Well, of course I didn't have it set up right yesterday; however, the stellar manufacturer's customer service had only one telephone line, and all the FAQs at its site refer to DVD players. Sheesh! After e-mailing the manufacturer with photos and all (but with no response), I went to the government website in desperation today; sadly, its site's instructions on installing a DTV converter were more informative than the manufacturer's! Because we've had cable for so long, I'm conditioned to think that the channel that you'd have to "set" the converter to would be 3. I was wrong, it's 4. (I'm glad I heard the option "3 or 4" from the video at http://www.dtvanswers.com/.)
Well, here's what you get with digital hookup:
In reality, there are a couple of "new" digital channels in between stations 4 and 5, and both of the new channels are NBC stations. One is an all-weather station, and the other is a sports channel (?!?).
However, except for the public tv stations, I'm unable to get the other local stations (you know, 7 and 9) AT ALL. Depending on how I have the antenna positioned, I can sometimes get channel 20, which I only watch occasionally anyway.
There are new stations that I now have access to; while one is a Christian jazz station (the blue writing comes on initially when you switch from one channel to another). However,
most of the new channels are foreign news stations. One is Japanese (and somehow I don't believe it's the NHK), another Nigerian, another one still is Chinese, and another for news from the UK. (But I can get BBC programs on most public tv stations, overnight on NPR, and online, as well as British newspapers online, so what's the big deal?) Another station is a "weekend" lifestyle channel--more garbage.
You have to play around with the antenna to find the optimal location, because if you receive a channel with a spotty signal, you can get a pixelated mess like the following picture...
More often than I would have liked, the "no signal" banner came up when channel surfing with the digital converter remote. (Yes, another remote to add to an already bursting collection.) I suppose I have the same complaints that most people have with the digital conversion--that to get really good digital tv, you will have to pay for it. (Verizon did not pay me to say so, although I wish it would.)
One good thing will probably result from this ordeal--I'll watch less tv. I think.