Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 28 - AVS Forum
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post #811 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 09:02 AM
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Yes, my 970 was changing our local CBS affiliate Ch 58.1 to Ch 58.3. I deleted 58.3 from my channel list in a desperate bid to solve the problem. I'm about ready to do an exorcism on the damn thing.
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post #812 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

Has anyone here seen a DTVPal-like symptom in a 970A?

Several times over the last week I've found the channel changed in one of my timer events. It keeps switching the channels over to a sub-channel...of a different station.

Weirder still, the sub-channel is one I keep deleting from my channel list, but which somehow keeps showing up again.

Has anyone else seen a Zat, on its own, change the channel a timer event should tune to (the "wake up" channel)?

PS
Nobody else here, so nobody's been messing with the box when I'm not looking.


EDIT:
Maybe I should also add that one of my Zat 970As was bought online, the other from my local GROCERY store...and I didn't keep track which was which. Might the one from the store have been defective merchandise someone was trying to dump?


RE: one of my Zat 970As was bought online, the other from my local GROCERY store

Might the one from the store have been defective merchandise someone was trying to dump?

Dumping of defective merchandise:

Given the choice of a local store being used to dump defective merchandise, VS. a on-line vendor...

You would want to dump stuff thru a on-line vendor as it's:

A: Too easy for people to return junk back to a "local" store.
B: There are no return shipping costs.
C: No waiting for weeks (or months) for funds to credit back to your account.
D: You can deal with people FACE to FACE.
E: Persons returning to local store can sometimes create "scenes"-negatively affecting other shoppers.
F: It's sort of hard to open a "new store" under a different name each week if you have a Brick and Mortar store- Much easier opening a differently "named" on-line store- and basing your operations from the same place..
G: Selling junk thru local store is not smart when local store depends on repeat business.

Given the choice dumping junk thru on-line vendors is more preferably... if you are selling junk. Too easy for persons to return to local store...


.
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post #813 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

...Given the choice of a local store being used to dump defective merchandise, VS. a on-line vendor...

You would want to dump stuff thru a on-line vendor as it's:

A: Too easy for people to return junk back to a "local" store.
B: There are no return shipping costs.
C: No waiting for weeks (or months) for funds to credit back to your account.
D: You can deal with people FACE to FACE.
E: Persons returning to local store can sometimes create "scenes"-negatively affecting other shoppers.
F: It's sort of hard to open a "new store" under a different name each week if you have a Brick and Mortar store- Much easier opening a differently "named" on-line store- and basing your operations from the same place..
G: Selling junk thru local store is not smart when local store depends on repeat business.

Given the choice dumping junk thru on-line vendors is more preferably... if you are selling junk. Too easy for persons to return to local store...


My thought was that for the grocery store, this was a one-time Christmas rush period item that they'd never carry again, at least not until next Christmas. The online vendor would be selling them all the time, and would have to deal with disgruntled buyers.
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post #814 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 01:00 PM
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I believe the main problem is the manufacturers. Every CECB that I've read the instructions on (yeah sure), OK glanced through, has a notice that you are to contact them for replacement of defective units.

How many have ever made the process workable and how many even respond?
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post #815 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

Has anyone else seen a Zat, on its own, change the channel a timer event should tune to (the "wake up" channel)?

Unfortunately, yes. It's been a well known design flaw since the unit was introduced. It usually manifests itself when a station changes it's PSIP in some way i.e. changing the name of the station, adding a subchannel, removing a subchannel, etc. Any program timers set for the affected station or any stations that follow it will have their channel name changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

Weirder still, the sub-channel is one I keep deleting from my channel list, but which somehow keeps showing up again.

I don't usually delete any subchannels due to the aforementioned program timer bug, but I have noticed channel names changing back to their defaults after I have renamed them, so I gave up. You may find that you have fewer timer problems if you refrain from deleting subchannels.
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post #816 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 07:27 PM
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I am looking up this information myself as fast as I can, but I haven't much time. Would a zinwell 970a UPC_8-7440900089-9 have the hidden extended EPG?
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post #817 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 08:08 PM
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What does it's more limited EPG system look like? Anyone got a picture? So there's no way to find out with it, what is happening after the show after the current one?
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post #818 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruePurple View Post

I am looking up this information myself as fast as I can, but I haven't much time. Would a zinwell 970a UPC_8-7440900089-9 have the hidden extended EPG?

AFAIK the UPC itself would NOT be the determining factor as ALL 970A's should have the SAME UPC.

It is the build date, a set of four numbers in the middle of the serial number that is important. (If calling around get them to read those numbers to you. Tell clerk you are wanting "low" numbers...)

My 0827 unit for example having the hidden (and sort of worthless) EPG.

