After a slow start, DISH Network has released quite a number of digital converter boxes lately. Now they have announced the DTVPal DVR, a digital video recorder for over-the-air broadcast television.
I’ve written before about the DISH Network DTVPal, a $59.99 digital converter box with some of the best features of any converter box available. DISH Network later released another converter box, the EchoStar TR-40 CRA, with a price $20 lower than the DTVPal. This was somewhat confusing because the TR-40 CRA was exactly the same unit as the DTVPal!
Judging from the number of emails I have received on the subject, there seems to be quite a lot of interest in building your own UHF antenna for HDTV reception. I’ve discussed this topic a few times in the past, but here are some resources for prospective antenna builders.
There were persistent rumors before the DTVPal digital converter box was released on June 26 that DISH Network had already signed up Sears and Radio Shack as national distributors. But neither chain sold the DTVPal after the introduction. The DTVPal remained available only through the official DTVPal website and through some smaller, local retailers.
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.
Doc Searls wrote an article which poses this question about the digital television switchover: What happens after TV’s mainframe era ends next February?