Two months until Canada’s Digital Television Transition


Dear Minister Moore,

Happy Two Months until Canada’s digital television transition.

Two months! Hard to believe. Are you ready?

Figured I would make digital converter boxes the focus of this post.

As a disclaimer, please be advised that my review of the following digital converter boxes is based on my own experience and the experiences of those I have spoken with online and in person. No one is paying me to write about these converters either.

To cut to the chase, I recommend the Zinwelll ZAT 970 (pictured above) which is sold at The Source in Canada.

It’s the most expensive one, selling for $89.99 plus tax, but it works.

The picture and audio quality are great. No HDMI output but if you don’t need HDMI output the Zinwell does the trick.


Up next is the Access 1030-D.

Although this unit sells for $59.99 at Future Shop and Best Buy, and $49.99 at The Source, I had trouble with the one I bought.

It gave an audio buzz that I could not get rid of.

The Zinwell will give an audio buzz sometimes too but if you change the channel on the TV and go back to 3 or 4 (whatever you have it set to), the audio buzz on the Zinwell will go away.

I tried the TV channel trick along with the coaxial, RCA outputs, different TVs, et cetera, and I could not get rid of the audio buzz from the Access unit.

Didn’t want to risk it happening again with an exchange so I returned it and bought another Zinwell for my parents.

The quality of construction of the Access converter wasn’t great, plus they appear to be left overs from the US digital television transition in 2009 that were shipped up to Canada to offload.

I don’t recommend this unit.


I also checked out the Digiwave DTV-5000 digital converter box.

While I was initially excited about this converter since I had heard good things about it on Facebook and its HDMI output, I couldn’t find one that worked in Toronto.

The unit I got my hands on turned out to be a returned one that wasn’t working.

According to a guy at Canada Computers, every Digiwave converter that their College Street location has sold has been returned.

Based on this, I don’t recommend the Digiwave.

There you have it.  Of these three, go with the Zinwell.

I know RCA makes one but I’ve yet to find it in Canada.

Do you have a converter story to share? Please post a comment!



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