Digital TV

A while back I applied for a coupon that would give me $40 off a digital tv converter box as the US is switching off analogue broadcasts on 17th Feb 2009. This is similar to the switch off that is happening in the UK at the moment but seems to be a staged process as opposed to one definitive date.
Anyway, the coupon arrived and I finally got around to going shopping for one. The coupon is for $40 off selected (low end) converter boxes but you would be very lucky to get one for $40. Most of them seem to be $49 or $59.
I went to BestBuy this afternoon and got the Insignia NS-DXA1-APT. About 10 minutes after getting it home I had 11 REALLY clear tv channels. The difference between tv on the standard rabbit ears aerial and the aerial with the digital converter is amazing. The picture is now very similar to the quality of the picture you’d get with cable.
A lot of the channels are broadcast in wide screen though, and then some of the commercials are broadcast in 4:3 format so you end up with a small picture in the middle of the screen with black bars all around it – however pushing the zoom button on the remote brings it to full screen (but you will loose some of each side of the picture).
The remote also has the ability to turn off the tv if it is supported (there are about 45 different makes supported) and there is a auto shutoff option too.
One other feature is analogue passthrough – by turning off the unit, the tv will continue to receive the analogue broadcasts which could be useful if your stations are still broadcasting in analogue only.
There is also a basic EPG guide that shows you whats on now and next – better than nothing but nowhere near as sophisticated as the EPG you’d get with cable.
If you are still using over the air transmissions for your tv then I’d highly recommend you apply for a coupon and get a box now rather than wait until Feb and this unit is well recommended.