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The Search Is On For America’s "Rabbit Ears Pioneers"


Actress Florence Henderson Announces Contest as Part of “Convert Your Mom” Digital Television Conversion campaign
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) today launched a nationwide contest to help over-the-air viewers make the switch to digital television. The “Rabbit Ears Pioneers” competition will search for the most interesting stories, memories and anecdotes from individuals who receive over-the-air broadcast TV signals using an antenna on an older analog television set. The contest is designed to encourage “Pioneers” to prepare in advance of the February 17, 2009 deadline, when all full-power stations in the U.S. must begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format.

Entertainer Florence Henderson, best known for her role as Carol Brady on TV’s “The Brady Bunch,” announced the contest today, during promotional appearances that encourage Baby Boomers to make sure their older relatives and friends are ready for the transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Full contest entry details can be found at

Entrants are asked to nominate their favorite “Rabbit Ears Pioneers” with a photo and short essay about why they enjoy broadcast TV, when they bought their TV set and to recount their favorite TV show memories.

The “Pioneers” – and those who nominate them – are eligible to win a grand prize of a home entertainment center including a flat screen high-definition TV, an HD Blu-ray disc player and a surround sound audio system. Winners chosen in June, August, September and October will receive a digital converter box and digital reception antenna so they can continue using an existing TV set, as well as be entered into the grand prize competition. The grand prize winning entry will be announced in November around the 100-day countdown to the transition and in time to kick-off the holiday season.

“CEA and its member companies are thrilled to offer this unique and fun public education campaign to help ensure that the biggest change in TV broadcasting since color television goes smoothly for all viewers,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president and CEO. “We want to make sure that everyone is ready – well in advance of the ‘digital deadline.’”

“The selected winners will be true pioneers of a new revolution in television viewing ahead of the nation’s digital transition,” said NAB President David K. Rehr. “When tuning into their favorite shows, they will get crystal-clear pictures and sound, and more programming choices than ever before—all for free.”

Manufacturers and broadcasters have public education campaigns underway to remind viewers who rely on an antenna and an analog TV set for reception that they have important choices to make:

1. Buy a new TV with built-in digital tuner;
2. Purchase an affordable digital TV converter box to receive over-the-air digital TV signals and convert them for analog TV viewing or;
3. Subscribe to a pay TV service like cable or satellite.

The federal government has certified dozens of affordable converter boxes as eligible for $40 discount coupons, which are being distributed by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Digital TV sets are also now widely available for less than $200.

Viewers can obtain Florence Henderson’s simple guide to the digital television transition, published by CEA, at or by writing to “Digital Tips,” P.O. Box 73, Fanwood, NJ 07023. More information about CEA’s ongoing “Convert Your Mom” digital television public education effort can be found online at A comprehensive overview of the transition and information for consumers on how to be prepared, is also available at


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