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Has anyone tried the new Apex DT504?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Recently, when I was in a local BestBuy, I saw the new Apex DT504 for sale. It is also listed on their website, but it is not on the apexdigitalinc.com or kcpi.us site.

I like my Apex DT502 for antenna work because of the dual signal bars; the signal strength readings are very consistent, with about 3/4 dB per step.

I don't like that fact that the 502 doesn't allow a channel to be added after scan, and that it has trouble with ION stations (white screen with lockup which requires power OFF to reset). My SONY KDL22L5000 and Centronics ZAT502HD don't have any trouble with that ION station and are able to add a channel after scan (which is not the same as editing the channel list after scan).

I'm wondering if the 504 has corrected these deficiencies.
post #2 of 9
Interesting. I'm surprised any of these companies have continued development on US boxes. Best Buy wants a pretty penny fot this one ($60).

I noticed Best Buy states "Compatible with most analog televisions and recording devices" leading me to wonder if it has a VCR timer? (I don't recall if the older models had that feature).

Is your ION station VHF or UHF?

I don't know if this will help but my Zinwells update scan in a 'hidden' fashion: In Auto Scan it asks if I want to delete the existing channels, I press No and it update scans; this isn't mentioned in the manual, I discovered it by accident. What's weird is it has a Manual Scan mode too.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Is your ION station VHF or UHF?

My ION station 49.1 is on UHF real channel 46 out of the Norfolk area. Same problem with about eight 502s that I was able to check. Also, there was a post on another forum about someone who had the same problem with their 502. My conclusion is that it's a design fault, but there must be something different about the ION signal. Trip checked with the engineer, but he wasn't able to offer an explanation.

I had a Zinwell. It's a nice box, but the signal strength readings are not as consistent as the ones from the Apex (I like to make measurements). I gave it to a friend who sells cars; he wasn't doing too well during the recession.
post #4 of 9
Well VHF isn't the issue (was suspicious of the way tuning has to be band-split by the box's tuner). My ION (D/FW) is on RF 42 with the main at 720p and two subs at 480i. I do have a harder time picking it up on one TV that is on a portable loop antenna as it appears they transmit at lower power than the mainstay stations here (all at same general transmission locale).

Yeah I was just throwing out the Zinwell example in that maybe an update scan method is hidden like I described. I've been watching Craigslist here to pick up one of those 502s on the cheap, then sell off an extra Zinwell, so interested in this here 504 topic (although it'll probably be awhile before those become cheap).
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floydage View Post

Interesting. I'm surprised any of these companies have continued development on US boxes. Best Buy wants a pretty penny fot this one ($60)...

Sixty dollars was the usual price for a digital converter box when they all first came out. It was the $40 coupon that took a bite off each purchase, lowering the out of pocket price to about $20.

I remember how we all thought they'd be "free" after the coupons, and about a week before the date on which all the suppliers were to start selling them, suddenly all the prices went up about $20, making the "free" ones $20 boxes, and any that weren't bought with coupons "a bit" higher than the expected $40 price.
post #6 of 9
Indeed, what a crock, like the oil speculators in a stock bull market.

$60 these days seems high unless it's in the top tier (ex: ChannelMaster) when I look around and see other prices (~$40). Even Best Buy lists an AccessHD for $35. Maybe it is although I've heard Apex 250s are unreliable junk (but some good rec's for the 502s on these threads).

I think if I was going to spend that much I would look into the TRT; on paper looks to be the ultimate box but not much user feedback to be had. Durable CM-looking contruction on the outside too.
post #7 of 9
I'm interested in hearing about the ION stations.
The only issue I've had with the TRT is the guide taking a hit from ION and resetting the sub stations from ION that I've deleted.
Finally removed it from the list and no issues since.
The engineer here has no clue why.

The Channelmaster seems slightly more sensitive than the TRT.
We've had a lot of bad weather, so I've been going back and forth from one to the other sometimes.
There are times the TRT does better.
It recovers quicker and better after a hit too.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by THX-1138 View Post

The only issue I've had with the TRT is the guide taking a hit from ION and resetting the sub stations from ION that I've deleted.

I have weird stuff of a similar nature regarding subs in general on my Zinwells (which appears to be a Zinwell software flaw). My solution has been to put the subs in Skip mode within the Favorites menu so at least when I channel surf they get skipped over.
post #9 of 9
That might work.
The TRT has so many options for programming, I haven't even explored them all.
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