Zinwell ZAT-970A Details and Info

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#1


Product Features
· Terrestrial 8-VSB demodulation
· ATSC 18 video formats decoding
· ATSC HDTV complaint MPEG2 MP@ML/ MP@HL decoder
· Compatible with HDTV, EDTV and SDTV displays
· User-selectable CH3/CH4 NTSC RF output
· ATSC AC3 audio decoding
· Modern design with user-friendly OSD interface.
· Aspect Ratio 16:9/ 4:3
· Multilingual support
· Automatic and manual channel scan
· Closed Caption, V-Chip and EAS (Emergency Alert System) Support
· Support Advances Rating (Rating Region Table downloadable)
· Software upgrade

Upgradable via RS-232 or by air:

Software Upgrade
On the Software Upgrade menu, press to
select an upgrade method and press ENTER
into the menu. You need to input the default
password “ 0000 " to enter each item as
follows:
Upgrade By RS-232
On Upgrade By RS-232 menu, press to
select the All/ Code/ Logo/ Database upgrade
item. Then move highlight to Start on master
receiver and press ENTER to start upgrade.
This function is reserved for factory s upgrade
currently.
Upgrade By Air
This function can upgrade the software
through signal from the cable. Input the
frequency value and download PID, and select
bandwidth."

Product Manual located at: http://www.zinnetusa.com/download/zat-970A/UserManual-20080603.pdf
 

divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#2
Circuit Tech Specs

I opened this one up, and here are the tech specs:

Wattage: 7.5 W max, switching control

Tuner: Sanyo UBD00AL

Main CPU: ALi M3601C

RAM: 256MB 16-bit Samsung

CMOS: Samsung C828

No other significant chips or feature devices seen.

On the circuitboard, a header for a Y and C HDTV video connection was seen.

Bottom line: Simply a 16-bit MPEG video card reconfigured to pick up digital stations and put them on the TV
 
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divxhacker

DTVUSA Member
#3
Testing the Unit

Setup was easy, the major problem with the kit was the coaxial cable. It was far too skinny! I used a shielded cable I already had. Remote buttons were pretty small, and was featureless.

GUI features an interesting animation, channel editing shrinks the picture to a corner. Very nice use of the 16-bit graphics system. Channel information guide was pretty handy. What made this one worth investigating was the VCR-compatibility mode - a program schedule can be put into its 8 available slots. The unit would change the channel at the appropriate time, so your VCR can record it with its own program.

It pulls in all the local area stations fine. However the system uses too little power to maintain the digital signal, leaving many artifacts during bad weather. . Replacing all the RF cables with better ones fixed the artifact issue. Still, an external signal amplifier or amplified roof/attic antenna must be used with it.

Another underpowered wonder that would be a contender if it was given a better signal lock, higher processing depth, and more memory.
 
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#4
question on antennae

I am not very techno minded. I have an old TV with rabbit ears indoor antanna. I do not have an outdoor antanna. I would like to get the Zinwell Zar 970 in order to have the VCR feature. But you said -external signal amplifier or amplified roof/attic antenna must be used with it.

So can you elaborate on this for me? Will my indoor rabbit ears be good enough? I do not know what an external signal amplifier is-is it another word for roof antenna?
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I am not very techno minded. I have an old TV with rabbit ears indoor antanna. I do not have an outdoor antanna. I would like to get the Zinwell Zar 970 in order to have the VCR feature. But you said -external signal amplifier or amplified roof/attic antenna must be used with it.

So can you elaborate on this for me? Will my indoor rabbit ears be good enough? I do not know what an external signal amplifier is-is it another word for roof antenna?
Hi Carmensita,
The short answer to your questions is: maybe. Bunny ears work only if you have ideal conditions for DTV reception. For some people, that means being located within 10-15 miles of broadcast towers. For instance, in one of my rooms, we use bunny ears for digital reception, while the main family room requires a larger flat type antenna, (hidden behind the TV). DTV reception is mostly trial and error, so I would suggest trying out your old bunny ear antenna first before buying something else.

Most references to an aplifier are for a pre-amplifier which amplifies the TV broadcast signals to allow for better reception. Sometimes an amplifier can also amplify other "noise" and disturbances in the broadcast signals which can actually reduce clarity of reception (ie: pixelation, choppy picture, garbled sound).

Some indoor antennas are sold with an amplifier built in to the antenna itself (Which is powered by plugging the power cord into your wall, as well as connecting to your converter box). An example would be, the Terk Technology HDTVi VHF/UHF HDTV Indoor Antenna.

Let us know if you have any other questions.
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#7
Is there a way to access the menus without a remote? I lost mine.
:welcome:

Sorry, no. Most converter boxes are heavily dependent on their remotes. Having only three buttons on its case -- power, channel up and channel down -- the ZAT-970 is no exception, unfortunately. Buying a replacement remote is out of the question: They're no longer sold separately from the box, and even if you could find one, it would probably be at least as expensive as getting a new box and remote (which are as low as $40 shipped online right now, BTW). So try getting an inexpensive universal remote to work with the box first. If it doesn't work, return it and buy a new ZAT-970 online. That way, you'll have an OEM remote again, plus a backup box on hand in case the original fails.
 
#8
I have a Zat 970A purchased about a year ago, It will lose some of its scanned in channels and when I use the VCR timer it will freeze the TV picture. The remote control will not function nor will the controls on the box itself work. I must unplug and rescan the unite again to use it. Any ideas about what is wrong with it and what can be done to repair the converter box?
Thank You
Stan
 

Don_M

DTVUSA Member
#9
Hi, Stan,

Ever notice the case getting warm -- and staying that way? Strange behavior like this usually happens because the chip can't get rid of enough heat to continue functioning properly. This is particularly true if the box is always at least somewhat warm, thanks to its standby mode.

Unplugging the box and letting it cool down for a few minutes, as you've been doing, is the easiest way to clear this up. If you're handy with a drill, you might want to take the box apart and drill a few ventilation holes in the top and bottom of the case. Unplug the box, let it cool completely before starting, unscrew the case, remove the top and bottom from the chassis, and then drill. If you can locate the main chip on the top side of the circuit board (it's usually a dark gray wafer that's either square or rectangular), try locating a couple of holes in the corresponding area of the top of the case.

Drilling vents in the case may not be not the most attractive solution, but it's helped clear up excessive heat issues for a lot of people.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#12
Hell'o, Ha, Techy me, nope, only understand a 'lil of what is disscussed!
My 2 cent's worth:
Rabbit Ears, even the type that has a switch/dial for ?? other settings?
OK, I HAVE USED units such as this OUTSIDE!
Circumstances as they were, I had to use my head I got new wire, small
spools, clamped a stick to the chimney ran the wire to the unit w/2 wire to coaxial fitting = thingy left over from connecting Atari to my TV ( yup, same TV ) NOT DONE, Call me crazy i had another person at the tv as I positioned the R ears up on the roof LOL here comes the good part; although, the picture was very good=I decided to switch to the Rabbit Ears w/o any switches because once I got the w/o switched OK with the Person in the house, I had observed the pic myself and this cheaper set of rabbit ears hoeld a better Picture w/all the stations available.
I kno there's a shorter way to say all that, ?? Peace and Tranquility ;)
 
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