Best Digital TV Converters

Tivax STB-T9

Tivax STB-T9


ChannelMaster CM-7000
ChannelMaster CM-7000

Several dozen digital-to-analog converter boxes are available online and at stores including Best Buy, Circuit City, RadioShack, Sears, Target, and Walmart. The boxes cost about $40 to $80 before coupon. You pay sales tax and, with online retailers, shipping fees. Most stores have only a few models; some Web sites carry more.

What our tests showed

We’ve tested 35 or so models, and all were comparable at pulling in the digital stations available at our Yonkers, N.Y., lab, and in tests with progressively weaker signal levels. We received digital versions of all the stations we get in analog as well as others offered only in digital format. That includes HD channels, which the boxes converted to lower resolution. Your reception will depend on distance, terrain, and more.

When supplied with a strong signal, all the tested boxes provided picture quality at least as good as a typical analog broadcast, and most had clearer, crisper images. Some were much better, approaching DVD quality. Audio was mostly fine.

Notable features

About a dozen tested boxes have analog pass-through, which sends analog signals and converted digital signals to the TV. To view digital channels in that setup, tune the TV to channel 3 or 4. (Most users won’t need this feature because full-powered broadcasts are now all digital.) Several models we’ve tested have a VCR timer, enabling them to automatically switch channels to record from different stations. (You also have to program the VCR to turn on and off at the set times. Set your VCR to line-in, or channel 3, to receive signals from the box.)

Converters to consider

Among the models with picture quality approaching that of a DVD: the Zinwell ZAT-970A, $45, with analog pass-through and a VCR timer, and the Tivax STB-T9, $50, and STB-T8, $65, which adds analog pass-through. If your TV has an S-video input, consider the ChannelMaster CM-7000, $80, which had the best picture quality of any tested model. Two other boxes with a VCR timer are the Dish Network DTVPal, $60, and TR-40CRA, $45 (essentially the same as the DTVPal but at a lower price while quantities last). Picture quality was a bit lower than for the models above but better than analog. The program guides were among the best.


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Marketing Digital Media Products on the Internet

There are many people out there who were using eBay as their sole way of making money. Often times it was through the sales of e-books. So when eBay banned digital products, many people had the rug pulled out from under them. If you are one of those people, there are still many strategies left to pursue. This article is about those strategies and the role that Internet Marketing will play in your money-making endeavors.

It’s not too hard to produce content in a form interesting to a consumer providing your content is of value. As long as you know the marketplace and the business, you will be able to create interesting digital media products for the customer. The tricky part is making the actual sales and advertising your products. You can make those sales and make many of them if you really increase your knowledge of marketing on the Internet.

The Internet has a myriad ways to go about selling products. You can start out with a website, fashioned after your own tastes and with your product in mind. One of your goals should be to understand how search engines work and how it can boost visits or hits to your website. Obviously, you want your website to be on the first page of the search results whenever a possible customer is looking for your product. Taking the time to make sure that your website has the proper keywords for search engines is key to advertising your site on a search engine.

There are also many other ways for digital media businesses to advertise their products. Pay per click programs and affiliate marketing strategies are all good options to help you sell your products. Last but not least, eBay is still a great resource for selling and advertising your digital media products.

If you are interested in converting your e-books into digital media, be careful. There are many home study courses on Internet Marketing that, while still filled with quality information, many of them are not for business people who are interested in selling digital media products on the Internet.

So remember to be wary when studying up on Internet marketing strategies. It’s important that they are focused on both digital media products AND Internet marketing. Those others can still help you but only as other smaller considerations. Boosting your sales by using digital media content like CDs and DVDs in supplement to e-books is a great way to make money on the Internet.

6 Ways Digital Information Products Can Boost Your Online Business

Digital information products are items that your customers, subscribers, readers or website visitors can download directly to their computer.

People use the internet to find information and a lot of information is provided for free. But all the information on the internet is not 100% correct and can take a lot of time to find. Your digital information products, such as e-books, reports, videos etc, provide your customers with what they want in an organized format from a reliable source that they can trust.

