iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 142 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4231 of 4255 Old 06-12-2015, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by mikey32230 View Post
Also is the older version (without the 3/4 switch) better than the new version. I have seen that there are no firmware updates for the newer version.

Do you think buying the older version and using the latest firmware would help solve my issue ? or is the newer version better?
I actually purposly tried to buy the old version without the 3/4 switch, and got shipped the new unit with it. (from Amazon.com). It works well enough for a $40 box, (and its better quality than WM has on the shelves), but it's not what I wanted. I wanted the old stock because I read that the old models can actually block out the scrambled channels on the channel search. I got a new box. it works fine, but it's a PITA to set up if you're on cable. Hooked up to an antenna, it works fine. It takes about 2 hours to delete all the scrambled channels.

Last edited by cplguy; 06-12-2015 at 01:24 AM.
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post #4232 of 4255 Old 06-12-2015, 01:52 PM
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Is there going to be any firmware update to address these issues? Namely the scanning for channels, and picking up EVERY DAMNED CHANNEL regardless whether it is encrypted or not? It's kind of a PITA to delete over 500 encrypted channels just to get 25 ClearQAM channels.
There are two different "flavors" of firmware with respect to QAM reception. One flavor acts as you describe, and lists QAM channels by their physical numbers instead of their virtual numbers.

The other flavor lists channels by their virtual number and usually skips most scrambled channels, which sounds a lot better - but unfortunately it also often skips many clear QAM channels too, so with that flavor you might not even get the 25 channels you get now.

Unfortunately there's no firmware with the best of both worlds. The firmware developer for iView, Homeworx, etc. doesn't seem to have North American cable systems figured out, so their firmware either grabs everything (flavor one) or relies on OTA methods like PSIP to identify channels (flavor two). You just have to pick the one that works best for your situation, and neither may work very well.

If you have a newer iView (with the channel 3/4 switch on back), then firmware version V1 is the first flavor and V2 and V3 are the second.

iView hasn't updated their firmware in over a year. Homeworx is a bit better - their latest firmware is dated Feb. 2015, and no longer comes with QAM disabled - but I'm not aware if they've addressed any of the issues you're having. I don't have cable (and TWC is in the process of scrambling everything anyway) so I can't check.
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post #4233 of 4255 Old 06-12-2015, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mikey32230 View Post
Also is the older version (without the 3/4 switch) better than the new version. I have seen that there are no firmware updates for the newer version.
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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.
The older iViews that lack the channel 3/4 switch do have a tiny advantage: they can be set to "loop through," which passes the input from your antenna or cable through to the RF output, instead of using channel 3 or 4. But that just saves you the cost of an RF signal splitter.

Aside from that, I think the firmware is mostly the same. There are two versions for the old boxes on iView's web site, and three versions for the new boxes. The main differences between the versions are how they deal with QAM channels
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post #4234 of 4255 Old 06-13-2015, 04:03 AM
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There are two different "flavors" of firmware with respect to QAM reception. One flavor acts as you describe, and lists QAM channels by their physical numbers instead of their virtual numbers.

The other flavor lists channels by their virtual number and usually skips most scrambled channels, which sounds a lot better - but unfortunately it also often skips many clear QAM channels too, so with that flavor you might not even get the 25 channels you get now.

Unfortunately there's no firmware with the best of both worlds. The firmware developer for iView, Homeworx, etc. doesn't seem to have North American cable systems figured out, so their firmware either grabs everything (flavor one) or relies on OTA methods like PSIP to identify channels (flavor two). You just have to pick the one that works best for your situation, and neither may work very well.

If you have a newer iView (with the channel 3/4 switch on back), then firmware version V1 is the first flavor and V2 and V3 are the second.

iView hasn't updated their firmware in over a year. Homeworx is a bit better - their latest firmware is dated Feb. 2015, and no longer comes with QAM disabled - but I'm not aware if they've addressed any of the issues you're having. I don't have cable (and TWC is in the process of scrambling everything anyway) so I can't check.
I actually still have analog service. It works as it always has. Just plug the TV into the wall, and away I go. I only have the box for my upstairs TV, because it's an "old" TV from 2002 with only an NTSC converter, so to watch the digital channels, I need a box. Except for the " new" ClearQAM, my cable works as it always has.

