Big Switch Minute: Which converters are the best?

WILMINGTON -- As the big switch to digital television creeps closer, sales of converter boxes are increasing.

But how do you decide which box to buy?

You have plenty of choices when you're shopping for a converter box.  Stores and online dealers stock about 25 models, ranging from $50 to $100.

One of the government coupons you can get will knock $40 off that bottom line.

Consumer reports have been testing the boxes, because while they look alike, they're not.

They have come up with these ratings.

The Tivax STB-T9 is the top box, and is one of the cheapest.

Others with the best quality picture are made by: Lasonic, Sansonic, and Microgem.  According to Consumer Reports, those boxes are all sold on the Internet.

For boxes in local stores, the magazine says to look for the Magnavox TB100MW9.  They also say to look for models by Insignia, Zenith, and RCA.

They're a step below the best, but still promise a better picture than you're getting right now with your antennae.

Those boxes are sold at Wal-Mart, Sears, Circuit City, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and other stores.

To learn more about the consumer reports, click here.

Reported by Jim Hanchett