Originally Posted by mr100watt
I, too, found the "favorites" group option on the Zinwell a really nice touch. The only thing is that you have to remember to select another group to get out of it, other wise you cannot select other channels that are installed. It is a bit confusing, not spelled out in the manual, you have to figure out these things on your own. Same thing with reselecting a channel that was "removed."
The CM favorites is nothing more than a list, you still have to go through all the channels when you surf with the up/down channel buttons. With the Zat, I don't bother with 'removing' a channel. The Favorites groups narrows down what you see when you surf, and also what shows in the extended guide on the early Zat970A. So I don't have to 'delete' a channel on the menu to avoid seeing it day to day, or go back to the menu to 'undelete.' I use All Channels if I need one I don't usually bother with, but I mostly alternate between Group 1 (ones I want to see daily) and Group 2 (news).
Do you find that the Channel Master remote, even with all of its many "nonfunctional" buttons is ok? The layout of the buttons looks manageable, albeit with the several that have no functional application with the box.
I have all my CECBs programmed to the Sony VL600 learning remote, so when I swap out a box, I don't have to mess with finding the functions. They are all in the same place. One family member uses the original remote, so it's handy from where he sits. I took a Sharpie to the text on the blank keys.
Have you found the CM's ability to pull in stations that much more significant than that of the Zinwell? How far out do your program listings go on the CM? (I miss program content description on the Zinwell ... I still look for an "info" button to have that displayed! ... as well as being able to see more than just a "now and next" display.)
Other way around for me, the Zat does much better than the CM for strong signals with multipath. (Indoor antenna in attic, at 15 miles, 1 edge.) When a 100% signal bounces, the CM loses audio once a minute, while the Zat loses audio once per program. When a 30% signal bounces, the Zat gets a lock and the CM is either frozen or a blank screen. For weak and steady
signal, the CM has a slight edge, but it isn't like it's watchable.
CM shows 12 hours, I've seen a full week of data on my early Zat970, it has the capability for two weeks. Most stations here are doing 24 hours of data, but they still have issues with consistency.
With the extended guide (Zat970 early version), when a program is highlighted, selecting 'OK' gets you the program detail, far more readable than with the CM's tiny font. The extended guide itself uses a large font, which makes it not so pretty, but very nice for old eyes.
Do you have significant loss of audio/visual synchronization on some channels when a signal is momentarily lost? This problem exists on a few stations that the Zinwell picks up, even at a strong reception - just a momentary lapse of a signal could cause the synch to go out - it really is a problem, in that it doesn't occur anywhere to this degree on the Insignia or Pal Plus. Other than that, I do like the Zinwell (I have the 950A).
I saw synchronization issues on my Zenith 900 last summer, specific to NBC, and it was fixed before I got my Zat.