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Apex DT502 - Page 2

post #31 of 343
If you want a remote that is small, poorly laid out, and extremely small buttons, try the Zenith/Insignia units. They're worse! It's a black remote with black buttons that are very close to each other and have grey lettering (except for the numbers, which are white). The remote doesn't even use the standard of channel/volume control via the circle keys.

Since I've only tested the DS 9950, Insignia -APT, APEX 250/502, & the Venturer, I liked the DS best with the APEX coming in second. My wife prefers the APEX.

I've not seen any indication of a greenish cast and one of the sets I use is a 20" monitor.

I've also experienced the lock-up on only one channel (54), what channel did yours happen on?

My sensitivity tests were done with a High-Gain external antenna at 26', through a 2-way, 25dB DA, & 280' Commscope 5730 2.2GHz CMG RG-6 DS cable (118' + 157' w/ 5' jumper between DA output & 2-way) with compression fittings. The DT502 has out performed any other box I've used.

My major dislike is the inability to manually enter a channel, which the DT250 allows me to do.
post #32 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

If you want a remote that is small, poorly laid out, and extremely small buttons, try the Zenith/Insignia units. They're worse! It's a black remote with black buttons that are very close to each other and have grey lettering (except for the numbers, which are white). The remote doesn't even use the standard of channel/volume control via the circle keys.

......Although I'm not exactly thrilled with the Zenith remote, I feel that it's better laid out and (considering how small the remote itself is) has buttons that are easier to read (although small).
The "guide", "signal" and "fav" buttons on the Apex remote are so tiny......it's ridiculous!
Also, the Apex remote doesn't have dedicated channel or volume buttons (they're combined with the navigation buttons). The more I think about it (and compare the two), the more I prefer the Zenith
!

Since I've only tested the DS 9950, Insignia -APT, APEX 250/502, & the Venturer, I liked the DS best with the APEX coming in second. My wife prefers the APEX.

I've not seen any indication of a greenish cast and one of the sets I use is a 20" monitor.

......it's far more noticeable if you can make a direct comparison with another box or even an analog signal (same channel). If you're able to do this, you'll see the greenish cast. It's noticable. Especially when you're looking at a blue or grey backround or a person with blond or grey hair (I first noticed it on a news broadcast).

I've also experienced the lock-up on only one channel (54), what channel did yours happen on?

......It occured on several channels but I can't recall the numbers. I'm not concerned as to what channels are affected......just that this lock-up problem is unacceptable......and why I don't recommend the Apex!

My sensitivity tests were done with an High-Gain external antenna through a 2-way, 25dB DA, & 240' RG-6 QS cable with compression fittings. The DT502 has out performed any other box I've used.

......My tests were done primarily with indoor antennas (passive and amplified). I'm only 8-10 miles from the transmitters with no obstructions (other than some trees) but indoor reception is considerably worse (even in good locations) and a more telling test for these boxes.
I found the Apex to be the worst I've tested (so far) under these conditions
!
Your signal sounds as if it would be more than adequate for any box.
A box that has better than average sensitivity should perform adequately with less signal and with fluctuating signal. Many people are relying upon indoor antennas and/or questionable quality and strength signals. In my tests, the CM and Zenith performed better than the Apex, Zinwell and DS boxes. The picture quality is better (on both the CM and Zenith) as well.


My major dislike is the inability to manually enter a channel, which the DT250 allows me to do.

......Ditto (but not my major dislike......just an annoyance).
post #33 of 343
I have to say that I'm BOWLED OVER by the pic quality of the DV502. I narrowed all of them down to the ones that have "S" video out, and there were shockingly only a few. (These companies never learn) I have had Direct t.v. for a long time, and I am convinced that for local programming, the colors are more saturated, and it doesn't look a bit pale, like the Direct T.V. did. I am watching it on a BenQ PE8700, 7 foot screen, at 13 feet. The only reason that I didn't get the hi def box yet is that we can't record high def, and burn a disk of it yet.

The remote gets a D-. It is a cheap, low power JUNK, and the "manual" gets an F--, but I am so happy with this pic, that I give the whole thing a Shawn Johnson Olympic score 62.725! I will throw in a few screen caps, after I get some Olympic stuff burnt to DVD.

THANKS GUYS. If I didn't check back here, I would have wound up with the Channel Master, or the DT250.

