Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Ematic Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Ematic Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

The Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box for TV with LED Display and Recording Capabilities allows your TV without a digital tuner to receive new digital broadcasts. It includes an array of features such as programming guides and parental controls to restrict children's access. The analog to digital converter box also comes with a USB connection and is compatible with external SATA drives or flash drives with USB connections. The multimedia playback function is compatible with many different media types. The HD digital converter box comes with a handy remote control. The lightweight box is not much bigger than a hardbound book so it won't take up much space next to your television. The Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box for TV with LED Display also has a popular HDMI connector.
Average Customer Rating:
3.727 out of 5
3.7
 out of 
5
(304 Reviews) 304
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating SnapshotOverall Rating Totals
5 stars
131
4 stars
83
3 stars
22
2 stars
12
1 star
56
Customer Recommendation76%232 out of 304reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Questions & Answers:
95 Questions | 397 Answers
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating SnapshotOverall Rating Totals
5 stars
131
4 stars
83
3 stars
22
2 stars
12
1 star
56
Customer Reviews
Review 1 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Poor Instructions Make It Complicated

02/03/2014
By ,
Milwaukee, WI
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This might be considered a good buy. It has features you get with paid TV like DVR (PVR) & recording (HBPR). A show can be recorded manually or set ahead for a particular broadcast. Recording is via the usb port which I use with a flash drive. The instructions claim you have up to seven days of program scheduling but I find it ranges from a few hours to less than 12 hours.
In order to see all the options for the features at the bottom of the screen I have to remember to set my TV on 'normal' screen ratio and the converter box ratio on 'auto.' Otherwise take notes so you know what to push for a particular feature if the screen ratio cuts off the feature options until you memorize them.
I have a roof antenna so I do get great reception.
It is complicated to set up and figure out how to use its features because the manual is severely lacking in detail. When setting the screen ratio I pushed the wrong option and got a black & white screen that rolled super fast. It took almost 24 hrs to sort it out on my own.
Customer service via the 800 number - the phone was never answered in the 20 minutes I spent getting sent back to the main menu and re-selecting the tech support option. I tried another company number and spoke to a non-support person who assured me I would receive a call by the end of the day but never did. The product does not exist on the website. There is an email support option on the website somewhere which I haven't tried yet. I have managed to sort out most of my difficulties and am saving the rest of my questions to submit at one time. I hope email support is functional.
The company information is missing from the manual - not so much as a company name, number, or website address. The 800 number came from some other paper that came with the ematic and the other number came from the BBB website.
This product lacks adequate instructions and customer support otherwise I would have given it excellent in all 3 categories. I recommend it with reservations for those reasons.
Click an image to enlarge it.
User submitted photo
Product Attributes:
Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Female
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+55points
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Customer Avatar
Goldsboro, N.C.
Out Put & input connections
Posted 05/29/2014
Does it have RCA input & out put connections to record with?
0points
Customer Avatar
Northwest Florida
Go Download The 15 Page Manual
Posted 02/25/2014
The user manual is available for download. Just copy the address below and paste it into your browser.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CCcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ematic.us%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2FAT103B%2520IM_Eng_size130x185mm.pdf&ei=ITwMU8XGD6rA2QX024GoAw&usg=AFQjCNGxV8Poy4rhafZvK9JbQ9H2nicyGw&sig2=d3Snai7Oqmv0b7f35PZVrw&bvm=bv.61725948,d.b2I
0points
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Review 2 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

So far so good.

