Access HD DTA1080D Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

This has now sold out and is no longer available anywhere in stores or online. It is possible to get one from a third party or someone selling their used one online but I wouldn't count on finding one. Instead go with another one of the top rated converter boxes from our reviews section.

This converter box seems to be one of the final two that Access HD has settled on after going through a bunch of different versions that were almost exactly the same. This one has been in stock for the longest and at the most retailers. We aren't exactly sure why thought because it is lacking a few features that some other, already sold out previously boxes included.

Product Details: Here you get what people have come to expect from Access HD. An excellent picture and sound experience that are sure to satisfy anyone. It's no surprise, as that's what you would expect from a company that specializes in picture quality and HD television. As far as the price goes its right there in the range with most other converter boxes on the market at $50-$60. Again, with the coupon you can get it pretty darn cheap. Although we don't recommend this one, in our mind it's hard to justify getting this one when there have been others from this company for the same price that also come with more features. It's like every time they come out with a new box they add a feature but then take a different one away, don't we just want one that has everything, even if it costs an extra $5?

It comes with a program guide that supplies details for all channels, for both the immediately airing show and the next several that are scheduled. The information given includes show run time, title, and descriptions. It also comes with physical buttons that make it easy to control if you happen to lose your remote or your children break. One great feature of the this box is that it comes with analog pass-through so you don't lose lower power stations that aren't required to make the transition. The Access HD DTA1080D comes with adjustable closed captioning that can be edited for size, color, font, and language. Languages available include English, Spanish, and French. This box also comes with an external power adapter which is important because it makes it easy to use in an automobile.

It does not come with a universal remote control or a smart antenna port.

Access HD DTA1080D

Features & Specs

Parental Controls via V-Chip
Closed Captioning - Can Personalize To Yor Preferences
TV Guide (EPG)
English, French, and Spanish Triple Language Support
NTIA Approved And Coupon Eligible (CECB)
Works In Tandem With All 18 ATSC Formats
Video And Audio Out
Sleep Timer

What Is Included With Your Purchase?

Converter Box
Remote Control
Remote Control Batteries
External Power Cord And Adapter
Owners Manual Instructions


  1. Purchased this product because it is free with coupon, and still have another coupon in case it dies.


    The channel autoscan takes ~3-5 mintues. It finds all the local stations +
    some that the analog could not get at all, although some digital stations are
    weaker than the analog equivalent.


    Picture quality is great, audio quality has a little added noise compared to
    analog of same channels.

    The RF output died after only 2 weeks of usage. We did not abuse the unit at
    all: we used it for less than 10 hours/day and unplugged it during the night,
    which should not be unreasonable. We have now resorted to the composite out
    and who knows how long that will last! Thankfully the composite output
    quality is the same as the RF output quality. Plan to give updates if the
    composite dies and what happens when we complain to HDAcess.


    The box has only three buttons! Power on, channel up and channel down. Thus you NEED the remote to do necessary tasks, like add channels. Bad news if it breaks!


    Has analog passthrough, works just as one would hope.

    You cannot scroll through the EPG without changing the channel, which I find
    annoying. The EPG does allow you to scroll through 12 hours of future
    programming on your current channel.

    The box has a signal strength indicator, which can be turned on from the
    SIGNAL button on the remote, and turns off upon channel change or the SIGNAL
    button. It gives you a number from 0-100, and it needs about 25+ to display
    the channel.

    The Menu has the following items:
    Auto Channel Searching [allows option of full scan OR add channels, which is
    very nice in case you can't get reception of all channels at once]
    Channel List Editing [you can manually "delete" (i.e. hide) a channel so that
    you skip it when you surf]
    Change Password [for Parental Controls]
    Parental Controls [V-chip]
    Advanced Closed Caption [Style, Size, Font, Text Color, Text Opacity,
    Background Color, Background Opacity, Edge Effect, Edge Color]
    Language [English, Spanish, French]
    Auto Power Down Timer [Off, 1, 2, 3, 4 Hours]
    Time Zone


    Does what we want it to do, but VERY disappointed that the RF output died
    within a week of purchasing.

  2. I like the 1080D, primarily because it's compact, but I have suggestion(s0 for improvement(s). In a nutshell, the unit gets hot in a short time period of use and stays hot until you turn it off. That is the unit is hotter than a vcr and hotter than my "tube" tv itself.

