Channel Master TV CM 7400 HD DVR - OTA, Clear QAM, Internet Content - Page 48 - AVS Forum
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post #1411 of 1996 Old 03-29-2012, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by pcnetwrx View Post

I had one recording cut off early missing the final outcome of the show I was watching.

I had one recording appear 4 times for the same recording as it was recording... I could not stop the recording nor delete the recordings until I rebooted...

I have seen occasional sluggishness in response to the remote... Most often this sluggishness clears up on its own after a few minutes, but sometimes a reboot is necessary.

I still see the skip-forward/skip-back bug on pretty much a daily basis

I have been faithfully reporting them to Jeff at CM and he says they are passing along my reports to the engineers.

With the exception of your first one, I see the same problems and continue to send reports.

While most would consider these to be unacceptable problems (myself included), the ability to connect with English-speaking US-based tech support and their seeming eagerness to find solutions have kept me happy enough to keep this unit. As stated before, even with these flaws the 7400 is fulfilling it's fundamental purpose.

I believe these problems will be resolved soon. A fresh firmware update is supposedly near at hand.

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Originally Posted by pcnetwrx View Post

... another possibility is that as the hard drive fills and fragments that more issues seem to appear.

Surely the firmware directs these 7400's (or soon will) to periodically defrag themselves. My 12-yr-old ReplayTV 4508 does so every couple days and it's been 100% trouble-free.

Quite frankly, of all the numerous DVR's I've set up for customers the ReplayTV's have been the most reliable and easiest for most to use. I've often thought CM should pattern the 7400's GUI as much after the RTV's as possible.
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post #1412 of 1996 Old 03-29-2012, 05:10 PM
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Open box 7400 units available in the Channel Master Store for $350. The old 7000 units are still available at $330.
http://www.channelmasterstore.com/HD..._p/cm7400r.htm

The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.
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post #1413 of 1996 Old 03-29-2012, 06:00 PM
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Just got my antenna amplifier and hooked it up a few hours ago and my reception has improved quite a bit. Since I did the firmware update, I haven't had any crashes either. The only bug that I have noticed is the occasional lip-sync issue, but it only happens on FOX and it doesn't do it all the time. I don't watch FOX that often, so I'm not really going to worry about it that much. So, other than that, my CM7400 has been performing great. Really, the only concern I have with it is how hot it runs, and if it will cause any problems down the road, but so far no issues due to the heat. Overall, I would rate this product a 4 out of 5 as long as I don't see any of the glitches that other people have noted pop up.
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post #1414 of 1996 Old 03-29-2012, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonR View Post

... as long as I don't see any of the glitches that other people have noted pop up.

Based on postings here and elsewhere, I'm beginning to think it's mostly folks who use 7400's to tune QAM (basic cable) channels who are having the bulk of the problems, and having them more often and to greater degree. I suspect it'll be resolvable via firmware.
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post #1415 of 1996 Old 03-30-2012, 05:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenCartwright View Post

Based on postings here and elsewhere, I'm beginning to think it's mostly folks who use 7400's to tune QAM (basic cable) channels who are having the bulk of the problems, and having them more often and to greater degree. I suspect it'll be resolvable via firmware.

Since it's release I have asked anyone with cable to post feedback on the unit. The results: zero.

I find that strange.
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post #1416 of 1996 Old 03-30-2012, 07:44 AM
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I think most people are using it for OTA antenna reception rather than cable, because that way you get more local regional channels and subchannels, and perhaps more complete program info/EPG. With clear qam, all you usually get is 1 each ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and PBS. Not much more, and perhaps no guide data.
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post #1417 of 1996 Old 03-30-2012, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

I find that strange.

I don't, Joe. At this price point, without a cable card it will be of little interest to most cable subscribers. Most people who are willing to spend this much money on a DVR for cable use (and the extra yearly subscription fee for guide data) are going to want to be able to record all the channels they are paying for, not just the locals. The low end cable subscribers who would be happy with clear QAM would most probably be attracted to a low end DVD recorder (or at least they would have when they were selling for $200) that programs like a VCR.

A clear QAM tuner in the CM-7400 is superfluous, it's primarily an OTA DVR. I believe you yourself returned the CM-7400 in favor of the alternative with a cable-card slot.

