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post #31 of 2451 Old 12-13-2007, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

Why would anyone buy any box other than the Zenith. It is the only one with the LG tuner chip, which is the chip you want.

IB

A very small market for these boxes would be the TV/FM DX community. Unlike an integrated tuner/TV and/or DVD these boxes allow one to "roll tape" and archive DX while scanning or changing channels.

I'm considering the LG/Zenith box for the hamshack to replace an older USD (Hisense) box and *not* requesting a coupon (those coupons should go to those that need them).


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post #32 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 08:11 AM
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Actually not true, LG's chip is going to be in the RCA box, Microprose box, Samsung box and I think also the Philco & Sanyo boxes as well. Broadcom is claiming to have a chip and I don't know what powers the Digital Stream box.

LG is going to make a huge fortune off of this transition with selling its own unit and making a bundle from licensing its chip to 5-6 other manufacturers.
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post #33 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by doug_malloy View Post

Actually not true, LG's chip is going to be in the RCA box, Microprose box, Samsung box

Are you sure? Do you have a link for this info? Samsung makes it's own tuner chips, as does RCA. Why would they buy a LG chip? Is this an admission that their own chips, which they have been putting in their own TVs, are inferior?

IB
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post #34 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 11:16 AM
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I've spoken with a contact in the testing labs and he directly indicated them most of the boxes coming in for testing and review are using what they are calling "The LG Solution" and most are using the exact same chip, just with their own front-end GUI's.

Its not so much any admission of their own products being inferior, its a matter of economies, the way these boxes are built and the ultra-low costing imposed on them, most firms are not investing R&D for a low end, extremely razor thin margin for a product line with a lifespan of 14 months in total.

Its easier just to put a common chip into their boxes. No one says their product is inferior because their using Samsung memory chips or an Intel chip or the like. Remember - LG is the primary patent holder of the ATSC technology, so it makes sense to work with the patent and technology holder.
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post #35 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 12:02 PM
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Sounds like slim evidence to me. I would say if you want an LG chip, buy the Zenith.

IB
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post #36 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 01:14 PM
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PS The rules say the $40. coupon expires 3 months after issue. But the Zenith converter box is not yet in stores? Should we wait till Circuit City and Walmart advertise the converter boxes for sale?

IB
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post #37 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 02:39 PM
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Wait until you have your coupons in hand and the stores have them in stock

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #38 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

Wait until you have your coupons in hand and the stores have them in stock

The point is what if you apply for a coupon January 1st and receive it January 10th, and it expires in 3 months in March and the Zenith box does not hit stores until May?

IB
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post #39 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

The point is what if you apply for a coupon January 1st and receive it January 10th, and it expires in 3 months in March and the Zenith box does not hit stores until May?

IB

According to NTIA, you are SOL. Wait until you see them in the stores before you get your coupons.

All opinions expressed (unless otherwise noted) are the posters and NOT the posters employers. The poster in NO WAY is/will speak for his employers.
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post #40 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

The point is what if you apply for a coupon January 1st and receive it January 10th, and it expires in 3 months in March and the Zenith box does not hit stores until May?

IB

First, the coupons will not be released until February 17, 2008 and they allow for mail delivery. Second, they will not give you the coupons until there is a store "nearby" that has the boxes. Third, if all of these tuners use the LG 6th gen technology, no worries. It certainly appears many of them wil be 6th gen tuners.

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post #41 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

First, the coupons will not be released until February 17, 2007 and they allow for mail delivery. Second, they will not give you the coupons until there is a store "nearby" that has the boxes. Third, if all of these tuners use the LG 6th gen technology, no worries. It certainly appears many of them wil be 6th gen tuners.

Well, I hope the Zenith will be out by May. I only want the Zenith. Then you know you got the right chip and that they know how to use it properly.

IB
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post #42 of 2451 Old 12-14-2007, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

First, the coupons will not be released until February 17, 2007...

Shoot, looks like we all missed the boat...

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #43 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

I assume they will connect via S-video or antenna inputs on your TV. For $20 it is a good deal as a back-up unit. I already have full HDTV built into my set, but the tuner chip I have is probably only 3rd generation. It works most of the time, but not all of the time. With a cheap back-up at least I will get a picture and never miss a show, even if it's not HDTV.

The funny/sad fact is that a number of folks will get the box and think they're getting HD.
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post #44 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 07:31 AM
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I think the box with have the lowest cost chip that meets the specification, not necessarily the latest/best chip. So I wouldn't count on it being able to lock onto a signal any better than last year's ATSC-capable TVs.
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post #45 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vman41 View Post

I think the box with have the lowest cost chip that meets the specification, not necessarily the latest/best chip. So I wouldn't count on it being able to lock onto a signal any better than last year's ATSC-capable TVs.

Right. That is why I say stick with the Zenith, because then you know your getting the best chip possible. I am going to apply January 1st and expect and hope the Zenith to be ready by the time the coupons expire.

