said by wsanders:
At least with Direct or Dish you get a box with HDMI output.
NOT always; depends on which equipment you buy, &/or depending on equipment requirements for you particular local market.
EG: On DirecTV, in our market, you DO get all HD receivers as standard equip, since those are required to get our local channels. But in other markets, unless you pay for HD, you ONLY get SD receivers/equip for FREE, that do NOT have HDMI outs.
On DISH, in our market, HD receivers are NOT required, & hence are NOT always a standard install. DISH is still VERY much installing SD (only) receivers to this day. However, in other (Eastern Arc) markets, you DO get HD receivers standard.
Bottom line - don't make blanket statements, that are NOT fact...
The only digital converter box Comcast offered us for free only had NTSC and CH3/4 modulated output.
You DO realize that neither DISH, DirecTV, U-verse, or FiOS have ANY such "FREE" (monthly) boxes.
AND in case you didn't realize - since you ARE a CC limited basic sub, you CAN get a full HD box for only $2.50 each, & you DON'T even have to pay the additional "HD tech" fee, either.
Each extra receiver from any of the above competitors start at, at least $6/month+ - so $2.50 for a full HD box sounds like a bargain to me...