Magnavox TB100MW9 - Initial Impressions - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 156 Old 02-13-2014, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by goldrich View Post

Here's a quick review of the new digital-to-analog converter box,Magnavox TB100MW9. I found it at one Wal-Mart location in the Indy area for $49.87. As a DTV DXer, I was very curious how it would locate and decode very weak digital signals. This is the initial review I just shared with a DXers' group. BTW, up to now, I, along with a few other DXers, have found the RCA ATSC11 (from 2003) to be one of the better units for receiving weak and distant DTV signals....Steve

I recently tested five of these old CECBs at my house using a roof-mounted Channel Master 4228. Something I learned about humble Magnavox TB-100MW - actually received a stable picture on an ultra-low-power high-VHF station that no other tuner has received at my home! On the other stations (RF being UHF), the Magnavox did not stand out in terms of reception. I guess the Magnavox CECB is "tweaked" in favor of receiving high-VHF stations.

What's really weird about the Magnavox TB-100MW was that the indicated signal strength fluctuated between 17% and 43%. On channels on RF UHF with similar low signal strength indications, there were some breakups of picture and sound. Accordingly, I suspect this unit picks up and holds onto high-VHF transmitters than to UHF transmitters.
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post #152 of 156 Old 02-14-2014, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

I guess the Magnavox CECB is "tweaked" in favor of receiving high-VHF stations.

That doesn't surprise me as I suspect the ATSC tuners are sub-sectioned into the various sub-bands in some manner, would seem too much bandwidth to do that all in one stroke. Another possibility is its tuner is better at multipath such that it's combining reflected signals nicely.

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post #153 of 156 Old 02-01-2015, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by goldrich View Post
Here's a quick review of the new digital-to-analog converter box,
Magnavox TB100MW9. I found it at one Wal-Mart location in the Indy area for $49.87. As a DTV DXer, I was very curious how it would locate and decode very weak digital signals. This is the initial review I just shared with a DXers' group. BTW, up to now, I, along with a few other DXers, have found the RCA ATSC11 (from 2003) to be one of the better units for receiving weak and distant DTV signals........................................... .................. .................................. Yes, I took a 25 mile drive to the Indy area Wal-Mart that is currently stocking this unit and purchased one. My initial reaction to its performance next to the RCA ATSC11 is that I really like it. I have the UHF antenna signal coming out of a two-way splitter and feeding the two receivers. I also have a Radio Shack attenuator on the line for testing purposes. .......... I currently have them tuned to WIPB-DT-52 (49.1, 49.2), Muncie, IN (PBS) @ 40 miles. The Triax stack antenna is misaimed by approximately 45 degrees for this station and the new TB100MW9 is displaying a perfect picture with perfect audio while the ATSC11 has neither. In fact, the green LED light (indicating DTV signal)on the ATSC11 is only occasionally even lighting. Too bad there's no enhanced tropo today, as conditions are really bad at the moment............

Positives for the TB100MW9 so far: Can skip auto scan...Can manually enter true RF channel number. It then brings up a small screen indicating "SCANNING." If it locates a station, it brings it up. If it doesn't find it initially, it will allow you sit on the channel and then when the channel is found it will lock it in and bring it up on the screen.......It has a signal meter, via the "DISPLAY" button or through the menu button. The one through the menu gives a full graph giving a visual, plus it gives a "NOW" signal reading plus a constant "PEAK" reading, indicating the highest signal registered. So far, the signal strength screen does not seem to time out. AND it stays up even while changing from channel to channel.......It automatically remaps the channel from the true RF channel to its virtual channel number. The "DISPLAY" button also indicates the call letters of the station.......Has 3 Display Modes: Letterbox, Zoom and Full Has Auto Power Down feature with 4 settings: Off, 4 hours, 2 hours and 1 hour. Seems to be very user friendly.

Negatives with the TB100MW9 so far: Is slower than the ATSC11 at initially locating and decoding a new station. But once it is locked, no doubt that it is better at holding and retaining the station over the RCA.

It is very small in size and very lightweight. It has an RF in and an RF out. It also has composite outputs for video, and left/right audio outputs. Initially I'd say this is a keeper, especially for the price. I would like to know if this unit DOES contain the 6th generation chip. More later. Have to head to work. Steve
This Magnavox unit was the first CECB model to show up for sale in retail stores, back in January 2008, even before the TV Converter Box $40 Coupon cards were issued. While my primary television is a modern LED HD display, we still use two SD CRTs in our home which are connected to converter boxes. I have several converter boxes, but a couple of months ago just out of curiosity decided to connect this very humble-looking Magnavox to my wife's TV. Interestingly, it performs very well indeed. This Magnavox box, and its Philco and Sylvania brandmates, are actually made by Funai. These are the most common CECBs found in thrift stores. They usually are very cheap - less than $10 - although often missing the remote. If you can find a Philips-brand universal remote which supports digital converter boxes, it should work just fine for these units.

