Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TV Digital

My Experience

This converter from analog to digital is one of the authorized TV converters that apply the US$40 Rebate Coupon sent by the government for the preparation for next February 17 of 2009 that the TV analog signal will be replaced by a digital signal. The coupon is a way to save money for people who want to continue using their old TV sets to receive over the air TV channels. There are two other choices, one is to subscribe Cable or Satellite services and the second is just buying a new TV with a digital tuner built it.

When I received my two coupons, I did not wait long to use one of then to buy the TV converter and went to one of the retail store listed on the letter that has the rebate coupons. Radio Shack was the closest one to my home, so I went there to buy the converter. There it was only one brand, Digital Stream DTX9900 and there were only four of them left. I asked to the salesperson if there another brand of Converter available and the person told me that those four converters are the only ones the store has. I had not other choice but to buy the converter (I was about to buy it anyway, but wanted to know if there another brands). The regular price of the Digital Stream DTX9900 converter was US$59.99 with the taxes has the total of about US$62. With the coupon, I paid about 22 dollars. That thing makes me feel that I was ripped off by the store.

The Converter came on a small box, the item is small and very light on weight. It contained the converter, a remote control with batteries included (for my surprise!!!) and a RF cable. Also it came with a quick setup guide and a user guide manual, both guides are very easy to read and understand that even a child can setup this converter (and I am not kidding!!). I don’t have any problems to connect it on my TV located on the kitchen. Easy setup, just connect the antenna (a rabbit one) to the converter on the Antenna input and the RF cable on the Out to TV output to connect it to the TV from the converter. There is another choice to connect the output to TV by using the A/V terminals from the converter to the TV or other devices such as DVDs and VCR’s using A/V cable. This cable is not included on the box of the converter; you need to buy it separately. Both ways to connect the converter to TV has the same results, the only thing is that using the RF requires to tune channel 3 or 4 on your TV while the A/V will be seen on the AUX or AV on the TV.

After you installed the unit, the next procedure is making the configuration on the TV. The setup was easy: Just tuned channel 3 and turned the converter on. The first screen I saw was the brand name of Digital Stream for a few seconds, then the setup started by asking the language (English/Spanish), after that there a option where one select the area where you live (Eastern, Western, Central, Mountain) this is for the time and the date. Once you set the region area, the unit configures the date and time automatically. One final step of the setup is to scan the channels available on my area. The converter tells us to have the antenna installed before start the scanning. This process lasted about 2 or 3 minutes, during that time I was able to see a box with two columns, one column has the RF channels and the other one the actual channels located on those RF signals. This feature is good because I can see what channels are available. The scan start on channel 2 on the RF signal up to 69. After that, it stops at the first channels of the list found. On my case is Channel 2 WCBS. On the remote control there are several functions such as EPG, electronic guide that shows the programming of the station that is being watched. It’s like a TV guide but limited to one channel only. If you hit the Ok button or the info button, it will show the name of the program, if it HDTV, has closed captions, the signal meters and information on some programs. There is a button for closed captions, another for mute, also one for secondary audio and one for the aspect ratio of the image. This feature is better on those TV sets that have widescreen format, but you can play with the aspect ratio. Note that no all channel are broadcasts on HD format so there will be some stations that are SD, standard format. One good feature of the remote control is its capacity to work as a universal remote to operate the TV.

The number of channels received by the Digital Stream is higher compared to the analog system. The low powered stations cannot be seen on this unit because it receives digital signal only. This is one disadvantage for Digital Stream, but since I don’t care about those stations, it’s just fine least for now. The good thing about this converter is the quality of the images, very good audio signals, and thanks for the digital sub channels; I was able to receive more channels such as QUBO, V-ME, NBC Weather Plus and others which cannot be seen on a analog signal.

In conclusion, the Digital Stream Converter DTX9900 is a good choice for those people who want to prepare to the TV transition from Analog to Digital for 2009. Though it has several things that I found very disappointed at first, I found this converter just fine. I still have another coupon of 40 dollars that I am going to use to buy another converter of other brand just to make the comparison with the one I have. For now, let me enjoy the advantages that bring the new Digital TV technology.

Video from You Tube explaining the setup

Related information:
Referencia : TV Digital Lineup List

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