Circuit City Has Digital to Analog TV Converter Boxes Also!
Okay, I have been caught up on my nomenclature here.
It turns out they are not calling these things "HDTV converters" because they don't, strictly speaking, GENERATE an HDTV picture. They certainly RECEIVE HDTV, but because they generate a conventional 480i NTSC signal on the back end they're just calling them "Digital to Analog Convertors".
The one that Circuit City is carrying is made by Zenith, model # DTT900.
Now, I haven't had a chance to try this one out yet, but I probably will be getting one as I do have to shop for these things for several family members and the coupons are only good for 90 days.
The coupons from the government's DTV2009.gov site are good for $40 and Circuit City is also offering their convertor for $59.99 plus tax.
Nice of the government to short us all $20.
The Zenith model pretty much looks IDENTICAL to the Insignia model - same connections, same remote control.
What I don't know is if the software is the same and WHY these too boxes look so much alike. Is everyone just licensing the same design from some common company?
Looks like Wal-Mart is carrying two different models of the converter, one made by Magnavox that looks to lack any controls on the box itself in case you lose the remote, and also has some bad reviews that it lack "universal remote" features ... in other words you can't control your TV's volume with the converter's remote. Wal-Mart is selling the Magnavox for $49.87 or $9.87 net after the coupon.
Wal-Mart is also offering a Thompson RCA DTA800 model. This one has much better reviews than the Magnavox. It also has the ability to be installed on a vertical brace. It has front panel controls and a somewhat different remote from the Best Buy and Circuit City offerings. Wal-Mart is also selling this one for $49.87 - $9.87 net after coupon.
Looks like all-in-all, judging from most of the reviews everyone has been as surprised as I have that so many signals do come in. I guess the local broadcasters have had time to tweak their signals and maybe there has even been some work on the tuners because I remember the very early adopters griping precipitously about how hard it was to tune over-the-air HD signals.
Well, in any event, for those of you who still watch over-the-air programming, it looks like for as little as $10 you will STILL be able to watch over-the-air programming, but you gotta get your relatives to go on DTV2009.gov or call 1-888-DTV-2009 before they run out of coupons!