Post DTV Transition CECB converter boxes availability! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 184 Old 09-28-2009, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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This topic was originally posted in September 2009. For the most recent info on CECB availability, please go to the last page of the topic.

The reason for this thread is the DISCUSSION OF DEALS, LINKS TO VENDORS WHO ARE STILL STOCKING CONVERTER BOXES

Please post some links to vendors that have units in stock , or are expecting a re-stock. Links to ANY "deals" you may have seen /heard about!!!

Here's a list of the decent boxes- Problem being most are no longer mfg'd / no longer are being sold...

1: DishNetwork /Echostar> TR-40 (AKA DTVPal), and the DTVPal PLus with silicon tuner. The box has the BEST GUIDE (EPG).
Unit has (daily, weekly) TIMER SLOTS that can be set to auto tune box at selected time.
Plastic casing, NO VENTILATION, external PS, Special proprietary plug on that PS meaning when it dies you are....
CON= No way to manually set time. If (1) station is off, it throws off the guide.
Nice remote= can use *cheap OEM Dish Network remotes off Ebay.
Remote receiver is VERY sensitive meaning you can point the remote ANYWHERE and it will work the unit.

2: Zenith DT901= LG tuner, Good box, No S-Video, Guide is a Now and Then type. Internal PS, 110v HD cord. AKA Best Buy Insignia NS-DXA1-APT
Units are manufactured by LG Electronics- Same unit.

3: Zinewell 970A /950. Guide is Now and Then, Has (8?) Timer slots, Plastic casing with ventlation slots, external PS with STANDARD round barrel connector.

4: APEX DT502, Guide is a little better than the DT901/Zin 970/950 as it shows more details, PLUS has "ONE-TIME-TIMERS". Box can be set to tune to a certain channel- BUT it's a one-time type arrangement. Metal casing, internal PS. One of the FEW units on the market to have S-VIDEO output
(Other unit is Channel Master CM-7000)
CON=Remote is VERY directional.

5: Channel Master CM-7000 S-Video, guide more detailed than most, senstive tuner.


Update: 2010-10
Re: Cheap *DTVPal OEM Dish Network remotes off Ebay. Remotes I was talking about was the 5.x, and 6.x series remotes from Dish Network satellite systems - They work perfect.

Not cheap anymore.

Story- About 6 months ago Dish on replacement receivers started demanding "old" remotes back when a receiver was swapped out. Because of such the price on Ebay and the like has gone up as the supply has dried up. In the days of old when a receiver was replaced the tech /installer would have (2) remotes leftover. Good tech would leave the NEW and OLD remotes with the customer, Semi-greedy tech/installing company would leave NEW remotes with customer and take old remotes, the real greedy ones would keep the new remotes for resale. This according to my limited research on the subject is how I understand the sources of New and used remotes on the various auction sites.


Edited by Moderator 7/24/10.
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post #2 of 184 Old 09-28-2009, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

Have (2) coupons that expire 10-14-2009

1: Are there any "decent" low/no cost converter boxes "still" available ?
( Probably not possible at this point in time as the market has dried up big time, but I would prefer something with a guide... and a Silicon tuner... EG: DTVPal Plus )

Highly doubtful. CECBs have disappeared from almost all retailers, even the online stores have a very limited selection. They've disappeared more quickly than I might have expected, given that people were applying for coupons up until 07/31/09. CECBs are a low-profit-margin product category that apparently has become extinct.
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post #3 of 184 Old 09-28-2009, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

Highly doubtful. CECBs have disappeared from almost all retailers, even the online stores have a very limited selection. They've disappeared more quickly than I might have expected, given that people were applying for coupons up until 07/31/09. CECBs are a low-profit-margin product category that apparently has become extinct.


Yes.... I know... Retailers are dropping like flies at a RAID convention...

(This said there are a few no-cost units out there...)


Suggestions on the best of what is still available is appreciated, Surely there are some units out there..

(Translation.. there is bound to be some retailers that still have some units that would love to get rid of them before the coupons dry up.)



