Zinwell ZAT-950A - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 220 Old 12-13-2008, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a ZAT-970A and just ordered a 950A. I should have it by next week and will report as soon as I set it up.

Currently these two models are being discussed in the 970A thread and I have found it confusing to sort though things. I thought might be better to have a thread dedicated to the 950A.

Maybe one of the mods could move the relevant posts from the other thread over to here?
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post #2 of 220 Old 12-14-2008, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

I have a ZAT-970A and just ordered a 950A. I should have it by next week and will report as soon as I set it up.

Currently these two models are being discussed in the 970A thread and I have found it confusing to sort though things. I thought might be better to have a thread dedicated to the 950A.

Maybe one of the mods could move the relevant posts from the other thread over to here?


I'm thinking getting just one more box with an event timer would be the smart thing to do. I've got two DTVPals and a 970A.

Could I ask where you got the 950A from?
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post #3 of 220 Old 12-14-2008, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I ordered from Solid Signal by phone with a request for proper packaging this time.

The csr said that the 970A was discontinued and warned me that the 950A comes in a blue box so not to worry that the packaging is different. Note that the image on the site has not been changed to reflect this so it's a little confusing.
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post #4 of 220 Old 12-14-2008, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

I ordered from Solid Signal by phone with a request for proper packaging this time.

When I called and requested proper packaging they flatly refused.

Please let us know if they do package it properly.
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post #5 of 220 Old 12-14-2008, 08:32 AM
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I saw where http://www.SolidSignal.com/ had removed the ZAT-970A from their site. When I called to inquire about it, they told me they were out of stock. That was a week or two ago.

So the ZAT-950A is Zinwells replacement. HUH!
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post #6 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 07:24 AM
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Has anyone else acquired a ZAT-950A?

Have any of them been capable of showing the expanded EPG grid?
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post #7 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 11:56 AM
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.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As allot of fixes, tips, and operational info is dependent on hardware and firmware revisions, or "Batch lots" please when posting about "your unit" refer to your unit unit via it's model model, AND list the FIRMWARE version, / or batch ID string.

Instead of saying "my unit" this or that say my ZAT-970A-0827, or 970A-0827

On Zinewells the "0827" means it's from Batch , or "lot" 0827.

(The batch number will be in BOLD, listed in the middle of the serial number on the box next to the UPC bar code, and it's also on bottom of the unit itself .)

Why post such? Simple....
Manufacturers make changes during production runs- the hardware may undergo revisions , and/ or their suppliers may change from run to run (batch). In addition the firmware will change.
(Note: Most major manufacturers get their parts from several different suppliers /and or use different factories so not ALL of XYZ model may come from the same factory / OR be built with the same parts.)

While it may not make a difference in "every" case, there may be issues that only affect /pertain to certain "runs", or batches.
(In those cases in which there has been a "bad-run", or "bad-batch" posting your batch ID string saves people trying to help you time, and will save you grief as well.

It also helps in those cases in which there is a batch specific problem (or nice feature) show a "pattern".

One last reason to post the ID string...
Depending on the hardware, firmware the unit is running the procedures or "TIPS" that apply may be different as well.

Here's one example on the Zinwell ZAT-970A

On the ZAT- 970A-0827 for example unit's BELOW a certain batch number range have a "hidden" extended EPG that can be brought up with the 6-in-1 Dollar-Tree remote....UPC-639277711847 and later versions of the SAME model (higher firmware revision /batch ID string) do not have this (much desired) feature.

Here's the table for the HIDDEN Extended EPG keypress info on the (discontinued as of 12-2008- replaced with 950A) ZAT-970A-0827 unit:

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


(As a aside it would be nice if someone who has both the 970A and 950A would post in a table, or line by line format the differences between the two units... Additionally it would be nice if someone could update the WIKI with that info.)

Wiki Comparison of CECB units
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_CECB_units


PS: Could have missed it, but I ran across this tip:

If you get a Zinwell, do not throw out the manual. Zinwell has unfortunately set a password on some of the channel functions, so you will need to look up the default password in the manual if you try to access these functions.



EDIT:
Default password = 0000
Override password = 0217

.
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post #8 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 12:47 PM
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post #9 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Default password = 0000

RE: It being posted

"If you get a Zinwell, do not throw out the manual. Zinwell has unfortunately set a password on some of the channel functions, so you will need to look up the default password in the manual if you try to access these functions."


Default password = 0000


Good to know. Read the above info on another board and the poster had not posted the password... ???

That said on some devices the manufacturer will say turn to page 37 (or whatever) for one password, and another page for another password... (or something along those lines).

Suggestion: Write the password (or passwords/reset codes) on the bottom /back of the unit...
(Especially relevant if you have changed the password!!!!)



.
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post #10 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

.
As allot of fixes, tips, and operational info is dependent on hardware and firmware revisions please when posting about your unit refer to your unit unit via it's model model, AND list the FIRMWARE version.

Example ZAT-970A-0827...

That's not the "firmware" or "software version". It's part of the serial number that's on the outside of the box.
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post #11 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeM View Post

That's not the "firmware" or "software version". It's part of the serial number that's on the outside of the box.

Serial number ranges /prefixes would work too, the point being procedures, and /or features may be different on units with the same model number as had be noted in the Zinwell ZAT-970A thread in regards to a "HIDDEN" extended EPG program guide on models up to a certain revision /build date.

On the 0827 being part of the serial number- is that the prefix?


.
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post #12 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 03:08 PM
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"On the 0827 being part of the serial number- is that the prefix?"

