Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 1146 Old 09-23-2008, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I should get my ZAT-970A and RCA DTA800B1 tomorrow. It would have been nice to have had the unit last night when Dancing with the Stars, Sarah Conner, Two & A Half Men, Heros (x2), & Big Bang were all on.

Enjoy the analog version while you can.
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post #272 of 1146 Old 09-23-2008, 06:56 AM
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I already own an APEX DT250, DT502, & an Insignia -APT. I've also given away a Ventura unit and have borrowed a Digital Stream DTX9950. As of this moment, I still have two cards left and four (possibly six) that are waiting to be acquired, with the possability of ordering at least two more

UPDATE: I have now acquired a Zinwell ZAT-970A and a RCA DTA800B1, which brings my ownership to five CECB's.

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post #273 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 02:20 AM
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This sure does look familiar.

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post #274 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by equivocal View Post

This sure does look familiar.

haha...I wonder if it has timers. I'd also be interested to know if the clock is 24 hours or 12.
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post #275 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 07:13 PM
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Zinwell did a much better job at implementing the clarity and operational smoothness of the dual bar display (over the APEX DT502), although I do have a real problem with the 7-second timeout. What were they thinking?

I'm not real happy with the way Zinwell implemented the overly simple Next/Now information. Couldn't they have given program details also?

It's sensitivity is definitley lower than the APEX DT502 or the Insignia -APT. I'm working on a more detailed performance list for my location/setup. I do like the channel list and preview window within the "MENU" and it would have been a nice feature, if they had used that as a channel preview button on the remote.

I like the shape, simplicity, and button spacing of the remote, but (here it comes) the placement/operation of some buttons don't seem to be in the right place and could use some color differentiation. I would have placed the "Display" where the "Audio" is, the "CC/CS" where the "Display" is, and incorporated the "Audio" with the "Mute" at the least.

I also wonder why they didn't use larger buttons. They have the room.

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post #276 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 08:05 PM
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i just got both the tr40cra and the zinwell zat. I noticed that i can't get any pbs video feed (only audio) on the zinwell but both audio and video work perfectly fine on the tr40cra. Is there something wrong? All the other channels have audio and video on both units. I get 70% intensity and 50% signal quality if that makes any difference. It doesn't matter where I move my antenna, I only can get and lose the audio feed.
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post #277 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 09:18 PM
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Are you using the RF or the A/V output?

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post #278 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 09:26 PM
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Your problem got me to look at the "SETUP" and to my surprise, the Zinwell will let you have APT on the RF output, while it feeds digital to the RCA output. This is the only CECB that I know of that will do both Analog & Digital feeds at the same time!

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post #279 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 09:47 PM
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cheaplikeafox, what do you think is the PQ difference between the two boxes now you got them?
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post #280 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Your problem got me to look at the "SETUP" and to my surprise, the Zinwell will let you have APT on the RF output, while it feeds digital to the RCA output. This is the only CECB that I know of that will do both Analog & Digital feeds at the same time!

i was using the RF output... I guess it doesn't bother me that much because I don't record pbs anyway...but it was perplexing. Why would I need APT? The PBS station is digital. I am only getting the digital feeds through the rf output cause I am only using the cable it came with.
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post #281 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Your problem got me to look at the "SETUP" and to my surprise, the Zinwell will let you have APT on the RF output, while it feeds digital to the RCA output. This is the only CECB that I know of that will do both Analog & Digital feeds at the same time!

Go Zinwell! I knew this box was better than the Pal...which I am AGAIN having problems with despite the latest firmware.
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post #282 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

Why would I need APT?

Record a digital station through the A/V jacks, while you watch analog through the RF output.

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post #283 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaseShip View Post

cheaplikeafox, what do you think is the PQ difference between the two boxes now you got them?

I was testing it on a 19" screen and I don't really notice that much of a difference. I only switched out the boxes once and I haven't looked too carefully yet. I guess I am not that picky about PQ because currently my analog pq is pretty bad so all the boxes would do better than the analog reception.

Here are my first impressions for a comparison:
TR40CRA
guide - although i don't really think i'd use it much
remote - feels better
timer counts down before it switches channels

Zinwell
seems to run much cooler
setting up the timer takes a little more time cause you have to put in the date and times individually by digit
no pbs video for some reason
standby timer is 1 hr minimum which is better than tr40cra's 4 hr minimum.

I think most people have already pointed these things out. Since some people have still reported problems with the timers of the tr40s, then I would probably just go with the zinwell if you want accurate timers. I haven't tested the timers much though. The zinwell seems to be like a pretty basic converter box with timers and so far I don't see anything wrong with it besides my isolated problem with PBS.
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post #284 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Record a digital station through the A/V jacks, while you watch analog through the RF output.

oh i see...thanks for the info.
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post #285 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 10:36 PM
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hey thanks for the review. Always good to have more inform for users to decide.
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post #286 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Record a digital station through the A/V jacks, while you watch analog through the RF output.

Or while watching digital on your TV's tuner.
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post #287 of 1146 Old 09-26-2008, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

... to my surprise, the Zinwell will let you have APT on the RF output, while it feeds digital to the RCA output. This is the only CECB that I know of that will do both Analog & Digital feeds at the same time!

