DTVpal Converter Box digital "pass through" question - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 11-18-2019, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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DTVpal Converter Box digital "pass through" question

I have an early model RCA HD tv (720p) in a spare bedroom. This tv's built-in tuning and channel functions are very primitive, almost useless. The TV is only hooked up to a digital antenna, for OTA, and I get about 25 local channels. I also have a DTVpal digital-to-analog converter box, left over from use with my old analog tv. This converter box displays a REALLY NICE channel & program listing on-screen when used with a digital OTA antenna. The DTVpal device's channel & program guide displays on my RCA HD tv but, unfortunately, I have not been able to figure out a way to get or set the converter box to "pass through" the digital channels' video images WITHOUT converting them to analog images on my RCA HD tv, which look terrible (i.e., analog). Anybody know of a way to set a DTVpal converter box so it passes through the digital channel signals to the tv without conversion to analog images? I have the owner's manual for the device but it is moot on this point. Here's a photo of what the channel and program guide looked like on my old analog tv.
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post #2 of 3 Old 11-19-2019, 09:52 AM
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Converter boxes of this type are intended to convert digital TV signals to analog. But I take it you're just trying to use it for the EPG.

The DTVPal has a function called "analog pass-through," which is actually RF pass-through, so it will pass RF digital signals through in this mode as well as analog ones. But the pass-through function is largely useless as the box's own outputs are shut off in this mode. It's basically the same as turning the box off!

A better solution would be to split the signal from the antenna with an RF splitter; send half to your TV's coax input and the other half to your DTVPal CECB. Then send the composite outputs to your TV's composite input. You'd have to switch inputs to use it this way: "TV" mode to watch TV in HD using your set's tuner, and "video" mode (or whatever the RCA calls the composite inputs) to view the DTVPal's outputs so you could see the EPG.

Unfortunately there is no way to use the DTVPal CECB to tune your TV to different channels unless you're willing to watch them in SD. It simply has no HD outputs. (They weren't allowed by the government coupon program.) Even the RF output is just an analog signal on RF 3 or 4, unless you turn the box off.

BTW, the DTVPal DVR would do what you want, since it does have HD outputs (component and HDMI). You might be able to find one on eBay, but it'd be considerably more expensive than the CECB.

There are also a lot of cheap "converter boxes" on sale today that have HD outputs. Most of them have a poor EPG though. One exception is the Channel Master CM-7004, which has an HDMI output and a grid-style EPG similar to the DTVPal CECB. It's usually expensive ($89), but if you're lucky CM might have it on sale on Black Friday, Nov. 29.
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post #3 of 3 Old 11-19-2019, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your detailed and helpful reply, and the effort expended to write it.


I hooked up the RF splitter and composite video configuration. The good news: It does allow for both the EPG (converter box) and the HD (digital antenna) channel signals to get to the RCA TV. The bad news: Having to use two remotes as well as switching back and forth from"VID" input to digital "ANT" input makes the set up way too unwieldy and inconvenient (to say the least) for the user/TV viewer......and the fact that the EPG and converter box's remote still cannot be used to change the digital channels. So, I think this configuration is just not workable.


However, I did find that, for some reason, using a composite video cable instead of a coaxial cable for the connection between the converter box and the TV produced a far superior analog image on the HD TV. Not HD but still very good quality. What's best of all is that the connection allows for singular use of the converter, the EPG screen, and the converter remote to watch and change all channels from the EPG. Thanks again. I would not have figured this out without your post.
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