iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 140 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4171 of 4197 Old 04-12-2015, 03:30 PM
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Can anyone comment on the tuner quality of either the 3500STB or the 3200STB?


I had ordered the Mediasonic Homeworx HW-150PVR and the first unit was absolutely awful at receiving stations. I tested it with 2 different antennas (HD Stacker in the attic and ClearStream 2 in the living room) and it received nothing except PBS. Thinking that it was defective, I requested a replacement unit. I tested that one and after fooling with the direction of the Clearstream 2 and putting a splitter between the antenna I finally got CBS & ABC (but no NBC, Fox or My-TV all of which come in clearly via the tv tuner or my Access HD converter box). Long story short, the tuner in the Homeworx box is just awful quality and for someone like me (40-60 miles from strong UHF signals-Pittsburgh and 30-35 miles from weak VHF signals-Clarksburg), it is essentially useless.


When researching these similar boxes (Homeworkx, iView, Ematic, Viewtv, etc.), they all appear to be nearly identical (manuals, specs, etc.). So would I have the same problem with the iView units?
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post #4172 of 4197 Old 04-13-2015, 12:53 PM
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They use pretty much the same hardware, so I doubt you would see any significant difference between them. They mainly differ in their firmware.
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post #4173 of 4197 Old 04-13-2015, 03:13 PM
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The Homeworx-hw180stb has been good for me In Savannah GA. I did have to get an Amazon Basics 50 mile powered antenna to pick up SC PBS which I rarely could do with Rabbit Ears.

Not sure if the box tuner is much better or worse than my TV tuner but I do think that my old OTA box was a little better at pulling in stations. But it doesn't do any of the DVR or Media Player stuff like the Homeworx-hw180stb.
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post #4174 of 4197 Old 04-13-2015, 08:06 PM
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The tuners in all these boxes are essentially identical. The biggest problem most folks have, though, is that they overload far too easily. Reception will often improve dramatically if you weaken the signal several dB from normal levels. You were on the right track splitting the signal, but may have to split it further to get a signal the Homeworx or iView can live with. Of course that may make your weakest stations too weak to receive; you just have to experiment to find the best compromise. With enough trial-and-error you can often get most of the stations your other tuners receive.
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post #4175 of 4197 Old 04-13-2015, 08:33 PM
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Another way to weaken the signal, to help stop RF overload, would be to intentionally misalign the antenna on either the vertical or horizontal axis.

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 #4176 of 4197 Old 04-13-2015, 10:51 PM
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New Owner

Currently use 4 VCRs with old CRT Analog TV. Time Warner Mid Manhattan NYC customer, forced into digital by their conversion and fed up with their unrelenting price hikes. Most recent was raising the 4 digital tuning adapters from the promised $1 a month to $2+ each.

This is a high but multipath signal area and signal arrives to me from 2 main directions and a bazillion reflected ones.

Only record broadcast shows, mostly primetime. Will purchase several more of these as they suit my needs and have HDMI upgrade path when this TV dies. Find the added DVR functionality great as it allows me to do away with the VCRs. Have STBII with 3/4 Sw. Vi Software

Glitch report:

My experiences on the first day with the unit were a few reboots by itself which oddly settled to none the next several days. Sometimes with a rough input signal the channel might break up and report "Scrambled Channel" in a text box that remains after the channel straightens out. Likely will rarely occur since I finished my 4 bay whisker antenna with 9.5" whiskers.

Had a programming error due to the device changing my location to Mexico on it's own. Only happened once.

All else seems fine and no more signs of demon posession.. I have no problems living with the devices oddities in nomenclature. Will have to make some front panel covers so I can address one at a time. Maybe if I feel industrious I will build a chassie for 4 of the internals and multiplex switch one photodiode and add a chassis fan, but no time for that in the near future. This will be my last month with TWC.

Using USB thumb drive as I do not require more than 3 hours recording time at once.

Find a typical 2 hour 40 minute movie (not HD) recording creates 4 - 536MB and one 69MB file.
A 1 hour HD show created 9 - 536MB Files and one 277MB

Seems like a decent 16GB Drive will suffice.

