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Digital-to-Analog Converter Box - Selected Features

DTV Converter Box Features

The Federal Communications Commission has prepared this Consumer Advisory on selected features in 41 digital-to-analog converter boxes that it has purchased. Converter boxes are to be used with your analog television to receive digital signals broadcast for free over-the-air to your antenna.

The features described in this advisory include features of particular interest to the disabilities community, as recommended by the Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee.

The FCC does not endorse any particular product or product manufacturer.

CLOSED CAPTION FEATURES

Broadcasters can transmit closed captions in two formats. All captioned programs must include the basic analog-equivalent ("basic" or "608") captions. A DTV broadcaster may also include advanced digital ("advanced" or "708") captions, which can have additional features such as customizable fonts, colors, sizes and screen positions.

Most converter boxes have the ability to decode the captions themselves, meaning that the viewer could use the settings on the converter box to turn on the captions. This way the viewer would be able to use the advanced features of 708 captions.

Converter Box Decode basic and advanced captions?* Caption button on remote? What does the caption button do?*** Retains caption settings when powered off?
AccessHD DTA10101D Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
AccessHD DTA10101U Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Airlink 101®ATVC101 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Alpha Digita AT2016 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Apex DT 250 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Artec T3A Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Artec T3AP Pro Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Artec T3A Pro Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Cadence DTVC-9 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Channel Master CM-7000 Basic/Adv ** Yes Sequential**** Yes
Coship N9988T Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Digital Stream DSP7500T Basic/Adv ** Yes Sequential Yes
Digital Stream DSP7700T Basic/Adv ** Yes Sequential Yes
Digital Stream DTX9950 Basic/Adv ** Yes Sequential Yes
Dish Networks DTV Pal Adv Yes Toggle Yes
Dish Networks TR-40CRA Adv Yes Toggle Yes
GE 22729 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
GE 22730 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
GE 23333 Basic/Adv Yes  Sequential Yes
Goodmind DTA 1000 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Gridlink GLT-200 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Insignia NS-DXA1 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Menu Only
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Menu Only
Kingbox K8V1 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Lasonic LTA-260 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Magnavox TB100 MG9 Adv No N/A Yes
Magnavox TB100MW9 Adv No N/A Yes
Memorex MVCB1000 Basic/Adv Yes Toggle Yes
MicroGem MG2000 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Philco TB1000HH9 Adv No N/A Yes
RCA DTA800B1 Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Sansonic FT-300A Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Sunkey SK-801ATSC Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Tivax STB-T9 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Venturer STB7766G1 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Winegard RC-DT09 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Winegard RC-DT09A Basic/Adv Yes Sequential**** Yes
Zenith DTT901    Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Menu Only
Zentech DF 2000 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Zinwell ZAT-970 Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes
Zinwell ZAT-970A Basic/Adv Yes Sequential Yes

*All boxes convert basic captions on the digital signal so that they can be viewed using the settings on an analog TV.

**These boxes could decode only CC1 (captions in the primary language) and CC2 (data that augments information carried in the program) basic captions. The other boxes that decode basic captions also decode CC3 (alternative program-related caption data, typically captions in a second language) and CC4 (data that augments information carried in the program).

***Menu - The CC button brings up the captions menus on the converter box.
Sequential - the CC button progresses through each of the caption options in sequence.
Toggle - the CC button turns the captions either on or off. Caption preferences must first be configured through the captions menus on the converter box.

****Sequential function cycles only through basic caption modes. Advanced captions can be accessed through menu only.

SECONDARY AUDIO PROGRAMMING FEATURES

Some broadcasters send additional audio channels in foreign languages and/or with a voice-over describing the movements on screen for the vision impaired. Digital television allows up to 4 audio channels to be transmitted at a time. Some of the remote controls have a button allowing easy access to the SAP feature. This button may be labeled "audio" or "SAP."

Converter Box SAP (Channels)* SAP button on remote?
AccessHD DTA10101D At least one Yes
AccessHD DTA10101U At least one Yes
Airlink 101®ATVC101 At least one Yes
Alpha Digita AT2016 At least one Yes
Apex DT 250 At least one Yes
Artec T3A At least one Yes
Artec T3AP Pro At least one Yes
Artec T3A Pro At least one Yes
Cadence DTVC-9 At least one Yes
Channel Master CM-7000 At least one Yes
Coship N9988T At least one Yes
Digital Stream DSP7500T At least one Yes
Digital Stream DSP7700T At least one Yes
Digital Stream DTX9950 At least one Yes
Dish Networks DTV Pal One only No
Dish Networks TR-40CRA One only No
GE 22729 At least one Yes
GE 22730 At least one Yes
GE 23333 At least one Yes
Goodmind DTA 1000 At least one Yes
Gridlink GLT-200 At least one Yes
Insignia NS-DXA1 At least one Yes
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT At least one Yes
Kingbox K8V1 At least one Yes
Lasonic LTA-260 At least one Yes
Magnavox TB100 MG9 At least one Yes
Magnavox TB100MW9 At least one Yes
Memorex MVCB1000 At least one Yes
MicroGem MG2000 At least one Yes
Philco TB1000HH9 At least one Yes
RCA DTA800B1 One only Yes
Sansonic FT-300A At least one Yes
Sunkey SK-801ATSC At least one Yes
Tivax STB-T9 At least one Yes
Venturer STB7766G1 At least one No
Winegard RC-DT09 At least one No
Winegard RC-DT09A At least one No
Zenith DTT901    At least one Yes
Zentech DF 2000 At least one Yes
Zinwell ZAT-970 At least one Yes
Zinwell ZAT-970A At least one Yes

*Refers to the number of additional audio channels that the box can access, if provided by the broadcaster.

