Editors' note: Since the publication of this story, a battery-powered DTV converter box has been released, the Winegard RCDT09A. While we'd still hold off on buying a new portable TV this year--it's better to wait for portable TVs with new digital tuners--older analog portable TVs can be used with the RCDT09A if they have a composite or RF input. For more information, read our full review of the Winegard RCDT09A.
Portable TVs can be great for camping or in case of emergency, but you're probably going to be getting ripped off if you buy one in 2008. That's because almost all portable TVs use standard analog TV signals, and those signals are going to get turned off on February 17, 2009. And even though these TVs are just about obsolete, you can still buy them at places like Target, Wal-mart Stores, and Amazon. Some of the pages have warnings about the impending DTV transition, but some of them don't.
While it is possible that someone will come out with a battery-powered DTV converter--which could work with a portable TV that has inputs--we wouldn't hold our breath. The FCC's DTV FAQ page already explicitly says, "it is not anticipated that battery powered digital-to-analog converter boxes will be produced,"… Read more