iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 111 - AVS Forum
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post #3301 of 3539 Old 06-17-2014, 02:21 PM
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It's surely the best option at this price point, but if you want reliability, you'll have to pay more. The iView's reliance on PSIP for its clock means that it doesn't always record what you want and when you want it.
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post #3302 of 3539 Old 06-17-2014, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
It's surely the best option at this price point, but if you want reliability, you'll have to pay more. The iView's reliance on PSIP for its clock means that it doesn't always record what you want and when you want it.
As stated, "reliable" is not how I would characterize these boxes. "Flaky" would be a more accurate term.

They are inexpensive and fun to play with if you are looking for a new little hobby. But if you're counting on recording a show, forget it!

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post #3303 of 3539 Old 06-17-2014, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by overt View Post
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?
Definitely the 'II' box, either version with or without the 3/4 switch. They both are packaged with the more desirable remote.

I decided to roll the dice and buy one knowing all the pitfalls. I guess it depends on how frustrated you'd get by the surprises!

Leaving the box tuned to the channel you would be recording in the future before turning it off will keep the time accurate for recording for that channel.

You have to look at your local OTA channels and be aware of their time differences, knowing if you will schedule multiple events on different channels while you are away they will start and end on the time designated by each channel you have scheduled. In my area the major broadcasters are all the same, one local PBS channel is a minute faster and another PBS channel is three minutes slower. You just sort of have to pay attention.

You also may have to play interface roulette finding a USB to IDE/SATA interface that the iView likes. Ditto on the HD.

If this sounds like fun, it's only ~30 bucks!
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post #3304 of 3539 Old 06-17-2014, 06:59 PM
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iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread

I have a 3500STB with Comcast in Northeast Wisconsin. We still have analog/digital broadcast coming to the home I'm assuming. I'm learning about qam, clear, etc so bear with me please. Our TVs receive 2-69 and we get the locals too 2.1,2.2,2.3, etc.

From what I understand, the 3500 does not have an NTSC tuner like the tv's.

My problem is I cannot get any of the locals to show up on the 3500. I have tried multiple firmwares and switching between cable/air to figure out what to do.

I have 2 3500 and an ikonvert sc-58 and can't get any channels to populate.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Travis


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post #3305 of 3539 Old 06-17-2014, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overt View Post
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...
Get the 3500STBII (has a superior remote)


Yes, externally powered HDD is the way to go


Jury is out on USB socket... Better to loop the USB cable from HDD under the unit to put tension on the plug in the USB socket... AND NEVER TOUCH THE CABLE OR UNIT AGAIN! Works for me.
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post #3306 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae View Post
As stated, "reliable" is not how I would characterize these boxes. "Flaky" would be a more accurate term.

They are inexpensive and fun to play with if you are looking for a new little hobby. But if you're counting on recording a show, forget it!
I find that last sentence a bit of an exaggeration. Since my modification both of my 3500-STBII units have never missed a scheduled recording. The iView does not actually "rely" on PSIP -- it works more like an old-fashioned VCR that required specific time and date for scheduling. Being able to simply click on a PSIP entry to schedule a recording is a nicety that was not even available in early versions of the iView firmware. And with the ability to manually pad the time (front and rear) I find the iView pretty flexible.

So I think I might presumptuously amend LARIDAE's statement to be "if you absolutely, positively, cannot afford to miss a recording, the iView is not the device for you."

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post #3307 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by travishauch View Post
I have a 3500STB with Comcast in Northeast Wisconsin. We still have analog/digital broadcast coming to the home I'm assuming. I'm learning about qam, clear, etc so bear with me please. Our TVs receive 2-69 and we get the locals too 2.1,2.2,2.3, etc.

From what I understand, the 3500 does not have an NTSC tuner like the tv's.
I am guessing you mean ATSC rather than NTSC since the latter is analog and no longer functions OTA in this country. The iView does incorporate an NTSC tuner for antenna-delivered OTA broadcasts, and that is how I use mine; I am not a cable subscriber.

You can test to see if Comcast is sending any channels in the clear by plugging the Comcast cable directly into your digital TV (assuming you have one) and performing a channel scan. The iView cannot interpret encrypted cable signals, and that may be your problem. But if your TV can load channels without the use of a Comcast converter box the iView will be able to do the same.
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post #3308 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by danshane View Post
I am guessing you mean ATSC rather than NTSC since the latter is analog and no longer functions OTA in this country. The iView does incorporate an NTSC tuner for antenna-delivered OTA broadcasts, and that is how I use mine; I am not a cable subscriber.

You can test to see if Comcast is sending any channels in the clear by plugging the Comcast cable directly into your digital TV (assuming you have one) and performing a channel scan. The iView cannot interpret encrypted cable signals, and that may be your problem. But if your TV can load channels without the use of a Comcast converter box the iView will be able to do the same.


