How much will converter boxes cost?
This is archived content from Digital TV Facts. For up-to-date information on the digital TV transition, see the federal government’s site, www.DTV2009.gov.
Set-top converter boxes have been available for several years, although steep prices (from just under $200 to several hundred dollars until fairly recently) have limited the market. But affordable digital TV converter boxes should begin to reach U.S. consumers by 2008, manufacturers say.
Expect to pay $50 to $75, according to a government estimate in early 2007, for a basic DTV converter box. Retail prices may start higher but fall as demand for the device increases. Two leading manufacturers are now targeting a $60 price for entry models.
A federal subsidy program will provide two coupons by mail, each worth $40 off the cost of a converter box, to households that request them. For details, see How do I get my $40 coupon from the converter box subsidy program?
A converter box that includes a DVD recorder, digital video recorder (DVR) or other high-end features will command a higher price than a bare-bones model. But remember, the $40-off coupon applies toward the purchase of a basic DTV converter only, according to government rules.