RCA DTA800 Digital to Analog TV Converter Box - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 415 Old 03-02-2008, 03:31 PM
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Check the bottom of the converter box.
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post #62 of 415 Old 03-02-2008, 09:12 PM
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Mine's a DTA800B, per the bottom of the converter box. It definitely has a SmartAntenna input.

Are any of the Smart Antennas worth considering for a bad-reception spot like mine, or am I likely to get better results in this difficult-reception spot with an AntennasDirect DB2 placed in the north-facing window?
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post #63 of 415 Old 03-03-2008, 12:53 PM
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Can you provide your location (preferably nearby cross streets) and/or
post www.tvfool.com results?
And which way does the window face? And are there more apts beyond that?


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post #64 of 415 Old 03-04-2008, 09:26 PM
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I read that the Zenith DTT900 has analog pass through. that you will get both analog and digital channels.

Does the RCA dtc 800b also have this?

Some of the boxes ONLY do digital signals.

So far I like the RCA because of the BIG buttons and smart antenna feature.

I went to my walmart (2 of them) and they only carry the manovox POS

Does anyone know where to buy them yet? The RCAs

thanks


PS Now I seen other people write zenith DTT900 does NOT have analog pass. Do not know what the truth is for that box
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post #65 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 01:03 AM
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From what I've read about the Zenith (and Insignia?), if the unit is turned on, analog pass-thru works. Since I don't have a unit, I don't know if that's the case or not.
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post #66 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemikeb View Post

From what I've read about the Zenith (and Insignia?), if the unit is turned on, analog pass-thru works. Since I don't have a unit, I don't know if that's the case or not.

Can you explain more to someone new like myself. I thought Analog pass-thru meant that you oust a button on the remote and you get analog or digital. What ever you like.

When I googled the term. I got the above explanation.

Are you saying I have to wire a certain way? Maybe I am not understanding correctly

ty
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post #67 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

Can you explain more to someone new like myself. I thought Analog pass-thru meant that you oust a button on the remote and you get analog or digital. What ever you like.

When I googled the term. I got the above explanation.

Are you saying I have to wire a certain way? Maybe I am not understanding correctly

ty

What passes through the antenna wire is a Radio Frequency. The radio frequency either carries analog (NTSC) information, or digital (ATSC) information.

The Coupon Eligible boxes only decode the digital signals (ATSC Tuner only). While the box is on, and if you are using the RF output on the converter box, the signals from your antenna are "passed through" to your TV, thus the TV can tune the analog stations.

You must use the coaxial cable to connect to your TV (if you want to pass along the signal to the TV). When the converter box is off, the RF signal is cut-off and will not go to the TV (unless it is one of the boxes with RF pass through).

If you are looking for something with an analog and digital tuner, look into a DVD recorder (or HDD recorder), some of these have a button that allows you to switch between digital and analog stations. What you describe exists, just not on the coupon eligible boxes.
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post #68 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 05:55 AM
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RCA's DTA800B does not offer analog pass-through.
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post #69 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 06:07 AM
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I returned my RCA DTA800B (bought without a coupon) to Wal*Mart. My impressions of the unit were mildly positive - I really liked the remote control's design- but here were the things which disappointed me:

1. Occasionally losing audio. This seemed to occur either a) after frequent channel changes or b) changing channels after the 800B lost its lock on a tuned station.

2. Display options limited to widescreen or fullscreen.
3. Occasional difficulties getting the unit to respond to channel-change commands.

Nearly all of the problems occurred in a location where signal levels were relatively low. However, the problems persisted even with a change to a different, somewhat better indoor antenna.

It finally occurred to me that the target market for the DTA800B might be less forgiving of the problems than a hobbyist like myself. Hopefully, the bugs relating to audio loss and some inconsistencies in RF performance will be addressed by RCA in an updated version. I generally liked the box, but am ready to pick up an Insignia/Zenith box as soon as the coupons arrive. The DTA800B was good, but didn't seem like it was quite the best unit on the market.
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post #70 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 07:30 AM
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Was the audio loss momentarily (like it was reacquiring the signal) or much longer.....


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post #71 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

Can you explain more to someone new like myself. I thought Analog pass-thru meant that you oust a button on the remote and you get analog or digital. What ever you like.

