Most of us know that TV broadcasts in the US are moving from the analog signals they currently use to all digital broadcasts in early 2009. TV watchers that don’t use satellite or cable and don’t have a newer TV with built-in digital tuner will need a converter box to keep watching over-the-air broadcasts.
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RadioShack announced a new digital converter box today called the DTX9550. This box is interesting because it features a digital tuner and can also pass-through current analog signals. This allows analog watchers to move to the digital converter today and still be able to get current programs without having to wait until broadcasters change and then try and get their TVs working. The box will also allow communities with low-power stations that don’t have to make the digital switch to keep watching. The device retails for $59.99 and customers with government coupons can get the box for $19.99.
"We're excited to be among the first national retailers -- as well as the largest in terms of the sheer number of retail outlets and distribution channels -- to offer a digital converter box with a built-in analog pass-through," said Peter Whitsett, RadioShack's executive vice president, general merchandising manager. "Although most research indicates a minority of households actually require such a feature, we've found some customers visiting our neighborhood stores for advice are confused over what kind of box they actually need. This alleviates any uncertainty, at no additional cost."