A Note To Site Visitors

If you have used any of the products we have reviewed please leave a comment regarding your experiences with them so that other visitors can get a better idea of their quality. We have done our best to represent the true quality of all reviewed products but without using them over a long period of time it's difficult to get a grasp on the long term reliability of said products.

Magnavox TB100MW9 Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 2.5

Recent reports have show that this box is having more reception problems that you would expect with most other TV converter boxes on the market. In order to solve these reception problems (a problem you will get to some extent with any converter box) you will need to purchase an antenna that works with digital signals.

Updates show that this product is now in stock and available for purchase again. We haven't located any physical retailers but it can be purchased online from various websites.

Product Details: It displays a very good picture quality that is in the "2nd tier" and just a slight step below that of the high rated converter boxes. Its picture quality is better than the average analog broadcast and better than the lower end converters on the market. The sound quality of it is an upgrade from analog but average at best when compared to other similarly priced ones. The L/R stereo outputs sound excellent but the RF output volume has a fuzzy sound to it when turned up. This box use to sell for around $40 but since the transition has come and gone there is less supply of boxes and it is being sold for $50-$60. 
Magnavox TB100MW9
Features: It has an above average programming guide that provides viewers with the show title, show run time, and a summary of upcoming and current shows. Like most other boxes you can also do a scan for all channels at one time or manually tune channels. It also comes with adjustable closed captioning for those that may want or need this feature. Originally it did not come with analog pass-through but it has now been updated to include this feature.

We have rated it as a middle of the road converter boxes on the market since it's analog pass-through upgrade was announced. Not only does it have this ever important feature but also comes with very good picture quality. Unfortunately it's reception issues keep it from coming out near the top. We do recommend cautiously for anyone needing a solution for their old analog TV.

Update February 2014

Real User Reviews: The reviews we have received of this box have come out pretty bad. It's a tough call because the features worked great when we initially hooked it up, but it's apparent that it doesn't work well when using it on a day-to-day basis. But then again, we have other people coming to the rescue telling us that it does indeed work well. It's a tough call, best of luck with your decision.

Ses1978 Said...
"This model has been nothing but trouble ever since the day I hooked it up in December. Funai tells me to wait until the conversion date which got pushed back to June 12 and rescan. I have to rescan sometimes just because the thing arbitrarily drops my channels without warning. One minute I get all my channels without having to get an outdoor antenna and the next thing I now it drops them or worse it gives me a black & white picture and static for sound! Funai won't take responsibility. Wal-mart won't exchange it for the newer box just because it's more than 90 days old, even though the FCC says they should. I called Magnavox itself who suggested we ask for a supervisor at Funai to ask for an exchange since they haven't already offered one. But the FCC, my local broadcasters association and even technical support at my local television station agree with me, this box is a problem. Many people in my area have had nothing but problems with it. And unfortunately, we used the coupon on it. There went that coupon."
Anonymous Said...
"I have to defend this box. I worked at TV station during the digital switch and we tested boxes for reception in fringe areas. This box had the best tuner for picking up weak signals by far.

Yes, it has design problems. It's stupid that it is worthless without it's remote. The on screen menus are bad. The remote poorly thought out.

But, if you live in area with weak signals or transmitters located in different areas, this is a good choice.

The truth is once you set it up, you'll never look at the menus again. But, the EPG is VERY basic compared with everyone else."
Specs - Magnavox TB100MW9 Owners Manual
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Configurable Closed Captioning
Electronic Program Guide
English, French, and Spanish Language Support

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

Philco TB100HH9 Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 4.0

This box has been found to be one of the best ones on the government certified list. Reports on it have been very positive and its analog pass-through feature (not found on a lot of boxes) is a huge plus. In order to get maximum performance with this and all other converter boxes you will need to get a digital antenna. Not having a digital antenna is no different that back in the analog days when not having an analog antenna caused major reception issues. 

This is one of the few converter boxes from the transition days that is still available from several retailers. Again, it's not the absolute best one out there, but you could do a lot worse.

Product Details: It has been reported to provider users with a fairly high end picture quality that is a slight step below the top converter boxes on the market. It is still an very significantly upgrade from analog TV and is rate in the "2nd tier" as far as converter box picture qualities go. The sound quality of it is a major upgrade from analog TV. The only sound issue with this converter box was that the RF volume comes out a lot lower than the L/R stereo outputs. It sells for around $60 at the few online retailers that have it in stock. In today's market this is actually a great price, especially considering its quality.
Philco TB100HH9
Features: It comes with an excellent program guide that provides information on the show title, total run time, and a short description. It also shows a short snippet of what is upcoming on each channel. One great thing about this one is that it was one of the first ones to come with analog pass-through. Analog pass-through allows you to keep getting the few channels that are not yet required to make the digital switch while also enjoy the benefits of digital tv for all of thee other channels. Finally, it also comes with the ability to auto scan for channels or manually set each, one at a time.Overall this box is rated as one of the better one on the market. Sure its sound and picture quality aren't the best but this is countered by the fact that it comes with analog pass-through.

Update February 2014

Real Users Reviews: Unfortunately we have no received any reviews or comments from users of this product. Amazon however, does have quite a lot of reviews on it with over half of all customers giving it either or 4 or 5 star rating and it's average rating coming out to 3.4.

