ATSC Converter Box comparisons - Page 43 - AVS Forum
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:12 AM
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I 'spect that, what with the majority of the boxes having no pass-through, any low-power station that possibly can go digital will do so.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:28 PM
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> I think he is writing a Saturday Night Live skit and testing it on us.

The original cast was better.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:44 PM
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> TACB-2009 is top of the line with S-Video and Smart Antenna I/F.
> It uses Ali M3601C SoC and Micronas DRXJ33 ATSC Demodulator with
> a Microtune MT2131 Double Conversion tuner. FYI: Micronas ATSC
> chip similar to DRXJ33

> Finally, an alternative box that "does it all"....the TACB-2009

But does it do too much (to be coupon eligible)? The brochure says
it does QAM, and the rear panel has both ATSC and cable inputs.

This one must be pretty new. Google only gets 2 hits.

So it does digital captions, and s-video. The tuner & demod
sound promising. What we don't know yet if it can add a channel
without doing a new scan. It does list "channel editing" and
"favorite channel groups", so hopefully they included the ability
to add a channel. And of course we don't know the price.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konrad2 View Post

> TACB-2009 is top of the line with S-Video and Smart Antenna I/F.
> It uses Ali M3601C SoC and Micronas DRXJ33 ATSC Demodulator with
> a Microtune MT2131 Double Conversion tuner. FYI: Micronas ATSC
> chip similar to DRXJ33

> Finally, an alternative box that "does it all"....the TACB-2009

But does it do too much (to be coupon eligible)? The brochure says
it does QAM, and the rear panel has both ATSC and cable inputs.

This one must be pretty new. Google only gets 2 hits.

So it does digital captions, and s-video. The tuner & demod
sound promising. What we don't know yet if it can add a channel
without doing a new scan. It does list "channel editing" and
"favorite channel groups", so hopefully they included the ability
to add a channel. And of course we don't know the price.

The boxes currently submitted for CECB approval would have QAM disabled.
One of them includes Smart Antenna I/F.

We'll just have to wait until we see the User Manual....and the boxes themselves....

But I'll bet the LGDT1111 based box works just like all the others....

And the M3601C based TACB-1009 probably like the Sansonic...which has EZAdd...

The TACB-2009 has a much more informative 14-day TV Grid type display
and other enhancements....

And could also appear as a non-CECB version with QAM (but NOT NTSC)
for cable....similar to the RJTech RJ-1000ATSC...
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:37 PM
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Hey Konrad2. I emailed the sales dept for the TACB-2009 and they don't even have a reseller yet. I replied and asked him what the price will be and have not heard back from them yet. Looks like one of the best ones so far, it it's worth a crap on reception.
Regards

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Old 04-24-2008, 02:39 PM
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FYI: I posted Smart Antenna info and list of known manufacturers in two sequential posts:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post13015675

RCA's Indoor Smart Antenna was presumably used at Sep2007 demo to NTIA and Congress:
http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0157/t.8709.html

Broadcom (Pause-TV) Indoor Smart Antenna was in use at CES2008 (Janunary)...
see below photo blowup. So they're out there....just not yet in production....

This month at NAB2008, I saw the prototype (not yet functional) Antennas Direct
Indoor Smart Antenna (see photo below). A-D says it won't be ready until 1Q2009....
It's based on the new (UHF ONLY) Lacrosse Micron (8 dBi max) antenna:
http://www.antennasdirect.com/pdf/IndoorAntennas.pdf

A-D was also showing the new (UHF ONLY) Clear-Stream series of antennas:
http://www.antennasdirect.com/pdf/ClearStream.pdf
[The above brochure seems to have inflated gain by yet another 2 dB from
what is listed and plotted in the individual spec sheets provided at NAB.]
ClearSTREAM2 gain (per simulation) was 10 dBi (+/- 0.2 dB) over UHF band.
Beamwidth was a very wide 70 degrees over entire (new) UHF band.
They also showed a VHF prototype. [A-D gains are in dBi = dBd +2.15 dB]

A-D Smart Antenna development is being funded by the NAB (National Assoc of Broadcasters)
to encourage Smart Antenna interfaces on new DTVs:
http://antennasdirect.com/prmanager/...tail.asp?id=92

The manufacturers could be waiting to FINALIZE the Smart Antenna Test Spec:
http://www.twice.com/article/CA65532...dustryid=23105

Another issue they may be struggling with is how to provide a Smart Antenna for
Hi-VHF (and maybe even Lo-VHF) bands, such as crossed dipoles in DTA-5000.
Although not as critical as for UHF....this would become a notable issue Post-Feb2009....

