Walmart US Digital STB Questions - Page 16 - AVS Forum
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:53 AM
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USDTV forwarded my e-mail to Michael Knight, who sent a standard response. I finally got a hold of Cable Communications and set an appointment, but based on Flymonkey's response, I sent the following response to them. We'll see what happens.

I have already scheduled an appointment, but I would rather purchase a USDTV key for $18. According to USDTV, this is possible. I have attached the response below.

"Sorry we were not in touch as fast as you wanted we are experiencing extremly high volume at this time. We can help if you can be patient while we tend to our current customers. Call us at (801) 553-9527. The cost to send a key is $18.00, then you can do the software update to receive the free to air channels.Thanks"
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:59 AM
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I just received an email from cable communications about an email I sent last night

What I wrote:

"Could you help me out? I have one of the locked subscription usdtv boxes
that I mistakenly bought from ebay that the seller claimed it was a fta
unit.
Can you send me an address/information that I could possibly send this
unit to to have it converted to an fta unit. I would be willing to pay
return shipping and the service charge

Please send information to this email address or to
Sxxxxx xxxxxx
xxxxxxx
xxxxxTn xxxxx
phone xxx-xxx-xxx

I know beware of buying items on ebay.

--
Thanks
Sxxxxxx xxxxxx"

Michael Knight's response was:

"Some one will be in touch shortly. Thanks"

I kind of went overboard on the questions Don't know who'll be contacting me but I'll let everyone know what info I get from cable communications. I should have asked if I could just send the motherboard. But from previous post looks like we already have a way to fix these units possibly even cheaper Looks like they are responding to us....
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flymonkey View Post

Hey guys,

Great forum, I have a S-reciever (longtime loyal USDTV customer) and wanted to convert to OTA but now I'm out of state...

Just got a response from USDTV customer service (good to know they are still answering email)

"Sorry we were not in touch as fast as you wanted we are experiencing extremly high volume at this time. We can help if you can be patient while we tend to our current customers. Call us at (801) 553-9527. The cost to send a key is $18.00, then you can do the software update to receive the free to air channels.Thanks"

Excellent work, flymonkey! I will personally pay for that key once you're done with it, and spread it to the masses (unless you'd rather). I still have gotten no response from them, so consider yourself lucky... maybe the difference is you contacted USDTV CS instead of the posted Gmail address? Looking forward to hearing how it all turns out

Edit addendum: Looks like someone over at USDTV is trying to control the rampant money-sucking going on (slightly). Remember when I reported the $30 fee, plus $5 for every other box after the initial one? Now the USDTV website reads:

There is a $30 service charge to have a technician come to your home and upload the new software onto your reciever(s). The $30 charge covers up to 4 receivers in the home.

Personally I'd still rather pay $18 for a key and do it myself. But only certian people are getting offerred that option, it seems...
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Old 03-10-2007, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldscool View Post

CharredPC, I completely agree. Also, I'd like to know where Hisense is in all this. They could put the files and instructions on their site, since it really is their box, and it's marketed in other areas of the world, with (I assume) Hisense firmware. Technically, USDTV and Hisense should both have the files and source code available for download on their site, as part of GPL compliance. These Hisense boxes have the potential to be like the Linux-based wireless routers with custom firmware, but locking them down to a tiny company like Cable Communications is crazy.


Are there any GPL groups that can add pressure to Hisense or whats left of USDTV?
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Old 03-12-2007, 12:32 PM
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Hi Guys,

I have a USDigital STB box for sale. I purchased this from Walmart about a year ago. It was updated with the firmware version 2.7.11 about six months ago. This STB gets the best OTA HD reception of anthting I have tried before or after. I just replaced it with a Dish Network DVR HD receiver with built in OTA. Best offer in next 2 weeks. Reply with private message.

Thanks,

dcb
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Old 03-13-2007, 09:20 AM
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The USDTV website has again had a small change (new text in bold):

The converted set-top box has an approximate value of $150 and meets all the requirements specified for the nationwide analog TV shutdown in Feb 2009, when it will be required to have a digital converter box for any TV without a digital tuner.

