Digital tuner gone bad? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 04-26-2010, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got a VIZIO P50 that's about 3 or 4 years old now. The last few days the DTV input doesn't work. My wife said for a while when switching to DTV it wouldn't do any thing till she hit the channel button then it would kick in. Now nothing happens at all. I've tried the other hd antenna from the upstairs tv and still no go. I'm thinking that the built in digital tuner has gone bad. Would I be able to get a new set top CECB and have TV again? I've also considered getting basic cable again to get the TV back.

Any ideas?

The TV input picks up a few snowy channels like HSN, I think the rf input is alright.

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post #2 of 73 Old 04-26-2010, 07:57 PM
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Check to see if the input within the menu accidentally got switched to another source (i.e. make sure it points to DTV>ATSC rather than NTSC, cable, etc.).
Try unplugging the power for a few minutes (hard reset).
Try a rescan of the DTV input within the menu.

If that all fails and your sure your antenna is good, make sure the TV will tune to alternate sources before buying some other tuner:
Try a VCR or some other device on the RF input (CH 3).
Try a VCR or some other device on the component inputs (RCA red/white/yellow) and make sure the TV is tuned for that auxillary input (line in, 00, etc.).
Try a DVD player on the s-video input and red/white RCA audio (same TV tuning bit).
That's all the outputs CECBs could have.

Of course a CECB won't give you the high def you once had but you could buy a more expensive HDTV tuner. In this case you would want to test the other input ports of your TV with a suitable source device. Component inputs, DVI, HDMI, etc.

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post #3 of 73 Old 04-27-2010, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Check to see if the input within the menu accidentally got switched to another source (i.e. make sure it points to DTV>ATSC rather than NTSC, cable, etc.).

I did that first, it was on cable, I set it back to antenna - didn't make a difference
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Try unplugging the power for a few minutes (hard reset).

Did that, also used the menu reset to factory settings

Quote:


Try a rescan of the DTV input within the menu.

It won't let me, when it gets to the DTV input none of the buttons will do any thing.
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If that all fails and your sure your antenna is good, make sure the TV will tune to alternate sources before buying some other tuner:
Try a VCR or some other device on the RF input (CH 3).

I'm sure the RF input is alright, the regular TV input does have some snowy channels coming in
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Try a VCR or some other device on the component inputs (RCA red/white/yellow) and make sure the TV is tuned for that auxillary input (line in, 00, etc.).
Try a DVD player on the s-video input and red/white RCA audio (same TV tuning bit).
That's all the outputs CECBs could have.

The wii is on the s video output, and it's also worked on the regular video input. The bluray uses one of the HDMI inputs.
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Of course a CECB won't give you the high def you once had but you could buy a more expensive HDTV tuner. In this case you would want to test the other input ports of your TV with a suitable source device. Component inputs, DVI, HDMI, etc.


Ok, so a cheapo tuner only allows for a digital signal to come in through the analog input? Doesn't sound like a fix I want to use, I'll look into a better one or maybe go back to cable w/ a DVR that has HDMI. I've really enjoyed the quality of local broadcasts through the hd antenna, cable compresses it and isn't as good of quality. I thought it might be a great excuse to upgrade to a 1080p TV, but no money for that right now.

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post #4 of 73 Old 04-27-2010, 04:25 PM
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On the 1st part, my friend had a similar problem even though it was on antenna. His TV has both ATSC (digital) and NTSC (analog) selections for antenna but it was set to NTSC and therefore wouldn't tune the digital stations.

Can you tell if the snowy stations are analog or digital? There are still some low power analog stations out there.

Chances are that if both the analog and digital tuning doesn't work then the RF input will be useless (the other inputs bypass the TV's tuners). Did you try a VCR or some other device on the RF input? (make sure the device and TV are both set to CH 3 (or both CH 4) and the TV is in analog mode).

You can use a CECB on the same inputs that worked for your Wii although only a few CECB models have s-video outputs. What I'm saying is that you will only get 480i (analog NTSC) on your high-def TV because that's all CECBs output. But the picture quality is also dependent on the output type:

RF connector - so-so
Component connector (RCA yellow) - better
s-video - best

I would check into the price of an HDTV tuner. I've never looked into them myself because I have older TVs. Maybe bundle the money into one combined with a recorder.

A weird thought but I wonder if a small cheap HDTV would have an HDMI or other suitable output? The use it for the tuner and pipe the signal over to the big TV.

