Dear rural America: When you shop for that DTV box…

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Oregon Public Broadcasting is alerting viewers of the state’s 400 rural translator stations that they should make sure the DTV converter boxes that they buy have the “analog pass-through” feature that feeds both analog NTSC and digital ATSC signals to their TV sets. That’s because the FCC is allowing translators to continue analog broadcasting after DTV Day next Feb. 17, and some broadcasters are likely to switch at different times, requiring receivers to be … open-minded. More on OPB’s rural DTV page. The bad news: Boxes with analog pass-through “are not yet widely available in stores” and many salespeople won’t know about this feature. OPB said it has received more than 10,000 calls and e-mails about the DTV switchover since opening its help line in January. OPB’s Becky Chinn says the state network vowed to help viewers with the transition. They’ll love OPB if it helps them, she wrote, and hold it responsible for DTV problems it if doesn’t.