Since the thread has been a little quiet lately, I decided to offer my input on this unit. I purchased one from Value Electronics. Mine unfortunately took a lot longer than most (1 1/2 weeks to get from NY to OK).. Unsure of what the long delay was about, but it finally arrived today (Aug 31). I have already put about 2 hours of play on the box, and so far I am most pleased with it. I have not yet activated the Directv service on it, however I will later on this evening. Just a few brief comments, both positive and negative from what I have experienced so far:
1) I realize that this is more or less a Sammy 160 clone in RCA clothing.. The RCA software and menus are a little different, but like the Sammy 160, they are somewhat user friendly, just a little getting used to. I am coming off of a DTC-100 so there has been a bit of a learning curve. I honestly prefer the DTC-100's menu layout over the new 210, but only because I am so used to the way that the 100's menu works.
2) The OTA receiver is great. I am comparing it between the DTC-100 as well as a MyHD PC tuner card. The DTC210 blows the MyHD card away, it isn't even in the race. The 210 has located and displays reliably three additional digital channels in my area that I wasn't even aware of, and the MyHD card barely finds any trace of them at all! It shows no programming on screen, just a small flicker of what it thinks is a signal it sees. The DTC-100 does see all the OTA channels just like the 210, only the signal levels aren't near the strength, with some occasional loss of signal. Also please note that my local CBS affiliate will not decode at all using the MyHD card (something to do with the way they're transmitting PSIP).. Both the DTC100 and especially the DTC210 handles the local CBS signal perfectly.
3) The picture quality is very good. I am using the RGB output as I do not have a DVI capable TV. My computer monitor has a DVI input but of course it doesn't work because it it not HDCP compliant (if I hook it up it just looks like a bunch of horizontal lines with the image hardly visible). When I compare the picture quality of the DTC100 and the DTC210 side by side, the 210 is considerably better. The clarity and sharpness of images are quite noticeable. The picture quality of the 210 and the MyHD card are so close, I can hardly tell the difference between the two.
4) I do not like the signal meter support in the 210. It's like the Sammy software and is not nice to work with. There are several buttons that have to be pressed on the remote in order to get there, and even then it seems a bit unrealistic on readings. Pretty much all 100's across the board for OTA stations, when the MyHD card generally shows around the mid 60's and the DTC100 indicates in the high 70's. I have compared the satellite readings between the 100 and the 210.. The 210 is consistently reading in the mid to high 90's while the DTC100 is staying in the low 80's (for all three sat locations). Perhaps in this case, a newer generation of sat tuner in the '210?
One final comment on the signal meter.. With regard to OTA metering, it falls very short to the convenience of what the DTC100 offered. With the 100, one could scroll down the list on-screen of scanned channels from either antenna port, and could retrieve signal levels on the fly of each station. Not so with the 210. Unless I'm missing something, I have found that whatever channel I am on, after digging thru all the menus to get to the OTA signal meter, I am stuck metering to that one channel only. I have to completely leave the OTA meter screen and select a new channel to check, then weed my way thru all the menus again back to the OTA signal meter. Not convenient at all, but I guess it's just something to accept with this particular unit's software.
5) Channel switching is very fast compared to both the DTC100 and the MyHD card. I like that a lot!
6) For some reason, the RF remote portion isn't working. This unit is definitely IR. I can't explain this one yet. If it is an IR controlled unit, why have an RF antenna port with plug-in antenna on the back?? Again, am I missing something here??
7) I haven't found a fan on the 210, if there is one. Regardless, the unit runs only luke warm and very quiet operation.
Overall, I give this receiver an A- in my book. Aside from minor issues which I can allow myself to get used to, I really like this box. I look forward to many hours of enjoyment with it.