Centronics ZAT 502 HD / RTC DTA1100HD / Digiwave DTV5000HD - Page 15 - AVS Forum
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post #421 of 481 Old 07-27-2011, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post
It is a network based TV tuner and is an excellent product. However, it is a completely different device than the stand-alone tuners being discussed in this thread.

Keep in mind that it does nothing by itself and cannot be connected to a TV. The only output is an ethernet jack. It is only usable via a computer and that computer must have TV tuning software installed.
Thanks... I went to their website to read more about it. It would be the ultimate device is it had the missing features you mentioned. I'm just surprised how expensive a lot of these tuners are and how many do not work very well. I guess it's a niche market, but you'd think the quality would be slightly better these days.

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post #422 of 481 Old 07-30-2011, 12:06 PM
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This unit does tune in either QAM or ATSC, but not both. You have to choose which one, then do a scan, which will erase your previously saved channels on the other band. It doesn't have the ability to let you save both ATSC & QAM channels together. I need a unit that can do both. Anyone know of one that can tune both?
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post #423 of 481 Old 07-31-2011, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookefam314 View Post

This unit does tune in either QAM or ATSC, but not both. You have to choose which one, then do a scan, which will erase your previously saved channels on the other band. It doesn't have the ability to let you save both ATSC & QAM channels together. I need a unit that can do both. Anyone know of one that can tune both?

Of the rare devices that have multiple cable/antenna inputs, I have never seen one that will combine all of the channels available into one channel set. They always require diving down into the menus to switch inputs.

If you are lucky, the best you can hope for is that the device remembers the channels separately for each input.

The ZAT 502 forces a rescan when you switch between cable and antenna
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post #424 of 481 Old 08-05-2011, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookefam314 View Post

This unit does tune in either QAM or ATSC, but not both. You have to choose which one, then do a scan, which will erase your previously saved channels on the other band. It doesn't have the ability to let you save both ATSC & QAM channels together. I need a unit that can do both. Anyone know of one that can tune both?

Buy two. One set up for ATSC, the other set up for QAM. Send them to different inputs on your AVR and select the one you want via the AVR.

Heck, you'd better buy three, as I have found these units to be unreliable. You'll need a spare.
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post #425 of 481 Old 08-06-2011, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post
Buy two. One set up for ATSC, the other set up for QAM. Send them to different inputs on your AVR and select the one you want via the AVR.

Heck, you'd better buy three, as I have found these units to be unreliable. You'' need a spare.
I thought of that solution to the cable vs OTA issue with this box and rejected it because you really need to use the remote control to control the box, and there is no way to select which box you are controlling with the remote control.
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post #426 of 481 Old 08-07-2011, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DAP View Post

I thought of that solution to the cable vs OTA issue with this box and rejected it because you really need to use the remote control to control the box, and there is no way to select which box you are controlling with the remote control.

I have a relatively inexpensive Harmony 550 remote. With it, when you select to watch the output of the QAM tuner, it will select the AV receiver inputs (or TV inputs) the QAM tuner is attached to. The ATSC tuner input is deselected. It would work visa-versa, too. If you don't have an AVR, the TV's remote would also allow you to select which video and audio input is utilized.
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post #427 of 481 Old 11-05-2011, 01:45 PM
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Hi all. I just want to say that I have purchased 3 of them from Centronics,and two of the 3 have bit the dust. I just hooked up the last of the 3. Both times the units would freeze showing all o"s you couldn't turn them on or off. I tryed unpluging them, and had the same problem.I contacted Gina at centronics,and got her to send me out a replacement for the first one.I sent them my new one, and they sent me out a replacement unit that looked like it came from the dump,all scratched,extra holes drilled into the case.Then she tryed to tell me that was the same unit I sent to her. But after much arguement she sent me out a new unit which I used for less than a year and it quit working the other day.I contacted Gina again and ask for them to replace the unit again, even with it being out of the 90 day warranty period. These things should be able to work for at least a year wouldn't you think for 100.00. Gina refused to answer my email's. I guess they don't care about standing behind there product. So buy at your own RISK
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post #428 of 481 Old 11-05-2011, 06:49 PM
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Gee, my ZAT502HD has been working fine for a year and a half.... New batteries in the remote is the only thing it's needed.
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post #429 of 481 Old 11-06-2011, 08:36 AM
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Can someone explain why if you buy one of these units - I have the phd 205 - they don't seem to work nearly as well as built in tv turners on new tv's? I have a samsung rear project led tv and the tuner is awesome. I want to buy a stand alone for some of our older TV's, but everything I've read seems to say they're flakey. Any really solid units out there?