Was waiting a long time for Channel Master's DVR+ but sad at the price and HDMI Only output.
The IView is an amazing little box, especially for it's price point, and the remote is fine too. I have read the thread and agree that there are the noted improvements possible.

Hope to remain pleased, though the electronic glitches at the onset of my trial linger in my thoughts.
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post #4177 of 4197 Old 04-14-2015, 08:30 AM
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Hi all, I've searched the thread, seen this asked a couple times, but not answered:


Has anyone tried using a wireless network/usb drive as the pvr, in order to allow remote access and streaming to other devices?


I realize that most drives of this type default to disabling wifi when connected via usb, but some such as the WD My Passport have "drive lock" options which may allow this behavior to be disabled.
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post #4178 of 4197 Old 04-14-2015, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Another way to weaken the signal, to help stop RF overload, would be to intentionally misalign the antenna on either the vertical or horizontal axis.
True. But misaligning the antenna, especially horizontally, may cause multipath issues. With enough trial-and-error you could probably make it work though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebard View Post
Hi all, I've searched the thread, seen this asked a couple times, but not answered:

Has anyone tried using a wireless network/usb drive as the pvr, in order to allow remote access and streaming to other devices?
I haven't tried it, but if your iView turns off power to the USB port when in standby (most do), it should work. You'd have to be careful not to be accessing the drive via WiFi when a recording was scheduled to start so your WiFi connection wouldn't get interrupted.

Should work for wired (Ethernet) network/USB drives too.

If anyone tries this, let us know how it worked out for you.
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post #4179 of 4197 Old 04-14-2015, 08:14 PM
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got my 3500stbii today i try to update the box from the iview file from there site but no luck . it atsc 3500stbii 20140709v2 atsc7816xd-02-z00 it has the 3-4 on the back also where can i find the files
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post #4180 of 4197 Old 04-15-2015, 07:54 AM
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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.

I wonder if @videobruce still follows this thread? It'd be nice to add this link to post 5 so folks could find it without asking over and over
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post #4181 of 4197 Old 04-15-2015, 10:59 AM
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IView's website says [when I checked a week ago] they are still working on an update on the 3500II Ch3/4 switch unit and to hang tight. What is the source of the above file?

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 #4182 of 4197 Old 04-15-2015, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
IView's website says [when I checked a week ago] they are still working on an update on the 3500II Ch3/4 switch unit and to hang tight. What is the source of the above file?
It literally takes a year for iview to update their website about anything. Then when they do, it is usually wrong info. You can email them to get the firmware files, which have been available for a long time. That is how others got the above files. It is safest of course to get them directly yourself.
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post #4183 of 4197 Old 04-15-2015, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
IView's website says [when I checked a week ago] they are still working on an update on the 3500II Ch3/4 switch unit and to hang tight. What is the source of the above file?
Post 3774:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyles609 View Post
I got a same day response by emailing customer support on two different occasions because I tried that same link and it was no good.

This is what they emailed me - for the ii version with 3/4 switch ONLY. This includes V1, V2A, and V3. I hope this helps

I'm unable to add links, so add the http and www to this (http : // www71...)

71.zippyshare dot com /v/79955630/file.html
I've been reposting it periodically to save folks the trouble of trying to find it with AVSForum's search function.
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post #4184 of 4197 Old 04-17-2015, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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There is a revised hardware version on the horizon. Stay tuned.

.
.
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 #4185 of 4197 Old 04-17-2015, 04:14 PM
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Oh goody! The STBIII (IV? V?) will again have incompatible hardware and missing features, and if you install the wrong firmware this time, not only do you brick your unit, but you also summon a plague of locusts to devour your local food supply! Progress!
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post #4186 of 4197 Old 04-17-2015, 04:40 PM
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At minimum it would need to have the ability to play a recorded title while recording something else, 2 tuners would be nice but I'd be happy with a mostly bugless firmware, something no current versions seem to be.
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post #4187 of 4197 Old 04-17-2015, 06:45 PM
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Hope springs eternal but like the above posters I'm not optimistic that the next iView will be a better iView. Aside from improving the remote, the only things we've gotten from hardware "upgrades" so far are:
  • A run of early STBIIs that don't power down the USB port in standby
  • The latest boxes that don't have "loop through" capability when on

I realize neither of these is a big deal, but the point is that so far, hardware changes have brought only annoyances, not improvements.