If your business needs a boost, digital information products can raise your level of visibility and your level of expertise of your specific niche market. Here are 6 ways to use them.

1. List Building

List building is an important part of every online business, but to get somebody on your list you often have to give something away, particularly if you’re new in the business. Produce a special report or a small e-book and offer it free in exchange for subscribing to your list.

2. Upsells

Whilst you are making use of that free e-book to build a list for your business, you can link it to a range of products that can be sold. For instance, when your new subscriber enters their information on the opt-in page, you can redirect them to a page where they can purchase an e-course which is related to the e-book.

3. Sell For Profit

One of the benefits when you sell digital products online is that they can work on autopilot for your business. You don’t require postage stamps or boxes for delivery and your profits can be increased significantly because you only have to produce it once and you can sell it again and again.

4. Lead Generation

Offer free digital products as prizes in contests on your social media sites. Make sure to indicate the price these products would usually sell for so people know that they are getting a deal. Also, make it easy for people to share the contest with others.

5. Newsletters

People like to get things for free provided that it provides value. Send out a monthly newsletter to your list with a link to a free video or audio on a topic that will interest them. They can then receive information and another link to other products that you’re selling.

6. Improve Visibility

Don’t exclude other businesses in your marketing communications. Get to know other business owners at conferences or seminars. Get involved in online interactions and provide free access to some of your digital information products in the spirit of sharing and good faith.

Digital Film Production Tips

No amount of free filmmaking software is going to help you learn the ins and outs of digital film production. How many people out there have had a friend or relative with a digital camera and free digital editing software show them a terrible movie they made? The screening is usually in someone’s living room. Friends and family gather around eating movie popcorn to show support. Nobody says it while they watch, but they are thinking, “what a POS.” When the end credits mercifully appear a few people will offer up half-hearted words of support.

Poor digital film production technique should only be seen in personal sex tapes and really bad wedding videos. Having digital film production equipment and software is worthless unless you learn the skills on how to use them like a savvy indie filmmaker. If you put in just a little effort and time to learn the basic core principals of digital film production your movie will be far better off for it. Like most areas of life, the more effort you put even the greater the results. For the short time I have your attention I am going to share with you some digital film production cornerstones that will make you a better filmmaker.

No matter if you are going to film your movie with a iPhone or Canon XL H1A Camcorder practice using them before the first day of shooting. Nothing worse then trying to learn how to use a camera on set. Cast and crew will lose patience causing frustration that leads to sloppy work and performances. Unavoidable technical problems can be forgiven while they are worked out. Lack of know how on your part won’t be. Cast and crew will turn on you quick. Even if it is an all volunteer production team they expect you to respect their time and not waste it.

Most indie filmmakers use shooting locations they have access to. It’s smart filmmaking to take your script to your locations and decide where you want the camera positions to be. In straightforward movie making talk this can be done with simple camera shot sheets and storyboards. In general a shot sheet is a sequential list of what you want the camera to film during a certain scene. Think of it like directions to get some place. In this case the some place is the end of your scene. Storyboards are based on the same idea, but illustrations are used instead of only words. Knowing where you are visually going before you get on set greatly increases the odds your movie will get completed and not be a POS. Plus having a filming road map allows you more chances to be creative with your shots because you’re not lost wondering, “where do I go next?”

If you have to beg or borrow an external directional microphone (shotgun mic) for your shoot do it. Bad audio will turn people off to your movie faster than microwave popcorn can pop. Two common mistakes many aspiring filmmakers make is they do not pay enough attention to mic placement during shooting and they do not bother to make notes on possible audio problems at certain locations. You would be shocked how much difference good mic placement adds to audio quality. Even if your only armed with one so-so shotgun mic you are way better off than only relying on built-in camera mic. With an external shotgun mic you have freedom to find the best place to pick up audio. During one movie shoot we realized we got much better sound quality by capturing dialogue from below the actors as opposed to above them. Our rock n roll sound person went from standing on a step ladder to lying flat on their back. It worked awesome for audio.

