Digital Destiny: Converter boxes on sale in February


Starting in February 2009, analog television signals will cease transmission in the U.S., as the transition to digital television should be complete. Actually, progress is heavily underway right now. Go into any store that sells televisions and good luck finding any without the digital tuners already included.

Stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart will begin selling digital television converter boxes starting after the new year (February, to be exact) to allow American television watchers ample time to prepare for their destiny as digital consumers.

Here's an idea: instead of upgrading to new televisions for your home or office, why not save some dosh and bring home converter boxes? They will give your older, antenna-only boob tubes a longer lease on life. As an added bonus, the government will credit you up to $80 for your effort. Where's the downside?

Keep in mind, these credits are really only for the Luddites still using rabbit ears and roof antennas. Cable and satellite customers will be unaffected. Still, there's an estimated 13-21 million households that will need one (or more) of these boxes. If you have a large investment in a big-screen TV or a bunch or perfectly working older TVs, you'll need some of these boxes. They'll be widely-available wherever home electronics are sold.