Dems Want $650m More for Digital TV Switch

Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed an additional $650 million for coupons to switch to digital television, according to a summary of the economic stimulus legislation released on Thursday.

Last Updated: February 11, 2009 @ 2:21 PM

Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed an additional $650 million for coupons to switch to digital television, according to a summary of the economic stimulus legislation released on Thursday. The Congress-mandated Feb. 17 switch will affect over 20 million consumers as owners of old TV sets will have to buy converter boxes or subscribe to satellite or digital cable service. Last week, the government said it had run out of the $40 discount coupons to help pay for those converter boxes, propelling members of the incoming Obama administration to call for a delay in switching from analog-to-digital, said Reuters.  Also on Thursday, U.S. regulators approved the use of traditional TV broadcasts for emergency information after the digital switch occurs. For a month after the switch, households unprepared to receive digital signals will see a notice on their screens with a phone number providing more information.