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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 11, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Update on digital TV’s effect on VCRs

Monday’s column on how VCRs will be neutered by digital TV conversion in June drew some good suggestions from readers.

Several suggested trying a particular digital converter box — the Dish Network DTVPal — that seems to work better than others with VCRs because it has built-in timer.

After researching the subject herself, Pam Carter of Tukwila scoured the Southcenter area and finally found the DTVPal at Sears.

Carter said, “We can set it to change channels to tape more than one show. However, we need to be present to push the TV/VCR button on the VCR; I haven’t been able to figure that one out yet. I think a lot of people will holler very loudly when they find they can’t tape one channel while watching another.”

William Gibbons wrote to recommend another device made by Dish, a $250 converter box with a digital video recorder built in. It’s not eligible for the $40 government coupons, though.

“I’ve been using mine for two weeks in Tigard, Oregon, and couldn’t be more pleased,” he wrote. “All Portland area digital channels/subchannels were picked up on the initial scan with signal strengths in the 90s using a rabbit ear antenna. Scheduling, recording and playback of HD & SD on this gem is pure pleasure.”

Another follow up: When I wrote the article last week, KCPQ hadn’t decided whether to delay its switch to digital broadcasting until the new deadline of June 12. It’s now decided to wait, meaning that all the major stations in the Puget Sound region will continue broadcasting analog until then. They’ll also continue simultaneous digital broadcasts.

Comments | More in | Topics: converter box, Digital TV, digital TV

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The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


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