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Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB)

Whidbey's Avatar Whidbey
11:44 AM Liked: 10
post #61 of 2484
12-18-2007 | Posts: 888
Joined: Feb 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

I noticed that Digital Stream offers 4 different models of HDTV STB's.

Odd that they offer so many models. Seems pointless. One would think one coupon box and one HDMI box would be sufficient.
inky blacks's Avatar inky blacks
08:56 PM Liked: 10
post #62 of 2484
12-18-2007 | Posts: 2,794
Joined: May 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

I noticed that Digital Stream offers 4 different models of HDTV STB's.

http://www.dstreamtech.com/english/p...dvn=PRT0030001

Avio

This one says "Enjoy HD Digital TV with low cast" Do you think they mean *low cost*?

http://www.dstreamtech.com/english/p...ail.asp?idx=28

PS Has anyone heard of this company before today? Should you buy a product from a no-name company? Can you even buy them in the USA now?

IB
Scooper's Avatar Scooper
09:37 PM Liked: 17
post #63 of 2484
12-18-2007 | Posts: 5,067
Joined: Nov 2000
I'm not going to be looking for brand so much as "Are they available ?" - My feeling is that the performance on all of them will be pretty similar. Minor differences in the menues.
vman41's Avatar vman41
05:25 AM Liked: 10
post #64 of 2484
12-19-2007 | Posts: 455
Joined: Jun 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooper View Post

I'm not going to be looking for brand so much as "Are they available ?" - My feeling is that the performance on all of them will be pretty similar. Minor differences in the menues.

I wish they would compete on the menu interface, there's quite a lot of room differentiation. Setup and useful signal strength meters are the most useful. If it has EPG, you don't want an inadvertant button press to freeze the box for 2 minutes while it's scanning the channels for the PSIP data.

On the hardware side, it would be nice if there were models with switched outlets that let the box power off the TV as well.
bigb512's Avatar bigb512
04:33 PM Liked: 10
post #65 of 2484
12-19-2007 | Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2007
I've seen another box. seems to be in a crowded competition
bigb512's Avatar bigb512
04:49 PM Liked: 10
post #66 of 2484
12-19-2007 | Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2007
MaxMedia MMDTVB03

ATSC Digital Television Receiver (NTIA certified coupon eligible)



http://maxmedia-usa.com/index.php?op...d=14&Itemid=27

Many boxes to choose from. I will definitely pick one that has best features.
inky blacks's Avatar inky blacks
11:16 AM Liked: 10
post #67 of 2484
12-20-2007 | Posts: 2,794
Joined: May 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigb512 View Post

MaxMedia MMDTVB03

Many boxes to choose from. I will definitely pick one that has best features.

I would say that is a suicidal attitude. You need to pick the one that gets good reception! If you do not get reception, then what good are the features? I would say get the Zenith or a box that also uses the 6th generation LG tuner chip and that has gotten good reviews by experts. Some companies may use the LG chip but screw up the design by not providing a good front end for the chip. The chips won;t work right if companies do not make the rest of the components correctly. That is why so many of those tiny computer tuners are not worth beans.

IB
Whidbey's Avatar Whidbey
11:41 AM Liked: 10
post #68 of 2484
12-20-2007 | Posts: 888
Joined: Feb 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigb512 View Post

Many boxes to choose from. I will definitely pick one that has best features.

Good reception counts as a feature, though I wonder how many stores will be set up so you can compare. Probably NONE!

Most people will probably just choose the one that's the prettiest. I could care less what chip it has, as long as it receives as well as my Samsung DTB-H260F I'll be happy. None so far are as pretty as my 260 though. Gotta wonder if Samsung will offer a coupon box that looks just like the 260, that would be nice. S-Video out would be nice too.
Avio's Avatar Avio
01:06 PM Liked: 10
post #69 of 2484
12-21-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:


Press Release

Microtune's 3-in-1 Tuner Featured in DTV Converter Box Certified by NTIA

First Silicon TV Tuner Chip Deployed in NTIA-Certified Set-Top
Targeted for U.S. Coupon-Eligible Converter Box Program

PLANO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 13, 2007--Microtune(R), Inc. (NASDAQ: TUNE) today announced that its 3-in-1 TV tuner was deployed in a digital television (DTV) converter set-top box approved by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for the $1 billion coupon-eligible converter box program (CECB) targeted to American consumers.

