Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Digital Converter Box

So, I finally got mine today and got it installed in a matter of minutes. There is really nothing to it; it's just like hooking-up a VCR or DVD player using a coaxial cable. The problem is that it isn't very good about picking-up channels.

Granted, it gets several more than anyone ever got through analog TV (without cable/satellite), but just barely. For the most part, they are superfluous. For example, I get two ABC affiliates and both have their own weather channels.

Furthermore, it is extremely sensitive - I mean unbelievably so:

We have to screw in the lightbulbs in one room because the chain broke on the ceiling fan. One lightbulb was seated loosely and flickered erratically, and we noticed everytime the bulb worked, the TV went out! No kidding! We actually had to unseat it completely to get the TV to work! It is that sensitive.

There are all sorts of trees, including one right on top of the antenna, so that is definitely a factor. We are going to cut them back some this week... somehow. Still, it is so sensitive that it's really just this side of unmanageable. Channels come in and go out seemingly at random, because we have tried all sorts of things to duplicate the issues we've been having, and we can never seem to get it to duplicate the problem(s).

If we turn the antenna one way (physically - that is, by going outside and turning it with our hands), we get a slew of channels; if we turn it the other way, we get a handful of different channels; but no matter what we do, we can't get all the major networks in one direction or another. We have to decide between two ABC affiliates and two Fox affiliates or CW, two ABC channels, and UPN. That is, when there is something on one channel we want to see, we are going to have to go outside and physically twist the antenna in order to view it.

All in all, it's definitely a mixed bag. I suggest selecting a satellite provider. The $20-30/month you spend (for the basic package) is worth it. Of course, the signals will get stronger over time and I am dealing with issues specific to my location, so take it for what it's worth.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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