TV Conversion Boxes Unveiled for Digital Transmission

The National Religious Broadcasters reports: It has been estimated that on February 17, 2009, when federal law requires that all television networks switch from analogue to digital signals, the televisions in one out of every five American homes will go black unless they are equipped with “converter” boxes designed to translate the digital signal to the old non-digital television sets. Those viewers who currently get their television viewing from satellite or cable providers are not expected to have a problem.
Some 50 million viewers in the United States will be affected by the digital transition according to News.Com. The big question has been whether the proposed converter systems will work for older non-digital television sets. Last week, at an event of the National Association of Broadcasters, two prototype converter boxes were unveiled: one developed by LG, the other produced by Thomson and distributed under the RCA label. Those companies have promised that the boxes will be available in electronics stores by January, 2008, costing in the range of $50 – $70. In that same month, consumers will be able to apply to an agency of the government for $40 vouchers (up to two vouchers per household) to be used toward the purchase of converter boxes. More information is available at www.dtv.gov or www.dtvtransition.org.

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One Comment

  1.   DTV is going to be an exciting time. Each station can broadcast 4-12 streams of programming and it would be reasonable to receive 150 different channels in a city for free with an antenna. It will be interesting to see if some of the cable networks move over to the Free DTV bandwagon. ABC is already doing a 24/7 news network on DTV that will compete with CNN. If we get a ESPN DTV clone, could we possibly see the end of cable TV and baby satellite? Think, you can watch 90% of the most popular TV shows for free with just a small antenna in the attic or a good set-top antenna. It amazes me.

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