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Digital converter box info
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Jedi Council Member
Picture of Rick
AIM: Online Status For hocachynikxxxxx
posted
I'm assuming everyone is aware of the upcoming Feb 17, 2009 date for conversion to digital TV signals. After that date if you don't have cable or a digital TV or a converter box, your TV will go dark. I have a few analog TV's that are pretty nice and not hooked to cable and I didnt want to toss them out in february, so I applied for the $40 government coupon and when it came, I went to Best Buy to get a converter box. They were easy to install and I was surprised at how many digital channels are out there already, many of them with free High Def (if you have a high def TV). The boxes cost $60 but with the $40 coupon the price comes down to $20. So don't hesitate to get a converter box if you are one of the 3 people in the world who dont have either cable or a digital TV.
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Southfield | Registered: January 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
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Thanks Rick!

I know of a few people that can utilize this info, as they don't have cable or satellite connections. Depending on how well it works, I may consider dumping Comcast.
 
Posts: 684 | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Rick
AIM: Online Status For hocachynikxxxxx
posted Hide Post
One thing I forgot to mention about those converter boxes: they will require a rabbit ears antenna. If you currently have one, use it. If you have to buy one, just buy the least expensive. There is no need to buy a "digital" antenna. A signal is a signal.
 
Posts: 621 | Location: Southfield | Registered: January 12, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of Chuck Reti
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Rick:
One thing I forgot to mention about those converter boxes: they will require a rabbit ears antenna. If you currently have one, use it. If you have to buy one, just buy the least expensive. There is no need to buy a "digital" antenna. A signal is a signal.


More precisely, they will require an external antenna. For those within a strong signal area, set-top "rabbit ears" or or other indoor antennas will suffice. For a great many, an outdoor antenna and rotor may be necessary.
DTV reception is an "all or nothing" proposition. If the signal is above a certain threshold, you'll have a great picture. If below it, nothing.
 
Posts: 1106 | Location: Detroit | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
posted Hide Post
Or, putting it another way -

Whatever you use for an antenna today will, most likely, work fine tomorrow.
 
Posts: 1989 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Padawan
posted Hide Post
I'm one of the 3 people in the world who don't have either cable or a digital TV, so I really appreciate this info about the converter box.
Thanks Rick!

Lois
 
Posts: 91 | Location: Royal Oak Michigan | Registered: June 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Chuck M
posted Hide Post
I'm another person like you, Lois.

I know 3 Americans with no TV at all! They voluntarily quit. I still like to stay abreast of the news.

Apparently, some German university student did a study (perhaps more of a bet) on TV watchers. He would pay about a hundred people money if they could go 1 month without watching TV. He'd paid almost no money, and concluded Germans are addicted to TV.
 
Posts: 2075 | Registered: June 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Kirk Tirakian
AIM: Online Status For kirktalon
posted Hide Post
So could someone fill in on the selection of DTV stations or channels Metro Detroit has? I, like Mike, might very well drop cable for this free alternative.

I'm in Roseville in a Condo first floor. Can I run a wire out to the metal fence? Smile You know the kind . . . . well like the one pictured below without the decorative freestyle part:


Thanks


I'm never "lost" cause I always know where "I" am. I just may not know where anything else is or how to get there.
 
Posts: 405 | Location: Roseville, Michigan | Registered: December 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Donna
posted Hide Post
Wow, Kirk. Is that a real-world fence in the Detroit area somewhere? That's quite an artistic feat.
 
Posts: 2302 | Location: Ann Arbor MI USA | Registered: October 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Kirk Tirakian
AIM: Online Status For kirktalon
posted Hide Post
Nope look here: http://coolboom.net/en/2007/09/21/lace-fence-by-demakersvan/


I'm never "lost" cause I always know where "I" am. I just may not know where anything else is or how to get there.
 
Posts: 405 | Location: Roseville, Michigan | Registered: December 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
AIM: Online Status For jcbeckman@mac.com
posted Hide Post
All the local (US) channels have digital signals already. Ch 4 runs a secondary digital channel that is all weather. Ch 7 has two additional digital channels but it's hit or miss if they are actually showing anything. Ch 56 has two additional channels, often showing different shows than the main ch 56.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5473 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of Chuck Reti
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Kirk Tirakian:
So could someone fill in on the selection of DTV stations or channels Metro Detroit has? I, like Mike, might very well drop cable for this free alternative.

