After much research to get the best digital to analog converter TV box for our 2 rooms that will not be hooked up to satellite or cable for awhile, I decided that I would buy 2 of the LG Zenith’s DTT901’s converter boxes.
Recommend this product?
My research indicated to buy only the DTT901 manufacturing date of at least May 2008 as there were some problems with models before then that was corrected starting with May and beyond. My understanding is that LG manufactures the converter boxes and sells them as either a Zenith DTT901 or an Insignia brand sold at Best Buy. As you can see in the picture above, that this one is a Zenith by seeing the big Z on the bottom left corner.
These are covered under the government coupon if you are eligible. Each home is allowed 2 coupons at $40 each to help pay to make this transition from analog to digital TV. You still need an antenna however, either roof mounted or via rabbit ears or a box top set.
I did have a hard time deciding between this one and the Dish Network model as they both were rated excellent for picture quality but the Dish Network model had a much better guide, however no buttons on the box at all so it you lost the remote or it stopped working, you had no way to control the TV or box since its remote was not universal and people on various forums hadn't found a universal remote that did work.
You will also find some, not many offer a S video connection as well. There are many out on the market but the DT9901 consistently was the one most people sought and were happy with.
Out of the box was the small lightweight sturdy converter box with a universal remote control and battery, coaxial RF cable, composite RCA video and RCA stereo audio cables, all 4 feet long, are included. The instructions were easy to read and setup took less than 5 minutes. There are also instructions to hook up a VCR or DVD as well. After hooking up the cables you follow the instructions for the box to scan for the TV stations. Mine found 13 stations. You can add stations as well as delete stations.
The following are the features the Zenith DTT901 has that in my research I found that I needed and wanted:
a) Analog pass-through, making it possible to watch any low-power analog stations remaining during and after the digital changeover.
b) A universal remote control that can control the box as well as the TV stations and volume.
c) A signal strength meter with a bar and amplifying beeps for tuning the antenna for a TV station accessible by its own button on the remote control.
d) A TV guide (this has a simple one that shows what is playing now and what plays next).
e) An auto-off feature, which can be disabled to allow for VCR timer recordings.
f) A sturdy stay cool box with controls on the box and not just the remote.
g) EZ add which allows additional channels to be added manually that may not have been automatically scanned due to antenna position.
There is also an advanced closed captioning: Access closed captions using the CC button on the remote control or through the simple menu. You can also choose fonts, sizes, colors and more for digital closed captions.
Other features include a lock menu feature allowing you to set up specific channels and ratings through blocking schemes requiring access with a password that you set up. Parents can prevent children from watching certain TV programs from the ratings limit set.
I was very surprised at the excellent picture quality of the TV stations on both of the TV’s. They looked like they were hooked up to cable or satellite. The stations are crystal clear and there is no more fuzzy or fading in and out channels. One TV is a 45-inch big screen and the other is a 19” model built in the 80’s.
Picture Zoom is settable for each channel and the universal remote found my access codes for one of the older TV’s bought in the 1980’s which after setting can turn off the box and TV as well as changing the stations and controlling the volume. The box has a bright red/blue LED light on the front to make it easy to tell when the tuner is on or off. It offers 2 TV aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9 as well as a choice of English, French, or Spanish languages.
I have found more channels using the box by the way of sub-channels, for example in my area channel 6 offers a sub channel named 6-2, which is a 24-hour weather station. Sometimes the local network channels show the same shows as for instance 4-1 and 4-2 and other times they show entirely different programming so you are receiving far more stations this way as oppose to the analog way. I was able to manually add a station that I knew existed by using the signal strength meter as I turned the antenna to receive the strongest signal and it now comes in clear.
Even though the guide is simple and nothing close to the resemblance of one as on cable or satellite, it is more than what you get by the way of just analog television. To use the guide to see the information for a current program or the next program you would just depress “guide” and it shows you what is on now and coming up next for that station as well as others.
The program information display appears when you depress “Display” on the remote. It then shows the program title, the current date, the start and end time, the current time, the channel number, the station name, the aspect ratio, and any program details that the broadcaster supplies.
So far there are only 2 negatives that I have found. One is the volume control on the TV must be up high enough to accommodate the volume control on the remote control to go up to that level and the other is the power cord and cables are not long enough for the box to sit on the top of the taller TV. The power cord is 5 feet in length.
I highly recommend this converter box as it does not get hot and is very sturdy and having the universal remote makes things easier. The picture quality is excellent. My understanding is that this converter box is more sensitive than others to pick up more stations than some do so that as well as the signal strength meter should be able to get the maximum out of your capability of receiving your needed channels. I have not had any problems of the picture or sound fading. With the LG name, you just can’t go wrong with this product.
This is rated as an Energy Star.
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