Apex DT250 with passthrough - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 251 Old 06-25-2008, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efx View Post

Don, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad feature to have. When I scan, all my channels stay put, they don't just disappear or change which I do like. So when they go out, your numbers don't change and they normally come right back? But you're right, depending on where you are, you will get different things at the moment.

It's not the unit that changes, per se. The only time anything changes with the channel list is when something changes with the broadcasters. When these incidents occurred with this PBS station, for all practical purposes, their channels appeared to be dead air. In actuality, their content was still being broadcast but was delivered by an alternative route. The Tivax found them. I never would have. It was quite strange but I appreciated it because most of what I watch on TV is the six different PBS channels we have here.

The only real downside I see is I have to do a little housekeeping afterwards.
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post #92 of 251 Old 06-25-2008, 10:00 PM
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I'm there with you. I like to watch the pbs and kcet. At least now because I can see what's on them. I don't care for cable. We had it once a long time ago and I became a big couch potato. So I didn't bother keeping it after that. There's plenty of stuff on tv to keep you on the couch already.
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post #93 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 07:19 AM
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Any of you who have one of these boxes I find different info on the EPG, is it a 1 line now/next like Zenith or are there more lines and more time like DTVPAL or something else? The manuals for any these boxes always seem to show pictures of CC options and everything else but never their EPG.
Thanks
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post #94 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4HiMarks View Post

Called my local BB, and they said they have them on order, but no stores in my area (DC/Balt.) have them, and he had no idea when they would get them.

Stopped in to the same store last night, and they had a huge pile of them next to the Insignia boxes (of which they seemed to have even more than last week). If they came in that quick, surely they must have known they were on the way. Or Does BB not have any idea what's in a shipment until it arrives at the loading dock and they unpack it?

I bought one since I had a coupon that was expiring on 6/30, but haven't had a chance to play with it yet (too many things on the Honey Do list). Perhaps this weekend.

-Chris
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post #95 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shigadeyo View Post


Zenith DTT901 will only show program information for current program on current channel. It will show program listings (title only) for now/next for all channels (if it has the guide data in memory). It remembers some number of hours of program listings (haven't measured yet) that it will not show you.
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post #96 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 01:14 PM
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I just got my Apex last night and have not read the manual, but I think I can clear up some confusion on the add/delete channel problem. The programming and menus are nothing like on my Apex DVD/VCR player with an analog tuner.

First, for those who do not know let me explain some basics first: There are two different channel up and down buttons on the remote. CH +/- follows the scanned channels marked as “viewable” and FAV +/- follows channels marked as “FAV”. As far as I can tell, the only way to add or delete channels to the list is by doing a complete “auto program”. (I’m not sure if “auto program” erases previous list or just adds to it)????? CAN ANYBODY ANSWER????? You may need to "reset default settings" to delete entire list to start with nothing if you want to delete a channel from the list. After doing the “auto program”, you then can view the list with “manual channel set”. This allows for marking (does not add to or delete channels from the list) each channel as “viewable” or “not viewable” and the CH+/- (arrow up/down cursor) will follow these. You can then mark each “viewable” channel with the “FAV” button. Now the “FAV” +/- buttons will work. If you want to view a channel that is not on the “manual channel set” list, you can tune to it with the number buttons, turn the antenna, and then do an “auto scan” to add. I’m just not sure if the channels with no reception in the new antenna position will be deleted. I’m starting to repeat myself, so anybody, please jump in here. I’m going to go “play with my Apex” (and maybe read some). I too, am just starting to learn this and will try to post again with any considerable developments or questions. Thank You Everyone for being a part of this great forum.

Note: The FAV+/- buttons almost seem redundant. The CH+/- buttons on the remote are the more comfortable buttons and are essentially programmable by marking channels as "viewable" or "not viewable". I’ll probably use CH+/- for regular surfing and the number buttons for other channels. (Point and click for the other kind of surfing) I found out it’s almost too easy to accidentally change the FAV list. (The add/delete FAV button is right next to the FAV+/- buttons for channel surfing) I do rate the remote as better than average for a cheap remote though.

