Somehow I doubt that many Gizmodo readers are concerned about getting a DTV converter before the February 2009 cutoff date—but then again, I've been surprised before. If you or someone you know falls into this category, Sound & Vision has taken the liberty of pitting the top three DTV converter boxes against one another to find out which one will be worth dropping your voucher on. These three boxes include: the Digital Stream DTX9900, the RCA DTA800, and the Zenith DTT900.
In the end, Sound & Vision found that all three boxes worked well, but the RCA's comfy remote, "On Next" feature and decent audio performance gave it a slight edge. Currently, the box will run you about US$50 or US$10 after you cash in your voucher—which is chump change compared to what you get with a digital upgrade. However, if you are still hoping for a US$40 "freebie" like the EchoStar TR-40, keep in mind that Sound & Vision believes that the EchoStar is a "dicey buy" given the fact that it has no front panel controls. In this case, it still might be a good idea to hold onto that voucher for a little while longer to see what comes available. [Sound & Vision]