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USA - Chaldeans in America will be forced to purchase new electronic devices by Feb. 18, 2009 if they want to continue receiving television signals. The move to “high definition” television is spurring the economy itself as families are forced to purchase converter boxes, subscribe to cable or satellite services, or buy expensive new televisions.
Outrage over entertainment and manufacture industry lobbyists forcing the entire country to practically throw away their perfectly working TV sets has the U.S. government feeling a bit guilty. What does that mean for the Chaldean household?
Millions of $40 government coupons are now available to help owners of low-tech televisions buy special converter boxes for older TVs that might not work after the switch to digital broadcasting.
The converter boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $70 and will be available at most major electronics retail stores. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.
Chaldeans who have satellite or cable service won't need a box.
Congress, in ordering the transition to digital broadcasting, set aside $1.5 billion for the coupon program, which will fund 33.5 million coupons and other costs.
The first 22 million coupons will go to all households that request them. That includes a residence that gets cable service for one television but has a spare TV that still uses an antenna, for example. The rest of the coupons, however, are meant only for those who do not subscribe to a pay-television service. Nielsen Co. estimates that 14.3 million households, or about 13% of the 112.8 million total television households in the nation, rely on over-the-air television broadcasts for programming.
The Chaldean Justice League is working to ensure that all Chaldean households are able to participate in the coupon program by assisting Chaldeans in submitting an approved application and assuring they receive their two $40 coupons.
Julius Abbu, Chaldean Justice League HDTV Converter Coupon project manager is working to create an online application for Chaldeans interested in receiving their rebate. “It is unfortunate that some Chaldeans will miss out because of the language barrier. That is where CJL jumps in to help. We fill out all the government forms, ensure the rebate was received, and even assist Chaldean families in purchasing the correct converter boxes for their homes. The cost to Chaldean families is absolutely zero. By taking advantage of this community service Chaldeans can save $80 when forced to purchase their HDTV converter. We do ask they consider making a donation to the CJL or a Chaldean organization of their choice in the name of CJL,” Abbu said. “We will also be visiting different Chaldean community centers and churches helping folks on the spot. Chaldeans can also e-mail ChaldeanJustice@yahoo.com if they have questions or concerns.”
Chaldeans across America will be able to visit the Chaldean Justice League community web page on www.chaldean.org and fill out the online application and receive their $80 coupon application by Monday, Feb. 25, 2008.