Artec T3A Pro NTIA CECB - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 406 Old 03-29-2008, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know why this DTV CECB has been discussed yet so I am starting this new thread. Here are some facts about this box:

It is available NOW.
It is the least expensive of the currently available CECBs at $44.99 from dtv.bsat.net
It runs on 12VDC so it can adapted to portable applications.
The Artec T3A Pro has a RS-232 interface for updating its firmware. This makes it easy to field update the firmware to correct bugs and also to hack to enable additional features. Other boxes may be very difficult to upgrade firmware on or not even possible.

Some negatives:
Only showing current program guide information.
No analog signal pass thru.
No s-video.

At this price and the RS-232 port, I think this CECB is worth considering. I have two on order.

EDIT: Specs and photos here: http://www.artectv.com/ehtm/products/t3apro.htm

Tim
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post #2 of 406 Old 03-30-2008, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tzank View Post

. I have two on order. Tim

Tim, I have been looking this one too for the 12v aspect.. and wonder how well the order and service went with BSAT.. Of course, I did just get one of the 7" Insignia LCD portable DTv's on ebay for $50
delivered so not sure of my need, but for theafter-coupon cost may still do it.

Bob

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post #3 of 406 Old 03-30-2008, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdfox18doe View Post

Tim, I have been looking this one too for the 12v aspect.. and wonder how well the order and service went with BSAT.. Of course, I did just get one of the 7" Insignia LCD portable DTv's on ebay for $50
delivered so not sure of my need, but for theafter-coupon cost may still do it.


I just got the shipping notice and invoice. $19.41 for both boxes including the shipping.

Tim
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post #4 of 406 Old 03-30-2008, 12:15 PM
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Copied from another's post:
Quote:


http://www.king-cart.com/
Artec T3A Digital to Analog Converter ----- "Operates great in weak signal areas.... [but] the more we run this unit...the more signal is required for proper operation. We were to quick to put down our likes and dislikes. As with most electronics, the heat it up, and then cool it down cycles, seem to be taking it's toll on this converter. It has some great features....But I don't think we will be offering this model."

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post #5 of 406 Old 03-30-2008, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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It seems a number of CECBs have a heat problem. If it is so with this one, it would be one of the first mods to make in the box. Just add new vent holes! This box may be perfect for modders. The price is right (2 for $20), the RS-232 interface, and the 12VDC power input.
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post #6 of 406 Old 03-30-2008, 07:56 PM
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I have two on order they should be here on the 1st. Order from this site they are free and the shipping was only about $8.00. I got them for in case the cable goes out. We get lots of storms here and the darn cable tv is always out.


http://www.consumerelecgroup.com/
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post #7 of 406 Old 04-01-2008, 09:58 AM
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Just got this box today. I gave it a short test and it did ok to me. The box is small about the size of a dsl modem. I can scan the manual if anyone would like me to

tuner:
input terminal: female 75 ohm f type connector
receiving frequency: 54 ~ 861mhz
rf channel: 8~69
demodulator: 8vsb

Video Processing:
mpeg-2 video decoding (mp@ml. mp@mh)
input format: supports 18 modes
output format ntsc 780x480i
composite video out
audio processing: dolby ac-3 audio decoding
digital mulit-lingual
epg: current program display by transparent graphic plane

close caption:
digital cc comply with eia-708-b english/spabisg/french

power input voltage: 12v dc
power consumption: 4.5e max

Power adapter input: 100-240v~0.3A 50-60hz
output 12v 0.5a

rear panal
dc in 12v
re in/out
channel 3 or 4 rf composite output
composite video & stero audio through rca jack
data port


6.42"w 3.94"d 1.18"h
0.22kg
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post #8 of 406 Old 04-01-2008, 10:14 AM
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newb question: How can the mpeg-2 decoder work -how to input mpeg-2? Is this an IP appliance?
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post #9 of 406 Old 04-01-2008, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrelmore View Post

newb question: How can the mpeg-2 decoder work -how to input mpeg-2? Is this an IP appliance?

MPEG 2 Gets to the decoder via an antenna and RF cable.