The recently certified set-top box contained the MicroTuner(TM) MT2131, the company's flagship high-performance, multi-standard miniature tuner chip. Certification is an essential step for customers in qualifying their digital-to-analog converter boxes for sale under the CECB initiative, and NTIA approval means that manufacturers can move their products into production for an early 2008 rollout. ...

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....7155&highlight

MT2131 SINGLE-CHIP TERRESTRIAL TUNER: PRODUCT BRIEF
http://www.microtune.com/products/pdf/mt2131_11.pdf

Microtune's TV Tuners Enable Worldwide Digital TV Transition
http://www.microtune.com/

Avio
xoco's Avatar xoco
01:47 PM Liked: 10
post #70 of 2484
12-21-2007 | Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2002
can't post the direct link, but there's a banner at the top of the Zenith page
Avio's Avatar Avio
03:47 PM Liked: 10
post #71 of 2484
12-21-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoco View Post

can't post the direct link, but there's a banner at the top of the Zenith page

Thanks for the heads-up.

Here's the new link to additional info for the Zenith DTT900:

http://www.zenith.com/dtv/dtt900.html

EDIT: Info is very basic. Designed for "Grandma."

2 PDF downloads available: Spec Sheet and Quick Start Guide.
Again very basic.

Remote Pictured. No S-Video Out on unit.



Avio
Scooper's Avatar Scooper
04:19 PM Liked: 17
post #72 of 2484
12-21-2007 | Posts: 5,067
Joined: Nov 2000
That's a pretty basic remote, alright

The setup instructions are pretty basic too. Looks pretty grandme proof to me. (assuming Grandma's antenna will receive the local stations).
Whidbey's Avatar Whidbey
11:46 AM Liked: 10
post #73 of 2484
12-22-2007 | Posts: 888
Joined: Feb 2005
Being an owner of the Samsung DTB-H260F, that "Zoom" button on the remote scares me. Could mean lots of things.
Avio's Avatar Avio
12:07 PM Liked: 10
post #74 of 2484
12-22-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

Being an owner of the Samsung DTB-H260F, that "Zoom" button on the remote scares me. Could mean lots of things.

The Spec Sheet says:

Video: 480i
Aspect Ratio: 4 Modes

Perhaps the 4 modes are: 4:3, 16:9, Stretch-A-Vision Wide, Stretch-A-Vision Tall.

Some of the choices could look like crap.

Avio
Avio's Avatar Avio
11:11 AM Liked: 10
post #75 of 2484
12-23-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:


NTIA To Mail DTV Coupons February 17, 2008

By Greg Tarr -- TWICE, 12/17/2007

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said last Tuesday it will begin mailing out digital TV converter box coupons to consumers who have applied for them, beginning on Feb. 17, 2008.

The administration will begin accepting applications for the coupons on Jan. 1, 2008 through March 31, 2009. Consumers can apply for coupons by calling 1-888-DTV-2009, or by registering online at www.dtv2009.gov ...

[MORE]

http://www.twice.com/article/CA6513248.html

Avio
Avio's Avatar Avio
02:31 PM Liked: 10
post #76 of 2484
12-26-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:


Business Wire Press Release:

Auvitek's AU8515 Demodulation and Channel-Decoding IC Powers Sansonic's NTIA-Certified ATSC Set-Top Boxes

December 26, 2007 09:42 AM Eastern Time

2008 International CES
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Auvitek International Ltd. (Auvitek), a leading supplier of high-performance digital television receiver solutions, today announced that two of Sansonic's AU8515-based Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes (CECBs) designed by Falcon Digital have been formally certified by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) as passing the most stringent standards for ATSC reception.

The Sansonic FT-300A and the Sansonic FT-300RT CECBs, designed around Auvitek's market leading AU8515 ATSC demodulation and channel-decoding IC, are the first in a number of models from Sansonic expected to receive formal approval from the NTIA, and will be available at major retail outlets in the US from Q1 2008.

The NTIA is certifying converter boxes that meet a stringent set of performance criteria, making them eligible for purchase using the $40 retail credit vouchers being offered by the US government as part of the upcoming transition from analog to digital broadcast television. The coupon program begins on January 1, 2008, and it is estimated that as many as 40 million NTIA certified CECBs will be sold at retail in the US during the 18 month period over which the coupon program operates. The government funded DTV Coupon Program is intended to offset much of the cost associated with ensuring the estimated 23 million US households that today rely solely on analog television reception will be able to receive digital broadcast programming using their existing analog TV sets when the analog broadcasts end in the US on February 17th, 2009.

