iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 127 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3781 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 03:44 PM
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Rhetorical question I guess, but why is everyone willing to put up with no skip functions, virtually no guide data, no recording titles, etc. just to have a $40 DVR when for just $10 more (average price of HD Homerun Dual on ebay) you could have all those features and more in a PC based DVR?

There is no way you can disassemble the firmware code and add functions. It would take years to figure out. You could buy many Tivo's with lifetime service for that amount of time and effort. What you could do is program a universal remote to do short ffwd/rew sequences to emulate skips. That should be fairly easy and essentially free.
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post #3782 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 04:16 PM
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Originally, I bought the unit for my parents to use in their independent living facility as they have redistributed clear qam from twc. I have a number of older units that don't record HD but do have skip as well as a tuner card on my htpc. I don't mind programming without a guide for recurrent shows but skip would be nice. Let's see, on a remote it would be, ff 5 times- wait for x seconds then play?

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post #3783 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mat55555 View Post
I wonder if the firmware could be de/recompiled to add some skip functions?
I've been using the goto right arrow to advance a given number of minutes.
Because of no skip I use the I view mainly for pbs (13 in Dallas). This channel has been the most problematic to schedule ota. When it does take the program successfully it continues to work subsequently. When it doesn't take, even though I check it before the record time for accuracy, it leaves a program entry with a nonsense channel number. Not 13 but 144???.

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I actually hacked around with an iView firmware file. The majority of the file is compressed using a little-known compression method. I don't remember its name right off, but I have it at work. Anyhow, I was able to extract the compressed portion of the file and found a decompression program that worked. I was then able to see many of the literal words and phrases in the iView menus.

I suppose it'd be possible to make some simple changes, recompress the file, and incorporate the modified file back into the firmware update file. But I assume there's a checksum of some sort to ensure someone doesn't install a corrupt file and brick their iView. That checksum would have to be located and recalculated for the modified file.

It sounds like it's well above my minimal hacking skills, but I'm sure there's someone out there who could manage it. If so, the firmware link is in post #5 on this thread, so if anyone's up to the challenge, have at it.
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post #3784 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Rhetorical question I guess, but why is everyone willing to put up with no skip functions, virtually no guide data, no recording titles, etc. just to have a $40 DVR when for just $10 more (average price of HD Homerun Dual on ebay) you could have all those features and more in a PC based DVR?
I actually use an HTPC myself. (In fact, I'm using it to post this response.) To be fair, it did cost a bit more than just a tuner - and there's quite a bit more maintenance involved. It actually ended up being not just a DVR, but a hobby! A rewarding one, though

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There is no way you can disassemble the firmware code and add functions. It would take years to figure out. You could buy many Tivo's with lifetime service for that amount of time and effort.
All true, but some folks consider such a challenge fun! It's like a crossword puzzle - and as I've discovered, at least there's no apparent super-heavy encryption used in the iView's firmware update files. It may be beyond my abilities, but not everyone's, I'd bet.

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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
What you could do is program a universal remote to do short ffwd/rew sequences to emulate skips. That should be fairly easy and essentially free.
Now that's a good idea! Especially if the universal remote can be programmed with precise delays. Just FF five times to get to 32x, delay 1 second, then Play. Should be about a 30 second skip. Can the Logitech Harmony remotes do that?
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post #3785 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Perhaps, but then where did he get those numbers? There is no standard rating system for flash drive speeds, which is why they are so troublesome. You have no idea beforehand whether a particular drive will be fast enough. SD cards, on the other hand, do have a standard speed rating system, which makes it easier to see if they will be fast enough to work.

It really doesn't matter, though, as a USB HDD is well under $100 for far more storage space, so buying a flash drive for a DVR is a waste of money regardless of how fast it is.
I made the assumption that he knew what he was talking about. I figured he got those number from manufacturers' spec sheets, since they seemed like reasonable (assuming megabits/sec, not megabytes) average flash drive write speeds. But maybe not.

Anyway, I generally agree: USB-powered HDDs have good capacity and are both cheap ($50-$80 typically) and small enough to fit in many pockets. But flash drives are smaller still - perhaps the OP has a need for as tiny a drive as possible. I don't know.

Of course, he could simply record onto an HDD, then transfer the recordings to a flash drive later with his PC. They would probably play back just fine straight from the flash drive, since read speeds are usually plenty fast. Transferring recordings could take a while if the flash drive is slow, but it would work regardless of the flash drive's write speed.
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post #3786 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 08:25 PM
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If the device were available at say, Walmart, a hacker would keep returning bricked units until an image took. I'll have to reinstall the Logitech programming software and try the skip program. Maxed on devices, have to delete one.

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post #3787 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 08:29 PM
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You're assuming a dishonest hacker, which unfortunately is the way that word is generally used today.

