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Old 05-08-2008, 11:09 AM   #1
dar512
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get your hdtv converter box coupons

As I mentioned in a previous thread, analog TV broadcast will cease in February 2009 (in the US). There are converter boxes available that will convert HDTV to the analog signal your old TV understands.

Converters run ~ $60 at bestbuy or circuit city. The federal government is providing coupons for $40 toward converter purchase.

The program is open now. You can apply here.

There is also a very good FAQ there on what's happening and what to do.

You do not need a converter if you have cable or a dish. Only those of us still getting their TV over-the-air need it.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:16 AM   #2
glatt
 
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Thanks dar512, I've been wondering about when they would finally become available. Still haven't seen any converter boxes advertised in the Sunday circulars though.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:40 AM   #3
Shawnee123
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I have questions about this whole thing:

On TV, there are numerous commercials, half-hour "infomercials" and banners across the bottom telling people "GET YOUR CONVERTER BOX NOW." I mean ALL THE TIME.

I went online to look at coupons, and they have to be used within 90 days.
Why? Why the rush? I know time flies and it will be here before we know it, but now they are also saying "hurry before they're gone."

If the gubmint is giving coupons and the networks want us to keep watching network television, ad revenue and all, why the big push? The gubmint can print a few more "coupons." Hell, I might have cable before February.

Yeah, everyone thinks I have a conspiracy theory working in my head, and look at me like I'm crazy when I ask why the push, but it seems funny to me.

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Old 05-08-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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I'm not sure the stores even have many of the converter boxes in stock. Best Buy's website lists only one unit, which it won't sell over the web, and it gets mixed reviews. Apparently it doesn't work reliably.

Maybe this changeover will finally cure me of my TV addiction. If my choice is to spend $1200 to get a new tv and DVR to replace my perfectly functional TV and VCR, or spend $20-$30 after a coupon to get a box that doesn't work well, I might just read a book or surf the web instead.
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:53 AM   #5
Shawnee123
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I'm quite content with fuzzy CBS, and clear CW...but no TV at all? I read a lot anyway. No internet, so I play a lot of PC games that don't require net. However, all indications are after the switch there will be NO non-cable or non-satellite reception without the box. How will we know how well the box works until they actually switch to digital?

The whole thing reeks of reverse "economic stimulus." BUY. BUY NOW. IF YOU WAIT YOU WILL DIE A SLOW PAINFUL DEATH.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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I still wonder if DirecTV will still work for me even tho I have an old Hughes HIRD E1 receiver, and no "HD" channels.

I also wonder if Mississippi's own Bailey Cable - which my Aunt has - is on track with HD.

'course, i also, wonder if this whole thing is like the Y2K scare.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drax View Post
'course, i also, wonder if this whole thing is like the Y2K scare.
It's nothing like the Y2K scare. They are turning off the analog broadcast signal. It's been planned for years now, and after being postponed a couple times, they are serious about it this time.

You have cable. You will be fine. Nothing changes for you.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:22 PM   #8
dar512
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Progris Riport

I got my coupons this week. They look like gift cards and the store slides em in the machine the same way.

I bought the Zenith converter at Circuit City. Consumer reports gave it a good review. They had a large stack of them at my local store.

The channels I do get look great - about like a good DVD. But, I don't get all the channels I hoped for through the rabbit ears I already had. ABC and CBS have always been bad here, but I was hoping the digital signal would be stronger.

Before laying out a bunch of money on a better antenna, I'm going to try making an antenna out of a bunch of clothes hangars. Reviews say it works pretty well. I'll let you know.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
Before laying out a bunch of money on a better antenna, I'm going to try making an antenna out of a bunch of clothes hangars[/url]. Reviews say it works pretty well. I'll let you know.
Oh, I gotta see the pictures of this project.
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Old 05-22-2008, 08:00 PM   #10
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Yea...my comp. is HD compatible and came with a remote. That makes me feel funny on the inside.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:58 AM   #11
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Well, it works pretty well. Definitely better than the rabbit ears I had. I get 30 stations now where the rabbit ears only pulled in 22.

I still don't get CBS, but I think that's because it's temporarily at Frequency 3 which requires a larger outdoor antenna. According to this site CBS will be at 12 after the transition so I'll be ok then.

We don't watch that much TV anyway. So I think this'll do. I mainly wanted to have this in place for the summer olympics. And NBC is clear as a bell.

Pics next week sometime when I remember to take them.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:49 AM   #12
skysidhe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee123 View Post
I'm quite content with fuzzy CBS, and clear CW...but no TV at all? I read a lot anyway. No internet, so I play a lot of PC games that don't require net. However, all indications are after the switch there will be NO non-cable or non-satellite reception without the box. How will we know how well the box works until they actually switch to digital?

The whole thing reeks of reverse "economic stimulus." BUY. BUY NOW. IF YOU WAIT YOU WILL DIE A SLOW PAINFUL DEATH.

My son's grandmother got one for mother's day. She said she gets 19 crystal clear channels now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
Well, it works pretty well. Definitely better than the rabbit ears I had. I get 30 stations now where the rabbit ears only pulled in 22.
How do you manage 22 with rabbit ears? I think there is less than 10 here with rabbit ears...! wow that's amazing.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:15 AM   #13
dar512
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I live in a Chicago near suburb, so I'm close enough to the antennae. If you go here and enter your address and zip code, you can see where your local stations are and how far you are from them.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #14
glatt
 
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I just requested my two coupons. They will send them out next month. Then I have until around Christmas to buy a tuner. They turn off the broadcasts two months later.

Wheee!
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:32 AM   #15
bbro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
It's nothing like the Y2K scare. They are turning off the analog broadcast signal.
They already did in Wilmington NC

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/08/d....ap/index.html
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