What CECB is the best? And worst. Vote here. Updated tally 7/24/10 - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 541 Old 06-18-2008, 12:41 PM
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Of four boxes I have tried 1 Coship 4988t
2.Zenith DT901
3.Artec T3a Pro(best receiver though) though it runs
hot until modified. At least put some bigger foot pads
on it.
4.Tivax not as sensitive a reciever as the LG or Sanyo
but well built.
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post #62 of 541 Old 06-18-2008, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spokybob View Post

Best to worst based on my experience.
RCA. I have helped 8 people with this one. They all agree. (Is this 8 votes?) Locks in one more station. Great remote. It has the code for all TVs so far. The now/next EPG is OK for all. I want a previous/recall button.
Magnavox. I did not like it. My hair stylist loves it. Good EPG
Insignia. I hated it. Then sold it to a widow. She now wants me to buy it back. LOL

Bob 61231

To avoid double count, I think Ken should only consider YOUR opinion. What if one of your 8 people has already voted here too?
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post #63 of 541 Old 06-19-2008, 06:41 AM
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For me, the best is the Digital Stream 9900/9950. In addition to the features detailed by others here -- The Digital Stream 9900 will scan cable channels for ATSC stations being rebroadcast by community antenna systems. I can receive cable channels between OTA channels six and seven and above OTA channel 13 that are being downconverted and rebroadcast by my condo just like my plasma TV and DVD recorder tuners do. The Zenith CECB that I tested would not do that.
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post #64 of 541 Old 06-20-2008, 10:51 AM
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What is your best converter box vote for living in rural area 70 miles north of Dallas transmitting area? Antenna in the attic. ??? Have til end of July for coupons to be used.
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post #65 of 541 Old 06-20-2008, 11:58 AM
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Best - Channel Master
Worst - GE
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post #66 of 541 Old 06-25-2008, 03:27 PM
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gmucklow

That is an exceptionally important task. I used to install those and wondered what would happen to all those people. I'll forward that info to the housing units I installed Mutli-MATV systems in.

Would you be willing to have boxes mailed to you for a quick test? The return postage label would be included in the box to return it to me.

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post #67 of 541 Old 06-29-2008, 07:50 PM
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Can any of the CECB's be controlled by a TiVo with a serial cable or do you have to use an IR Blaster cable?
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post #68 of 541 Old 06-29-2008, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padawan View Post

Can any of the CECB's be controlled by a TiVo with a serial cable or do you have to use an IR Blaster cable?

Very few of them (Tivax and Channel Master?) have serial ports to begin with, and TiVo has not yet released their software update for CECB compatibility. I'd wait until then to answer that question. In the meantime, some people have kludged together partial functionality by pretending the CECB's are this or that satellite box, but AFAIK no one yet can tune any subchannels except -1.

57 channels and nothing on
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post #69 of 541 Old 06-30-2008, 08:18 AM
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Zenith best box. Even works with 16:9 HDTVs without tuners. Great sensitivity and picture. Best tuner and overall picture on large sets. Pretty good SD picture.

Digitalstream box also works well with good sensitivity. Even captures audio only channels (my local PBS stations) best remote. very good for smaller sets that will not notice small artifacts.


Worst. Both Wal-Mart Magnavox boxes. Evil remote with no useful volume control or TV controls. Tiny buttons. Can see why its $10 cheaper. Useful only to save money and you have extra coupons from friends and relatives.

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post #70 of 541 Old 06-30-2008, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosty View Post

Zenith best box. Even works with 16:9 HDTVs without tuners. Great sensitivity and picture.

I've had both, and I find the Channel Master to be a little better in both departments. The guide certainly is a lot better.

I was going to ask Ken to change my choice from the Zenith to the CM, since I didn't get the CM 'till after I made my choice, but since it doesn't have pass-through I'm still going to stick with the Zenith.
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post #71 of 541 Old 06-30-2008, 11:02 AM
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Best: Channel Master
Of all the boxes I've tested, this one has the best tuner by far. It's not fancy, but it does its job very well.

