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Centronics ZAT 502 HD / RTC DTA1100HD / Digiwave DTV5000HD

post #1 of 481
Thread Starter 
They are shipping now and I should have it in my hands on Wednesday...I'll post a mini review after that.


Moderators Note: Please note all 3 units, Centronics ZAT 502 HD / RTC DTA1100HD / Digiwave DTV5000HD, are identical.
post #2 of 481
Please do. Thanks.
post #3 of 481
Thread Starter 

Simple Guide

Signal Bars

Screen Aspect Ratio Setup

Parental Controls

Simple Guide

Remote

HD (with sidebars)

SD (with sidebars)

SD (full stretch mode)

SD (center stretch mode)

Channel Scan Modes
post #4 of 481
Can you tell us about the guide? Fast? How far does it go out into the future?

Where did you get it from?

Cost?
post #5 of 481
post #6 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Can you tell us about the guide? Fast? How far does it go out into the future?

Where did you get it from?

Cost?

It really doesn't have a guide when viewing HD material. You can bring it up and it will have an area where it should be but...just gives ratings.
I'm using component for my 1080i maybe that has something to do with it. I will check it out in further detail for you.

http://www.centronics.com/
post #7 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by douglas-b View Post

It has screen adjustment for those wanting to use it as a converter box on a 4:3 screen.

Does it have an uneven, non-linear, "just"-type stretch option for 4:3 material (what people sometimes call "the fun house mirror effect"), or just an even, linear one?
post #8 of 481
Thread Starter 
Yea, it looks better if you don't stretch it. I can snap a few pics if you'd like.
post #9 of 481
That'd be excellent. It looks like the PQ is pretty good in general from your other pics so far.
post #10 of 481
Thread Starter 
HD quality looks great. I have had the set ISF calibrated though.
post #11 of 481
How's the general build quality? Can you add singular channels without having to do an "add-on" scan?
post #12 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

How's the general build quality? Can you add singular channels without having to do an "add-on" scan?

Build quality seems good...metal case...it is little though.

Yes, you can add single channels if you know the frequency they are broadcast on...or the analog channel (antennaweb) is how I did it.
post #13 of 481
Thread Starter 
[quote=ken h;16231790]can you tell us about the guide? Fast? How far does it go out into the future?

Where did you get it from?
post #14 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Does it have an uneven, non-linear, "just"-type stretch option for 4:3 material (what people sometimes call "the fun house mirror effect"), or just an even, linear one?

Depending how you do it in the inital setup...if you choose 16:9 you can not stretch HD material but you can zoom SD. If you choose 4:3 you can zoom HD and SD material is already zoomed. I have no idea why but you just have to figure out what you want to zoom or not zoom.
post #15 of 481
How's the remote?
post #16 of 481
Thread Starter 
The remote is alright but I use a Harmony H659 and I was impressed they already had the codes so I could use it instead.
post #17 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by douglas-b View Post

Set up was straight forward and I had no difficulties in doing it. I set my rotor toward Fort Wayne and did a "Auto Scan". After that I used the "Manual Scan" so it wouldn't delete the previous channels it had just added. This receiver is sensitive and does a very good job of locking on to channels.
It has a "Signal Quality" and "Signal Strength" bars for tuning a station in better.

I've only had it for 12 hours and I'm very glad I bought it. For the price I paid for it...it's a steal for what it does. Having a older Mitts. without a tuner, I had to have something to get my HD again after canceling my Dish Network subscription. Now I've got it. If you have any specific questions, just ask and I'll do my best to answer. If you need a HD tuner...buy it, you'll be happy.

Thanks for posting the screen shot of the dual signal bars, which interest me because they are so helpful when finding the best location and aim for an antenna. It looks a lot like the Apex DT502 screen. Is that a coincidence or is there a connection between Apex and Centronics?
The ability to add a channel after scan puts it one-up on the Apex even disregarding the HD.

Is there a link for a PDF manual yet?

Update 3-9-2012:
Since the link to the photo of the dual signal bars that douglas-b took is broken, I am putting it in an attachment below. It is much better than the one I took (which is why I saved it), and I hope that he will not mind.
LL
post #18 of 481
Thread Starter 
I never found a PDF one either.
post #19 of 481
Does it have event timer functionality so that it can working with recording devices (eg, DVDR)? Short of that, any idea on its compatibility with IR blasters?

