iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 110 - AVS Forum
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post #3271 of 3715 Old 06-10-2014, 04:44 PM
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No. This unit does not get hot or very warm. I have a boxee box that gets so hot you could almost light a cigarette from it. This one seems safe but I left mine on for about 8 straight months and it burned out. (died)

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post #3272 of 3715 Old 06-10-2014, 05:26 PM
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okay. thank you.

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post #3273 of 3715 Old 06-10-2014, 07:55 PM
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I have determined that the new version with the ch 3/4 switch must use the mstar msb1237 demodulator chip based on the picture posted a few weeks ago by another user (just like sunkey based boxes I posted about also use the msb1237 now). I am still waiting for somebody to obtain a decent picture though. It is the chip behind the tuner can. The new demod chip is much smaller than the one the older versions of the 3500stb and 3500stbii and the homeworx /Stellar Labs /Ematic/ Naxa used which was the samsung S5H1411 demodulator. This is why when we loaded those firmwares they did not disable those boxes and only required the correct remote to recover them. In the last few weeks I have been able to obtain a few other msd7816 based boxes like the sc-55 v2 and the qfx cv-100 on the cheap. Both of which had junk firmware out of the box and should be avoided along with the the naxa, sunkey, lutema, supersonic ikonvert, proscan, and axess. The only usable firmware boxes are the iview, the homeworx and the ematic which just happen to be the only three that have custom and unique remote codes. The rest of the brands including the stellar labs all use the default remote and codes.

Somebody also posted the following over on a newegg review of the hw150 about the hw180

"Other Thoughts: Chipsets: M-star MSD 7618 VLSI 128-pin CPU chip; Samsung 6-th Generation S5H1411 demodulator chip, and Rafael 820T silicon tuner.

The HW180 model has the same M-star CPU and Rafael silicon tuner, but uses an M-star MSB1237 demodulator chip in place of the Samsung. Samsung discontinued the S5H1411, so I presume the newer HW180 had to go with a different chip (M-star)."

This tells me the 180 is like the sk903h but with the pvr disabled.
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post #3274 of 3715 Old 06-10-2014, 11:10 PM
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Is this the picture you are looking for?  I have the box with the channel 3/4 switch.  

I also happen to have one without the switch too. 

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post #3275 of 3715 Old 06-11-2014, 09:42 PM
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Thanks, that confirms it.
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post #3276 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerski View Post
No. This unit does not get hot or very warm. I have a boxee box that gets so hot you could almost light a cigarette from it. This one seems safe but I left mine on for about 8 straight months and it burned out. (died)
I can testify that the box runs quite cool. In fact, I removed the USB port from the front of the 3500 and tucked my little hard drive inside the box connected to the USB jack hanging loose within. Makes for a tidy arrangement, and the drive cable does not get knocked loose as it sometimes did.

I have learned that the 3500 likes some disk drives better than others when relying on the USB interface to power the drive. I used to believe that the USB line might be somewhat defective, but I am now pretty comfortable with the idea that some drives are more power-hungry than others. If I had a USB drive with an external power supply I would have more assurance that my theory is correct; perhaps other users can verify that.

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post #3277 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 11:47 AM
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This 'ematic' unit seems to be similar to the iView... has anyone checked it out?
http://www.amazon.com/AT103B-CONVERT...eywords=ematic

Orrin - Engineer/Photographer/Webmaster
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post #3278 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orrin1933 View Post
This 'ematic' unit seems to be similar to the iView... has anyone checked it out?
http://www.amazon.com/AT103B-CONVERT...eywords=ematic
It's been talked about several times here and in other threads, including just a few posts ago.
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post #3279 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danshane View Post
I can testify that the box runs quite cool. In fact, I removed the USB port from the front of the 3500 and tucked my little hard drive inside the box connected to the USB jack hanging loose within. Makes for a tidy arrangement, and the drive cable does not get knocked loose as it sometimes did.

