iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 138 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4111 of 4137 Old 03-11-2015, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie Smith View Post
I have Time Warner. Among some it's not getting are History, USA, MTV, Lifetime, Food, TLC, Disney, Travel, Bravo, etc. It has no problems with Discovery, Cspan, ESPN (multiple), a few of those abc/cbs alternative stations, bunch of sports stations and news stations, QVC (oh goodie, ha), even the on demand stations.
Thanks. Could you also tell us which city? I think TWC is all-digital here in Dallas (I don't have it myself so I'm not positive) but that may not be true in other cities.
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post #4112 of 4137 Old 03-11-2015, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilule View Post
The HDD does seem to go in sleep mode. When I erase some recording, I can hear it spinning faster. If it does go in sleep mode, how could I fix that?

Thanks
Actually what you are (or at least, should be) hearing is the heads moving. You shouldn't hear anything if the HDD is spinning but not being accessed (unless a bearing is failing ).
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post #4113 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
You can get a .zip file (with versions 1, 2a, and 3) for this box at http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/79955630/file.html.

All three versions are for the Ch 3/4 switch version of the iView. Don't use the firmware on iView's web site; it's for boxes without the channel 3/4 switch.

Cable users have usually reported the best results with version 1. V1 usually finds everything including scrambled channels you can't watch, which means you'll have to delete them all after a scan. (It still won't find analog channels though.)

Also, V1 lists channels by their RF channel and subchannel, not by the channel numbers your TV uses. So you'll probably have to do a lot of hunting through the mess to find the channels you're looking for.

One problem you may run into with V1 is the iView's 400-channel limit. Once it's found 400 channels, you can't add any more even if you delete some; so if your cable system has more than 400, you may miss some unencrypted channels with high channel numbers. The workaround is to identify the channels you want to keep, write them all down, then clear the iView's channel memory (you can do this by doing a scan with the cable disconnected or by doing a factory reset), manually scanning in all the channels you wrote down. and finally, manually scanning all channel numbers above the last channel the original scan added.

Finally, keep in mind that your cable company may move channels around from time to time. Anytime they do, you'll have to repeat the process.
As a FIOS subscriber, let me tell you they seem to move stations at least once a month. I'm constantly manually rescanning specific ranges to get my ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC back. It's especially annoying because I have 2 CBS recordings set up that I need to re-enter most times it happens. I think I started with V3 which used the virtual channel but that was constantly scanning for EPG updates and "blipping" the feed so recordings and live TV would have random skips in them. I don't know if I ever tried V2, do you know if that would work better?

I am fine with no EPG at all. I just want my 4 basic network stations and the ability to DVR them without having to re-scan ever 3 weeks or so.
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post #4114 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 08:26 AM
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I don't know if V2 would work better. Probably not, but it wouldn't hurt to try, I guess. If it has the same problems as V3, you can always go back to V1 and monthly rescans.

If your cable/fiber co. moves channels around that often, I honestly don't know of a good way to keep up. A tuner that understands virtual channels would help, since at least the channel numbers would stay the same, but I would think you'd still need to rescan.

I wonder if cable/fiber cos. broadcast their entire system's channel map on a fixed channel, so that their equipment can just tune to that fixed channel to find out what the "real" channel is when you punch in, say, channel 8 on the remote. That would make more sense than constantly rescanning, but it's just a guess. I wish I better understood cable/fiber systems technically.
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post #4115 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 03:18 PM
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They probably do it for the very reason you've stated: it's annoying to people who don't rent their official DVR. They're probably hoping you'll subscribe just to get rid of the headache. I can't think of a legitimate reason for them to play musical channels on such a regular basis.
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post #4116 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 04:20 PM
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A bit OT, but the DTVPal DVR has a nice feature: it continuously scans all channels in the background and automatically adds anything new that it finds. Unfortunately it's OTA only, but it'd be nice to see a similar feature in a DVR with QAM tuners.
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post #4117 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 05:22 PM
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To offer a different perspective, I think that's a terrible feature. The DTVPal is somewhat notorious for continually re-adding channels you've tried to delete, thanks to that behaviour. Imagine if your iView constantly started re-adding hundreds of encrypted channels that you couldn't tune, thus forcing you to delete them over and over again.
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post #4118 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Thanks. Could you also tell us which city? I think TWC is all-digital here in Dallas (I don't have it myself so I'm not positive) but that may not be true in other cities.
I'm in Dallas as well. When I use my TV's tuner, it tells you how many are digital vs analog. Most are digital.
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post #4119 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
To offer a different perspective, I think that's a terrible feature. The DTVPal is somewhat notorious for continually re-adding channels you've tried to delete, thanks to that behaviour. Imagine if your iView constantly started re-adding hundreds of encrypted channels that you couldn't tune, thus forcing you to delete them over and over again.
In an OTA environment, as is the case with the DTVPal, it certainly can be annoying, because OTA signals are subject to anomalous tropospheric propagation and thus you keep getting faraway channels added that you have no hope of actually watching. But it would be much more useful in a QAM environment where the MSO was repeatedly reassigning channels.

