Product Rating: 2.0
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.
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.
"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.Williams said...
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.)"
"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
5.0”W x 5”D x 1”H (Approximate)
What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Attached Power Cord
Attached Power Cord