Digital Converter Boxes

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Bogy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2006
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I don't know if there is a better, more technical place for this question, but I'm just going to put it here as a chat item.

A few months ago I submitted the request for a couple of coupons for the digital converter boxes. I'm not really sure if I will use them for anything or not, but thought I might as well get them so if the need arose I would have them, at a discount. There are two situations in which I might use them. First, at church I "store" a nice tv in my office. Unfortunately the signal in my town is pretty much non-existent without a very good antenna, on a very high roof or tower. The best signal I can get with rabbit ears is snowy at best. I'm hoping that the digital signal might be better. All or nothing, and I'm hoping for closer to all. The only time I really miss not having a tv signal in my office is on Saturdays, when I have a wedding and Iowa or Iowa State is playing football.
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The other place I might use one is with my Media Center laptop.

OK, so I've got the coupons. If I remember correctly they expire on July 11, so I have just over a month left to use them. Being a tight old skinflint, I don't want to put any more of my own money into these things than I have to, since I'm not even sure I'm really going to be using them. Has anybody used any of them yet? Which one? Any thoughts on how well the one you tried has worked? Right now I'm hoping to find one in stock by July 11. A month or so ago my local Wal-mart had several models in stock. I looked yesterday, and they had an RCA display unit on the shelf for $49, but none in stock. If they had it I could pick it up for $10, but if they don't have one, it doesn't matter what the price is.
 

Claude Greiner

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Sep 8, 2003
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They are all going to work about the same. Some might have a more sensitive tuner to pick up weaker stations than others, but it really depends on your reception.

I really don't see what the big deal is on price, wether the box is $49.99 or $59.99 in the stores, your still saving $40 after you redeem the coupon.

If the box does not work, im sure you can get your money back selling it on ebay
 

Bogy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2006
1,331
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Iowa
They are all going to work about the same. Some might have a more sensitive tuner to pick up weaker stations than others, but it really depends on your reception.

I really don't see what the big deal is on price, wether the box is $49.99 or $59.99 in the stores, your still saving $40 after you redeem the coupon.

If the box does not work, im sure you can get your money back selling it on ebay
Like I said in my OP, or meant to, I'm looking for the most sensitive tuner I can get, because the signal around here is crap. We are on the edge of 3 different markets, and none of them really get here.

And you must have missed the description of me as a miserly, pennypinching, skinflint. I still bend down to pick up a penny. ;)
 

Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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From the reviews I have seen the RCA units have lower sensitivity and the GE model is the worst one you can buy. I have also read where Magnavox units have a larger number that are bad out of the box in which you will have to exchange until you get a good one but they do have good sensitivity.

Try putting an amplifier on the antenna and see if that helps bring in the stations stronger. I have seen where people have made their own antennas and picked up a stronger signal than a store boughten antenna.
 

Cegarrett

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My Coupon Expires on Friday (6/6/08) and I can't seem to find a box with analog pass through anywhere. I called the # on the DTV2009 Site and they told me they couldn't extend my expiration date but there had been a shortage of the boxes with analog pass through; took my email address as said they'd contact me in 7-10 Days. :-( My coupon expires in 3 days but you'll call me in 7-10 Days????

Anyway does anyone know where I can find one (With analog pass through)?

I think that I need one with analog pass through since my Dish Box isn't going to turn to digital and will continue distrubiting(Home Distribution Port) in analog.

thanks in advance,
 

Bogy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2006
1,331
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Iowa
From the reviews I have seen the RCA units have lower sensitivity and the GE model is the worst one you can buy. I have also read where Magnavox units have a larger number that are bad out of the box in which you will have to exchange until you get a good one but they do have good sensitivity.

Try putting an amplifier on the antenna and see if that helps bring in the stations stronger. I have seen where people have made their own antennas and picked up a stronger signal than a store boughten antenna.
I already have an amplified "rabbit ears" antenna and it does make a difference. The difference between snow and sometimes getting shapes in the snow. On really lucky days I can get colored snow. When the tornado wiped out a third of the town just to the east of me recently it took out our cable service. (Friends of mine also lost their DirecTV signal. 200 mile an hour winds have a tendency to "readjust" dishes). I was trying to use this antenna to get a signal, and if I held the unit in just the right place in the room, I could get a snowy picture. If I set it down, all semblance of a signal faded away. I was on the first floor, and I do need to try in our walk up attic and see if I get anything there.
 

Bogy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2006
1,331
48
Iowa
My Coupon Expires on Friday (6/6/08) and I can't seem to find a box with analog pass through anywhere. I called the # on the DTV2009 Site and they told me they couldn't extend my expiration date but there had been a shortage of the boxes with analog pass through; took my email address as said they'd contact me in 7-10 Days. :-( My coupon expires in 3 days but you'll call me in 7-10 Days????

Anyway does anyone know where I can find one (With analog pass through)?