What, not enough local people are flocking to shell out $30 for a 'technician' to stop by for five minutes? I can just see the marketing meeting on this... by that, I mean the one guy* who runs the imaginary "Cable Communications" company scratching his head, searching eBay and wondering how to get people to desperately want his effortless service.

Come on, what real company touts current after market value as incentive for paid firmware updating? The UDTV guys must be shrugging saying, "What the hell, we're finished anyway, right?"

*Edit: A little digging (don't shoot the messenger, this information is available for free on the web, just thought I'd share it here for those who don't know) brought up the following information:
The phone number listed on the USDTV website (801-553-9527) is a local Sandy, UT land-line number registered to Michael Knight's (real name!) wife, Kelly. This is a residential (home) address, not any sort of business. Neither Knight has any publicly known connection to USDTV, but it's obvious there is some tie for them to hand what is essentially the remainder of their operation over to an individual. I personally find it shady and a bit odd that instead of finding a reputable company (I'm sure they could have found one easily enough, charging $30 a visit and $18 per mailed key) USDTV chose to let an individual with a mock-up business front take over. Did they owe this guy money, or was he the janitor who won the company raffle?
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:25 AM
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I can't get any of my universal remotes to work with this unit anyone else here have any luck programming their remotes to work USDTV?
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:57 AM
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I found it on Ebay and will try and get one. I'm just wanting to run HD signal to my 480p plasma.

True it's not HD but 480p HD still looks much better than standard signals!

I'm now Neutral
-
Our Crimson Cinema
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Old 03-13-2007, 11:59 AM
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Have you seen the influx of DB-2010 units now posted on ebay within the last 24hrs? Looks like someone's trying to get their $150 share of the pie...
I'm thinking about doing it myself now, I have 3 DB-2010's (2 fta units and 1 subscription unit). I could be rich!!!!

The biggest percentage of the units are the subscription only units as near as I can tell
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Old 03-13-2007, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredPC View Post

The USDTV website has again had a small change (new text in bold):
What, not enough local people are flocking to shell out $30 for a 'technician' to stop by for five minutes? I can just see the marketing meeting on this... by that, I mean the one guy* who runs the imaginary "Cable Communications" company scratching his head, searching eBay and wondering how to get people to desperately want his effortless service.

I agree completely. I bought the $200 USDTV receiver at Walmart a few years back when I then decided that I wanted to get ESPN for the NFL programming and the Disney channel for my daughter, so I signed up with the USDTV service here in Salt Lake City.

When I signed up, I was concerned that my perfectly fine OTA receiver would not work if and when I cancelled their service, and I was guaranteed that they would restore my receiver back to the original condition if I left. Now that USDTV has gone out of business, it looks like I'll either need to shell out the $30 bucks for somebody to simply insert a USB drive into my unit or try to create one myself from the instructions posted in the thread here. I sent an email to USDTV and they said they would forward my email to this Cable Communications "company." When I called them, the woman said she would only help if I shelled out the bucks. Sigh.

In some ways, I'm not to sorry to see the USDTV service go since the extra channels they provided were of really very poor quality due to broadcasting on limited bandwidth.
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Old 03-13-2007, 03:21 PM
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I thought this box was to pull in OTA local HD channels? That's what I'm wanting to do.

I'm currently bidding on one on ebay.

The does this doesn't it?

I'm now Neutral
-
Our Crimson Cinema
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Old 03-13-2007, 10:15 PM
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WARNING TO ALL POTENTIAL EBAY BUYERS OF THE USDTV DB-2010:

1. The USDTV website incorrectly states that the full FTA unit is "worth $150." This is an outright lie. Using eBay is a pretty fair gauge for current market value, and only ONE receiver in the past 30 days has achieved $150. That was on January 11th before the announcement was made to shut the service down. Both that auction and the $140 one more recently were never-used, new-in-the-box units. Every other DB-2010 sold for under $90, most for $30-$60. Don't let them fool you- a $30 visit by a tech is likely a majority of what you would get if you sold this unit!