11/30/2013
By ,
Orlando, FL
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Tuner input, digital HDMI out and analog composite video and R+L audio out, (No PCM or component outs). Records High Def to usb external sata drives or some of the newest/fastest usb 3.0 speed flash drives like team 16gb color brown others like adata brand could not keep up or do timeshift. Runs V3 firmware from 081713, Formatting storage device in NFTS yields one file per program, formatting in FAT32 breaks the recordings into 500mb size pieces. Smaller than iview or homeworx boxes but bigger than naxa box. Remote looks like the one used for Stellar Labs style box. USB switches off storage when box is in standby. Power supply is internal instead of AC/DC adapter so not as cool. Tuner input/output should have some nuts around the 75 ohm connectors too. Comes with a sticker mistakenly placed on top of protective packing film, sticker should have been underneath film, make sure you remove film for proper ventalation. Contacted ematic and they never heard of the model and had no firmware updates, if product was supported it would be a big seller and many people would want one. I have included a picture of the back panel for those that asked about the connectors.
Click an image to enlarge it.
User submitted photo
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+40points
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Customer Avatar
Orlando, FL
model comparisons
Posted 02/15/2014
RCXB see thread started on legitfta ota antenna section for ematic comparison
0points
Customer Avatar
TX
Box comparisons?
Posted 01/25/2014
A detailed comparison of the pros/cons between all the different converter boxes you've got would be extremely valuable. Things like menus of X are painful to use by Y is great, recording bugs with A but B has lots of extra features. etc. I hope you'll consider doing it, as lots of people would like to read it. Either here or on Ama zon.
QAM seems to be a particularly hard problem for these boxes, while almost all HDTVs handle it properly. This ematic box doesn't display the PSIP virtual channels (and random, 5-digit channel numbers are painful to work with), nor any EPG/guide data at ALL.
I heard the IVIEW box works better with QAM, but only if you tediously go through the avs forum and find the mutually-incompatible firmware version that works best for your provider. But the v1 also has a horrific remote, and the v2 box doesn't have all those different firmware versions that you can choose between for working QAM. People also say it has better menus/UI, too, but with the horrific warranty terms that charge you $20 for *in-warranty service*, I can't withhold my disgust long enough to give them my money to try it out.
HomeWorx seems to have given-up on QAM entirely. Viewtv is honest about the fact that their QAM is unsupported and only partially works.
I also find it unbelievable that other boxes can't do pass-through while they are shut-off. That's a really terrible hindrance for those with analog TVs, who still want to watch some analog channels... There's no easy way to turn the RF signal from those boxes on/off, unless you've also got spare AV inputs or similar.
+2points
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Review 3 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

EMatic AT103B Digital converter box

02/04/2014
By ,
Dinuba, CA
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I bought 2 converter boxes and used the first box on an old TV and used one of those flat antennas. It did not work so I thought something was wrong with the converter box but before giving up I decided to buy just a cheap RCA antenna. It is one of those that has a base and has a round antenna with the rabbit ears. I went to the menu and went to auto search and it picked up quite a few stations. When I had followed directions like other posts said to do, it did not work for me.
I set up the other converter box on a flat screen HD TV. I set it up the same exact way as I did the older TV but I received more stations. I think it has to do with what direction your TV and antenna is sitting. I was not impressed with the flat antenna I purchased. I have bought RCA several times before to help friends hook up their TV's and there are many different kinds but I found out that the ones that have a base with a round antenna and rabbit ears work the best. You can find these at Walmart also. Hope this helps.
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every few days
+59points
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Customer Avatar
Sunrise, Fl
Posted 07/24/2014
I am about the purchase this box for an older tv I have in another room. Reading your comment regarding the flat antenna, I agree with you 100%. I had to stretch the cord and have it balance on the arm of my sofa which was close to a window. Although you think paying more would be better it wasn't. I returned mine and bought the rabbit like ears antenna.
0points
Customer Avatar
Rabbit ears are the best indoor antennas.
Posted 07/10/2014
In my experience, ANY rabbit ear style antenna outperforms most 'digital' indoor antennas.
0points
Customer Avatar
Jupiter,FL
going to try
Posted 05/18/2014
Going to try this. older TV. wish I new what model RCA antenna. there is more than one that fits your description. thanks for informative review.
0points
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Review 4 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Great little box for recording tv

01/24/2014
By ,
Woodstock, GA
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I bought this converter because of my VCR. I wanted a way to record a couple of my favorite shows when I was not able to watch them. Well in order for a VCR to work with an HDTV, you have to have a converter box. As I was reading about this box and realized it supposedly records tv, I had to order it. This is the first day I have had it and I am impressed. With it's PVR function I will not have to miss a show or movie now. I tested it with my 2gb flash drive stick and it worked like a charm. From what I've read I should be able to get about 4 hours on a 2gb flash drive. I probably will get a larger gb flash drive though. But if you could also hook up a PC or laptop with Windows 7 or 8 and record a show onto your computer. So now I wont even take out the VCR except when I want to watch some old home movies. Prices for DVR that work with over the air tv and not cable are around $200 and up. So this saved me a seriously good chunk of change and gives me what I want. Set up was easy, instructions not A+, good enough to figure it out with though. Extremely happy!
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every few days
+47points
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panama city fl
5 GB per hour / unit freezes
Posted 04/16/2014
You said youre supposed to be able to put how many hours on your 2 GB flash drive? Ive found it takes around 5GB per hour of recording on my 16GB 3.0 flash drive
Also Ive found that if I use the fast forward for more than a few moments it will freeze up(using my flash drive) or simply go back to the menus/list (if using my hard drive). I dont know if my unit is defective or what ?
+1point
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Review 5 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

More bang that you would expect for your buck.