There was a time (not that long ago) when the word hacker didn't have the connotation of dishonesty. That's how I intended it.
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post #3788 of 5123 Old 11-01-2014, 10:02 PM
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Yes, a better alternative would be to deal with a company that supported an open-source policy that encouraged independent development, but no one wants to be that popular and good looking.

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post #3789 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I made the assumption that he knew what he was talking about. I figured he got those number from manufacturers' spec sheets, since they seemed like reasonable (assuming megabits/sec, not megabytes) average flash drive write speeds. But maybe not.

Anyway, I generally agree: USB-powered HDDs have good capacity and are both cheap ($50-$80 typically) and small enough to fit in many pockets. But flash drives are smaller still - perhaps the OP has a need for as tiny a drive as possible. I don't know.

Of course, he could simply record onto an HDD, then transfer the recordings to a flash drive later with his PC. They would probably play back just fine straight from the flash drive, since read speeds are usually plenty fast. Transferring recordings could take a while if the flash drive is slow, but it would work regardless of the flash drive's write speed.
I made up the categories based on comparative reviews online, I am just trying to make sense of flash drive speeds. An Iview with a 32GB flash drive is a compact and inexpensive solution for a second TV system with 4-5 hours recording capability. My main system has an Iview with 500GB HDD in a Sabrent case and Anker USB power supply. The flash drive costs $16, the HDD+ $68. I do not intend transferring recordings as the Iview's USB connector is best left untouched.

I realize that flash drives get a bad rap at this forum because it is not easy to discern whether a drive will work or not but with some research I believe we can suggest some suitable drives, I must like the challenge!!!!
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post #3790 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
To address your second question first, go to Menu / Option / Digital Audio and try the "RAW HDMI On" setting. That should be a straight pass-through of the audio; however:
  1. It may not work with some older TVs even though they have HDMI, since the TV needs to decode the audio itself. I have one like this.
  2. It doesn't work on the PVR option, where you play back your recordings. This is a firmware issue the developer has never addressed. But you can get around it by using a PC to rename the extension of your recordings from .mts to .ts, then playing them as "Movies" instead. (This trick also lets you play your recordings in Dolby Digital 5.1 if you have that setup.)

On your first question, those keys are programmed to go to the next or previous file. If you only have one recording they won't do anything.

I agree they should be programmed for skip forward/back as in other DVRs. So does videobruce (see the first 5 posts of this thread). This is another issue the firmware developer has never addressed. You just have to use the fast forward and rewind keys instead, which takes some practice.
1. OK, I have been using the >> key to advance thru commercials, it works pretty good, it just takes a little getting used to, no biggie.

2. I tried RAW HDMI on and my second TV (older Samsung plasma) and it did not decode the audio. I will try it on my main TV when an HDMI switch arrives from Amazon.

It will be interesting to see if the Iview works with a simple HDMI 3:1 automatic switch.

Last edited by Trevor_Bartram; 11-02-2014 at 06:18 AM.
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post #3791 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 06:31 AM
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Just to make things clear to everyone, I assume the last writer ONLY records SD (480p) programs/channels, so ANY generic USB thumb drive will do. (a one hour recording of a 480p program will take up approx. 800MB). IF however, he intends to record HD (1080i) programs/channels, then the USB thumb drive (formatted as NTFS) will drop frames like crazy. (a one hour recording of a 1080i program will take up approx. 8GB). Just saying...


HDD is the way to go to cover all possible recording situations, and have a perfect picture. Carry on.....

Last edited by QAM; 11-02-2014 at 07:06 AM.
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post #3792 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by QAM View Post
Just to make things clear to everyone, I assume the last writer ONLY records SD (480p) programs/channels, so ANY generic USB thumb drive will do. (a one hour recording of a 480p program will take up approx. 800K bytes). IF however, he intends to record HD (1080i) programs/channels, then the USB thumb drive (formatted as NTFS) will drop frames like crazy. (a one hour recording of a 1080i program will take up approx. 8MB). Just saying...


HDD is the way to go to cover all possible recording situations, and have a perfect picture. Carry on.....
If by the last writer you are referring to me you are wrong. I want to record OTA HD and I believe if you use a medium or fast flash drive you will be able to record 4 hours of content on a 32GB drive. A generic USB 2.0 flash drive will probably pixelate as you suggest but I am not suggesting the use of a generic drive. HDDs are great when you want to store lots of content.

To guarantee speed if you go with a USB 3.0 drive I am noticing several (Toshiba and PNY) have reliability problems so it may be better to go a Sandisk Cruzer Extreme at twice the price. The best choice in inexpensive drives still seems to be Toshiba Transmemory 2.0. The only thing that's holding me back is it's not available in black.
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post #3793 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 11:22 AM
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I have never seen a 480p OTA channel, only 480i.