I can pick up analog and digital channels on my tv's with straight coax into them.

I can't find any channels with the iview.


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post #3309 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 07:33 AM
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Wow, thanks for all the helpful replies! I am willing to put up with the quirks and if a show isn't recorded, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJD51 View Post
You also may have to play interface roulette finding a USB to IDE/SATA interface that the iView likes. Ditto on the HD.
Hmm, are there any recommended combinations for HDD and enclosure? I did a brief search for HDD enclosures and of those that had external power, they were generally for full-size desktop hard drives (3.5"). I figured I would just go with an externally powered enclosure and a 3.5" SATA drive.
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post #3310 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 07:48 AM
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I have a 320GB WD in an external enclosure for testing but I use flash drives for my daily recording on all my boxes, team color brown 16GB usb 3.0 newegg, maxell 32GB and 64GB color green and yellow usb 3.0, and the Muskin 32gb ventura plus usb 3.0, all attached to 18" ext cords. I have tried other brands like PQI and Adata and they do not work well and resulted in hiccups. The 16gb team color brown usb 3.0 is around $10 and holds 2.5-3 hrs of HD.
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post #3311 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travishauch View Post
I can pick up analog and digital channels on my tv's with straight coax into them.

I can't find any channels with the iview.


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The iview does not have an analog tuner.

For digital cable channels that you get directly connected to your tv, try manually scanning the real channel number. What firmware are you running? You should try v13 unless you have a box with a Ch3/4 switch, in which case you should not expect to get most cable channels unless there is an update from iview.
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post #3312 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jprc View Post
The iview does not have an analog tuner.



For digital cable channels that you get directly connected to your tv, try manually scanning the real channel number. What firmware are you running? You should try v13 unless you have a box with a Ch3/4 switch, in which case you should not expect to get most cable channels unless there is an update from iview.

I know it doesn't have an analog tuner which I mentioned earlier.

I've tried all firmwares on multiple units. Manually entry shows signal strength on each channel 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 etc but when it scans the manual entry, it finds nothing.


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post #3313 of 3539 Old 06-18-2014, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overt View Post
Wow, thanks for all the helpful replies! I am willing to put up with the quirks and if a show isn't recorded, it wouldn't be that big of a deal.
Hmm, are there any recommended combinations for HDD and enclosure? I did a brief search for HDD enclosures and of those that had external power, they were generally for full-size desktop hard drives (3.5"). I figured I would just go with an externally powered enclosure and a 3.5" SATA drive.
From what I read that answer seems to be all over the map. I believe many are/were using 2.5" with an enclosure.
I had an 80g 3.5" HD hanging around and initially used that along with Vantec external interface. That worked well, so I sprung for a 1T HD on sale. iView says they now support up to 3T.
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post #3314 of 3539 Old 06-19-2014, 05:38 AM
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Which one's the best?

Given the number of iView and Homeworx models and near-identical clones currently available it would help if there was some kind of comparison document or table, or, failing that, at least a statement/opinion of which one is currently "the best".

For example, in the first 5 posts of this thread it is noted that it's possible to replace the iView firmware with Homeworx firmware. But why would you want to? This implies to me that the current Homeworx firmware is somehow "better" and possibly is the current best available. Or is the new iView II currently the best hardware?

As the proud owner of 2 flaky and unreliable Homeworx PVR 150's I am still searching for something more robust. I love the uncompressed HD picture quality I get from OTA and it is very accurately recorded and reproduced on the Homeworx. That's the good news. I think and hope these boxes are here to stay. There's not much else out there to choose from right now in a non-subscription PVR so I'm pinning my hopes on these inexpensive Chinese boxes.

For all the price of them I would gladly buy yet another one if a better one came along, so I'm constantly on the lookout for one. Any reviews and/or recommendations in this forum would be greatly appreciated by me and all the other cord-cutters looking for a reliable OTA PVR. Hey, I'm saving $100 a month by not having cable TV so I can keep experimenting with these inexpensive little boxes as they get better!

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post #3315 of 3539 Old 06-19-2014, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travishauch View Post
... Manually entry shows signal strength on each channel 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 etc but when it scans the manual entry, it finds nothing.
In most cases channel "N" is NOT transmitted on radio frequency "N". For instance here in Chicago, channel 11 is transmitted on RF channel 47. So I'd have to manually enter 47. You'd need to research this for your area.

Just to clarify: Are you connected to an ANTENNA via coaxial cable?
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post #3316 of 3539 Old 06-19-2014, 03:42 PM
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In most cases channel "N" is NOT transmitted on radio frequency "N". For instance here in Chicago, channel 11 is transmitted on RF channel 47. So I'd have to manually enter 47. You'd need to research this for your area.

