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150 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RCA 86073 - Not perfect but good enough to buy and keep
This is my 4th attempt at buying a portable digital TV since the over the air broadcast standard changed from analog to digital 3 years ago in June 2009. I've already been through the 7 inch VIZIO and two 7 inch COBYs. I had to return them all - what a waste of time and energy. None of them was satisfactory (see reviews) but this little RCA looks like a keeper...
Published on June 5, 2012 by Ted K

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never has worked even after paying to have it fixed!
I purchased this for my elderly father to use outdoor for Saints Games. He also planned to use it during electricity outages during hurricane season. It sat in the closet for awhile, and then would only work when using the AC Adapter. I can't remember if I registered the unit, and I can't find the receipt. Upon calling the toll-free Customer Support Center, I was...
Published on May 23, 2012 by Michelle


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150 of 154 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RCA 86073 - Not perfect but good enough to buy and keep, June 5, 2012
This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
This is my 4th attempt at buying a portable digital TV since the over the air broadcast standard changed from analog to digital 3 years ago in June 2009. I've already been through the 7 inch VIZIO and two 7 inch COBYs. I had to return them all - what a waste of time and energy. None of them was satisfactory (see reviews) but this little RCA looks like a keeper.

In my metro area, I am able to pick up 12 channels with the included antenna.

The picture is bright, reasonably clear and the color very natural.

The screen has a dull, non-reflective surface so you're not looking at the reflection of your own face as is the case with the pricey VIZIO which has a very shiny screen. The RCA display is 234H x 480W PIXELS.

The clarity is quite acceptable - noticeably better than the COBYs but not as sharp as the hi-resolution VIZIO which has inferior color and NO tint control.

The sound is clear but tinny and it's consistent in level from channel to channel. The audio is NOT as good as the COBYs but far superior to the very weak VIZIO. There is a headphone output allowing for use of a headset or powered external speakers.

The image scaling is excellent. If you set the aspect ratio to AUTO, the picture is properly proportioned from widescreen stations to those broadcasting in the old standard 4:3 format. Circles are always round and people are NOT stretched wide to look short and fat. VIZIO could not get that right.

Here's a plus - unlike the VIZIO, when you power down, the RCA retains the channels you found as you would expect a TV to do.

The RCA has a full range of picture and audio controls as well as closed caption capability.

I have yet to connect it to cable or test battery play time.

I am just so happy to have a decent portable TV again. At this nice low price point, this TV is worth buying.
Though I wish it had a higher resolution screen, this will do nicely until something better comes along.

I've been researching these little beasts for 3 years now and in my opinion, this is the best portable TV on the market for now.
-----------------------------
1 MONTH UPDATE:
We had a very bad storm come through on 6-29-2012 and were without electric power for almost 3 days. This little TV was a blessing. The battery only lasts about 90 minutes but I previously bought a 12 volt car adapter that allowed continued viewing. I also re-routed our cable signal to the 7 inch TV and scanned for cable channels. It found all 65 analog stations but none of the digital QAM signals. Most importantly, it found the cable radar station.

A day later, I rescanned for the unscrambled digital stations and it found all 16 of them.
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151 of 161 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good portable TV, January 25, 2012
This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
The RCA 7 inch HDTV is a good portable HDTV, but it's not perfect. Surprisingly the TV does not have a built in telescoping whip antenna but a short 6 inch antenna which attaches to the TV by it's 30 inch cable. Although a whip antenna wouldn't be great it would be vastly superior to the included antenna. Curiously this set up exists in other portable TV's too. All these 6 inch vertical TV antennas are a joke unless you and the antenna can actually see the television station's transmitting tower, that's all you should expect from these antennas. Face it, would you connect a 6 inch antenna to your home TV and expect reception? This micro antenna also has a very thin coaxial cable. Without getting into the science of it, thin coax loses whatever signal it's carrying very, very quickly even over short lengths like 30 inches. Bottom line the supplied antenna and it's cable is junk. The tuner in this RCA TV is just as good as most home TV tuner's, it just needs an adequate antenna to work well.

The remote works fine but uses what I call bubble buttons. They all feel the same because they all have the same round bubble shape. This is different from most home TV remotes where one can feel the different round, square, or triangular shape of various buttons without needing to look and study which feature is which.

Finally the Li-ion battery is built into the TV. I see no means to replace it if/when it eventually fails.