12/08/2013
By ,
Milwaukee, WI
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Within the price range of most other OTA Digital converter boxes, this one really delivers. Using a USB drive one is able to utilize the device to record a live program. You can also use the port to load up your own music, video, and pictures. The one feature that really sold me was the inclusion of an HDMI port. I have a monitor that has HDMI input, was looked everywhere for a converter that allowed such connection. And the picture quality was outstanding! Also offered is a composite and coaxial (cable type) connection for older/legacy TV's.
My only gripe was with the function of some of the menus, but once you get used to it, like any other electronic device, it is easy going.
As a bonus, I don't recall it mentioned in the product details, but it also includes a few simple games, I only checked out Tetris and Snake, but both were fun distractions.
I would recommend this product to anyone in the market for a Digital to Analog converter.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+75points
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Review 6 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Saves me $120/year on High Def cable charges.

02/25/2014
By ,
Encinitas, CA
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Connected my antenna to the Ematic and connected it to the HDMI-2 input on my TV. I get all the major networks in HD and record them on an external hard drive plugged into the USB port. My cable service is plugged into the HDMI-1 input on my TV. I kept cable but cancelled the Hi-Def service, which saves me $10/mo. I just press the Input button on my TV remote to switch between cable and the Ematic. So happy with this I bought 2 more for our guest bedrooms which saves more money by not having to rent cable receivers for them. The only shows in HD that will be missed will be Monday and Thursday NFL games on ESPN and the NFL network, but most NFL games are on antenna in HD
Can also plug the external hard drive into one of the other Ematics and watch previously recorded shows on a different TV.
The only serious negative is it is less convenient to manage recorded shows than the DVR provided by the cable company which has a better TV guide and which is easier to use. But for me the cost savings outweigh the inconvenience.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:65 or older
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+9points
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Brunswick, OH.
External Hard Drive
Posted 05/15/2014
I was wondering what kind of external hard drive are you using?
0points
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Review 7 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

I could not understand how to set up. I am 60 year

05/11/2014
By ,
Las Vegas, Nv
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I could not use the Manual. The product might be good, but I have to return it because I cannot make it work. By the way. Do I need cable to use this box. My TV is the new one. Not the old TVs. I am 60 years old, and the writing in the manual are absolutely minuscule . It says that it is a recorder. but does it record directly from the TV? and, do I need to have cable in order to record from the TV with this machine? I wish I do have other people who bought this, and give their opinion, and also, how to use it. I could not read the Manual at all because of the small graphics. And also, the language is too professional, for a person like me. We, old people, need something more common language to understand the instructions. We are willing to spend our money buying these gadgets, but how can we use them? However, I am very happy with my combo that I bought from Walmart. The Manual is excellent: big letters, easy language, etc. I will continue buying from Walmart, because I found out that the returning is a breeze.
Product Attributes:
Value
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Recommends this product? No
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Never
0points
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dayton ohio
to record
Posted 05/24/2014
it records directly from he signal to the tv
you could use a magnify glass to enlarge the print
0points
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Review 8 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Works Great

01/28/2014
By ,
Harrisburg, PA
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I hooked this up with a $20 RCA OTA Antenna and I get 10 channels and they are all 100% clear. I love that you can hook up a thumb drive to the USB and record shows. I would recommend this to anyone looking to receive OTA programming.
I cut the cord from cable and have internet only. I have netflix / hulu / amazon prime to connect the gap. I really only wanted the basic channels for live sporting events when they are available locally and for the news. Especially if there are live weather feeds from time to time. Otherwise, cable is overpriced and this box works great.
If you want to know what channels you can get in your area you can get information on http://wwww.antennaweb.org. This is an accurate source to let you know what kind of antenna you will need and what you can expect to pick up.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+43points
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hi
Posted 03/20/2014
Thanks for your review. What internet service do you have? I'm interesting in cutting out cable tv too but internet costs seem so high. THX
0points
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Review 9 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Very bad converter box

