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Lasonic LTA-260 CECB Review - Solid Pick

The Lasonic LTA-260 is no slouch in the CECB market place. This box had been around for a while and has stood up to many consumer reviews. The feature set is quite impressive.

It sets up easily and includes auto scan for channel selection. In addition, it also handles manual channel additions nicely. This is a very important feature, especially for those people using this converter box with an antenna rotor.

It's attractively priced, especially when you consider the government rebate coupon discount. Has an on screen signal strength meter (another nice feature), and is one of the few boxes that allow you to change the size and style of font used for closed captioning.

Only a couple of dings to report; There is no analog pass-thru feature but this can be accomplished by turning the unit off and manually tuning the TV to the desired station. A lot of hype has been made about having this feature, but in my opinion, I think a lot has been made about nothing - this is a minor feature.

Two other cons: the electronic program guide (EPG) lacks more detailed information, and the remote control is not a universal version and has small buttons. Not the easiest for users with sight impairments.

However, the main reason for buying this box is the quality of the picture and sound outputs. This box is a top ranker. Picture quality is at the top of the list, especially if you connect this unit to your TV using the RCA component outputs, and let's face it, output quality is by far the
most important feature. This box is a solid pick!

Lasonic LTA-260 ATSC Digital to Analog TV Converter Box

Digital TV Surfing Slow as Hell

Don't blame that box for the fact that you can't channel surf at a decent speed...

This is a limitation imposed by digital broadcast technology. Gone are the days when you can just click away and surf the channels as fast as you can press the buttons on your remote.

Channel latency - also known as zap time is the total time it takes from the moment the viewer presses the channel change button, to the point where the picture of the new channel is displayed and the sound is activated. These kinds of delays exist in all television systems, but they are much greater in digital television broadcasts and it takes a lot longer to view the channel you just surfed to.

You may recall from the Questions page that digital TV can recover from small pieces of missing or garbled signals and guess what the missing pieces are. This is done through buffering and codec factoring. To accomplish this feat, your set must sample a bit of the digital signal, decode it, verify it's accuracy and if necessary, correct the signal, and then display it on the screen and send the audio portion to your speakers. There's a lot going on here and it takes some time to do all these things.

There is no way around this (at this point in time) and it's one of the trade-offs to digital broadcasting. Frustrating - yes! My advice: Accept, Adapt, Adjust.

BTW, this is yet another reason to pick a box that has an exceptional EPG (electronic program guide). Reduce the need to surf by knowing which program you want to watch and surfing directly to that channel. The Lasonic LTA-260 is a good choice for this feature - provides you with a description of upcoming shows for all channels over the next few hours.