Less than a year from now all TV broadcasts in the US will switch to digital; if you have an older TV, and don’t have cable or satellite, you’ll need to get a digitial converter or on switchover day you’ll get nothing but snow. But the government is funding its mandate, and is providing $40 coupons toward the purchase of a digital converter box to assist in the transition. I received mine yesterday. It came with a list of stores that sell them, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Wal-Mart. Radio Shack and Best Buy are both selling it for $59; Wal-Mart has it for $49. I stopped in both Radio Shack and Wal-Mart, and was the first person at both stores. Radio Shack assured me that all stores were selling it for the same price. I smiled and said I’d check Wal-Mart just the same–and saved $10.
Update: And now that it’s connected … WOW! What a difference! The snow on some channels is gone completely. And some stations have multiple broadcasts that we can now see. I didn’t think I needed cable before–I definitely don’t need to be wasting that money now.
Update: WARNING! They may run out! See this article, which says the government is only issuing 3.3 million coupons, and 1.78 million applications had been received already as of early February.