Is it worth getting a converter box?


I live at least 40 miles from any TV station, and have a rooftop antenna with an amplifier that works pretty well with my two analog TVs. I am planning to get at least one digital TV, since I hear its not practical to use a converter box with anything less than a 20 inch set, due to horizontal and vertical letterboxing. I ordered one coupon and have let it expire for the other TV, but now I wonder if its even worth buying a converter for that TV since I am likely to get few or no channels with the converter box. I guess I can get one box and experiment with it, and then talk to my antenna guy about upgrading to a smart antenna, which should be helpful no matter what I do. I get stations from 3 states, including 4 PBS stations, so am not excited about going to basic cable or dish. Your reactions to my plan will be appreciated.

Jason Fritz

Staff member
All depends on what you define as practical. You can indeed use a converter box on any TV smaller than 20" as long as they have the proper audio/video input (such as a coax/rf or rca/composite). Purchasing a new TV will be more costly than just purchasing a converter box for your old TV, but you will receive High Definition programming if you decide to buy a newer TV.

Your rooftop antenna should be fine for digital signals. I'd suggest testing it first before investing money in a Smart Antenna.
Agree with Jay I would put new coax on the antenna check all connections and then install a converter box and see what happens if you use a rotator make sure the box can rescan and add channels the magnavox will not. zenith and insigna as well as the dish network dtvpal-plus box will do this as well as many others.


Thank you so much for your responses. Hmm, decisions to make. :) I may do both and buy a TV and a converter box only because my family room TV is so small anyway, plus I need to convert my bedroom TV for digital TV.