2. The subscription version has been sold on eBay before and pawned off as the "full" version. Read this entire thread completely! If your eBay box shows up and it has a glaring yellow GUI, you got screwed over. The owner paid $20 (or less) for this box. If it isn't activated already (you turn it on and it tells you to call a number, or says it cannot find a USDTV signal), you're SOL unless you can A) convince USDTV's fake Cable Communications company to send you a USB key for $18 or B) live close enough that a 'tech' can charge you $30 for a visit. If it is activated, you'll be able to receive free digital OTA signals... unless the box ever gets hard reset. Then see previous options, realizing that there's likely a very short time span to do them.

3. Lots of the eBay auctions currently running do not have remotes included. This point null and void- thanks for the input, guys! See below for alternate remote options.

4. If you're still 100% set on buying a DB-2010 off eBay, do the following: If the seller claims it was new from Wal-Mart, ask how much it was. Anything under $75 likely means a subscription box (as House wisely says, "Everybody lies."). Ask what color the GUI is. This is no longer a definitive test, as the more recent firmware updates changes the awful yellow to blue; but if he says yellow, you definitely know what you're getting into. Don't trust any outer appearances to tell which version the box is! Remember, it's the exact same hardware inside and for awhile USDTV was decent enough to convert subscription boxes to full FTA for free when buyers were screwed over on eBay. This means if there ever was a system for differentiation, it's tainted.

Lastly, stay away from "mrrock-half." He's dumping lots of these units with no remote and a lousy story about buying each one at a yard sale. The seller "buyeverythingguy" is also flooding the eBay market with his new boxes; if anyone can message him and figure out what version he is selling (full or sub) I'm sure everyone would like to know. I'm getting some subscription units tomorrow for experimentation. I hope this thread continues to be useful to everyone as we try and resurrect this rather decent OTA HD box with our own tech support... one that doesn't lie and overcharge
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredPC View Post

AFAIK, no one has ever been able to get any universal remote to work with the Hisense DB-2010.

The Logitech Harmony series remotes work with this unit. The DB-2010 is listed in their database. I've forgotten whether it's under "US Digital" or "Hisense". I used my Harmony 676 with this unit for a while. I think I had to tweak the default setup a bit by "learning" a couple of buttons from the original remote, but as I recall those buttons weren't needed for everyday operation.
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Old 03-14-2007, 05:27 AM
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I have a one for all remote #8910. There is a an upgrade from one for all for the US digital db-2010. You can call them and tell them you need the code for Satellite Device 1535. Works perfectly. They'll play it over the phone to your remote.

Angelo
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Old 03-14-2007, 10:07 AM
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I sent him another email(tired of waiting for a response):

Hello
I understand that there is a usb flashdrive upgrade available for the
subscription to fta usdigital boxes. I saw it listed as $18 . Can you give
me information on how to aquire one of these flashdrives???

Thanks

His response:

Please call (801) 553-9527 to schedule a technician to come to your location
and convert your boxes. There is a one time fee of $30.00 which covers up to
4 receivers. Thanks

___
Wonder if the fee gets him airflight to tennessee...doubt it
It looks like those of us that are not in utah are out of luck....
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:41 PM
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I just picked up four USDTV receivers for under $60 locally (guess it does pay to live in Utah sometimes!). Of the four, one is still subscribed to the dwindling service (guide channel is now also gone). All four have the 2.7.15 (2.4.18-15) software version and the db2020 hardware version. So I'm wondering... do I have four subscription models, or four full OTA versions? Or is there a difference with the latest firmware updates installed? Around here our firmware got installed automatically over-the-air from the USDTV signal...
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Old 03-14-2007, 09:12 PM
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I have 3 or the Hisense boxes from Walmart here in Ohio. Not being in a service area means the boxes were unlocked and I (as well as my parents and sister's family) use them for OTA HD reception.

I was curious if anyone had the latest FW upgrade that fixes little "glitches". I e-mailed USDTV over the last year at multiple addys, but never got any responses. I'm guessing now it will definitely not get a response.

