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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.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.