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Battery operated analog-to-digital converter box

If you have an analog-only portable TV, you can just get a portable converter box
  [vote for,

I have a portable TV which has an external antenna socket (which, with adapters, may be able to accept coax cables) but the TV, by itself, can't recieve digital TV signals. Yes, there are converter boxes available, but they have to be plugged into an electrical outlet, which ruins the portability. Digital TV is slowly taking over, and analog TV will eventually stop being broadcasted, due to the cost of keeping analog AND digital signals running, eventually most stations will shut down their analog broadcasting to save energy and money.

Once that happens, again you can get converter boxes, but they have to be plugged into an electrical outlet. so you'll still be able to use your portable TV, but it won't exactly be portable any more.

Someone really should design a portable TV converter- basically a converter box that runs on batteries. To stop complaints of having another device to buy countless batteries for, for those who still don't have rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, the device should STILL accept AAs, but should INCLUDE RECHARGEABLE AA batteries. And, as an added bonus, maybe it could also have an AC adapter that plugs directly into the box, and charge the batteries while they're still in the machine.Then you'd have the best of both worlds- you can plug it in to charge it, but you can also use any old AA batteries.

The only forseeable issue would be battery life- I don't know how much power it takes to convert analog signals into digital, so this may not be feasable until the technology gets better and the power requirements for a converter box are lower. However, my portable TV only works for about 2 to 3 hours before the batteries run out, so the converter box wouldn't do me much good once the TV went dead...

Portable DIGITAL tvs are available, go to lcddigitaltv.com and they'll have portable TVs that can recieve digital signals by themselves- those that cant will say so on their product description page. But, their TV's aren't portable right out of the box, because you also have to get a "battery holder" (the TV, itself doesnt have one) and the battery holder holds 10 AA batteries! that would be a pain in the $#%^ even if you DO have rechargeable AA batteries! The technology just isn't there yet.

Some portable digital TVs have built in rechargeable batteries, but that's a problem, because when you really need it, like during a power outage, you're screwed once the batteries run out, because the battery charger wont work. No power.

One last thing- most portable TVs have the antenna attached by a screw, so even if you don't have an EXT antenna jack, all would not be lost. As an added bonus, the converter box could have an antenna screw-on point, and a cable that's shaped like the end of a TV antenna. you just unscrew the antenna from your TV, screw it onto the converter, and then screw on the cable (or use a pin the size of the screw hole)

Dickcheney6, Aug 06 2008

Portable Digital TV http://giec.manufac...tal-TV-Receiver.htm
Seems like a decent enough device to me... Runs on Lithium-Ion batteris (don't know what form factor). [Jinbish, Aug 06 2008]

Your portable TV may not even need a convertor box: http://www.ezdigita...r_TV_Exemption.html
[Amos Kito, Aug 07 2008]

Digital Converter Hack to run on 12 Volts http://www.youtube....watch?v=lVKm45r0uUY
Here it is! Runs on 12 Volts. Modified RCA box. [Kipkay, Apr 15 2009]

handheld digital TV http://www.amazon.c...=1268174528&sr=1-34
Looks like this whole thing is a moot point now... [Dickcheney6, Mar 09 2010]


       I'm a little confused. You say:
//Someone really should design a portable TV converter- basically a converter box that runs on batteries.//

       But on the subject of portable digital televisions you say:
//But, their TV's aren't portable right out of the box, because you also have to get a "battery holder"//

       So the problem is that you have to charge up the batteries - or that the batteries are housed in an external pouch?
Jinbish, Aug 06 2008

       I was saying that the converter box should run on it's own batteries- it probably wouldn't take that many. The converter box would not be as expensive as buying a new TV. That's my point.
Dickcheney6, Aug 07 2008

       Ah. Gothcha.   

       Well you can get DVB USB-stick devices so the decoding can't be that bad for power... but would you need some RF trickery or something to get the analogue signal into the telly?
Jinbish, Aug 07 2008

       This site is developing the need for a "Power Stuff With AA Batteries" category.   

       Using a portable AC power pack [Link], you can run the TV and its converter for longer than the TV itself would run on its own batteries. Since the idea is about sticking with the old TV, whatever you do will be a compromise.   

