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Centronics ZAT 502 HD / RTC DTA1100HD / Digiwave DTV5000HD - Page 14

post #391 of 481
Hot Tip: Right now this unit (in it's RTC DTA1100HD form) is available for a Best Offer of $35 plus $20 s&h from RTC's ebay store

h--p://stores.ebay.com/rtcelectronicscorp
post #392 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post

I attached some manual pages for the Centronics to my post #69 of this thread. Will that help?
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post16657487

rabbit73:

I did see those pics in tbe earlier post. I was not able to find a complete manual. I brought the unit back.
post #393 of 481
I just bought the Electronic Master version of this product, and have it connected to my HDTV (Toshiba 52HMX94) via HDMI. I am only able to get a picture when I set the "HD/SD" setting to 480i (if I click the "HD/SD" button on the remote twice, the TV screen is blank each time. The 3rd time I push the button, I see a "480i" label flash, then the picture returns).

I thought I read in one post that the TV had to be set to display 1080i, however I see no such setting for my TV, and my Blu-Ray player displays HD with no setting adjustment on the other HDMI input (it seems to display whatever is sent to it).

One other detail: on the Setup->Screen Setting page, it says at the bottom "Current Video is 1080i Display Output is 480i" That seems to confirm that the signal is an HD signal.

How can the 720P and 1080i signals from the tuner not be compatible with an HDTV that plays other HD content without a problem?
post #394 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranelch View Post

I just bought the Electronic Master version of this product, and have it connected to my HDTV (Toshiba 52HMX94) via HDMI. I am only able to get a picture when I set the "HD/SD" setting to 480i (if I click the "HD/SD" button on the remote twice, the TV screen is blank each time. The 3rd time I push the button, I see a "480i" label flash, then the picture returns).

I thought I read in one post that the TV had to be set to display 1080i, however I see no such setting for my TV, and my Blu-Ray player displays HD with no setting adjustment on the other HDMI input (it seems to display whatever is sent to it).

One other detail: on the Setup->Screen Setting page, it says at the bottom "Current Video is 1080i Display Output is 480i" That seems to confirm that the signal is an HD signal.

How can the 720P and 1080i signals from the tuner not be compatible with an HDTV that plays other HD content without a problem?

How long does it take for your TV to recognize a new video mode and switch to it?
I have my ZAT502HD connected via HDMI and have no trouble with 1080i output.
I just played with the HD/SD(set) button on my system. It takes about 5 seconds of black screen before my monitor recognizes the change and starts displaying a picture.
post #395 of 481
I am guessing here, but since your TV is a 720p DLP, it may be having trouble with a 1080i signal (although it really should be able to handle it).

I would suggest setting the output resolution of the tuner to 720p. I would guess your Blu-Ray player is probably set to auto and matching the TV's native 720p.

If that doesn't help I would try swapping HDMI inputs on the TV between the tuner and Blu-ray player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tranelch View Post

I just bought the Electronic Master version of this product, and have it connected to my HDTV (Toshiba 52HMX94) via HDMI. I am only able to get a picture when I set the "HD/SD" setting to 480i (if I click the "HD/SD" button on the remote twice, the TV screen is blank each time. The 3rd time I push the button, I see a "480i" label flash, then the picture returns).

I thought I read in one post that the TV had to be set to display 1080i, however I see no such setting for my TV, and my Blu-Ray player displays HD with no setting adjustment on the other HDMI input (it seems to display whatever is sent to it).

One other detail: on the Setup->Screen Setting page, it says at the bottom "Current Video is 1080i Display Output is 480i" That seems to confirm that the signal is an HD signal.

How can the 720P and 1080i signals from the tuner not be compatible with an HDTV that plays other HD content without a problem?
post #396 of 481
Thank you gerhard911 and DAP for your suggestions. It was the suggestion to swap HDMI inputs that led to the discovery that the HDMI cable was bad. Both HDMI inputs on the TV worked at all resolutions when using the cable from the blu-ray player.

Just in time to watch the Super Bowl in HD--Thanks again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhard911 View Post

I am guessing here, but since your TV is a 720p DLP, it may be having trouble with a 1080i signal (although it really should be able to handle it).

I would suggest setting the output resolution of the tuner to 720p. I would guess your Blu-Ray player is probably set to auto and matching the TV's native 720p.

If that doesn't help I would try swapping HDMI inputs on the TV between the tuner and Blu-ray player.
post #397 of 481
I just ordered one from RTC. Sounds like with the help of this thread, I should get it going pretty easily. Thanks guys!
post #398 of 481
This tuner really works well, but I can't find any way to delete channels I don't want. Surely there's a way.
post #399 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbshelton View Post

This tuner really works well, but I can't find any way to delete channels I don't want. Surely there's a way.