Worst: GE
Poor picture quality.
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post #72 of 541 Old 06-30-2008, 10:36 PM
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I have a marginal signal on some of my distant DT signals. Is there a consensus on which converter has the most sensitive tuner?
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post #73 of 541 Old 07-05-2008, 02:44 PM
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I'm very happy with my Zenith 901.

Thanks to this forum, I have no first hand experience with the worst ones.
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post #74 of 541 Old 07-07-2008, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Updated Tally

Best
Zenith / Insignia - 15
Digital Stream - 5
Channel Master - 4
Tivax - 2
RCA -1
Coship - 1

Worst
Magnavox - 2
GE - 2
Digital Stream - 1
Philco - 1
Zenith / Insignia - 1

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post #75 of 541 Old 07-09-2008, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

I'm very happy with my Zenith 901.

Thanks to this forum, I have no first hand experience with the worst ones.

I'd like to echo both sentiments. At times, absorbing the info in this forum has been a bit like drinking from a fire hose, but AVS Forum really helped me find my way through the CECB jungle. Without it, I'd probably have burned a coupon on the early Magnavox at Wal-Mart, the first box I saw on a shelf.
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post #76 of 541 Old 07-09-2008, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

I have a marginal signal on some of my distant DT signals. Is there a consensus on which converter has the most sensitive tuner?

I was looking for the same thing. Some folks have reported that the Channel Master CM-7000 beats the Zenith (slightly) on sensitivity. I was tempted to order the CM, but finally opted to get the DTT901 at a local Circuit City, instead. It seemed from various threads that they are some teething issues with the CM. Or maybe just quality control issues on certain units. The promise of better sensitivity and S-video out made me consider the Channel Master.

If I'd had more time on my coupon, I would have waited longer to see if those issues got corrected.

Anyhow, I've only tried three different CECB models: The Digital Stream DTX-9900 from Radio Shack, a borrowed Insignia NS-DXA1 from Best Buy, and the Zenith DTT-901 from Circuit City.

Of those, the Zenith and Insignia tie for better sensitivity over the Digital Stream. (You should know that the Zenith and Insignia are basically identical, except that the 901 has analog pass-through and a fix for an earlier audio bug).

The DS has reasonably good sensitivity, but the Zenith does better on marginal signals in a head-to-head comparison at my location.
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post #77 of 541 Old 07-10-2008, 05:28 AM
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I have two. The channelmaster and the dtvpal. Due to the EPG of dtvpal, I'll have to vote for it as the best. I got the channelmaster for the S-video but the EPG really makes the dtvpal the best. Video is good. Had a little sinking problem with the EPG but I'll have to keep an eye on that. Nothing really bad about the channelmaster.
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post #78 of 541 Old 07-10-2008, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScouterTony View Post

I have two. The channelmaster and the dtvpal. Due to the EPG of dtvpal, I'll have to vote for it as the best. I got the channelmaster for the S-video but the EPG really makes the dtvpal the best. Video is good. Had a little sinking problem with the EPG but I'll have to keep an eye on that. Nothing really bad about the channelmaster.

Are you in a position to compare the two on how they do with weak signals?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd like to find that out.
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post #79 of 541 Old 07-10-2008, 10:05 PM
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Best: Zenith DTT901 PROS - Reception excellent (even weak signals)
Change channels and power button on box
Can turn on TV with supplied remote
Can flip through all channels in EPG
CONS - EPG only has current program and next program
Remote can not control TV volume only box
volume

Runnerup: Digital Stream
DTX9950 PROS - Reception very good
Change channels and power button on box
Can turn on TV, adjust TV volume and change
inputs with supplied remote
EPG gets 20hrs of programming per channel
CONS -EPG very clunky to work with
You can only look at one channel at a time in
the EPG

