Zenith (LG) DTT900 CECB - Page 31 - AVS Forum
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post #901 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NU3E View Post

Correction: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. is a Wal-Mart supplier, but Wal-Mart does not own Sanyo. Sanyo was founded in 1947 and is a Japanese company.

You're correct. Typo. Should have put "owns" in quotes. Wallyworld's exclusive agreements with Sanyo controlled what TV's were being produced and that's what I meant to say. The net effect was that analog sets were being made for Wal-Mart long after they should have been. Our local Wal-Mart wasn't even smart enough to put the required disclaimer on the analog sets until I pointed it out to management. It was a lackadaisical approach like this that forced the Gov't to impose a hard cut-off date.

Dear atrac - sorry for jumping on you and your "cause". It was an over-reaction to a number of people on this forum who imply that there's something wrong with you if you don't hear the "defect". I'm still convinced the audio problem is a signal problem and not a problem with the box. The fact that everyone doesn't experience it combined with the somewhat regular reference to a particular broadcast or station plus my considerable experience with similar problems with C-band leads me to believe that. I'll give you an example. Yesterday I watched the Phillies/Cubs game on Channel 56, Scranton/WB. During the commercials there was a very apparent second, background, audio running. You could distinctly hear the audio of a different commercial. Now I'm sure some tech-wiz could jump on that and tell us it's another example of the sound problem with the Zenith. It isn't. It's simply a broadcast problem and I believe the "chirp" or whatever you wish to call it is also. As I stated earlier, out of the almost 200 channels I receive on my C-band dish only one has this same audio issue and that is the national PBS feed on W4. The problem was there with my TI receiver and is still there with my 4DTV receiver. No amount of tweaking or fine tuning affects it.

I've been watching digital OTA for almost 5 years now and believe me it's come a long way. Just a couple of years ago I sent a letter to one of the network affiliates to inform them that their digital stereo signal was reversed. Right was coming out left and vice-versa. They fixed it. It just seems to me that taking the issue to the station might be more helpful than pounding on the Zenith box.

Larry
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post #902 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 01:46 PM
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That would be true if you were just comaparing only Zenith CECBs. So what would explain the same "signal" sounding "good" on a HDTV set and "bad" on a Zenith CECB. A friend of mine did a side by side comparison of the same DTV signal (with Dolby Digital 5.1) on a HDTV and a Zenith CECB. The HDTV reproduces the sound with no distortion, while the Zenith box audio is distorted. The HDTV may be more tolerant of a so-called "bad" signal (given it's 10X more expensive) but that has yet to be proven on this board. Just my 2 cents.
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post #903 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 47thpvvi View Post

...I'm still convinced the audio problem is a signal problem and not a problem with the box.

I suspect that may be at least partially correct. Not much has been done here to separate source problems (and there are ever so many) from issues perhaps originating with the STB.

I spent more than a week attempting to determine what the uproar was all about. Doing A/B/C/D testing (including known *clean* ATSC STBs) using full range headphones and a bypass-stereo-direct mode. Every time I heard sibilance/noise/distortion on a channel which I suspected to be the alleged chirping/buzzing/hissing... turns out it was in the source and sounded very nearly the same on my Samsung 260, Sony DHG-HDD, and VIP722 per affiliate/broadcast as when tuned with the Zenith.

I chalked it up as "must be the source" and then one evening I unsuspectingly had the Zenith tuned to an affiliate I seldom watch. After the top of the hour I heard this simply horrific noise. A nails on a chalkboard "chirping" made me think the amp must be failing. After determining it was the channel/broadcast I quickly tuned the same channel on the other STBs. Didn't sound great that's for sure, but the others clearly weren't emitting the same blood curdling sputtering wheal so intense it was making the left speaker rattle. The sound is way beyond sibilance, must be some kind of runaway distortion feedback. Only the lgdt111d are doing it, and only on very select affiliates for me.

After about a month, it turns out I only hear the bug on two affiliates (out of 16) I can't find an obvious correlation to Dolby 5.1. One NBC affiliate does the LG chirping, while another NBC station sounds clean -- full stereo with no obvious distortion or chirping. Both NBCs are doing HD w/ full Dolby 5.1 and all audio channels seem to be present in the digital output for both. One chirps while the other doesn't, broadcast for broadcast. I tried the Digital Stream box as well and it does the identical chirping on the particular *bad* affiliates. I tried to determine what the *bad* NBC is doing differently by going one by one through the 5.1 outputs, nothing obvious there.

