Zinwell ZAT-970A? - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 1146 Old 08-18-2008, 09:14 AM
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I think instead of drifting, the unit reset itself, resetting the clock to 00:00 at 10 PM local time (ie. 2 hours before midnight), so the clock appeared to be 2 hours fast when I checked it in the morning. That's just a theory on my part. So far nobody else has reported the problem I'm having, so it's probably isolated to my unit.

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Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

so the clock only drifted cause of the power loss?

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post #152 of 1146 Old 08-20-2008, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualsensation View Post

I think instead of drifting, the unit reset itself, resetting the clock to 00:00 at 10 PM local time (ie. 2 hours before midnight), so the clock appeared to be 2 hours fast when I checked it in the morning. That's just a theory on my part. So far nobody else has reported the problem I'm having, so it's probably isolated to my unit.

thanks, i guess it could be isolated...or no one else has tested their zinwell for it. It doesn't look like a lot of people here own it.
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post #153 of 1146 Old 08-20-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

thanks, i guess it could be isolated...or no one else has tested their zinwell for it. It doesn't look like a lot of people here own it.

......and for good reason......it's mediocre (at best)!!
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post #154 of 1146 Old 08-20-2008, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

......and for good reason......it's mediocre (at best)!!

well if it's mediocre at recording with multiple timers, it's still the one to get if you need timers...

electrictroy did you ever get the zinwell? if so, how does the PQ compare to your other converters. thanks
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post #155 of 1146 Old 08-20-2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

well if it's mediocre at recording with multiple timers, it's still the one to get if you need timers...

electrictroy did you ever get the zinwell? if so, how does the PQ compare to your other converters. thanks

The important thing about the ZAT-970A is the Timer events stay. There is no deleting of events or changing channels. You can remove power and event information is secure. Picture quality is as good as the Zenith unit. This unit is good for a VCR application. I wouldn't use it for a direct connection to TV. It has no TV power button and the analog pass-through is cumbersome.
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post #156 of 1146 Old 08-20-2008, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pestocat View Post

The important thing about the ZAT-970A is the Timer events stay. There is no deleting of events or changing channels. You can remove power and event information is secure. Picture quality is as good as the Zenith unit. This unit is good for a VCR application. I wouldn't use it for a direct connection to TV. It has no TV power button and the analog pass-through is cumbersome.

thanks. I will mostly be using this to record tv shows on my DVD recorder when I need to...and occasionally watching some tv.
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post #157 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 07:49 AM
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Between this unit and the DishNetwork units, which has the better PQ and sensitivity?
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post #158 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 08:09 AM
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I have till September 10 to make a decision on a box with a timer. Where's the best place to buy the Zinwell?
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post #159 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Between this unit and the DishNetwork units, which has the better PQ and sensitivity?

All I can say is the Pal's sensitivity is on a par with the Zenith - actually even a bit better - but I'd find it hard to believe that any box's PQ could really be that much worse than the Pal's.

Somebody above said that the Zinwell's PQ was about as good as the Zenith's. So even though that's only one person's opinion, you can take that for what it's worth (a lot of people claimed that the Pal's PQ was "very good", also - they must need glasses or something - or they just haven't compared it with some of the better boxes head-to-head).

I suppose there are boxes with worse PQ, but it couldn't be by that much, otherwise you just plain wouldn't be able to stand watching it, because the Pal's is so soft, it would be downright blurry to the point of being totally out of focus-looking. Watching the Pal even sometimes can give me eyestrain and a mild headache.

For reference, I've been using them on a 32" 480i CRT.

Good guide and sensitivity - that's about all I can honestly say that the Pal has going for it.

You know, people are so concerned about the timers on these two boxes - when your VCR's finally bite the dust, which they eventually will, then what are you going to do? Good luck finding another, standalone one. You'll likely end up replacing it with a DVD recorder anyway, and that'll have it's own, built-in ATSC tuner, unless you get that low-end, tunerless Panasonic model with the IR blaster and pair it with one of these boxes that can be controlled by it (which the Zinwell hasn't been proven to be able to do yet). The boxes that *should* be able to be controlled by newer units with IR blasters are the Zenith, Channel Master, DTVPal and the RCA. At least of the ones out so far.

