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Old 04-01-2008, 08:07 PM
 
Location: High Bridge
2,736 posts, read 8,784,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radek View Post
Yeah, digital will only work if you get X%, after that... it just drops entirely.

I believe the digital signal tends to be a stronger signal than analog though. At least, thats what my mind is telling me.
Nope. Think about HDMI as an example. You really are only good with HDMI until a certain length, and then you need to boost the signal. (According to spec, you'll get 16.5 feet max on HDMI - getting further with cables alone is actually a feat (no pun intended) of better cabling with a higher and more even twist, but thats going OT). With an analog signal, you'll lose quality, of course, but you can take a signal MUCH further.

With analog, when you start losing signal, you just get a crappier picture - but you still get a picture. With digital, once you start losing bits, its gone. Its likely that digital transmissions will improve rapidly once in effect to regain any lost market, but I believe the expectation is that these people will just go to satellite or a local cable provider instead.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:45 PM
 
529 posts, read 2,513,824 times
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Default I don't understand buying a coupon??

Not sure I understand. You buy a 40 dollar coupon for 40 dollars then go and get 40 dollars off the box? What's the purpose of the extra step? It's like handing HEB 40 dollars and they had you 40 dollars back??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Forest View Post
Texas HEB grocery stores.....
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:56 PM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

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Location: Ohio
16,906 posts, read 33,648,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
Not sure I understand. You buy a 40 dollar coupon for 40 dollars then go and get 40 dollars off the box? What's the purpose of the extra step? It's like handing HEB 40 dollars and they had you 40 dollars back??
You don't pay for the coupon. It's issued for free and on request by the Federal government. The money comes from revenue generated by the spectrum fees that wireless providers will be paying to use the frequencies that the TV stations will be vacating when analog TV goes away.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:32 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,726 posts, read 29,333,275 times
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The idea is for the digital signals to reach at least as far as analog. This is also true for free over the air digital signals. TV digital is supposed to be fully implemented by 2009, and radio digital around 2020. If your analog TV still can receive an analog signal over your roof antenna, then your new digital TV with it's built-in tuner will receive the free over the air digital signals over the same roof antenna. That's all there is to it. There will also be free over the air digital radio signals, and your new digital radio will also be able to receive the the new digital radio signals.

If you want certain radio channels instead of the free over the air digital radio channels, then you can subscribe to XM and such to listen to their digital signals, but you can listen to the rest (the free digital signals) on the same radio. This is the way it's supposed to happen, which should be similar to what we have today: you can pay the cable company to watch their TV channels, but the free channels are still brought to you via the same cable box. If you have cable, then you have more channels to watch. That's the main difference.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:41 PM
 
529 posts, read 2,513,824 times
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So the first post of this thread "heb is selling them for 40 dollars apiece". Were they saying that the converters are 40 dollars a piece or the coupons?
If HEB has the converters for 40 dollars apiece, please tell me which HEB. I heard these boxes cost 70 dollars.

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
You don't pay for the coupon. It's issued for free and on request by the Federal government. The money comes from revenue generated by the spectrum fees that wireless providers will be paying to use the frequencies that the TV stations will be vacating when analog TV goes away.
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:09 AM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Ohio
16,906 posts, read 33,648,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
So the first post of this thread "heb is selling them for 40 dollars apiece". Were they saying that the converters are 40 dollars a piece or the coupons?
If HEB has the converters for 40 dollars apiece, please tell me which HEB. I heard these boxes cost 70 dollars.
In the OP, them = converters.

I haven't seen these at HEB, but I would guess they can be found only at HEB Plus stores, since the Plus stores are the only stores at which I've seen TVs.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,619,265 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
I'm probably the last person on earth who doesn't have cable or satellite TV. I can get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and a couple of local stations with my little antenna. I've had free TV all these years, I really don't want to pay for a box to watch TV (which is mostly commercials). Even with the coupon, the box will still cost me money (maybe about 30 dollars).

