New HDTV Receiver

A few months ago my HDTV receiver stopped working. I had been switching it off with my surge protector after finding out how much energy it used and maybe it didn’t like that. It would take it a long time to reboot, but at some point the green light started flashing rapidly and there was no picture no matter how long I waited. I tried turning it off and unplugging it to reset it, but got the same result. I spent some time today trying to figure out solutions and found some discussion areas that said the flashing green light means it is dead and there is no way to fix it. I took the cover off to see if there was anything I could see that stood out and could be fixed, but the only thing I saw I could fix was a small fuse and it was not blown.


I looked for another HDTV receiver, but nobody seems to make them anymore. There are a lot of converter boxes that output HD to non-HD (I think Mom might even have one unless she sold it at a garage sale), but I wanted an HD signal. All HDTV’s made for the last few years can deal with the signals on their own unlike my TV. Getting a HDTV receiver from Dish would add a bunch of monthly fees, so I didn’t want to do that. I wouldn’t mind paying a little extra for a HDTV receiver that can record to a hard drive, but I think Tivo lawsuits have scared everybody out of that business. There are some video cards you can add to a computer to turn your computer into a DVR, but most of those seem to be a few years old too and my computer is nowhere close to my TV right now.

After some searching I found a basic receiver called a Centronics ZAT502 which some people at AVSforum recommended. They like that it had HDMI out, but since my TV doesn’t have that, I had to make sure it also had component video out, which seems to be the case. It was $100, but there were very few choices available, and that’s only a few months worth of extra fees that Dish would charge me for HD. I don’t even watch that much HD, but maybe if this receiver is better at receiving some stations, I will get more use out of it.

One thought on “New HDTV Receiver

  1. I got the receiver today. It definitely has better reception than the old one and the picture looks great (still seems like the sound doesn’t quite match up right all the time). The other receiver rarely ever got Channels 2, 36, or 46 clearly and wouldn’t even think about getting Channel 8 because that transmitter on Stone Mountain is opposite of all the ones downtown that the antenna is pointed out. But this one doesn’t seem to have any trouble with any stations. In fact, it picked up all the garbage out there and doesn’t have a way of skipping stations, so I wound up manually setting the channels. That’s an experience in itself because, for instance, Channel 11 is actually HD Channel 10 and just called 11. There’s no pattern to it either: Channel 5 is HD Channel 27. I needed those HD Channel numbers to manually set the box, but I found them at antennaweb.org after looking up what stations are available in my zip code and writing them down.

    The box itself is a lot smaller and I’m sure uses much less energy too. I doubt there is a code available for it on my universal remote, so after I got it set up I spent most of the rest of the night learning all the buttons into my remote and creating an upgrade. Back in business!

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