And remember that the ATSC tuners in the recorders don't generally have as many features as these CECB boxes do - you can forget about the guide. And, in case you're thinking of getting one, a combo VCR/DVD recorder is going to cost you quite a bit more. Sure, you can set the timers to synchronize on the Zinwell and most recorders - even DVD recorders - but wouldn't it be much easier to just have to do it on one unit? At least you don't have to worry about clock time differences on the two units.

Also, if you want to be able to keep watching what's on your video tapes in the future, it might be wise to get a
dvd recorder now and start transferring that stuff to DVD while your VCR is still working.
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post #160 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

You know, people are so concerned about the timers on these two boxes - when your VCR's finally bite the dust, which they eventually will, then what are you going to do? Good luck finding another, standalone one. You'll likely end up replacing it with a DVD recorder anyway...

By that logic, then why bother buying a CECB at all? Just go all digital now.

The purpose of these devices is to allow people to continue using their analog equipment, and for many of us, that includes VCRs, DVD recorders, and even DVRs. Many of these devices will probably outlive the CECBs themselves.

In any case, if timers aren't important to you, that's great. Good for you! However, for those of us who require them, picture quality may be of lesser concern. I don't get why that is so difficult for some people to fathom.
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post #161 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 05:33 PM
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I haven't bought any box with timer yet. But I do have several DVD Recorders, one lasted 6 years already and keep on going. I am not going to throw them away just to get new ones with ATSC tuner.
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post #162 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

And remember that the ATSC tuners in the recorders don't generally have as many features as these CECB boxes do - you can forget about the guide. And, in case you're thinking of getting one, a combo VCR/DVD recorder is going to cost you quite a bit more. Sure, you can set the timers to synchronize on the Zinwell and most recorders - even DVD recorders - but wouldn't it be much easier to just have to do it on one unit? At least you don't have to worry about clock time differences on the two units.

Also, if you want to be able to keep watching what's on your VHS tapes in the future, it might be wise to get a DVD recorder now and start transferring that stuff to DVD while your VCR is still working.

I already purchased a combo VHS/DVD recorder, DVD player/VHS recorder combo, and have two VHS recorders, all with NTSC tuners. I'm sure they will most likely outlive the CECB's.
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post #163 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I already purchased a combo VHS/DVD recorder, DVD player/VHS recorder combo, and have two VHS recorders, all with NTSC tuners. I'm sure they will most likely outlive the CECB's.

I have the exact same lineup of VCR and DVD combos except one VHS is a TV combo. It's going to be many years before they die. I'm hoping ( and assuming) that the boxes I have will last that long.
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post #164 of 1146 Old 08-21-2008, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaseShip View Post

I haven't bought any box with timer yet. But I do have several DVD Recorders, one lasted 6 years already and keep on going. I am not going to throw them away just to get new ones with ATSC tuner.

i agree i have a dvd recorder that i bought without a digital tuner. I'm not throwing it away just to get one with a tuner....i'm going to make it last as long as possible. but back to the subject of the zinwell...
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post #165 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaseShip View Post

I haven't bought any box with timer yet. But I do have several DVD Recorders, one lasted 6 years already and keep on going. I am not going to throw them away just to get new ones with ATSC tuner.

Nobody said you should get rid of the ones you have.

Especially ones that are 6 years old, because those were 10x better-made than the ones out there now.
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post #166 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick313 View Post

However, for those of us who require them, picture quality may be of lesser concern. I don't get why that is so difficult for some people to fathom.

It's not - for me. Someone particularly asked about the PQ of the Pal, and I told him what I thought of it.

I couldn't comment on the Zinwell's PQ, because I've never seen it.
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post #167 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 12:36 AM
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I think people who don't care about image quality might still use VCR with CECB. But I guess majority of people who knows tech would have upgraded to DVD recording or better already, since DVD Recorder is very affordable now.

I guess quite a few of us are still waiting to get a decent timer CECB still.
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post #168 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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I'd buy a DVD recorder if someone could show me one that holds 12 hours with almost no loss in quality between "live" and "recorded".
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

You know, people are so concerned about the timers on these two boxes - when your VCR's finally bite the dust, which they eventually will, then what are you going to do? Good luck finding another, standalone one.

