digital to analog converter boxes?!?...

M

mastermesh

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According to
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/technology/07digital.html , which is a little dated (June of 07), LG and Thomson (aka RCA) are/were the only two certified companies so far (back then) that were going to start making the digital to analog converter boxes. Anyone have any info on model numbers, etc. I realize folks won't start asking for coupons til January 1, so the demand isn't there yet, but that's only 2 days away, and I haven't seen anything online or on the news about the conversion yet other than reporters saying that the boxes will need to be purchased... no info on exact prices, model numbers, what stores will carry them, etc. Are other companies other than LG and Thomson going to be making the boxes? Even people with digital tvs probably have one or more older tvs that need the converters... You'd think if legally you can start getting the coupons in January there would be more hype about this whole conversion thing and companies would be more forthcoming with info... Since the coupons are only good for 3 months, it sort of makes me want to wait til october so the coupons would work on black Friday, 2008... BUT I've read that that may be a bad idea due to supply and demand issues. There's plenty of demand now that 2008 is almost here... where the heck is the supply?
 
charper1

charper1

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When you say DA converter box; are we talking simply about set-top ATSC receivers that can output digital signals to say a downrez'd 480i via RF, RCA and/or s-video or maybe 480p to many older non-HD component TVs?



Stay tuned to this URL too:

DTV Answers : DTV Converter Box Details
 
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Peter Parker

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mdonnelly

mdonnelly

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Remember, this won't be a cheap HD OTA receiver, it'll be a cheap SD OTA digital receiver. Its only reason for being is to allow grandma to keep using her old RCA for local channels.
 
navychop

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The supply stops after it costs 890 million dollars. Then there is a reserve of 450 million that they can spend, but only on households that can prove a need (both OTA reliance and financial, I believe).

I suspect the program will not exhaust it's funding. Most will never hear of the program, and many coupons might never get used, once folks start seeing how limited the boxes are. And most of all, cable and satellite users won't notice.

So you have maybe 15% of the population relying on OTA exclusively. Figure 15% of 100,000,000 households, $40 coupons, 2 per, that's $1.2B. Then maybe another 10% - 25% have secondary OTA only TVs. But I suspect way less than half the eligible households will ever even consider getting the coupons. Many people won't want to bother, and those that can afford to will just buy a new HDTV and not have the "hassle" of dealing with a converter box.

We'll see. It could be another government boondoggle. But if people don't even use the coupons they get, we've saved money.

I wonder if you can request one coupon early on, and your second one later in the year, when more boxes might be available. I probably won't even apply, though, since I already have a good box, and am inclined to rid myself of my CRTs anyway. Plus, with satellite hooked up, the converter box would only be for my visiting in-laws, who like to watch the local news on one of our secondary TVs. Our main TV has an ATSC decoder built in, plus it can receive ATSC thru the Dish ViP622 anyway.

The boxes will receive all digital OTA broadcasts, SD & HD, but will only output an SD signal. No HD outputs at all.

Anyone actually applying for, and getting such a government authorized box, please post the story.
 
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mastermesh

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this won't be a cheap HD OTA receiver
That's true... but it will downsize hd programs to sd so that most tvs can see it. I'm not sure if real digital tvs do that. I think they do, but haven't seen any hd broadcast ota yet since getting my digital tv a couple days ago....

Anyone actually applying for, and getting such a government authorized box, please post the story.
I'll post the story when and if the story happens to me... I don't want to jump in there and get a coupon before I actually start seeing these things available since the coupons are only good for 90 days.
 
digiblur

digiblur

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That's true... but it will downsize hd programs to sd so that most tvs can see it. I'm not sure if real digital tvs do that. I think they do, but haven't seen any hd broadcast ota yet since getting my digital tv a couple days ago....


I'll post the story when and if the story happens to me... I don't want to jump in there and get a coupon before I actually start seeing these things available since the coupons are only good for 90 days.

Read the very last part of this story

http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6516153.html?rssid=196
 
jegrant

jegrant

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I do intend on getting 2 coupons myself, to see what I can do for the couple of TV sets we have that aren't hooked up to analog cable.

I am disappointed that the government won't even allow Clear QAM reception to be included in these boxes, though - only ATSC.
 
JAG72

JAG72

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I do intend on getting 2 coupons myself, to see what I can do for the couple of TV sets we have that aren't hooked up to analog cable.

I am disappointed that the government won't even allow Clear QAM reception to be included in these boxes, though - only ATSC.

I thought you could only qualify for the coupon if you don't have any type of services except OTA.
 
digiblur

digiblur

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I am disappointed that the government won't even allow Clear QAM reception to be included in these boxes, though - only ATSC.

Sounds kinda rhetorical there. If you have QAM then you have at least basic analog cable.
 