Analog Pass-Through
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Energy Star Compliant
Configurable Closed Captioning
Electronic Program Guide
On Screen Signal Strength Meter
English, French, and Spanish Language Support
Compact Size

What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Converter Box
Remote Control
Power cord
RF Cable

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

Sansonic FT300A Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 2.5
Reception problems have been reported with this product and it is likely a combination of uninformed consumers trying to use it without a good digital antenna and also poor manufacturing. No converter boxes will do a sufficient job of picking up digital channels without a good antenna but out of the box one should be able to get at least a handful of channels.

Another product that is sold out here. Again, not the biggest concern since there are better options out there but it sure would be nice if some of these companies could keep their TV converter boxes in stock. You can find a few previously owned ones for sale but availability is spotty along with no warranty.

Product Details: It provides viewers with a pretty darn good picture and excellent sound quality. Both the sound quality and picture quality are a step below DVD quality and a big upgrade from the average analog picture. The Sansonic FT300A currently sells for about $50 but is now sold out at most retailers. For a good alternative to this please see our full list of converter boxes that we have reviewed.
Sansonic FT300A Features: It comes with a super compact is size and can be placed in very small places. It also omes with a electronic program guide the provides users with details on current shows but not for future shows that are yet to air. It is a fairly basic program guide that doesn't provide as much information as most other converter boxes. Whether you are okay with this all depends on what you are looking for, it clearly provides more info than old over-the-air analog channels that didn't have any sort of guide, but you can find better. Another drawback is that it is generally lacking quite a few features including the most important one - analog pass-through. The Dish Network DTVPal Plus is considered by most to be a good choice if you need a box with analog pass-through.

This converter box is a mid rated converter box because despite its lack of features, its small size is handy and it does give viewers great picture and sound quality. As with a lot of converter boxes, you could do a lot worse but our reviews clearly show that there are better options out there.

Update February 2014

Real User Reviews: Although the quality of the box was mid rated as far as features, picture and sound go, it's actual function in the real world for the average consumer appears to be far less than desired. As a results it's best to look elsewhere for any converter box needs you may have.

Anonymous Said...
"I obtained two converter boxes. My Tivax STB-T8 worked fine once I got the Tivax indoor antenna to go along with it. Unfortunately, my second box was the Sansonic FT300A, which does not work at all. The remote turns the box on and off, but that's all that happened. Although I purchased the Sansonic in November, I did not take it out of the box until last week. My advice is to get the Tivax and boycott Sansonic."
Teddy Said...
"I bought a Sansonic FT-300A converter box after reading reports where it was rated well. I have tried mine on 2 different TVs, one a Panasonic w/ a built-in VCR and the other a Sony Trinitron, and I can't do anything with either set. The remote control that came with the box doesn't seem to work, though it will turn the converter box on and off. I bought a new antenna and hooked that up --an indoor one--but the box isn't doing what it was supposed to, which was--it says this on the box!--keep old analog TVs working."
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Configurable Closed Captioning
On Screen Signal Strength Meter
Electronic Program Guide
English, French, and Spanish Language Support
Compact Size
75 ohm Connector

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

Lasonic LTA-260 Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 2.0
The overall operation and functioning of the Lasonic LTA-260 has received mixed reviews. There have been reports of broken controllers and bad reception. The broken controllers are most likely caused by a faulty controller and a quick exchange with the manufacturer should resolve the issue. Bad reception is likely caused from having a bad antenna. In order to get good reception and all channels with any converter box a good digital antenna is required.

Again, we have another one that is out of stock. This box can't be purchased at any retailers as of now but you can find a few stray used ones on sites such as eBay or Amazon.

Product Details:
The picture quality for the LTA-260 has been found to be excellent and provides a picture that is below but near DVD quality. The picture quality this box gives out is similar to that of the tip top rated boxes on the market. The sound quality that you get with it is also very clear and has been reported to be as good as most others on the market. Both the picture and sound quality for this box are significantly better than what you would except to get with analog broadcasts. Currently this converter box is only available at several retailers and can be purchased for around $45-$50. At this point we recommend that you purchase a higher rated converter but at the same time this one will get the job done.

Lasonic LTA-260

Features: The Lasonic LTA-260 has a program guide that shows a solid description of upcoming shows over the next several hours. It's program guide isn't the most robust arond but certainly gets the job done when compared to the analog days of no programming guide. With it, users can use the scan for all channels function or manually set each channel. It also comes with an on screen signal meter to assist with manually tuning any specific channels you are trying to get. A digital antenna is a must with this and other boxes in order to get all channels in your area. This box does not come with analog pass-through.

This converter box is a mid to low rated box because it has good picture and sound quality but some remote control problems have been reported and it doesn't have analog pass-through. If you want a top rated box we recommend that you check out our complete list of reviews.

Update February 2014

Real User Reviews: We have now received several user reviews similar to the ones listed below. It appears that a lot of people are having issues with this converter boxes remote control. At first the company was asking for broken ones to be return but it now appears as though they have realized the remotes can be defective and are sending out free ones if your box is still under warranty.

Anonymous Said...
"I have three of the Lasonic LTA-260 converter boxes. None of them are a year old yet. One remote never worked and three months ago another one quit and just recently my last one stopped working. I was told that I would have to ship my remotes to a company in California so they can determine what is wrong with them. If you ask me the are junk. I live in Iowa and don't feel that I should spend any more of my money to ship these remotes when they could just ship me ones that actually work."
Anonymous Said... 
"Mine is less then a year old and the remote control just stopped working. I called the number on the product guide and they took my contact info and are sending me a new one. What I expected to be a very frustrating experience was surprisingly simple to resolve. Hopefully this next remote will last a little longer."
Specs - Lasonic LTA-260 Owners Manual
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Configurable Closed Captioning
Electronic Program Guide
On Screen Signal Strength Meter
Compact Size
75 ohm Connector

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

Digital Stream DTX9900 Digital TV Converter Reviews

Product Rating: 1.0

There have been reports of some people have problems with reception and not picking up all channels with this and other converter boxes. You should expect to have to purchase a good digital TV antenna to operate in tandem with converter boxes in order to get all channels. Without and antenna you should expect a sub par experience with any box on the market. 