I get more channels now, which are crystal clear but have lost ABC and NBC (maybe not in digital yet) the additional channels are mostly just crap BS programming. I already got CW back by adjusting my omni-directional antenna. My biggest unexpected complaint so far is the audio. My $300 center channel speaker is USELESS. This is most likely the result of the cost limitations from NTIA on all CECB’s regarding Dolby Digital. Also, the overpowering echo echo effect from the remaining usable speakers. I’ve experimented with the volume and effects all I can and got it about half-way to acceptable. I guess I’ll have to deal with it or exchange it with the Insignia (and then probably search for other non-CECB solutions) That would most likely be a refurbished DVD recorder with ATSC tuner for about $10 more than what SSomebody thinks they can sell DTVPal for. Eat that DTVPal!!!!!!

6-27 Update Audio problems- mostly it was a cable and effects settings-audio now sounds great and has the same level as different components
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post #97 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 01:37 PM
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Just did another "auto program" and it appears to delete and add channels in memory. I gained my ABC and NBC channels but lost a shopping channel. There may have been some others lost and added. I don't know yet.
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post #98 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 01:42 PM
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Ben, I think the auto scan is similar to just doing a default reset since it scans all channels. It doesn't add or delete individual channels.

As for the sound. This is how I plugged my box so I get the same sound I was getting through my speakers. I just plugged the box into one of the other component inputs on the tv. The tv is already plugged into my speakers and I can control the tv the same way. I just turn to the component that the box is using. In my case I'm using the sv2 and just leave it at that for watching tv. I can also change to dvi if I want to use the computer or av1 or av2 for the xbox or whatever is plugged in there. So my sound stays the same, nothing degraded. As you can see I don't have any special setup, so I hope this helps with the sound problem that some people are having. Just remember, the built in speakers of most tvs aren't that great. So most add on speakers should work fine. This is not to say you can't use the built in speakers.
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post #99 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benmuss View Post

I gained my ABC and NBC channels but lost a shopping channel.

I'll bet you're just heartbroken over that.

Do you have any universal remotes around to see if and what kind of a code will work it?
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post #100 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 02:30 PM
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That darn shopping channel is still there. My earlier conclusion is now not valid. I need to start documenting better to figure it out. I had to get the book out to lookup the reset. Does that just reset the other settings but not the channel list? I need to read the book now that I have it mostly working and know what areas I need to concentrate on. I'll have to find the book for the stereo to. I have a lot of different hookup options on my stereo. Lost remote though. The more I play with the Apex, the happier I get with it. I just need to keep playing.
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post #101 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 07:41 PM
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All the BB in my area do not have the DT250 and they swear there is nothing I can do about it w/coupon expiring 7/4. (SW PA)

Soooooo.... I was wondering...... If I bot some other CECB converter and left if unopened, if I might find someone with a DT250 that might want to trade?
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post #102 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 07:53 PM
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Sure. I will swap my unopened Apex if you can get me a DTVPal. I live in California though.
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post #103 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6volt View Post

All the BB in my area do not have the DT250 and they swear there is nothing I can do about it w/coupon expiring 7/4. (SW PA)

Soooooo.... I was wondering...... If I bot some other CECB converter and left if unopened, if I might find someone with a DT250 that might want to trade?

6volt, I ran into the same problem at BB.

if you dont mind me asking, where in SW PA do you live?