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post #1418 of 1996 Old 03-30-2012, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I don't, Joe. At this price point, without a cable card it will be of little interest to most cable subscribers. Most people who are willing to spend this much money on a DVR for cable use (and the extra yearly subscription fee for guide data) are going to want to be able to record all the channels they are paying for, not just the locals. The low end cable subscribers who would be happy with clear QAM would most probably be attracted to a low end DVD recorder (or at least they would have when they were selling for $200) that programs like a VCR.

A clear QAM tuner in the CM-7400 is superfluous, it's primarily an OTA DVR. I believe you yourself returned the CM-7400 in favor of the alternative with a cable-card slot.

Your points are well taken. But I want to verify it's not my cable feed with the problem. I get 26 vsb/analog and 140 clear QAM with a dozen in HD. I can live with the raw numbers, but the 7400 could not. Only my Tivo has a cable card. The Mag 2160A/515H and Sony DHGs don't. The PViX doesn't. The BV-980H doesn't. But all those can accept my cable feed equally, just like my two digital televisions. The Sony TV also shows which channels are scrambled. I don't channel surf, I timeshift. Channel numbers are not important. My 15 day guide is a MS Word document.

I suggested CM should drop the QAM tuner and got shot down. I just want validation that my cable feed is not unique. It seems more likely that being a cable buyer of the CM7400 is unique. If, after the next firmware update, the box works with raw clear QAM I would gladly buy another.

All cable is local.
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post #1419 of 1996 Old 04-01-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

I suggested CM should drop the QAM tuner and got shot down.

I'm with you on this. I don't think that Channel Master ever should have included the QAM tuner on the 7400. It's cons as a cable DVR really seem to outweigh the pros. The 7400 is the perfect OTA DVR for people that want to save money by not paying cable or subscription fees. It doesn't make much sense as a cable DVR. If you're already paying a monthly cable bill, there really isn't much benefit in owning your on DVR, because you're only going to be saving a few bucks a month and you're bound to run into issues because the 7400 isn't tailored to your cable system like the ones issued by them.
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post #1420 of 1996 Old 04-01-2012, 11:42 AM
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i'm always considering what will be my next DVR/setup. lots of cool options. 7400 & boxee+ATSCdongle would be at the top of my list.....

i have a CM7000 as well as moxi... very happy with the CM7000 in my primary-mancave with amped UHF YAGI...
But happier with the setup in my auxiliary-mancave with MOXI & "limited basic cable".
... gotta maintain the cable for the internet, so the limited-basic-cable is essentially no-additional-cost in that case.

the included-QAM-capability of the 7400 keeps it near/at the top of my list for my next HD-DVR ...
(sometimes I loan the various units out to friends who want to cut-the-cord or to stop renting cable boxes.)
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post #1421 of 1996 Old 04-01-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tveli View Post

i'm always considering what will be my next DVR/setup. lots of cool options. 7400 & boxee+ATSCdongle would be at the top of my list.....

i have a CM7000 as well as moxi... very happy with the CM7000 in my primary-mancave with amped UHF YAGI...
But happier with the setup in my auxiliary-mancave with MOXI & "limited basic cable".
... gotta maintain the cable for the internet, so the limited-basic-cable is essentially no-additional-cost in that case.

the included-QAM-capability of the 7400 keeps it near/at the top of my list for my next HD-DVR ...
(sometimes I loan the various units out to friends who want to cut-the-cord or to stop renting cable boxes.)

I can get a "limited basic" cable also. It's supposed to be 26 vsb channels. I don't know if my cable company would block the QAM channels on such a feed. That aside, your Moxi is cable card, right? Such a feature is not available with the 7400.

When my clear raw QAM 480i digital A&E is detected as a disabled 50.1 with the 7400 and is detected as an enabled 26.1 on every other DVR, TV and DVDR, I have a problem with its QAM ability.

I am always open and happy for feedback.
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post #1422 of 1996 Old 04-02-2012, 09:06 PM
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I'm having a weird problem on my 7400 tonight. I can pull in every channel except for my favorite one, despite having normal reception on it usually. Also, I can get it clearly on my DVD recorder, so I know it's not the broadcast that has the problem. I tried it with and without the amp and directly connected to the antenna, but nothing. Hope it clears up soon.
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post #1423 of 1996 Old 04-02-2012, 09:47 PM
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Try cold reboot - unplug for a minute.
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post #1424 of 1996 Old 04-04-2012, 09:13 AM
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Hi All--

I've had the CM7400 for a couple of weeks now and I'm generally quite pleased with it. I also use a CM7000 and I am very happy with it. Here's a brief comparison with a little local emphasis for folks in the Twin Cities area considering its purchase.