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post #5 of 73 Old 04-27-2010, 05:46 PM
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If the tuner is bad, your best bet would probably be the Centronics ZAT 502 HD tuner(~$100) found in Ken's thread in the HDTV Technical forum, here.
I don't know of any TVs with HDMI output, some earlier digital TVs had SD composite output.
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post #6 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

If the tuner is bad, your best bet would probably be the Centronics ZAT 502 HD tuner(~$100) found in Ken's thread in the HDTV Technical forum, here.

Nice, even includes Clear QAM. I wonder if the "ZAT" means any relation to Zinwell (ZAT 950, 970, etc.) or just a common model prefix? I suspect that just like some of the CECBs, some of these dedicated devices tune better than the tuners in the TVs themselves.

This topic gets me wondering how hard it would be for a tinkerer to replace the 'converter' (I assume integrated into the decoder) and output circuitry in a CECB to make it a full-blown HD tuner? Who knows, maybe some of these mfgers use a common platform for both types. Anyone seen a thread related to this subject?
I thought I saw some nice high-def CRTs without DTV tuners going cheap out there as folks replace them with flat panels. Of course probably better to hold off for the folks who replace their wide-screen CRTs. They're some monsters though, bring your forklift.

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post #7 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 08:41 AM
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You can also buy DVD Recorders with ATSC HD tuners for not much more than the recommended box above.
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post #8 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

I've got a VIZIO P50 that's about 3 or 4 years old now. The last few days the DTV input doesn't work. My wife said for a while when switching to DTV it wouldn't do any thing till she hit the channel button then it would kick in. Now nothing happens at all. I've tried the other hd antenna from the upstairs tv and still no go. I'm thinking that the built in digital tuner has gone bad. Would I be able to get a new set top CECB and have TV again? I've also considered getting basic cable again to get the TV back.

Any ideas?

The TV input picks up a few snowy channels like HSN, I think the rf input is alright.

MASTER RESET for a Vizio is to turn TV off, then press and hold both Source/Input and Vol- (minus) buttons on the TV for 5-10 sec.
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post #9 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jspENC View Post

You can also buy DVD Recorders with ATSC HD tuners for not much more than the recommended box above.

I wondered about that, anything you like that stands out? Would be sweet if they have dual-tuners, especially for this situation.

That thread has a variety of other stuff but I think it was along the lines of much pricier DVRs. I only glanced at the thread though.

Good info on the Vizeo master reset, wajo.

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post #10 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 03:34 PM
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DVDRs may be able to tune HD channels but they all output SD, which then may be upconverted, but it's SD in between and again is not HD.
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post #11 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I was ready to go back to cable today after 2 years w/ out. I was even going to go the DVR route that was $70 a month. I had an appt for a tech to show from 3-5 and they never did. When I called they said they checked and I had an outstanding balance from when I moved 3 years ago!? What the heck? I've had my internet and phone through them for 6 years and now they won't show cause they forgot to bill me 3 years ago? So they won't turn it on till I pay that, I'm not going to, statute of limitations has expired and their customer service has been awful for 6 years, I'm not even convinced I owe them any thing.

Went and looked at a DVDR but didn't get one yet, ALL dvdr's are SD? I don't like that. But I've been happy w/ antenna for 2 years I really was bummed about the thought of adding to my monthly payment.

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post #12 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

I was ready to go back to cable today after 2 years w/ out. I was even going to go the DVR route that was $70 a month. I had an appt for a tech to show from 3-5 and they never did. When I called they said they checked and I had an outstanding balance from when I moved 3 years ago!? What the heck? I've had my internet and phone through them for 6 years and now they won't show cause they forgot to bill me 3 years ago? So they won't turn it on till I pay that, I'm not going to, statute of limitations has expired and their customer service has been awful for 6 years, I'm not even convinced I owe them any thing.

Went and looked at a DVDR but didn't get one yet, ALL dvdr's are SD? I don't like that. But I've been happy w/ antenna for 2 years I really was bummed about the thought of adding to my monthly payment.

Did you try a MASTER RESET as described here?
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post #13 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post

Did you try a MASTER RESET as described here?

I did, I had tried it w/ the remote, decided to do it w/ the buttons on the side after reading this post. No difference. Using the buttons on the side, I can get the menu up on the DTV input which I couldn't w/ the remote.