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post #430 of 481 Old 11-06-2011, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

Any really solid units out there?

I've been looking, too. If you find such a unit, PLEASE!, let us know.

I have even toyed with the idea of buying a Tivo ($600), just to get a decent tuner.
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post #431 of 481 Old 11-07-2011, 04:50 AM
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Shhhhhh......if all you want is the tuner(and a 30 minute buffer) I believe the Tivo Premiere can be had for $49. It's the guide and recording ability that costs the money.
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post #432 of 481 Old 11-07-2011, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Shhhhhh......if all you want is the tuner(and a 30 minute buffer) I believe the Tivo Premiere can be had for $49. It's the guide and recording ability that costs the money.


Hmmm, that's better that the $99 price I've been seeing everywhere...

You can get a 1 year service plan for 10 bucks a month with some coupon codes I've seen advertised. They also offer "lifetime" (for the product) subscriptions.
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post #433 of 481 Old 11-07-2011, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Shhhhhh......if all you want is the tuner(and a 30 minute buffer) I believe the Tivo Premiere can be had for $49. It's the guide and recording ability that costs the money.

I must have lost all my cleverness with age. I found the premiere, but for 65, not that lovely $49.

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post #434 of 481 Old 11-07-2011, 09:11 AM
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I think that's "false advertising", it's certainly deceptive to say just that.

The Tivo price is not $49, $65 or even the $99 MSRP. You have to add the cost of the subscription. A lifetime subscription costs $499, raising the total price to around the $600 mark I mentioned. If you buy just the box, will it work as a tuner without the subscription?
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post #435 of 481 Old 11-07-2011, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

I think that's "false advertising", it's certainly deceptive to say just that.

The Tivo price is not $49, $65 or even the $99 MSRP. You have to add the cost of the subscription. A lifetime subscription costs $499, raising the total price to around the $600 mark I mentioned. If you buy just the box, will it work as a tuner without the subscription?

I don't think you have to have a subscription, do you?

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post #436 of 481 Old 11-07-2011, 10:44 AM
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Yes, I think you do.

I could be wrong because I am not an owner. However, in the recent past, when I was inquiring about the Tivo's, I was told they don't work at all without the subscription. The rationale was this, the hardware costs them much more than the purchase price you pay ($49 to $99) and they take a loss on each one to keep the price point low. They make up that loss and move into profitability via the subscription charges (lifetime or monthly).

It would be nice to get a really good tuner for $49 or even $149 (reliable, good PQ, decent programming guide).

Thus far, I have tried the Samsung, the Centronics and the PHD. All of them have failed (broken). The Centronics is a very rudimentary unit.
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post #437 of 481 Old 11-10-2011, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

I've been looking, too. If you find such a unit, PLEASE!, let us know.

I have even toyed with the idea of buying a Tivo ($600), just to get a decent tuner.

Check out the PrimeDTV PHD-8VX. I've had it for about a week and am quite impressed. The tuner is very sensitive and quick changing channels. Much better than the tuner in my TV. It also acts as a switch, having 3 HDMI inputs and 1 each of the other types. More expensive than the Centronics, but a "finished" and much more versital and usable product.
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post #438 of 481 Old 11-10-2011, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ludovids View Post

Check out the PrimeDTV PHD-8VX. I've had it for about a week and am quite impressed. The tuner is very sensitive and quick changing channels. Much better than the tuner in my TV. It also acts as a switch, having 3 HDMI inputs and 1 each of the other types. More expensive than the Centronics, but a "finished" and much more versital and usable product.

Looks like a great unit, but certainly not cheap.

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post #439 of 481 Old 11-10-2011, 11:12 PM
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I had a PHD. It is really more than a tuner, it is an HDMI switching center. That's what you're paying for. If you don't need to have extra switches (for exampe, if you have an AVR), there's no sense in paying for it. Check the web site for the tuner-only products like the PHD-205LE.
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post #440 of 481 Old 11-10-2011, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

Yes, I think you do.

