Best time to buy Converter Box? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 09-21-2008, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I purchase a Converter Box now, or wait until the last minute to do so?

In other words, will there be better boxes released in the next few months? Boxes that are worth waiting for?
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post #2 of 51 Old 09-21-2008, 06:43 PM
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Individual models might improve, but overall I don't think we'll see anything that is significantly better than the best ones that are out there already, for example the Zenith DTT901 or the Channel Master CM-7000.
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post #3 of 51 Old 09-21-2008, 09:02 PM
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If I had it to do over again, knowing what I do now, I would have waited until after the first of the year to get my CECBs...there are bugs in the ones that I own that are still being worked out and may not ever get resolved, but the odds go up the longer you wait. Plus there are new/updated models that will be coming out late this year early next which might have features that the current ones dont. The Zenith is definately one of the better all around boxes out there (cant speak as highly for the CM-7000, as I've had a slew of issues with mine) and if they should decide to add something like S-video to it, that would probably make it the best box out there.

Also be aware that if you get a CECB with the coupon and you end up not liking it, you're restricted to exchanges within the retailer you bought it from, and you're out of a coupon if they'll somehow let you return it. Additionally, while you might save money by buying online, you might save pulling out your hair by buying locally if something should end up being wrong with your CECB. No shipping back and forth.

Just my 2 cents.
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post #4 of 51 Old 09-21-2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdude1 View Post

Should I purchase a Converter Box now, or wait until the last minute to do so?

In other words, will there be better boxes released in the next few months? Boxes that are worth waiting for?

The upside of getting a box now is that you'll have digital reception sooner. I got my first Zenith in March and am happy that I did (exchanged the 900 for a 901 though). It was a huge improvement for me. The question is . . . do you want digital NOW!
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post #5 of 51 Old 09-21-2008, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

The upside of getting a box now is that you'll have digital reception sooner. I got my first Zenith in March and am happy that I did (exchanged the 900 for a 901 though). It was a huge improvement for me. The question is . . . do you want digital NOW!

You may say that again!

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post #6 of 51 Old 09-21-2008, 10:24 PM
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I just realized that the edit function isn't working properly! I'll go delete those duplicate posts.
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post #7 of 51 Old 09-22-2008, 03:09 AM
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The whole problem with buying these CECBs is that you are limited to the 90 day window of the coupon. In general I'd say wait. Order one coupon now and maybe another at the end of the year - that way you are covered from now till the transition. Then scour the threads and see what's new and worth buying. Browse you local electronics store once in a while to see what's available. Then, before the coupon expires (and before the mad rush in late Feb) get something that will work for your situation.
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post #8 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdude1 View Post

Should I purchase a Converter Box now, or wait until the last minute to do so?

In other words, will there be better boxes released in the next few months? Boxes that are worth waiting for?

Let's put this issue into proper perspective......
I wouldn't expect anything that exceptional or (significantly) better in the near (or distant) future from any manufacturer......only upgrades of units that they screwed up originally (I.E.- DTVpal).

This market is basically a "one shot deal". Most (if not all) users of
non-digital TV's with antennas will have their CECB's by February (the majority sooner).
Eventually, there will only be HDTV's available as replacements for the (soon to be obsolete) non-digital sets.

The market will dry up shortly and there will be no incentive for these manufacturers to produce upgraded boxes.
In fact, most CECB's will probably be discontinued next year and never replaced.
It's only a short term solution for the minority of TV viewers.
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post #9 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 04:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertdude1 View Post

Should I purchase a Converter Box now, or wait until the last minute to do so?

If you're using a gov't coupon, you don't have much choice. You only get 90 days.

If you're not using a coupon, wait until Jan 1. Hopefully the boxes will have bugfree software or maybe better tuners.
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post #10 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

This market is basically a "one shot deal". Most (if not all) users of
non-digital TV's with antennas will have their CECB's by February (the majority sooner).
Eventually, there will only be HDTV's available as replacements for the (soon to be obsolete) non-digital sets.