Do not get hung up on how cool a location looks if it has audio problems. Avoid locations near busy train tracks, airports, or high traffic areas if there is important dialogue that needs to be recorded during a scene. Most indie film budgets cannot afford the cost of automated dialogue replacement (ADR). Go in thinking any audio you record on location is what you will have when you edit your masterpiece.

There is much more to digital film production then what I was able to cover for the limited time I have had your attention. But I’m confident these tips will make you a more savvy indie filmmaker. If you are serious and hungry for more detailed information on how to make a successful movie joint the list for Movie Biz Coach. I’ve signed on as a regular contributor and have tons to share on making movies from screenwriting to distribution.

For those people out there happy making personal sex tapes, really bad wedding videos, or POS movies this is where we part ways as friends. I only hope you use one of the digital film production cornerstones I’ve shared with you to improve what you like to watch. Believe it or not it will make whatever you are shooting better. This is Sid Kali typing FADE OUT.

Your Project From Concept to Completion – With Digital Media Production Work Station

These digital media productions are made using various types of equipment and edited through many different computer software programs. Adobe software programs are the most common, user friendly, technology used in the editing process, among others, depends on the producer what is used. Working out of a studio, digital media producers use their knowledge with technology to provide clients the best type of media needed for their purposes, formatting and editing until the job is completed to the clients liking and appropriately suits the needs of the client.

Many businesses use digital media production to create power point presentations. The purpose behind these presentations is to become a visual assistant to the presenter, aiding in the explanation of an idea, story board for an advertisement, a new marketing campaign, or ways to better serve their clients. Digital media productions are a very effective way to get a point across through a visual aid along side an explanation, putting everyone on the same page at any business meeting.

In relation to marketing and advertising, we see so many digital media productions everyday. Do these not help businesses succeed by expanding their client base. From television commercials to radio ads, businesses are always coming up with new ideas, using these media to advertise, always hoping to strike curiosity and build the business to new and greater heights. Considering the millions of people who will see or hear these digital media productions, it is never a bad idea to have one produced and use it in any marketing or ad campaign.

Let’s now say you are a musician or movie producer and are looking to get your name, your films title, out into the world. You want to advertise and allow your talent to support your lifestyle. Digital media production will allow you to format and create the right ad for your campaign, the idea to help you reach your advertising goals. The media producers have the skills and ability to take pieces of your music or film and put together the exact type of ad you are looking for as a means of promotion.

Finding a good quality studio to work with that is affordable can be difficult at times. You don’t want to be over charged for this service, yet if it’s too inexpensive, are you getting a good quality digital media production? The goal in choosing a studio should be to find the right place at the right price. To find an experienced technician who will provide exactly what you need, making everything as you want it. It is an industry prided upon good customer service. Seek out what you need, trust it to help you and you should never be let down by the outcome of your digital media production.

Digital Promotional Product – The Hottest Thing For Marketing

Large numbers of companies are competing with each other to establish their brand name and get noticed by the prospective clients through various kinds of mediums. Today, the hottest “in” thing that majority of the companies opting is the digital promotional products so as to make their presence in the market. Digital promotional gifts are the most ideal promotional gift to promote the brand of your company. Some of the digital promotional gifts include USB drives, mini digital camera, mini digital photo frame, MP4 player, bubble calculator and calendar clock calculator. Apart these, roll up calculator projection talking clock, pen holder with radio, mini USB mug warmer and USB lava lamp are several digital promotional products that can be given for the promotion of your company and brand. The digital promotional products can be personalized as well, as you can engross the name of your company, or the caption of your product with the contact information.

The digital promotional products have a better recall value, as the people will use or see your product, which you gifted to them almost every day, which help them to recall your name again and again. May be next time when they will go out in the market to buy the same product of any other company may purchase the product of your brand and thus your sales will increase, your brand name will get publicize and various more nice things may happen for your company.

The main key to maximize the advantages of this kind of promotional strategy is to search the right promotional gift and using it intelligently. Just for the reason that you got a nice supplier who will sell any discount digital products does not mean that you automatically use them as promotional giveaways. When choosing the promotional give always, you are required o give a serious thought, as you have to select an item, which is able to represent your brand and your services and products.