If anybody can help me figure out how to program a station in advance, I would appreciate it, 'cause I can't get it. It looks like it'll do that......will it? ......that manual.
post #34 of 343
You know, most HD tuners have analog outs so you can still record using a VCR or DVD recorder... You're really missing out by not pairing an HD tuner with that screen.
post #35 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davespectral View Post

I have to say that I'm BOWLED OVER by the pic quality of the DV502. I narrowed all of them down to the ones that have "S" video out, and there were shockingly only a few. (These companies never learn) I have had Direct t.v. for a long time, and I am convinced that for local programming, the colors are more saturated, and it doesn't look a bit pale, like the Direct T.V. did. I am watching it on a BenQ PE8700, 7 foot screen, at 13 feet. The only reason that I didn't get the hi def box yet is that we can't record high def, and burn a disk of it yet.

The remote gets a D-. It is a cheap, low power JUNK, and the "manual" gets an F--, but I am so happy with this pic, that I give the whole thing a Shawn Johnson Olympic score 62.725! I will throw in a few screen caps, after I get some Olympic stuff burnt to DVD.

THANKS GUYS. If I didn't check back here, I would have wound up with the Channel Master, or the DT250.

If anybody can help me figure out how to program a station in advance, I would appreciate it, 'cause I can't get it. It looks like it'll do that......will it? ......that manual.

You're welcome, but......
"BOWLED OVER"?......In most cases, any CECB will produce better overall video than standard def satellite or cable!......Perhaps this is your first experience with a CECB, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but by stating that you "would have wound up" with the CM gives the impression that it's inferior......which is very far from the truth and could (potentially) influence people to choose the Apex over the CM......which (IMHO) would be a mistake!
Additionally, you're making comparisons on on projector (albeit good quality), with a 7 foot screen no less, which will never be as telling and revealing as a good direct view TV.

Unless you've made comparisons of various boxes, "BOWLED OVER" is a bit overstated. It's blatently obvious that you've had issues with your satellite system and yes, the Apex is acceptable insofar as picture quality is concerned. However, if you made a comparison, on a better than average direct view TV (as I've done......very extensively), you wouldn't be as impressed with the Apex's picture quality.
Under these conditions (most users wouldn't be watching a 7 foot projected image), if you had "wound up" with the Channel Master, you would see that it actually blows away the Apex!
Better picture quality
overall without the greenish cast that the Apex produces!

I've done extensive comparisons of the Apex DT-502, CM, DS, Zenith, Zinwell and (just within the last two days) the Access DTA-1020D (which gets so hot that you could fry an egg on top!!). The CM is #1. The Zenith is a close second. The DS comes in third. The Zinwell is fourth but is unacceptable, since it's very poorly designed and the clock and timers are in 24 hour time and inaccurate!. The Apex is fifth. The Access comes in sixth (and is unacceptable, since it produces a squeezed pan and scan image on most channels, which cannot be corrected)!

I'm rating these boxes based primarily upon picture quality and sensitivity.
I've been meticulous about these tests and I'm very, very fussy!
I'm testing these boxes on a Sony 35" XBR TV, which is very revealing (especially for an SD TV) and can produce an exceptional picture. My tests have been by direct comparison with the exact same signal source and strength.
Perhaps for your viewing purposes (and screen) the Apex is OK but (with all due respect)...... I wouldn't recommend it for the average person......especially if they have a very good to excellent direct view TV.

I agree that the remote and manual for the Apex are very poor!

The CM produces a picture that's more dynamic and has greater color intensity than all of the other's I've tested, so if you feel that the Apex is less "pale" that your satellite picture......try the CM!

The Channel Master and Zenith win out over the competition (so far)......and bear in mind that the Zenith has no S-Video output.

BTW - There are no programming features on the Apex.
post #36 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbios View Post

You know, most HD tuners have analog outs so you can still record using a VCR or DVD recorder... You're really missing out by not pairing an HD tuner with that screen.

......Ditto!
post #37 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbios View Post

You know, most HD tuners have analog outs so you can still record using a VCR or DVD recorder... You're really missing out by not pairing an HD tuner with that screen.

Oh yes, I know. The trouble is, funds are low, and if I want to be able to record it and save the show. I'll look elsewhere on this forum for other ways to do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

You're welcome, but......
"BOWLED OVER"?......In most cases, any CECB will produce better overall video than standard def satellite or cable!......Perhaps this is your first experience with a CECB, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt but by stating that you "would have wound up" with the CM gives the impression that it's inferior......which is very far from the truth and could (potentially) influence people to choose the Apex over the CM......which (IMHO) would be a mistake!
Additionally, you're making comparisons on on projector (albeit good quality), with a 7 foot screen no less, which will never be as telling and revealing as a good direct view TV.