Oh, well; maybe if we're lucky the new boxes will at least include Closed Captions for recordings a la the latest Homeworxes. Again no big deal but at least movement in the right direction.
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post #4188 of 4197 Old Yesterday, 03:56 AM
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I'm using a 3.5 HDD. Is there a way to shut it off when it's not needed? I noticed it puts out a lot of heat. It'w power cord should be connected to the Iview box and controlled by it.
Does a 2.5 HDD shut off when not used?

Thanks
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post #4189 of 4197 Old Yesterday, 05:00 AM
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Sounds like you must have one of the newer iViews that don't cut power to the USB socket when off. If that is the case you might want to look into a portable HDD. They generally spin down after 5 or so minutes of inactivity. Desktop HDDs(wall wart powered) can also generally be configured to spin down but may require being hooked to a PC first and run through it's setup. Note it's possible if the drive spins down that it might not wake up for a scheduled event, I think it's one of the reasons iView went from cutting USB power when off to keeping it on all the time.
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post #4190 of 4197 Old Yesterday, 10:00 AM
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so i return the box with the 3500stb 3-4 on the back got the right one had ver 9 on it did not get any catv ch so update to ver 10 but only got 15ch but i know there are still over 100 open ch here in cali la area i read ver 3 or 7 gets more did try to add the link but i need 5 post to add links
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post #4191 of 4197 Old Yesterday, 01:46 PM
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Having Trouble with FIOS

So I bought this to replace a bad QAM tuner in my TV and received the 3/4 switch version.




I used V1 of the firmware for a while but it doesn't tune to the "friendly" channel number and Verizon seems to be switching their station frequencies every week so I'm constantly re-scanning for CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.
I then tried to use V2A and V3 and while I get "friendly" channel numbers now (2-1 for CBS, 4-1 for NBC, etc), the picture is CONSTANTLY cutting out while it is updating something (EPG perhaps) and the channel/EPG display on the bottom is re-displayed each time. I was hoping it tuning to the "friendly" station name would keep it tuned even when Verizon moves it around but the blipping picture/audio makes it unwatchable.
Do I have a bad unit? Is there another clone I should look into for use with FIOS? Any ideas would be appreciated.
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post #4192 of 4197 Old Yesterday, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilule View Post
I'm using a 3.5 HDD. Is there a way to shut it off when it's not needed? I noticed it puts out a lot of heat. It'w power cord should be connected to the Iview box and controlled by it.
Does a 2.5 HDD shut off when not used?

Thanks
My answer will be very general so keep in mind there are lots of exceptions; but most 3.5" HDDs are externally powered, while most 2.5" HDDs are powered through the USB port.

Most iViews shut off power to the USB port when in standby, which means a typical 2.5" HDD will lose power and therefore stop spinning. But a typical 3.5" HDD will still have power, so it will keep on spinning even if the iView is completely shut off.

Luckily, many HDDs (of both sizes) can also be set to stop spinning after a period of inactivity. This usually requires software that's specific to your particular HDD. If your HDD didn't come with such software preloaded (or if you lost it by reformatting the drive), you may check the manufacturer's web site to see if they have software for your HDD available for download.

You would have to hook your HDD to a PC to run its configuration software. But once an inactivity timeout is set, it should remain in effect when you hook your HDD back to the iView.
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post #4193 of 4197 Old Yesterday, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downer11 View Post
so i return the box with the 3500stb 3-4 on the back got the right one had ver 9 on it did not get any catv ch so update to ver 10 but only got 15ch but i know there are still over 100 open ch here in cali la area i read ver 3 or 7 gets more did try to add the link but i need 5 post to add links
I'm not familiar with Los Angeles cable, so again, a very general answer: "Open" (or unscrambled) cable channels can be either analog or digital. The iView and clones can only tune digital TV channels, so if your cable system still has analog channels, you can watch them on your TV but not with your iView. It won't matter which firmware version you use.

