Channel Master CM-7000 Digital to Analog Converter - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 1483 Old 06-20-2008, 04:54 PM
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I recently noticed an odd bug in my CM7000.

Every once in a while when I tune into a standard definition sub channel, the entire image is blurred as though it were slightly out of focus. Certainly not the sort of digital error I would expect. Simply changing to another channel and back will return the image to its usual sharpness. I have only seen this on two weather sub channels so far. (Channels 4-2 and 5-2 in the DFW area.)
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post #362 of 1483 Old 06-20-2008, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_z View Post

But Solid Signal seems to be selling the CM-7000 for the same price as Stark and Summit Source. (Shipping is actually a few pennies less.)

Regards

Really? Didn't know that. Last time I checked, I thought it was considerably more. I hope Stark didn't raise the dammed price since then.

I'll have to check the SS site again and see what the price is. If it's the same as Stark was before, maybe I'll just order it from there right quick, before they run out, too. Thanks for the heads up.
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post #363 of 1483 Old 06-20-2008, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schultdw View Post

I recently noticed an odd bug in my CM7000.

Every once in a while when I tune into a standard definition sub channel, the entire image is blurred as though it were slightly out of focus. Certainly not the sort of digital error I would expect. Simply changing to another channel and back will return the image to its usual sharpness. I have only seen this on two weather sub channels so far. (Channels 4-2 and 5-2 in the DFW area.)

When you said "weather subchannels" that gave it away. It's most likely those bandwith skimpy channels themselves, not the box. Unfortunately, if your area keeps adding (mostly useless) subchannels like some (mine, for instance), you're going to see more of that kind of stuff.

Do you have any other ATSC tuners which exhibit the same thing on those channels?
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post #364 of 1483 Old 06-20-2008, 08:58 PM
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Wouldn't those "skimpy" channels then clear up by themselves then, if a "refresh" seems to fix the issue?

I was going to suggest checking your TV Input feeds. Is this an issue on RF,A/V, and S-Video outputs? If you can create the problem and then check ALL of your feeds and see if it shows up on ALL or some of the feeds that might point to a bad cable. I know I've had "bad" S-Video Cables which would only feed in a blurry B&W instead of Color.

Swap or check the cable contacts and see if that might be the problem.
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post #365 of 1483 Old 06-21-2008, 03:54 AM
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what about the top of the right side of the picture curving in postal stamp size most noticeable.
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post #366 of 1483 Old 06-21-2008, 12:17 PM
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The problem is the same on the composite signal and S-video. The RF output is not connected.

No other ATSC tuner handy.

If the problem were only the fault of the low data rate, then it wouldn't appear at random. Also, if I watch the channel for a while when the image is blurred, it never improves on its own. Likewise a sharp image never suddenly becomes blurred. It all depends on how it starts out after a channel change.This is likely a problem of the low data rate interacting with some hardware/firmware bug.
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post #367 of 1483 Old 06-21-2008, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schultdw View Post

If the problem were only the fault of the low data rate, then it wouldn't appear at random ... This is likely a problem of the low data rate interacting with some hardware/firmware bug.

Hi there

Maybe reporting this issue to CM can get an answer.

Contacting the stations might also get some info. I was able to contact the broadcast engineer at one of the local stations because I was suddenly getting video stutter on their 1080i (and was receiving 1080i on 4 other channels okay). They had upgraded some equipment, and were still tweaking the parameters; eventually they fixed my reception issue.

The randomness you see might be related to the latest digital broadcast equipment. The bit rates allocated to each subchannel are dynamically allocated according to video content. So a lot of movement in the primary subchannel would require more video data than normal, and could "steal" bandwidth from other subchannels. So the weather subchannel could randomly suffer unusually low bit rates for a while, and if you just happened to tune in at that point, then the CM's MPEG decoder somehow might not get properly initialized to decode that video stream.

Regards
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post #368 of 1483 Old 06-21-2008, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schultdw View Post

The problem is the same on the composite signal and S-video. The RF output is not connected.

No other ATSC tuner handy.

If the problem were only the fault of the low data rate, then it wouldn't appear at random. Also, if I watch the channel for a while when the image is blurred, it never improves on its own. Likewise a sharp image never suddenly becomes blurred. It all depends on how it starts out after a channel change.This is likely a problem of the low data rate interacting with some hardware/firmware bug.

