If you were wondering whether the DTV transition was really coming in 2009, the recent early test in Wilmington, N.C. should convince you that there won't be any push backs this time. That means that if you're getting your TV using free, analog over-the-air signals, you should start looking at DTV converter boxes before the big switch on February 17, 2009.
The Apex DT250 is a pretty interesting converter box because it includes several features missing form many competitors--S-Video output, a "Smart Antenna" port and analog pass-through. We were even more impressed when started watching digital TV with the converter box, as its video quality was very good, rivaling even the Zenith DTT901. However, when we started comparing the DT250's reception to other boxes, we were surprised to see that it was pulling in 4-to-5 stations fewer--including NBC. The full details are in the review, but our summary is that unless you live in an area close to DTV signals, the extra features probably aren't worth the mediocre reception.
Read the full Apex DT250 review.