Where Can a I Buy a Digital Converter with Analog-Passthrough?

A recent email from a TVConversionhelp viewer asked:

“Who sells converters with analog pass-through? Local stores do not have them and a Internet search finds list of converters with features, but few who offer analog pass-through are out of stock and my coupon expires May 22.”

Thanks for the question – it’s a good one!  I wanted to start off by defining what analog pass-through is and why some of you viewers (including us here at TVConversionhelp) may want it as an option for your digital converter.

Analog Pass-Through: A digital converter box with the analog pass-through option allows for the consumer to receive digital broadcasting….or, continue watching analog broadcasted tv signals all the way through February 17th, 2009 should the he or she choose to do so.

In other words, you can switch back and forth between analog and digital programming.  It’s not a “must have” option since you’ll probably get the same programming on both broadcast types (although technically, with digital tv, you’ll receive more channels than with analog tv.)

Options are limited for Digital Converter Boxes with analog-passthrough feature

Unfortunately at this time, there are only a handful of manufacturer’s who have added this feature to their converter boxes and few are in stock.  I think the government really dropped the ball with putting a 90 day limit on coupon expiration…..especially with the low limit of supply on TV converter boxes.

I’ve talked to a few stores (Best Buy and Circuit City), in Arizona, California, and New York, and most employee’s in the Audio/Video section of the store’s have no idea what the analog pass-through option even is.

Alternative to Analog-Passthrough Feature

I think, at this time…..your best option would be to get a regular digital converter and to purchase a 2-way splitter or A/B Switch.

If you connect your converter box to one of the outputs of the 2-way splitter and connect the other output side of the 2-way splitter to the RF (antenna in) on your television you’ll be able To watch digital programming by switching channels on the DTV remote.

If you want to watch Analog channels,  you’ll be able to do this on your television by changing your channels on the television set with the TV remote.

I’ll keep everyone posted if an online retailer gets some of the analog pass-through boxes in stock within the next 30 days.

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