iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 116 - AVS Forum
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post #3451 of 3791 Old 08-12-2014, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by az99 View Post
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1465875/iview-3500stb-tuner-dvr-owners-thread/2940#post_24309923" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jeffdb27</strong> <a href="/t/1465875/iview-3500stb-tuner-dvr-owners-thread/2940#post_24309923"><img alt="View Post" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Hello,<br>
I have looked through this thread and appreciate all the great info. Just wanted to verify that there is no way to set the clock manually and no plans for them to fix this. I have COX cable and it scans the QAM channels but does not sat the clock, and no guide information is available. In fact, there is no information at all including the current show you are watching. Should I try a different firmware? I have tried v12 and v13 and didn't see any difference.<br><br>
Not being able to set the clock makes this thing useless as a DVR/PVR for me. I haven't tried it, but I assume I could hook this to an OTA antenna and let it set the clock, then switch back to cable for QAM. But my friend who was thinking of getting one of these units won't have that option (no antenna - we are too far from any station for simple rabbit ears).<br><br>
I guess this was more of a rant than a question, but any information on this would be greatly appreciated!<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Jeff</div>
</div>
<p><br>
I have the exact same problem with date and time on cable. I called iview and they did not understand the problem but said I needed V10. But they never sent it. I emailed 2 more times but no replies. I tried V7,V12 and V13a. Any other suggestions? It is worthless without being able to program it. Also when I watch a movie from the USB port the colors are very poor compared to using the TV or DVD USB port. I am using the HDMI cable.   Thanx</p>
I think I've solved the clock problem. I returned my unit and got a brand new replacement. The date and time was June 29, 2011 07:53. Tech support was stumped. BTW, my service is through Cablevision in NY.

I left the box on and after 12 to 20 hours, the date self corrected to the current date. So my guess is that it takes many hours for Cablevision and iView to do a handshake.
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post #3452 of 3791 Old 08-12-2014, 03:33 PM
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no surround sound recordings?

I pulled my iView out of my box of discarded electronics and set it up again for who knows what reason. This time I actually hooked up a 1TB Seagate USB-powered drive to see if I could actually record hi-def without jittering like on the USB flash drives I tried.

Turns out, I could, but I was disappointed by the fact that the recording sound came out of my receiver as "LPCM Stereo" and not the original surround sound that was broadcast.

Also, when not recording, with the DD hooked up, occasionally the iView would say "USB Device Disconnected" then a second later "USB Device Connected". I also noticed the indicator light on the drive was kind of cycling up and down slowly in brightness at all times. What's up with that?

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post #3453 of 3791 Old 08-12-2014, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
I pulled my iView out of my box of discarded electronics and set it up again for who knows what reason. This time I actually hooked up a 1TB Seagate USB-powered drive to see if I could actually record hi-def without jittering like on the USB flash drives I tried.

Turns out, I could, but I was disappointed by the fact that the recording sound came out of my receiver as "LPCM Stereo" and not the original surround sound that was broadcast.

Also, when not recording, with the DD hooked up, occasionally the iView would say "USB Device Disconnected" then a second later "USB Device Connected". I also noticed the indicator light on the drive was kind of cycling up and down slowly in brightness at all times. What's up with that?

--
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You can change the audio setting in the menu.

The USB ports tend to be loose. You can try (carefully) to crimp it a bit. Aside from that though, the ports can also fail with time. Mine failed eventually after the USB message you see became more frequent.

If you're talking about the green LED that goes in and out with signal. If you mean the red led display then you may have some type of power issue.
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post #3454 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 02:48 AM
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Drive Indicator Light

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Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
I pulled my iView out of my box of discarded electronics and set it up again for who knows what reason. This time I actually hooked up a 1TB Seagate USB-powered drive to see if I could actually record hi-def without jittering like on the USB flash drives I tried.

Turns out, I could, but I was disappointed by the fact that the recording sound came out of my receiver as "LPCM Stereo" and not the original surround sound that was broadcast.

Also, when not recording, with the DD hooked up, occasionally the iView would say "USB Device Disconnected" then a second later "USB Device Connected". I also noticed the indicator light on the drive was kind of cycling up and down slowly in brightness at all times. What's up with that?