Unless you've made comparisons of various boxes, "BOWLED OVER" is a bit overstated. It's blatently obvious that you've had issues with your satellite system and yes, the Apex is acceptable insofar as picture quality is concerned. However, if you made a comparison, on a better than average direct view TV (as I've done......very extensively), you wouldn't be as impressed with the Apex's picture quality.
Under these conditions (most users wouldn't be watching a 7 foot projected image), if you had "wound up" with the Channel Master, you would see that it actually blows away the Apex!
Better picture quality
overall without the greenish cast that the Apex produces!

I've done extensive comparisons of the Apex DT-502, CM, DS, Zenith, Zinwell and (just within the last two days) the Access DTA-1020D (which gets so hot that you could fry an egg on top!!). The CM is #1. The Zenith is a close second. The DS comes in third. The Zinwell is fourth but is unacceptable, since it's very poorly designed and the clock and timers are in 24 hour time and inaccurate!. The Apex is fifth. The Access comes in sixth (and is unacceptable, since it produces a squeezed pan and scan image on most channels, which cannot be corrected)!

I'm rating these boxes based primarily upon picture quality and sensitivity.
I've been meticulous about these tests and I'm very, very fussy!
I'm testing these boxes on a Sony 35" XBR TV, which is very revealing (especially for an SD TV) and can produce an exceptional picture. My tests have been by direct comparison with the exact same signal source and strength.
Perhaps for your viewing purposes (and screen) the Apex is OK but (with all due respect)...... I wouldn't recommend it for the average person......especially if they have a very good to excellent direct view TV.

I agree that the remote and manual for the Apex are very poor!

The CM produces a picture that's more dynamic and has greater color intensity than all of the other's I've tested, so if you feel that the Apex is less "pale" that your satellite picture......try the CM!

The Channel Master and Zenith win out over the competition (so far)......and bear in mind that the Zenith has no S-Video output.

BTW - There are no programming features on the Apex.

YES LOL. BOWLED OVER. I never said I tested ten of them. I just went for one that had an S output, which was the newest version. I didn't try the CM because they said you couldn't exchange it and get the $40 refund for the card. They would only refund the balance, not covered by the card. It should've occurred to me that I could've possibly paid cash for the CM, and THEN they might have refunded it, if I didn't like it. Actually, of the units I read about, I had the most confidence in the C.M.

I agree that the Sony XBR's are an excellent set. I disagree that they are more revealing than a 7" screen @ 13 feet. My rig, will show up any fault, even though it's not high def yet. My Outlaw unit upconverts it to 525 progressive. The crap Toshiba 5980 hdmi unit quit on me, so now I'm using the Panasonic's for now. FWIW, I tune the color decoder, color amount, and balance with the Avia disk. It nails the ever elusive flesh tone perfectly. Then I add a click of extra contrast, and a click less brightness than what the disk recommends. I also like it extra sharp, so I cheat on that a bit also. I noticed with the Apex that I've set the sharpness full out. Obviously that might mean that it is a bit less sharp from the factory. I don't see any evidence of a green push with the Apex.

A little more food for thought is that when I have compared MATCHED video components, they usually look a TINY bit different. This includes 2 JVC 9500U SVHS VCR's, and also what I'm using now, which are the Panasonic DMR-E100H's. Also matched Direct T.V. boxes have a tiny bit of difference in them also. My point is that the Apex you tried, might be a bit greener than the one that was underneath it in the floor stack. Here's another idea for you. I've compared video inputs on a few displays to see if there was a difference between them. By that I mean my friends Toshiba which had multiple S and composite inputs. Sure enough, there were small but noticeable differences between the same type of input, on the same exact set. My point is that you are obviously really in to this stuff, just like I am, but to test and compare these units might be a bit harder than you think.

The electron tube t.v.'s all have video noise that the BenQ and other DLP's mostly do away with. It depends on your viewing distance, and what you are trying to accomplish. When I watch a film, it is just like being in the theater. I once read that to be IN the film, you have to sit at a closer distance vs. the size of the screen.
post #38 of 343
I still find, that every test I do, has the DT-502 out performing the Insignia -APT (by a hair) and the DS 9950.

slprp1,

Are you getting the green tint on all three types of connections? I may see what you mean on the composite.
post #39 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I still find, that every test I do, has the DT-502 out performing the Insignia -APT (by a hair) and the DS 9950.

slprp1,

Are you getting the green tint on all three types of connections? I may see what you mean on the composite.