BTW: EIA/CEA-909 Smart Antenna I/F Spec also identifies mechanical rotator control
and four input antenna switches that could be under "Smart" control.....

A four port RF Switch could eliminate high loss combiners used with multiple antennas.
In San Diego, we are surrounded by towers in FOUR different directions....
BTW: Anyone know a source for Lindsay low-loss couplers...they seem to have disappeared....
LL
LL
LL
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:46 PM
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Old 04-24-2008, 02:59 PM
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That's the same TACB-2009 Spec Sheet I posted earlier....although Google hit sez "User Manual"...
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:44 PM
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I've got a question about the strength of the audio signal which any CECB passes to a TV. I'm not talking about the audio anomalies which have been so widely reported, but just the drop in volume which occurs when the antenna signal passes through the CECB going to the TV. I've got a Zenith DTT900, and it causes a significant drop in volume when it is used, compared to when it is bypassed. Do all CECBs perform similarly? Is this due to the FCC's specification for the CECB? Or, is there any brand/model which causes no detectable drop in volume? Thanks for any information on this topic.
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunofyerbisnes View Post

I've got a question about the strength of the audio signal which any CECB passes to a TV. I'm not talking about the audio anomalies which have been so widely reported, but just the drop in volume which occurs when the antenna signal passes through the CECB going to the TV. I've got a Zenith DTT900, and it causes a significant drop in volume when it is used, compared to when it is bypassed. Do all CECBs perform similarly? Is this due to the FCC's specification for the CECB? Or, is there any brand/model which causes no detectable drop in volume? Thanks for any information on this topic.

More info is needed and the CECB may not help to provide all of it:

Do you have the volume on the CECB, if it has that function, set to the proper level? In the Samsung DTB-H260F thread (not CECB) others had complained about audio issues like yours, I seem to recall at least one was just a case of the volume being set too low on the box.

Is the station and/or program you're having volume issues with sending out 5.1 sound? If so then the issue is the CECB isn't downsampling to stereo properly. If this is the case complain to the manufacturer and/or try to get an exchange for another brand.

Does it get louder at commercials? Broadcasters (including on cable and sat) are notorious for having low volumes when the programs are on then eardrum shattering volume when the commercials hit. The only cure for it is a volume level attenuator.

There are probably other possibilities but they're not coming to me right now.

I stole your sig.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:44 AM
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Two more boxes (both presumably with PASS THRU) added to the CECB List:

ALPHA DIGITAL AT2016*
Sounds like yet another manifestation of the same MTC (AMTC) design.

And the smaller box reportedly replacing the TR40:
DISH Network DTVPal*
http://www.slingcommunity.com/blog/1...g-in-the-News/
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsc View Post

More info is needed and the CECB may not help to provide all of it:

Do you have the volume on the CECB, if it has that function, set to the proper level? In the Samsung DTB-H260F thread (not CECB) others had complained about audio issues like yours, I seem to recall at least one was just a case of the volume being set too low on the box.

Is the station and/or program you're having volume issues with sending out 5.1 sound? If so then the issue is the CECB isn't downsampling to stereo properly. If this is the case complain to the manufacturer and/or try to get an exchange for another brand.

Does it get louder at commercials? Broadcasters (including on cable and sat) are notorious for having low volumes when the programs are on then eardrum shattering volume when the commercials hit. The only cure for it is a volume level attenuator.

There are probably other possibilities but they're not coming to me right now.

