Hi there, we have a recommended Zinwell PVR640 Freeview box.  Recently, it has been performing very poorly, in particular with TV3 and I understand that this has something to do with changes to the Freeview platform.  Proof of this is that the box works perfectly, when we unplug the aerial cable!  Zinwell no longer make this box, so no new firmware is expected.

Please advise what we should do, as we spent a lot of money on the decoder and changes to the platform have made it unusable.

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Hey Eddie, could you please explain what you mean by "performing very poorly"?

Just need more detail to be able to offer the right suggestions - if I'm able to.



Hi Bel, thanks for the response.  Okay, what happens is the following:

EPG takes a long time to load, previously maybe 5 seconds, now could take up to 30 seconds.  The other problem is with watching recorded shows.  If you fast-forward and try to press play, it does not "respond" for 30 seconds.  This is a well documented problem that has crept into these particular players when TV3 did something last year.  They subsequently "fixed" it in November and it is now back.  When I unplug the aerial, it works just fine!  So clearly this has something to do with something that has changed on the platform.

Hi Eddie, how recently did this start happening? If you could be as specific as possible it'll help us zone in on what's causing this for you. And have you contacted Graham at Zinwell?

Hi Bel, I cannot be specific, suspect it is the last month or so.  I have contacted Graham who told me that it was platform related, not hardware.  In fact, I have copied a lot of what was said, both then and now below from Graham:  Note that the final update he put up a couple of days ago was after I contacted him.

What I am unhappy about, is that we have invested quite a lot of money on a recommended device that no longer works, as a result of changes to the platform.  I would like to understand what my options are.


The ZMT-640PVR was designed in late 2007 to the Freeview specifications and anticipated requirements at that time. As more channels are added to the Freeview platform, performance will gradually deteriorate again and Zinwell has advised that it is no longer possible to correct this with changes to the software.  The last software version to be released for this model is v1.2.4 which takes includes the changes made by Freeview in late 2011. 

Freeview have made some changes which should significantly improve performance of the ZMT-640PVR and other brands that were affected by the TV3 Regionalisation.  New recordings should now playback much better and response to remote commands should be almost back to normal.   Sorry existing recordings made before today's changes WONT improve.

Previous information from 23/10/12

Since the recent MediaWorks update*, performance of the ZMT-640PVR has become sluggish and various other symptoms have occurred affecting, TV3 recording, accessing the EPG and playback.

Symptoms reported so far:

   Difficulty in accessing and programming with the EPG
   Very slow to respond to remote control commands
   Playback of some programs have no video (maybe TV3 only?)
   Playback quality may be poor
   FF on playback not working properly

(If you are experiencing entries being lost from your Record List or programs are recording twice since the introduction of the "plus 1" channels, this is a different issue and can be corrected by updating to software v1.2.4)

Zinwell have advised that it will be several weeks before a solution can be made available as an almost complete re-write of the system software is required to handle the recent changes introduced by TV3.  

Please watch this space for further progress updates.

In the meantime, a work around to restore normal performance during playback, is to temporarily unplug the aerial lead while you are watching the recording

Please check the following link for the latest information on this issue:


Other Zinwell related support information and software updates can be found at:






Thanks Graham. So Freeview, what do we do now?  Also, think it may be an idea that you remove that device from your website, incase someone decides to flog one on TradeMe or something.

Hi Eddie,

Trying to clarify this with Zinwell.  I've been advised that it isn't a platform issue, and Freeview is in contact with Zinwell to address this.

Graham is right though, it's not a quick fix due to the complexity of the problem at hand.

Please follow Zinwell's suggested temporary solution while as we continue to work on a true solution for this.

The product is marked as "no longer being manufactured" on the Approved Products page (as are other older digital receivers / recorders) - as is evident from the response you're getting from Graham, Zinwell is very much still offering support to viewers using this approved device (unlike devices that have not been approved).

Eddie Sella said:

Thanks Graham. So Freeview, what do we do now?  Also, think it may be an idea that you remove that device from your website, incase someone decides to flog one on TradeMe or something.

Thanks Bel, please keep me informed on progress.

Cheers, Eddie



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