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post #1 of 48 Old 03-19-2013, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

This is my first post here on AVS. Few people on Hi-Fi only websites could help me out with this, so here I am! I have a vinyl set up for 2 channel stereo listening and am now integrating my TV and wireless streaming via Apple Airport Express to the mix, from my 2 channel speakers (I have no interest in 5.1.)

I currently own a Rega RP-1 > Music Hall A15.2 Integrated Amp (No Digital Inputs) > Neat Iota Speakers

I will be getting a Maverick Audio D1 Plus Dac to allow me to play from my iTunes library via Apple Airport Express. Now, I also want to play my TV sound through my speakers so I have to plug the TV into the Dac as well. My TV only has 1 Digital out which looks like an Optical output? (I'm clueless when it comes to the visual side of things.)

How can I play my AAE and TV through 1 dac > amp > speakers?

Hi-Fi stereo listening is more important to me than the visual side of things so I am following the below guide to maximize my sound quality.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10297427-1.html

--

In short how do I play my TV through my speakers with a Maverick Dac (or other Dac for that matter.)

Thanks,

Jamie
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post #2 of 48 Old 03-19-2013, 06:53 PM
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I will be getting a Maverick Audio D1 Plus Dac
Why?????

IMO, you would be better off using the Airport Express without a DAC (let alone something like that thing). Just connect with an analog cable.

Does your TV have a two-channel analog output? If so, use that. Otherwise, you're going to have to confirm that its digital out is optical, and then buy a DAC with an optical input. But for heaven's sake, not one with a tube in it. The only thing that tube can do is introduce distortion.
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Hi-Fi stereo listening is more important to me than the visual side of things so I am following the below guide to maximize my sound quality.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10297427-1.html
I wouldn't put too much faith in CNET, at least on audio matters.
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post #3 of 48 Old 03-19-2013, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Why?????

IMO, you would be better off using the Airport Express without a DAC (let alone something like that thing). Just connect with an analog cable.

Does your TV have a two-channel analog output? If so, use that. Otherwise, you're going to have to confirm that its digital out is optical, and then buy a DAC with an optical input. But for heaven's sake, not one with a tube in it. The only thing that tube can do is introduce distortion.
I wouldn't put too much faith in CNET, at least on audio matters.
How would I connect it to an amp with no digital inputs without a DAC?
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post #4 of 48 Old 03-19-2013, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamie Jones View Post

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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Why?????

IMO, you would be better off using the Airport Express without a DAC (let alone something like that thing). Just connect with an analog cable.

Does your TV have a two-channel analog output? If so, use that. Otherwise, you're going to have to confirm that its digital out is optical, and then buy a DAC with an optical input. But for heaven's sake, not one with a tube in it. The only thing that tube can do is introduce distortion.
I wouldn't put too much faith in CNET, at least on audio matters.
How would I connect it to an amp with no digital inputs without a DAC?

If you are referring to the AAE use an "analog mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA cable" (quoted from manual.)
Here's one for under 3 bux they have some under a dollar but you only live once.

If you mean TV, what is your make and model?

I agree, stay away from that DAC.
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post #5 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 07:05 AM
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How would I connect it to an amp with no digital inputs without a DAC?
Your TV has a DAC in it. The only question is, does it also have an analog output? If it does, you can use an analog cable to connect it to your amp.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #6 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jamie Jones View Post

Hello all,

This is my first post here on AVS. Few people on Hi-Fi only websites could help me out with this, so here I am! I have a vinyl set up for 2 channel stereo listening and am now integrating my TV and wireless streaming via Apple Airport Express to the mix, from my 2 channel speakers (I have no interest in 5.1.)

I currently own a Rega RP-1 > Music Hall A15.2 Integrated Amp (No Digital Inputs) > Neat Iota Speakers

I will be getting a Maverick Audio D1 Plus Dac to allow me to play from my iTunes library via Apple Airport Express. Now, I also want to play my TV sound through my speakers so I have to plug the TV into the Dac as well. My TV only has 1 Digital out which looks like an Optical output? (I'm clueless when it comes to the visual side of things.)

Why?

As this picture shows, the Airport express already has an analog output:



Why not connect it to your audio system using an appropriate audio cable?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021817&p_id=9768&seq=1&format=2



This test report shows performance that is entirely adequate for fully exploiting the sound quality of any recording or source you play through it:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/466-measurements-first-and-second-generation-apple-airport-express/

I know of no reports showing degraded performance in possible sequel versions.
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post #7 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Your TV has a DAC in it. The only question is, does it also have an analog output? If it does, you can use an analog cable to connect it to your amp.
Sadly there is no analog output. There is only a digital out.

