I recently ordered 2 of these devices just in case I needed them for the analog to digital switch. I don’t have any TV’s using antennae but I figured it didn’t hurt to have them, and hey, the government was handing out coupon vouchers for them.
The coupon vouchers look just like credit cards, and you can use them both in person and online. The included paperwork doesn’t really explain it like that, but they are essentially gift cards/credit cards pre-charged with $40. Super easy, the only thing you have to remember is to use them before they expire. The date is pretty short, so if you got em, use em.
I ended up picked the Channel Master because it was pretty much the best convertor for the price. There was loads of reviews on the web and Consumer’s Report did a pretty extensive comparison review. I only looked at ones with the best picture quality. On the review, it has a list price of $80, but it can be found cheaper online. I took a quick drive over to Fry’s, but they had it for $70 and I didn’t want to spend $60 ($30 x 2) for them. I bought mine from Solid Signal who had them for just a hair over $40. The shipping was pretty outrageous at $12 ( And they didn’t even box the damn things!!! They just taped them together! ), but I only paid a hair under $17 for both of them.
Unfortunately, I was hoping to test the features and picture quality more thoroughly, but the boxes themselves cannot process a cable signal. They ONLY process over the air, so unless I wanted to bust out a pair of bunny ears, it was hopeless. I checked out the guide a bit, and while the picture seemed a little fuzzier with it, I was doing double co-axial cable which was gonna put the hurt on my signal quality anyway. The guide seemed adequate, I’d say my main gripe was that it was pretty obtuse how to navigate around. I scanned the entire channel gamut but nothing popped up. Overall I was pretty satisfied though. The packaging came with a pair of AAA batteries and also a very small section of co-axial cable to help you out to hook up the TV. I loaned the other one to my sister, so when she gets it hooked up, I may update this quick take. So if you’re in the market, I digged the Channel Master. Of course, the better option is to get a new TV! You’ll save space and draw quite a bit less power. Sure sure cathode ray tubes have their benefits, but not for TV. Get with the future people! 🙂