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NTIA: More than 150 DTV Converter Boxes Certified

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration said it has now certified more than 150 digital-TV-to-analog converter boxes and more than one-third of those (63) contain analog pass-through capability.

The NTIA does not require the boxes to pass through an analog signal, which means the boxes without that function would have to be modified with an A/B switch or turned off to receive the analog signals that will still be broadcast by some low-power and translator stations.

The NTIA also established a cutoff date -- September -- for submitting converter boxes for certification to make sure that they can be tested and, hopefully, certified, before the coupon program ends. The last day viewers can request coupons is March 31, 2009. The last day they can be redeemed by retailers is July 9, 2009.

The NTIA said Thursday that 6.3 million converter boxes have been bought using the $40 coupons it has been mailing out to viewers.