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The white indicator light on my Seagate drive pulsates when it's recording, or playing data. It is solid otherwise.
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post #3455 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
... I was disappointed by the fact that the recording sound came out of my receiver as "LPCM Stereo" and not the original surround sound that was broadcast.

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I believe this is a known firmware bug. You can listen to DD 5.1 audio on a live broadcast, and it will record it too - but when you play it back in the PVR menu, it down-converts to stereo.

There's a simple workaround: plug the HDD into a PC, and change the recording's file extension from .mts to .ts. Then plug it back into the iView, and play it in the Movie menu instead of the PVR menu. Should play with full DD 5.1.
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post #3456 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I believe this is a known firmware bug. You can listen to DD 5.1 audio on a live broadcast, and it will record it too - but when you play it back in the PVR menu, it down-converts to stereo.

There's a simple workaround: plug the HDD into a PC, and change the recording's file extension from .mts to .ts. Then plug it back into the iView, and play it in the Movie menu instead of the PVR menu. Should play with full DD 5.1.
An easier workaround is to use the coaxial digital jack for 5.1 sound instead of relying on HDMI.

As for the flaky USB that can be fixed by opening the unit and removing the USB circuit board from the front panel. Crimp the jack so it is nice and tight, and and after reattaching the board reinforce it somehow so that it does not wobble. It does not seem to like much shock-and-vibe.

For a permanent solution you can just leave the USB interface detached from the front panel and place your connected hard drive inside the unit. I have done that with two of my iView STBs and the USB error has disappeared. Makes for a very compact setup on my shelf.

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post #3457 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Hallmerk View Post
The white indicator light on my Seagate drive pulsates when it's recording, or playing data. It is solid otherwise.
No, the indicator light is ALWAYS pulsing slowly when connected to the iView, even when not recording or playing anything.

I also notice a fair amount of heat from the iView with the USB-powered drive, which may be a problem and may have something to do with the pulsing light (I know the recommendation is to use a self-powered drive but all I have are USB-powered drives).

When connected to my computer, I have never noticed any change in the Seagate indicator light no matter what it is doing...as soon as it powers up the light is on steadily for the duration of my computer session.

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post #3458 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by jprc View Post
You can change the audio setting in the menu.

The USB ports tend to be loose. You can try (carefully) to crimp it a bit. Aside from that though, the ports can also fail with time. Mine failed eventually after the USB message you see became more frequent.

If you're talking about the green LED that goes in and out with signal. If you mean the red led display then you may have some type of power issue.
How can I change the audio recording format in the menu? I didn't see any option for that, and you may notice somebody has given a different answer below...

I do tend to believe that my Seagate pulsing white light is related to a power issue. I'm not sure if my USB port is loose but it's possible (but weird in the year 2014, where are they sourcing that hardware, from Antartica?).

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post #3459 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I believe this is a known firmware bug. You can listen to DD 5.1 audio on a live broadcast, and it will record it too - but when you play it back in the PVR menu, it down-converts to stereo.

There's a simple workaround: plug the HDD into a PC, and change the recording's file extension from .mts to .ts. Then plug it back into the iView, and play it in the Movie menu instead of the PVR menu. Should play with full DD 5.1.
I thought it might have something to do with Dolby royalties or something, but I guess I can try that workaround (right now the iView is back in the discarded electronics box because I got so frustrated with its lousy episode guide I replaced it with my ChannelMaster converter box I usually have in that
slot in my entertainment center rack).

If the workaround is correct, I'm guessing this .mts format (or .ts) is like the Windows Media Center DVR format I usually use for recording TV. It is just a thin wrapper over the broadcast MPEG/DD5.1 formats.

I quite often strip off the "wrapper" to burn DVDs with near blu-ray quality and surround sound after converting the MPEG to Microsoft's VC-1 or whatever format. I'm assuming I could something similar with this .mts thing...

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post #3460 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 11:41 AM
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1. My Toshiba Canvio USB powered drive turns off (no light) after a few minutes of inactivity. Its light pulses during recording or playback, and is solidly on (until it turns off).

