Digital Converter Box

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by gaowlpoop, May 10, 2008.

  1. gaowlpoop

    gaowlpoop Guest

    I need to get a digital converter box for my TV. I have been looking around and reading some reviews about various ones and it seems that many of them ether don't work or have some sort of problems. (Typical for something the government has a hand in.)

    I was just wondering if any one else has purchased one and if so if you have had any problems?

    If you have been successful with your purchase which brand and model did you get?

  2. DrpChvy

    DrpChvy Member

    Just so you know if you have cable you dont need a converter in the switch to digital broadcast.

    Ive seen one at wal-mart for $50.

  3. The 50 buck ones are sold out at my local wally worlds, will have to check with radio shack next
  4. Around here the RS ones are about $15-20 highr than Wally world. You may want to see when they will get more in
  5. Thanks, I will do that.
  6. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    I would hardly blame the government for technical problems with the boxes. They've just set a date for the conversion to universally occur. They don't manufacture any of the devices. Only subsidize the cost of one.

    The issue is that alot of these set top boxes aren't really up to snuff to the digital broadcast standard, and most of the stuff you get from WalMart when it comes to digital to analog conversion isn't of the highest quality anyways.

    I'm just avoiding the whole mess and saving up for a new TV. It won't be top of the line but will have a digital receiver built in.
  7. That's what I've been thinking. A new TV should do the trick. By then I should have enough saved for a new one.

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    1 question Neo How do you know they are substandard? Have you tried one or are you in the know?
  9. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Actually yes I have. Two of them. That and I've had several friends come to me and ask "You're good with video and stuff...WTF?" Alot of the problems come from the fact that they may receive digital signals, but are still outputting them via an analog COAX. Several issues I've seen are where the connections are just crap in the box and end up physically breaking, or where the cheap parts on these new to market units are litteraly spares from the parts bin and the signal is so crappy, it makes the old analog stuff from the 80's better than what's coming into the box.

    Granted this is off of what is being recieved right now, so I don't know if things will be different when the full digital spectrum is fired up. But, if it can't handle the analog signals clearly, how is it supposed to do at downgrading a digital signal?

    Perhaps it's too early to tell, but from what I've seen I cannot say that anyone should buy these things until there's some consumer report done by a facility who has the proper equipment. It, to me, seems like companies trying to get people to buy more crap before they need it, just to sell more units.

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    Thanks! That's all I needed to know. Neoa yudda man!!!
  11. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    Wal-Mart is well known for purchasing items from manufacturers that do not pass the quality tests to any standard. That is how they purchase them so cheaply, and sell them so cheaply. Best Buy and Circuit City are another great example of companies doing this.

    This is a good topic to use as an example. You can purchase a television from Wal-Mart/Best Buy/Circuit City and than go pick up the same make and model from a specialty video store, mom and pop shop, or Sears is a safe one.

    Take them and crack the cases on both and you will be shocked. You have the exact same make and model yet they are substantially different inside. The biggest factor is the quality of the connections or the lack of the quality in the Big Box one. It is obvious in a side by side comparison that it didn't get the same quality to attention at the factory. This was pointed out to me by the gentleman we use for our TV repairs at work, he has been in the business some 20 years now.

    So as far as the converter box issue goes, good luck on that one. Make sure you get that free coupon from the FCC to save some money.
  12. mill419

    mill419 Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to the forum and picking up my first C9 and Carbine tomorrow.

    Anyway, I used one of my coupons and picked up the Wally World box a few weeks ago. I don't know what I was expecting but locally our HD broadcast stations are limited to about 2. (There are sub channels, but they are different versions of the same one).

    Perhaps when the 2009 changeover takes place it'll be more handy. As others have said, if you have cable or satellite that is all you really need.
    I recently had to explain to a family friend that she didn't need to buy 3 LCD HDTV's for her house to replace her tube tv's.

    The only reason I picked up the coupons was because satellite has a propensity to go out with rain storms here in N. FL.
  13. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    Well, depending on size and configuration, an LCD television could provide far more than just a sharp picture. Many 19" to 32" screens use far less power than their CRT counterparts, and also can be easily hooked up to home PC's, survelliance systems and analog sources as well as digital with on-board components (no more extra boxes and switches hanging off the back of the TV). Also, the footprint is FAR less. My folks ended up hanging theirs on the wall, putting a picture frame on it and use the "Screen Saver" function by uploading artwork saved to HD on the built-in SD card reader. One minute, it's a Picasso, the next it's Manchester United v. Liverpool.

    Besides, most manufacturers are ending the production of Tube TV's.
  14. It gave me a good reason to buy a 50in flat screen plasma tv :D That was the argument I used with the wife anyway.

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    THAT is one reason I want a box even though I have cable. If cable goes out switch over to antenna and still get local stuff. :wink: Good for the bad weather [ice/snow storms ect]
  16. I have been holding out on hopes of the businesses that promised to have these at no cost to the consumer (after rebate card) to fulfill their empty promises. I will no doubt lose but I think is crap. We where told that it would not cost anything and then they start the squeeze to get more money. I am on a tight budget and it is just getting worse since gas just went over $4. I just get really pissed when companies like walmart swear to carry them for under forty bucks. At $10+ increase from there promised price, they didn't just make a little error but a 25%+ error. I can't help but think that error is a calculated addition to the profit margin. I guess I live by my word and expect other to also. If they don't I am not going to look the other way but call them out on it. Even if no one cares!!
  17. The problem is that after the signal changes, its either have the box, have a new tv, or have cable, or give up watching tv.

    They have got you any way you look at it.
  18. neothespian

    neothespian Member

    The problem is that the current TV signal spectrum is already being alloted to new wireless networking systems. They're hoping to have cellphones that run 30fps video conversations, downloads comporable or faster than the best home connection and wireless coverage over entire STATES using this band. There are only so many commercially viable signal spectrums. It's this snowball of innovation that is causing other industries to either catch up or to get bowled over, and right now it's in a bit of confusion.