Worst: DTVPal After reading several posts about the DTVPal EPG I had to
get one. I will say that the EPG of the DTVPal blows the
other CECB EPGs out of the water (absolutely hands down)
It gets many hours of programming and arranges all
channels in a grid much like the satellite EPGs I have seen.
Interface is easy to use. Timer can easily be programmed to
turn on the box and tune right channel for recording.
However it has the worst tuner of the three I have. It
drops channels in the middle of viewing. I mean the signal
meter can read 80% one second and 0% the next. I have
the Zenith in the next room and it doesn't drop the
channel. Dont even ask about the room or antenna. I
have swapped the antenna, TV, room etc. and the DTVPal
still drops the channel while the Zenith and Digital Stream
are rock solid.

Just my 2 cents
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post #80 of 541 Old 07-13-2008, 04:34 PM
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Best = CM7000

Runners up

Zenith DTT901
RCA DTA800B1

Vizio VP322 Plasma / Vizio GV42LF LCD / Denon 2200 Silicon Image DVD / Panasonic S97 Faroudja Genesis DVD / Oppo 970HD Mediatek DVD / Oppo 983H Anchor Bay DVD / Panasonic LX-600 Laserdisc / Aiwa MX100 Multi-region VCR / JVC S7600 S-VHS / PS2 / Sega Genesis / Nintendo SNES / Roku 2 XS & HD-XR / Realistic STA-90 Reciever / Realistic Minimus 7 / Antennacraft G1483 Hoverman / Belden 7915A RG6 / Channel Master 7777 Titan 2 UHF/VHF / Panasonic AX-200u / Optoma Graywolf 92" / Draper Luma 92"
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post #81 of 541 Old 07-13-2008, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeVelocity View Post

Best = CM7000

Runners up

Zenith DTT901
RCA DTA800B1

What he said.
Plus MaggotBox/Philco only if you need/want it's unique pass thru.
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post #82 of 541 Old 07-13-2008, 09:06 PM
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Best Buy now stocks the "Insignia® - Digital-to-Analog Converter for Analog TVs with Analog Pass-Through
Model: NS-DXA1-APT" at the same price. Has anyone tried this one?

If it isn't 720p or 1080i/p it isn't HD. If it is 720p or 1080i/p it may not be HD content.
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post #83 of 541 Old 07-14-2008, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binzil View Post



Worst: DTVPal After reading several posts about the DTVPal EPG I had to
get one. I will say that the EPG of the DTVPal blows the
other CECB EPGs out of the water (absolutely hands down)
It gets many hours of programming and arranges all
channels in a grid much like the satellite EPGs I have seen.
Interface is easy to use. Timer can easily be programmed to
turn on the box and tune right channel for recording.
However it has the worst tuner of the three I have. It
drops channels in the middle of viewing. I mean the signal
meter can read 80% one second and 0% the next. I have
the Zenith in the next room and it doesn't drop the
channel. Dont even ask about the room or antenna. I
have swapped the antenna, TV, room etc. and the DTVPal
still drops the channel while the Zenith and Digital Stream
are rock solid.

Actually, I don't think the reception quality is anywhere near as bad as the picture quality.
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post #84 of 541 Old 07-14-2008, 05:45 AM
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Quote:


Sling Community articles said the TR-40 was renamed DTVPal, but Dish Network now says it is not, that they are different boxes

Explain.
Quote:


Actually, I don't think the reception quality is anywhere near as bad as the picture quality.

Comments on that?

Ken: How about editing the 1st post to include the poll choices that have been listed so far??
(Yes, I know there are many boxes, but this list isn't that long of the ones listed here.)

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #85 of 541 Old 07-14-2008, 05:48 AM
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What is the attraction with the Zenith since it is way out in front?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #86 of 541 Old 07-14-2008, 07:12 PM
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My 3 boxes:

Tie: CM 7000 and the Zenith 901-The CM has slightly better pq, but the Zenith has better features. The CM is in the family room and the Zenith is in my bedroom (I use it for recording).

