WMAR-TV Tests DTV Converter

Roving reporter finds subjectivity in ease of use…
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John Matarese of WMAR-TV in Baltimore, Md., filed a nuts-and-bolts account of buying and installing a digital-to-analog converter box. The devices are the object of a federally subsidized coupon program to keep analog TVs working after the Feb. 17, 2009 analog end date.

Matarese scooted down to his local Radio Shack and bought a $60 converter with a remote control.

“That’s right,” he wrote, “your old TV remote will be worthless because the converter will now change channels.”

Matarese also said the instructions were more complicated than he anticipated, but once past the V-chip business, they were “fairly straightforward.”

He goes on to correctly observe that A) the converter does not make a regular TV into an HDTV, B) people who normally had a fuzzy picture may need a roof antenna, C) two of the government’s $40 coupons can’t be used for one box; and D) those with cable and satellite will continue to get analog signals for five years.

Matarese’s report is available here.