Of course I wouldn't trust the iView/Homeworx/etc. firmware developer to correctly implement such a feature. I'm just saying, if they had a decent developer, they could add background scans as a user option.
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post #4120 of 4137 Old 03-13-2015, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie Smith View Post
I'm in Dallas as well. When I use my TV's tuner, it tells you how many are digital vs analog. Most are digital.
Good; now all we need is another Dallas TWC customer who can tell us which channels are still analog. (They don't need to own an iView.) We just want to know which channels are hopeless, so we can see if the iView is also missing any clear QAM ones.

If there aren't any such folks on this thread, try asking on the Dallas, TX - HDTV thread. I follow that thread as well.
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post #4121 of 4137 Old 03-14-2015, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Actually what you are (or at least, should be) hearing is the heads moving. You shouldn't hear anything if the HDD is spinning but not being accessed (unless a bearing is failing ).
I tried a different HDD and I have the same issue. So far, I couldn't find anything on controlling the behavior of the HDD. Than's why I tried a different one... with no luck.
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post #4122 of 4137 Old 03-14-2015, 01:45 PM
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Question

I just bought a new iView-3500STBII device. I don't see an owners thread for that so I am wondering if this one encompasses the iView-3500STBII also or if I should post about it separately?

I have an old SDtv for which I needed a converter once I got rid of cable. On shopping around I saw that one could now get these amazing boxes which were not around after the switch back in 2005 or whenever it was. I don't really need a DVR or media player (already have one) but it's nice to have. As a converter box it works great. I have an antenna on the roof and it gets all the channels.

My question is about the PVR. There are 138 pages to this thread and I did a few searches but could find no posts about this.
I did some test recordings at 30 second intervals on a network station. Changing the output resolution seems to make no difference in recording size. Each recording is in 1080p resolution and approx 100mb per minute which = approx 6gb per hour. I suppose that's great for people who have HDtv's but I don't need anything bigger than 480i or 720p and it would be nice to have smaller files. I looked in the settings and I don't see any way to change the resolution that it records in. Is there a way to do this or would they have to update the firmware to put this functionality in?

Thanks!
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post #4123 of 4137 Old 03-14-2015, 02:21 PM
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Yes, this thread encompasses all iView STBs: the original STB and both versions of the STBII. (Newer STBII's have a channel 3/4 switch on back; older ones don't. They need different firmware but are otherwise very similar.)

It's true these boxes weren't around in time for the DTV transition in 2009. (They wouldn't have qualified for government coupons due to the presence of HD outputs and the recording/media player functions, but if they had existed I still would have bought one.)

About the recordings: these boxes record the exact digital data stream broadcast by the station. They only convert it to the output resolution on playback. That's why the resolution setting makes no difference in the recording size. If you record an HD station, it records the full HD stream, even if you only intend to play it back on an SDTV.

The steps these boxes go through are:
  1. Receive
  2. (Optional) Record
  3. (Optional) Play back
  4. Decompress (convert from the broadcast MPEG-2 stream to raw digital video)
  5. Convert to output resolution (if different than broadcast)
  6. Convert to analog (for the component/composite/RF outputs)

To do what you want, they would have to move the record step to after the "Convert to output resolution" step, and (this is critical) add another step between: Recompress (i.e., convert back to MPEG-2). An uncompressed video stream, even in SD, would be much larger than even an HD recording.

There are boxes that have MPEG-2 encoders to do this, including most DVD recorders; but they're generally more expensive than boxes like the iView.
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post #4124 of 4137 Old 03-14-2015, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
About the recordings: these boxes record the exact digital data stream broadcast by the station. They only convert it to the output resolution on playback. That's why the resolution setting makes no difference in the recording size. If you record an HD station, it records the full HD stream, even if you only intend to play it back on an SDTV.
Ok thanks a lot for the detailed explanation, that explains it!
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post #4125 of 4137 Old 03-16-2015, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Natalie Smith View Post
I have Time Warner. Among some it's not getting are History, USA, MTV, Lifetime, Food, TLC, Disney, Travel, Bravo, etc. It has no problems with Discovery, Cspan, ESPN (multiple), a few of those abc/cbs alternative stations, bunch of sports stations and news stations, QVC (oh goodie, ha), even the on demand stations.
Here's what @julesism told me on the Dallas thread:

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Originally Posted by julesism View Post
When I had TWC last year in Lewisville, I am pretty certain that all analog was gone, nothing but fuzz/static. The only channels I remember "in the clear" on the digital QAM side were locals and maybe Discovery.
So, I'm surprised you're getting so many stations with your iView, and even more with your TV. (Not that I'd complain!)

