ZvBox Configuration

All ZvBoxes can be configured using ZvConfig and ZvCli - powerful software applications that run on a PC and connect to ZvBox via a USB cable.

ZvBox 170 and ZvBox 180 feature a front-panel display and allow for broad configuration without needing a PC.

ZvBox 160 offers a simple way to set the broadcast channel via a single front-panel button.

ZvConfig Features:

  • Multi ZvBox Management - allows you connect multiple ZvBoxes to a single PC at once, an important component for remote management and monitoring
  • Offline Firmware Update - can now load firmware to all products via a stored file
  • QAM64 Modulation for all products
  • Split Audio for ZvPro 280

Sample ZvConfig Screens


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Sample ZvCLI Screens


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ZvConfig™ and ZvCli™
Powerful PC based configuration tools.

Configuring a ZvBox can be as simple as changing the RF channel used for broadcast, or as powerful as associating audio ports with video ports and controlling how video gets processed and broadcast.

  • ZvConfig™ is an easy to use graphical interface that uses wizards and well laid-out settings to make set up simple.
  • ZvCli™ is a command-line interface that offers the same powerful commands that are available on the serial port of the ZvPro 280. It also offers batch processing.

Either application offers the ability to upgrade firmware, perform cable scans, and easily configure large deployments. Click here to download both.

IMPORTANT NOTE – ZeeVee is constantly updating functionality and upgrading video performance, so we recommend using either ZvConfig or ZvCli to update the firmware on any new ZvBox product. This is the best way to get started with the best possible experience.

Please visit the Training page to take the "Introduction to ZvCli" and "Introduction to ZvConfig" training modules.

PDF file logoZvCli User Manual

Example functions that can be performed

Status Commands

  • Show System Status
  • Show Audio / Video Status
  • Show Configuration
  • Analyze Current Configuration and Status

RF, Cable and Broadcast Commands

  • Cable Scan
  • Show Last Cable Scan Results
  • Turn RF Output On/Off
  • Set RF Channel
  • Set Cable Plan
  • Set RF Output Power

Audio Input Commands

  • Associate Audio Input to Video Input

Video Input Commands

  • Select Active Video Source
  • Video Calibration

Setting Program Information

  • Set Channel Name
  • Set HDTV Channel Number
  • Set Event Information Table (EIT) Name
  • Set EIT Rating

MPEG2 Encoding Control

  • Set Encoding Bit Rate
  • Visual Watermark

Advanced MPEG2 and Transport Commands

  • Set DC coefficient precision
  • Set Program Number
  • Set Packet Identifier (PID)

System Maintenance Commands

  • Software Download
  • Configuration Script read / write
  • Send Troubleshooting Report

Miscellaneous Commands

  • Transmit IR Codes for Learning
  • Set Date
  • Set Management Mode
  • Reset to Factory Defaults
  • Reboot ZvBox
  • Restart Video Processing

 

ZvBox 170 and ZvBox 180
Front Panel Controls

  • Next scrolls through available settings
  • + and – buttons scroll through possible values and messages
  • OK saves the selected value

PDF file logo ZvBox 170 Configuration Manual
PDF file logo ZvBox 180 Configuration Manual

The front panel makes configuring ZvBox 170 or ZvBox 180 a snap! Every setting required for most installations is available.

If needed, advanced configuration or firmware updates are done using PC software that connects to the ZvBox via a USB cable. See the ZvConfig and ZvCLI tab to learn more.

Main Menu

Settings

SET CHANNEL
Sets RF broadcast channel to X and HDTV channel to X.1
2-135
SET CHANNEL-NAME
Sets channel name displayed on-screen
Any name, 7 characters or fewer
SET VIDEO-SOURCE
  • Note: Select Test Image 1 before setting “VGA-RES” parameter
Component
VGA
Test-image-1
Test-image-2
None
SET AUDIO-SOURCE
Sets audio source for current video source. If video source not VGA or Component, sets both
Dig-optical
Dig-coax
USB
None
SET LANG / IDIOMA
Sets the language used for the menus
English
EspaƱol
SHOW STATUS
  • Note: Scrolling through the SHOW STATUS section does not allow you to change settings- it simply gives you information about the operating status of your ZvBox 170
Transmit (whether transmitting)
V-in (Video input resolution)
V-out (Video output resolution)
A-in (Audio input type)
A-out (Audio output type)
SN (Serial number)
HW Rev (Hardware version)
SW (Software version)
Temp (Temperature)
Up (Indicates continuous run time)
CC (Closed caption status)
ADVANCED MENU Enter the advanced menu
LOCK FRONT PANEL
Hitting all four front buttons simultaneously will unlock the panel
Lock
Unlock

Advanced Menu

Settings

SET DATA-RATE
Helps increase or decrease picture detail. Some HDTVs can’t handle High setting without picture breakup.
Low
Normal
High
SET RF-POWER
Sets broadcast power
0ff
5 dBmV
10 dBmV
15 dBmV
20 dBmV
25 dBmV
SET CABLE-PLAN
If sharing coax cabling with cable company feed, set to same cable plan as cable co.; normally Standard.
Standard
HRC
IRC
SET WATERMARK
Enables/disables on-screen Zv watermark
On
Off
SET VGA-RES
Used to shrink 1280 x 720 VGA source picture to better fit an HDTV screen.
Various from 1120x630 to 1264x711
START CABLE-SCAN
Scans the cabling to see which channels are currently unoccupied on the coax system.
Start
SHOW SCAN RESULT
Displays unoccupied channels on coax cabling which can be used to broadcast the Zv channel
Note: RF channel scan results are displayed;
Information includes channel plan, open and occupied channels
RESET DEFAULTS
Restores ZvBox to factory defaults
 

 

Unlocking the Front Button

The front button on the ZvBox 160 is normally in a 'locked' state to prevent accidental reprogramming.

