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Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Camping Hoosiers on Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:35 pm

I signed up a while back for a couple of the government issued DTV converter box coupons.

If by chance you don't know about this or still need to order coupons you can order them here:

https://www.dtv2009.gov/

I recieved mine in the mail yesterday and they are a credit card looking deal and of course there were two of them. I stopped by my local wally world today and picked up two of these converter boxes. They were marked just under $50 each so with the coupon card the price was less than $10 each.

I hooked one up when I got home to see how well it would work. Its pretty amazing actually. I found that several of my local channels already broadcasting in digital. Some of these stations have several channels broadcasting now. So instead of just getting channel 3 like I used to. Now I might get channels 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3. The picture is very clear.

Bad news for the sats and cable companies. I won't ever need them again.

I can't wait to try one in my Eagle using the amplified antenna. Its hard telling how many channels that I might get!

Are many of you already using this? Do you like it?

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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby ButteBumBob on Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:41 pm

I haven't got mine yet but,I sure am glad to hear a positive report. thanks.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Rough2000 on Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:03 pm

I picked up one of mine in late March. Used it a couple of time while traveling to South Texas. I was able to pickup several channels at each stop...really seems to work well. If you don't need one right away or if your coupon is not going to expire you may want to wait until June when Echostar is supposed to come out with one that has passive analog and will sell for $40.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby catmom on Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:36 pm

We haven't gotten around to it. Had to buy a new TV for the downstairs (in the house) last year and ended up with a combination analog/digital. And the TV in our new trailer is also a combo. The pictures sure look nice!
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Limey on Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:53 pm

Ordered mine a month back - still waiting for them.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby bamasurveyor on Sun Apr 27, 2008 9:04 am

Our coupon cards came in this week, I told Ted we should go ahead a get two of the converters. One for the Camper, and one to have on hand for when he gets PO'd at the cable company and tells the to "shove it". That way when I have to put an antenna in the back yard at least one TV will work.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Camping Hoosiers on Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:40 pm

After watching Talladega today on this, I am really impressed with the picture quality. I have never been able to receive a signal over the air as good as this.

With more free over the air channels and the quality of the signal, I feel certain that I will never again pay for television.

I do this this has the potential to damage the cable and sat providers. Time will tell.

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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby BAJA X on Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:12 pm

When we got our new TT we splurged for two new 20'' wide screen LCD HD/Digital t.v's and the 1st time at the CG I programed them and some of the channels were digital, WOW the picture was like you were there, cant wait to upgrade my home t.v. now.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby JQSpree on Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:17 pm

Haven't researched this subject yet as we have direct tv and cable at home, and only one std tv that I think is digital but maybe that isn't the signal part? But in our trailer, we have a lcd/HD/digital tv that does great when the cg has cable but not so good so far on the antenna. Is there a secret to reception or is it all location? Does the box do anything for reception or just allow the digital signal to be received? Is there any other way to improve the antenna signal in the trailer or are we doing something wrong?
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby dakotakid on Sat May 03, 2008 10:37 pm

I was wondering if the antenna would still work with the box and old tv. Alot of the places i camp dont have cable hook ups. I should be geting my coupons soon in the mail.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Limey on Sun May 04, 2008 12:05 am

dakotakid wrote:I was wondering if the antenna would still work with the box and old tv. Alot of the places i camp dont have cable hook ups. I should be geting my coupons soon in the mail.

RV antennas will still receive the signals just fine - any regular antenna will. The box is required to convert the digital signal to a form which an analog TV can receive. If your TV has a digital receiver, as most newer TVs do, it will not need a box. I have two TVs in the 5er - one is digital, and will not need a box, the other is an old one which will need a box.

All signals coming from satellite or cable are digital already, so this only affects over the air transmisisons. :)
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby dakotakid on Sun May 04, 2008 8:39 am

How do i know if its digital or not. Mine goes to 99 and has a remote.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby skipnchar on Sun May 04, 2008 11:46 am

There were FEW digital TVs being sold in 99 so unless you specifically ordered (and paid about triple for the TV) it's most likely analog. One sure test is if you can get the "digital only" stations that are already on the air.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Limey on Sun May 04, 2008 12:21 pm

skipnchar wrote:There were FEW digital TVs being sold in 99 so unless you specifically ordered (and paid about triple for the TV) it's most likely analog. One sure test is if you can get the "digital only" stations that are already on the air.


Quite true - but I think he was referring to the channel numbers going up to 99.

Basically, if a TV is more than 10 years old it will definitely not be digital. The first Digital TV's went on sale between 1997 and 1999. (The FCC decided to introduce digital in April 1997 and set a two year intro span).
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby graywolf67 on Sun May 04, 2008 12:54 pm

Thanks for the link I just applied for my coupons and see what happens. I don't have cable or sat we really don't watch my broadcast tv but it will be good to have the converter. :mrgreen:
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby mikhen on Sun May 04, 2008 5:24 pm

I have no idea if we will need converters or not. At home, we have cable, but, we only have 1 TV on a box from the cable company. The other TV's are hooked directly to cable. As for the TT, we have 2 TV's and both are 2 years old. My theory on knowing if we need boxes is this....Wait till next February. If there is no picture, we need a box.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Frank Henn on Sun May 04, 2008 6:26 pm

When we got the new Cruiser, I bought a best buy store brand, flat screen for it. The store brand is called Insignia I paid on sale $179.00 for the 21 inch screen, It is digital read, and it came as a complete surprise to us. I have to fool around with the antenna int the Cruiser a little more to maintain contact.. We lost the TV in the house a year and a half ago, and I bought one of the new styles to be ready It is a 27 inch, and I paid way too much for it around $750.00 We have cable at the house so do not know if the digital is actually working
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby lifelongcampers on Mon May 05, 2008 11:38 pm

We got our card the other week but haven't used it yet. Hope to be able to try it out in the next few weeks.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby dakotakid on Sat May 17, 2008 8:42 am

Both of my coupons arrived in the mail today.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat May 17, 2008 11:01 am

mikhen wrote:I have no idea if we will need converters or not. At home, we have cable, but, we only have 1 TV on a box from the cable company. The other TV's are hooked directly to cable.