@ Trevor

If you're determined to use flash memory, use a 32GB SDHC card with a USB to SD adapter.
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post #3794 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAM View Post
Just to make things clear to everyone, I assume the last writer ONLY records SD (480p) programs/channels, so ANY generic USB thumb drive will do. (a one hour recording of a 480p program will take up approx. 800MB). IF however, he intends to record HD (1080i) programs/channels, then the USB thumb drive (formatted as NTFS) will drop frames like crazy. (a one hour recording of a 1080i program will take up approx. 8GB). Just saying...


HDD is the way to go to cover all possible recording situations, and have a perfect picture. Carry on.....
As Aleron Ives pointed out, I assume you mean 480i. The ATSC standard theoretically allows 480p programming (a la DVDs) but I've never heard of a subchannel that used it.

But even 480i bitrates can vary considerably. I've seen it range from 800MB/hr all the way up to HD rates (in the case of a station with only a single SD channel).
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post #3795 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 01:42 PM
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ATSC also supports 1080p, but no networks use that, either.
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post #3796 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
I have never seen a 480p OTA channel, only 480i.

@ Trevor

If you're determined to use flash memory, use a 32GB SDHC card with a USB to SD adapter.
I just tested the speed of my old 2GB Sandisk Cruzer flash drive that I used briefly with the Iview. The test shows 9-10MB/s write and 22MB/s read speeds. The picture pixelated briefly with this drive, I assume due to insufficient write speed.

So for the SDHC solution I assume a Class10 card is required? Is this SD or microSD? Do you have any recommendations for a reliable fast SDHC to USB adapter?

Thanks, Trevor.
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post #3797 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 02:41 PM
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The latest PNY thumb drives should have enough speed (e.g., 128GB drive = 100MB/s Read, 65MB/s write)?
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post #3798 of 5123 Old 11-02-2014, 04:59 PM
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Classes 4, 6, and 10 should all work for recording a single HD stream. The key to finding a good adapter is one that makes the SDHC card look like a "normal" USB flash drive to your PC and doesn't require any special software to be installed. Such an adapter should be able to trick the iView into thinking that you've connected a normal USB mass storage device.
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post #3799 of 5123 Old 11-06-2014, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
To address your second question first, go to Menu / Option / Digital Audio and try the "RAW HDMI On" setting. That should be a straight pass-through of the audio; however:
  1. It may not work with some older TVs even though they have HDMI, since the TV needs to decode the audio itself. I have one like this.
  2. It doesn't work on the PVR option, where you play back your recordings. This is a firmware issue the developer has never addressed. But you can get around it by using a PC to rename the extension of your recordings from .mts to .ts, then playing them as "Movies" instead. (This trick also lets you play your recordings in Dolby Digital 5.1 if you have that setup.)
A little more info: on my LG TV (the one where "RAW HDMI On" works), any volume setting from 1-32 in RAW HDMI On mode is roughly as loud as a volume setting of 24 in any of the other modes. (A setting of 0 mutes the sound, as does the Mute button, of course.) YMMV, but I've found that to be a more reasonable volume than the iView's default of 16.
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post #3800 of 5123 Old 11-07-2014, 01:14 PM
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Hooray

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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
The latest PNY thumb drives should have enough speed (e.g., 128GB drive = 100MB/s Read, 65MB/s write)?
I had seen the PNY Turbo USB 3.0 drives but also saw plenty of negative reviews for construction and reliability however the Turbo Attache 2 drives are different, more expensive and with fewer negative reviews. They are dark in color and have no flashing LED, just right for a darkened room. The 32GB drive is $18, the 64GB $25, so I opted for the latter. It arrived today, it is a nice firm fit in the Iview's USB socket and came formatted FAT32, so I started recording, it ran for two hours after which the drive was just warm to the touch. More importantly the Iview did not crash after a couple minutes recording like my HDD (without supplemental USB power supply). All the hours of research and posts to this forum paid off.
The PNY Turbo Attache USB 3.0 drives and Iview appears to be a successful and inexpensive combination, now I think I will order a second Iview!!!
1. The next thing to try is to see if the Iview works with my auto HDMI switch, if it doesn't all is not lost but it will be great if it does.
2. On full bandwidth 1080i channels there was occasional pixelation, I remembered reading that the FAT32 is slower than the newer NTFS file system so I reformatted the drive to NTFS and, low and behold, no pixelation.
3. I have also found HDMI Raw On works with my newer Samsung plasma. I did not try the HDMI switch but elected to connect to the Samsung's second HDMI port directly.
4. The second Iview arrived and on this the green and red LEDs are both on with the unit off, when you switch the unit on the red LED goes off, same as my first Iview, very strange. This second Iview will not even attempt to power an HDD from its USB port, luckily I have the Anker to supply power to the HDD from the Y cord, again very inconsistent and very strange. Other than that the second Iview works fine.