Nope. One of the frustrating quirks of the 502.
post #400 of 481
I would have absolutely no use at all for a tuner like this then. I'm in the third largest market in the country, and there are tons of channels I'd need to block out.

Glad somebody mentioned this again, more recently here, because I missed it the first time around.
post #401 of 481
I've considered trying to reset the device and then adding only the channels I want manually. Would this work?
post #402 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerhard911 View Post

Nope. One of the frustrating quirks of the 502.

I bought one of these units to replace a Samsung DTB tuner. Had I known it did not offer the ability to delete unwanted channels after a scan, I would not have purchased it. I have to wade through many, many channels to find the very few I watch.

What the heck were they thinking when they left out this functionality???



I have tried three brands of tuners -

Samsung DTB - will not handshake with receiver via HDMI; no longer in production

PrimeDTV - PHD8VX - HDMI output was dysfunctional; company would not refund full price for a DOA unit

Centronics 502 - missing fundamental functionality to delete unwanted channels


Overall, this industry situation is pretty pathetic (I do not mean that in a good way).
post #403 of 481
My theory is that the market for stand-alone ATSC tuners is incredibly small. Because there are so few customers, the number of options to choose from is limited and the devices are rather poor compared to other mass-produced electronic components.

TVs come with built in tuners. This leaves just people with old TVs or those using a projector. Projector equipped people tend to have cable or DVR/tivo boxes because they're able and willing to spend money on home theater stuff. Old TV people tend to buy cheap "converter boxes" instead of the quality units us AVSers tend to be interested in.

That leaves just a few of us. For instance, my home theater uses a projector but I don't have cable/satellite/fios-TV. Instead I use antennas in the attic, network based TV tuners, blu-ray, and video streaming from a variety of sources. While I love this setup and it costs me nothing on a monthly basis, it is definitely not common.

Of all the electronics and computer gear in my home, this ATSC tuner is by far the crappiest in terms of quality and user experience. It sticks out like a sore thumb. It feels like I'm interacting with a cheap DOS based computer from the late 1980s. And that's being generous. The picture quality is great. But everything else, to be honest, just plain sucks. I'd buy another model If I knew of one that was better. Unfortunately, I know of no better alternatives.
post #404 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

My theory is that the market for stand-alone ATSC tuners is incredibly small. Because there are so few customers, the number of options to choose from is limited and the devices are rather poor compared to other mass-produced electronic components.
.

This holds true especially because cable and satellite companies are encrypting most of their content these days. I bought the PHD 205 for my projector, but only get a handful of stations. Comcast wants $7 a month for an HD box, but that's not going to happen. In fact I'll soon be OTA and Online content only. I find it absurd to spend $60+ a month for TV when I only watch a handful of stations. I was only watching History, Discovery, Food Network, Animal Planet and Fox News. All the local news and stations I get OTA.
post #405 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I've considered trying to reset the device and then adding only the channels I want manually. Would this work?

1. Yes, do a scan and watch during the scan (when it adds to the channels-found total) to find out what channels are actually used for the ones you want.
2. Erase that scan from memory.
3. Go to manual scan and enter the ones you want, one by one, by channel/freq.

Manual is also used to add channels to a previous scan without erasing the previous channels found when you are aiming your antenna in a different direction. It's also used by DXers when they are waiting for a channel to come in during tropo events.
post #406 of 481
For my set up, which would you recommend, a used DTB-H260F or a new DTA 1100HD?

They are about the same price.

I plan to use it with a 720P LCD monitor with a DVI and a 800x600 DLP projector also with a DVI. I also have a 5.1 audio receiver and 5 speakers.

Thanks!
post #407 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinegroove View Post

For my set up, which would you recommend, a used DTB-H260F or a new DTA 1100HD?

The newer, DTA 1100HD, easily. The difference between the 5th and 6th generation reception chips is appreciable.

The Samsungs are also known to start developing problems after a year or two (mine did, and there are other reports here), so I don't know if I'd take a chance on a used one at this point, when there are newer models available (they're both pretty cheaply-built, but at least the 1100HD would be brand new).

Unless you're so infatuated with the "advanced program guide" of the Samsung that you have to have it (and there are people like that, as evidenced by the popularity of the DTVPal CECB, which was a buggy, mediocre-PQ'ed POJ otherwise, even when compared to a lot of the other CECB's), there really isn't any other advantage to going with it.