I have ~10 of them. At average lifespan of ten years, my VCRs will last me until I'm dead. (I also have a DVR I want to keep functional.) Plus I have lots of camcorder home movies - yet another reason to keep functioning VCRs.

The VCRs are Super VHS which provide DVD-quality images in SP speed. I'm satisfied to continue using them.
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Originally Posted by cheaplikeafox View Post

electrictroy did you ever get the zinwell? if so, how does the PQ compare to your other converters. thanks

Picture quality doesn't matter to me; my primary concern is: "Will I be able to watch the Oriole games on Baltimore stations?" So far only the Channel Master has passed that test. (It also has the best PQ with S-video output.)

Zinwell ZAT Review:

- Rabbit Ears
- 3 stations (like the DTVpal; inferior to the Zenith and CM-7000)

- Amplified Settop Antenna - 4 stations (like the DTVpal and Zenith; inferior to the CM-7000)

- CM4228 Rooftop antenna - 7 stations (inferior to every box I've tested)

The CM-7000 is still the best box in terms of most stations received. The Zinwell also has two separate bars: Intensity and Quality. The quality bar is identical to how other boxes work, with the picture breaking-up at ~30% and freezing at ~5%. The intensity bar appears to be measuring the signal strength of my amplifier, not the actual signal. i.e. Intensity == Signal + Noise.

The Zinwell has "manual scanning" but that appears to be broken. I can't add any stations.
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post #169 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

I'd buy a DVD recorder if someone could show me one that holds 12 hours with almost no loss in quality between "live" and "recorded".

Are you talking about for time-shifting or archiving? If time-shifting, wouldn't you be better off with an HDD model, which holds many, many more hours of programming? At no loss in quality?

If you're getting "no loss in quality" you must only be recording once or twice on those tapes. If you're stockpiling tapes, doesn't it get to be a real pain? I mean, picture 50 VHS tapes and 50,or even 200, DVD-R's sitting in spindle packs.

I understand having all those VCR's and wanting to continue using them. Especially if they're S-VHS (and you've invested a lot in them), and you have plenty of room to have them set up and to store all the tapes. But I'm talking about people who don't have a huge hoard of them like you.

I know too many people that just have one VCR that aren't thinking ahead. I'm just trying to make people like them think a little about what their possible future situation could be like. Even if it doesn't apply to anybody currently posting in this thread, maybe it will to someone else reading this.
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post #170 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 03:00 PM
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Although this post is not strictly about the ZAT-970A, it is about a Zinwell. I found it humorous but didn't want to start a new thread for it. On the way home I stopped at the ACME to pick up some shrimp. Right after the checkout by the courtesy desk there stood a "basket" containing about 50 Zinwell ZAT-857's, selling for $50 and eligible for the gov't coupon. So ACME is now a coupon participating electronics retailer. I can't wait to see what models are stocked at Pathmark and SuperFresh.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #171 of 1146 Old 08-22-2008, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

Picture quality doesn't matter to me; my primary concern is: "Will I be able to watch the Oriole games on Baltimore stations?" So far only the Channel Master has passed that test.

I get WJZ-DT with every box I've used (APEX DT-250/502, Digital Stream DX-9950, & Insignia -APT), except the Venturer. It's the only solid station I get from Baltimore or D.C. and they're at about 65-70 miles and Double Edged Diffraction pick-up (LOS could be attained with a 600' tower).

NOTE: I also get 54, 24, & 45 intermittantly.
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post #172 of 1146 Old 08-23-2008, 01:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

So ACME is now a coupon participating electronics retailer. I can't wait to see what models are stocked at Pathmark and SuperFresh.

Would you like a Zinwell with your fries?
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post #173 of 1146 Old 08-23-2008, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

On the way home I stopped at the ACME to pick up some shrimp. Right after the checkout by the courtesy desk there stood a "basket" containing about 50 Zinwell ZAT-857's, selling for $50 and eligible for the gov't coupon. So ACME is now a coupon participating electronics retailer.

