Goodmind DTA1000 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-06-2008, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I got a Goodmind DTA1000 last Friday and have been working with it since then. I thought I would share what I have found so far. Lot of the basic questions can be answered by looking at the manual and pictures that are posted at Free DTV Shop.

I used the unit with both a mini yagi and DX Antenna DTA-5000 smart antenna.

First impressions is the box is very small. It is only my second CECB unit and this one is considerably smaller that the Apex unit I tried out earlier. It does have three buttons on the front for power, channel up and channel down. So if you loose the remote at least you can use the unit in reduced with functionality.

When first powering on the system it goes directly into a setup mode. Here you have two choices, Quick and Custom. Quick just does an auto scan and Custom lets you enter the timezone and daylight savings info as well as do an auto scan. So I would think Custom would be most peoples choice.

Overall I think the box works well. The image quality is what I would consider okay. I do see minor artifacts on my high definition CRT television but they are will in line with resampling issues and wouldn't hold it against it. A standard definition television won't have the resolution to have any issues with it at all. There are some strange issues with the text on power meter where there is a after image repeated on the % sign. I can post a picture of that later if people are interested.

A major issue I found is the quality meter is almost worthless. It seams to read high almost all the time unless the incoming signal strength is very week. I think the weights they have on the signal strength should be weaken to give a better score.

The smart antenna feature on the unit I would say is poor. At least the auto seek feature is not worth anything. I think this problem is related to the signal quality meter issue. The auto seek seams to just rotate the antenna until it gets something over a threshold on the quality meter. Sorry to say even if the threshold was 100% it probably wouldn't be a very good position.

The manual scan is how you can add more stations to the station list. There is no indication on the screen to tell you if the station is on the list or not. Also I haven't figured out a way to delete any station or sub-station with the unit. Something channel surfers would like.

For the tech savvy and very pacient person the manual scan does let you control all the smart antenna parameters. It took me about 20 minutes a station to go through and tune each one. I am please with the final results though. So far I haven't had any noticeable data dropouts yet. The real test will be the coming weeks as the leaves come out.

I have to get going so more later.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-06-2008, 04:48 PM
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PeterTheGeek

So about the image quality is it like the images HDTVexpert posted the GE/Goodmind has these aliased (stair-stepped) edges?

Can you confirm that "A standard definition television won't have the resolution to have any issues with it at all"

About the quality meter being almost worthless.
Did you find the reception/sensitivity also disappointing with some digital break-up CNET said?
I find it strange because HDTVexpert said it was a tie with the Digital Stream.
I don't see how it can be a tie in one review and a total flop in another.

GE was saying at first you needed the to be released GE Smart Antenna so that might be part of the Antenna problem.

About the manual scan, station list, and deleting stations/channels HDTVexpert had the following to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVexpert View Post

The GE 22730 has no such functionality each time you initiate an automatic channel scan, you wipe out your channel tables completely. The only way to get around this is to scan for channels individually in the Manual Scan menu, scrolling through each possible channel one at a time until activity is found. (And you still won't see a map of saved channels!)

Those interested in the Goodmind DTA900 or DTA1000
Abel from eagleworldindustries said he hopes to have more in stock by the end of the week.
DTA900 is $5.00 and DTA1000 is $7.00 for local pickup in Denver
His shipping also looks low $2.50 per item
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-07-2008, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malouff View Post

PeterTheGeek

So about the image quality is it like the images HDTVexpert posted the GE/Goodmind has these aliased (stair-stepped) edges?

Can you confirm that "A standard definition television won't have the resolution to have any issues with it at all"

About the quality meter being almost worthless.
Did you find the reception/sensitivity also disappointing with some digital break-up CNET said?
I find it strange because HDTVexpert said it was a tie with the Digital Stream.
I don't see how it can be a tie in one review and a total flop in another.

GE was saying at first you needed the to be released GE Smart Antenna so that might be part of the Antenna problem.

About the manual scan, station list, and deleting stations/channels HDTVexpert had the following to say.

I was watching news this morning to try to see stair-stepping. Can't say I found any but my comb filter maybe removing them.

I don't have access to a standard TV at my place. Maybe I can take the unit to a friends house and look there. I did say that based on experience that I had with a Panasonic DVD recorder (I think a DMR-ES35) my friend brought over to look at. He said it looks great on his set but put it on mine and it was soft focus. The Goodmind DTA1000 is much better than the Panasonic unit. I have been wondering if my TV isn't producing some of the image quality issues but I haven't had time to use the Digital Video Essentials yet to confirm that.

A direct comparison to the Apex DT1001 on reception. The Apex unit is better for reception no question. The short time I had it on the mini-yagi antenna on the unit confirmed that.

I would have to agree with the review from CNet and say the Apex DT1001 looked better overall for image quality. Of course I am referring to composite to composite outputs. The S-Video output on the Apex is much better. The Goodmind DTA1000 tends to smear over fine line details like grass where the Apex DT1001 didn't. Sharp contrasts are maintained in the picture though so overall I say it is acceptable.

