Channel Master CM-7000 Digital to Analog Converter - Page 11 - AVS Forum
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post #301 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpockets View Post

I don't have an S-Video cable yet.

I have one big disappointment. The font used in the INFO box is small, and is displayed all wavy and distorted on our Sony 36" WEGA CRT set. I have major difficulty trying to read the channel number.

Fortunately got my order in to Summit Source before their recent price hike. I consider the extra expense of the CM-7000 to be worth it in view of the quality improvement its S-Video output is sure to provide.

Our CM-7000 is connected with an S-Video cable - font used in the INFO box is not displayed "all wavy and distorted." Hopefully, an S-Video cable will help you with font clarity. Or better yet, ... a Monster Cable S-Video cable.

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post #302 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 08:00 AM
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Has anyone tried a Monster Cable S-Video cable with your CM-7000?

If yes, which one of their 4 S-Video cables?

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post #303 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

Fry's is having to sell their stock of CM-7000 at or close to their cost because they aren't eligible (perhaps missed the deadline to sign up) for the NTIA coupon program.

Define close to cost. My Fry's is charging $60 for the Zenith and people are paying for it. They are always sold out.

I would definitely be interested in getting a Channel Master with S-video for my good tube.
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post #304 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 10:07 AM
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$80. MSRP - $40 NTIA coupon = $40 out-of-pocket (+ shipping if mail order)

Since Fry's is not able to accept the NTIA coupons, they are essentially forced to sell this unit at $60 in an attempt to be competitive. (I imagine they're kicking themselves that they aren't able to accept the coupons.)

I do not know their exact cost. However, I was told by CM that $60 was close to cost.

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post #305 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 10:15 AM
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I've grabbed still images form the box using an S-Video capture. I selected a image capture of both fields so you can see all the scan lines.

As expected, we have both a full screen that is stretched, but distorted on a 4:3 display.


Letter Box, that does not fill the screen, but does not crop out anything on a 16:9 image.


Zoom1 is a nice touch; while not exactly filling the screen, it does fit into the middle ground between the fully cropped Zoom2 and the Letter Box.


Zoom2 is the fully cropped image.


In the Auto Power Off selection menu, not only can you pick 1, 2, 3 , 4 hours, or disabled, but you can also select when a warning message comes on; 1 --> 59 minutes before auto power off. NICE TOUCH.


The CC Text is WAY TOO SMALL, even the "Large CC" is tiny!!!! However, it seems that my TV can still read and display its own CC Text, so this is a non-issue for my wife who needs CC.


The Channel Edit Menu Screen is very easy to use.


The Program Guide is really nice. The left/right arrows will change the channel and read the program guide for that channel. It appears that the guide is reading the information on the fly, because as I use the down arrow, there's a brief delay for the detailed information to appear.


The Program Info Screen does not time out. This could be handy for those who need more that a few seconds to find the ideal position of an antenna.



So far my only gripe is that the Text is just a bit too small on the screen. I understand fully that they were trying to fit as much information as possible, but on a 27 inch TV from 9 feet away, it makes it a bit hard to read. I can live with it, but just wish it was a bit larger...


Overall I'm happy with the box.


Bob Diaz
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post #306 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpockets View Post

Received my CM-7000 yesterday and have given it a functional checkout. It seems to give slightly better image quality (composite) than our Artec. I don't have an S-Video cable yet. Sensitivity is on a par with our Sharp 1081P HDTV and the Artec. Since we're not in a deep fringe area, small sensitivity differences between the three are hard to judge. All three are receiving channel 12 off the back of the antenna at 60 miles or more distance this morning. We are equipped as described in our post #236. The meter does give higher readings than our HDTV or Artec, but who can say whether their calibration is comparable without checking them with lab equipment?

I find that my concerns voiced in post #236 before I had ever touched a DTV converter are satisfied, although it was difficult to envision the effects of the various aspect selections before having tried them all.

Bob Diaz's excellent photos show the hardware as it really is, and it looks far better than in previous photos or illustrations. I particularly like the content and convenience of the INFO display. It includes the sensitivity meter. The aspect ratio selection with one button is fast and convenient.

