Apex DT250 with passthrough - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 251 Old 05-14-2008, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I was on EZ Digital TV and found a listing for the soon to be released Apex DT250. There is a link to the manual as well. I am not planning on get one but would be interested to compare the DT250 with my pre-production Apex DT1001. I really think the DT1001 is a dead product at this point.

I did find the unit listed on a few retailers but no stock yet.

Major Features for the APEX DT250:
S-Video
Smart antenna port
Surround Sound on RCA stereo out (Maybe I should try this on my DT1001)
Analog Pass-Through
Very tiny remote, I have this remote and it is very small.
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post #2 of 251 Old 05-14-2008, 06:15 AM
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Could it be? I would be very interested in this box if it ever comes to market.

-Chris
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post #3 of 251 Old 05-14-2008, 07:27 AM
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What few retailers did you find?
I have only found it at The Twister Group for $52.12

Now that there is Apex news do you plan to do a review and if possible include pictures.
By the way the EPG did look different then the Tivax one.
It also have a favorite feature.
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post #4 of 251 Old 05-15-2008, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malouff View Post

What few retailers did you find?
I have only found it at The Twister Group for $52.12

Now that there is Apex news do you plan to do a review and if possible include pictures.
By the way the EPG did look different then the Tivax one.
It also have a favorite feature.

Well I looked for retailers again today and only found Global HD for $65. I don't know anything about that retailer. Yesterday I found two others but didn't keep track of them.

This is a different model that what I have, the back panel is laid out very differently so it has a different board in it. And I do believe the unit I have has the Zoron firmware without very much work in it. It is cropping the picture and it won't save the power down timer setting. You can change the power down setting it just when it turns off if looses it. Some of the issue I had with the pre-production DT1001, not the DT250.

I was not planning on getting any more units for a while, I would like one with S-Video though. I have to watch my expenses here because of my job situation.
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post #5 of 251 Old 05-15-2008, 05:56 AM
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Here is the manual for it: http://www.ezdigitaltv.com/support-f...al_english.pdf

If the price is going to be around $52, then this box, on paper, looks like a winner.
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post #6 of 251 Old 05-15-2008, 09:20 AM
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One possible drawback to this receiver I see from reading the manual is that you have to autoscan to add channels, there is no way explained how to manually add a channel that may be weak in a scan. This can be an annoyance, especially if you lose channel info on the rescan (like if you have to re-orient the antenna to get a station). It does not appear to say you can select a non-menu channel (or not) from the remote keypad. The process for add/delete refers to the scanned list only. This seems to be similar to the RCA unit, which is getting some negative reviews in other forums for this reason.

Other than that, it seems interesting with the S-Video connector, but the sound you will get is strictly stereo, not dolby digital, due to the analog audio outputs (not digital AC-3 output). Your receiver maybe able to decode dolby surround, but not the Dolby Digital Surround that is part of the broadcast signal, which this receiver translates into L-R info.
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post #7 of 251 Old 05-15-2008, 10:33 AM
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BobTennis,

Not sure I follow you about the Dolby Digital comment. Doesn't page 11 of the user manual show Dolby Surround being decoded? I guess you are saying that it will be Dolby Surround, but not Dolby Digital. This is probably no surprise, given it is a CECB, but I know there are some that do have coax Dolby Digital, like the Channel Master.

Page 15 implies that you can (manually) go to a channel and add it to your favorites list.
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post #8 of 251 Old 05-15-2008, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abward View Post

BobTennis,

Not sure I follow you about the Dolby Digital comment. Doesn't page 11 of the user manual show Dolby Surround being decoded? I guess you are saying that it will be Dolby Surround, but not Dolby Digital. This is probably no surprise, given it is a CECB, but I know there are some that do have coax Dolby Digital, like the Channel Master..

Abward, yes this is what I meant, and Dolby Digital AC-3 output is apparently not allowed in CECB sets. The picture on pg 11 shows the receiver display as "Dolby Surround" matrixed from the 2 channel output. What I was meaning to say is that stations can (and do) transmit AC-3 Dolby Digital sound on HD broadcasts, and the Apex (and all others) can pick up and translate this AC-3 signal to 2 channel output, but it is no longer Dolby digital. It is rumored the Channel Master box did have an AC-3 output (optical) , but to meet CECB requirements, the model that was ultimately sold had this removed. Some in the Channel Master CM-7000 forum are talking about reverse enginneering to add the capability back, but for now, it does exactly the same as any other CECB box audio wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abward View Post

Page 15 implies that you can (manually) go to a channel and add it to your favorites list.

