Bluetooth - GPRS - and other words that keep me employed...

Freeview and HDMI cables for $23 vs $90!

, posted: 10-Aug-2008 09:05

We've got Sky, but decided yesterday to get a Freeview box to get the additional Kids channel plus more importantly at the moment - to get the extra Olympic channel.

The other benefit of getting Freeview HD is that we'd finally be able to make use of the HD capability of our Sony Bravia V-Series tv.

I have to admit that I didn't spend a lot of time researching the options, but the Zinwell ZMT-620HD @ $399 seemed a reasonable deal. For a short time I contemplated putting a card into my media PC, but I wanted something that "just goes" versus something that *may* involve updating drivers, upgrading my PC (because it may be underpowered) etc. etc.

Overall, I'm impressed with the ease of setup.
Plugged it in, selected the auto-scan option and was running within 2 minutes.
The clarity is amazing - although as somebody mentioned on TV recently, the problem is now that you see what people (eg presenters) really look like (flaws and all) - which may not be a good thing in some cases!
The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) is very good, although I have had a few issues where I couldn't get it to come up (might be bad batteries in the remote).

Note: We already had an appropriate antenna, so all I needed to do was unplug the antenna cable from the TV, plug it into the Freeview box, then use another cable from the Freeview back to the TV.

My only gripe would have to be the lack of HDMI cable with the box!
Kinda makes sense that if you're buying an HD Freeview box that you want HDMI??
They included component and composite, but no HDMI.

I asked at the store that I got the Freeview box from about HDMI cables and got the usual "Oh, you'll need the $90 HDMI cable then". From what I've read (after googling "HDMI cable scam"), it appears this is common around New Zealand.

Personally, I went to Dragon PC ( and grabbed a 3m HDMI cable with Lifetime warranty manufactured by Dynamix - for the grand total of around $23!

Now back to the olympics....

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Comment by sbiddle, on 10-Aug-2008 09:53

DSE include cables with their rebadged Zinwell decoders.

Rumor has it several large retailers specificed that all their boxes didn't come with cables (hence the Zinwell's not including one) simply because of the profit that can be made selling a customer a $150 Monster HDMI cable just so they can get HD.

The Freeview consortium should be ashamed. Very ashamed. They let their customers be blatently ripped off.

Comment by chiefie, on 10-Aug-2008 14:38

Zinwell and DSE's Freeview HD are the same. And DSE include the HDMI cable, and for $344. I grabbed one on Friday just for the Olympic opening and it was great... Shame you didn't spend a wee bit more time to look at DSE's rebadge. You could have save yourself more $$ even.

Author's note by 3g, on 10-Aug-2008 17:13

I only looked at the DSE model quickly (online) - but now that I compare them again, can see that it's obviously the same thing!
Back in the old days (BK*) I could spend lots of time assessing the pros and cons before each purchase 8-).

Never mind - still very pleased - particularly to be able to see more of the Olympics.

Nigel H.

*BK=Before Kids

Comment by will, on 11-Aug-2008 18:42

All Zinwell models should have a hdmi cable included now. You may have got old stock.

3g's profile

Nigel Hanson
New Zealand

Updated Profile... 

My job involves working with a variety of mainly Pocket PC or Windows CE devices, setting up GPRS connections over cable and/or Bluetooth. Setting up of these connections is either done programatically (in code) or manually (when all else fails).

Through this work (which sometimes involves visiting other parts of the world), I've come up with, err, I'd hate to call it a "wealth of information", but let's just say that I've struck enough problems over the last few years that I'm sure that SOMEBODY out there might benefit from some of the tips that I'll be putting up.

Nigel H.