When I googled the term. I got the above explanation.

Are you saying I have to wire a certain way? Maybe I am not understanding correctly

ty

For those boxes that do not support "RF Pass Thru", in order to alternatively
view digital and analog stations, you must either:

1. Use a standard cable RF Splitter on the antenna coax to feed both the CECB
box and your old TV. Since the coax on the TV is now occupied, you can only
connect CECB to TV via L/R/Video cables (typically White/Red/Yellow).
[Major drawback is reduction in sensitivity by about 4 dB, due to loss in RF Splitter.]
or
2. Use an RF Switch on the antenna coax to feed the CECB and your old TV,
using either an inexpensive manual switch (it's bidirectional):
http://www.amazon.com/Parts-Express-.../dp/B0002ZPIQ4
or one with remote control:
http://www.radioshack.com/search/ind...=150-1968&sr=1

Of course, even with RF Pass Thru, you'll have to switch between changing digital
channels on the CECB box and analog (NTSC) channels on your old TV.
[Which would have been avoided if they had allowed an integrated NTSC tuner.]


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post #72 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

Was the audio loss momentarily (like it was reacquiring the signal) or much longer.....

Once the DTA800B lost audio, it wouldn't come back unless I shut off the unit completely then restarted. During five days of evaluation, this happened ten times. In all cases, it seemed to be when the box's RF section could not tune a series of channels or subchannels due to inadequate signal strength, or when a multipath freeze up occurred.

In many respects, the DTA800B was quite impressive although it's possible that the Zenith/Insignia CECBs have a more sensitive RF front end. The audio instability was the primary reason I returned it to the store. I really hope that non-hobbyist consumers who buy the RCA box with the $40 coupon do not experience this particular problem, they won't like the hassle of having to frequently turn the box off and on like a "frozen" computer.

Side comment: The Wal*Mart stores near me apparently were sold out of the RCA CECBs (I bought the only one left at my store last week), but have large stacks of the Magnavox TB100MW9.
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post #73 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

I read that the Zenith DTT900 has analog pass through. that you will get both analog and digital channels.

Does the RCA dtc 800b also have this?

Some of the boxes ONLY do digital signals.

So far I like the RCA because of the BIG buttons and smart antenna feature.

I went to my walmart (2 of them) and they only carry the manovox POS

Does anyone know where to buy them yet? The RCAs

thanks


PS Now I seen other people write zenith DTT900 does NOT have analog pass. Do not know what the truth is for that box

I have the Zenith DTT900 box and it does NOT have analog pass through.

It is a very good box that works very well with RF output and composite output, but no RF pass through or S-Video output.


Sincerely,

Bob Diaz
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post #74 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 12:13 PM
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thanks guys
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post #75 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

For those boxes that do not support "RF Pass Thru", in order to alternatively
view digital and analog stations, you must either:

1. Use a standard cable RF Splitter on the antenna coax to feed both the CECB
box and your old TV. Since the coax on the TV is now occupied, you can only
connect CECB to TV via L/R/Video cables (typically White/Red/Yellow).
[Major drawback is reduction in sensitivity by about 4 dB, due to loss in RF Splitter.]
or
2. Use an RF Switch on the antenna coax to feed the CECB and your old TV,
using either an inexpensive manual switch (it's bidirectional):
http://www.amazon.com/Parts-Express-.../dp/B0002ZPIQ4
or one with remote control:
http://www.radioshack.com/search/ind...=150-1968&sr=1

Of course, even with RF Pass Thru, you'll have to switch between changing digital
channels on the CECB box and analog (NTSC) channels on your old TV.
[Which would have been avoided if they had allowed an integrated NTSC tuner.]

First off I want to thank ALL you guys. You guys are the best to help someone who is new to all of this.

That being said I have a question. This BOX is for my Aunt. She is not technical at all. She needs ease of use.

When you say "Use an RF Switch on the antenna" Will I loose sensitivity. As I would with a splitter?

I also read the manavox box did have pass through. Is that correct?

I do not understand why one box can not have all options?
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post #76 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

First off I want to thank ALL you guys. You guys are the best to help someone who is new to all of this.

That being said I have a question. This BOX is for my Aunt. She is not technical at all. She needs ease of use.