I re-read the manual page you referred to (pg. 15), it pertains to the remote use, and it states it allows the currently viewed channel to be added to the "favorites" list. But other sections state this has to be found by scanning. On pg. 17, it mentions under "Add/Delete Channels", "... from channels found during autoscan", and essentially lets you change the status of scanned channels from being skipped when deleted, or added back in after deletion when using the channel up/down button on the remote. On pg. 22, under troubleshooting, it discusses on the first item about not seeing expected channels "1. Use automatic scanning function to add channels not included in memory."

Not anywhere does it mention selecting a channel not stored in memory, or whether rescanning will delete channels already received by writing over the scanned list. It doesn't state it won't, but I would think they would add a blurb telling the user how to do this, nor does it state you can key in a channel not already in memory (e.g. push 23.1 from the remote if it is not already in the memory).

Not having used this box (who has) I can't say for sure it won't do these things, but I fear it will not. I can say for sure the RCA unit will not allow you to do this, and it is very annoying if you have to reposition the antenna to get a station from another direction, you gain a channel or two, bit you lose a channel or two. This is in direct contrast to, for example, the Zenith/Insignia box, which does allow adding without losing stored channels (but the sound has problems!)
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post #9 of 251 Old 05-16-2008, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTennis View Post

Other than that, it seems interesting with the S-Video connector, but the sound you will get is strictly stereo, not dolby digital, due to the analog audio outputs (not digital AC-3 output). Your receiver maybe able to decode dolby surround, but not the Dolby Digital Surround that is part of the broadcast signal, which this receiver translates into L-R info.

On the sound front, I thought this was an interesting feature. So I hooked up my Goodmind DTA1000 to my Dolby Pro Logic II enable receiver and it when into 5.1 mode. I have no idea how this works with analog cables and I took a quick look at Dolby's web page but I have no more information at this time.

There have been units approved with audio coax digital out. So the comments that digital sound is not allowed is false, it wasn't explicitly forbidden it the guidelines only digital and high resolution video was. The Philco TB150HH9 is one example of a unit with audio coax digital out. I think there is one or two others was well.
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post #10 of 251 Old 05-16-2008, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterTheGeek View Post

On the sound front, I thought this was an interesting feature. So I hooked up my Goodmind DTA1000 to my Dolby Pro Logic II enable receiver and it when into 5.1 mode. I have no idea how this works with analog cables and I took a quick look at Dolby's web page but I have no more information at this time.

There have been units approved with audio coax digital out. So the comments that digital sound is not allowed is false, it wasn't explicitly forbidden it the guidelines only digital and high resolution video was. The Philco TB150HH9 is one example of a unit with audio coax digital out. I think there is one or two others was well.

Peter,

I think you are mistaken or misunderstood what I was saying on a couple of points, which I will try to respectfully clarify.

When you feed L/R RCA type outputs to your Dolby Pro-Logic II receiver, the receiver will matrix the L/R sound into the surround your receiver can decode. This is different than the discrete 5.1 (or 7.1) Dolby Digital sound you can receive on a HD broadcast (or from a DVD), this is AC-3 surround, not Pro-Logic (I or II). There are distinct differences, which I won't go into detail here, but it cannot be transmitted over a RCA L/R feed to be decoded by the receiver, it has to be sent via an optical (toslink) or digital coax to the receiver as a digital stream, where it is decoded into discrete channel outputs (not matrixed). DPLII may send steering info to the receiver via phasing to help it to send sound to the intended center or surrounds, but it is not discrete surround.

The CECB box is capable of receiving an AC-3 audio signal from the HD digital transmission, but it is converted in the box to L/R stereo outputs to send to the TV or your amp.

If you look at the reference to the Philco unit, look at the section on Audio Outputs, it states "RCA Stereo Left/Right". An RCA cable is coaxial by design, but it is not a discrete output as I explained in the above paragraph. It does not state there is a coaxial digital audio output, and there is reason for that.

If you look at the DOC NTIA docket on CECB requirements http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/frn...nalRule_2e.htm, it states:
"60. Manufacturers may provide output for the main channel audio service and associated audio services on the RF Type F connector by using either of the following two methods. NTIA will permit manufacturers to follow current industry practice regarding RF outputs for audio/video equipment which provides a mono RF output which is switchable between a station's main channel audio and other associated audio services. In this instance, consumers could use a button on the converter box remote control to select the RF output for a station's monaural main channel audio or toggle through a station's visually impaired (VI) or other associated audio services. NTIA will also permit manufacturers to provide BTSC Multichannel Television Sound (stereo audio) in the RF output. The BTSC stereo audio signal and included SAP carrier will provide stereo main channel or visually impaired or other associated audio service to the television receiver as selected by the consumer. Consumers will also have the option of receiving stereo audio through the converter box's left/right audio outputs (RCA connectors). " (My bolding of text).

also:

"26. The Act defines the term digital-to-analog converter box (a CECB) as a stand-alone device that does not contain features or functions except those necessary to enable a consumer to convert any channel broadcast in the digital television service into a format that the consumer can display on television receivers designed to receive and display signals only in the analog television service, but may also include a remote control device.[ 57 ] NTIA's Final Rule adopts technical specifications and features required for a CECB to qualify for the Coupon Program. Manufacturers are free to market converter boxes which do not comply with the requirements of the Final Rule, although such devices would not be eligible for the Coupon Program. " (Again, my bolding).

