One of the often overlooked aspects of the analog-to-digital TV transition is that the vast majority of portable TVs have an analog tuner and won't be able to receive signals after the big switch on February 17, 2009. Earlier this year, we wrote a blog titled, "Don't buy a portable TV this year" to warn consumers about the coming switch, plus the fact that the FCC had stated that it didn't expect any battery-powered DTV converters to be released. Well, that prediction was a little off the mark, as we recently posted our review of … Read more
Way back at CES 2008, Dish Network announced a DTV converter box called the TR-40 that was going to cost $40, include an electronic program guide and it seemed like it was going to be a simple, cheap choice for buyers looking to handle the upcoming analog-to-digital TV transition. Shortly afterward, the TR-40 became the DTVPal and the price went up to $60. Then the TR-40 CRA came out, which was exactly the same as the DTVPal, except it cost $40. And, as of now, you can buy both products from the DTVPal Web site, essentially giving you the option … Read more
There are a lot of DTV converter boxes on the market now, and while they all look pretty similar from the outside, there can be significant differences in their features and performance. The Magnavox TB100MW9, widely available at Wal-Mart, is one of the more basic converter boxes we've reviewed, lacking extra features such an advanced electronic program guide, analog pass-through, or S-Video output. While we could live without the extra features, we had a harder time struggling with the poorly designed remote. That being said, the TB100MW9 does do a good job with the DTV basics, as it pulled … Read more
If you were wondering whether the DTV transition was really coming in 2009, the recent early test in Wilmington, N.C. should convince you that there won't be any push backs this time. That means that if you're getting your TV using free, analog over-the-air signals, you should start looking at DTV converter boxes before the big switch on February 17, 2009.
The Apex DT250 is a pretty interesting converter box because it includes several features missing form many competitors--S-Video output, a "Smart Antenna" port and analog pass-through. We were even more impressed when started watching … Read more