Originally Posted by mr100watt
Are you saying that the Apex and CM-7000 both display about the same amount of future program listing that the Pal Plus EPG does?
If that's the case, then why would a person with common tv needs choose the Pal Plus over those?
I had read in posts that the Pal Plus display grid allows more programs/stations to be viewed at one glance.
The "hard to read" onscreen display of the Channel Master - is that for everything, or just captions? I thought that a user could adjust the font size on the Channel Master cc.
Rammitinski - you mentioned that you have both the CM and PP CECB, but find that the CM EPG is at least if not more as informative as the PP. I thought the CM just does a 7 hour program rundown. If that's the case, then you are saying that the 7 day EPG on the PP just contains blocks of "no information available" for 6 out of the 7 day listings? Has anyone else had this lack of programming information? With the one day listing on the PP, haven't you found it easier to program your VCR for taping on more than one station at different times?
The "reminder" feature on the Apex turns on the CECB to the selected station if it was previously in the "powered off" mode? Any problem with the heat factor on the newer sets?
Given that both the Apex and the CM have an S-video jack, is the advantage of the CM due to its better overall picture and reception? Once the major stations go digital, I would not have a need for the analog pass through feature.
Now I have second thoughts on the Pal Plus. It it does, indeed, offer a better EPG, I would prefer it over the others that just do a 7 to 12 hour program listing. I wonder if after the June digital changeover, if the stations will provide more extensive program listings vs. the current status.
Everything on the CM is pretty small, so if your TV's small, it will take a little straining, for sure. You can adjust the font a bit, but it still remains small (and it could stand to be a bit sharper, on top of it). The closed-captions don't seem as bad as the menu and guide font - at least to me. I have a 32" analog that I use it on, and it's all fine to me, from about 10 feet away. (Lettering in the actual picture is sharp, as is the PQ in general.)
The CM is often regarded as having the best sensitivity by many, but it without question has the best PQ (using s-video). So the main reason I'd recommend that one in your case is if you want the absolute best PQ.
All I really meant by the CM having more info than the Pal occasionally was that the Pal doesn't give 7-full days of info. Very rarely, if ever, actually. You often don't get any more than you do with the CM. I don't know if that's area-dependent or what, but others have reported similar findings. That can vary among channels, though. It is widely believed that the stations will put more effort into the PSIP guide info after the analog cutoff is complete.
With the reminder feature on the Apex, you can only set "one-time" recordings - meaning no daily, weekly, etc.
I use my recorder's IR blaster to change the channels on my boxes, so I don't have to rely on timers. The CM is probably the best and easiest to work with to use that way.
But for a box with timers, the Zinwell is usually recommended as the top choice. Only thing is, it doesn't have much of a guide. The later versions of the Pal are more reliable, timer-wise than the earlier ones, so chances are you won't have too many problems.
The Pal has no ventilation at all, so that could be an issue for longevity.
If you really want that guide, I'd just get the Pal Plus and be done with it. You can view a few channels at a time on it, like you say. The PQ is just adequate, but on a smaller TV it looks fine. It's not a bad box when all is working right.
The guide on the CM is not bad at all - it's better than most, actually - it's just that in order to view the info for the different channels, you have to actually change the channels with it.
My F105 Pal is just a non-"Plus" version - but it's been mostly OK. I don't know that much about the Apex's behavior.