Where do I get that “SPECIAL” DTV converter?


I get many inquiries regarding the need for a special DTV converter to allow the reception of both digital and analog signals.  In the Cincinnati area the only reason one might have to get one of these hybrid converters is to facilitate the reception of the area’s low power TV stations.  Unlike the major TV stations like CET, these stations, Channel 25 and Channel 38, will continue to broadcast using analog technology after February 17, 2009.  The standard DTV converters on sale locally will not ‘pass through” the analog signals.


After lots of searching locally,  I have found one place to get a hybrid converter.  Cinema Sounds (513-521-8800) is a boutique high-end electronics store.  I talked to the owner, Tom Nagel, and he relates that he has a supply.  He went on to add that the model he has is not very user friendly and that he expects to stock others in the future.


I have not done business with Cinema Sounds so I can’t recommend them.  All I do know is that they have the hybrid DTV converters for sale.


If you are not a viewer of the low power TV stations, the standard DTV converter should work fine.  These can be purchased at most major “Big Box” electronic stores as well as Radio Shack outlets.


2 Responses to “Where do I get that “SPECIAL” DTV converter?”

  1. John Mullen Says:

    I am frustrated by the obvious lack of planning here. I have two coupons that I need to use by the middle of July to get converter boxes, but I have found none with the feed-through feature. Obviously, someone was not thinking this through at all. Here is the very real problem.

    In my area, about half the stations I receive do not plan convert, but even if they did, there is a problem. People who buy a box now, when many stations their area may not have converted over yet, they have to choose between viewing the new DTV stations or viewing the stations still using the old waveform. That is, whoever planned this thing did not take into account that even if every station in an area converts by February, there will be a period of time during which people will want to view both. That is, this coupon business is encouraging people to buy something that they may not use for months. Then, they may find out that they need a more powerful antenna, etc. It would have made much more sense to have a box that could be used with both waveforms during the changeover.

    Anyhow, I think I have a fix. I plan to hook an amplified antenna up to the DTV converter box and to the antenna feed of my TV, using a splitter. I’m banking on the antenna gain more than compensating for the loss in the splitter. Then, I plan to hook the DTV converter up to the antenna feed of my VCR and use the video/audio cables to connect the VCR to the AUX input of the TV. Later, I may try it the other way around. At any rate, this would allow me to switch between the two waveforms with no additional investment and while keeping the option of remote control. This will also allow me to check out what else I will need.

  2. jdominic Says:

    You solution is a good one and should work well. I have found that Radio Shack now has a Zenith Pass Trough DTV converter that worked great in our recent tests here at CET. I am told that if it is not in stock, you can use your coupon in the store and it will be shipped to you an a few days.

    Zenith Model DTT901 // RS Cat #15-193

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