When you say "Use an RF Switch on the antenna" Will I loose sensitivity. As I would with a splitter?

I also read the manavox box did have pass through. Is that correct?

I do not understand why one box can not have all options?

RF Switch has very small loss...which is why it is better....whether external or "RF Pass Thru".

You may want to sit back a couple months and let the "early adopters" play around for awhile.
We've only seen the first few boxes....I counted FIFTY boxes on the latest CECB list:
https://www.ntiadtv.gov/cecb_list.cfm
That includes SEVEN different boxes from Digital Stream (two with RF Pass Thru).

============================
There are TWO Magnavox boxes on the list.
TB100MG9 presumably has RF Pass Thru whereas TB100MW0 does not.

tested TB100MW9, confirming it does NOT have RF Pass Thru:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...u#post13015492


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post #77 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 12:54 PM
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I wonder if i can find a small one that has a remote and cheap. Hard for her to get up and down ect. Of course this would work until 2009 feb. Thats why the cheaper the better.

Anyone got a coupon for a AB remote switch lol
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post #78 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 01:09 PM
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The CECBs are built to a cost, so it's a question of what features the manufacter includes for that price.

holl_ands laid out the two best solutions in his post above if your aunt needs to see both analog and digital for awhile. I think using the a/v solution would be best, or wait until you can find a CECB with analog passthrough.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #79 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 02:47 PM
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If I use the A/B switch. I am confused on hook up

1) I have an antenna that goes to the A/b switch (IN)

2) The digital converter box also goes to the A/B Switch (in)

3) Cable then goes from A/B Switch to TV

4) QUESTION: What do I use to get antenna signal to Digital converter box?

I made a very crude diagram. To show you how confused I am.

Any help would be appreciated.


PS No laughing at my pic lol
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post #80 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 03:53 PM
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Lexus,

An A/B switch normally indicates two "in" and one "out." Ignore those designations. An A/B switch may be used the other way around so the one "out" is actually an "in" and the two "in" are actually "outs." The antenna is connected to the A/B "out." One "in" goes directly to the TV RF input and the other "in" goes to the converter box RF input. Then the yellow, red, and white RCA composite connections on the converter box go to the corresponding inputs on the TV. Then select the A or B switch to select between the converter box or antenna. Then the TV remote selects the video input to watch through the converter or the normal TV setting to watch through the antenna.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #81 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

The Wal*Mart stores near me apparently were sold out of the RCA CECBs (I bought the only one left at my store last week), but have large stacks of the Magnavox TB100MW9.

When I first began browsing online for these converters early last week, am almost certain that the RCA converter was showing as "Available in Stores" at the walmart.com website.

One day later, when I returned to the site, searching with the term "digital converter" only produced a match for the Magnavox unit. Once at the Magnavox page, the RCA converter was listed under the heading "Similar Items." Clicking on that link, though, displayed the following about the RCA unit: "Not Sold Online. Not Sold in Stores." This is how the converter has appeared at walmart.com each day since.

Perhaps it was withdrawn due to the quality control issues that you've spoken of?
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post #82 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 04:03 PM
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Lexus - antenna => splitter (the single side)

Output1 of splitter to position A of switch
Output2 of splitter to Ant in on CECB

Output of CECB to Position B of switch

single output of switch to ANT IN on TV

Diagram on how to connect

http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/uc/rs..._bypass_rf.pdf

If you have A/V jacks available -
http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/uc/rs..._bypass_av.pdf

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #83 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 07:31 PM
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In either diagram, RF Splitter can be replaced with an A/B RF Switch,
thereby avoiding the 4 dB loss of sensitivity due to loss in the RF Splitter.


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post #84 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 08:13 PM
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That starts getting complicated though - I'm going to have sufficient signal strength anyway, so I'll be using the RF splitter

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...

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post #85 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

In either diagram, RF Splitter can be replaced with an A/B RF Switch,
thereby avoiding the 4 dB loss of sensitivity due to loss in the RF Splitter.

Holl, does it matter if the second device is on or not?
say your split your VHF/UFH antenna reception to;
ATSC Box -> TV (DTV reception)
VCR -> TV (Analog reception)

so if you VCR is left OFF, will you still potentially
lose 4db using a Splitter over a A/B RF Switch?
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post #86 of 415 Old 03-05-2008, 09:17 PM
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Makes no difference whether on or off.


