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.