It really bothers me that this is a law. Don't our lawmakers have more important things to attend to? I was thinking about applying for a coupon until I saw that commercial that states - "Digital TV is so great that it's going to be a law that all stations have to broadcast in digital" (paraphrasing).

My brother thinks it's some type of Big Brother Conspiracy thing. The government will be able to monitor everyone once was go all-digital. I didn't really think that until I went to the website. So you enter your address and they know where the non-cable people live. Maybe not something as serious as my brother is thinking but something I don't like.

I think I'll call their bluff and wait and see what happens in Feb 2009.
Many houses are like ours- a mixture of both. We have 2 TV sets that are on satellite and 2 that are not (it cost $5 each TV to be on satellite). So many of us who have satellite still need the converters.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:03 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,157,897 times
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I've now dipped my toe into the world of digital TV. I was not pleased to find out that the available converter boxes only do digital and do not pass the analog signal thru. Whether it would work for me has been a question because my analog reception is not wonderful and I live quite a distance from transmitters.

I bought a USB digital/HD/analog TV tuner with FM ($100 - pinnacle) for my computer. When it is good, the pictures are amazing. Family Handyman magazine has an article on mistakes people make in antennas and digital signals which helped, tho I've not corrected everything.

I'm pleased to find that I can get some digital TV. My antenna is in my attic. I can pull in fairly decent analog channels from Baltimore (50 miles away or more) but not so hot from DC, which is closer, but I guess the hills interfere more with that direction. The digital channels that I can get come in at the 70-80% range. Some are better than others. When it degrades, the picture tends to halt and get choppy or I get the blue screen of no signal. With digital, I can get a good ABC, NBC, FOX, and PBS channels along with a CW and that other one. The CBS channel is more choppy and unreliable.

The odd thing is that there is little correlation between the decent digital channels and the analog reception. For example, Baltimore channel 2 is terrible analog but their digital channel is good. All the MPT channels are awful but one of the digital channels comes in good. Baltimore Ch 13 & 11 is pretty good analog, but the digital ch's are nothing. Weird.

Perhaps the digital signals will be improved when they have to go all digital?

I have both MS Media Center and I loaded the program that came with the new tuner. MS MC found the new tuner and can use both, but it won't pick up the side digital channels (that have the radar and weather all the time). The nice thing is now it can use both the old analog tuner and the digital tuner at the same time. It's been a little more unstable, so I decided to get it more memory.

The program that came with the new tuner can only see the USB tuner - not the old analog tuner. The two don't play well together - mostly it is an either or situation with the 2 programs. The odd thing is that the new program found quite a few more digital channels than the MS MC finds. It also will show the scrambled channels, but they are not very watchable. Its guide and recording is less than desirable - no indication on the file name of what was recorded - yuck.

I'll see whether the additional memory helps any and I'll re-do the antenna wiring with quad-shielded cable and higher quality connectors before I go to the step of mounting the antenna outside. But at least all TV won't go away with my current set up.

Thought folks might like to know what an experience in a marginal reception area was like.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:36 PM
Bo Bo won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Tenth Edition (Apr-May 2014). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Ohio
16,906 posts, read 33,648,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
I've now dipped my toe into the world of digital TV. I was not pleased to find out that the available converter boxes only do digital and do not pass the analog signal thru.
After next February there won't be any analog signals to receive over the air, so that's a feature that was expendable.

Quote:
Perhaps the digital signals will be improved when they have to go all digital?
This is likely to be the case. On a Digital TV forum I visit, an engineer for one of the local stations here says that his station is running its digital signal through a lower power transmitter than the analog signal. Once they flip the switch to shut off the analog signal forever, he says they'll bring the digital signal up to full power.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Planet Earth
7,403 posts, read 8,378,859 times
Reputation: 5146
Im kind of angry about this, I've got a small tv in my room, one my mom used in college and was built in 1982, that still works terrific and has a great picture, no cable hooked up to it but i use it to watch sports, and the simpsons, king of the hill etc, on regular tv, and now it wont work unless I pay for a converter box? forget that! why is this happening? what purpose does the news in digital tv give us?
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