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Digital Prism 7" ATSC television
on February 16, 2010
This is a very nice little television for what it is. I purchased it at a local CVS pharmacy, for $99.00 in summer of 2008, needing to replace a 1991 model Sony B/W Watchman analog TV that we kept on our kitchen counter for watching and listening during kitchen-work.
After a year of use, after its warranty had run out, we noticed that the power-light that shows the battery charge and status level was popping on and off, and likewise the view-screen, at the same time. My husband would wiggle the power jack around and lift or move the powercord and eventually get power back to the unit. After a month of deteriorating connection, he took the unit apart and found that the powerjack connection to the circuit-board was loose. The single thin wire's solder had broken. He knows a little bit about electrical circuitry, and did some solder work on it and made a connection that delivered power, again. We used it for a very long time after that, almost 6 months, before the jack again became a problem. He experimented and figured out that the fall of the powercord, from the jack to the wall-outlet below the unit, placed a directional stress on that powerjack and its internal connection. There is a rather weighty 'filter or transformer' about 5 inches back from the plug, which pulls against the powerjack. He resoldered the powerjack's connection to the circuitboard inside back into place, again, but believes that the small hook at the upper left of the unit is to hold the cord more-or-less in place to reduce the stress on the jack. (We don't remember reading about that hook in the owner's manual. It looks like an antenna holder-bracket like what used to be found on old portable radios. Use it hold the cord. It'll save one a headache, it seems.) We've been using it like that, with the cord looped behind that hook, and haven't had any power breaks in the last 48 hours. UPDATE: This morning (2/16/10), when moving the tv, the power/charge/standby light faded from green to green-yellow, and back to green, when the power cord came out of its hook-holder and shifted because of the move. Putting the cord back in behind the hook, and giving a little slack to the cable, brought that light back to solid green.
The picture is difficult to adjust. Changing the contrast, bright, color and tint doesn't happen immediately, to my eyes. Whites and bright pictures appear washed out. If there's any dark printing against a white background, like one'll find at the bottom of newscast scrolls, the printing appears smudged. When the printing is white against the dark background, it's much more sharp. (The pre-programmed picture setting choices are Standart, Soft, Dynamic, and Personal. I use Personal, and have the 'sharpness' to 80, and the printing is still 'smudged' when dark print is against white background).
Each change of channel will show the channel number and its call letters, which is a nice thing. That's done automatically when the unit scans for new channels. The remote is small, and relatively easy to use, physically. The channel buttons are small, though. The EPG key will give description of the program on the channel, as long as there's one broadcast by the broadcast-channel.
We hope to get another 2-4 years service out of it, barring any more issues with the powercord jack.
Overall, even with our large television in the living room, using rabbit ears, reception stinks since the digital change of signal. With this Digital Prism unit, sometimes moving around the kitchen will cause the video to freeze, or turn into a checkerboard, and the audio to repeat a single, repetitive syllable, ad infinitum, until the unit is turned, the antenna is moved, or one changes one's own position in the room.
As a portable unit, we tried it in our car while traveling to Florida from Tennessee. Unless we had line-of-sight exposure to broadcast towers, the picture and audio was like described above: choppy, block-like video, repetitive syllables, or black (failed to receive signal), unlike the old analog unit we had, which would receive audio and visual while we were on the move while in the reach of a broadcast signal. Remember with analog, one can receive audio OR visual and both. With digital one can only receive video AND audio AT THE SAME TIME, or nothing at all. On the Florida trip we did NOT use an external car antenna, so it MIGHT work better like that. We weren't going to buy an antenna that we'd possibly use only once on a trip. It's ok when outdoors and the unit remaining in one place. With experimentation, we've found for our home's location, 12 miles line-of-site for all the local broadcast towers, a horizontal antenna position gets the best signal.