As Jack mentioned, all TV broadcasters are transmitting digital signals. Most in this area have been for about five years now. The digital signals are transmitted on different physical channels than the primary analog broadcast. For example, WTVS, analog 56, transmits its three digital streams, 56.1, 56.2 and 56.3, on what is actually channel 43. Digital TV's and converter boxes use metadata in the digital stream to "fake" the digital receivers out, and allow you to still refer to your favorite station by its existing familiar channel number.
Basically you hook up the box or the set, and it scans the dial for receivable signals, and ID's them onscreen with familiar channel designations, regardless of what frequency they end up on after the switch.
Depending on program content, whether HD or Standard definition, a station can run a number of "channels" at one time. Not likely that a station will run more than 3 or 4 streams, tops, especially if they're running HD on one of them. DPTV, for example, runs PBS and local High Def on 56.1, simulcasts analog 56 on 56.2, and the PBS "Create" channel on 56.3. The third stream is quite severely compressed but for the most part the content is not compromised too badly. Over-the-air Digital TV isn't going to suddenly give you dozens of channels of cable-like content. You'll generally get what you see now, but with cleaner, better video, even at standard definition, and some added choices, depending on what program services individual stations decide to put on their extra bandwidth. And of course it will have to generate revenue.
Some info from Mich Assn of Broadcasters at
http://www.michigandtv.com
For a station list and antenna guide, go to
http://www.antennaweb.org
Use the "choose an antenna" button, enter just a zip code in the info field, and a map and list of local stations and antenna options is displayed. The "street level" map option shows stations' bearings from your location.
 
Posts: 1106 | Location: Detroit | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
posted Hide Post
Since Rick put the bug in my ear, I'm even more serious about getting rid of Comcast cable. Times are tough. And, free TV is better than paying for it. The lack of channel (which are mostly reruns on Comcast), would give me time to do something else. Like read a book - or, spend more time with family and friends. We did without cable and satellite before.

I did apply for the $40 coupons, but thought, why not look into a HD Receiver instead. I have a large projection TV, with HD capability, though it does not have a built-in HD converter. So, I did some nosing around online. There is a converter box available for about $170, that will do the analog to digital conversion and more - it will allow me to receive HD for free from all stations that broadcast it (with various connectivity for cables, etc).

Obviously, having a good antenna is also a key element. A good outside one can be had for about $100-$150. When considering the purchase of both, it would be half of what I pay Comcast for Basic Digital Cable over the course of a year. Something that I'm seriously considering. I've done a fair amount of research. If anyone would like to see my findings, I can post the links.
 
Posts: 684 | Registered: February 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Chuck M
posted Hide Post
Wow!!! I been hearing so many people lately talking about dropping cable and satellite TV altogether!
 
Posts: 2075 | Registered: June 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Kirk Tirakian
AIM: Online Status For kirktalon
posted Hide Post
I'll take you up on that Mike. I live in a condo complex. It would be prudent to see my options.
I've already applied for my discount card.


I'm never "lost" cause I always know where "I" am. I just may not know where anything else is or how to get there.
 
Posts: 405 | Location: Roseville, Michigan | Registered: December 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of Calvin
posted Hide Post
You mean people are going back to

2 4 7 20 50 56 and 62?


Calvin Carson

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


"portions of todays programming are reproduced by means of electrical transcriptions or tape recordings."

"....Mailbox!....Open.......... MailBox!"

"I was exposed to the GUI and have been stuck ever since!"

"Remember.. Under our clothes...we are all naked"
 
Posts: 1728 | Location: Detroit,MI,USA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Master
Picture of Chuck Reti
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Calvin:
You mean people are going back to

2 4 7 20 50 56 and 62?


Except it can be 2.1, 2.2,; 4.1,4.2,4.3; 56.1, 56.2, 56.3; etc.

WXYZ has supposedly lit up a third digital stream, 7.3. Currently a test pattern but likely to be carrying a new network called RetroTV. Supposed to be "classic TV" shows like Nick at Night or TVLand used to feature regularly.

IF people start getting interested on Over The Air TV again, it will be very interesting to see how all these sticks-up-their-butts Condo and Homeowner Associations will deal with the very real issue of the need for external antennas for many locations.
 
Posts: 1106 | Location: Detroit | Registered: June 11, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
posted Hide Post
Hey! Don't forget Channel 9. For the west and downriver areas, it is as close as the other channels. Where else can we see Don Cherry?
 
Posts: 1989 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
AIM: Online Status For jcbeckman@mac.com
posted Hide Post
Channel 9 isn't digital, and won't be for a while (if ever). So as sets come out with only digital tuners at some point, channel 9 will be inaccessible except via cable/satellite.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5473 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Knight
Picture of Kirk Tirakian
AIM: Online Status For kirktalon
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Jack Beckman:
Channel 9 isn't digital, and won't be for a while (if ever). So as sets come out with only digital tuners at some point, channel 9 will be inaccessible except via cable/satellite.


What's the matter with these Canadians!! They can have a mandate for universal healthcare and totally ignore the corporate financial/technology push into digital TV. You just have to wonder where people's priorities are at.


I'm never "lost" cause I always know where "I" am. I just may not know where anything else is or how to get there.
 
Posts: 405 | Location: Roseville, Michigan | Registered: December 18, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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