I have learned that the 3500 likes some disk drives better than others when relying on the USB interface to power the drive. I used to believe that the USB line might be somewhat defective, but I am now pretty comfortable with the idea that some drives are more power-hungry than others. If I had a USB drive with an external power supply I would have more assurance that my theory is correct; perhaps other users can verify that.
I used two externally powered HDD with it and it would sporadically show as disconnected even when the light was still flashing for it being in use. It got worse and worse until it would not record more than few minutes with out showing as disconnected. Then it stopped recognizing all drives including flash drives.
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post #3280 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jprc View Post
I used two externally powered HDD with it and it would sporadically show as disconnected even when the light was still flashing for it being in use. It got worse and worse until it would not record more than few minutes with out showing as disconnected. Then it stopped recognizing all drives including flash drives.
Well, that seems to point to a problem on the iView mainboard after all. I am running the latest firmware (v13). I do not know if other versions exhibit the same USB connection drops.

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post #3281 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orrin1933 View Post
This 'ematic' unit seems to be similar to the iView... has anyone checked it out?
http://www.amazon.com/AT103B-CONVERT...eywords=ematic
Quote:
Originally Posted by jprc View Post
It's been talked about several times here and in other threads, including just a few posts ago.
I did a search on 'ematic' here with no results...thants why I posted.
A link to these "other threads" would be appreciated.

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post #3282 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orrin1933 View Post
I did a search on 'ematic' here with no results...thants why I posted.
A link to these "other threads" would be appreciated.

This thread, like I said just a few posts before you asked the question and several other times in this thread, the Homeworx thread, the List of Comsumer DVRs thread, the epVision thread, the Magnavox thread, and others - not in "quotes."
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post #3283 of 3715 Old 06-12-2014, 04:52 PM
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What would you like to know about the ematic at103b? It is the same menus just a different remote code. The first batch of 10k was sold out in 04/14, the new batch of the at103b might even have the other demod, haven't seen one yet. They made 10k in 09/13 and starting selling them in 11/13 and Walmart sold all of them in less then 6 months through online only. The first ematic batch had good working firmware from 081713.

I am hoping somebody can confirm or deny if their is something wrong with the factory firmware on the 3500stbii with the ch 3/4 switch.


I have a feeling that this new demod might have caused a step back in the firmware just like the sunkey based firmware problems.
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post #3284 of 3715 Old 06-13-2014, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satpro View Post
I am hoping somebody can confirm or deny if their is something wrong with the factory firmware on the 3500stbii with the ch 3/4 switch.


I have a feeling that this new demod might have caused a step back in the firmware just like the sunkey based firmware problems.

I have both 3500stbII models, a recent one with and one without the 3/4 external switch.

It seems there is no difference in the firmware performance between the two other than the incompatibility between the two box versions, the 'without' box is currently running v13a. Both units have menu transparency in percentages. The 'with' box does not indicate in the menu options a 'modulation' choice of channel 3/4 choice nor loop through under 'channel search'. It would seem the external switch takes care of that and the unit always passes the analog signal whether the box is on or off.



I read this entire thread and still gambled on buying one of these knowing the pitfalls. The first unit is the 'without' box, I ordered a second and got a 'with' version.

After a month of tinkering I have some observations:

1 - By far the worst problem with both boxes in the unreliability of the USB port. I have external powered 3.5 HDs, one IDE, one SATA. The connections are unacceptably loose and will fail connection to the iView with the slightest touch of the plug. The problem does not exist when the HD USB connection is made on my PC port.
The iView port can be made more secure by removing the little PC board and carefully bending the side springs and even more carefully bending the bottom springs in the port. I am considering replacing the port if I can determine the exact correct replacement port.

2 - After some frustrating attempts to get the iView to faithfully see the 1T HD I resorted to this sequence. I had successfully recorded around 100g of hidef. program material. Then the iView decided there was no space available to record nor was there any space on the HD! It read 0.00g. In one attempt I copied the files and reformatted (NTSC) the entire drive on the PC but the same thing happened again. I then reformatted again on the PC but also let the iView format the drive and got the 123456789 filename. So far so good. . .

3 - I have read and experienced others' problems with program schedules getting dropped. I have the same problem as I use both iViews for only OTA reception. It appears the dropped schedules/missing station identification is due to reception issues and happens on the same channels. In my area it is Fox and a weaker local PBS channel. Both boxes have the same issue with the same channels.

