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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got this new Zenith box last night. I'm under nondiscloser, but the trial hasn't actually started yet.


The PBS “Scientific American Frontiers†program will carry ‘enhanced contents’ as specified in the Advanced TV Enhancement Forum (ATVEF)

delivered, over the air, to the household Digital TV set-top boxes deployed in participating PBS station areas prior to the actual airing of the program. The purpose of the PBS Trial is to educate, promote and further the use of interactivity in

over-the-air digital TV broadcast.


The box has an obnoxiously loud fan, and quite to my surprise, does not pick up digital signals as well as the DTC-100 (what happened to Zenith's killer next generation set top box reception technology?). The box actually has RGB (VGA) out, and component out for HD display. Doesn't do 720P. Can't wait to see the data casting stuff...
 

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The Zenith website clearly states that the box DOES do 720p. Maybe you don't have the fullscale version of this box. Look at the Zenith website and click on DTV1080, it's very clear.
 

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Just curious, but if you're under a NDA then why are you posting? Doesn't sound like much of an NDA!


Mike
 

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Now now Bob, there you go again. Most of us absolutely LOVE our Zeniths. I wish every manufacturer of electronics made units of this quality. I'd gladly be "screwed" as you put it, for this kind of quality.
 

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Why does making people sign NDA's screw the American Consumer/Investor?


Based on your comments, it sounds like you rode your stock into the dirt along with alot of other people.


I don't defend the actions of LGE and I do agree that it appears that they engineered the whole buyout fiasco, but that doesn't imply that the reason why TraderGordo's box doesn't do exactly what the website says is a conspiracy against stupid Americans by the Koreans...


Geez...
 

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NDA's have one purpose: to prevent negative info to be released to the public. It's SOP for Zenith/LGE in all phases of their continual acts of deception upon the American consumer and investor.


 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The box has a switch on the back -- the choices are 480i, 480p, and 1080i.


The NDA only says I'm not to talk about the PBS Trial or the user experience to the press (and its quite explicit about what the press is).


Here is a copy of the NDA:


Non-Disclosure Agreement

1) The digital TV set-top box to be used during the PBS Trial contains proprietary information belonging to LG Electronics Inc., the parent company of Triveni and Zenith Electronics Corporation,


2) The nature of this PBS Trial is such that Household is not at liberty to discuss the PBS Trial or the user experience to the press, e.g., reporters from newspapers, magazines or TV stations, or to companies other than PBS, PBS member stations, LG Electronics, Triveni or Zenith Electronics Corp., unless such permission is explicitly granted to

Household by Triveni,


3) Household agrees to return the digital TV set-top box and associated material back to Triveni, without delay, when requested. Household is encouraged to keep original packing material for this purpose.

The purpose of the PBS Trial is to educate, promote and further the use of interactivity in over-the-air digital TV broadcast, therefore it is to be expected that the Household may be asked to share the experience during the PBS Trial with fellow Households or with other constituents of the PBS Trial.


By signing below the Household agrees to abide by above terms and makes this Non-Disclosure

Agreement effective as of the date indicated herein,


Signature: _____________________________ Date: _________________
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also, just spoke to their engineer, who says "It is known that this particular STB has lower sensitivity compared to other DTV receivers"
 

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Trader,

This is not the DirecTV STB due out in the summer. I say that because the website is very clear that this box ALSO outputs 720p which yours does not. So I'm not sure which box you have.
 

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Yep, that's LGE SOP. Also, looks like they haven't figured out how to include 720p although they say otherwise. This ain't your daddy's Zenith where "Quality goes in before the name goes on". It's a new era at Zenith run by the Koo clan of LGE deceivers.
 

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I disagree with your statement.


A NDA gives a company a legal remedy when a person privy to confidential business information uses poor judgement in keeping that information confidential.


NDA's are used in my business in an attempt to protect our technology from our competitors.


If this beta is only to test the interactive features of PBS, why does the box need to do 720p? Why does it even need to support 480p or 1080i? Why not just use the S-Video outputs with 480i? It is a work in progress, nothing more, nothing less...

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Utne:
NDA's have one purpose: to prevent negative info to be released to the public. It's SOP for Zenith/LGE in all phases of their continual acts of deception upon the American consumer and investor.

 

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Bob said
Quote:
This ain't your daddy's Zenith where "Quality goes in before the name goes on". It's a new era at Zenith run by the Koo clan of LGE deceivers.
Bob, give it a rest. Doesn't it occur to you that maybe this isn't their consumer ATSC receiver and instead is a special interactive-capable prototype they made available for testing? Don't you think it may have slightly different capabilities including perhaps a less refined tuner section and lack of 720P?