GUIDE RECORDING

The CM 7400 Premium Guide is listed as a 14 day guide in its promotional copy; it's really more of a twelve day guide as I'm receiving it. But, it is very complete and provides plenty of recording options.

My CM 7000 uses TV Guide On Screen, and here in the Twin Cities the PBS, CBS, ABC and NBC load the guide with programming details for about a week. FOX and the smaller networks (ION and the like) load up about twelve hours in advance.

RECORDING QUALITY
Excellent HD recording from both units. I've noticed that the recording of local subchannels (the ME TV network and THIS TV network) is a little more smooth in playback with the CM 7400.

TUNER SENSITIVITY
The CM 7000 tuners are definitely more sensitive and range-capable than the CM 7400. Here in the Twin Cities, our ION affiliate is in Saint Cloud, about 50 miles outside of town. MY CM 7000 picks up this signal with no trouble; the CM 7400 cannot receive or identify it.

FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO THE CM 7400
The VUDU account page is a bit awkward to navigate. To access the home page, you have to go through your general MENU each time. A blue hot button the remote will take you to VUDU movies only. The VUDU movie service seems to work fine, but make sure you've got in excess of 2meg online speed at all times, or it will start buffering.

The VUDU apps are a little sparse; mostly older news and entertainment and geeky techno content. My VUDU apps does not show PANDORA; I've asked Channel Master to assist in correcting this, but have not received a response for several days.

VERDICT

I'm generally very satisfied with the new Channel Master 7400, although the Channel Master Customer Service responses thus far leave me underwhelmed. If you're looking for a solid OTA HD-DVR with some ancillary features, it's a nice way to go.

Because it's tuners are not as sensitive as my CM7000's tuners, it will NOT replace the CM 7000 in my projector room, but will serve only as a back-up until the CM 7000 craps out and cannot be fixed.



--Mike
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post #1425 of 1996 Old 04-04-2012, 11:19 AM
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The weak/problematic tuner is a major flaw of the 7400 as it does not adequately perform its basic core function of OTA antenna reception. In this regard, the prior 7000 version was the better box.
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post #1426 of 1996 Old 04-04-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Try cold reboot - unplug for a minute.

Thanks. I tried a normal reboot first, and that brought it back. The next day, all of the channels were down, and I had to reboot it again.

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Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

The weak/problematic tuner is a major flaw of the 7400 as it does not adequately perform its basic core function of OTA antenna reception. In this regard, the prior 7000 version was the better box.

I agree about the weak tuner. Out of all the issues, this is the one that's actually making me consider a Tivo. Even with an amplifier, I still get annoying reception interruptions. I've also heard bad things about the tuner on some Tivo models, though. Has anyone had both a CM7400 and one of the current $99 Tivo Premiere models? If so, could you compare the signal strength of both?
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post #1427 of 1996 Old 04-04-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonR View Post

Thanks. I tried a normal reboot first, and that brought it back. The next day, all of the channels were down, and I had to reboot it again.



I agree about the weak tuner. Out of all the issues, this is the one that's actually making me consider a Tivo. Even with an amplifier, I still get annoying reception interruptions. I've also heard bad things about the tuner on some Tivo models, though. Has anyone had both a CM7400 and one of the current $99 Tivo Premiere models? If so, could you compare the signal strength of both?

Have you tried changing the antenna lead to rule that out?
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post #1428 of 1996 Old 04-04-2012, 05:39 PM
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Yes, this is probably a must if the cable is old. I had to change my cable for my PALdvr to get the performance I needed. Nobody thinks about the cable deterioration.

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post #1429 of 1996 Old 04-04-2012, 08:32 PM
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I don't think that the cable is the problem because it's only a few months old, and I get pretty stable reception on my DVD recorder with it.
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post #1430 of 1996 Old 04-10-2012, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonR View Post

I agree about the weak tuner. Out of all the issues, this is the one that's actually making me consider a Tivo. Even with an amplifier, I still get annoying reception interruptions. I've also heard bad things about the tuner on some Tivo models, though. Has anyone had both a CM7400 and one of the current $99 Tivo Premiere models? If so, could you compare the signal strength of both?

I've been reading a bunch of comments about the tuner in the TiVo Premiere and it appears to be poor in handling multipath. So I come over here and I read comments about the CM7400 tuner being poor too.

A preamp can alway take care of a tuner that isn't as sensitive as it could be but it can't improve multipath performance.