05/09/2014
By ,
Philadelphia, PA
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
When I first receive this converter box I did not set it up right away I was waiting to received the TV antenna. Well the TV antenna arrival and was defective so I could not use that. I then had to look for and then purchase another antenna. Several weeks have past since I receive it. So I decide to see how the converter box work so I use an antenna I already had. After I set it up I notice that I was not able to get it out of the Menu set up screen. Every time I tried to remove the Menu set up screen it will switch over to the Auto tuning screen. When I tried to remove that screen it go right back to the Menu set up screen and I was not able to get out of that loop, even when I turn the power off and then turn the power back on the Menu screen will still be there. I think this converter box is defective, but I would not recommend this converter box. I suggest you buy another converter box and leave this one along, its not worth the trouble.
Product Attributes:
Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Recommends this product? No
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
-5points
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Orlando, FL
exit
Posted 05/09/2014
have you tried exit or factory default pass 888888
0points
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Review 10 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

LOVE IT --

07/23/2014
By
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This box is awesome and I am one of the biggest skeptics around (hence my 1st review).
Set-up took some time-but I was partly to blame --I have a 60" Vizio and used the yellow/red/white RCA jacks--my box kept showing BOOT as well until I switched the input on the television to "component" - once I did that, the menu screen was right there! People are right--the manual does not go into depth, but the onscreen menu is pretty much intuitive--large picture icons and up/down arrows to get to sub-menu's -- you can figure most of it out with minor guidance.
I had to fiddle with the antenna and scan, scan scan to get all of the channels I was expecting (about 20). The HD picture is awesome!! I purchased a 64gb USB in anticipation and was recording tv shows that night (with plenty of space). Playback was easy and picture/sound was great--just like a DVR, you can skip thru commercials. You can "time-shift" live TV also without recording, but I gotta play with that function more to get comfortable.
Make sure you remove the shrink wrap that covers the top vents. I didn't notice it for hours, and it could have cost me! When you are not watching tv or recording, place the box in stand-by (red button) to help preserve it. It can still record shows in standby.
Any other nuances with this machine are minor and/or negligible for the price point
(the "Channel Master" DVR is $250)-this is absolutely bang for buck! As a matter of fact--I just placed my order again for a second box (before they sell-out) so that I can record shows on a TV in a different room. Highly reccomend!
:Walmart.com
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+1point
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Review 11 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

The device works as advertised

05/14/2014
By
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
After I received the device and read through the instruction, it took less than 20 minutes to scan the channels, and to display the TV programs. The timer/recording function was tested and it worked. With an 8GB flash drive, it should be good for more than 5 hours of recording. So it can be used as a cheap/basic DVR. There are several things that can be improved. If it is connected to an old TV, it is difficult to read the on screen menu display because of poor resolution. The channel display on the device shows the position of the channel in the list of available channels, and it is not helpful. It should display the actual TV channel number. The device can become hot when it is used for a long time. It is better to set it up in a vertical position to attain good heat dissipation. Considering the price, it is a good buy.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+2points
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Review 12 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

great program guide, plays video files!

12/27/2013
By ,
dallas, tx
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love this converter box. All i wanted was a converter box with a program guide that showed several hours rather than whats showing now and whats on next. This shows whats going to be on several hours ahead. That was my main reason for getting this box. On top of that it records to a usb. The files are large, 3 hours equals close to 16gb for me. I only have a 32 gb drive so i don't know whats the largest drive you can hook up to it. Its fine for me as i only have a few hours i need to record a week. The coolest part for me is that this little converter box has played most of the video files i have tried on it, mp4, avi, divx and even flv. super cool. it also plays jpegs and mp3s to boot. Thinking about getting another one, that's how much i like it!
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+25points
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Review 13 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Converter box performs at expected

01/20/2014
By ,
Kenosha, Wi
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The converter does what it says it does. I read the reviews before purchasing this item, and I think the 4 star rate is right and fair. I was surprised at how easy installation and setup was. Manual could be a bit more comprehensive and remote is not the best you will ever have. Nevertheless, I get my OTI channels just fine. I have 2 tv's and I am using a splitter to share my digital antenna. The converter box is being used on my 18 years old tv. I also use a signal amplifier and reception is great for both tv's. I have not used the USB recording capabilities yet, so I cannot judge. I am particularly pleased with the program guide and program information available with the press of a button. I do not think I could not ask for more for the $30 that I paid for this item. I ordered online and used the Free pickup from a Walmart store. No problems with delivery date or pickup.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:45 - 54
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+4points
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Review 14 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Good Product