Sheesh. Some people are impossible.


------------------

Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author


[This message has been edited by Rich Peterson (edited 03-21-2001).]
 

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OK, to confirm what others have said and put to bed any concerns Bob and others have raised about Zenith's upcoming consumer receiver, I was just sent this from an engineer involved in the project who is responsible for getting units set up and working at several sites. He says:

Quote:
Zenith says these prototypes were done quickly, and have degraded sensitivity because they have not been optimized for the new improved 8VSB decoder.


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Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author


[This message has been edited by Rich Peterson (edited 03-21-2001).]


[This message has been edited by Rich Peterson (edited 03-21-2001).]
 

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Rich,

I can guarantee you that no matter how logical your arguments are and no matter how well documented your facts may be, you will NEVER get through to Bob. It would appear that Zenith took Bob's first born (or his last dollar). With all his hatred, I'd hate to put a blood pressure cuff on him.
 

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The NDA is question has nothing to do with Zenith. Zenith is just the box being used for the test. The NDA is with another company.


Chris
 

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I generally don't think it is a good idea to post about something which I am under an NDA about. While it may not be in the letter of the agreement, I think the idea of an NDA is basically not to disclose info about anything to anyone. That said, I wanted to put out another perspective. From what I have found, no mention of the model number of this test unit can be found at the Zenith web site, so I doubt very much this is even a prototype for a future retail device. There are a LOT of features missing or unpolished that would be included in any finished DTV STB by any company. If anything that is close to what is being used in the trial is actually offered as a retail product I will be very surprised. Rich's quote from the Zenith engineer makes a lot of sense from my experience with the unit. It feels like something "whipped together" just for this particular purpose.


The unpolishedness aside though, the unit has essentially worked as advertised and I really couldn't use this unit to bash Zenith. Everyone should wait until they offer an STB to the retail market to decide if their STBs will be worthy or not, not the specs of this phantom unit. TraderGordo, I am not sure what you were expecting out of the trial, but it was readily apparent to me that we had an unfinished product on our hands as soon as I got it. To post the specs and open them up for debate was unfair to Zenith, PBS, and Triveni Digital, and frankly violated at least the spirit, if not the letter, of the NDA - IMHO. As far as I know there are no ATVEF receivers out there, and this test is oriented more towards the content providers, then the CE manufacturers so it isn't too surprising that we got what we did. I too am looking forward to see how PBS uses interactive TV, but I don't plan to post about it or the STB anymore. I hope my fellow testers who are on AVS respect the NDA and don't post either.


Just my 2 cents.


--Andrew
 

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Interesting that Zenith was the developer of the original 8-VSB encoder/decoder but in about ten years of development efforts has yet to sell a STB. How many more "prototypes" will the need to make one that works?


LGE did its best to decimate the Zenith engineering and design staff and now all that is apparently left are LGE engineers in Korea trying to figure out how to make 8-VSB work. They know that if they don't, LGE will lose billions of dollars in future 8-VSB royalties paid by US consumers.


All the NDAs, political influence and behind the scene power plays in the world may assure that the US stays with 8-VSB and that the average American TV viewer is forced to watch crappy NTSC quality for a few more decades.
 

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Bob, not only are you out of control, but you are factually INACCURATE! Your accuracy in this area is right up there with the accuracy of you're COFDM posts on this and other websites.


Zenith DID make an 8VSB set top box which was readily available for sale. As a matter of fact, it was considered an extremely high quality box which outperformed anything else out there at the time. Their technology goes into EVERY STB regardless of manufacturer. So, I'd suggest you get your facts straight because it thoroughly demeans the validity of any arguments you attempt to make. Your hatred for this company makes your thought process very suspect. I'd suggest you get over COFDM and move on OR move to another country that has it.
 

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The upcoming Zenith consumer ATSC receiver is supposed to have a more advanced tuner than anything currently on the market today. Will it really perform better? I am hopeful, but time and again manufacturers have made promises with 8-VSB performance improvements that have only partially been met. I will need to see it to believe it.


Now, to get back to the original subject of this thread ...


I just found out I will be testing the interactive system. I pick up the (prototype) receiver tomorrow from my local PBS affiliate. BTW, I take NDAs very seriously and will only post information about this test when given permission.




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Rich Peterson

DBS Consumer Guide Author
 
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