Coby DTV-140 DTV / HD Tuner - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 55 Old 07-30-2007, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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It's a very inexpensive (sub $100) ATSC tuner. Here's the Coby product page. The product literature links are broken at the moment. It can be purchased through Amazon (AVSforum breaks my direct link, go to Amazon and search for item# B000NW7A2G). I realize the Coby name is not held in high regard, but man - that's cheaper than most HTPC tuner cards.

After a recent failed Hauppauge tuner experiment, I'm exploring stand-alone STB ATSC solutions, and this Coby is half the price of the coveted Samsung tuner.

Has anyone used this? I cant find ANY reviews online - if anyone knows of one, please let me know.

Maybe I'll have to be the guinea pig for this one.

Thanks,
Jay
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post #2 of 55 Old 07-31-2007, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S View Post

Maybe I'll have to be the guinea pig for this one.Thanks,Jay

I have one coming, but it says September delivery..

Bob

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post #3 of 55 Old 07-31-2007, 05:22 PM
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It looks like the Coby STB is in many respects a knock-off of the Hisense/USDTV box like the one I have (only the Hisense box does not have a DVI output), that was sold in Wal-Mart for some time before USDTV started having financial problems (they eventually went under a few months ago).

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post #4 of 55 Old 08-01-2007, 10:02 AM
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I'm very interested in this unit as well. I have to get something figured out before football season starts. Any reviews or opinions would be very helpful.
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post #5 of 55 Old 08-02-2007, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

I have one coming, but it says September delivery..

Did you order one from Amazon? It says in stock, so I'm just wondering...
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post #6 of 55 Old 08-02-2007, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [Square] View Post

Did you order one from Amazon? It says in stock, so I'm just wondering...

Yea, Amazoon.

Bob

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post #7 of 55 Old 08-02-2007, 10:14 AM
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In stock but September delivery? That must be by literal "snail mail"!
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post #8 of 55 Old 08-02-2007, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtbell View Post

In stock but September delivery? That must be by literal "snail mail"!

Slow boat from China. I'd call up Amazon's customer service. They might give you something extra (or a discount) for the delay. They are usually pretty helpful. And if it the wait is 4 weeks...I don't think they should show it as in stock.
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post #9 of 55 Old 09-28-2007, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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bdfox18doe, did you ever receive your tuner?

Any impressions?

Thanks,
Jay
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post #10 of 55 Old 09-28-2007, 05:59 PM
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I like it...$80!

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post #11 of 55 Old 09-28-2007, 08:10 PM
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There's another one coming out soon to - The Coby DTV-100. Even less features than the 140. Maybe that will be the one that qualifies for the coupon discount program.

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #12 of 55 Old 10-01-2007, 11:28 AM
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i've been looking around for info on this too. i have the samsung STB currently. I also found the dtv100:
http://www.westcoastmall.net/coby-at...-up-box/3273/p
it only does 480i & 480p, so this is for people that still watch ota on their old crt's
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post #13 of 55 Old 10-01-2007, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S View Post

bdfox18doe, did you ever receive your tuner?
Jay

No, received a note from Amazon for sometime October-November..

Bob

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post #14 of 55 Old 10-02-2007, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steedums View Post

i've been looking around for info on this too. i have the samsung STB currently. I also found the dtv100:
http://www.westcoastmall.net/coby-at...-up-box/3273/p
it only does 480i & 480p, so this is for people that still watch ota on their old crt's

From reading the specs on that thing, it has no RF output for the older TV's. I'm not sure if this box will certify as a "Coupon Box" though for that reason.

Also no mention of a zoom mode. The old-guard will be shocked at the sight of "postage stamp" 4x3 programming on their 27" CRT's. The mfgr/distributor needs to address these needs for its intended market.


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post #15 of 55 Old 10-02-2007, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haley-SEA View Post

Also no mention of a zoom mode. The old-guard will be shocked at the sight of "postage stamp" 4x3 programming on their 27" CRT's. The mfgr/distributor needs to address these needs for its intended market.

If US set top boxes are anything like UK set-top boxes the TV configuration option usually allows a switch between 4:3 and 16:9 displays, with 4:3 allowing permanent 4:3 centre-cut or 16:9 letterboxing, with many having a button labelled "WIDE" to switch between modes. This button is seldom needed over here though - as we have AFD signalling of pillarboxed material on the outlets using pillarboxing -allowing the box to flip to 4:3 centre-cut automatically.

AFDs are a real requirement for decent, seamless 4:3 display viewing of permanent 16:9 services which pillarbox 4:3 material.

The WIDE button isn't usually called ZOOM over here because it isn't really a Zoom mode. (Zoom over here is usually used to refer to taking a 16:9 letterbox in a 4:3 frame and filling a 16:9 frame with it)
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post #16 of 55 Old 10-04-2007, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_S View Post

bdfox18doe, did you ever receive your tuner?

Any impressions?

