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View Full Version : Converter Box and Online TV show questions



SHpepperKat
01-14-2009, 11:56 PM
I went and got one of those damned converter boxes the other day. I've got it hooked up correctly and it does the scan and there are no, none, nada, zero, zip, zilch channels showing up with signal through the damn thing. I don't know for sure if it's because of where I live or if it's the antennae that I have or what. I actually get better reception with a piece of coax cable stuck to the antennae input on the back on my computer. Oh, I should mention that I am using my computer for a tv right now. It has evertthing that I need and I have been able to use it for this purpose in the past. My problem is that now i can get only one channel and that cuts out most of the time so I just gave up on it.

I have two questions to ask here.

One is What is the best antennae to use with this converter box. I really don't want cable again as I will watch too much tv if I have it.

The other question is besides surfthechannel and hulu.com does anyone else know of a good site to access tv shows online?

I've tried going through the network websites but it takes almost 2 hours to download a 45 minute tv episode. I don't know why it take that long but for me, it does, even with broadband cable internet. All I really want is somewhere that I can get something to listen to in the background. I can only listen to music for so long before I start changing songs or bands or the station. With tv noise, I usually just turn it on and ignore most of it.
I have even thought about netflix or something similar but at this point because I still can't go back to work for at least 3 more week, that's not something I can afford either.

I'd appreciate any ideas suggestions and assistance i can get.

Gemdrite
01-15-2009, 12:21 AM
I can't help with the techy part of it, but check your local library for movies to rent. At least then you dont have to pay to check them out.

SHpepperKat
01-15-2009, 12:24 AM
I can't help with the techy part of it, but check your local library for movies to rent. At least then you dont have to pay to check them out.
I am actually on their website right now seeing what they have. I will have to have someone get them for me but that's usually not a problem. if they have anything good. Thanks for the great idea.

Sandina
01-15-2009, 06:47 AM
My 'Biker" lives in rural upstate NY. He can't get a signal with the box either. He lives in a valley. He may just get satilite service(sorry for the spelling)

SHpepperKat
01-15-2009, 06:58 AM
I am afraid i will have to do something like that too and I dpn't want to. I've been looking for something that tells topographically if you can get ths signal the way that you are supposed to be able to. i can't find a single thing that shows it that way. I can find something that tells me that I need to get an outside antenna but nothing to show what I am looking for.

GoodyTombShoes
01-15-2009, 07:37 AM
I was reading this morning that alot of local stations aren't planning on sending a full digital signal until Feb 17th. It wouldn't hurt to call a local station and ask.

lavender r dragon
01-15-2009, 09:17 AM
i'll ask my rogue aka the cable tech.:-D
its very handy having your own cable/internet tech.;-)

Sandina
01-15-2009, 01:53 PM
we tried the website for the converter box.........nothing was useful.Still no signal/ channels.

Saucy Sue
01-15-2009, 02:00 PM
You could also ask your cable provider about a Basic plan. The company around me has been advertising a $10/month package that pretty much gives you only the channels you would pull in with an antenna.

RaevynCait
01-15-2009, 03:27 PM
There was a story on the local news last night about a man who was having trouble with his converter box, and it turned out that the problem was the original antenna wiring, which was about 40 years old. It was the old flat kind, and while he could connect it to a little converter thing that has a coaxial plug on it, it isn't really coax, and so the box wouldn't read it. In the end he had to have his antenna wiring changed to coax and that fixed the problem.

Ariyana Dragonwagon
01-15-2009, 04:39 PM
there is a site to check for your signals...

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

but they say on the main page they don't really deal with indoor antenna.

http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/
this guy has a question area scroll down to the ask denny section. He makes suggestions on which antenna would best work for people etc. You might even try writing in to ask him?

My daughter put our no known brand converter in her room and is getting great signal and results, including more stations than downstairs. The living room tv with the magnovox converter is really spotty on signal and stations and somedays we can watch and somedays we can't. I plan to get a couple more converter boxes for my son's room and our bedroom, and maybe one eventually for my little extra tv. but I think I may need to rethink my downstairs antenna or find a booster thing or... something. I suspect hers wokrs better because downstairs is brick outside and maybe harder to get a good signal, upstairs is vinyl sided and probably gets a clearer signal.

anyway just trying to help, as I wander my own way towards trying to make this darned "big change" work for me too.

