"Good picture. Some very annoying little flaws"2.5 starson by bgcarter
Pros: Cheap. $40
Good picture and good control of aspect ratio for 16:9 broadcasts viewed on 4:3 TV.
Cons: Max Volume is very low.
Mandadory Shut Down daily to get updated Guide data
Time is inaccurate with no manual way to set it.
These small flaws add up to daily annoyance.
Summary: First gripe: Unit has built in "power down" mode that is semi-mandatory (I know, that's an oxymoron...but read on). You can choose to have it turn off automatically at 2,4,6 or 8 hours or you can disable the feature (on by default) and leave the unit running 24/7. HOWEVER, if you turn the feature off the unit never gets it's Guide updates. It seems to require a daily power-off cycle for the Guide updates to work. So if you want guide updates you have to enable the "power down" mode...so, semi-mandatory.
2nd Gripe: The audio levels are very low. I'd say about 2/3 to 1/2 of what your TV currently puts out. So you have to crank up the volume on your TV to full, then turn up the volume on the unit itself (control is on remote) to the high end. This has a downside which I will discuss next.
3rd Gripe: These two little "quirks" cause a daily annoyance. If you want the GUIDE to be accurate (and I certainly do) you must set the machine to power off after at most 8 hours of inactivity. If you don't remember to turn it back on BEFORE you turn on your TV you will be greeted with a very loud white-noise screen until the unit boots.
4th Gripe: The time seems to drift in and out of accuracy. Sometimes it will be exactly right, other times it will be off by as much as 15 minutes. This may caused by whoever sends the Guide data...I don't know. But it is very annoying when you launch the guide at the hour or half hour to see whats on and instead see what was on 15 minutes ago.
5th Gripe: There is no way to manually set the time.
The TR-40CRA would have been a 4.5 star device if the problems I mentioned above were addressed. They are seemingly minor issues but when you have to deal with them on a daily basis it becomes very annoying. As it stands, I can only rate this unit as "OK".
This unit is EXACTLY THE SAME as the Dish DTVPal so I am posting this review twice.