I'll basically side with blue_z's suggestions... Some investigation into what CM might have to say and what the local "bad" channels are doing may result in a "fix". If CM were to say the "problem" results when data rates get below lets say for discussion (20% of "normal") and talking to the station(s) says they have things setup so that "problem" will regularly repeat itself... They might be able to adjust things so it doesn't happen as often or ever.

Regarding your RF feed... You might consider temporarily connecting the RF to see if it changes your results. The S-Video and A/V jacks might be showing the same problem while the RF might not...
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post #369 of 1483 Old 06-21-2008, 03:16 PM
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CM-7000 hooked to my Orion 27" analog TV using the S-VHS connection. When i first watched i didn't notice anything but after i ran threw aspect ration button on the remote the top of the right side of the picture is curving in which is noticeable on every screen where the picture doesn't fill the screen. I also noticed the bending will change with what's on the screen from straight to bending along with words being displayed also distorts the picture sometimes. This seams to change from channel to channel as well what is on the tv. Is this box, S-VHS cable or something with the TV? The out door antenna i'm using has seen better days but one channel had the single strength around 100% mark.
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post #370 of 1483 Old 06-21-2008, 04:33 PM
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I'd start with the TV and work back to the source... Many TVs just aren't calibrated for anything but Pan and Scan 4:3 and you don't need to "worry" about curving edges.

So try and tweak the settings see if you can correct it. The CECB might also have some calibration settings. Good Luck.
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post #371 of 1483 Old 06-22-2008, 09:25 PM
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I purchases a CM 7000 from data-action and have been very pleased with it.

It was easy to hook up via s-video.

The audio sounds just great connected to either my TV or home theater system. No hiss or dropouts.

The picture is the best I've ever seen on my 14 year old Toshiba TV.
The picture quality is much better than my Apex DVD player.

Using the same antenna I had on the TV I am able to pick up more digital channels than I had on analog and they have all locked in solid with no signal loss when watching shows.

I'm definitely going to keep my TV rather than upgrade to a cheap LCD due to the digital change.
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post #372 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schultdw View Post

The problem is the same on the composite signal and S-video. The RF output is not connected.

No other ATSC tuner handy.

If the problem were only the fault of the low data rate, then it wouldn't appear at random. Also, if I watch the channel for a while when the image is blurred, it never improves on its own. Likewise a sharp image never suddenly becomes blurred. It all depends on how it starts out after a channel change.This is likely a problem of the low data rate interacting with some hardware/firmware bug.

Then, this possible issue gets muddied by the fact that the .1 channels are the ones that most often carry HD signals. I find the down-converted HD is always sharper than the SD broadcast signals.

shultdw is probably seeing a real issue, but it may be hard for others to be sure they are seeing the same issue, or bandwidth issues, or programming picture quality limitations, etc.

FWIW, I have a DTX-9900, not a CM-7000, so when the programming I see is softer on the sub-channels - as it often is - I'm not likely to be seeing the problem reported by shultdw.
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post #373 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 12:41 PM
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Well, I just ordered the CM-7000 (from Solid Signal - with shipping it was a dollar more than Stark, but at least they have them in stock, and I've always been completely satisfied with their service in the past). Had only thru Friday to use my coupons. Hope it's everything it's cracked up to be.

Probably just get a Zenith 901 now with the other coupon. Could really use that pass-thru.

Can't wait any longer for that stupid DTVPal. Probably just buy one outright if they ever actually come out.
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post #374 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 01:33 PM
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Rammitinski,

We've been pleased with our CM-7000. We also own a Samsung DTB-H260F for our other SDTV that has component inputs.

Control / user interface:
CM has channel up/down on the front of the unit. Sammy can only be operated with the remote.

The remote is ergonomically well designed - comfortable to hold and the buttons are well-spaced and logically arranged. We picked up a 2nd / spouse remote control.

In comparison, the Sammy remote is narrow = smaller buttons that are closer together. Also, there are 12 buttons close together located at the palm end making it harder to hold and operate with only one hand.

We use our CM-7000 With our 36" Toshiba (S-video, but not component).