I live in Pittsburgh and have two of them on order ("hold order" is what the BB store manager called it). As per my post above, my coupons would have expired tomorrow(6/27) and I had to use em or lose em. Despite my gripes to the contrary, I would have ordered at least one DTVPal had I known they were gonna go on sale at dtvpal.com today. If you really want a DT250, you live in the same area as me (Pittsburgh) or within a few miles, and would be willing to order a dtvpal for trade, I'll be glad to trade boxes with you. I'll even give you the $8.50 or whatever it is that DISH is charging for shipping so you wouldnt be out any more of your own money than you would if you just went into BB and bought the APEX. A win-win situation. just lemme know.
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post #104 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 10:49 PM
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That's why I got the DT250. I figured I can pickup a DT901 later with my second coupon. One BB in my area was sold out, I drove 25mi to another that said they had 25.
The more I work with it the better I like it. It's my first experience with digital though. I have nothing to compare it to. Still have some audio problems, but at least with digital broadcasting it seems much more consistant across all channels than analog.
As far a reception, I get all my old channels and thier subchannels except PBS. Most likely not full power yet. The reception on my other TV (still analog) seems to be a bit compromised the way I have things hooked up. Also APT is reduced reception. But that does't seem important at all now. I've still got many days of playing with hookups and settings to find my best overall solution for my equipment. Then about a month later, I'll do it all again for my other TV with maybe an Insignia/Zenith. I just don't want 2 of the same.

Programming my remote will be later. For now I'm just glad that the DT250 has variable audio out. (missing stereo remote since last move)
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post #105 of 251 Old 06-26-2008, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evajoecool
Has anyone reviewed the Apex 250, at best buy. that look like a good deal. I wanted the dtvpal for the recording uses. but now i think it's not that much of a big deal to just leave some other box on then come home and turn it off.... anybody see any probs w/that? i haven't heard of any boxes over heating...

I just got a DT250. See the Apex thread. I don't see a problem leaving it on; Other than 1 channel recording limitatiion. I was originally concerned that you could't disable the sleep timer. No overheating problems- its been on all day and the bottom is about 1 105. I have somewhat of a calibrated touch from an old job. Also, I'm confident that I'll be able to work thru all of my remaining problems satisfactorilly, with only minor dislikes.
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post #106 of 251 Old 06-28-2008, 05:36 AM
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Apex DT250 Likes and Dislikes
(After living, eating and sleeping with my Apex for 2 ½ days)

Overall rating: VERY GOOD
disclaimer: I am very critical on my dislikes, and it is also my first ATSC experience

Likes:
+Ability to disable sleep timer- a post on a different model made it sound like it was
not possible on that model (I can leave it on to record from when I leave home, but
limited to only 1 channel, and when I awake it is already on)
+Good Reception and PQ- See later updates for overscan problems
+S-video- Probably not needed for better PQ, but offers better flexibility in hookup
+APT- no signal loss, but this box works so well I don’t need APT, all my stations are
already ATSC
+Smart Antenna Capability- I read this is like an automatic rotor for each channel
+Variable audio out (RCA)- No need to switch to another remote or mode
+Zoom settings are remembered for each channel but can only be set if aspect ratio is
NOT set on auto. Setting it in my 4:3 mode, then switching aspect ratio back to auto
still remembers zoom settings (also see aspect ratio dislikes below)
+Audio Quality- Initial problems were the result of using an old faulty cable and other
equipment settings -I SHOULD HAVE USED THE NEW SUPPLIED RCA CABLE IN
THE BEGINNING
+No overheating- after being on about 2 days box bottom is approx 110
+No bulky DC adapter cord
+AND THE NUMBER ONE AND ONLY COMPARISON TO OTHER CECB’s- I only
had to wait about 28 days before available and in stock!!! (Drrr-rumPP-CHING)

Neutral likes (could be better but still acceptable or doesn’t really matter)
+Remote and menu ergonomics- this moves to the better as I get used to it, but will
never make it to likes because I know it could have been improved with more
development (My biggest dislike: Favorites are accidentally changed because fav
add/del button is next to fav surfing buttons)