Last edited by cplguy; 06-13-2015 at 04:16 AM.
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post #4235 of 4255 Old 06-13-2015, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mikey32230 View Post
Hey guys, I'm new here. I just purchased an iView-3500STBii (New version with 3/4 switch). I have WOW cable in Columbus Ohio.... WOW currently allows Clear QAM channels to come through, so I thought I would try this iView box.

I have set it up and everything appears to be working great except for one major thing. When I try to manually enter a channel (eg. 33) I receive an "Invalid Channel" message. If I simply use the Channel up/down the channels change fine.

Lets say I am viewing channel 4 (Which is my local NBC channel)

The iView Box front pannel says: C003
The Top Right of the OSD says: 1008-004
The Middle of the OSD says: 1008-NBC

Does anyone have any Ideas? I plan to call iView tomorrow.
That's weird. I'd guess that WOW Cable is sending PSIP, but it's not quite right. Other clear QAM tuners don't use PSIP for QAM channel mapping, so they'd probably work OK.

You could try downloading the firmware from the link I posted, loading V1 onto your iView, and rescanning. This still wouldn't give you the correct channel numbers; you'd get the physical channel numbers instead of the screwy ones you're getting now. And you'd have to delete all the unwatchable scrambled channels it finds (i.e., the same problem the other guy was having). But at least you'd be able to tune the channels by number.

Chances are, iView will simply email you the same firmware file, if they respond at all. But go ahead and complain anyway; maybe if they feel enough pressure, they'll lean on the developer for a better fix.
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post #4236 of 4255 Old 06-14-2015, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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mikey32230;
When I try to manually enter a channel (eg. 33) I receive an "Invalid Channel" message. If I simply use the Channel up/down the channels change fine.
Lets say I am viewing channel 4 (Which is my local NBC channel)
The iView Box front pannel says: C003
The Top Right of the OSD says: 1008-004
The Middle of the OSD says: 1008-NBC
If you knew the physical channel number that may work. Most systems don't/won't show the fictitious 4 digit arbitrarily assigned channel number since it is not a FCC assigned RF channel.
You may be stuck just 'surfing', up/down, one at a time.

.

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Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way. If you like Wi-Fi so much, OTA fits right in. After all, it is wireless.

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post #4237 of 4255 Old 06-14-2015, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That's weird. I'd guess that WOW Cable is sending PSIP, but it's not quite right. Other clear QAM tuners don't use PSIP for QAM channel mapping, so they'd probably work OK.

You could try downloading the firmware from the link I posted, loading V1 onto your iView, and rescanning. This still wouldn't give you the correct channel numbers; you'd get the physical channel numbers instead of the screwy ones you're getting now. And you'd have to delete all the unwatchable scrambled channels it finds (i.e., the same problem the other guy was having). But at least you'd be able to tune the channels by number.

Chances are, iView will simply email you the same firmware file, if they respond at all. But go ahead and complain anyway; maybe if they feel enough pressure, they'll lean on the developer for a better fix.
Is FW version 1 better than v3 or V2 for this situation? I'll go ahead and give it a try... Hopefully I am able to flash an older version over top of a later version?

Do you guys have any reccomendations on an alternative clear QAM tuner?
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post #4238 of 4255 Old 06-15-2015, 10:16 PM
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Yes, you can flash an older firmware version over a newer one. If you don't like it, just flash the original version back.

I wouldn't say V1 is "better" - just "different." It seems to use only physical channel numbers for QAM, ignoring all virtual channel numbers.

I guess that's "better" in the sense that it'll find everything, whether PSIP is present or not. (It still needs PSIP to set the time, though; so hopefully at least that part of WOW Cable's PSIP is correct.) But that also means it'll "find" all your scrambled channels too, and you'll have to delete them. Of course once you find out where all the clear QAM channels are, you can write them down, do a scan in OTA mode (which won't find anything on cable, of course - this is just to clear out all channels), then switch back to cable mode and manually scan in the clear QAM channels one at a time.

I'm not sure if V1 will even retrieve the channel names from PSIP, but you can always rename your channels once you scan them all in and identify them.

