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John Blue
We all need to think about this change that will take place on February 17, 2009. All TV stations will stop broadcast in analog and only use digital system. You think no big deal, 85% of all TV sets in USA are analog only. Most all RV equipment have analog sets. TV sets we have were build into nice oak cabinets and to change it could be a problem. Try to find one that would fit into your cabinets.

You can add a digital to analog converter box to keep the old TV set. You will need room or space to add this equipment plus AC power. Next problem is your bat-wing style antenna on roof. If you have the silver wings you will need to change that also. If you have the painted wings you are OK. Winegard has the new wings and you only need to change that part, rest of Winegard gear is OK.

Our Congress mandated this change in 2006. Now I understand tons of people do not have the dollars to buy new TV's or buy converter box. Government is now talked they may pay cost on digital to analog equipment so people can see TV again. Our government at work!

We in RV life have around 14 months to think about the best way to get ready to fix this problem.
What will we do next? tongue.gif
DXSMac
Camping World has the tuners. I looked, one will fit (barely) in my space above the TV. I have another TV nook in the back bedroom, I bought a digital TV for that space.

But, yes, replacing the front TV, which is BOLTED into my cabinet on a slider, will be an issue!

JJ
Texasrvers
I just found this website. It is not specifically about RV's, but it did seem to have some good information in general.

http://www.dtvanswers.com/
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 15 2007, 09:32 AM) *

I just found this website. It is not specifically about RV's, but it did seem to have some good information in general.

http://www.dtvanswers.com/


Oh, how I long for the days when you just plugged it in and turned it on............ AND IT WORKED!

JJ
Oakman
Yes, it should be interesting when all channels go digital. One thing you won't have to do is change your antenna. Any antenna (even old rabbit ears) will receive the digital signal.
Camping Fan
QUOTE(Oakman @ Dec 15 2007, 07:59 PM) *

Yes, it should be interesting when all channels go digital. One thing you won't have to do is change your antenna. Any antenna (even old rabbit ears) will receive the digital signal.


That may or may not be true, depending on whether the stations you watch will be changing to different channels for their digital feed.
http://www.dtvanswers.com/dtv_antenna.html
John Blue
I called Winegard over the bat wing antenna we all have on roof. The ones that are sliver in color are old type (model RV 2001) this will work but not very well. You will lose range. The new ones are model# 2005 and have painted wings. The new ones are set up for DTV. You can change out the wing only for around $70.00. Remove two pins and the cable will do the trick. Check Winegard web site or call 800-288-8094 for more information.
Jerry S.
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 15 2007, 12:32 PM) *

I just found this website. It is not specifically about RV's, but it did seem to have some good information in general.

http://www.dtvanswers.com/


I checked out the dtvanswers site and it indicated that, if you already have cable at home, you will not have to get a new TV for home. If true, that will save some bucks. I'm one of those cheap people who doesn't like to replace something if it still works. I'd hate to dump two perfectly good TVs just because of this change in technology. On the road, of course, may be a different story. I don't have satellite on board, but usually stay at parks with cable. If I understand the dtvanswers site correctly, an HDTV may not be needed in those parks that have cable. Anybody have any insight on this?
Texasrvers
Counting our home and motor home we have seven TV's. The 2 newest are in the MH and are 3 years old. The home TV's are older with some of them being ancient. We subscribe to a cable service at home, and usually stay at RV parks that have cable/satellite service. Only rarely do we have to use the antenna when we're on the road. We were pretty sure our equipment would be far too old to handle the new technology when it switches over in 2009. And like Jerry we were not excited about having to change out seven TV's. Then I was listening to a news program, and they mentioned the dtvanswers website (which I posted earlier). After reading the info there we began to think we were not as bad off as we originally thought. If we read it correctly the only TV's that will be affected are those that still receive a signal with an antenna. If you receive your signal through a cable or satellite service apparently you will not need to do anything.

Now since you can never be sure if what you read on the internet is true we went to Best Buy and talked to one of their sales reps. He said the exact same thing as the website. Still being skeptical we went to a high end home technology store and when they said the same thing we started to believe it. So we think we'll be fine at home and also if we use the cable at a park, but we plan to check out the motor home situation a little more to see if we'll get a signal with just the antenna. If we can't it seems the solution will be to buy a converter box, and I'm assuming we will need one for each TV. At least the website tells how we can get a coupon for $40 off. I don't know how much the boxes cost, but $40 is a nice start.

I'm sure we'll do whatever it takes because we can't miss our favorite shows (if the writers ever win their strike and start writing again).
Beastdriver
TexasRvers:

There's a writer's strike??? Really? Who would have thunk it.