Apart, selecting the best digital promotional product decide an occasion when to give these exclusive promotional gifts. Nevertheless, the promotional gifts like the personal life can be presented at any point of time and on any occasion. You do not have to wait for a particular event to gift; it could be New Year or any festivity. Even you can offer these promotional gifts at some major event like launch of a new product or making a new contract or at promotional campaigns.

Digital Media Production Career Training Programs Online

When looking to gain an education in digital media production you have the option of enrolling in an online school or college. Training in this exciting field can be completed at your own leisure, allowing you to continue current employment while preparing for a new vocation. Training is available at numerous levels and will give you the skills needed to pursue a successful career. Online learning is available to help you obtain the degree and future you dream of.

Accredited career training will teach you to work with forms of digital technology in order to create various materials for movies and other media. Professionals in this field work with lighting, graphics, film, sound, and much more. You can train for a position in digital media production by choosing the level of education you would like to gain and the specific career you wish to pursue.

Online schools and colleges offer the opportunity to gain the degree that you desire while studying from your own home. You can choose to pursue an:

  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Master Degree

The length of training will depend on the level of education you choose to complete.

  • Associate degree programs typically require that you spend two years on coursework and training.
  • Bachelor degree programs usually consist of four years of accredited online training and study.
  • Master degrees in this field can take you an additional two years of educational training to obtain.

When you choose to enroll in an accredited online learning program, you can gain the quality education you desire.

Coursework will vary depending on the program and desired level of educational training. You can expect to learn a number of topics that relate to the specific career you wish to enter into. Training may consist of:

  • Computer Animation
  • Photography
  • New Media
  • Scripting
  • Web Graphics
  • Motion Graphics

…and many other relevant courses. By gaining a quality education in these subjects you will be ready to seek employment in the career area of your choice.

The type of careers available to you will depend on the level of education you choose to obtain. Digital media production possibilities can include working as a:

  • Video Game Designer
  • Video Editor
  • Producer
  • Video Equipment Technician
  • Multimedia Artist
  • Animator
  • Script Writer

…and many other professions. By choosing to pursue a career in this field you can expect to enter the workforce ready for success.

Graphical LED Display

Graphical LED Displays utilize high-resolution graphics and video to transmit the information. You will find them sited in world’s great cosmopolitan cities. These impressive electronic signs towering over the streets displays graphic and video to broadcast important information or to advertise themselves.

There are many companies that use these displays to broadcast their product in the open world and these displays help them a lot to expand their business or industry. In this digital world, the use of Graphical LED Displays gives new sleek to the tradition of marketing department also. Not only in the industrial zone, they are used in many other areas also. Because of the LED technology employed in Graphical LED displays, they are energy efficient, produce clear and bright result and waste no light.

Graphic LED displays are available in variety of options. Jayex Technology offers many choices in Graphic LED Displays. Variations are in size, color and mode of display. Also mounting options are considered for Graphic LED displays. Some of the bigger displays feature characters over six feet tall and whose length measures over 100 feet tall, there are smaller sizes to fit any budget.

Graphic LED displays employ LED technology which stands for light emitting diodes, and is considered most efficient form of lighting today. They don’t get hot when in use and this is the most measured advantage why it is widely used in current trend. It produces all the color including white, although it is most difficult to produce white color under LED technology. Graphic LED displays are available in single color, two color or multi color options today.

These graphic LED displays are one of the world most impressive outdoor signs, which are very famous of outlet displays as they convey all type of information. They are connected to local power supply and can be programmed to automatically switch on and off at pre defined time schedule. More over they are easy to program, and any person can operate it to change the content with least expertise.

Paula Jones

Jayex Technology Limited, based in London specialise in advanced information display systems. Established in 1978 we have pioneered the development of the LED display market and now have over 18,000 customers worldwide. We offer, probably the largest range of models from small single line signs to big screen Megavision screens that can display live video and action replay in stadia.

Advertising Primer for Fast Learners

Advertising, when done well is a very effective way to increase your customer base and ultimately grow your bottom line.

