Originally Posted by drlava
Looks like summit source raised the price $6 to $75
for a box that should be $50 we are paying much more just because we have the coupons.
Guess it's a good thing I got my order in last week before the price went up.
Mine arrived today. I've hooked it up, and I'm pretty impressed with the thing. First thing I noticed when I opened the box: instead of the typical 3' coax cable with push-on connectors, it's coax has screw-
on connectors. Nice touch. I hate push-on connectors; my cats keep pulling them loose.
Since it doesn't have pass-through, I hooked it up behind an old VCR that doesn't play tapes too well anymore, but serves fine as an NTSC tuner. I just turn the VCR on for analog TV and (since all VCRs have pass-through) turn it off or hit the TV/VCR button for digital TV. The VCR is hooked to the TV via composite video and the CM-7000 is hooked up via S-video.
This unit may have been a return: when I hooked it up it already had a few channels from some faraway place stored in its memory and reported "no signal" when it couldn't find them. This panicked me for a moment, but a simple channel scan put everything right.
Sensitivity is comparable to my Samsung DTB-260F HDTV receiver. KDFI-27 comes through fine on both the Samsung and the Channel Master even though it pixellates a bit on my Philco CECB.
Another thing it has in common with the Samsung is that neither one can figure out KLDT-54's audio. The Philco is the only box I have that can decode that station's sound. KLDT's just a shopping channel, though, so it's no big deal.Update:
I think I figured out what's going on with KLDT's sound. DTV stations can broadcast multiple audio streams - typically for multiple languages. The box automatically selects your preferred language.
KLDT is "broadcasting" three audio streams, but is flagging all three as English! Worse, only one audio stream actually contains anything. So the stream the box selects appears to depend on unpredictable factors like the box design, the phase of the moon, etc. And there's only a 1 in 3 chance your box will select the working audio stream. KLDT got lucky with the Philco but not with the CM-7000.
The fix is easy: I just push the "audio" button on the remote until the sound comes on. But in doing so, I discovered a minor problem with the CM-7000: it doesn't remember your audio selection separately for each channel. So if I switch the audio to stream 2, KLDT-54 starts working, but KDAF-33 switches to stream 2 also, and I get Spanish - or nothing at all if there's no Spanish sound for the program.
In contrast, my Philco remembers the audio setting separately for each channel. If I switch KLDT-54 to stream 2, it doesn't affect KDAF-33 and vice versa. But when I return to a channel I've changed, it remembers my selection from earlier.
The channel setup is the best of the three. When scanning you can either clear the channel table or you can scan to add channels to the existing table. You can then flag any channels you don't want as "deleted" so CH +/- on the remote will skip them. Unlike the Philco, you can delete subchannels, and the channels aren't "really" deleted; if you change your mind you can just go back into the menu and unflag them. (With the Philco you have to either rescan or tune in a deleted channel by its digital channel number to add it back.) The CM-7000 also lets you select some channels as "favorites." The Samsung's channel setup is similar, but I like the CM-7000 better. The Samsung's "favorite" button just moves to the next higher "favorite" channel, but the CM-7000's "favorite" button brings up a list of all the "favorite" channels that you can navigate with the arrow keys - or you can switch to a list of all (nondeleted) channels!
The only drawback I've found with the channel setup is that you can't tune to a channel that wasn't on the original scan - even if you know the digital channel number. I guess that's why "deleted" channels aren't truly deleted: if they were, you'd have to do an update scan to add them back, and you'd get them all instead of just the one you want.
The S-video picture quality is excellent. So far on HD broadcasts I've seen none of the NTSC artifacts ("rainbow ties," etc.) that are common when using composite video. (I did see some artifacts on an SD broadcast, but I suspect the video was transmitted that way. If it were a problem with the CM-7000 I'd expect it to show up on all the channels.)
My RCA universal remote controls the CM-7000 with cable box code 034 (Pioneer - just like the manual says). The only problem is it lacks many of the functions of the CM-7000's own remote, including volume! The RCA remote insists on sending the TV's remote codes when you use the volume or mute buttons, which could be a problem if you use a separate amp for audio instead of your TV. But that's a problem with the RCA remote, not with the CM-7000. There are undoubtedly other remotes that would work better.
The aspect control is better than the Philco in two ways. First, it's one-button access. (The Philco makes you go through the setup menu to change the aspect setting.) Second, it has two zoom settings. Zoom 1 is a "partial" zoom; sort of a compromise between letterbox and the full-screen Zoom 2. This should be useful with TVs that have a lot of overscan.
Overall, I found it well worth its somewhat higher cost. The only feature it lacks that it really should have is pass-through. (Well, and for $69, er, $75, including an S-video cable would've been nice, since S-video is its major selling point