TV Model is a 32" Class Viera® C22 Series 720p LCD TV.

Sounds like the general consensus is go no DAC, but on all the HiFi sites they all recommend using a DAC confused.gif
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post #8 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dstew100 View Post

If you are referring to the AAE use an "analog mini-stereo-to-dual-RCA cable" (quoted from manual.)
Here's one for under 3 bux they have some under a dollar but you only live once.

If you mean TV, what is your make and model?

I agree, stay away from that DAC.

From the link someone gave me on this forum I quote

So am I reading this properly: the new (second?) generation Apple Express has lower jitter over the digital (Toslink) out, but very bad jitter if you're using analog out? So if I'm using the AE purely as a streamer into a remote DAC, the jitter (though still high) will not be nearly so bad as if I were using the analog out?

This is what I gathered as well.
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post #9 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Your TV has a DAC in it. The only question is, does it also have an analog output? If it does, you can use an analog cable to connect it to your amp.
Sadly there is no analog output. There is only a digital out.

TV Model is a 32" Class Viera® C22 Series 720p LCD TV.

Sounds like the general consensus is go no DAC, but on all the HiFi sites they all recommend using a DAC confused.gif

For the TV here's a decent place to start
http://www.parts-express.com/cat/digital-audio-video-converters/114
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post #10 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, buying a new TV is not out of the question if it would help me with outputs / improved picture quality (mine is only 720p and it's alright.) 37-47 inch would fit quite nicely in the space. What I guess I'm saying is could I spend ~$400-600 and get a new TV in which no DAC ~$50-300 is required? After selling my current TV it would fit into my budget!
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post #11 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 11:00 AM
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From the link someone gave me on this forum I quote

So am I reading this properly: the new (second?) generation Apple Express has lower jitter over the digital (Toslink) out, but very bad jitter if you're using analog out? So if I'm using the AE purely as a streamer into a remote DAC, the jitter (though still high) will not be nearly so bad as if I were using the analog out?

This is what I gathered as well.
Probably, but even the jitter from the analog out is far to low in level to be audible. That's why you don't need a DAC for the AE. Nothing wrong with having one, of course.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #12 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 11:04 AM
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Sadly there is no analog output. There is only a digital out.
So you will need a DAC for the TV. See the link from dstew for possibilities.
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Sounds like the general consensus is go no DAC, but on all the HiFi sites they all recommend using a DAC
The signal-to-noise ratio on the Internet is very, very poor.

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post #13 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Jamie Jones View Post

Also, buying a new TV is not out of the question if it would help me with outputs / improved picture quality (mine is only 720p and it's alright.) 37-47 inch would fit quite nicely in the space. What I guess I'm saying is could I spend ~$400-600 and get a new TV in which no DAC ~$50-300 is required? After selling my current TV it would fit into my budget!

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=230-120

This one's $28, does 192 kHz/24-bit, and your TV supports PCM which is needed for this DAC. I wouldn't move your TV for $28 bux...well maybe, I like money. Plus with this you can try out the digital connection from your airplay and see if the visual site + preconceived DAC notions of using an outboard DAC makes you think it sounds better.

+1 and LOL at internet signal-to-noise ratio.

Jamie Jones, I know I've got a little sarcasm in these posts and apologize if I've been rude. I really am trying to help. Many, if not most, of the folks on the Audio Video Science forum believe that all modern reasonable designed DACs with high enough bit rate sound the same. The reason we believe this is there have been double blind tests which prove even the most discerning audiophile "hi-fi" folks with golden ears are unable to distinguish between $20 DACs and high priced DACs. That Tube DAC will likely introduce distortion and may even roll off the high frequencies a bit to make that "smooth tube sound" so it will sound different. You can do the same thing with EQ; DACS, Amps, and other such electronics should pass the signal, not color it. I am of the opinion that early DACs were different, but the process and technical implementation is pretty well mastered now. Run some DAC searches here, there will be more back and forth on the subject then you will care to read, but look for the posts with technical facts backed up by studies and white papers.