If the unit is locked, the LED will continue to show a steady blue even when the button is pressed.

  • To unlock, press and hold the button until the LED flashes twice (approx. 5 seconds). The LED will then flash the current channel. The unit is now ready for programming.
  • Once unlocked, the unit will re-lock automatically if there is no activity within 30 seconds

 

Example: Programming Channel 50

  1. Press the Button 5 times. The LED blinks YELLOW at each press
  2. Wait for the LED to flash BLUE once
  3. Press the Button 10 times
  4. Wait for the LED to flash BLUE once. Wait 5 more seconds (exits channel setting mode)
The system will play back the new channel number

Setting the channel using the Front Button

  1. Wait for steady blue LED to indicate the unit is ready for programming. Verify the unit is unlocked. (Refer to “Unlocking the Front Button.”)
  2. Digits are entered from left to right. Just start entering them.
  3. Each digit is entered by pressing the button multiple times. A “zero” is entered as 10 presses.
  4. Wait for the LED to blink blue between digits.
  5. After all digits are entered, wait a few seconds and the programmed channel number is played back.
    • The LED will blink red if an improper channel was selected. The original value is restored.
    • If the channel is valid, the broadcast is changed before playing back the new channel.

To read back the current channel (assume it is 67)

  1. Press and Hold the button until the LED turns yellow, and then blue again
  2. Release the button
    • The LED will flash yellow twice per second SIX times
    • There will be a two second pause
    • The LED will flash yellow twice per second SEVEN times
    • The LED will return to a steady blue.

Changing Modulation Standards

Cable STD, HRC and IRC channel plan considerations: Most cable services program their channel placements using a Standard (STD) channel lineup. In increasingly rare cases, HRC or IRC channel placements are used. The modulator can be reprogrammed to use these standards by entering the following channel numbers using the channel programming procedure:
  • STD Channel 205
  • HRC Channel 206
  • IRC Channel 207

Note: These instructions can also be found in the  ZvBox 160 Get Going Guide which is included in the box with all ZvBox 160 units.

Shopping list for your remote management solution:
  • A PC - practically any machine will do
  • Internet Connection - don't need anything special
  • USB Hubs - enough to simultaneously connect every ZvBox
  • Remote PC control software - there are many to choose from
  • PC based QAM tuner - optional

Help your customers with configuration changes, troubleshooting and upgrades

Integrators and customers alike have the same question – “How can I be confident that my HD broadcast infrastructure is working, and how quickly can I get back on the air if something goes wrong?”.

Goals of remote management
  • Get the status of, and configure each ZvBox
  • Perform firmware upgrades
  • View the ZvBox video broadcast
… from any internet connected computer, anywhere!

We decided that since most of our customers are very capable design and integration firms, they would appreciate a ‘recipe’ so they could build a solution themselves. That also makes it easy to customize the solution to better fit the specific application.

Each ZvBox can be maintained by simply connecting it to a PC with a USB cable. As of release 2.5, it is now possible to simultaneously connect and manage multiple ZvBoxes with a single computer. That’s the main enabler for this capability. You will need to download the latest version of ZvBox management tools.

Here is an example of a remote management system that we created for a football facility at a major midwestern university. They have 15 ZvBoxes at the facility.


Some additional notes about the components:

The PC – No need for anything special here. A rack-mounted PC can make for a cleaner installation, but these machines cost more than ‘regular’ PCs. Your choice.

USB Hubs – Selecting a HUB with 2.0 capability is better because it’s faster. Beyond that, there are no special requirements. ZvBoxes do not draw any power from the hub, so you won’t need to power the hub.

USB hubs come in many sizes and flavors. We've found a nice 7-port hub that’s pretty inexpensive. There is a 12 port version that mounts on the rack rails. Oddly, there aren’t many examples of larger port counts. Hubs can be cascaded up to four layers, which is how you can get the total count where you need it. A single PC can have hundreds of ZvBoxes connected to it. As a rule of thumb, USB hubs cost roughly $7 per port.

Remote PC control software – there are many different versions of this. We use LogMeIn, primarily because the remote side is completely web-based and doesn’t require any software installation. That means you can get to the control computer from any machine that has internet access.

Other popular products are pcAnywhere, GoToMyPc, and VNC. Many of the choices are either inexpensive, or free.

Tuning in the ZV channel(s) – you’ll need a QAM tuner to connect to the PC. There are internal cards, and external USB connected tuners. In general, they let you tune to any channel on the cable using a simple software interface. It’s a great way to see what your ZvBoxes are broadcasting. Expect to pay roughly $100.

Keep in mind that you won’t be able to see the video in real-time remotely (there’s the usual lag and reduced frame rate due to processing and transmission). Tip: make sure that you connect your tuner to the cable at a point where all of the channels are already combined onto the coax.