iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 135 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4021 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sawbones999 View Post

I might be interested in the unit itself for a good price

Cheers,
-SB

Was about to send the unit off to the recycle center when I decided to perform major surgery, so to speak. Took it to the workbench where I removed the power supply and fashioned an external A/C power source. This brought it back to life, but pointed out another quirk I hadn't even considered. Turns out when I tested the unit afterwards I used the HDMI output. Picture was rock solid, didn't notice any dropouts or dimming. Original symptoms occurred using the COMPONENT output. Guess the combination of a failing power supply and questionable component circuitry was the culprit. Lesson here is to use HDMI output when possible.


While I had the unit up on the lift, looked into the never ending "loose" USB socket issue. Turns out the combination of a cheap socket and front plate bezel allows the plug to move from side-to-side (horizontally) making a hit-and-miss connection. Solution was to prevent side-to-side motion by building up ONLY the sides of the USB plug with layers of mylar tape, being careful not to cover the upper (top) or lower (bottom) sides of the plug where the socket makes an electrical (ground) connection. And faster than you can say "Sonja Henie's tutu" the plug was solidly in the socket. While this has been a nice science project, safe to say this unit will be relegated to the test bench for future experiments, as it's DVR days in the home are over.


Afterthoughts: I suppose you could substitute black electricians tape for the mylar tape.
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post #4022 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim1348 View Post
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post
I'm guessing your Dish RG6 is analog channel 3 or 4? if so the iView won't tune it as it only has a digital tuner. The iView has both a ATSC and QAM tuner but again not any analog.....
Actually, I did NOT with an over the air channel, but I went with cable channel 73 for TV 1 and channel 93 for TV 2. I beleive that it is QAM format with a resolution of 480i.
This may come as a surprise, but cable channels 73 and 93 are almost certainly analog.

QAM RF modulators for the home do exist, but they are very expensive (several hundred dollars). Thus RF modulators for home consumer equipment (such as satellite receivers) are virtually always analog.

Another thing: if your satellite channels are on cable channels that low, they are likely to interfere with OTA RF channels. Cable channel 73 overlaps UHF channel 22 and 93 overlaps UHF 42. If you want to combine OTA channels with your satellite channels without worrying about interference, you need to move up at least to cable channel 118 (or UHF channel 62). OTA channels now stop at UHF 51, so that leaves you a nice big gap between any OTA channels and your satellite channels.
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post #4023 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevor_Bartram View Post
My external USB HDD failed last night after two months use and the iView is showing NO USB DEVICE and the HDD does not show up when connected to my PC. The HDD spins and the blue light on the case is illuminated. How do I tell if it's the HGST Travelstar 2.5" 500GB HDD or the Sabrent EC-UK25 SSD to USB enclosure?

Thanks in advance.
You'll have to take the HDD out of the enclosure and plug it into something else. It probably has a SATA interface so it should plug into a PC or a different enclosure without any trouble. (You'll also have to take the cover off the PC to plug the HDD in there. That's assuming the PC has a spare SATA interface and SATA and power cables to connect to it.)

Edit: I suppose if you have another HDD, you could plug that HDD into the Sabrent enclosure and try that combo. If it works, the enclosure is OK.

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post #4024 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 12:53 PM
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I agree with JHBrandt, those channels are most certainly analog. As JH said, QAM tuners are really only used in the professional market costing several several hundreds of dollars if not in the thousands, well out of the reach of most consumers. Being analog they will not be tunable by the iView. Any cheap VCR with a tuner would tune them but then again no way to get material from the VCRs tuner to the iView.
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post #4025 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
You'll have to take the HDD out of the enclosure and plug it into something else. It probably has a SATA interface so it should plug into a PC or a different enclosure without any trouble. (You'll also have to take the cover off the PC to plug the HDD in there. That's assuming the PC has a spare SATA interface and SATA and power cables to connect to it.)

Edit: I suppose if you have another HDD, you could plug that HDD into the Sabrent enclosure and try that combo. If it works, the enclosure is OK.
Thanks for the reply. I have no spare SATA interface in my PC so I removed the interface to an optical drive, attached my HGST HDD and turned the PC on, I got the following message during boot "Drive 1 not found: SATA-1""Failed to detect drive". I continued the boot and as expected the HDD did not appear in the My Computer screen. I reconnected the optical drive and it reappeared as expected.
I forgot to mention about a week ago the HDD lost all previously recorded programs, a reformat of the HDD brought it back to life (temporarily).
It appears to me the HDD is dead, do you agree?
Is there consensus here regarding a reliable HDD to use with the iView?
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post #4026 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 05:19 PM
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iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
This may come as a surprise, but cable channels 73 and 93 are almost certainly analog.....
Thank you for the reply. That will help me plan. Now, I want to see if I record over the air on a dual USB drive if my Nexus 7 will play that video.
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post #4027 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevor_Bartram View Post
Thanks for the reply. I have no spare SATA interface in my PC so I removed the interface to an optical drive, attached my HGST HDD and turned the PC on, I got the following message during boot "Drive 1 not found: SATA-1""Failed to detect drive". I continued the boot and as expected the HDD did not appear in the My Computer screen. I reconnected the optical drive and it reappeared as expected.
I forgot to mention about a week ago the HDD lost all previously recorded programs, a reformat of the HDD brought it back to life (temporarily).
It appears to me the HDD is dead, do you agree?
Is there consensus here regarding a reliable HDD to use with the iView?
From the boot message, it does sound like the HDD is dead (unless you missed something obvious, like one of the cables). But I've used an HGST "Touro" portable HDD for several months (on my PC) without issues. So you may just have had bad luck with yours.