Welcome to AVS. There are some seriously knowledgeable folks around here and a goldmine of information in these pages. I'm glad I stuck around, I can't begin to describe how much I have learned here and it shows in the sound of my system which I can measure and see the differences. Hope you get all your devices functional and performing to a level which you are happy with.
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post #14 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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So I would go TV Digital Out (Optical) to that $28 dollar guy to my current amplifier via standard RCA cables to speakers?
Then with the AAE I can simply run mini to RCA cables into my amplifier which would then go to my speakers?
Quote:
Plus with this you can try out the digital connection from your airplay and see if the visual site + preconceived DAC notions of using an outboard DAC makes you think it sounds better.

With this what output would I go from the AAE to that little guy in order to do that? I know I can go mini to RCA, I'm just curious.

It's good to get another perspective. I do agree the Hi-Fi forums do place to much faith in things that really have no science behind them but I value their outlook on getting the best possible sound, not just great sound.

I'm sure I will learn a lot!
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post #15 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 12:59 PM
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So I would go TV Digital Out (Optical) to that $28 dollar guy to my current amplifier via standard RCA cables to speakers?
Then with the AAE I can simply run mini to RCA cables into my amplifier which would then go to my speakers?
Quote:
Plus with this you can try out the digital connection from your airplay and see if the visual site + preconceived DAC notions of using an outboard DAC makes you think it sounds better.

With this what output would I go from the AAE to that little guy in order to do that? I know I can go mini to RCA, I'm just curious.

It's good to get another perspective. I do agree the Hi-Fi forums do place to much faith in things that really have no science behind them but I value their outlook on getting the best possible sound, not just great sound.

I'm sure I will learn a lot!

These fellas are seeking the absolute best sound they can as well. We just don't seek product marketing materials with words like "airy" or "open" to get there. I like this process and believe it to provide better performance for equal or less money. Don't get me started on speaker wire, I'm devoted to monoprice.

Your connections are correct (3.5 mm to RCA for airplay; this is mono 3.5 though not stereo like the analog one we showed before, and optical for the TV), but the thing I'm not sure about is how the DAC will deal with two digital devices, one on optical and one on coax. You may have to physically unplug the TV and hook up the airplay. This isn't really a switcher, If you ask the question at part-express they are usually pretty good at getting you answers though. I think you should run the TV through the DAC, and use the analog from the airplay. Do your own listening test between the airplay doing the DAC and this external DAC. It's really hard to be objective with this so if you can get a buddy to help you do a blind test that's better. Truly double blind ABX is the only way to remove all bias but who's going to set that up for this? If you end up really liking the outboard DAC better and the device doesn't do smart switching as I suspect, just pick up another one, they are free shipping.

Anyone know how that DAC will handle an optical and coax device hooked up at the same time? Is it a preference thing? What if only one device is on at a time? What if you switch which device is on? I doubt it's going to handle these situations the way you want. You would just need two of em.
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post #16 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 12:59 PM
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So I would go TV Digital Out (Optical) to that $28 dollar guy to my current amplifier via standard RCA cables to speakers?
Then with the AAE I can simply run mini to RCA cables into my amplifier which would then go to my speakers?
Bingo!
Quote:
With this what output would I go from the AAE to that little guy in order to do that? I know I can go mini to RCA, I'm just curious.
You'd need a mini-Toslink-to-Toslink cable.
Quote:
I do agree the Hi-Fi forums do place to much faith in things that really have no science behind them but I value their outlook on getting the best possible sound, not just great sound.
I used to value their outlook on getting the best possible sound. Then I learned a little science.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #17 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 01:01 PM
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Anyone know how that DAC will handle an optical and coax device hooked up at the same time?
It doesn't matter, since both his digital outputs are optical.

Worst case, he buys two $28 DACs.

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post #18 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 01:18 PM
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WAIT

from your TV manual "When an ATSC channel is selected, the output from the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT jack will be Dolby Digital. When an NTSC
channel is selected, the output will be PCM."

I thought you got to pick. This will not work with ATSC channels. Lemme look for another option.
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post #19 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 01:28 PM
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http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=180-999

This one will do it. But it is only up to 20-bit / 96 KHz. I think that will be fine. Is that good enough mcnarus?

This one has a switch to choose which input you are using so you will have to manual choose. That unless you go analog out of your airplay.
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post #20 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 01:31 PM
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post #21 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 02:02 PM
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I think I'd end up with the FiiO D07 in your shoes. There's not reviews because it just came out Jan/Feb but the D003 seems well regarded for PCM, the company seems reputable, the specs are good (low THD and 24bit). There's a Gefen and a Topping G20. The parts express brand unit looks a little sketchy to me do to reviews, although I normally would not have a problem with their stuff.

