: ATSC Converter Boxes (Non-HD, Non-Recording)
2011-08-06, 12:13 PM
Thanks for the replies and info....I have decided to go to Crappy Tire today and pick up the RCA converter box they supposedly carry. That one has a seemingly well-designed remote with big buttons which my Mom will appreciate. Decided not to give her my Samsung HDTV for two reasons:
1. I cant really afford to upgrade to a 42" for myself right now.
2. The thing about the widescreen TVs that drives me nuts is that I find that I frequently need to change the aspect ratio/screen size depending on what channel I'm watching and the format of the broadcast at that particular moment,,I have Rogers digital cable where I live, (north Of Toronto) and although I dont know if this would come up as an issue too often down at Mom's (SW Ont.) I know she simply wont want to deal with the same issue if/when it does come up.
Tx again !
2011-08-07, 06:12 PM
Is anyone using AccessHD DTA-1080D? Is it recommended unit?
2011-08-10, 12:03 AM
I'm using the Access 1030D which as far as i know is the same as the 1080 D. It is a good basic box and can be had for $ 49.99 at popular retailers. It seems to work as axpected. and I have had no problems with it. I also have a Zinwell 970 on my other tv and it also works well too, but is quite a bit more money. I would recommend either of these boxes.
2011-08-23, 01:28 PM
I want to buy the Zinwell ZAT 970A on a american website because it is 50% cheaper! It is suppose to be the exact same model that the canadian one. But is it exactly true? Will it works in Canada?
I just want to be really sure there no difference between the canadian and the USA model before ordering it ;) Thanks in advance.
2011-08-23, 01:50 PM
It should. The ATSC standard used in the US is the same as here. It may not have any ULC or CSA stickers on the box, which may or may not be a problem with CBSA.
2011-08-23, 02:48 PM
If you want to use parental controls, it may not recognize the Canadian rating system, but I can't see any problem with using it to watch programs.
2011-08-23, 03:43 PM
Thanks! I'll probably took it on the american website. Usually, I really prefer to buy in Canada. But when the price difference is really important, I sometimes look on the other side of the customs ;)
2011-08-25, 08:24 PM
Just make sure you factor in shipping costs to Canada, plus any duty or brokerage fees. It may nt be that great of a deal by the time it gets to your door.
2011-09-01, 06:11 PM
I just bought an AccessHD DTA-1080D for my old bedroom Toshiba 20" set that is 30+ years old - one of the first Stereo sets.
I'm getting all the channels that all the websites says I should through it strong and clear (bedroom is 25' off the ground, top of a hill), using one of those home-made antennas you see on the internet using coat hangers and wood.
Only 1 minor gripe -- When using the RCA video cable output there is a little bit of interference that you can only see on a jet black screen, but as it was stated before, it's much clearer than going through the antenna connection. I have it hooked to my stereo and it sounds fine and the bass is good.
2011-09-14, 10:34 PM
Well, it's almost 7 months later and my Access HD is still working (knock on wood!). And since the digital switch over, I'm now using it to pick up all the local Canadian channels along side the American.
I am curious though, is there an EPG feature on the Access HD I'm not aware of? On the box it mentions one, and someone wrote a review complimenting its EPG. I wonder, do you need a universal remote to see it? I heard the Zinwell has a hidden EPG accessible only with a universal remote, could the Access HD be the same?
The closest to an EGP I've found is pressing the "Info" button. It tells you the title of the show but no description.
I'd also like to hear from anyone who's successfully programmed a universal remote to work with the Access HD.
2011-09-15, 10:33 AM
I just replaced my old Apex DT502 which I picked from the States during their digital conversion with the Zinwell ZAT 970-A.
The Zinwell's tuner seems marginally better, the user interface is much nicer, it has a more detailed signal meter and the remote is more responsive. But it lacks the EPG and the S-video outputs which the Apex has by default. It also seems to be impossible to see the program description at all on the Zinwell.
I will have to look if that hidden feature can be enabled. Stupid design choice especially considering the price tag (2x what I had paid for the Apex originally)
2011-09-15, 11:56 PM
I have a gut feeling the Access HD has a hidden EPG, particularly since I suspect it shares the same hardware and firmware as the Apex. And speaking of the Apex, if you ever decide to part with yours, message me (I've got all sorts of electronics to trade :)). I'd be interesting in playing with one to see how it compares with my Access HD. I almost bought an Apex because of its s-video output, but steered clear after hearing the high failure rate of these boxes.
2011-09-16, 11:50 PM
Looks like I can't edit the post anymore, but anyhow, the Apex unit is 250A, not 502. I don't think I will be getting rid of it yet, its signal meter is useful for aiming the antenna... it starts "dancing" when you're getting close to the signal, even before the Zinwell can pick it up. But thanks for the offer anyway... :)
If the firmware on the Access HD is the same as on the Apex, then the guide should be easy enough to access with the appropriate remote, it's actually quite good. Cuts the description text after a certain number of characters but usually shows enough to figure out what the show is about.
2011-09-17, 01:46 PM
I helped a friend set up a Zinwell and the signal meter was almost useless. It disappears from screen after a few seconds. If the Apex is the same as the Access HD (a bar with "Weak", "Normal", "Good" in yellow/red/green) that stays indefinitely, I can understand why you'd want to keep it even for that.
If there is a hidden EPG, I'll need a universal remote to find that button command. Problem is I've yet to get it to work with any of mine (I probably have a dozen different ones too!). I even tried a learning remote where it directly grabs the IR signal from the other remote, for mapping specific buttons. Didn't work...weird.
Must be a way to program a universal remote for the Access HD, I'm dying to know how.
2011-09-17, 05:31 PM
Actually if you go into the Manual channel program section on the Zinwell you can get the meter to stay on screen permanently, but it doesn't seem as sensitive as the one on the Apex. And yes, the one on the Apex is exactly as you describe it.
I wonder if the Access HD uses the same remote as the Apex, in which case you might be able to use one (it has a yellow "Guide" button).
2011-09-18, 12:13 AM
Here's what the Access HD remote looks like:
The "Info" button displays (all in one box): Virtual channel, station ID, date/time, signal strength bars, resolution/refresh rate, parental rating and audio type. Plus the show title with start/stop time. If you press the right-arrow in this box, you get an EPG for the current channel....you can look up to 12 hours or more ahead (show titles & time only).
I've tried every button, nothing lets you get a show description or a grid display of what's playing on every channel. I'd bet anything that option is there....if only I had a remote to tell it to show it.
2011-09-19, 10:32 PM
I took some pics of the Apex interface here:
2011-09-19, 11:00 PM
Thanks for the screen shots!
Yep, the display boxes on your Apex are IDENTICAL to the Access HD (save for the coloring of the signals bars; may be just the camera though).
What I do NOT have is the middle picture, with the EPG and show description. It'd be really interested in try a universal remote on my Access HD box and see if that option is there.
2011-09-19, 11:07 PM
Yep, so as you see the TVGO is by channel only, you have to tune into that channel and then you can see up to 12 hours programming with descriptions (or up to 2 on CFCF, lol) but it still beats what my HDTV can do...
my stepdaughter inherited an old Prima plasma panel. It's widescreen, but only EDTV. Since the digital conversion, she's obviously lost access to all TV channels. I want to buy her a DTV converter.
Some of my nice-to-haves are:
Power/channel buttons on the box (in case she loses the remote)
Individual aspect ratio for each channel (Unless all/most DTV channels in Toronto have the same aspect ratio)
Decent programming guide (more than current/next show on one channel)
And I can't buy a used box -- it's a birthday present -- so it has to be a model that's currently available NIB. Thanks for your help.