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Decoder Coupons

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Just wondering who bought their decoder box just because your coupon time was running out and who like me is waiting until the last day hoping the newer better built boxes come to market before your coupon expires?
post #2 of 23
If you wait until just before you coupon expires, you might find yourself not being able to get the model you want... that is if everyone else who gets their coupons clean out the shelves.

I went to Wally World to get the Magnavox. Two stores were completely sold out and had only RCAs (new shipment). I found one Magnavox left at a third Walmart. It was a returned unit. I bought it anyway and it works fine. I went ahead an bought an RCA too.

Since I used up my two coupons, I'm going to wait until prices come down/or the Echostar model comes out before I buy my third at full price.
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger666 View Post

Just wondering who bought their decoder box just because your coupon time was running out ...

So far, nobody.  No coupons will be running out until the end of May at the earliest.

My application number has been coming up as already mailed for about three weeks now, but the schedule posted at dtv2009.gov says that my application date (2008-01-18) is slated for mailing this week.  They aren't here yet.

I bought a Zenith DTT900 at Radio Shack, asking if, should it work out OK, I could return it and repurchase it with the coupon after my coupons come.  They had no problem with that.  However, on April 1 the sales tax rate increased here, so if I do that, it will cost me more to buy it back (not counting the coupon) than it did to buy it the first time, and I'm going to need three or four boxes in the end, so I'm keeping it and not using a coupon toward it.  Bad enough that I'll have to pay the higher sales tax rate on the boxes that I have yet to buy.

And who knows?  By the time my coupons arrive the return time for the box may have run out.
post #4 of 23
For those who have bought convertors already, could you use two coupons to buy 1 convertor? I got my two coupons, but only need one convertor.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by c_hernandez32 View Post

For those who have bought convertors already, could you use two coupons to buy 1 convertor? I got my two coupons, but only need one convertor.

No, it's one coupon, one converter.
post #6 of 23
I used one coupon as soon as I got it. The other one is sitting waiting to see what other units become available before it expires in late June.
post #7 of 23
I received my two coupons last week, and they expire on 6/27.

I've already purchased the Insignia at full price, since I was at a Best Buy, and wanted to see if it would perform better than my HTPC tuners. The two ATSC tuners are the old Air2PC cards.

Did it work better?

No.

I even tried hooking it up as the ONLY system on my OTA coax. Not much better. That tells me two things:

I'm out in the boonies, and I need a better antenna setup.
My current setup isn't too shabby!

I may go to RadioShack and get one of their boxes, but I'm still absorbing all the feedback here on all the CECB's. No clear winner, yet.

--

Larry
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by circuit77 View Post

Apparently the new maxmedia 02 box will be available in June. All reports have it as a well built and fully spec'd box. Suggest wait for that one.

How would you know the MaxMedia box is "well built"? Nobody has used and evaluated an actual unit. Attractive features, but we have no basis for knowing whether the actual delivered product will be reliable and high quality - or whether it will actually materialize.

As someone who went ahead and bought two Zenith DTT900s with my $40 coupons - at a nominal $51 out-of-pocket expense - I will continue to look at other boxes which might offer some additional features not present in the LG/Zenith, as well as offering more refined audio sound quality.
post #9 of 23
For that matter, there are no specs on the official MM site, either. Convertmy.tv had made prior claims about what features the -03 included, but they were never confirmed by MM, not even when directly asked about them on their forum. I emailed MM a month ago, and never got a reply. MM has even taken down what little info they had on the MM-02. It's all very vague, now, unsupported statements about quality. If there are any reports that include factual information to confirm parts/tuner, features, meaty product specs, or "guts" photos like we've seen from the testing report to NTIA, I'd sure like links!!
post #10 of 23
Yes, absolutely things are confirmed in the mfg world before a product ships. Mfgs provide documentation about their features, that's part of the pre-release announcement, usually at least a month in advance. But in this case, it was a week from stated delivery, and they were saying the manuals are not done yet, what?!? Either they are ready to package with the product, or not. Well, it turns out not. Reps for MM were conversing with people, but weren't sure what buttons were on the remote, had no screen shots, and no info about what parts were going into this box. Now, that close to shipping product, that is highly irregular. The whole thing smells.

By then a mfg should be able to say if cc is enhanced or basic, if EPG is now/next or 12 hours or 7 days, if it has analog pass through or not. They should have screen shots and more than a mock up of the remote. "Mere speculation," that's a laughable response.

What is completely out of norm is for the PR/marketing arm, convertymy.tv, to be making claims about the product that the named box maker, MaxMedia, will not confirm. Their silence conveys an impression about how much they have it together. Or not.

Exactly what I don't want is a third party opinion: I don't want Convertmy.tv saying what's in the product, I want the mfg's summary: details of features, specs, screen shots -- and I mean full product detail, not prototypes or fluff like "has it all." That's in polite company, market fluff. If the features are the best kept secret in CECB-land, what they have is bad marketing, bad PR, and no customers.

Here, when people got their boxes, we got to see screen shots and guts photos.
post #11 of 23
I know my way around a manufacturing floor. But this isn't about me, is it? It was about the MaxMedia, and what they reveal about their experience and product. And that part isn't all good.

