Surprising Digital TV Reception

Back in September, I posted about my experiences with helping my mother-in-law get her TV ready for the switch to over-the-air digital TV. At that time, I knew it wouldn’t be my last encounter with this technology. All of the televisions in our house are connected to the Dish Network except one. We have a TV in the utility room in the basement. It is an old 13 inch with rabbit ears and dials on the TV to change the channel and adjust the volume (no remote). The only time it gets used is when I ride my exercise bike in morning before work. I watch the Channel 12 news while I ride. Basically, it gets turned on every day for about 45 minutes at the same volume and same channel. In mid-February, because of the nationwide switch to DTV, it will cease to work.

Back in December, I applied for and received a $40 coupon from the government for a converter box. On Saturday, I went to Best Buy and picked an Insignia Digital Converter Box and an RCA Digital Antenna. I have to say that I was more than skeptical that this would work given how far we live from the major Milwaukee metro televisions stations and the fact that the TV is located in the basement. I pulled these items out of their boxes and installed them without reading any of the manuals (I think that is a technique I learned growing up). I hung the antenna from a nail in the floor joists of the floor above. I turned on the converter box and the TV and everything worked far beyond my expectations.

That television now receives 24 different channels including the eight MPTV Channel 36 variations. All of the channels come in very strong. On top of that, the converter box comes with a remote that controls channel selection and volume. Granted, I still have to turn the television on and off by hand, but now I am not confined to watching the same thing every morning and I can even change things up in the middle of my workout. I’m sure that seems like a small thing to many people but, to me, that is a huge step forward.


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