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Got an old TV? Deadline looms for digital switch

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There's only a month left before the final deadline for television viewers who relay on old TV sets to either buy a digital one or pick up a converter box if they want to watch TV over the air.

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Congress extended the digital TV switchover to June 12 from the original date of Feb. 17.

Most viewers in the area prepared for the switchover in February as every station in the area except for WDAY, Channel 6, the ABC affiliate, already turned off their analog signals.

There are also several stations broadcasting near Fergus Falls that still use an analog signal.

For those needing a converter box, the federal government is still mailing out $40 coupons to eligible households. A household can get two coupons.

Converter boxes range in price, depending on what features are included, but the cheaper ones will cost around $50 before factoring in the coupon.

Coupons can be requested at www.dtv2009.gov.

Viewers who already get television through Arvig on cable, or Dish Network or DirecTV on satellite don't have to worry about the switchover as those providers take care of the conversion on their end.

One thing to consider before getting a converter box is upgrading an antenna. Most viewers around Detroit Lakes need an outdoor antenna, with some people needing an amplified antenna.

Several electronics retailers around the area, including Radio Shack, ProSystems, and Lakes TV and Appliance sell antennas and provide installation services.

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