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Coupons for digital converter coupons lag

Washington_If you haven't already gotten a coupon to help pay for a digital TV converter box, you may have to pay the full freight yourself.

And if you do have a coupon that's been sitting around a while, you might want to hustle to the store to redeem it, or it will lose its value.

The Commerce Department says the coupon program is out of money. And because it has reached the $1.34 billion funding limit set by Congress, it won't be sending any more of the $40 vouchers to cut down the cost of converters. Those applying for the coupons now will have to be put on a waiting list and likely won't get their vouchers before the switchover.

New coupons are being sent out to those on the list only as unredeemed coupons currently in circulation expire.

It is expected that will free up at least some money for the program. There are currently requests for 103,000 coupons on the waiting list.

The switchover from analog to digital TV broadcasts is to take place in February.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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