Home Theater & Entertainment DVDs, DVRs & Videos Digital-To-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program All About This 2009 NTIA Initiative by Matthew Torres Writer Former Lifewire writer Matthew Torres is a journalist who writes about television technology, consumer support articles, and TV-related news. our editorial process Matthew Torres Updated on July 01, 2019 Chris Hondros/Getty Images DVDs, DVRs & Videos TV & Displays Audio DVDs, DVRs & Videos Tweet Share Email The digital-to-analog converter box coupon program was a result of the digital transition, which occurred on June 12, 2009. The subsidy program was enacted to provide over-the-air television viewers with an affordable way to continue receiving free digital over-the-air television services after the nation's television service transitioned to digital transmission and analog transmissions ceased. Because so many people needed to buy a DTV converter box, the U.S. government initiated a $40 coupon program to help ease the financial burden that consumers might feel as a result of the digital TV mandate. The coupons were offered by the government due to changing laws about over-the-air broadcasts, which required all broadcasts to switch to a digital-only format. The digital-to-analog converter boxes made DTV signals viewable on analog TV sets. These converter boxes were available in retail stores during the transition Digital-To-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program In an effort to curb the financial impact on analog TV households, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce developed a converter box coupon program that allowed analog TV households to request two $40 coupons towards the purchase of a digital-to-analog converter box. The program enjoyed input from the broadcast and consumer electronics industries as well as public interest groups. The program ran from January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009. After July 31, 2009, consumers could no longer obtain free coupons from the United States government to purchase a digital converter box. Coupon Program Basics The coupon program totaled $990 million with a continuation fund of $510 million for OTA users only. It gained additional funding in 2009 because of its popularity. the basics of the program were: Coupons valued at $40 eachOnly two coupons could be requested per householdOnly one coupon could be used per converter box purchaseCoupons were tracked electronicallyCoupons expired within 90 days The program allowed people with expired coupons to reapply until the program's deadline in July 2009. The Results At midnight on July 31, 2009, the program expired, without extension. Toward the end of July, consumers were making 35,000 requests for coupons per day, with just over half those issued being used. On July 30, though, the number of requests totaled 78,000, and on the final day, 169,000 were received. Requests sent via mail with a postmark of July 31 or earlier were processed; about $300 million in funding remained. By August 5, 2009, consumers had used 33,962,696 coupons. The NTIA said 4,287,379 coupons had been requested but not redeemed.