Issues with Dish's DTVPal DTV converters?

Consumer Reports News: August 29, 2008 03:22 PM

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Several blog posts have indicated there might be some firmware or software issues with Dish's DTVPal DTV converter causing them to malfunction. We contacted the company to see if they were aware of any problems. The company confirmed that a "small minority of boxes" have such issues, and that starting Friday, Aug. 29, affected consumers can call the toll-free number listed in the manual (1-888-638-9912) to exchange their box for a new one. You'll need to have your receipt handy, and you'll get a new box within 90 days. You'll have to pay for shipping the box back, but there's no additional shipping charges to receive the new one.

Some readers who are not Dish satellite TV subscribers have also indicated they've had difficulty receiving customer service, as they are prompted for their subscriber account number. Dish says that it is training its customer-service reps to handle issues regardless of whether a DTVPal owner is a Dish subscriber.

We also asked whether the $40 Dish TR-40 CSA DTV converter, which started shipping this month, might have some of the same issues. Dish tells us that TR-40 boxes have updated software, so there shouldn't be any issues. We hope to test one the TR-40 shortly, but as far as we know, it is functionally identical to the DTVPal.

If you will be exchanging your DTVPal for a new one, let us know how your experience goes.

—James K. Willcox

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