As far as alternative clear QAM tuners, there's the Channel Master 7001. I didn't like mine very much, though. They're expensive, yet lack a lot of important features, such as the ability to delete or hide unwanted channels. There's also the old Samsung DTB-H260F; much nicer if you can still find a working one on eBay. Finally, there's the PHD-208. All of these are expensive, though, and none has recording or media playback like the iView.
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post #4239 of 4255 Old 06-16-2015, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
The older iViews that lack the channel 3/4 switch do have a tiny advantage: they can be set to "loop through," which passes the input from your antenna or cable through to the RF output, instead of using channel 3 or 4. But that just saves you the cost of an RF signal splitter.
Plus signal loss via the splitter too would be a disadvantage I would imagine?

I thought the non switch version would have a soft button for the 3/4 option, so in effect there is no pass through on the switched version?
(when off the signal does not pass through, forcing you into a splitter)

Suprised they implimented that change, an added part that would do the function of software, usually the other way around.
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post #4240 of 4255 Old 06-16-2015, 02:07 PM
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Correct; the non-switched iView controls the output via a menu setting. You have three options: channel 3, channel 4, or loop through.

In the switched version, loop through is enabled only when the iView is in standby. When it's on, the RF output is channel 3 or 4 (selected by the switch). Too bad you can't get loop through by setting the switch to a center position

In theory, loop through should be better than a splitter, since the iView could pre-amplify the signal by 3.5dB then split it internally. In practice, it doesn't seem to work that well. The box is too inexpensive to include a good low-noise amp, and the noise produced by whatever is in the iView often results in a worse digital signal than just using a non-amplified splitter.

Where the iView's loop through does seem to help is with analog signals. You may still have some analog signals if you're on cable, or if you have some kind of in-home video distribution system. (There are also a tiny number of LPTV stations still broadcasting in analog.) I've noticed loop through really reduces analog "snow;" it's just too bad it distorts digital signals so much.
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post #4241 of 4255 Old 06-19-2015, 10:21 AM
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Correct; the non-switched iView controls the output via a menu setting. You have three options: channel 3, channel 4, or loop through.

In the switched version, loop through is enabled only when the iView is in standby. When it's on, the RF output is channel 3 or 4 (selected by the switch). Too bad you can't get loop through by setting the switch to a center position

In theory, loop through should be better than a splitter, since the iView could pre-amplify the signal by 3.5dB then split it internally. In practice, it doesn't seem to work that well. The box is too inexpensive to include a good low-noise amp, and the noise produced by whatever is in the iView often results in a worse digital signal than just using a non-amplified splitter.

Where the iView's loop through does seem to help is with analog signals. You may still have some analog signals if you're on cable, or if you have some kind of in-home video distribution system. (There are also a tiny number of LPTV stations still broadcasting in analog.) I've noticed loop through really reduces analog "snow;" it's just too bad it distorts digital signals so much.
I have this Blonder & Tongue in my living room wall outlet that taps my roof downlead to my basement, Has an RC device in it to prevent loss, now the roof antenna has been compromised either by one of my neighbors yanking cable out, the cable company disconnecting it, or a blown distribution amp.

They may had been able to incorporate such device into the iView.

I'm strictly off the antenna (now the backup in the attic) & cheap Rabbit Ears/Loop in the living room.

We have an Analog 6 Franken FM here, pretty useless being in spanish.
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post #4242 of 4255 Old 06-21-2015, 02:58 PM
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I just had to repair the USB port on my oldest HW-150. While it's hard to tell, from the photos at at the start of this thread, it appears the original iView 3500STB (no "II") has the same design, so the same repair procedure is likely to work. I don't know if it will work for the STBII models (with or without the channel 3/4 switch), but for what it's worth, here's the post I made on the Homeworx thread. Hopefully it'll help at least some iView owners with the same problem.
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post #4243 of 4255 Old 06-28-2015, 10:01 AM
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What is the best kind of disk drive for recording with a 3500STBII?
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post #4244 of 4255 Old 06-28-2015, 01:26 PM
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A true HDD (i.e., not a thumb drive) with its own power supply (to avoid overloading the iView's power supply when recording/playing video) and with a reasonably long USB cable (so you can move it away to reduce interference if you need to).