I think that I need one with analog pass through since my Dish Box isn't going to turn to digital and will continue distrubiting(Home Distribution Port) in analog.

thanks in advance,
The Philco ATSC has analog passthru, and Solid Signal has it in an open box, because its not one of the less expensive units. OPEN BOX ITEM - Philco ATSC Coupon Eligible Digital Converter Box TB100HH9 (CECB) | TB100HH9 [Philco] | dta box digital receiver analog box tuner OBO OPEN BOX ITEM analog passthrough pass through conversion box convertor box DTA box analog to digital
 

Stargazer

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I have picked up a few channels where I live on a digital convertor box. Without the box connected I pickup a different channel but it has some snow. I believe an amplifier would bring those channels in clearer. One of the channels in my area has a weather radar as their subchannel and I would really like to have that. I know that amplifiers can turn a snowy picture into a crystal clear one as I have done this in the past. What is the best bang for the buck amplifier that one can get? I want to be able to pickup these analog stations on the digital convertor box.
 

Ramy

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Jan 27, 2004
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Like I said in my OP, or meant to, I'm looking for the most sensitive tuner I can get, because the signal around here is crap. We are on the edge of 3 different markets, and none of them really get here.

And you must have missed the description of me as a miserly, pennypinching, skinflint. I still bend down to pick up a penny. ;)

You do realize these are digital to analog convertor boxes and not HD boxes?
 

Bogy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 18, 2006
1,331
48
Iowa
You do realize these are digital to analog convertor boxes and not HD boxes?
Yes, I am aware of that. As I stated earlier, I'm not going to be using them that much. In my office to catch the news and the occasional ball game, and more or less the same with my Media Center laptop.
 

Cyclone

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Sep 9, 2003
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The DTV Pal really is a good box. I also bought a "digitalstream" brand converter box from RadioShack and its guide is a joke. Wait for the Dish one to go on sale. It really is a good box.
 

jamesalan9

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Sep 22, 2006
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Have digital tuners gotten better at picking up channels over the air in the last few years? I was an early adopter and got an HDTV with a digital tuner built-in in 2004 so I always been curious.
 

Geronimo

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I have picked up a few channels where I live on a digital convertor box. Without the box connected I pickup a different channel but it has some snow. I believe an amplifier would bring those channels in clearer. One of the channels in my area has a weather radar as their subchannel and I would really like to have that. I know that amplifiers can turn a snowy picture into a crystal clear one as I have done this in the past. What is the best bang for the buck amplifier that one can get? I want to be able to pickup these analog stations on the digital convertor box.

I have nevers eena snwy digital picture.
 

Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
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My Syntax 42" LCD puts up the current-show info, but no grid-like guide.
So, I don't know what's coming on next on this channel, and to find what's on now on other channels, I have to switch to them (in digital).
So, a proper Guide would be a nice thing to have on a converter for your old analog TV set.

As for a weak digital signal, what you will see is a pixilated, halting, stalling, tearing show, if reception is on the edge.
You don't want ANY of that while you are watching, of course.

And I want to take out and shoot proponents of these "HD Antenna" which sell for a hundred dollars (or anywhere close).
Digital is delivered on UHF channels and a small UHF only antenna should cost only a few ten's of dollars at most.
The planar style cost only a few dollars to build (foot-square cake-pan-looking thing)
 

snathanb

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Feb 26, 2004
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Have digital tuners gotten better at picking up channels over the air in the last few years? I was an early adopter and got an HDTV with a digital tuner built-in in 2004 so I always been curious.

An emphatic yes. I've gone through several generations of them, each better than the last.
 

Zorak

SatelliteGuys Pro
If you still have your coupon (expires today?) and you really need analog passthrough, it appears that Sears stores (at least my local ones) now have the Magnavox DTV Converter that now supports Analog Pass Through in stock for 49.99. The model number only differs slightly from the old model - the new model ends in "....G9." I have heard many of the older model boxes were DoA or died quickly but they should be returnable to the store if that is the case. I think they are made by Funai. I would only get one if I really needed analog pass through and I had no more time. Most online stores won't allow coupon use to pre-order a box (like the DISH box). Good luck!
 

Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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I have nevers eena snwy digital picture.

I was referring to a snowy analog signal. I figured if an amplifier can turn a snowy picture into a clear one on analog then wouldn't it help bring in a digital signal as well? That is one thing I do not like about digital, some channels that come in on analog will not come in on a digital box if they have some snow on it. The analog picture shows any signal coming into it whereas a digital signal has to be strong enough to pickup anything.
 

Geronimo

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I was referring to a snowy analog signal. I figured if an amplifier can turn a snowy picture into a clear one on analog then wouldn't it help bring in a digital signal as well? That is one thing I do not like about digital, some channels that come in on analog will not come in on a digital box if they have some snow on it. The analog picture shows any signal coming into it whereas a digital signal has to be strong enough to pickup anything.

it is hit or miss. theoretically you are more likely to get a good picture with digital but you are right that it is almost all or nothing. there really isn' t a way to settle fora snowy picture and you are left with no picture at all.
 

Malouff

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May 21, 2008
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The DTV Pal really is a good box. I also bought a "digitalstream" brand converter box from RadioShack and its guide is a joke. Wait for the Dish one to go on sale. It really is a good box.
I would not call the Digital Streams EPG a joke - I have seen worse and some boxes don't even have a guide.
I do agree the DTVPal has one of the best looking Electronic Program Guides
 
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