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Dish Network Unveils $59 Digital Converter Box

But the satcaster has yet to launch the much-anticipated cheaper version.
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2008) -- Dish Network has announced that its new Digital TV converter box, called DTVPal, is now available for purchase for $59.99.

On February 17, 2009, all full-powered local stations must switch their analog signals to digital which means viewers will need a Digital TV, a digital converter box or a pay TV subscription to watch television.

The converter box will transfer the new digital signals so they can be displayed on the old analog sets.

Dish said that the box can be purchased at its web site, or by calling 1-888-638-9912.

However, Dish has yet to introduce another digital converter box (the TR-40) that company officials said last January would cost just $39 and would first be available in "limited quantities in March and "unlimited quantities" in June.

The federal government is offering two $40 coupons for consumers to buy the converter boxes, which normally cost around $60. But the $39 Digital TV converter would enable consumers to buy one without having to spend a dime.

The DTVPal would still force consumers to spend $19.99 (after redeeming the $40 coupon) on the box.

But in its press release issued today, Dish Network instead chose to emphasize that the $59.99 was called a "top choice" by, the technology web site. The release does not even mention the $39 TR-40 model.

Francie Bauer, a Dish Network spokeswoman, told late today that the TR-40 should be available "late this summer."