Consumer Reports DTV converter box buying guide

June 25, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV Tuners, HDTV TV Sets

Consumer Reports as published a six page online buying guide to assist consumers when purchasing a DTV converter box for the coming DTV transition on February 17, 2009. Their buying guide includes ratings of 14 models of set top digital converter boxes for receiving over-the-air (OTA) free television programming. The converters have been evaluated for their picture quality, program guide, configurable closed captioning, compatibility with universal remote controls, ease of adding channels, whether appropriate cables are included and several other factors. Their buying guide covers Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes, those eligible for purchase with the $40 off digital converter box coupons provided by the US government.

Click here to go to Consumer Reports DTV Converter Box Buying Guide .

If you are buying an new HDTV instead of a converter box, you'll want to look at Consumer Reports' testing of new high definition televisions. Consumer Reports has tested 101 LCD, plasma, and rear-projection TVs in sizes up to 65 inches wide. Click here to visit their HDTV buying guide.

Store Locator

June 3, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV, HDTV Tuners, The Big Switch

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Enter your zip code to find Coupon Eligible Converter Box coupon program participating retailers near you. These retailers accept DTV converter coupons and sell HDTV tuners and over-the-air DTV converter boxes.

Learn more about the DTV converter coupon program.

Approved Coupon Eligible Converter Box models.

Our store locator is temporarily off-line.

Please go to the Locate a Converter Box Retailer page at the U.S. Government TV Converter Box Coupon Program website and use the locator at the bottom of the page.

Fans of Canadian TV will need analog pass-through converters

May 21, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV Tuners

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Just when you thought the digital television — or DTV — conversion should be getting simpler — it’s not.

And that’s especially true for Western New Yorkers, who have gotten used to decades of Canadian TV over their antennas, in addition to the homegrown broadcasts. Those viewers will need to get a particular kind of converter box if they want to continue to watch Canadian analog TV stations that haven’t gone digital yet.

Read the full story by Elmer Ploetz at The Buffalo News

You may also be interested in in this FCC Consumer Advisory (Adobe pdf document) about how the DTV switch will affect people along the US border areas. The advisory notes that Canadian TV stations will transition from analog to digital broadcasting in August of 2011 and Mexico will complete the digital transition in 2021. The advisory also notes that:

If you purchase a digital-to-analog converter box to watch digital broadcasts on an analog TV and also wish to continue watching analog programming broadcast from stations in either Mexico or Canada, you should purchase a converter box with "analog pass-through" capability, which allows analog broadcast signals to pass through the converter box to be tuned by your analog TV. Converter boxes with analog pass-through capability will also enable you to watch U.S. low-power and translator television stations, most of which will continue to broadcast in analog after February 17, 2009.

Making digital TV converters work when power is cut off

May 6, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV Tuners, The Big Switch

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Like so many other South Florida residents, Sherry Garrett worries about getting the most up-to-date and accurate information during hurricane season.

That’s why Sherry relies on her battery-operated TV set to stay tuned to CBS4 News during weather emergencies that often disrupt South Florida’s power grid.

It’s an all-too-common problem. As a bad storm approaches, the winds pick up as the weather gets worse. The power goes out and her battery operated TV set becomes her lifeline to...

Read the full story by Al Sunshine in Miami's Community Newspapers

NAB, CEA Launch Contest – Win a free HDTV Entertainment System

May 2, 2008 by  
Filed under HDTV Tuners, HDTV TV Sets

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You can nominate somone, who relies on broadcast TV, to win a Zenith, GE, or Magnavox converter box and RCA flat antenna. Monthly winners will be chosen from the nominees. Monthly winners and those that nominate them are eligible to win the grand prize digital home entertainment system.

The grand prize winner will recieve a new flat-screen HDTV, Blu-Ray DVD player, and surround sound audio system.

To enter the contest, just submit a short story about someone you know who depends on over-the-air broadcasts of their local television programming, include their favorite shows, how they watch TV, and describe their television / entertainment equipment. Along with the story, make sure you submit a photo of the person and their TV set too.

This is a great way to help someone you know make the transition to DTV.

Go to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) website to read the rules and enter the contest

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