Just as an example, TWC Dallas was broadcasting many analog channels until just last week, so it's quite possible your cable company still has them.

To get a better answer, try asking your question in the Los Angeles thread. Someone will probably know whether your cable company has analog channels.
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post #4194 of 4197 Old Today, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsarnak View Post
So I bought this to replace a bad QAM tuner in my TV and received the 3/4 switch version.




I used V1 of the firmware for a while but it doesn't tune to the "friendly" channel number and Verizon seems to be switching their station frequencies every week so I'm constantly re-scanning for CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.
I then tried to use V2A and V3 and while I get "friendly" channel numbers now (2-1 for CBS, 4-1 for NBC, etc), the picture is CONSTANTLY cutting out while it is updating something (EPG perhaps) and the channel/EPG display on the bottom is re-displayed each time. I was hoping it tuning to the "friendly" station name would keep it tuned even when Verizon moves it around but the blipping picture/audio makes it unwatchable.
Do I have a bad unit? Is there another clone I should look into for use with FIOS? Any ideas would be appreciated.
I don't think you have a "bad " unit, I believe this is how they operate with FiOs, my unit (about a year old) does the same thing. It's most noticeable when it first turns on, then at the half hour. I believe it's downloading/updating EPG data. This is on a little used bedroom tv so I just live with it.
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post #4195 of 4197 Old Today, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grampy View Post
I don't think you have a "bad " unit, I believe this is how they operate with FiOs, my unit (about a year old) does the same thing. It's most noticeable when it first turns on, then at the half hour. I believe it's downloading/updating EPG data. This is on a little used bedroom tv so I just live with it.

Thanks for the reply. I suppose it's good to know the unit is not bad. Have you tried the V1 firmware and experienced the channels moving constantly? Do you happen to know if the Homeworx or ViewTv units have the same issues? I reached out to iView hoping to get firmware that can disable the EPG. I honestly don't need it and it would be nice for the picture and audio to stay rock solid as a tradeoff.
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post #4196 of 4197 Old Today, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsarnak View Post
Thanks for the reply. I suppose it's good to know the unit is not bad. Have you tried the V1 firmware and experienced the channels moving constantly? Do you happen to know if the Homeworx or ViewTv units have the same issues? I reached out to iView hoping to get firmware that can disable the EPG. I honestly don't need it and it would be nice for the picture and audio to stay rock solid as a tradeoff.
Sorry, I can't comment on Homeworx or ViewTV, I bought this on a whim last year from Amazon for under $40 to replace a seldom used cable box that I was paying $6/mo to rent. It's paid for itself. Its connected to an older Toshiba tube tv without a qam tuner.
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Homeworx is about the same price; I have one but unfortunately I don't live where I could get FiOS even if I wanted it, so I can't tell if the Homeworx would be any better. (I'm in an "AT&T" area, but can't get U-Verse either; none of these boxes are compatible with U-Verse anyhow.) The firmware is nearly identical, though, so I doubt it.

Unfortunately all the other QAM DVRs I know of cost much more: TiVo of course; ePVision's PHD-VRX and VRX2; along with some out-of-production DVRs you might still find on eBay: the Channel Master 7400 or Entone 458, and DVICO's TViX 6620. Of those, I'd probably pick the TViX 6620 myself, but it's also the most expensive (except possibly TiVo with a lifetime subscription).

The market seems to have a ready niche for a $100-ish QAM DVR (like the iView but without its firmware issues), but no one AFAIK has tried to fill it yet. The only cheaper alternative I can think of would be something like an Android TV box coupled with an HDHR QAM tuner and open-source PVR software, but what you'd save in $$ would probably be spent in time and frustration figuring out how to make it all work. (There are boards on this forum to help, though.)
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