In the menu on the TV input it has a spot for tv options where I can select antenna or cable.

W/ the menu up on the DTV input it has the DTV options but no arrow as on the TV menu to allow further choices.

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post #14 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I tried unplugging it again. This time I couldn't get back to the menu in the DTV, after going to TV and back to DTV I could get it there w/ the side buttons (not remote) again but still no options for DTV.

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post #15 of 73 Old 04-28-2010, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the menu from the TV input, there's an arrow next to tv menu

under TV Menu I can choose cable or antenna.


I can only get to the menu in the DTV input using the side of the TV, the remote won't do any thing. I can get to the factory reset, but can't actually use it from here, and notice the DTV menu doesn't have an arrow to select it.

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post #16 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

DVDRs may be able to tune HD channels but they all output SD, which then may be upconverted, but it's SD in between and again is not HD.

I did not know that - assuming data was data and the disks are plenty big enough. I searched and found an article on the subject which also discusses some pricier alternatives like DVRs:

http://hometheater.about.com/od/dvdr...drecgfaq14.htm

EDIT/ADD: What it didn't say was whether or not the HD signal could bypass the recorder unmodified to the TV. If so it would still do the job for rj and they said the upconverted recording quality was still better than SD (i.e. if cost is an issue vs a HD DVR, etc.). Now I suspect if a DVDR has a dual tuner then one of the tuners would deliver unmodified HD to the TV.

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post #17 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 08:37 AM
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rj, did you try the Auto Scan in pic #2 after the resetting and Antenna selecting?

That's weird about the DTV Menu (or lack thereof) although I have seen CECBs with menus that aren't active; looked like they were saving the feature for future use but there was nothing to put in there on the current product.

It doesn't look like there's an analog selection in the Cable/Antenna menu unless it prompts for it under Auto Scan. I suppose the newer TVs may not even have analog tuners anymore (cost). Anyhow, if that were the case I would think the CH 3/4 to hook up a VCR, etc. would have to use the Cable selection (try both).

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post #18 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

rj, did you try the Auto Scan in pic #2 after the resetting and Antenna selecting?

That's weird about the DTV Menu (or lack thereof) although I have seen CECBs with menus that aren't active; looked like they were saving the feature for future use but there was nothing to put in there on the current product.

It doesn't look like there's an analog selection in the Cable/Antenna menu unless it prompts for it under Auto Scan. I suppose the newer TVs may not even have analog tuners anymore (cost). Anyhow, if that were the case I would think the CH 3/4 to hook up a VCR, etc. would have to use the Cable selection (try both).


The only VHS in the house is old and would only have an analog tuner. I've got bluray on this tv, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of a dvdr but need to do something soon.

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post #19 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Some google results look like this is kind of common. One person had been recommended a new qam board by vizio support at about $80. I don't want to open up my tv, even if I could just get this. A few more mentioned closed captioning. My dad came to visit a week back and we had the cc on for him, I'm going to go home and mess w/ the cc buttons on the remote and see if any thing happens. Other wise I'll be ordering the centronics from summit tonight.

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post #20 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

What it didn't say was whether or not the HD signal could bypass the recorder unmodified to the TV. If so it would still do the job for rj and they said the upconverted recording quality was still better than SD (i.e. if cost is an issue vs a HD DVR, etc.). Now I suspect if a DVDR has a dual tuner then one of the tuners would deliver unmodified HD to the TV.

Recorders with unmodulated RF outputs pass through the RF input signal to the TV. The tuner has nothing to do with passed through RF signals. Some model recorders, e.g., the Magnavox 2160/2080 models and Philips 3575/3576 models, amplify passed through RF signals. For more information concerning these HDD/DVD Recorders see the first post in Wajo's sticky thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=940657

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post #21 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm considering a DVDR since I can pick it up local. $179 tax free at my navy exchange. It's a Panasonic DMR EZ28K, it's got really mixed reviews mostly 2/3 good 1/3 bad. It seems w/ a panasonic tv it the shiznit w/ viera direct hook up or something like that.

I can live w/ the recordings being sd as long as live tv is straight through, gotta figure it out.

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post #22 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

The only VHS in the house is old and would only have an analog tuner. I've got bluray on this tv, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of a dvdr but need to do something soon.

The VCR idea is just to test your RF input on CH 3/4.