What this means to me is if a box is to be CECB eligible, it cannot have a digital audio out other than L/R stereo, as stated above, else, it will not qualify for the CECB program. Which is why it is said the Channel Master CM-7000 had to remove the digital audio out, and why the Philco or Apex or other CECB box should also not have that feature.

The Tivax T-1 or the Samsung HD Receiver have that feature, but they are not CECB boxes.

If it in fact a converter does, it would appear to be in violation of the NTIA ruling standard.

If you can in fact prove me wrong by giving me documented examples, I would be grateful, as I would buy that box with my coupon in a second!
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post #11 of 251 Old 05-16-2008, 12:40 PM
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FYI, the Global HD site says this box will shipping about June 10, 2008. This is past my coupon dates, so I might be out of luck on this one.
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post #12 of 251 Old 05-16-2008, 02:47 PM
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A place called EMart claims to have it for $48.36
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post #13 of 251 Old 05-16-2008, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

A place called EMart claims to have it for $48.36

NOPE

APEX DIGITAL TV CONVERTE ANALOG PASS-THROUGH NIC(OUT OF STOCK)
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post #14 of 251 Old 05-16-2008, 08:03 PM
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Is EMart a Participating retailer? Do they take coupons?

I didn't see any listing for EMart in the 5/9/2008 Participating list.
So I can't add to my EPG/Price List Thread then.
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post #15 of 251 Old 05-17-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malouff View Post

Is EMart a Participating retailer? Do they take coupons?

I didn't see any listing for EMart in the 5/9/2008 Participating list.
So I can't add to my EPG/Price List Thread then.

PEOPLE it says out of stock. No one has this box yet
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post #16 of 251 Old 05-17-2008, 07:08 PM
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I know it has not been released yet and there are no pre-orders.

I was adding participating retailers to my EPG/Pricing list
I so far have The Twister Group who accepts coupons
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post #17 of 251 Old 05-20-2008, 10:26 PM
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Looks like it can be pre-ordered now and Global HD also says
Quote:
Originally Posted by Global HD View Post

Boxes will begin shipping about June 10, 2008

$40.37 @ http://www.globalhdllc.com | $64.99 + $15.38 shipping | ? sales tax

I also added Global HD to my price list - I know a few look at it.
Still don't know about EMart.
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post #18 of 251 Old 05-21-2008, 06:03 AM
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FWIW, per Wikipedia:

Apex Digital

Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource

Save Free HDTV: Facebook Page

Just say "no" to a never-ending subscription TV bill that increases faster than the rate of inflation.
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post #19 of 251 Old 05-21-2008, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTennis View Post

Peter,

I think you are mistaken or misunderstood what I was saying on a couple of points, which I will try to respectfully clarify.

When you feed L/R RCA type outputs to your Dolby Pro-Logic II receiver, the receiver will matrix the L/R sound into the surround your receiver can decode. This is different than the discrete 5.1 (or 7.1) Dolby Digital sound you can receive on a HD broadcast (or from a DVD), this is AC-3 surround, not Pro-Logic (I or II). There are distinct differences, which I won't go into detail here, but it cannot be transmitted over a RCA L/R feed to be decoded by the receiver, it has to be sent via an optical (toslink) or digital coax to the receiver as a digital stream, where it is decoded into discrete channel outputs (not matrixed). DPLII may send steering info to the receiver via phasing to help it to send sound to the intended center or surrounds, but it is not discrete surround.

The CECB box is capable of receiving an AC-3 audio signal from the HD digital transmission, but it is converted in the box to L/R stereo outputs to send to the TV or your amp.

