Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 1146 Old 06-17-2009, 12:20 PM
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FYI/follow-up, after I performed all this rescan mess I discovered that my 950A pulled in the *few weaker stations I have better than my 970A and another 970A I acquired for a friend. But nothing serious and the strong stations are 100% on both versions. GL finding a 950A now anyway; I see SS is out of 970As now and the price shot back up to $60 (maybe a default price when out of stock).

*Note: There were other 'nonsense' weaker stations but I deleted them before thinking about comparisons . Seemed like they worked OK and registered around 50%.

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post #902 of 1146 Old 06-17-2009, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Try doing the full scan (Auto Scan>Search) and when it prompts "Warning! Do you really want to delete all channels?" select "No" (default) and press Enter. I stumbled on this by accident, their weird way of doing a partial rescan. The only catch is you'll have to delete any stations again you already deleted and you might have to 're-Favorite' some others.

Thanks. The next time I make a similar mistake, I will use your advice. For most of my CECB's, I am not deleting anything remotely of interest. I do not want to go through the hell of the scanning I did after the transition. Only two of my tv's got all of the stations scanned in with no problem (their antenna position and location in my residence facilitated the easy scanning). The other tv's and antennas were another story. Let's just say I went through alot of choreography and body movement to get most of the stations.

Even though my antenna for the Zinwell was not ideally situated, I was amazed at its ability to recognize most of the stations that were available. It acted as though any signal that had any amount of strength would be acceptable to it. The Channel Master further into my residence was another story (did NOT perform miracles). I was very satisfied with the Zinwell 950-A's ability in this respect. It missed two major channels, but I expected that due to those channel's problems.

Are you saying that the tuner in the 950-A is better than that of the 970-A? I think I read that it is made of a different material (silicon) and made by a different company.

Its manual is much more complete than that of the Channel Master. The print size is very small, but I'd rather have the text size in the manual be small while the text size on the screen being of acceptable size than the reverse, which is the case with the Channel Master - the text size in its manual is large while the text size on the screen is very small!!
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post #903 of 1146 Old 06-18-2009, 12:14 PM
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The 950A has a Microtune silicon IC tuner vs the 970A has an aluminum can tuner (discrete components on a circuit board and possibly requires factory tuning; I think Samsung is the mfger). My perception is that the IC is better but I don't know the raw specifications. The IC would have better temperature stability and less part-to-part variation from the factory; probably use less current too and may have digital logic monitoring/control that could be wired to the 'brain' (assuming they hooked it up). But it is entirely possible for the discrete can version to have better raw RF performance if it is well designed with quality components and the factory tuning isn't sloppy (sometimes they widen the specs to get more yield). The can version should also be less susceptible to external interference if the IC version isn't shielded, which can effect sensitivity (higher signal levels of the discrete components may help too).

Funny this whole mess with the two versions and 950As seem to have been discontinued. I suspect 970As are cheaper for them to make unless it was a vendor spat.

Funny manual pgh. Yeah that CM manual is nothing more than an outline. Maybe the technical writers had to leave the project early with the software crew (i.e. my previous gripes about the RC operation). I thought I read somewhere around here someone had figured out a backdoor way to enlarge the text, something about changing the CC (digital?) and then adjusting the CC Preferences.

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post #904 of 1146 Old 06-18-2009, 07:52 PM
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I switched my ZAT-970A off the secondary antenna to the primary today. I've discovered that it seems to be performing better than when I first received it and ran comparison tests. I also found that it's volume is very low, compared to my APEX DT502.

OOPS! Forgot about having reset the unit and needing to reset the audio option to RF.

Interestingly, I found that it will hold a picture and audio down to 1% Signal Quality. I was beginning to think this was going to be a good thing, when I discovered that the APEX DT502 showed 15% at the same time the Zinwell went to 0% and lost picture/audio. Appears that Zinwell calibrated the scale to be 0% when the unit can no longer hold the picture.

Bottom line though, I'm leaving the Zinwell on the primary antenna, looking to possibly acquire another, and finally going to show the wife how to use it,
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post #905 of 1146 Old 06-19-2009, 08:38 AM
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[quote=systems2000;16680347]I switched my ZAT-970A off the secondary antenna to the primary today. I've discovered that it seems to be performing better than when I first received it and ran comparison tests.QUOTE]

Hmmm, I wonder if some of these tuners 'learn?' (sort of neural network thing).

I have one major station and its sister station that occupy RF channels 11 and 9, resp. One TV is on UHF/VHF-switched rabbit ears and my CM just can't hold them; the signal bar dances between 0% and 50%. Based on your Zinwell 0% discussion I may have to try one of my Zinwells. The frequencies are closest to the border of the two antennas, yet RF Ch 8 comes in strong so I suspect that station needs to crank it up!