There are exceptions to all of those guidelines, but you're likely to have the least trouble if you follow them.
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post #4245 of 4255 Old 06-28-2015, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
A true HDD (i.e., not a thumb drive) with its own power supply (to avoid overloading the iView's power supply when recording/playing video) and with a reasonably long USB cable (so you can move it away to reduce interference if you need to).

There are exceptions to all of those guidelines, but you're likely to have the least trouble if you follow them.
+1 but FWIW I've been using a cheap Hitachi portable USB3 1Tb HDD for about a year?? with my iView with no real issues. I like that it spins down when it's not being recorded or played to and it's whisper quiet.
Another thing I'd suggest, use a USB extension or pigtale cord plugged into the iView and only plug/unplug from the extension cord. The iViews USB socket is very fragile and prone to problems after not that many cycles. Not sure how the most current iView/firmware works AFA cutting power to the USB socket when off, but if it doesn't cut power when OFF the least I'd do is to have a HDD that automatically spins down after a point of time. Personally I'd rather have the USB cut the power and I guess if it wasn't too inconvenient one could unplug the HDD from the extension cord but I'd never do that regularly from the iView itself.
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post #4246 of 4255 Old 06-28-2015, 05:20 PM
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I'd suggest, use a USB extension or pigtale cord plugged into the iView and only plug/unplug from the extension cord.
I do that too.
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The iView's USB socket is very fragile and prone to problems after not that many cycles.
Also avoid flexing a plugged-in USB cable up or down when handling it or the iView. See my earlier post.
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Not sure how the most current iView/firmware works AFA cutting power to the USB socket when off, but if it doesn't cut power when OFF the least I'd do is to have a HDD that automatically spins down after a point of time.
AFAIK, USB power-down is determined by the hardware design. Most iViews do power down the USB port when off, but I've read that some (not all) of the original STBII's (w/o the channel 3/4 switch) don't.

If you have one of those, or if you use an externally-powered HDD, your HDD may have a utility to set it to spin-down automatically after a period of inactivity. Check your HDD manufacturer's website. (You'll have to connect the HDD to a PC to use the utility.)
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post #4247 of 4255 Old 07-07-2015, 04:20 PM
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First post here, but I've been reading through the forums.

So, I bricked my Homeworx attempting to do a firmware upgrade, so I bought the 3500STB.

I was hoping to be able to use the iView to tune in the clear-QAM channels from the free basic cable that comes with my condo. I set this to search for cable channels and it found a ton of channels, most of which then appeared as either scrambled or no signal. My TV will tune in the 90+ channels provided by Cox Cable, but the iView 3500STB will only find a few of them. I ran the search several times, tried some of the suggestions I found in this thread, and still no luck.

I'm not sure what I did wrong, or does the 3500 not actually do clear-QAM?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
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post #4248 of 4255 Old 07-07-2015, 04:30 PM
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First post here, but I've been reading through the forums.

So, I bricked my Homeworx attempting to do a firmware upgrade, so I bought the 3500STB.

I was hoping to be able to use the iView to tune in the clear-QAM channels from the free basic cable that comes with my condo. I set this to search for cable channels and it found a ton of channels, most of which then appeared as either scrambled or no signal. My TV will tune in the 90+ channels provided by Cox Cable, but the iView 3500STB will only find a few of them. I ran the search several times, tried some of the suggestions I found in this thread, and still no luck.

I'm not sure what I did wrong, or does the 3500 not actually do clear-QAM?

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Adding in this info:
iVIEW-3500STBI
SW Version 20140522 V1
HW Version ATSC7816XD-02-A00
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post #4249 of 4255 Old 07-07-2015, 04:38 PM
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It adds both encrypted and unencrypted channels, and it uses the RF channel numbers, rather than the virtual ones. You have to wade through all the useless ones and delete them by hand if you do an automatic scan. It's actually easier to figure out what the RF channel numbers are of the channels you care about and then do a manual scan to add them one by one than it is to delete hundreds of useless channels.
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post #4250 of 4255 Old 07-07-2015, 04:43 PM
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It adds both encrypted and unencrypted channels, and it uses the RF channel numbers, rather than the virtual ones. You have to wade through all the useless ones and delete them by hand if you do an automatic scan. It's actually easier to figure out what the RF channel numbers are of the channels you care about and then do a manual scan to add them one by one than it is to delete hundreds of useless channels.
Well, I did wade through all the channels it found, deleting everything that showed up as scrambled. (Things like 40-254, for example!) But I still only wound up with about 20-some channels I could actually view.
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post #4251 of 4255 Old 07-07-2015, 08:40 PM
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Are you sure that the missing channels aren't NTSC channels? The iView won't tune those, but your TV likely will.
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post #4252 of 4255 Old 07-11-2015, 08:13 PM
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Well, I did wade through all the channels it found, deleting everything that showed up as scrambled. (Things like 40-254, for example!) But I still only wound up with about 20-some channels I could actually view.
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Are you sure that the missing channels aren't NTSC channels? The iView won't tune those, but your TV likely will.
And another possibility is that you've run into the 400-channel limit. If the iView hits 400 channels during the scan, it stops there and you can't add any more, even after you delete 380 useless ones.