2. Sometimes I disconnect the drive from the iView and connect it to my Sony BD player for viewing through my front projection system. I'm rather sure that I get 5.1 sound that way. I think the iView simply records what the TV station transmits. Some playback methods may be limited to two channel audio.
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post #3461 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 11:48 AM
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An easier workaround is to use the coaxial digital jack for 5.1 sound instead of relying on HDMI.

As for the flaky USB that can be fixed by opening the unit and removing the USB circuit board from the front panel. Crimp the jack so it is nice and tight, and and after reattaching the board reinforce it somehow so that it does not wobble. It does not seem to like much shock-and-vibe.

For a permanent solution you can just leave the USB interface detached from the front panel and place your connected hard drive inside the unit. I have done that with two of my iView STBs and the USB error has disappeared. Makes for a very compact setup on my shelf.
You get a lot of techno-cred points for knowing that indeed I am running HDMI from the iView to my receiver. I'll have to check out your solution, and be sure that it can be accommodated in my situation...I mean, right now, I can barely use the iView at all with my receiver, because it has to share a HDMI output with my blu-ray player, and shuffling between the two confuses my receiver. If I connected a separate coax audio cable
(which I'm not even sure is available, since I think that is how I input DVD audio to the receiver), the thing might blow up or something...

Since I can't even handle a surround-sound receiver competently, your hardware fixes for the USB port will have to wait even longer until I get my Wyotech electronics tech degree or something...

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post #3462 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post
1. My Toshiba Canvio USB powered drive turns off (no light) after a few minutes of inactivity. Its light pulses during recording or playback, and is solidly on (until it turns off).

2. Sometimes I disconnect the drive from the iView and connect it to my Sony BD player for viewing through my front projection system. I'm rather sure that I get 5.1 sound that way. I think the iView simply records what the TV station transmits. Some playback methods may be limited to two channel audio.
Who knows what the light on my Seagate drive actually "indicates"...I suppose I could read the little manual that came with it (HA!), but it is always on when connected to a powered-up computer or iView.

ANOTHER possible solution to the surround sound problem...I do have a Sony blu-ray player and if I'm not mistaken this .mts format is a Sony thing and my blu-ray player probably supports it...I'll check it out...

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post #3463 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
How can I change the audio recording format in the menu? I didn't see any option for that, and you may notice somebody has given a different answer below...

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You can't actually change the audio recording format; the iView always records audio exactly as it was broadcast. But you can change the playback format. That may be what he meant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
I thought it might have something to do with Dolby royalties or something, but I guess I can try that workaround (right now the iView is back in the discarded electronics box because I got so frustrated with its lousy episode guide I replaced it with my ChannelMaster converter box I usually have in that
slot in my entertainment center rack).

If the workaround is correct, I'm guessing this .mts format (or .ts) is like the Windows Media Center DVR format I usually use for recording TV. It is just a thin wrapper over the broadcast MPEG/DD5.1 formats.

I quite often strip off the "wrapper" to burn DVDs with near blu-ray quality and surround sound after converting the MPEG to Microsoft's VC-1 or whatever format. I'm assuming I could something similar with this .mts thing...

--
max
Yes, .ts is an MPEG2 transport stream container, and .mts is very similar (hence the ability to rename without breaking it). They're similar to .mpg, only slightly larger due to some added error correction.

A lot of DVRs besides the iView also use a (sometimes altered) .ts format for recordings, including Channel Master's DVR+, ePVision's PHD-VRX, and DVICo's TViX 6620. (Those use a Linux filesystem instead of NTFS, though.)

If the recording is SD, you can convert from .ts files to a standard DVD's .vob format without any transcoding. The DVD will play exactly as broadcast. (Closed captions may require extra work though.) I've done this with the free DVDStyler program on my PC. If you want to transcode to reduce file size and/or handle HD video, @Aleron Ives is pretty good at that.
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post #3464 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 02:17 PM
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You can't actually change the audio recording format; the iView always records audio exactly as it was broadcast. But you can change the playback format. That may be what he meant.

Yes, .ts is an MPEG2 transport stream container, and .mts is very similar (hence the ability to rename without breaking it). They're similar to .mpg, only slightly larger due to some added error correction.

A lot of DVRs besides the iView also use a (sometimes altered) .ts format for recordings, including Channel Master's DVR+, ePVision's PHD-VRX, and DVICo's TViX 6620. (Those use a Linux filesystem instead of NTFS, though.)

