“Pass Through” DTV Converter works well

I had a chance to test the Digital Stream (Model DTX9950) DTV converter available from Radio Shack® stores.   John Kiesewetter, Radio and TV Writer at the Enquirer brought one by the station this morning.  This is one of the first converters I have seen available locally that has the “pass through” feature.  Many of the standard DTV converters, once connected to your analog TV set, will effectively block out any analog reception.  If you want to continue to watch the area’s low power stations like Channel 25 and 38, (neither will be converting to digital in February 2009) you will need a “pass through” DTV converter.

 

I have to say that I was impressed with the unit.  We were able to pull in all the major analog stations with the unit attached and set in the “pass through” mode, i.e.  effectively “turned off.”  In this mode you use the tuner in your TV to tune in the analog stations. On the digital side we received perfect pictures from all the local DTV stations plus three stations from Dayton.  Since we were using a small inexpensive set top antenna and the TV was located in CET’s Central Parkway lobby -not an ideal TV reception location – one could presume that the unit will function well in a more ideal setting.

 

One warning however…the digital signals can be somewhat erratic so there is no assurance that your reception will be perfect.  Sometimes a difference in the location of your TV of only a few feet can make the difference between a perfect picture and no picture at all.

 

I can say that is one of the most sensitive DTV receivers I have tested and well worth the $60 price tag.  Use one of the DTV coupons and the price drops to $20.

 

I am always interested in your experiences.  Let me know about your DTV reception using your DTV converters and TV sets.  I will share them here on the blog.

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5 Responses to ““Pass Through” DTV Converter works well”

  1. Travis Says:

    I achieved the same effect by simply using a splitter from my antenna. One connection goes from the antenna to the converter box, which connects to my TV through RCA cables. The other connection goes from the antenna to my VCR, which connects to my TV through coax cable. If I want digital channels, I leave my TV on “aux” and use the digital box to change channels. If I want analog, I just change the channel on the TV itself; it doesn’t matter if the digital box is turned on or off.

    With this setup, I can only record analog channels on my VCR. However, you could easily connect the VCR between the converter box and the TV if you want to record the digital channels. (Keep in mind that VCRs are still analog so the recording will not be HD-quality.)

  2. “Pass Through” DTV Converter works well Says:

    [...] idetools wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptWe were able to pull in all the major analog stations with the unit attached and set in the “pass through” mode, ie effectively “turned off.” In this mode you use the tuner in your TV to tune in the analog stations. On the digital side … [...]

  3. jdominic Says:

    Travis,

    Yes this works. The only downside of the splitter option is that in many cases the Low Power stations are just that, LOW POWER. The splitter does reduce, albeit not much, the signal strength of an already weak signal. Instead of a splitter a A/B swich will work as well.

    Your use of the AV cable is right on… This is the best way to connect the DTV box and any other video sources. Otherwise you have too many Ch 3 or 4 modulators all fighting each other.

    Thanks for the comment.

  4. Kathy Says:

    I hooked up my 9950 from the TV to VCR- VCR to analog TV- Great, except for one major broadcast station- CBS. The picture is crisp as on this TV I have a high powered antenna.

    I tried recording the low power stations that are now different channel names… no problem.

    My other TV is hooked up to the roof antenna, and I don’t know if this will make a difference in picking up the station- Channel 2- CBS. I may have to live without it unless anyone has any ideas :)..Thank you..

    I would recommend this as I’m sure there is more to learn- having trouble with the sleep timer and power down features.

    I cannot use the 9950 remote without the A/D on? So I use my VCR remote.. it’s really not a universal remote. On my other remote for the TV, I was able to use that alone with the TV on and VCR off. The remote has some issues or I’m not set up right… and I do miss the “sleep timer” feature as on this it only turns off the “converter box” . Another question is the “power down” option? The manual was little help and so are the local radio shack i purchased these from.. any suggestions would be appreciated . Thank you.

  5. jdominic Says:

    RE: Ch 2 DTV
    Kathy,

    RE: CH 2

    Make sure that your antenna is a UHF and VHF. I don’t know what city you are in so I can’t check but it may be that the CBS DTV signal is in the VHF band. Most are in the UHF band.

    Also, “More is not always better.” There are instances when an amplified antenna saturates the tuner and causes no reception at all at all. Try turning the amplifier off.

    Re Power down

    In the menu there is a setting to disable the power down of to set it for selected time intervals. Since it only consumes about 7 watts it is not a significant power eater but eveery little bit helps.

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