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post #906 of 1146 Old 06-20-2009, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

I have one major station and its sister station that occupy RF channels 11 and 9, resp. One TV is on UHF/VHF-switched rabbit ears and my CM just can't hold them; the signal bar dances between 0% and 50%. Based on your Zinwell 0% discussion I may have to try one of my Zinwells. The frequencies are closest to the border of the two antennas, yet RF Ch 8 comes in strong so I suspect that station needs to crank it up!

Both the 970A and 950A held that pesky Ch 11 with decent, but not great, reception (better than nothing at all); but still not that Ch 9. So that got me to do a quick compare of the other channels vs the CM and ZW boxes; rough but it seems the ZWs do better on VHF whereas the CM picks up UHF better (ZWs still good though). Hmmm, I wonder if some or all CECB tuners utilize dual-band tuning?

As to the fluctuation I saw on the CM's signal bar, I noticed that the ZW's Signal Intensity bar settled to nearly constant while it's Signal Quality bar fluctuated. I like the way the CM meter stays on the screen until the button is pushed again although it doesn't come up when channels are changed like the ZW. The ZW meter goes away too fast and you have to keep pressing the button - annoying.

Other: Well my 970A started doing the erratic jumping of Favorites categories and losing stored Fav info (deleted channels coming back, loss of grouping) just like my 950A. Strange it didn't do it for almost two weeks.

Question: You folks see any nearly free (after coupon & including shipping if applies) deals out there on other boxes you like? Also wouldn't mind 12V operation for the van if the box is worth a hoot. I have a few extra coupons coming via my siblings. Thanks in advance!

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post #907 of 1146 Old 06-23-2009, 07:25 PM
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I haven't read all the pages sure someone already noticed if you have CM7000 remote don't need the dollar tree remote. Channel 3 brings up the EPG -- INFO pauses the video while audio goes on.
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post #908 of 1146 Old 06-23-2009, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

... I like the way the CM meter stays on the screen until the button is pushed again although it doesn't come up when channels are changed like the ZW. The ZW meter goes away too fast and you have to keep pressing the button - annoying...

"6" on the $Tree remote brings up the meter bars on both EPG and non-EPG versions of the the 970A and keeps them on until you press the button again. It also displays the RF channel number along with the video and audio of the channel in the background.

You don't have to read all the pages, the good info starts on page 17.
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post #909 of 1146 Old 06-23-2009, 11:51 PM
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For tables of what the Dollar Tree and CM7000 remotes do to the early Zat, see these links:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15298282

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post15936224
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post #910 of 1146 Old 06-24-2009, 04:56 AM
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I have ZAT, ZTT901, CM7000, and a TR40. Of all the boxes, the one with the most responsive menu system is the ZAT. The Zenith is a second, and very close. The CM7000 is sort of klunky, as if it was developed by the people that built the Trabant, or the Yugo. The TR40 is more or less a clone of the DISH network software, in appearance anyway. I find its menu system workable, but entering a recording time manually rather difficult.
If Zinwell put a little more effort into its software, especially the program guide, it would be the hardest box to beat on the market. Just my opinin' ...
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post #911 of 1146 Old 06-24-2009, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwpl View Post

I haven't read all the pages sure someone already noticed if you have CM7000 remote don't need the dollar tree remote. Channel 3 brings up the EPG -- INFO pauses the video while audio goes on.

Yeah I found that out the hard way just recently when I put my new addition 2nd ZW next to my existing CM. So much for that recording! LOL. Strange how sensitive the ZW is to the CM remote too vs how I have to point it right at the CM. My first ZW was in a bedroom (sleeper TV) but wired through the wall for the VCR in the living room, so pretty good RC isolation.

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post #912 of 1146 Old 06-24-2009, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeM View Post

"6" on the $Tree remote brings up the meter bars on both EPG and non-EPG versions of the the 970A and keeps them on until you press the button again. It also displays the RF channel number along with the video and audio of the channel in the background.

You don't have to read all the pages, the good info starts on page 17.

I don't have one of those RCs but that is interesting and I'll check out the info when I get a chance - thanks! Also thanks to T-Rat for the table links, good stuff to save or print. Seems like a cumbersome way to have to use an RC but better than nothing; I guess one could re-lable the RC.

I did find another way though soon afterward: Go into the Manual Scan screen and it will come up and hold (but don't Search!). The channel defaults to the channel you're currently on...the catch is it's difficult to navigate to other 'familiar' channels while in this menu because of the frequency mapping.

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post #913 of 1146 Old 06-24-2009, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

For tables of what the Dollar Tree and CM7000 remotes do to the early Zat, see these links:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post15298282

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post15936224

Thanks for the chart now I can put in my PMDVR8. Even better than the EPG to me is the direct access to the timer menu, with the delays between button press and action took forever getting into and out of it thru menu.
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post #914 of 1146 Old 06-24-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

I don't have one of those RCs but that is interesting and I'll check out the info when I get a chance - thanks! Also thanks to T-Rat for the table links...

