Get yer gubment cheese here!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by arceeguy, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    For those of you who don't know, television broadcasters will be ceasing to broadcast in the old NTSC (analog) format on February 17 2009. So if you currently watch "over the air" TV with an antenna, you'll need a new TV with a ATSC (digital) tuner, or purchase a converter box for your old analog TV. Most folks probably pay for their TV reception with cable, or satellite and don't have to worry - or do you? For example, I have an old 12" B&W TV in my workshop that has no cable or satellite receiver attached to it - so I will need to buy a converter box for this 30 year old relic.

    Don't fear though, the government will help you out. Just go to:
    And apply for a coupon that will allow you to get 40 bucks off a qualifying DTV converter box. This typically means an out of pocket cost of about 20-25 bucks. They allow for up to 2 coupons per household, so get 'em while their hot. There are no income restrictions, and you can even have cable or satellite TV. Coupons are good for 90 days after you get them, so don't wait!

  2. kerf

    kerf Guest

    This won't qualify for welfare will it. When I sign up for food stamps on Nov.5, they may ask.
  3. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD Active Member

    Okay RC, I thought it was going to be a political thread, but you got me there. Actually, I took advantage of that offer and the "coupons" actually come in the form of a type of gift card - but only redeemable on the converters. I picked up my converters in early June, but haven't hooked them up yet.
  4. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I called the thread "gubment cheese" because of the give away nature of the program. It looks like it is open to all households, regardless of income - although I suspect it is meant primarily for lower income homes that don't have satellite or cable. At first, I thought I would have no need for the converters - but then again, I didn't want to see the 30+ year old Admiral turn into a paperweight. Since I can't go to the store and buy a small digital TV for $99, I need an adapter. I guess the whole portable TV market is dead now. I have a Sony Watchman that I use occasionally, and I don't think there are any digital pocket TV's made.

    kerf - it isn't welfare, but think of it like an economic "stimulus" package. Think about it, 80 bucks to every household to buy consumer electronics. Maybe time to buy stock in the OEM's that make these converters? I think millions of people that didn't think they would need them will find out that they have one or two TV's that need them. (Like that spare set in my workshop)

    I read that Dish network has a 40 dollar converter, so all you need to do is call them, give them your coupon number and pay shipping. Sweet deal!
  5. az cra-z

    az cra-z Guest

    I really like my DTV converter - better picture, choice of aspect ratio ("letterboxing", etc.), and more channels. I liked those big blocks of "gubmint" cheese, too, so maybe I'm just easy to please. :smile:
  6. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    I bought one box today at walmart.
    After the coupon, I paid 13 bucks and change. They were selling "HDTV" antennas for 30 bucks. No thanks. I found some info on the web on how to build one for a few bucks. It's only a UHF antenna - "HDTV antenna" is a marketing gimmick.

    I can pick up two stations with a total of four channels with a piece of wire hanging from the input. Digital TV is of course "all or nothing" - so you either get a great picture or a "no signal" message. I need to get working on that homemade antenna! Now my old vacuum tube TV has remote control! How cool is that.
  7. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    no big fan of gvt. giveaways, but in my opinion, this is different.

    The gvt. is, by mandating digital broadcasting, making my TVs obsolete before their time. At the same time, the gvt. will be making much more money from the revenues of the freed up bandwidth. Softening the blow by subsidizing part of the cost that they are causing in the first place is not welfare of any kind.

    BTW- Compare carefully- there are feature differences. For instance, the boxes I have allow the TV volume and on/off to be controlled with the box remote- eliminating the need to use a second remote. It also allows changing the aspect ratio with one button on the remote rather than having to access a menu. Finally, if you rotate the antenna for different stations, you want a box that allows stations to be added manually, not just automatic.
  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    The portable TV market is pretty dead right now, possibly because of this digital-only broadcast switchover.

    My friend's grandmother was going to pick one up after the first scare this hurricane season... but when I realized this is the last season the thing will work, I figured a radio must suffice until the market starts getting to work on this problem shortly after the mandatory switch.

    That separate button for the aspect ratio must come in handy. The one for my PVR is so awesome. Now that I have a 1 TB hard drive, this is prolly a good time for me to pick up an HDTV tuner for my computer. Then I'll have 2 analog cable tuners and 1 HDTV OTA tuner to record everything I could possibly want, even the good shows in HD... HD is beautiful!
  9. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I solved my TV concerns in 1969. I quit watching.
  10. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Trust me, you ain't missed anything.
  11. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    Hey I got the coupon and got the converter box..
    Now !!! What they don't tell you !!!
    The picture was *rap !!! And I live in a big Metro Area !!!
    I went to wallmart and bought the $ 20.00 philips DTV rabit ears.
    That made the picture worse.
    I took it back and got the 69.00 DTV set top ant.
    About the same as the 20.00 setup.
    took it back got refund and said the #ELL with it..
    I think to get good reception you need to but a roof top or attic mount ant.
    That cost more then the converter box.
    oh well it dosent matter i dont have a HDTV!!!! and wont buy one until i have too !!!
    The FCC is chomping at the bit to Auction off the old TV freq's. MONEY !!!
  12. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    My reception rocks- perfect- extra channels.

    All you need is a decent UHF antenna.
  13. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    same here. i use my converter box with the ancient bunny ears that had tin foil on em. got soo good of reception that i took the tin foil off. lol i use this on my old beat up 13" out in the shed. i love all the devoted weather channels
  14. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Hah... well, I never watched TV when I was younger because of the number of commercials. Now that my PVR automagically skips thru [almost all] commercials simply from blank scene detection alone... I cut out a third of TV watching right there. I speed up what I do watch by 50%... cutting out an additional fourth of the remaining TV time. So, a typical 30 min show takes about 15 min.

    I never have to work around when a TV show comes on. I typically only "religiously" watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report... but I can watch 30 min daily or about 2 hours on the weekend, whenever I'd like. The only other thing I *have* to watch before it's automatically deleted is all the UFC spin-offs. Good stuff. Other than that, I typically watch sitcoms so that one of my lady friends and I have something to talk about... sitcoms like My Name Is Earl, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The Office, Reno 911!, Chuck, How I Met Your Mother, Pushing Daisies, 30 Rock, etc. Then there's my own personal shows I can't get enough of that most girls (but especially this one) can't relate to... like Cops, South Park, Futurama, Simpsons, MANswers, Cash Cab, Comedy Central Presents, etc.

    TV is great without commercials and sped up. I'm a junkie for good shows, and there's quite a few on if you can manage to play them when you're ready for them.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2008
  15. eltatertoto

    eltatertoto Guest

    sparky, me and you watch almost all of the same shows. except i have a tivo brand dvr lol
  16. kerf

    kerf Guest

    What, no Special Report with Brit Hume?
  17. Pablo

    Pablo Motored Bikes Sponsor

  18. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    And 401k's have what to do with this thread?
  19. will_start

    will_start Member

    as long as they have a pron channel I'm happy.
  20. HoughMade

    HoughMade Guest

    I gotta say- in the Chicago area- 26-2 and 26-3 (MeTV and MeToo) get about 75% of my viewing. **** Van Dyke, Happy Days, Good Times, Sanford and Son, Batman, the Green Hornet, Dragnet, T.J. Hooker, Hawaii 5-0, and on and on.

    Another 10% goes to 5-3 which in NBC Universal Sports.


    Wait- you're kidding me- a diminutive for "Richard" gets automatically edited? Guys- if other want to be vulgar, doesn't mean we have to acknowledge it.