You did check ebay for that DTA 1100HD, right? It's cheapest there, as far as I last checked.
post #408 of 481
+1, it's also been reported that the much older Sammy is also starting to have premature capacitor failure. Samsung has been very good on repairing or giving credit for bad tuners but it's still a reason to go with something newer.
post #409 of 481
I just thought of something else - the Sammy at least has the ability to delete subchannels - the 1100HD/Centronics doesn't. That would be a deal-killer for me on the 1100HD (as this is the 3rd hugest market in the US, and we have tons of crap subchannels here), but I still wouldn't go with a used Sammy instead.
post #410 of 481
Thank you for your replies. I have seen the DTA 1100HD on ebay for about $75, originating in Canada.
Is that reasonable?
post #411 of 481
Yeah - $55 + $20 shipping is probably the cheapest you're going to find it. Other models are $100 and up.
post #412 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Yeah - $55 + $20 shipping is probably the cheapest you're going to find it. Other models are $100 and up.

Looks like they jacked it up on ebay to $80 + $20 shipping and did not even respond to an offer. Guess I will wait to buy since no rush for me.
post #413 of 481
Also note that the item is being shipped from Canada, where currently the postal service is (and has been for a couple of weeks) on a strike. It's not clear when postal service will become available again.
post #414 of 481
I bought a ZAT 502 from Centronics earlier in the week and had it shipped from the east cost to the midwest in 3 days. Ordered online with a credit card. It was packaged well and I called their toll free line ahead of time to make sure it was in stock. Bought it to use with an old 32" CRT with component inputs (4:3 480i) on a WOW system that just made the switch to digital (Clear QAM). It works perfect out of the box. The remote has a learn procedure to learn the volume, channel, and on/off signals from the native TV remote.

I just want to relate my experience and recommend the unit and Centronics to you guys. I also recommend supporting Wide Open West (WOW) if you have it in your area as they are the only ones broadcasting digital basic channels unencrypted (Clear QAM) which allows you to use a ZAT 502 or a PC tuner card without having to rent any additional hardware for your older TV's. I believe locals are broadcast in HD too, but the ZAT 502 converts them to SD (4:3 480i) for the CRT I am using it with.
post #415 of 481
My 502 just gave up the ghost, went belly up. I was less than five months old.

So far, I have tried a Centronics 502, a Samsung DTB and a PrimeDTV. All three were defective out of the box (Samsung, PrimeDTV) or have failed within six months (Centronics).

Having lived with it for a few months, the Centronics unit is hard to recommend. It worked, sort of, but was very rudimentary (i.e., no ability to delete unused channel after a channel scan is run) and has now failed.

Does anyone make a truly superior product with a good warranty and that's fully-functional?
post #416 of 481
I bought my Samsung DTB-H260F new in Dec. 2008 and it is still working good. I use it everyday and I enjoy it. I turn it off when I'm not using it. But I wouldn't recommend buying a used one because there is no telling what kind of shape its in.

Its a shame they no longer make the Samsung DTB-H260F. Maybe you can try the Channelmaster 7000 HD DVR that works with OTA. My mom bought the DTV Pal DVR in 2009 and its still working good.
post #417 of 481
I'm planning to drop cable and use OTA, and have one TV that is "HDTV ready", so need a tuner. It appears that this box is my best choice (out of very few), as I'd like to use HDMI. I currently plug my cable box and PS3 into my receiver, then use an HDMI to DVI cable from the receiver to my TV. From reading the thread there seems to be a problem with sound over HDMI, but I can use optical if needed.

One question - does anyone know why all the places (that I could find) offering these units at a discount are in Canada? I'm not concerned about ordering from them (I plan to) - I'm just curious.
post #418 of 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcsmith View Post

I'm planning to drop cable and use OTA, and have one TV that is "HDTV ready", so need a tuner. It appears that this box is my best choice (out of very few), as I'd like to use HDMI. I currently plug my cable box and PS3 into my receiver, then use an HDMI to DVI cable from the receiver to my TV. From reading the thread there seems to be a problem with sound over HDMI, but I can use optical if needed.

One question - does anyone know why all the places (that I could find) offering these units at a discount are in Canada? I'm not concerned about ordering from them (I plan to) - I'm just curious.

Not sure why they are all in Canada, but I have another solution. After the price went up for the box, I ended up purchasing an USB HD tuner stick for less than $50 to use with my laptop. Now I can watch OTA channels on any of my TVs through my laptop HDMI output. (Just make sure you have a fast laptop.)

Also I placed an amplified OTA antenna in the garage and connected it to the the old cable line that goes to all of the outlets in the house. The USB HD tuner only picks up a few stations by itself, but when connected to the amplified antenna I get almost all of the stations in the area.
post #419 of 481
Has anyone used the HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner (Network Attached) HDHR3-US (Black) by SiliconDust?

It looks like it can be used as just a tuner, but also allow you to use your computer to record shows etc.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...m-_-15-345-007
post #420 of 481
It is a network based TV tuner and is an excellent product. However, it is a completely different device than the stand-alone tuners being discussed in this thread.

Keep in mind that it does nothing by itself and cannot be connected to a TV. The only output is an ethernet jack. It is only usable via a computer and that computer must have TV tuning software installed.
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