SHpepperKat
01-15-2009, 07:40 PM
I went to the antenna web site last night and it didn't tell me what i wanted to know either. I did just find out that the indoor antennae that I have is supposed to be power boosted and I don't have the power cable for it. So I might be able to do it with just a boosted antennae. But I'm still not sure. Going to have to try that and see if it works.

FairieTink
01-15-2009, 07:51 PM
there is a site to check for your signals...

http://www.antennaweb.org/aw/welcome.aspx

but they say on the main page they don't really deal with indoor antenna.

http://www.dennysantennaservice.com/
this guy has a question area scroll down to the ask denny section. He makes suggestions on which antenna would best work for people etc. You might even try writing in to ask him?

My daughter put our no known brand converter in her room and is getting great signal and results, including more stations than downstairs. The living room tv with the magnovox converter is really spotty on signal and stations and somedays we can watch and somedays we can't. I plan to get a couple more converter boxes for my son's room and our bedroom, and maybe one eventually for my little extra tv. but I think I may need to rethink my downstairs antenna or find a booster thing or... something. I suspect hers wokrs better because downstairs is brick outside and maybe harder to get a good signal, upstairs is vinyl sided and probably gets a clearer signal.

anyway just trying to help, as I wander my own way towards trying to make this darned "big change" work for me too.


I have cable so I am not sure, but aren't the boxes you are getting like between 40 and 80 bucks? Cable is as low as 9 bucks a month, seems to be for the cost of all those boxes you could get a year of cable for ally our TVs?

Lis Elfwench
01-15-2009, 08:47 PM
I know you said you don't think you can afford Netflix, but are you aware of how inexpensive it can be? I can "friend" you and give you two weeks for free, and after that, there's a variety of options. $9 a month gets you as many movies as you can watch (one DVD mailed at time), and with that package you can also watch unlimited movies online. I highly recommend them...they are awesome. And if you decide to quit after the two free weeks, there's no hassle.

Send me a pm with your email if you'd like to be "friended". :lol: I think it's a heck of a better deal than basic cable, because you can watch anything you want, whenever you want. You're not stuck watching sucky daytime tv when there's nothing better on. I've been stuck home with a tv...I know my sucky daytime tv!! Right now I'm on a marathon viewing of "The Tudors" through Netflix, because I don't get Showtime.

SHpepperKat
01-15-2009, 09:12 PM
For me the converter box was less than $20.00 including tax since I had the coupon. I actually have one more that I can use but am not sure that I am going to do it. When I sent for the coupons, we were going to set one up for me and one for T. Now I'm not so sure that it's worth the hassle.


Lis, I will think about it and be sure to let you know if I decide to go to netflix. When you watch movies online, do they have to download first or are they streaming? Also with the streaming, are there stutters in the play? I get that with some things that I try to watch online and it's also why I can't use the network websites to watch shows. I even emailed KIRO for help about this. I was told that even here in P.T. that I shouldn;t have a problem. Boy were they wrong.

Thanks for the ideas so far. I will still have to keep trying to figure this out.

Lis Elfwench
01-15-2009, 09:31 PM
Lis, I will think about it and be sure to let you know if I decide to go to netflix. When you watch movies online, do they have to download first or are they streaming? Also with the streaming, are there stutters in the play? I get that with some things that I try to watch online and it's also why I can't use the network websites to watch shows. I even emailed KIRO for help about this. I was told that even here in P.T. that I shouldn;t have a problem. Boy were they wrong.

Thanks for the ideas so far. I will still have to keep trying to figure this out.

The Netflix films are streaming. I haven't watched online a lot, but the ones I did didn't have stutters or any problems at all. But then, I also haven't had problems watching streaming episodes on the network sites, so maybe my computer isn't the best judge of what yours would do. But that's what the free two week trial is for, right? :smile:

Drea Beth
01-15-2009, 10:02 PM
My sister's family watches tv shows on Hulu.com. It shows full length show for free, I'm pretty sure. I think they're about a week or two behind broadcast tv.

lavender r dragon
01-15-2009, 10:05 PM
For me the converter box was less than $20.00 including tax since I had the coupon. I actually have one more that I can use but am not sure that I am going to do it. When I sent for the coupons, we were going to set one up for me and one for T. Now I'm not so sure that it's worth the hassle.


