"Excellent value"on by Shadmin
Pros Easy to use
Nice picture quality
Cons No cons unless you upped the price and added more features which are not necessary for this box at the current price.
Summary I went to my local Walmart and I was considering buying a Magnavox but didn't like the fact the Magnavox version did not have any controls on the box itself and no analog pass through so I decided to get the RCA DTA800B1. The price was the same for both but this new improved version over the previous iteration (RCA DTA800) was the better value. In addition to the aforementioned features which were missing on the competitor box this box also had another feature allowing a channel to be added without scanning everything over again as well as improved picture quality and channel holding ability over the previous version (I have both versions, thats why I was considering trying the Magnavox?). I did not have any problem during setup whatsoever though I have heard some complaints about a "tricky" setup? This was not my experience with either the DTA800 or the DTA800B1. The instructions were clear and simple to me, but everyone interprets things a bit differently so who is to say what may be clear to one person is muddy to another? I experienced a markedly improved picture for the local channels which previously were received in analog only, no more snow or ghosting! One thing I do believe is important though is that you have a good VHF/UHF antenna in place in order to receive the best picture and most channels in digital, unlike analog, digital channels are an "all or nothing proposition" thats why the picture looks so much better. If you are only getting a weak signal in analog you get a snowy picture but in digital you may not get any picture at all so thats why the antenna is vital! In summation the RCA DTA800BI is an excellent converter box for the price and I would recommend it without reservation!
Pros Improved reception drastically, easy-to-use remote w/ TV volume control, front panel controls, Smart Antenna capable, easy to use, widescreen and 4:3 format option
Cons No analog pass-thru, no S-Video output, limited electronic program guide
Summary Before we had a converter box of ANY kind, our TV reception was very poor. We live in the foothills of our area, and we could only receive the local NBC and FOX stations. Once we hooked up our same antenna to the box and to our TV, we were able to pick up ALL of the digital channels available in our area, in a clean, crisp format. This box is also Smart Antenna compatible.
The remote can be programmed like a universal remote to control your TV's volume, power, and input selections. Also, if you lose your remote (like I always do), there are front panel power and channel controls.
The electronic program guide (EPG) is very basic. It shows the name and rating (where available) of the current program, and also of the next program. It works, but isn't in depth as other boxes may be.
It says in the CNET review that it does have analog pass-thru, but I haven't figured this out yet.
Pros The only thing I liked when the product worked is that it displayed not only was currently on the channel I was viewing, but what would be on next.
Cons Everything else.
Summary I bought two of these boxes with my gov't coupon and waited several months before we hooked them up, that was my second mistake, the first one was actually buying the product. Anyway, the unit worked fine for a very brief period of time (like a month) but eventually wouldn't turn on. Pretty soon the second one I bought did exactly the same thing. I returned the first unit to the manufacturer provided on the documentation inside the package. Do you know what I got in return? Not another converter box but a refurbished 5 CD bookshelf stereo system. So now I'm out of the government coupons but also two converter boxes that I will have to now replace with 100% of my own money.
Pros worked for a month
Cons I bought the tuner with the coupon, before the coupon expired, therefore, by the time I took it out of the box, it had been a few months, therefore, store would not help me with the defected product.
Pros the remote is by far the best out there, and it can control the tv, too! I can not overstate how great it is. the reception is good, I have had no problems with it.
Cons no s-video port, but no biggie, its a small tv.
Summary the reception is a good as my digital tv, the remote is great, and the program guide is acceptable.