Just to clarify, I don't need the update that unlocks the box (the $18 card or the service tech coming out to the house), I'm just looking for the general FW upgrade that maybe added some new skins, synched the guide to the right time, and got rid of some litte glitches.

Any advice or help would be great. Like I said, I have a box here in C-bus, and my parents and sister each have a box in Steubenville. If anyone in those areas can lend the upgrade disc, or even mail out (I promise I'll send it back) that would be great. If its a little more involved I'm up for that too...just would like to be updated.

Thanks!

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Old 03-14-2007, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoolintheRain View Post

Any advice or help would be great. Like I said, I have a box here in C-bus, and my parents and sister each have a box in Steubenville. If anyone in those areas can lend the upgrade disc, or even mail out (I promise I'll send it back) that would be great. If its a little more involved I'm up for that too...just would like to be updated.

Thanks!

Check out post #407 for starters
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:02 PM
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Just wondering, can this USDigital HD Tuner be used for regular cable? As in if I plug in basic cable from my wall outlet, can I get regular cable through the box, to my HD monitor without the HD?

'Cause the latest Samsung HD Tuner can let me do that, but not this Digital one. My firmware is I think 2.6. whatever.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:05 PM
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The US Digital doesn't have a QAM tuner and your Samsung does. Your cable company is using QAM, not 8VSB which the US Digital supports, for it's cable transmission
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:01 PM
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I have had the service for about 1.5 yrs. About 3 months ago we had a power outage that caused a hard reset on the 2 USDTV boxes that I have. I had to call customer service to get past the boot screen. They pushed an update to both - 2.7.15 (2.4.18-15) with Hardware Version of db2020.

I've called and emailed with no luck. The Cable Communications number has taken my information with a promise to call back multiple times, that has never happened. From my reading, I doubt it will.

Right now I'm getting the OTA signals (no program information for USDTV 99 sub channels). I'm tempted to hard boot one of the machines and see it if will still get OTA. However, I don't want to render it useless until I can get my hands on a solution (USB stick or whatever).

If anyone has this firmware and is brave enough (or has enough devices to spare) hard boot it, please post the results. If I find out anything or hear back from Cable Comm, I'll pass it on.

Good luck to all.
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogleg69 View Post

I live in the Dallas market. Have had the service for about 1.5 yrs. About 3 months ago we had a power outage that caused a hard reset on the 2 USDTV boxes that I have. I had to call customer service to get past the boot screen. They pushed an update to both - 2.7.15 (2.4.18-15) with Hardware Version of db2020.

I now have four units with that software/hardware version and one with the original db2010 firmware, though the latest software. The db2010 used to have the Yellow GUI and is most definitely a subscription box. The exterior also looks slightly different than the db2020's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogleg69 View Post

I've called and emailed with no luck. The Cable Communications number has taken my information with a promise to call back multiple times, that has never happened. From my reading, I doubt it will.

I hope you have more luck than the rest of us. I'm thinking that with the shared information here and from some of the emails Knight received, he knows if he sends out a USB key we'll all have it. Hence no longer offering to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogleg69 View Post

Right now I'm getting the OTA signals (no program information for USDTV 99 sub channels). I'm tempted to hard boot one of the machines and see it if will still get OTA. However, I don't want to render it useless until I can get my hands on a solution (USB stick or whatever).

If anyone has this firmware and is brave enough (or has enough devices to spare) hard boot it, please post the results. If I find out anything or hear back from Cable Comm, I'll pass it on.

Don't kill your box by trying the reset. I have several here and will attempt a reset of one of the db2020's tomorrow, posting the results here. My suspicion is that the db2020 can take a reset and not need to be activated; we'll see if I'm right. I'm pretty sure if I hard reset the db2010 it will demand reactivation. thanks for helping us support our own receivers now that USD's kaput
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Old 03-15-2007, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogleg69 View Post


Right now I'm getting the OTA signals (no program information for USDTV 99 sub channels). I'm tempted to hard boot one of the machines and see it if will still get OTA. However, I don't want to render it useless until I can get my hands on a solution (USB stick or whatever).

