Will You Help Me Select a Digital Converter Box?

RJM recently posted a question:

Will you help me select a model? I am confused. Please tell me the names and why one is better than the other. I would like to get one under $50?

Hello RJM,
It really doesn’t matter which model you go with, as long as you select one from the list of eligible converter boxes so that your $40 coupon will be valid.

I’d recommend the RCA DTA800. It comes with all of the typical features most converter boxes come with, plus the option of using a smart antenna (which can give you a better reception if you’re located within 30 miles of a broadcast tower). If the RCA is out of stock, you can opt for the Zenith DTT900, which has worked just fine for me, but was a bit more costlier than some of the other boxes on the market.

Options to look for when buying a converter box are:

Most Important:
ATSC Tuner (This is the single most important option that a converter box must have to view digital television, without it, your TV will not be able to receive television broadcasts after February 17th, 2009.)
Remote Control
Input for an VHF/UHF antenna
Electronic Program Guide
(This option will allow you to view a list of programs on each channel, kind of like a live TV Guide)

Important but not Mandatory:
Analog Pass-through (This option is nice because it allows you to easily flip between both analog and digital broadcasting. For instance, if your reception is really bad on one of the digital channels, you can choose the analog pass-through option on the converter and watch the analog broadcast of that particular channel).

Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions,


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