Compare and Review Digital TV Equipment Ratings

Antennas Direct DB2 HDTV Antenna Review

This antenna was originally designed for outdoor use and it looks that way. However, there's no reason why this can't be placed in an attic or behind the television set. You may even want to place it in open view if your decor has that retro industrial look.

image antennas direct db2 multi directional hdtv antenna
The range of this puppy is up to 30 miles and is considered a multi-directional unit. That means that it can pull in signals for different directions at the same time. It's nominal size means it doesn't require a special site. However, as with all antennas, the higher the better - and the fewer obstacles around is better yet.

One final note, due to it's design, this antenna is best suited for receiving UHF channels (14-69). If a good share of the channels in your area are VHF, you might want to consider the Winegard Platinum Series High Definition Antenna. But be aware that the Winegard is strictly an outdoor model.

Antennas Direct DB-2 Multi Directional HDTV Antenna

Channel Master CM-7000 Review - The Ugly Duckling

The first thing you're going to notice about the Channel Master CM-7000 is its looks. Not the prettiest girl at the dance but I'm so sick of buying products that look great and work like "crap". This bad boy might have a black eye, but performs like the heavyweight champ it is.

The box has a METAL case!! Yes, metal!! Hard to believe in this day of plastic composites, but it's true. It's also a Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB) so you can use those rebate coupons to sweeten the deal. Don't have a coupon? Too late to get one? Spent your coupon on some other peace of junk? Well, you would be hard pressed to find a box better than this one even if you do have to pay full price for it.

Picture quality has been rated as "Best" by a popular consumer rating group
and by real life consumers. This unit comes equipped with an Auto-Off feature that's factory set to 'Off' so you won't think the box quite working on you. You will need to deliberately set this feature to 'On'. You'll also find an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that displays 12 hours of programming - oddly for only one station at a time, but 12 hours is fantastic for those channels you do frequent.

One of the BEST and most unique features of this box (and why I feel it ranks as "One of the Best") is the
Auto Channel Update. By initiating this feature, you can "Update" the channel selections to include any new channels the box has discovered. This is an absolute MUST HAVE feature for anyone in a rural location or those folks using an antenna rotor. All the other boxes on the market make you start over with an Auto Scan. This wipes out the channels already in memory and refreshes them with whatever the box newly discovers. Remember that DTV signals tend to travel in straight lines... So if you pointed your antenna in one direction and did an auto scan, then turned the antenna to another position in the sky and did another auto scan, the stations found during the first scan would most likely not be found on the second scan. See where I'm going here? Your box would only retain the signals found during the last scan. To be fair, there are a few boxes that allow you to do manual adds to the channel directory, but you would have to KNOW the channel you want to add.

With the Update feature, the Channel Master CM-7000 will ADD those new channels found and not eliminate those from the first scan. This is THE BOX if you plan to use a rotor.

Ok, so those are the beauty marks - how about the warts?

First off, there's no analog pass-thru but as I've pointed out in other reviews, I don't find this to be a real serious drawback because you can imitate this feature by turning the box off and manually tuning the TV to the low powered station. Secondly, the font used for closed captioning is small - tiny actually and there's no way to change or over-ride this. And finally, the remote is not a universal version, although the buttons do function well and provide good tactile feedback.

All-in-all, I consider this box one of the best on the market. Sure it looks utilitarian in nature, but WOW - it's about time a product appears like it can do the job instead of just looking pretty, right? Don't let this one pass you by.

Channel Master CM7000 ATSC Digital Converter Box CM7000

Zenith DTT901 Review - a Worthy DTV (CECB) Choice

Wanting to use those government rebate coupons on a good box? The Zenith DTT901 is a solid choice and ranks well with consumers. Not all boxes can make this claim but the Zenith is a safe bet.

This unit is easy to set up, has a high sensitivity to digital signals and locks on to them quite well. This set connects to you television thru coaxial cable or composite (RCA) connectors. For the best picture quality be sure to use the composite connectors if you can. Coaxial output is substandard to that of the RCA connections.