Here's the units I've found so far:

Sunkey Digital TV Converter box, SK-801 ATSC , -0- after coupon, free ship.
MicroGEM MG2000 -0- after coupon, free ship.
Apex DT250A @ BestBuy @ $49
Apex DT250A @ HHGreg @ $47



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post #4 of 184 Old 09-28-2009, 09:52 PM
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Looks like Free TV has sold out of every thing except the MicroGEM MG2000.
I think the MicroGEM has a low performance rating.
https://secure.freetvsignal.com/viewAll.php


Meritlinr just sold out of free Artec T3AP-LL boxes but still shows the Artec T3AP-LS box but not free.

http://www.meritline.com/searchnew.a...erm=artec+t3ap
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post #5 of 184 Old 09-28-2009, 10:06 PM
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Don't wait to the last minute to use your coupons like I did. I planned on ordering from dtvpal.com today only to find out they are out of stock. I spent a good portion of my day trying to find a couple of boxes. Ended up getting two Apex DT250A from Best Buy. So far they seem better than my Apex DT502.
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post #6 of 184 Old 09-29-2009, 10:22 PM
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I just stumbled on to this on line retailer tonight. It looks like they have 11 models available, 3 that are free after coupon. Anyone heard of or ordered from them before?

http://www.digital-tv-converter.net/
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post #7 of 184 Old 09-30-2009, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamajestic View Post

I just stumbled on to this on line retailer tonight. It looks like they have 11 models available, 3 that are free after coupon. Anyone heard of or ordered from them before?

http://www.digital-tv-converter.net/


I haven't ordered from them but I like the way their site is laid out...

Note for the record that they are responsive to e-mail inquiries. I e-mailed them last night regarding the Artec T3AP wanting to know if the units were LL, or LS's and by 9:46am I had a response in my in-box.

Quote:


Dear Mr. xxxxx,


Thank you for your inquiry. Please be advised that the last shipment of ARTEC T3AP units are coded : LS.



Artec T3AP-LL=LG tuner
Artec T3AP-LS=Sanyo tuner


Only negative(s) is:

A: They charge shipping on any "free" units...
B: I had asked (2) questions in my e-mail- the second question being how many units they have in-stock... and they did not answer that question..


PS: To their credit they list a actual mailing address, provide a 1-800, and list a direct e-mail address on their Contact Us page...



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post #8 of 184 Old 09-30-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

Highly doubtful. CECBs have disappeared from almost all retailers, even the online stores have a very limited selection. They've disappeared more quickly than I might have expected, given that people were applying for coupons up until 07/31/09. CECBs are a low-profit-margin product category that apparently has become extinct.

And in a year or 2 when a lot of these boxes need to be replaced there won't be any to find. Thus forcing people to by a HDTV whether they want one or not.
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post #9 of 184 Old 09-30-2009, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

And in a year or 2 when a lot of these boxes need to be replaced there won't be any to find. Thus forcing people to by a HDTV whether they want one or not.

To buy an ATSC TV, yes, but why necessarily HD?  Are you also predicting that SD TV's with ATSC tuners will be unavailable?
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post #10 of 184 Old 09-30-2009, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

To buy an ATSC TV, yes, but why necessarily HD?* Are you also predicting that SD TV's with ATSC tuners will be unavailable?


This thread was created for those looking for a CECB Converter box NOW.

Please try to keep on-topic.


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post #11 of 184 Old 10-01-2009, 08:17 AM
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I used to have a MicroGEM and it's a good box with problems. Apparently it locks up wheneven CBS or PBS sends out TVGOS data (mine sure did), and can only be fixed by unplugging. Mine ran hot, and only lasted a little more than 3 months, I don't know if this is typical or not (it had a 1 year gaurantee). But it is sensitive, and handles multipath well. The user interface is pretty good so from that point of view, it's a good box.

I had 2 cupons left over a few weeks ago, and like you, were looking for a no cost place to spend them. I broke down and got the Magnavox RTB110MW9 from Solid Signal (for free with cupon, including shipping). Long ago, I had the TB100 version and was not happy with it at all. The RTB110MW9 has the same crummy user interface as the old box, and the remote is laughable, but it's a very sensitive box (as good as CM-7000) as long as there is *no* multipath. The magnavox just will not handle multipath at all.
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post #12 of 184 Old 10-01-2009, 08:42 PM
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Very interesting.