Otherwise, the RCA works quite well and I like it. This RCA TV also has the standard coax connector antenna fitting that is used with real coax. Some portable TV's use a proprietary micro connector that is impossible to connect to real coax. This unit is nice to have on camping trips and the like but again be prepared to get a true functional small portable antenna preferably using real coax, for any of these portable TV's, these antennas do exist. Something like the Mohu Leaf or Terk antenna should work (I haven't tried them though). Don't buy the old school rabbit ears. They were designed for old analog TV's which operated mostly on VHF frequencies. Today's HDTV's mostly use UHF bands, the obsolete rabbit ears were never designed to work on the UHF band. I could explain the science but your eyes would glaze over after an hour.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the price..., December 25, 2011
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This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
I was replacing an Auvio 3.5" screen w/this unit because I didn't like having to replace batteries as often, and it didn't seem to have a car adapter available, and the home adapter was half the cost of the unit price.
The RCA unit has a rechargeable battery and comes w/both a car and home recharger and larger screen for about the same price I'd paid originally. A secondary benefit was the external coaxial(RF) connector for a better antenna connection, also.
The only drawbacks were the small antenna that doesn't really provide good reception and the really POOR remote control, which almost doesn't work, very difficult key responses, as well as no better reception than the Auvio unit has.
Overall, a better value, but nothing to brag about. It's worth the price, though.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars RCA's 7-inch Portable TV Bargain, June 2, 2012
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This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
At some point almost every kid in America has had a desire for a small portable television set that could be sneaked into bed and used under the covers after one parent or the other has announced that it's "lights out" for the night. This RCA 7" Portable TV is just the type of device that so many of us fell asleep dreaming about, wishing that we had one.

On a more serious note, NPR ran a program a couple of years ago, 'Medical Detectives Focus On Myopia,' and in an interview Dr. Don Mutti (College of Optometry, Ohio State University) noted that "near-work" - the things you do close up with your eyes, like reading or watching television or playing video games, had been a suspect as one of the causes of myopia for many years. German astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote about it about 400 years ago, and Dr. Mutti's advice was simple: "Don't watch too much TV, or don't read, you know, under the covers with a flashlight."

That being said, I found that this small 7-inch television didn't need to be viewed that closely, and that arm's length was an excellent viewing distance where the picture could be viewed clearly and easily once everything was set up as per the instructions. But let's get past the good and bad first...

Pros:

* Very light weight; about 1.1 pounds (0.50kg)
* Sharp and bright 7-inch diagonal LCD screen; 480 x 264 pixels
* Excellent controls, easy to master quickly
* Easy setup; good instruction manual, easy to follow
* Decent full-featured small remote control
* Built-in Li-ion rechargeable battery keeps it portable
* Convenient flip-out stand on back

Cons:

* The included external antenna is abominable and almost worthless

First Impressions - Setup:

This television was well packaged, and was better in that respect than many on the market. It came with the TV itself, a remote control with CR2025 battery, a power adapter, a telescoping antenna with a magnetic base, a power adapter and a user guide. Following the directions, connected the antenna and plugged in the 12V power adapter, then turned the TV on. The manual said to perform an auto scan to search for the locally available channels. And that's where the first problem arose, as in the NYC area there are plenty channels, yet the reception ranged from just OK to very poor, which I found to be quite surprising from RCA.

Long story short, the supplied antenna is just about worthless. After charging the TV for a couple of hours, took it outside to a park area, did another auto scan, and found that reception was reasonably improved, but it didn't help indoor reception. Tried it briefly with my older Terk Technology HDTVi VHF/UHF HDTV Indoor Antenna and the reception improved greatly, but this antenna is somewhat directional and I didn't feel like having to readjust and auto scan for better reception every time the TV was moved. Came online here and read a number of reviews, then ordered the RCA ANT1450BM Refurbished Multi-Directional Digital Flat Amplified HDTV Antenna (reviewed here separately) which was on sale at the time. It arrived a few days later, and once it was hooked up, the reception was excellent. Note that this TV has an industry-standard coaxial antenna connector that enables it to be used with cable television if you like.

In Use:

Once the new antenna was installed and the auto scan was performed, found this television to be excellent in all respects. The size is small yet not too tiny, and the reception on all channels is first-rate. The available controls for setting such items as the picture, audio, V-chip and other controls are quite good, and if you (or someone else) screws them up, there's a reset option to restore things to the default settings.