The 0827 appears in the middle of the serial number. These four digits are underlined, and are the only ones that are underlined. It appears that a change in these digits indicates a change to the hardware or firmware.
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post #13 of 220 Old 12-17-2008, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Default password = 0000

Override password = 0217

That's per the 950A's manual, but it works on my 970A-0830 as well.
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post #14 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subeluvr View Post

When I called and requested proper packaging they flatly refused.

Please let us know if they do package it properly.

YEA! The ZAT-950A just arrived in pristine condition packed in a brown box with pillows. BTW, the ZAT-950A box has purple/raspberry gradient background so looks very different than the 970A.

I haven't fired it up yet but will report as soon as I do.
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post #15 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

YEA! The ZAT-950A just arrived in pristine condition packed in a brown box with pillows.

I wonder if your packaging was an exception or is now the rule at Solidsignal.

Since Solidsignal does follow this forum... if they are now packaging all orders "box in a box" then they are to be commended.

I hope they post to inform us of their packaging policy change.
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post #16 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subeluvr View Post

I wonder if your packaging was an exception or is now the rule at Solidsignal.

If it were the rule, why would the csr have to make a special note about it?
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post #17 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

If it were the rule, why would the csr have to make a special note about it?

As I said before, when I called and requested proper packaging the CSR flatly refused.

What is impressive (to me) is that the shipping department read the special note and actually did what the CSR requested.
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post #18 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

YEA! The ZAT-950A just arrived in pristine condition packed in a brown box with pillows. BTW, the ZAT-950A box has purple/raspberry gradient background so looks very different than the 970A.

I haven't fired it up yet but will report as soon as I do.


Q: I order two ZAT-950A's yesterday and during the ordering process I requested that the units be properly packaged, (units inside a box)...

Rep agreed with me, said he'd put it in the notes...

When I checked my order details the note section was BLANK..

Was your order notes section BLANK?

.
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post #19 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

When I checked my order details the note section was BLANK..

Was your order notes section BLANK?

There wasn't a 'notes section' on my email order confirmation. No mention of packaging either.
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post #20 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

There wasn't a 'notes section' on my email order confirmation. No mention of packaging either.

Just for giggles, if you still have the e-mail that you received right after you placed the order there is a CHECK ORDER STATUS button... click on it and it will take you to directly the SolidSignal website, Click "Look up order" button and it will take you to the order details.

Right below the "Billing Address" section that has your name /addres there is a "Order Notes"section.

Mine is blank...


Seems like that would be were they'd put such.


.
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post #21 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

Just for giggles . . .

Right below the "Billing Address" section that has your name /addres there is a "Order Notes"section.

Mine is blank...

Seems like that would be were they'd put such.

Ah, so . . .

My notes section contains " No order notes at this time."
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post #22 of 220 Old 12-18-2008, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post

Ah, so . . .

My notes section contains " No order notes at this time."

So, either your Solidsignal order was properly packed because of a packaging policy change or by blind luck...

Sure would be nice if we knew when we ordered and Solidsignal has been mute on this subject.
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post #23 of 220 Old 12-19-2008, 03:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subeluvr View Post

I wonder if your packaging was an exception or is now the rule at Solidsignal. Since Solidsignal does follow this forum... if they are now packaging all orders "box in a box" then they are to be commended.

Considering they charged me $80 for a DTVpal, they should be using boxes. They overcharged me and many other people $30 per unit, and therefore ought to have lots of cash laying around.
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post #24 of 220 Old 12-20-2008, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally got around to hooking up the 950A. I had it and a 970A on an A/B switch to check the differences.

The PQ on the 950A seems to be a little sharper than the 970A. AM/PM instead of the 24hr clock as noted elsewhere.

I also picked up a couple of the Dollar Tree remotes today and indeed '3' does bring up an extended EPG in the 970A.

For the moment, I'll keep using the 970A and the Zenith DTT901 as my everyday boxes. Another DTT901 and the 950A as spares.
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post #25 of 220 Old 12-20-2008, 11:09 PM
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Was there any difference in the reception sensitivity between the 970A or the 950A?
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post #26 of 220 Old 12-21-2008, 06:28 AM
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golinux

Are the signal and quality meter displays at least 9% to 15% higher on the 950A compared to the 970A? I think Zinwell messed up the calibration when they changed tuners. But it may be that the 750A has better sensitivity.
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post #27 of 220 Old 12-21-2008, 06:41 AM
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golinux

The underlined digits in my 750A serial number are 0838. What are they on your 750A? Please also verify that your 750A does NOT have the extended EPG. Mine sure doesn't.
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post #28 of 220 Old 12-21-2008, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rf008 View Post

The underlined digits in my 750A serial number are 0838. What are they on your 750A? Please also verify that your 750A does NOT have the extended EPG. Mine sure doesn't.

The digits on the box are 0839 and yes, the 750A does not have the extended EPG.

As to sensitivity . . . I only have a slight reception problem with one station so didn't even think to check the differences. I'll hook it up later and report what the meter says.
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post #29 of 220 Old 12-21-2008, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, here's what the meters on the two boxes are saying.

Most of my channels were at about 90% intensity and 100% strength on the 970A. They went to 100% and 100% on the 950A.

My problem station went from 87% and 98% to 100% and 100%.

So either the tuner is a little better or the meter was recalibrated. Since the signal is only dicey in really bad weather there's no way to test at the moment.
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post #30 of 220 Old 12-21-2008, 02:31 PM
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golinux

Thank you for the info. Looks like the Solid Signal website is wrong about the EPG. They say the 950A has an EPG, defined as "EPG (Electronic Program Guide) time zone specific. You can see what will be showing up to a week in an advance. (area dependent)" . Hope the next member that receives a 950A can address the sensitivity of the new tuner and calibration of the signal & quality displays. I think the question is: Which model loses the picture to pixelation first, the 970A or the 950A. I also need a good rainy day.
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