I've generally had good luck with Western Digital and Samsung drives as well. But as always, YMMV.
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post #4028 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 06:10 PM
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Thank you for the reply. That will help me plan. Now, I want to see if I record over the air on a dual USB drive if my Nexus 7 will play that video.
While I don't have a Nexus 7, I can tell you that the app MX Player on my Android phone will play the .mts files and every other filetype I've thrown at it. So if you manage to record successfully, try that app on your tablet. There is a free version in the Play Store.
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post #4029 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
From the boot message, it does sound like the HDD is dead (unless you missed something obvious, like one of the cables). But I've used an HGST "Touro" portable HDD for several months (on my PC) without issues. So you may just have had bad luck with yours.

I've generally had good luck with Western Digital and Samsung drives as well. But as always, YMMV.
I have requested a refund/replacement from Amazon. Unfortunately it is just out of warranty at 3+months, so fingers crossed. I'll temporarily use my USB 3 flash drive until pixelation and dropped frames etc drives me crazy enough to stop recording, ugh!!!!!
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post #4030 of 4038 Old Yesterday, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevor_Bartram View Post
My external USB HDD failed last night after two months use and the iView is showing NO USB DEVICE and the HDD does not show up when connected to my PC. The HDD spins and the blue light on the case is illuminated. How do I tell if it's the HGST Travelstar 2.5" 500GB HDD or the Sabrent EC-UK25 SSD to USB enclosure?
Thanks in advance.

Most modern external drives are really SATA to USB adapters. If it was mine I would carefully open the case of the external drive, disconnect the drive from the USB adapter.

Open up your pc and connect the hdd to a spare SATA port. boot the pc and then go into the BIOS settings and make sure S.M.A.R.T. is enabled(this is the drive's way to communicate errors to the pc). You can boot into Windows and download a free S.M.A.R.T checker, but I would use the Hiren's boot CD, in menu select DOS tools, then run hard disk sentinel to get a good S.M.A.R.T reading which will include number of bad or weak sectors, disk uptime, current temperature, maximum temp, drive health in percentage, etc.

If it isn't found in Windows or one of the utilities on the Hiren's disk, listen to the disk and see if it is spinning up. The SATA port may need to be enabled in bios.

In Windows you may need to run diskmgmt.msc to assign a drive letter to the disk.

If after all that you still can't see the disk or it isn't spinning up it's probably a paperweight. If you have low health percentage and it's within warranty period contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

If you're past warranty and want to try and repair it there is a utility that can magnetically repair damaged sectors. Gotta run. Plane to catch !!
SB
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post #4031 of 4038 Old Today, 12:33 AM
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Gee, guess I was late with my reply. I should have read the rest of the thread but was waiting on a flight.

The drive sounds dead (as long as you're sure power and SATA are connected properly). Well, still if you fiddle with it and get it to connect then you can check the S.M.A.R.T status of it.

3 months sounds like an awfully short warranty unless it is a refurb. Is that the Amazon warranty period or manufacturer warranty period?

I tried to look on their site to see, but it says warranty varies by product. Some of the links, like to check if you're eligible for warranty return don't seem to work.

Have you tried contacting the manufacturer to see if it's still eligible for a warranty return?

I feel like it's crazy how short hard disk warranties are now. I have old Seagate SCSI drives that are 25+yrs old which work perfectly and I've had newer Seagate drives last less than a year. I've had even worse luck with western digital and this company looks like a subsidiary that WD bought in India or something.

If I were you I would try contacting the manufacturer directly(if you haven't already) and hopefully they can get it sorted out for you. Best of luck!

-SB
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post #4032 of 4038 Old Today, 06:27 AM
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Gee, guess I was late with my reply. I should have read the rest of the thread but was waiting on a flight.

The drive sounds dead (as long as you're sure power and SATA are connected properly). Well, still if you fiddle with it and get it to connect then you can check the S.M.A.R.T status of it.

3 months sounds like an awfully short warranty unless it is a refurb. Is that the Amazon warranty period or manufacturer warranty period?

I tried to look on their site to see, but it says warranty varies by product. Some of the links, like to check if you're eligible for warranty return don't seem to work.

