RadioShack will sell converter boxes for analog TVs, and the 4,400-store electronics chain will accept government coupons intended to help American consumers pay for the devices. The commitment from a well-known national retailer, announced Tuesday by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is a boost for the federal DTV coupon program.
A DTV converter box will allow a conventional television set to continue receiving over-the-air broadcasts following the switchoff of analog TV signals on February 17, 2009. Beginning in January 2008, any U.S. household can request up to two $40-off coupons from NTIA, an agency of the Commerce Department.
I’m not surprised that RadioShack will carry the coupon-eligible digital-to-analog converters. The retailer’s small stores are known for the breadth of their product lines, and they have carried similar digital TV converter boxes in the past. The chain will also train its sales staff on the digital TV transition and the coupon program, and will inform consumers about the switchover.