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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
11:27 PM Mon, Oct. 15th

VA urges help for disabled, elderly with DTV conversion

With the nationwide transition to Digital TV fast approaching, the Veterans Administration is asking the public to stop for a minute and think about who you know, or who lives in your neighborhood, who you can help.

Some friends and family - especially if they are elderly or disabled - may need help upgrading their TV sets by the Feb. 17 deadline.

Neighbors may need assistance in learning about or obtaining coupons from the federal government's converter box coupon program, or in selecting and installing a converter box.

The VA says you can help someone navigate the switch to digital by doing the following:

• Help someone obtain a coupon, which takes about six weeks.

The government's coupon program will accept any coupon that is valid and has not expired regardless of who orders it.

Under program rules, you can order a coupon on anyone's behalf as long as you don't sell or exchange coupons for an item of value other than a converter box.

To apply, go to www.DTV2009.gov or call 1-888-388-2009. Coupons expire 90 days after issuance.

• Help someone obtain a converter box.

The boxes cost between $40 and $70 and are available through government-certified retailers in stores or by telephone or online.

• Help someone connect a converter box.

Connecting them can be challenging, especially for seniors or people with disabilities. The DTV Transition Coalition has produced a connections guide for downloading at www.dtvtransition.org/downloads/converter_qsg.pdf.

If all of your TVs are connected to cable or satellite or have built-in digital tuners, you're all set for the DTV transition.