This converter box has been upgraded to the Digital Stream DTX9950.

Product Details: When comparing the Digital Stream DTX9900 to other digital converter boxes it rated fairly low for picture quality. The picture quality was still better than most analog broadcast but was just not as good as that of other TV converter boxes. When watching SD content there was a slight, yet obvious, blurring and stretching of the picture. When watching HDTV the picture quality is excellent. Its picture quality is quite comparable to the Digital Stream DSP7500T and is still better than that of analog TV. This converter box provides sound quality that is similar to the best converter boxes on the market. This converter box can be purchased for $60-$65 and as of now is only available new from a couple online retailers.

Digital Stream DTX9900 Features: The Digital Stream DTX9900 has a programming guide that displays the shows title, total run time, and a summary of it and shows for the next few hours. This digital converter allows its users to individually tune channels or use the auto scan function. It also comes with an on screen signal strength meter to help with the tuning of channels individually. It also comes with a universal remote that works for almost all functions of the TV and converter box. This converter box does not come with analog pass-through.

The DTX9900 is a fairly good converter box but we simply cannot recommend it because there are better boxes out there that include analog pass-through that also sell for a cheaper price.

Update February 2014

Real User Reviews: As you can see in the user submitted notes below, this converter box has clear issues with overheating and eventual failure. Due to a faulty capacitor it seems that almost every single one is destined to failure in a years time or less. Looks elsewhere

Alice Said...

"Mine bit the dust after 18 months. It does the blinking yellow light thing and nothing else. I expect that heat was the culprit since I don't have an air conditioner in the room where it was being used and the temp had been hovering around the low 90's when it started to fail. It acted cranky at first and wouldn't find a signal when the green light came on, only a black screen with a channel number. I had to turn it on and off repeatedly, more and more often, in order to get the picture to come in.  
I finally reset the sleeper function thinking if the box stayed on all this nonsense would stop. It did, but not for the better. I checked the box the next morning and it was blinking. I guess the best thing to do to help keep it working is to keep the little bugger cool and turn it off when not in use. It may last longer, but don't count on it. The six month warranty is long since expired and since it is junk I may just peek inside, not plugged in of course, for a quick autopsy.  
I guess I've got to find a new box now since I'm not the only one with this problem. I don't plan to spending anymore money on Digital Stream products. Granted, it worked great while it lasted. Meanwhile, I will manage without my TV this summer or borrow a box when I need one. We still have a couple spares - another Digital Stream (different model) and a Magnavox."
Joel Said...
"Following an earlier poster's lead, I just opened one of our DTX9900 units bought during the digital conversion. After 2 years of less than an hour per month use, the green lamp started blinking last week. Then the unit wouldn't come on at all.
Sure enough, as per the poster's commentary, the 330UF capacitor has a distended top. I do some soldering, but circuit boards are tricky. Not sure if I can get two pins to melt at once, plus not overheat the proximal board, so may hunt for an electronics shop that will do the replacement for a few bucks - shouldn't take long (2 mins. for a pro?) given I have it all apart already, and can reassemble it easily myself. I think the 25v capacitor version sounds more heat tolerant, but not being an expert I'll get the repairman's opinion. There may be better quality 16v units available now.
Though I like this model's EPG (electronic program guide) as a TV Guide substitute, I think the Dish Network brand converter boxes we bought later that year provide a better overall experience, and after this Digital Stream failure and my experience at that company's website (the DTX9900 manual isn't searchable there), I'll not ever buy again nor recommend Digital Stream."
Specs - Digital Stream DTX9900 Owners Manual
V-Chip Lock Parental Control Setting
Configurable Closed Captioning
Electronic Program Guide
On Screen Signal Strength Meter
Energy Star Compliant
English, French, and Spanish Language Support

What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Digital Stream DTX9900 Converter Box
Universal Remote Control
Power Cord

Tivax STB-T12 TV Converter Box Owners Manual

If you have purchased or are thinking about buying the Tivax STB-T12 then above is the users manual. We know from experience ourselves that often times people do not keep their manual after purchasing an item and so we decided to provide it for those that may be having issues with their converter box. Above you will find all of the information Tivax provides regarding the boxes functionality and features. This is a great starting point if you have any questions about the product or our troubleshooting with some sort of technical difficulty. If you have questions that aren't answered in the owners manual you can always try leaving a comment here or a better recommendation may be contacting the manufacturer directly.

Technical Specifications
  • Analog Pass Through
  • V-Chip Parental Controls
  • Signal Strength Meter For Tuning Channels
  • Smart Antenna Compatible
  • Three Language Support - English, French, Spanish
  • Energy Star Certified
  • Programming Guide And Closed Captioning
  • S Video Output
  • 4:3 And 16:9 Aspect Ratios
  • Remote Control And Batteries Included
  • RF and AV Cables Included
  • Full 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Jupiter Jack Review - Is Jupiter Jack Legit Or A Scam?

