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How RCA Lost ANY Future business from me


I thought you would all be interested in what transpired between myself and RCA this evening, for I am LIVID at what happened. I purchased an RCA DTC-100 from a local dealer along with an RCA VHDC300 VGA Transcoder. I connected the system and while I could get it operating via SVideo, I got no signal when I connected the Component output from the VHDC300. I then connected a VGA monitor directly to the VGA output of the DTC-100 and got a nice clean sharp picture. So I figured I might have not set something properly on the DTC-100 setup, or that I might have a bad VGA Transcoder, so I called RCA/Thompson Tech Support. I got someone on the phone who asked me the basic info on setup, and then told me there was a timing change I needed to make in a menu on the DTC-100 to make it compatible with the VHDC300 transcoder. As we progressed through the menus, I found that my unit had "not been upgraded" to the latest firmware, and was therefore not compatible with my VHDC300. I could understand this from a technical standpoint, so I asked if they could send me a patch, or a PROM, or whatever was neccessary to make the two items work together, since that is what they are made to do (and nowhere in the manuals of either device is this mentioned). The Tech, whose name was John and extension was 55538 took on an arrogant and confrontational tone from the beginning, and this just continued throughout the call. John tells me there is no PROM or card or code upgrade they can provide me. I could accept this, so I asked for the address I could send my unit to to have RCA update it for me, since they state this equipment works together and it does not. John informs me that this is not possible, and the only way I can receive the update I need (To make the products they SAID work together actually work together) is to subscribe to DirectTV. I bought this for cable and OTA reception and do not want to go DBS. After a long and somewhat heated conversation, John informed me there was nothing he could do, and to talk to DirectTV and see what they can do for me. I cannot believe I have a $700 doorstop now, and not only that, the company that built it won't even stand behind it. I suggest that anyone who is thinking about buying a HDTV STB from RCA, or any RCA or Thompson product seriously reconsider their choices.
 

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MichaelW11566, yes it is a pain, but if you can find someone with a dish and will let you hook up the DTC100, it will be upgraded overnight. You do not have to subscribe to Directv to get the upgrade, it is broadcast out twice a day and the DTC will pick it up automatically. Some people have even hooked up a dish temporaily to get the updates as the single LNB dishes are so cheap. This is handy even if used for only OTA as there will probably be more updates.


While I have not looked inside mine, the code is probably stored in flash that is soldered on the board, making it hard to swap out. It would be nice if they offered a dial-up way to update, but I guess they think everyone who buys it will have a dish. There are several nice features in the update besides the additional timing settings, you can turn off the gray bars as well.


Also, the Audio Authority or Key Digital transcoders probably offer more flexibility than the RCA.


Warren



[This message has been edited by Warren53 (edited 07-02-2001).]
 

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As Warren said, the Thomson tech was essentially correct, unless he indeed told you that you must subscribe to DirecTV to get the firmware upgrade. The upgrade requires no subscription and is transmitted twice a day.


My first DTC-100 exhibited excessive pixelization on satellite HD broadcasts. Signal strengths, LNBs, multiswitch, etc. were all OK. Thomson sent me another unit with no hassle. Problem solved. It is unfortunate that your dealings with them went south so badly.


Kent


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The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
 

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The RCA transcoder works with all software versions of the DTC-100.


If you get no image from the transcoder, but get an image from the RGBHV (VGA), and are sure your display does high band component video, than you have a bad transcoder.


And yes, to get current DTC-100 software, just hook it up to a functioning DirecTV dish and wait 24 hours. No subscription required. CAUTION: Do not disconnect power to the DTC-100 while the software upgrade is occurring, it will "kill" the DTC-100.


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your dealer really should of hooked up the dtc overnite for you if he knew that you were not buying a dish with the reciever. we do that for all of our customers who are OTA. you do not have to suscribe to get the update. the tech was right that there is no patch you could be sent, and the eprom has about 50 pins on it, all surface mount, no socket.


so, be livid at your local dealer, and thank rca for making the most affordable setop/sat/ota hdtv reciever out there.


PS: if you cant find somone to upgrade it for you, send it to us, and we will upgrade it for you at no charge.


good luck



oscar

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I hope this doesnt come out wrong, but did you turn the transcoder on? I myself initially missed that the transcoder not only needs to be plugged in, but needs the on/off switch turned on. I have the RCA VHDC-300 and the ProScan version of the DTC-100 (it's the same). My version of the DTC-100 also came with the old software (40b I think) but it always worked fine ... and I used it for about 6 months before hooking it up to a DirecTV dish. After confirming that your transcoder was plugged in and was on, you should probably see if you got a defective one. In any event, the difference before and after the upgrade was minor ... you can still correct the retrace timing using the old software. I'm surprised the RCA people couldnt tell you most of this.


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[This message has been edited by RScogland (edited 07-03-2001).]
 

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I have spoken with RCA technical support before, and heard the same kind of tone mentioned here: kind of bored and tired of fielding lots of probably obvious problems. RCA may want to work on this.


In other respects, I have been very happy with my DTC-100 over the past year or so that I have had it. It is a clear feature that it has an upgradable ROM in the first place, and pretty cool that it upgrades via a DirecTV download. Since it is a DirecTV receiver there was probably a design assumption that DirecTV access would be available....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BTDT:
I have spoken with RCA technical support before, and heard the same kind of tone mentioned here: kind of bored and tired of fielding lots of probably obvious problems. RCA may want to work on this.


....


My one dealing with RCA support was also the same. I have an RCA MM36100 and on HD content or when using it as a PC monitor on high res, I get a slight color shifting or waving. The picture is great but the color seems to waver slightly. The snotty tech support guy just said he has nvere heard of it on this set. I know that can't be true because others have had the same proble on this message board. I will wait till my extended warrenty is about half over and then get free service on it. Maybe by then they ill just replace it with a newer model.
 
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