TechSpot

Apply for your $40 DTV converter box coupon by Monday

By Matthew
May 31, 2009
  1. After discovering that some 6 million households were unprepared for the transition to digital television back in January, the deadline was postponed until June 12. Then a mere two weeks away, as of May 10, Nielsen estimated that roughly 3.3 million households, or 2.9% of those with TVs, still weren’t ready for the change.

    Read the whole story
     
  2. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 216

    unfortunately i'll probably be one of those ppl that will need those converter boxes. I have time warner cable but my family will more then likely cancel our subscription. The outrageous prices we get tagged on every month increases every couple of months. I am at 127$ a month so far and I don't even have the phone. At this rate by the end of the year I'll probably be paying close to 150$ a month then by the end of 2010 I'll probably be paying close to about 200$ a month. This has to stop. I hardly EVER watch tv and I don't even have the phone. The only thing I use is the internet. Will more then likely cut the tv service but still keep the internet. That should hopefully drop the price down by at least half.
     
  3. DarkCobra

    DarkCobra TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I'll just be glad when this seemingly never ending, cloak and dagger, dog and pony show is finally over!
     
  4. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    @Matthew DeCarlo: "Time to get rid of those rooftop antennas, or at least upgrade them."

    In my experience, if you have sufficient signal from a rooftop antenna for analog TV, you won't need to upgrade the antenna. Just plug in the signal converter to your TV. If you have an INTERIOR antenna it may be a different story. It appears the digital signal doesn't penetrate building materials as well as an analog signal. An upgraded antenna might be in order then (plus the converter, of course).
     
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 6,093   +86 Staff Member

    @JDoors: Thanks for the input, good to know :).
     
  6. Matthew - Apply for your $40 DTV converter box coupon by Monday.

    This is the worst handholding program created by the Government... The converter box was supposed to be $20 each and one coupon was supposed to cover two boxes... Once this program started, have you noticed the price for each box changed to $60+ (*an over inflated price for a channel changer)… and everybody applied for it? This program was meant for old ladies and the disabled...Not for someone who has been paying $125+ a month and decided cut the cable…

    Things are just getting worst and worst as time goes on…

    *The damn thing doesn’t even allow you to schedule recordings with your VCR or other type of recorder what is it good for once digital recorder goes ATSC?
     
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    It seems that there are 3.3 million *****s that still need it!

    Well, if you'll allow me some "handholding". The digital converter boxes have composite video and audio outputs. So, just set you VCR/DVD recorder to "line input", and schedule to your hearts desire. You must go into the converter boxes' menu, and defeat the auto standby function. (They turn off if this isn't reset, at least mine do). Then all you have to do is leave the converter turned on, and the VCR will do the rest! You can do the same thing with the antenna input with the VCR tuned to channel 3 or 4. But, the picture won't be as good.

    Unless we're going to make an issue of leaving the converter box turned on.

    Really, good point! The marketing moguls have now coined the term "digital antenna", or "high-def" antenna. There's no such ******** thing as a digital antenna.

    Digital "rabbit ears", it's quite amusing now that I think about it. :rolleyes:
     
  8. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    @Guest: "The converter box was supposed to be $20 each ... Once this program started, have you noticed the price for each box changed to $60+ … "

    Unfortunately, that's typical for ANY government subsidy. Prices go up so they get paid by the consumer, AND AGAIN by the government. :/
     
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    Forty, Sixty, Oh, Who's Counting Anyway.......?

    Hey, don't sweat it, Obama will just print us some more money!
     
  10. JNygren

    JNygren TS Rookie

    Hey, have you heard the one about getting a replacement for any expired coupons? lol!

    Don't I wish!
     
  11. captaincranky - It seems that there are 3.3 million *****s that still need it!

    No 3.3 million who want it and to a lesser extent a small number who really need it (but how many of them are disabled, on a fixed income and or on social security?)

    captaincranky - Well, if you'll allow me some "handholding"... The digital converter boxes have composite video and audio outputs…

    To record digital television you need an ATSC tuner recorder (Tivo) that allows you to schedule basic weekly times and channels for shows, or an analog recorder with an infrared blaster to change the channels for you on that $60 digital tuner box.

    Unless you’re planning on recording the same channel (single - as in one), a simple connection to a VCR does not make the VCR a digital recorder.

    JDoors - In my experience, if you have sufficient signal from a rooftop antenna for analog TV, you won't need to upgrade the antenna. Just plug in the signal converter to your TV.

    Funny thing is – Never had a whole house antenna, but I had an old Cobra CB antenna and it works fine with my Digital converter box (just have to clip and attach a RG6 connector). Walla!

    JDoors - Unfortunately, that's typical for ANY government subsidy. Prices go up so they get paid by the consumer, AND AGAIN by the government. :/

    And the needy never get product or service the subsidy was meant for… it figures…

    If only the Nielsen ratings company sponsored their own brand of digital boxes and offered on screen caller ID, scheduling (but not recording) and (to their benefit) ratings information to be telephoned periodically from those boxes for analyst (to give them actual numbers) for their ratings… things could be cheaper... or better served.

    Well, back to my PC GBPVR project...
    GBPVR is an open source (free) PC based digital recorder -
    http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage
     
     
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    OK, the digital TV transition has been the most protracted propaganda campaign I've ever seen, bar none. This has been going on Literally for years. It seems that there are some who will never be ready and that's about it. I know plenty of people that cut you off when you try to explain the technology to them, so I guess that's the government's fault that they get left behind. Because God know's, I've tried every approach I could think of to dumb it down for them.

    That's all well and good, but I simply don't think the seniors that you're championing are likely to do all the "power taping that you're describing. In fact, I'll bet that there quite a few that can't set the clock on a VCR, let alone schedule a recording. So much for keeping up with technology.

    Yes, admittedly it's a one shot deal. But here again, the same people likely wouldn't be able to deal with Tivo, much less PVR software on a computer.

    At last we agree on something, there's no such thing as a "digital antenna".

    If you want to rail against something, my vote goes to the medicare prescription drug program, now that's a pork barrel bonanza

    there are certainly people who will get behind in this transition, But, I doubt that they are all the victims you make them out to be. In addition to which, Walmart is now selling 2 models of CEC boxes @ $49.95, so now the "co-pay" is down to 10 bucks.

    I wonder how often Neilsen changes their demographics.

    IMHO, the digital conversion is the best thing that ever happened to broadcast TV. I live in the city, and the TVRI is so intense, that I wasn't able to get anything below channel 10 for as long as I could remember. The fed gave me plenty of time to prepare, and most every local analog TV station has been offering call in help, and plenty of air time devoted to the transition. The horse has been led to the water, and tied to a post.
     
  13. JDoors

    JDoors TS Rookie Posts: 62

    Originally posted by JNygren:
    If you only ordered one and it expired, you can order the second one you're allotted.

    If you ordered two and they both expired, yeah, I don't know what you do then (maybe pay for your own darned converter box? Naa-a-a-aw!).
     
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,055   +970

    Actually the news mentioned something about funds running out for this program, and new applicants had to wait for the funds to be returned from expired coupons. So, that would give the impression that those with expired coupons were truly SOL.

    I should note that was a while back, and I don't really know if that's the way it stands as of today.

    I finally got so sick of the DTV blather, I tuned it out of my head.
     
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