REMOTE CONTROL FEATURES

All converter boxes have remote controls, though the features vary. Boxes that have universal remotes are able to control the power and/or volume for your television set. Some universal remotes may have the ability to control other devices such as your VCR or stereo amplifier.

Remote control buttons vary in size. Some consumers may find it more comfortable to use a remote control with larger buttons to make it easier to push one button. Other consumers may find it easier to use a remote control with smaller buttons because the overall size of the remote control is typically smaller and easier to hold.

Converter Box Caption button on remote? SAP button on remote? Universal Remote? Number Button Diameter (mm)
AccessHD DTA10101D Yes Yes No 6
AccessHD DTA10101U Yes Yes Yes 7
Airlink 101®ATVC101 Yes Yes No 6
Alpha Digita AT2016 Yes Yes No 6
Apex DT 250 Yes Yes No 6
Artec T3A Yes Yes No 6
Artec T3AP Pro Yes Yes No 6
Artec T3A Pro Yes Yes No 6
Cadence DTVC-9 Yes Yes No 6
Channel Master CM-7000 Yes Yes No 6
Coship N9988T Yes Yes No 6
Digital Stream DSP7500T Yes Yes Yes 6
Digital Stream DSP7700T Yes Yes Yes 6
Digital Stream DTX9950 Yes Yes Yes 6
Dish Networks DTV Pal Yes No No 6
Dish Networks TR-40CRA Yes No No 6
GE 22729 Yes Yes No 6
GE 22730 Yes Yes No 6
GE 23333 Yes Yes No 6
Goodmind DTA 1000 Yes Yes No 7
Gridlink GLT-200 Yes Yes No 6
Insignia NS-DXA1 Yes Yes No 7
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT Yes Yes Yes 7
Kingbox K8V1 Yes Yes Yes 6
Lasonic LTA-260 Yes Yes No 6
Magnavox TB100 MG9 No Yes No 7
Magnavox TB100MW9 No Yes No 7
Memorex MVCB1000 Yes Yes No 7
MicroGem MG2000 Yes Yes No 8-9
Philco TB1000HH9 No Yes No 7
RCA DTA800B1 Yes No Yes 9
Sansonic FT-300A Yes Yes No 6
Sunkey SK-801ATSC Yes Yes No 5
Tivax STB-T9 Yes Yes No 6
Venturer STB7766G1 Yes No No 6
Winegard RC-DT09 Yes No No 6
Winegard RC-DT09A Yes No No 6
Zenith DTT901    Yes Yes Yes 7
Zentech DF 2000 Yes Yes No 6
Zinwell ZAT-970 Yes Yes No 6
Zinwell ZAT-970A Yes Yes No 6

ADDITIONAL/ADVANCED FEATURES

  • Adding Channels: All converter boxes have the ability to scan the airwaves for available channels, but not all boxes can add channels to your line-up without deleting channels. This may be important to you if you live between two cities and have to point your antenna in different directions to receive different stations. Some boxes can add channels through an update scan, which may take 5 or more minutes and will find new channels and add them to your lineup without deleting your existing lineup. A "direct" add allows you to add a channel to the lineup without scanning, but you must know the RF channel number, which is not always the same as the channel number used for marketing. Some boxes have both an update scan and a direct add function.
  • Analog Pass-Through: Channels in Canada and Mexico, and some low-power, "Class A," and translator stations in the U.S. will continue to broadcast analog signals for some time. A converter box with “analog pass-through” capability allows broadcast signals to pass through the converter box to be tuned by your analog TV without the need to use an “A/B switch” or a “signal splitter” and extra cable to route the analog signals around the converter box.
Converter Box Adding Channels Analog Pass-Through
AccessHD DTA10101D None No
AccessHD DTA10101U Direct No
Airlink 101®ATVC101 Direct No
Alpha Digita AT2016 Scan No
Apex DT 250 None Yes
Artec T3A Scan/Direct No
Artec T3AP Pro Scan/Direct Yes
Artec T3A Pro Scan/Direct No
Cadence DTVC-9 Scan/Direct No
Channel Master CM-7000 Scan No
Coship N9988T Scan/Direct No
Digital Stream DSP7500T Scan No
Digital Stream DSP7700T Scan Yes
Digital Stream DTX9950 Scan Yes
Dish Networks DTV Pal Scan/Direct Yes
Dish Networks TR-40CRA Scan/Direct Yes
GE 22729 Direct No
GE 22730 Direct No
GE 23333 Direct Yes
Goodmind DTA 1000 Direct No
Gridlink GLT-200 None No
Insignia NS-DXA1 Scan/Direct No
Insignia NS-DXA1-APT Scan/Direct Yes
Kingbox K8V1 Scan/Direct No
Lasonic LTA-260 None No
Magnavox TB100 MG9 Direct Yes
Magnavox TB100MW9 Direct No
Memorex MVCB1000 Direct Yes
MicroGem MG2000 Direct No
Philco TB1000HH9 Direct Yes
RCA DTA800B1 Scan Yes
Sansonic FT-300A None No
Sunkey SK-801ATSC Direct Yes
Tivax STB-T9 Scan/Direct No
Venturer STB7766G1 Scan/Direct Yes
Winegard RC-DT09 Scan/Direct No
Winegard RC-DT09A Scan/Direct Yes
Zenith DTT901    Scan/Direct Yes
Zentech DF 2000 Direct No
Zinwell ZAT-970 Direct No
Zinwell ZAT-970A Direct Yes

For More Information

For more information about the DTV transition visit the FCC's DTV webstie, visit the FCC's Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

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Digital-to-Analog Converter Box – Selected Features Guide (pdf)

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