Uh Oh. What Happens on Feb. 17, 2009? Note to self: Buy a new TV in the next year or two. If you have what some call a "primitive" television set--that is you need to adjust an antenna to watch your favorite shows--the picture will disappear for good on February 17, 2009. That's the date when broadcasters have been mandated by the government to convert their signals from analog to digital. But Uncle Sam is going to make sure you can still watch "American Idol" or "Two and a Half Men" in two years by providing U.S. households with two coupons worth $40 each that can be used to buy converter boxes. There's just one catch. You have to request the coupons, and you must do it between Jan. 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009. Don't run out today and try to buy one of those converter boxes. They have yet to be produced, which is why no one knows how much they will cost. A whopping $1.5 billion has been set aside for the coupon program, although $990 million will be spent initially. An additional $510 million may later be allocated, but that will be reserved for households that only have over-the-air television. The government is hot for this because digital broadcast signals take up less spectrum, which will then free up more of the airwaves that Uncle Sam can auction off, as well as dedicate some to public safety. As of June 2005, the Federal Communications Commission said 15.4 million U.S. households received over-the-air signals only. Add to that the families who have an old antenna TV in the bedroom or basement and the number goes up to about 20 million. So there is a very real possibility that there won't be enough money to provide coupons to everyone who needs them.