Here's a digest of the issue from notes I made when reading this thread.
post #128 page 5
I just hooked up my CM-7000 and I'm seeing the flashing closed captioning line across the top of my screen. (see 2 attachments).Attached Images
I emailed Channel Master and they told me that their test unit there does the same thing. Do all brands of DTV converter boxes have this same problem?
I "zoomed in" as far as I could to get rid of it but then I lose some of the sides of the image.
post #133 page 5
Yes, those two graphics files I attached are from two different stations. If it is a wide-screen broadcast, I see the line up high.
If it is an older show (like Seinfeld) which wasn't filmed in widescreen, then the line is right along the top of the picture.
post #138 page 5
The top (VBI) lines in an analog TV field contain Time, ID and Closed Caption data:
post #153 page 6
Users with 16:9 monitors will be happy with the FULL mode. Users with 4:3 monitors might have a problem. Some of my local stations broadcast the VBI (vertical blanking interval that contains CC data) in such a way that is visible when they have a 4:3 picture embedded in the 16:9 picture. In Letterbox mode on a 4:3 monitor this can be visible and annoying to say the least. In two cases, ABC and NBC, I noticed the VBI disappear when the picture went to full widescreen HD. One oddity occurred on NBC's Today show which showed no VBI lines in there HD signal until they showed a clip from Fox's American Idol as a 4:3 image embedded in their signal and the only the embedded image portion of the picture showed the VBI lines. On the other hand the local CBS signal never displayed any VBI lines.
I need more time to see if these lines are visible on any channels when delivering a full HD signal in Letterbox mode, but be warned. The Zenith does not exhibit this problem, though whether it's more a problem with the broadcasters or the box I can't say.
post #153 page 6
Our 4:3 TV is tuned to a 16:9 HD broadcast and because we want to see the full picture we put the box in LETTERBOX mode. During the show no VBI lines appear, but when the station goes to a 4:3 embedded commercial the lines do appear. I hope that makes it clear that adjusting the overscan on our TV is not going to remove those lines which are far removed from the borders of the TV.
In the NY DMA I have now seen this effect on NBC, Fox, ABC, My9 and CW. The only station not showing the lines with 4:3 embedded broadcasts is CBS. I believe all of these stations are O&O, so one would think they know what they're doing, though maybe CBS has wiser engineers?
Again, it's probably not a major issue unless you love the commercials and soon most of those will be HD too. If we're watching a 4:3 show we'll be displaying it in full pan&scan mode (ZOOM2 on the CM-7000) and the normal overscan of our TV will keep the VBI lines out of view.
It appears the other manufacturers have taken the VBI lines into account and do not display them and that's to their credit.
post #949 page 32
1. When researching CECBs a few months ago, I learned that this model had several issues, one of them being a "video line" in the picture. I called Channel Master and they said they were aware of it and were going to be resolving the issue, along with other issues like the box not controlling some CM antennas the way it was supposed to. I just talked to Solid Signal tech support (very helpful guy) and he was unaware of the issue, whether or not CM had resolved it, and if so, how a consumer would know if they were getting the new/revised box or*the old one. He did share with me the serial number of a model they were currently shipping, 70002902081251, so if I can find out the answer, I'll know if the box I'd be ordering would be the revised/new model or not. Anyone have information on this? I have a call and an email in to CM, but no response yet.
post #964 page 33
The VBI line appears in my CM SN 700008xxx; this box has very old SW version dated Jan '08 (see sys info menu). I exchanged this box (at Fry's) for a newer box SN 700025xxx with SW version dated June '08. I also bought one more with SN 700029xxx. The VBI lines are fixed in all the new ones with June '08 SW.
post #1016 page 34
I just bought a 2nd CM-7000 with my other coupon. Interestingly, in the two months between the two units, there have been some packaging changes. First is that the box no longer has the HDTV decal, but has a 'TV converter box coupon program' logo instead. The provided RF coaxial cable has changed from the white cable and knurled connectors to a generic black RG-6 cable with compression connectors. And the instruction manual has been changed around a bit. Notable is that it admits to having an S-video capability in the feature list, and also a troubleshooting section at the end.
The box itself seems unchanged. The software versions are identical. (Software build date is 2008-06-16 in both cases.)
post #1017 page 34
For anyone who has the latest software build...is the VBI being cut out the only improvement from the 20080129 build? I was given two more coupons from a friend of mine and have the chance to get another CM-7000 with the newer software but I'm not sure if it's worth it to pay the $8+shipping from Solid Signal to get it.
Is there anyone who has one old and one new CM-7000 and could offer an opinon as to whether it would be worth it?
I asked Ron the CM tech support guy about getting new software installed on my current boxes to correct for the VBI data being displayed and he emailed me back saying he hadnt heard of the issue (someone has to have though otherwise it wouldnt have been fixed in the latest release) and I would need to send them in and provide receipts of purchase.
I guess he was thinking that I just bought these CM-7000's and could do a warranty exchange or something. My boxes are over 6 months old anyway, so they wouldnt be covered under the warranty, and it would probably cost me more to mail them in to him than it would to just by new ones...especially considering I already mailed one in that was defective (electronic arc-ing/popping noise when you turn it on).
post #1058 page 36
I just received my CM-7000 converter from Solid Signal using one of my coupons...
Here's my question. Each time I change the channel or press "Info" the words "ZENTEK Application Demo" appear in the lower left portion of the screen. I haven't found anything in the manual about it and can't seem to figure out what it means or why it's there. Is this normal? Is there any way to turn it off?
Serial Number: 70003105080104
Here's the information under Menu > Setup > Version
S/W Version: b7707_lpm
post #1061 page 36
man...you got the june software....which supposedly eliminates VBI data and corrects a few other problems. if only there was a way to upgrade all our older Cm-7000 boxes with the newest firmware. I wrote the CM tech guy about it and he went on about needing a receipt and warranty service which my box is long out of. what a crock.
it might be a niche market, but someone could make a little money if they could figure out how to download the latest software off these CECBs and transfer them to another persons CECB.
post #1063 page 36
My cm-7000 (also from solidisgnal) has the same version info but I don't have the ZENTEK blurb. Maybe the folks at Channel Master or Zentek can help.
post #1108 page 37
I just picked up a CM-7000. I found that for a particular station/channel, the local FOX/CW affiliate KHON in Honolulu, HI, only the real/RF channel is recognized by the box...
Is this a known problem with this box, or a problem that perhaps has been fixed with later production units? My version info is included below:
s/w version: b7707_lpm 52.5dc001
post #1161 page 39
Does anyone know what the most recent firmware version is on this box. I just received mine from Solid Signal (with some of the usual complaints), and the build seems to be from July 08.
Is this just an old unit? Or - looking 4-5 pages back in this thread and noticing mention of a June 08 build - is that approximately the date I should expect to see?