The other broadcaster doing the LG "chirp" for me apparently doesn't do 5.1 at all (doesn't register as Dolby on the Digital stream banner) and includes only left and right in digital, although the earsplitting chirping is during (normally?) 5.1 network programming.

As well, WeatherPlus on the deviant NBC also chirps perhaps not as acute. Both the bad NBC and the associated WeatherPlus seem to have slightly more ambiance or dsp effects somewhere the chain (at all times?) when compared to other channels on the other STBs.

So it remains a mystery but is most definitely (apparently) very specific to certain affiliates. Must be triggered by something they are doing. Seemingly not caused by the networks themselves.

I'd have to guess many (if not most) may not hear lgdt111d chirping at all in their neighborhoods and that's because perhaps it's simply not there. You don't have to wonder, if you have it you'll (surely) know. It's *way* more than pesky common sibilance in my experience. On normal channels, when you don't have the acute chirping, lgdt111d still outputs less than my standard of HiFi audio (I'm rather picky) but only upon very close inspection. I'd guess few would hear anything out of the ordinary especially using TV speakers. OTA affiliate audio is so variable and too often leaves much to be desired already.

So (likely) fewer encounter the acute problem but when you do it's an absolute deal killer, a very serious issue. As for LG they may not be able to duplicate the specific condition if the reference signal doesn't precipitate the chirping/feedback?

But the real test will be the new Zenith DTT901 rolling out soon, it will be a real shame it still chirps.
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post #904 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by KenL View Post

I suspect that may be at least partially correct. Not much has been done here to separate source problems (and there are ever so many) from issues perhaps originating with the STB.

I spent more than a week attempting to determine what the uproar was all about. Doing A/B/C/D testing (including known *clean* ATSC STBs) using full range headphones and a bypass-stereo-direct mode. Every time I heard sibilance/noise/distortion on a channel which I suspected to be the alleged chirping/buzzing/hissing... turns out it was in the source and sounded very nearly the same on my Samsung 260, Sony DHG-HDD, and VIP722 per affiliate/broadcast as when tuned with the Zenith.

I chalked it up as "must be the source" and then one evening I unsuspectingly had the Zenith tuned to an affiliate I seldom watch. After the top of the hour I heard this simply horrific noise. A nails on a chalkboard "chirping" made me think the amp must be failing. After determining it was the channel/broadcast I quickly tuned the same channel on the other STBs. Didn't sound great that's for sure, but the others clearly weren't emitting the same blood curdling sputtering wheal so intense it was making the left speaker rattle. The sound is way beyond sibilance, must be some kind of runaway distortion feedback. Only the lgdt111d are doing it, and only on very select affiliates for me.

After about a month, it turns out I only hear the bug on two affiliates (out of 16) I can't find an obvious correlation to Dolby 5.1. One NBC affiliate does the LG chirping, while another NBC station sounds clean -- full stereo with no obvious distortion or chirping. Both NBCs are doing HD w/ full Dolby 5.1 and all audio channels seem to be present in the digital output for both. One chirps while the other doesn't, broadcast for broadcast. I tried the Digital Stream box as well and it does the identical chirping on the particular *bad* affiliates. I tried to determine what the *bad* NBC is doing differently by going one by one through the 5.1 outputs, nothing obvious there.

The other broadcaster doing the LG "chirp" for me apparently doesn't do 5.1 at all (doesn't register as Dolby on the Digital stream banner) and includes only left and right in digital, although the earsplitting chirping is during (normally?) 5.1 network programming.

As well, WeatherPlus on the deviant NBC also chirps perhaps not as acute. Both the bad NBC and the associated WeatherPlus seem to have slightly more ambiance or dsp effects somewhere the chain (at all times?) when compared to other channels on the other STBs.

So it remains a mystery but is most definitely (apparently) very specific to certain affiliates. Must be triggered by something they are doing. Seemingly not caused by the networks themselves.

I'd have to guess many (if not most) may not hear lgdt111d chirping at all in their neighborhoods and that's because perhaps it's simply not there. You don't have to wonder, if you have it you'll (surely) know. It's *way* more than pesky common sibilance in my experience. On normal channels, when you don't have the acute chirping, lgdt111d still outputs less than my standard of HiFi audio (I'm rather picky) but only upon very close inspection. I'd guess few would hear anything out of the ordinary especially using TV speakers. OTA affiliate audio is so variable and too often leaves much to be desired already.

So (likely) fewer encounter the acute problem but when you do it's an absolute deal killer, a very serious issue. As for LG they may not be able to duplicate the specific condition if the reference signal doesn't precipitate the chirping/feedback?

But the real test will be the new Zenith DTT901 rolling out soon, it will be a real shame it still chirps.

when is the Zenith DTT901 coming out? Will it have passthru? What other features will it have?

ty
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post #905 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 07:57 PM
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I know nothing about the protocols and formats discussed in this forum, but I have been searching here for a solution to the awful background hiss and sound compression we've been experiencing with our new Zenith box. I'm referring here to the hiss that has to be minimized by balancing the sound volume on the TV with that of the converter box. I'm happy to say that I stumbled on an improvement (if not a complete fix) while browsing this thread that may improve the situation for some.

I had originally set up my Sony TV to channel 3, as directed in the Zenith manual, and as I remember having done with my old VCR. The huge improvement was changing the TV to Video 3. I now have much better volume overall, the hiss is gone, and there's a huge improvement in sound quality.

I'm sure that if this advice is of use, someone here can put this into more accurate language!
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post #906 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by henle View Post

I know nothing about the protocols and formats discussed in this forum, but I have been searching here for a solution to the awful background hiss and sound compression we've been experiencing with our new Zenith box. I'm referring here to the hiss that has to be minimized by balancing the sound volume on the TV with that of the converter box. I'm happy to say that I stumbled on an improvement (if not a complete fix) while browsing this thread that may improve the situation for some.

I had originally set up my Sony TV to channel 3, as directed in the Zenith manual, and as I remember having done with my old VCR. The huge improvement was changing the TV to Video 3. I now have much better volume overall, the hiss is gone, and there's a huge improvement in sound quality.

I'm sure that if this advice is of use, someone here can put this into more accurate language!

Are you using the RF connection or the composite AV connections? I have presumed that most users here - the ones describing the audio difficulties - have used the composite AV inputs as I have.
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post #907 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

When is the Zenith DTT901 coming out? Will it have passthru? What other features will it have?ty

1. Exact delivery date unknown, probably June.
2. Yes, it will have analog pass-through.
3. Other features - unknown.

LG/Zenith hasn't publicly responded to, or acknowledged, the complaints here about intermittent but bizarre sound distortion issues. We can't assume the DTT901 will correct this defect, as LG/Zenith hasn't acknowledged audio performance problems with the DTT900. As KenL and others have suggested, the strange "chirping" and sibilant-like transient intermodulation distortion symptoms conveyed by the Zenith may be a byproduct of the ATSC audio processing techniques used by certain local network affiliate stations.

A sure sign that the DTT901 will be coming to a store near you: closeout sale pricing on the DTT-900.
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post #908 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 09:05 PM
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Zenith DTT900 DTV to Analog SD Converter Box

Purchased from Radio Shack store for $65.54 after tax ($25.54 after coupon).

The Good:
+ Tuner pulls in signal very well. (I get fairly good reception despite unfavorable location.)
+ Attractive, intuitive user interface and remote control.
+ Easy to manually tune channels that aren't saved in channel list. (It even has a predictive-type drop-down list when you start punching in a channel number.)
+ Has a lot of options for closed caption appearance (font, size, text color/tranlucency, background color/translucency, text shadow type/color.)
+ Small footprint fits in tight spaces (e.g. next to DVD player). Looks good.
+ Remote has a TV power button, which was easily programmed to work with my (old Magnavox) TV.
+ Program guide and menu do not interrupt what you're watching. Menu is even mostly translucent.
+ Signal meter beeps faster with stronger signal so you can adjust antenna without seeing TV screen. (Unfortunately, the meter turns itself off after 60 seconds, presumably for those who inadvertently turn it on and don't know how to turn it off.)

Ways it could be better:
- If I could add just one thing, it would definitely be one or more intermediate zoom levels between 100% fullscreen (cropped) and 100% widescreen (letterboxed 16:9). Several stations around here frequently broadcast what seems to be a 14:9 (or close to it) picture. But they send a 16:9 signal that includes black bars on the sides. So if you set the DTT900 to show widescreen (set up using a 4:3 TV of course) it adds black bars on the top and bottom, and you end up with wasted space on *all four* sides and a smaller than necessary picture. Silly. But of course if you set the DTT900 to cropped, you're missing part of the picture. (Some other coupon-eligible boxes have a 14:9 zoom mode.)
- Program guide only has current and next program on each channel; would be be nice if it had at least the next several hours. (Some other coupon-eligible boxes have a full week in advance program guide.)

