Converter Box Warranty


everytime we get a converter box it last till the warranty ends then it doesn’t work. we are on our 3rd box and its getting old already. We have a dtv pal which always turns it’s self off all the time and now we have a huge black screen covering the whole tv so we can’t see anything.

Fringe Reception

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:welcome: Leanne,

I also have a DTV Pal box that locks-up the video or quits all together from time to time.

There seems to be a consensus the Channel Master CM-7000 is one of the best converter boxes available, however, it does not have the feature 'analog bypass'. If you currently receive any stations that have not changed to digital, such as Canadian Stations and some low-power translators, this box will not receive them.

I recently found one for myself on and its over twice the size of your DTV Pal, in a vented steel case, made in Bulgaria not China. Another source would be the 'auction' portion on this forum.


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I wish there were better news, but there really isn't. One of my DTV Pals does the same thing. You just have to turn it back on again, which sometimes takes a while. It's very annoying.


I'm wondering whether that "huge black screen" you mentioned is a Teletext box. If it is, you might benefit from this TV engineer's explanation of what it is and how to get rid of it:

Get rid of that pesky black box!

Lots of people have had the same problem. Most likely it's because converter-box remote controls are very small, making it way too easy to press the button that activates Teletext when all you wanted to do was change the channel.


This doesn't have anything to do with the energy saver mode does it?
Energy Saver isn't supposed to kick in unless the box has been inactive for at least a couple of hours, "inactive" meaning nothing's been changed on the remote control for that length of time. So if it's not a defect of some other kind, my vote would be for excess heat. Far too many of these boxes had woefully inadequate ventilation -- which is also a glaring defect, IMHO -- so it should come as no surprise that their computer chips are either dying or "going intermittent" thanks to all the heat they can't get rid of. The easiest fix would be to take the outer case off the chassis and drill additional holes into the bottom and sides of it, but even that might not provide enough cool air for some models.
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I had a DTVPal and it was one of the coolest running boxes ever. the only reason it 'failed' was me smashing it into the ground when it started saying 'No Signal' when the meter on the browse banner was still well above 80%. that was just not cutting it for me.

The 'hotheads' were using AC power supplies loaded to the brim with ceramic resistors which create a lot of heat. usually a bad one would show 'burnt' spots on the PCB when you took a dead one apart.

DTV Pal Plus has a DC adapter and runs on DC current, making it very cool and no heat-producing components.

Fringe Reception

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Staff member
I agree with Don_M:

My DTV Pal runs very hot but rather than smashing it, I plan to drill holes to ventilate it. Plan B will be DTVUsers idea. :boom:


IMy DTV Pal runs very hot but rather than smashing it, I plan to drill holes to ventilate it.
I installed a handful of converter boxes for neighbors last year, then helped a couple of them with follow-up questions. Most of the boxes are Digital Streams, simply because Radio Shack's store is much closer to us than any of the big-box electronics chains. The case of every last one of them was noticeably warm while working -- almost uncomfortably so. Since none of these things uses more than about 10 watts of power, this warmth was entirely due to inadequate ventilation. I remember thinking, "These things sure weren't built for the long haul, were they?"

Is it the DTV Pal or DTVPal Plus? as far as i know, the DTVPal Plus doesn't run hot at all. even cooler running than the Magnavox MW9s. it only runs on 12VDC given from an AC/DC adapter. DC doesn't get very hot when running at only ~12VDC.

The DTVPal must've been a different animal.

DigitalStreams run warm but not too hot, but they fall victim to 'red-zoning' which means you get no-signal errors when the signal fluctuates any at all. it doesn't matter if it's fluctuating within an acceptable range or not, but the box refuses to lock onto such signal, as if it were harmful--perhaps the decoding circuitry just cannot keep up?

Zeniths and Insignias fall into the same category. however, if you have an area with few trees, low wind, and strong signals either one is fine. they all are in what i call the 'warm' types.

the 'Hotheads' which describe not only the boxes themselves but the attitudes of the users using them are RCA DTA800bs and some Apex DT250s. the DT250 has very badly constructed AC Power supply transformers which make distinct arcing whines and buzzes to the point i took the only one i got (still works--used only in emergencies) out of service due to it being a possible fire hazard. in my experience with electronics, despite there being a 5A Fuse in the unit, they seriously never blow the fuse--but they blow everything else.

Once a PSU literally burst into flames on a AOPEN Computer we were working on and everything was taken out. mobo, RAM, hard drive, everything--but the fuse.
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