Eight of the largest consumer electronics retailers have been certified to participate in the TV Converter Box Coupon Program.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Best Buy, Circuit City, Kmart, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart have approved for the program.
The converter boxes are necessary for consumers who wish to continue receiving broadcast programming over the air using analog-only televisions after Feb. 18, 2009.
Without converter boxes, consumers with analog-only television sets will be unable to view full-power television broadcasts unless they purchase digital television sets or subscribe to cable or satellite service.
The NTIA will provide $40 coupons to consumers for use towards the purchase of digital-to-analog converter boxes. Congress mandated the coupon program in Title III of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
The application deadline to become a certified retailer is March 31.