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Old 05-10-2008, 09:51   #1
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TV Converter Box Dilemma

I have a nice Sharp 15" LCD TV that I use for entertainment and navigation via computer. I spent many days doing a custom installation on a swinging arm so TV could be viewed from helm or in salon. TV runs on 12 volts so I don't need to turn on inverter to use it. Unfortuantely, the TV has an analog tuner and won't work after Feb '09 when stations switch to digital signals.

I have looked at some digital converter boxes and it appears they all run off AC power (no wall warts to be seen) and they have separate remote controls. Both of these features are going to mess me up. I don't want to run AC power for the box, and I have no convenient place to mount the box where it can be operated by remote.

Has anyone come up with some good solutions to the converter issue? I really hate to mess up a very nice installation of my current TV.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:33   #2
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Probaby cheaper and easier to buy a new TV/Monitor - probably less than $200 for a 15inch at BestBuy.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:35   #3
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There are AC/DC converter boxes But I don't have the name of one right now.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:12   #4
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Here are some suggestions to resolve your problem

Digital TV Trainer
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Old 05-10-2008, 18:45   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Here are some suggestions to resolve your problem

Digital TV Trainer
Chuck, thanks for the link. The 12v converter may be the answer. It will still draw some extra power, but at least I won't need to power it with an inverter. I already have a convenient 12v circuit near the TV, so wiring should be easy. Also, I have a govt coupon to save 40 bucks. Hope there is enough money in the treasury to honor it.
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Old 05-10-2008, 18:47   #6
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I would cash in that coupon quickly just in case.
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Old 05-10-2008, 18:55   #7
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Today I saw a converter box bought with a coupon at Radio Shack for $7. It runs on AC and a cheap inverter will run it. The picture quality was very much better with the converter box. This was on a boat with the antenna 3/4 up the mast. The coupons won't be forever. After Feb your TV is just about worthless without a box.
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Old 05-10-2008, 19:14   #8
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Paul, Almost all comparisons we have seen on the converter boxes show very little differance in reception or picture quality between the units so price does not seem to be an indicator of quality.
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Old 05-10-2008, 19:39   #9
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The comparrison I saw was with a box or just the old antenna. The picture was night and day better with the converter box. This was atest I saw both and was flipping between them. The box was one you can get at radio Shack for $7 with the coupon. This was the cheapest box this guy could get. I could not see how over the air could be better.
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Old 05-10-2008, 19:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
I would cash in that coupon quickly just in case.
Chuck, I just did. I ordered the 12volt Artec T3 online from www.TVConverterBoxStore.Com and the total cost was $11.98. Price includes shipping and a year's subscription to TV Guide. If I print out a rebate coupon to turn off the TV Guide, I can get 10 bucks back and my cost will be $1.98. If it doesn't work, I don't have much to lose.

Using the $40 coupon was fairly easy. After I paid for the item, they took me to a new page where I put in the 16 digit number from the coupon and expiration date.

Here are the specs for the Artec converter box, FYI.
Specifications
  • Tuner: Input Terminal: 75 Ohm Female F Connector Receiving Frequency: 57 ~ 861MHz RF Channel: 2~69 Bandwidth: 6 MHZ
  • Demodulator: 8VSB
  • Video Processing: MPEG-2 Video Decoding (MP@ML, MP@HL) Input Format: Supports 18 Modes (1080p/1080i/720p/480p/480i) Output Format: NTSC 720x480i Composite Video Out
  • Audio Processing: Dolby AC-3 Audio Decoding Digital Multi-Lingual
  • Closed Caption: Digital CC (Comply with EIA-708-B), English/Spanish/ French
  • EPG: Current Program Display By Transparent Graphic Plane
  • Power: Input Voltage: 12V DC Power Consumption: 4.5W Max Power Adapter: Input: 100-240V~0.3A 50-60Hz, Output: 12V, 0.5A
  • I/O Interface: Top Panel: Power, Front Panel: IR Receiver, LED Indicator, Rear Panel: DC in 12V, RF in / Out, Composite (RCA) Out (Yellow for Video Output, Red/White for Audio Output), Channel 3/4 RF Output Data Port
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 6.42(W) x 3.94(D) x 1.18(H)(Body)
  • Weight: 0.2kg(Body)
Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 05-10-2008, 20:22   #11
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That is the unit I was trying to find for you but glad you found it on your own. Good luck, the picture and sound on digital is waaayyy better. We have a digital HD TV and sat system that runs off of a small inverter all its own.
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Paul, Almost all comparisons we have seen on the converter boxes show very little differance in reception or picture quality between the units so price does not seem to be an indicator of quality.
The picture may not seem hugely diffrerent but there are huge differences in the sensitivity of the recievers. Bottom line is some need a strong signal before they will show any sort of pix.
I have a Compro twin tuner in my pc and it wouldn't work untill I upgraded my antenna. The set top box I have worked flawlessly before the upgrade.
On a boat I would be looking for a very sensitive box.

Mike
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:49   #13
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Our digital box (Zenith, from BB) uses a wall wart...
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Old 14-10-2008, 18:21   #14
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Converter Box Works Good

I installed the 12volt Artec T3 converter on my TV and I'm happy with the results. The picture quality is better and I'm receiving more local channels with the analog tuner. Mounting the box was difficult because my TV is on a swing arm and the only place where it fit OK was on top of the TV with a rounded edge. I had to make aluminum L brackets bent at the correct angle to keep the box horizontal. The wiring was simple. Below are some pics of the installation.
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Old 14-10-2008, 18:58   #15
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Greg, Glad it all worked out and the install looks good
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