    Without going into the "how to" and encouraging 1080D unit modification by the masses, I am cooling my 1080D with a Global 80x80x25 computer/DC fan. Basically, what you have in the back of a power supply for your computer.

    My unit has run for several days consecutively without being powered down/turned off and it operates at room temperature.

    I'm very pleased with the unit when it operates at this temperature. Who knows how long this particular unit lasts ?

  3. BobF- SchaumburgMay 20, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    We purchased two Access HD DTA1080D in Feb 09, both had a problem with an internal chip, causing them to not have the ability to retain the scanned channels in memory. The units were returned to the manufacture and were repaired under warrenty. Both units also produce an irritating buzz, which after following all of the manfufactures trouble shooting tips could not be corrected. This issue was reported to the manf. and we are awaiting their reply. It's been irritating and time consuming dealing with this shoddy product.

  4. This product did not work for me. It wouldn't retain the scanned channels in memory and it was not compatible with any antenna...not worth your time

  5. Edwin Moskwa - St. David, AZ; USAMay 20, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    My rating for the product, service, tech. support,and just reaching someone is a minus 5 stars. the product has not worked properly since the day we received it. one week after having it does not work at all. we have been trying to contact a real person for help and the help is impossible to find. If I am asked about this company, in good faith I can not reccomend your product or company to anyone else

  6. My name is Ed. My mother inlaw purchased two DTA1080d's they scaned fine, but when you put them to stand-by then back on it says no service. So I instald a new antenna with new cable. Same thing happend. So for now she is not shutting it off.

  7. I hooked up this converter box for the 1st time last night around 11:30pm on a bedroom TV. I turned it off at 12:30pm to go to bed & decided to move the box to a different location. The box was extremely hot. It was on a ledge so there was no reason for being that hot. I unplugged it for fear it would catch fire during my sleep. It should not generate so much heat. If my laptop computer got that hot, it would be an issue. Something must be wrong. I wish I would have seen this site before buying. The company wants my CC number before even checking the item, if they find nothing wrong, then I'm charged $25. Report your problems to

  8. Once I set up the HD1080 I discovered it takes 15 seconds to produce a screen when turning on. I kept pressing the standby button repeatedly trying to get a picture until I figured this out. It will power down instantly, but it will not turn back on right away. I discovered I have to give it about 20 seconds before it will respond to a turn on command. If I keep trying to turn it right back on after power down, it locks up and will not respond to a turn on command at all. I have to remove the power from the unit a few seconds then It goes back to work. Confusing. I wonder how many other users discovered this? Joe Maner

  9. Tried several Access HD 1080D converters in my shop. They came up, programmed, and worked fine untill you tried to shut them off. About half the time they would freeze or lock up. Power had to be disconnected before unit would operate again. Four of the converters I tested reacted the same way. Other converters worked ok using same antenna and set.

  10. I purchased this converter box in february when the original change was going to take place. I didn't actually set it up until last week when everything switched over but I must say I really like it. I had a little bit of trouble getting signal but it was because I had an age old antenna. I called access hd's customer service line which was busy the first few times and spoke to a really nice lady named Kelly. She helped me understand what kind of antenna I would need by telling me how far the tv station towers were from my apartment. I bought an antenna and I can watch my t.v. I'm a happy customer!

  11. Access HD customer service is like the converter. BAD!

  12. I too bought a Access HD DTA1080D box back in January from ABC Warehouse using the $40 coupon. I set the box up June 25th in Indian River, MI and could not get ONE channel. I had FOUR channels before the digital transition. I tried a TV set top amplified digital RCA antenna and it did not work either. I returned the TV Top Antenna and purchased a Amplified Mast Mount RCA flat pannel Antenna with 20 feet of coaxial cable. I needed to lenghten the cable an additional 25 feet. My antenna mast is 30 feet high. RCA did not recommend doing this. After hooking the converter up and doing a channel search, I was able to get 7 channels. During the evening I noticed something that smelled hot and the converter box was extremely warm. I decided to leave the converter plugged in and in standby mode for the evening. The next morning when I got out of bed the red led was not lit and I could not power up the converter. I checked voltage out of the power supply and found that it was zero. I am currently in the process of contacting Access HD, but thier web site warms of all kinds of charges to the customer if they do not diagnose the unit correctly. More to follow...