(This mini-rant get its own paragraph
- CC button on the remote, instead of turning CC on/off, cycles between 15 (FIFTEEN!) settings. (Digital 1-6, Analog CC 1-4, Analog Text 1-4, Off) Yes, that means if you want to turn captions off and then back on without using the menu, you have to press the CCD button a total of 17 times! Are they kidding? One press shows you the current option without changing it, and that's fine. If any CC is on, the second press should always turn it off, and then further presses could start cycling through other options in case you want them.

- Signal strength meter only a bar; would be nice if it gave a number. (Some other coupon-eligible boxes give a number.)
- Can't be switched off; power button puts it in standby mode.
- Remote is required for setup or any features. Box itself has only power and channel buttons. Lost remote = out of luck.
- No smart antenna jack. (Some other coupon-eligible boxes have one.)

I haven't noticed the left channel audio issue others described.
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post #909 of 2445 Old 04-14-2008, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy View Post

...We can't assume the DTT901 will correct this defect, as LG/Zenith hasn't acknowledged audio performance problems with the DTT900. As KenL and others have suggested, the strange "chirping" and sibilant-like transient intermodulation distortion symptoms conveyed by the Zenith may be a byproduct of the ATSC audio processing techniques used by certain local network affiliate stations.

A sure sign that the DTT901 will be coming to a store near you: closeout sale pricing on the DTT-900.

It sure seems like there is about 2 things they might have done to cut the power consumption so dramatically (from 6 to 3.9 watts) If they repackaged the SoC perhaps (if they understand the audio issue) it will be corrected?

But more likely they may have switched to a tuner-on-a-chip. That would save the power but if the lgdt1111d is still used, who knows about the audio. I'm not sold on the tuner-on-a-chip just yet based on a comparison of the analog performance of the Fusion 7 (tuner on the chip) to the Fusion 5 (tuner in a can) Tuner-on-a-chip is much cheaper and lower power but I need to see more real world evidence they actually perform better. In the field, with my very weakest channels. Perhaps they do/will.

I'd rather see the current LG demod paired with a tried and true "can" tuner since they *can* work so well. The DTT900 (as it is now) is out performing everything I've ever used before and almost effortlessly gets all my possible channels like nothing before it. I just want to see the audio fixed without touching the outstanding reception capability or the superior video scaling/PQ.

I kind of suspect much of the noise from Mircrotune, Inc. was about as bogus as all of the fixation with pass-thru. But if it means we get our LG audio fixed, I can deal. Really, any new LG revision opens the door for a chance it gets fixed. And I'd really like to see a non-CECB (crippled) version of the Zenith/LG I'd pay good money for that.
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post #910 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rvrnd View Post


(This mini-rant get its own paragraph
- CC button on the remote, instead of turning CC on/off, cycles between 15 (FIFTEEN!) settings. (Digital 1-6, Analog CC 1-4, Analog Text 1-4, Off) Yes, that means if you want to turn captions off and then back on without using the menu, you have to press the CCD button a total of 17 times! Are they kidding? One press shows you the current option without changing it, and that's fine. If any CC is on, the second press should always turn it off, and then further presses could start cycling through other options in case you want them.

A workaround is to tune to another station quickly, which will turn the captions off unless you've enabled them from the setup menu. In this area, a second press of the button while tuned to the same station effectively turns off the captions anyway, as Service 1 is the only mode any stations around here are using.
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post #911 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 04:59 AM
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One thing to keep in mind with pass-thru. The only inexpensive way to do it is to split the signal and pass it thru before it hits the tuner chip. That can affect reception of fringe stations. In other words, a non pass-thru box will likely get more stations than a pass-thru box. Something to keep in mind. It makes more sense, I think, to put a splitter in the incoming line before the box. It's less likely to affect the box but even if it does you can remove the splitter next February and still have a full strength tuner. Pass-thru, except for the fairly rare low power stations, will be useless after then anyway. Anybody on here actually receive any of those low power stations?