I have one big disappointment. The font used in the INFO box is small, and is displayed all wavy and distorted on our Sony 36" WEGA CRT set. I have major difficulty trying to read the channel number.

Fortunately got my order in to Summit Source before their recent price hike. I consider the extra expense of the CM-7000 to be worth it in view of the quality improvement its S-Video output is sure to provide.

Does your Sony set have an adjustment to turn off the VSM (Velocity Scan Modulation)? This feature adds artificial edge enhancement to the picture, and it "really" degrades the purity of any graphics on the screen; although it does artifiically liven up the appearance of the overall picture. Sony really pushed the VSM hard on their better analog TV's. If your set ever had a professional calibration performed; the first thing they would do is disable that circuit completely. The S-Video may help you slightly; but it mainly eliminates crawling dots. Hope this helps!!(S-Video rocks!!)
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post #307 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drlava View Post

Looks like summit source raised the price $6 to $75 for a box that should be $50 we are paying much more just because we have the coupons.

Stark Electronics is advertising them for $69.95 - and they take the coupons (but you have to call them at 508-756-7136 to use a coupon).
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post #308 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgorle View Post

Long story short: Summit Source advertises they will "price match", and "we will not be undersold".... it's bull.

I wonder how many people would fall for their BS retort?

My tax dollars are paying the $40 coupon reimbursement.

Actually, the coupons are paid for by proceeds from auctioning off the spectrum currently used by channels 52-69, not by taxes (yours or anyone else's). But your point is well-made. Summit Source is getting more than Fry's for the same box even if part of the money is coming out of someone else's pocket.

Has anyone tried to call Summit Source's bluff yet? If you've already used your coupons, just tell them you want to order a CM-7000 without a coupon and ask if they'll beat Fry's price. It'd be interesting to see what they say to that.
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post #309 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger666 View Post

that is the business of retail, supply and demand. They can charge any price they like but that doesn't mean you have to buy from them.

Absolutely true, but Summit Source shouldn't claim they "will not be undersold" if in fact they're charging what the market will bear.

I wonder if they'd match Stark Electronics' price since both retailers take coupons?
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post #310 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Absolutely true, but Summit Source shouldn't claim they "will not be undersold" if in fact they're charging what the market will bear.

I wonder if they'd match Stark Electronics' price since both retailers take coupons?


So, don't give them the business.. just buy it elsewhere where its cheaper.
Why even patronize their business.?

Just a thought.
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post #311 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 09:34 PM
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"Zoom 2" on my set matches the screen image size (whatever you call it) from my SVHS Vcr's tuner.

My vcr has two s-video inputs, the CM7000's going into input #2. The output of the vcr into the tv is via S-video, and I have a splitter from the input coax connecting both the Vcr and the CM7000 to my attic antenna. I'm closer to the stations than I thought, all about 25 miles away.

So, for this unit, I was able to compare the digital with analog. Overall, the difference is less than I expected. CBS, PBS and ABC stations both digi and analog look good / equal. NBC analog looks murky and bluish, digital version is less murky and no blue tint. Fox digital is slightly sharper than analog, but very close. CW is equal. Ion is snowy on analog and digital is equal to CBS/PBS/ABC.

The selection of stations is a let down. Not much seems to be on. The extra channels are: two weather stations, an extra Pbs station, two infomercial stations, five jesus stations and some Ion substations that either have bikini girls aimlessly wandering around or cartoons and old saturday morning childrens shows at night. Or Ion Worship, make that six jesus stations.

The 3' length of coax included seems to be of high qualilty. I seem to have a collection of several unused mint 3' lengths of coax and a shortage of s-video cables from all the gear I've bought through the years.

Overall, I think this is a good unit. Nicely built. Sensitivity seems slightly better than my Winegard box, not by much though. They seem equal as far as composite video out, but with s-video, as you know, no more dot crawl which is nice.
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post #312 of 1483 Old 05-31-2008, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Actually, the coupons are paid for by proceeds from auctioning off the spectrum currently used by channels 52-69, not by taxes (yours or anyone else's). But your point is well-made. Summit Source is getting more than Fry's for the same box even if part of the money is coming out of someone else's pocket.

