VOOM Box Buyers Guide rev 0.1


Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 8, 2004
Notes on buying a used VOOM box.

At this time, only VOOM boxes that were activate and not deauthorized at the time of VOOM's demise can receive free OTA HDTV.
The 8VSB module must be installed in the back of the unit to receive OTA HDTV. The module is a gray box with an edge connector on it. This is usually hidden under the diplexer that extends from the back of the box. The diplexer itself is not needed.

Besides the above requirement, you should make certain that there is no PIN blocking your ability to rescan local channels.

The seller should state and warrant that the box is receiving local channels, and that they can successfully scan for local channels. If not, the box should be sold with the appropriate warning.

Boxes that will NOT work at this time:

New In Box:
If someone is selling a New In Box VOOM box, you are buying a fancy piece of electronics that will produce beautiful menus and ask you to call VOOM to subscribe. All NIB that I've seen feature old software, and will probably not scan locals unless upgraded. Upgrades are not available at this time.

Deactivated/Deauthorized box:
This box will come up telling you that you must call VOOM. You won't even get all the beautiful menus of the NIB box.
This one may be harder to upgrade than the NIB, although it may feature a later firmware. Note, MAY.

Boxes that were opened, but not set up before Rainbow DBS demise:
I have had one box that appears to have been refurbed, and not reactivated. It is in a state between NIB and Deactivated.

Boxes that have had Factory Reset and/or Authorization Reset:If someone played with the menus that they were not supposed to, that can take a box from free OTA status to colorful doorstop in a matter of seconds. If you want a box that acts just like the
NIB, perform the reset. But, please don't.

Boxes that will have Issues:

Boxes that have been placed in DEMO mode by persons playing with a dangerous hidden menu.
Boxes that have a PIN on them that is not known.

Both of these boxes will have the same problem of not being able to reach the installation menu in order to scan for locals. You might be able to enjoy your locals if they are already scanned and you purchased it locally. If not, you might have a hit on one or two channels, but they probably won't be under the correct channel.

Activated boxes that never received a recent firmware:
This would be a rare find indeed. The box would have to have been activated during the lifetime of Rainbow DBS, seen the satellite to get activated, and then been disconnected before either a recent firmware or a deactivation hit was sent. This type of box should work for OTA, but there is talk that older firmware revs had a requirement that the receiver needed an affirmative authorization after X days to stay active. This is not the case with later firmware. Additionally, the earliest firmware lacked local channel scanning. This would leave you in a situation similar to the above boxes except they could at least brute force the PIN and get to the menu.

When buying online try to get an answer to whether or not the box can scan for local channels. The seller does not even need an antenna to check for this possibility. They need only go into the installation menu. [VOOM] [green] [green] then Installer Menu then Installation Wizard. At that point selection 4 should be Scan Local Channels. If they don't have the Installation Wizard selection available from the Installer Menu, they have an older firmware, and you are out of luck for adding locals.


Oct 1, 2004
voom550 specs.

a lot of info is available on user guide BUT i need the specifications for the 550 so I can compare to another similar stb. any help????


New Member
Aug 22, 2005
any reason why my local OTA HD suddenly won't come in?

The title pretty much sums it up. I got local ota just fine until the other day. The channels still are in the lineup, but all I get is the message: "No
Signal on Channel X. Try again later.

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