Access DTA1050D Volume/Audio output issues?

virsat

DTVUSA Rookie
#1
I'm new here, so Hello folks.

Being ignorant on the subject of DTA converter boxes, I hurriedly took my coupon to the closest store on the list of approved retail locations that came on the accompanying form. Actually, the first store was a grocery store where I was told they had only received one shipment which had run out months ago. The next stop was Rite Aid, and I was told where I could find them in the store. They only had one there, the Access HD 1050D for $59.99. It said it was government approved for use with the coupon so I grabbed one and was on my way.

I regret not putting more research into this because I have come to find out that $59.99 for the dedicated remote version is even $10 more than the company itself sells the item for.

I actually like this little box just fine, except for one issue that is driving me crazy. I can't find anyone address this anywhere.

The volume on the box goes from 0 to 63. There is absolutely no sound output until you get to about 25 on the meter, and by the time you reach the maximum of 63 it's about half or slightly less the output power that any RCA jack should be outputting. There is also a squeaky sort of digital noise on the output that is always the same volume regardless of the unit's volume setting, but of course is made louder by turning my tuner's volume up. If the DTA1050 output the volume at a proper level, one would never hear that squeaky digital static sound, but since you have to crank the volume so high on the amp in the first place you get all that extra line junk.

The RF output routed to a VCR input, then into the amplifier, is no better for volume level.

I'm wondering if this is a proble with the 1050 units, if it is the same on the apparently newer 1080 units.. etc.. Is there a solution out there? Does everyone have this problem? Are all these boxes weak in volume?

So far all I can do is crank up the amplifier, and i get the squeaky noise with that. Also as soon as I absent mindendly hit a different input source on my amp's remote I get my head blasted off because the volume is turned up so high.

Thanks for any replies.
 

virsat

DTVUSA Rookie
#3
Thanks for the welcome and the reply! :D

I have extensively tested:

RF output to via VCR RF input, VCR outputs to TV via RF and to Pioneer amp via RCA.

RCA output from Access HD direct to RCA input on Pioneer amp.

The RF output of the Access HD is muddy and monaural, and there is no volume increase in comparison with the straight RCA out jack.

Last evening I ended up finding a dozen or so posts around the internet complaining about low sound output volume on a wide variety of these DTA boxes. I'm think it's either a problem intrinsic with these units or perhaps the stations in certain areas have their volume output set too low?

I've been a borderline audiophile and electrical hobbyist for decaded, so am familiar with the basics. I haven't actually ever run across any component that had low volume like this coming out of its RCA jack. It's very frustrating, and causes a sort of neurosis as I try to make that volume meter go up past 63.

I feel a litttle more "resigned to hopeless acceptance" about it after reading so many other similar complaints about so many of these boxes.

Just for clarification:

Access HD (R/W/Y RCA) -> Pioneer A/V Receiver/Amp (R/W/Y RCA)
Access HD RF Out -> VHS VCR RF In

I think it's rotten that you can't get your coupon back on these things. I realize I can get my $20 back but without a coupon I'll be without a box. However if this problem is intrinsic with the standard chip sets going into these NTIA-approved boxes then there's no point in hunting down something with appropriate volume output.

I have my audio metered, so it is very clear the degree to which its power is lacking. It's further bizarre, as I already mentioned, that on the Access HD volume meter there is absolutely no sound output until you get to about 25 on the meter, which is almost halfway to it's "63" maximum.
 
#4
I've seen this on other boards, and it sounds like you have a bad converter. How long ago did you buy yours? Definitely call the manufacture because from the sound of it, you've connected everything correctly (through 2 different outputs on the box).
 

virsat

DTVUSA Rookie
#5
Thanks for the reply.

I've definitely connected everything properly. I just purchased it on Sunday evening.
I might try exchanging it at the store if they let me. If the store doesn't I'm stuck with it as Access HD has horrible, horrible policy on warranty. You have to put up an $80 deposit to send it in. Then you have to pay for the shipping to them. If they decided it's defective, they repair or replace it and charge $25 to ship it back to you. With the coupon I paid $20 for the unit in the first place. Consumer Reports said the Access HD boxes were in the top 5 for picture and sound quality. I really don't know what else to go for. Since I have been searching around about this issue, I've seen the low sound volume complaints with Zenith, Venturer, and others. I don't know where to begin. I ordered another coupon, my second, and it will be sent out sometime in April I guess.