Just to clarify: Are you connected to an ANTENNA via coaxial cable?

I'll do some research. No antenna. All the channels are coming from Comcast. Digital and analog.


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post #3317 of 3539 Old 06-19-2014, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by travishauch View Post
I'll do some research. No antenna. All the channels are coming from Comcast. Digital and analog
I have Comcast here in Chicago but they killed off clear QAM signals a while back. It was nice to plug the simple Comcast coax into the TV and getting 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 etc. in high definition. Enjoy your clear QAM Comcast signal while it lasts.

Hopefully someone else can help with your issue. I'm just using my new IVIEW for over-the-air broadcasters with an antenna.
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post #3318 of 3539 Old 06-19-2014, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post
I have Comcast here in Chicago but they killed off clear QAM signals a while back. It was nice to plug the simple Comcast coax into the TV and getting 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 etc. in high definition. Enjoy your clear QAM Comcast signal while it lasts.

Hopefully someone else can help with your issue. I'm just using my new IVIEW for over-the-air broadcasters with an antenna.

Yeah I'm thinking of just putting a big element antenna in the attic.


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post #3319 of 3539 Old 06-19-2014, 05:53 PM
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Hello all...
This week, I received a new IVIEW 3500STBII with ch 3/4 switch and the new remote. It has software version 20140305V2 and the hardware version is ATSC7816XD-02-Z00. The IVIEW seems to have a more sensitive tuner than my Homeworx HW-150PVR when hooked up under identical conditions. This is good, but the bright LED display, which only displays numerical channel number information that is not related to the digital channel ID, is very distracting. It should have an ON/OFF or DIM setting somewhere. I like the IVIEW remote much more than the simpler Homeworx remote. The menu option which displays the channel by LCN, Service Name, Service ID, and ONID does not seem to have any effect on the LED display. I have not done any recording as yet. Most likely I will end up using black electrical tape over the LED display.

Antenna in use: 91XG plus Y10-7-13 with a Winegard LNA-200 preamp pointed toward Sacramento (90 miles). Most channels are at or near 100% signal strength (using the INFO button).
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post #3320 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 06:20 AM
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Most likely I will end up using black electrical tape over the LED display.
I placed a small piece of painter's blue masking tape over my LEDs to substantially dim rather than completely hide the display. While the spurious channel number does not tell me a lot (except on the most-watched channels that I have learned to associate with the channel order) I do like to see the display light up when a recording begins. It gives me a little peace of mind to know that the DVR has kicked on at the right time. In short, it acts like the REC indicator on my old VCR.

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post #3321 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danshane View Post
I placed a small piece of painter's blue masking tape over my LEDs to substantially dim rather than completely hide the display. While the spurious channel number does not tell me a lot (except on the most-watched channels that I have learned to associate with the channel order) I do like to see the display light up when a recording begins. It gives me a little peace of mind to know that the DVR has kicked on at the right time. In short, it acts like the REC indicator on my old VCR.
I did not notice any change in the LED display when recording is started if the unit is already on - it may do this for timed recording as it switches ON... I usually place my hard drive so that I can see the activity led on the HD - if it's blinking, it's either recording or playing back..... That is what I depended on with the Homeworx... using tape with some transparency over the IVIEW LED may be a good idea - but I would be inclined to use some sort of dark smokey plastic to match the case.

I also noticed two other differences from the Homeworx: my HW-150PVR would take an agonizingly long time to start up, flashing the logo on the screen during bootup, apparently to populate the EPG before it actually started to show live programming. The IVIEW tuner seems to be "hot" as long as the unit is plugged in and connected to the antenna (with a green LED), so the bootup time is very short. Also, the USB power is OFF when the unit is powered off with the remote (just like the homeworx), so the power that keeps the tuner memory live is separate from the USB power. If there is a power supply mod that makes USB power more reliable, at least it is still switched properly.

Since a completed recording on either the Homeworx or the IVIEW includes the station ID, I see no reason why the station ID from PSIP information could not be displayed on the IVIEW LED in lieu of strictly numerical data. I hope they include this in the "promised" firmware update for the STBII with the ch 3/4 switch....
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post #3322 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 08:12 AM
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I did not notice any change in the LED display when recording is started if the unit is already on - it may do this for timed recording as it switches ON...
True enough; the only change on the LED if the unit is not in standby mode would be the ersatz channel number. In my environment the iView is only powered up when making a recording or watching one. For live OTA viewing I use the television's tuner.

Like you, I used to rely on the HD activity light as a recording indicator. But since I installed the drives inside the iView boxes that option seems to have disappeared.

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post #3323 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 02:24 PM
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I recently bought an IVIEW 3500 STB II (with 3/4 switch). My problem: The station I most want to record -- PBS (on RF 47) -- is the hardest one to receive cleanly.