I'm getting the greenish cast on both S-video and composite (BTW, I've tested three units.....same results). There is also less color intensity than most other boxes I've tested. Low signal results are also dissapointing with this box. Remote control is a nightmare!
Overall, I find it to be mediocre (other than the on screen displays, which are pretty good).
I won't be using the RF option, since it downgrades the picture and the audio will be mono.
Therefore, I see no point in ever using the RF out on any box.
post #40 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

There is also less color intensity than most other boxes I've tested.

I find a bigger difference in the color intensity of the Insignia (between composite & RF), while there doesn't show any difference on my DT-502.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Remote control is a nightmare!

I find the Insignia to be my nightmare, because it takes me 20-40 seconds of squinting and turning on a light to figure out what button I need to push and I don't even bother to setup the "favorites", due to the hassle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

I won't be using the RF option, since it downgrades the picture and the audio will be mono. Therefore, I see no point in ever using the RF out on any box.

I don't hear where the audio is any different between the RF and composite/S-Video. They both sound like they're putting out stereo audio.
post #41 of 343
thank you slpprp1...i was debating trying the apex dt502 against my cm7000 [ i have 3]
now i won't waste my time.
the cm7000 has an excellent picture on all my TV's, a 32in sharp, a 24in polaroid and a 20in daewoo. i use s-video for all connects.
post #42 of 343
i mean't Slprp1
post #43 of 343
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

I've not had any lock-up problems with the DT250. It's been rock solid since I have been using it.

Knowing you're experience, gives me hope it's a unit issue and not a model issue.

Have you had any more lockups with your DT502?
post #44 of 343
On marginal channels (fringe quality reception levels around 15-20%), I'm still having the problem and wondering if it might be multi-path or a content processing issue. The channels I have a problem with are the ones that the Insignia either can't get or breaksup so much the channel is unwatchable.

It's been rock solid on channels with good signal Strength & Quality.

I've been holding off until I get a DBGH built and installed. I'm also going to install a 16/23dB pre-amp. I've been pretty busy to get this done in an expidited manner.
post #45 of 343
Slprp1, I still think the picture is the next best thing to DVD, but I have come to the conclusion that everything else about this unit, indicates a PIECE OF CRAP. The remote is worse than I thought. I mean it's really hard to get it to do ANYTHING. When I push certain buttons, it does the functions of OTHER buttons. Now THIS is bizarre: Even with a GOOD signal, sometimes it starts a stop and go type of thing with the video, THEN the sound can become as much as 5 seconds off from the video. UNBELIEVABLE. And you guessed it! This started happening a couple days ago, which is a few days after the thirty, so now I'll have to send it back to them and blah, blah, blah.

I still don't see any green cast though. ......give it time!

NO LONGER RECOMMENDED!!!
post #46 of 343
After purchasing my DT250, I finally got around to attempting to install it yesterday. The literature says that when it's first powered on, a startup screen will appear. But when I powered it on, no such screen appeared. The remote is OK since I'm able to turn the box off and on with it. The analog pass through works OK, so that would indicate that the connection of the rabbit ears to the DT502 and the coax cable from the DT502 to the TV are connected correctly. I can't figure this one out. Can anyone help? Thanks
post #47 of 343
If you actually have the DT250, that thread is here: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1029215

The DT502 is an updated unit.

You don't necessarily need the "Start-Up Screen." All it does is goes through the "Menu" for you to set certain parameters, that you can do manually, by going through the "Menu" yourself. The first thing you want to do (after you have all the physical connections made) is have the box do a "Channel Scan."

I'd recommend a VHF/UHF antenna, instead of a simple "Rabbit Ears" setup, due to the fact that "Rabbit Ears are designed for VHF and most (if not all) of your DTV channels will be UHF
post #48 of 343
Does the DT502 get as warm as the DT250? Also, is the 502 considered an updated design from the 250 (as in things have been improved upon) or just a different model?

I was in BB today and the look of the boxes seems identical. I know the 50 has the dual signal meter bars...are the readings given a number like the 250?
post #49 of 343
Yes. The DT502 is the next in line, over the DT250. It has a new tuner or RF package, updated software, FULL EPG (still haven't figured out for how many days), and yes the meter reads as a percentage like the DT250.

Automate had this in post #21 of this thread:
Quote:


With my Kill-A-Watt meter the DT250 uses 9 Watts when on and practically zero when off. I am planning on picking up a DT502 when my BB gets them and will see how it compares.

And then this in post #27:
Quote:


DT502 is using 7 watts.

It does seem to operate at a temperature that is higher than my Insignia -APT. I'll compare the APEX DT250, Digital Stream DTX9950, Zinwell ZAT-970A, & RCA DTA800B1 tomorrow.
post #50 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

Yes. The DT502 is the next in line, over the DT250. It has a new tuner or RF package, updated software, FULL EPG (still haven't figured out for how many days), and yes the meter reads as a percentage like the DT250.