This is my worst complaint about this little box - the unreliability of scheduled recordings. I will continue to attempt to make antenna adjustments to see if this solves this problem; both are indoor, a large one in the attic and another small one in a bedroom. Aside from this the hidef. recordings are really great, I watch them on a 55" Samsung 6350 TV and a smaller Sony.

The EPG will sometimes freeze, not often, and if I wait for it to populate it will not freeze on both boxes. When it does, iView will restart itself after some time. When that happens I have learned to check all the menu settings and have had to to reset them. Daily, weekly and through midnight programming works fine - when it records!

Still, this is an amazing box for the price of a little over 30 bucks even with the quirks. It seems they are still trying to improve the 3500stbII with a new model. Oh, and BTW, they must have listened to the early complaints about the brightness of the cryptic channel display as it is an acceptable brightness, much dimmer than my 'without' box! And curiously, when the newer box is 'off', both red and green LEDs are lit. Whatevah. . .

Lastly, apologies for a long first post, and I have hi-res. pics of the new box if necessary to post.

Thanks - LJD51
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post #3285 of 3715 Old 06-13-2014, 04:20 PM
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If you could please post a picture of the entire new board with the ch 3/4 switch that would be great. I would like to see the 5v/12v power configuration and to see what this new board might tell us like msd 7816 or klf 7816 compared to others. Thanks


As far as the USB connection problems I use USB 3.0 flash drives in 16 32 and 64 gb, Maxell, Team, and Muskin brands. I do not damage the usb port on these boxes by using a very shory 6,9,18, or 24" extension cord where I change drives.

I also have a 320gb HDD and it olny likes one 18" extension cord out of the 5 I have tested, otherwise it will loose power during an event or need to be externally powered.
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post #3286 of 3715 Old 06-13-2014, 04:34 PM
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new iView 3500stbII pics

new iView 3500stbII pics

Hope I did this right
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post #3287 of 3715 Old 06-13-2014, 06:02 PM
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Great work, Here is a picture of the power supply pinouts from the 3500stbii without the ch 3/4 switch which had 12v and 5v, As I suspected this new board with the ch 3/4 switch appears to use 5V only just like the sunkey based boxes have a 5V external supply.
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post #3288 of 3715 Old 06-13-2014, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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The only difference between the original and the "II" is the remote. Interior pics were already posted in the first 5 posts.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #3289 of 3715 Old 06-13-2014, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
The only difference between the original and the "II" is the remote. Interior pics were already posted in the first 5 posts.
There is a difference in the power to the USB port.
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post #3290 of 3715 Old 06-14-2014, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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But those pics don't show that jumper.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #3291 of 3715 Old 06-14-2014, 08:01 AM
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ftdi interface

Next to the antennae cans is a serial ftdi interface. Has anyone attached an ftdi connector to their computer to see what debug data and menu options are available via that interface yet? I am wondering if it is worth my effort to try or not. Here is a picture of the underside of the board with the pinouts labeled.

This is the ch 3/4 version, but I confirmed that both boards have the interface in a similar location.
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post #3292 of 3715 Old 06-14-2014, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satpro View Post
Great work, Here is a picture of the power supply pinouts from the 3500stbii without the ch 3/4 switch which had 12v and 5v, As I suspected this new board with the ch 3/4 switch appears to use 5V only just like the sunkey based boxes have a 5V external supply.
Correct. And thanks.

I also used your information on page 107 and rewired my 'without' box to have the 5v lead sent to the main board as your pics show. That now powers down the USB interface as the 'with 3/4 switch' box does.

Image 4183 shows the main board labeled 'iView Gorilla-A A1'. It is a different board from the version II with the newer remote.

I'd like to thank all the early adopters of this box for the work involved in helping to get it to where it is now and for VB for starting this thread. Those early days must have been maddening!