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post #87 of 415 Old 03-06-2008, 12:15 AM
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I saw an RCA box on demo at Wal-Mart today. Yes, a store finally demoing a box. Well sort of. It did not have an antenna hooked up. It only tuned the in-house demo digital channel (14-1). No remote to play with. It was hooked up to a tv that didn't need a converter box because it has a digital tuner. If Wal-Mart wants to really demo the boxes they need to set up a real world usage situation. Hook it up to a tv that has only an analog tuner (take the old analog tv from the oil change waiting room and put a new digital tv there and use the old analog one to demo the box), hook up an antenna, and leave the remote out for customers to try (tie it to something if theft might be a problem).

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #88 of 415 Old 03-06-2008, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Lexus,

An A/B switch normally indicates two "in" and one "out." Ignore those designations. An A/B switch may be used the other way around so the one "out" is actually an "in" and the two "in" are actually "outs." The antenna is connected to the A/B "out." One "in" goes directly to the TV RF input and the other "in" goes to the converter box RF input. Then the yellow, red, and white RCA composite connections on the converter box go to the corresponding inputs on the TV. Then select the A or B switch to select between the converter box or antenna. Then the TV remote selects the video input to watch through the converter or the normal TV setting to watch through the antenna.

Ok this is what I thought. Her TV does not have "the yellow, red, and white RCA composite connections" Just RF connections. I know, I know it is a Costco special and brand is (guess who) Manavox. I am really beginning to hate them lol

So it looks like according to the GRAPH posted below by SCOOPER. I will need an additional splitter from the antenna to the converter box and the A/B box. Thus loosing some signal. OR wait for a better Converter box to come along in 90 days OR just not use Analog

Let me ask you guys this. I followed other peoples directions from this wonderful forum. I went to Antenna Web and 2150.com. I put in the Address and pulled up what analog/digital stations she gets. Problem is both these lists only go up to channel 69 and my aunt gets channels above that. All the way to 103. The lists also do not show ANY major subs. Such as for example ABC 7.1, 7.2 ,7.3 ect. It just shows 7.1 So I do not know if she gets no subs or it just does not show up like channels over 69?? I guess no way to really know until you hook the unit up to antenna?? This was the reason I wanted Analog Pass through. Just in case some stations didn't make the digital journey. Because according to antenna web and 2150. She will loose stations.

I did want to mention this for people looking for indoor antennas. My aunt has received over 7 to 10 antennas over the years as gifts. NONE worked well. Until I spent $90 to $100 over 9 years ago on a TERK 50. They now make TERK 55. I can tell you over half the Analog stations come in cable quality. It looks like a LONG funny stick, but it works. Those days it was new tech.
She lives in a apartment and gets free ROOF antenna and this TERK 50 works much better. Also works better for her NOT plugged into electric. Just info for you guys.

Again thanks
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post #89 of 415 Old 03-06-2008, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

I saw an RCA box on demo at Wal-Mart today. Yes, a store finally demoing a box. Well sort of. It did not have an antenna hooked up. It only tuned the in-house demo digital channel (14-1). No remote to play with. It was hooked up to a tv that didn't need a converter box because it has a digital tuner. If Wal-Mart wants to really demo the boxes they need to set up a real world usage situation. Hook it up to a tv that has only an analog tuner (take the old analog tv from the oil change waiting room and put a new digital tv there and use the old analog one to demo the box), hook up an antenna, and leave the remote out for customers to try (tie it to something if theft might be a problem).

Yes the Walmart Website now says RCA not available. I went to 2 stores. One guy tried to help me and I even gave him the walmart product code someone posted here. It did not work. He thought maybe the RCA was a trial and the Manavox was better so no more RCA.

Honestly I never thought this would be so much headache
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post #90 of 415 Old 03-06-2008, 03:28 AM
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BTW I wanted to mentioned I called RCA and They didn't even know the converter BOX was for sale. They had no clue where to buy it and knew way less about it then you guys.

I tell ya does not give me confidence in RCA.

I called asking where could I buy it
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