Who's Digital OTA Box to Get? (1 Viewer)

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SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 7, 2008
434
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digiblur

SatelliteGuys Master
Jun 8, 2005
14,190
2
Louisiana
I guess you just don't want to tell us what you don't like. Your privilege.

Lets see...just off the top of my head. No EPG button, no zoom button, crappy signal strength meter that will show zero then finally jump up to 75, slow channel changing, no volume control, no universal remote, no buttons on the unit itself, poor setup screens, and I'm sure there were more.

The biggest one for me was the no zoom button on the remote. You have to dig it out the menus.
 

Geronimo

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 9, 2003
12,027
1,611
Lets see...just off the top of my head. No EPG button, no zoom button, crappy signal strength meter that will show zero then finally jump up to 75, slow channel changing, no volume control, no universal remote, no buttons on the unit itself, poor setup screens, and I'm sure there were more.

The biggest one for me was the no zoom button on the remote. You have to dig it out the menus.

thanks. That may help people to decide.
 

kb7oeb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 27, 2004
1,261
0
Phoenix,Arizona
I picked up an RCA box to play with, reception is good and it changes channels fast. It has a bug where audio can be lost if you have a weak signal and it glitches, it requires entering and exiting the menu to resolve, also only has a Now/Next guide. On the plus side the unit responds to RCA Directv codes so you don't have to use the box remote if you don't like it.
 
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larrykenney

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 16, 2004
552
222
San Francisco, CA
I got the Insignia box from Best Buy. It has lots of nice features... easy to set up and easy to use, zoom on remote, good signal strength meter, and best of all it has a great receiver. It's more sensitive than the one in my Dish 622 or in my new Sony XBR4 LCD receiver. I get stations with the Insignia that I can't get on the other two. I highly recommend it.

Larry
SF
 

JrC

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Jan 6, 2006
187
2
HowlerVille, MI
where will we be able to buy the echostar one from once it is out?

I have found two sources for the tr-40.

DTVPAL-TR40 ATSC Coupon Eligible Digital Converter Box DTVPAL-TR40 (CECB) | TR-40 [Echostar] | DTVPAL-TR40 DTV PAL-tr40 DTVPALTR40 TR-40 dta box digital receiver analog pass through passthrough box tuner conversion box convertor box DTA box analog to
FreeDTVShop.com - NTIA Approved Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes!

The Solid Signal page has the following notes:

  • This box is on pre-order only, and will not be instock until the week of june 16th.
  • You cannot use the government issued coupon unless converter box is in stock.
 

Phoenix1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 11, 2006
193
0
TX
If I were you, I'd hold on to your coupons until about June - July and see if the Echostar TR-40 is available then. If not available, then get the Zenith at Circuit City, the Digital Stream at your local RS, or the Best Buy Insignia.

Better yet, get the Sansonic FT300A which is very similar to the TR-40 in hardware.
 

jgantert

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 7, 2004
1,903
0
Aberdeen, MD
Just to update, I picked up the Digital Stream converter box from Radio Shack as well. I like this box a little bit better than the Zenith box. Tuning sensitivity is about the same. I like the on screen displays better on the Zenith, but I like the TV remote controls on the remote better on the DS box.

But the real deciding factor is my free (from Staples after rebate) 5-in-1 Zenith universal remote actually works with the DS box but not the Zenith box. :) Go figure.

Basically, both boxes are low end equipment. Worth the $20, I guess. No way I would spend the $60 full price.

-John

Oh, and you can use the $10 off $40 entertainment coupon on the converter boxes with the $40 gov't coupon. Make sure Radio Shack rings up the $10 coupon first, then totals the order. Then use the $40 gov't coupon! :)
 

roashru

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 28, 2005
271
0
I have figured out what I am going to get that Channel Master CM-7000 for the S-Video and an Echostar/Sling Media TR-40 to use up the other coupon. I dont currently need this hardware but for about $40.00 (includes sh.) for both the purchase is cheap enough for me.
 

steve615

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 6, 2006
814
0
TN
I have found two sources for the tr-40.

DTVPAL-TR40 ATSC Coupon Eligible Digital Converter Box DTVPAL-TR40 (CECB) | TR-40 [Echostar] | DTVPAL-TR40 DTV PAL-tr40 DTVPALTR40 TR-40 dta box digital receiver analog pass through passthrough box tuner conversion box convertor box DTA box analog to
FreeDTVShop.com - NTIA Approved Coupon Eligible Converter Boxes!