I have the original DTVPal DVR and its tuners are equal to the one in my Sony TV so I think it's good. I have significant multipath issues here and could not use a sub par tuner. I hope my DVR never breaks.

Chuck


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post #1431 of 1996 Old 04-10-2012, 10:52 PM
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Just to clarify, the CM7400 reception isn't terrible. I am able to get all of the local channels in clear enough to watch. If you live close enough to the transmitters, you might not see any issues. It's just that the occasional pixelation that drives me nuts. Actually, I wasn't watching it too closely today, but when I was, I didn't see any problems, so maybe it's clearing up. It has been kind of windy lately, so that might have had something to do with it.
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post #1432 of 1996 Old 04-17-2012, 05:42 PM
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Well, I bought a Tivo yesterday, and I'm setting it up right now to compare reception between the two. I am pretty satisfied with everything on the 7400 except for the minor reception issue, so I will probably base my decision on which one to keep based on which one has better reception. I think that the Tivo will have to have much better reception for me to justify the extra cost to keep it. If it's about the same as the 7400 then I will probably keep the 7400.
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post #1433 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 07:39 AM
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Can't believe I registered to post one comment, but felt it was important enough to share.

Me = new cable cutter; after buying three lesser antennas, bought a ClearStream 2V in order to get a 45-mile-away VHF station. Worked.

With all channels coming in strong, I did the research; bought the Channel Master CM-7400. First day: Yes, it runs hot; yes it kept locking up. ran out of time before I could upgrade the software.

Second day: Had a struggle upgrading the software as it kept freezing/locking up before the download/upgrade was complete. Downloaded the software to a USB and bingo- upgraded OK. Put the CM-7400 on a laptop cooling pad I had with two small fans. No longer hot to the touch at all! and the thing didn't freeze or lockup once. But, as reported, I had lost my distant VHF station and a few other faint ones.

Third day: installed a better fan in the electronics cabinet; will help cool Roku and Yamaha receiver better as well. I had read in this thread (or another) something important: someone had success in getting their faint channels by disconnecting their amp. Naturally, I had put a a 20+db gain inline amp to get the most out of the ClearView antenna. When I ran the antenna straight through to the CM-7400 and rescanned, it WORKED. I went from 20-something channels to 37 - every one that is possible to receive under optimal conditions.

Summary: I believe the CM-7400 HAS a built-in amp - and if you have an amplified antenna, turn the amp OFF if you hook up a CM-7400.

Also; the software upgrade and cooling pad make it work 100% flawlessly.

The CM-7400's charms don't come without a struggle and some research; I feel bad for people who bought the thing and didn't stick with it. Keep it cool; upgrade the software, and don't use an amplified antenna for best results. The word is out there that the tuner is weak, I am sure now that isn't the case- bet you anything those people were using amplified antennas. My tuner results were the same with the amplified ClearView/TV and with non amplified ClearView/Channel Master CM-7400.

OK. I've done my part for the internet. One and done.
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post #1434 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFOC32563 View Post

Can't believe I registered to post one comment, but felt it was important enough to share.

Me = new cable cutter; after buying three lesser antennas, bought a ClearStream 2V in order to get a 45-mile-away VHF station. Worked.

With all channels coming in strong, I did the research; bought the Channel Master CM-7400. First day: Yes, it runs hot; yes it kept locking up. ran out of time before I could upgrade the software.

Second day: Had a struggle upgrading the software as it kept freezing/locking up before the download/upgrade was complete. Downloaded the software to a USB and bingo- upgraded OK. Put the CM-7400 on a laptop cooling pad I had with two small fans. No longer hot to the touch at all! and the thing didn't freeze or lockup once. But, as reported, I had lost my distant VHF station and a few other faint ones.

Third day: installed a better fan in the electronics cabinet; will help cool Roku and Yamaha receiver better as well. I had read in this thread (or another) something important: someone had success in getting their faint channels by disconnecting their amp. Naturally, I had put a a 20+db gain inline amp to get the most out of the ClearView antenna. When I ran the antenna straight through to the CM-7400 and rescanned, it WORKED. I went from 20-something channels to 37 - every one that is possible to receive under optimal conditions.

Summary: I believe the CM-7400 HAS a built-in amp - and if you have an amplified antenna, turn the amp OFF if you hook up a CM-7400.

Also; the software upgrade and cooling pad make it work 100% flawlessly.

