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View Full Version : Anyone have an ATSC tuner box laying around?


treerootCO
09-15-2008, 07:30 PM
Disconnected cable today and wired up an HDTV antenna only to find out my TV is an HDTV monitor so no digital for me. Went out to buy a set top converter only to find out the crap at Best Buy/Circuit City/Ultimate Electronics/Radio Shack down convert the digital signal to analog. My TV was made just before the FCC regulated that all TVs must have the ATSC tuner built in so now I am in need of a standalone ATSC tuner.

treerootCO
09-15-2008, 07:50 PM
Internets shows this is one of the few with HDMI outputs...

http://item.express.ebay.com/Consumer-Electronics_Televisions-Home-Video_Satellite-Cable-TV_Centronics-ZAT501-HD-Terrestrial-Digital-ATSC-Receiver_W0QQitemZ330257332328QQptdnZSatelliteQ20Q26Q20CableQ20TVQQddnZConsumerQ20ElectronicsQQadnZTelevisionsQ20Q26Q20HomeQ20VideoQQcmdZExpressItemQQtabnavZ1#tabs

http://www.centronics.com/products/ATSC-Digital-Converter-Boxes

Beater
09-15-2008, 08:26 PM
several dvd players have them built in

Hants
09-15-2008, 08:58 PM
If you have an old PC, you can get an ATSC tuner card. There are at least a couple of freeware Media Center type applications available.

Hulk
09-15-2008, 10:47 PM
Internets shows this is one of the few with HDMI outputs...

http://item.express.ebay.com/Consumer-Electronics_Televisions-Home-Video_Satellite-Cable-TV_Centronics-ZAT501-HD-Terrestrial-Digital-ATSC-Receiver_W0QQitemZ330257332328QQptdnZSatelliteQ20Q26Q20CableQ20TVQQddnZConsumerQ20ElectronicsQQadnZTelevisionsQ20Q26Q20HomeQ20VideoQQcmdZExpressItemQQtabnavZ1#tabs

http://www.centronics.com/products/ATSC-Digital-Converter-Boxes

Prices aren't too bad. Surprised that your 5-y.o. set has HDMI inputs. You must've been on the bleeding edge to get them.

Groucho
09-16-2008, 07:56 AM
I'm in the same boat.

My Toshiba was high end 5 years ago (it was a wedding present) and it too has HDMI inputs, to which I have hooked my AppleTV. I highly recommend the AppleTV to anyone who watches movies.

About 2 years ago, I did away with my DirectTV for budget reasons. I couldn't see paying for stuff I didn't want to watch. I was a bleeding edge satelite service fan since like 1992, back when it was USSB (United States Satelite Broadcasting) and DirectTV. USSB was only movies and stuff and DirectTV was the sports and cooking/fishing/Discovery stuff. I paid for just USSB, and got all the movie channels for like $40/month. When the two combined a couple years later, I was told either pay more for the basic programming (DirectTV) and movies (formerly USSB), or be shut off. I paid for a few years and then said f-it.

Once I learned that HD was going to be instituted nation-wide, I was a little pissed (gubment in my life where it really shouldn't be and all). But then I did some research with the help of a couple of HAM guys on the 2M and found out from some of the broadcast guys (on the WA2YZT repeater) that while satelite HD is pretty much true HD especially with the new MPEG-4 video compression, cable HD will always lag behind. On air is free and it doesn't have as much bandwidth restrictions. Cable HD as it sits right now is a slow 4th contender, even behind the VoD (Video on Demand) of such services like my AppleTV has as well as X-Box 360.

Come the next few months I will be looking at getting one of the set-top boxes as TreeRoot put in his second post to receive true HD on air and send it directly to my HDTV "monitor" without downgrading it to standard definition. I want to find out if the gubment coupon qualifies for these boxes as well as the standard def ones, that way I can encourage everyone I know to go "On Air".

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 09:29 AM
I'm in the same boat.

My Toshiba was high end 5 years ago (it was a wedding present) and it too has HDMI inputs, to which I have hooked my AppleTV. I highly recommend the AppleTV to anyone who watches movies.

About 2 years ago, I did away with my DirectTV for budget reasons. I couldn't see paying for stuff I didn't want to watch. I was a bleeding edge satelite service fan since like 1992, back when it was USSB (United States Satelite Broadcasting) and DirectTV. USSB was only movies and stuff and DirectTV was the sports and cooking/fishing/Discovery stuff. I paid for just USSB, and got all the movie channels for like $40/month. When the two combined a couple years later, I was told either pay more for the basic programming (DirectTV) and movies (formerly USSB), or be shut off. I paid for a few years and then said f-it.