I am now currently attempting to determine what exactly causes the 3/4 switch box to power down the external drive 12v to the HD. The interface I'm using is a USB 3.0 Star Tech kit. I have to swap that on my 'without' box and see if that works or not. A 2.0 USB interface, however, will not power down the 12v. I'd like to have that feature on both boxes. Back to tinkering. . .
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post #3293 of 3715 Old 06-14-2014, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
But those pics don't show that jumper.
Here's what the "II" board and connections look like, the version without the 3/4 switch: iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread

You can see the difference in the power connections to the USB. I'm assuming you are talking about that version when you refer to II since the latest 3rd hardware version has multiple differences besides the remote.
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post #3294 of 3715 Old 06-14-2014, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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The comment referred to the photos he just posted, not those.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #3295 of 3715 Old 06-14-2014, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localuser View Post
Next to the antennae cans is a serial ftdi interface. Has anyone attached an ftdi connector to their computer to see what debug data and menu options are available via that interface yet? I am wondering if it is worth my effort to try or not. Here is a picture of the underside of the board with the pinouts labeled.

This is the ch 3/4 version, but I confirmed that both boards have the interface in a similar location.
blue_z has. Here is a link to one place he talked about it in the Homeworx forum, and there is a bit more further up on that page. There was a link to his post in the iview forum as well but since the forum upgrade that link doesn't work for me anymore. So maybe you can find it. Or maybe the Homeworx link gives you some info you want.
Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion
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post #3296 of 3715 Old 06-15-2014, 05:43 PM
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Here is a collection of some of the other MSD7816 ATSC boxes and my findings.

After considering the new info about the MSTAR demod versus the Samsung demod I starting experimenting further with these boxes, I have mentioned my findings in the past about sucessfully running firmware on the ematic but now it also turns out that the even the 12V Naxa NT-52, the 5V Supersonic Ikonvert SC-55, and the 5V QFX CV-100 all happen to have the same Samsung demod in combination with the msd7816 CPU and are compatible in some ways with the HW and IV firmwares.

I show the boards below.


First, I started with the one that came with the worst factory firmware which was the QFX.

Now even though it was 5V external power supply the version AA and V9 loaded fine and it responds to the V2 iview remote. The analog audio did not work except during a resolution change, and the analog video was at a low level, however the HDMI, USB and tuner all worked as expected and the recordings with the timer now work great.

So I then loaded HW v13 firmware on the QFX and now even the analog audio also worked. I also determined that the reason for the low level on the analog RCA video was because they left out a part that in comparison the SC-55 happens to include so even the RCA video works on the SC-55 v2. See picture 5.

I then also tested the naxa NT-52 which does not have the HDMI out just a component out. With the HW firmware it worked fine for the component out, the analog audio out, the tuner scan was successful and the USB works fine, the naxa just requires a HW150 remote now. On the Naxa the analog composite video level was low because they also left out that one part on the board.

The original (V1) 3500stb V6 and VR firmware load fine but the tuner finds nothing with these so something in that firmware must be powering the tuner differently.

I also tested the RF pass through on the tuners and the modulator functions and have found varied results which aren't worth mention here because I doubt anyone would use the ch 3/4 outputs anyway.

I should also mention that even though the QFX and the SC-55 have the ch 3/4 switch because they use the original Samsung demod and not the newer mstar demod the firmwares were compatible.

I will also note that I tested the SL DT-1200 firmware and found it to be compatible with the above mentioned boxes in the same ways and also utilized the same remote code as the factory firmware for the naxa nt-52, ikonvert sc-55 and the qfx cv-100. The firmwares may disable the front panel lights or the power buttons but never impact the HDMI, USB and the IR eye connection back to the CPU. I kind of suspected this would be the case since I had found a diagram of the MSD7818 chip I/Os through baidu

These findings lead me to suspect that should Iview ever release the firmware for the new V3 with the ch 3/4 switch that it would be compatible with the sunkey based boards that use the new mstar MSB demod chip. I had posted about that board a few weeks ago here as well as the picture of that board.

Axess CB-3001 / Lutema AirTV / Sunkey SK-903H firmware ATSC USB recorders Supersonic ikonvert SC-57


Also see my other post above about the demodulator chips

iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread


http://mstar.wikia.com/wiki/MBoot

http://mstar.wikia.com/wiki/Firmware_update

http://mstar.wikia.com/wiki/MSD7818

http://mstar.wikia.com/wiki/Debricking

http://mstar.wikia.com/wiki/Flash_Backup

http://mstar.wikia.com/wiki/Special:NewFiles
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post #3297 of 3715 Old 06-15-2014, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow!
Now, can you compile similar with the main components that ePVision uses??