Of course he was talking about TWC Lewisville, which may be different from TWC Dallas, even though Lewisville is a suburb of Dallas (In Oklahoma City, we actually had different cable companies: Cox for OKC and Multimedia for the suburbs. And not all the suburbs had the same lineup. So it wouldn't totally surprise me if Dallas and Lewisville are different.)
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post #4126 of 4137 Old 03-18-2015, 02:19 PM
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Got some more info about TWC Dallas:

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Originally Posted by edyohome View Post
TWC sent out a letter about 2 weeks ago saying they'll be all digital by April 15th. Currently the standard def analog channels through 99 are still being sent. Yes a few C-QAM are also sent. By 15 Apr all analog will stop and it is unknown whether the C-QAM will stop. They haven't said. They imply that C-QAM will stop also because the letter says that you'll only be able to get a TV feed by way of STB, Digital Adapter or Cablecard from them. That to me sounds like no clear QAM. I have cablecard so no net change for me. Anyone with analog only will need to get one of the 3 above. I have some C-QAM cards and a TV that has C-QAM, I'll probably run a scan after 15 Apr to see what I get. I'll post back on results after then.
From that, it sounds like TWC Dallas is broadcasting some analog channels right now, which probably explains why @Natalie Smith gets some channels on her TV but not her iView.

The good news is, those analog channels are going away soon. The bad news is, it sounds likely the unencrypted digital channels will be going away too. If so, she won't be getting anything at all on her iView, or her TV either (unless her TV has a CableCARD slot - not many do).

When edyohome posts back after 4/15, I'll re-post his findings here for Natalie's benefit.
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post #4127 of 4137 Old 03-19-2015, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Got some more info about TWC Dallas:

From that, it sounds like TWC Dallas is broadcasting some analog channels right now, which probably explains why @Natalie Smith gets some channels on her TV but not her iView.

The good news is, those analog channels are going away soon. The bad news is, it sounds likely the unencrypted digital channels will be going away too. If so, she won't be getting anything at all on her iView, or her TV either (unless her TV has a CableCARD slot - not many do).

When edyohome posts back after 4/15, I'll re-post his findings here for Natalie's benefit.
More info:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin120 View Post
hmm the letter I got said April 7th was the start of analog removal and that May 26th is the day everything becomes encrypted.

Did TWC push it back a week?
From that, it sounds like she may start getting all her channels on the iView in a few weeks, only to have it all go poof! on 5/26.
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post #4128 of 4137 Old 03-19-2015, 08:37 PM
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Amazing little thing for OTA and simple dvr..great tuner. Wasted my money on simple TV groupon deal for version one..off it will go to fleabay
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post #4129 of 4137 Old 03-20-2015, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by AgroCoders View Post
Hey thanks.


I have TWC and my 2006 Panasonic DVR/VCR tunes all unencrypted TWC cables fine directly from the cable with no CATV box.


It's not a big deal as I hadn't had television except OTA PBS for 5 years. I typically don't watch TV except channel 51 HGTV and others but only when they are local network and showing a sporting event.


However, I'd like to put this 25 pound behemoth Panasonic DVR/VCR in storage because although can also read SD cards the actual VCR head seems to be ruint and it's big & heavy. These new VCRs are not near as sturdy as those made in the 80s so not all new technology is better. So I bought a iView competitor's brand to replace and got their QAM firmware. Well it does find about 250 channels but most are blank and only about 25 or so tuned. And none of them on the correct channel like the Panasonic DVR/VCR can do. And it doesn't find all channels, not HGTV or any of those channels. It seems to get only network channels, religious channels, government channels, or shopping channels. :-(


Can I tune this competitor's PVR channel but channel? Or should I just buy an iView brand and hope it does better than the brand I bought.


I know the iView has had more HW and SW engineering done from the licensed source than the brand I have but it matters not if it doesn't start approaching my old Panasonic DVR/VCR digital ATSC/QAM tuner's capability.


I already have the iView STB3500II in my Amazon cart along with a electronic A/B switch but of course if the competitor QAM could be tuned with the right approach that's a savings of $35.