Thanks,
Jay

i've ordered the DTV-140 from Dell.ca (currently on sale for $79 CAD)

will post my review once i played with it
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post #17 of 55 Old 10-05-2007, 07:53 AM
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Looking forward to your review -- I'd love to pick up a cheapy tuner box to feed my projector. Just been watching DVDs and playing Xbox 360 on it for now!
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post #18 of 55 Old 10-05-2007, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tlniec View Post

Looking forward to your review -- I'd love to pick up a cheapy tuner box to feed my projector. Just been watching DVDs and playing Xbox 360 on it for now!

if you a geek like me, don't hesitate to add a Home Theatre computer to your living room. Mine is acting as the home server (Win2k3) but i've also added a powerfull graphic card for Games, a Yamaha keyboard plugged via USB for Fruity loops / atmosphere / sample tank 2.5. surfing the web is no problem, watching movie not bothering about codec compatibility is no problem and since a server is up on the time, i run Emule and torrent on it 24/7. Also have a Wii rocking the above shelf

My projector is happy enough with all that, my gf too :-)

DVD is outdated, upgrade if you can
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post #19 of 55 Old 10-05-2007, 02:20 PM
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I've been weighing an HTPC against stand-alone components. The HTPC route would definitely have performance/capability advantages. The main advantage I see of standalones is that I can trickle them in over time, spreading out the costs. Decisions, decisions!
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post #20 of 55 Old 10-11-2007, 08:12 AM
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I have been waiting for a good review of this unit, too. There seem to be none on the web anywhere. It must be a very new model.

Anyway, the only one I see for sale is through a certain manufacture with the initials B and A (not sure if you can list manufacturers and prices on this board or not), and you can buy it from them directly our through a very well-known online merchant with that cost me a lot of money in the day. Cost is around the same including shipping/tax--just over a C-note.

I should get it next week. I have been living without cable for some kind (Comcast and I have gone through a nasty divorce; astount.net/RCN is not in my area yet; D* and DirecTV satellites make his property look bad, my landlord keeps telling me), and am getting itchy. Blockbuster makes up for some of it, but . . . I also do want want to play the antenna merry-go-round, so I decide to bit up a Winegard SS-3000 Sharp Shooter 3000 Indoor UHF/VHF Antenna--the on-line reviews says this is about the best indoor antenna you can buy. Even with the open-box price I got, it is something like 4-5 X the cost of some of the ones people are using (i.e. Silver Surfer). I just do not want to mess arround; and I live in the SF bay area, so with a good antenna I should be able to receive a lot of HD signals.

Again, I plan to receive these before the end of next week. Will definitely plan a review. Two bad things--one is that I could not wait for the coupon program to take effect next year. Since this has a dvi port and does 1080i, I am not sure it would even qualify. But it might have. Second, it does not have hdmi out. I have a monitor with dvi input, so that is no problem, but the only avenue for 5.1 sound is coax. I already use the (1) coax digital input on my receiver for something else, so until I get a switch of some kind or another receiver, I am stuck with stereo audio.
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post #21 of 55 Old 10-12-2007, 01:08 PM
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Please do post a review, and about how far you are from the antennas. I wonder what chipset this tuner has in it
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post #22 of 55 Old 10-15-2007, 05:36 AM
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Ordered mine months ago.. finally got email yesterday it had shipped. I'll let you know what I find.

Bob

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post #23 of 55 Old 10-16-2007, 09:06 PM
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Shipping delayed for me too

Estimated Ship Date: 10/23/2007

will post my review as promise when delivered
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post #24 of 55 Old 10-17-2007, 10:28 AM
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UPS says they are going to try to deliver this and the antenna I ordered today. I am pretty stoked. Not yet sure how far I am away from transmitters (have not looked it up on antennaweb yet), but I live in San Francisco (94131) if that will help anyone. It is even raining today, so I should get to see them perform in different weather.

Any specific tests anyone want me to run? Someone mentioned finding out what chipset is in it. When I get it, I will decide how easy it is to open the box (if I am not too uncertain how to do it, I will). Then I will take a look at the insides.

Also, I have not taken the time to figure out how to post pictures on this forum, but if anyone needs them, let me know your email address and I will mail them.

I know that since I do not have any more coax digital ins on my receiver, I will first be trying it with the one I am using for my media player (just to test it out), and then will be using it with the stereo out going forward. As far as video, I have a Westinghouse LVM-37 with a DVI 1080i (DVI port #2) that I will be using for this.

I have to say that if I get 4-5 channels in good reception, I will be relatively happy. I can use Blockbuster for movie rentals, this for randoms news/sports shows, and not have to pay Comcast $50+ a month and get bad service (that may be more a particular thing to my area, but I do not think so). Anyway, my girlfriend knows tonight I will be "unavailable" so I will run through everything I can think of.
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post #25 of 55 Old 10-17-2007, 01:10 PM
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Just got the packages.

I go to open the box with the tuner, and guess what--I look at the back of the unit (was surprised at how light it is, by the way), and there is no dvi port. I repeat--there is no DVI port.

Now, I know I order the 140. I also know the 100 was not supposed to have the DVI port. But I did not order that. I am sitting here fuming. I know the DTV-100 is not supposed to have DVI; this, the 140, is supposed to have it. On the back of the unit, it clearly says DTV-140, so I did not get the "wrong" one.