I need to order me one of these.

Bob

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post #10 of 406 Old 04-01-2008, 08:48 PM
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Now I have been playing with this box. I like it a lot. It has a few things I have not seen or read about on other box's out there.

The main thing I like is it has color settings for hue brightness contrast. At first I thought what good is that for. Well I found out or pbs network shows a lot of dark movies with this box I can bost up the brightness and not have to screw up my projector or my lcd tv settings. So I can just use the box.

It also has volume. Could be useful but I just use my tv or amp for sound no need for it.

It also can be worked from the box without the remote. It has on top up down for sound and Channels also power.

You can rescan to looks for more channels and not erase the ones it has saved.

I open the box up not much in there the chips are not labeled at all. The tuner says sanyo on it.

The thing is small super small. So you could take it with you on the road.

One thing I can say might be a put off it has a blue led light when it is on. No lights when it is off. This is a easy fix open the box two screws under the front feet. Us a maker to paint over the blue led.
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post #11 of 406 Old 04-01-2008, 10:02 PM
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troydog,

You might not need to scan the manual?
mosquito a.k.a. John
Has the Artec T3A PRO and a non-functional link to the manual
http://www.freedtvshop.com/fdtv/converters/t3aproUM.pdf
I will ask him to fix it.

Can you could post a color settings picture for hue brightness contrast?

You are not saying the the box has a speaker but volume on the remote control.
"It also has volume. Could be useful but I just use my TV or amp for sound no need for it."

I was looking at the box and didn't see anything about that but did notice that
the back of the box shows a picture of the EPG (Electronic Program Guide) a Now/Next.


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post #12 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 01:27 AM
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It has no built in speaker. The volume just turns up the out put level from the box.

The epg is nice. It workers to ways. One hit info and it shows what you are watching and tells about the show.

Hit epg. It shows a band on the top of the tv with all the channels you recive. Use left or right to go thought the channels. Use the up down buttons to see what is next or a few hours away from what is on now. Use ok button to go right to the channel you want to watch.


The first scan found all my networks.
But there is rescan. It saves what it found and add any new ones.

Also there is add a channel where you can type in the # for the network then save it.

Or total rescan it wipes every thing and starts over.

I get some photos right now the cam is charging up.
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post #13 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 01:32 AM
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post #14 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 01:33 AM
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post #15 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 04:58 AM
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Here are some photos from my projector. Sorry if they look like crap. But man it is hard to take a photo off a screen.








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post #16 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 05:00 AM
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post #17 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 05:27 AM
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Thank you for posting the screenshots. The menus/graphics look very similar, identical in some instances, to the ones provided by the Zenith and Insignia converters
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post #18 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malouff View Post

troydog,
----snip----
Artec T3A PRO User Manual:
http://www.freedtvshop.com/fdtv/converters/t3aproUM.pdf

EPG (Electronic Program Guide): Now/Next.

The link to the User Manual works now....but I had to retry after hang.

How many hours out does EPG work?
Manual only says NOW/NEXT....

Does the Analog Pass Thru work?
[Connect via coax CH3/4 output and turn converter OFF to use TV's tuner.]

Can you take a quick peak inside and let us know the part number(s)
on the tin-can tuner and also confirm LGDT1111 (C or D?) big chip?

Macro photos would also be of interest....

And of course we all would like to know whether there are any audio
problems (e.g Left channel distortion and/or chirping sound) as you
log more listening time.


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post #19 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 04:18 PM
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The epg for nbc gave me from 7 am to about 11 pm then after that said info not available.

Well test that out. The projector has no type of tuner but I will run it into the dvd recorder tonight and test to see if it will pass the single to the dvd unit.

Sure I will open it up and try to get some photos I had it open once all ready it is a easy thing to open up.

I ran it in to my surround sound system and did not notice any audio problems at all. But I will test that a little more also. I will set the amp to left speakers only and then the right ones to give it a work out.

I also left the unit on all night and no heat problems or lost of single at all. I got it on a set of $5.00 rabbit ears and can get all my networks but cbs. Zip here is 42029 and looks like I am far from the cbs tower.