Many businesses have no idea how to advertise; they do a little bit here and a little bit there and end up saying that advertising doesn’t work. Advertising, like everything else in business, requires a systematic, consistent approach. Even when you are getting results, tweaking a good message can make it a great message.

Fundamentals of good advertising:

1. Use a great title…not a cute title but one that grabs attention and communicates what the purpose of the ad is. If you start the ad with the name of your business, you will discourage a large portion of prospective customers from reading your ad because if they don’t know what you do they will often assume you are not speaking to them.

2. Test titles and messages on an on-going basis and measure the response, small adjustments in the ad can increase response by 100% or much more.

3. Take the response you got from an ad and divide the cost by the response to see if it was worthwhile. An ad that doesn’t elicit a response is too expensive no matter how little you spent on the advertising. Give it time don’t just advertise once.

4. Don’t advertise everywhere. Initially choose one medium and one company for your advertising and stick with it. Once you have figured out what works add another medium or company to the mix.

5. Before you place your ad, look at the characteristics of the audience and consider if it matches your target market. Don’t make the mistake of assuming everyone is your target market because they are not. Even if your product has a broad appeal when you consider all factors of who buys you will be able to identify demographic or specialized interest groups that will provide a better return on your advertising investment.

6. Don’t always blame the medium for your lack of result. Once you have identified the unique characteristics of your market it’s incumbent on you to speak to that market using phrases, and communication styles that they relate to. If the publication, radio station, TV station etc. has thousands or hundreds of thousands in their audience and no one responds after a few weeks of advertising, take a good look at what you are advertising and more importantly how you are communicating the information.

7. When you have developed an ad that is working, test small changes to see if you can boost the ad response even more. Make one change at a time to ensure you can identify what the strongest pluses of the ad are.

8. Have you ever heard someone say that they turned their money over to a money manager of some sort and before they knew it, they had lost thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars? You wouldn’t do anything that foolish would you? Well then why would you turn full control of your advertising dollars to a media sales person for them decide what to advertise and how to communicate it in an ad? Most media reps have your best interest at heart…they want you to get results because it will make their next sale to you that much easier but the ultimate beneficiary of successful advertising is you and you had better be involved. Ask your rep to educate you about their medium and give you some information on their audience. Take the time to read it. Advertising is not an expense; it’s an investment and requires attention to ensure success.

9. If a prospect reads your ad, is there something in the ad that says what you expect them to do? Do you ask them to call and give an accurate phone number or do you want them to come into your store and you give them the address. I don’t know how many times I have seen ads that left off the address or the phone number has a wrong digit or isn’t there at all. If they need to make an appointment, clearly articulate that in the ad.

10. When someone responds to your advertising, make it easy for him or her to do what you expect. If they have to keep playing telephone tag to try to connect with you then it’s going to reduce the effectiveness of your advertising dramatically.

Start of Digital-TV Product Could Cap Canal Plus’s Rise

Canal Plus SA entered a new and glorious era in the history of television, with its launch this weekend of a digital-satellite TV package.

And what should investors do about it? Sell, some analysts say.

Over the last few months, a wave of digital-television hype has pushed up Canal Plus stock on the Paris Bourse, where it reached a 12-month high of 1,269 French francs ($254.42) Friday. Canal Plus, which is calling 1996 “the year TV changed,” has more than four million pay-TV subscribers in France and has been saying the new service will eventually allow it to sell a host of new programs, boosting average revenue per subscriber by 14%, to 200 francs from a current 175 francs.

But now that Canal Plus has begun its digital broadcasts, it’s time for a reality check.

First, the new service won’t have a positive impact on earnings for at least three years, when Canal Plus expects to reach a break-even point with 900,000 digital subscribers. This year, the company expects only 150,000 people to subscribe — not exactly a media revolution. And Canal Plus doesn’t foresee its current French customer base switching to the new product anytime soon.

Second, Canal Plus stands to lose its effective monopoly on pay-TV services in France, and its position as a participant in a similar monopoly in Germany, as digital technology seduces more and more competitors to the pay-TV arena in those countries. And with competition comes lower prices.