Seriously, we have had almost no impact on our daily TV habits due to the writer's strike because the only thing we find worth watching are the reruns, anyway. Maybe we're just getting old but almost none of the new tv shows they've put on in the past few years appeal to us. I've had enough of the reality shows, the game shows, and the other shows that don't have anything interesting about them. About the only exception is American Idol which we find interesting and entertaining. Just my opinion, of course.
Texasrvers
We have also wondered "What strike?" The shows just seem to be going on as usual. However, the information I've read says the first shows affected were the talk shows, and they have been in reruns from the beginning of the strike, but it's been kind of fun to watch them and see how it was "back then." I also read that the reality shows won't be affected because they are not scripted. I expected it to affect the soap operas before now, but I have recently heard most of them have filmed episodes that will take them through Feb. So that leaves the prime time shows, and I heard most of them had the first half of their season filmed which would take them through Dec. and some into Jan. After that they may be in trouble. Some articles have said the effects of the strike are yet to come, but like you, we also like the reruns. Most of them I can't remember seeing the first time around anyway so it's new to me. As you can see we do watch a lot of TV.
Silvana
We bought a new tv for the bedroom in our rv a couple of months ago. We were in Nevada last month and when I set the tv for programming I discovered the digital program button. I tried it, the reception and clarity was better that any cable and perhaps satellite. We were impressed. While in Vegas we watched digital over the offered cable at the park! WOW biggrin.gif
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 22 2007, 09:07 AM) *

We have also wondered "What strike?" The shows just seem to be going on as usual. However, the information I've read says the first shows affected were the talk shows, and they have been in reruns from the beginning of the strike, but it's been kind of fun to watch them and see how it was "back then." I also read that the reality shows won't be affected because they are not scripted. I expected it to affect the soap operas before now, but I have recently heard most of them have filmed episodes that will take them through Feb. So that leaves the prime time shows, and I heard most of them had the first half of their season filmed which would take them through Dec. and some into Jan. After that they may be in trouble. Some articles have said the effects of the strike are yet to come, but like you, we also like the reruns. Most of them I can't remember seeing the first time around anyway so it's new to me. As you can see we do watch a lot of TV.


One show that I KNOW has been affected is "24." Season 7 isn't going to air, even though they have done, like, 6 episodes or something. This show usually starts in January and they run it all the way to June without any pre-emptions. The show is done in "real time" so it cannot be aired at all!

JJ
Texasrvers
I can see how "24" would be affected because of its format. I've also heard that the strike will start to affect the movie industry if it goes on much longer. Because movies are filmed quite some time before they are released, new ones are still coming out right now. I read that most of the summer 2008 blockbusters got filmed, but are experiencing a little trouble if some scenes needed to be rewritten, and if the director or actors are members of the writers guild(which some of them are) even they can't do the rewrite. Well, that's ok. There are a LOT of movies out on DVD that we haven't seen.
Butch
On the subject of the writers strike, maybe they all should be fired and a new group of writers hired. We find the movies and tv shows of today to be pure junk on most all points. They fail to entertain, enlighten, or provoke the observer to think differently on a given subject. There are a few good ones but they are few in number. We do not go to movies, but do purchase DVDs on a few movies per year, but most are older releases when actors were the actors and the directors were directors, not actors who think they can direct. There are exceptions to this statement, Redford, and Newman being examples. The entertainment industry surely does not make much money on us. Sorry to have gotten off the original posted subject.
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Dec 23 2007, 12:34 PM) *

I've also heard that the strike will start to affect the movie industry if it goes on much longer. Because movies are filmed quite some time before they are released, new ones are still coming out right now. I read that most of the summer 2008 blockbusters got filmed, but are experiencing a little trouble if some scenes needed to be rewritten, and if the director or actors are members of the writers guild(which some of them are) even they can't do the rewrite. Well, that's ok. There are a LOT of movies out on DVD that we haven't seen.


Well, my understanding is that directors prefer movies to be released at Christmastime anyway, because those have a better chance of getting nominated for Oscars. So we don't have any summer blockbusters........

JJ
DXSMac
An engineer friend of mine, who "claims" to be an "expert" in electronics, told me that the reason it won't be a problem if you have cable is because you will receive your cable, but it will be "pushed through" as analog if you don't have an HD ready TV. That kind of doesn't make sense to me. Who knows.

But if you are getting your TV via an antena, you will need a converter. I'm wondering where I will have room for the converter box on my front TV, which pretty much takes up a lot of space in it's specially made TV nook. My front TV is bolted to a slide out stand, centered in the nook, and there is only 3 inches of clearance on the top and sides.

JJ unsure.gif
Big Ben
You guys are making to big a deal out of the digital thing. It is a great excuss to buy a new MH.
Butch
QUOTE(Big Ben @ Dec 26 2007, 05:18 PM) *

You guys are making to big a deal out of the digital thing. It is a great excuss to buy a new MH.