Suppose there were no coupon program, the proceeds will be used to subsidize something that used to be funded by tax dollar. So saying that coupons comes from tax dollars is technically correct.

If your coupon isn't expiring I would say hold off until TR-40 shows up in B&M. You can't beat free. There will be price pressure across the board. And maybe Frys will also be qualified too.
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post #313 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post


If your coupon isn't expiring I would say hold off until TR-40 shows up in B&M. You can't beat free. There will be price pressure across the board. And maybe Frys will also be qualified too.

There was a date by which retailers wanting to redeem coupons had to apply. I don't recall ever seeing Fry's on the list.

I've seen ads, web sales, saying that a box was coupon eligible and that vendor was not one that could redeem coupons. Either the people who produced that marketing were idiots or dishonest, they sure wouldn't be looking at repeat business from those customers.
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post #314 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 10:25 AM
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Since:
  • The S-video output is one of the unit's main selling points
  • An S-video cable is not supplied with the unit
Has anyone considered purchasing a high-performance S-Video cable for their CM-7000?

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post #315 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

Suppose there were no coupon program, the proceeds will be used to subsidize something that used to be funded by tax dollar. So saying that coupons comes from tax dollars is technically correct.

If your coupon isn't expiring I would say hold off until TR-40 shows up in B&M. You can't beat free. There will be price pressure across the board. And maybe Frys will also be qualified too.


Rule governing this program required retailers seeking to participate in this program to apply for certification between June 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008.
The only way this can work for Frys is if they applied and choose not to participate.
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post #316 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 11:38 AM
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Maybe the price hike is due to the cost of fuel. The boat from Bulgaria must be expensive to run and with worldwide fuel costs rising, these etailers needed to make up their cost from the factory somehow. Look what fuel prices are doing at the grocery store and everything else for that matter. It plain sucks...

Too bad I never got my coupons in the mail, but a coworker gave me one of his.. at least I got to order one CM-7000 on April 17th.. albeit at higher cost since I paid more for shipping (since I could only order 1 box).. It was $40 after coupon for ONLY one if you ordered way back in April. Those that were able to order two with two coupons got a better shipping deal. One of my friends just ordered hers last week before the increase using two coupons and got one CM-7000 and another cheapy DTV box at summitsource for $50 shipped (better than my deal)
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post #317 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BenCJedi View Post

Maybe the price hike is due to the cost of fuel.

$25.00 a unit? I don't think so. They ship thousands of these things at a time. It's just good, old-fashioned greed.
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post #318 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

If your coupon isn't expiring I would say hold off until TR-40 shows up in B&M. You can't beat free.

It won't be free. It's been going up just like all the others.
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post #319 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

Has anyone tried a Monster Cable S-Video cable with your CM-7000?

If yes, which one of their 4 S-Video cables?

I'm sure a lot of folks will want to buy a $120 cable for their $60 CECB government cheese box.



Don't forget to get that super duper power strip for your $60 government cheese box.

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post #320 of 1483 Old 06-01-2008, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

Since:
  • The S-video output is one of the unit's main selling points
  • An S-video cable is not supplied with the unit
Has anyone considered purchasing a high-performance S-Video cable for their CM-7000?


What length do you require for the s-video cable?
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post #321 of 1483 Old 06-02-2008, 08:27 AM
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I just got off the phone with Channel Master. The CM7000 digital converter box remote uses the same channel codes as their rotator remote. The CM7000 remote will not send a code to the rotator, but the rotator remote will send a code to the CM7000.

This means, if you try to tweak the antenna using the up or down arrows on the rotator remote, it will change the channel on the CM7000. There are ways around this, and there will be an updated CM7000 in a few weeks that will allow the CM7000 (through a menu item) to not recognize the rotator remote codes.

One way around is to use a universal remote to control the antenna rotator and use the Pioneer CD player settings for the operation. These codes will not affect the CM7000. Another way would be to turn off the CM7000 while changing the antenna, a royal PITA.