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post #23 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

Recorders with unmodulated RF outputs pass through the RF input signal to the TV.

rj needs a device to take the place of a potentially bad ATSC tuner on his TV, therefore it needs to demodulate the ATSC signal. We're trying to kill two birds with one stone by giving him a recorder too.

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post #24 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

I'm considering a DVDR since I can pick it up local. $179 tax free at my navy exchange. It's a Panasonic DMR EZ28K, it's got really mixed reviews mostly 2/3 good 1/3 bad. It seems w/ a panasonic tv it the shiznit w/ viera direct hook up or something like that.

I can live w/ the recordings being sd as long as live tv is straight through, gotta figure it out.

Make sure it can be your tuner for ya without having to record. If it were me I'd want it to tune and deliver HD for me too (when not recording).

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post #25 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

I'm considering a DVDR since I can pick it up local. $179 tax free at my navy exchange. It's a Panasonic DMR EZ28K, it's got really mixed reviews mostly 2/3 good 1/3 bad. It seems w/ a panasonic tv it the shiznit w/ viera direct hook up or something like that.

I can live w/ the recordings being sd as long as live tv is straight through, gotta figure it out.

I own one Panasonic DMR-EZ28, a decent enough DVD Recorder that has an unmodulated RF "pass through" output. I also own four Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD Recorders that have an unmodulated RF "pass through" output. The 2160 is an outstanding product with NTSC, ATSC and clear QAM tuning and it is easy to upgrade to a larger hard drive (up to 500GB).

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Make sure it can be your tuner for ya without having to record. If it were me I'd want it to tune and deliver HD for me too (when not recording).

DVD and HDD/DVD Recorders with unmodulated RF "pass through" outputs do not downconvert HD signals to SD at the RF output. HD and other signal formats are "passed through" from the RF input to the RF output for connection to the RF input on a TV with functional NTSC, ATSC or clear QAM tuners. DVD and HDD/DVD Recorder line outputs, composite, component, S-Video, and HDMI, provide signals downconverted to SD and/or "upconverted signals" (that are not actually HD).

Perhaps I'll buy more Magnavox 2160 models to put away for the future now that walmart.com has rolled back the price to $198.00. It is not a question of whether or not to buy the 2160; the question is "how many" 2160 models to buy.

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post #26 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

One person had been recommended a new qam board by vizio support at about $80.

QAM would be for the cable tuner although I suppose it's possible the ATSC (digital/antenna) tuner might reside on the same board.

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post #27 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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So since I'm probably depending on the hdmi output to get tge atsc sigbal to the tv it would down convert then upconvert? My tv is only 720p so it may not be too noticeable.

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post #28 of 73 Old 04-29-2010, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjhythloday View Post

So since I'm probably depending on the hdmi output to get tge atsc sigbal to the tv it would down convert then upconvert? My tv is only 720p so it may not be too noticeable.

Yes, both the Panasonic DMR-EZ28 DVD Recorder and Magnavox 2160 HDD/DVD Recorder internally "downconvert" the HD signal to SD and then may "upconvert" the signal for HDMI output.

With the complexity of my equipment setups, many with external switching arrangements, I don't use HDMI connections due to actual or potential "handshake" issues.

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post #29 of 73 Old 04-30-2010, 03:44 AM
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If you're mainly going to use the DVDR for a tuner for a HDTV I'd probably go with the Panasonic EZ-28. If you're going to record extensively I'd think more of the Magnavox 2160. I've owned both and IMO the EZ-28 has a sharper more HD looking output, even though they are both SD within the machine.
When I had a EZ-28 hooked to a Panasonic 720p LCD and I was tuned to 720p or 480i channel it looked nearly as good and sometimes it seemed better than the TVs built in HD tuner. With 1080i channels I could tell more of a difference and definitely preferred the TVs true HD tuner. The Maggy also lacks a way to delete specific sub channels, it's either all or nothing, if that matters to you. With the Panasonic you can delete specific channels.
Again if you have lots of recording planned the Maggy with it's HDD is the way to go, otherwise for mainly tuner use I'd opt for the Panny.
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post #30 of 73 Old 04-30-2010, 11:29 AM
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I see a poster just posted about a DTVPal DVR sale ($200) at Sears.com:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post18561233

Of course we're opening up an entire category here of DVDRs, DVRs, and the like vs price, features, etc. I'm not knowledgeable on that subject.

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