Dislikes:
-Auto aspect ratio- does not seem to do anything on my 4:3 except prevent zoom
function, and seems only useful if a person is clueless whether to use 4:3 or 16:9
This auto setting confuses things and is probably the basis of some windowboxing
complaints (not to be confused with letterboxing) Auto zoom when appropriate would
be a much more useful feature. But, at least the box remembers your last zoom
setting for each channel (also see zoom setting in likes above)
-Inability to add single channels to the scanned (viewable) list- I believe this might
make it difficult to turn a directional antenna and get additional channels for stations
in different directions.
Maybe using a smart antenna would solve this problem. Could be a bigger problem on
requirements of a directional antenna in more difficult reception areas, but not so bad
on my $60 amplified omni-directional about 30mi from towers in mostly same direction.
-I’m still uncertain how to delete scanned channels or if there is a need to- Scanned
channels can just be marked as unviewable. Rescanning will delete if reception
is not present for that channel. The only way I was able to delete channels was to
rescan without an antenna. (and the only channel it picked up was still that darn
shopping channel) Doing a reset or unplugging does not change the scanned list,
it only changes the "not viewable" and "fav" attributes or markings
-AND THE NUMBER ONE DISLIKE ABOUT THE DT250: It does not do the dishes
or set the recorder!!! (Drrr-rumPP-CHING) I gotta go, my NTSC box is getting jealous.

Revised: Another plus for the remote is excellent wide angle transmission
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post #107 of 251 Old 06-28-2008, 08:08 PM
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Has anyone noticed that this box has quite abit of overscan? It cuts off the lower inch or so such that logos and text on the bottom of of the screen are partly missing. I tried this on 2 TVs, one of which is my HDTV and it still cuts off more than the HDTV using its built in tuner.

Could this be the unit I have? No one else seems to have noticed this.
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post #108 of 251 Old 06-28-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runch Machine View Post

Has anyone noticed that this box has quite abit of overscan? It cuts off the lower inch or so such that logos and text on the bottom of of the screen are partly missing. I tried this on 2 TVs, one of which is my HDTV and it still cuts off more than the HDTV using its built in tuner.

Could this be the unit I have? No one else seems to have noticed this.

I haven't observed that. Try setting the aspect ratio for your tv (NOT AUTO) and then play with the zoom settings. Remember, the box will use the same zoom setting from the last time you viewed that channel. I'll repost if I notice the problem.
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post #109 of 251 Old 06-28-2008, 09:12 PM
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I never even thought about overscan.

I'm totally psychotic about overscan. When I bot my 52" Pioneer, the first thing I did was get a service manual to find the Master Height and Master Width so I could set it up for zero overscan.

When you run zero overscan, every now and then you get an extra treat that makes it past the censors.
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post #110 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 07:38 AM
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Yep! I noticed it. The text across the very bottom of the screen is cut off. It's not even consistant on the left side of my screen; sometimes the text at bottom goes mostly straight across with the full letters viewable on the right (barely) and the text on the left is ever-changing from moment-to-moment, sometimes only showing the top-half, sometimes full like on the right (My TV is an older 4:3). IT'S VERY ANNOYING, whatever is causing it.
Are these the characteristics of your's Runch? Could this be other equipment, cables or broadcasting problem? I can't find a channel right now with the problem. I was watching "Sunday Morning" on CBS when I noticed it. Next time, I'm going to switch to the composite cable, I'm currently using S-video fed directly into the TV. It's too much work to move to my other TV, which Runch already tried anyway.
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post #111 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 01:28 PM
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the overscan makes this box a non contender now, I was seriously considering it because of the s-video, looks like I'll be getting a 901.
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post #112 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 02:15 PM
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my limited experience with overscan is with my computer monitor which has a zoom button...but I'm sure its the same concept as it is with DTV's and the CECB's.

Is the overscan on this box a constant thing, or can it be controlled by turning off zoom/autozoom?
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post #113 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 02:52 PM
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The overscan problem occurs when the Zoom mode is used to cut the sides off of a 16:9 picture so that you don't have bars on the top and bottom of the screen. The receiver zooms in more than it should.

