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Online application for TV Converter Box Coupons


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49 replies to this topic

#1 of 50 DaveF

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Posted January 01 2008 - 11:20 AM

FYI:

https://www.dtv2009.gov/

Quote:
What is the digital television transition?
At midnight on February 17, 2009, all full-power television stations in the United States will stop broadcasting in analog and switch to 100% digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture and more programming options and will free up airwaves for use by emergency responders.
What is the TV Converter Box Coupon Program?
Congress created the TV Converter Box Coupon Program for households wishing to keep using their analog TV sets after February 17, 2009. The Program allows U.S. households to obtain up to two coupons, each worth $40, that can be applied toward the cost of eligible converter boxes.
A TV connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service does not require a TV converter box from this program.

Consumers have a variety of options. Options to explore include:
    [*]Keep your existing analog TV and purchase a TV converter box. A converter box plugs into your TV and will keep it working after Feb. 17, 2009, or[*]Connect to cable, satellite or other pay service, or[*]Purchase a television with a digital tuner.


#2 of 50 pitchman

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Posted January 01 2008 - 02:22 PM

Great! Thanks for the link, Dave!
Gary

#3 of 50 Jesse Skeen

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Posted January 01 2008 - 06:09 PM

Quote:
Digital broadcasting promises to provide a clearer picture

AND digital artifacts! Posted Image
Home video oddities, old commercials and other junk: http://www.youtube.com/user/eyeh8nbc

#4 of 50 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 02 2008 - 01:14 AM

Thanks for the head's up. Thanks to my lead walls, some channels only come through on cable while other channels (the VHF ones for instance) come through much better OTA.

#5 of 50 DaveF

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Posted January 02 2008 - 02:34 AM

After applying for coupons, I read more closely and understood these are not HD receivers. They seem to be simple converters that receive the digital broadcast of SD signals and output an analog SD signal. Which is disappointing; I thought this would provide a HD digital tuner for my HDTV, which lacks an HDTV / digital tuner.

#6 of 50 JeremyErwin

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Posted January 02 2008 - 02:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Skeen
AND digital artifacts! Posted Image

But the artifacts are in HD!

#7 of 50 JeremyErwin

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Posted January 02 2008 - 08:18 AM

I should point out that these boxes will not support component video, hdmi, usb, firewire, or spdif/toslink. S/Video is optional.

In other words, nothing that might appeal to the home theater crowd.

#8 of 50 pitchman

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Posted January 02 2008 - 09:07 AM

The only reason I snagged the coupons is because I have three bedroom televisions that I do not plan to replace anytime soon. Since two of them are not connected to cable, without these converters, they effectively become door-stops. If I can save 80 bucks along the way, all the better.

That is, of course, unless I am not correctly understanding how this mandate will work...
Gary

#9 of 50 Corey3rd

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Posted January 02 2008 - 09:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveF
After applying for coupons, I read more closely and understood these are not HD receivers. They seem to be simple converters that receive the digital broadcast of SD signals and output an analog SD signal. Which is disappointing; I thought this would provide a HD digital tuner for my HDTV, which lacks an HDTV / digital tuner.

this coupon program is intended for fixed income folks who shouldn't be shelling out the big bucks for HDTVs. It's just so they can get their local channels on their old SD TVs.
come see the reviews at
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#10 of 50 JeremyErwin

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Posted January 02 2008 - 09:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
this coupon program is intended for fixed income folks who shouldn't be shelling out the big bucks for HDTVs. It's just so they can get their local channels on their old SD TVs.

A lot of Analogue TVs came with component inputs, yet the program disallows component outputs.

#11 of 50 Ken Chan

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Posted January 02 2008 - 09:43 AM

Quote:
these are not HD receivers. They seem to be simple converters that receive the digital broadcast of SD signals and output an analog SD signal.
Are stations mandated to include an SD sub-channel? I recall some (or most?) stations carrying their main programming on an HD channel only. So to be useful, the converter boxes would have to receive HD, but then they down-convert and output SD. (Still not what you want of course.)

#12 of 50 JeremyErwin

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Posted January 02 2008 - 10:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Chan
Are stations mandated to include an SD sub-channel?

I hope not. What a waste of bandwidth.

The manufacturers build to this spec

#13 of 50 Steve Berger

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Posted January 02 2008 - 12:51 PM

The converters will decode all of the possible ATSC formats, including high def signals, and downconvert them all to 480i. There is even at least one of them that has a clear QAM tuner enabled in it.

