LPTVs Sue to Stop Converter Box Program

The association representing low power TV stations has filed suit to block the sale of digital-to-analog converter boxes that don’t support analog pass through. According to this report from TV Technology, the Community Broadcasters Association filed a petition March 26 in the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Low power stations and translators are not subject to the same deadline as full-power stations, which must end analog TV transmissions Feb. 17, 2009. The converter boxes being subsidized by the federal government are not required to have analog the pass-through capability necessary for continued LPTV and translator reception.

Television Broadcastreported last week that one D-to-A converter box with analog pass-through had finally reached the shelves of a retailer in Novi, Mich. A handful of similarly equipped boxes have been approved by the government, but the Novi store was singled out as the first to offer one for retail sale.

The efficacy of some brands of boxes was also brought into question this week when Microtune, a maker of TV tuners, said it tested several boxes and found performance failure. John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cablereported that Microtune checked boxes with tuners from other manufacturers and found loss of reception under certain conditions.