The market will dry up shortly and there will be no incentive for these manufacturers to produce upgraded boxes.
In fact, most CECB's will probably be discontinued next year and never replaced.
It's only a short term solution for the minority of TV viewers.

These converters exist because of the transition not the coupon program.

I would expect that as long as a sufficient market exists for people wanting to use their NTSC sets there will be converter boxes. I think many sets will outlive the converter boxes and need replacement converters.

In many places it costs as much or more to dispose of a NTSC set than the cost of a CECB with the coupon, converters may come down to that price in the future after transition.
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post #11 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 08:22 AM
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Maybe additional models will come out that support timer events in the box itself so that VCR recordings can be made from more than one channel unattended? I have no knowledge of this one way or the other. That would be a nice feature that doesn't seem to stray too far beyond the somewhat limited feature scope of the CECBs.

I helped a friend set one up a couple of weeks ago, and she was concerned about being able to record with her VCR. I had to tell her that she could record multiple programs while she was away as long as they were on the same channel (whatever the box was left tuned to), which is obviously not ideal.
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post #12 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddR View Post

Maybe additional models will come out that support timer events in the box itself so that VCR recordings can be made from more than one channel unattended? I have no knowledge of this one way or the other. That would be a nice feature that doesn't seem to stray too far beyond the somewhat limited feature scope of the CECBs.

I helped a friend set one up a couple of weeks ago, and she was concerned about being able to record with her VCR. I had to tell her that she could record multiple programs while she was away as long as they were on the same channel (whatever the box was left tuned to), which is obviously not ideal.

OK, I'll bite - the TR40/Pal/970 are not good enough?
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post #13 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

OK, I'll bite - the TR40/Pal/970 are not good enough?

I take it those models do have timers? I haven't looked at too many CECBs. For my limited little-TV-by-the-basement-elliptical-machine needs, the Insignia I bought at Best Buy will suffice.

I'm glad there are some options already on the market for people who are trying to keep their VCRs usable post-transition.
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post #14 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biker19 View Post

OK, I'll bite - the TR40/Pal/970 are not good enough?

As long as the traditionally unreliable Pal/TR-40's timers stay reliable or end user doesn't mind setting the timers to military time on the 970.

The 970 will do, but it would be nice if something a little easier for the average person to use would come along. The Pal/TR-40 - well, sorry - but I just wouldn't depend on the timers personally. I certainly wouldn't buy one with the intention of mainly using it that way.
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post #15 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 07:15 PM
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My dream CECB would have:

-- S-Video like the APEX boxes or the CM-7000
-- Timers like the Zinwell boxes, the DTVPal, or the TR-40cra (APEX DT502 has a reminder setting that will switch the channel when the box is on)
-- Analog Pass-Through (most manufacturers are making this standard - should have done it in the beginning)
-- Exceptional multi-path rejection and high sensitivity to low signal levels
-- Dual meters (Quality & Signal) like the APEX DT502 or the Zinwell 970 models (does anyone know if the 950 has dual meters?)
-- Full EPG like the APEX DT502, the DTVPal, the TR-40cra, The GE 22729, 22730, or 23333
-- Universal like the RCA 800B models, Digital Stream, or the AccessHD -U boxes (would be nice to be able to control a Channel Master rotor box also)
-- Ability to do an "Add Channels" scan
-- Have "Smart Antenna" interface

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post #16 of 51 Old 09-23-2008, 11:20 PM
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Doesn't Canada go through this in a couple years? Then Mexico a decade later?

Canadians might get USA's left-overs, or they might get something better if they don't have a subsidy program.

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post #17 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 04:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

My dream CECB would have:
-- S-Video like the APEX boxes or the CM-7000
-- Timers like the Zinwell boxes.....

This would be my dream box. I don't need all the other crap..... Just a CM7000 with a clock. Even better, a VCR with ATSC tuner built-in. I don't know why JVC doesn't make these..... probably the television executives are afraid we'll use them to make illegal copies of Heroes and other shows. So they purposely make it difficult to record stuff by not providing the equipment.