I also got a Zenith DTT900 and have the same low audio output problem using the RCA plugs (I have not tested the RF output though). Of course, I have tried setting the volume on the CECB box up and down and it is not the problem. It just has a much lower audio output (~30%) than the analog reception in all channels compared to analog reception without the box. I did not notice that problem on the USB tuner for my laptop. A couple subchannels seems to have even lower audio output which may be due to the different audio decoding as you described. But the overall lower audio output in all channels should have nothing to do with that. I don't have another CECB to compare with yet. So I don't know if this is a universal problem with DTV converters or just this particular model. It is just a pain to change TV volume by 30% every time I switch among video sources.
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:10 AM
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I just got a Digital Stream DTX9900 converter box and am very pleased with its optional 14x9 display which mostly fills a 4x3 screen without noticeably distorting the picture. The universal remote is a nice touch too. I connected with composite cables and the picture is much nicer than analog OTA ever was.
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

And the smaller box reportedly replacing the TR40:
DISH Network DTVPal*
http://www.slingcommunity.com/blog/1...g-in-the-News/

I'm getting less and less interested in their offering. Now it's shaped like a really wide dog bone?

The manufacturers better start offering something that doesn't suck soon.

I stole your sig.
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunofyerbisnes View Post

I've got a question about the strength of the audio signal which any CECB passes to a TV. ...

I have a DS DTX9900, which has the same LG/Sanyo guts as many other CECBs. I find the sound is heavily muted unless I choose an illogical input: where you have the choice between line out (to RCA jacks) and RF out (to f-connector), choose the RF out to get proper sound from the line out.

We know there are differences between Zenith and Digital Stream boxes (EPG for one), but this may be in the common hardware.

Frank
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post

I just got a Digital Stream DTX9900 converter box and am very pleased with its optional 14x9 display which mostly fills a 4x3 screen without noticeably distorting the picture. The universal remote is a nice touch too. I connected with composite cables and the picture is much nicer than analog OTA ever was.

Do you have subchannels on any of your stations? Can you do 14x9 on them? I can't. See the last paragraph (and feel free to comment on my other observations).
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13692970
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbov View Post

Do you have subchannels on any of your stations? Can you do 14x9 on them?

You can if the subchannel is HD.  It's a question of HD vs. SD, not of main channel vs. subchannel.  There's a presumption that SD broadcasts are already set up to display on a 4:3 screen and that the user won't have to fiddle with anything.
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post

I just got a Digital Stream DTX9900 converter box and am very pleased with its optional 14x9 display which mostly fills a 4x3 screen without noticeably distorting the picture. The universal remote is a nice touch too. I connected with composite cables and the picture is much nicer than analog OTA ever was.

Damn, there really is a 14:9 option, as well as the 16:9 option. I wonder if there was a British influence in getting that as an option?

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Old 04-25-2008, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunofyerbisnes View Post

I've got a question about the strength of the audio signal which any CECB passes to a TV. I'm not talking about the audio anomalies which have been so widely reported, but just the drop in volume which occurs when the antenna signal passes through the CECB going to the TV. I've got a Zenith DTT900, and it causes a significant drop in volume when it is used, compared to when it is bypassed. Do all CECBs perform similarly? Is this due to the FCC's specification for the CECB? Or, is there any brand/model which causes no detectable drop in volume? Thanks for any information on this topic.

Switch the Zenith out of Stereo mode, change to Mono. You'll get the sound back.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsc View Post

I'm getting less and less interested in their offering. Now it's shaped like a really wide dog bone?

The manufacturers better start offering something that doesn't suck soon.

I agree with ya I have one coupon left it goes out the first week in july I have one of the DS DTX9900 it is ok.....but the ecostar sounded better

I like a full epg the DS has that also. if the echostar shows up before then I may get one....if not I'll just get something else

I'd like to try one of the Artec units because it has a data interface for possible upgrades anyone have one of those? I found one with free shipping around 3.99 if it's a trustworthy site I may just go ahead and get one
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbov View Post

Do you have subchannels on any of your stations? Can you do 14x9 on them? I can't. See the last paragraph (and feel free to comment on my other observations).
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0#post13692970

Yes, I have seven sub-channels and I see what you mean, but as noted, the sub-channels are mostly 4:3.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

Damn, there really is a 14:9 option, as well as the 16:9 option. I wonder if there was a British influence in getting that as an option?

I'm sure that is a British influence as the 14:9 standard was developed in the UK to address the very problem of 16:9 displayed on 4:3 screens.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:59 PM
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Yet another addition to CECB List:
CASTi CAX-02
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbov View Post

I have a DS DTX9900, which has the same LG/Sanyo guts as many other CECBs. I find the sound is heavily muted unless I choose an illogical input: where you have the choice between line out (to RCA jacks) and RF out (to f-connector), choose the RF out to get proper sound from the line out.

