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CES 2008: EchoStar to make DTV converters free after government voucher

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Jan 2008 12:37 User comments (2)

CES 2008: EchoStar to make DTV converters free after government voucher On the first day of the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), EchoStar Holding Corp., owner of both the Dish Network satellite television service and place-shifting hardware manufacturer Slingbox has announced that they'll be offering a converter box to consumers to allow their analog TVs to receive Digital TV (DTV) broadcasts after analog TV signals disappear from the airwaves early next year. Although they're joining other manufacturers who are making converter boxes, their boxes are unique in that they can be paid for using nothing but U.S. government vouchers set to be distributed this year. All other converter boxes available to date cost more than the $40 value of each voucher.
Although EchoStar will be losing money on each box sold Charlie Ergen, the company's Chairman and chief executive, is looking at it more in public relations terms. "Maybe they'll just feel good that you helped them with their problem of TV and they feel good about you and they buy something else from you down the road," Ergen said.

Among other things, EchoStar no doubt hopes to generate customer interest in their more advanced products, which will include an upgraded digital to analog converter with a built in DVR. Although these units won't qualify for the government's voucher program the company should benefit from both the increased visibility and potential public goodwill when it comes to selling them.

If you're a U.S. resident and need to request a voucher to purchase a converter you can apply online and find more information about the voucher program at

Source: Associated Press

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2 user comments

19.1.2008 18:22

Free is always the way to go. This is a great incentive for everyone :)

215.1.2008 21:48

You should be able to use one converter box regardless of how many tv's you have by hooking your coaxial cable from your antenna to the converter box then plugging in a wireless transmitter. For this to work, you would need to connect a wireless receiver to each of your analog tv's. These wireless packages can be found at and are EXTREMELY cheap in price. About $50.00 plus the cost of each additional receiver. That's what I am going to do.

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