[opendtv] US digital TV set-top converters to sell for about $60, says LG

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 11:53:48 -0400

It will be interesting to see if retailers try to limit the supply of,
or hide, or steer customers away from, these boxes too.



US digital TV set-top converters to sell for about $60, says LG

By Rachelle Younglai, Reuters

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- LG Electronics said Monday (March 19) it expects
retailers to charge about $60 for equipment that will enable consumers
to make the analog-to-digital switch on their televisions. 

LG is one of three companies that have developed converter boxes to
prevent analog television sets from going dark on Feb. 17, 2009, when
U.S. television stations are required to switch to digital.

"We plan to have the boxes available in early 2008," John Taylor, LG's
vice president of U.S. government relations, said at a public meeting on
the digital transition.

If U.S. owners of analog televisions do not get a converter box,
subscribe to satellite or digital cable, or replace their TV with a
digital television by Feb. 17, 2009, they will not be able to watch
television. LG did not say how much it will cost the company to make the

However, it is unclear how the process of getting converter boxes to
retail stores will work with the U.S. government's plan to provide $40
discount coupons to consumers to help buy the converter boxes.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the
Commerce Department agency responsible for the converter coupon program,
expects to have a system in place to accept requests for coupons by Jan.
1, 2008.

Anita Wallgren, NTIA's coupon program director, said the decision about
when to start sending out coupons would be made after monitoring the
readiness of the retailers to process the coupons and to have stock on
the shelf.

Over the next few months, the NTIA expects to choose a contractor to run
the coupon program. Coupons will be distributed through the mail, not in
stores. For manufacturers, the conundrum lies in when to roll out the
converter boxes to retailers, given that the holiday retail season falls
just before the coupon program begins.

"It's hard to place new products during the holiday season," said John
Godfrey, Samsung Electronics Ltd.'s vice president of government and
public affairs. "It either has to go on the shelves by September or
after January first," said Godfrey. November through to January is
usually the busiest time of the year for U.S. retailers.

Congress has set aside up to $1.5 billion to aid the digital TV

All households will be eligible to request up to two $40 discount
coupons to buy converter boxes until $990 million has been exhausted.
Congress would then have to approve release of another $510 million for
the program, but the coupons would then be limited to households that
rely on over-the-air analog television.

All material on this site Copyright 2006 CMP Media LLC. All rights
You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways:

- Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at 

- By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
unsubscribe in the subject line.

Other related posts: