Scary news about the analog TV phaseout!

Scott Fybush
Fri Feb 1 14:40:55 EST 2008

Maureen Carney wrote:
> Here's 2 additional down sides not mentioned:
> 1) If you have an older TV you won't have the plugs to connect the
> composit or component wires. There is an external connector, and that
> will run another $15-35 .
> 2) The digital box and the external connector both need to be plugged
> in. More $$$ in electricity and the pain of using an additional
> outlet (someone might trip on cords) or getting an outlet multiplier.
> These are things most of us take for granted - having access to
> equipment, the money to buy it if we want it and the knowledge of how
> it goes together.

I didn't find the Newburyport article to be entirely accurate. The price 
of the converter boxes is already coming down. The Sling/Echostar box 
will be on the shelves soon at a suggested retail price of $39.99, which 
means it will effectively be free with the $40 coupon, give or take a 
few bucks in sales tax.

The boxes approved for use in the coupon program are required to have 
NTSC RF outputs, so no additional "external connectors" will be needed 
beyond - MAYBE - a $2 balun to convert the 75-ohm coax connection to a 
300-ohm twin-lead connection for really old sets.

I think, but don't know for sure, that the approved boxes will also 
include a convenience outlet for the TV set to be plugged into.

Really, it's hard to imagine how the whole program could be made much 
easier for the consumer, short of TV stations sending engineers to 
individual homes to get everything working. (And at least at WXXI here 
in Rochester, I wouldn't rule that out if the need arose!)


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