(I say worthless, and someone correct me if I'm wrong but there is NO interaction with whatever you see in the hidden EPG;
EG: You are not able to select upcoming programs.)
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post #819 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 08:27 PM
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What does it's more limited EPG system look like? Anyone got a picture? So there's no way to find out with it, what is happening after the show after the current one?
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post #820 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

My thought was that for the grocery store, this was a one-time Christmas rush period item that they'd never carry again, at least not until next Christmas. The online vendor would be selling them all the time, and would have to deal with disgruntled buyers.

While I fully understand your thoughts- Due to slim margins on these converter boxes:

A: Most online vendors will refer you to the manufacturer UNLESS the box is damaged in shipping. (Read that if they get paid by shipper for damage, they ship you a replacement.)
B: If you receive a DOA unit - Most are going to make you pay return shipping IF they accept returns at all, most online stores on DOA /problematic units are going to tell you to contact the manufacturer DIRECTLY... this meaning YOU will be looking at return shipping charges- the "hassle" of dealing with, tracking a unit to be "repaired"... and the LOSS of use of that unit.

To be frank in regards to online vendors- Most are selling the converters as temporary stock type items. 6-months from now most will have moved on to the next "hot-thing" to sell.

Just like the Brick and Mortar stores....


Regardless if you were looking to"dump" sub-standard goods doing so thru online vendors would be easier that doing so thru a brick and mortar business in which you are depending on repeat business-

Have a online business selling junk- shutting down the website and creating another website is far, far easier that if you have a Brick and Mortar business in which it's taken 10-20- 40+ years to build up a reputation.

Do I buy online? YES... but the price has to reflect the risk & the fact in most cases I'm going to have more "luck" getting a sub-standard / problematic product returned locally if it doesn't work out.

On buying thru a GROCERY store... I can see a situation in which a unit goes bad, is out of warranty and the store manager can't do a return officially but says to just go get yourself $50 worth of food...knowing the loss on the converter box will be offset by future sales.

I guess in a nutshell what I'm saying is a local merchant is going to do more to keep their B&M store name good that has taken many, many years to get built up.


.
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post #821 of 1146 Old 03-16-2009, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruePurple View Post

What does it's more limited EPG system look like? Anyone got a picture? So there's no way to find out with it, what is happening after the show after the current one?


While you're waiting on a response... I think Systems2000 posted pics... you might try searching via his user name.

Also search with the search term 970a, Dollar Tree remote- as that is the remote needed to pull up the EPG.


.
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post #822 of 1146 Old 03-17-2009, 08:41 AM
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I posted images on page 21, but it doesn't include the normal EPG. I'll see if I took one.
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post #823 of 1146 Old 03-17-2009, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruePurple View Post

What does it's more limited EPG system look like? Anyone got a picture? So there's no way to find out with it, what is happening after the show after the current one?


See post#125 of this thread (Page 5 as I'm set up) for a picture. The simple guide is displayed when you change channels. It shows now/next, and that's it. I don't think the Zat has program detail, except in the hidden guide.

I use the hidden EPG regularly, have it set up on my learning remote with commands from my CM7000. The DTVPal is a data dumper, I can't count on it to have more than a few hours out on all channels, and if I turn to a station to get it to fill it, it takes about 15 minutes. The Zat fills in a week relatively quickly, and potentially could show 2 weeks. True, you can't select a program to set an event timer like you can with the Pal, but you can get the program detail on the Zat's hidden guide, which is useful.
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post #824 of 1146 Old 03-17-2009, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I posted images on page 21, but it doesn't include the normal EPG. I'll see if I took one.

There is a thread here (somewhere) on AVS that shows what the EPG's for allot of the CECB's look like.

Ah, here it is:

NTIA approved (CECBs) - Electronic program guide (EPG) - Style Used

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1022201

PS: If the model doesn't have pics posted/and or the info is wrong, or is lacking "details" on features that would be a "selling point" (The ZAT Hidden EPG for example) - How about re-posting pics /details about such in the above thread as well..... so when people ask the question "What does the EPG look like?" you can refer them to (1) thread in which they can compare several different models...


.
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post #825 of 1146 Old 03-17-2009, 04:36 PM
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So, for sure no way to access program details with any of the zinwells? (except with hidden epg for those that have it?)

I see a "all channels" thing in the epg, can I set it to show me all the channels now/next at once, gride like? Or only just the channel your currently watching? Can I see what's on a different channel without changing the current one?

As far as the hidden epg, that number I gave doesn't have it right? Anyone know where I can buy one that does? It seems to me that it's unlikely I will find one with it, so I can't count on that.
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post #826 of 1146 Old 03-17-2009, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruePurple View Post

So, for sure no way to access program details with any of the zinwells? (except with hidden epg for those that have it?)
Yep, no way to access the hidden EPG on anything except 970A'a with "higher: build dates /lot /batch numbers

My unit is 0827 and has the hidden EPG, cut-off may be 0830


I see a "all channels" thing in the epg, can I set it to show me all the channels now/next at once, gride like? Or only just the channel your currently watching? Can I see what's on a different channel without changing the current one?

