DTV coupon deadline nears - last chance to apply for coupons

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

With the DTV Converter Box Coupon Program ending on July 31, DTV Assistance Centers and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) are urging unprepared households to apply for a converter box coupon as soon as possible to receive their $40 government coupon to purchase a converter box.

The recent transition to digital television was largely a success for television viewers and broadcasters. Yet it has also left some families feeling digitally disconnected for various reasons, ranging from problems with converter box installation to challenges receiving local broadcasters varying signal strengths.

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DTV conversion may result in e-waste tsunami

Basel Action Network

As part of making the switch to digital TV, many consumers are ditching old TVs in favor of new digital-ready or flat screen sets. Old TVs contain toxic metals such as lead and cadmium, and must be recycled properly rather than simply trashed.

However, environmental watchdogs warn that due to loose regulations, about 80% of so-called "recyclers" in North America will simply export your old TV to countries like China, India, or Nigeria, where these toxins will poison villagers using primitive technologies to recover valuable materials from the electronic scrap.

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Cable users could lose channels with digital switch

Catherine Welch, All Things Considered

Broadcasters across the country will finally kill their analog television signals on June 12 and broadcast only in digital. For a little more than a year, local television stations have been educating their viewers about the DTV switch. And so have cable companies, which have been flooding mailboxes with fliers assuring subscribers they have no reason to worry.

But that may not be entirely true.

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For Analog TV, the end is near!

Friday, June 12 is the date that all remaining major TV stations will go digital-only; if you watch over-the-air TV, your screen will go blank unless you have a converter box or a digital-ready TV. Recent estimates suggested that there may still be more than 30,000 households in the Seattle-Tacoma area who are not ready for the switch. Here are a few tips for last-minute switchers:

Get a box! There are several options for getting a $40 box (basically free if you have a coupon. Fred Meyer stores are making good on their promise to sell a $40 box. Online retailers with $40 boxes include Target is selling boxes for $45. If you already have a UHF (loop) antenna, you may not need a new antenna. Try your current antenna before buying a new one. If you do need a new antenna, they run between $10 and $40 .

Get a coupon! If you haven't gotten a coupon, it's not too late--even though at this point you will be without TV for a week or so. The fastest way to order coupons is online at, or by calling 888.DTV.2009.

Get help! For information, visit one of Seattle's local DTV assistance centers (listed on the left column of this page) or call 206.508.1277. Several organizations have received government funding to help you with home installation: Call Installs, Inc at 800.582.4250, Apollo Industries at 800.504.5677, or Best Buy (no purchase necessary) at 877.229.3889.

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TV switch from analog to digital happens Friday, ready or not

Lindsay Toler, Seattle Times

As many as 33,000 Seattle-Tacoma area homes are still unprepared for the switch to digital television, and TV watchers only have until Friday to prepare.

As commercials first aired informing viewers of the upcoming switch from analog to digital television, Adnan Munye didn't pay attention.

"I have kids!" he explained, flashing an exasperated smile and motioning toward his fussing 2-½-year-old son, Ali.

"Now I realize I need it," Munye said last week at a DTV box-swap event in his New Holly neighborhood. He dropped by with his son, got his questions answered and registered to get two $40 coupons to trade for DTV converter boxes. Now he's prepared for the switch, which occurs across the country on Friday.

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RTM partners with LCCR and Zenith to provide donated converters

As Friday's digital TV switch approaches, Reclaim the Media and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights are continuing to partner with electronics providers to get conversion technology into the hands of Seattle residents in need.

At converter box swap events on June 5 and 6, Reclaim the Media and Dish Network distributed over 300 converter boxes to local residents with government coupons, also helping many more people fill out last-minute coupon applications. This week, we are partnering with LG Electronics who are shipping donated DTV converters to Seattle, Houston and Albuquerque.

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Free DTV converter box installation services now available

Setting up your DTV Converter box and having problems figuring out what wires go where? Help is available, from a number of organizations and local businesses. Click "read more" for more info!

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FCC gets more funding for DTV call center

Chloe Albanesius, PC Magazine

Are you ready for the DTV transition?

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday took a final look at the status of the DTV switch, nine days before the June 12 deadline for broadcasters to move from analog to digital signals.

"While I have no doubt that there will be some disruption [on June 12, there are] obvious signs of progress," acting FCC chairman Michael Copps said during the commission's monthly meeting.

Next Friday, 974 of the nearly 2,000 stations throughout the country will switch to digital signals, while six stations plan to do so before June 12. The remaining stations have already made the switch.

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At-risk groups seem better prepared for DTV switch

Dan Emerson, Finance and Commerce

This time for sure: U.S. television stations are scheduled to switch off their analog transmitters and go all-digital on Friday, June 12.

That was actually supposed to happen in February, but the switchover was delayed by President Obama and the U.S. Congress, giving viewers across the United States more preparation time. And in large part, the delay seems to have worked.

“Folks seem to be generally more prepared than they were in February,” said Mark Lloyd, vice president for strategic initiatives with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF), a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

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DTV Converter Box Swap! June 5 and 6, Seattle

DTV Box Swap: Fri. June 5, 1pm-7pm at New Holly Gathering Hall, Seattle

2ND DAY ADDED: Sat. June 6, 11am-4pm at the Beacon Hill Festival, Jefferson Community Center, Seattle

One week from the day the nation will turn off analog TV for the last time, Seattle residents will get a chance to swap their government-issued coupons for a shiny new DTV converter box! Bring your valid DTV coupons and exchanger them for a converter box from Dish Network. In addition to the box swap, volunteers will be on hand to demonstrate converter box and antenna setup, and to answer questions about the DTV transition!

On Friday, find us at New Holly: 7050 32nd Ave S. in Seattle's Rainier Valley. On Saturday, we'll be at the Jefferson Community Center: 3801 Beacon Ave. on Beacon Hill. For directions or info, call 206.508.1277.

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