Has anyone compared the Magnavox head-to-head against the Philco TB100HH9? I ask this because I had always assumed the Philco and Magnavox boxes had similar tuners and processors.

While it may have other drawbacks, my Philco (the first CEBC i had) handles multipath quite well. As good or almost as good as the Zenith and the Zinwell, and light years ahead of the RCA ATSC-11 or DTC-100, or the integrated tuner in my Sylvania 6427GFF.
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post #13 of 184 Old 10-02-2009, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthemultipath! View Post

Very interesting.

Has anyone compared the Magnavox head-to-head against the Philco TB100HH9? I ask this because I had always assumed the Philco and Magnavox boxes had similar tuners and processors.

While it may have other drawbacks, my Philco (the first CEBC i had) handles multipath quite well. As good or almost as good as the Zenith and the Zinwell, and light years ahead of the RCA ATSC-11 or DTC-100, or the integrated tuner in my Sylvania 6427GFF.

I'm pretty sure the Philco and Magnivox are the same inside, and probably perform identically. The older TB100 I was using had the same lousy multipath performance as my newer TB110 version. I guess all multipath isn't created equally though, and you got luckey (or I was unlucky).

The RCA DTA800B does a little better than the TB110 on multipath, but is not as sensitive on a clear signal. The TB110 performance on a weak clear signal is a good bit better than the CM-7000 because it doesen't have the scrambled program' or audio only' problem the CM-7000 gets into, and takes so long to recover from. But the menues and remote of the TB110 are frustrating and fidigity, the CM is great. The TB110 does have a frame freeze option that I got used to on the MicroGEM, while I had it, and neither the CM or RCA have that.
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post #14 of 184 Old 10-03-2009, 06:12 PM
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I'm looking for the Insignia NS-DXA1-APT..they made a smaller version I saw at Best Buy..It was for Display, he couldn't sell it to me
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post #15 of 184 Old 10-03-2009, 08:56 PM
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It's the exact same unit as the Zenith 901 (I've got one).

I believe it's been depleted from the market for quite awhile.
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post #16 of 184 Old 10-03-2009, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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.

Elcrap-ola.

Ordered a ARTEC T3AP-LS as meritline.com was showing the T3AP-LL and Pro out of stock...



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post #17 of 184 Old 10-04-2009, 08:28 AM
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http://www.freedtvshop.com/fdtv/converters.php


Seems Mosquito (owner of store and poster here)

Has the microgem also and that is it. Maybe e-mail him and ask guys
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post #18 of 184 Old 10-04-2009, 11:02 AM
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That's odd that Meritline offers one T3AP Pro for $4.99 with coupon or two free with coupons.


Quote:


Ordered a ARTEC T3AP-LS as meritline.com was showing the T3AP-LL and Pro out of stock...

As always happens the day after my order ships.... the "Pro" version is back in stock- and to add insult to injury for (2) boxes it's at the same price...


ARTEC T3A-PRO

http://www.meritline.com/artec-full-...--p-26418.aspx

.

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post #19 of 184 Old 10-05-2009, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

.

Elcrap-ola.

Ordered a ARTEC T3AP-LS as meritline.com was showing the T3AP-LL and Pro out of stock...

As always happens the day after my order ships.... the "Pro" version is back in stock- and to add insult to injury for (2) boxes it's at the same price...


ARTEC T3A-PRO

http://www.meritline.com/artec-full-...--p-26418.aspx

.

As a hopeful consolation, if you did their "Buy It Together" thing you will get a free cheapo antenna. And they had been giving an HDMI cable with the antenna (another 'Together' selection I suppose). I only saw this offered with the LS, Sunkey, and Tivax.

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post #20 of 184 Old 10-05-2009, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

As a hopeful consolation, if you did their "Buy It Together" thing you will get a free cheapo antenna. And they had been giving an HDMI cable with the antenna (another 'Together' selection I suppose). I only saw this offered with the LS, Sunkey, and Tivax.


HDMI cable would be nice... getting the cheapo antenna.
Between the HDMI/ elcheap-o antenna or a better "tuner"... I'd opt for the better tuner... Hopefeully the Sanyo won't be too bad.


Q1: Does anyone here know how meritline.com is on:

1: Refusing shipment of the LS units, Reordering the Pro model... and applying the coupons to that order.