I'm also a little nuts about overscan too. I reduced the overscan on my 70" Sony XBR2 using the HDNET test pattern. My new sony LCD XBR4 has pixel for pixel display so I use that. When I tested the Apex on the XBR4 it had more overscan than the TV did on the same digital channels so that text scrolling along the bottom was lower than it should be. Same on the old analog TV that it is nomally connected to.

If overscan bothers you, and you use zoom to cut the sides off and fill the screen, then this is not the box for you.

I am wondering if it would be worth exchanging this receiver for another of the same model. It's nice that it has analog pass through and S Video output.
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post #114 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 04:00 PM
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As far as overscan you should compare the 3 outputs. S-vid, composite and RF. I've noticed boxes will many times overscan more or less depending on its output. A Panny DVDR I had, had basically 0 overscan via HDMI, a little via S-vid and much more via composite. Note TV's themselves may overscan more or less depending on input so it gets rather hard to verify if it's the box or TV.
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post #115 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 09:05 PM
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I checked for overscan on another HDTV, a Samsung 23". Comparing the APEX to the HDTV's built in tuner, both set to 16:9 on channels showing HD wide screen programming, the Apex cut off about 3/4 of an inch on the bottom and a half inch on the top and sides more than the HDTV using the internal tuner. This is a lot to me. The Apex was set for displaying on a 16:9 TV and was connected to the HDTV via S-Video.

If you care about overscan, this is not the box for you.
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post #116 of 251 Old 06-29-2008, 10:11 PM
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It's hard to compare all this info...I don't have a HDTV that will put lines across the screen or anything, but after observing all day and comparing with a non-converted TV in another room here's my input: I estimate that on my 32" the bottom is cut off 3/16". The only time I've noticed any missing text was this morning. Runch, mine is so much less drastic than your's that I'm not giong to worry about, unless it becomes more noticeable to me. I hope y'all didn't turn me into a psychotic overscan redneck!
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post #117 of 251 Old 06-30-2008, 06:40 AM
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I'm now in complete agreement with Runch. During a morning show that uses allot of text that scrolls across the bottom of the screen, I had the opportunity to experiment with the hookups and settings for my situation;
Put in general terms:

If you like to consistently be able to read the text that scrolls across the bottom of the screen without a windowboxing affect, then this is not the box for you.

I have tried every combination of hookups and settings that would be acceptable for my situation, and am finished. When I return it, I will state general picture quality as reason for return. So that it is not resold as being "normal" for that product, I have another reason, but is not a common problem (from asking around).
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post #118 of 251 Old 06-30-2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benmuss View Post

If you like to consistently be able to read the text that scrolls across the bottom of the screen without a windowboxing affect, then this is not the box for you.

So for anybody who finds those crawlers annoying as heck, this is the box for you?
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post #119 of 251 Old 06-30-2008, 02:05 PM
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"So for anybody who finds those crawlers annoying as heck, this is the box for you?"

I actually use Zoom on my DTV when watching recordings made off of analog ESPN. It keeps the proper aspect ratio, fills my screen and gets rid of that incessant crawler at the bottom of the screen. Ya it also cuts off the top but most of the time it's not a problem.
OT but adding to the over scan talk, if you hate over scan the CM-7000 is the best I've used followed closely by Zenith DTT-901. The Digital Stream 9900 had a fair amount of over scan.
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post #120 of 251 Old 06-30-2008, 02:18 PM
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cant you either modify the overscan on your tv or perhaps tinker with the APEX settings (do these boxes have a hidden service menu...or is that just on TV's?) to take care of the overscan?

I know we have threads on Service menu codes for TV's here...for those of you who have the boxes and have time, why not try them just for the heck of it. As soemone said...there might be some "Easter Eggs" in the system.

By the way...is there anyone out there who would be willing to take one of DT250's apart to take a picture of the guts so that we can see what it looks like on the inside?
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Reply Coupon Eligible Converter Box (CECB)

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