Dish Network TR-40 CRA Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 4.5
This was one our favorite boxes to recommend based on the simple fact that it could be had for free after using the coupon, but it was the only $40 box where you didn't have to sacrifice important features in order to make the transition at no cost. Unfortunately it is out of stock and can no longer be purchased. We have seen a few of them floating around eBay and Amazon from private parties, but they have been vastly overprice ($75-$100) since they are so good and their supply is so limited.

It is basically a slightly dumbed down version of other boxes from Dish, intentionally designed with affordability in mind. If you are interested in the more expensive upgraded version you can check out the enhanced Dish Network DTVPal Plus.

Product Details: Like other Dish boxes this one provides one of the best pictures out of all available options. When comparing tits picture quality to others there were only several that were comparable. These ones included the DTVPal Plus, Channel Master CM-7000, and Tivax STB-T8. When watching television with this converter box you get a picture quality that is just about as good as a DVD and way way better than any analog broadcast. The sound quality that you get is also great. We had nothing to complain about here. It rates near the top for sound quality and provides viewers with the crisp clear sound that they desire.

Features: It has some of the best possible features available among all converters. It comes with just about every feature you could imagine. It has one of the best electronic programming guides with information up to 7 days in advance of shows airing and rivals the guide you get with their paid. It also comes with three easy to set aspect ratio settings. Another great thing about it is that it is only one of a few that comes with a VCR tuner so that you can record shows in tandem with your converter box and watch them later. You will of course need a VCR and tape in order to do this. The only downside is that it comes with just one tuner so you cannot record one show while watching another.

This is one of the best converter boxes money can buy.  It comes with a ton of excellent features and the best picture quality available. If you are looking for a great digital converter box this one should be your choice, without a doubt.

Update: April 2014

Real User Reviews: We have received a large number of reviews on this converter box, with the majority of them being very good. See some of the user submitted reviews below. For even more reviews check out the comment section of this post.

Mel Said...
"I bought two of these after I decided to distribute my roof top antenna signal (Just bought a Antennas Direct DB-4 HDTV UHF antenna which works quite well in my not-so-great location for OTA signals)and satellite feed throughout my home (via a combiner) to my older analog TV's and dump my cable service. These converters are very impressive in terms of PQ and sensitivity and even remote control sensitivity. I have an old BUD system with OTA/DVB receiver I use for HD OTA and these converters pull in all the stations much stronger. I was able to hide the converter boxes since no line of sight appears to be necessary for the remote control to function; its that sensitive. This is a good thing since the green power light is pretty bright. I will be picking up another two of these for the rest of my TV's if they are available."
Tom Said...
"Are these guys talking about the TR40? I have two of these units since DAY 1 of the conversion to Digital TV. Working fine for almost 2 years now, there are no hiccups with this unit to date. The VCR timer function works great. The only thing I found is that you have to unplug/replug the power line to reset the converter when the batteries go dead in the hand held remote control."
Lains Said...
"Thank you SO much for your review. I used this along with 2-3 other reviews before deciding to buy this box. I got it in the mail yesterday and can't believe how amazing the picture is. The channel that came in the worst for me is crystal clear now! I was getting around 5-6 stations whereas now I get over 20! My Logitech remote works with it too (although it required manual button syncing)." 
Features & Specs
Analog Pass-Through
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting To Lock Adult Rated Channels
Configurable Closed Captioning For The Hearing Impaired
Electronic Program Guide With 7 Day Advanced Programming Information
Compact Size - Fits in small places

What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Converter Box
Remote Control
RF Cable
User Manual
Power Cord


  1. Kansas City's Fox TV last night conducted a test so you could see if your TV needed a converter box. Our TV failed and the screen blacked out. But it's hooked up to cable? I thought if you were on cable a box wouldn't be needed. Help!

  2. You're TV supposedly "failed" because you were watching the station's analog broadcast delivered to you by your cable company. This does not mean your TV is going to shut down in February or that you need a converter if you are a cable subscriber. After February, your cable provider will handle the digital to analog conversion for you, or this will be handled by your cable box. The reason the broadcast said your TV failed had nothing uniquely to do with your TV or cable service. It only indicated that those tuning into the analog broadcast using antennas would not be able to do so after February. Since you are a cable subscriber, this is not a concern for you. To be perfectly clear, if anyone is a cable subscriber you will not need DTV converters for your TVs, period.

  3. seriously Honda Twins, STOP WATCHING FOX! Have you not been paying attention and understanding this conversion? Oh yeah, probably not, rely on them then ask others for help. Good thing John could do it for ya! Help! Last night I watched Fox and they confused me! PBS has done and repeated many times a show that made understanding the conversion easy. This station is well known for it's educational shows. Check it out. HA HA

  4. Honda Twins: some cable companies still support old analog cable broadcasts. That is to say, the cable converter set-top box you have may not be digital. When the national change is made from analog to digital, not only the televisions that are analog, but also the cable boxes that are analog will not work. Check with your cable company to see if you are getting digital or analog cable service. You may have to upgrade your cable service and get a newer box for it.

  5. Is there an Echostar version for the updated DTVPal plus ?

    It seems from this review that Echostar TR-4o CRA is the same as DTVPal, but since the updated DTVPal Plus is out, I was wondering if there is an updated Echostar version around.

    Otherwise, going with the new DTVPal PLus would make more sense for a few dollars more...

    Thanks !

  6. Ben - New Orleans, LAMay 20, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Received the TR40-CRA on November 11. It was easy to install and gave great pictures. Why so low a rating? It failed after 65 days! The warranty number given is the sales number for Dishnetwork. No one would give me a name, address or phone number to send it in for warranty repair. Finally sent it to the CEO of Dishnetwork. Got a response from some low level manager 2 weeks later who said he would personally see that I would be taken care of - that was 3 weeeks ago

  7. OS- Cleveland, OhioMay 20, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    Excellent overall. NOTE: I have Dish network and I use universal remote for it. Universal remote programmed with Dish Network code
    works with TR-40 DTV box in case you loose or brake the original remote. Use SAT or AUX button.
    Plus, you don't need another remote sitting around.

  8. Dennis Cooper - Merlin, Ont. CanadaMay 20, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    This is more of a news update I heard this morning Jan 27 2009 That they have changed DTV deadline to Mid June some 20 million U.S.citizens have been given more time for the switch to DTV. Is this correct?

  9. Wow, the features on this box looks great; however, after reading the comments, I'm not so sure. I may still try it to compare it with my RCA box.

  10. This TR-40 does an excellent job of downconverting the TV Guide VBI Data for my TV Guide on-screen devices. Now my auto setting clocks and guides work. It does take considerable effort to set it up correctly and there is no customer support provided.


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