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Rockefeller: Converter Boxes Cheapest, Easiest Way To Prepare For DTV Transition

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA) Tuesday marked a month until the June 12 DTV transition date with a plug for DTV-to-analog converter boxes.

In a "reminder" about the transition date put out by Rockefeller's office, the senator said that a converter box was "one of the cheapest and easiest" ways for analog-only households to get ready for the switch. "Consumers do not have to purchase a new TV set for the DTV transition," he emphasized, saying that was particularly important for people on fixed incomes to understand.

“With the transition only a month away, we are encouraging people who watch television using an antenna to adequately prepare for June 12th," said Rockefeller. "I am especially concerned about protecting our most vulnerable citizens,” he said. He gave out the phone number, url, and address for applying for coupons as well as a list of retailers for the boxes.

Rockefeller was a co-sponsor and driving force behind moving the DTV transition date after a National Telecommunications & Information Administration program to subsidize the converter boxes ran into an accounting problem that prevented it from sending out millions of the subsidy coupons.

The date move was, in part, to allow NTIA to clear up that backlog --with the help of $650 million in new funding from the eocnomic stimulus package.