The Obama administration urged those who had not switched their old television sets over to digital to do it soon because the June 12th deadline looms. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke to reporters at the White House briefing about the three options digital tv watchers have before losing their signal - order cable or satellite, purchase a new tv set with a built in digital tuner or purchase the special $40 box that will convert the signal. Locke says almost 2.8 million households have yet to fix their tv sets and many of those households are ethnic minorities. The federal government has been reaching out to various Spanish language television stations such as Telemundo and Univision to assist anyone with questions. Secretary Locke says that during the last few days over 100,000 households have requested government coupons that would enable them to get the converter box free.
Television sets will not go dark immediately. The digital conversion begins at midnight on Friday and continues throughout the day. Secretary Locke says "by the end of the day, all television stations must be exclusively on digital."