Uncle Sam Starts Subsidizing Antique TVs Jan. 1

Uncle Sam is handing out up to $80 a household to go toward the signal conversion boxes your grandparents need to keep watching Heroes on their clunky analog TV after the move to all-digital broadcasting in Feb. 2009. Each coupon is worth $40, while the converters run about $50 a pop. If they have more than one TV (who doesn't) they can ask for two vouchers starting Jan. 1, as long as the initial $1 billion set aside doesn't go dry.

Granted, this only applies if you're still pulling TV signals from the air like magic with an antenna. If you're already part of the 21st century and have cable or satellite hookups, ignore this and go back to your TiVo.

U.S. Sets Rules for Digital TV Payments [NYT]