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Gutierrez: Don’t Forget to Redeem Converter-Box Coupons

The Secretary of Commerce is urging TV viewers who have received their $40 coupons toward the purchase of digital-TV-to-analog converter boxes to redeem the coupons.

“The first coupons mailed are set to expire at the end of May," Carlos Gutierrez said in a statement Wednesday, "and I encourage all Americans who have ordered a coupon to purchase your eligible converter box within the 90-day required time frame.”

Some in Congress have pushed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to extend the expiration date or allow viewers to reapply if they expire, especially since some of the lowest-cost boxes won’t be on the shelves until June or July.

Acting NTIA chief Meredith Attwell Baker said she would look into the logistics of how that might be done, but "changing the expiration will require congressional action," NTIA spokesman Todd Sedmak added, "because that is in the law."

Gutierrez's advice came on the 300th day until the Feb. 17, 2009, date for the end of full-power analog broadcasting.