MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 78.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Digital TV in Madison

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Digital TV in Madison

Postby metas » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:10 am

I don't have cable and yesterday I bought a converter box to get digital TV on my old analog TV. It's very cool. I live on the near-east side and the pictures come in fine.

Another bonus is you get extra stations. WISC has two schedules. WMTV's schedule has their regular programming on one channel and a weather channel on the other. Wisconsin Public Television has four schedules.

You get channels 27, 47, and 57 on digital TV with their usual schedules.

I've had rabbit-ear quality reception for the last thirty years here and this is like having cable-quality pictures without paying cable prices. I got my converter (a Magnavox) for $50 and with the $40 coupon, the final cost was just $10 which was the best $10 I have spent in years.
metas
Senior Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:58 pm

Postby Shipley » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:17 am

Being a cable subscriber for years, I was shocked when I saw the amount of TV, especially Public Television, that was available on digital. I'm not the type to willingly give up Cartoon Network or Comedy Central, but its good to know public tv gets the biggest boost out of this upgrade.
Shipley
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2090
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:13 am
Location: college park, md

Postby Das Binky » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:18 am

Very cool. This is the first I've heard of anyone picking up the converter boxes.

Good to hear they both work as expected and provide something new.

But now I've gotta call Charter and find out why I don't have those extra channels too... :x
Das Binky
Senior Member
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:03 am

Postby Paco » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:23 am

I couldn't get mine to work, I thought I'd have to wait until next Feb. I had a hard time with the remote thing setting up my channels. I'll have to try again tonight.

Do the regualr channels come in clearer now?
Paco
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Postby Mister_A_In_Madison » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:36 pm

Where are the converter boxes being sold, and for what price?

I have my coupon (good for three months... seems sort of odd to time-limit them), but have debated waiting to see if I will need a new television before bothering with the converter.
Mister_A_In_Madison
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1574
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:45 pm

Postby Paco » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:39 pm

The coupon designates where to buy them, or where it's good. Wal-fart for $49.97, or Worst Buy for eiher $59 or $54. I think Radio Schack and somewhere else too.
Paco
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Postby metas » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:08 pm

You still need your rabbit ears. I just made two connections to the converter box: one from the rabbit ears and one from the television.

You have to run a set up program that the manual walks you through. Then use your original remote to set the channel on your TV (in my case it was channel 3 but in some cases it is channel 4).

The only somewhat weak signal was from channel 47 but when I adjusted the rabbit ears, the digital signal then came through fine.

And again, the picture clarity is amazing.

Good luck.
metas
Senior Member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:58 pm

Postby TAsunder » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:06 pm

I've not had much luck getting all locals to come in with an indoor antenna. I've even tried amplified antennas. I can usually get fox and abc to come in fairly well, but there are occasional pixelation blotches. What happens when the signal weakens with the converter box... does it black out or does it transmit pixelation or similar?
TAsunder
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:21 pm
Location: Near East Side, Madison

Postby Athena » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:47 pm

My tv will black out when the signal strength gets too low. It's usually only a few seconds, and the picture quality is better than with digital so I don't mind too much when it cuts out. I bought my box a while ago and it does HDTV as well as digital. I think it's a great investment. I love all the extra PBS channels. It's almost like having cable again.

Before I bought the converter, I was barely able to get in CBS. Now it comes in very well, but it occasionally blacks out for a few seconds at a time. It's not often enough to get me to adjust the antenna, so I don't consider it a big problem.
Athena
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:33 pm

Postby Shipley » Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:47 pm

With the digital boxes, signal strength doesn't determine picture quality. Its a more on/off thing. Signal goes down, you get black. Boost or put your ears higher up and you should be good.
Shipley
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2090
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:13 am
Location: college park, md

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:14 pm

I have Charter expanded basic cable. Would it be difficult to also incorporate (and switch back and forth) with rabbit ears and the converter box, in order to get the extra channels and better picture quality?
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19587
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Postby Das Binky » Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:52 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I have Charter expanded basic cable. Would it be difficult to also incorporate (and switch back and forth) with rabbit ears and the converter box, in order to get the extra channels and better picture quality?

Short answer: Yes. How you do it depends on your TV and your setup.

In my case, I've got an HDTV with a HDMI input for the cable and a regular coax input for the antenna for digital (or HD) over the air. Switching between would just be a matter of switching inputs on the TV.

If you don't have two inputs, you can get a coax A-B switch pretty cheap and use that to switch.
Das Binky
Senior Member
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:03 am

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:13 pm

Paco wrote:The coupon designates where to buy them, or where it's good. Wal-fart for $49.97, or Worst Buy for eiher $59 or $54. I think Radio Schack and somewhere else too.


It's "Radio Shark." Get with the (curmudgeon) program.
green union terrace chair
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2847
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:33 pm
Location: Memorial Union

Postby lamberticus » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:34 pm

So I too groveled to Uncle Sam to hook me up with a DTV converter box coupon, and he didn't fail to deliver. My shiny, plastic, red card arrived a few weeks ago, where it proceeded to sit idly on my desk, but no longer. I went to Radio Shack to pick up the Zenith DTT900 DTV converter box for ~$60. The cost to me after the $40 coupon was ~$23 with tax. There are less expensive ones to be had, like from Sam Walton's Mart, but the Zenith model had good reviews so I sprung for the extra $10 than other models cost.

What can I say, but I am impressed. I have a pair of cheap-o, hand-me-down, beat up, rabbit ears antennae and they were able to pull in every DTV channel broadcast mostly flawlessly. I now have 12 channels over the air including 5 PBS channels!

The DTT900 is full of functionality, including both coaxial as well as composite video and RCA R+ L outputs, auto and manual channel add functions, ability to control the TV power with the DTV box remote, a built-in on screen programming guide (similar to digital cable), a sleep timer, ability to change zoom (screen aspect)--as some channels seem to not want to broadcast in a format that takes up the full size of your screen.

I am very impressed with this model and certainly recommend it to anyone. And for those of you who only have something like a monitor or projector, as long it accepts composite or coaxial analog inputs, you can pump the signal to any device that has those interfaces. The signal quality is as good as cable or sat. but, ahem, much cheaper. If only they broadcast comedy central...
lamberticus
Member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:33 pm

Postby Paco » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:16 am

I hooked mine up again and got it to work. It does come in much clearer, but it does drop out every now and then.

I like.
Paco
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7533
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 11:41 am
Location: Whoville

Next

Return to Town Vibe

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar