Zenith (LG) DTT900 CECB - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 2451 Old 02-23-2008, 08:30 PM
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Does anyone have experience using one of these to feed a ReplayTV 5XXX Series using the IR Blaster? What does the program guide look like? Does the program guide from ReplayTV consider digital content so the replay can send IR to tune the DTV box? What about sub-channels like 11.1 11.2 11.3, etc. I searched and didn't find much. I feel so OUT OF THE LOOP when it comes to ATSC stuff. Seems channel mapping is going to be around for a while. What a mess.
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post #362 of 2451 Old 02-24-2008, 06:42 AM
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I've been checking different times of the day, and I think this tuner is much better. The FOX affiliate from Richmond comes in 24/7, which I have not observed with any other tuner I've owned.

Add to this, I still have the splitter in place and I have yet to go up to the roof and re-aim the antenna.

With previous tuners I was only able to get the distant stations with the splitter removed.
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post #363 of 2451 Old 02-24-2008, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkman386 View Post

How does the DTT900 or the Insignia tuner compare to previous STB's in terms of fringe area reception say 70+miles out? Would this be a good DX tuner?

And, there's this recent post from the Insignia NS-DXA1 Thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldrich View Post

Between late last night and early this morning, thanks to a little tropo enhancement, several of the Cincinnati DTV stations (just over 100 miles from my location) were in ( and out at times). Using my outdoor antenna setup (2-Triax Unix 100 UHF antennas horizontally stacked @ 30 ft. AGL and the CM 7775 preamp) which is quite directional, and then splitting the signal via an indoor 2-way splitter, I fed the Magnavox TB100MW9 and the Insignia NS-DXA1. With the Cincy stations, the Insignia was almost always a little ahead of the Magnavox in locating, decoding and diplaying audio/video. With the local stations, the two units were almost identical with the same process.

Then I moved the Insignia next to my two-year-old Sony 60" 1080p SXRD projection TV (KDS-R60XBR1) with built-in digital tuner. Using the Sony's split screen feature, I connected the Insignia to the Sony so I could watch (monitor) both receivers on one big screen. The $59 Insignia was making the Sony look stupid, with both distant and local reception. The Insignia was always decoding the weak Cincy stations ahead of the Sony, and then when the signal strength would drop a little, the Sony was almost always the first to drop the audio and video. And with local stations, including one whose tower is only 3 miles away (WTHR-DT-46 @ 1000kW), the Insignia was MUCH better at dealing with multipath. I could rotate the outdoor antenna in various directions and only occasionally see a few dropouts and/or pixelation with the Insignia, while the Sony would quite frequently display "No Signal." An indoor antenna produced virtually the same reception results with locals.

Steve

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post #364 of 2451 Old 02-25-2008, 10:50 AM
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I though it would be fun to put the box through its paces and see how well it worked under different conditions.

Rabbit Ear Antenna: I was able to pull in all 21 frequencies (47 sub channels) that I got with my HDTV (with roof antenna) as well as when I hocked the box to a roof antenna point the wrong direction. On a few stations, some minor adjustment of the Rabbit Ears was necessary to avoid break-up of the image, but with the signal level meter, this was easy.

How Hot Is The Box? Using an non-contact infrared thermometer, I measured the box and area next to the converter box. After 3hours of running, the background area was 69 degrees F, the box ranged from 82 degrees (+14 F above) to 96 degrees (+27 F above). At the most, it was warm, but not hot. I don't think overheating will even be a problem. As expected, the warmest spot was directly above the vent holes on top of the converter box.

Program Guide: By just flipping through the channels and waiting for the station ID to appear under the channel number, the program guide for that frequency would appear. For example, when receiving 7-1, the guide for 7-2 and 7-3 would be received at the same time. Once in memory, the box held all the information for all 47 sub-channels (Assuming that the station sent the info). Turning off the power, would erase this information. However, if I left the power on for 12 hours and did not return to these channels, NBC, ABC, and PBS all had the correct program information. Sadly, CBS and FOX had blank entries. The problem was not the box, but CBS and FOX not sending this information. Given that the test was Sunday day --> night, it may be different on another day.

CC Settings: I haven't figured the difference between CC1 and Service1, but I've found that the box remembers the difference between each channel not only for ZOOM, but also the CC settings. In one case, the setting Service1 did not work, but CC1 did.


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post #365 of 2451 Old 02-25-2008, 08:25 PM
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Here are the three zoom (aspect) modes for the Zenith DTT900. These images are field grabs direct from the video from the converter. Because I only captured the field and not the frame (both fields), the image lacks the vertical sharpness that a frame grab has. Thus the fonts are not as sharp as they could be.

Squeezed


Letter Box


Cropped



Notice that the letter box does not fully fill the image. With a CRT, there's overscan, so the small black area will not be seen. However, on an 4:3 LCD, you would see the small black area.


One of the features I like is if I press the first digit of the channel, I see all the channels that start with that digit. So a zero, shows 02, 04, 05, 07, & 09 on my box. A 1 shows channel 11, 13, and 18. Pressing a 2 shows 2, 22, & 28. So the digit I press, shows the first digit of any matching channel. The only exception is if the box is on a given channel, it will not appear on the list.




I'll post more screen shots later on.

Bob Diaz
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post #366 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 07:32 AM
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Bob Diaz, from what I see on the forum the DTT900 sounds as good or better than most of the others.

BTW, on applying online for the coupon, if you don't get confirmation with a number back pretty quick, it means your application didn't take. Second try couple days ago, I got a confirmation number back right away.

Dave E

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post #367 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 09:40 AM
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Whodart,

Right now the Zenith/Insignia Converter does it's job VERY well. Given the limited number of boxes we've seen come out so far, the Zenith ranks high on my list.

In may well be that in the upcoming months another box will come out with slightly better performance or features. However, even if one did, the Zenith converter would still be a great product.

If a friend had to buy one today, I'd tell them to get the Zenith.

If they could wait, I would suggest waiting a few months to see what new choices will come out soon.

Bob Diaz
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post #368 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobDiaz View Post

CC Settings: I haven't figured the difference between CC1 and Service1, but I've found that the box remembers the difference between each channel not only for ZOOM, but also the CC settings. In one case, the setting Service1 did not work, but CC1 did.
Bob Diaz

Service1 is a digital caption setting for receiving closed captions sent in English. (Service2 might be used for Spanish closed captions if the TV stations transmits that, but I think it's rare.)

CC1 refers to the old analog caption setting (EIA-608) and forces the converter box to pick up 608 captions.

By law, TV stations are supposed to transmit both digital and analog captions on their digital channels, but a lot a not doing so. That's why you might not pick up digital captions as you should. It's a problem that the TV station needs to fix eventually, and they might not even know they have a problem in this regard. People with HDTVs may be unable to receive any captions at all on the digital channels from such stations since most HDTVs are designed to decode only digital, not analog, captions on digital channels.

Interestingly, the converter boxes with digital closed caption features appear to provide the capability of receiving either type of captions on digital channels, though it may be necessary to switch manually to the CC1 setting using the CCD button on the remote. Thus the converter boxes can be a big help for HDTV users who aren't presently getting captions on some of the digital channels (and who get lousy reception of analog channels.) But eventually, the problem of not getting digital captions on the digital channels needs to get fixed.

The CCD button on the Insignia doesn't permanently set up closed captioning, unlike some CC buttons on TVs. (I've doublechecked this.) The only way to activate digital closed caption decoding from the Insignia for all channels is to hit the Menu button on the remote, then select "Options," then "Captions," then switch the mode to Digital, select analog as CC1 (even though the Insignia seems to ignore this setting), then choose Service 1 for Digital, then move down to "Digital Option" to choose how you want the digital captions to look.

Does that sound like the same process for the Zenith?

On the Insignia, the CCD button shows the current captioning setting for all channels. Changing the setting through the remote control isn't remembered when I change channels.

Any evaluations of digital-to-analog converter boxes that discuss captioning features would be very appreciated at the following thread which focuses on this issue:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=997022

Dana
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post #369 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 05:35 PM
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Question for Bob Diaz: By "rabbit ears" do you mean the two rod antennas that are supposedly only for VHF? I use those for by Durabrand tv with digital tuner. I get great reception on Bakersfield's digital channels, 3 UHF and 1 VHF-HI. I have found over the years that rabbit ears work better than those little loop antennas for UHF analog reception. Many OTA digital users in Bakersfield have reported problems receiving digital RF channel 10 with various "UHF antennas". I have no problem with channel 10 or the UHF channels using a "VHF antenna".

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #370 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 06:10 PM
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Quote:


Question for Bob Diaz: By "rabbit ears" do you mean the two rod antennas that are supposedly only for VHF?

Yes, the "rabbit ears" were the two rod antennas that can be extended and bent in different directions. In my test, I didn't try different lengths, but when there was a reception problem, I did bend and turn the antennas to get a better signal. It didn't take a whole lot of work to get a better signal.

Sincerely,

Bob Diaz
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post #371 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 08:52 PM
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Here are several screen grabs from the Zenith DTT900 Converter:

Menu, Setup Screen:


Menu, Option Screen:


Menu, Lock Screen:


Signal Strength:


Display Program Information:


Simple Program Guide:



Bob Diaz
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post #372 of 2451 Old 02-26-2008, 10:09 PM
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Very nice pictures, Bob. The menu looks just like that of the Insignia. FYI, the "Digital Option" confuses some people since it somehow doesn't "look" like something to arrow down to, so the visual display is a little confusing in that respect. One has to *read* it to realize one does need to go down to that area and click on it. Most designers would have set it apart in some way.

Your TV looks like an HDTV or HD-ready TV, though, since it has a 16:9 ratio rather than 4:3. Are you using an analog tuner with an HD monitor?
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post #373 of 2451 Old 02-27-2008, 10:57 AM
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dmulvany,

When I snapped the photos, I somehow missed getting when Digital Option part is grabbed. Oh well, next time...

The images you are seeing are taken with a Sony Digital8 Video camera. I feed the output of the Zenith direct into the video-in of the camera and capture the signal direct to a Memory Stick. this provides the highest possible image I can get. So, my 4:3 TV isn't part of the process for showing you the image.

Most CRTs overscan the image, but the Sony Video Camera captures the edges of the image. Thus, we can see a small black area around the image. This should NOT be a problem for most, because most TVs crop off this tiny black edge.

I am considering generating a short 2 - 3 minute video showing the menus and features, but I'm not sure if You Tube's 320x240 resolution will really show that clearly. ...


Best wishes,

Bob Diaz
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post #374 of 2451 Old 02-27-2008, 01:05 PM
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Bob: terrific screen shots! I expect receiving my coupons any day now. Including 8.9% sales tax, the Zenith box costs $65.33, post-coupon it's $25.33.

Bob, did you indicate that the Zenith box works better on UHF DTV reception using indoor VHF rabbit ears than an indoor UHF loop aerial?
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post #375 of 2451 Old 02-27-2008, 03:34 PM
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I just checked my coupon status and it has been updated very recently. Here's what it says:

"Your coupons have been mailed. You should receive them within two to three weeks if you haven't already."

Two to three weeks seems like a long time for the mail, but oh well.
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post #376 of 2451 Old 02-27-2008, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobDiaz View Post

The images you are seeing are taken with a Sony Digital8 Video camera. I feed the output of the Zenith direct into the video-in of the camera and capture the signal direct to a Memory Stick. this provides the highest possible image I can get.



I am considering generating a short 2 - 3 minute video showing the menus and features, but I'm not sure if You Tube's 320x240 resolution will really show that clearly. ...

Thanks for explaining how you got those great pictures. I hadn't realized any cameras had video-ins and that they could do that.

I think you're right that You Tube or Picasa won't show great resolution of the videos. Maybe there are some other web sites that allow better resolution, though.

Dana
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post #377 of 2451 Old 02-27-2008, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

Bob: terrific screen shots! I expect receiving my coupons any day now. Including 8.9% sales tax, the Zenith box costs $65.33, post-coupon it's $25.33.

Bob, did you indicate that the Zenith box works better on UHF DTV reception using indoor VHF rabbit ears than an indoor UHF loop aerial?

I hadn't tested a loop antenna compared to rabbit ears, BUT seeing as this could be interesting.... I just ran the test.

While both work in the LA Calif. area where all the DTV channels are in the UHF band, rabbit ears seems to have an edge over a loop.

ABC does poorly and breaks up with a loop, but with the rabbit ears the signal is strong enough to avoid any breakup and the signal level appears higher.

I see slight improvements in the other channels, in the form of higher signal levels. However, a roof antenna pointing in the correct direction is always the best choice.

I have a lot more I could say about antennas, but that should go on another thread and I can't take the time now to write it down. Later....


Best Wishes,

Bob Diaz
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post #378 of 2451 Old 02-27-2008, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Thanks for explaining how you got those great pictures. I hadn't realized any cameras had video-ins and that they could do that.

I think you're right that You Tube or Picasa won't show great resolution of the videos. Maybe there are some other web sites that allow better resolution, though.

Dana

Well not every camera, but Sony does make some cameras with video in and capture to memory stick.

I'll have to run some tests with my capture system, that can capture 640x480 or 320x240 MPEG4. The biggest problem with 640x480 is that a 2 minute file could be around 40 to 50MB!!! That could sure quickly burn up my monthly bandwidth limit for posting files!!!

Bob Diaz
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post #379 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Shutt View Post

On Monday I was handed a box that arrived at our station. It was a Zenith DTT900 Digital TV Tuner Converter Box.

----snip----

Major components:
RF mod/demod can: Sanyo UBA00AL
ATSC chip: LG DT111D

All in all, I am very impressed with the RF performance of the unit, and the degree to which I can abuse the antenna position without losing video lock, or at worse inducing some macroblocking but never losing audio.

John

ERRATA:
FCC emissions qual test report for FCC ID "BEJ9QKE00710" shows fol. P/N for
the big chip: LGDT1111D (vice LGDT111D).
It's a Zenith Box with an outside label that says Zenith DTT900
with Serv No LSX300-4DM. Circuit board is labeled LSX300-4DM.
https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/...9;BEJ9QKE00710'

FWIW: Here is what came up on Google for LGDT1111:
http://translate.google.com/translat...en-US:official
Hard to read through the poor Chinese to English translation...
a. LGDT1111 (aka "E1") incorporates LGDT3304 (6th Gen ATSC Decoder).
b. Poster claims LGDT3303 (5th Gen ATSC Decoder) would have problems
meeting FCC certification (no doubt CECB A/74 test requirements).
c. Poster (seems to???) claim LGDT1111 ("E1") is used in LG, Samsung,
Philips and Thomson boxes (I question whether this is true....)
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post #380 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 06:43 PM
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Here's a look inside the Zenith converter when it's opened up.

Do NOT do this, it will void your warranty and if left plugged in there is a STRONG RISK of a deadly electrical shock.

OK, so I did something I should not have done, but I do teach Electronics at a local College, so it's in my blood to such things...

First up is the chip: LG Electronics, LGDT1111D, 0741, P33732.00


Here's a view of both boards. On the left is the power supply board and on the right is the main board. The silver box on the upper left is a Sanyo Tuner.


This is the main board where all the critical electronics is located.


The power supply is seen below.



Like many other boards I've seen, you notice places where parts seem to be missing. This is not a mistake. Many times, manufacturers will have places on boards where some parts will be missing for this model. On other models, the parts will be put in the board and other parts might be missing. This is really a cost savings, because a single board can be used with two or more variations of a product.

In looking at the photo from an early article about the new 6th Generation chip, the numbers on the chips are different from the current chip. I can only guess that between December 2006 and today, some changes came to the chip and a new number was given to it. Everything I read says the Zenith Converter Box has a 6th generation chip.

http://english.chosun.com/w21data/ht...612280032.html




Bob Diaz
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post #381 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobDiaz View Post

Here's a look inside the Zenith converter when it's opened up. ... In looking at the photo from an early article about the new 6th Generation chip, the numbers on the chips are different from the current chip. I can only guess that between December 2006 and today, some changes came to the chip and a new number was given to it. Everything I read says the Zenith Converter Box has a 6th generation chip. ...

Bob: Thanks very much for this excellent post. Finally, another poster on this forum understands how to show hi-res photos in either macro mode or quality zoom!

Great dissection and analysis.

Avio
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post #382 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

ERRATA:
FCC emissions qual test report for FCC ID "BEJ9QKE00710" shows fol. P/N for
the big chip: LGDT1111D (vice LGDT111D).
It's a Zenith Box with an outside label that says Zenith DTT900
with Serv No LSX300-4DM. Circuit board is labeled LSX300-4DM.
https://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas/...9;BEJ9QKE00710'

Follow the link to the FCC page and look carefully at the internal photos of both the Insignia and the Zenith. If you flip between the 2 pictures you will note the yellow label in the lower right corner that is bent the same in both pictures. All the cables are bent exactly the same. And what's even stranger, note the numbers hand written in felt pen. Even the edges of marks are identical. I can tell you from 40 years in the electronics service business that no 2 units are ever this matched. The only difference is on the plastic front cover where the model number is different. If it weren't for that model number, I would swear these are different photos of the same unit. It's like the model number was photoshop'd in.

I'm not accusing anything sinister here, it just caught my eye and I found it interesting.
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post #383 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold R View Post

Follow the link to the FCC page and look carefully at the internal photos of both the Insignia and the Zenith. If you flip between the pictures you will note the yellow label in the lower right corner that is bent the same in both pictures. All the cables are bent exactly the same. And what's even stranger, note the numbers hand written in felt pen. Even the edges of marks are identical. I can tell you from 40 years in the electronics service business that no 2 units are ever this matched.

That's because the internal photos came from the same source. Originally, they were 2 identical Microsoft Power Points, converted to .pdf within seconds of each other by someone named "jwarnell".
It's probably safe to assume the manufacturer supplied the PowerPoints, and the gov't converted them to pdf for the web. For proof, open one of the pdf's, go properties, on the description tab go to Advanced Metadata..., the click on IPTC Status. The down arrow will show the two MS PPT titles. Yes. I am an Adobe geek.
Since the Insignia and Zenith are the same box, why take pictures of the internals twice when the only difference is what's printed on the exterior?

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #384 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

Since the Insignia and Zenith are the same box, why take pictures of the internals twice when the only difference is what's printed on the exterior?

I want the Zenith box because it has the LG 6th generation chip in it. Unfortunately, the Radio Shack in my area has some crappy brand I never heard of and the local Circuit City has no boxes at all. The sales guy on the phone at CC sounded dazed and confused and said they would not get any boxes soon, which may be his mistake as it seems against what the CC website says. The guy sounded exactly like the teenage nerd clerk they always have on the Simpsons.

Anyway, is everyone 100% sure, swearing on your mother's grave, that the Insignia is the same as the Zenith and works just as well? If I get the wrong box without that prized chip, I will be super %$8&!9! Best Buy has the Insignia in stock and my coupon is in the mail.

IB
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post #385 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

I want the Zenith box because it has the LG 6th generation chip in it. Unfortunately, the Radio Shack in my area has some crappy brand I never heard of and the local Circuit City has no boxes at all. The sales guy on the phone at CC sounded dazed and confused and said they would not get any boxes soon, which may be his mistake as it seems against what the CC website says. The guy sounded exactly like the teenage nerd clerk they always have on the Simpsons.

Anyway, is everyone 100% sure, swearing on your mother's grave, that the Insignia is the same as the Zenith and works just as well? If I get the wrong box without that prized chip, I will be super %$8&!9! Best Buy has the Insignia in stock and my coupon is in the mail.

IB

inky-i got the insignia at the local best buy played with for a week didn't a bit of a problem.
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post #386 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rviele View Post

inky-i got the insignia at the local best buy played with for a week didn't a bit of a problem.
rviele

But my question is, is it the same box as the Zenith under the hood. From all the posts I have read, it looks like the answer is yes, but I would feel better if someone heard directly from LG or Zenith about that. I e-mailed LG and hope they reply.

IB
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post #387 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 09:18 PM
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Assuming they answer at all, it will probably be in broken English and cause you ask more questions than you originally had... Trust me it's the same box. The model numbers are the same, the FCC IDs are exactly the same, the FCC test results are nearly identical. If those aren't the same boxes, then I will have to question reality as I know it...
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post #388 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 10:10 PM
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Good! I will post if LG answers anyway.

IB
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post #389 of 2451 Old 02-28-2008, 11:26 PM
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As soon as I get my coupons, I'm going direct to Best Buy to pick up an Insignia Converter. Allowing 1 week for a proper burn-in just in case something goes wrong, and assuming nothing goes wrong, I'll open it up to take a look inside (with photos).

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post #390 of 2451 Old 02-29-2008, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobDiaz View Post

Here's a look inside the Zenith converter when it's opened up.

---snip---

The power supply is seen below.


Like many other boards I've seen, you notice places where parts seem to be missing. This is not a mistake. Many times, manufacturers will have places on boards where some parts will be missing for this model. On other models, the parts will be put in the board and other parts might be missing. This is really a cost savings, because a single board can be used with two or more variations of a product.

---snip---

Bob Diaz

Next to where the power cord enters is an unoccupied connector socket (two big mounting pins & 6 holes).
This matches the location for the SMART ANTENNA plug....hmmm, wonder if the software is enabled....

===============================
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. For experienced technicians only....but ever since I built my first
Heathkit All-Band Receiver (age 9), it was my job to fix the family TVs, frequently with
power on and VOM (later a scope probe) in hand....tube testers only went so far....

In college, I was given (gratis) the sets no tube tester could fix....start by checking caps for leakage....
BTW: 200-300 VDC was common....and try not to EVER, EVER get bit by 20+ KV to picture tube....OUCH!!!

Of course, once you disconnect power, these are benign bricks...except for maybe the low voltage
stored in the "big" caps on the power supply board....Mostly, be careful, don't leave a screw loose inside...
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