Only the channel you are currently viewing, NOW and NEXT (AFAIK)

As far as the hidden epg, that number I gave doesn't have it right? Anyone know where I can buy one that does? It seems to me that it's unlikely I will find one with it, so I can't count on that.




NOTE: Some responses in BOLD in above quote section- LOOK UP /\\:


1: More than likely you will NOT be finding any retailers with the units with the "hidden EPG's.

2: Zinwell 970a UPC_8-7440900089-9 has the hidden extended EPG, if it is a EARLY BUILD DATE, DOUBLE CHECK THREAD/Above posts- I think cut-off was build /batch lot 0830. (or around that)
0827 has been confirmed to have the hidden EPG.

When calling ask the clerk to look at the serial number, next to the UPC CODE. *There will be (4) digits underlined in the middle of the serial number- Those numbers are the build lot /batch lot (or whatever you want to call it) that you are looking for.

(I have (2) Zinwell ZAT-905A's, 0839 that the hidden, read only- non-interactive EPG is NOT accessible.)


.
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post #827 of 1146 Old 03-19-2009, 05:15 PM
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Now, with regards to my two Zat 970As, I found something out.

I got the other one (not the one that's been messing up its own event timer) running again tonight, just to experiment, and made a little discovery...

It doesn't have a 24 hour clock.

I thought all the 970As used a 24 hour clock, and it was as of the 950As that they switched to the AM/PM type clock.

I checked the boxes and the stickers on both Zat boxes. They both say 970A.

Do some of the originals have the AM/PM type clock?

I also find it interesting that it's the 24 hour one that's all messed up.

I'm going to be leaving the AM/PM one connected and running with the same timer events programmed into it, and see what happens after a few days where the scrambling of the timer info is concerned. (May switch them if the AM/PM model turns out to be stable and use the other where no timer's needed.)

Comments?
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post #828 of 1146 Old 03-19-2009, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrof View Post

Now, with regards to my two Zat 970As, I found something out.

I got the other one (not the one that's been messing up its own event timer) running again tonight, just to experiment, and made a little discovery...

It doesn't have a 24 hour clock.

I thought all the 970As used a 24 hour clock, and it was as of the 950As that they switched to the AM/PM type clock.

I checked the boxes and the stickers on both Zat boxes. They both say 970A.

Do some of the originals have the AM/PM type clock?

I also find it interesting that it's the 24 hour one that's all messed up.

I'm going to be leaving the AM/PM one connected and running with the same timer events programmed into it, and see what happens after a few days where the scrambling of the timer info is concerned. (May switch them if the AM/PM model turns out to be stable and use the other where no timer's needed.)

Comments?

This has been discussed previously in this thread at:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15290762

Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

There is a ZAT-950A, ZAT-970, & ZAT-970A.

Confirmed ZAT-970A with 24 hour (0830 and below) and AM/PM settings - Tan (mine's Yellow/Orange fade) or Blue box.

Confirmed ZAT-950A (0838) with AM/PM clock.

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post #829 of 1146 Old 03-20-2009, 02:46 AM
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Thank you.

