With less than six weeks remaining before the transition to digital TV (DTV) is completed, the Consumer Electronics Association has announced that manufacturers and retailers have ensured ample and widespread DTV converter box availability. More than 34,000 retail outlets are offering coupon-eligible converter boxes to consumers, including at least seven major nationwide retailers and 35 online retailers.
An informal survey conducted by CEA on Jan. 7 found in-stock converter boxes at nationwide retail outlets including major consumer electronics retailers Best Buy, Circuit City and Radio Shack as well as Sears, Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart. In addition to in-store availability of converter boxes, many of these outlets offer online and phone sales of converter boxes. Online-only retailers, including Amazon.com, are stocked with multiple brands of converter boxes and many offer free shipping to consumers.
Although NTIA recently slowed distribution of DTV converter box coupons because of federal accounting rules, coupons remain in ample supply. Specifically, as of Jan. 7, only about 19 million coupons had been redeemed out of the more than 33 million coupons available under the program.