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on March 24, 2008
I bought the RCA DTA800b and the Magnavox TB100MW9 converters at Wal-Mart.
Units cost $49.87 each ($9.87 after coupon)
The RCA is a far superior unit.
The Menu's and remote control functions are excellent.
Similar in nature to a satellite receiver.
Reception was very good even with just a "bow tie" antenna.

The Magnavox is not worth the money.
It is made by Funai Electronics and the remote control has tiny buttons.
The Menu's are just as bad.
Reception was not very good with just a "bow tie" antenna.
Not even close to the RCA.
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on June 15, 2008
Have now guided multiple elderly (and not so elderly) family members in the purchase of this easy to use box. All of us have enjoyed the easy to use remote and the box's ability to lay flat or upright. Excellent reception and sound and doesn't overheat like the Magnavox did. People should use Antenna Web or TV Fool to know where to aim their antenna, and purchase what they recommend (TV Fool is better with terrain and if you need to have antenna elevated). Upstairs I use an eight year old Jasco Optima (GE make equivalent now) for stations up 45miles away, but down one flight have to use a Radio Shack 15-1892 directional amplified to get 'violet uhf' for the station 45 miles away. Unlike snowy screens on analog TV's if signal strength is <14% you get nothing. Roof top aerials may not work unless amplified with low noise next to antenna. Also digital reception easily blocked or messed up by metal in walls. Best if antenna is by window if inside or if outside aimed in best direction. RCA will release their 'Smart Antenna' this Fall of 2008; it will plug in the back of RCA DTA 800 boxes and automatically orient itself for best signal.
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on July 13, 2008
I described the functionality of this product as less than basic, and that is why it is for $50 = $9.99 + $40 coupon.
My review is centered around 3 points.

1- Box doesn't have a Recall feature. So if you are watching Channel X and you switch to Channel Y, but you want to go back to Channel X, you can't. You have to input Channel X digits manually.
2- If you perform channel scan procedure and you realize that the box missed a Channel from the list, it's hard to capture that channel. So for example if you want to catch Channel 13-1 and the scanning procedure didn't capture it, you can't capture it. The box wouldn't let you enter Channel 13-1 manually so you go and change the antenna position to capture it. You can't force the box to latch to Channel 13-1.
3- Each time you use the menu, the box logs you out of what you are watching and takes you to the menu page where you can't see the TV program. So let us say if you want to change the font size, the system logs you out and takes you to the font page. If you choose a font with size large, and you realize it is not what you wanted, you cannot do it on the fly. You have to exit the TV program and go to the font page to reset it, then go back to the TV program.
I would not recommend this converter box at all. Pay $20 plus the coupon and get a better box. The ultimate way to discover the features above primarily is by looking at the remote control.
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on June 13, 2008
I bought two of these. One failed, bought another and that failed, too. When they work, they actually work pretty well and are easy to use. Nice picture, too. But because they seem to fail so readily don't be surprised if yours goes bad. And they are pain to exchange if you buy them with the vouchers. One Walmart insisted on keeping my voucher when I bought one; another Walmart insisted that I should have kept my voucher in order to exchange the dead box. What a hassle. Good luck.
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on May 17, 2008
Amazon is great, but this box is at Wal*Mart for $50, so if you have your $40 government subsidy card, it's only $10. I only bought it "for the future" because of the limited time subsidy, because I knew the TV reception in my little corner of the Bay Area is *terrible* with most of the broadcasters 50 miles away in San Francisco. I bought an expensive off-air HD receiver last year and ended up returning it because it only picked up 3 stations - all weird ones. I tried this RCA box using the same $25 Radio Shack antenna (when I had the expensive unit, the antenna was mounted on the roof - in testing the RCA unit, I just had it hanging out the window, with a big tree blocking it) This little baby picked up 37 channels!!! And only 2 seemed to have signals too weak to watch.
Unfortunately, I can't cancel the satellite service because this unit does NOT output HD signals, RF and baseband only. If it put out HD it would be deal of the century.
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on May 29, 2008
You do need a suitable antenna, or this will not work. It appears a UHF antenna will do the job, but you may need a signal amplifier in the antenna, depending on where you live.

We have another converter box with features easily accessible on the remote that have to be found inside a couple of layers of menu with this unit. Still, it functions well. The buttons on the remote are not always as responsive as I would like.
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on May 2, 2008
I bought this model because it was the only one available at my local Wal-Mart. I plugged it in and got it all setup and did the scan. It only came up with PBS stations (7.1,7.2,7.3,7.4). The picture on each was amazing! However, this model lacks the ability to manually add channels. To add new channels, you must have the box do an automatic rescan. This was a big negative for me. Without the box and just the rabbit ears, I was able to get 4 or 5 channels, not counting PBS.
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on June 7, 2008
I've had this unit for about one month, having purchased it at Walmart with the $40 voucher. When the signal strength is good, the unit performs fairly well and the picture is very nice. It was a huge improvement over the standard analog reception. Unfortunately, everyday use can be quite frustrating. The remote feels cheap and is missing a previous channel button. This may be the only video device I've ever encountered that lacks this feature. Amazing. Next, this converter can only auto-scan for channels. You can't add channels manually to the stored channel list, nor can you tune into a weak signal for a channel that is not in the stored channel list. They provide a signal strength bar graph and variable pitch tone feature that helps you reorient the antenna for weak signals, but you can't even tune into the weak channel to start with to use this feature. I guess you're supposed to take the converter to some hilltop and run the auto-scan. This will (hopefully) find all the channels and then you can try to use the signal strength meter when you get home. I have a 110 volt converter in my car, so I may actually try this.
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on May 27, 2008
I bought this unit at Wal-Mart two weeks ago. Set-up is easy and on the whole this is far more versatile than the Magnavox. Reception is excellent.'s started acting up just in the last couple of days by sometimes spontaneously shutting down even with the Automatic Power Down feature set to "OFF". I e-mailed RCA's customer service detailing the problem but have received no reply. Maybe this unit is just going through a phase. I will say that it's satisfactory in all other respects. My advice is to check with other people who have bought the same unit to see if they've had any problems before purchasing your own.

This is a post-script: As of 06/02/2008 RCA has NOT responded to any of my e-mails (via their website) addressing the problem mentioned above.
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on August 19, 2008
Your next step after this purchase is contacting your local cable or satellite provider. Plan on watching tv stutters. Quite frustrating. Stations that come in one day might not the next day or an hour later.
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