Now, another question:
I've noted that the box can supposedly be upgraded by OTA. Does anyone think this might have already been done in some areas, and might that be why I've had deleted channels reappear and timer events either disappear or have their channel changed?
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post #830 of 1146 Old 03-20-2009, 11:31 AM
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Gastrof #831: I'd bet that the broadcasters are adding, removing and re-designating their outputs in preparation or testing for the cutover. Here, the nearest PBS dropped analog, and went totally digital(three broadcasts). Their 'new' equipment confused the Zenith, the ZAT970a and the tr40. I didn't document is totally, but it is no longer 8.1-8.3 on the ZAT.
I would expect changes to the lineup to mess up the 'timer table' where the events are stored. I would bet that the 'channel' selection is a number that has nothing to do with the PSIP channel number, but is actually its position in the 'channel table'. If things shuffle in the channel table, it would affect what station is tuned when time rolls around for the timer to power up and change to the timer channel.
At least that is what appears to be happening. I did find one channel labeled 'data distribution' of some sort, and thought "Ahah, here is where they will do OTA upgrades..." but haven't seen anything to support my thoughts recently.
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post #831 of 1146 Old 03-20-2009, 06:53 PM
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Only one of our local channels will be moving their digital broadcasts to another channel once analog goes dark, and none of the channels I get have discontinued analog. This means they're all right where they've been all along.
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post #832 of 1146 Old 03-21-2009, 06:10 AM
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gastrof, I just noticed you said 'deleted' channels reappearing in your post. In your case, I would try leaving the channels in the lineup, don't delete those that you don't like, and see if the scheduled timers work as advertised.
What I am trying to say is that I think that the designers did not take care of keeping the channel lineup constant over time. Their mindset was 'whatever is out there is supposed to be in our lineup, and we should "HELP" the ignorant customer who will be pleased when we add channels that *obviously* should have been retained..'
Now, that is a lot of supposition, but I'd just try leaving it with its full complement of discovered channels, don't modify the list, and see if it keeps its schedule better.
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post #833 of 1146 Old 03-21-2009, 07:32 AM
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My deleted channels stay deleted - the lineup has not changed in many months. Only new channels/subchannels will appear in the list. Maybe your power went out briefly and it rescanned so that why the channels were readded? I haven't had a problem since I put it on a UPS.
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post #834 of 1146 Old 03-21-2009, 10:05 AM
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Mine was repeatedly re-adding channels, but not all at the same time. My solution was to go into the channel line up and select "skip" for each of the channels I don't want to see when skimming through channels. However, all channels still exist when setting timers.
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post #835 of 1146 Old 03-21-2009, 10:21 AM
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Hmmm . . . I think I have mine skipped rather than deleted also.
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post #836 of 1146 Old 03-22-2009, 12:01 PM
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zinwell 970A's at HEB in Houston $40
upc 874409000899
my underlined portion of my serial number was 0908
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post #837 of 1146 Old 03-25-2009, 07:50 PM
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Anyone know of a decent place to buy a Zinwell box - preferably at a bricks and mortar store. Is there a preference for either the 970 or the 950?

Thanks
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post #838 of 1146 Old 03-26-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfQuill View Post

I recently invested in a 6-in-1 universal remote control from a local dollar store for, well, a dollar (how can a true technogeek turn down a deal like that?), and although the enclosed list didn't show anything resembling DTV boxes much less Zinwell, I tried stepping thru codes, and found one that activates my beloved ZAT-970.

The downside: The buttons bear no resemblance to functions, for example the numbers on the keypad activate various functions, like '2' does 'Zoom', or Channel up does Volume up.

But here's the biggie, pressing '3' activates a greatly enhanced and heretofore hidden EPG! A full screen pops up with dates, times, channels, with a grid showing each program's title, and by using the original remote's forward and back buttons (or arcane buttons on the universal), has info (dependent on the station's data) some 2 weeks into the future, and into the past (although no data shows up there).

In addition, pressing the Enter button brings up a full description of the selected program, if available.

I am absolutely beside myself (hey, other Quill, gimme that remote) with this rich expression of data, for whatever reason Mr. Zinwell has chosen to hide this wondrous capability by not provisioning the remote to call it up.

Further searching shows that pressing '6' brings up enhanced data for the current station, like its true channel, frequency, modulation, etc.

Haven't discovered any other secret functions so far, like enabling S-Video or the like, but this is quite enough of a discovery, thank you. Maybe they are planning a future release of this product, changing no more than the remote. For me, this has added considerable value to the existing box, easily putting it up as #1 (despite it's Daylight Time flaw and sometimes flaky channel switching).

The particular universal remote I am using is an unbranded Chinese device (no surprise there) with UPC code 6 39277 71184 7, but I'd guess any universal remote might stumble into the proper codes.

With considerable effort I might be tempted to attach a screen shot, but that may take more effort than I'm willing to take at 1 AM watching Conan.

ProfQuill,
Could you tell us more on what codes you entered. Was it just the Brand code or the 4 digit ones or what.
Thank you,
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post #839 of 1146 Old 03-26-2009, 03:29 PM
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pestocat, from post #539, ProfQuill said about the Dollar Tree universal remote:

Quote:


A code of 015 works on the buttons for 'SAT' and 'CBL'

See Systems2000's post #593 for a chart of what the dollar tree remote does to a Zat, and my post #807 for a chart of what the CM7000 remote does. I programmed four of the CM7000 remote commands onto the learning remote function key for my Zat. Since my Zat and CM7000 are next to each other, I mask the Zat when I'm recording.

From what others have reported, just to be clear, we're talking Zat970A (or Zat970) with the underlined portion of the S/N 0830 and lower.
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post #840 of 1146 Old 03-27-2009, 12:44 AM
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>we're talking Zat970A with the underlined portion of the S/N 0830 and lower.

The 'A' part designates analog-pass-thru, not relevant to the hidden EPG (mine is non-'A').

Speaking about deals at dollar stores (not Dollar Tree), just found some 4-pair Cat-3 cable at one, 50 feet for a buck (not exactly for your gigabit network, but fine phone wire nonetheless).
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