Product Rating: 3.0
What Is The Jupiter Jack?
The Jupiter Jack is a small cell phone accessory that is designed to turn your car radio into a wireless speaker system for your cell phone. With it you can setup your radio so that it transmits all cell phone calls through your car speakers. All you have to do is hook the device up to your phone and set your radio on the proper station and you are ready to go. When a phone call comes in you simply hit the answer button on your phone and begin talking out loud. The person calling you will be able to hear you and when they respond you will hear them through your car stereo speakers. 

It allows drivers to talk on their cell phones without having to hold their phone, deal with the wires of a hands free set, or even mess around with a silly blue tooth device that may not fit properly in their ear. With many states such as California outlawing cell phone use while driving and others considering it, this could be a good investment for you. You can get the Jupiter Jack for $10.00 plus shipping and handling. As an added bonus you can get the dashboard mount for free or a second Jupiter Jack for free (you do pay separate shipping and handling of $6.99 for each item). The dashboard mount allows you to quickly and easily mount your cell phone and the device for easy access while driving.
What Features Does It Come With?
- Only $20 + Shipping & Handling
- Transmits Cell Phone Calls Through Speakers Via FM Transmitter
- Frequencies of 88.3-89.3 and 99.3-101.3 Available For Transmission
- Can Be Used With Some MP3 Players To Listen To MP3 Player Through Car Speakers
- Comes With A Free Dashboard Mount For Easier Use
- Works With Nearly all Cell Phones
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Does It Really Work?
From the information that we have gathered we have concluded that it does work although not without flaw. While not the most robust or high tech it does do what is says it does however we have seen some negative comments regarding it. In the past the issue was related to the Jupiter Jack only having one radio frequency option (we were unable to confirm whether this was actually true but complaints made us believe that it was). If this was a problem it won't be anymore and we called the company personally to confirm this. The device now comes equipped with the ability to be set on several of different frequencies so that you can be sure to find a frequency that doesn't already have a local radio station broadcasting on.

Do You Have Any Real User Reviews About The Quality And Companies Customer Service?
We have provided several reviews that were emailed to us from current and past users of the Jupiter Jack. Be sure to read these and make your own conclusions as to whether or not you want to try the product out. Also, make sure you check out the comments section at the bottom of our post, there are a ton of comments left there from real users of the JJ.

Sam Said...
"We are not exactly sure how long the battery lasts or how long the company claims but you can purchase 3 packs of replacement batteries for just $2.99 (this including shipping and handling.

As for the high credit card charges. Jupiter Jack clearly states on their website that it costs $6.99 shipping and handling for each item you order. If you order the 1 Jupiter Jack and get the free one you will paying shipping and handling for the 2nd one also. Then if you order the dashboard mount you will have to pay for that and pay shipping and handling for it also. 

Sure it may be a bit expensive to charge shipping and handling for each item but they are a business and are trying to turn a profit. The website definitely says that they will charge you shipping and handling for these items so it is not a scam at all.

It seems more like buyers need to look closer, research more, and even read the fine print before simply offering up their credit card number when the website doesn't show what their cost will be until after the purchase.

Americans are so caught up in instant gratification that it shocks me. Why in the world would anyone not research closely how much something is going to cost them before they click the purchase button???

