What does a digital to analog converter box cost? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-12-2008, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Let me do a little guesswork here. First, I must mention that I have no connection to manufacturing or marketing any products from any manufacturers.

The first word of digital to analog converter boxes pegged the retail price point around $200. That was pie-in-the-sky unrealistic as that is not that far from the price of a Samsung 260 HD tuner or an entry level 20” CRT TV with a digital tuner built-in.

Then the digital to analog converters were pegged to the $100 and then $80 price points.

The first digital to analog converters actually came to the marketplace around $60, or $50 at Wal-Mart.

So, what does the digital to analog converter box cost (with modest profit for the parties) in the various steps from manufacture to the consumer?

The contract factory that builds the converter box and remote, cables, battery, manual and box—probably in the $20-$25 range.

The manufacturer that designs the converter box, arranges for manufacture and shipping, covers distribution, provides the warranty—probably in the $20-$25 range.

The retail store or online seller markets and sells the converter box—probably in the $10-$15 range.

Perhaps someone more in-the-know may correct my guesswork.

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post #2 of 12 Old 04-12-2008, 01:00 PM
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I'm not in the know, but your numbers sound logical, if not on the high side. Although totally different one can regularly see cheap DVD players for around $30 so I don't know why a CECB would have to cost anymore after they've recouped the design costs. My guess is after '09 they should be going for about the same. Just a total WAG. I sure hope after the coupons are done we start seeing some nicer boxes with features that were forbidden from CECB's. After all how much can a digital audio out or HDMI out port cost, at least if mass produced. For now thought I think all the boxes will try and be Coupon Eligible for largest sales, with the exception of high end boxes like the Samsung 260 which will still be desirable to a select few.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-12-2008, 02:28 PM
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IMHO, they cost what they do because there are millions of $40 vouchers out there waiting to be spent. If they priced these boxes at mass-market value of $40 or below, millions of consumers would be getting these for "free" with no out of pocket expense. Marketers are not stupid, they know they can get some money out of people. So it looks like they pegged that number at $20 above the voucher to give us $60 boxes.

If there were no gov't vouchers to sweeten the pot, these things would probably sell for half the price.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-14-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I'm not in the know, but your numbers sound logical, if not on the high side. Although totally different one can regularly see cheap DVD players for around $30 so I don't know why a CECB would have to cost anymore after they've recouped the design costs. My guess is after '09 they should be going for about the same. Just a total WAG. I sure hope after the coupons are done we start seeing some nicer boxes with features that were forbidden from CECB's. After all how much can a digital audio out or HDMI out port cost, at least if mass produced. For now thought I think all the boxes will try and be Coupon Eligible for largest sales, with the exception of high end boxes like the Samsung 260 which will still be desirable to a select few.

Expanding on this, a digital audio out is the perfect example of a feature that costs next to nothing to offer. There is no processing required, in fact the cost & challenge is in downmixing what is already a digital signal and sending it out as a pair of analog outputs. I'm not saying a fancier box wouldn't have a set of stereo outputs, just that they are a more costly option than a digital audio out is.

I personally despise the limitations on the CECB program. I'm fine with not allowing HD video output, that is completely understandable to me. But to say QAM (which can easily & inexpensively be handled by many of the same chipsets that do ATSC) and digital audio connections are forbidden really makes me angry. It makes the whole program personally useless, and furthermore it stifles the market for boxes with those features.

I also am hoping that after the coupon period expires we start seeing some boxes with these types of features. As I know they can't & won't cost much more than the current lame offerings available.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-14-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublejack View Post

I personally despise the limitations on the CECB program. I'm fine with not allowing HD video output, that is completely understandable to me. But to say QAM (which can easily & inexpensively be handled by many of the same chipsets that do ATSC) and digital audio connections are forbidden really makes me angry. It makes the whole program personally useless, and furthermore it stifles the market for boxes with those features.

Here's another feature that CECB's lack: AC passthrough.  If the box had a power outlet for the television, there wouldn't be need to string two cords instead of one to the wall, nor to get an extension cord or multi-tap to plug both in.

Was that forbidden by the FCC, or would it just have added too much cost or weight or heat?  Right now, there's one CECB I'm keeping despite my mild preference for another model, mainly because its cord is long enough to reach from atop the TV to the wall socket without an extension cord, while the other's is not.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-15-2008, 01:57 PM
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I would think the high voltage AC section in the CECB's are rather contained. I would guess you could open up one of the boxes with little concern of electrocution. If they would of had a AC socket it would have made the AC isolation harder. Plus the fact that they don't know what people might plug into the socket would complicate things.
I agree on the outside it sounds like a handy feature but my guess is UL would have something to say about it. Probably just best to use a 99 cent extension cord.
AC pass through was probably not forbidden but logistics would just make it unlikely.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-16-2008, 09:55 PM
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AS for cost of a cecb, how about just the sales tax on
forty dollars. H.E.B. grocery stores, perhaps Texas
only, mentioned in a news release months ago that
they'd sell a STB for $40 and include an antenna.
Yep, they take the coupons.

http://www.keyetv.com/content/entert...9-63ef16dcbccf
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-16-2008, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leroy2222 View Post

AS for cost of a cecb, how about just the sales tax on
forty dollars. H.E.B. grocery stores, perhaps Texas
only, mentioned in a news release months ago that
they'd sell a STB for $40 and include an antenna.
Yep, they take the coupons.

http://www.keyetv.com/content/entert...9-63ef16dcbccf

See the thread on CECBs and sales tax. There should be no tax on the first $40 if a coupon was used!
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-16-2008, 10:30 PM
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Obviously there's sales tax. That's why I opened with,
"AS for cost of a cecb, how about just the sales tax on
forty dollars."
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-17-2008, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leroy2222 View Post

Obviously there's sales tax. That's why I opened with,
"AS for cost of a cecb, how about just the sales tax on
forty dollars."

Sorry I had made a typo in the previous post. The correct word was no and I had reversed the letters and typed on. Now that its corrected it makes more sense.

There should be no sales tax charged on the coupon portion of the purchase. That is a purchase by the federal gov and is not subject to sales tax. I know some vendors(RS & BB) are charging tax on that part even though its not subject to tax. Check out the thread about CECBs and Sales Tax!
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-24-2008, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
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In another thread nwiser offers some converter box pricing insight. I quote relevant portions of that post:

". . . there’s a Kiosk at BB that lets you look for items in the store or on BB's website, but it also serves as an employee Kiosk for them to check inventory, pricing, order status, etc. As I walked by, I noticed that some employee had left themselves logged in, and with me chomping at the bit to know if and when the DT250's were gonna come in, I quickly jumped in . . .

". . . I clicked on a link on the paged titled "Advanced pricing" which displayed this: while BB is selling the DT250 boxes for $59.99, the cost to them per box is $38.50 . . .

I decided to check the price of the Insignia's and again I discovered they're selling them for $59.99 but they cost the company $39.30."

The complete post is found here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post14144959

It appears that my guesswork in the original post in this thread was in the ballpark.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #12 of 12 Old 06-24-2008, 06:01 PM
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I'd say 50% markup is typical of a lot of stores, aside from those that specialize in heavy discounts

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