Thought that the tiny remote control was nothing other than cute at first, but once one uses it for a while it has proven to be the preferred method of controlling this TV. The stereo sound wasn't so good until I plugged in a set of ear bud headphones, and the difference was remarkable.

Summary:

As with anything, how a product is rated has a lot to do with its performance vs. the price paid. In my case, I bought this here on a Lightning Deal when the price was below forty buck, which made it an exceptional value, even with the almost useless antenna. From past experience with televisions over the years, I expected that the antenna would have to be replaced, and was glad that RCA had chosen to not use a built-in telescoping antenna that would have to be adjusted every few minutes. All this being said, will have to say that at the regular price this would probably be a very solid +4-star product, but with an upgraded antenna, it's subjectively worthy of a 5-star recommendation... and don't let your kids use it under the covers late at night.

6/2/2012
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Never has worked even after paying to have it fixed!, May 23, 2012
By 
Michelle (Harahan, LA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
I purchased this for my elderly father to use outdoor for Saints Games. He also planned to use it during electricity outages during hurricane season. It sat in the closet for awhile, and then would only work when using the AC Adapter. I can't remember if I registered the unit, and I can't find the receipt. Upon calling the toll-free Customer Support Center, I was given a repair ticket number and told to mail the unit along with a $25 check to Venturer Electronics in NY. Paid $8.63 for shipping and delivery confirmation receipt. I assumed they would simply exchange the unit for a new one (or refurbished one) rather than attempting to repair a $100 item. They shipped back a unit, and now it doesn't even work when plugged in. I get a "Battery Low" error, and can't access the Icon Channel Menu or any channel. I am calling the Support Center today, but don't want to pour more money into this unit. I think I got a lemon, and I hope they will replace it without making me pay additional money. I'll follow up once this is resolved - one way or another. I would not recommend this product! Lesson Learned: In the future, I'll immediately test any electronic gift I give to my father to ensure it works, and I'll register it and file receipt. Since this was a gift, I feel I need to either repair this one or buy a new one that actually works! As mentioned by other reviewers, I'll buy a better antenna. Update 5/24/12: Support Center is paying to have unit shipped back to company and says there will be no service charge to repair. Jury is still out. I wish they'd simply replace the unit with a new one. It seems more costly to try to repair.

Update 11/27/12: This unit has been shipped back to Ventura Electronics 3 or 4 times. They send a pre-payed shipping label and send back a unit (maybe the same?) that is exactly as it was when shipped to them for repair. I've asked for a replacement and was told no. Customer Service can be fairly rude to downright rude. The original unit worked when plugged in, and now that they've "repaired" it several times, it will not even work when plugged in. Went to Radio Shak to purchase best antenna I could find. Still doesn't work. This is a failed experiment. I cannot find a local store that sells a portable TV, only DVD units. Since it doesn't cost me anything but a little time, I'll continue to ship the unit back to NY at their expense. This time I'm gonna put a little mark on the unit (or tiny scratch) to see if they even send the same unit back considering they sent back a unit that has worse problems than the one sent in. I'll see how long this can go on. It will be funny to see if I can send it back 10+ times. Seems like they would eventually make it right since it has a lifetime guarantee even without receipt or registration.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to have in an emergency, May 23, 2012
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This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
I find that this TV is amazing considering the price.

Using the magnetic six inch antenna that was included with the unit, I was able to receive ninety-eight channels including twelve PBS channels.

This TV presents a nice picture with many picture and audio controls and also, it has built-in speakers (stereo) with the option of using headphones or ear buds.

The battery life is indicated to be limited to one hundred minutes but, that should suffice whenever there is a power outage and you would like to check periodic news updates.

I also found that 12 volt car adapter plugs into this TV and can also serve to recharge the TVs' built-in battery.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Portable TV, June 11, 2012
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This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
I bought this for our kitchen so that my wife could watch her shows while she is preparing dinners for us. Sound is not great but the picture is very clear as long as you get a decent reception. We uses the little antenna that came with the TV and it picks up major networks plus some, and if you hook it up with cable, you see everything clearly. I just leave it plugged in to the adapter so I don't know how long the battery lasts. For the price we paid, this is a great product.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Expected, August 13, 2012
By 
Cubicle Me (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
TL;DR - If you're looking for a portable TV this is a quality product at a great price.

I purchased this TV a couple of months ago for about $50 to replace an old 19" brick the front desk at my office used to view the lobby camera on our building's CCTV. Some of my co-workers were concerned the small screen size would make it difficult to see who was trying to enter the building, but desk space is precious and the TV's smaller footprint meant it was worth a try. Since it's arrival it has gotten nothing but rave reviews from the office and we all consider it money well spent.

