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Microgem MG2000 Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 2.0
There have been quite a number of problems with the MicroGem MG2000 failing within several months of operation. If this happens in can be fully exchanged anytime within the manufacturer warranty. The main reason they are having issues seems to be related to overheating, so it is important to be sure that you do not cover up the air vents on this product. Any reception related issues are just that, a reception issue just as you would have when you use to use analog TV. If you are having reception issues with this box you will almost surely have this with all other boxes, this can quickly and easily be fixed by getting a good digital TV antenna.

This converter box is currently sold out at most retailers and you will likely have to find an alternative to meet your needs. There are better boxes out there so being sold out isn't much of a concern to us. It's not that it's a bad product but we know that you can find better for cheaper.

Product Details: The Microgem MG 2000 has been reported to be providing users with a pretty darn good picture. Its picture quality is rated in the top tier and is a step below what you would get while watching a DVD. It also provides excellent sound quality that is better than what you might be use to with an analog broadcast. This converter box currently sells for between $50-$60 depending on when and where you make your purchase.

Microgem MG2000

Features: The MG2000 is one of the smallest converter boxes on the market which makes it easy and convenient for placement on top of your TV. It also comes with a program guide that gives scheduling information on current and upcoming shows. It however only shows what shows are upcoming it does not give a description of these shows. It also allows users to either auto scan for channels or manually set each channel one-by-one. An on screen signal strength guide is included in order to help with channel tuning. Besides performance issues a major downside is that it does not come with analog pass-through.

This converter box is a mid to low rated one. Despite its good picture and sound quality it is not rated high because it doesn't have analog pass-through and it has been reported to be failing, with a very short life span. There are many better choices among the top rated converter boxes, per our reviews.

Update February 2014

Real User Reviews: As you can see, reviews vary widely. The best you can do is combine what we think with the opinions below and consider the comments left at the bottom by site visitors. Then all you can do is go with your gut.

Mugsy Said...
"Just bought one of these units precisely BECAUSE it is the smallest unit out there. Only slightly larger than a slice of bread. Does get warm when in use, but not "hot" (still cool enough to pickup and hold). It has vents on top. Don't cover them up and you'll be fine.

Only three buttons on face (power, channel up/down), so you'll need the remote to access all its features. Picks up every station that my big box picks up (all but one). Lots of info in the OSD, even "signal strength". Can even control the volume on TV's with no remote. Very cool. Unit retains all settings and found channels even when unplugged.

I wanted a small unit to build a cheap battery-operated digital TV. I connected the MG2000 to my portable widescreen DVD player using RCA-to-2.5mm cables from Radio Shack. I then Gerry-rigged a battery pack using five D-cell batteries (the unit requires 6.5v of power. Four D's is exactly 6v and the signal kept cutting in and out. Adding one more battery added enough power without harming the unit to get a steady signal. I now have an all-battery powered HiDef portable TV for under $60 (bought a used 8" DVD player for $40, and used the $40 government rebate to buy my MG2K, which was would of been just $15 if not for postage.) Very cool.

While I haven't tested the longevity of the D-cells in my contraption, the same PC battery backup my "Big" convert box drains in 21 minutes, lasts for 63 minutes powering the MG2K, so my homemade battery pack could outlast the DVD players own 3-hour battery (and the unit stays much cooler running on batteries, not that it ever got that hot (many other tiny units gets VERY hot.)

Autoscan scans for both analog AND digital channels. The analog scan is fairly quick (around 3 minutes), but the digital scan, if the station's signal strength is low, can easily take half an hour. Fortunately, you only need to do this once (you can rescan from the program menu if necessary).

You can configure the system to save only the channels you watch to your list and ignore others, so when you go through the channels, you can skip the ones you don't watch.

Unit decodes Dolby audio, but only provides stereo output (just about every converter box out there does this.)"
Williams said...
"I rate the MicroGem at a MINUS 100!!! We originally purchased two ($15 ea. after coupon deduction.). We installed one and a week later installed the other. Worked really great. Very pleased. Then not 3 weeks later, the first one goes out. We take it to the store, and exchange it for another MicroGem. Not a week later, the second one went out. Took it to the store, asking for another brand. They graciously exchanged it for a Zenith on a Saturday. I asked what happens if in the next week the THIRD MicroGem goes out, and they said I'd have to wait till Monday to talk to the manager for an answer. Lo and Behold the third one went out that Sunday!! They graciously let us choose any brand available, and we chose the Tivax. We're happy campers now. But anything with the name MicroGem, I would urge everyone to STAY away from!!!"
Specs - MicroGem MG2000 Owners Manual
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Auto Shut Off Features
Configurable Closed Captioning
Electronic Program Guide
On Box Buttons
On Screen Signal Strength Meter
English, French, and Spanish Language Support
Compact Size
5.0”W x 5”D x 1”H (Approximate)

What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Converter Box
Remote Control
Attached Power Cord
Coaxial Cable


  1. Luckily, I only purchased one unit and it failed after around 4 months. So I requested for a new replacement. This new one they gave me is still working fine but not sure how long it will last. Anyway, I still want to give some credits for their great customer service.

