Columnist Compares DTV Converter Box Reception With Analog Service

Columnist Michael Himowitz has written several interesting articles on the DTV conversion. This week in his article Converter test has mixed results Himowitz compared reception using a Best Buy Insigna converter box with several analog TV receivers.

He notes that analog reception varies from TV set to TV set, but concludes, “The more channels you receive today by antenna, the more likely you are to be disappointed—or hopping mad—when the broadcasters turn off those analog transmitters. This is particularly true if you watch sports or news on distant channels.”

For his tests, Himowitz used a $19 RCA antenna with rabbit ears for VHF and a loop for UHF.

Read Himowitz’s article for information on digital and analog reception of specific stations in the Baltimore/Washington area. While he wasn’t able to receive digital transmissions from all of the analog stations he could receive, he says that in almost every case the DTV converter box provided a sharper picture, and notes that some stations were broadcasting multiple channels. He complained, however, that with the exception of Maryland Public TV, most broadcasters were using the extra channels for all-weather channels or reruns.

Himowitz cautions that the situation is likely to change in February when some stations will be changing channels antenna or power levels.

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Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.