Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

DTV Coupons Now Arriving

Posted March 10, 2008

I'm not an avid TV watcher (Shhhh....don't tell the bosses!).  I jettisoned cable after doing a little cost-benefit analysis.  My reception of analog channels is poor at best.  I tried some of those HDTV tuner cards for my computer and a USB tuner, but I never had much success with them.

So, all of my TV-based entertainment is from DVDs and watching video on my computer, which I hooked up to the TV in the living room.  Between Netflix and the network's video sites, I can watch just about any TV show that I want whenever I want it.


I applied for my DTV converter box coupons the morning the site opened.  They arrived Friday and I picked up two converter boxes Friday night.  I bought mine from a large blue-and-yellow electronics store.  They're priced at $59.99 each.  The lady at the register hadn't seen the coupon cards before, but she figured out what to do with them.  They're like debit cards, and they're good for $40 each.  So, the total for both converters was about $40. 

I went home, plugged in a pair of rabbit ears, connected the converter box to the TV, and it works beautifully.  The little thing automatically scans the channels and adds the valid signals.  You get program information, a little program guide and the ability to change aspect ratios.  I was impressed with how easy it was to use. 

Using a little pair of rabbit ears near downtown Fuquay, I can pick up 21 local over-the-air channels.  They come in pretty clearly.  The HD channels sometimes pixellate a little, but I'm thinking of installing an outdoor antenna to cure that.

So, if you haven't applied for your coupons, yet, go to  It's very easy.  Remember, you only need converter boxes for the TVs in your house that are not connected to cable or satellite. 

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check our DTV section for all the details.


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  • apexalan Mar 11, 2008

    IT Bothers me that our Government is using Tax money to subsidise people who are too cheap to buy a new TV. This whole conversion has been talked about for years, I personally havent owned an analog TV for about 5 years. If someone genuinely can not afford to replace their TV thats different then somone who is just too tight with a buck to have cable or satellite. I think the coupons should be tied to welfare or food stamps recipients.

  • krisgulya Mar 10, 2008

    sure you get great signal in fuquay. BUT in raleigh, preferable the lower section of oakwood, near oakwood park(the real one, not that abandoned lot on boundary st you want to call oakwood park) the signal for wral and several others is BAD. there is never any signal over 50 and it hasnt held steady sice the lanch. so much as a car stopping on the corner will cause you to lose signal. I have 2 of these boxes now and spend more time watching the old analog signal. it doesnt dissappear, lock the screen up for minutes on end and tell you theres no signal availible for days. I have one box for a few months now, the other for a couple of days. the digital revolution has already made me mad and it hasnt even gotten here yet. dont waste the money on it......just my 50cents worth.

  • davidgnews Mar 10, 2008

    Echostar is supposedly offering converters at $39.95 - just send the coupons to them for 'freebies.'

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WRAL's Brian Shrader blogs about cool video clips and other interesting Web sites. If you have any video you would like to share, please let us know.