This device also has built-in volume control and the remote control (although not a true universal version) can be used to power your TV on and off.

image of zenith dtt901 converter box
This box suffers from a couple of shortcomings however. One is a very short power cord and another is that the electronic program guide (EPG) is very rudimentary. You only have access to the current and next program listing. Other units reviewed here do a much better job in this category.

One really nice feature of this box is the way it handles digital sub-stations. Hitting the "4" key on the remote provides a pop-up menu where you can choose the sub-channel you want to watch(ex: 21.1,21.2, 21.3, etc).

The remote has one other annoyance - it's buttons are very small. If you have vision problems or as in my case, really big fingers - this remote will frustrate you. However, if your main interest is in getting a good quality box that does a decent job of converting those new digital signals into an analog version your current TV set can use, AND you want to use the rebate coupon, this is a TV converter box you should consider.

Zenith DTT901 Digital TV Tuner Converter Box

Solid Performer Philco TB100HH9 Review

The Philco TB100HH9 is a solid performer and has been around for a long time. This longevity is testament to its quality and feature set.

This box gets great marks for its inexpensive cost - especially if you use your government rebate coupon. This is a good solid box that qualifies as a Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB). It's relatively easy to setup, however you must be sure to pay attention to the directions and follow them. The directions will guide you through the steps and show you the little features that make this box shine. A few minutes spent reading will pay off in dividends down the road.

image of philco cecb
Other features include a signal strength meter. Use this meter to adjust your antenna for maximum performance.

This box also has analog passthru so you can receive those low power public service stations.

About the only downside is the remote control. Its buttons are soft and mushy feeling with little tactile feedback. The remote is necessary for the operation of this unit as there are no buttons on the main box so if you lose the remote, you will be out one converter box. If you have a
universal remote, program it to operate the box and stash the included remote away.

Aside from the remote, this unit performs very well. Its picture quality is great and the signal strength meter make this a good investment.

Philco TB100HH9 Digital to Analog TV Converter Box

Highly Rated, Positive Reviews Tivax T8 Converter

This is my favorite converter box and the one I recommend to everyone!! It's a successor to the Tivax T9 model. You would think that with the model number, it would be just the opposite - but not true.

This unit has all the features one could ask for. Like the ability to display all 18 ATSC formats, Stereo Audio, Closed Captioning, Parental Control, Smart Antenna Interface, Multi Language, Sleep Timer, Analog Pass-Thru, Auto Scan, and Manual Tuning. About the only thing to make this unit absolute top shelf would be if the included Remote Control was a universal model. But for all it's other features, I can give this one a break.
image of tivax model t8 converter box

This great feature set made this box very hard to find. If you wanted one, you had to be put on a waiting list... Not any longer. These units are now available in good quantities. Scoop this one up; You won't be sorry.

Tivax STB-T8 Digital to Analog TV Converter Box

RCA DTA800 - Wal Mart's ONLY TV Converter Box

image of rca dta800b converter box

RCA's DTA800 converter box isn't the only converter box available...

However, it's the only one most big box stores carry. So a lot of people will buy this digitial tv converter box because it's there. Which isn't bad, because the RCA DTA800 has analog passthru although it lacks a universal remote control such as the
Insignia NS-DXA1.

Apex DT502 Reviews - WTF (What's the Fuss)?

Lot of buzz about the Apex DT502 and even more confusion about its brother the Apex DT-250.

I don't understand what all the fuss is about. The DT-250 has gotten some pretty poor ratings; Mostly for lack of analog pass-thru and just a regular remote control instead of the more desirable universal remote. Also gets poor marks for the picture quality of standard definition television - HD reception is good however. One last ding for this unit is that it's no longer available so maybe that's a good thing.

The DT502 (too easily confused with DT-250 - why model numbers are so close is beyond me) is a step above in picture quality over its predecessor but suffers from the same remote control issues. This unit has a software update but that update prohibits the manual addition of a station. If you plan to use a rotor, this updated box will cause you headaches. and lastly, it's no longer available at most retailers as well so again, this is a good thing.

Wide range of CECB boxes available

There are plenty of TV converter boxes to be had. Lots of manufacturers - tons of models. Some good, some not so good. This blog will answer the question: which tv converter box is the best.

Find reviews and recommendations here to help guide you through this new technology and locate the Best TV Converter Box.