Your Digital Media Has Never Looked So Good

 
Lstevens
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Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:40 am

I cut cable a while back and only have Roku now. I would like to add OTA, but my TV is not Digital. Can anyone recommend whet I can find a chead (but decent) digital converter?
 
stratcat96
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:50 am

honestly, they are all varying degrees of "ok". Big time manufacturers don't want to spend the time making them because they'd rather sell you a new TV. There are a few no-name companies that make them, and if you look them up on amazon they will have varied reviews. When the digital switch happened I got the gov't coupons and bought one Magnavox and two RCA's. The RCA's are crappy, one of them broke within a few months. The Magnavox still works but is rather sparse in features. The remotes on all of them stink where some will be hard to use, some will have volume controls, some not, etc. With any of them in order to integrate the functions of your TV and the box tuning it might be wise to also look at DTV-ready universal remotes as well. The good news is none of "downsides" of these boxes stop them from being a great value keeping an older set functioning as opposed to buying a new TV. Some might even suggest that your antenna is at least as an important thing to research, as the best converter box inthe world isn't going to make up for an inadequate antenna for your needs.
 
Lstevens
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:14 am

Thanks for that! I live near a metro area, and already have a pretty good antenna. One of the reasons that I cut cable is that I'm currently unemployed, so not much $ to spend. If anyone has suggestions or links of where I can find one cheap (or if anyone has one they don't use anymore that they'd like to sell cheap you could PM me), I would be very appreciative.
 
A.J.
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:42 am

Wal-Mart and Amazon.com have several inexpensive converter boxes. If you really want "cheap" you might try your local GoodWill store. People tend to donate their converter boxes when they acquire a digital TV.

But, to fully benefit from the picture quality your Roku (and an antenna) can deliver, a HD digital TV should be added to your wish list.
 
 
jheartney
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:41 pm

I'd try Craigslist. Lots of people trade up to a new digital set, and don't need their converter anymore.

I'd stick with a name box. I have an RCA (nice big remote buttons meant for oldsters) and an Insignia (a rebranded Zenith) which has a dedicated button for switching aspect ratio, so you don't have to dive into the menus to use it. Both work fine, and can be set up to turn your tv on and off so you don't need two remotes.

If you want to watch any of the remaining analog channels, make sure your box does analog pass-through. And you'll need a decent antenna; digital reception is an all-or-nothing affair.
 
rjdriver
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:42 pm

In my opinion, the best box out there is the Zenith DTT 901. I believe LG actually makes the product, or used to. These days, it''s very difficult to find, and often sells for well over $100.00. A far cry from the $60.00 it used to be in the middle of the digital conversion, when the $40.00 coupons made it an easy purchase. It has very good signal strength, and a well made remote. Try Amazon or Google it to find the best price. You'll have to decide if the money is better spent going towards a new TV.


But before you invest in either one, a visit to antennaweb.org is a good place to find out just how much you will get over the air. When I cut the cord, I was pleasantly surprised to find 23 channels available OTA, and that number has now grown to 31, with more local affiliates making use of the sub channels. Make sure to fill in your full address, not just a zip code, at antenna web. In addition to distance from the local transmission towers, altitude is critical. Only a compete address will take that into consideration.

Good luck. OTA TV is out there for a lot more people than realize it. The picture is perfect and the HD is gorgeous, all the more so when it's free.
LG 42" 1080, Sony S550 Blu Ray, Pioneer VSX 512S, Harmony One, Roku 3-wired, Fire TV Stick, FlircUSB, 30Mb, Antenna. Coventry RI, USA
 
nighthawk_md
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:12 pm

I rather liked the Dish Network DTVPal Plus that I had before I upgraded to HD. It replicated the Dish Network interface and was pretty well-featured and responsive to button presses, had a decent remote. It got all my available channels as well, even with no-so-great signal strength. I also had the aforementioned Magnavox and it sucked hard. The DTVPal was $40 at Sears during the height of conversion fever, but not sure if it is still available.
 
StellarRat
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:46 pm

I'd look on Craigslist or EBay. People will be getting rid of them as they replace their old TVs with newer ones that have built in digital tuners.
 
QuantumIguana
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:36 pm

Never by anything from RCA. RCA was a proud name, and used to stand for good quality. RCA isn't even a company anymore. It went bankrupt, and now all that is left is the RCA trademark, that gets licensed to companies making cheap, crappy electronics so that people will see this name on it and think it is quality.
 
4mation
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:18 am

I've been looking for a while now and Sears no longer sells the pal/ and there was a SD and a HD model they are still on sale on ebay just last week. But that same model is now being made by (channel Master 7000dvr) something about $350. Wall-mart has a (Magnavox 500) dvr. for $250 You can go to AVS forum and read about both of these. And the Pal/ It's all about features. The guide, tape one or two shows at a time if that means anything to you. But they are HD OTA At Wall-mart you can get a extended warranty. 2yr. Important with that kind of outlay. Remember we are still a small group and until the big box people see there is a market for better boxes we will have to pay top dollars for good stuff.
 
socantra
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:18 am

4mation wrote:
I've been looking for a while now and Sears no longer sells the pal/ and there was a SD and a HD model they are still on sale on ebay just last week. But that same model is now being made by (channel Master 7000dvr) something about $350. Wall-mart has a (Magnavox 500) dvr. for $250 You can go to AVS forum and read about both of these. And the Pal/ It's all about features.


I believe the OP was only looking for a digital tuner converter box, not an ota digital video recorder. Channel Master has a Pal converter box (no recording) for about $50 and I'm sure Walmart has several digital tuner options that are considerably cheaper than the $250 Magnavox dvr you're speaking of.
Please attempt to maintain a thin veneer of civility.
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not your own family at home.
 
Lstevens
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:23 am

Thanks to all for your responses. I learned a lot! Those that suggested craigslist were on the mark. I looked on craigslist and found one for only $20. He is moving to Switzerland, and he included a nice indoor antenna, and a region free DVD player! All for $20, :-)

This was perfect for me as I'm currently unemployed, (which is why I cut the cord).

Now I'm looking for a universal remote to control the Roku and D/A Converter box to make it easier for my elderly/semi-disabled mom to use Again, I'm looking for the best I can get on a very low budget. (I looked on craigslist, but they only have expensive Harmonys in my area).

Suggestions and/or links?
 
stratcat96
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:26 am

you might want to look at the Logitech Harmony 300 or 300i, there aren't many remotes that can control the Roku that are inexpensive
 
Lstevens
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Re: Cable cutter looking for OTA advice

Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:14 am

For my elderly mom the buttons on the logitech are too many/too small. Any ideas for one with bigger buttons?

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