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NTIA Approves DTV-Converter Boxes from Magnavox, Philco

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration gave TV viewers two more models to choose from: the Magnavox TB100MW9 and the Philco TB150HH9.

Those would be brands of digital-TV-to-analog converter boxes the NTIA has approved as qualifying for the $40 government-subsidized coupons the agency is supposed to be ready to hand out starting Jan. 1.

Any analog-only TV not hooked up to cable or satellite will need the converter to still receive a picture after the February 2009 switch to all-digital broadcasting.

That brings to five the number of approved boxes, which will not include bells and whistles like digital-video-recorder functionality because the government isn't subsidizing anything above the basic model. The others are two models from DigitalStream and one from Zenith.