Valley Prepares for Digital Conversion

December 17, 2008 6:35:25 PM PST
If you don't have cable, satellite, or a newer television, you will need a digital converter box to watch TV on February 17th. With the deadline to switch looming there are still many questions regarding the conversion.Helen Wink is doing everything in her power to make sure seniors at Fresno's Adult Education Center are ready for the mandatory television switch from analog to digital on February 17th.

Wink said helping friends apply for converter box coupons has been easy for some and stressful for others.

"Some of them say, 'it's a way of life.' And others, 'why are they doing that?!' you know so you're getting pros and cons on that all the time," said Wink.

According to a Nielsen report in mid-October 17.9% of Valley viewers were not ready for the February deadline.

"Just remember when you buy a converter box you will still need an antenna," said Circuit City sales associate Juan Gomez.

Gomez warned there are still some misconceptions regarding the switch. For example coupons for converter boxes are only redeemable within 90 days. The expiration date is at the bottom. And if a coupon is lost or it's stolen it cannot be replaced ...

"It is two per household but if you lose one you can still buy them, but you won't be able to get 40 dollars off of it," said Gomez.

Wednesday afternoon Janice Harms showed up to Circuit City with a digital to analog converter box and heartache ... She doesn't want to pay for cable and was counting on this converter box to continue allowing her to receive free over-the-air reception.

"I was hoping I would be able to hook it up but I think I would have to get a lot more different parts for it to do that," said Harms.

Because her TV is so old, Harms will eventually have to buy an extra cable to make her converter box work or ... A new TV.

According to the DTV government website coupons for converter boxes will be available until March 31st or until they run out.

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