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Dish, CBA Team On Converter-Box Promo

Englewood, Colo. — Dish Network and the Community Broadcasters Association (CBA) are joining forces to help consumers that receive their TV programming via analog over-the-air signals — including low-power broadcasts — prepare for the Feb. 17, 2009, analog TV broadcast cutoff.

The two organizations will team on the promotion and sales of Dish Network’s suite of digital-to-analog converter boxes, with a portion of the proceeds going to the CBA’s digital-transition education efforts, Dish Network said.

The government-mandated digital television transition requires all high-power TV stations to switch off their analog signals and offer only digital broadcasts by Feb. 17, 2009. Low-power stations will not be required to make the switch until a later, undetermined date; however, consumers with analog TV sets who wish to continue watching both digital high-power stations and analog low-power stations must either subscribe to a pay-TV service or purchase a converter box that has analog pass-through capability.

Dish Network is selling several converter boxes — the TR-40 CRA, DTVPal, DTVPal Plus and the DTVPal DVR (the latter available latter this month) — that will receive and convert digital TV signals to analog and pass through remaining low-power TV channels.

“The CBA is proud to provide a workable solution to assist over-the-air television in solving the severe problem created by the grossly inadequate supply of converter boxes with the essential analog pass-through feature,” stated Greg Herman, CBA technology VP. “We are pleased to endorse Dish Network’s top-rated line of converter boxes, which offer a substantially more intelligent and appropriate option for consumers and will help avoid the numerous problems created by the distribution of boxes that block analog signals.”

With the exception of the DTVPal DVR, all of Dish Network’s converter boxes qualify for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s TV converter-box coupon program.

When the coupon is applied, the TR-40 CRA is free; DTVPal is $19.99; DTVPal Plus, which features an enhanced tuner for weak signal areas, costs $29.99.

Dish said a portion of all sales completed at will go to the CBA.

The company, which also runs a satellite TV subscription service, reminded consumers they can also prepare for the digital transition by subscribing to pay television, including Dish Network.

The provider’s pay TV packages start at less than $10/month and step up to $19.99/month (plus $5 for local channels) for a 40-channel DishFamily tier, plus installation and activation charges