They can be hooked up to VCRs and DVRs as well as TVs.
Connected to a a dvd recorder it should yield a near DVD quality copy (albeit in 4:3)

There are a lot of very nice 4:3 sets still in use and finding reasonably priced HDTV tuners for them is very difficult. A name brand big screen TV is usually good for 15 years + and a converter should yield an excellent picture for the rest of their life.

#14 of 50 SilverWook

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Posted January 02 2008 - 02:12 PM

Has anyone seen these things for sale in stores yet?

#15 of 50 Corey3rd

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Posted January 02 2008 - 02:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Chan
Are stations mandated to include an SD sub-channel? I recall some (or most?) stations carrying their main programming on an HD channel only. So to be useful, the converter boxes would have to receive HD, but then they down-convert and output SD. (Still not what you want of course.)

one of our local stations uses its sub-channel to run the Retro TV Network. I watch this more than TVLand when it comes to older shows since RTN has the rights to Paramount and Universal's TV vault. Does seem to be an interesting idea that TV stations can become their own cable universe if they get the right packages.
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#16 of 50 Steve Berger

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Posted January 02 2008 - 04:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
one of our local stations uses its sub-channel to run the Retro TV Network. I watch this more than TVLand when it comes to older shows since RTN has the rights to Paramount and Universal's TV vault. Does seem to be an interesting idea that TV stations can become their own cable universe if they get the right packages.
RTN is expanding, so I hope they will show up on an unused subchannel here. We have the CW on one now. The problem that does arise is that bits used for subchannels aren't there for HD on the main feed. One HD and one SD seem to be OK but one HD and two SD cause problems on the HD channel (PBS does this often).

There are lots of heated debates on quantity vs quality with digital broadcasting.

#17 of 50 Corey3rd

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Posted January 02 2008 - 05:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Berger
RTN is expanding, so I hope they will show up on an unused subchannel here. We have the CW on one now. The problem that does arise is that bits used for subchannels aren't there for HD on the main feed. One HD and one SD seem to be OK but one HD and two SD cause problems on the HD channel (PBS does this often).

There are lots of heated debates on quantity vs quality with digital broadcasting.

I find it interesting that a TV station has a chance to use their extra channels to become a cable tier. They'd have a vintage TV show channel or two, a movie channel, a sports channel, a weather channel, a news channel and anything else. Around here one station runs all 4 NCAA feeds during the first week of the tourney on the sub channels. While I'm excited at the possibilities, it's easy to see that the average programmer can barely book a single channel. They'll probably load the channels up with talkshows, judge shows and paid programming.
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#18 of 50 Steve Berger

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Posted January 03 2008 - 01:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
I find it interesting that a TV station has a chance to use their extra channels to become a cable tier.
But to do that they have to abandon high definition. Probably not going to happen for the major networks but the UPN orphans and independents could go that route. This could happen in the major markets but not elsewhere.

The political landscape might also interfere if Congress prefers HighDef over Multicasting; or if they want diversity over quality. Both views have been heard in the past.

#19 of 50 Corey3rd

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Posted January 03 2008 - 01:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Berger
But to do that they have to abandon high definition. Probably not going to happen for the major networks but the UPN orphans and independents could go that route. This could happen in the major markets but not elsewhere.

The political landscape might also interfere if Congress prefers HighDef over Multicasting; or if they want diversity over quality. Both views have been heard in the past.

In my market the network VHF channels also call the shots at nearby UHF channels. It could be easily seen that the Mother station would stick with the HD core programming and they'd use the small channel's signal to multi-cast and create a package of programming to lure folks away from going Sat. Can a channel cheat with their substations - to broadcast them straight to cable so when they have to kill them for the HD on the main signal they won't interrupt the folks at home.

although from my discussions with a pack of 5th graders, the broadcasters biggest threat is Nintendo Wii.
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#20 of 50 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 03 2008 - 08:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyErwin
I hope not. What a waste of bandwidth.

The manufacturers build to this spec
According to Congress's definition of a digital-to-analog converter box, it must decode all digital channels, including high-def:

Stand-alone device that does not contain features or functions except those necessary to enable a consumer to convert any channel broadcast in the digital television service into a format that the consumer can display on television receivers designed to receive and display signals only in the analog television service, but may also include a remote control device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWook
Has anyone seen these things for sale in stores yet?
The notice I got when I applied for the coupons said the following:

Thank you for applying for a Coupon online.IMPORTANT:
TV converter boxes are not expected to be available in retail stores until late February or early March. You will receive your Coupon(s) then. The Coupon will expire within 90 days from the date it is issued.




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