The PQ is slightly softer than the LG/Zenith boxes, but from a tuner reception standpoint these units are fine. The signal-strength meter uses a more conservative signal measurement than those on the Zenith or Channel Master, which is to say that the "number" on the display might look lower than on a Zenith box but in reality they just use a different measurement system. On the Magnavox CECB, you will receive a viewable picture even when signal level is down around 18-20%, while with a Zenith when the signal level is shown around 50% you will experience signal break-up or loss. The tuner performance is almost identical in my own user experience, to my surprise.

The one drawback to these Magnavox/Sylvania/Philco CECBs: there is no real air ventilation. Be sure to set the unit to turn off after 4 hours, and turn it off when it's not in use. Otherwise, it will get warm to the touch. While I still think the LG/Zenith/Insignia CECBs are the best-in-breed units, these rather cheap-looking Magnavoxes actually perform just about as well and certainly working units are very commonplace and cheap on the second-hand market.
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post #154 of 156 Old 02-02-2015, 09:29 AM
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A step back in time. I take it they have an integrated power supply? (i.e. no wall wart).

Me, I'll take my CMs with superb PQ, s-video, Dolby, real EPG, and a great tuner; designed by a real RF company and built like a brick sh*thouse; a real solid remote too. Then my Zinwells as recording tuners with superb PQ, Dolby, Favorites, and a great tuner.
Of course I'll take my HD tuners I picked up cheap in the used markets over all the CECBs.

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post #155 of 156 Old 02-17-2015, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Floydage View Post
A step back in time. I take it they have an integrated power supply? (i.e. no wall wart).....Me, I'll take my CMs with superb PQ, s-video, Dolby, real EPG, and a great tuner; designed by a real RF company and built like a brick sh*thouse; a real solid remote too. Then my Zinwells as recording tuners with superb PQ, Dolby, Favorites, and a great tuner.
Of course I'll take my HD tuners I picked up cheap in the used markets over all the CECBs.
The Magnavox isn't the best CECB. It has a really cheap feel, I'm simply noting that when I recently tried one with a spare bedroom TV it worked better than I had recalled. Although I really don't use them much, I have a bunch of CECBs acquired second-hand. I actually have three Zenith DTT-900s, one Zenith DTT-901, one Insignia NS-DXA1, and several of the Zenith/LG remotes to provide backup if one is misplaced or dies. To my mind, the LG/Zenith/Insignia boxes were the best overall CECBs. I have a Channel Master CM-7000 in working condition but without the original remote; a Philips universal remote is programmed and works fairly well. It's a good CECB and using an S-video equipped TV the PQ is a bit better, but honestly I think the LG/Zenith tuner is neck-and-neck with the CM. I also have one of the Zinwells, without the factory remote; the Philips u-remote code doesn't quite replicate all of the Zinwell command functions. The Zinwell has some impressive features, particularly the signal-quality meter along with the signal-strength meter, and the PQ seems to be very good for a composite connection.

My point here is for the casual viewer who simply wants to watch TV in the garage or a spare bedroom, who finds one of these cheap-looking Magnavox CECBs for $5-$10 in the thrift store, this is a better CECB tuner than I had previously thought. The cheezy appearance, odd remote-control design, and lack of box ventilation would seem to be a recipe for "junk" but I have kept that "magnacrap" CECB connected to that old TV set and it still works darned well. Again, the Maggie CECB is not the best in breed - that honor IMHO belongs to the LG/Zenith, with strong competition from the CM (hard to find cheap on the used market, and somewhat trouble-prone) and Zinwell.

Speaking of which, now that flat-panel LED sets with built-in tuners have become overwhelmingly mainstream, we are seeing a lot more used CECBs in thrift stores. I've stopped buying them as I have ten in my house now! The only digital TV tuner I'd really like to buy used at this point would be a Samsung HTB-260F HD box to use with an older HD CRT set whose ATSC tuner died.
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post #156 of 156 Old 02-18-2015, 11:26 AM
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I should have quoted your Zenith best-in-breed sentence as that's really what I was referring to.

Consumer Reports listed the CM and Zinwell on composite in their top-tier PQ while the Zenith was mid-tier. Of course s-video boxes blew them all away.

There's some really nice satellite HD boxes, the ones right before they locked out the free ATSC feature, on the cheap out there. I'd buy those and sell off the ol' CECBs.

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