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LG Developing D/A Converter

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. — LG Electronics joined Thomson in announcing plans to supply a set-top digital-to-analog TV converter that will be eligible for coupon subsidies through the just-announced National Telecommunications and Information Administration final rules for a DTV converter box coupon program.

The company released a statement applauding the NTIA’s guidelines and said the final rules included many of the suggestions LG Electronics mentioned in its testimony on program development.

Among those items was a call to make eligible all homes that currently rely on over-the-air broadcasts for primary or secondary analog TV sets, and allowing manufacturers the ability to add certain no-frills features to the equipment, including onscreen program guides that use channel data transmitted by broadcasters.

LG Electronics also applauded provisions in the rules to ensure performance quality of the converter boxes eligible for the coupons “remains at a high level consistent with the needs and expectations,” according to a company statement.

LG pledged to support a cross-industry consumer education effort related to the NTIA program and the DTV transition generally.

“Spurring consumer interest in the converter box program and ensuring that consumers’ participation in the program is not burdensome will require a broad-based effort that involves the government and multiple industries and stakeholders,” said John Taylor, LG Electronics government affairs VP. “LG Electronics is fully committed to working with the government, our major retailers and our colleagues in the consumer electronics and broadcast industries to facilitate the program’s success.”

LG Electronics said it is intensifying its sales training efforts with retailers and collaborating with broadcasters to promote DTV technology. LG also maintains a DTV Web site guide, which introduces consumers to the features available through DTV technology.