Hmm...I own the DT250 and thought it was pretty good...but if the 502 is better I wouldnt mind having it instead. The only thing is it's been several months since I bought it...so theres no way to return, or even exchange it at BB. Man....
post #51 of 343
I checked the DT502 against the Insignia -APT and found that I didn't really notice any difference (to the touch of my palm) with box temperatures, after two hours of being on. I will check the DTX9950 and DTA800B1 later today

I did find that the Zinwell ZAT-970A operated much cooler, but it's power supply is a brick. I like the cleaner interface of the dual meter on the Zinwell better. It also has a smoother operation, while the APEX jumps.
post #52 of 343
After running across some information on another box I'm looking to acquire, I found that the software used in the DT502 appears to be the same as what is used in the Zentech DF2000, GE 22730, Sunkey SK-801ATSC, & the Goodmind DTA1000.

These boxes also have the dual meters. From what I read, the DT502 probably outperforms all these boxes.
post #53 of 343
Looking to buy a conveter box and would like to know if anyone can tell me which box has a better quality picture. The Apex DT502 with S video or the Zenith 901 from what i have read both have a very good quality picture. I like the Zenith because it has a universal remote. If there is not much difference in picture quality between them i will probably go with the zenith.
post #54 of 343
I've not confirmed this yet, but there was a post in the DT250 thread that Best Buy has dropped the price of the APEX $5 to $54.99. You can find a 901 at K-Mart for $49.95. I do get one more channel with the DT502, over the Insignia -APT (901 clone). I have a monitor (but no large screen TV) and I haven't compared them side-by-side, so I don't have a definitive answer to the PQ issue.

The APEX boxes have the following problem:
Quote:


Both remotes are same frequenc as Hughs SD-HBH SATALLITE BOX.


I like the Full EPG that the DT502 has, which the -APT doesn't.

Bottomline, is that my DT502 gets more use than any of the six CECB's I've purchased, including the Zinwell ZAT-970A (which is second), while the -APT is the third most used. The Dual-Meter is very important to me, since I'm 76 miles from the transmitters across 2-edge and on a rotor. The 901 clone is useless for fine-tuning.
post #55 of 343
Thanks systems 2000 for the information on the Apex and zenith CECB'S. It looks like at this point it is just a matter of deciding what features are most important. I have a fixed radio schack HDTV on my roof so tuning is not my main concern though I do have one channel which is 3 that has alot of snow at times on my analog signal. So sensitivity is also one of my concerns because i would like to be able to pull that channel in. Looks at this point like i am leaning more towards the zenith from what i have read since no one seems to think that the S video on the Apex is any better than the composite on the zenith.
post #56 of 343
The channel frequencies that your current stations are on is not the same channel frequencies the digital stations are using. You need to check to see what frequency your channel 3 is using for DTV. It will not be channel 3 and your antenna will have different reception characteristics for that frequency.
post #57 of 343
I posted some pics of the guts of the DT502 here

www.flickr.com/photos/79325787@N00/


they show a Samsung tuner can DTVS22DPH261D

a NANYA MEMORY CHIP NT5DS16M16CS-5T

also RS-232 pads on the board

For comparison there are pics of the DT250 referenced here
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...3#post14257643
post #58 of 343
Wow. That thing could have been so much smaller if the power supply wasn't internal.

The circuit board looks strikingly similar to the Sunkey-801.
post #59 of 343
Quote:
Originally Posted by systems2000 View Post

APEX has done a complete revamp with the DT502!

It appears they have a new RF modulator (the RF jacks are reversed from the DT250) and they've got a completely new software package for all functions and EPG (Simple & Full with reminder). There is a new signal bar setup with both Strength & Quality. I'm so liking this box so much that I'm going to try to exchange my DT250 ASAP!

It appears that we may have a new champion in the CECB competition!

NOTE: The remote problem with the DT250 appears to have been fixed with the DT502.

I stated on another thread that when I tried to buy the 502 on the www.shop-apex.com website, it showed I could get $10 off using my expired coupon code but there was no link the that model, only the DT250/ I called the customer support number, told that the DT502 buy link and product information should be up later today. BTW, I saw the same model online at Circuit City

Saldisk
post #60 of 343
QUESTIONS:

(1) Is it true this APEX coupon-eligible box has a Timer to automagically change channels at set times?

(2) If yes, how is the clock set? Manually? (I hope.)

(3) Where's the cheapest place online to buy one of these boxes?
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