EDIT: Sorry if I caused confusion with the Fii0 D03, I thought you could tell your tv to always do PCM which is not the case.
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post #22 of 48 Old 03-20-2013, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I'm pretty confused. Don't bother explaining PCM, etc. Would the best option be to get two of those FiiO guys? I mean they aren't expensive so I wouldnt mind.
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post #23 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 03:43 AM
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How do you get your TV signal? If you have a set top box for cable or satellite, then you don't have to worry about ATSC and a DD output. The same goes for other devices you may have connected to the set such as a DVD or Blu-ray player.
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post #24 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dstew100 View Post

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=180-999

This one will do it. But it is only up to 20-bit / 96 KHz. I think that will be fine. Is that good enough mcnarus?

This is a very interesting little device - it appears to be carefully designed for a common need. The specs indicate overkill performance.
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post #25 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 07:21 AM
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Yeah I'm pretty confused. Don't bother explaining PCM, etc. Would the best option be to get two of those FiiO guys? I mean they aren't expensive so I wouldnt mind.

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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

How do you get your TV signal? If you have a set top box for cable or satellite, then you don't have to worry about ATSC and a DD output. The same goes for other devices you may have connected to the set such as a DVD or Blu-ray player.

Without getting too technical mumbo jumbo which I'd probably screw up anyway.

The ATSC channels can be (and many stations do usually, but sometimes you see commercials in 2.0) sending a Dolby Digital (DD) 5.1 signal. Those signals must get converted down from 5.1 to 2.0 for your situation. The cheaper DACs I originally listed such as the Fii0 D03 is unable to do that conversion. It can only do the digital to analog conversion of a 2.0 PCM signal. Therefore it needs something up the chain to do that conversion for it. Obviously your TV can make 5.1 into 2.0 for its own speakers, but it does not output 2.0 over the optical hookup for signals that were originally DD 5.1. If your TV has an ATSC signal with DD 5.1 audio the D03 won't get the job done but the D07 (or that parts express unit that may have a QC issue) can.

Bslander makes a great point. If you are using a set top box from the cable company or something go into it setup menu and see if you can change the audio output from DD5.1 to PCM (maybe its labelled stereo, or PCM), shoot maybe it's even got RCA outputs. If, for example, you had an over the air antenna hooked straight into your TV's tuner. You would need something like the D07 to do the DD5.1 -> PCM 2.0 -> 2.0 analog. So please let us know how you get signals to your TV. Also note for blueray it is highly likely you can tell the player to output 2.0 PCM so a D03 would be fine in that case.

I still think analog out on your airplay is fine, but order one of these DACs and try it out. I think most have a switch to say which input to use, if you don't mind getting up. If the outboard DAC really does sound better for the airplay and it's troublesome enough with just one DAC, then order the other one. Or just don't over think it and grab two up front. For the airplay though I think the D03 will work great, no need for the extra conversion there.

Hope this helps
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post #26 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 07:27 AM
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It may be worth asking over in the 2 channel section if anyone has experience with the Fii0 DACs, the Gefen, the parts-express, or the Topping G20.
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post #27 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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My cable box only has an optical out as well. Damn these optical outs.
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post #28 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Guy at my local electronics store basically said get a new cable box $138, and hook the box up to the FiiO Dac via Coaxial and the Apple TV or AAE to the dac via Optical or just mini to RCA. This makes sense considering the new cable box (mine is pretty ancient) is pretty nice and the entire cost with dac is cheaper than most "hifi" dacs and I get a new cable box!

Any flaws? I think this is what I'll do.
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post #29 of 48 Old 03-21-2013, 11:57 PM
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Optical is OK as long as you can set the cable box output to PCM, not DD 5.1, which should always be possible. Or, if you are routing the cable box audio through the TV, it's likely limited to stereo PCM already.

It would be helpful to know what devices is have and how you have them connected. Those details make a difference.
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post #30 of 48 Old 03-22-2013, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I currently have a cable box by motorola which has no model number on it? I searched all the codes on it and couldn't find it. The one I was thinking of is:
http://www.shaw.ca/television/equipment/hd-set-top-box/
Jamie Jones is offline  
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