Polls have consistently shown that many people are confused by the upcoming digital TV transition — the government-mandated switch by most broadcast TV stations to all digital signals starting Feb. 18….People aren’t sure if they need a new TV to continue receiving over-the-air signals, or if they should apply for the two $40 coupons available to any U.S. household to purchase a converter box so an old analog set can pick up the new digital broadcasts.

The friendly folks at Universal TechTronics say they are here to help.

In newspaper ads, the Ohio-based company has been offering two free analog-to-digital converter boxes, without the hassle of applying for those government coupons. All you need to do is buy a five-year warranty at $59 for each of the Miracle ClearView TV boxes, which according to the ad is, “a real steal.”

Including shipping and handling, each box ends up costing significantly more than if you used a $40 government coupon for any of several converter box models that sell for from $49 to $59. If ordered within 72 hours of the ad’s publication, the box costs $68.30 (including shipping), according to the company. After 72 hours, the total goes up to $97.30.

How many newspapers and TV stations will pass along this scam without the slightest hesitation? They’re righteous about the politics of their advertisers; but, crooks are always welcome.

  1. kellyohio says:

    well i can tell you all this. i went and bought a converter box and with the coupon i ended up paying 23.99 out of pocket for it. i hooked it up ran the channel scan and i do get all my local channels crystal clear just like cable. however if someone even looks or thinks about looking lol at the antenna the audio starts to stutter and the picture goes in and out and a box pops up that says there is no signal please adjust your antenna. i would think that if it is so much better than i wouldnt have to get up every five minutes and adjust the antenna when i had to do that without the box. also i found out later that you have to buy a “smart antenna” on top of buying the box and the cheapest one ive seen is at walmart for 64.99. i think that is a bit much for an antenna to only get 9 or so channels.

    to the people who call people without cable losers or that we dont care about tv…i say not everyone is in the same income bracket and some of us have kids and low paying jobs and cable tv is not a necessity. id say food clothing and having a roof over your head is more important than watching HBO or ESPN. not everyone without cable lives in trailer park!!!

  2. Reggio says:

    The $40 coupon was suppose to cover the entire cost of the converter box. These things can be made for about $2.00 worth of parts. They are not worth more that $30.00 total retail cost. I have spoken with numerous retailers, they are choking on the inventory that they thought would be flying off the shelf because of the impending “D” day. They stocked up on TV’s and converter boxes, now companies like Circuit City are going bankrupt and I think it is hysterical.

  3. D3V1LDAD says:

    I have two RCA converter boxes and they are total junk. They have been in service for less than a year and one no longer pulls in any channels, while the other one only gets a few and you have to adjust the antenna every two minutes or so to keep watching. every so often the sound goes out randomly and I have to turn the box off and back on to regain audio. The Coaxial jacks on the boxes are made of cheap aluminum that became coated with white powdery aluminum rust within a month of opening the boxes.

    I just can not rationalize paying for Cable or Satellite at the rates they charge. I can get much more bang for my dollar by spending it on thing I can go out and do, or go out and use. I would much rather have a day at the beach or Spend the money on art or something at a street fair. But, that’s just me.

    Now, I am seriously contemplating giving up TV all together. Watching DTV is simply an exercise of my frustration level.


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