Question: Digital TV vs Converter Box

buildit

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
My setup:
I have 1 antenna that is connected to all of my cable outlets. I have 1 digital tv, 1 digital tivo, and a converter box.

Problem:
My digital tv with built in tuner gets great reception. My digital tivo connected to a non digital tv gets great reception. My non digital tv connected to a converter box gets horrible reception. I have moved the converter box around the house to make sure the cables are not bad and it still gets bad reception whereas the built in dtvs get great reception. What is the difference in the built in vs the converter box and how can I fix this. I have an RCA converter box.

Thanks
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
My thought would be that either there are interference problems that the Tivo and digital TV handle beter than the RCA converter box, or a bad converter box. Have you used the signal meter on the RCA? If it fluctuates widely on the channel of issue that can indicate multipath interference. Do you have friends who might let you borrow a different brand converter box? I have two of the RCA converter boxes (I don't use them on a regular basis since I like my Digital Stream better) and really have only noticed that if I have problems with the RCA I will have problems with other tuners also.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#3
There is such a vast difference with DTV tuner chips in different products. I think the consensus is that the more popular HDTV manufactures do use better DTV tuners than converter box makers. One thing about converter boxes, is that most were made very cheaply because most manufactures knew that all they had to do is meet minimum requirements set forth by the government in order to qualify for the coupon program eligibility.

Best thing to do is keep experimenting with moving the converter box and antenna around or try a new antenna. Remember to do a channel rescan each time you move it too.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#4
There is such a vast difference with DTV tuner chips in different products. I think the consensus is that the more popular HDTV manufactures do use better DTV tuners than converter box makers. One thing about converter boxes, is that most were made very cheaply because most manufactures knew that all they had to do is meet minimum requirements set forth by the government in order to qualify for the coupon program eligibility.

Best thing to do is keep experimenting with moving the converter box and antenna around or try a new antenna. Remember to do a channel rescan each time you move it too.
Aaron's post above is excellent and let me add to it: most converter boxes are designed to receive and convert signals to SD (standard definition) and not to HD. Consequently, the chip set in an HDTV tuner is FAR more advanced than the average converter box chip set.

Your 'analog TV set' (by definition) is obsolete. Most converter boxes were cheaply built and intended to stretch the life of a CRT TV set only a few years so when it quits or if you get tired of a small screen you will replace it with a modern set with its own ATSC tuner.

Jim
 
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