If anyone has this firmware and is brave enough (or has enough devices to spare) hard boot it, please post the results. If I find out anything or hear back from Cable Comm, I'll pass it on.


dogleg, I also live in the dallas area and was wondering the same thing last night. I was receiving local channels just fine and decided to try a hard reboot since I have dish network coming in a couple days and I didn't pay anything for the box.

Using the guide, aspect, exit, etc. method and it rebooted on about the 10th try. It rebooted and started to walk me through the channel search and I thought I would be good to go. Once it got through the channel search though, it said it couldn't find any USDTV channels and only gave me the option to retry or adjust antenna.

One thing I have not tried yet is a flash of the firmware becaue i don't currently have linux for my computer.

Has anyone had any luck reflashing the s-boxes for regular OTA reception? It would be one nice cheap ATSC tuner if someone had been able to accomplish this.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:56 AM
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Let me clarify. When I signed up for the service, one of the local companies brought out 2 boxes for me. The firmware on those boxes was like 2.5 and the hardware version was db2010.

After USDTV pushed the update to my boxes, the firmware was 2.7.15 (2.4.18-15) with Hardware Version of db2020.

dummaniac83 - I was afraid that would be the case after rebooting. It makes sense given when I turn on the box it automatically goes to the USDTV 12 channel mini screen (but is not broadcasting).

There is not a way to change the default channel when the box is turned on (that I found). I also could not edit out the USDTV 12 channel mini screen (99.1) in the channel line up. I could remove the other sub channels (99.2-99.99) from the program guide.

BTW - I did ask the last time I talked with Cable Comm if they could just push a new signal out to fix the issue? They said "no, someone must come out with a key.". I asked if I could have the key? They said "no, we aren't doing it that way". Then I asked how many keys (technicians) were in the Dallas market? They said "Only one. But we will keep going until everyone is converted". I think I just chuckled under my breathe at that point.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummaniac83 View Post

dogleg, I also live in the dallas area and was wondering the same thing last night. I was receiving local channels just fine and decided to try a hard reboot since I have dish network coming in a couple days and I didn't pay anything for the box.

Using the guide, aspect, exit, etc. method and it rebooted on about the 10th try. It rebooted and started to walk me through the channel search and I thought I would be good to go. Once it got through the channel search though, it said it couldn't find any USDTV channels and only gave me the option to retry or adjust antenna.

I suppose it's too late to check now that you're locked out, but do you know if you had the db2010 or db2020 firmware? It's probably not something you would have thought to check, but I'm wondering if it makes a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogleg69 View Post

Then I asked how many keys (technicians) were in the Dallas market? They said "Only one. But we will keep going until everyone is converted".

Translation: We will keep riding this horse until we collect every last scrap of money to be had from our former customers... then we'll shoot it.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredPC View Post

I suppose it's too late to check now that you're locked out, but do you know if you had the db2010 or db2020 firmware? It's probably not something you would have thought to check, but I'm wondering if it makes a difference.



Translation: We will keep riding this horse until we collect every last scrap of money to be had from our former customers... then we'll shoot it.


I have one walmart db-2010 that was upgraded the normal usb key way sent from usdtv the hardware version is db-2010.

I also have one fta that came from ebay last week (yes it actually was an fta unit believe it or not) I upgraded it using the upgrade files found on this forum it shows the hardware version as being db-2020.

Firmware versions on both 2.7.15(2.4.18-15)

Both units will hard reset with no problem

But I have noticed the ebay unit will stop receiving signals and completely lockup then you have to pull the plug for a reboot.

