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TV Converter Box Problems: A Look At The Digital Transition A Year Later

With the digital transition having come and gone quite some time ago we felt it was appropriate to report on how converter boxes have been working out for people and the news is not great. It's actually quite an unfortunate circumstance and it appears that a lot of electronics manufacturers took advantage of the fact that the transition was mandatory and the government was funding the purchase of converter boxes. These manufacturers knew that all they had to do was create a box that met the bare minimum features required to be accepted into the government coupon program and then watch the dollars roll in. The result was a lot of very low quality, cheap converter boxes that just met the minimum standards required by the government. And naturally consumers thought, if it's approved by the government it must be good right? Wrong! Many of these boxes have been horrible in terms of long term reliability due to how cheaply they were made.


We have been getting comments daily telling us about how certain converter boxes are broken or rarely work properly and this is quite troubling to us. It appears as though a lot of these electronics companies just put a piece of crap converter box together without extensive testing and then produced as many as possible as quickly as possible simply to make some quick cash off the government. These companies knew that people were getting coupons that allowed them to get the boxes for free and that these coupons would expired before anyone could compile true long term performance tests on their converter boxes. The result is that a bunch of people ended up purchasing crappy boxes that aren't lasting for the long haul.

Unfortunately now many Americans are left with cheap, broken converter boxes that no longer work or only work half the time. As a result these people are being forced to go out an spend their own money on new converter boxes only to have them be the same cheap ones as before and have them break again. This is of course because demand for converter boxes has dropped greatly and it's really hard to find one of the good ones in stock.

So the question begs to be answered then... What should Americans with these bad converter boxes do? The best solution we have is to save up your money and buy a new TV that has a digital tuner built into it. It may have to be small one if you are on a limited budget or perhaps you could find a used digital TV. Unfortunately if you can't afford a new TV you'll likely have to deal with a sub par converter box. That is of course unless you were one of the lucky ones that happened to purchase one of the best boxes.

We would like to hear from all of our readers in order to compile a list of converter boxes that are consistently working as they are suppose to and also a list of ones that aren't. In order to do this though we will need lost of comments because we of course can't rely on one persons experience with a converter box in order to categorize it either way.

I can say with strong certainty however that the Tivax STB-T8, Tivax STB-T9, Channel Master CM-7000, and all Dish Network converter boxes seem to be working quite well. We had a ton of readers purchase them through our recommended channels with very few of them contacting us to complain about their quality.