TV Converter Box Roundup: What's still selling in 2013?
by, 01-20-2013 at 06:55 AM (13154 Views)
So I did a bit of detective work this morning to see which digital-to-analog converter boxes are selling at stores and online, now that we're more than 3 years past the digital transition. Keep in mind that the converter box coupon program has long expired, and coupons are no longer available to help discount the price of converter boxes.
With what I've found so far, Amazon seems to have the most in-stock options. Shoppers looking for in-store bargains might have a bit of a problem finding a good price according to our results below.
For those looking for a used converter box, however, ebay.com and craigslist.com still offer plenty of bargains. On to the list of stores and what they still carry in stock:
Amazon - Converter Boxes Available: 15+
Amazon, the leading online retailer is still stocking 15 competitively priced converter boxes. We're only going to show the top 5 lowest price converters for purposes of keeping this blog post short, but if you want to find more, a simple search on Amazon for the term "converter box" will net you all in-stock converter boxes.
Apex DT250A Digital Converter Box - $26.99 - Not rated very well on Amazon reviews, but its cheap price and 1 year parts warranty make it an attractive option.
iView-3000STB Digital Converter Box - $31.73 - Good electronic program guide
Homeworx HW100STB - $33.50
APEX DT502 Analog to Digital TV Converter - $34.99
Sunkey Digital-Analog ATB150S - $37.00 - Comes with universal remote
Walmart - Converter Boxes Available: 1
As the largest overall retailer in the US, Walmart was a leading supplier of converter boxes, before and after the digital transition. Today however, I am only able to find one converter in stock, which happens to be the RCA DTA800B1 (here). Priced at $49.87 at the time of this post, the RCA is hardly a bargain. In fact, many of the 22" and smaller HDTVs with 720p viewing resolution are selling at Walmart for $150 or less. Kind of makes upgrading your old TV to receive digital television a difficult decision.
Note: Walmart still has a page for the Access 1080-D converter box (here), but does not list the item as being available or in-stock. With a listed price of $26.88, this box would be a much better bargain...if it were available.
Best Buy - Converter Boxes Available: 1 (Online)
The KCPI DT504 is a relative newcomer to the digital converter box arena, and can be found at Best Buy's website (here). The KCPI didn't become available until just last year, and though it does not offer any more features than a normal converter box, it's recent design may offer a slight advantage with tuner sensitivity and durability. I want to emphasize "may" because there is not a lot of consumer feedback or review on the net for the DT504. Priced at $59.99 with free shipping, the DT504
RadioShack - Converter Boxes Available: 1 (In-store)
With a listed online price of $59.99, RadioShack is still selling the Digital Stream DTX9950 converter box. Although the DTX9950 has one of the highest listed prices on the net for a new converter box at RadioShack, the Digital Stream does not offer anything more than Walmart's RCA DTA800B1 as far as options go. Definitely not a good deal, but should be available in-store if you're in a pinch. I suggest calling ahead and verifying that they do have it in stock.
Target - Converter Boxes Available: 0
Target seems to have exhausted its supply of converter boxes. A search on their online store results in 0 boxes found for the terms, "converter box", and "tv converter box". Target was once a goto retailer back before the transition, stocking as many as 4 different types of TV converters.
So there you have it. If you don't mind waiting for a shipped converter box, Amazon seems to have the most supply and options available. eBay and Craigslist are still king for converter box deals, though buyers must take a little risk on buying used electronics with no warranty from such services.
Do you know of any other stores stocking converter boxes? Please use the comment form below and leave feedback. Also, check out our Converter Box Forum for questions, answers, and reviews.