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Reviews placed here are based on our experiences with the units described. Faults & advantages of the various models are listed as we have encountered them.

DGTEC 2000a Digital Set Top Box

For quite some time, the DGTEC 2000a has been the only high definition set top box on the Australian market. We have installed a lot of this model & the setup is quite easy. As the box has high definition output, the picture quality when connected to a display capable is second to none, displaying a true 1080i resolution. The output from channel 9's high definition loop program & now channel 7's loop has given rise to some stunned consumers when they see what their displays are capable of.

The box is quite plain,with only a tiny red power light the only indicator that the box is switched on. The back panel contains an RGB connector, dual composite video out for connecting a TV & VCR at the same time, in addition to component video output, plus a very small switch for HD1, HD2 & TV settings.

Setup is relatively painless, you just need to make sure that you have made the small switch adjustment to the correct settings for your connection, navigate into the channel setup menu & scan the full channel allocation. Scan time is anywhere from maybe 2 minutes to around 3-4 minutes. The 2000a is not all that happy unless there is a relatively good signal & too much signal tends to overwhelm the box on auto-scan. We've found that in some instances, we've had to do a complete manual scan for each individual channel, significantly increasing the setup time. Manual channel scan involves searching for the UHF channel number, a little confusing for end users, but probably not so confusing as searching for the channel frequency.

The 2000a's menu setup is quite good & navigating through the menus is quite easy, though response to the remote can sometimes be quite poor, no doubt because of the very small remote sensor window in the centre of the front face of the unit. There is no front panel display, which can be confusing to find out which channel you're watching.

In general use, the 2000a is generally quite good, though we have seen some reliability issues, both with hardware & signal strength hold. Each 2000a seems to have a mind of it's own, with some units working perfectly in poor signal conditions, others having a real pixellation problem, sometimes even where the signal indicator is into the green.

The Verdict - The 2000a has earned itself a reputation as a unit capable of displaying incredible picture quality on displays which are capable of true 1080i resolution, especially when using the RGB output. We've not seen a great difference between component & composite video output, which is surprising & the signal holding has not been impressive at times. However, the ability to reposition the screen is excellent, the 2000a adding some points on for the dual composite video output. Well spaced remote buttons are also a bonus, but response from the remote is a little poor at times. We'd also have liked to see the HD/TV switch at the rear of the unit moved to a software switchable mode from within the menu. For those looking for a high definition set top box, the 2000a is a reasonably capable unit.

IT & AV Services rating - 65%

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