40.

It's not too often the government offers you $80 to watch TV! To request a coupon, consumers can apply online at The government also has set up a 24-hour hotline to take requests, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).

The coupons will start arriving in mailboxes late this month. You'll have your choice of at least 15 different brands.

You could decide to just buy cable or an HD capable TV but, don't forget about those extra TV sets you have in your bedrooms and kitchen. If they're not digital or hooked up to cable or satellite you're going to have to get boxes for them.

Here is a list of eligible boxes.

Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes (CECB)

The NTIA will maintain a list of approved CECBs to distribute to consumers and participating retailers.

The following is the list of approved CECBs.

  • AMTC AT-2016
  • AccessHD DTA1010U
  • AccessHD DTA1010D
  • AccessHD DTA1020U
  • AccessHD DTA1020D
  • Apex DT1001
  • Apex DT1002
  • Artec T3APro
  • Artec T3A
  • CASTi CAX-01
  • COSHIP N9900T
  • DigitalSTREAM D2A1D10
  • DigitalSTREAM DTX9900
  • DigitalSTREAM D2A1D20
  • GE 22729
  • GE 22730
  • Goodmind DTA900
  • Goodmind DTA1000
  • Goodmind DTA980
  • Insignia NS-DXA1
  • Kingbox K8V8
  • Lasonic LTA-260
  • Lasonic LTR-260
  • Magnavox TB100MW9
  • Magnavox TB-100MG9*
  • MaxMedia MMDTVB03
  • MicroGEM MG2000
  • Mustek MAT-K50
  • Philco TB150HH9*
  • Philco TB100HH9*
  • RCA DTA 800B
  • RCA DTA 800A
  • Sansonic FT300RT
  • Sansonic FT300A
  • Skardin DTR-0727
  • Synergy Global Supply SYN2009
  • TATUNG TDB3000
  • Tivax STB-T9
  • Zenith DTT900

*The manufacturer has indicated that these models are capable of passing analog signals through to the TV set.


Will you bee able to use the regular antenna, such as a rooftop or one that hooks onto a satellite dish? if the signal is a little weak and a little snowy now, will the digital receivers still get the signal? Or will the signal come in clearer because the signal is digital? I have satellite but sometimes I lose my signal and I switch to an outside antenna system.

You should read this article.
No Such Thing As an HDTV Antenna! by Eric Gov

But the bottom line is that.

There is a wrong, yet widespread belief that you need more antenna gain to receive digital television.


There is nothing specific about a TV antenna that is used to receive HDTV.

Your regular antenna should work fine. (actually better)

Thank you Brandon. I was not sure after I had someone from a major chain try and tell me I needed an HDTV antenna. i kinda thought it was a sales ploy but wanted to be sure.


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