The Great Wireless Auction raised $19 billion dollars for the U.S. Government. According to Wired, they’re going to use it to buy converter boxes for people who don’t have digital tvs.

Hmm. [Ars Technica]


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  1. JustAGuy2 says:

    Actually, they’re going to spend $1.5BN on the converter boxes. The rest goes into the general fund to be spent on bridges, dams, wars, checks to old people, and fly fishing research centers.

  2. How long till we see those boxes on eBay?

  3. Meg Marco says:

    @JustAGuy2: In other news, Marco’s Fly Fishing and Bridge Building Hut is open for business.

  4. Canerican says:

    What? No [recession watch]?

  5. savvy9999 says:

    But how much was shipping? They always get you on those bogus ‘handling’ fees.

  6. mtarget says:

    I actually got my coupons a few days ago. They look like gift cards. They were also nice enough to send a list of retailers in the area that accept them and have the boxes (Best Buy, Walmart & Radio Shack).

  7. forgottenpassword says:

    I already got my coupon last week. Sadly the sellection at the local stores are pretty weak! Walmart DID have the cheapest one so far at $50. An online store had one for $45, but you get screwed on shipping.

    I really dont like the idea of having another set-top box & remote so I can watch tv. From what I have heard so far…. you will have to use the new box (w/remote) to flp channels on your tv (I could be wrong though). Sounds like a pain to me, but my tv still works well enough for me to use the the box & NOT buy a new tv. A 10 dollar hit for a new box is sure better than a $500 hit for a new tv.

  8. GearheadGeek says:

    @forgottenpassword: that would be the most likely way for it to work. If the remotes don’t totally suck, you’d be able to program it to turn your TV on and off and control the volume in addition to tuning channels on the converter. Even my junky cable box remote does that.

  9. forgottenpassword says:


    I have heard reports that a lot of the basic models (available for purchase with the coupon) dont have universal remotes so that you could use that one remote for the tv & vcr (yeah, I still use a vcr). I may have to shell out for a univeral remote as well if I cant find a cheap converter box with one. :(

  10. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Meg Marco:

    Huh? So what do you think they’re using the money for, other than all the other things the gov’t spends money on?

  11. chatterboxwriting says:

    Am I the only one who finds it a little silly that the government is spending so much time and money on TV when they could be spending it on insuring Americans, providing better public education, improving our transportation systems, repairing our roads, etc.?

  12. GearheadGeek says:

    @chatterboxwriting: Well, they’ve already sold the analog TV spectrum, and are afraid of what would happen if they deprived the masses of their distracting circuses on TV…

  13. ChuckECheese says:

    @JustAGuy2: Lindsay Nagel says the money will be spent on tobacco subsidies, stop-smoking programs, killing wild donkeys, and Israel.