Last week I had to travel to my grandmother’s house to setup her brand new government subsidised analog to digital converter box. The converter box was a Sansonic (FT-300A) from Target. When I setup, I tried to get a signal but it needed an antenna because the TV was in the center of the house.
My grandmother and I headed off to Best Buy to buy the cheapest antenna we could find. Why the cheapest? Because, she had an antenna that was for her old analog TV signal and it worked just fine when I plugged it into her other converter box. It was cheap and easily ten years old. Shouldn’t I expect more than a modern new $10 antenna? I was sure I could. I was wrong!
So at Best Buy, we found this, RCA – Indoor Off-Air HDTV Antenna (Model: ANT111, SKU: 8280834) sitting in stacks in the home theater department. So far so good. We buy it, $10.06 after tax, and we’re back home. It comes with the most absurd coaxial cable connector I’ve ever seen! It was smaller than the standard male coaxial cable port. It didn’t make any sense. Somehow, I managed to get it find a couple channels with the coaxial pin pushed forcefully against the male port, but it wouldn’t stay because it was just too small to attach. So, it turned out that we had to go back to return the RCA Antenna.
Back at Best Buy now, we walk into the home theater department again. There’s a middle aged woman standing in the aisle with one of those blue shirt BB-employees. He was telling her, when we got there, that the best antenna in his experience was the most expensive. My grandmother, being someone who gets what she wants, interrupts the guy at his selling intermission. You know that point in the sales pitch where they let you think you’re deciding to commit to the sales pitch? Yeah, right there, she butts in, asks, could you recommend us a better antenna, we bought that $10 one, its connecter just wouldn’t fit! So then the BB-employee nods a bit, goes back to tell the other woman something before she walks away, and then tells us that there’s no way he can know about that. I mean, I’ve brought the converter box with me, showed him the problem and he still doesn’t show any emotion for our problem. So instead, he points us to his favorite $60 antenna! We take a $20 antenna against his very insistent wishes, bring it to the customer service counter, explain our problem and checkout.
Intervening, my Grandmother asks the nice checkout lady if we can just open the box here to see if it works. She says, well, you could ask geek squad. I quickly counter by saying I don’t need a TV, I just need to see if it actually connects properly. So I take the new antenna out of the box and I take the converter out, while the checkout lady stares at us. It connects and we exclaim, it fits! So then we put everything back in the box and walk out of the store. I thought for sure that the guard would ask about our receiptÃ‚Â notice we didn’t buy the converter and squawk at us. He didn’t, to my relief.
So, once back home, the setup takes about five minutes. Read the instructions, put the flat antenna together, attach it to the male coaxial cable, love how it fits the port and finally smile.
That was my experience with Best Buy and their antennas. I suggest you don’t buy too cheap but don’t let the sales guy talk you into an expensive purchase. I hope that you’ve had an easy digital transition.