The NTIA ATSC receiver performance specifications are very challenging, and designing the Sansonic CECBs around the AU8515 was the only way we could guarantee surpassing the NTIA requirement, noted Jun Liaw, CEO of Falcon Digital, the design and manufacturing company behind the Sansonic brand. Working closely with the Auvitek team, our engineers developed and tested the platform over a 12 month period. Field tests throughout the United States have demonstrated that we consistently outperform other digital receiver solutions available today.

Auvitek's patented and proprietary FADETM architecture is setting new standards for performance metrics in digital television reception, said Auvitek President and CEO Pete Birch. We are able to provide our customers consistent, quality signal reception in even the most difficult broadcast reception environments. Our CECB reference design is guaranteed NTIA-certifiable, and we are very pleased to have worked with Falcon to be one of the few companies able to deliver products to assist in the digital transition.

The Auvitek AU85xx family of ATSC demodulator solutions is shipping today in a wide range of end products for both the consumer electronic and personal computer markets, including IP-STBs, digital TVs, PCI cards, and USB TV sticks. ...

[MORE]

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/s...64&newsLang=en

Avio
ReplayJanitor's Avatar ReplayJanitor
05:15 PM Liked: 11
post #77 of 2484
12-26-2007 | Posts: 1,088
Joined: Dec 2002
The chips in some of those boxes will have QAM and even NTSC tuning, but the boxes obviously will not have that feature activated on the front end. What are the chances that the firmware will be hacked to make these boxes tune into unencrypted cable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

The Spec Sheet says:

Video: 480i
Aspect Ratio: 4 Modes

Perhaps the 4 modes are: 4:3, 16:9, Stretch-A-Vision Wide, Stretch-A-Vision Tall.

Some of the choices could look like crap.

Avio

If you look at the quick start, the setup asks for TV aspect ratio. Default setting is "Normal TV 4:3". It's surprising to me that they'd even have a setting for a widescreen TV 16:9. That's kind of nice, but who will ever have use for the 16:9 setting?

The zoom will probably work differently according to that aspect ratio setting. On the 4:3 setting, I'm guessing the 4 modes when viewing a 16:9 program are regular (letterbox?), center-cut, side-stretch, 2x.
Avio's Avatar Avio
06:34 PM Liked: 10
post #78 of 2484
12-26-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReplayJanitor View Post

The chips in some of those boxes will have QAM and even NTSC tuning, but the boxes obviously will not have that feature activated on the front end. What are the chances that the firmware will be hacked to make these boxes tune into unencrypted cable? ...

The Digital Stream SDTV-SX300 says on it's website that it is a, "cable clear QAM receiver." Presumably, it does clear QAM out of the box, without a hack.

Info, Features & Specs for the DigitalSTREAM D2A1D10 [SDTV-SX300]
http://www.dstreamtech.com/english/p...ail.asp?idx=29

At this point in time, who cares about NTSC tuning? It's about to drop dead.

Avio
Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski
03:08 AM Liked: 20
post #79 of 2484
12-27-2007 | Posts: 17,437
Joined: Sep 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

At this point in time, who cares about NTSC tuning? It's about to drop dead.

Well, there's the people who depend on an analog cable host channel for their TVGOS data, for one.

Then there's the ones who are perfectly happy with the analog tier that their cable company still has, and will possibly have for quite awhile in certain areas, who want both the QAM and NTSC tuners incorporated into one box, and who don't want to pay to rent one every month.

Cable companies have to at least keep the locals around in analog 'till 2012, and I'd think that plenty of NTSC tuners are going to be used until then, especially on TV's in rooms other than the main one.

So I'm sure there are many people who still care about NTSC tuning, generally speaking.

The 2009 analog cutoff date only applies to OTA, remember.
ekb's Avatar ekb
11:05 AM Liked: 12
post #80 of 2484
12-27-2007 | Posts: 4,186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Cable companies have to at least keep the locals around in analog 'till 2012,

I guess I missed this. Is this a new law?

Ed
hendermd's Avatar hendermd
02:47 PM Liked: 10
post #81 of 2484
12-27-2007 | Posts: 58
Joined: Jul 2007
http://www.broadcastlawblog.com/arch...greements.html
Quote:


First, for a period of at least three years after the February 17, 2009 transition from analog to digital broadcasting, cable operators will be required to make the signals of local broadcast stations available to all of their subscribers by either: (1) carrying the television station's digital signal in an analog format, or (2) carrying the signal only in digital format, provided that all subscribers have the necessary equipment to view the broadcast content. This rule reflects a compromise position offered by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and is regarded as less burdensome on cable systems then the FCC's original proposal of an indefinite analog carriage obligation.


