Cheap Converter Boxes post digital transition


While I like this thread idea, people who need a new converter box are well advised to tread carefully, particularly when considering inexpensive boxes like this one. It may be "cheap" in more ways than one:

• Please note that the RTB110MW9 is a different model number from the coupon-eligible converter box (CECB) Magnavox distributed last year. The 2009 model lacked the "R" prefix. This suggests that while the RTB110MW9 is probably very similar to last year's CECB, it's been modified in some way. As Consumer Reports has been tirelessly repeating for more than seven decades, "New!" does not automatically mean "Better!"

• Be sure to read through the entire description. Note the last sentence: "May have slight cosmetic blemishes" can mean a refurbished unit that was returned under warranty by the original buyer. Appliances this small rarely get returned because the wife protests that they don't match the decor. Some outfits have been known to sell refurbs with uncorrected defects in spite of "factory serviced" claims. (This happened to me with a DVD recorder that was dead on arrival two years ago. The unit had to be shipped back to Panasonic because the seller didn't want to hear about it.)

• Readers who zoom the image at that link for a closer look at the box will notice the RTB110MW9 lacks a grille for ventilating heat through the top of its case. While top ventilation isn't an absolute must for keeping the tuner chip sufficiently cool, there's not a great deal of space for grilles of sufficient size on the sides of a case that's less than 2 inches tall, either.

A lot of people who used coupons to buy CECBs last year are starting to report reliability problems, a number of which may be related to excessive heat caused by inadequate case ventilation. Owners of boxes such as the DTVPal, those made by Channel Master and Winegard, and the full-HD models made by Samsung, etc., aren't reporting heat-related issues in great numbers. Each of these boxes is noticeably more expensive, of course, but maybe this is more proof of the cliche, "You get what you pay for."
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Staff member
I'm not really looking for a Box at this time, but, there's a link on the front page here, that being...

Converter Box Auctions

I haven't checked out the related links, but one might presume from the title, that reasonable prices may be found therein.

Have a good Day ! :)