Commerce's NTIA Certifies More Than 250 Retailers and 19 Converter Box Models for TV Converter Box Coupon Program

Monday, January 7th, 2008 

More than one million applicants request two million coupons

LAS VEGAS — The U. S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today at the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow that more than 250 retailers, representing more than 15,000 outlets nationwide, are certified to participate in a program to aid in the transition to digital television. Also, 19 converter box models are eligible for purchase with the coupon and more are being tested as part of the certification process.

“We’re pleased that more than 250 retailers have signed up to participate in the TV Converter Box Program. Their participation will help Americans transition to digital television,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. “This is a large program to implement but it’s off to a good start. We know there is much more work to be done but believe promoting public awareness and continued coordination with all stakeholders will help achieve a successful transition to digital television.”

“In its first week, the TV Converter Box Coupon Program leapt out of the gates as more than one million households requested two million coupons,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for NTIA Meredith Baker attending the tradeshow in Las Vegas. “We believe the consumer education campaign is working and the program is successfully handling requests.”

Consumers may use the $40 coupons to purchase certified converter boxes for their analog televisions, which rely on over-the-air broadcasts, to keep working after February 17, 2009, when full power television stations convert to all-digital signals. Televisions connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV services do not need a converter from the TV Converter Box Coupon Program.

On the NTIA website is a list of certified converter boxes and retailers, to date. Eight of the largest consumer electronics retailers — Best Buy, Circuit City, Kmart, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart — are among the 250 retailers certified by NTIA to participate in the Coupon Program. Also, QVC (www.qvc.com), J&R Music World (www.jr.com), and Sewell Direct (www.sewelldirect.com) plan to accept coupons online, and Best Buy and QVC plan to accept coupons via a toll-free telephone number.

For more information about the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, go to www.DTV2009.gov or call toll free 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009). Retailers interested in participating in the Program should visit www.ntiadtv.gov or call 1-866-296-1107. For more information about the entire digital transition, go to www.dtv.gov. An updated list of certified converters is available at http://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm.