My thoughts on the Apex

Studogvetmed

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Well I was in best buy and had two choices an insignia and the Apex. The salesman said that only the Apex had analog pass through, though it appears that may have been false, so I grabbed the Apex. I admit that this is one of the first times I did not do much research on my purchase ahead of time, even though it was my excuse to my wife for putting this off as long as I did.

Our current setup uses a roof top antenna. We got all of analog broadcast stations, CW, CBS, NBC, ABC, My Network, PBS, Fox and Ion. Not bad and the reception was fairly decent, occasionally fuzzy (but I think that may have been one of my coaxial cables fault). I am not aware what kind of roof top antenna is, it came with the home.

So to the Apex. Set up, a piece of cake once I decided how to reconnect all of my devices. I chose a four piece switch for my DVD, The Box, Our VCR, and my Nintendo 64 (Old School). I'm using the S video for the box and I am quite pleased with the picture.

Programming was a piece of cake The scan took around five minutes. It pulled in all channels, except for our ABC and initially, it showed our NBC, but no picture, signal too weak. An amplifier changed that, still no ABC signal but our affiliate states they are transmitting "Low Power" and they say a very good chance we will receive the station once they go full power on the 17th.

Pros: Easy set up, high quality picture, in my experience pulled in the "important" channels to us. Programming guide a plus, I'm fine with it's limited span, I mean we didn't have it before!

Cons: the Remote is a joke as people will say across the internet. It can be very unresponsive, occasionally an apparent single keystroke will cause two channels to move. Occasionally pressing one button will change the channel when it is really supposed to bring up the signal or menu. The remote can not turn off the TV, but can control volume if you find the right balance with your TV remote. Another major con is a lack of channel controls on the box.

Can't set channels manually is probably the biggest problem with this box.

So my overall experience with this is positive so far. I am considering getting a second box (not an Apex), to connect to our VCR so we can continue to record from there, not that we every really do that, but may give me the opportunity to try a different box and possibly swap them out. I would downgrade to the yellow video cable in exchange for a better remote and maybe a better channel guide.

I hope this helps. My only real complaints about my digital reception so far is some channels have a barely noticeable digital "seam" to the picture. This is mostly on multicast stations. Not sure if this is a converter box issues, TV issue, connections/cables, or reception.

Cheers and a stress free transition to you all. I'll take a little bit of stress and some one time costs to upgrade my equipment (even after the coupons I've invest $93 in cables, the switch, amp, and final cost of the box), instead of giving a cable company my money every month.

Cheers.
 
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Studogvetmed

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
Great review! (For informational purposes) Approx. how far away from broadcast towers are you?
I range 20 to 50 miles from the different towers transmitting that I am receiving signal for.

Interesting enough. The two problem channels (NBC and ABC) are located at the same distance. I find it interesting that NBC works fine and I'm still having no signal for ABC. I'm hoping that this will change post transition.

Interestingly I can't get signal from towers within 11 miles, but I think that will likely be because of alignment of my antenna. Trying to consider if messing with my alignment would benefit me any... Will consider that post transition.
 

Studogvetmed

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#5
analog pass through isnt exactly a big feature since most channels are shutting that method of transmitting down
You are correct it's not much of a big feature post transition, but pre-transition it is helpful as I'm not getting channel 7 digital currently, so as I try to work through that problem, I can still view channel 7 with minimal issues, while I can benefit from the extra content of digital sub channels as I wait for the transition to take full affect.

For people hooking up their boxes early it is a nice convenience feature while we wait for all towers to go full power. I mean after all here before Feb 17th all analogs are full on, while the digital of some stations I'm told are transmitting at half power.

That being said I would certainly recommend a box that has better signal grabbing power without Analog pass through than a lesser box with it.

Cheers.
 
#6
Analog pass-through is handy if you're using a video game system (like a Wii or PS3/XBox 360) and it is on the same cable as the one going to the box. that way the box can share its output with both the system and/or the TV. but turning off a box w/o analog pass-through still works, ironically the ones with analog pass-through also seem to turn off the box or put into standby, so i wonder if it is really a 'feature' at all? maybe so if it was able to show EPG data for analog channels, too. but all it really does is shut the box down.
 
#7
on the best buy website this box got 2.5 for reviews. Tons of people claiming it dies out giving it 1 stars. Everyone says after a while they crap out.

Maybe a re-call is in order?
 
#8
I'll see how long mine lasts, but so far it works better with weaker signals than the others.

Ironically the RCA DTA800 got very positive reviews but later on it was considered the lowest pile of crap available at wal-mart.
 

FHatcher

DTVUSA Rookie
#9
I purchased 2 converter boxes. I used my coupons on both. I purchased an Apex from Best Buy in Tulsa. I also purchased a Digital Stream from Radio Shack in Tulsa. The apex is horrible. Remote doesnt work. Very unimpressive. The digital stream works great. I called Best Buy to get a refund. They said no. Call the manufacturer. That seems to be impossible. People need to be told, do not buy Apex. They are wasting their money. I am on disability, and cant afford to go buy another digital stream out of pocket. I think I deserve another coupon.
 
#10
I must've gotten the only 'good' Apex available. still no trouble with it. can watch a signal as low as 25% without breakup. only 'problem' i have had so far is a very annoying buzzing from the speakers when i bring up an On Screen Menu or Display. in fact it's the ONLY box out of the three i have (other is Zenith DTT901, and Dish DTVPal Plus) that can pick up WBKO-CW, yes a CW affiliate. probably because that particular channel is 25% at best.
 

O-O

DTVUSA Member
#11
I must've gotten the only 'good' Apex available. still no trouble with it. can watch a signal as low as 25% without breakup. only 'problem' i have had so far is a very annoying buzzing from the speakers when i bring up an On Screen Menu or Display. in fact it's the ONLY box out of the three i have (other is Zenith DTT901, and Dish DTVPal Plus) that can pick up WBKO-CW, yes a CW affiliate. probably because that particular channel is 25% at best.
My Apex actually buzzes by itself when it's shut off. My insignia buzzes through my speakers. These converters just aren't built that well, :deadhorse:
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#12
My Apex actually buzzes by itself when it's shut off. My insignia buzzes through my speakers. These converters just aren't built that well, :deadhorse:
Does it help to keep pesky insects and rodents away or does it attract other buzzing insects :eyes:
 
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