on the Final Rule for the configuration of the $40 coupon eligible ATSC converter boxes is interesting reading.
If you've wondered why none of the ones you can use the coupons on have any digital outputs or analog component output, blame Funai. (54) S-Video output is permitted
but not required
KTech made sure to clarify that an external power input would be required, since it wasn't specifically mentioned in the draft rule. (92) Hello? DUH! It's an electronic device intended for connection to television receivers that run on AC power. Bleedin' obvious they'd need an external power input. For once common sense was applied, only to have it questioned.
Why do they all come with batteries for the remote, if they have a remote, which is not required by the Final Rule? Ask NCAM. (69) and (70).
I could've written a much simpler Final Rule.
"The NTIA TV Converter Box Coupons shall be eligible for use to purchase any equipment with an ATSC tuner so long as said equipment includes a coaxial output, a composite analog video output and stereo analog audio output capable of switching to mono.
Eligible equipment shall receive ALL digital video, audio and other data broadcast and convert it to be displayable by analog only NTSC television receivers.
Eligible equipment shall NOT include an integrated television video display.
All other features to be included or excluded are at the manufacturer's discretion.
Manufacturers may include or exclude any equipment conforming to the above, but once included in the NTIA program, may not be excluded except by discontinuation of production."
That would cover everything from the el-cheapo boxes that are eligible to use the coupons on, to VCRs and DVD players with ATSC tuners, to high end HDTV tuners with USB, IEEE-1394, memory card slots, DVI, HDMI and everything else you can think of, as long as it has the analog outputs to connect to a boring old analog telly. I doubt there's much market for the high end units because HD monitors without a built in tuner were never very common.
The cheap boxes have been selling like crazy. The local Wal*Mart has sold somewhere north of 1,000 of them just this month. When they get a shipment in, they're gone in a couple of hours. It's a 20+ mile drive to that store and the only time I saw them in stock I'd left my coupons at home. The Bi-Mart company only ordered 600 to spread amongst all their stores (because they didn't think they'd sell very well) and has been doling them out five at a time to each store, despite the demand they have yet to order a new batch. Other than Wally World or driving 75+ miles to Boise, they're the only bricks and mortar store selling the boxes and participating in the coupon program in this area.
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014
"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus
, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".