Pros:
- Picture quality is excellent. No one has any trouble at all discerning who is using the lobby intercom.
- Setup is simple. If you read the short and relatively clear instructions before use you should have no trouble at all.
- The automatic aspect ratio setting is perfect. I wish my TV at home worked as well.
- Sound quality is surprisingly good. On the few occasions we have used the TV to view the news or weather channels we haven't had any issues with the sound at all.
- The full-function menu is clear and intuitive. Overall I have tested most of the features and everything seems to function as intended.

Cons:
- The recessed coax input makes it a little difficult to use older cables that actually need to be screwed on. You'll get it eventually, but it takes more effort than you'd expect.
- The stand doesn't lock into position. While the viewing angle is pretty good, the unit tends to gradually slide to the stand's maximum (only) setting. There are little rubber feet on the back of the unit but none on the bottom, which seems like an oversight to me.

Other thoughts:
- Normally I would consider taking a star or two for the cons I noted above, but when you factor in the price this is really a five-star product. I am so impressed with the one at work I'm going to get one for myself.
- I am perpetually amazed at what people expect to get for their money. For less than $50 you are getting a full-featured television of superior quality. No, the little baby antenna will not pick up stations from Kathmandu (unless, of course, you live in Kathmandu). No, it doesn't have a 1900 by 1280 HD LED screen. No, it doesn't come with a full-sized universal remote. Who expects any of these things from a $50 portable TV? These must be the same people who post negative reviews about their $100 tablets because they don't magically turn into iPads. Read the description and know what you are buying and you will not be disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value in a small, portable package, August 3, 2012
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This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
After careful research, I purchased the RCA RTV86073 portable TV as a "just in case" battery-operated device for power failures, etc. While this television is not the biggest on the market, or the most fully-featured, it is an extremely good value in a small, highly functional package.
THE UP SIDE -- The RTV86073 has a beautiful, bright and sharp display. While not a "Full HD" set, due to the small screen size, the picture is nevertheless excellent. The tuner portion of the unit is as good as any HDTV tuner out there, including all the basic channel scan, picture and sound adjustment features that you would expect on just about any TV these days. The user manual, although obviously written by someone for whom English was a second language, is nevertheless reasonably straightforward and easy enough to understand. And of course, it will run on its internal Lithium Ion battery for just under 2 hours per charge -- good enough for my intended use as a backup set for power outages, although you might not be able to get through a whole movie on batteries. The audio is clear, although a little bit "tinny" due to the small speaker size, and there is an earphone jack for private listening. It's not super-duper Hi-Fi, but the sound quality is really quite acceptable.
THE DOWN SIDE -- The RTV86073 comes with what the manufacturer jokingly refers to as an antenna. Don't you believe it! The included antenna couldn't pick up a channel unless you were within 20 yards of the transmitting antenna. If you buy this TV, pick up an RCA ANT112R antenna (basic rabbit ears) to go with it. Once I connected the rabbit ears and ran a channel autoscan, I immediately picked up 28 digital broadcast channels (plus 2 analog channels, which came as a real surprise in 2012). I chose passive (non-amplified) rabbit ears, rather than an amplified antenna, to be useable during a power failure. Of course, if you connect the input to cable or satellite, your reception will be as good as with any modern television set at any price. The only other negative is that the TV has to be turned off in order to charge the internal battery (although you can watch TV on the AC adapter without a problem, so it's not really that big of a deal). Finally, don't expect reception in a moving vehicle. ATSC (digital) tuners were never intended to be used while in motion. If you're in a car or an RV, park it before you try to watch TV -- which is probably a good safety tip, too!
CONCLUSION -- If you're looking for a small, portable TV that can run on batteries when it has to, gets great reception (when connected to a decent antenna) and won't break the bank, then I highly recommend the RTV86073. You could pay a lot more and do much worse.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous T.V., June 4, 2012
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This review is from: RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073 (Electronics)
I bought this for my boyfriend and he absolutely loves it. He has to visit many jobs sites during the day and he waits a lot in his car. The other day he called saying he was able to view 12 channels with the little antenna. I suggest buying the leaf antenna because it helps when you are away from a city. Everyone loves the picture and sound and I would recommend this purchase.
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RCA 7" Portable TV, RTV86073
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