Rammitinski's Avatar Rammitinski
11:33 PM Liked: 20
post #82 of 2484
12-27-2007 | Posts: 17,437
Joined: Sep 2005
That's right, I forgot about that. If they supply the box, they can just send you the digitals. It doesn't say if they can charge for it or not (not sure about that), but I know they have been offering the box free for at least a temporary period in some areas already.

I imagine then that some areas may keep the analog locals around to the end, while others won't.
biker19's Avatar biker19
08:15 AM Liked: 11
post #83 of 2484
12-28-2007 | Posts: 3,696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReplayJanitor View Post

That's kind of nice, but who will ever have use for the 16:9 setting?

.

Older HD/ED 16:9 monitors without a tuner.
Avio's Avatar Avio
12:43 PM Liked: 10
post #84 of 2484
12-29-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Converter-Box-Coupon Czar: Q&A with NTIA’s Baker

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/29/2007 11:00:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Broadcasting & Cable website View Post

...

Q: Since participation by retailers is voluntary, are you concerned that there will be converter boxes available by Feb. 17 [2008]?

A: We have had extensive conversations with retailers, and we are comfortable with the date of Feb. 17. ...

Read the whole Q&A:
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...dustryid=47174

Avio
sadlerjon's Avatar sadlerjon
06:53 AM Liked: 10
post #85 of 2484
12-31-2007 | Posts: 1
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avio View Post

The Digital Stream SDTV-SX300 says on it's website that it is a, "cable clear QAM receiver." Presumably, it does clear QAM out of the box, without a hack.

I'm curious to know if any of these boxes have exposed a BT601 or BT656 bus in them... They may be a really inexpensive way to get SDI output...
Avio's Avatar Avio
10:06 AM Liked: 10
post #86 of 2484
12-31-2007 | Posts: 826
Joined: Mar 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadlerjon View Post

I'm curious to know if any of these boxes have exposed a BT601 or BT656 bus in them... They may be a really inexpensive way to get SDI output...

We'll just have to wait and see.

I note the following statements in the Wiki "Serial Digital Interface" article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Digital_Interface

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia.org View Post

... SDI and HD-SDI are currently only available in professional video equipment; various licensing agreements, restricting the use of unencrypted digital interfaces to professional equipment, prohibit their use in consumer equipment. There are various mod kits for existing DVD players and other devices, which allow a user to add a serial digital interface to these devices. ...

Avio
Axatax's Avatar Axatax
05:49 PM Liked: 10
post #87 of 2484
12-31-2007 | Posts: 1,617
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What are these "converter boxes", ATSC OTA tuners? No component, or DVI/HDMI? Firewire?
Scooper's Avatar Scooper
05:59 PM Liked: 17
post #88 of 2484
12-31-2007 | Posts: 5,067
Joined: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axatax View Post

What are these "converter boxes", ATSC OTA tuners? No component, or DVI/HDMI? Firewire?

Exactly - External ATSC tuners intended to allow older, analog TV's reception of OTA programming after Feb 17, 2009.
Allowed outputs - RF modulator, RCA audio L/R out, Composite video out, and S-Video out. You can count on the RF modulator, audio, and composite video as required outputs.
Not allowed outputs - anything else - no component, DVI, HDMI, TOSLINK, SDI, digital coax audio . No firewire either.
madlobster's Avatar madlobster
10:00 PM Liked: 10
post #89 of 2484
12-31-2007 | Posts: 38
Joined: Jun 2006
https://www.dtv2009.gov/ is up now. It appears that you can apply for a coupon at this time.
BenCJedi's Avatar BenCJedi
11:07 PM Liked: 11
post #90 of 2484
12-31-2007 | Posts: 1,143
Joined: Jun 2001
I applied for my coupons at 12:27AM EST just after watching Dick Clark in NYC at Times Square for the 2008 ball drop and to my dismay the confirmation date on my request shows 12/31/2007. I am worried that my application will be denied because their server is not running on EST. I sent email/left voicemail to person listed here: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon/contact.html inquiring about the validity of my request. Does anyone know if https://www.dtv2009.gov/ was up on 12/31/2007 and if the coupon request page was active? Maybe I am OK with my submission?

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