"I keep on thinking that I am going to get cable or satellite, but I am not convinced that is what I want to do. So many channels and nothing to watch," Blatt said.
By purchasing a digital converter box, Blatt is avoiding the higher cost of buying a new digital TV set. Blatt and others who buy converter boxes will get an additional benefit: more TV channels. Going digital allows TV stations to squeeze more information into a small amount of space. So with digital, instead of one Channel 7, you'll get three channels of different ABC7 programming.
The converter boxes are sold at many major retailers and online. Consumer Reports sorted through more than two dozen brands to rate which ones are best.
Bill Battista is one of millions of television viewers who get their TV programming the old fashioned way: by using a rooftop antenna. Battista says, "I just think there is too much garbage on cable and i dont want it all."
Bill is getting his TV set ready for the transition by purchasing a digital converter box. That box will enable him to keep using his older analog TV set even after the digital change. The converter boxes cost up to $70 at many major retailers but can be found for less money online, like from BSAT. Yusuf Broachwala, President of BSAT says "All of them have a baseline capability, yes they do differ in quality some of them have a lot more features."
Converter boxes sold online by Emhurst-based BSAT start around $40. But you can get a $40 coupon from the government for the converter box. Bill received his coupon, so he's only paying for shipping.
Marc Cook with ABC Electronics says, "Some people that have cable or satellite, there's often a room that goes forgotten - a guest room, a workout room, some additional place that you're not even thinking about - where they got a TV that's a legacy, TV that's analog, they're suddenly going to realize, 'Uh oh, I have no signal coming in.'"