Once I learned that HD was going to be instituted nation-wide, I was a little pissed (gubment in my life where it really shouldn't be and all). But then I did some research with the help of a couple of HAM guys on the 2M and found out from some of the broadcast guys (on the WA2YZT repeater) that while satelite HD is pretty much true HD especially with the new MPEG-4 video compression, cable HD will always lag behind. On air is free and it doesn't have as much bandwidth restrictions. Cable HD as it sits right now is a slow 4th contender, even behind the VoD (Video on Demand) of such services like my AppleTV has as well as X-Box 360.

Come the next few months I will be looking at getting one of the set-top boxes as TreeRoot put in his second post to receive true HD on air and send it directly to my HDTV "monitor" without downgrading it to standard definition. I want to find out if the gubment coupon qualifies for these boxes as well as the standard def ones, that way I can encourage everyone I know to go "On Air".

Your AppleTV intrigued me so I checked it out. to rent a movie is $2.99! Ouch! Redbox is a $1 a night....much cheaper! The AppleTV concept is very cool however. Having HD movies stored on hard drive is way cool! Imagine the possibilities!

Hants
09-16-2008, 09:59 AM
My current project is something similar. I have an HD only subscription to Dish, along with their DVR. They quote $35/month, but my bill is actually $67 (better than the $150 it was a few months ago!!!). There are only a few shows we regularly watch, and we have NO stomach for all of the ads. We also have a substantial library of DVD's.

The plan i'm implementing is 1) build a HTPC to record HD off the air for current shows, 2) rip our DVD library to the local HD on the HTPC for our viewing pleasure, 3) sign up for netflix for $17 per month for unlimited DVD rentals (3 at a time).

No more DVD coasters, no more $$$$ for Dish, ability to play BluRay & DVD rentals, old episodes of our favorite shows via DVD rentals, current ones off the air. All in one box. :)

I just ordered the parts to build an HTPC.

Groucho
09-16-2008, 10:16 AM
Your AppleTV intrigued me so I checked it out. to rent a movie is $2.99! Ouch! Redbox is a $1 a night....much cheaper! The AppleTV concept is very cool however. Having HD movies stored on hard drive is way cool! Imagine the possibilities!

I agree, iTunes store is not the cheapest, nor has Apple got the movie sharing thing working good yet (if ever). They tried to get companies like MGM & the like to buy into the same setup as the music on iTunes store, but not all of them are convinced it will work like the music side, at least yet.

I simply convert my own DVD's to my external harddrive (399 and growing right now).

Simply, the economics of it for me are: I buy new release movies--$15-$19. I rent or buy older movies--$1-$4 to rent, $5-$15 to buy. iTunes store rents for $2.99 as you said, and $9.99 to buy. I think it is a fair middle ground for what it is. But like I said, I don't go that route.

If someone was considering the AppleTV, I suggest the lesser expensive 40GB model. Don't sync much but photos to the ATV, it is a waste. Stream movies or music when you want it, it is much more efficient and you don't even realize its doing it. Takes maybe the first 3-5 minutes of a movie to stream it to the ATV, then its done. Nothing is saved on the ATV.

Another beauty part of the ATV, you can listen to podcasts, radio station (all through iTunes) and your own music while having slideshows of your photos. This is great while entertaining, as there is music on, and no "TV" for anyone to be distracted by. Just your own family photo album. We love that.

treerootCO
09-16-2008, 10:20 AM
I'm in the same boat.

My Toshiba was high end 5 years ago (it was a wedding present) and it too has HDMI inputs, to which I have hooked my AppleTV. I highly recommend the AppleTV to anyone who watches movies.

About 2 years ago, I did away with my DirectTV for budget reasons. I couldn't see paying for stuff I didn't want to watch. I was a bleeding edge satelite service fan since like 1992, back when it was USSB (United States Satelite Broadcasting) and DirectTV. USSB was only movies and stuff and DirectTV was the sports and cooking/fishing/Discovery stuff. I paid for just USSB, and got all the movie channels for like $40/month. When the two combined a couple years later, I was told either pay more for the basic programming (DirectTV) and movies (formerly USSB), or be shut off. I paid for a few years and then said f-it.

Once I learned that HD was going to be instituted nation-wide, I was a little pissed (gubment in my life where it really shouldn't be and all). But then I did some research with the help of a couple of HAM guys on the 2M and found out from some of the broadcast guys (on the WA2YZT repeater) that while satelite HD is pretty much true HD especially with the new MPEG-4 video compression, cable HD will always lag behind. On air is free and it doesn't have as much bandwidth restrictions. Cable HD as it sits right now is a slow 4th contender, even behind the VoD (Video on Demand) of such services like my AppleTV has as well as X-Box 360.

