Been staring at a blank TV picture since June 12, when broadcasters switched to all-digital?
That's a likely sign the television is of the old analog type and can't process digital signals without a converter box. The federal government has been issuing $40 coupons that nearly offset the price of the boxes, which are available online and in many consumer electronics stores.
But next week could be your last chance to get in on the discount program. The Commerce Department says it will accept applications for coupons only through Friday. Applications are taken online at www.dtv2009.gov, and each household can receive a maximum of two coupons.
If you use a cable or satellite service for television and plan to stay with it, you don't have to worry. Those services are already providing the conversion.
If you have a fairly new TV set, it's probably digital already; if so, no box is needed.
The folks in need of converter boxes are those with older, analog sets who get their TV via over-the-air broadcasts.