IB
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post #46 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebenste View Post

... if all of these tuners use the LG 6th gen technology, no worries. It certainly appears many of them wil be 6th gen tuners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vman41 View Post

I think the box with have the lowest cost chip that meets the specification, not necessarily the latest/best chip. So I wouldn't count on it being able to lock onto a signal any better than last year's ATSC-capable TVs.

It would seem the only two ways of knowing for certain which chip is used in each box are: 1) Open up the box (if not factory sealed) and using a magnifying glass write down the text and numbers on the chip. 2) Find a professional review that determines from inside sources which chip is used.

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post #47 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 04:19 PM
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I thought there had to be some kind of income eligibility established to get these coupons. No?
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post #48 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

It would seem the only two ways of knowing for certain which chip is used in each box are: 1) Open up the box (if not factory sealed) and using a magnifying glass write down the text and numbers on the chip. 2) Find a professional review that determines from inside sources which chip is used.

Avio

I'm sure someone around here will have one of these things in hand and opened up within a day or two after they come out.
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post #49 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I thought there had to be some kind of income eligibility established to get these coupons. No?

No - anyone until the first pot of money is empty, then OTA only users for the 2nd pot. No income levels set.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #50 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I thought there had to be some kind of income eligibility established to get these coupons. No?

I've studied much of the available info on the topic and have not seen anything about income eligibility.

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post #51 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

... anyone until the first pot of money is empty, then OTA only users for the 2nd pot. ...

My understanding is that both pots of money are for anyone who has an Analog TV, gets their programing Over-the-Air and does not subscribe to either Cable or Satellite.

For example, I have one HDTV, 2 old Analog TVs and get all my programs OTA using antennas. I do not subscibe to Cable or Satellite. I believe I qualify for two coupons.

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post #52 of 2451 Old 12-15-2007, 06:13 PM
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That was the original intention, but the FCC / NTIA realized that the cable / DBS verification would be almost impossible to verify for everyone. So, every household is eligible for 2 $40 coupons out of the first $900 or so million, then they will try to figure out some way for the remaining.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #53 of 2451 Old 12-16-2007, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

That was the original intention, but the FCC / NTIA realized that the cable / DBS verification would be almost impossible to verify for everyone. So, every household is eligible for 2 $40 coupons out of the first $900 or so million, then they will try to figure out some way for the remaining.

Scooper: Thanks for the clarification.

I reviewed the NTIA web sources and found the point you are making:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NTIA Media Release View Post


Starting Jan. 1, 2008, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two $40 coupons to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes, while the initial $990 million allocated for the program is available.

If the initial funds are used up, the Act permits funding to increase by $510 million, upon certification to Congress that the initial allocated amount is insufficient to fulfill coupon requests. If the additional funds are needed, eligibility for those coupons will be limited exclusively to over-the-air-only television households. Consumers requesting coupons from these contingent funds must self-certify to NTIA that they do not subscribe to cable, satellite or other pay television services. This program is structured to monitor demand to help ensure that over-the-air reliant households will not lose total access to television broadcasts after the Feb. 17, 2009, transition date.

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/pre...ule_031207.htm

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post #54 of 2451 Old 12-16-2007, 12:16 PM
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Not a problem - just trying to clarify the issue so "We" the experts are all singing from the same page when Joe Sixpack asks us about these.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

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post #55 of 2451 Old 12-17-2007, 11:48 AM
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MONSTERS FROM THE ID!

http://www.miamiherald.com/business/...ry/347894.html

Posted on Mon, Dec. 17, 2007

Nation prepares for shift to digital TV

By ROB HOTAKAINEN

In little over a year, more than 20 million homes that rely on antennas for free analog television broadcasting will suddenly go dark. And Sen. Claire McCaskill is already getting nervous.
"There is no anger that comes close to the anger of an American that cannot get television," said the Missouri Democrat.

The federal government is gearing up for Feb. 17, 2009, the day when TV stations will stop broadcasting analog signals, which means that those old rabbit ears and rooftop antennas will no longer work with analog TV sets.
Consumers then will have three options: They can buy new TV sets with digital tuners. They can connect to cable, satellite or pay television services. Or they can buy converter boxes for $60 to $70 that will allow them to receive digital broadcasts with their old analog TVs.
It's a long way off, but Uncle Sam wants you to start planning now.

To prepare for the change, Congress has signed off on a new $1.5 billion subsidy program aimed at making sure the nation's couch potatoes continue to get their viewing needs met. Come January, each U.S. household can apply for two $40 coupons to help buy the converter boxes.
Some members of Congress suggest buying a new TV as a holiday gift for that digitally-out-of-touch special someone in your life.

It's a huge undertaking for the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is preparing to distribute 33.5 million coupons. They'll start mailing them on Feb. 17, 2008, a year before the transition. Washington is eager to spread the message to the elderly and poor people in rural states, who are most likely to be affected.

In 2005, Congress passed the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act Congress, which mandated the switch from analog to digital. After two years of planning, federal officials say they're ready.
"The TV Converter Box Coupon Program is on schedule and will be ready to take consumers' coupon requests starting January 1, 2008, as directed by Congress," Acting NTIA Administrator Meredith Attwell Baker said at a news conference in Washington last week.