I know this thread is about the Zenith but I'd like to add one comment here. To me, one of the most important criteria for a box is it's ability to add stations without clearing the existing list. That's one of the great features of this box. It shocks me that some makers are selling boxes that have no way of adding stations without clearing the existing list. If you have a rotor it would be crazy to buy such a box. This feature is so simple to include I am stunned to find so many makers leaving it out. When I first set up the Zenith I got 36 stations. By playing with the rotor I am now up to 43, but only because the Zenith allows adding stations. End of mini-rant/comment.
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post #912 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 05:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jesstech View Post

In my experience, the audio does not cause high-pitched squeaks or squeals or chirps, and that isn't what you should be looking for. Instead, in some Dolby Digital (5.1) broadcasts, the issue can be heard in dialogue when the speaker pronounces "th" or "s" sounds.

Not what I heard. I heard a distinct buzzing, similar to what happens if you set the volume too high when recording audio ("running out of headroom"). It was instantly noticeable.
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Originally Posted by 47thpvvi View Post

By the way, if your Hisense gets 4 stations and the Zenith gets 8 that makes the Zenith better, right? So why continue to hammer on the Zenith? Maybe it's time to take a look at your antenna system as the culprit.

The antenna is not at fault for the Zenith's inability to produce a clean stereo output.
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Switching to mono does not shut off the left (or right) channel any more than switching from stereo to mono on a radio shuts down one channel.

Actually a radio DOES eliminate the L-R signal when you switch it to "mono" setting. The radio only hears the one channel instead of both.
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post

If you're purchasing in a store -- this may not work so well for mail order -- you can do what many of us are doing: buy the box without using the coupon, and if you like it, return it to buy the same unit back with the coupon.*

Except that you just wasted $10 gasoline driving back-and-forth (twice). I prefer my own solution:

- Research
- Buy
- Like? Keep the converter box.
- Don't like? Sell it on Ebay for $49.99 to recover some of your money.

I've bought 4 Zenith boxes so far. I kept three and since Circuit City wouldn't refund my $40 coupon, I sold the fourth on Ebay to recover my cash.
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post #913 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 06:16 AM
 
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With all due respect I don't get it. This is simply supposed to be a cheap little box to allow you to continue to use old tv sets. Why in the world are some of you running this low end solution through hi-tech equipment? What's the point?

False assumption. There's nothing "high-tech" about my $100 Dolby Stereo unit. On the contrary it was the cheapest I could buy, but it still produces beautiful sound from my VCR or DVD players. The only thing that doesn't work properly is the Zenith POS. <--- It ought to work just as well as my VCR with my 10-year-old stereo.
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It's like getting a good deal on unleaded 87 octane gas and putting it in an 8.3-Liter, V-10, Dodge Viper and then complaining it doesn't run right. Makes no sense.

No. It's like getting 87 octane, and discovering they "reformulated" it so it won't work in my old Dodge. And it should.
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post #914 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 06:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by wblynch View Post

Why don't you guys just get over it and move on? You have already decided that the Zenith doesn't meet your needs.

Or is it that you can't stand life unless you're bitching about something. With the time you've wasted here bitching about the "sound bug" you could have worked those hours at Taco Bell and earned enough to buy an HDTV.

Oh.... go eat manure and get cow worms.

(I paid $16,000 in taxes in 2007, so I'm really not in a good mood.) (Your post didn't make me feel any happier.)
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post #915 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenL View Post

I'd rather see the current LG demod paired with a tried and true "can" tuner since they *can* work so well. The DTT900 (as it is now) is out performing everything I've ever used before and almost effortlessly gets all my possible channels like nothing before it. I just want to see the audio fixed without touching the outstanding reception capability or the superior video scaling/PQ.

I concur. The biggest problems many of us are facing involves proper antenna selection, and dubious ATSC audio engineering practices by some broadcasters which seem to bring out horrid sounds from the DTT900.

In additon to fixing the audio (and closed captioning) on the CECBs, LG/Zenith should also offer a non-CECB version - I'll call it the DTT-1000. This full-meal-deal ATSC box should include all high-definition video formats, connections for S-video, component video and HDMI, cable QAM tuning, and so forth. LG/Zenith could sell a lot of DTT-1000 ATSC boxes, particularly if it's priced a little bit below the Samsung 260 - i.e. $125.
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post #916 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 09:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

From Antaltmike on a different thread

I'm watching CSpan this morning, and a senator asked why the FCC did not require pass-through as a feature in the eligible boxes, and Meridith Attwell Baker, acting assistant Commerce Secretary for Communications & Information said it was because they determined that there would be a signal loss of 3dB in boxes with that feature. Sad...