What I meant when I said the quality meter was worthless. It is on auto scan, manual scan and signal screens there is a quality meter. The signal screen also has the power meter that I ended up using to tune the smart antenna. The quality meter reads very high all the time except if the signal is very weak. Doesn't work well with the smart antenna; maybe because this smart antenna has a tight enough beam that it doesn't do any multi-path. My TV doesn't report any multi-path when using the smart antenna. So maybe that is why the quality meter always reads high. I could try putting the mini-yagi back this weekend and see if the quality meter works better when there is multi-path issues. The DX Antenna DTA-5000 antenna is larger and has eight UHF antennas in it. I would think the GE probably would be smaller with only four UHF antennas since it is designed for indoor use. So maybe the auto tune will work better with a smaller weaker antenna where it might still see multi-path reception.

I haven't found any way to delete stations or sub-stations either, HDTVExpert is right. My guess is that you will have to reset the unit and do manual scan on the stations you want. It would still pick up all the sub-stations on those RF frequencies though. And as HDTVExpert said, there is no map and the manual scan screens don't tell you what stations are mapped in or not.

I haven't seen anything on the GE smart antenna availability. I got this one tuned, after many many ... many many button pushes and it is working very well now. I was planning on getting a GE antenna to test out but my job is very much in the air so I am cutting back on some spending.

As for my big experiment to see if I can use a CECB to control a smart antenna and split it to my TV receiver for high definition. Last night it was raining and I only saw one quick pixel blocking during two hours. Very much improved over my old situation. The leaves still need to get out on the trees for the real test.

Also, I have tapped the news off of the Goodmind DTA1000 for a few days now and haven't had any drop-outs after getting the smart antenna tuned.

So far I would say I am happy with the unit even with the issue listed. I will be using it to tape TV and as a auto-rotor controller for the smart antenna.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-07-2008, 09:25 AM
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I thought that the Smart Antenna only works with antenna's that are LISTED as smart. There is only one made today. I forget name but it is not Yagi.

Are you sure you are using the right antenna?
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-07-2008, 10:35 AM
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Yes you can only use the smart antenna port with a smart antenna.
He has both a mini yagi regular antenna
and a DX Antenna DTA-5000 smart antenna

Peter said he has been using his smart antenna and could try to see if the quality meter works better using his mini-yagi using RF input
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-10-2008, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I put my mini-yagi on the unit and the quality meter read over 80% or 0%. So the basic method for coming up with the quality meter number needs to be updated.

I asked a friend if I could borrow a composite color monitor. I am hoping that will nail down this ghosting of the images I am seeing. At this point I am 80% sure it is the TVs rescaling that is doing this. Hopefully with the monitor I can make it 100% sure.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-14-2008, 08:47 PM
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I noticed ezdigitaltv posted the User Manual for the Zentech DF2000 today.
The pictures look very similar to the GE/Goodmind models.

PeterTheGeek can you confirm looking at the Zentech DF2000?
It shows both a Signal Quality and Signal Strength meter does the Goodmind also show this?
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-15-2008, 06:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malouff View Post

PeterTheGeek can you confirm looking at the Zentech DF2000?
It shows both a Signal Quality and Signal Strength meter does the Goodmind also show this?

If I push the "signal" button it has the same layout. The menus on the Goodmind DTA1000 is blue and not brown. I didn't look at the entire manual but I already see that you can bring up the channel list with the "Ok" button. There is no way to do this on the Goodmind DTA1000 other than surf through them. When doing the channel scans only the quality meter is shown.

Features Zentech DF2000 has and the Goodmind DTA1000 does not have.
Has channel list.
Has Favorite channel.
The manual scan shows if the channel is mapped or not.

The Zentech DF2000 does not have smart antenna.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-31-2008, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Took some pictures of my circuit board. Looks like this one uses a separate decoder chip and not a single chip solution. The big chip has a heat sink on it and it looks like it is thermal epoxied on. I don't think it will come off without a fight.
LL
LL
LL
LL
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-02-2008, 12:27 PM
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Samsung S5H1411 ATSC Decoder chip was also reportedly
used in Tivo Series3 (Lite) and Dvico FusionHDTV7RTGold:
http://www.cybertheater.com/samsung-...l-tv-receiver/
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...es-3-unit.html
http://www.fusionhdtv.co.kr/ENG/prod...TV7RTGold.aspx

ProMOS V58C2128164SB is a 128 MB DDR SDRAM chip:
http://www.promos.com.tw/website/htm...64SB(Ind.).pdf

MXIC 29LV160DBTC is a Flash Memory chip:
http://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datashe...0CBTC-70G.html
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-12-2008, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Problem found with my Goodmind DTA1000. I leave my unit on all the time because I use it with my VCR. Last night on approximately day 40 of operation the decoder started messing up. The video was lagging the audio and the video was pixelizing and pausing. Odd thing is the audio was just fine. My guess is the decoder chip is getting too hot. I will stop at the computer store and get some heat sinks but until then I will try to keep it off as much as possible.

I compared the performance with my TV that is Y-d with the same antenna and everything was fine there. And this morning the unit was working fine after being off all night.

I will post an update after I get the heat sinks on. I do think it will be a few days before I can make it over to the computer store.
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