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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / The Past In Future Tense /   Editorial List

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 The Past in Future Tense

Anyone longing for the good old days has got to be thinking about the old adage: “be careful what you wish for.”I’m not referring to the economic situation in which we find ourselves (although the phrase Fireside Chat comes to mind).I am actually referring to the fact that in a few weeks this country will be broadcasting as much analog television as it did in 1933 – Zilch. Zero.

On February 19th the nation’s broadcasters switch over to digital from analog broadcasting which is a challenge to those of us who still watch television on a set with rabbit ears and tin foil.

From the website

Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes.

A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program.

Consumers have a variety of options. Options to explore include:

  1. Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or

  2. Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or

  3. Purchase a television with a digital tuner.

For more information about the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, or to apply for coupons, visit or call toll free 1-888-388-2009 (1-888-DTV-2009). The hearing impaired may call the TTY number 1-877-530-2634 for information in English, and for information in Spanish, consumers can call TTY number 1-866-495-1161. Consumers can also request and submit a coupon application by mailing PO Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208 or by faxing 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632.)

Or maybe just turn the dang thing off and curl up with a good magazine or newsletter…


Gary Barg

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