Beyond this it is not a scam because Jupiter Jack doesn't offer an email address to contact them. This is because they offer something better. An actual telephone number. How often these days does an Internet company offer an actual phone number for real live customer support. This tells me that Jupiter Jack isn't a scam but is a good and upstanding company."
Mike said...
"I ordered one jupiter jack for 29.99 and I got charge $72.69. I looked at the invoice and notice that they sent me an extra jupiter jack for $9.99 and 2 free batteries and two dash mounts.To my surprise, each item had their own shipping and handling charge (6.99 x 5), even though they all came in the same little box.
I returned the product, which by the way never worked on My Honda Odyssey 2008 car, and I was refunded $42.00. I asked for the shipping charges on the products that I never ordered to be refunded and after talking with a bunch of representatives on different occasions, a supervisor finally agreed that he would process a refund for the remaining $27.96 (I will know if he did it in 5 days) 
Needless to say, Telebrand is known for trying to get away with multiple shipping charges on the same order. I believe that the reason why they agreed on refunding the entire amount was because I told them that my husband is a class action attorney and I am a business woman that knows what is legal and illegal on these type of businesses. The whole ordering process is misleading."
Ed said...
"I have a jupiter jack. It works on 99.3 and 101.3. It transmits in mono so you don't get stereo. Mine came with 6 adapters and if they don't fit your phone, there are more that you can get from the manufacturer for a shipping charge of $2.99. The sound is clear. I have talked to my wife on it while driving with the window open and traffic going by and she said that she could not hear any of the noise. You can also use it in your house with your stereo and mp3 player. So I would say if you want an inexpensive way to talk hands free this would be the way to go."
Dillon said...
"Please explain how the shipping charge are fraud. They say on their homepage that they are charging $6.99 S&H for each item you order. Fraud would be if they didn't tell buyers that and then charged them. Just because you don't read the site closely before ordering you want to call it fraud.Sure you could argue deception because they don't give you a total before ordering but it certainly isn't a scam or fraud."
Anthony said...
"The jupiter ad says that offer is not available in stores yet you can buy them in CVS Drug stores for $10 and save the S&H.
The reception through my car radio was excellent. The problem is the difficulty the person on the other end has listening to you. The cell phone is mounted a slight distance away on the dash so your voice quality drops off. The cell phone also picks up road noise even with the windows closed tight making it difficult for the other person to listen to you."
Don said...
"After purchasing the $20.00 plus shipping jupiter jack for $91.06, where the additional came from they can't tell you (it is a secret), I found out that the only thing that came across my radio is a lot of static and when it was clear it only stayed that way for a short time. It is useless and when I tried to return it the only thing they would refund is the actual price of $20.00 shipping and hidden charges are non-refundable. This is a poor quality, cheap, poorly made product."
Sarah said...
"I use to work for a telemarketing company called convergys, taking calls for products like the jupiter jjack (I am now a heavy equipment operator not a jj spokesman etc). I just ordered one and when I got to the end of the order they had my price right. Could be because I payed attention to what the heck I was doing, I dunno? But yeah these little companies do charge s&h on every little separate thing that is how they make their money and if your too lazy to pay attention while you order something that's your own fault. Sorry for those that go 'duped' but you've got to pay attention to what you are doing."
Steve said...
"Other than taking a month to arrive, I have no complaints. 2 for price of 1, plus S & H charges and this was clear on the website, I was not overcharged. You people have to pay attention to what you're ordering. The product works great, the sound is clear with no static. They include several adapters with the device that should fit any phone. If the jack doesn't work for you, you must have a cheap phone, so get a new phone. This is a great product."
Keifer said...
"After reading these reviews I must agree that someone claiming this product to be a "scam" is just not accurate. How could something that is clearly stated on a web site be called a scam? I call that being lazy as hell and not reading everything. Where did some of you guys go to school? Who taught you the definition of scam? They could be selling you a piece of crap, but that is not what you are arguing here. You are claiming that the CLEARLY STATED shipping charges are the scam. How does that qualify as a scam? Even if you bought something as stupid and pointless as a used ball of wax for $1 and they clearly stated we are charging you $10 for shipping AND YOU AGREE TO IT how would you consider that a scam?! NO! All charges are clearly stated!!!! What is America turning in to? Great products cheap just do not exist!!! Everyone wants something for nothing. Haven't any of you ever heard of the saying "if it is too good to be true it probably is."?Wake up people!!!! Someone hit the nail on the head by saying "you get what you pay for" and that is in reference to the quality of the product NOT the clearly stated shipping and handling charges. 
I bought this product and I read everything on the web site. I knew I was getting charged all those fees and I was pissed off because I thought it was absurd, but you have to sit back and think "how else is this company making money"? With all the overhead costs companies have do you really think they can pay all their bills, employees, the production of the product, etc for an extremely low sale price? 
It's basic economics and the marketing man. The infomercial got your attention didn't it? Of course it did! That's the whole point! Who is going to be interested if they advertised the Jupiter Jack for $70? NOBODY! Everyone is going to say, I'll just go to Best Buy or somewhere to get something similar. The return policies and customer service at these stores are WAY better than dealing with stores online. No shipping and handling charges that way! Everyone advertising a product has disclaimers in the tiny small print at the bottom of your screen. The next time you see a commercial advertising something check it out, it's there.
Bottom line, even if this product sucks it is not a freaking scam! All other problems with the company aside, I am sure some people think the product is excellent. How many people go online to rant and rave how great a product is? Hardly any, but EVERYONE who is upset about a product finds a place to vent their frustrations. Open your eyes people."

What Frequencies Can It Be Broadcast On?
It is our understanding that the new devices come with the ability to be set between 88.3 and 89.3 and also between 99.3 and 101.3. This range of frequencies gives all users plenty of options and allows them to find an unused frequency that will provide for clear reception and great sound quality. We have not gotten a hold of a one yet to confirm this yet but this is how we understood the explanation from the customer service rep we called.

Are There Any Added Bonuses?
Some customers have reported that they have been able to use it with their MP3 players. Users have been able to hook the device into their MP3 players and hear music through their car speaker system. This function is not guaranteed or advertised by the company but could be an added bonus for those that have a compatible MP3 player.

What Is Their Return Policy?
Again, we personally called the company and were told that their return policy includes a 30 day money back guarantee. They stated that you can return it for any reason within 30 days and get a refund (minus shipping and handling). Of course you need to return the device in working condition with its original packaging. If you think that you may want to return it be sure to keep everything until you have made a final decision. Remember usually when you return any item you purchase online you aren't refunded the shipping and handling costs.

How Is The Customer Service?
When we personally called the customer service center in order to have them clarify a few things for our review and they did a great job. The wait time was about 1 minute and we spoke to a customer service representative that answered all of our questions quickly. She was be very knowledgeable, easy to understand, and didn't have any problems answering our questions. Of course, if you read user responses, their experiences seem to be quite different.

Are There Any Drawbacks?
One negative we have come up is the inability to have a private conversation with the Jupiter Jack. If you use the product anyone and everyone in your car will be able to hear the conversation. We have also found out that it doesn't work with "all" cell phones and rather only works with "most" phones. Other issues including being over billed and poor sound quality. 

A negative related to ordering is that they don't give you an order total before you submit your order. When doing an order you need to be sure you haven't messed anything up before submitting it or you will end up being charged extra and sent extra things and they will not refund the shipping charges once a product is mailed out.

Known Issues
- If you are in an area where there is already a radio station at the preset frequency options then you might have trouble getting good sound quality because the radio stations will  interfere. This seems to be of utmost concern for those living in large metropolitan areas. Each Jupiter Jack comes with several different frequency range options so most people should be able to find one that is open.