I was under the same impression, but I was also wrong. At a minimum you can use a TiVo Premier without a subscription, but the functionality compared to having a subscription is severely limited. Not sure what, if any, other TiVo's this applies to.

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Can the Premier be used without a subscription?

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Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

Without a subscription, a TiVo Premiere can tune and buffer live TV, but it can't receive guide data or record anything or use any network transfer functions.


'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #441 of 481 Old 11-13-2011, 10:13 AM
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My ZAT 502 is dead. I've been having trouble with it for months but this morning, it won't turn on. The remote can't turn it on. The button on its front panel isn't working, either.

This tuner was good because it worked. It was very rudimentary, especially the guide, especially because you cannot delete/deselect unwanted stations, but it worked. Then, it didn't. After a few months, it began to drop the audio and lose the blue and green video output signals. It would play normally for an hour or so, then go quiet,... and pink. Power cycling the unit would reset it to normal operation. I should have sent it back then but I don't use it that much, so I put up with it. Now, today, she's dead, DOA, kaput, defunct, expired, dead, dead, dead.

Given what I now know about the unit, I don't plan to buy another ZAT502.

In about three years:
SAMSUNG DTB-H260F - dead
EPVISION PHD 8VX - dead
CENTRONICS ZAT502 - dead

What should I try next?
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post #442 of 481 Old 11-13-2011, 02:01 PM
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Wow that's some bad luck
I believe you could still go the non subscription Tivo route but note whenever it's plugged in it will be drawing 20+ watts compared to a tuner only that may only draw millawatts when not on and maybe only 5-10 watts when on.
Some users of the Samsung 260f have had luck getting some money back from Samsung due to faulty power supply capacitors but it's been a while since I've read of anyone going this route and you'd still need to fine a replacement tuner since Samsung no longer makes one.
Tivos are generally quite reliable but the HDDs do fail and even if just watching TV live a faulty HDD may cause issues. The Tivo also may not stay on if the HDD is faulty or bad. Considering this, using a Tivo just for the tuner may not be the best option.
What are you driving with your HD tuner? If it's just a older HDTV you may want to think of just biting the bullet and purchasing a new TV with a built in HD tuner. If on the other hand you have a nice projector(or TV you really care about) I can see wanting to keep it and try a tuner that will last at least as long as your TV
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post #443 of 481 Old 11-14-2011, 12:41 PM
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Although I used the term "DEAD" for all three tuners, in actuality, each died of a different disease.

The Samsung would constantly drop channels from its memory, lose a channel even thought you were watching a show on that channel, etc. It proved itself to be very uinreliable with a number of different symptoms. I bought this used on ebay, so it may have been defective when I got it.

I've forgotten exactly what was wrong with the EPVision PHD-208. I think the HDMI video output would flash on and off. The audio output was also missing. The programming material was there (if you used the component outputs), so it was not a reception problem.

The Centronics would lose the cyan and green video signal (images were all magenta/pink) and the audio would disappear.

I feed the HDMI output of the tuner (and all my other media sources) into my AVR, a SONY STR-DA5300ES. Then, the HDMI video output of the AVR goes to the TV (display).

I own a seperate tuner in an attempt to minimize the number of wired connections running up the wall to the display. As it stands, I'm running only an AC power cord and one (white) HDMI cable.

If I use the TV's tuner instead of a separate tuner, I have to add a run of coax cable up to the TV and a run a TOSLink cable from the TV back to the AVR to get the TV's audio output to the AVR.

That would be a total of four UGLY cables. None of those are small cables. The wall is brick, so you cannot hide the cables inside the wall.

Still, this tuner situation is just so bad,... and has been a source of great disappointment for me and has been an embarrassment of me to my wife and daughter. This home theater has been the biggest electronics fiasco of my life. I've had more trouble with tis system than all other home electronics problems put together.
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post #444 of 481 Old 11-23-2011, 02:01 PM
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Tivo seems like a good option. Here is a chat I had to clear up some questions.

