Current eBay Prices – Standard Definition DTV Converter Boxes

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This is a current snapshot of eBay completed items prices. The prices are average range and do not include shipping costs which are usually $10 to $15. Not all boxes are represented here, just the ones that I highly recommend.

Cream of the Crop

Channel Master 7000 $30 to $50
DTVPal Plus Not Readily Available
Zenith DTT901 $35 to $45

Excellent Tuners and Features

Apex DT502* $20 to $30
Digital Stream DTX9950 $15 to $25
Insignia NS-DXA1 $20 to $30
Sunkey SK-801* $15 to $25
Tivax STB-T8 $25 to $35
Zenith DTT900 $25 to $35
Zinwell ZAT-970A $20 to $30

So-So Tuners but Great Menus & Features

DTVPal Scarce $40
RCA DTA800* $30 to $40

Most Popular – Highest Price

The DTVPal Plus, Channel Master 7000, and Zenith DTT901 are commanding the highest prices. The DTVPal Plus is super scarce. Plenty of Channel Master 7000s available and scads of Zenith DTT901s. The DTVPal Plus has a superior tuner compared to the DTVPal (not Plus), along with the fantastic Dish Network Guide, which they share.

Best Deal – Lowest Price

The best deals are to had on the Digtial Stream DTX9950 and the Sunkey SK-801ATSC. Of those, I lean towards the Sunkey as a recommendation. Both are fine products, the Digital Streams had a reputation for getting rather warm.

Best Value – Sweet Spot

The sweet spot for price to performance/features are the Apex DT502*, Insignia NS-DXA1, and the Zinwell ZAT-970A. The Apex is a fantastic tuner with great features, really a cream of the crop machine. The Insignia NS-DXA1 is a Zenith DTT900 & DTT901 clone, and can be had at a discount to the Zenith boxes. The Zinwell has a great tuner, features, and a nice remote.

Features over Tuner Performance

The DTVPal (not Plus) and the RCA DTA-800* are lessor tuners, but the DTVPal (not Plus) has the class leading Dish Network Guide. The RCA has a big button remote, which can control TV volume. If you dont need a tip top tuner, then these are worth a look.

DTVPal DVR’s are going for about $200+. There are quite a few (more than the straight DTVPal Converter Boxes) on eBay these days. These have dual High Definition tuners in them. I might grab one!

Wikipedia has a nice Comparison of CECB Units to refresh your memory, if shopping for a DTV Converter Box.

12 Comments
  1. Jason Fritz says

    Lots of demand for converter boxes and yet little supply at retail stores. eBay has an aggressive ongoing ad campaign with Google Adwords to market converter box auctions started on their website. Amazon is taking advantage of demand as well with selling new, used, and refurbished converter boxes on their website.

    It’s a shame that we (consumers) haven’t seen one new release or updated converter box hit the market since after the digital transition.

    1. n2rj says

      Lots of demand for converter boxes and yet little supply at retail stores. eBay has an aggressive ongoing ad campaign with Google Adwords to market converter box auctions started on their website. Amazon is taking advantage of demand as well with selling new, used, and refurbished converter boxes on their website.

      It’s a shame that we (consumers) haven’t seen one new release or updated converter box hit the market since after the digital transition.

      I think that was by design. The converter boxes are a “stop gap” measure and they really want people to buy TVs. You know, stimulate the (chinese) economy and all that…

      1. Jason Fritz says

        I think that was by design. The converter boxes are a “stop gap” measure and they really want people to buy TVs. You know, stimulate the (chinese) economy and all that…

        Agreed.

        For some of the prices that converter boxes are commanding on eBay, it’s almost worth spending an additional $100 to buy a new “digital” TV, albeit a smaller one. (Don’t tell DTVUser2009 I said that!)

      2. Don_M says

        You deserve a “thanks” for that fine overview, EV… too bad I can’t give you one.

        I think that was by design. The converter boxes are a “stop gap” measure and they really want people to buy TVs. You know, stimulate the (chinese) economy and all that…

        You may be on to something here. The environmental aspect was a major unspoken reason for the CECB program: Imagine more than 10 million tube TVs, each bearing an average of 11 pounds’ worth of lead, being junked all at once right around the transition. This would have swamped recyclers, and millions of sets would have ended up in landfills. The CECBs will fail gradually, solving the recycling issue, and as they do, many tube-TV owners will opt for lighter, more energy efficient high-def panels thanks to ever-declining prices. Problems solved!

    2. Yes616 says

      Lots of demand for converter boxes and yet little supply at retail stores. eBay has an aggressive ongoing ad campaign with Google Adwords to market converter box auctions started on their website. Amazon is taking advantage of demand as well with selling new, used, and refurbished converter boxes on their website.

      It’s a shame that we (consumers) haven’t seen one new release or updated converter box hit the market since after the digital transition.

      Don’t all the TV’s sold now have digital tuners? These converter boxes were meant for people with analogue sets to be able to continue watching OTA television. All of those folks should have had themselves set up a year ago. By now, you would think anyone who needs a box, has one.

      1. BCF68 says

        Don’t all the TV’s sold now have digital tuners? These converter boxes were meant for people with analogue sets to be able to continue watching OTA television. All of those folks should have had themselves set up a year ago. By now, you would think anyone who needs a box, has one.

        Yes all TVs made after March 2007 had to have digital tuners in them. All TVs 27″ and larger made after March 2006 had to have digital tuners in them. All TV 36 inches and larger made after July 2005 had to have digital tuners in them. It’s been over 2 years since I’ve seen a TV for sell at wal-mart that lacked a tuner. And those were for sell in the clearence isle and was clearly maked that they lacked a tuner and would not be able to recieve OTA signal after Feb 17th 2009. If anyone was dumb enough to buy those TVs I really don’t feel sorry for them.

  2. Aaron62 says

    I know the Insignia NS-DXA1 rates well for performance but it’s electronic program guide is useless. Why do the snobs at AVSforum hate the DTVPal at least from some of the reviews I’ve seen there? To me, it’s the perfect dtv box with it’s epg and good picture. What more can you ask for? :p

  3. Aaron62 says

    I know the Insignia NS-DXA1 rates well for it’s performance but it’s electronic program guide is terrible. I have the DTVPal Plus and to me, it’s the perfect dtv box. Great epg and great picture, what more could you ask for, yet a lot of the snobs at AVSforum have given some bad reviews on it.

  4. EscapeVelocity says

    Im looking to pick up an Apex DT502, myself, for install with a KSQ locally. I would like to get DTVPal Plus, sometime though, for my 27″ Sanyo CRT that is currently not in use.

  5. spokybob says

    Last spring on clean-up days, nearly every city block had an old TV out on the curb. I have helped seniors and others set up their converter boxes. Many of them later bought a new TV and gave be back their box. I have, at last count, 6 used boxes on my shelf.

  6. EscapeVelocity says

    Hey spokybob, long time no see!

    1. dkreichen1968 says

      I’ve seen converter boxes at Goodwill for as little as $4. I got a digital stream for that price.

      If you can find a converter box, good quality analog TVs are dirt cheap as more people move to HD.

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