The Magnavox TB100MG9 does as well.  It has no timers, the remote has rows of tiny buttons in a rectangle, and many features are available only by navigating through the menus, but yes, it does offer RF passthrough and RCA output at the same time.
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post #288 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Or while watching digital on your TV's tuner.

More cumbersome to implement, although you could record the RF while watching the A/V (Line In).

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post #289 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

i just got both the tr40cra and the zinwell zat. I noticed that i can't get any pbs video feed (only audio) on the zinwell but both audio and video work perfectly fine on the tr40cra. Is there something wrong?

As long as you're getting audio and video on other channels, it doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with the Zinwell. I haven't seen that kind of thing on the ZAT-970A specifically, but I've seen it on other tuners. I don't know exactly what causes it, but it seems to be a problem with the broadcast itself. I've had situations where 3 out of 4 tuners have audio and video for a certain channel, but the 4th only has one or the other for that channel. The good news is that it's usually a temporary thing.
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post #290 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick313 View Post

As long as you're getting audio and video on other channels, it doesn't sound like there is anything wrong with the Zinwell. I haven't seen that kind of thing on the ZAT-970A specifically, but I've seen it on other tuners. I don't know exactly what causes it, but it seems to be a problem with the broadcast itself. I've had situations where 3 out of 4 tuners have audio and video for a certain channel, but the 4th only has one or the other for that channel. The good news is that it's usually a temporary thing.

One of the local engineers (CBS as best I can remember) once described anomalies like that occurring on different converter boxes. Could be something is not quite right in the transmitted signal or could be something in the chip itself. He had had a similar problem with the ChannelMaster box - audio but no video. It took quite some doing to debug it. You might want to call your local station engineer so he can start looking into it.

Keep in mind that digital is new and the engineers are kinda flying by the seat of their pants on a day by day basis. I'm surprised it works as well as it does (or at all!).
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post #291 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 07:34 AM
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I've noticed in the DTVPal thread, that there is talk about the DTVPal Plus being supplied with a Silicon Tuner instead of a can tuner (at an additional price point), so as to give it better sensitivity. From what I can tell, the Microtune silicon tuner, that they're talking about, may already be incorporated into the Zinwell 970A. It's already been stated that it's incorporated into the 756 & 857 models and I don't see any reason why Zinwell would have changed that.

Another point for Zinwell.

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post #292 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 08:36 AM
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thanks for the responses...yeah it's a weird quirk but i'm ok with it if it's just temporary.
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post #293 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

thanks for the responses...yeah it's a weird quirk but i'm ok with it if it's just temporary.

It will only be temporary if they know it's a problem.
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post #294 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by golinux View Post

It will only be temporary if they know it's a problem.

how do i go about contacing a local engineer?
these converter boxes seem to have many problems....i'd rather just buy a new hdtv! hah...but it does help keep my tunerless dvd recorder from being too obsolete
thanks
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post #295 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

...i'd rather just buy a new hdtv!

More than likely, you'd have something to deal with here too.

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post #296 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

how do i go about contacing a local engineer?
these converter boxes seem to have many problems....i'd rather just buy a new hdtv! hah...but it does help keep my tunerless dvd recorder from being too obsolete
thanks

does your local market have an OTA thread here on this forum? Mine does and the engineers from some of the stations drop in and post from time to time, fielding questions and responding to problems. otherwise, try the yellow pages and get your stations main number, then ask to be connected to one of the station engineers.
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post #297 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

More cumbersome to implement, although you could record the RF while watching the A/V (Line In).

Weren't you just referring to using the RF pass-through to watch analog from the TV's tuner? If so, what's any different about watching the digital channels that way, as long as the TV has the tuner? (Maybe I misunderstood.)
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post #298 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

thanks for the responses...yeah it's a weird quirk but i'm ok with it if it's just temporary.

I don't know if that "50%" number is your signal strength, but if the Zat's not as sensitive as the TR-40 (and from all accounts here so far it doesn't sound like it quite is), it could be that's the signal's just not strong enough for the video to come in, but only the audio. I have seen that happen.

Just a thought.
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post #299 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I don't know if that "50%" number is your signal strength, but if the Zat's not as sensitive as the TR-40 (and from all accounts here so far it doesn't sound like it quite is), it could be that's the signal's just not strong enough for the video to come in, but only the audio. I have seen that happen.

Just a thought.

thanks nwiser, ill have to check that sometime.
rammitinski, it was fluctuating from 50-70%. On the zinwell it seems like if your signal is not strong enough for video, then it won't get audio either. I have another channel that only gets audio, but that's the same on both tr40 and zinwell.
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post #300 of 1146 Old 09-27-2008, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Weren't you just referring to using the RF pass-through to watch analog from the TV's tuner? If so, what's any different about watching the digital channels that way, as long as the TV has the tuner? (Maybe I misunderstood.)

If you have the Zinwell setup to feed the RF out and A/V line to the recording device and the recording device RF out and A/V line out connected to the television, you're going to need an A/V splitter placed after the Zinwell and an A/V switch before the television. This will then require an A/V cable between the splitter and the switch.

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