Thanks.
I know that this is a rather late reply to this post, but I was just going to say that depending on what model you already had, it could be possible to flash iview firmware on it, and possibly benefit quite a bit. It would most likely require an iview remote, or a universal remote which supports the iview.

It might also be possible to use a phone, or pc with ir blaster if you got someone to help you out with the correct hex values for all of the buttons on the iview remote. You would have to manually input the value for each button and map it to the corresponding function.

Cheers,
-SB
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post #4130 of 4137 Old 03-20-2015, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
More info:

From that, it sounds like she may start getting all her channels on the iView in a few weeks, only to have it all go poof! on 5/26.
I would be willing to bet that at least some of the clear QAM will be around. They sent out letters like that here in Louisville, KY as well a couple of years ago when they stopped transmitting NTSC on cable.

It's sort of worded to make you think that you need to upgrade to a leased DVR or cable card from them to continue to receive service. At least here, though, clear QAM has continued to work fine.

Actually you could request a certain number of free converters for your old tv which they gave out for free (I dunno if they are still free). This started when we had Insight for cable, before it was bought out by TWC, but nothing has really changed. Our internet speeds got faster, clear QAM continues to be the more common way to get cable on new tv's. The channels change from time to time(always annoying).

Those little converter boxes are still available for old tv's.. Strange little things. The channel numbers are more traditional with no periods or hyphens. They're tied to your subscriber account, so if you call and cancel they go dark immediately just like the Motorola DVR's and cable cards, even if your cable is still hot and clear QAM is working. Also, they will cut them off if you use them for a long period of time at another (unsubscribed) location.

There doesn't seem to be any fee for not returning them so I have a couple laying around that people have given to me. I've always wondered if there might be some way to force one on. They definitely get some kind of signal from the cable co to keep them going. It would be neat to figure out how to spoof it.

This is off topic, but related to digital tv and PVR's. Soon I'm going to be getting into the DVB-S2 satellite scene. I've always been interested in it and got really lucky in an eBay auction the other day. I picked up a like new USB tuner on eBay for $11.50 w/ free ship! Same model listed on Ali express for just under $190!!! Now I just need to amass a few other assorted parts and software and planning to make a server headend for use with XBMC/KODI on my home network and my Android tv devices.

I looked at some mstar based DVB-S2 STB's (obvious from the menus! Lol) and decided I wanted something a little nicer.

Still use my iview daily, though and probably will for a long time.

Cheers,
-SB
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post #4131 of 4137 Old 03-21-2015, 03:06 PM
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Actually you could request a certain number of free converters for your old tv which they gave out for free (I dunno if they are still free). Those little converter boxes are still available for old tv's.. Strange little things. The channel numbers are more traditional with no periods or hyphens. They're tied to your subscriber account, so if you call and cancel they go dark immediately just like the Motorola DVR's and cable cards, even if your cable is still hot and clear QAM is working. Also, they will cut them off if you use them for a long period of time at another (unsubscribed) location.

There doesn't seem to be any fee for not returning them so I have a couple laying around that people have given to me. I've always wondered if there might be some way to force one on. They definitely get some kind of signal from the cable co to keep them going. It would be neat to figure out how to spoof it.

Cheers,
-SB
I think that's related to one of the OP's complaints: that his iView clone didn't show the correct channel numbers for his clear QAM channels.

As we know, the iView and its clones look for PSIP-based channel maps; but most cable systems don't use PSIP. Not knowing much about cable systems, I speculated earlier that most of them use a dedicated channel instead of PSIP for info like channel maps, guide data, etc.

From your experience it sounds like my hypothetical cable channel also has subscriber info; probably, an ID for each subscriber is sent periodically along with a list of channels the subscriber is paying for.

If I'm right, equipment from OEM's that are "in on the secret" receive and decode this channel to display the correct cable channel numbers; cable co. equipment, like those D2A converters, probably have your subscriber ID programmed in too, so they can read your subscriber info from the data stream and show only the channels you're paying for.

Major brands like Panasonic are probably "in on the secret." iView and its clones, however, aren't. That's why the OP's Panasonic could display the correct channel numbers but his iView clone couldn't.

It sounds like the OP's clone uses firmware similar to V1 for the iView. The behavior is similar: it finds all channels, including encrypted, unwatchable ones.

Assuming it's a newer model with the MStar demod chip, iView firmware V2a or V3 may work somewhat better; or it may not find anything at all. The only way to tell is to give it a try.
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post #4132 of 4137 Old 03-22-2015, 05:43 AM
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You're at least partially correct, about the cable company's boxes getting subscriber ID, channel changes, your location etc.

The brand name tv's (even the cheap ones) on clear QAM still have a different numbering system compared to the cable company's channel numbers on their converters.

