My Next Converter Box


DTVUSA Jr. Member
In considering what box to possibly buy with my second coupon, what box is recommended that allows manually adding a station. The Apex250 I bought allows you to make channels viewable or unviewable, but only if they were found by the scan itself. I'm fairly happy with the APEX, though the channel adding is moderately annoying, plus the remote is super finicky. I guess I'm not sure how important manual addition is with the way digital signal is mostly all/nothing, but...

Can you do this with the insignia? The ZenithDT901?

Thanks for any comments or advice. Thank you for a wonderful site full of helpful people about this crazy transition.

Jason Fritz

Staff member
Found a link from the government that lists which converter boxes allow you to add channels manually: Digital-to-Analog Converter Box – Selected Features

Adding Channels: All coupon-eligible converter boxes have the ability to scan the airwaves for available channels, but not all boxes can add channels to your line-up without deleting channels. This may be important to you if you live between two cities and have to point your antenna in different directions to receive different stations. Some boxes can add channels through an update scan, which may take 5 or more minutes and will find new channels and add them to your lineup without deleting your existing lineup. A "direct" add allows you to add a channel to the lineup without scanning, but you must know the RF channel number, which is not always the same as the channel number used for marketing. Some boxes have both an update scan and a direct add function.
Converter Boxes that have Direct Control of Manual add/delete and/or auto scan channels:

AccessHD DTA10101U Direct
Airlink 101®ATVC101 Direct
Artec T3A Scan/Direct
Artec T3AP Pro Scan/Direct
Artec T3A Pro Scan/Direct
Cadence DTVC-9 Scan/Direct
Coship N9988T Scan/Direct
Dish Networks DTV Pal Scan/Direct
Dish Networks TR-40CRA Scan/Direct
Insignia NS-DXA1 Scan/Direct
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT Scan/Direct
Kingbox K8V1 Scan/Direct
Tivax STB-T9 Scan/Direct
Venturer STB7766G1 Scan/Direct
Winegard RC-DT09 Scan/Direct
Winegard RC-DT09A Scan/Direct
Zenith DTT901 Scan/Direct


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Thanks Jay that is very help. Consumer reports has a comparison of features for most of the government converters I found.
DTV converter boxes, Ratings

However their definition of "easy to add new channel" was that you could tune directly to a channel regardless of if it was found in the scan. It doesn't mention that if being able to do this, and if a signal was received, if this would "add" the channel to the lineup or not, or it may just be to give the user the ability to tune to a channel with no signal, turn on the signal guide and make adjustments.

I'm trying to decide if I need to get up on my roof and investigate my antenna's alignment or not.... I think I'll make that decision post transition when everything is full power.

Thanks for the link. Very helpful!


DTVUSA Jr. Member
Regarding the "manual" add of the APEX250 I have.

I was just playing around by inputing channels that are in my area that did not scan and one came in and after it tuned in the signal it automatically added it as viewable it seems, so that makes me happy, and it is interesting that this feature is not talked about then on the page noted, or maybe I am just smoking or it's too early in the morning, but I don't remember this channel yesterday! Oh well. Not that it's a good channel, fuzzy picture and distorted audio. It's sister -2 channel has an excellent signal, but no picture. Strange.

I'm holding onto optimism that the face of my reception will change positively once the transition takes place.

Ha. I think the flock of Geese I just heard fly over the house mussed up the NBC Signal!


Jason Fritz

Staff member

digital signals are picky aren't they...

In one of the antenna review threads, I posted about having to adjust my old antenna every time I changed the channel. It was such a pain to maneuver and reposition each time, and our house is less than 10 miles away from broadcast towers.

From what I've read, most stations are broadcasting digital television signals at full power. Not sure how much better it's going to get after February (that is if the digital transition doesn't get postponed).

Not sure if you've seen this, but the FCC released DTV Coverage Maps last month:
staay away from the magnavox one, it sucks big time. I know because I have one and its terrible.

Avoid all the ones without buttons on the box itself because if you lose the remote, your screwed.

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