Lis, I will think about it and be sure to let you know if I decide to go to netflix. When you watch movies online, do they have to download first or are they streaming? Also with the streaming, are there stutters in the play? I get that with some things that I try to watch online and it's also why I can't use the network websites to watch shows. I even emailed KIRO for help about this. I was told that even here in P.T. that I shouldn;t have a problem. Boy were they wrong.

Thanks for the ideas so far. I will still have to keep trying to figure this out.

we love our netflix accounts 'cause when other people tell us about good series we aren't stuck watching the middle of a season - we can go back to season 1 and start right;-)

also the selection is great....i can get random British comedies, old children/family movies, new movies.....you can even netflix CRF performers' Don Juan and Miguel's dvd (titled something like "the lost princess") - it was terribly camp-y, though my then-4yr old boys loved it b/c they recognized Don Juan and Miguel and London Broil, and Zilch the Torysteller, and the beggar (I think we even had a glimpse of Brett Blackenshear's hat in the background of a scene....ever since he made them balloon guitars at the 1st pub sing we were at in 2007, the boys would spot that hat a mile away, lol)..anyway i'll stop jacking the thread

SHpepperKat
01-15-2009, 10:23 PM
Jack away. This is all good information for me to have. I am looking at netflix again and will have to check it out again after I go back to work.

I tried hulu.com and they link to the network sites for the shows that I want and that doesn't work for me. I have been using surfthechannel.com for some stuff. it's pretty good as long as you don;t mind that most of the shows have what I think is Japanese subtitles across the screen. It doesn't matter much to me because I tend to just listen to tv anyhow. There's very few things that i actually watch. There are a few that need to be watched or that I need the english subtitles for since i can't always hear or understand what they are saying.

Jezebel
01-16-2009, 01:22 AM
You're not using a dvr like TiVo, are you? If you use TiVo, you have to buy some sort of little cable-connector thingie to hook the cable box into the TiVo so that the TiVo controls the box. Otherwise you won't get a thing (my in-laws had this problem a while back).

I don't blame you for not wanting cable. Around here (Chicagoland area) the cable prices are completely arbitrary. Whatever they think the market will bear, that's what they charge. When I was single and lived in a depressed urban area inhabited mostly by poor African-Americans and Mexicans, my cable bill was $15.00 a month. Now that I'm married and I live in a nice, quiet, predominantly white suburban neighborhood less than 30 minutes away, the basic cable package is more than twice that! I know it didn't cost any more for the cable company to run the cables out here than it did to where I was living before. They're thieves, I tell you, thieves!

SHpepperKat
01-16-2009, 01:58 AM
You're not using a dvr like TiVo, are you? If you use TiVo, you have to buy some sort of little cable-connector thingie to hook the cable box into the TiVo so that the TiVo controls the box. Otherwise you won't get a thing (my in-laws had this problem a while back).

I don't blame you for not wanting cable. Around here (Chicagoland area) the cable prices are completely arbitrary. Whatever they think the market will bear, that's what they charge. When I was single and lived in a depressed urban area inhabited mostly by poor African-Americans and Mexicans, my cable bill was $15.00 a month. Now that I'm married and I live in a nice, quiet, predominantly white suburban neighborhood less than 30 minutes away, the basic cable package is more than twice that! I know it didn't cost any more for the cable company to run the cables out here than it did to where I was living before. They're thieves, I tell you, thieves!
Nope, no tivo or anything else. I just have a set of rabbit ears.

I don't know what basic cable costs out here where I live. I think it's about $30 or so a month. i've never really looked into that. We did have satelite but that left along with the soon to be ex husband. I don't want that much tv again. it was too much and I didn't do a lot of things that I needed to do because of it. I just want to be able to get cbs on a fairly regular basis and to have a few others to run as background noise.


**Side note.. When I was growing up, we didn't have a tv for over 7 years. I don't remember how many years it was but it was most of my childhood. I had a radio that got tv sound so I listened to my shows that I wanted to see. It's been a habit ever since. I will do other things while listening to tv.