I wonder how difficult it would be to take an HR-S3900 and replace the NTSC w/ ATSC tuner. Hmmm.
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post #18 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 05:40 AM
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I noticed that to. I had actually gone out to replace a VCR (maybe with a DVD recorder) and also noticed how all the recorders are now made without a tuner. How hard would it have been to replace the NTSC system with a n ATSC one? More profit i suppose, because I didn't see that the price of a recording unit had come down.

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post #19 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

So they purposely make it difficult to record stuff by not providing the equipment.
.

All one needs to do is visit the DVDr threads - there are enough choices.
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post #20 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I noticed that to. I had actually gone out to replace a VCR (maybe with a DVD recorder) and also noticed how all the recorders are now made without a tuner.

You obviously didn't look very hard. DVDrs w/ ATSC tuners are widely available.
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post #21 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 11:07 AM
 
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A 5 hour DVD-R is hardly adequate to replace an 11 hour VHS.

Plus, imagine all the expense of throwing away ~$200 worth of blank tapes and buying a bunch of blank DVDs. JVC should just make an ATSC-equipped VCR and be done with it. (Maybe JVC figures most VCRs are equipped to cable which provides NTSC, and that's why all it needs is an NTSC tuner.)
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post #22 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 02:23 PM
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VCRs' time have passed. They will soon be joining 8-tracks and Betamax on the junk pile of history.
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post #23 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeBiker View Post

VCRs' time have passed. They will soon be joining 8-tracks and Betamax on the junk pile of history.

which is music to the ears of those of use who have timer function boxes...as we can pick them up for little or nothing on craigslist and yardsales and stockpile them...so when one breaks we just pull one down out of the attic/basement.
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post #24 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 09:36 PM
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Stopped by the Wal-Mart in Chambersburg today and saw where the Magnavox CECB tags on the shelves have been replaced with the RCA tags (no RCA units though) and they have done a price drop (clearance?) on the 23 Magnavox (TB110MW9) units (five on the shelf and 18 on an end display, in the main aisle ($49.87).

I also see where they are now carrying a DVD recorder (Magnavox ZC320MW8) for $98.87 and a DVD Recorder with ARSC tuner (Magnavox ZC352MW8) for $134.87.

I think I'll take a cruise to K-Mart, Target, & CC later this afternoon to see what they have.

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post #25 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBiker View Post

VCRs' time have passed. They will soon be joining 8-tracks and Betamax on the junk pile of history.

8-tracks, betamax, laserdiscs, and others can still be had. Do a search on eBAY.

I've had a DVD recorder for two years now and the VCR's get more work then the DVD ever does. The wife hates it when there is a disk error, that kills the recording of her Y&R and I hate that I have to hear about it for the next week. At least with a VCR, the only problem I have to deal with is eaten tapes, which happens less frequently and can be recovered.

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post #26 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

More profit i suppose, because I didn't see that the price of a recording unit had come down.

You can find more than that Magnavox for under $100.00 (even Toshiba's). Just browse through Amazon for a quick look-see.

To get more dependable discs and less disc errors, you have to spend a little more. Usually not more than .40 apiece, though. Which means none of that Mem-o-wrecks crud. Order Taiyo Yuden 8x Premiums online.

Could be your recorder, too.
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post #27 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

JVC should just make an ATSC-equipped VCR and be done with it.

They already have. Look harder.

Not cheap, though.
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post #28 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

To get more dependable discs and less disc errors, you have to spend a little more. Usually not more than .40 apiece, though. Which means none of that Mem-o-wrecks crud. Order Taiyo Yuden 8x Premiums online.

Two mistakes in your assumption. I use DVD+RW's, not DVD-R's and I don't use "Mem-o-wrecks crud."

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post #29 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 10:42 PM
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Well, there isn't much sold in the stores here that's any good anymore (as Mike Myers would say, "It's all CR*P"). Maybe Verbatims and possibly Sony. Otherwise, it could just be your specific recorder.
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post #30 of 51 Old 09-24-2008, 10:58 PM
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I think it's because she doesn't check the disc for dust or fingerprints, before inserting it. I very seldom have an issue.

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