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DTV Transition. Converter Box Coupon Program January 1, 2008: NTIA will begin taking orders for $40 coupons toward the purchase of certified converter boxes Two coupons available per household Coupons may not be “bundled” – each coupon can be used toward one box Coupons expire after 90 days.

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DTV Transition

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dtv transition
DTV Transition

Converter Box Coupon Program

  • January 1, 2008: NTIA will begin taking orders for $40 coupons toward the purchase of certified converter boxes
    • Two coupons available per household
    • Coupons may not be “bundled” – each coupon can be used toward one box
    • Coupons expire after 90 days
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DTV Transition

An LG Electronics digital-to-analog converter box




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DTV Transition

Converter Box Coupon Program

  • “Open availability” – no means testing
  • Enough to fund 37 million coupons
    • 69 million analog sets are currently used for television
  • $1.5 billion allocation:
    • First $990 million to any household that applies
    • Last $510 million to broadcast-only households
  • Certified boxes must be basic
    • Limited special features on coupon-eligible boxes
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DTV Transition

Converter Box Coupon Program

  • Applications begin January 1, 2008
    • By phone (1-888-DTV-2009)
    • Web site (
    • Mail (applications will be available at U.S. Post Offices)
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DTV Transition

Converter Box Coupon Program

Coupon Distribution

  • Two weeks to process applications
  • With coupons, consumers get list of localretailers, web retailers, and catalogs accepting the coupon
  • Coupons not distributed until retailers are participating in that area
  • 90 day expiration begins upon delivery of coupon
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DTV Transition

Coupon Program

Converter Box Certifications

  • Digital Stream (Two models)
  • LG Electronics (One Zenith model, one for a retailer brand)

Retailer Certifications

  • 48 retailers certified – mostly smaller stores
  • No “big box” stores as of 12/03/07
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DTV Transition

Coupon Program Challenges

Consumers can apply for coupons starting January 1, but…

  • Boxes won’t be ready for purchase in many markets
    • Retailers don’t want certification to interfere with holiday selling season
    • Manufacturers won’t begin production until they have orders from retailers
    • NTIA will take orders for coupons, but not deliver coupons until retailers place boxes on shelves
    • Broadcasters won’t push converter boxes until they’re available for purchase to avoid confusion
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DTV Transition

Other Challenges

  • Best Buy: Won’t sell boxes with coupons until April, 2008
  • Radio Shack: 7,400 stores but no commitment by date
  • Wal-Mart: Rumor is they’ll participate as of 2/17/08

Converter box availability will vary from market to market

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DTV Transition

Solution: Market by market approach

  • Spots: NAB will distribute spots promoting coupon option beginning February, 2008
  • NAB will work with NTIA to notifystations when converter boxes are available at local retailers
  • Stations: Should partner with certified retailers for sponsored DTV action spots
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DTV Transition

Other Challenges: FCC Draft Mandate

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed a new regulation on broadcasters that mandates the airing of spots.

November 2007 – March 31, 2008:

  • 4 PSAs per day, with one PSA and one crawl in each 6-hour daypart
  • PSAs of at least 15 seconds in duration; crawls of at least 60 seconds in length
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DTV Transition

FCC Draft Mandate

April 1, 2008 – September 30, 2008:

  • 8 PSAs and crawls per day
  • 2 PSAs and crawls in each 6-hour daypart

October 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009:

  • 12 PSAs and crawls per day
  • 3 PSAs and crawls in each 6-hour daypart
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DTV Transition

Other FCC Mandate Requirements

  • Language: Information must be in same language as the majority of programming on the station
  • Promote Gov’t Web sites: Crawls must refer to the Feb. 17 date and refer viewers to the relevant government Web sites for further information
  • Content: PSAs need to inform viewers what they must do to keep receiving television and must include details of the particular station airing the PSA
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DTV Transition

Broadcaster Commitment

  • October 15 Press Conference
  • Broadcasters $697 million media plan
  • Independent agency, Starcomm Mediavest analysis of Broadcaster plans
  • 1195 television stations committed
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DTV Transition

Broadcasters commit $697m to consumer education at October 15 press conference.

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DTV Transition

98,000,000,000 impressions through:

  • DTV Action Spots
  • Crawls, snipes and news tickers
  • 30 minute television program
  • 100 day “Countdown Clock”
  • Grassroots initiatives
  • Figures exclude impressions generated by news coverage

Total commitment = $697,455,000

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DTV Transition
  • “Local broadcasters deserve a heaping of praise for their good work in telling Americans about the coming transition to digital TV.”
  • Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) in joint statement, October 15, 2007
  • “I applaud the broadcast industry for putting forth a strong effort to educate Americans about the transition to digital TV through a comprehensive campaign that includes Spanish-language public service announcements.”
    • Rep Hilda Solis (D-Calif.)