1st Runner Up: My RCA DTA800B1 is good for the guest room. It has a good picture and will be easy for guests (and the grandkids) to use.

I'm going to use my 4th coupon for a DTVPal in a couple of weeks.

I only have 3 TVs, but I may try some of the multiple setups talked about here.
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post #87 of 541 Old 07-16-2008, 02:41 PM
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I have both a Zenith DTT900 and an Artec T3A Pro.

Although I like the Zenith just fine I like the Artec better because it has better sound, the case is smaller, and it has a better EPG.
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post #88 of 541 Old 07-16-2008, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binzil View Post


Worst: DTVPal After reading several posts about the DTVPal EPG I had to
get one. I will say that the EPG of the DTVPal blows the
other CECB EPGs out of the water (absolutely hands down)
It gets many hours of programming and arranges all
channels in a grid much like the satellite EPGs I have seen.
Interface is easy to use. Timer can easily be programmed to
turn on the box and tune right channel for recording.
However it has the worst tuner of the three I have. It
drops channels in the middle of viewing. I mean the signal
meter can read 80% one second and 0% the next. I have
the Zenith in the next room and it doesn't drop the
channel. Dont even ask about the room or antenna. I
have swapped the antenna, TV, room etc. and the DTVPal
still drops the channel while the Zenith and Digital Stream
are rock solid.

Sounds like the Dish DTV performance of old, like the 6000 & 811.....

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post #89 of 541 Old 07-16-2008, 09:32 PM
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We have two Channel Master CM7000 converters -- THE deciding factor was S-Video. Our main TV, and DVD recorder, both have S-Video inputs, and the difference between Composite and S-Video is staggering. Our TV is an old RCA 32" "curved glass" CRT that we bought for $20 at the local Goodwill, looking like-new. It accesses the S-Video and Composite inputs by assigning them channels, which makes "A/B" comparison tests very easy, and, obviates the need for passthrough (at least for this television).

Sending the DTV outputs to both inputs (S-Video and Composite), and then "tuning" from one to the next, provides an eye-popping improvement, EVEN with the *lousy* ("IMO") image quality that DTV is selling us via their satellite (I'd call it "good VHS quality" -- not even *close* to DVD quality).

The best (IMO) demo for the difference in image quality is to tune the satellite receiver to the channel guide, and then flip it from Composite to S-Video input. When I did this for my wife, she at first *insisted* that she was seeing a very good picture -- and then went *WOW* when I flipped it to S-Video.

OK, that's the background.

I also got a second DVD recorder -- this one's an LG -- I forget the model number, but I recall that they made it in two versions, one with a built-in VHS deck, one without. Ours is the "without" version. We got it for about the same price as the Channel Master converter, but of course, no coupon could be used.

I figure that even if we never use the DVD portion of the thing, it's still a very good converter. It has digital audio output (which we at this time have no need for), and S-Video output (which we do have need for), and IIRC, Component Video (don't recall for sure, we have nothing that uses it), and, HDMI output (it's an upscaling DVD, again, something we have no use for at this time).

It does not have analog passthrough, but it DOES have a complete analog *tuner* -- and it's a very good one. With nothing more than a cheap "amplified rabbit ears" inside the living room in this partially-aluminum-sided house in a very rural "RF dead zone" (seriously -- can't hardly even get AM radio in here! -- either "local" stations *or* "skip" at night; need an outside antenna for FM radio, and even police radios won't work out here -- something about the combination of geography and huge high tension distribution lines a mile away, I think) .

Anyway, with the rabbit ears, the LG's analog tuner picks up about a half-dozen stations (VHF and UHF), some of which we couldn't get with our *roof* antenna (currently out of commission, plan on putting up a tower within the next month or so). It also gets *one* digital station, Channel 13 from Grand Rapids (about 100 miles away).