Thanks Big Ben, now we have a reason to justify our looking at new motor homes !!!!!
BJMA
WalMart is selling Digital to NTSC converters... somewhere around $90.00. The gov't in their infinite "wisdom" is going to give everyone a $40.00 coupon... this ought to be real interesting on how that project/program is going to run....

An antenna is an antenna, it does not give two hoots if it is pulling in a digital signal or an analog signal, the antenna just does not care. The ONLY reason why the MARGINAL AT BEST (Piece Of Stuff) bat wing antenna is or may be a problem is only because the digital TV broadcasts are "way up" the TV band. This may change, as analog transmitters die off and the band empties, it will soon fill up with digital signals, so the maginal at best POS batwing will be back in its element. EXCEPT on 700MHz, this bands fate has already been predetermined. Many of the old analog broadcast bands may meet the similar fate as public service users decide they need more spectrum.

The whole idea to kill off analog bandeating broadcasts was inevitable. It is only that it took the congress to mandate the move since if it were left up to the industry, the move would never have happened.

As a TV watcher, I would not be in a tizzy over this. The DBS systems will still be both "HD" and NTSC, same with cable. As long as camp grounds offer cable TV, our old TVs will still work, and if you subscribe to a DBS service, there is no huge hurry to switch. The only user that needs to upgrade to digital are those that only use off the air signals, the only reason to replace the antenna is for one with higher gain on the higher frequencies. But, as I said, as things settle down, and the bands are either repopulated or refarmed, then the existing antenna will be fine.


f94
I called the 1-800-DTV2009 number yesterday and applied for two coupons to help with the purchase of the converters. Was told that the coupons would be mailed out sometime in late February or early March and that they have a 90 day expiration date. I was going to wait until later in the year, but since they are limited and on a "first come, first served" basis, I thought it would be best just to go ahead and get them.

Now ................. the issue of the color of our batwing antenna is another story. Since the RV is in storage, I'll have to wait awhile to see what I need in that regard.
BJMA
QUOTE(John Blue @ Nov 27 2007, 11:02 AM) *



We in RV life have around 14 months to think about the best way to get ready to fix this problem.
What will we do next? tongue.gif


IF you have direct broadcast satellite service (DirecTV, Dish Network) you will NOT need to change anything. If the campground offers CATV - cable service, you do not need to change anything. The only users that must "upgrade" to a newer DTV tuner TV or to add a DTV tuner to the existing TV are those that get you TV broadcasts off the air. MATV may need a new TV or converter because you are only sharing the big TV antenna. I have never seen MATV used in a park - yet.

Also, a TV antenna is a TV antenna. The old batwing has ALWAYS been a marginal antenna and with many of the new digital broadcasters way up the band, then you may need to upgrade, but many are also on the low end of the UHF band too. Here in Cincinnati, they are around CH31. The "upgrade" maybe as simple is a wider bandwidth pre-amp since newer solid state devices are getting lower noise figures and higher gain than the old (pre-historic) FETS used in the older pre-amps.
DXSMac
Ok, we are hearing that if you have cable, you do NOTHING. DTVAnswers.com is telling us this. I'm not so sure that is entirely true.

I have one Digital-ready TV, and one LCD TV that I believe is analog (bought it in 2002).

My cable company sent me a revised list of channels. My Digital-ready TV has two connections, one for standard and one for digital. I was using the standard connection. I switched to the digital connection and rescanned the channels. Well, guess what. I got three extra channels (and about 20 "audio" channels), and I CANNOT get these channels on my small 14 inch LCD.

I'm still thinking you might need a tuner, even if you are getting cable. From what I am reading on DTVAnswers.com, anyone can apply for up to two coupons until March of this year. After that, only people who absolutely do not have cable/satellite and are ONLY getting TV via antena can apply for any coupons.

I applied for ONE coupon. I was going to apply for two (one for that 14 inch LCD, and one for the TV in my RV, which is definitely analog....), but I didn't.

When I get my coupon, I will get my tuner and hook it up to my 14 inch LCD and let you know what happened.

And, for people who are concerned that ordering the coupons will put them on any sort of junk mail list, the DTVAnswers.com web site indicates the addresses are ONLY to be used for mailing the coupons, and the information will not be sold. (However, I'm still skeptical.... I've heard that one before......)

JJ
Texasrvers
JJ,

Your situation sounds similar to ours. Here's what I know (I think). We subscribe to a cable service. It provides channels from 2 all the way up to 900+. Our newest TV is 5-6 years old (I think it is digital ready, but I'm not sure). We also have a couple that are so ancient that they have to be analog. All but one of them are connected directly to a cable outlet in the house, and they all receive channels 2-99 without any kind of cable box. The one remaining TV does have a digital cable box. It could receive all the channels, but we do not pay for all that are available. Your information got me to thinking about our service so I called our provider and asked these questions.