Peter Parker

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I thought you could only qualify for the coupon if you don't have any type of services except OTA.

NOPE. It was decided that it would bea nightmare to decide who did or did not have a legitimate need.
 
goaliebob99

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hey I just ordered my coupons for my parents who watch OTA. If you call 18883882009 and do the automation proccess you can get your coupons sent to you in feburary. You just have to tell them that you dont subscribe to sat or cable during the automation process.
 
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mastermesh

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I just applied online there too... I feel better now knowing that they have this statement on there:
TV converter boxes are not expected to be available in retail stores until late February or early March. You will receive your Coupon(s) then. The Coupon will expire within 90 days from the date it is issued
 
C

ciwsguy

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I went ahead and applied for the coupons, even though I have a HDTV with integrated ATSC tuner and satellite SD feed. Why? Because I have several analog TV's in the house. They won't issue the coupons until the tuners are available in retail stores, approx March 2008. I'm skeptical they'll be available then. Whether I get a coupon or not remains to be seen, but what do you have to lose applying for the box? Nothing, right?
 
teamlazyboy

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i'm going to go ahead and get 2 boxes when they become available. i don't have sat ran to my daughter's room and Ion feeds Qubo to my area on thier digital band so that's the only channel she needs in there. And i just KNOW that after the switch over i'm going to have at least one person complain to me they can't get tv signal any more and need a box.
 
C

ciwsguy

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i'm going to go ahead and get 2 boxes when they become available. i don't have sat ran to my daughter's room and Ion feeds Qubo to my area on thier digital band so that's the only channel she needs in there. And i just KNOW that after the switch over i'm going to have at least one person complain to me they can't get tv signal any more and need a box.

Me thinks there's some business opportunities coming in Feb 2009 when those analog transmitters are turned off.
 
jegrant

jegrant

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I do have a couple TVs that aren't hooked up to cable/satellite at all.

My point is - these boxes sure would be more useful if they did have Clear QAM, so that I could also use cable as an alternative to an antenna.

Really, my #1 reason to get them is they look like a low cost option for emergency preparedness - for (hopefully) $10-20 each, I can pick up a couple boxes to plug in and at least get some reception if the cable and/or satellite goes out for a while. Both have been known to go off air at various times, and only one room has a satellite receiver, so a cable outage could affect the rest of the house.

I would probably keep one as part of a permanent setup for DX / testing / etc purposes. My guess is that I'll want to learn as much as I can about DTAs so that I can help others I know (who do rely exclusively on OTA) to get them set up and installed correctly.

Granted - from looking at AntennaWeb.org - seems like we may only get about 3 digital channels here (using an inexpensive indoor antenna), but we only get about 3 good quality analog signals now. And the possibility of receiving many stations with subchannels has me considering one of the "Smart" antennas for my roof. With the demise of Sky Angel, I may no longer need to point a dish at 61.5. If I can just mount an antenna on the same pole, it sounds tempting.

I am very interested to learn what features the Echostar TR-40 DTA (Digital To Analog / Digital Television Adapter) box will have. I am looking for something with these features:
*Best Possible Tuner (I want something that pulls in distant DTV stations like a car radio can pull in distant FM stations.)
*S-Video Out
*RCA Audio/Video Out (virtually all boxes have this, IIRC)
*Remote Control (Simple, Simple, Simple - want this to be easy for Mom & Dad to use)
*TV Guide On Screen (I have read at AVS Forums that Echostar is supposedly the "only" DTA maker working with Gemstar, but it was unclear whether this referred to actually building in the TVGOS function to the DTA box, or merely passing through TVGOS data from the "Digital VBI" so that devices that now rely on an analog OTA station to provide VBI TVGOS data can continue to function post-transition.)
*Some method to change/work around the required 4-hour inactivity period shutoff required for Energy Star compliance. (All DTAs must comply with Energy Star to be coupon eligible. The EPA claims that by putting out all these DTAs with Energy Star, it is equivalent to taking more than a million cars off the road. Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes (DTAs) : ENERGY STAR - Note that I am not at all against energy savings, but I would like a DTA that will either let me configure timers, or change the inactivity period, so that I can use it as a source for timed recordings.)

I would really like to see some screen shots of different DTA on screen guides / interfaces. Supposedly the RCA DTA has an on screen interface comparable to a DirecTV receiver. That's not bad, I suppose - but which DirecTV receiver? ;)
 
Hall

Hall

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these boxes sure would be more useful if they did have Clear QAM, so that I could also use cable as an alternative to an antenna.
Again, the real point of these boxes are for people who will have NO television reception after Feb 2009. If you are able to use QAM, you have cable TV service, and therefore are unaffected by the shut-off.
 

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