It gets the main channel, and one subchannel (weather), and it also picks up the "real" Channel 13 (analog), which comes in *very* poorly -- weak, snowy picture. The digital is critical -- the antenna has to be aimed right, "ears" to right length, and "tweaker knob" set right -- at which time the signal (digital) is rock-solid, looks pretty much like DVD quality (on the small 17" set we've got it hooked up to -- it's my 3 year old's "Disney and Veggie People" set).

The Channel Master's reception of Channel 13 is about the same as the LG's reception. The Channel Master has a much better user interface, easier to navigate, easier to set up, better zoom function, and *much* better channel guide -- but, at the moment, the only converter we're using is the LG. This is because it's already there in the machine we're using for my son's DVD player. We only use it (the digital TV converter section) for weather reports. This will likely change later on, when we get our real antenna hooked up, and maybe some other stations put out decent signals.

Several months ago I checked the online coverage maps, and as I recall, where we live, we shouldn't expect *anything* without a GOOD outside antenna *with* a pole-mounted amplifier. Sheesh. (And even *with* a full-house setup like that, we *still* shouldn't expect to be able to get the "local" CBS affiliate (Channel 9, Cadillac), which we *can* get via rabbit ears (analog), albeit a really lousy picture. (Good enough for weather reports, but that's about it. Weather reports are a biggie here, we live in a kind of natural storm track, and during "storm season" things can get really ugly really fast.)

BTW, the LG has real nice *output* connections on the back panel, but the only *input* it accepts is RF coax, or Composite (RCA jacks). There is NO provision for S-Video or Component *input*! What were they thinking??? (We have the other recorder -- a Phillips -- which *does* have S-Video input, but no digital tuner (analog-only, no big deal IMO), so it's not a big issue for us. But still, I can't figure what they were thinking. (Maybe they figured that the main application would be for over-the-air recording, in which case it would go straight from the tuner to the DVD drive? Maybe they thought that it would be an incentive to buy their more expensive model, i.e., VHS internal, no need for S-Video? Heck if I know, but I *do* know that it's impossible to hook it up to the DTV satellite receiver OTHER than via Composite or RF coax, which is less than desirable.)

I am happy with our Channel Master purchase -- we got them from Stark Electronics, and got excellent+++ service from them. Our coupons were expiring, they were out of stock, but they put the order through for us so that we wouldn't lose the coupons. And, they did NOT use "shipping and handling" as a profit center. They gave us a real good deal on shipping, got both of them into one box to save on the cost, etc. Very good people to work with.

I haven't seen any of the other converters, but I'd get the Channel Master and/or the LG again in a heartbeat (presuming the price was right, of course; the original price on the LG was a LOT more than we paid for it, but at the price we paid, it was IMO a no-brainer).

I'd like it if the LG had the CM's superior interface -- and I'd like it if the CM had the LG's analog tuner and (should we ever need them) digital audio and HDMI outputs (will upscale DVD and analog broadcast TV). But, the main function under consideration -- analog conversion of digital broadcast TV -- both of them are excellent performers, pulling in a perfect image via a perhaps 20-30% level signal, using rabbit ears, at about 100 miles from transmitter, in a *really* lousy reception area.
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post #90 of 541 Old 07-17-2008, 06:52 AM
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Quote:


EVEN with the *lousy* ("IMO") image quality that DTV is selling us via their satellite (I'd call it "good VHS quality" -- not even *close* to DVD quality).

And people are switching to satellite every day from cable.
Very good review. I'm really surprised about the difference on that type of TV.
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The best (IMO) demo for the difference in image quality is to tune the satellite receiver to the channel guide, and then flip it from Composite to S-Video input. When I did this for my wife, she at first *insisted* that she was seeing a very good picture -- and then went *WOW* when I flipped it to S-Video.

I'm confused about this observation. Are you just comapring the two inputs to the TV? Or are you comparing this box with your satellite service picture?
BTW, what town do you live in?

Has anyone else made a composite vs S-video comparision on a new set that didn't have the HD tuner?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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