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Digital Converter boxes are NOT going to be free

Matt Burns

The digital deadline is two short years away (unless Public Citizen has their way) and there are still large, looming questions about the digital converter boxes that million of Americans are going to need. Broadcasting & Cable has dug up the information that we all kind of assumed, they are not going to be free but rather around $40 bucks. To be honest, that seems a little high considering the US government has appropriated $1.5 billion dollars to help defray the cost of the units but yet they still going to cost that much? Radio Shack was selling an HDMI ATSC tuner over a year and a half ago for $89 so you would think that manufacturers would be able to build a set-top tuner for quite a bit less and in turn, only cost the consumer $10-$15. But then again, some of that $1.5 billion must be going to the storing and distributing of the boxes but $40 bucks still seems a little high. Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, if a manufacturer can make a buck of the US government, you can guarantee they will.

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