Last edited by Trevor_Bartram; 11-14-2014 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Latest update
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post #3801 of 5123 Old 11-09-2014, 06:45 PM
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Hello, sorry if this questions been answered elsewhere but I couldn't find the answer.

How do I rename / skip / delete etc. channels after an automatic channel search?

I have:
MODEL: iView-3500 STBI (or 1?)
SW: 20140522V1
HW: ATSC7816XD-02-Z00
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post #3802 of 5123 Old 11-09-2014, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustABill View Post
Hello, sorry if this questions been answered elsewhere but I couldn't find the answer.

How do I rename / skip / delete etc. channels after an automatic channel search?

I have:
MODEL: iView-3500 STBI (or 1?)
SW: 20140522V1
HW: ATSC7816XD-02-Z00
In the menu go to Program edit (or something similarly worded - I don't have an iview anymore to see what it says). Then look at the bottom of the screen for which buttons to press to delete, skip, etc.
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post #3803 of 5123 Old 11-16-2014, 07:03 AM
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Hi,

I bought a couple IView tuners recently. The one picks up all channels. The other picks up a limited number and finds the rest as audio with no video.

Can you recommend a firmware version?

My cable provider just converted to digital. Channels are qam 256 clear.

Any other thoughts?
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post #3804 of 5123 Old 11-16-2014, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by dcarson5 View Post
Hi,

I bought a couple IView tuners recently. The one picks up all channels. The other picks up a limited number and finds the rest as audio with no video.

Can you recommend a firmware version?

My cable provider just converted to digital. Channels are qam 256 clear.

Any other thoughts?
It would seem like you are in the best position to answer your own question. If one box gets all the channels, then use that firmware. If you have different models, then you'll have to give details.
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post #3805 of 5123 Old 11-18-2014, 03:53 AM
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USB Portable Drive

For months now I've had problems with the USB port seeing my external hard drive. I've tried different usb cords with male and female ends to fix this problem and for the last week or so everything worked fine. Yesterday the Iview came on and changed channel to the scheduled recording time but turned itself off about a minute later. I noticed the white light on my Segate 500GB drive was not lit meaning it did not come on and had no juice. The Iview now does not recognize this drive at all...It says NO USB connected! I can, however, plug in a 32GB thumb drive and it recognizes it and works just fine. I took the Seagate to my computer and it functions properly. FYI, I also had external 5 volt power hooked up to this Segate drive while connected to the Iview. It had worked fine that way for months. Any idea why this unit no longer recognizes the Seagate drive? Should I reformat the drive, switch to different software from V13? FYI, I did have to reboot the Iview when this happened yesterday which meant rescanning the channels, etc. Any help would be appreciated!
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post #3806 of 5123 Old 11-18-2014, 10:57 AM
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Sounds like a bad USB connector. Sometimes you can find devices (like your thumb drive) that still connect OK even though most USB cables don't.

Has anyone run across a source for replacement USB connectors for the iView (other than another junked iView, that is)? This seems to be an all-too-common problem, but I'd think it should be easy to replace these things.

I will make one suggestion: For those whose USB connector is still good, consider buying a couple of short USB extension cables like these from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002KNI796. Alternatively you could buy a USB hub. The idea is, plug the extension or hub into the iView, and plug the HDD or thumb drive into the extension or hub. That way you won't wear out the iView's connector by plugging and unplugging the drive, and if the extension or hub wears out, it's cheap to replace.
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post #3807 of 5123 Old 11-18-2014, 12:39 PM
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I had a usb extension cable on mine...you see how much good it did! I really don't believe it's the usb plug...something else is going on in my opinion.
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post #3808 of 5123 Old 11-18-2014, 12:56 PM
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Now that you mention it, you did say you were using a Y-connector to power the drive....

What do you think it is? If you think your firmware has been corrupted, you could simply reload it
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post #3809 of 5123 Old 11-19-2014, 03:48 AM
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Tried two different firmwares and made no difference. I am now confident it's not the usb plug because as an experiment I used one of my usb extension cords with a male on one end and female on the other. The flash drive works beautifully on the extension where the external hard drive was not recognized at all. I do, however, hear some faint clicking sound inside the external drive, but the power light is never lit. I'm going to try reformatting the drive later today just to see if that helps. Thanks HJ for your help. By the way since my flash drive is only 32 gb I want to get a larger one. Does anyone remember the specs on flash drives so they will not be susceptible to video breakup, etc?
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post #3810 of 5123 Old 11-19-2014, 04:53 AM
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Update: Tried reformatting the 500GB hard drive. Did no good. I can hear the drive spinning and making a clicking noise, but the Iview doesn't recognize it. I'm still convinced the usb port is good because my flash drive plugged into the same extension cable works well. Would still like specs info on purchasing a larger flash drive. I'm getting video breakup on this cheap thumb drive.
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