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Digital to analog converter box...

 
 
Foofie
 
Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2008 08:24 pm
This box, that one can get (in the U.S.) two $40 discount coupons for purchasing the box, is plugged in how? How does it connect to the tv?

Has anyone heard of the best brands for the price?

If one doesn't have cable or satellite, is this really the only way to go (other than buying a new tv)?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 16,347 • Replies: 36
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Jan, 2008 09:25 pm
This is the FCC info on the transition to HDTV in the US

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html


Here is a list of registered boxes that you can use the coupon for
http://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm

here is the list at the time I posted it in case the link is broken.
Quote:
The following is the list of approved CECBs.



DigitalSTREAM D2A1D10
DigitalSTREAM D2A1D20
Zenith DTT900
Magnavox TB100MW9
Philco TB150HH9
Sansonic FT300A
Philco TB100HH9
MicroGEM MG2000
Sansonic FT300RT
MaxMedia MMDTVB03
Apex DT1001
ECHOSTAR TR-40
AMTC AT-2016


I have read speculation that the cost of most of the tuners will be about the value of the coupon when the change over is made.

The Zenith converter ($60) says to use an RF connection to connect the TV. This is probably the same connection you are using to connect to now. You would just take the cable coming into the TV and run it into the convertor than a cable from the convertor to the TV
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 11:37 am
parados wrote:
This is the FCC info on the transition to HDTV in the US

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/digitaltv.html


Here is a list of registered boxes that you can use the coupon for
http://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm

here is the list at the time I posted it in case the link is broken.
Quote:
The following is the list of approved CECBs.



DigitalSTREAM D2A1D10
DigitalSTREAM D2A1D20
Zenith DTT900
Magnavox TB100MW9
Philco TB150HH9
Sansonic FT300A
Philco TB100HH9
MicroGEM MG2000
Sansonic FT300RT
MaxMedia MMDTVB03
Apex DT1001
ECHOSTAR TR-40
AMTC AT-2016


I have read speculation that the cost of most of the tuners will be about the value of the coupon when the change over is made.

The Zenith converter ($60) says to use an RF connection to connect the TV. This is probably the same connection you are using to connect to now. You would just take the cable coming into the TV and run it into the convertor than a cable from the convertor to the TV


Thank you. This will be very helpful when the time comes to get this converter.

If I understood your pointing out that the Zenith converter requires an RF converter, then the other brands do not require an RF converter? If so, do you know the reason? I believe an RF converter was only needed when I added a DVD player to the tv; otherwise the tv was just connected to a coaxial cable from a roof antenna. Anyway, thank you again.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 11:48 am
Here in Germany (terrestic), the cable from the antenna goes in and a cable from the convertor goes out to the antenna in at the tv.

Same, if you get a convertor for cable transmissions - with the only difference that you've got some more outs at this convertor.
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 12:24 pm
I should have taken the time to explain a little better.

The RF connection is just a coaxial cable connection.
A coaxial cable will connect antenna to converter box and a coaxial cable will connect converter box to TV

All the listed boxes will probably have the same inputs and basic outputs. I just did a quick search to see what one of them would have. The output will probably be to channel 3 or 4 on the TV similar to what a VCR does. Some of the boxes may add other outputs such as composite or component video but they all are probably required to have an output to an analog channel so they are compatible with TVs old enough that they have no other inputs.


An RF converter is only needed if your TV doesn't have a coaxial input. The much older TVs only had 2 screws on the back
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 12:32 pm
parados wrote:
... but they all are probably required to have an output to an analog channel so they are compatible with TVs old enough that they have no other inputs.


When my mother got hers about a year (might be already two years) ago, she could fix the box on her own - connecting the 35 years old tv. (Mother is 87 now.)

But those convertors in the USA might certainly be very different.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 01:11 pm
Here's another website written in plain English rather than governmentese for us dummies...

https://www.dtv2009.gov/AboutProgram.aspx
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 01:15 pm
These digital converters sound like the same kind of boxes the government outlawed about 10 years ago to prevent people from purchasing converter boxes from someone other than the cable companies to receive cable programs on multiple TVs.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 01:22 pm
This page has a good list of FAQs including how to use the coupon once you have it (they won't be mailed until the end of the 1st quarter because the converters aren't expected to be in retail stores until then).

It also lists websites where the converters can be purchased using the coupons if you don't want to or don't have access to local stores that have the eligible converters.

https://www.dtv2009.gov/FAQ.aspx
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2008 01:28 pm
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2008 11:29 am
Thank you all for the education. This might be one more reason I liked the 20th century more (aside from my youth being in that century).
0 Replies
 
perl
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 10:01 pm
parados wrote:

An RF converter is only needed if your TV doesn't have a coaxial input. The much older TVs only had 2 screws on the back