The CM-7000 provides 4 aspect choices:
  • Letterbox: A proper 16:9 aspect ratio that doesn't fill the screen (with VBI on some channels)
  • Full: A full height image with vertically elongated heads which we never use. (Like "pillar" on the Sammy.)
  • Zoom 1: A proper 16:9 aspect ratio that almost fills the screen (with VBI on some channels)
  • Zoom 2: A proper 16:9 aspect ratio that completely fills the screen without any loss of headroom or elongated heads - An excellent choice.
Sensitivity:
Sammy and CM tuner performance are about equal. It is hard for me to be more precise:
  • One TV is upstairs and one is downstairs
  • Signal strength varies.
  • We've only had the CM for about 2 weeks

The signal strength meter is easily displayed with the push of the info button on the CM - very handy for rotator applications. On the Sammy this function is buried in the menus = pushing several buttons to get there. The OSG is another very handy feature.

For people who want component outputs and/or digital audio the Sammy 260 is the obvious choice. However, the S-video CM is a well designed, well thought out complete package CECB that's an excellent match to a 4:3 SDTV.

I hope you enjoy it.

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post #375 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 01:40 PM
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Thanks, I'm sure I will. It was thought out carefully, as you can tell by my waiting 'till the last minute with the coupons. I already tried a Zenith, so I know I'd be very satisfied with that box, too.

I have a DTB-H260F also, but I'm currently not using it. I'm using my Accurian on my 32" analog set right now, and it's much better designed for a 4:3 set than the Sammy could ever dream of being. The CM should be more sensitive, and also give me better results when using it with a recorder.
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post #376 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 01:53 PM
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Too bad the Accurian is no longer available at RS. Ideally, it would have been great if the downconverted 480i signal was also available on the component video outputs. I bought the Samsung because I wanted to send 480i to the component inputs of our SDTV. The trade off is using a 16:9 letterbox to which I've become accustomed.

What SDTV do you use with your Accurian?

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post #377 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Well, I just ordered the CM-7000 (from Solid Signal - with shipping it was a dollar more than Stark, but at least they have them in stock, and I've always been completely satisfied with their service in the past).

Hi there

Stark seems to be working through their backlog after receiving a shipment on Friday. Stark called me earlier today to get my credit card and coupon numbers. They said my CM-7000 (that I ordered on Wednesday) will ship later today.

Guess a west-coast buyer like me sees no (or just pennies) difference in shipping costs between Stark (shipping cost based on Zip code) versus SolidSignal (standard (i.e flat) ship rate).

What really bugs me is that Fry's Electronics is only a third of a mile away, and has dozens of CM-7000 sitting on the shelf.

Regards
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post #378 of 1483 Old 06-23-2008, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

What SDTV do you use with your Accurian?

It's just a standard, convex-tubed, CRT 32" Walmart special Sanyo. Works great, though. (It's not my primary viewing set.)
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post #379 of 1483 Old 06-24-2008, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schultdw View Post

I recently noticed an odd bug in my CM7000.

Every once in a while when I tune into a standard definition sub channel, the entire image is blurred as though it were slightly out of focus. Certainly not the sort of digital error I would expect. Simply changing to another channel and back will return the image to its usual sharpness. I have only seen this on two weather sub channels so far. (Channels 4-2 and 5-2 in the DFW area.)

Am in DFW and noticed this as well on 4-2 when 4-1 was in 720p. going back and forth between 4-1 and 4-2 didn't help. I tuned to 5-1 which was in 1080i mode at the time then back down to 4-2 and the problem disappeared. how's it working for you today? Tj
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post #380 of 1483 Old 06-24-2008, 10:15 AM
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Just received mine. I ordered it about the same time yesterday from Solid Signal. Was pretty amazed to see it so soon. Haven't had time to play with it yet, but it sure does appear to be a nicely built unit.
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post #381 of 1483 Old 06-24-2008, 10:37 AM
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Agreed. Congratulations!

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post #382 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 01:59 PM
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Hi there

Just received a CM-7000 from Stark that was sent by Priority Mail on Monday. My credit card was charged almost a dollar less than the online order form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dagger666 View Post

... the top of the right side of the picture is curving in which is noticeable on every screen where the picture doesn't fill the screen.