Have you tried contacting the manufacturer to see if it's still eligible for a warranty return?

I feel like it's crazy how short hard disk warranties are now. I have old Seagate SCSI drives that are 25+yrs old which work perfectly and I've had newer Seagate drives last less than a year. I've had even worse luck with western digital and this company looks like a subsidiary that WD bought in India or something.

If I were you I would try contacting the manufacturer directly(if you haven't already) and hopefully they can get it sorted out for you. Best of luck!

-SB
With the Sabrent adapter attached the drive spins up, sounds fine and the blue LED on the adapter is illuminated. Normally with no activity the LED goes off eventually and the drive stops spinning, a nice feature when used with the iView. When I attached directly to the PC I did not check if the drive was spinning as my hearing is poor I did not notice it either way.
If the SATA is normally connected to an optical drive would swapping to the HDD prevent operation, I assumed the BIOS or Windows would detect the presence of a different drive and react accordingly, not give the "Failed to detect" message?
Talk about learning about PCs and drives the hard way!!!
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post #4033 of 4038 Old Today, 11:51 AM
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Yes; that's what I'd expect to happen.

BTW, you can often tell whether a drive is spinning, even if it's too quiet to hear, by slowly "rolling" it. If it's spinning, it will try to "twist" out of your hand somewhat due to precession.
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post #4034 of 4038 Old Today, 12:26 PM
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Yes; that's what I'd expect to happen.

BTW, you can often tell whether a drive is spinning, even if it's too quiet to hear, by slowly "rolling" it. If it's spinning, it will try to "twist" out of your hand somewhat due to precession.

Yup, the horizontal rotation creates a gyroscopic force when you roll it. Little bit less noticeable with a 2.5in or 1.8in drive than with a 3.5in drive(especially a full height 3.5in drive, but who uses those anymore?), but it's there. It's REALLY noticeable with 10-15K drives.

Also, you can get a mechanic's stethoscope which allows you to probe a specific piece of hardware for sound. Touch it to the side of the drive and you should hear spinning. Valve covers on your car? You should hear the valves. They're cheap at harbor freight if you happen to live near one.

As for swapping the optical drive with an hdd, it should work in most cases with SATA or IDE. The time it might not work properly would be if you were using some sort of RAID controller and didn't add the disk as an independent array in the RAID BIOS.

I would email the support on the company site unless you can get the link to work where you enter your serial and it will check warranty status.

Cheers,
-SB
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post #4035 of 4038 Old Today, 12:46 PM
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BTW, you can often tell whether a drive is spinning, even if it's too quiet to hear, by slowly "rolling" it. If it's spinning, it will try to "twist" out of your hand somewhat due to precession.
You're braver than I am. I would never try to move a drive when it's spinning for fear of causing a head crash and ruining the drive. My laptop even has motion sensors to put the brakes on the drive automatically when it detects excessive motion to prevent that from happening.
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post #4036 of 4038 Old Today, 12:58 PM
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You're braver than I am. I would never try to move a drive when it's spinning for fear of causing a head crash and ruining the drive. My laptop even has motion sensors to put the brakes on the drive automatically when it detects excessive motion to prevent that from happening.
I've never had issue from rotating a spinning drive slowly from side to side. If he's using a 2.5in drive it should be spec'd for laptop anyway and be even less likely to have issues from this.

If the BIOS isn't seeing the drive he may be having a head problem already, that or some sort of firmware corruption.
@Trevor_Bartram , do you have any other computers or enclosure that you could try?

If you can get something to see the drive, it may be possible to reflash or update the disk's firmware to see if that is the cause. probably there are solder points to connect something like JTAG for debugging or raw reading the disk, but good luck getting warranty if you go soldering wires onto the logic board. You would also have to have specific software for that and it's not easy to find or cheap.

Cheers,
-SB
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post #4037 of 4038 Old Today, 01:31 PM
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The only time I've had trouble from moving rotating drives has been with optical drives such as cd or DVD where the spinning disc is not nearly as well fixed in place, and is specifically designed NOT to be touched by a head.

I've seen platter hard drives rotated, spun, turned upside down, sideways, and all sorts of things without damage.

The biggest problem with rotating an optical drive is risking a scratch. Hard drive platters are metal (vs optical - plastic) and are WAY more rigid and less likely to warp if rotated. there is some risk of a head moving out of place or something, but I believe it's pretty low in a modern drive. Most Seagate drives are rated for 300g's of force.

If you roll an hdd, do so slowly to prevent damage I suppose.

Cheers,
-SB
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post #4038 of 4038 Old Today, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
You're braver than I am. I would never try to move a drive when it's spinning for fear of causing a head crash and ruining the drive. My laptop even has motion sensors to put the brakes on the drive automatically when it detects excessive motion to prevent that from happening.
To be sure, I'd only move it slowly and carefully - and only if I knew it wasn't being accessed (so the heads should have auto-parked)
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