- Privacy is certainly an issue with the device because it could be possible for someone driving beside you to pick up your phone conversation. It is unlikely that someone beside you would happen to tune their radio to the static filled frequency that you are using but it is definitely possible.

- If there are other people in the car with you the device will become useless unless you don't mind allowing everyone else to listen to your phone conversation. Since sounds from the call are broadcast through your car speakers it is impossible to have a private conversation unless you are alone in your car.

- The makers claim that it works with all cell phones but it is possible that there are some models that it doesn't work with.

- There have been reports about the high shipping and handling charges that the company charges. Just be sure to remember that each item that you purchase or get for free will include a shipping and handling charge of $6.99. This is NOT a scam but if you feel that it is unfair then don't purchase the Jupiter Jack. They are upfront about the fact that there is a fee of $6.99 for each item so you have to decide for yourself if that makes the product to expensive or not.

- The checkout process is tricky because they do not show you a total before you submit your order. You need to be sure that you do the order correctly before you hit the submit button or you will be over charged.

The Jupiter Jack Bottom Line
The Jupiter Jack is not the most robust or high tech device but it does fill an interesting niche area and is a one of a kind product. The best thing about it is it's cheap price of only $10 and its 30-day money back guarantee. It however seems to have gotten some negative comments below and therefore we recommend you take caution when ordering.

Top Online Digital TV Antenna Retailers

If you have done all of our research, and thought long an hard about the type of antenna you need and then done your research and pick the brand you want then your next step in the process is to decide which retailer you want to buy from. The simplest and least hassle from thing to do is buy direct from the manufacturer but not all manufacturers sell directly and if they do their prices are usually around 15%-30% higher than most retailers.

Below we have created a list of some of the top retailers. This list includes retailers that have a large selection of antennas, offer competitive prices, and are known from providing good customers service. If you are still trying to choose a specific brand then you can check out our top TV antenna brands page for more info.

Solid Signal: Solid Signal is a great retailer. They provide one of the largest selections and have some of the best prices online. They are well known and all orders we have done through them have come quickly and hassle free.

Manufacturer Direct: One option for getting your antenna is buy direct from the manufacturer. In some cases this is the easiest option because most manufacturers stand behind their products 100%. This can make returns and exchanges easier if something is wrong with your antenna or it doesn't work well in your area. Unfortunately manufacturers usually price their products at MSRP and do not drop them so you will end up paying a lot more if you buy direct. In order to get retailers to carry their products manufacturers who sell direct often promise to keep their prices higher. In order to purchase directly you can quickly and easily go to any of the brand websites and make your purchase their. Again, this is the simplest an easiest way but it will cost you a few extra dollars.

Amazon: Amazon is one of the most trusted names for online purchases worldwide. Amazon provides an extremely largest selection of antennas at some of the most affordable prices. Amazon is also know for having great customer service.

What Is A Femtocell? The Ultimate VoIP Cell Phone Signal Booster

A femtocell (femto cell) is a 3G wireless or Wi-Fi access point that is specifically designed for cell phones and used to enhance cellular reception indoors and also lower overall telephone costs for both consumers and cell carriers. The device will, for all intensive purposes, allow each person to have their own mini cell network within their home. It’s a way to booster your cell phone signal without using a traditional cell signal booster. With this device, gone will be the days of standing in one spot like you are on an old cord phone, or the enjoyment of hanging outside of or near a window in order to keep a call from dropping. With crystal clear service and potentially unlimited minutes while calls are routed through femtocells, traditional land lines may become obsolete. See the image below, it does a fairly good job of showing how a femtocell works.

Femtocells look just like wireless routers and are used to route cell phone calls, by lower power antenna, to broadband internet connections (DSL or Cable) and then back onto cellular networks. There has also been reports about a possible small USB device version, called the femtoJack, that works just like other femtocells. It behaves as a VoIP device and the following occurs when a phone call is made from a house or office that has femtocall capabilities. A phone call is made from a cell phone, as it is being made it is redirected to the femtocell, then routed through a broadband internet connection and from there is redistributed back to the cellular network. This is especially important because it allows people to set up a network in an area where traditional cell phone service is not available.

Femtocells allow cell phone users to get extended range in indoor areas where they previously had little or no service because of a dead zone. They are also beneficial because they can lower the cost consumers pay for their cell phone plan. Costs are lowered because minutes used within a femtocells range are generally unlimited when included with a plan. Carriers usually can offer free calls with a femtocell because it allows carriers to move data traffic away from cell networks and therefore lower their overall costs and also eliminate the need for uneconomical cell towers. Another benefit of using one within your home involves better data bandwidth performance which results in a better experience with music, photos, and live video on your cell phone.

As a leader among U.S. carriers in rolling this technology out Sprint recently began offering a femtocell device for $49.99 and $15 per month. This deal included the Airave router and an unlimited amount of minutes that were routed off the cell network. This means that all mobile phone calls made within range of the femotcell were unlimited for only $15 per month. Currently they are being made with ranges of 50-100m which is more than enough to support most phone calls in and around ones home. Another product that we have recently began hearing rumors about is the femtoJack, which is expected to be quite a hit, as a USB sized femtocell. Seamless hand-off is great to as it allows you to jump into your car and drive off while automatically transferring you to the cell network.

Currently they can support 2 to 5 cell phones at one time, depending on which model you choose and they work with most major cellular technologies including CMDA2000, TD-SCDMA, WiMax, UMTS, and GSM carriers. This of course means they can be used with most major U.S. carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Alltel, and Verizon.

