Originally Posted by mcy919
The main thing that I care about is the reception, and I'm hoping that someone has compared at least two of the three boxes that I've mentioned to see which one picks up the most channels or has the most stable signal among the channels. However, if there is a CECB available that has better reception than all three, that would be great.
The CM7000 has the best-rated PQ of any CECB (using s-video - composite is no better than most, though). It also has possibly the most sensitive tuner.
The only real faults it has are that the font is very small and hard to read on a smaller TV sitting far enough away, and that it has no pass-through. The remote's not all that comfortable, either, but I don't consider that a real fault, since it does do the job (not universal, though - few are). You could always use an aftermarket learning remote, too (some people make a big deal out of the fact that it has a few, useless buttons on it that don't do anything - but that's certainly not a "fault", either).
Also - you can't just "add" a channel - you have to do a re-scan to add it. But the re-scan is fairly fast, and you don't lose any of the channels you already have programmed in.
But if a priority for you is having the best possible PQ, and you have an s-video input, then the CM can't be beat for that (it's also one of the best boxes to use with a recorder that uses an IR blaster to change the channels on it - as it works with pretty much all of them). As a plus, it does have a halfway-decent program guide (you say that doesn't matter, but you do get used to it. That's why using the Zinwell drives me nuts sometimes - there's absolutely no
I own the Pal (regular - F105) and the CM7000, and the CM pretty much beats in in every way except the guide (and the Pal has timers, too, if that matters to you). I will say that the build quality between the two is like night and day, also.
The Magnavox sort of has a reputation for being junk (it has a higher than normal incidence of people getting "non-working" models right out of the box - and also failings within a short amount of time), and as far as the Tivax goes, everything about it is nice (especially the PQ over composite - it's supposed to be nearly as good as the CM's over s-video), except for the fact that it's a bit slower than average to change channels, and (unfortunately) the tuner's not up there with the very strongest. Still a very good box, though.