Congress, Staff, Get Converter Box Demo

Government and industry officials have been aiming their DTV message at some of the hardest-to-reach and least tech-savvy people in the country to ensure they get the word about the digital transition.

Monday, some of that effort reached members of Capitol Hill as the House Commerce Committee hosted a manufacturer demonstration of digital-to-analog converter boxes for members of Congress and their staffs.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration certified all of the converter boxes that were displayed at the event as eligible for its TV converter box coupon program.

Manufacturers that presented their products—all certified by the NTIA as eligible for the coupon program, included Artec/Ultima Electronics Corp., Best Buy/Insignia, Digital Stream, EchoStar, GE/Jasco, Max Media, RCA/Alco Electronics, Tivax, Zenith/LG Electronics and GXi International.

“With just one year to go until analog broadcasts cease, it is incumbent upon the government, industry and the public interest community to work together to ensure our nation leaves no viewer behind,” said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), the committee chairman. “This demonstration allowed my colleagues in Congress to get a firsthand view of the options their constituents will have before them when they upgrade their analog television sets for the digital television transition.”

The committee has held three hearings on the status of the DTV transition during the 110th Congress. Another hearing is set for Feb. 13.

Photographs and video footage of the event are available on the committee Web site, here.