Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital TV Converter Box Reviews

Product Rating: 4.0
The Zinwell ZAT-970A has been reported by many to be one of the best on the market. There have been little to no complaints regarding it. It is also one of very few that has remained in stock and available for sale even several years after the digital transition. If you need to purchase a new converter box this is the one we recommend that you get.

Product Details: Reports on the picture provided by the ZAT-970A have shown that it is clearly not the best, but not many boxes rate up there with the top three. This means, in literal terms, that its picture quality isn't up to DVD standards but it's not all that far off. It is also a clear and obvious upgrade from analog TV. The audio output for this box rates up near the top. When using it you get crystal clear sound. This converter box sells for $55-$60 which is a very good buy.

Features: It comes with an on screen program guide that provides show lengths and descriptions. It also comes with a scan-for-all channel tuning option or the ability to manually tune channels, along with adjustable closed captioning for the hearing impaired. The key feature on this box is that it does come with analog pass-through. This means that you will still be able to pick up lower power analog television stations that aren't yet required to make the switch.

This DTV converter box is one of the best all around converter boxes on the market. It has a bunch of excellent features and sells at a great price. This box is one we highly recommend to all.

Zinwell ZAT-970A
Update April 2014

Real User Reviews: For more in-depth information about this box we have complied a list of user reviews that were submitted to us in the comments section or via email. For further information beyond these, please see the comments section below this post.

JDMB Said...
"This unit does indeed have 8 programmable timers, which is why I bought it some months ago (for use with my VCR). It's proven extremely reliable in all aspects, and easy to set up and use. I occasionally have programming glitches which I suspect are my fault, not the unit's. I also bought a Dish network DTV-Pal at the same time to compare (only 2 models then available with timers), and the timer on that one is SO unreliable as to be essentially worthless - timers get erased arbitrarily no matter how you set them up. I wish I could get my money back on that one. The Zinwell is FAR superior."
Stan Said...
"My two Zinwell ZAT-970s have been very good to me! I plan to buy two more to replace a chicken-splat Sunkey that lasted only a couple of months. I hate digital TV in general though, bring back my TV ghost!"
John Said...
"I've had Apex as well as Tivax converters. The Apex went out (it was rarely used) so I chose a Zinwell. The remote to this nice unit works so much faster than the Apex and Tivax sets when you change channels - I am amazed! It also picks up all the channels quickly and without having to mess around with the antenna. Picture comes in really nice. The only thing I find that can be improved on the Zinwell is the GUIDE. The Tivax program guide is much nicer and gives you 2 hours of what is coming on the next hour etc." 
Features & Specs
Analog Pass-Through For Lower Power Stations
8 Event Timer For Recording Shows
Configurable Closed Captioning For Those With Hearing Impairments
Electronic Program Guide With Advanced Program Previews
English, French, and Spanish Language Support

What Is Included With Your Purchase?
Converter Box
Remote Control
Power Adapter
User Manual


  1. Doesn't this have an 8-event prrogrammable feature so that you can use a VCR and/or DVR with it?

  2. work great here in nyc with in door preamp antenna indoors one best on market.

  3. I had this model for a year and it worked great. Then it suddenly quit working while I was pressing a button on the remote. Suddenly the picture and sound went out and will not come back. I can't get the menu. It still turns on and off but that's about all.

  4. I lost the remote and bought a RCA remote but don't have a code. Is there a code availible?

  5. My zinwell stopes turning on after about a year of owning. Found out that if I press the on button directly on the receiver not the remote many times it will eventually stay on. Other than that it's just ok.

  6. How do you program a timer event? When I get to the Time field, I press Enter, then set the desired time, then press Exit, only to see the time reset to 12:00 AM. I was never able to sucessfully enter a time and save the event.

  7. In answer to the "event timer" question. The clock is not a 24 hour type. For example, the digits will let you change them to whatever you want, so it will let you type 20:00 for 8:00pm but then will reset to 12:00 because it doesn't undersatnd 20:00. You would have to type 08:00 and change the am to pm, then it will work. HTH.

  8. Buy a Zeith DTT901 i have had these for 3 years with no probs. Also have a tivax, works great it lets you see what programs are on as far as 12hrs ahead. Also just got the zinwell hoping it will as great as the rest.

  9. Went without TV for 2 months after the digital conversion last year 2011 in Ottawa then bought digital converter after much searching for store with stock. Bought Zinwell's ZAT 970A as only one available. Not satisfied with inconsistent reception. On perfect day will get 4 Ontario channels in English and 4 Quebec channels in French. Seldom a perfect day. Frequently lose channel reception. Even after watching without any problems for hours or even after entirely good days, will stop receiving. Yesterday it changed channel by itself. Spent money on digital signal antenna, but made no difference. Sent email to Zinwell, but they deferred to store where purchased - of no help. Will have to save for digital TV.

  10. purchased a HD Access 14 months ago.
    had to keep it on all the time so vcr could tape shows when I wasn't there. If the sound is muted on tv, sound will not be taped, gotta demute before turning off the tv.
    cc couldn't spell well.
    had to tone down tv, vcr functions to accomodate converter.
    only have bunny ears in deep dungeon type basement.
    pic & sound froze, then no signal.
    now totally dead.
    hated the thing from the first day> but tv is better than no tv.
    back to caveman mode.
    one year warranty is conveniently expired.


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