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Analog Television Sets Outlawed

Mar 8, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The days of the rabbit ears are numbered—sort of.
As of March 1, companies are restricted from import analog TVs from foreign countries or trafficking in interstate commerce of analog sets. Effectively, the law cuts off the distribution of analog sets to retailers. That’s because in two years, over-the-air analog TV broadcast signals will go dark as part of the congressionally mandated push toward an all-digital medium to help free up the airwaves.
Trouble is, there are still about 20 million U.S. households using purely analog sets. And according to the National Association of Broadcasters, about 56 percent of Americans have “seen, read or heard nothing” about the digital transition. Then there are all the viewers who rely on an analog antenna for their secondary TV set.
The government has approved $1.5 billion for a voucher program to help analog TV owners manage the switch. The program, which goes into effect next year, will give viewers coupons for a digital converter box that will allow them to continue receiving television signals. The boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70, and the coupons will be worth $40.
With the new boxes, viewers can still watch television for free. They can also still receive OTA digital signals, so those rabbit ears will still function if complimented by a digital receiver.
Still, the change is expected to cause some hiccups among poor and elderly viewers who are accustomed to a manner of viewing that has been unchanged for decades.
Most televisions sold in recent years that are 25 inches and above already have a digital (ATSC) tuner included. For more information, viewers can go to www.dtvtransition.org, which offers a handy countdown clock.

15 Comments

  1. If this is manitory than why are stores stating that the cost of these converter units are 179 to 379 dollars instead of the 50 to 70 range you are stating? I have been to Best Buys, Circut City, and Target. Taret does not have them yet and the other two are the high price units. Frustrate senior citizen does not find this acceptable way of doing business. I cannot afford cable and refuse to pay for channels I do not want to view which seems to be the case with cable tv. Movie theaters are becoming out of price range too. You go to these stores to buy new tv and they do not want your old tv and you can trash them. If you do not have a car you have no place to get rid of the old tv that still works. Our envirnment will most likely suffer because consummers will just discard old tv in abandon lots since no one will accept old tv’s. Where’s the since in that.
    S. Cooley

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