Now the remote is nice not great but nice. It will not power the tv but the thing has a nice layout to switch the box the buttons around the ok button are big and easy to find in the dark. Witch I like a lot. also once you get the hang of it the other ones are easy also they are grouped in a nice way so makes it easy to switch this thing.

I also took it to my dads house since he got the magnavox from wal mart. He likes this one a lot more then what he got at wal mart. Main thing he likes is the remote with the large channel buttons and also it did not cut out like the mag does. This to me is also a plus since the nbc network is strong and cuts out a lot on most other boxes and tv's.

I will get some inside photos of the box up soon.
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post #20 of 406 Old 04-02-2008, 07:52 PM
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Troydog:

Thanks for all the great info. I second the previous post that stated:

Quote:


And of course we all would like to know whether there are any audio
problems (e.g Left channel distortion and/or chirping sound) as you
log more listening time.

Here is some additional info off another thread regarding the Zenith (Insignia) boxes that use (presumably) the same chip as the T3A:

Quote:


[The sound problem] only occurs on certain shows that are broadcasting in DD 5.1. Not all shows do. Specific examples have been:

CBS's basketball coverage
NBC's Nightly News broadcast

Neither of these should be tape-delayed by your local stations, so you'd get the original encoded audio signal into the box not affected by some conversion by a local station.

Listen for "hissing S's" out of the left channel. Separately connect the line output for left and right to your stereo receiver instead of relying on your TV to properly decode MTS stereo over the RF connector...

Any observations one way or the other would be greatly appreciated.
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post #21 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 03:41 AM
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Phoots are uploading but here is the info I see on the board and chips.

tuner
ubaooal
lot d v b w
sanyo
chips
eon
en29lv160at-70tcp
h258248
0802tsc

nanya 0802
nt50516m16c5-5t
740242robn tw

large chip

lg electronica
lgdt1111d
0802
p40823.00

board info
71v-1201-1a0g02 v92


Photos up soon and also will test to see if it can pass the analog single to the dvd tuner.
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post #22 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 03:56 AM
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post #23 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 03:58 AM
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post #24 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 05:29 AM
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Is this similar to the Tivax box? It was supposed to have RS-232 as well.

Has anyone dialed into it yet using hyperterminal to see what kind of output they get?
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post #25 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 10:19 AM
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Artec T3A Pro uses LGDT1111 chip, whereas Tivax STB-T9 uses Zoran....quite different.


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post #26 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 10:25 AM
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Is there any concensus as to which chip is superior, or is that a moot point?
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post #27 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 11:42 AM
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Other than obvious menu display functions, we don't know yet
and most boxes thus far in hand use LGDT1111 & Sanyo tuner.

ALL CECB boxes are required to meet some very tough performance
specs....far better than any so-called 5th Gen chips/tuners....

Other than the (probably) Quality Control problems in Magnavox
boxes uncovered by Microtune, none has clearly superior reception.

However, there are a few reports where someone will note that
one box gets a few more stations than another. Perhaps someone
can figure out if there is a particular pattern to these rare reports
that would exceed normally expected box-to-box variations...YMMV...


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post #28 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 11:49 AM
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What it comes down to for me is this:

I have one coupon left. I want a box with an RS-232 port, just to satisfy my own curiosity. If the Artec, using the LG chip, has audio issues, I'll get the Tivax. If they both have audio issues, I'll get the Artec, because I can find it cheaper.

Is this question of whether or not the Artec has audio issues answerable at this time?
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post #29 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 11:58 AM
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Of the three LGDT1111 based boxes currently available,
ALL have audio problems.

Anyone want to volunteer to see if Artec is any different????
Apparently it only occurs during DD5.1 encoded programs,
with some stations seemingly unaffected and YMMV....a lot....
So we might not find out until several more boxes are tested....


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post #30 of 406 Old 04-03-2008, 12:57 PM
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At any rate, my dilemma is solved. The "data port" and pin header just aren't enough to convince me to go that route. Tivax's dedicated 9 pin serial port gets my other coupon.
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