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RCA DMT336R

*Est. $160
Reviewed
December 2011
by ConsumerSearch

Portable LCD TV with Mobile DTV

Pros
  • Mobile DTV reception
  • Mobile DTV signals stay locked in
  • Excellent ATSC (standard digital TV) tuner
  • Programming guide, closed-captioning supported
Cons
  • Mobile DTV only available in a few cities
  • It can take several seconds for Mobile DTV to lock in
  • Nonreplaceable batteries
  • Small screen

The 3.5-inch RCA DMT336R (sold under license by Innovative DTV Solutions) is a hybrid portable TV that includes a standard digital tuner and one that's compatible with Mobile DTV (ATSC M/H) signals. The latter overcomes many of the challenges that a portable TV faces under digital broadcasting. It has the ability to lock onto signals while the TV is in motion, such as while jogging or riding in the back of a moving car. Mobile DTV has been slow to gain traction, but signals are on the air in many of the largest TV markets, and more are slated to join those in the near future.

But the inclusion of a Mobile DTV receiver isn't all that sets the RCA DMT336R apart from the competition. Reviews reveal that the standard digital tuner that's part of the TV is more sensitive that those included in most competing sets. That means you are more likely to pull in more DTV stations, with fewer freezes and other digital annoyances. Availability isn't terrific, but the RCA DMT336R is carried by a few retailers or can be ordered directly from its distributor, Innovative DTV Solutions.

If you live in an area that's not served by Mobile DTV or would like a larger screen, the 9-inch Philips PT902/37 (*Est. $95) is a good alternative. It lacks a Mobile DTV tuner, but it pulls in standard digital TV signals just fine and user feedback indicates higher satisfaction than with most portable TVs.

While the RCA DMT336R hasn't been extensively reviewed, we spotted helpful reports at Sound + Vision magazine and at HDTVExpert.com. Some user feedback on Mobile DTV in general can be found in the Mobile DTV thread at AVSForum.com.

Our Sources

1. Sound & Vision Magazine

Though it's not the type of testing-based review that's more typical of Sound + Vision magazine, this report on a road trip with the RCA DMT336R is nonetheless informative. Brent Butterworth delves into the challenges facing Mobile DTV, then describes how the RCA receiver fares over several road trips. Picture quality and reception dependability with standard digital and Mobile DTV signals is described. The DM336R is judged to be a good performer with standard digital TV signals, and even better when in range of Mobile DTV broadcasters.

Review: RCA DMT336R 3.5-inch MDTV Set, Brent Butterworth, July 11, 2011

2. HDTVExpert.com

The RCA DMT336R is tested on its own and compared with a well-regarded portable TV without Mobile DTV support. Some downsides with Mobile DTV reception are reported -- such as very slow channel changes as might be expected with the amount of error correction that the format uses -- but performance impresses overall. While Peter Putman laments the lack of a wide-screen display and says that the speaker could be more powerful, in the end he says that "The DMT336R delivers the goods."

Review: Useful Gadgets: RCA DMT336R Mobile DTV/ATSC Pocket TV, Peter Putman, July 28, 2011

3. AVSForum.com

The RCA DMT336R is touched on only briefly in this thread at AVSForum.com. However, it's still worth a read to get a handle on what's available to those interested in Mobile DTV capable portable TVs.

Review: The Official AVS 'Mobile DTV' (M-DTV) Topic!, Contributors to AVSForum.com

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