Femtocell devices are expected to be widely available by 2010 and the number of users is expected to more than quadruple over the next several years. Most wireless customers should be able to purchase one from the same retailers that sell them their cellular phones and cell phone plans. This would generally include availability directly from carriers and from electronics retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

As of today femtocell cells are expected to cost several hundred dollars but as sales and productions volumes rise, prices are expected to drop. Major carriers are also expected to offer special prices for those that sign cell phone contracts that include femtocell services, in the same manner as they do with phones.

Dish Network Satellite TV Review: Is Dish Network Legit Or A Scam?

Product Rating: 4.5
The second and only other Satellite TV provider in the United States is Dish Network. Previously we did a review of DirecTV and today we will be taking a long and detailed look at Dish. If you are considering satellite over cable then these two companies are your only choices. Choosing between the two can be very difficult and it's generally a good idea to check out a Dish Network vs. DirecTV Comparison to better understand the confusing differences between the two services. Dish Network is the smaller of the two companies with just over 14 million subscribers as of writing this post, while Direct TV has over 20 million subscribers. Despite a smaller subscriber base Dish services are very comparable and the choice between the two companies comes down to choosing the one that is cheaper while also meeting your viewing wants and needs. 

What Is Dish Network?
Dish Network is a nationwide U.S. based satellite TV service provider that is available to nearly all residents across the country. They do not provide any international services. The company has over 14 million subscribers, coming in as the second largest and only other satellite service provider in the country.

How Much Does The Service Cost?
The price for service varies greatly depending on which programming package you choose but it is generally thought to be cheaper than DirecTV. Although this is partially true it is certainly not the whole truth. Dish offers the cheapest introductory package at just $19.99 per month, which is nice for those just looking for basic TV. However, this is a bare bones package that includes only 40 channels. On a sliding scale up from here their packages are cheaper than DirecTV but generally with the cheaper price comes a few less programming options. Also, Dish does not build local channels into their packages and often charges an extra fee for these. If you don't want local channels this is a better deal, however if you do, then it actually makes Dish more. They also charge a couple dollars more per month for extra receivers than does DirecTV.

Signing an 18-24 month contract gets you a significant discount for the first year of service. For the first year you can get the first or second tier packages for just $19.99, and prices range all the way up to $89.99. This top package includes over 320 channels and free access to all premium movie channels. For the second year of  your contract the price goes up to the standard rate. The normal rates range from $19.99 at the lowest to $124.99 for the top package of 320+ channels.  One thing Dish does allow for is signup without a contract, whereas DirecTV requires all customer to sign a 12-24 month contract. Getting month-to-month service can be great for some but it does not allow for any special discounts and also requires that you pay an installation fee.

How Much Does Installation And Equipment Cost?
Getting satellite TV means that you will need a satellite dish that will be attached to the outside of your home, along with a digital receiver for each room that you want to watch TV in. Dish offers a free satellite dish and free professional installation to anyone that signs a 24 month service contract. For shorter contracts you may be required to pay for equipment and installation. For month-to-month contracts you will be required to pay for the satellite dish and all installation fees. These fees vary widely so you need to check directly with dish to see what you will have to pay if you choose not to go with a standard 2 year contract.

What Add On Packages Are Available And How Much Do They Cost?
Dish Network offers a bunch of various add on packages that individuals can subscribe to based on their personal preferences. Some of these packages are automatically included with the more expense programming packages. If not included they can be added for a monthly fee. For those interested in one or two specific add-on packages it may be best to subscriber to a cheaper plan and add what you're looking for. However, for those that plan to add a bunch of different movie or sports packages, it's usually cheaper to simply upgrade to a higher tiered preset package. One drawback to Dish Network is that they usually provide local channels as an add-on that costs $5 per month, something that generally comes for free with most TV service providers.

When you sign a new contract with Dish you get free movie channels for the first three months. After three months the monthly cost for Cinemax, Starz, or ShowTime is $14.00 each per month. For HBO they charge $19.00 per month. They also offer a wide range of A La Carte options including an outdoor sports package, Epix package, Encore movie pack, the Heartland package, Al Jazeera America, Verla, and more. These packages range from $4-$7 per month. Other more expensive A La Carte options include Fox Soccer Plus for $15 per month, the Playboy channel for $16.00 per month, and Race Track TV for horse racing for $50.00 per month. Beyond these they also offer a large selection of International packages that can be added for various monthly fees.

How Much Does A DVR Cost?
The device itself is generally free as long as you are agreeing to a two year contract. Often times Dish will run specials where you get the first several months of DVR service for free and then they charge a monthly fee for the rest of the time that you use their services.  Generally this fee ranges from about $7-$25 depending on which DVR you choose, and how many you want. You will need a DVR for each TV unless you choose their top-of-the-line Hopper DVR that works with multiple TVs as once (mini Joey receiver required).

How Many HD Channels do they have?
Currently Dish is a little bit behind DirecTV in their offering of HDTV but not that far really. They have made great strides in the last several years to catch up and are getting close. They openly state that they have over 200 HD channels but further research shows that this isn't quite true. Yes, they have over 200 channels but some of these channels do no broadcast HD full-time where as DirecTV has over 195 channels that are fully HD compliant 100% of the time. Even with the part-time channels they are still far and away ahead of the majority of cable companies with their high-definition offerings. In the past they have charged for HD but currently they are offering free HD for 24 months when you sign a contract.

