Originally Posted by Malouff
Now that some of you did order the Zinwell and will be doing a review.
Will you please include some images with your reviews.
I still think that this box has no Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and the timers will all be manual.
This would mean that you would need to get the program times and channels from another source and enter the time and channel manually for the eight timers unlike the DTVPal that has that nice looking Program Guide to use.
I will admit that with the manual time this appears better for now but once the updated DTVPal firmware is release and if it works correctly I still think the DTVPal would be a better option for a box with timers.
Both of these boxes however appear to have no ventilation and may not win any CECB longevity race. I think it is likely stop functioning before the analog recording device does.
The performance of the ZAT-970A is unknown, but I find it strange that you want to compare it to what the DTVpal was supposed to be. The ZAT-970A needs to be compared to what the DTVpal is.
The reality is that for many users of the DTVpal:
1. The clock is a mess. It keeps jumping around or locks to a station that keeps jumping around.
2. The timers are a mess. Events get deleted and/or altered.
3. The EPG does not work correctly. Since it does not know what time it is, it also reports the wrong programs.
4. DTVpal tech(What a joke!) support is telling people they have to disable the automatic power down, in order for the timers to work. That means the EPG does not get updated.
5. Users report that the they have all kinds of problems with the EPG info. It comes and goes. What difference does it make if you can supposedly use it to set a Timer, when you can't get the data to begin with.
6. How valuable is a timer set by EPG when the clocks are all over the place, and, even if they were not, you really need to add time before and after the scheduled time of the program if you want to be sure to get the whole program in the real world.
The DTVpal supporters want to blame all the problems on the stations, but "Real Engineers" design products to work in the "Real World". In my opinion, the DISH team failed to do that.
I am beginning to suspect that the DTVpal EPG may be a significant part of their problems. The only guy who keeps claiming it works well is in a tiny market (4 channels/9 total sub-channels). I question whether the box can handle the EPG update process when it gets all the program data one can expect in a major market. As I pointed out in another thread, if that is the case, the problem could get a lot worse. For many reasons, the amount of PSIP information being received is going to keep increasing. If, and I do not claim to know, problems are triggered by trying to manipulate more data than the software can handle correctly, people, who's units now seem to work, may find that they stop working in the future when they receive more data, and the units will be out of warranty.
Until they actually start delivering units that work well, all over the country, who cares what DISH CLAIMS about the DTVpal. I did ask in the local OTA group, and finally got a response from someone who has a DTVpal. He seems to be having all of the reported timer problems, and this is the Denver market, where DISH is based and that they used for the Screen Shots in the User Guide. Give me a break!
I have absolutely no trust in DISH. As you should have noticed, they have already changed their RMA procedure. You have to return your non-working unit to them, before they will send out a, supposedly, working unit. That eliminates the possibility of side by side comparison, to see if they really fixed things.
Even though none of the posters have reported seeing them, one poster has reported that he was told there were at least 2 additional firmware versions. We know 100 and 101 have problems. The existence of 103 makes it pretty obvious that 102 has bugs.
I suspect that the DISH R&D motto is "Ready-Fire-Aim"
I am so thankful I held off on my purchase.