01/07/2014
By ,
Tennessee
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I have an older HD-TV without the digital channels. This converter fits the bill. Setup is easy. I wish it had a better TV schedule viewer, but I can work around it. Love the USB feature. I have a 2TB hard drive with old movies on it and can view the movies with no problem. Also, my other TV with digital channels is unable to pick up one local station that broadcast in VHF. The Ematic converter is able to pick up this channel with a great picture. I plan to buy another convert just to watch movies on my hard drive on my other TV. Overall, very well pleased.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Gender:Male
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Usage:Every day
+12points
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Buckeye State
Re: Better TV Schedule
Posted 03/04/2014
Check out TitanTV. You can set it up for local OTA and 'your' cable provider schedules up to 2 weeks ahead and it has PVR. All for FREE!
0points
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Review 15 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Great Product! Coaxial +HDMI + Composite Output.

06/16/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The versatility of this little digital converter box far exceeds the cost. Orange lit up channel numbers can be covered easily with black electrical tape as they serve really no purpose. You get a multi-resolution video converter from digital to analog as well as 1080 displays. Music player, picture, movie, games and PVR recording device with pause play functions. I noticed it doesn't resume a movie from where left off, but for all the benefits of this small box it isn't an issue.
Already on the basis of digital to analog converter, this gave me more channels than a comparable Craig electronics brand.
eMatic has built a great product!
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
+1point
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Review 16 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

works well very satisfied

07/27/2014
By
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Work well as advertized with my cable, the plus is the recording capabilities and the play back of other recordings from other devices , like those from internet download, music and video movies. I am completely satisfied , it beat the product at my local store here with less features and price by $20.00
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
0points
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Review 17 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Lots of info provided