  13. I agree with all the comments above. I purchased my box from Tiger Direct. Here is what stinks about this product in a nutshell:

    1) Gets WAYYYYYYYYYYY too hot. It will almost burn you it gets so hot.
    2)If you power it down it will lose the scanned channels and you will have to run another auto scan.
    3)The auto scan goes through two phases which takes a total of about 4 minutes.
    4)The volume function doesn't work as intended. You can turn it all the way up or all the way down. There are no increments.
    5)The captions on any channel come in too late. There is a delay of about 3-4 seconds. Sometimes you won't even get them at all.
    6)There is always a hissing with the audio on this unit.

    I wouldn't even bother calling customer service about the product to get a replacement because I don't want another like this. You get what you pay for. I suggest spending a few extra bucks for a name brand product. It will save you a large headache in the long run.

  14. I bought recently,after hooked up it does scan any chennel,but I have RCA box is working fine same attenna.

  15. I just bought one last night. I wish I saw these reviews earlier. I already have a GE from Target and a Zinwell from Osco (Schaumburg,IL) and they work great. This box's audio buzzes on top of my vcr when recording. It buzzes if I use any menu print on the screen. And the worse thing is if I move (get up to wash dishes or to another room) the picture breaks up horribly. That happens rarely if at all with the GE and Zinwell. And the box is very hot.

  16. The obvious thing about this converter box product group is that the producers rushed to get it done. Non adequite heat sinking and a variety of other shortfalls.

    I'm mostly disturbed that Tiger Direct (my pc source) did not test it. First time they let me down. Dav Plant, Seattle.`

  17. I tried to reach customer service too and got nothing except that they do want a credit card number first before talking to you. The box does get too hot, volume is either low or simi high. Buzz sound all the time very annoying. I wished I hadn't bought this crap... will never be able to get my money back. Same problems as everyone one else on this forum.

  18. G said

    I find that my box gets very hot also. I tried to call the 1 800 helpline number that coomes up on your TV but that was a joke. First you can hardly hear what they are saying and the only time it is clear is when they are saying GOODBYE. At the moment I am unable to get any channels at all. It keep telling me to scan. I have tried using different kinds of Antennas but they are of no use. What is the use of selling somethng if we cannot get intouch with company. Poor very poor business ethics. I really need the use of my TV in the kitchen. Help.


  20. Could you please tell me how many channelw your suppose to get with these converter boxes? Plus we just prchased one a couple of days ago, and I've been treying to call customer Service no one called back ,or answered.Originally I got 7&10 plus 29, and 33 sometimes 27.Aren't you suppose to get more channels with the convertor boxes? We bought an antenna too to go with it,but all that comes in is 9 and 33,I'd thnk I'd get more than that.Could you please get back to me on this my number is 231-775-4708,the serial number is SO40980024448,and the model number is CTA 1080.I would so much to like some more channels on my TV.So if you could let me know how to get them I'd truly appreciate it. Plus I'm thinking I'm needing a digital antenna, Thank you Barb.I'll be waiting.

  21. I've used this unit since new in January 2009 and run it with:
    3 matched HD antennas ($60) combined with equal length RG6 cables through a splitter($20) and then to a +15db gain amp ($75)through a pre-amp VCR then through the HD access to a stereo and TV--26" CRT wide screen, 1080i.

    HD Access does heat up-We turn it off when not attended.
    Audo is a problem. Limit TV maximum volume (the lower the better) and use HD to control output. Best of a bad situation.
    The unit and remote do lock up. De-power unit for 20 seconds.
    New issue; it takes 20 minutes to warm up and lock channel signals. New unit needed?

    I live north of US border, so an amp is necessary.
    Unlike UHF you can combine multiple, cheap antennas using a splitter.
    In my area I can pick up close to 16 HD stations plus different programming versions worth watching IE: WGRZ 2-1, 2-2, 2-3. so close to 28 channels. With no amp-no channels.

    Will I buy another one? Hmmm, NOT this one. The remote is great but the unit is fickle. There are cheaper units on the market now and new TV's with digital tuners are now much cheaper.

