Originally Posted by Floydage
Yeah the meters are not all relative so to speak. Too bad they weren't calibrated to a common standard. But some tuners will perform better in some conditions than others (ex: multipath). I guess what matters for each individual is how they compare in your location/antenna. And as far as the meters are concerned, when does audio and/or video start breaking up. Seems like this DTV loses audio first, not how I would have designed it; I prefer the ol' analog where the pic went bad but you still could hear the darn broadcast. I have my little kitchen TV on a cheap loop antenna so sometimes I have to mute the audio and crank up the living room TV's audio (in the kitchen I tend to be doing more listening than viewing).
Which Zinwell do you have? BTW try it out for the signal meter as it has a dual meter - one for signal strength and one for signal quality; I found that combo very useful for antenna positioning.
Unfortunately my HD receiver is older vintage so it's tuner is of an earlier generation than converter boxes. I've had an infrequent problem on one or two channels where the CM or Zinwell has little to no problem but nothing on the HDR. I suspected interference from a neighbor as it would come and go at various times of day. What was really weird is that I found a small loop antenna down by the TV would work whereas the main antenna, a big attic antenna, was picking up the interference. So I had to combine them together with a 2-way, weakened the attic antenna signal a touch but did the job.
I take it you don't have an s-video input on that TV.
Very interesting that the Zinwell has dual meters - I haven't actually hooked up this Zinwell ZAT970A yet as I need to program a remote for it, but definitely worth trying out. We have a Channel Master 4228-HD mounted on the roof, it will be interesting to see signal quality levels. Although the main broadcast towers are only 10 to 12 miles away, there are many tall trees in the same direction as those transmitters, and we are dealing with the Seattle area's less-than-flat geography even though my own residence is in a relatively flat plateau-like neighborhood.
The old Samsung TV which is fed by the Zenith DTT-900 does have an S-video input, and I do recall it had a bit extra clarity in the picture. However, my wife is the primary user of the second TV. She uses it to watch the public-television Create subchannel, which is SD-only. She is more comfortable using the Zenith than the Channel Master and she specifically asked to use the Zenith.
Speaking of S-Video, not only do I have a thrift-store-purchased working CM-7000, but also an S-Video-capable Apex 502 with the original Apex remote. Gotta try it out as well.
In my experience, the CECBs which are most commonly found on the second-hand market at thrift stores, yard sales and the local Craigslist are:
Magnavox TB100 series
RCA DTA 800 series
Philco TB100 series
Digital Stream 9900 and 9950
Apex 250 and 502
Zenith DTT900 and DTT901
Insignia NS-DXA1 series
Other CECBs are less common on the resale market than the ones I've listed above. Of those, the Apex 502 is the one model I know with S-Video output.