Lucas: Hi, my name is Lucas. Are you an existing customer?
TiVo Customer: Nope
Lucas: How can I help out today?
TiVo Customer: I currently have an antenna for OTA tv and was told that a Tivo can be used as a tuner. Is this correct?
Lucas: Yes, our new TiVo Premiere does support OTA. All you need to do is hook up a digital antenna to it and activate the TiVo.
TiVo Customer: What do I have to do to activate the Tivo?
Lucas: Our service plans are $19.99/mo or $499 for lifetime service. What the service does is fully activates the TiVo, allows you to have guide info, be able to record and use video on demand options like Hulu and Netflix.
TiVo Customer: Can I skip the monthly service and just use the Tivo as a tuner? I do not need it for web based products.
Lucas: If you are going to do that, you should just hook up your antenna to your TV, The TiVo box will not work with out a subscription.
TiVo Customer: Unfortunately I have a projector without a built in tuner. So I have to have a subscription to use a Tivo as a tuner?
Lucas: If all you want to have the TiVo do is out put video it will do that. Just to let you know you will constantly get a message saying you need to activate service.
Lucas: Any other questions?
TiVo Customer: Hmmm? Can i just activate it then cancel it to get the message to stop?
Lucas: No, the message will automatically appear when the service is turned off.
TiVo Customer: OK. Thank you for your help.
Lucas: What I consider doing is looking for a TiVo on ebay or craigslist, one with a lifetime service.
Lucas: The lifetime service, activates TiVos for the rest of the boxes life, since you are not interested in paying a monthly service.
TiVo Customer: Hmmm. That sounds like it would work great. Thank you for the tip.
Lucas: You're welcome! Thank you for using TiVo Chat and have a great day!
TiVo Customer: You too!
Lucas: Thank you!
Lucas: Your case number for this chat is 111123-014162 If you have any additional questions, please feel free to start a new chat conversation with us. If you would like to speak to someone on our Support Team, please call 1-877-367-8486.

Hours of operation
Monday - Friday, 7AM Pacific Time to 7 PM Pacific Time
Saturday - Sunday, 8AM Pacific Time to 6 PM Pacific Time

Thank you for using TiVo Chat today and have a great day!
Lucas has disconnected.

Wow this is addictive.
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post #445 of 481 Old 11-24-2011, 06:31 PM
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So, Tivo does not work without a subscription.
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post #446 of 481 Old 12-05-2011, 02:12 AM
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Constant nag Screen without a subscription, look for ebay unit with lifetime service already enabled was the advice from the previous post.



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post #447 of 481 Old 12-10-2011, 11:00 AM
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Big Lag; did you contact epVision for some kind of exchange?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #448 of 481 Old 12-11-2011, 09:13 AM
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Hi videobruce,

No, I have not. I have just given up and am keeping the tuner and are using it as-is. Really, we are really quite disgusted with this whole home theater thing. This TV tuner situation is just the final straw. This industry has lost an enthusiastic customer and has gained a critic.

By the way, the tuner has begun to exhibit what is called "HDMI handshake" problems - on start up, I get audio but no video and have to power cycle the tuner to get the video.
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post #449 of 481 Old 12-11-2011, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Lag View Post

Hi videobruce,

No, I have not. I have just given up and am keeping the tuner and are using it as-is. Really, we are really quite disgusted with this whole home theater thing. This TV tuner situation is just the final straw. This industry has lost an enthusiastic customer and has gained a critic.

By the way, the tuner has begun to exhibit what is called "HDMI handshake" problems - on start up, I get audio but no video and have to power cycle the tuner to get the video.

I agree that it's a pita and you'd think there would be a decent solution for under $100, but no. I've thought about building a lightweight stripped down mythtv box with a tuner in it. It'll be good for OTA, but not for comcast because they will be encrypting all channels - including local - come January 1st 2012. I got this from the horses mouth, so they'll force everyone to use their box.

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post #450 of 481 Old 12-20-2011, 09:59 PM
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If true, at least this is good news for those of us who are strictly OTA. Our ranks will swell by a few more people after 1/2012. Maybe there will be a market now for someone to build some decent OTA ATSC tuners, both external STB and internal PC cards.

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Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

I agree that it's a pita and you'd think there would be a decent solution for under $100, but no. I've thought about building a lightweight stripped down mythtv box with a tuner in it. It'll be good for OTA, but not for comcast because they will be encrypting all channels - including local - come January 1st 2012. I got this from the horses mouth, so they'll force everyone to use their box.

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