Tivax STB-T9 Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 3.5

Update October 2008: The Tivax STB-T9 has been upgrade to the Tivax STB-T8 which includes analog pass-through. This one is now sold out and unavailable at most online and retail stores. If you are lucky enough to find it on eBay is may be worth grabbing quickly before it's gone forever

At first we were pretty upset when we heard that this one was out of stock but then we found out it was simply because they are keeping things simple at Tivax. Instead of coming out with a ton of different version they simply upgraded this one to include a few key features that were missing and then took the inferior box out of production. Way to go, a company that finally gets it.

Product Details: The Tivax STB-T9 is one the best converter boxes money can buy when comparing picture quality. This box has gives out a DVD quality picture that is a huge upgrade over analog TV. Besides this our reviews also revealed that it also has very good sound quality. It clearly puts out much better sound quality than you would get when watching in analog, but its sound quality not above and beyond what you get with most other converter boxes. This little guy can be purchased online for between $45-$60 depending on the timing of your purchase. Overall it provides a picture upgrade and a slight sound upgrade over the traditional viewing experience that you would be use to getting over the analog airwaves.

Features: This converter box provides a better than average programming guide that shows each channels future show lineups for a couple of hours in advance. A guide that you would not ordinarily get without it. It also allows users to manually set one digital channel at a time or scan for all digital channels at once. If no signal is found but a user knows that one exists they can use the on-screen signal strength meter to monitor the strength while adjusting their digital TV antenna to pick up the channel. Lastly, the menu and controls area also allows you to change the font, font size, and font color for your closed captioning text.

This Tivax box comes out as a winner when compared to all other government certified boxes due to its good picture and sound quality. The only major issue it is that it does not come with analog pass-through. Without the pass-through function you could be susceptible to losing some channels that aren't required to make the transition. If you are looking for a similar converter box to the Tivax STB-T9 but need analog pass-through then you should get the new Tivax STB-T8.

Update February 2014

Real User Review: A site visitor, Karen recently used the information on our blog to make a decision about which converter box was right for her. She went with the Tivax STB-T9 and has been using it for several weeks now. You can read the messages below that she has sent me about here experiences with her new box and digital television in general.

Karen said...
"Thank you for your website reviews. We have relied heavily on them in making a decision as to which converter to purchase. Our coupon expiration was closing in so after endless attempts to buy in local stores and then making even more daily phone calls to see if they had received any converters, we decided to buy online. According to your info and availability, we ordered the Tivax STB-T9 today. With a cost difference of $8.95 after the government coupon (and before shipping) it seemed like a good choice."
She also said...
"Well hi Jesse, I received my Tivax converter yesterday as did my neighbors. It was simple to hook up. The manual that came with it was very helpful. We receive our TV reception with rabbit ears to which we have added a booster. I routed the Tivax through the booster to the TV. I lost one channel that had been very weak but gained two more channels. The reception is must better on all of the channels then it had been. The pictures are very clear and the sound good. I did find that I had to boost my sound all the way up on the TV remote to get more play in the Tivax remote. This is vital in our house because my husband is very hard of hearing. My only complaint is the small remote but I knew that when I purchased it and it is easy to program and operate. I am VERY HAPPY with my purchase and would recommend it to anyone."
Big City User Said...
"Thank you for this website for all of the information provided on many converter boxes. I used all of the information from the official write-ups to determine my final choice. 
I bought this box because of the write-up here and postive reviews on CNET and Amazon. I was concerned about the negative reviews that were quite extreme but took a chance on the Tivax. It seemed to be the lesser evil of all converter boxes.  
I have owned this since May 2009. I watch TV on weekday evenings for multiple hours and it is on for 6 hours plus at least 1 day on the weekend. So comments are based on mid-to-heavy usage.
I also live in a major city to put in context for reception purposes. 
Summary: Great picture quality, good sound, great reception - used to receive 9 channels with rabbit ears, now I receive over 30 channels. 
Box: Sleek and small 
Remote: Cheap look and feeling. Has short reception - not very tolerant of clicking at angles. The remote has to be pointed directly at the unit. I have dropped it a few times, but it continues to work. 
function: When changing channels it does take time for the new channel to show up on screen, but not an issue for me. People have complained about this, but COME ON PEOPLE. What do you expect from a converter box?? If you want better, get cable. 
I did have the box shut down on me repeatedly one day. I unplugged it and let it rest for a day and it's been fine ever since. I think it was due to voltage burst; so make sure you use a strip. I haven't experienced any of the issus that some of the users have. No other issues for the 7-8 months of use. 
It does what it's supposed to well. It is not high-tech; so don't expect it to be." 
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Configurable Closed Captioning
Electronic Program Guide
On Box Buttons
On Screen Signal Strength Meter
Smart Antenna Port (unable to confirm)
Energy Star Compliant
English, French, and Spanish Language Support
Compact Size
75 ohm Connector
6.50”W x 2”D x 8.5”H (Approximate)