We know there are differences between Zenith and Digital Stream boxes (EPG for one), but this may be in the common hardware.

Frank

Thanks for your reply, but the Zenith DTT900 does not have the option you listed for your DS DTX9900. The only audio option is Stereo or Mono. The volume level I described is with the mono setting (which is the better choice for improving the volume level). Maybe I need to try the Digital Stream box to see how it compares.
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pestocat View Post

Switch the Zenith out of Stereo mode, change to Mono. You'll get the sound back.

Thanks for your reply. You're right, the mono setting helps, but unfortunately not enough. My comments were made with audio set to the mono option. I'm curious if there is a converter box which wouldn't require as much volume adjusting when switching back and forth between the CECB and another video source .
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:19 PM
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Hi ,
I have been following this very interesting forum for some time now. Digital TV is wonderful. Presently I have a Zenith converter box. I have a question:

Previously I used to have cable and in rooms where I did not have a set topbox, I could flip channels in the TV remote and get all the channels till 125, by just connecting the cable wire.

Is there a converter box that converts all the digital signals from different TV stations and send them out together, letting the TV tuner separate out the channels? In this way, all I need is one antenna and one converter box and I can use splitters to port the video/audio signal to all the TVs in different rooms.

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2008, 02:39 PM
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No.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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Old 04-26-2008, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nunofyerbisnes View Post

Thanks for your reply. You're right, the mono setting helps, but unfortunately not enough. My comments were made with audio set to the mono option. I'm curious if there is a converter box which wouldn't require as much volume adjusting when switching back and forth between the CECB and another video source .

This thread is filled with posts saying there are audio problems.
Other LGDT1111 converter boxes are similarly affected, including
a report the Red/White stereo output has very minimal separation
compared to a "good" tuner.

At least two different Zenith reps have said there is an audio problem
(not just Left channel glitch) which is fixed in DTT901 and
presumably can be fixed by:

RETURNING THE BOX TO ZENITH FOR REPAIR/REPLACEMENT!!!!

So all of ya get off your computers and contact Zenith....

And NO, simply swapping the box at your local store won't fix it....
Nor will swapping one LGDT1111 box for another LGDT1111 box
(e.g. Zenith/Insignia, DigitalSTREAM, Artec).
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

RETURNING THE BOX TO ZENITH FOR REPAIR/REPLACEMENT!!!!

So all of ya get off your computers and contact Zenith....

And NO, simply swapping the box at your local store won't fix it....
Nor will swapping one LGDT1111 box for another LGDT1111 box
(e.g. Zenith/Insignia, DigitalSTREAM, Artec).

So how should they contact the manufactures by phone?

Zenith: 1-877-993-6484
Insignia: 1-877-467-4289
DigitalSTREAM: 1-310-515-9094
Artec: 1-510-897-8901
Coship: e-mail as number is for china support@coship.com
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

This thread is filled with posts saying there are audio problems.
Other LGDT1111 converter boxes are similarly affected, including
a report the Red/White stereo output has very minimal separation
compared to a "good" tuner.

At least two different Zenith reps have said there is an audio problem
(not just Left channel glitch) which is fixed in DTT901 and
presumably can be fixed by:

RETURNING THE BOX TO ZENITH FOR REPAIR/REPLACEMENT!!!!

So all of ya get off your computers and contact Zenith....

And NO, simply swapping the box at your local store won't fix it....
Nor will swapping one LGDT1111 box for another LGDT1111 box
(e.g. Zenith/Insignia, DigitalSTREAM, Artec).

I appreciate your reply. I'm trying to do research that will get me the best box with the fewest problems. I bought a box outright from CC with the assurance that I could return it, and I haven't yet used a coupon. I'd really like to hear from you or anyone else who has good information about when the Zenith DTT901 will be available for purchase. If that will be before my coupons expire, it would be easiest to wait rather than deal with Zenith repair. Alternatively, if there is an acceptable box from a different manufacturer which doesn't have similar audio problems, it might be easier to go with it. So, if anyone can answer my questions it would be extremely helpful to me, and probably, to many others. Thanks for any knowledge you can share or any assistance you can provide.
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