I wish I had time to wait, but my coupon expires in 4 days.

Eph
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post #322 of 1483 Old 06-02-2008, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Stark Electronics is advertising them for $69.95 - and they take the coupons (but you have to call them at 508-756-7136 to use a coupon).

Thanks for this link, ordered!


Good ol' electronics store
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post #323 of 1483 Old 06-02-2008, 02:40 PM
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My CM-7000s have arrived and, in general, seem to be working well -- but I do have one issue that's not addressed by the documentation. One of my TVs has only a monaural audio line input, but the CM-7000 has stereo line outputs (and no way that I've found to make it emit monaural rather then stereo audio). Has anyone here figured out a good way to handle this situation? I've been unable so far to find any information which convinces me that the CM-7000's outputs have enough serial resistance so that tying them together with a Y-cable would be safe, and the cheapest pre-built passive combiner I've found so far costs half as much as I paid for the converter box.
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post #324 of 1483 Old 06-02-2008, 09:02 PM
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Gimp,

I don't need a long cable - maybe 6'. I already have a basic S-video cable and it works OK.

Since:
  • The S-video output is one of the CM-7000's main selling points
  • We are not using a small or inexpensive generic-brand TV with our CM-7000
  • "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link"
I'm curious if the "high-performance" S-video cables offer an obvious PQ benefit over the inexpensive ones on a 36" CRT TV?

Per the original spec sheet of our TV:

  • FST Black Picture Tube
  • Invar shadow mask
  • Black level expander
  • Digital comb filter
  • 800 lines of horizontal resolution
  • 8 electronic focusing lenses
  • S-video & composite video inputs (no component, or HDMI) - Why I purchased a CM-7000
I would like to take full advantage of the performance of our TV and the CM-7000. I don't wish to pay for advertising hype. However, I would be willing to pay more if there will be an obvious PQ improvement.

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post #325 of 1483 Old 06-03-2008, 09:46 AM
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REVIEW OF CM-7000 referring to Zenith(CECB), Samsung 260 HD box, Tivax LX1000 HD box and Digital Stream(CECB) boxes.

Positives

Very good PQ using S-video. No dot crawl like on Z or DS boxes. Note the PQ using the CM boxes composite is equal to the Z box and both are better than DS. The PQ on the CM box is equal to the PQ of the Samsung 260 HD box using it's S-video out as well as the Tivax HD box using S-video.

Very little overscan, even less than the Zenith box and way less than DS box.

Nice 12hr EPG. On par with the DS, better than Zeniths next/now and the non existent Tivax EPG. The Sammy is in a different class on this, it's the best.

Very sensitive tuner. The best I've used. I'm in a strong signal area so I needed to add a 22db attenuator to my antenna. Doing this I lost 2 stations on the Zenith, the CM did have a low 30% signal but held both stations. I currently don't have the DS box and did not test with my attenuators but IMO it's DXing is defiantly a step down from the Z box. The Tivax wasn't that great either. I also don't have the Sammy now but would rate it close to the Zenith going by memory.

Nice that the box has 2 zooms. I'd say 16:9 and maybe a 14:9. The DS box also had 2 zooms.

Nice build quality, metal case, substantial remote nice GUI(other than small font), nice easy to understand manual.


Negatives

More expensive than average CECB

4:3 pictures are always stretched to fill a 16:9 screen. I see no way to turn this off. Truthfully it's my preferred option but some people may not like it.

Must enter 022 to get channel 2.2 their is no . key on the remote.

Can't change channel or volume using middle 4 circular buttons. On the Zenith and I think other boxes you can just keep your finger on the 4 circular grouped buttons to change volume and channels, not on the CM box though.

Text is rather small and not so clear, even on my HD LCD TV. The DS box wasn't that great either but the Zenith has nice graphics. The Tivax wasn't so hot either and I can't remember about the Sammy.

Overly sensitive CH up CH down buttons. If you hold the keys for more than a brief tap it will scan more than one channel. I've never had this problem with other remotes but I'd say on the CM box the repeat delay is too short and no way to adjust it.