  2. Michelle- Sheridan USAMay 20, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Junk! stopped working after 2 months. sound is low on programs, commercials are terribly loud. would like refund, still trying to contact company

  3. RADIOSHACK- Dodgeville, WI. USAMay 20, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    Purchased 100 of these units for resale 3 months ago have had 85 come back dead. Dont waste your time with these they are JUNK!!!!!!!!!

  4. At least you're an honest dealer! The people we got ours from tried to make us think we were the only ones having a problem with MicroGem. That Saturday when I returned one of them, there was a new employee there, who told me that they had dozens come back! And when I'd talk to the manager, it was like she was saying "it's all in your head". But at least she allowed us to choose what we wanted after all those exchanges!! Kudos to you, for your honesty!

  5. Doug - Springfield, VAMay 20, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    Can I rate it zero? We are soon to be on our fourth. I bought two of these boxes last June. The first one, which was used daily and for many hours a day, died within a few weeks. Microgem replaced it with # 3 box. The second of the two originally purchased boxes dies last week. It is being returned tomorrow. So we will be on box #4. It does have a one year warantee.. but still. ARE OTHERS HAVING TROUBLE WITH THIS UNIT?

  6. Brian Snyder- Troy, USAMay 20, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    We purchased 2 of these units with the DTV rebate. What a waste. Both units are now dead. They won't even turn on. They overheat or something, but now I am stuck without anything and my rebates are gone. DON"T WASTE YOUR MONEY! Spend a little more for something you can trust. Now I am really in a mess when the switch comes.

  7. I got the MG2000 for a few reasons

    First I originally bought the tivax stb-t8 it worked fine except 2 channels were iffy. So I heard that some brands have better channel sensitivity.

    The MG2000 works on the Harmony remotes. Tivax doesn't.

    And I decided to get my second converter box.

    The MG2000 worked great for 4 months. Then it no longer got channel 38. So I borrowed a neighbors box to make sure it wasnt my antenna (Antennas Direct Clearstream C2) and low and behold I got 38.

    Customer service was great sent me a new box. Its been 2 months and this one no longer gets channel 38!!!

    These people must hate my wife because 90% of her tv watching is on channel 38.

    All the other channels work on both of them, just channel 38 doesn't work.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!Look else were!!!!!!!!!

  8. This thing died on me a week after I received it. It's worthless. Utterly worthless. And unfortunately, CompUSA makes you jump through hoops if you want to return/exchange something, so I'm stuck with a worthless piece of plastic and computer chips that doesn't function. Yay!

    Don't buy this thing.

  9. purchased an MG2000 on 8/28/2010, was running quite hot, and died on Sep 4, 2010. Am going to try returning or exchanging at store

  10. After reading the previous posted comments , Looks like they are all true. Mine died this morning. Only after 4 1/2 weeks of operation. I totally agree. The Microgem is junk. "Dont buy it".

  11. Absolutely Worthless, Bought it as a "backup" unit for my primary unit. Hooked it up after a year and it was new in the box. It failed showing a pulsing green screen 8 hrs after first use. Don't buy...Thank God, I had a coupon for the original purchase. Just like everything else the Government Promotes "Worthless". Wonder what Legislator received a Kickback on this one?

  12. I am really dissappointed. I puchased the microGem from tiger direct. I just hooked it up WED. Today is monday. I t burned out. From day 1 it would not auto program correctly. i could not get C-12. It kept losing the signal for my local channels. It's been laying around in the cabinet for over 30-days. - No Return

  13. mine lasted a month what a piece of crap.. dont wast your money

  14. I bought this unit on Dec/09/09 from Tiger direct and this spring ch 6 was not coming in and there was a loud hum or feed back and when you youched the power jack it would either clearup or get worse and ch6 would come in. Disassemble and found what appear a melddown of one of capacitors from heat. I wish we could go back in time an buy everything made in USA or Canada instead of this China Junk.


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