I'd like to know if anyone has an Access HD 1050 or 1080 that has proper sound output volume, because that would tell me that I have a bad unit or they are all this way. If they are all this way there is no point in the hassle of going back to the store and trying to work out a swap.
 

Tara

DTVUSA Rookie
#6
Hi, I did pretty much the same thing. There was one converter box within 50 miles and it was the Access HD DTA1050D for $60. I have the exact same sound problem as described. Has anyone tried to contact Access on this or had any other form of resolution? Also, my box gets REALLY hot very quickly, much more so than any device I've seen in years...anyone else notice this? Thanks!
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#7
Hi, I did pretty much the same thing. There was one converter box within 50 miles and it was the Access HD DTA1050D for $60. I have the exact same sound problem as described. Has anyone tried to contact Access on this or had any other form of resolution? Also, my box gets REALLY hot very quickly, much more so than any device I've seen in years...anyone else notice this? Thanks!
Where do you have you converter sitting at? Inside a cabinet or out in the open on top of your TV?

Have you tried switching the a/v cables out that are connected between your converter and the TV? :)
 

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#8
Hi, I did pretty much the same thing. There was one converter box within 50 miles and it was the Access HD DTA1050D for $60. I have the exact same sound problem as described. Has anyone tried to contact Access on this or had any other form of resolution? Also, my box gets REALLY hot very quickly, much more so than any device I've seen in years...anyone else notice this? Thanks!
Have you seen divxhacker's recommendations? http://www.dtvusaforum.com/access-h...-sound-when-using-converter-box.html#post8276
 

Tara

DTVUSA Rookie
#9
Where do you have you converter sitting at? Inside a cabinet or out in the open on top of your TV?

Have you tried switching the a/v cables out that are connected between your converter and the TV? :)
Hi Aaron62, thanks for the reply...I did try connecting the box several ways in the beginning...using the coaxial supplied and using A/V's that I had already, one that was new and unused and one set that had been used on another application...but, I get your point...it wouldn't hurt to try again, though I don't think that is it. The box is inside of a cabinet and not above the TV. Thanks for any suggestions!
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#11
If after trying to get your CECB functioning properly, it still isn't working correctly. You can't get a refund from the retailer, but you can exchange it for another box if returned within 30 days. Most retailers carry 2 different CECBs. If you aren't happy with the box you purchased you can always exchange it for another brand. Good Luck
 

jibstar

DTVUSA Rookie
#12
AccessHD DTA1050D audio output level

I also find this unit to have very low audio output. I'm just using the coax out to tv (not the rca outs) -- you have to crank all volume levels to max just to get it listenable. Of course this amplifies all the noise created by this crappy device. I have no hope of any kind of warranty/refund -- I'm sure these fly-by-nighters are just taking their money and running.

What the hell was wrong with analog tv? And I don't buy the "additional bandwidth for home security/fire/police" argument -- those thick-necks will deliver the same mediocre service no matter how much technology we give them. The airwaves were the property of the citizens of the U.S., but we let the fatcats sell them out from *over* us.
 

CptlA

DTVUSA Member
#13
I also find this unit to have very low audio output. I'm just using the coax out to tv (not the rca outs) -- you have to crank all volume levels to max just to get it listenable. Of course this amplifies all the noise created by this crappy device. I have no hope of any kind of warranty/refund -- I'm sure these fly-by-nighters are just taking their money and running.

What the hell was wrong with analog tv? And I don't buy the "additional bandwidth for home security/fire/police" argument -- those thick-necks will deliver the same mediocre service no matter how much technology we give them. The airwaves were the property of the citizens of the U.S., but we let the fatcats sell them out from *over* us.
A lot of the converter boxes have subpar build quality. No doubt about that.

What was wrong with analog TV?

It was far less efficient than digital technology. Why have stations broadcast both analog and digital at the same time? Why not let other companies with better technology come in and use those old airwaves?
 
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