So who was behind the counter - Wile E. Coyote?
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post #174 of 1146 Old 08-23-2008, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Although this post is not strictly about the ZAT-970A, it is about a Zinwell. I found it humorous but didn't want to start a new thread for it. On the way home I stopped at the ACME to pick up some shrimp. Right after the checkout by the courtesy desk there stood a "basket" containing about 50 Zinwell ZAT-857's, selling for $50 and eligible for the gov't coupon. So ACME is now a coupon participating electronics retailer. I can't wait to see what models are stocked at Pathmark and SuperFresh.

As the cutoff date approaches, I wouldn't be surprised if most groceries stores offer some kind of converter box. A lot of elderly people don't shop anywhere other than grocery stores. How these people, with zero electronics experience, will get those boxes hooked up and working is another issue...I know this first hand as I've set up CECB's for my grandparents, who definitely would never be able to do it themselves.
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post #175 of 1146 Old 08-23-2008, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

So who was behind the counter - Wile E. Coyote?

meep, meep . . .

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #176 of 1146 Old 08-23-2008, 08:31 PM
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I found a negative issue to report (and hopefully it hasnt already been reported). Apparently if your 970A is on and the channel its tuned to loses signal for more than a few seconds, the zat will delete the channel from its lineup.

I noticed this the other day when I was watching TV through my CM-7000 and I started getting pixelation like crazy (which is why again I would say the CM-7000s arent the be all end all CECB...but I digress). My 970A (in combination with my VCR) was set to record on that channel in the event I wasnt at home when my program was on. So I switched over to it to see how it was doing and it was on the wrong channel.

My first thought was "it's the DTVPal all over again!". Then I looked and saw that the channel it was supposed to "wake-up" to wasnt even there.

That could be problematic if you're out of town for a week and during a storm you are supposed to record something/the zat is supposed to power on.

Nonetheless, I'm still happy with my 970A...as it was a minor inconvenience to have to re-add the channel. Other than that, I havent seen any other errors on the level I saw with my DTVPal, which makes me moderately happy.
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post #177 of 1146 Old 08-23-2008, 09:16 PM
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so it seems like most people seem content with the zinwell's timed event recordings? even though the zinwell does have its own set of flaws...
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post #178 of 1146 Old 08-24-2008, 04:16 PM
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nwiser, I have a local channel that is nothing but pixelation and signal drop outs, but it has never been automatically deleted from the channel lineup.
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post #179 of 1146 Old 08-24-2008, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualsensation View Post

nwiser, I have a local channel that is nothing but pixelation and signal drop outs, but it has never been automatically deleted from the channel lineup.

hmmm.... try tuning to a channel, turning off the zat, disconnecting the coax, and then turning back on the zat to see if it deletes the channel.

if they're all gone it may not do anything, but I cant think of a better way to test.
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post #180 of 1146 Old 08-24-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

I have ~10 of them. At average lifespan of ten years, my VCRs will last me until I'm dead. (I also have a DVR I want to keep functional.) Plus I have lots of camcorder home movies - yet another reason to keep functioning VCRs.

With all due respect......if you honestly think that the lifespan of your VCR's is ten years......you're only fooling yourself!
The VCR's that lasted ten years were manufactured ten years ago (at least)!!
BTW......I sincerely hope that you won't be dead before your VCR's bite the bullet!!

Zinwell ZAT Review:

- Rabbit Ears
- 3 stations (like the DTVpal; inferior to the Zenith and CM-7000)

- Amplified Settop Antenna - 4 stations (like the DTVpal and Zenith; inferior to the CM-7000)

- CM4228 Rooftop antenna - 7 stations (inferior to every box I've tested)

I made it (abundantly) clear in my initial review some time ago......
The Zinwell is a mediocre (at best!) converter. Nothing to write home about!
As you (and others) continue to use it......you will likely find this out first hand (as I did)......unfortunately!


THE BASIC PROBLEM:
CECB products are basically a "one shot deal". There will be very few sold beyond February, 2009 and probably none sold after the coupon program ends later next year (if the funding lasts that long).
The primary objective for these manufacturers was to get them on the street ASAP. Little care or pride was invested in the design and production of these (short term) units!!


THE BIGGEST CONCERN (at least for me):
Will they still be available when our current units self destruct and need to be replaced?
Based upon the fact that they're using the poorest quality parts and workmanship in the building of these units......unfortunately, these "disposable" boxes will end up being trashed soon enough!......
what happens then?......
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