And just think, a certain narrow minded elitist here complained that I spent too much time on these Chineese DVR's when I made the comparison thread.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #3298 of 3715 Old 06-16-2014, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Wow!

And just think, a certain narrow minded elitist here complained that I spent too much time on these Chineese DVR's when I made the comparison thread.
I must say that the iView 3500 boxes I own have proved to be among the most frustrating yet most fun appliances I ever threw my TV pennies at. I have never seen any piece of A/V hardware receive so many firmware upgrades in such a short span of time, and the interior layout afforded plenty of room for hardware tinkering.

I had a half-dozen 2.5" SATA drives of various make in my drawer that I pulled from defunct laptops, so this afforded me a reasonable way to experiment with compatibility. I started with a self-contained 1 TB WD Passport USB 2.0 drive, and I was happy with the performance until the USB cable got knocked about a few times (thanks to the vulnerable front-panel USB port on the 3500), and I found myself doing an undesirable amount of cable-wiggling to renew the connection. This never seemed to last very long.

By this time I had purchased a second unit, and for this one I attached one of the 160 GB laptop drives mounted inside a Sargent USB enclosure. Worked great for a while, then it too suffered from the dreaded "USB device removed" bug. Pinching the USB cable's plug with a pair of pliers seemed to help for a time, but eventually the problem would resurface.

Finally I performed the same surgery that LJD51 did on the iView's USB board, but in my case I actually removed the port from the front panel, cleaned the connectors well, made sure everything was good and snug, then wrapped the connection in electrical tape. Then I tucked the drive, enclosure and all, inside the unit and closed the box. I quit using the WD Passport drive on my original unit and repeated the hack with a 40 GB SATA drive (again in a Sargent enclosure). This 3500 is only used for occasional time-shifting so I did not need a large drive.

So far both units have been rock-solid for many days, and they got moved around plenty from the time they were reassembled. With the connectors and cables taped down the flaky USB seems to have been cured (not to mention the space saved on my shelves). My practice is to leave both iViews in standby mode, and they have faithfully kicked on and recorded all my scheduled programs. If the boxes continue to perform this way I will wear a satisfied smile for a long time for having attempted such an easy mod. The drives cost me nothing thanks to recycling, and the enclosures (cables included) were less than $5 each with shipping.

$80 and a bit of creativity gives me the ability to record two channels at the same time (in separate locations). No fancy Rovio or Tivo 2-week scheduling, but for the savings I do not miss it. The iView may not be for the person who expects everything to just work out of the box, but for me the little guy has proved to be a good bit of fun and really fills the bill.
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Dan Shane
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post #3299 of 3715 Old 06-16-2014, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by danshane View Post
I must say that the iView 3500 boxes I own have proved to be among the most frustrating yet most fun appliances I ever threw my TV pennies at.

The iView may not be for the person who expects everything to just work out of the box, but for me the little guy has proved to be a good bit of fun and really fills the bill.
Agreed!

Something I did not see discussed but could have missed is this -

In the PVR, Photo, Movie, and possibly Music view, there is a feature available by pressing the 'repeat' button (although I don't have any media stored in the last three the feature is available in at least Photo and Movie along with PVR). This feature is not addressed in the User Manual.

I took three pics from the TV to show in the upper right corner the icon for the features available. The first is 1 repeat of whatever file is selected to play. A second press of 'repeat' will replay the folder, and a third press will repeat the folder randomly. The icons are visually intuitive.
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post #3300 of 3715 Old 06-17-2014, 02:02 PM
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I confess, I haven't read the entire thread, but I read the first five posts and the last couple of pages. I currently use an older Zenith digital converter box. It would be nice to have the ability to record OTA programs and to timeshift. Given that I would only use the box for OTA (no cable channels), in your opinions, what iView is the better box: 3500STB or 3500STBII? Additionally, if I were to use an externally powered HDD and I bent the springs in the USB connector (as described by LJD51) do you think I'd have a fairly reliable box for recording of OTA programming, or should I look for more expensive options? The ~$35 price-point is fairly enticing...
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