You'll need a digital converter box very soon...

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by cosmictraveler, Jan 1, 2008.

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  1. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Since the first days of television, the method of beaming pictures into our living rooms hasn’t changed much. But on Feb. 17, 2009, television stations across the country will hit the off button on this time-tested technology and switch to new transmitters, sending computerized digital signals through the air.

    When the change comes, the estimated 30 million televisions that use traditional antennas will go to snow without a digital converter box. The cable industry is spending $200 million to educate customers, and Congress has set aside $1.5 billion to help subsidize the purchase of converter boxes.


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22401907/wid/11915829?gt1=10841
     
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  3. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Yea, they are slowly phasing this in in Latvia too. Don't have a tv, don't care.

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  5. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    The only people I can see this affecting is old people. (My mother in law was still renting her phone from the phone co. when she died) I can also imagine the influx of TVs hitting Goodwill.
     
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    No one needs to throw out any TV because , as was said, all you need do is buy a converter box or they may give them away for free in some cases.
     
  8. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    how much are the converters on average?
     
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    The U.S. Commerce Department yesterday issued rules saying that every U.S. household can apply for two $40 coupons to purchase converter boxes to watch TV when the nation switches to Digital TV. The boxes are expected to cost between $50 and $75.


    http://dtvfacts.com/converter-box-coupons/
     
  10. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    thanks cosmic!! Its good to know, especially since our kids have old TVs.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    Why bother, when most of what is on TV these days, isn't worth the time to watch?

    Simple. Just quit watching TV. DVDs and video games still work. Books still work. Friends will let you watch a movie with them from time to time.

    Actually, my old TV died a few years ago, so I had to already update with a new digital reception TV, to protect my investment into played and unplayed DVDs and PS2 video games. But even though I now have a few more free channels to watch, getting the digital on my bunny ears now, I watch less and less TV. A few TV game shows, when I have time. They even have TV games shows, on game DVDs now. Play video games, with your DVD player remote? Cool. Funny that Millionaire didn't provide the obvious 1-player option, but 2 to 4 players. So now I have to choose 4 player, and get 3*4 = 12 lifelines? Isn't that like slightly "too easy?" My old PS1 "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" game, allowed for 1 player, and I think that was the only option. They seem to be pushing the DVD games like "party games" or something?
     
  12. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    BTW, one reason to consider updating, especially if you watch too much TV. Old TVs really do, come to think of it, have crappy-looking pictures. I had some DVD, that some strange title screen, really did look quite a lot clearer, on my small-as-I-could-get-HD TV screen, a 27 inch full-screen heavy tube TV, than on my sister's old technology big screen.

    But great picture is overhyped. The real beauty, is more free channels, with nothing to subscribe to or pay for. And I notice that I just don't adjust my bunny ears anymore. Whatever for? You can't "improve" a digital picture. It either comes in perfect, or not at all. When I am watching a digital signal, it looks just like cable or satelite. No ghosting, no snow.

    But I am kind of outraged that they seem to be abandoning the Program Guide feature. When I press my Guide button on my remote, I too much get "No information," after my TV scans all the digital channels, and my set Reminders feature to automatically change the channels when my programs come on, seems to have mysteriously disappeared. My guess is that the stupid TV networks are paranoid that somebody might record their digital broadcasts without paying for them, a rather stupid concern considering there are some ways to defeat their stupid copyright protection gimmicks, and since they already are broadcasting it all for free (via TV commercials). And so maybe they are setting the "Can't record" copy-protection flag now? My TV's Reminders feature may perhaps relate to setting up automatic recording on a VCR or DVD recorder, which my TV doesn't have anyway.

    Stupid restrictions on TV recording, is but another reason why people are losing interest in watching TV.

    BTW, my setup is a Sony Playstation 2, connected via component cable now, as my DVD player.
     
  13. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    And here I was initially going to ask what a "digital converter box" might be.....

    However, upon further reading of the OP: people still use antennae?????
    I haven't known anyone for the past 10 years or so who doesn't receive TV digitally.
     