What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Tivax Converter Box
Remote Control
Remote Control Batteries
RF Cable
AV Cable
Attached Power Cord


  1. I would be interested to see a review on the Apex DT250 and see how the picture quality and sensitivity compare to the Tivax STB-T9. There is speculation around the internet that the Apex is a Tivax clone with the addition of S-video.

  2. G Berlin- ColoradoMay 20, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    I bought the STB-T9 lst year for $79 ($39 when the coupon was deducted) because it was highly rated by many websites. The coverter continually loses channels and has to be reprogrammed. The Motorola converter that I bought at Radio Shack for $49 works MUCH better.

  3. Bought STB-8 from Amazon based on comments here and Consumer Reports. Works well in basement with only beat up rabbit ears (no UHF loop antenna). Pleasantly surprised to see large number of channels.

  4. Purchased Tivax STB-T9 converter two months before first analog to digital date.Then that date was pushed back. Finally needed to install it and it quit working two months later. Does nothing but glow a org-red color light no matter how you try to turn it on. So five to six months after purchase it's crap. The warranty is for three months from date of purchase. BBW

  5. My coupons expired in July of 2008, before any decent boxes were readily available. I found a couple of these for a bit below suggested below retail and bought them in the fall of 2008. Fortunately I watched for news of replacement coupons and applied when the replacement program was announced.

    To be blunt, the Tivax STB-T9 started out ok but seemed to lose the signal more and more often. When the coupons were delivered I immediately ordered two Channel Master CM-7000 for myself and two for my mother. The CM-7000 picture is a bit less crisp and clear than the STB-T9 but it makes up for that by providing a much more reliable signal lock. With the stb and antenna in exactly the same place with the same antenna pointed the same way the Tivax STB-T9 was constantly losing the signal but the Channel Master CM-7000 doesn't.

  6. Well, this is Karen, 1 1/2 years later. I bought a total of 3 Tivax STB-9 boxes. My neighbor had one and theirs's has already given out. They get much better reception with their new motorola. I am still using my orginal box plus the extra that I bought later on. I'm not wowed with them as my analog signal was much more stable. Unfortunately I haven't tried any other digital box so I have no comparison, but I think I would like to try another brand sometime in the future.

  7. Purchased 2 Tivax converter boxes in 2009. Each only functioned for approx. 1 yr before replacemnt needed, and 1 TV used about 2 hr. per day. May be well rated, but not long-lasting, especially for the $$.

    IJ - Scottsdale

  8. love my Tivax I found at a thrift store for $10 love the fact that I can scan add on channels and not have to do a full scan like my Magnavox and lose channels and have to start scan over also on screen program menu is better like the fact it has analog pass through not like my cheap Magnavox best part is paid $10 for my Magnavox with coupon and sold it to my bu for $20 and he loves it now we both are happy

  9. I bought 4 of the Tivax STB-T9 when they had the coupon subsidy. Of 4, 3 have now failed within a few weeks of each other. Just so you know.

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