Way back in August, 2009, we tooted our own horn with a press release that was one of the few articles on The Solid Signal Blog that year. (For the record, I didn’t start editing it until 2012.) 2008 and 2009 were great years for us because of the federal government’s converter box program, and we used that newfound success to catapult ourselves into being one of the country’s largest home theater and commercial equipment e-commerce sites (and to hire a blog editor who could write more than one article a month.)
If you don’t remember the converter box program, here’s a refresher: Television broadcasting had been very much the same since the 1940s when it started. Sure, color came in, then closed captions and stereo/SAP, but bottom line was that if you had a TV from 1948 and it still worked, you could turn it on and watch today’s TV shows. That was true until 2006, when the government started moving aggressively to a new digital broadcasting system.
ATSC broadcasting, as it was called, is a digital signal that allows for an HD picture and multiple channels of content within the same 6MHz bandwidth of an original TV channel. The only problem is it’s completely incompatible with the old system. The law of the land at that time said that the government was responsible for making sure TVs could get all TV broadcasts, so a massive program of converter box coupons was instituted so that people could afford to convert their old TVs to use the new signals. Every household got two coupons worth $50 each to use on new boxes to help their old TVs stay compatible.
(By the way, that rule was overturned recently when the FCC decided to allow 4K broadcasts that you can’t receive.)
So, armed with $100 of free money, home theater enthusiasts flocked to SolidSignal.com and other web sites to buy the hardware they needed. We were there back then to take care of our customers, and they took care of us by helping us grow to new heights!