Come the next few months I will be looking at getting one of the set-top boxes as TreeRoot put in his second post to receive true HD on air and send it directly to my HDTV "monitor" without downgrading it to standard definition. I want to find out if the gubment coupon qualifies for these boxes as well as the standard def ones, that way I can encourage everyone I know to go "On Air".


You'll like this one.....the government coupon does not apply to any tuner that provides an HD signal! It only covers the boxes that downgrade the signal to analog.

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon/DTVmanufacturers.pdf

In the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, Congress defines the term
digital-to-analog converter box as a:
Stand-alone device that does not contain features or functions except those necessary to enable a
consumer to convert any channel broadcast in the digital television service into a format that the
consumer can display on television receivers designed to receive and display signals only in the
analog television service,"

frontrange
09-16-2008, 10:22 AM
I like the Itunes store for purchasing content, but only watch them on my iPhone or one of our iPods, usually on a plane. The AppleTV doesn't do live TV does it? That has been the problem with all the media server solutions I have looked at, lack of support for live TV, or live TV, but no support for managing and distributing library content.

Around the house (and even out in the Gazebo) I use a system called MythTV that is fully integrated library and streaming live TV solution. I've been using it for years and have the collection of over 400 movies on a file server so we can watch movies, listen to music, or watch the news anywhere that I have installed a small front end processor. To drive the standard def LCD monitors, I just use Compaq EVO small form factor processors off ebay, HiDef is doable with a HDMI card, but requires more processing power and a lot of fiddling.

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 11:04 AM
I agree, iTunes store is not the cheapest, nor has Apple got the movie sharing thing working good yet (if ever). They tried to get companies like MGM & the like to buy into the same setup as the music on iTunes store, but not all of them are convinced it will work like the music side, at least yet.

I simply convert my own DVD's to my external harddrive (399 and growing right now).

Simply, the economics of it for me are: I buy new release movies--$15-$19. I rent or buy older movies--$1-$4 to rent, $5-$15 to buy. iTunes store rents for $2.99 as you said, and $9.99 to buy. I think it is a fair middle ground for what it is. But like I said, I don't go that route.

If someone was considering the AppleTV, I suggest the lesser expensive 40GB model. Don't sync much but photos to the ATV, it is a waste. Stream movies or music when you want it, it is much more efficient and you don't even realize its doing it. Takes maybe the first 3-5 minutes of a movie to stream it to the ATV, then its done. Nothing is saved on the ATV.

Another beauty part of the ATV, you can listen to podcasts, radio station (all through iTunes) and your own music while having slideshows of your photos. This is great while entertaining, as there is music on, and no "TV" for anyone to be distracted by. Just your own family photo album. We love that.


That is very cool! I was boning up on some of those features after your first post. Apple might survive because of the "I" invention! Then again, they still haven't learned from their blunders and still are determined to do this as stand alone which will kill them again as others will simply make a consumer friendly version that is widely compatible and affordable leaving the stand alone overprice Apple device near obsolete except for the holdouts that sing about it being superior! :rolleyes:

Groucho
09-16-2008, 01:38 PM
You'll like this one.....the government coupon does not apply to any tuner that provides an HD signal! It only covers the boxes that downgrade the signal to analog.

http://www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon/DTVmanufacturers.pdf

In the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005, Congress defines the term
digital-to-analog converter box as a:
Stand-alone device that does not contain features or functions except those necessary to enable a
consumer to convert any channel broadcast in the digital television service into a format that the
consumer can display on television receivers designed to receive and display signals only in the
analog television service,"

Well, at least now I am forced into not participating in the government's welfare system by getting a coupon. :lmao:

That is very cool! I was boning up on some of those features after your first post. Apple might survive because of the "I" invention! Then again, they still haven't learned from their blunders and still are determined to do this as stand alone which will kill them again as others will simply make a consumer friendly version that is widely compatible and affordable leaving the stand alone overprice Apple device near obsolete except for the holdouts that sing about it being superior! :rolleyes:

I think Apple has a lot of good things going, but like you said, they like to make their stuff unique in a world where unique means overpriced & outdated faster than usual. I was thinkcing about gettin the iTouch now, simply because it is new (as opposed to the iPod) and I can use it as my AppleTV remote as well as music and video player. Oh well, guess I have to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a new TV.:eek:

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 01:52 PM
Speaking of new and cool stuff I just got this ad from Denon. Pretty cool TIAB set up! I have heard Denon's 2.1 systems and they sound amazing! You will swear there is rear channels!

http://store.digitalriver.com/store/dmhold/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.106498800