Thanks.


_Lazza
post #20 of 481
Hmm, now I'm wondering if I should get the 502 or get a Samsung.

Which would be better if I did not want any black bars to appear when watching SD content? I've got a plasma and not a fan of those black bars.
post #21 of 481
After encountering a problem with my ZAT501HD I was offered an "upgrade" to the 502 by Centronics. I have to say that it is somewhat of a mixed bag as to which of those two is better.

ZAT502 v. ZAT501
+ better tuner (Samsung module vs. Thomson in the 501) gave me a few more channels
+ HDMI passes audio (the problem with my 501)
+ Dolby (but apparently only on the optical SPDIF out - mine only passes PCM over HDMI)
+ simplified setup and menus (the 501 was overly complex and sometimes undecipherable)
+ S video output
- cannot delete channels !
- no favorite channels function
- less detailed on screen guide
- no timer function (although I never used it on the 501)
- no VGA display port
- no serial port for software updates

As to it's screen filling zoom abilities, if a station is transmitting HD resolution none of the zoom modes will remove the left & right bars on 4:3 program content with the Screen Ratio set to 16:9.

So, unless your display has a zoom mode that will do it you will need to configure your ZAT502 Screen Ratio to 4:3. Then "Center" mode will stretch and remove the bars on 4:3 ratio SD program content and "Full" will provide proper screen fill for 16:9 HD content.
post #22 of 481
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mousse View Post

Hmm, now I'm wondering if I should get the 502 or get a Samsung.

Which would be better if I did not want any black bars to appear when watching SD content? I've got a plasma and not a fan of those black bars.


Good luck with that...they don't make it anymore. (Samsung) The places that said they had it wouldn't return my emails and they wanted like $250 for it.
post #23 of 481
http://www.centralsatellite.com/productview-428.html
$85.50 and out of stock

http://www.summitsource.com/product_...te_banner_id=1
$89.95 and out of stock


Aren't they supposed to be available by now, and for $70.
post #24 of 481
Centronics says their next shipment from China is supposed to arrive this Monday (in fact, their web site is already trumpeting its availability). It's also cheaper ordering directly from them then from Central or Summit:
ZAT502 HD at Centronics

But good luck finding a 502 for $70, shipped prices now are nearing $100 and up....
post #25 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by douglas-b View Post

Good luck with that...they don't make it anymore. (Samsung) The places that said they had it wouldn't return my emails and they wanted like $250 for it.

There are plenty of DTB-H260F receivers on eBay, occasionally even some new ones (there's one there now). But bidding is also pretty active. Currently there's also a new one listed at VideogoN.
post #26 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhard911 View Post

ZAT502 v. ZAT501
+ better tuner (Samsung) gave me a few more channels

I am confused. Does this mean you find the Samsung's tuner better than both the Centronics, or that the 502 is better than the 501 and the Samsung, or ????
post #27 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenoicus View Post

I am confused. Does this mean you find the Samsung's tuner better than both the Centronics, or that the 502 is better than the 501 and the Samsung, or ????

Sorry for the confusion. I was only comparing the Centronics models. The tuner module in the 502 is made by Samsung while the 501 had one supplied by Thomson.
post #28 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhard911 View Post

...The tuner module in the 502 is made by Samsung while the 501 had one supplied by Thomson.

Thanks for the clarification. So how does the 502's module differ from the one Samsung itself used in its own and now defunct DTB-H260F? Rammitinski speculated in the DTB-H260F thread that the ZAT502 might have a 6th gen chipset. Does it?
post #29 of 481
Sorry, I do not know the answer to either question but I think it is safe to assume that the 502 does have a later generation tuner than the 501.
post #30 of 481
I ordered my Centronics ZAT502 HD on Monday 5-11-09 and it arrived on Wednesday.

Preliminary testing shows that its sensitivity equals the Apex DT502. I used the attenuator-to-dropout method as described in the link in my signature.

The dual bar display looks just like the one on the Apex. I was able to add a channel after scan, which the Apex can't do---an important feature for the DXer or someone located between two cities.

My primary interest is in boxes that have signal strength AND signal quality bars to use as a measurement tool. Good sensitivity is also important to me because my signals aren't very strong.
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