(Vendors can swap out units according to DTV2009 rules.. They just can't "refund".)

Would like to have those buttons on the unit- so when remote gets lost unit is still functional.


Was wondering "how" they handle swaps... EG I ordered the wrong unit...
Web-page says 15% restocking fee if due to customer ordering the wrong thing, plus customer responsible for return ship.
While I understand this- Note that I did call them and rep did not mention they would be getting any Pro units.... A day or two later Pro unit(s) were showing on site available for order.

Q2: On the Pro model... anyone know if they come with the LG tuner? I see references here and there to the Pro unit having the Sanyo tuner. (which to me is a good thing as most things "pro" are better spec'd... so hopefully the Sanyo tuner will be "ok"....)



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post #21 of 184 Old 10-06-2009, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeAreNotAlone69 View Post

Note that I did call them and rep did not mention they would be getting any Pro units.... A day or two later Pro unit(s) were showing on site available for order.

Q2: On the Pro model... anyone know if they come with the LG tuner? I see references here and there to the Pro unit having the Sanyo tuner. (which to me is a good thing as most things "pro" are better spec'd... so hopefully the Sanyo tuner will be "ok"....)

IF you specifically asked them about the Pro units then that ain't right. Hopefully someone from there will read this and help you out.

I suspect Sanyo for the Pro based on the other thread although I don't recall anyone having bought one recently confirming this. Odd that the LS costs a few bucks more than the the LL. I have some Zinwells with Sanyo tuners, they tune fine but a few units won't hold tuning lock on RF CH 11. The nearest channel below in my area is 9 which holds fine. I have no VHF channels above 11 to test. Of course I'm not 100% sure it's the tuner but it's my main suspect (feedback loop to decoder?).

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post #22 of 184 Old 10-06-2009, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

IF you specifically asked them about the Pro units then that ain't right. Hopefully someone from there will read this and help you out.

I suspect Sanyo for the Pro based on the other thread although I don't recall anyone having bought one recently confirming this. Odd that the LS costs a few bucks more than the the LL. I have some Zinwells with Sanyo tuners, they tune fine but a few units won't hold tuning lock on RF CH 11. The nearest channel below in my area is 9 which holds fine. I have no VHF channels above 11 to test. Of course I'm not 100% sure it's the tuner but it's my main suspect (feedback loop to decoder?).


As per a conversation with June in the RMA department, She said since FedEx had not delivered the units yet to refuse shipment of the LS units- and in a day or so she'd reissue the order getting the Pro units @ NO additional charge. (Which is only right seeing how I had "called" them before placing the order online- to ask them if they expected any further incoming shipments of converter boxes... Being told they had NO info.... and then a day or so later the units I wanted showing up as "in-stock" after I placed the order for the LS's.)


Had some reservations on the time delay of the units getting back to them/ getting to a point that they could issue a replacement shipment to be shipped, but her responses were reassuring she would handle everything on her end with no additional input needed from me...

Based upon her attitude and her handling of the mix up and her authorizing shipment of the replacement units @ no additional charge I will be doing business with them in the future.

Guess I'll know in a couple of days... if the order gets reissued properly.

-
EDIT 2009-10-10 Saturday: In my conversation with June on Oct 6th and Oct 10th I had brought up the fact I was on the "East-Coast", and she was in California. (West-Coast)...
My concern being how shipping times on getting the refused shipment back to her would affect (delay) the replacement order. It taking 5 days to have item get to me, so it should take 5 days for return trip.
(Originally she had said to call back in day or so after shipment was refused,- implying she'd be able to initiate a replacement order once the item was showing in FedEx's possession.)

Well I waited an additional day calling on Friday (2009-10-09) only to be told to call back Monday the 12th now.- Right after telling her Fed-Ex is showing the delivery on the 13th...


Anyhow from what I gather for her to re-issue the order they will not /she cannot reissue the order until the old order has been received /logged-in /inspected/processed. While I can understand this on orders that have been "accepted" by the customer with the customer having possession of the shipment- (Because they have to verify the contents of the return shipment ).. I am sort of at the loss of a reason not to reissue a "refused" shipment in which the customer has NOT had possession.