If the recording is SD, you can convert from .ts files to a standard DVD's .vob format without any transcoding. The DVD will play exactly as broadcast. (Closed captions may require extra work though.) I've done this with the free DVDStyler program on my PC. If you want to transcode to reduce file size and/or handle HD video, @Aleron Ives is pretty good at that.
All I know is that I set my audio somewhere in the menus to "HDMI Raw" and that was how I finally got DD5.1 surround sound when watching TV through the iView. But this setting does not seem to have the same effect on the "USB PVR" playback in the "Multimedia" menu. Is there a special setting in the "Multimedia" or "USB PVR" menus for audio? I haven't been able to find it.

I may check out the transcoder link you provided. All in all I'm reasonably happy with the hi-def DVDs I've been able to burn using just the crazy quilt of free software that came with my computer (and a few things I downloaded for free from the Internet). I do have to shuffle around between multiple programs, and of course the transcoding takes FOREVER, but for free the final result is worth it...and it answers the question of "How do I burn blu-ray quality video onto a DVD?" which according to my first Google(TM) search of the topic, is,
according the Internet "experts", impossible to do...

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post #3465 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 02:51 PM
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Yes, I think the HDMI Raw setting is what he was referring to. But as you noted, it doesn't work when playing recordings from the PVR menu. AFAIK the only way to do that is by changing the file extension to .ts and playing it from the Movie menu (or by playing it on a PC or other device).

I really wish they would fix that in the firmware. It can obviously play back DD 5.1 correctly when the file extension is .ts, so the firmware should be able to just "pretend" the extension is .ts when playing a .mts file from the PVR menu. I realize this is only a $40 box, but that seems like such an easy thing to fix....
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post #3466 of 3791 Old 08-13-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
A lot of DVRs besides the iView also use a (sometimes altered) .ts format for recordings, including Channel Master's DVR+, ePVision's PHD-VRX, and DVICo's TViX 6620. (Those use a Linux filesystem instead of NTFS, though.)
I'm using an NTFS drive in my TViX, but it supposedly supports ext2, as well. I formatted the drive with my XP laptop, so NTFS was the best choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
"How do I burn blu-ray quality video onto a DVD?" which according to my first Google(TM) search of the topic, is, according the Internet "experts", impossible to do...
That depends on how you quantify "quality". It's true that BDMV allows a very high bitrate (up to 40 Mbps peak), which is way more information than a DVD drive could transfer at 1x or 2x, and a 2 hour movie with ~30 Mbps video would be so large that it wouldn't fit on a DVD. You can, however, fit a few hours of HD video (especially if it's 720p) on a DVD by using CRF mode in x264 to achieve the maximum compression ratio possible at your desired quality level, as opposed to the way Blu-ray movies are encoded, which is usually at a target bitrate (in order to avoid exceeding the maximum bitrate allowed by the BDMV standard).
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post #3467 of 3791 Old 08-14-2014, 03:29 AM
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Indicator Light

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Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
No, the indicator light is ALWAYS pulsing slowly when connected to the iView, even when not recording or playing anything.

I also notice a fair amount of heat from the iView with the USB-powered drive, which may be a problem and may have something to do with the pulsing light (I know the recommendation is to use a self-powered drive but all I have are USB-powered drives).

When connected to my computer, I have never noticed any change in the Seagate indicator light no matter what it is doing...as soon as it powers up the light is on steadily for the duration of my computer session.

--
max
I checked mine again after reading this post...mine DOES pulsate when receiving data. If it is not recording or playing back video the white light is solid! I'm using the Seagate 500GB drive!
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3500STBII Does not recieve CATV Channel

I searched through these threads for a few hours looking for a answer with no luck.
Can somebody tell me if there is a fix for the 3500STBII w/3-4 switch to receive clear channel CATV. Our cable has 20+ channels reassigned to the ch100-117 range. Doing a manual search I see the full strength and the channel but it does not receive when searched.
Iview support is piss-poor no return calls or return emails!
The only thing on their firmware upgrade page says don't upgrade the 3500stbII w/3-4 switch.
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post #3469 of 3791 Old 08-14-2014, 10:30 AM
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I'm assuming your STBII came with firmware version V2. I believe this is a "virtual QAM channel" version which fails with many cable systems.

iView does have other firmware versions for the "new" STBII (with the ch. 3/4 switch). IIRC they are V1, V2a, and V3. It's been reported that V1 is a "physical QAM channel" version, which should solve your problem. Don't know about V2a or V3 though.

If you can't get someone at iView support to email you those firmware versions, try PMing user @milkboy31 , @New2Me4Sure , or @Klaatu58 . They were all able to get the new firmware from iView support.

Hopefully someone will post the "new" STBII firmware at a file-sharing site soon. It takes iView months to update their web site.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 08-14-2014 at 11:14 AM.
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post #3470 of 3791 Old 08-14-2014, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
I'm using an NTFS drive in my TViX, but it supposedly supports ext2, as well. I formatted the drive with my XP laptop, so NTFS was the best choice.


That depends on how you quantify "quality". It's true that BDMV allows a very high bitrate (up to 40 Mbps peak), which is way more information than a DVD drive could transfer at 1x or 2x, and a 2 hour movie with ~30 Mbps video would be so large that it wouldn't fit on a DVD. You can, however, fit a few hours of HD video (especially if it's 720p) on a DVD by using CRF mode in x264 to achieve the maximum compression ratio possible at your desired quality level, as opposed to the way Blu-ray movies are encoded, which is usually at a target bitrate (in order to avoid exceeding the maximum bitrate allowed by the BDMV standard).
I define quality as "better than DVD when just burned as a straight DVD but no, actually not as good as a true blu-ray, somewhere in-between".

And for that definition, I can fit about two hours of "HD" video on a DVD. Can't say if it's "CRF mode in x264" (but it probably is, just under a different name), and I do set the transcoder I use to "720p" even though as far as I can tell it comes out as 1080, but you can see a little bit of lag in panning shots and stuff like that (once again, not a true blu-ray, but a "hi-def" picture definitely).

Same material, burned straight to a DVD without transcoding is definitely "blurrier" and definitely NOT "hi-def"...

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post #3471 of 3791 Old 08-14-2014, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Hallmerk View Post
I checked mine again after reading this post...mine DOES pulsate when receiving data. If it is not recording or playing back video the white light is solid! I'm using the Seagate 500GB drive!
Well, who knows, I certainly don't know what's going on with that light, except it definitely pulses slowly at all times connected to the iView and NEVER pulses when connected to a computer.

For a while, I have been suspicious of the electrical wiring in my house and particularly the outlet that my living room entertainment center is plugged into. The power strip light flickers a lot, but sometimes doesn't come on at all, and is sometimes solid...so what's up with that? Bad light on the strip, fluctuating voltages in the house wiring, gremlins? And is that why the Seagate drive pulses the way it does?

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post #3472 of 3791 Old 08-14-2014, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Yes, I think the HDMI Raw setting is what he was referring to. But as you noted, it doesn't work when playing recordings from the PVR menu. AFAIK the only way to do that is by changing the file extension to .ts and playing it from the Movie menu (or by playing it on a PC or other device).

I really wish they would fix that in the firmware. It can obviously play back DD 5.1 correctly when the file extension is .ts, so the firmware should be able to just "pretend" the extension is .ts when playing a .mts file from the PVR menu. I realize this is only a $40 box, but that seems like such an easy thing to fix....
There are so many things wrong with the firmware that we know are so easy to fix, simply because so many other boxes don't have the same problems.

You can't even reliably change the channel on the iView, or view the episode guide, or hardly do anything reliably with it. I've even offered to fix as much of the firmware as I could if I could get access to the source code and a little information on the environment, but no takers on that one...and that's why my iView mostly sits in a box with a lot of spare cable and splitters and whatnot that I'm not currently using. I only bought the thing because my stupid Sony TV tuner stopped working, then just as suddenly, started working again a few months later...

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post #3473 of 3791 Old 08-15-2014, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
Well, who knows, I certainly don't know what's going on with that light, except it definitely pulses slowly at all times connected to the iView and NEVER pulses when connected to a computer.