4 keys on the remote that do nothing. Not a big deal but kinda odd. The manual confirms they are "unused".

Big remote but same number of keys as the Zenith. I for one like the smaller look and feel of the Zenith remote. This one is larger like the DS box but is better constructed than the DS box's remote. Some people might like larger remotes but I've currently got 9 on my little stand and prefer a smaller skinnier remote. Personal preference.

Runs warm. The Zenith runs cool, my DS ran even warmer than the CM box. I'd say the CM was ok, but just not as cool as the Zenith. Note per my Kill-a-watt: Zenith 0 watts off 5 watts on, CM 1 watt off, 7 watts on. Don't remember other boxes KW readings.

Summary

I do have some negatives on my list but most are very minor. Of the boxes I've used the CM stands out as the best. I really like the guide and the S-video does provides better PQ if going to a HDTV. Going to a cheap SDTV you may not notice any difference though. I'd say maybe a 10% improvement viewing on a HDTV using S-video vs. composite. I'm just using a $5 Monoprice S-video cable for those who are interested which seems to be a well constructed cable.

Corrections

The CM does have a . or - key, its just not labeled. Use the right arrow key. Another tip for going directly to a .1 channel is after typing in the major channel hit the blank key above the wide button. Thanks to banon and Scott Pro for the tips.
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post #326 of 1483 Old 06-03-2008, 10:00 AM
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Great review. By any chance you can include some screen shots?
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post #327 of 1483 Old 06-03-2008, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

4:3 pictures are always stretched to fill a 16:9 screen. I see no way to turn this off. Truthfully it's my preferred option but some people may not like it.

Can you explain this a little more? Are you saying that you're using the box on a 16:9 TV? Would this have any effect on a 4:3 TV?
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post #328 of 1483 Old 06-03-2008, 12:19 PM
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On a "good" SD set, the S-Video "does" make a very worthwhile difference.
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post #329 of 1483 Old 06-03-2008, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by daa View Post

My CM-7000s have arrived and, in general, seem to be working well -- but I do have one issue that's not addressed by the documentation. One of my TVs has only a monaural audio line input, but the CM-7000 has stereo line outputs (and no way that I've found to make it emit monaural rather then stereo audio). Has anyone here figured out a good way to handle this situation? I've been unable so far to find any information which convinces me that the CM-7000's outputs have enough serial resistance so that tying them together with a Y-cable would be safe, and the cheapest pre-built passive combiner I've found so far costs half as much as I paid for the converter box.

Try this

http://www.tkk.fi/Misc/Electronics/c...s/linesum.html

Cost: three jacks. Chunk of cable and two 10K.. Danr simple and works in the past for me.
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post #330 of 1483 Old 06-03-2008, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Rogee View Post

Can you explain this a little more? Are you saying that you're using the box on a 16:9 TV? Would this have any effect on a 4:3 TV?

Yes I am talking about watching a 4:3 broadcast on a 16:9 TV. Setting the box up for a 4:3 TV would fix this but then I would have to change back to 16:9 to get the full WS for 16:9 broadcasts to my DVDR.
If you have a 4:3 TV and have box setup for 4:3 output their will be no stretching involved. Then you have to decide if you want to crop the 16:9 broadcasts to your 4:3 TV or watch in letter box format.
Since I want to record the full 16:9 to my DVDs which will be played on a 16:9 TV I have the box setup for 16:9 even though I will eventually put the box on my 4:3 TV. What happens then is people look tall and skinny on the 4:3 TV. It's not ideal but no boxes output both 4:3 and 16:9 at the same time. My DVDs are more important to be in WS. Eventually I'll probably get 2 separate converter boxes. One for TV and one for DVDR. That or replace my 4:3 TV with a 16:9 that has a built in digital tuner. It's just the 4:3 TV is a rather nice SD Sony Wega with lots of life left in it
Sorry no screen shots. I'm lucky I can post links, I tried a photo once........lets just say it was a long afternoon

edit-my mistake, the CM box does not have a option in the setup for 16:9 or 4:3. You just use the "wide" button to setup each channel as you want. I was confusing the CM box with my Zenith box
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