  22. I am now in the market for a new converter box. My Digital Stream unit DTX9900 died recently during some particularly warm weather (sat on top of a big TV (90's tube model) in an unairconditioned room, too. I liked the features(no pass through, however). It started acting up just before it died (not picking up the signal). I had to repeatedly turn it on and off.

    As many of you have mentioned, heat seems to be a major factor in its demise. It ran hot. I am thinking about an RCA I found a model only at Target. The RCA has a longer warranty period, too. A warranty of 6 months on the older model wasn't much help since mine worked more than a year. A fan and a cooler local during the summer monthes sounds like a good investment. Thanks for the insight. Alice in MI

  23. Did anyone hear the words "class action lawsuit"?
    2 units won't tune channels. Other brands I have still working.

  24. this unit sucks!!! have been without tv for days now!!! digital antenna does not help either

  25. I purchased two of these. One would not turn on, the other had a bad hum in the audio. Do not recommend.

  26. Purchased 2 Access HD DTA1080 units in June of 2009 from CVS. Big mistake. When working both get extremely hot. A pain to turn on and scan.
    I also have 2 other converters made by Zenith that work great.
    Spend the money and get a name brand.

  27. This converter box loses signal on a constant basis. You can't watch much programming. The maker needs to make some drastic improvement and refund or replace these boxes. DO NOT RECOMMEND!!!

  28. The quality of the box is poor and the service is even poorer. I can't even get through the 800 number it displays on the screen. Manufacturer need to recall and replace these boxes!

  29. I just bought one of these thru Curcuit City...very unhappy with the hissing audio and the hot box...I get plenty of channels but if you can't hear them what's the point...I will be sending this back...we have tried several others and looks like you have to spend 50-60 to get a decent one...we paid 26.99 for this one...get what you pay for

  30. Model DTA1080D Can't turn the closed caption feature off, no matter what i try.Help!!

  31. Just got one from TigerDirect over the weekend. It received all the local digital channels that had decent signal strength. Picture quality was good and I was happy that the converter/remote control had added many digital features that my old analog RCA TV didn't have.

    The unit didn't get too hot. It was warm but very acceptable. After I had switched off the unit for the day, it did take the unit a few seconds to get back the channel signals when I turned it on the next day; but it did get then back, so all were good. Not too much of a pain in my opinion.

    The analog pass through did not work at all, but I worked around this issue by switching the converter off and watched analog channels through the TV directly. Maybe it was the way I connected it, but the volume control on the converter's remote didn't work, but I also worked around it by controlling through the TV set's remote control.

  32. I seem to have a good luck with the Access 1080 along with couple of my friends,we did our homework, visited many stores with coverter boxes displays,the Access 1080 has a best picture.the three converters have been working very good,did not have problems with the overheating .After all we have to note that all coverter boxes and satellite receivers they don't turn off when you switch them off, you have to unplug them.The second thing,you are paying for nothing extra when you buy a digital antenna,a regular and a simple antenna will do.

  33. We purchased two of these with our $40 coupons...One got so hot it melted the freakin unit. The other has lasted about 2 years but the antennae does not get all the channels that are available in our area. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't. Well, in the last week we are lucky to get anything. The tv screen keeps saying run auto scan. When you do, it only runs through first pass. Then goes back to saying run auto scan. I kept thinking our problem was with the antennae but now I am convinced after reading this, that this box is a POS! Yeah you get what you pay for, but regular analog tv worked a hell of a lot better than this. So disappointed. And we were forced into this digital change. Totally ticks me off! Tried calling the number on the tv for help and the message is choppy and they give you 5 different options. Press one of them and it tells you that you have pressed the incorrect number and try again. What a joke! I am sure they know they produced a piece of crap and have run away. Yeah, they totally ripped off our government and us! They should be held responsible for producing something so horrible and running off with the money.

  34. This produce (DTA1080) is a waste of time. The product does not work with any antenna. Nor does it work with the included RF cable. This product is BS

  35. Anonymous said...
    Its true this product its a crap and the problem
    is how to get my money back.I bought the converter in a Best Buy store in Montreal and after make all connections it didnt work: no sound, no image, nothing.
    I checked everything, but nothings comes to indicate what its the error in order to correct
    it. I'm suspicious this is another case of massive scam and the authorities must intervene.