So far, eight of the largest consumer electronics retailers - Best Buy, Circuit City, Kmart, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart - have been certified to participate in the "TV Converter Box Coupon Program," along with more than 100 other retailers. They represent more than 14,000 stores throughout the country.

Like most everything on Capitol Hill, the program is kicking up a controversy.
A report released on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office criticized the government's efforts, saying that there's "no comprehensive plan or strategy" for the digital transition and that a majority of Americans have no idea what's coming.

The report cited two recent surveys: The first, conducted by the Association for Public Television Stations, found in September that 51 percent of participants surveyed were unaware that the transition was taking place. The second, which focused on households that primarily receive their television signals over the air and therefore would be most affected by the change, found that 57 percent were unfamiliar with the transition.

The GAO report prompted an immediate rebuke from Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Edward Markey, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.
Unless a comprehensive plan is put into place, Markey said, "tens of millions of consumers could be adversely affected and this important transition put needlessly in jeopardy."

Members of Congress have been sounding the alarm during public hearings at the Capitol.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., expressed fears that "there's a high potential for a train wreck here." Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, worried that many of her constituents along the U.S.-Mexico border would be "looking at a snowy screen" because Mexican stations will continue analog broadcasting.

On the bright side, Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that Americans can expect sharper pictures, crisper sounds and more channels after the transition. But he said he wants to make sure that the government spreads the word to hard-to-reach audiences on a regional basis, not just by relying on a national advertising campaign. "What works in Houston may not work in Honolulu," he said.
Federal officials say they're ready to go with a massive effort that'll include advertising at national events such as the Super Bowl and regional messages aimed at specific media markets. But they say that so far, the media has shown only modest interest in running stories about the upcoming coupon program, and they fear that their message will be even harder to deliver as crunch time comes in late 2008, right as Americans prepare to elect a president.

"I am really worried about this," said McCaskill, who estimates that one of every five Missourians is relying on analog broadcasting.
"Frankly, this scares me politically," she said, adding that it's members of Congress - not federal employees - who'll get blamed if things go wrong: "They're going to call me, and they're going to be mad."

CONVERTER BOX COUPONS

On Jan. 1, households can begin to take advantage of the TV Converter Box Coupon Program. Its aim is to help consumers buy converters that will allow them to use analog television sets to view digital programming.
Between Jan. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, households will be able to request coupons while supplies last in one of four ways:

-Apply online at www.dtv2009.gov. This Web site will be active on Jan. 1.

-Call the Coupon Program 24-hour hotline 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009), TTY 1-877-530-2634

-Mail a coupon application to: P.O. BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000
-Fax a coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)

So far, Best Buy, Circuit City, Kmart, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Sears, Target, Wal-Mart have been certified to participate in the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, along with more than 100 other retailers. There are no income guidelines for eligibility.

The government will begin distributing coupons on Feb. 17, 2008, one year before the transition takes effect.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration

For answers to more of your questions, go to:
http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html#faq1
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post #56 of 2451 Old 12-17-2007, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, worried that many of her constituents along the U.S.-Mexico border would be "looking at a snowy screen" because Mexican stations will continue analog broadcasting.

"snowy screen" would have been a better quote if she was referring to Canadian stations.

Seriously, Sen. Hutchison sounds like she doesn't have a clue.

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #57 of 2451 Old 12-17-2007, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Another Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB):

Sansonic FT300A
http://www.sansonic.net/consumer/atsc_converter.asp



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post #58 of 2451 Old 12-17-2007, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

I wonder if this uses LG's sixth-generation 8-VSB chip.

This LG April 2007 Press Release suggests that they will use the 6th-Gen Chipset in converter boxes:

Quote:


Press Release
LG Electronics USA, Inc.

Release date: April 17, 2007

LG Electronics Launches Sixth-Generation ATSC Digital TV Broadcast Receiver Chipset
http://news.thomasnet.com/companystory/516849

... Digital-to-analog converter boxes planned for introduction next year (for analog TVs to continue to receive free, over-the-air broadcasts after Feb. 17, 2009, when all U.S. broadcasting is digital) also will benefit from the low- cost, high-performance chipset. ...

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post #59 of 2451 Old 12-17-2007, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

Another Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB):

Sansonic FT300A
http://www.sansonic.net/consumer/atsc_converter.asp

Avio

Thanks for the link. I e-mailed them and asked them what brand of tuner chip they used. I also suggested that they make and sell a full HD tuner using the LG chip. With so many companies pumping out these cheap low resolution boxes, can't one company make a full HD tuner using the LG chip? For Pete's sake!

IB
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post #60 of 2451 Old 12-18-2007, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

... With so many companies pumping out these cheap low resolution boxes, can't one company make a full HD tuner using the LG chip? For Pete's sake!

I noticed that Digital Stream offers 4 different models of HDTV STB's. I don't know if they are any good.

Check out this link (scroll down the webpage to see the HD models):

Digital Stream HDTV STB's
http://www.dstreamtech.com/english/p...dvn=PRT0030001

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