       If your portable TV is tuned to local UHF or other low-power stations, you don't need a convertor box [Other Link].
Amos Kito, Aug 07 2008

       12V - powered DVB-T decoders are Baked. We have one in our CaraCube for when we go on our holidays.
8th of 7, Aug 08 2008

       I don't know how many stations will continue to broadcast analog, if any, because the station may decide that the benefits of continuing to use analog are limited.   

       you mentioned a "usb stick" that recieves digital. If it can be powered by USB, then they must not need as much power as one would think. what if there was something that plugged into the EXT-ANT slot on a battery opertated TV, about that size, where you could unscrew the antenna from the TV and screw it onto the thing? then the little "dongle" would accept 2 AAA batteries, and it wouldn't be that big. It could, in theory, be left attached. You'd just need to turn it on when you turn on the TV. (my TV's EXT-ANT plug looks like a headphone jack) The only problem being channel-changing. the TV most likely won't be able to interface with the device- it'll think it's plugged into a cable box or a VCR or some such thing. If this were the case, the DTV recieving device, itself, would need to have a channel button/knob
Dickcheney6, Aug 09 2008

       It wouldn't need a station knob if it reencoded all the stations into one multi-frequency signal. I don't think that's feasible, though.
Spacecoyote, Aug 09 2008

       // reencoded all the stations into one multi-frequency signal //   

       Please, [SC] go read up on how DVB-T multiplexes are encoded, before we have to kill you.
8th of 7, Aug 09 2008

       I think it would be more expensive if it had some way of being "tuned" by the TV's internal controls, even if it were just a matter of sending a regular analog signal down the line- since many portable TVs have some kind of video input, the DTV recieving device would simply need to send a video signal- all you'd have to do is set the TV to channel 3 or set it to the video input, depending on the TV. (I've never used the ext. port on my TV, and I dont see any button to switch to it, so it obviously switches automatically when something is plugged into it) Remember, it needs to be below $200, otherwise it would make more sense to just replace the whole TV.
Dickcheney6, Aug 12 2008

       I have a couple of digital STBs with UHF output, powered by 12V wall-warts. Shouldn't be too difficult to slot together eight AAs and solder on a suitable wall-wart plug.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Aug 13 2008

       Abs, that's an intresting idea, but I don't know how long it'd last, because the STB obviously wasn't designed with battery power in mind if it doesn't already have a way of accepting batteries, so it'd likely chew through them rather quickly
Dickcheney6, Aug 15 2008

       Mild observation: Many seem to talk of using an enormous pack of 10 or more AA batteries. You can buy a pack of two small 12v "23A" garage remote batteries for under $2. Or if battery life is more important, two 9volts would give you the needed power while making the unit much more portable.   

       I've been thinking about portable power a lot this past week having just emerged from Hurricane Ike. I was able to run my 13" TV off a backup p/s for my PC for all of about 5 minutes. And next year, the TV will be useless, so the subject of a portable digital converter box has suddenly become very important.
Mugsy, Sep 19 2008

       I recently converter an RCA digiatl box to run on batteries. You can see the project on Instructables dot com, Just search for Digital Converter Hack
Kipkay, Apr 17 2009

       Shirley what is needed is not an analogue-to-digital convertor, but digital-to-analogue?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2009

       //You can buy a pack of two small 12v "23A" garage remote batteries for under $2. //
I think here "23A" is some kind of designation (battery type, if you will) rather than the current-providing capability, which I suspect is more in the tens or hundreds of mAh.
coprocephalous, Mar 10 2010

       If your portable tv is this far behind the times to begin with, I suspect you are already going through a lot more batteries than you could be with a new lcd one. Probably enough to justify skipping the cost of this converter and just going for the new tv.
AutoMcDonough, Mar 10 2010

       "If your portable tv is this far behind the times to begin with, I suspect you are already going through a lot more batteries than you could be with a new lcd one."   

       Not if I have rechargeable batteries. The one that I linked to has about the same sized screen as my current one. So, I don't believe that battery life would be much improved.
Dickcheney6, Sep 10 2010


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