Digital Converter Box Or New TV? An Easy Choice -- --

Digital Converter Box Or New TV? An Easy Choice

The Electronic Jungle: Kevin Hunt
May 29, 2008

Q: When TV stations change to the new broadcast system next year, will I still be able to use my existing VCR and DVD players? I have not decided between a conversion box or new TV. I also have a TV with a built-in VCR, which also has an attached DVD player. Both TVs are getting broadcast signals from a roof-top antenna — no cable or dish.

— Frank Wall, Downers Grove, Ill.

A: You'll be able to send the signal from the converter box to your VCR or DVR. But I wouldn't be surprised if by next February, when the analog signals disappear, you will have bought an HDTV.

In theory, the converter box program is meant to eliminate the impact on the forced switch in TV broadcast format.

In practice, the switch to DTV is the government's gift to HDTV manufacturers everywhere. It is taxation without representation.