I think there may be a possibilty that broadcast AC-3 is being converted to Dolby Prologic II within the Apex box and is being sent over via L-R RCA Audio output. If you have a reciever, which can decode Dolby ProLogic-II from RCA L/R and create surround effect (I agree it will not be true discrete surround), you will get better surround sound effect. The reason, this may be a possibility is that, I had AD-660 DVD player from Apex long time back, and that too had the feature of having dolby prologic output via RCA Audio out for Dolby digital sounds. It had the coax digital output (but that time I didn't have any receiver). I once set it to play in my stereo speaker and the output was garbled, obviosuly because of the phased encoding.
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post #20 of 251 Old 06-06-2008, 12:01 PM
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Any more word? Has anyone mamaged to get hold of one of these yet, or is it another case of vaporware?
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post #21 of 251 Old 06-06-2008, 04:52 PM
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Their web store says .... Coming Soon .... Available August 2008
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post #22 of 251 Old 06-06-2008, 08:22 PM
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Quote:


Available August 2008



Next May for $29 is my bet.
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post #23 of 251 Old 06-07-2008, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1_too View Post

Their web store says .... Coming Soon .... Available August 2008

I just applied for my 2nd coupon, so that might be a possibility. Either that, or the DTX 9950 with pass-through.
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post #24 of 251 Old 06-08-2008, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4HiMarks View Post

I just applied for my 2nd coupon, so that might be a possibility. Either that, or the DTX 9950 with pass-through.

I get my coupons the end of June... I am currently looking at the DTX 9950 also, but if these hit the market and there is positive owner feedback I may consider the Apex DT250 as well.

We'll hopefully see what owners really think of these units when these become available.

Dennis

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post #25 of 251 Old 06-10-2008, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m1_too View Post

Their web store says .... Coming Soon .... Available August 2008

June 10 has come and gone, and still no sign anyone has any of these in stock.

And there's something else bothering me too. Everyone agrees the DT250 will have pass-through. But there seems to be a discrepancy over S-video.

EZDigital.com says it has S-video. So does the owner's manual. But search for it on the Web and look at the various sites offering the thing. They all just say RF and composite video and audio outputs - nothing about S-video!

So will it have it, or won't it? Did Apex add S-video after they sent the specs out to retailers, or did they remove it after they sent specs to EZDigital.com?

Guess I'll have to wait until someone actually manages to buy one.
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post #26 of 251 Old 06-10-2008, 10:11 PM
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Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_Digital

Apex Digital, Inc. is an American electronics manufacturer based in City of Industry, California. They manufacture mainly budget-priced consumer electronics such as televisions and DVD players.


"Controversy

In 2004, Apex Digital was accused of not paying outstanding debts. In spite of "struggling to meet US TV orders", as spokeswoman Marietta Schoenherz claims, Apex Digital reportedly owed millions in debts to suppliers. One supplier, Sichuan Changhong Electric Appliance Co., claimed they were owed in excess of RMB 4.3 Billion(~ 550 million US$) and provisions. In response to this claim, the Chinese government detained Apex Chairman David Longfen Ji on December 30, 2004 on fraud charges.[1] He was arrested on these charges on May 18, 2005, to be hospitalized and released August 18, 2005. Since the arrest, David's family has been concerned for his health and concerned for his future.[2]"

Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource

Save Free HDTV: Facebook Page

Just say "no" to a never-ending subscription TV bill that increases faster than the rate of inflation.
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post #27 of 251 Old 06-18-2008, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota.dt.man View Post

Per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apex_Digital

"Controversy

In 2004, Apex Digital was accused of not paying outstanding debts. In spite of "struggling to meet US TV orders", as spokeswoman Marietta Schoenherz claims, Apex Digital reportedly owed millions in debts to suppliers. One supplier, Sichuan Changhong Electric Appliance Co., claimed they were owed in excess of RMB 4.3 Billion(~ 550 million US$) and provisions. In response to this claim, the Chinese government detained Apex Chairman David Longfen Ji on December 30, 2004 on fraud charges.[1] He was arrested on these charges on May 18, 2005, to be hospitalized and released August 18, 2005. Since the arrest, David's family has been concerned for his health and concerned for his future.[2]"

This information appears to be 3-4 years old. What does that have to do with CECBs that probably weren't even in the design phase at that time? I don't think the cut-off date had even been set then. I would imagine his health and future will have been settled by now.

-Chris
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post #28 of 251 Old 06-18-2008, 12:02 PM
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This product now shows up on BB web site and says available in stores? So far my local BB does not answer their phones; so I am not spending the gas to go there, unless I know it is there.

Has anyone seen this unit at BB?
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post #29 of 251 Old 06-18-2008, 01:05 PM
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Both the Apex Digital website (http://www.shop-apex.com/catalog/ite...45/5889234.htm) and the BestBuy site have no mention of S-video output, so I doubt there will be much interest in this box anymore.
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post #30 of 251 Old 06-18-2008, 01:09 PM
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Here's the "coming soon" page for the DT250 on the Apex Digital web site.

http://www.shop-apex.com/page/page/4399814.htm
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