01/14/2014
By ,
TX
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I couldn't find much information about this box in the description here, or by searching online, so I've put lots of info here which I've learned, that I would have wanted to know before buying this item:
Boot-up and shutdown is very fast, under 5 seconds, better than any other DVRs out there, and faster than your TV turns on. The LCD display is completely useless, and best covered with black electrical tape!
Channel changing, and every other task is a bit slow and laggy, but entirely tolerable if you aren't expecting a very high-end device.
OTA/antenna TV reception is good, perhaps just slightly better than my TV.
Signal strength/quality meter unfortunately doesn't beep at all, making it a poor choice when aiming an antenna, but it minimally works.
The display size / aspect ratio selection option is extremely difficult to understand but with trial-and-error you'll figure it out, and there's no option to set it on a per-channel basis, nor a quick/easy button on the remote that will let you go through the different modes as you go from channel to channel. This is unfortunate.
Cable / Clear-QaM reception minimally works, but it doesn't receive the PSIP or EPG information, unlike my TV. This makes the EPG/guide and INFO useless, and channels are randomly numbered, with stations like NBC7 actually found on channel 99-135. This is an incredible hassle, and seems impossible to keep straight with so many channels. This issue makes this box vastly less useful for cable subscribers, and I would suggest buying something else if QaM reception is what you need. You CAN still schedule recordings by manually typing in clock times and keeping track of which station maps to which 6-digit channel number, but that's no fun at all! Also, auto-programming will save all the encrypted QaM channels in the lineup as well, and you're left, stuck manually deleting several hundred blank channels, one by one.
Digital and Analog pass-through/loop-through works fine, both when this box is on, and when turned-off, which is a common issue with other similar boxes from IVIEW and HomeWorx.
The user interface is clumsy and horribly inconsistent. In one sub-menu, you hit 4 to delete items, in another you hit 3 instead, and in yet another you use the EPG button. Why???
You CAN record one channel, while watching any other sub-channels on the same frequency. So if you're recording channel 7-1, you can watch channel 7-2, channel 7-3, etc., without interrupting the recording. On an antenna, this may give you up to 9 channels to watch, and on cable could offer hundreds. But you can NOT enter the menu to change any options, nor EPG to see what's coming up next, without interrupting the recording. You'll either get an alert that you're in recording or timeshift mode, or it will pop-up message asking whether you want to stop recording, and you can continue or cancel.
Picture quality is very good, except when using RF output (channel 3 or 4) the on-screen has nasty, blurry ghosting, though the program looks fine.
This box has several outputs on the back. HDMI, composite video (yellow) and stereo audio left/right (white/red), and RF (coax/antenna) in and out. Slightly more expensive boxes like the IVIEW also provide spdif digital audio output (for a surround-sound system), and composite output (for very old HDTVs without HDMI inputs) if you want or need those.
Auto-programming with OTA/air/antenna completely missed my *single strongest channel*, and "manual channel add" took a half-dozen repeated attempts before it finally picked-it up and added it (after which the channel comes in perfectly). If this going to be your only digital tuner, you may be missing several strong TV stations, and you'll never have any way to know it, unless you check the signal strength on every channel, and repeatedly try adding it to the list. This box also doesn't tell you which real/RF channel maps to which virtual channels, which can be invaluable info whenever you need to reprogram this box. A site like tvfool which provides it can be quite valuable.
Playback from USB is a bit clumsy, with needing to hit the HOLD button all the time to switch the video to full-screen and other random buttons to navigate folders, and more. It's odd the way MOVIE playback won't show the DVR/recorded programs, and the DVR mode won't show the other video files. Worse is that options like RENAME and DELETE work for DVR/recorded files, but not any other ones, even though I'd love to have them.
For some reason, this box doesn't play back 1080i MPEG-2 videos I dumped/recorded from OTA broadcasts via another DVR (ie. my computer), even after naming them properly so they show up under the USB/DVR playback option. Other video formats like MPEG-4 ASP and H.264 work just fine in MOVIE mode, so it's just going to require conversion.
Clock is 24-hour time only (midnight is 00:00 while 11pm is 23:00), with no way to change it. This could be quite difficult to get used-to, particularly if you regularly type-in recording times manually. Often, you'll instinctively type in something like "09:00" when you really meant 9pm, which should be "21:00".
Other reviewers have said the time-zones are an hour-off, but this is NOT true. Instead, the box just doesn't keep track of daylight savings time start/end dates. You just have to go in, twice a year, and toggle the DST times setting to ON or OFF as needed.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:25 - 34
Gender:Male
+50points
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Read Comments (6)
Read Comments (6)
Customer Avatar
TX
Shut off "sleep" setting
Posted 03/23/2014
Make sure you shut off "sleep" or set it to the maximum (12 hours). This box isn't smart enough to bypass it for scheduled recordings. If you set it to the minimum of 1 hour, you won't ever be able to record a movie or show longer than that...
Also, sometimes hitting the "Info" button twice will let you read the description, even while it's missing or cut-off in the EPG/guide screen.
+2points
Customer Avatar
TX
It works
Posted 02/19/2014
I'm not being critical of this box at all, just trying to list as much useful info as possible. I did rate it 4-stars after all. I'm only mildly annoyed by most of the issues, but people SHOULD know about them before they buy. And with the price up to $35, the price gap with other models is getting smaller, although they all seem to be ALMOST identical in nearly every way.
The only big complaint I have with this box is that you're forced to watch the channel that's being recorded, and can't watch something else you've previously recorded. That is a huge annoyance for anyone using this as their primary DVR, and might just be annoying enough to make someone opt for a $200 Tivo, instead. Plus, conflict resolution is pretty irritating with a larger schedule. And most importantly, a couple *accidental* button presses can delete the HBPVR folder, and with it EVERYTHING you've ever recorded.
+3points
Customer Avatar
Orlando, FL
Posted 02/16/2014
You need to remember for $30 it records HD all this other stuff you cannot expect at that price level, it is incredible that it can do this for $30, If everybody had paid $250 then you could expect more, would it be better if we could set the time for sure, would it be better if the menus aren't so clunky yes, and a bunch of other issues you mentioned but for $30 I am grateful it can do what I purchased it for, a timed recording of HD. And if it lasts 5 years till ATSC 3.0 starts rolling out it will be a great investment for only $30-$40 and I am glad I purchased it, and I can't remember the days before I owned something that could actually record in HD.
0points
Customer Avatar
Orlando, FL
great additional info
Posted 02/15/2014
Please consider posting all this additional info to the legitfta ota antenna thread for ematic at103b Thanks
0points
Customer Avatar
TX
Doesn't display images...
Posted 01/24/2014
This box also does HORRIBLE with still-image slide shows. I loaded up 100 simple JPEG images (pulled off the web) on a flash drive, and it couldn't display 95% of them. These are images my two HDTVs had NO problems displaying directly. Completely inexcusable, and worthless for images if you have to specifically figure out how to convert to a format this box can handle.
One positive point... Most TVs, DVD players, STBs, etc., like to display only the first few letters of a file, and provide no way to see the rest. This box displays around 150 characters, so it handles the longest file names you could want.
+7points
Customer Avatar
TX
Some additions
Posted 01/18/2014
Walmart doesn't seem to provide any way to edit my review, so here's some more info:
Can work with a USB hub to connect multiple devices at once, with some issues. You can set which device to record to in the settings, and when you hit the USB button, it will let you select which device you want to playback from... but I had it always freezing-up when devices are attached/removed via a hub, and needing to be unplugged. I recommend shutting the box off before adding/removing USB devices, if using a hub.
While the EPG/guide does a good enough job of listing show titles OTA (I got nothing on cable/QAM), it does a *terrible* job of displaying the show descriptions. Usually I get no description when my TV or other converter box would shows them, or worse I'll see maybe a couple random words from the description, or even just a couple letters... Something is very wrong and needs a firmware fix, but Ematic doesn't seem to provide anything.
It doesn't list or include the show title/name either in the recording schedule, or in the file name of recordings, when it easily could include that from the EPG. This makes it far more difficult to keep track of this stuff, when you have more than a handful of schedules or recordings.
No method of scheduled recording conflict resolution... You have to start deleting things. If you want to record a one-off movie that will interfere with something you've scheduled to record daily/weekly, you've got no choice but to DELETE the event entirely, and must recreate your schedule AFTER your conflicting event is done recording. Incidentally, this also doesn't let you set Mon-Fri recordings... You must choose either 7-days, or just once a week.
TERRIBLE color scheme for video playback. Info button brings up a box with white text on a light grey background that's almost unreadable, and other areas have black text on dark grey backgrounds... So awful, and should be so very easy to fix.
This box is still a great purchase for the price, but I do wish they could offer just one update, fixing some of these unnecessary and mostly easily repairable flaws.
+8points
Read Comments (6)
Read Comments (6)
Review 18 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Nice features, lousy quality control.

