I Love Digital TV Reception!
Analog Versus Digital Signal on My Old 25 Inch RCA Analog TV
I am more than aware that the federal government has mandated that all analog television signals will cease in February of 2009.
We have been watching the warnings on various television networks for several months now.
I also learned from the constant barrage of commercials, that there are two $40.00 coupons that you can get from the US government to help you to defray the cost of converting old televisions so that they can convert the digital signal back into an analog signal, so that we won't have to throw away our old TVs.
We ordered two of the $40.00 coupons. They showed up a week or so later.
After doing an Internet search to see what was available I found out two things. One, they are hard to come by; and, two, a lot of people are letting their coupons expire, not realizing that they have less than 90 days to use them.
I went down to Wal-Mart to see what was available. They only had a space for one brand on the shelf; I believe it was a Magnavox. It was out of stock. Having experienced this kind of thing at Wal-Mart in the past, I knew that I had better get busy and look somewhere else.
Once they get behind, they don't ever seem to catch up. You have to be there the moment it goes on the shelf, or you won't get whatever it is.
We called Radio Shack. It was the same story. They were out of stock in the store, but they were proud of the fact that you could have one sent to your house with free shipping. That wasn't good enough either.
Once I decide to get something, waiting is not an option.
Still no converter box.
We called several more big box stores. No luck. Finally, we called Best Buy and found out that they had a few. We reserved two of the converters and picked them up within a couple of hours.
They mentioned that they had their house brand and they also had the APEX DT250s. My wife had some errands to run, so she decided to pick them up for me on the way back.
The impression I am trying to give with all of this detail is that I was just trying to prevent problems in the future as the 2009 deadline could sneak up on us rather quickly.
Since our TV is old and doesn't have a sophisticated sound system, all I had to do was to connect the rabbit ears to the converter box, connect the box to the TV and then plug it into an electrical outlet. I followed the directions and let it do the auto-scan for available channels.
When the searching task was completed, I was amazed to find out that we had just gone from 8 or 9 possible broadcast channels to 15. Remember, this is with rabbit ears on top of the TV -- not a rooftop antenna, or anything complicated.
The next thing that happened caused my jaw to drop. Every channel was as clear and sharp as if it was coming in on cable. I didn't have to move the antenna around or change any of the gain controls, or anything like that. I am so impressed with the picture quality and the number of channels that we wound up with.
It was like so many times in the past when you say, "Why did I wait so long?" You know, the V-8 moment!
I was reveling in the newness of this experience. I was on the couch flipping through the channels and didn't have to get up even one time to adjust anything.
I went into the kitchen and hooked up Carla's portable (other-than-sports-watching) TV. Within a few minutes it was displaying the same results as the 25 inch RCA in the living room.
I am feeling good right now, that we did not wait until the last minute; and, that we are so happy with the results. I wish everything I did turned out this well!
I'm including a couple of pictures of one of President Bush's recent speeches. The first picture is with just the rabbit ears only. The second is with the converter box's input. You can judge for yourself if it was worth the twenty dollars that I had to pay in addition to the coupon.
Here is a list of the converter boxes that are covered by the coupon.
Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes (CECB)
NTIA-Approved & Available
ALPHA DIGITAL AT2016
APEX DT250 *
Access HD DTA1020D
Access HD DTA1020U
CRAIG Electronics International Ltd. CVD506 *
Channel Master CM-7000
DIGITAL STREAM DSP7500T
DIGITAL STREAM DSP7700T *
DIGITAL STREAM DTX9900
DIGITAL STREAM DTX9950 *
DIGITAL STREAM DX8700 *
DISH Network DTVPal *
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT *
Magnavox TB-100MG9 *
Memorex MVCB1000 *
Philco TB100HH9 *
Philco TB150HH9 *
RCA DTA 800B
RCA DTA800B1 *
Zenith DTT901 *
Here are some more links that might help you through the process.