Got my government coupons and purchased 2 of these in early April. I have a big digital TV in my main room and the converters were for 13" portable tv's in other rooms. The converters were easy to set up and work fine on both tv's, the universal remotes could be programmed to work one of the portable tv's but not the other. I have an amplified roof antenna so I get good signals on all our digital channels, but 2 of the channels that I get on the digital tv don't tune in through the converter box - the fault of the tv stations because their digital signals aren't formatted correctly so the converter can't convert them back to analog. The stations that do come in, picture quality is nearly equal to that of the digital tv. The channel guide (banner at the top of the screen) when you tune to a channel displays a signal strength meter at the lower left with the program name, time, rating (if available) and what's on next after that show, a previous review here said it doesn't display program descriptions but it does - press the info button once to bring up the channel banner, press it a 2nd time and another box appears below the banner with the program description if it's available (this was not included in the owner's manual). Some stations don't include the descriptions, or if the signal is too weak to produce a picture the box will say 'no description'.
Converter boxes can become erractic when the signals get weak or momentarily disappear, a common occurrence with digital signals that is the fault of the tv station sending a weak or inconsistent signal and not the converter box. 99% of digital stations broadcast their signals at UHF frequencies, since a digital signal has to be stronger to produce it's great picture it's a weaker signal than analog signals are - particularly the VHF frequencies (channels 2 to 13) which people may have problems receiving in digital that they never had with analog. The FCC acknowledges that after the digital switchover tv's will likely not receive all the channels they got before in analog, if that happens to you don't curse the digital equipment - it's a limitation of the digital technology, or your local stations broadcasting weak or inconsistent digital signals. A good antenna is more necessary to get the most digital channels in your area than it was to get analog channels, roof antennas do the best job.
This converter box doesn't have a signal pass-through, my portable tv's fortunately have audio video (AV) jacks and I connected the converter boxes that way so I can watch the digital channels on the tv's video channel and still watch the analog channels on their regular channels with no interference from the converter box. It's necessary to connect the converter boxes this way because when the digital switchover occurs next February there will still be analog channels on the air. Only the full-power stations go all digital, the network affiliated and larger independent stations that are mostly on the VHF band (channels 2 to 13) and some on the UHF band (channels 14 to 69). The low power stations, all on the UHF band, will continue to broadcast in analog as their conversion date to digital hasn't been set yet. Approximately 40% of the stations in most TV markets are full-power and 60% are low-power, so most of your stations will remain analog - stations you probably don't watch very much or have trouble receiving, or don't even know you have in your area. Scan your analog tv dial to see how many there are, most of these channels aren't listed in your local tv listings.
If your analog tv doesn't have AV jacks you'll need to get an inexpensive RF/video converter, plug the AV output cables from the digital converter box into the RF converter and it connects to your tv's coaxial input and you can watch the digital channels from the converter box on channel 3 or 4. To connect the converter to your tv's AV jacks you'll need a signal splitter with 2 outputs and another small coaxial cable. Connect the antenna input to the splitter input connecter, 1 output goes to the converter box's antenna input and the other output to the tv's coaxial jack. AV cables go from the converter box's audio and video out jacks to the tv's audio and video in jacks, and you're all set.
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