Zinwell ZAT-970A does have Program Timer for VCR function!
The Zinwell so far has been functioning pretty well but sometimes the picture breaks up, says bad or no signal, not sure if that is the fault of my antenna or something about the broadcasting area, or something I havent learned about to fine tune, but it does have the 8 event timer that only one other converter has according to my research, and who wants to give up what we have all taken for granted for so long, to set your VCR to tape your favorite programs to view later??? With the Zinwell you can set up to 8 times for the TV to change to a set channel, you dont select time duration, you still have to do that with your regular VCR program timer function, set the VCR to channel 3 all the time in other words and set the time and length, daily, weekly etc as you normally would on the VCR, then set the Zinwell to the channel to change to and the start only time...you can select once only, daily, which will include Saturday and Sunday, no weekday only option, weekly or monthly.... the part that needed clarification is the whole process, its not in the very minimum directions that came in the box but I did find the manual on line at
http://www.zinnetusa.com/download/zat-970A/UserManual-20080603.pdf but there is still one thing that needs clarification on setting the time, it says and just think start time when it says wakeup.......
"Time: Press ENTER and numeric buttons to input your
wakeup time. Once the timefs up, no matter what the
system is in standby mode or in playing mode, the
system will automatically switch to the channel you want
and start to play.
Press EXIT button, it will ask you gAre you sure to
save?W . Selectg Yes" to save the timer or select
gNo" to cancel the operation."....here is the heads up!!! it left out a couple of steps important to getting the time set and saved.....after highlighting the step to set the time by pressing enter, you will see a curser under the set time of the one of 12:00 AM, say you want to start something a minute before 9PM to make sure you get the beginning, you can use the number buttons to change the time to 08:59 when you get to the AM, and want to change it to PM, you use the up or down channel, now here is what they left out in the manual instructions....heads up!! you must push ENTER again and make the curser go away, now you can press EXIT and get the message to save? which is always set on no as default, so you must use the volume down(the button to the left of the ENTER center button) to change to Yes, push ENTER and then and only then press the EXIT to finish the program....if you follow the given directions without these other steps you actually go back to the default time and/or exit the whole program without saving, over and over again.....I hope this saves you the time it took me and frustration to figure out, and here is another heads up....when you think about it if you set your VCR program to a Mon-Fri daily time, it wont hurt if the TV is off during the weekends that the channel goes to that station at that time, however if you manually start recording a program with your trusty VCR remote on Saturday or Sunday like your favorite game while you are away to watch later and then you leave, the converter will still change the channel at the M-F set program time and you may not have what you wanted to record when you get back to view the end of the game or whatever...just a heads up on that one, there is no way to unselect that program timer change with just a one step button..... the online manual explains a lot about the parental controls, password, other technical settings I dont understand yet that did not come in the box with the scimpy directions so you will probably want to bookmark the manual.....so, so far, I think this is an OK converter, definitely would not want one that the remote didnt control at least the volume and have a mute as this one does have, hope they have replacement remotes if this one ever goes out, it would be a total drag without the remote but the base unit does at least have channel up/down and on/off, but that's it....but it doesnt have the smart antenna input, whatever that is, you cannot change the font and placement etc of the captions like some can, the volume is limited to what you have set the volume to on the regular remote, like if you mute with the regular remote you have no volume control at all on the Zinwell remote and its sort of tied to how loud it will go to what you have set your regular volume remote to, so be prepared to deal with 2 remotes just about all the time but at least I can still tape my daily or whatever programs and have life somewhat as I knew it before all this made me have to spend so much time dealing with just keeping a TV on without paying cable fees.