OK, I need to calm down. There are the following: Ant in, SPDIF (I assume out, but have not hooked it up yet to verify), S-Video, Component, stereo audio, and CVBS (composite video, and stereo audio). I am not sure what CVBS is, by the way. There is also a RS-232 port I assume is for serial upgrades.

Anyway, I am in the process of hooking it up now.

Did I mention that I am pissed? Well . . . maybe the Component can do 1080i out . . .

--A few minutes later--

I just opened the thing. There were 8 philips screws, and the box came apart easily. Just be careful because the front is attached to the mainboard by the kind of flat ribbon you see with laptop keyboards. Have not determined where it goes yet, but it looks like to just the front button controls.

OK, the chips on board--The main chip (I guess the cpu) is a TI. Not sure which model, but the model number on it is TVP9000; 58ZFY89 E1 (maybe this last bit is serial number). There are also two Hynix chips--I presume for memory.

The tuner housing is silver, and says Panasonic--so I guess it is a Panasonic tuner. The number written on it is ENV56M19D8F.

OK; on to putting it back together and hooking up the antenna.

--A couple hours later--

So, on the whole, I would say my experiment has been mixed. Some is probably due to the antenna, some the receiver/tuner itself.

OK. First, it does do 720p and 1080i via component. The remote even has buttons for discreetly choosing (have not had a chance to try my universal remote with it, but this should be good--if this brand is even supported). The the the composite (CVSB) does 480p, the manual says.

Secondly, I could not get the digital out sound (coax) to work. I have a Sony receiver that does dts and dd fine, but it complains about a decoding error. So my only tests so far have been done with stereo out--which is adequate. Maybe this thing outputs in a special way?

Which leads me to my third point. The menus are spartan. There is very little you can change, and I saw no where to set how audio is outputed. Perhaps, it simply detects is coax cable is there, not sure. But there are very few useful options in the menu. Indeed, close caption function seems to take up a great deal of menu space and remote button functionality (I guess digital signals can carry a hefty load of this stuff).

Fourth, switching channels and searching the spectrum does take a while. The last time I played with such a system was one my company put in about 7 years ago. I would not say it is any quicker. Powering up does not take too long, though. On the whole, it is useable--just would probably irritate those who channel surf. Also, the auto setup (channel) function will save something to the memory so that you only channel up/channel down through the channels that had sufficient strength (this has been annoying in setup, because I have to run through this several times to get the correct antenna placement).

Which leads me to five. There is a little signal strength meter in the setup (and there is an information dialog you can bring up when you are tuned to a channel) which tells you how strong a signal is. It fluctuates a bit.

So, how is the reception? Well, antennaweb tells me to point in a direction I get very little signal. I am using an indoor antenna, so . . . I have pointed it about 90 degrees away, and get what seems to be the best set of signals (6). Mosts are KGO/KQED, it seems. I would really like to get better reception of the major networks, so I plan on buy a long cable, and sticking this antenna out the window which has the fewest building in-between. Just for shits and giggles.

On strange thing I did notice with the tuner--the sound just stopped. I thought I had pressed mute or something. After changing the channel, messing with the audio receiver for a minute, I just powered off/powered on the tuner, and the sound was back. Strange.

When I get home from work tonight (I cannot take the whole day off), I will continue playing. I am still pissed that there is no dvi port, and I am unhappy with the signal/stations I am getting--but want to try to make something work. Component is fine (though they and Beach Audio, which is where I purchased it and which is selling through Amaozn) need to update their docs. If you have a roof antenna without obstructions (my landlord does not want me putting anything on the roof; no antennas and no dishes), it might work very well for you.

I did not realize how many soap operas there were on during the day.
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post #26 of 55 Old 10-17-2007, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
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Did I mention that I am pissed?

Got mine today. I figure I'll play with it for a while before passing judgement,
keeping in mind that it "IS" a sub-$100 unit from an off-brand mfg...

Bob

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post #27 of 55 Old 10-18-2007, 11:12 AM
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I'm watching intently... Thanks for the info, esingollo; looking forward to your impressions, bdfox18doe. I sure hope the digital coaxial audio out works OK.
I'm a little dismayed at the lack of HDMI/DVI, but if the signal from component doesn't look degraded then no biggie.
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post #28 of 55 Old 10-18-2007, 11:41 AM
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hello everybody does the dtv 140 do qam in the clear or catv. thanks.
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post #29 of 55 Old 10-18-2007, 12:48 PM
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I'm about ready to pickup a STB for my family's older 27" tv - but I think I'm of the mind to spend a few more clams and get a PrimeDTV PHD-205, which has more output types for future upgradeitis. Reviews hereabouts seem to be pretty good.
[EDITED]

I think I'm going to have to reserve judgment and retract my earlier comment, which was based on a previous comment in this thread, which mentioned that this unit will only output 480i/480p.

In another thread they mention that this can output 720p & 1080i.

I eagerly await some user reviews!

MY DILEMMA: New car or PJ? New car or PJ? New car or PJ?
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post #30 of 55 Old 10-18-2007, 02:01 PM
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Review probably will be this weekend for me due to my schedule..

Bob

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Nor my wife for that matter!
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