I'm in Chicago in a high-rise condo less than 2 miles from the towers, but with many other buildings in the way. I'm limited to using an indoor antenna. (Just a UHF loop and rabbit ears for now). I'm recording to a Toshiba Canvio 1TB USB 3 external portable hard disk.

After much antenna location and orientation experimentation, I am now able to get a good signal from PBS when watching live. But when I hit RECORD, the live picture (and the recording) becomes UNWATCHABLE.

However, I can record CBS (on RF 12) perfectly. I haven't yet tested recording other channels yet.

I wonder if the electronics in the USB 3 external disk drive are causing interference.... I'll try an older USB 2 disk to test that theory. I have a Silver Sensor antenna on another tuner that I can try on the IVIEW.

Has anyone else experienced a good "live" signal, but unacceptable recording?
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post #3324 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post
I recently bought an IVIEW 3500 STB II (with 3/4 switch). My problem: The station I most want to record -- PBS (on RF 47) -- is the hardest one to receive cleanly.

I'm in Chicago in a high-rise condo less than 2 miles from the towers, but with many other buildings in the way. I'm limited to using an indoor antenna. (Just a UHF loop and rabbit ears for now). I'm recording to a Toshiba Canvio 1TB USB 3 external portable hard disk.

After much antenna location and orientation experimentation, I am now able to get a good signal from PBS when watching live. But when I hit RECORD, the live picture (and the recording) becomes UNWATCHABLE.

However, I can record CBS (on RF 12) perfectly. I haven't yet tested recording other channels yet.

I wonder if the electronics in the USB 3 external disk drive are causing interference.... I'll try an older USB 2 disk to test that theory. I have a Silver Sensor antenna on another tuner that I can try on the IVIEW.

Has anyone else experienced a good "live" signal, but unacceptable recording?
You need to move the antenna as far as physically possible from the iview. Ideally get an outdoor antenna. If you have to use indoor, get an antenna with a long cable or a detachable cable you can replace with your own. You may also need to move the hard drive as far as possible from the antenna too.
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post #3325 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 03:12 PM
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I would highly recommend building or buying a better antenna, too. In my experience UHF loops are the worst type of antenna you can use; I've even had better results receiving UHF stations with rabbit ears than with a UHF loop.
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post #3326 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 04:37 PM
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If signal is marginal using rabbit ears or loop antenna, try an inexpensive in-line RF amplifier between the antenna and DVR/TV. Just a little bit of signal gain can make the difference between a marginal and solid signal for recording. The TV tuner may be more sensitive than the $40 DVR tuner. LOL Might be worth a try.
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post #3327 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 05:06 PM
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R Johnson is only "2 miles from the towers" so more than likely multipath or even too strong of a signal is the problem, no need for a amplifier with a UHF loop close to the tuner.
I'd suggest a more directional antenna, maybe a Terk HDTVi or Silver Sensor, even a bow tie is probably better than a simple loop.
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post #3328 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 06:29 PM
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Are both the CBS (RF12) channel and the PBS channel being broadcast at the same resolution (ie 1080, 720, 480), SD or HD?


If not, then recording the HD 1080 channel will require more disc read/writes. SD recording does less disk access. Just find it hard to believe the external USB3 HDD gives off enough EMI to bother the iView tuner.


Edited to add: For test purposes, try a thumb drive to see if the signal breaks up when you hit record. N.G. for future use recording HD channels, but should rule out the HDD theory.

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post #3329 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 06:40 PM
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[QUOTE=danshane;25120289]True enough; the only change on the LED if the unit is not in standby mode would be the ersatz channel number. In my environment the iView is only powered up when making a recording or watching one. For live OTA viewing I use the television's tuner.

I am able to receive TV signals from 3 market areas, and I don't like to rescan when I can simply switch inputs on the TV. So I use my TV tuner for Fresno, the IVIEW tuner for Sacramento, and I will use the Homeworx tuner for San Francisco. I record on the IVIEW or the Homeworx sometimes when they are the sole source for a program I want to see later, but I usually record network programming on my SIMPLE.TV (on yet another antenna). The SIMPLE.TV tuner works quite easily for scheduling, playback, and archiving, plus I can watch live TV or previously recorded shows away from home, or at home on any Roku, tablet, or PC.

You could probably figure out a way to put an activity LED from the hard drive (using the front of an enclosures guts) in the empty hole from the USB connector.
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post #3330 of 3539 Old 06-20-2014, 06:42 PM
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Most people using indoor antennas, including myself, who have any weak stations experience this problem recording. It has nothing to do with usb 3 vs 2. So far everyone who had done what I said has resolved it. Hopefully it will work for him too although he may also need a different antenna as suggested.
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