[mythtv-users] The end of analog - Digital Converter Vaporware?

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Wed Jan 23 18:39:51 UTC 2008


On 01/23/2008 12:30 PM, Peter A. Daly wrote:
> With the FCC auction tomorrow, I've got digital TV on my mind.
>
> Are there any Digital TV converters on the market yet?  I don't have
> any TV's that can display HD, and don't plan to get one in the near
> future, but would like to upgrade to OTA picture quality.
>
> The converter boxes the (US) government is talking about still appear
> to be non-existent.
>
> Can anyone point me to a digital to analog SD converter that I can
> actually buy today?

You mean like these:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-DTBH260F-HDTV-Terrestrial-Receiver/dp/B000JV6TQY
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMR-EZ17K-Recorder-Tuner-Black/dp/B000NWZP5U
http://www.amazon.com/Tivax-ATSC-Digital-TV-Tuner/dp/B000OD2H7C

Granted, they're all OTA receivers, but I'm pretty sure that's all the
US government was talking about.  The cable/satellite company's digital
STB is the converter you'd need for cable/satellite TV.  Sure, you might
not find them in retail stores, but then again, the retail store would
prefer you hand over $1000+ for an HDTV than $150-$200 for a digital TV
tuner.  And, manufacturers are also "bundling" these external HDTV
tuners with other components like DVD Recorders/Players (in many cases,
even a DVD Recorder is only a few dollars more than the digital TV
tuner).  I'm sure there are a lot more than the ones I listed, but I
just took a few links off the first page of the search results at Amazon.

They're actually still expensive enough, though, that you're probably
better off getting a pcHDTV HD-5500 or Avermerdia A180 or whatever. 
Myth can be your "converter" (if you have a powerful enough frontend). 
I, personally, would much rather spend that $200 towards a Myth upgrade
(i.e. for a new frontend) even though it probably wouldn't cover a whole
new HDTV-capable frontend and a capture card.  However, if you want to
record more than one channel, $400 might and $600 would (you actually
need a separate HDTV tuner for each show you want to tune, so it adds up
quickly).

I think Bill C. promised you could get these for $50 (or was it $89). 
That didn't happen, so maybe if you send him a copy of your receipt and
ask for a refund of the difference...  Oh, wait.  He's not paying for
it, your tax dollars are:  https://www.dtv2009.gov .  Hurry, coupons are
only available between Jan 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009--while supplies
last.  2 coupons per customer.  Each coupon saves you $40 of your
hard-earned money.  (I may just request 2 coupons and shred them to save
the government $80. :)  I love the "Locate a Converter Box Retailer near
you" page.  There are 0 retailers within 50 miles of my house (which is
in a relatively large metro area).  They need to have a few more options
for the search distance...  Of course, only 48hours after they opened
the coupon requests to the public, more than 850,000 coupons had been
requested.  The government set aside $1.5B (yeah, that's 3.75M coupons)
for the program, and $34M was gone in just 2 days.

Mike


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