Do They Require All Customers To Sign A Contract?
No. One unique feature that Dish offeres is the ability to get month-to-month service. This can be a good deal for those that might be moving soon, but for those that are going to stay put a contract is generally better. With month-to-month service you will not get free equipment or installation, and you will not get the first year discounted prices on your monthly bill.

What Type Of Picture Quality Do Subscribers Get?
All channels are broadcast in a high quality 100% digital signal. Along with all digital, a large portion of their channels are in HD as long as you request an HD receiver.

Will They Check My Credit If I Am A New Subscriber?
Yes, they run a credit check on any new customers or current customers that are looking to renew their contract. Since they invest a lot of money upfront in providing free equipment and installation they require a certain credit score rating in order to be sure that you will be able to pay your monthly usage charges.

Does Dish Offer Any Other Services Outside Of Satellite TV?
Currently they only offer satellite TV. From time to time they have special offers with partners in the Internet and telephone industry that allow you to package your services together to further reduce prices.

Are There Any Issues With The That Current Or Former Consumers May Have Experienced? 
Generally users should be aware that a 24 month contract will come with a early termination fee if they want to cancel it before the full two years is up. Generally this is $20 per month for the number of months remaining on the contract. Consumer should not plan on getting out without paying the fee, and don't let any customer service rep tell you otherwise. If it's in writing that they can charge you an ETF they will do it, end of story. If you do move you however can take your service with you to your new address to avoid the cancellation fee. There are very few instances where you can get out without a fee, with the only regular one being if you move somewhere where they do not offer satellite TV service. Again, do not assume anything you are told, and if you are told anything by an employee of Dish be sure to get it in writing. If it's not in writing, don't expect it to hold up.

Dishnetwork customer service is known for being very good and very similar to that of DirecTV and the average cable provider. Both companies claim they are rated #1 in customer service so it's hard to tell. When signing up for service or calling for billing or technical support be prepared. They run a typical call center with low pay, low energy, and low enthusiasm workers who have been taking calls all day long day after day. You should be able to get any issues resolved, it just might take a little more effort on your side of things when calling.

Finally, as far as complaints go, the web is flooded with them. They are everywhere, and it's often hard to find the stories about satisfied customers. It's not the happy ones that usually go and leave reviews, it's the angry and unsatisfied customers. The bottom line is that Dish provides very adequate customer service and when you have over 14 million subscribers you're bound to have complaints and it's downright impossible to keep everyone happy. As a percentage however, complaints are extremely low

Do You Have Any Reviews, Good Or Bad From Current And Former Customers?
Yes, we have had various reviews submitted via email and some of them have been included here for your convenience.

Anonymous said...
'I just spent the week from hell trying to get my Dish set up. Although the people at the store were very nice they new little about Dish. They could not answer my questions about On Demand and special channel options, this should have been a clue.

When the techs came to install Dish network it took over 4 1/2 hours and they were all over my house creating a giant mess! Just as I was about to sign off on the install papers I asked about how my On Demand worked and I was informed I would have no On Demand services. I told the techs that I had been promised at the store that I would have On Demand. Needless to say I did not sign the install agreement.

I spent the following week trying to get get my service to work correctly, during which time I had no TV even though the tech promised to be back the next day to fix it. Warning -- they lie, the techs, customer service reps, account set up reps. Anything to get you to sign the Dish contract and lock you into a two year plan.

I will not torture you with the rest of the horrible details but I did get out of the contract only because I did not sign the install agreement. However they still have not come to remove the dish from my roof. They say it is mine now but I don't want it. I am still trying to get them to remove it but I will wait to see if that happens.

My words of advice, if you are thinking about switching do not do it!!! Dish Network is a pain and their customer service is the bad."

Phil said...
"I just recently had Dish installed at my home and also in my son's home. We have had nothing but trouble at both addresses. First, they lied to me about getting a specific channel. I asked about it right off in there sales pitch and the guy said they had the channel (cbc windsor station) In fact, he got all excited and said "oh, I know exactly what channel your'e talking about". 
I also setup auto pay, so we could get the $100.00 visa card they offer. When doing this I asked what exact date the withdrawal would be and was told it would be the 6 or 7th of the month, my spoken concern was for it not be before that time because social security is posted on the 3rd of month and wanted it there a few days before Dish took there payments out. I received my bill summary along with my customer agreement today stating they will be taking payments on or about the third of the month, 
When I asked about cancellation time they said we had 24 hours after installation to cancel, but iI do not see that anywhere on the install papers.I am prepared to contact the attorney generals office on this matter and I will pursue it  with the BBB also. I just read an article where a guy from New York contacted his senator and Dish suddenly decided to let him out of his contract. It may not do me any good but I'm prepared to go to all those levels if I have to. They may not let me out but they will know that I'm a dissatisfied customer for the next 24 months and anyone I come in contact will know what they have done to me"
Tara said...
"It's great to see so many negative reviews against Dish. I signed up with them for 12 months (was never told I was signing a 2 year contract) and the "get you to sign up price" would only last the first 12 months. 
Within these first 12 months I had several billing issues with this company. Bogus charges, over charges for services not received, etc (I think enough people have expressed these same issues). I called on my 13 month to see if there is anything they can do for me as a continuing customer (since they are offering a REALLY low offer to new customers) and looooooong story short - there is NOTHING they can do, and if I want to cancel my service? $20/month for every month left on the contract...so $200 to cancel?? Wow. I'm speechless."