And you know, you don't have to keep quoting people when your reply is right next to what was said.
post #12 of 23
Nope, wrong. And I'd say you're presumptuous, rather than humble. And very stuck on a single box that's at best, unproven.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

Nope, wrong. And I'd say you're presumptuous, rather than humble. And very stuck on a single box that's at best, unproven.

Several times in the past few weeks, a new forum member has appeared out of nowhere, vehemently defending this company and its questionable track record to date.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well April is almost over and still our coupons haven't arrived. Seams no one at the coupon web site cares because we sent 4 emails about this and not one answer.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by circuit77 View Post

Several times in the past few weeks, current forum members have risen up from this forum and vehemently attacked "this" company and its track record. Please, stay focused!

Where my MM box? Wheres My money? Wheres My Coupon? That speaks volumes. The only bashers of this company is themselves. They only have themselves to blame. Don't take my money and coupons if you do not have a product. ITs simple.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

Where my MM box? Wheres My money? Wheres My Coupon? That speaks volumes. The only bashers of this company is themselves. They only have themselves to blame. Don't take my money and coupons if you do not have a product. ITs simple.

MaxMedia USA, through its affiliate Convert My TV, has prematurely redeemed hundreds or possibly thousands of NTIA coupons. This has raised many questions about their business administration practices.

It is understandable that readers wonder whether the actual "feature-laden" MaxMedia CECB will meet acceptable quality-control levels. No MaxMedia CECB has yet been received by a paying customer or an independent reviewer. The primary reason CECBs are even being discussed here is a widespread desire to avoid products afflicted with shoddy workmanship, defective components and/or intermittent performance problems.
post #17 of 23
I honestly don't think that James Bobik, David Buzelli, Ray Tsai or any other possible MaxMedia/ConvertMyTV representatives care to support anything as they don't even reply to their own MaxMedia support forums and are probably also smoking "coupons"

One think I do know is that I am going to try and stay away from all things MaxMedia in the forums after this post as all it creates is hostility.

As a matter of fact all things MaxMedia should be moved to their own hosted forum .
Maybe someone official will have the time to answer you guys there, and you don't have to worry about spies.
That is once they are done smoking a coupon or two.
post #18 of 23
Well one thing we do know for sure a box was submitted for CECB certification and it was certified, so at least they built a prototype =P.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnied View Post

Well one thing we do know for sure a box was submitted for CECB certification and it was certified, so at least they built a prototype =P.

Yes you are right that MaxMedia must have did something right for Art Wall to get them approved the first time.

According to the Federal Register Notice: Assistance to DTV Converter Box Manufacturers MaxMedia should have sent two sample boxes to Bill Hurst at the DTV Converter Coupon Program FCC Laboratory

Maybe MaxMedia only had the two samples.
I wonder if the samples were from Diamond King as others have pointed out.

Questions about the procedure for submitting samples and test reports for
review and approval may be submitted to:
Art Wall
Technical Advisor
DTV Converter Coupon Program
Tel: (410) 643-1649
Email: awall @ntia.doc.gov

After all he should have been the person to approve MaxMedia in the first place.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnied View Post

Well one thing we do know for sure a box was submitted for CECB certification and it was certified, so at least they built a prototype =P.

Im thinking all is behind, from what I understand from forum comments and in general media the program is behind and stock supplies are low of many box brands. Can someone please confirm that most companies are looking at a June, July or August delivery.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldJack32 View Post

Im thinking all is behind, from what I understand from forum comments and in general media the program is behind and stock supplies are low of many box brands. Can someone please confirm that most companies are looking at a June, July or August delivery.

Well, the NTIA reports that over a half million coupons have been redeemed for CECBs as of mid-April, so folks must be finding units to buy... My impression, and it is only my impression, is that more folks have chosen to go to brick and mortar stores to get their CECBs vs. ordering online or by phone. The number of distinct models available in local stores may not be large, but that doesn't imply that the program is (still) behind or that converters are hard to find.

When I go to the retail stores listed in the NTIA's included with my coupons, I find converters in stock. No problems.

Also, a friend here on the East Coast just received his coupons a day BEFORE the dtv2009.gov site said they were scheduled to be mailed. So, I'd conclude that IBM has worked through the initial coupon processing backlog.

I can see where MM and Echostar's "contributions" to date may skew impressions of the program to the negative side. But in spite of them, folks are receiving their coupons and redeeming them for converters on a regular basis now. We just would like all the CECB choices we've been promised...
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CasualOTAer View Post


Also, a friend here on the East Coast just received his coupons a day BEFORE the dtv2009.gov site said they were scheduled to be mailed. So, I'd conclude that IBM has worked through the initial coupon processing backlog.

Also on the East Coast, and the same thing happened to me last week with my second coupon. It was the last thing in the world I was expecting to find in the mailbox.
post #23 of 23
I think it was a deliberate slowdown to get closer to release of the analog pass through models. I wouldn't say supply is good locally, they seem to be totally out of stock frequently. The majority of boxes still are not out, and there is no central location to find out ETA. I would not put MM and Echostar in the same class, at all.
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