  36. Well, consider me the latest victim of the poor quality of this DTA1080D converter box. Brand new out of the box, fresh off the UPS truck and the unit would not even turn on. Called the 800 number and got the automated phone system run around until it finally said "Voice mailbox unavailable, please call back later" and then it hung up on me. Called back again and luckily a real person picked up. Jonathon, CSR12, and I told him what was going on and at first all he said was he could start a warranty claim. I told him I needed my unit to work right now and asked for tech support which apparently they do not have on the phone. Told Jonathon what was going on and he said it sounded like a bad power supply. I again told him I needed something done right away so he was going to refer me to his supervisor, Adam, but then Adam was busy and he took my phone number and said he would have Adam call me back. About 15 minutes later Jonathon called me back and said that Adam had authorized him to just send me a whole new unit. I told him I had mine shipped overnight and wanted them to do the same for the replacement, he asked Adam and was told they wouldn't do that, only standard fedex ground, 4-5 business days. So, that is where it is at now, maybe about the middle of next week I will have a replacement and we'll see if it works. Of course I have no TV until then!

    Anyway, Jonathon the CSR that I dealt with seemed like a nice guy and did what he could to help me, we'll see if it works out.

  37. Let's see. We bought the converter box at least a month in advance so we would not be "left in the dark" so to speak. We plugged it in and guess what? It didn't work! There is a number that comes up on the screen for technical help but, yet again, guess what? The number that you have dialed is NOT in service! By this time my blood is boiling, so I called the store where we bought the box and they told me that I was not the only person to call them and vent. I was told that it could take a few days to get the box up and running. So, we waited ALL weekend and still had nothing. Monday morning, we had ONE channel! One!!! At least before the conversion happened we had five channels but now only one! All I can say is that this product is a piece of junk and that we have all been taken for a ride! We buy in advance so we can continue watching T.V. and this is what we get? In conclusion, the company that put this product out had better raise their signal strength by a thousand percent! Maybe then we'll see a second channel but I'm not going to hold my breath!

    What we PAY for?

  39. We bought this converter box less than a year ago. Came home today and its dead. No warning, no signs of life at all... After reading previous posts, I wont waste my time calling customer service. Wish I had read these posts before wasting $50! What was so wrong with analog and rabbit ears? I thought this digital conversion was supposed to IMPROVE our television viewing experience...

  40. Garbage! Remote froze up after 3 days. Can't for the life of me get it to work anymore. Called customer service, "that extension is not available at this time". Really?! Complete waste of time and money.

  41. Well, when this converter box was forced on the comsumers' we had no choice in the matter at all. And now these boxes aren't working properly if at all, worth nothing. These boxes were set to work for a certain period of time only and now we are forced to pay large sums of money we don't have to purchase new one's that will last about three years' at the most. Annetna, well that's the answer given when and if you can reach the so called "help line" its a "JOKE". I believe its' ashame they we are being treated in this economony today. God help you all that is ripping-off the people.
    Everyone can't be saying the same complaints you think..............

  42. Total waste of money, this product does not work. This thing is nothing but a rip off do not buy one! I blame our government for forcing me to buy one for my TV that worked perfect before they dropped analog signal then did not protect people by allowing this kind of product to come in from China.

  43. hi i got mine in 2009? its silver but get this i still have my rabbit ears antenna attached and it works fine all the channels come in.i also have a radio shack bullet amp hooked up to it it just boosts the signal a bit.but it works just fine with out the amp. has there been any updated boxes come out.

  44. Bought a DTA1080 Last month have had great luck with it, picks up 36 HD channel, have a digital rotor antenna mounted about 10' above eve of roof. it is alittle warm but not to the extreme, I never turn mine off, any electronics that are new have to be be burnt in, meaning when you 1st get it programed leave it on for 24 hours or more wothout turning it off. I still havent turned mine off for a month now, I just turn the TV off. The picture on mine is better than cable quailty, when I had cable. Very crisp and clean, with no problem with issing audio. I am very happy and satisfied with my DTA 1080, and hope to be for many years,
    kock on wood. Stephen Janiszeski

  45. Most of these complaints about poorer reception with the converter box are for the same reason this scam was foisted on the public--digital signals are transmitted at a MUCH lower power than analog. TV broadcasters saving money on transmitting power is the basis for converting. Of course, they don't care what it does to YOUR life. Antenna amplifiers are the only viable solution.


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