The Solid Signal page has the following notes:

  • This box is on pre-order only, and will not be instock until the week of june 16th.
  • You cannot use the government issued coupon unless converter box is in stock.


Here is another source for the TR-40/DTVPal from Echo Star.

PROVANTAGE: TV Converter Box Coupon Program 159365 DTVPal Digital-to-Analog TV Converter

It is available for pre-order,and you can use/redeem your coupons on these,but you have to call the toll-free number listed in the item description at Provantage (1-800-336-1166) to place any orders for these.
I pre-ordered two of these last week.The CSR that placed the order for me accepted both coupons.My total was a little over $16 ($5 for both boxes and a little over $11 for shipping to TN) after the coupons were redeemed. :)
 
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Derwin0

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 16, 2004
38,042
16,456
Griffin, GA
Here is another source for the TR-40/DTVPal from Echo Star.

PROVANTAGE: TV Converter Box Coupon Program 159365 DTVPal Digital-to-Analog TV Converter

It is available for pre-order,and you can use/redeem your coupons on these,but you have to call the toll-free number listed in the item description at Provantage (1-800-336-1166) to place any orders for these.
I pre-ordered two of these last week.The CSR that placed the order for me accepted both coupons.My total was a little over $16 ($5 for both boxes and a little over $11 for shipping to TN) after the coupons were redeemed. :)
Just preordered mine, redeemed the coupons easily.
The CSR said that they're really hot, and that everyone seems to want them. Told me it might be a while until I got mine, but I just told her not to worry, as I just wanted to get them ordered before my coupons expire on 6/19. Cost to me for both boxes was $16 + change.

Thanks for the heads up. :up
 

WildeComputers

SatelliteGuys Pro
RCA from Walmart...

The sole reason I picked this up was the buttons on the front. It does very well (better than I expected) with picking up OTA signals during poor weather. Where my HD receiver will drop signal, the RCA was able to hold its signal a little better. But this was my intention, get this for camping/bad weather for the small portable TV so I don't have to rely on finding the remote when switching channels.

Now the downsides (IMO):
No EPG button. In fact, it displays on screen the next show, but you can't see passed the current and next show being broadcast. Even being able to see the next two to three shows would have been a plus. To access the EPG, you need to go into the menu and take option 1. Not difficult, but not my preferred way of doing things.

No cables. I honestly would not even call what it came with a coax cable. (thankfully I have plenty of composite cables lying around). You'd think a RCA receiver would come with RCA cables. :rolleyes:

Lock-ups. I have locked it up a couple of times, and I think I have it narrowed down to when the OTA signal drops. Had to unplug it to get the unit working again. Not a deal breaker, but not a plus either.

Price. For $50 I think it's a big too much. Even though I used the coupon and paid $10 for it, I think $40 is a more appropriate price.


In a nutshell, this is the perfect unit for what I intended to use it for. As a primary source for OTA digital (after Feb. 2009), I would want more...or at least some way to upgrade the software should an update be made.
 

dlma1

SatelliteGuys Guru
Jan 20, 2005
138
5
Collegeville, PA
I have the Insignia one from Best Buy. I was dubious about buying it since generally store brands are junk. But I was pleasantly suprised that it could receive all of my local OTA channels (in fact, much more reliably than my HR10-250). The set-up is easy and the remote is adequate. The picture quality on my Sony Trinitron analog TV is beautiful so I would highly recommend the Insignia as good choice for those with a secondary (or sixth, like me) TV that they didn't bother to hook up to D* or cable.
 

t_n

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 20, 2005
53
0
Minnesota
Here is another source for the TR-40/DTVPal from Echo Star.

PROVANTAGE: TV Converter Box Coupon Program 159365 DTVPal Digital-to-Analog TV Converter

It is available for pre-order,and you can use/redeem your coupons on these,but you have to call the toll-free number listed in the item description at Provantage (1-800-336-1166) to place any orders for these.
I pre-ordered two of these last week.The CSR that placed the order for me accepted both coupons.My total was a little over $16 ($5 for both boxes and a little over $11 for shipping to TN) after the coupons were redeemed. :)

What happened to this link? I see no box.

Thanks.
 

truckracer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 17, 2004
4,338
351
Charleston wv
I connected a digital stream for a customer and it worked well. The tuner seemed to lock a signal with low quality readings from an indoor UHF antenna.

It did great with an outdoor UHF yagi w/ amp.
 

goldengoose

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 10, 2006
185
0
Provantage link does not show the DTVPAL -- are they still accepting preorders? My coupon expires in a couple of days.
 
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