I think the "6" in the CM remote does the same thing. Not sure though cause I don't have a CM.
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post #915 of 1146 Old 06-24-2009, 10:48 PM
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These extra features are particularly nice with a learning remote. (I have the Sony VL600, under $20 from Amazon.) My hidden EPG is programmed to the 'guide' button, and freeze frame is programmed to the symbol for pause. I have the Zenith CECB's signal button programmed to the red 'record' button, so that's where I programmed my sticky signal on the Zat. The sleep timer is programmed to the 'sleep' button, and the event timer access is one button above that.
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post #916 of 1146 Old 06-25-2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeM View Post

I think the "6" in the CM remote does the same thing. Not sure though cause I don't have a CM.

You're right! Well that's useful since I have CMs too > just pick a channel with the ZW remote and then click CM's #6; gets around the frequency mapping issue I mentioned before. Interesting screen too that I've never seen before. The freeze-frame is cool. Strange how we can get this stuff from 'somewhere else.' I guess the code warriors wrote more functions than the product guys gave them as far as the RC they chose to market. Hmmm, I wonder if multi-button presses on the ZW RC delivers more functions? Sure would be nice to find that extended EPG on the more recent models.

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post #917 of 1146 Old 06-25-2009, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

These extra features are particularly nice with a learning remote. (I have the Sony VL600, under $20 from Amazon.) My hidden EPG is programmed to the 'guide' button, and freeze frame is programmed to the symbol for pause. I have the Zenith CECB's signal button programmed to the red 'record' button, so that's where I programmed my sticky signal on the Zat. The sleep timer is programmed to the 'sleep' button, and the event timer access is one button above that.

Yeah that sounds good. My poor-ass will have to wait until the RC wears out.

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post #918 of 1146 Old 06-25-2009, 03:20 PM
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I just noticed something odd that would help anyone who wants to use the CM and the ZAT in same room. With the Philips PMDVR8 with control on the CM the 3 and other buttons did nothing to the ZAT but of course did what they are supposed to the CM. Did the learning from the CM remote to the button used for ZAT works perfectly it too has correct buttons guide for EPG sleep for sleep display for display and so on.
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post #919 of 1146 Old 06-25-2009, 06:44 PM
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cwpl, that's interesting, all right! I just got my Sony LR, and I prefer traditional channel up/down and volume buttons, but I'll keep the Philips in mind, since I currently have Zat and CM paired. Lately everyone's been using the Zat because the CM misses a couple stations, I was thinking of replacing it with a Zenith. But I think part of it is the hassle of conflicting remotes. So if somebody else has that combo and has replicated cwpl's findings, please chime in!
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post #920 of 1146 Old 06-26-2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

cwpl, that's interesting, all right! I just got my Sony LR, and I prefer traditional channel up/down and volume buttons, but I'll keep the Philips in mind, since I currently have Zat and CM paired. Lately everyone's been using the Zat because the CM misses a couple stations, I was thinking of replacing it with a Zenith. But I think part of it is the hassle of conflicting remotes. So if somebody else has that combo and has replicated cwpl's findings, please chime in!

Maybe with a different code for a Pioneer cable box for the CM in your Sony remote than you are using now will do the same thing. In mine it got channel up and down on and off and the channel digits only, had to learn guide arrow up and down buttons from the CM's remote. Luckily only the arrow up and down do anything to the ZAT so just need to not use them when the ZAT is on. Edit to change Panasonic to Pioneer
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post #921 of 1146 Old 06-26-2009, 11:54 AM
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I'm not using any code right now, just programmed the CM keys directly into the LR, to save having to find the right one. It makes sense that if you're using the LR's standard code with a couple tweaks, it would not interfere except where changed. You're using a Panasonic cable box for the CM, then? What about for the Zat?
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post #922 of 1146 Old 06-26-2009, 01:28 PM
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For the ZAT I used code 0465 found in post in this thread don't remember what page just tried to find again couldn't the poster said they matched with codes for DirectTV, Hitachi, Hughes, and Toshiba. Just gives channel up and down on and off no channel digits had to learn those. And yea Pioneer cable box for the CM which gives what you would expect from cable box power, channel up and down, and digits. Edit to change to Pioneer Talkingrat is Pioneer cable box.
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post #923 of 1146 Old 06-27-2009, 06:42 PM
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I ended up taking the code out for the ZAT for some reason had trouble with learning some digits. Putting the left right arrows in put channel up and down in anyway so all it really gave me was power at that point. Had the timers set to record twice a day all week did fine Mon thru Thur and the first one Fri. Between the first and second somehow the channel I was to record disappeared had to rescan to get it back.
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post #924 of 1146 Old 06-28-2009, 02:08 PM
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I can't remember if it was mentioned, but the ZW remote doesn't have any effect on the CM, at least not for me.

