DIY Antenna Materials

The other day when I was at Home Depot, I took a closer look at the wire they had for sale. The 8 and 10 gauge copper wire looked good to me, but I still would like a material a bit more resistant to damage.

I told the associate in that section what I was after, and asked him if they had any aluminum wire or rods. He acted as puzzled as if I had asked him if they carried gold bars. The only aluminum material he could think of was electric fence wire (which turned out to be galvanized steel) and rods used for arc welding. Neither seemed like a good choice.

New DTVPal Review by CNET

Just as I had predicted, the reviews for the DISH Network DTVPal digital converter box are beginning to appear. CNET has now published the latest DTVPal review. The review is quite extensive and examines the DTVPal in great detail. They seemed very impressed by the DTVPal and especially liked the program guide. Their main criticisms seemed to be video quality (which they described as a notch below other converters) and the overcomplicated remote control. I’m familiar with that remote control (the same one is used by DISH Network for their satellite receivers) and I personally don’t agree with them. I was also surprised by the video quality comment; that contradicts other statements I have heard about superior video quality. Their conclusion is that the DTVPal is the top choice for converter box, unless you prefer the simplicity of the RCA DTA800. It’s a good review, so be sure to take a look.

DTVPal Pricing and Availability

People have been waiting for the DTVPal digital converter box to be released almost since it was announced. To refresh your memory, the DTVPal has three main features which distinguish it from other boxes:

  • a program guide with up to seven days of listings
  • event timers that can change channels
  • analog pass-through

According to this account of the latest Charlie Chat, DISH Network has now released some new details about the DTVPal. The DTVPal will be available on June 19 and the price will be $59.99. Also according to the chat, the $39.99 converter box is a separate product and it will be available later. This seems to be an official confirmation of the $59.99 price for the DTVPal. This is a bit disappointing (free with coupon has a nice sound), but it is still priced comparably to other converter boxes.

More DTVPal Details

>The DISH Network DTVPal digital converter box (formerly known as the Echostar TR-40) has been the most anticipated converter box out there, but firm details have been hard to come by. Dave Zatz has more details about the DTVPal and some new pictures. He was given a demonstration by Sling Media (also owned by EchoStar), and his pictures show a finished product, including box.