The CM-7400's charms don't come without a struggle and some research; I feel bad for people who bought the thing and didn't stick with it. Keep it cool; upgrade the software, and don't use an amplified antenna for best results. The word is out there that the tuner is weak, I am sure now that isn't the case- bet you anything those people were using amplified antennas. My tuner results were the same with the amplified ClearView/TV and with non amplified ClearView/Channel Master CM-7400.

OK. I've done my part for the internet. One and done.

Interesting. Thanks. And feel free to come back and post more.
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post #1435 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 12:04 PM
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Just a note to CM7400 owners from a PALdvr owner (same unit, different Brand) that the fan speed CAN be increased so that the heat felt disappears, increasing the lifespan of all components.

After more than two years of faultless operation, my PALdvr failed (F208) with the symptoms of alternating "Downloading Guide" and TV show screen, with non-response to Remote commands caused by the fan speed controller failure and resultant Hard Drive failure.

Besides upgrading to a 1T Hard Drive, I had to hard wire the still functioning fan. I located a GND eyelet on the board to the left of the fan and the fan +12V pin of the fan connector, soldered a wire to each point and connected the fan with small Wire-Nuts through a 200 ohm mini-potentiometer. Adjust the fan speed for the quietest operation that results in no warmth at the air outlet on the right side cover top.

This solved both the cause AND the failure with the added bonus of ~3.8 times the recording space. I am a very happy camper.

I understand that fan speed control is superior with PWM circuitry over the method I used, but I am currently not in a position to manufacture a suitable PWM circuit, and my method was used prior to the modern PWM circuits. Just be sure that the fan speed adjustment is not so low that non-start or erratic fan operation results. A little low fan noise but cool operation is better than system failure, and you won't hear it when the TV is ON.

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post #1436 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny View Post

Interesting. Thanks. And feel free to come back and post more.

One more. Someone figured it takes four years to pay for the CM-7400 in their case; since my cable company was ripping me off for $130/mo., I figure in my case the CM-7400's paid for in five months. Another month for the antenna.

I'm not being a shill for the thing; in fact, the average consumer won't get it to work as it should, out-of-the-box. But I swear it has a built-in amp circuit, or just doesn't need an amplified signal for whatever reason.

Its problems are fixable: Update the software and end the freeze/crashes. Keep it cool. Don't use an amplified antenna, and the box's tuner performance will equal that of the TV.

There are 10 color bars used in the CM-7400 to indicate signal strength - 3 red, 4 yellow, 3 green. So five bars is 50%; before I got the Channel Master, the TV was showing same signal strength indication in numerals with my weak VHF station.

There's real voodoo (not VuDu) involved with getting all your OTA gear to work well. I went through three antennas and two or three amps (which now I don't need) before being satisfied with the reception.

But the CM-7400: glad I took a chance, despite its 50-50 good/bad ratings. As a cable-cutter I missed coming home at any hour and catching the news - now I can, and it's the more-relevant 5 p.m. LOCAL news. National news never tells you about the escaped miscreant hiding *somewhere* in your neighborhood. Phone rings, and you can go back and see the part of the show you missed.

Learning to watch local programming re-opens your eyes: the local community college's PBS broadcasting is excellent ... local weather is far more detailed than a website ... Betty White's old people pulling pranks show's pretty funny (never watched network TV when I had cable/Dish) ... and there's always Roku with Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Good TV begins when you dump $$$ triple-digit pay TV and re-examine your habits. Ice Road Truckers? C'mon. Cable went south a long time ago.
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post #1437 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFOC32563 View Post

Summary: I believe the CM-7400 HAS a built-in amp -

No, but the tuner is probably much more sensitive than previously available units.

That would account for what is being reported, as overloading a tuner is just as bad for stable reception as too little signal.

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post #1438 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 02:35 PM
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It was reported on the DTVPal thread by someone who had examined the insides that it had amplifiers. Make sense since they're splitting the signal internally. So if the 7400 is at based on the Pal, it may very well be amplified as well. Folks have looked at the 7400 and even posted pictures of its innards. They should know.
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post #1439 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 02:43 PM
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Calaveras did the unplug test to prove active passthrough/amplification here.


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post #1440 of 1996 Old 04-19-2012, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DB100 View Post

It was reported on the DTVPal thread by someone who had examined the insides that it had amplifiers. Make sense since they're splitting the signal internally. So if the 7400 is at based on the Pal, it may very well be amplified as well. Folks have looked at the 7400 and even posted pictures of its innards. They should know.

The Pal and the 7400 are totally different.
The Pal was made by EchoStar. The 7400 I'm pretty sure by a different company.
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