September 21, 2007 1:55 PM
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration has issued its first approval of a digital-to-analog converter box, the device that will allow analog set owners to continue to watch free over-the-air broadcast TV after the national switch to digital-only broadcasting Feb. 17, 2009.
Manufacturer Digital Streams announced Friday that two models of its approved converter box will be available in stores early next year for a suggested retail price of $69.99.
The NTIA, a division of the Commerce Department division, is overseeing a federally funded program that will make available to qualified TV households coupons worth $40 toward the purchase of the converter box. The coupons will be available starting in January.
The Digital Stream boxes measure about 7 by 4 by 1.5 inches.
The company said it plans to unveil a comprehensive retailer/partner and customer-support plan for the converters, including telephone technical support for consumers.