Monday, June 08, 2009

Preparing for the DTV Transition in Minnesota

On Saturday, June 6th, Lao Assistance Staff and youth volunteers along with representatives from Mn Media Empowerment Project, Grass Roots Solutions and Main Street Project came together to inform the community about resources available regarding the transition to DTV on June 12th at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. Despite the cold and rain, everyone was happy to have the opportunity to talk to visitors from all over the Twin Cities and received great responses from many who were curious about their efforts.

The Lao Assistance Center in Minneapolis still has a DTV Assistance Center to help Laotians prepare for the Digital TV Transition. This summer, television stations will make the final transition towards Digital Television and many older TV sets will no longer function without a signal converter box.

If you know someone who wants to know what kind of a converter box to get, where to get one and how to install one properly, contact the Lao Assistance Center at (612) 374-4967 or e-mail You can also drop in at 503 Irving Ave. N in Minneapolis during regular business hours.

On June 12th, the day the nation turns off analog TV, the DTV Social Justice Coalition will be hosting a fun community event at Powderhorn Park to ensure that everyone is prepared for the DTV transition. Twin Cities residents will have a chance to apply for coupons, exchange their government coupons for a converter box, see live demonstrations on how to hook it up, and enjoy some food. Help will be provided in multiple languages.

The DTV Transition has been a stumbling block for many communities and it has threatened to decrease access to television. The current costs associated with a DTV transition, including the purchase of a converter box could leave millions of viewers in the dark.

“Many of the folks that have been on the outside looking in around DTV have been
communities of color and low income communities,” said Steven Renderos, Project
Coordinator for the MN Media Empowerment Project. “Even now there are families that
can’t afford the switch and that’s why having the No-Cost Box is so important.”

The DTV Coalition—members of the Media Action Grassroots Network teamed up with
Mosquito Productions, a local electronics retailer, to provide a No-Cost Box, which helps low-income families afford the cost of purchasing the converter box.

This DTV Day of Action is a nationally coordinated effort by the Media Action Grassroots Network highlighting the importance of a socially responsible DTV transition.

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