My old original wallyworld unit will run for months before any major lockups

I also have a hard reset subscription unit channel scan only no usdtv signal. (ebay lesson learned)

I don't remember if I looked at the hardwre firmware before I killed it......
I might have written it down some where will check

...waiting for a flashy miracle...
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by CharredPC View Post

WARNING TO ALL POTENTIAL EBAY BUYERS OF THE USDTV DB-2010:

1. The USDTV website incorrectly states that the full FTA unit is "worth $150." This is an outright lie. Using eBay is a pretty fair gauge for current market value, and only ONE receiver in the past 30 days has achieved $150. That was on January 11th before the announcement was made to shut the service down. Both that auction and the $140 one more recently were never-used, new-in-the-box units. Every other DB-2010 sold for under $90, most for $30-$60. Don't let them fool you- a $30 visit by a tech is likely a majority of what you would get if you sold this unit!

2. The subscription version has been sold on eBay before and pawned off as the "full" version. Read this entire thread completely! If your eBay box shows up and it has a glaring yellow GUI, you got screwed over. The owner paid $20 (or less) for this box. If it isn't activated already (you turn it on and it tells you to call a number, or says it cannot find a USDTV signal), you're SOL unless you can A) convince USDTV's fake Cable Communications company to send you a USB key for $18 or B) live close enough that a 'tech' can charge you $30 for a visit. If it is activated, you'll be able to receive free digital OTA signals... unless the box ever gets hard reset. Then see previous options, realizing that there's likely a very short time span to do them.

3. Lots of the eBay auctions currently running do not have remotes included. This point null and void- thanks for the input, guys! See below for alternate remote options.

4. If you're still 100% set on buying a DB-2010 off eBay, do the following: If the seller claims it was new from Wal-Mart, ask how much it was. Anything under $75 likely means a subscription box (as House wisely says, "Everybody lies."). Ask what color the GUI is. This is no longer a definitive test, as the more recent firmware updates changes the awful yellow to blue; but if he says yellow, you definitely know what you're getting into. Don't trust any outer appearances to tell which version the box is! Remember, it's the exact same hardware inside and for awhile USDTV was decent enough to convert subscription boxes to full FTA for free when buyers were screwed over on eBay. This means if there ever was a system for differentiation, it's tainted.

Lastly, stay away from "mrrock-half." He's dumping lots of these units with no remote and a lousy story about buying each one at a yard sale. The seller "buyeverythingguy" is also flooding the eBay market with his new boxes; if anyone can message him and figure out what version he is selling (full or sub) I'm sure everyone would like to know. I'm getting some subscription units tomorrow for experimentation. I hope this thread continues to be useful to everyone as we try and resurrect this rather decent OTA HD box with our own tech support... one that doesn't lie and overcharge

Greetings guys, i got a bunch of these from a lot auction, i value my ebay business andi am here to research all about what i am selling, i welcome your help and in fact i am asking for it. these boxes are all brand spanking new. i am thinkig about flashing them myself but that will take so long. any advise?
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ffringe View Post

Greetings guys, i got a bunch of these from a lot auction, i value my ebay business andi am here to research all about what i am selling, i welcome your help and in fact i am asking for it. these boxes are all brand spanking new. i am thinkig about flashing them myself but that will take so long. any advise?


Are you able to test these units and take an accurate picture of what the channel scan results are? that's the screen right after the scan finishes before you accept the results

Are you able to test these units and take an accurate picture of the firmware version these units have?
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:34 PM
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I suppose it's too late to check now that you're locked out, but do you know if you had the db2010 or db2020 firmware? It's probably not something you would have thought to check, but I'm wondering if it makes a difference.

I have a DB-2010 box with the latest USDTV firmware 2.7.15(2.4.18-15). I did make a note to check before I did the hard reset.

I emailed USDTV customer support to try and call their bluff about the gmail guy being Utah local only. They said they have people in dallas as well and they forwarded my contact information to them. That was 2 days ago and I have yet to hear anything. Maybe around 2008 they'll contact me and I'll finally have a cheap ATSC tuner to use.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:55 PM
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Are you able to test these units and take an accurate picture of what the channel scan results are? that's the screen right after the scan finishes before you accept the results

Are you able to test these units and take an accurate picture of the firmware version these units have?

sure, in order to give all interested parties full info on them, what exactly am i looking for, please advise asap
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