As other people have noted, this product is poorly designed from a usability standpoint -- the remote doesn't control the volume or turn the TV on/off (you'd need to get a programmable, universal remote if you don't want two remotes controlling your TV), there are no manual buttons on the box itself (so you HAVE to use the remote), and the remote has very tiny buttons crowded close together. While these features are very annoying, I was willing to put up with them as long as the product actually worked -- which was not for very long. While it was working, I was pleased with the reception I got using only rabbit ears.
Some of the other complaints that users have cited here could have been resolved if the users had read the manual:
1. For the people who claimed about the extremely low volume, the user's manual suggests a setting you can change to fix this, and the suggested fix solved the problem for me.
2. For the person who complained that he couldn't set his VCR to record programs because the unit automatically shuts off after 4 hours -- this is an energy saving setting that you can over-ride. Go into set-up and turn off the auto-power-down.
As annoying as this product was to use, I was okay with it while it was actually working. I had bought two boxes. The first just stopped working after 3 months -- it would receive audio but not video. When I tried disconnecting it, re-installing it and rescanning for channels, I couldn't even turn it on because the unit was stuck in standby mode permanently.
I got out the 2nd box and installed it. This one has a peculiar problem -- every time it comes out of standby mode, it gets no reception at all until I rescan the channels. Then it's find until the next standby, when I have to rescan again. If I completely turn the power switch off and back on again, I get the initial set-up screen, which isn't supposed to happen once the unit has been initialized. Then, I have to perform autoscan before I can receive channels. Right now I'm having to scan for channels 2 or 3 times a day, which is just ridiculous.
I'm going to see if I can return these to Walmart and go with a different model. For $10 each, it's not worth the customer service nightmare I fear would result if I contacted Magnavox directly. I did dial the 800 number once, but the recording said I could expect to wait at least 15 minutes on hold. And in my experience lately, the customer service people you reach are overseas, not familiar w/ the product, and cannot perform advanced troubleshooting -- especially for what essentially seems to be a fatally flawed product.
Honestly, I would recommend buying a slightly more expensive product and pitching in the extra $10 it costs.
While there are several 4 and 5 star reviews here, I wonder how many of those people developed problems in the weeks or months AFTER they wrote their reviews and then didn't bother to update their experiences.
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