The FCC and Congress have put American citizens in harm’s way as millions cannot catch weather alerts or other important televised information anymore. The reason? The analog to digital television conversion which is still causing problems for people on a tight budget who cannot afford a cable or satellite provider.
At one point it was estimated that 2.8 million Americans had no access to television following the changeover. Although Americans were promised an easy transition, millions have been forced to go without television since 2009 because converter boxes like the Magnavox Converter Box that I tried don’t work on many television sets. The alternatives given to taxpayers during the bad economy have been to switch to satellite TV, switch to cable, buy a large antenna to mount on the rooftop or buy a digital television and hope it picks up a signal (which is especially tricky when the weather is bad).
Many Americans who don’t watch a lot of television depend on their TVs during tornadoes or other crisis, but getting a pixilated black and white picture with no sound that lasts a few seconds before it disintegrates is not helpful during a crisis.
So what can you do to get a decent picture if you don’t have the budget for cable, satellite or expensive new digital television? Here are four ways to upgrade your television on a budget.
Salvage Your Old Analog TV
If you didn’t discard your old analog television, the least expensive fix is to try a converter box like the Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities. Only $34.98, this affordable box should allow your old TV to receive new digital broadcasts. It comes with a variety of features including programming guides, parental controls to restrict children’s access, an emergency alert system, and several other features.
Buy an Inexpensive Digital TV
Now that digital technology has been around for a while, it is not as hard to find an inexpensive Digital TV at your local Walmart or on eBay or Amazon. A Walmart digital television can be found for as low as $129 for this JVC LT-19DE74 19′ 720p 60Hz LED HDTV/DVD Combo on clearance, even less for off brands like a Sceptre television as well as smaller screens. However this Quasar SQ3200 32′ 720p 60Hz LED HDTV for $169 has a much bigger screen and 1366 x 768 HD resolution for just a little more money.
Try an Indoor Antenna
If your digital television does not pull in a good signal, an indoor antenna might do the trick. This Axis Communications Compact Digital Indoor Antenna sells for just $18.19 and was designed especially for HDTV. You can might also want to look at an RCA antenna.
Try an Outdoor Antenna
The RCA ANT800 Flat Digital Outdoor Antenna is only $61 and should pull in local HD and other digital broadcasts for free and is compatible with all digital and analog TV frequencies. It is compact, can be painted to match the house and is the easiest antenna to camouflage. RCA antennas come in a variety of sizes and prices.
While there are now more options on the market for Americans who have been without TV for several years, there is no cheap fix to this situation. This should served as a wake-up call on how the U.S. government can make a decision, promise citizens it will be easy, and then leave a great deal of its people in worse state than they were before. Thanks, U.S. Government and FCC for driving the monthly costs up for millions of Americans…again…
- Analog to Digital TV Conversion: Approximately 2.8 Million Americans Now Without Television
- Converting Analog Televisions to Digital TV Not as Easy as Promised
- Analog to Digital Television Conversion Problems Continue; FCC Passes The Buck
- Converting Analog Television to Digital TV Still Not Working For Millions of Americans
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