Seems to me on refused shipments in which the item has been in possession of the shipper the ENTIRE time, they could cross ship the replacement order once item was showing "in route" to them.


Guess I'll post back a update on Mon/Tuesday.. I'm betting that when I call on Monday to be told to call back Tuesday/Wednesday... or Thursday... Maybe I'll get a surprise and get a e-mail Monday (12th) saying replacement shipment is on it's way...

* One thing is certain though- I don't mind the delay, or them not being able to issue a replacement shipment as long as they don't try to charge for return shipping costs. It was agreed upon before shipment was "refused" that there would be NO addtional charges on the replacement shipment.

EDIT: 2009-10-26. Replacement boxes arrived several days ago from Meritline.com as promised.

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post #23 of 184 Old 10-07-2009, 04:03 PM
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Recent notice:

Solid Signal has Access DTA1080U free with coupon plus free shipping.
This box comes with a universal remote ... if that makes them "decent"?

Also back in stock at Amazon:

Digital Stream DSP7700P also with universal remote, free with coupon/free shipping.
Tivax STB-T8 again at $9.99 with coupon and free shipping.

Thank to all for the extensive and informative posts.
I've been following for close to a year till recently chiming in.
Special note to early adopters and those brave enough to rip units apart.
One month to go for coupons folks ... happy hunting!
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post #24 of 184 Old 10-07-2009, 07:49 PM
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Looks like the best deal in that post might be the DSP7700P.
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post #25 of 184 Old 10-08-2009, 04:24 AM
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I saw some Digital Streams at the local Rat Shack the other day.

(Not gonna be free, but I figured I'd mention it, anyway.)
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post #26 of 184 Old 10-09-2009, 02:33 AM
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DTV Pal Plus
http://www.digital-tv-converter.net/...verterbox.aspx

$19.95 with coupon, $59.95 without.
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post #27 of 184 Old 10-11-2009, 07:06 AM
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I got a DTV Pal Plus from K-Mart two weeks ago for $49.99 -$40.00 coupon = $9.99. Got it at the K-Mart in Burbank,CA if you are in the Los Anglels area.

Rick R
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post #28 of 184 Old 10-12-2009, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

I saw some Digital Streams at the local Rat Shack the other day.

(Not gonna be free, but I figured I'd mention it, anyway.)


$70 plus local sales tax here. $59 on line. what concerns me, after a lot of reading here and on RS own product forums, is that the DS has a short life... I don't see the same concern expressed about the DTV Pal Plus
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post #29 of 184 Old 10-13-2009, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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1: Two weeks ago I placed a order with Meritline.com, calling before I placed the order and getting some erroneous info.
(I had asked if they expected any more Artec Pro boxes.)

As per June in RMA department I refused the 1st shippment, it getting back to them today the 13th... Called her today and as agreed upon a replacement shipment of (2) Artec Pro units is on it's way @ no additional charge...

Due to such I would recommend Meritline.com...


2: It appears they have restocked:

Artec T3AP-LS=$40 for one, $80 for (2) FREE SHIPPING (Sanyo Tuner)

Artec T3A Pro=$42 for one, $80 for (2) FREE SHIPPING (Sanyo Tuner?)

Artec T3AP-LL=$44 for one, $80 for (2) FREE SHIPPING (LG Tuner)

Artec T3APR with TV GUIDE $55, 105 for (2) FREE SHIPPING

http://www.meritline.com/digital-tv-...---c-7689.aspx


PS... If you have coupons.... You have to MANUALLY input them into the ORDER NOTES SECTION box, BEFORE SUBMITTING your ORDER (CHECKING OUT)

Once you add the items to your cart

ADD: digital80off into the coupon box if ordering (2) units, for (1) digital40off, CLICK APPLY, Type in your ZIP code...and CLICK GO.

THEN SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE to the "ORDER NOTES" section and type into the box your Coupon numbers, the Expiration date and the CVV2 numbers....... BEFORE CLICKING ON THE "CHECKOUT NOW" BUTTON.....

On the checkout page I think you verify which shipping method =Ground Service $0.00.... and submit order



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post #30 of 184 Old 10-14-2009, 08:49 AM
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The Zinwell ZAT-970A is now in stock at Amazon for $40,
free with coupon & free shipping.
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