In other words, HALF the signal. (Even at 1dB, that's still 30% loss.) That's precisely what I did not want the "new" Zenith box with analog pass-thru. I want the older model where ALL the signal goes directly into the tuner, and thereby gives me the most channels possible.

I don't need the pass-thru. All my analog stations die on Feb 17.

I'd rather has a "lossfree" box with strong receptivity.
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post #917 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

Except that you just wasted $10 gasoline driving back-and-forth (twice). I prefer my own solution:

- Research
- Buy
- Like? Keep the converter box.
- Don't like? Sell it on Ebay for $49.99 to recover some of your money.

I've bought 4 Zenith boxes so far. I kept three and since Circuit City wouldn't refund my $40 coupon, I sold the fourth on Ebay to recover my cash.

I take no issue with your preferring your own method, but I do take issue with the word "wasted."  When I returned and repurchased the box on which I used my first coupon (second coupon is still unused), it meant turning into the parking lot of a store that I was driving past anyway and coming out again to continue on my way.  The additional gasoline cost wasn't even 10c.  Not everyone is purchasing a CECB at a store on his/her regular travel route, but not everyone needs a $10 round trip either, and most of us could aggregate it with another reason to travel to that area or in that direction.

Also, doing the research first is a given in both of our methods.  Don't try to imply that I'm recommending buying uninformed.

For you, your way works out better; for me, mine does.
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post #918 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

I've bought 4 Zenith boxes so far.

You bought 4 of them, even with the audio issue?

Take some responsibility for your own actions and stop complaining. You said you're not a kid, so start acting like it.
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post #919 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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Strawman argument jacker. I DO tax responsibility for my actions. I took the best that's available NOW.

There is no coupon-eligible box better than the Zenith.
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post #920 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 11:45 AM
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My point is, why did you buy them all at once?

You, like so many others here, just really seem to be stuck on the Zenith brand for some reason. There rarely is any decent quality control with lower-end electronics anymore. If you don't believe me, just read through the DVD Recorders forum. That's about the best/worst example of it.

Just sell the boxes if you're that unhappy with them. If you got $50.00 for the first one, that will more than cover the cost on a TR-40 when it comes out. The full, 7-day EPG and the VCR timer, and the performance otherwise might make you completely forget you ever wanted a Zenith. Or maybe LG will have a better box out eventually.

You really do need to upgrade your antenna situation more than anything else, though.
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post #921 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

There rarely is any decent quality control anymore. If you don't believe me, just read through the DVD Recorders forum. That's about the best/worst example of it.

Apologies for straying so far from the topic of this thread, but your statement hits very close to home. I found out how true the above was when shopping for a DVD recorder a couple of years ago. Four different units, from three different manufacturers (two well known and one not so well known), were tried and returned within a week's time.
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post #922 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wh5916 View Post

Apologies for straying so far from the topic of this thread, but your statement hits very close to home. I found out how true the above was when shopping for a DVD recorder a couple of years ago. Four different units, from three different manufacturers (two well known and one not so well known), were tried and returned within a week's time.

Good example. Another good one would be to go over there and ask jjeff about his experiences with one, particular major Japanese brand (I think it's the same one as yours, if I remember right) - one that used to be known for excellent quality, until they started farming out the manufacturing to China.

And don't even start on the Funai-made models.

Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Toshiba, whatever - even all the majors are complete junk now compared to before a couple of years back. If you're lucky and they even work right out of the box, by 3 months something major has gone wrong with them.
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post #923 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 01:42 PM
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I got my coupons last week, and I'm taking my sweet time. I've got 'till July 27 to use mine, and analog OTA isn't going away for 10 months anyway.

You posted this before and I meant to ask you how you managed that. A 90 day July 27 expiry implies an April 27 issue. Are you sure about that date printed on your cards? Have they started lengthening the time period.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #924 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 01:54 PM
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I got around to trying out the Zenith on my other tvs. A 7 year old 19" Philips has a coax connection to a coathanger antenna a room away, and a crude combiner to add in a dipole antenna for channel 4 digital. The distant tv gets heavy ghosting on half the analog stations, but the Zenith pulled in the same signals on tvs all over the house, and even where analog reception is not so good, the digital signals show less variability in signal strength. With tv stereo speakers and RCA cables I didn't hear any problems, although I need to go retest during the Today show to be sure. On my 28 year old 19" Hitachi with RF input and mono speaker, there was a deep dull roar in the background, and PQ was fuzzy. This one will likely be landfill but in its favor, it picked up the same stations with a reflectionless coathanger antenna on the 'wrong' side of the house. Overall, the Zenith was quite forgiving of old sets and bad room positions. I had expected weaker signals in the rooms with heavy analog ghosting, but that wasn't the case. I lose the various weak analog signals that are quite snowy, but the main channels come in with free indoor antennas. Pretty cool.
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post #925 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

