Digital TV Converter

vbimport

#1

As we all know, the USA will change over to Digital TV on Feb. 19. I got my two $40 coupons today towards the purchase of two Converter boxes. All of my PC’s have a tuner card, so does anyone know the best converter box to get . These will be hooked up to two of my PC’s. My HTPC has a digital HD card and I have cable and a dish, so no box is needed for regular viewing. This is where you get the coupons:
https://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm


#2

Good question…I haven’t got my coupons yet.


#3

[QUOTE=slytrans69;2041051][B]As we all know, the USA will change over to Digital TV on Feb. 19. [/B] I got my two $40 coupons today towards the purchase of two Converter boxes. All of my PC’s have a tuner card, so does anyone know the best converter box to get . These will be hooked up to two of my PC’s. My HTPC has a digital HD card and I have cable and a dish, so no box is needed for regular viewing. This is where you get the coupons:
https://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm[/QUOTE]

Related to DVB-S/ATSC or DVB-T only?


#4

This box is to convert the DVT( or in our good old USA parlance, roof antennae) ATSC signal to analog NTSC for the TV set. But the Tivax STB-T9, which is eligible, says it will work for cable and dish also. I assume this means ATSC digital cable and ATSC dish, which will leave all premium channels scrambled. But it saves having to buy a HD TV with a built in tuner if you do not want one. And if you do not want to pay a monthly fee for a cable box or a dish box.


#5

I haven’t got my coupons yet but that’s OK .One of the converters I’mlooking at won’t be out until mid June to July.That is Dish networks Echostar TR-40 .
I’m also looking at 3 others: CoShip 9900T,ARTEC T3A Pro,&RCA DTA800 .


#6

The coupons are only good for 90 days i believe.


#7

If I decide on the Echostar I might have to cut it close.I thinke the others are available .I saw the RCA at Walmart a couple of days ago.


#8

Mine are good until July 9, 90 days.


#9

I believe these coupon boxes are SD only no HD . Correct??


#10

[QUOTE=old3eyes;2043974]I believe these coupon boxes are SD only no HD . Correct??[/QUOTE]
Easy answer No HD on the coupon eligible boxes.This was mandated by the Congress.
THere does seem to be some easing up on what boxes the coupons are eligible for.
The Echostar TR-40 Is now my choice because it is the only one with a VCR timer.I’m not sure if it is upgradeable.
The Artec T3A Pro is supposed to have a RS232 so should be upgradeable.


#11

The Artec T3A Pro is my choice so far. The tuner that it will be attached to has PVR.


#12

I just got my coupons yesterday, actually. So i’m going to start shopping around and see what’s available now and what will be available soon.


#13

I finally received my coupon/cards today. So what is the general consensus on the best converter for the money?


#14

Hi Bob;So far I still like the Echostar - TR40 now being called DTVPal by Dish.I emailed Dish & they responded it will be available June 18,2008.
The main two features I like on it are the VCR timer which should allow timed programing & Analog passthrough which will be handy until the change to all digital signal in 2009 if that actually happens.
It should be free after the coupon except for tax & shipping.
Artec T3A Pro will be my second choice if I have to buy one before my cards expire if the DTVPal isn’t available like it is supposed to be.
I did like that the Artec T3A Pro is upgradeable but that is only worth what the available upgrades will do.


#15

Thanks for the info!


#16

Personally, I got the zenith dtt900 with one of my coupons and think its great. I have about a month left on the other coupon to decide. Fyi there are many that think the zenith is the best all around and all things (from those that were avalable a month ago any way as that is when I quit reading up on it) considered but it depends on what features you need (it doesn’t have pass through etc). The dtt901 is supposed to have pass through but its not out yet if I’m not mistaken. There is one issue with the zenith though (or bestbuy insignia, same unit). Some people have noticed a faint chirping sound. So far as I know, its only from dolby 5.1 signals and only from certain television stations. Further, many people do not have the problem or don’t notice it. It has been suggested that you can get rid of it by turning the volume down on the box from 100% to 90%, but the volume is pretty low to start with at 100% (you can always turn the tv or stereo up in my opinion). Also, units labled as made in april are reported to have the problem fixed (check the label on the side of the box).

Anyway, I’m going to search around and see if there is anything better for my second box but I’m dreading reading about it. If anyone else wants to go blind reading about which is the best box, check out the threads on the avs forum. Here is the one about the zenith, and it is 50 pages long and growing (I think its the largest). There are threads about many if not all of the other units too.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=948767

Also, the rca has been reported to be crap.


#17

Fyi I think the artec is one of the other ones that has an lg chip and there for may have the audio problem (but again, many don’t have or notice the problem).


#18

[QUOTE=ripit;2062335]Fyi I think the artec is one of the other ones that has an lg chip and there for may have the audio problem (but again, many don’t have or notice the problem).[/QUOTE]lol until they hook it up to a decent receiver :doh:


#19

[QUOTE=Bob;2062341]lol until they hook it up to a decent receiver :doh:[/QUOTE]

Thats the thing though. There have been a few people that claim they couldn’t hear it on a high end audio system while there are a few others that claim that they could hear it from things like the speakers from a cheapo 13" tv? According to several, its like when you hear a person make the s sound, its kind of hissy (there have been different descriptions of it). Nbc nightly news seems to be one of the shows that always has it. Here is a recording of it


At least one person said that they didn’t notice it till they listened to the recording and knew what they were looking for (I cannot hear it from mine through the computer or the stereo even though I hear it in the recording). I’m guessing that it might be only young people and those rare few older people with very good high frequency hearing (and or those that are sensitive to high frequency noise like a person that cringes when a chalk board squeals). After all, you start loosing your hearing for very high frequency’s at rather young ages. these boxes use high frequency noise that supposedly only teenagers can hear (though a few older people can supposedly hear it too).

If you want the zenith and have time left on your coupons though, just look for and or wait for a unit that has an April or later manufacture date (as the problem is supposed to be fixed according to user reports). There are already units available in some stores with those dates but not in all stores. If you have a lot of time left, you could wait for other units to come out and see how good they turn out to be, but of what is available right now, the zenith seems to be among the top for quality and capture strength. Of course none of the boxes out yet are perfect (they all have strong and weak points). I would like one with s video out but there are not any good ones yet (not near as good as the zenith).

Here is a comparison chart by the way, for those that want or need certain capabilities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_CECB_units


#20

ripit; I DLed the audio files from http://www.mediafire.com/?yuvynylztuv .
On the left channel I coud hear a sort of chirp or whistle sound On the right channel it was more of a too close to the microphone breathing sound.
I think that’s what caused the sound on the left channel too it just picked it up different.On a television series or movie I’m sure this would be edited out .On the news who really cares.But I was glad to have a sample.
The Zenith is probably a good product.I still have a very old Zenith TV in my work room & it still works OK for where I use it.
Still for now I like the features of the Echostar - TR40(DTVPal) for my use any way.I just hope it has good reception as well.
I think the local TV stations in my area have been sending out crappy OTA analog signal for a couple of years now so when the switch is made everyone will say how good the digital is.Old time residents like me remember when the analog signal came in clear over regular rabbit ears.The first UHF station everyone received over a small simple wire loop on the back of the set.All of these antennas were unamplified.
Since I still have regular analog CRT sets they should still receive the signal the same but don’t.Also I live in a very flat plains part of Texas & at one time the ABC station had Texas tallest broadcast tower.The same one still in use. Now a short 1449 feet.