1. With the service I currently subscribe to will I need to get additional digital converter boxes for my older TV's before 2009. They said no.

2. If I have a digital ready TV will it still need a box to get channels above 99. Yes, because that is how they control what service we pay for.

3. If we put the box on the older TV's will we also get the higher channels. Yes, but only those we pay for.

Now of course this is for our cable company, and others may be different. But based on the information I got today I do not plan to change anything at our house. Also right now I am thinking I will not need to do anything in the RV either. That TV is about 4 years old. When we travel we almost always choose parks that have cable so that TV should work just fine under those circumstances. If it won't work with just the antennae, then I'll probably get a box, but that is down the road.

Right now we think we are all set for 2009, but time will tell.

By the way, you said the coupons would be available through March of this year. Aren't they available through March of 2009?
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Jan 14 2008, 11:58 AM) *


By the way, you said the coupons would be available through March of this year. Aren't they available through March of 2009?


I stand corrected. ALL households can request coupons up to March 2009.

JJ
gwbischoff
Does anyone have any experience with the new converters yet?

I'm debating whether to do that or just suck it up and install a sat.
DXSMac
QUOTE(gwbischoff @ Apr 7 2008, 02:23 PM) *

Does anyone have any experience with the new converters yet?

I'm debating whether to do that or just suck it up and install a sat.


I'm still waiting for my coupon! Even though I solved my RV problem by trading RV's, I still need the coupon for my 14 inch analog at home! I have cable service, but it is my belief that one still needs the converter box even in that situation. Ok, I will still have TV without the converter box, but I won't get all the channels I get on my digital TV!

I'M USING THE "EDIT POST" FEATURE. I JUST NOW GOT MY COUPON! I'LL GO TO BEST BUY AND GET ONE OF THOSE BOXES AND SEE IF IT LETS ME GET THOSE EXTRA CHANNELS.

JJ
MoJo Man
biggrin.gif I found a great source for custom HDTV Upgrades to replace your old Analog tube TV with a Hi-Def HDTV. They provide a custom wood frame (to match your existing cabinet frame but with a 16:9 opening to match a new HDTV), choice of HDTV's and a special heavy-duty mount -- that mounts your HDTV inside the existing cabinet.

They provide Professional Installation at your RV anywhere in the U.S. and D-I-Y kits (if you are very handy and have a buddy to help).

Check out www.RVdigitalTV.com

This is a ingenius approach to solve the Digital Transition coming in February, 2009... and let you enjoy the same Hi-Def "over-the-air" progamming you enjoy at home. I've got mine ordered now!

MoJo Man cool.gif
Texasrvers
I'm sorry. I must be missing something. I clicked every link on the site in Mojo man's post, and all I got were links to information about switching to digital TV. While that was helpful, I never did find out anything about an actual upgrade kit to use in RV's although this is what the advertisement claims it is about. I would want to know what the "kit" looks like. What comes with it? Who is the professional that installs it? AND how much does this cost??? I know there was a form to fill out for more info, but it said this would reserve the kit. I'm not ready to order until I have more answers. Did I just not see the information that should be there??????
DXSMac
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Apr 18 2008, 04:25 PM) *

I'm sorry. I must be missing something. I clicked every link on the site in Mojo man's post, and all I got were links to information about switching to digital TV. While that was helpful, I never did find out anything about an actual upgrade kit to use in RV's although this is what the advertisement claims it is about. I would want to know what the "kit" looks like. What comes with it? Who is the professional that installs it? AND how much does this cost??? I know there was a form to fill out for more info, but it said this would reserve the kit. I'm not ready to order until I have more answers. Did I just not see the information that should be there??????


I'm glad YOU asked the questions, now I don't feel so stupid! I was wondering the same thing!

JJ
MoJo Man
You are right... the site has now been changed... and provides a form to sign-up for more product information.

As I understand it, they will have final pricing and configurations available May 1, 2008.

When I signed up... I received the Beta-Test program... which I ordered. I just recently completed the installation and it works like a charm!!! I'll post some pictures shortly.
DXSMac
QUOTE(MoJo Man @ Apr 19 2008, 08:16 PM) *

You are right... the site has now been changed... and provides a form to sign-up for more product information.

As I understand it, they will have final pricing and configurations available May 1, 2008.

When I signed up... I received the Beta-Test program... which I ordered. I just recently completed the installation and it works like a charm!!! I'll post some pictures shortly.


I'm sure you're being sincere..... smile.gif but the above sounds like a Bill Gates/Microsoft joke that I heard........ something about heaven and hell, someone gets to pick whether they go to heaven or hell, heaven has lovely people and pearly gates, but hell has beautiful women, lots of food, so the person picks hell, only to be stuck into fire and "dangnation", and upon inquiry the person is told "that's the Beta version....." laugh.gif

If you hear more, let us know! This sounds like a good alternative....

JJ
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