Packard Sonic’s Blog
From the mind of Packard Sonic. Buckle up for this ride!

My what big ears you have! The better to DTV you with!

No, I’m not talking about the story of little red ridding hood, but the upcoming switch to the new DTV.

While the government does this switch to the new DTV, for now if we are still close enough to a transmitter to get a signal to watch, but if you are just at the edge of the range you wont get the video at all. For awhile now, I have been using the standard analog signal with no antenna and only the use of a cable hanging out of the back of the TV to pick up the local signals. Recently I finally got the DTV converter cards in the mail and picked up not only the converter but a in house TV antenna. These “rabbit ears” while they look ugly do work…. Somewhat. While I was there the I was pricing these antenna, which are in house to something more elaborate. from $8.99 to almost $40.00! The cards that the government give out are only worth $40.00 to begin with and if you get the cheapest antenna you may get marginal signal if any at all. However, if you get the most expensive one you should get a better signal or so you might think. If this is true or not I don’t know for sure. While my resources like most people are limited due to whats going on around them, I can’t afford to get the high end antenna. While at times the signal is clear and I will admit it is a lot clearer than what I was expecting and the extra information it carries with it is also a welcome addition to what your watching. There are a few drawbacks I’m seeing so far. Before I get in to the drawbacks I should back up just a little bit here, for many, many years I was like most everyone else I had signals right off the air TV, then moved to cable, eventually I had satellite. Which has probability the best signal and control overall than cable. While I haven’t had cable recently, I’m sure there has been more control and whatnot’s added to the service, I still enjoyed satellite the most. But as I had to cut back on what I could and couldn’t afford, I’m back to the off the air signals again. Now for the problems with DTV I have seen so far. One of which is latency. To many that don’t watch it hard enough, you may not notice the slight second – half second delay between what the audio from when the person speaks and when their mouth catches up with what the audio is at. I don’t know about anyone else, but this is very annoying, it’s like having ADD via TV! Maybe that will improve as the technology becomes more common place or gets better. Another thing that really bothers me is the signal drop outs that happen. Again, this could be because of the cheap antenna I bought or possible the weather as my youngest daughter has said as they have had it at their mothers house for awhile now get that when it gets bad. Wait… The weather? The antenna is in the house how can the weather be affecting the signal quality? Now this… This is something that needs to be explained if its true. Someone may say well… Just go out and get a new TV. Ok… IF I can’t afford a $40.00 antenna, I can afford a $300 – $500 TV set? Lets do the math here? Maybe when I have the cash to, I will do just that. Until then, I trudge along with the converter box. Another thing that I am finding very annoying is the “box” the video has to put in for the picture to be seen. So, the 32″ TV set is now like having a 26″ TV set again! I didn’t buy a 32″ TV all those years ago just to have it reduced to a 26″ viewing area. I shudder to think if I were to put it on an even smaller set, would I have to be looking at a picture the size of a postage stamp! I may have to find another way to get the video to the TV that be more worth watching again.

Until then, while technology gets better, the rest of us without the resources to catch up properly The thing to do would be hold off on the switchover. Not forever, but for just awhile longer..

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