I think you got a little confused there yourself. Let's get our terms straight. There are basically 2 kinds of inputs: RF (Radio Frequency or "Antenna input") and A/V (Audio/Video). You will need an RF converter if the device you are connecting to the set has A/V outputs and the set does not have A/V inputs. When you refer to "Coaxial cable", you're talking about RF. Strictly speaking, if a device has an RF output, it has a built-in RF converter. In addition, there are two kinds of RF connectors: 75 ohm (coaxial) and 300 ohm (the 2 screws). Most RF converters have 75 ohm outputs. You can easily convert between 75 ohm and 300 ohm with a cheap device called a Balun or RF Transformer. Many devices come with one of these as part of the standard cable set.
0 Replies
 
commsystech
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 07:26 pm
DTV to Analog Converter Settop box where to buy
The "official" ntia tv converter box coupon program has "eligible" converter boxes listed for the program listed. But where can one buy them?
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 08:35 pm
They aren't available at retail yet. The government supposedly is not mailing out the coupons until the devices are available. They anticipated it to be around March 2008.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 08:40 pm
I have a question about HD and antennas.

I have an analog TV and plan to get a converter when I can afford it. My concern is that I use rabbit ears and get crystal clear reception on only one or two stations. The rest have snowy reception that ranges from very slight to almost too horrible to watch.

I understand that with HD it is a binary broadcast. You either get clear reception or a blank screen.

My question is does anyone have guesses as to how sensitive that binary cutoff is? Will I receive HD reception on the many very slight snowy stations or will I have a lot of blank screens?
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 10:46 pm
bm
0 Replies
 
perl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2008 07:48 am
Butrflynet wrote:
They aren't available at retail yet. The government supposedly is not mailing out the coupons until the devices are available. They anticipated it to be around March 2008.


How wonderful! The gov't conveniently neglected to mention that on the www.dtv2009.gov web site. Meanwhile, they've already started issuing coupons which are only good for 90 days. I read that there will only be a limited number of coupons and it's first come, first served. So if you want to be sure to get a coupon, you have to apply now, then make a mad dash to the store in March to try to use it before it expires. Honestly, why don't they just outsource the FCC to India?
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2008 02:15 pm
1. That's where I got the information from.

2. The coupon won't be issued until the converters are available in retail stores.

3. If they don't become available until March then the coupons won't be issued until March. We'll have 90 days starting in March.


The info is listed on the FAQs page I linked to in an earlier post. Here are the specific details copied from that page:
Quote:

Coupon Program: Getting a Coupon
1. When can I apply for my coupons?
You can apply for a coupon between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009, while supplies last.

5. When will I get my coupons?
Consumers who apply at the beginning or 2008 will receive their coupons when TV converter boxes are expected to be available in retail stores, probably in late February or early March.

17. If a coupon expires before it is used, can a consumer re-apply?
If a consumer requests only one coupon and it expires before it is used, then they can apply for a second coupon. Once two coupons have been issued to that household, the consumer will no longer be eligible to request any more coupons. Coupons expire 90 days after they are mailed.




Here's the answer regarding the number of coupons that will be issued:

Quote:
7. Are all consumers eligible for the coupon program?
Yes, but supplies are limited. There are 22.25 million coupons available to all U.S. households. Once those coupons have been used, there are an additional 11.25 million coupons available only to households that solely receive their TV broadcasts over-the-air using an antenna. Households with TVs connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service are not eligible for this second batch of coupons. Consumers can apply for coupons until March 31, 2009, or until the funds are exhausted.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2008 02:25 pm
I'm not planning on racing to the store to be one of the first to buy a converter. I want to read feedback from others who did and what their experience is with rabbit ear antennas and mildly snowy reception. If the reception isn't any good for HD then it is silly to spend the money on a converter that won't convert anything.

There isn't much on TV I'll miss other than PBS.
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2008 02:31 pm
If you already have a digital cable or satellite box, there is probably an "ANT IN" on the back. Just plug your antenna in there (you may need a cheap RF/coax adapter but it's better to have an antenna with a coax cable anyway), tell the box what local market you are in and have it do a channel scan.

The digital channels are already pretty much online. They will appear as "channel-dot-one" "channel-dot-2" etc. For example, in addition to the analog signal for channel 8, you would also see 8.1, 8.2., etc.

What's going to happen in 2009 is that the broadcasters will turn off channel 8 analog and move 8.1 down to 8. They will still get to use 8.1, 8.2, etc. for other broadcasts as they do now. Many stations put local weather or local interest broadcasts on the .2's now.

Also, if you haven't noticed, nobody has been selling analog TV's for several years. They are all digital capable. You won't need an external box for those - just plug the antenna directly into them and they'll pick up the digital stations. THere are many plusses here - the new sets are flat, take up less room, use less energy, look better... and they're coming way down in price. I saw a 26" HD ready LCD TV the other day, with TONS of inputs, for $449.

Something else - DirecTV just screwed all of its long time HD customers (aka me) with a programming error that causes all the old, third party SAT receivers to not sync with their service. So, a heck of a lot of people have expensive doorstops - DirecTV has no choice but to replace them if they won't fix them. These work great, however, as digital converter boxes for terrestrial signals. Look for them at garage sales - the Sony HD-series in particular.
0 Replies
 
 

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