Digital TV Conversion

All things outside of Burning Man.

Postby gyre » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:44 am

Today is the last day of the coupon program, so if you have any of the last coupons, this is probably the last day to use them.
It is also getting hard to find the boxes at all and hidef boxes aren't common either.
So you may want to buy retail, if you think you may need a box.
The Tivax is still available and the Artec for 12 volt use.

I found a box that has not been heavily marketed and may be available for some time.
It is the TRT 2009.
It is only available from the factory or Wahoo Tech.
It is supposed to have a front display, an unheard of feature.
There are no reviews.
I talked to a tech who told me it is comparable to the Channelmaster, maybe the best box, but has a more basic on screen display.
It is made in california of imported parts.
It also has S-video out, a rare feature, and a 7 day epg (program guide).
http://www.trtinfo.com/Portals/27/image ... B_2009.pdf
This picture may be accurate.
http://www.ezdigitaltv.com/TRT_TACB-2009.html
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News- Availability of the Artec Pro 12 VDC unit

Postby gyre » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:36 pm

http://www.dtvboxanswers.com/
These folks have the Tivax in stock at a good price and the Artec Pro.
The Artec is 12vdc and the Pro has buttons on top.
This is the only place to get the Pro currently.
They don't have many.
The only difference between the Pro and the standard 3A or 3AP is the buttons.

http://www.digital-tv-converter.net/
The standard Artec is available here.
They have the Tivax at a higher price and the Pal refurbished.
The Pal and Pal Plus have the extensive guide.
The Pal Plus has the better tuner.

Any dc powered box may be used on batteries, but the Artec is confirmed to work on 12 vdc and has a decent tuner.
It is in demand for RVs currently, and emergency systems.
There have been different versions, but the last LL model with a better guide is considered best.
These are useful in storm or other power grid down emergencies.
And of course, any box may be used with an inverter.
Beware of ground conflicts on tvs with other equipment.

If anyone is interested, I can post links to approaches to standby power setups.
AVS Forums is still the best source for general info.

Tiger direct still has the Access box and some radio shacks have some.
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Postby gyre » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:09 pm

The Artec Pros are gone now.
They have the Tivax only now.

If you want an Artec, use the other link.
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Postby gyre » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:02 am

Another information link to go with TVFool and the others.
http://www.rabbitears.info/

Feel free to use this thread for any tv related issues.
It looks like teething problems for digital reception will be around for years anyway.
Europe never sorted their's out.

And another thank you for the folks that gave me their extra coupons.

I've tried to get something functional for all features and avoid remote control conflicts.
Not that easy.
I still need a better antenna.
We have low vhf and high uhf and high vhf here, so big problems.

Since none of these boxes do everything, it is worth getting a true hidef box, even for a lodef tv.
But the cecbs may actually be more sensitive at this point.
Let's hope some better boxes come out.
The cecbs don't actually read hidef.
A hidef box that downconverts should have a much better picture, maybe even equal to analog.

Anyone else still struggling with this stuff?
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Postby gyre » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:27 pm

Some things have changed a lot since this thread started.
Anyone really can afford a tv now.
In fact, a pretty good tv is really cheap, if you're interested.
I actually went hidef, sort of by accident.
I was looking for a set I could use as a computer monitor, and found to my shock that hidef crts are going very cheap, though many overprice them on craigslist.
I've even been given a few sets I passed on to others.
I'm using a free set at the new place for now, and it looks pretty good actually.
Someone gave me a couple of iffy hidef sets, one a 40".

You can even move up to a very high resolution crt, that outperforms most newer sets.
I will eventually go back to projectors, but for the size, quite content.
I don't get the fascination with flat panels over higher quality cheaper projectors, front screen of course.

The only issue with the older sets is that you can't justify repair costs, but that's true of new ones too.

Anyone on a budget should be aware that hidef is not out of reach now, thanks to the fashion trend to thin screens.
DLP sets are reasonable in some cases, and definitely work with computer display.
A hidef crt should be under $100 unless it is special in some way.
Possibly $125-150 for a perfect 36" with manual and remote.
Older sets are generally better built, but older and with slower software.
2004-5 was the peak for most crts.
Some brands declined earlier.
The top line sony with 1400 lines of horizontal resolution goes for $150 to $250, but they are rare, only made 2003-5.
Look up superfine pitch on wiki and avsforum.
Lists are typically incomplete, but only XS and XBR models of a certain age are included.
The last XBR is NOT an sfp tube, but does have a hidef tuner.
Very few sonys had hidef tuners, but many other brands are more inclusive.
Few crts do 1080P, but most do 1080i and don't have many issues that plague cheap lcd sets.

The average hidef crt has 800 lines of resolution, which is quite acceptable.
This is the spec most people never hear on their new sets.

There are even many hidef rear projectors, including 1080P, going for very cheap due to fashion.

Light engine projectors (with bulbs) are often cheap due to bulb availability and cost.
Great deals, esp for those who don't run up hours.
Some do bulb conversions to cheaper types.
I have seen good hidef crt projectors for as low as $35.
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Postby gyre » Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:55 pm

On the digital tuner front, a few brands are still being marketed.

I can get the TRT still, which is my favorite.
It has timers for recording, and S-video out.
I use the Channelmaster when wind or weather problems cause me to lose signal with the TRT.
The Channelmaster is still available too.
Expect to pay $80 for it.
The TRT is slightly less.
Both are dedicated units with a metal chassis and ventilation.
Most tuners were built like cheap toys and fail accordingly.

It's worth mentioning that for disasters, everyone needs something they can use for ATSC broadcasts, as radio typically is useless for this now.
The 12 volt units are generally sold out, but many cheaper ones use an outboard DC converter and can be matched carefully to a power source, or an inverter can be used.

If you don't have a newer low power set with a tuner, the older black and white sets are stunningly efficient.
Then you just need a tuner to use with them.

Hidef tuners are available, if rare.
Newer dvd recorders have ATSC tuners built in now, lodef unless a blueray type.

The cheapest portable sets are very voltage sensitive and inefficient compared to better ones.
(Example - quitting when the batteries are slightly down.)

The proper 12" b&w crts are the most available in high quality.
Some were made in DC, though most DC sets are 9".
All the color ones I find are 9" now, usually with a dvd or tape deck built in.
Color sets use far more power.
All use less when the brightness is dimmed.

Sony used to make very excellent portables from 5" up to 10", maybe 13".
The 8" was the best for size and I finally found another one.
Not sure if mine works properly yet though.

Artec tuners were considered the most useful for 12 volt Dc use, though others work too.
Very compact and some with buttons on the cabinet, rare in these tuners.
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Re: Digital TV Conversion

Postby gyre » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:18 am

Here's a thread detailing how to repair hidef Sony CRTs.
They are usually available easily in most places.
Often free when failing.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1366567/sony- ... pair-guide

It isn't worth repairing lodef sets.
The 40" Sony xbr and the higher end superfine pitch sonys are well worth it.
The sfp sets are better than most new tvs.
Many will have tuners.

Be aware that there are a lot of lodef, but digital sets out there with an atsc or digital tuner built in.
Should be $25 or so.
Often people think they are hidef.
LCD versions vary.
Don't pay too much.
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