Need recommendation: Analog TV converter box

H

haertig

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2004
505
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This is a different request than you are probably expecting.

I'm looking for a converter box with the absolute MINIMUM of features, but still a reasonable tuner. Pulling in weaker signals being more important than picture quality.

This is for an elderly aunt that is starting down the dementia path and can barely use a telephone even. If I could find something with On/Off, Channel Up/Down, Volume Up/Down and nothing else, that would be exquisite. The On/Off needs to control the TV more than the converter box. As far as I'm concerned, just leave the converter powered up 24x7 for simplicity. I haven't checked the back of her TV, but looking at its front I'd expect only RF-modulated input, maybe RCA composite, but that's it.

Alternately, another possibility might be a learning remote with only these minimal buttons so I could "dumb down" a more feature laden converter box. Telling her to simply "ignore" buttons she doesn't recognize is a non-starter. That doesn't work. She'll push anything and everything until she gets things so screwed up your head will spin.

It would be nice if they made electronics these days with a switch on the back, labeled "Normal mode" and "Old Aunt Elma Mode"

Thanks for any suggestions!
 
K

kukblue1

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 21, 2008
85
0
Stay away from the wal-mart ones. I got one even though I don't need it and come to find out that it can't control volume on the tv. So it won't turn the tv on or off or change the volume. I think it's a rca brand.
 
M

mrcano

Member
Nov 6, 2008
13
0
Hi there haertig, I have the Dtv Pal plus, it is an excellent converter box. you can go to dtvpal.com for more info.
 
Last edited:
Elchucko

Elchucko

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 15, 2005
174
2
Full time RVer
I recall a post quite a while ago that stated the Dish remote could be "locked" except for the basics of on/off. volume and channel change. Don't know if that also applies to the Dish DTV Pal but if it does, that would be your solution.
 
K

kb7oeb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2004
1,262
0
Phoenix,Arizona
The DTV pal will respond to dish remote codes so you could buy one of those universal remotes with the simple buttons on it

The RCA converter responds to Directv RCA codes and the Zenith box responds to LG Directv codes
 
boba

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,350
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
What sized TV is she used to watching? WalMart has had some 19/20" Tube Type TVs with the ATSC tuner built in for the $125 range.

1 less box 1 less remote may make things simpler but more costly than a converter box.

I also vote against the DTV PAL due to it's need to daily shut off and download programming guide info. That and the DISH provided remote does not operate the TV. Yes buying a remote off eBay and setting it to address #1 will get around that limitation. I have 2 and like them very much but DISH could have made a much better simple product for only a few more cents at wholesale.
 
H

haertig

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
May 21, 2004
505
0
Thanks for all the replies!

The BEST solution would certainly be a new ATSC TV and a remote like this one:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Tek-Pal-Remote-Control/dp/B000UKQR8E"]Amazon.com: Tek Pal Remote Control: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21kc5u5zBrL.@@AMEPARAM@@21kc5u5zBrL[/ame]

But the above remote only controls TV, not any set top boxes of any kind, so a new ATSC TV would be mandatory.

I already have two DTV Pals (actually the relabeled TR-40CRA model) that I bought with coupons "just because". I don't need them myself, but you never know when an elderly relative or a kid with an older TV might.

The only remote that I've found that looks like it (might) control both the DTV Pal and a TV is the "Weemote Sr., version 7.5". About $30 shipped. I like the Tek Pal remote better than the Weemote, so a new TV might be in the picture, just so she can use that remote. That sounds silly to replace a TV just for a $12.95 remote, but that's what you run into with the elderly sometimes.
 
arxaw

arxaw

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 27, 2004
211
0
Arkansas Ozarks
I'm looking for a converter box with the absolute MINIMUM of features, but still a reasonable tuner. Pulling in weaker signals being more important than picture quality.
Definitely the Zenith DTT900 or DTT901 from Rat Shack, K-Mart or Circuit City. Or the Zenith clone sold under the Insignia brand at Best Buy.
 

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