False assumption. There's nothing "high-tech" about my $100 Dolby Stereo unit. On the contrary it was the cheapest I could buy, but it still produces beautiful sound from my VCR or DVD players. The only thing that doesn't work properly is the Zenith POS. <--- It ought to work just as well as my VCR with my 10-year-old stereo. No. It's like getting 87 octane, and discovering they "reformulated" it so it won't work in my old Dodge. And it should.

your old dodge may need leaded gas.
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post #926 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

You posted this before and I meant to ask you how you managed that. A 90 day July 27 expiry implies an April 27 issue. Are you sure about that date printed on your cards? Have they started lengthening the time period.

Sorry - meant June.
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post #927 of 2445 Old 04-15-2008, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Paul, I had the Zenith operating with the digital closed captions on for ten days or so before it experienced the first crash, and there were only 4 crashes during four weeks of use of use If you looked at the pictures I took, you'll see that the same commercial caused two of the crashes. The crashing is not at all likely at all to be caused by signal problems.

You're not likely to see a crash if you only have the digital closed captioning on for a couple of hours when it took me over a week the first time to experience a crash.

I left the box on for 24 hours on 20.1 with the digital captioning on and I got the same results you did. The closest thing I can think of is a computer buffer overflow. It gets something it does not expect and just like a computer it crashes. The Zenith box does not have a proper error trapping routine for malformed content. But I don't know if you can blame Zenith if the problem is a malformed closed caption packet.
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post #928 of 2445 Old 04-16-2008, 04:29 AM
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This crashing problem happens also without closed captioning. I left my unit on for a week without closed caption, and it froze with the memory dump on the screen. I took the box back to Circuit City. I could have lived with the problem only if I didn't have to unplug the unit to reset the problem.
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post #929 of 2445 Old 04-16-2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

The antenna is not at fault for the Zenith's inability to produce a clean stereo output.

I was addressing your complaint about how many stations you receive, not the audio issue. Guess you missed that.

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Originally Posted by rrrrrroger View Post

Actually a radio DOES eliminate the L-R signal when you switch it to "mono" setting. The radio only hears the one channel instead of both.

Not true. Mono is a lack of stereo separation, not an elimination of one channel. If your "theory" were true everyone with a mono radio would only hear half a broadcast. Wouldn't that make mono music sound just ducky! A mono system simply eliminates the level and arrival time/phase information that would replicate directional cues. In simpler terms, it "combines" both sides into a single signal and feeds it to the speaker or speakers. No matter how many speakers you have, in mono you will still hear all the information. Only the directional stereo effects will be missing.
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post #930 of 2445 Old 04-16-2008, 09:31 AM
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Not true. Mono is a lack of stereo separation, not an elimination of one channel. If your "theory" were true everyone with a mono radio would only hear half a broadcast. Wouldn't that make mono music sound just ducky! A mono system simply eliminates the level and arrival time/phase information that would replicate directional cues. In simpler terms, it "combines" both sides into a single signal and feeds it to the speaker or speakers. No matter how many speakers you have, in mono you will still hear all the information. Only the directional stereo effects will be missing.

Correct. Older (1970s vintage) stereo receivers and amplifiers often have a "mono" button which would demonstrate this point. In certain situations, listeners might even subjectively prefer the monaural audio reproduction over stereophonic or multi-channel playback.

With CECBs and DTV audio, mono also means that (relatively minor) signal artifacts arising as a direct or indirect byproduct of MTS stereo decoding are not generated. The stereo decoding phase is left out of the signal chain, eliminating a possible distortion source.

For an approximate analogy, think of an older FM radio where you could switch between "FM mono" and "FM stereo" output. On some stations, the FM stereo noise level and distortion is significantly higher than using FM mono, due to engineering compromises associated with the 1961-vintage FM multiplex technology. Incidentally, the FM Stereo Multiplex technology adopted by the FCC in 1961 was created by Zenith Radio Corporation!
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