Not much you can do about analog channels, but to add QAM channels above the 400-channel limit, use the following procedure:
  1. Write down the numbers of the channels the iView did find that you want to watch. Also write down the highest channel number it found (whether it's viewable or not and whether you want it or not).
  2. Clear the iView's channel memory by disconnecting the cable and doing a full scan (which won't find anything, of course).
  3. Do a manual scan of the RF channel numbers containing the channels you wrote down in step 1. You'll probably still have to delete some scrambled channels, since scrambled and clear channels may be mixed together on any given RF channel number.
  4. Finally, do a manual scan of all RF channel numbers above the highest channel number that you wrote down in step 1. Note: in QAM mode, RF channel numbers don't stop at 69 like OTA channel numbers do; they go up to at least 125 (and possibly higher, depending on your cable system).
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post #4253 of 4255 Old 07-13-2015, 05:16 PM
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My 3500 has been misbehaving fairly frequently. And it seems to be getting worse.

Sometimes when simply pressing a button on the remote (though perhaps hitting two buttons at the same time), it will hang, and then reboot. Any scheduled programs will then often be trashed - entirely gone, or worse, with the station name blank in which case they have to be deleted manually.

Sometimes with two programs scheduled, only the first will record.

When hitting the blue button to look at recorded shows, if the USB drive doesn't wake up, the unit will reboot, often with loss of scheduled recordings. But USB drive will then virtually always work.

Anyone else have similar issues?
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post #4254 of 4255 Old 07-14-2015, 01:45 PM
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And another possibility is that you've run into the 400-channel limit. If the iView hits 400 channels during the scan, it stops there and you can't add any more, even after you delete 380 useless ones.

Not much you can do about analog channels, but to add QAM channels above the 400-channel limit, use the following procedure:
  1. Write down the numbers of the channels the iView did find that you want to watch. Also write down the highest channel number it found (whether it's viewable or not and whether you want it or not).
  2. Clear the iView's channel memory by disconnecting the cable and doing a full scan (which won't find anything, of course).
  3. Do a manual scan of the RF channel numbers containing the channels you wrote down in step 1. You'll probably still have to delete some scrambled channels, since scrambled and clear channels may be mixed together on any given RF channel number.
  4. Finally, do a manual scan of all RF channel numbers above the highest channel number that you wrote down in step 1. Note: in QAM mode, RF channel numbers don't stop at 69 like OTA channel numbers do; they go up to at least 125 (and possibly higher, depending on your cable system).
So what kind of channel number is this:
125-62351 PR5562351

And yes, my box is hitting the 400 channel limit.

Thanks to all for your replies, this is new territory for me!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxDVR View Post
So what kind of channel number is this:
125-62351 PR5562351
Assuming no PSIP (usually true for cable), the "125" is the RF channel number. The "62351" is a subchannel number, believe it or not. But that doesn't mean there are 62,350 other subchannels on channel 125! I'm guessing your cable system assigns really high subchannel numbers to special-purpose data streams, so it's probably not even a video channel at all, scrambled or otherwise; but that's just a guess.

The PR5562351 is a "fake" channel name the iView apparently made from the channel and subchannel number. I see those "PRnnnnn" names occasionally on OTA, when a station's signal is too weak to receive cleanly so the box can't get the real channel name from PSIP. On cable you probably don't have PSIP on most channels, so you probably have a lot of channel names like that. Good thing you can rename them!
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