Just because America is ditching analog in favor of digital this February doesn't mean that it's the only nation on the planet with transition on the brain. In July 2011, the same type of cutover will go down in Japan, leaving an estimated 35 million televisions unable to view digital broadcasts. NEC Electronics is already on the ball, cranking out a system-on-chip that puts everything necessary to convert digital signals for use on old school analog sets into a nice, compact chip. The result? In theory, we should see some pretty diminutive DTV converters, but we all know how these set-top-box makers love to pack loads of hot air within unnecessarily large enclosures.

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NEC intros comprehensive SoC for Japanese DTV converter boxes