Did you know that Satuday, October 6, 2007 is D-minus 500 days before broadcast analog television joins the dinosaurs on history’s scrap heap? NTIA is certainly well aware of that fact, and it wants to make sure that US consumers are as well. To that end, it’s inviting the media to tune into a tele-briefing, in hopes that they will pass on vital information to the public. From the perspective of NTIA’s John Kneuer, this means spreading the word about digital-to-analog converter boxes, which his agency is tasked with distributing to citizens who do not plan to upgrade to digital receiving equipment prior to the 2/17/09 deadline and further do not subscribe to an MVPD service that will pass along a viewable analog stream. NTIA says it will begin accepting coupon applications 1/1/08. The coupons will be good for 40 dollars toward a converter box, and a household may request one or two of them.
For what it’s worth, NTIA noted that 45% of all US TV households are located in the following 20 markets: Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Phoenix, Detroit, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Washington DC, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Denver, Cleveland/Akron, Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Portland OR, Seattle/Tacoma, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.