10/2/2008 — UPDATE to this question: There is now a battery-powered converter box. Read the post, “50% more coupons available for digital TV converter box program”
Question: Will my portable TV not work after Feb. 2009?
Gadgetress: Nope. You’re out of luck.
**UPDATE** WineguardDirect.com now sells a battery-powered converter box.**
My initial research shows that nearly every portable TV will need a converter box because they are analog TVs. And everyone should know by now that on Feb. 17, 2009, TV broadcasts for the major channels will switch to digital only, leaving analog TV viewers in the dark. But you don’t need to get rid of your TV — you just need to buy and install a digital converter box. Lots of info on that at “Guide to the Digital TV transition.”
The lone exception to ditching the TV is the portable TV. There are no battery-operated converter boxes available and no manufacturer has stepped up to make such a product. It’s probably because the portable TV market is so small, no one can make any money developing such converters.
This is quite sad for many folks out there who rely on portable TVs for news during emergencies. Guess you’ll have to rely on TV on your cell phone during those tough times.
However, there are portable TVs that have the digital tuners built in, but that will set you back at least $200. Read the rest of this entry »