For a while, I have been suspicious of the electrical wiring in my house and particularly the outlet that my living room entertainment center is plugged into. The power strip light flickers a lot, but sometimes doesn't come on at all, and is sometimes solid...so what's up with that? Bad light on the strip, fluctuating voltages in the house wiring, gremlins? And is that why the Seagate drive pulses the way it does?

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A lot of homes, including mine, have AC power problems. You could monitor it with a voltmeter or something like a Kill-a-Watt.

I wouldn't think it would affect an HDD hooked to an iView though. The power the iView supplies to the HDD is "supposed" to be regulated at 5 volts. But if the HDD draws a lot of current, perhaps the iView's power supply can't handle it well, and the voltage to the HDD fluctuates, causing those pulsations?
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post #3474 of 3791 Old 08-15-2014, 10:52 PM
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So if I can get the firmware update that JH mentioned will that allow me to get all my basic cable channels? Why I purchased this box is because I don't have a cable box and the tv tuner on my plasma tv stopped working. I used to get channels like ESPN, TBS, TNT,etc. After purchasing this and doing the scan, all I get are the OTA HD channels.
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post #3475 of 3791 Old 08-16-2014, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by hanginghelmet View Post
So if I can get the firmware update that JH mentioned will that allow me to get all my basic cable channels? Why I purchased this box is because I don't have a cable box and the tv tuner on my plasma tv stopped working. I used to get channels like ESPN, TBS, TNT,etc. After purchasing this and doing the scan, all I get are the OTA HD channels.
No one here can tell you if you will be able to tune in your cable channels. Since you already have the box, there is a very easy way for you to find out. Get the firmware from iview and try it. Then you will know one way or the other.
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post #3476 of 3791 Old 08-16-2014, 05:41 AM
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I called them last a few days ago asking about the firmware and they emailed me the files momentarily. They gave me firmware V1, V2, V2A and V3. I flashed V3 and it allowed my box to receive the cable channels. Here you go.

firedrive.com/file/A4AB3EEBBFC31291

My box has the 3/4 switch on the back.
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post #3477 of 3791 Old 08-16-2014, 05:58 AM
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I guess what I am asking is this....if I was able to receive the channels using my built in tuner should I then be able to get them by using this box?
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post #3478 of 3791 Old 08-16-2014, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Sounds as you are referring to analog stations which this does not receive. It's QAM/8-VSB only (digital).

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.
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post #3479 of 3791 Old 08-16-2014, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Sounds as you are referring to analog stations which this does not receive. It's QAM/8-VSB only (digital).
+1
To record analog channels one could use something like a VCR or DVDR w/tuner, DVR may be available with a analog tuner but not for the price point of something like the iView. Check Videobruce's comparison thread for a list of DVRs that would have a analog tuner.
If you don't care about recording then check KenH's tuner comparison sticky thread in the HDTV Technical forum hear on AVS.
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post #3480 of 3791 Old 08-16-2014, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
A lot of homes, including mine, have AC power problems. You could monitor it with a voltmeter or something like a Kill-a-Watt.

I wouldn't think it would affect an HDD hooked to an iView though. The power the iView supplies to the HDD is "supposed" to be regulated at 5 volts. But if the HDD draws a lot of current, perhaps the iView's power supply can't handle it well, and the voltage to the HDD fluctuates, causing those pulsations?
Well, if there's one thing I learned working around test labs for many years: if you're experiencing "gremlins" in your system, always check a) the grounding b) the quality/quantity of the electricity to the system. It seems like 90% of all problems that seem to require a re-design of a board can be fixed by checking/correcting those two things...

Today, I tried one suggestion to get surround sound from my iView recordings: I hooked the DD to my Sony blu-ray player front panel USB port (it has a rear panel port too). And the indicator light stayed on steadily, no pulsating!

Problem is, the stupid Sony blu-ray player said "cannot recognize the USB device connected to the front panel".

Great...a piece of junk like the iView can recognize it, and flash drives, or apparently whatever USB storage device you attach, but as usual Sony never fails to disappoint. I couldn't find any particular reason in the manual as to why it wouldn't work, except maybe it is a partitioned device...or as usual, Sony Sux.

Today I was going to record about five hours of broadcast video, but I guess I'll just do what I've almost always done, record it on my PC in my home office using Windows Media Center, and the iView will remain in the junk electronics box...

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