“Canal Plus is a monopoly with high prices for one channel,” says Laurent Carozzi, an analyst with Paribas Capital Markets, who cautions investors against being distracted by “a lot of hype” surrounding digital TV. “A single change in price in the pay-TV market will have a huge impact on Canal Plus’s cash flow,” he says.

Of course, Mr. Carozzi has been negative on Canal Plus for some time and has reason to be miffed, having missed the recent run-up. But even some bulls are sounding a note of caution.

“Digital broadcasting is important over the very long term,” says Olivier Fevre, an analyst at NatWest Sellier, “but in the short term the position is less good.”

Canal Plus has operations in more than five countries outside of France, but 80% of its revenue comes from one service. The company charges about four million subscribers 175 francs a month for a black box that decodes a single channel it broadcasts over conventional airwaves. In a market driven by films, not sitcoms, current French law gives Canal Plus a huge advantage: the pay-TV channel is allowed to broadcast movies one year after they’ve been released in cinemas, whereas France requires conventional channels to wait two years after the cinematic release before they can broadcast a film.

But no such restrictions apply to satellite services, a fact which will help dull the edge of Canal Plus’s pay-TV leadership, analysts say.

What’s more, big competitors tend to lead to lower profit margins. And Canal Plus’s competitors are nothing to sneeze at. Teaming up to compete with Canal Plus are TF1, France’s largest commercial-TV station; France Television, the state broadcaster; Cie. Luxembourgeoise de Telediffusion, the Luxembourg-based media group; M6, another French commercial broadcaster; and Lyonnaise des Eaux, a water company with cable-TV operations.

A third French group, tiny AB Sat, controlled by AB Productions, a company that produces shows that are popular among French adolescents, has already begun broadcasting its own digital-satellite service (which for now is only being picked up by some cable TV viewers in Switzerland.)

Similarly, in Germany, Canal Plus is a part owner, together with the Kirch Group of Munich and Bertelsmann AG, in Premiere, the only national pay-TV channel. But Kirch is going its own way when it comes to digital pay-TV. With a separate group of allies, Kirch is offering a digital service in Germany that will compete with a group comprised of British Sky Broadcasting PLC, Bertelsmann, and Canal Plus.

Canal Plus’s rivals in Germany seem to be moving ahead quickly with their service, but it’s not clear how successful its rivals will be in France.

Outside of the Swiss cable-TV subscribers, not many people are watching AB Sat’s service, since it hasn’t yet begun to sell the satellite dishes and decoders that individual consumers needed to receive the programming.

And companies such as TF1 and France Television — old broadcasting rivals — have no experience in pay-TV and no experience working together.

Canal Plus has some impressive advantages. For starters, as some analysts and Canal Plus executives point out, its French digital satellite rivals may never get off the ground. Canal Plus clearly has an early start in the French digital-TV marketplace, a technology that most analysts say will transform the television landscape in about ten years.

It knows how to market pay-TV, and the Canal Plus satellite offer, launched over the weekend, has some interesting features. In addition to most of the channels already available on cable, it will broadcast Disney Channel France this fall and offer various pay-per-view programs and radio services. The Canal Plus receiver — part of a closed, proprietary system that Canal Plus is hoping will guarantee it a lock on the French market — includes a slot for a credit card to facilitate payment.

But much of Canal Plus’s advantage is based on the notion that there isn’t room enough in France for a rival service, because economies of scale are needed to drive down the cost of the exotic digital-receiver equipment it developed.

Unfortunately for Canal Plus, success in the U.S., by far the largest market for digital-satellite TV, is changing that notion. DirecTV, a General Motors unit, took off last year, signing up 1.3 million customers. Telephone company AT&T jumped aboard as an investor.

Now several new players are eyeing DirecTV’s lead — including a team of News Corp. and MCI Communications an upstart called Echostar Communications and Primestar Partners, owned by a consortium of cable companies that includes Tele-Communications In all, six different companies either have entered or are saying they will compete in the U.S. digital-satellite TV market.

More than likely, that means Canal Plus’s competitors won’t have to develop their own, proprietary, digital-satellite technology, as Canal Plus did, in order to compete in France. They’ll be able to buy it from one of the American groups.