'Programming the ZW for recording and then covering its sensor Floydage'

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post #925 of 1146 Old 06-28-2009, 09:49 PM
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Post transition, my ZAT 950-A has held signals steady, but in my area there are two stations broadcasting in the VHF spectrum - at 6 and 12.

The Zinwell holds 12 but only if I have my antenna (Philips 2210/17, unamplified UHF/VHF with fine tuning dial) positioned exactly. (My other antennas, both dipole only connected to an Insignia, and an RCA ANT 145 with a reflecting UHF plate, UHF/VHF with fine tuning dial and further away from the outside window connected to a Pal Plus seem to pull in the station with more power and a little more forgiveness with antenna positioning.)

It does not pull in VHF 6. (The other antenna setups I mentioned do.)

Is it possible that the Zinwell 950-A doesn't pull in channels in the VHF range well? It does a decent job with the UHF stations, but I have not had the same success with these two VHF stations.

(Added Edit: While getting a "no signal" display from the Zinwell tuner in response to selecting VHF 12, I moved my antenna to various positioning trying to "catch" the signal. Several times while doing this, the Zinwell automatically changed the station to UHF 61. I wondered what its reasoning was in doing this switch, if it was just latching onto the closest frequency it was catching, or switching back to the last accessed channel. It did this at least three times. It did this only if there was "no signal." Once it locked into VHF 12, even with its relatively low signal intensity and quality, it held the station.)
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post #926 of 1146 Old 06-29-2009, 11:51 AM
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See post #908, watt. But yeah, that's pretty wide freq coverage so there could be some compromise vs bands for various tuners. Most of the freqs are in UHF so that's probably the design focus. Try a 970A too if you have one of those.

I'm getting the impression the VHF band is difficult for whatever reason (FCC rqts, tuners, etc., not to mention antenna rqts). RF Ch 11 is a major (CBS) station in D/FW and they've resorted to simulcasting on their sister station's sub-channel, I think due to this problem (SD though).

Added edit: I saw that weirdness after some stations moved but I hadn't performed an update scan yet. I'd up/down to a station then it would jump to somewhere else.

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post #927 of 1146 Old 06-29-2009, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr100watt View Post

P

(Added Edit: While getting a "no signal" display from the Zinwell tuner in response to selecting VHF 12, I moved my antenna to various positioning trying to "catch" the signal. Several times while doing this, the Zinwell automatically changed the station to UHF 61. I wondered what its reasoning was in doing this switch, if it was just latching onto the closest frequency it was catching, or switching back to the last accessed channel. It did this at least three times. It did this only if there was "no signal." Once it locked into VHF 12, even with its relatively low signal intensity and quality, it held the station.)

When I mysteriously lost channel I was to record (was completely gone from line up) turned it to channel 68 and the timer's all had the same 68 before anything was put in maybe it defaults to the highest number in it's line up.
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post #928 of 1146 Old 07-01-2009, 01:01 AM
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It did it again Mon was fine Tues first recording was ok, second the channel disappeared again reverted to 68. All timers changed to 68 some the disappearing one some others. All but the Mon night one turned off retains time if weekly the day just channel changed to 68 and off. I'm starting to wonder if while I'm controlling my cable company DVR or something else is sometimes affecting the ZAT.
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post #929 of 1146 Old 07-01-2009, 06:38 AM
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A new "feature" I have noticed since 6/12 is that while using the expanded program guide, some channels and sub-channels will disappear as I arrow up and down. Then, a few seconds later, they will re-appear. Or not. Wondrous.
When that happens, any timer set for the given channel may get 'modified'. If my old memory serves, a timer set for 11.1 moved to timer position 8 when that happened. But I am not sure of that as I just wanted to get 11 back into the lineup and let it do its thing as the start time was approaching.
Anyone else have disappearing channels?
tom
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post #930 of 1146 Old 07-01-2009, 08:46 AM
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i've read many of the postings here but i'd appreciate it if a user of this Zinwell ZAT-970A box could give me a short review/opinion of it.....i have a friend who has a coupon thats about to expire and he's considering this unit.....

does it have any major flaws? like poor audio or video? or a poor tuner? he doesnt really care too much about the timer feature but it would be a nice plus...i know there may be some issues with it....

some AMAZON.com users complained that the remote is very poor quality....they say it has a very 'cheap' feel to it and some remote keys stopped working after just a few days....

your input will be appreciated...thanks!

*** its high time to go back to OTA antennas and CANCEL our cable/satellite pay tv services! their greed is totally & insanely out of control! ***
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