02/02/2014
By ,
Tulsa, OK
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The good news is that this box has a lot of good features. It has an excellent guide, it can play mp3s and many video formats from the usb port, and it can record video to a USB drive.
The bad news is doing these things is awkward, due to poor software and bad remote design. The remote has 41 buttons crammed into a few square inches, making it very difficult to use. Both the manual and the on screen display have errors. There are no quality options for recording, which means that recording video from the higher resolution stations takes up a lot of space. If you plan on recording video, you'll need a very large USB drive.
The unit I got went bad a few hours after I received it. It started rebooting itself after being plugged in for a hour or so. It would not restart until it had been unplugged for a while, so I assume it was overheating.
Product Attributes:
Value
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Recommends this product? No
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Male
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+4points
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Review 19 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

Great for the price

03/10/2014
By ,
Colorado
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I tend to over research things before I buy, and I had read so many mixed reviews on converters to go with my rooftop antenna. My tuner went out on my newer LG HDTV, out of warranty. I wasn't looking for recording functionality although I will probably attempt it some day. I wanted a machine that was easy to understand and would hold up to the test of time. I wanted a decent remote (though I will now begin to research universal remotes because 3 of them plus the PS3 controller is nuts). This machine has all of those qualities, and I didn't find the instructions difficult at all. I like the guide and info features, and this converter brought in every channel I expected and some new ones - spanish and religious ones, so I deleted them, but nonetheless, it serves its intended purpose and I have no complaints. It actually brings in some channel audio clearer then before my tuner busted, so that's a plus.
Product Attributes:
Value
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Recommends this product? Yes
Age:35 - 44
Gender:Female
Ownership:1 week or less
Usage:Every day
+1point
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Review 20 for Ematic AT103B Digital Converter Box with LED Display and Recording Capabilities

eMATIC at 103b digital Converter Box

06/24/2014
By
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Would not turn on. The lighted screen showed "boot". Returned the next day.
Product Attributes:
Value
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Ease of Set Up
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Recommends this product? No
+1point
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