  14. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, people still use antennae. Because some of us working poor, have a strange adversion to paying unnecessary monthly fees, because of their tendency to too fastly drain our meager bank accounts.

    But digital technology is quite pervasive, even intruding into people's old crappy rabbit ears. My antenna was free. My Dad dug it up out of his cluttered basement. Actually, bunny ears is the only way I can really watch HD on my HD TV. I have no other HD-quality source. DVDs aren't really HD, except for that stupid format war between overpriced/limited-selection HD DVDs and Bluray. The news reported something about how many millions of Americans think they are watching HD, but who aren't. Merely having an HD TV isn't enough. You must also have HD shows, HD signal source, proper digital or at the very least component cables with the Red, Green, and Blue triple video connectors, to watch HD. Every step of the way, must be HD or it isn't HD. Even "upconverting" DVD players can't really add data that isn't there to begin with. All they can do is enhance and interpolate.

    Anyway, the technology, and the myriad of connection standards, is very complicated and bewildering to the average consumer.

    A digital converter box, can't add digital quality to an old TV set. It's still limited by the old analog standards. It just makes the new signals watchable on an old TV set. It's not really that "new" of an idea, supposedly. We had "converter boxes" with the addition of UHF channels, the RF connection from VCRs, and of course, the typical cable boxes or satelite receivers. And just because one may receive "digital" cable or "digital" satelite signals, doesn't mean one's TV receives digital signals. That "digital" there, only means more channels or whatever, and a few "digital" features, say like maybe some fancy channel guide or something. You even have to have a digital connector to a receiver, to do surround sound, which I decided not to bother with. I have but only 2 ears, so why can't sterio be good enough?
     
  15. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Easy with the so subtle ad hominem guy....

    Trust me, I'm working every day myself for too little return; and no, I don't have any digital TV services. I too agree that it's something akin to robbery to be paying an initial purchase fee, installation fee, and monthly subscriber fees.

    My point was simply one of observation. I imagine things are a little different here as opposed to the in US. We have massive deregulation of services, creating a highly competitive market, but our Governmental body that oversees communication standards strictly enforces distribution and, to an extent, subscription fees.

    As for myself, I essentially use my TV as a monitor......
     
  16. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    I still receive my tv through an antennae, because I'm to cheap to pay for something I can get for free. I live in the heart of a major city, so I get great reception. I'll be one of those buying a converter box.
     
  17. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    I havent watched TV in eons...why bother when my computer does everything.
     
  18. Gustav Banned Banned

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    dumbfucksci
    this is so mindblowingly momentous, outrageous.....shrug
    am radio out.....shrug

    who are you guys?
    wellll, alright.........children i guess
    pardon this old timer

    /embarrassed
     
  19. Gustav Banned Banned

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    12,575
    in that case you do, freak
    you watch the same source in diff hardware

    why do you insist on parading your ignorance on this board?
    why flaunt the moronic and wear it proudly as a badge of honor?

    you think we applaud such displays of illogic
    you think we reward this shit?
    well do you, punk?
     
  20. Gustav Banned Banned

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    20 mil affected. this better be funded
     
  21. kmguru Staff Member

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    We can not pick up anything off-air where we live, so we have cable and broadband combined. When the change occurs, I do not think it will affect us. Besides we get our news and TV programs from the net anyway. Waiting for the price to drop wee bit on a 1080i large display
     
  22. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    We'll see. They've been trying to switch to the digital standard for some time now but have kept delaying the deadline. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets delayed some more.

    Of course, at some point, the transition will occur.
    Inevitable, really.
    It's an issue of bandwidth.

    You seem to be confused. Cable isn't digital. Cable-ready televisions are not capable of deciphering digital signals. Digital set top boxes will be required of those who have cable-ready televisions. However, cable companies provide these already for a minimal fee. As the technology becomes more pervasive, it will become even cheaper.
     
  23. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Not at all; it is you who are confused.
    Things are different outside of the US of A....
     
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