If your using cable then there's no need for the boxes - you only need the new digital boxes if you intend on picking up the new "Over the air" digital signals. Chances are this is the situation you'll be in while camping, so grab a converter box and put it in your TT, as you won't need it at home.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby hilldude on Sun May 18, 2008 3:00 pm

Some converters have a analog pass through so you can switch from digital to analog nice when you have a weak signal. digital is perfect picture or no picture.I got the magnavox from walmart works ok but it would be nice to bypass box on a weak signal
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby skipnchar on Sun May 18, 2008 7:03 pm

hilldude wrote:Some converters have a analog pass through so you can switch from digital to analog nice when you have a weak signal. digital is perfect picture or no picture.I got the magnavox from walmart works ok but it would be nice to bypass box on a weak signal

Of course the pass though feature will be useless after next Feb. when ALL stations will be digital. Also keep in mind that all of those 'extra' stations everyone raves about will ALSO go away then.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sun May 18, 2008 8:15 pm

While we're on the topic, can anyone mention if they come across any particularly good deals on these boxes somewhere?

We will eventually need one for our trips to the USA, but I'd want one with the pass-through option since Canada isn't rushing through with the digital changeover as fast as the USA is, so I'd need to be able to pickup regular OTA (non digital) as well without too much hassle.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby hilldude on Sun May 18, 2008 9:21 pm

walmart has them for $49 you may have to order it.the RCA box has pass through here is the web site https://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby wintek on Mon May 19, 2008 10:09 am

skipnchar wrote:Of course the pass though feature will be useless after next Feb. when ALL stations will be digital. Also keep in mind that all of those 'extra' stations everyone raves about will ALSO go away then.


What extra stations are you talking about?
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Limey on Mon May 19, 2008 11:07 am

wintek wrote:
skipnchar wrote:Of course the pass though feature will be useless after next Feb. when ALL stations will be digital. Also keep in mind that all of those 'extra' stations everyone raves about will ALSO go away then.


What extra stations are you talking about?

Many current stations have a subset of digital signal that you don't get with an analog receiver/TV (or with satellite for that matter). For example, Channel 9 in Denver has a channel 9.1 also. It is a 24hr weather channel. PBS Channel 6 in Denver has 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3. (6.1 is an HD transmission). There are others. I do not understand how these will go away after the switch, as they are digital channels and I have sen nothing in anyof my searches that says they will be turned off. I have also discussed with a CBS engineer in Denver and he scratched his head about that one!

An earlier comment was about not now needing cable or satellite any more -I don't understand that either, unless you only want the over-the-air channels and nothing else (like ESPN, CNN, HBO, TNT, BBC America etc etc etc). All you will be gaining is this 'sub-set' of channels. I have had them here in Denver for several years - I get my locals over the air into my digital HDTV with an HD satellite receiver as the input to the TV. I only look at two of them mostly (9.1 and 6.1 as previously mentioned).
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby wintek on Mon May 19, 2008 12:00 pm

I think you are correct Limey. When the FCC took away the analog bandwidth, they gave the broadcast station 3 channels. Standard Digital takes up much less bandwidth than the analog so they can fit 3 channels in the same a mount of bandwidth one analog takes. Instead of seeing them go away, I t hink you will see additional programing and will be brodcasted by local cable company.

Maybe the comment about not needing cable / satellite anymore maybe beacuse of the clear picture you now get with digital or the addtional programing. In my area one station replays their latest news braodcast continuously so you can check the news, one has constant weather updates with latest / live radar feed. None however have provided any new content on their sub channels.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon May 19, 2008 10:59 pm

I do not understand how these will go away after the switch, as they are digital channels and I have sen nothing in anyof my searches that says they will be turned off.

What I was talking about going away is the analog channels. Lots of folks say they're getting a lot of extra channels when they use their converter box because they're getting the current analog AND the stations that are currently broadcasting on digital. Once the conversion takes place the analog will go away and they'll continue to get any digitals (which may well be additional channels to their old analog selection but not the combined number they get now.
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Limey on Mon May 19, 2008 11:33 pm

Well - I bought an RCA box at Wal-Mart today - $10 with the card. I connected it up in the 5er at the campsite and let it search for stations. Picked up 10 stations very quickly and the picture quality is good. I like that it shows you what is on and what is coming on next. The other plus is that it picked the same stations in whatever position the RV antenna was pointed. I used the signal meter, after I set it up, and the signal was the same strength for any direction I pointed it!
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Tue May 20, 2008 8:25 pm

Limey wrote:Well - I bought an RCA box at Wal-Mart today - $10 with the card


The card being your government discount thingie? How much was it outright?
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby hilldude on Tue May 20, 2008 8:48 pm

PrivatePilot wrote:
Limey wrote:Well - I bought an RCA box at Wal-Mart today - $10 with the card


The card being your government discount thingie? How much was it outright?
card is for $40
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Re: Digital Television - Converter Box

Unread postby Limey on Tue May 20, 2008 10:32 pm

PrivatePilot wrote:
Limey wrote:Well - I bought an RCA box at Wal-Mart today - $10 with the card


The card being your government discount thingie? How much was it outright?


Just a few cents under $50. The card gives you $40 off.
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