A Balky Converter Box
October 14, 2008 10:10 AM
I got a chance to set up and use a Magnavox TB110MW9 digital-to-analog converter box over the weekend.
A guy that I work with was having trouble setting it up for his father, so on Friday I followed him over to his dad's house to see what I could do for them. His dad had used both of his government coupons to purchase two of the converters from Wal-Mart.
It turned out that one of the converters would not work right out of the box. I was able to set the output channel on the box, but when I tried to get back to the menu, the box would not respond at all.
His dad has a Radio Shack VU-190 antenna combined with a Channel Master 9521A remote-controlled antenna rotor mounted on a mast about 25 feet high.
Rotating the antenna toward the west, I was able to lock in 2 of the stations in the Beaumont, Texas, area. Turning the antenna back around toward their local stations in Lake Charles, La., I attempted to add them to the channel lineup in the converter-box memory, but the box would not recognize them.
I then restarted the initial set-up procedure for the converter box, and was able to get the local channels locked in. However, in doing so, the Beaumont stations were erased. Rotating the antenna back around to the west, I tried to add the Texas stations and was unable to do so. I tried entering the actual broadcast channel as well as the virtual channel (the channel number that appears on the TV screen) and still was unsuccessful.
This is not a user-friendly converter by any means, and I would not recommend it for anyone. It has no easy add feature for additional channels and the instructions were woefully inadequate. I suggested that he return the boxes and get his money back and go somewhere else to get a different brand, or get a different box at Wal-Mart if he could.
My co-worker told me this morning that his dad tried to return the boxes to the Wal-Mart in Sulphur, La. The store had no converter boxes in stock, and offered only to refund the difference that he paid between the value of the coupon and price of the box. Wal-Mart was going to reap the benefit of the $40 and keep it for themselves. I wonder how many times this has happened?
He now has to wait until the converter boxes are re-stocked before he can exchange them. Hopefully it will be for one from a different manufacturer.