Watching TV when the lights go out post February 2009

Back in April I wrote in my newspaper column that the digital conversion may have some unintended consequences when it comes to portable TVs.  I noticed that Channel 9 mentioned this again recently. 

 

With the recent rough weather in our region, many may have been watching TV on battery operated sets or listening on portable radios which are able to receive the audio portion of the local TV Channels.  Unfortunately the radios will not continue to work after the February 2009 analog sunset. 

 

While there are a few battery-powered digital sets available on line, I would not expect to see many of them in stores in the near future.

 

One option is to purchase a USB digital receiver and plug it into a battery powered laptop.  Not an elegant solution, but it will work.  There are several USB receivers available on line and at most computer stores.  You can watch the local digital channels on the laptop. 

 

If you have a battery – powered analog set, you will not be able to use a DTV converter as none currently are available with battery power.

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3 Responses to “Watching TV when the lights go out post February 2009”

  1. Watching TV when the lights go out post February 2009 Says:

    […] the oracle wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere are several USB receivers available on line and at most computer stores. You can watch the local digital channels on the laptop. If you have a battery powered analog set you will not be able to use a DTV converter as none … […]

  2. Rob Says:

    I have a battery backup with my computer, and a TV in that area… any idea how long a 13″ TV/VCR combo and a converter box would run if the power were to go out with each on a battery back up for weather updates?

    again, not an elegant solution…

  3. jdominic Says:

    Rob,

    Not sure what the reference to your computer means….if you get a USB receiver for the computer you don’t need the TV or the DTV converter.

    As for powering the TV and Converter on battery power….you would have to do the math. The TV, if it has a CRT (picture tube) will most likely draw the most current. The DTV converter we use in our lobby draws only 7 watts. Look on your TV to see what wattage it pulls.

    This is only a guess but I bet that a fully charge 12 volt auto battery running a small DC/AC inverter would run both for several hours.

    Again as you say, not an elegant solution, but it will work.

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