We no longer have a tv guide channel, just a black on white 2 page list of the clear QAM stations and their respective virtual channel number that cycles every so many seconds.

Unfortunately the iview doesn't even pick up that numbering system either, so the channel listings are incorrect.

For me v2a, no channels.
V3 only the broadcast channels which have full PSIP info (as per fcc regulation this must be rebroadcast). Then they were placed into the correct virtual channel numbers, but only local broadcast stations. No cable channels, and no encrypteds are found or stored.

YMMV on the firmwares depending on your service provider, I guess. Seems like pottery much everyone on clear QAM is stuck with v1's quirks. Personally, I primarily switched mine back to OTA just so I didn't have to deal with it.

My tv in the living room (46" LED) picks up all the channels in the correct order compared to the station listings and that's fine with me. I use the iview in bedroom and still get about 30 channels with an old set of rabbit ears(my experience with so called "HD" antennas is that they are garbage compared to quality rabbit ears. Far more versatile).

Anyway, hope that helps shed some light.
Cheers,
-SB
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post #4133 of 4137 Old 03-24-2015, 05:33 PM
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Got my 3500ii today. If nothing seems off should I still upgrade v.1 software?

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass, etc., any more than we pick the ending of a play. High fidelity means an unmodified, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original artist's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..

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post #4134 of 4137 Old 03-24-2015, 07:20 PM
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Probably not. IIRC you're an OTA user. For OTA I know of no difference between V1, V2a, and V3. But if you want to try anyway, you should find a zippyshare link to the other versions somewhere in the last few pages of this thread.

Important: Do not attempt to load the V9 or V10/13 firmware on iView's website. They're for older versions of the iView that have NO channel 3/4 switch on back and are incompatible with the newer iViews with that switch.

IMO the firmware developers made a serious mistake by starting the version numbers over at V1 with the new boxes. It makes it look as if the older, incompatible firmware is actually an upgrade. Probably should have at least gone with letters to make it clearer that the new and old boxes used different, incompatible firmware (and it wouldn't have hurt to include a sanity check in the firmware update routines, just in case someone tried to load the wrong firmware anyway).
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post #4135 of 4137 Old 03-24-2015, 08:21 PM
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Thanks. I'm strictly OTA and media playback, no interest in clear QAM, but it seemed slow to load my USB filled with 4gb of mostly low res photos. Is there any way to move about my 2000 or so pics, in one file, other than sequentially using up and down buttons? The 1-10 keyboard seemed to not let me select anything and I couldn't even find a way to scroll through pages of thumbnails.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass, etc., any more than we pick the ending of a play. High fidelity means an unmodified, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original artist's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..
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post #4136 of 4137 Old 03-25-2015, 08:32 AM
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Videobruce (in post 5) said, "There is no 'page' change available with any button." That was long ago and the firmware has been through several updates since then, but I don't think iView (or any of their clones) ever added buttons for paging to the file list screens.

Unfortunately, iView doesn't use the common programming trick of saving thumbnails to a separate file to speed up browsing, so you'll move through pictures faster in list mode than in thumbnail mode.

In any case, with that many pictures I really think you should organize them into folders. 2000 pictures is 250 pages; even if moving around was lightning-quick it would take a long time to find a particular one. 40 folders of about 50 (6 or 7 pages) each would probably be easiest; but even 16 folders with about 125 (15 or 16 pages) each would be a big improvement.

If iView is listening, a "file search" function would make a nice addition to the firmware; but it's been hard enough just getting them to address known bugs, so I'm not optimistic.
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I've got the iView 3/4 which so far I've only played with a little & put it back in its box. Ideally, I would like the iView to record 2.5 hours of soap operas every weekday for my wife. OTA CBS & ABC. I get near perfect reception of both stations as they are only about 10 miles away, and will delete all other stations to simplify things for iView. I plan to use a WD TV media player on another HDTV to playback the mts recordings.

1. Has anyone been able to get the iView to reliably record recurring events? The idea of having to set up the iView every morning isn't very appealing, and impossible if I'm on the road.

2. Will the iView record to a NTFS formatted USB 3.0 flash drive? So far I've only been able to get it to record on Fat32 formatted USB 2.0 flash drives but would buy a 3.0 flash drive if it worked with the NTFS format. For some reason, the iView doesn't want to record to my NTFS formatted, 320 GB, 2.5" USB portable hard drive (Seagate FreeAgent Go).

3. When recording to a Fat32 formatted drive, what happens when iView reaches the 4GB limit on file size? Does it stop recording or does it create multiple files?


Thanks.
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