When connected to an old Sony 27" XBR, the geometric distortion along the top edge is noticeable. So I connected the CM-7000 to a PC tuner card's composite input. I used the DScaler program to view the composite video signal, so the WinXP window is essentially a "perfect geometric display". No geometric distortion was visible (as expected, the "curving" was geometric distortion in the analog TV's CRT, and not something generated in the CM-7000).

I tried comparing the CM-7000 using DScaler and a PCI ATSC tuner using WatchHDTV simultaneously on the PC monitor, but there is too much lag between the analog and digital broadcasts. And the PC doesn't have enough oomph, so the programs respond very slowly (e.g. changing channels in WatchHDTV).

The CM-7000 auto-scan found 55 channels. I think that is every digital channel in the Los Angeles area except for the low-power 8.x channels, KFLA. Antennae are a CM 4-bay and a RS VHF that normally have excellent analog reception.

Regards
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post #383 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 02:00 PM
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Quick feedback on Stark Electronics: I'm happy with my order. I called last Wednesday, they said they were out of the CM-7000 but expecting more on Friday. I explained my coupon was expiring on Thursday, so they took my order. The box arrived today; charge including shipping to California was $39.57.

Now to test interoperation via IR blaster with a Panasonic Showstopper 2000 series.
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post #384 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 02:29 PM
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One thing I've found out about this box that I really like is that when I mute my TV (the analog set that it's on), it shows the TV's closed captioning. None of my other external tuners would do that. You had to turn it on in the box, and then it would be on all the time. And the CC on the TV is much larger than from any box I've ever had.

(I don't know if this is what Dana M.'s specifically looking for, but maybe she should know about this, if she doesn't already.)
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post #385 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 04:31 PM
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May I ask for clarification Rammitiniski,
The CM-7000 passes analog captions for your SDTV TV to use when your TV is set to "Captions While Muted"?

Other boxes stripped analog captions?

Thank you for clarification.


Note: I returned a several of boxes that wouldn't contend with my airport. I own and love the CM-7000. It gets every station in my error without failure. I have experienced three major storms without dropouts on all channels. Not even the DTT-900 did that, but it was a fair second for all those keeping track of tuners (April build). I hope to test a DTT-901 in a bit to compare.

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post #386 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 08:50 PM
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Well I just finished reading all the threads on this topic and I'm sold... It looks like I have to get one of these units.

I have a Series 2 TIVO box and plan on using my DTV unit on it. I was initially going to get the Digital Stream box, but it looks like TIVO has decided to not work with the DS units because of IR problems.

Anyway, after I get my coupons, one is going for the CM.

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post #387 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 10:25 PM
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....on purchasing one of these from Solid Signal, and burned off one coupon in the process. I've been waiting for *some* B&M retailer in my neck of the woods to have the Zenith 901 or a post-April mfr Insignia, but no joy. The slight extra cost of buying the CM from SS is offset by what I'll save on gas chasing down one of the phantom boxes.

The goal here is to feed my Panasonic DMR-E85 or Pioneer DVR-450 HD DVDRs the best quality SD signal for time shifting. I've found that with the better PQ of DTV broadcasts, I can actually lower the data rate on the recorder (say, run it at LP rather than SP) and still get a very fine picture on playback.
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post #388 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doswonk1 View Post

The goal here is to feed my Panasonic DMR-E85 or Pioneer DVR-450 HD DVDRs the best quality SD signal for time shifting.

Haven't gotten around to setting up my CM7000 with my E85H yet, but the recorder's IR blaster should be able to control it, just based on the way my universal remote works it (using a Pioneer cable box code).

You don't need a dash or enter button to tune to a subchannel - but the recorder has to be able to use 3-digit channel numbers to do it.

If the E85H won't work it then I'm hoping my Sony RDR-HX900 will.
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post #389 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeThePeople View Post

May I ask for clarification Rammitiniski,
The CM-7000 passes analog captions for your SDTV TV to use when your TV is set to "Captions While Muted"?

Other boxes stripped analog captions?

Thank you for clarification.

That seems to be the case, at least among the boxes I have or have tried.
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post #390 of 1483 Old 06-25-2008, 11:18 PM
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this box works OK but i really don't see one box being better than an other. they all seam to do the job just little feature differences.
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