Digital TV converter coupons?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by HarveyH42, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. HarveyH42

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Well, after a couple of months, finally got a pair of $40 coupons from the US government to help pay for the change over to digital TV, February 17, 2009.

    After looking at a few sites, and looking through a a couple of local store websites. Doesn't look like choosing the best store/product/price is going to be as simple as I had thought. The stores I checked only had two models each, and sounded like junk. All listed at $59.95, so I'm looking at $20 each out of pocket + tax. There are 30 or so different models listed on the paper included with the coupons. I've got less then 90 days to make the purchase before these coupons expire.

    Figured I'd ask, and see if anyone here has gotten the coupons and made a purchase. Some suggestion or direction on which model to choose. Noticed they list 4 models with analog signal pass through, but didn't find those for sale yet, but top of my list.

    Will keep you posted as I shop and search. My first impressions are that these converter boxes are maybe worth $20, and the coupons just pay the markup. Haven't tried the websites listed yet, but expect to see lower prices then the local stores, but Ebay-style shipping charges.
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Not really planning on it - tv content is still pretty poor, so no interest. Also, my antenna would be very marginal for the signals.

    I would expect interest and prices to change as the end of the year approaches. I'm sure they will be hard to find next February.
  3. wireaddict

    Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Hi Harvey. I bought a pair of Digital Stream converters from Radio Shack recently. Also, this unit has features like a signal strength meter (makes aiming the antenna much easier), program guide, 'info' button to show which channel you're watching, language, auto shutoff & a few other handy perks. They were $59.99, too, which makes them 19.99 apiece plus tax with the coupons. I presume you're using "rabbit ears" or a rooftop "tinker toy" antenna & an older TV, otherwise you won't need a converter next year.

    Even though analog TV programming won't become extinct til next Feb. many TV stations are already using the DTV format. I get about 15 analog stations plus a few other weak ones (& occasional DX); 11 of these stations are presently operating in DTV. Of these DTV channels, seven also have at least one sub-channel; bottom line: I now get 27 free channels & this number will certainly increase as more stations switch over.

    A couple more quick comments: a good rooftop antenna with a rotor is a must to get the maximum benefit since all DTV signals are UHF & are highly directional. So, IMO, DTV is a rare win-win situation. Enjoy!