Review: Zenith DTT901 DTV converter box

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It is not true that all stations will be increasing power in February. Here is a response I got from a tech at channel 3 (CBS) in Burlington, Vt.
"In fact we will decrease power slightly, need to by law."
---MIKE---

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I was researching these online a while back and at the time it seemed that the Zenith was the best coupon eligible box available in stores BUT a repeated comment was that the included coax to go between the box and the TV was crrrrrrap. If you're using RCA cables to get your DTV signals into your TV that could certainly explain what you are seeing.
nate
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N8N wrote:

Well, actually, when I was plugging it in for the first test I overlooked there was a cable in the box and used another instead. So, if it's that piece of cable, it would be a pretty strong coincidence.
As noted just earlier, I did a search of the FCC site for the particular stations and it appears that none are at the present broadcasting their digital signal at much of a power level at all. It appears that the links to signal "maps" at the popularized websites must be using license application limits rather than actuals on file w/ the FCC as they all indicated usable strengths. I've not gone back and done a detailed comparison of the data; perhaps the other sites are simply using the analog signal strength w/ the assumption of eventual digital matching that knowing that the bulk of the population is so near a transmitter it really doesn't make any difference, anyway, so why worry about the fraction of a percent to whom the real data might be of some use?
--
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Seems like there should be online sites that review and compare converters. Anyone seen any?
-- bud--
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Consumers Reports rated about 25, and the ones with best picture are online sold, not at stores.
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Here are the top rated 5 in 1st tier with best picture near DVD qailty, from #1, Tivax STB-T9, Lasonic LTA 260, Sansonic FT300, Access HD DTA 1010D, Microgem MG 2000, Channel Master CM 7000. No store carries a name brand rated in Best group. Since you will live with it for years judging HD get the best, Radio Shacks are in 3rd tier. 2nd tier is your local store, so use that 30 day return policy soon.
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On 11/1/2008 7:25 AM bud-- spake thus:

CNET has some; here's their review of my Zenith: http://reviews.cnet.com/tv-hdtv-tuners-receivers/zenith-dtt901/4505-6487_7-33178359.htm
--
Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
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bud-- wrote:

http://www.avsforum.com / http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f 6
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How about the blue light on it? That thing will light up a dark room, or it seems that way when I wake up in the middle of the night.
I am new to over-the-air TV having canceled our cable TV last summer. I'm using the Zenith and am more than happy with it. Of course, I watch about 10 minutes of TV a day, so I'm easy to please.
Mike
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On 11/4/2008 10:18 AM Mike spake thus:

I take it you never turn yours off.
Yeah, that power indicator light is weird. Blue when on, red when off, both garish and bright. Who designed that? For my money, I'd rather see *no* light when it's off.
--
Washing one\'s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the
powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.
  Click to see the full signature.
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Hey David -
Yes, I set my box to never turn off. Why? Well, I have 2 of these boxes, one of which is hooked to a Tivo and the Tivo instructions told me to set the box to always stay on (otherwise they shut off after a certain timeframe, which is odd to me). Anyway, I made the change to both boxes. For what it's worth, the Zenith works great with a Tivo box driving it.
Mike
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wrote:

When it's off, it's in "analog passthrough", so they probably intended it as blue for digital, red for analog. Of course in our area, there's only one low power, non-digital station that we can get anyway, and we didn't watch it before we had the converter box, so I pretty much don't use the analog passthrough much.
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Hmm....
I have the exact same boxes, purchased maybe a month or so ago. I just got 'em because I'm a cheap bastard and didn't see replacing all my ancient TVs with new ones, as pleasant as that would be. I would say that the picture is superior to either OTA analog (which is crappy in my area) or digital cable (I hooked one up downstairs on the old big screen to try to watch a football game OTA so I could get the whole picture rather than just 4:3) Also, the Zenith box will pull in stations that my (admittedly cheap) Viewsonic HDTV/monitor combo cannot. I also prefer the Zenith's on screen guide to the Viewsonic's, although for a cheap Craigslist buy it serves its purpose as a lightweight portable TV and a backup monitor. (my old monitor is a monstrous Samsung CRT that has probably a superior picture, but it certainly won't fit on a small desk and you can't carry it around tucked under one arm.)
I am digging the OTA digital HDTV though. I am considering installing a roof mount antenna so that I can get all the stations that I should be receiving.
nate
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