iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 163 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4861 of 5095 Old 01-22-2017, 02:15 PM
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Back with an update...
Thanks very much for your help guys, but...

I took iVIEW box #3 out of my system today and put my Samsung ATSC tuner back in operation. While sometimes the iVIEW #3 had adequate reception, it was very often unable to get a good signal on my PBS station.

I'm in a high rise condominium and the transmitters are blocked from direct view. In the last year, two new high rise apartment building have been built within three blocks which are in the direction of the transmitters. I think this is why box #2 no longer is able to get good reception on several channels.

Two TVs and iVIEW #2 use rabbit ears + UHF loop antennas. The Samsung (and iVIEW #3 ) uses a (discontinued, very directional) Silver Sensor antenna. Positioning of all of these antennas is quite critical.
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post #4862 of 5095 Old 01-22-2017, 02:53 PM
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Well, the Silver Sensor is moderately directional:

I wouldn't say it's "highly" directional, but it's decent for indoor use. BTW, the Silver Sensor may be discontinued, but I think the very similar Terk HDTVa is still available. The HDTVa includes rabbit ears for VHF.

Which model Samsung are you using? I used to use an old DT-260F that died several years ago - then I discovered it wasn't available anymore (except used on a site like eBay). Those were great!

When it died, I tried a CM-7001 (which I HATED) before finally settling on a HomeWorX (iView clone). I have had some trouble with the HomeWorX tuners, but I'm lucky enough to have a big outdoor antenna that mostly makes up for its weaknesses.
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post #4863 of 5095 Old 01-22-2017, 03:37 PM
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Well I'm going to have to take back everything I said about the cm-7003 and even update my posts over on the cm-7003 thread.

I went to turn the cm-7003 on today, and it would not stop rebooting. I unplugged it from the wall, waited, plugged it in.. Nope, that didn't fix it. I did a factory reset via the menu, nope that didn't fix it either. Every 3 minutes it continued to reboot, also locking out any ability to turn the unit off via the remote.

So that's that, I'm done with the 7003. This is my second unit and both units exhibited similar behavior after a couple days of being used. I'll just return this for a refund and use my original 3500STB. I will have lost two local channels, but oh well, at least it works.

iView's tech support has never emailed me back and I don't expect them to. Channel Master was pretty much useless with their tech support. I had asked for their original firmware but the excuses were to just do a "factory reset, it's the same thing". um no, it's not. I doubt they even have access to the firmware. Their solution was if the factory reset didn't work to just buy another unit. Great advice, lol.

Thanks to everyone for the help, especially you JHBrandt! I guess I'm lucky to have a 3500STB that doesn't reboot and is stable, other than missing some frequencies in the tuner (hence the two channels missing after the cable company re-arranged the QAM lineup). But I can't justify wasting money on a unit that continues to reboot and nothing I do can stop its behavior other than returning it.
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post #4864 of 5095 Old 01-22-2017, 04:08 PM
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Major bummer - I was pleased to learn their firmware finally addressed the channel rescan issue, but that constant rebooting is a show-stopper, at least for QAM.

In the past, I'd casually recommended a Samsung gx-sm530cf for QAM, but I just priced it and it's outrageously expensive: $399! For that price you could get a TiVo with lifetime. Or ten HomeWorXes! Good grief.
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I'm trying to remember what color was on the 35000STBII front display LED's.. you know I can't remember. I know that the serial number began with 1609, and it did not have a physical 3/4 channel switch. My original 3500 has the red LED display and the channel master cm-7003 has a yellow/amber color.
I tried to get the answer with an Internet search - but every pic of the 3500STBII I could find was turned off! So I couldn't tell the color. (I don't have a 3500STBII myself - I have a 3200STB without a display.)

I did notice that most of the clones with displays I found (Boost Waves, eMatic, ViewTV, and of course the CM-7003) had amber displays. One ("Vilso") had what looked like a white display, and one ("Koramzi") had a green display.

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post #4865 of 5095 Old 01-23-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
... Which model Samsung are you using? I used to use an old DT-260F that died several years ago - then I discovered it wasn't available anymore (except used on a site like eBay). Those were great! ...
The DTB-H260F. Purchased early 2007. The first one was defective, but the replacement is going strong.
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post #4866 of 5095 Old 01-23-2017, 08:17 PM
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USB Hub compatible?

Just curious -- has anybody ever tried a usb hub with these mstar boxes? For example - if a portable HD is used as your 'permanent' storage, but occasionally you wanted to access something (videos, photos, music) that was stored on a flash drive. If a hub was connected to the box - and your permanent storage and the occasional flash drive plugged into the hub - would the box see both? None? Was interested when thinking about using a hub to give AC power to a portable drive (I thought I read somewhere that using the box to power a portable drive through usb would increase box failure chances in the future). Perhaps I am in error in that assumption, however. Anyway - that got me thinking about multiple drives connected through a hub and how the box would handle it.
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post #4867 of 5095 Old 01-24-2017, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Major bummer - I was pleased to learn their firmware finally addressed the channel rescan issue, but that constant rebooting is a show-stopper, at least for QAM.

In the past, I'd casually recommended a Samsung gx-sm530cf for QAM, but I just priced it and it's outrageously expensive: $399! For that price you could get a TiVo with lifetime. Or ten HomeWorXes! Good grief.I tried to get the answer with an Internet search - but every pic of the 3500STBII I could find was turned off! So I couldn't tell the color. (I don't have a 3500STBII myself - I have a 3200STB without a display.)

I did notice that most of the clones with displays I found (Boost Waves, eMatic, ViewTV, and of course the CM-7003) had amber displays. One ("Vilso") had what looked like a white display, and one ("Koramzi") had a green display.
Both my pre-3/4 and with 3/4 boxes had/have red displays.
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post #4868 of 5095 Old 01-24-2017, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherberg View Post
Just curious -- has anybody ever tried a usb hub with these mstar boxes? For example - if a portable HD is used as your 'permanent' storage, but occasionally you wanted to access something (videos, photos, music) that was stored on a flash drive. If a hub was connected to the box - and your permanent storage and the occasional flash drive plugged into the hub - would the box see both?
I've tried a hub, and it does. With two storage devices connected, it actually prompts you to select a device when you go to the USB menu. It's a bit of a guessing game, though, because it just shows "USB1" and "USB2", with no clue which is which. You just have to try one and, if it's not the one you want, back out and try the other.

The hub I tried wasn't powered. I also tried a powered hub without much luck getting it to work, but perhaps the powered hub I chose wasn't compatible. If you try one, make sure you can return it or have another use for it in case you too have compatibility problems.

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post #4869 of 5095 Old 01-24-2017, 11:53 AM
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I updated my post over on the CECB forum. I did receive a reply from Channel Master (finally) and their fix was to delete any and all channels until the rebooting stopped. lol. So basically delete all channels, and not have a tuner that works at all! Oh isn't that smart! I nearly died laughing when I read this.

Definitely returning for a refund! And yeah it's a shame, but how funny this is their fix? Good luck with that Channel Master.
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post #4870 of 5095 Old 01-24-2017, 01:16 PM
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You could try a HomeWorX I guess; their QAM support is as good (i.e., bad) as any (i.e., it's in the menu but if it doesn't work, all you can do is send it back).

Since you use composite, you could try their HW-180STB. (Doesn't have component but you aren't using that anyway.) Or the HW-150PVR, which is more like the iView 3500STBII with component video and coaxial digital audio outputs. Hopefully their composite brightness level is better than the 3500STBII was.

If the HomeWorX, um, worx the only problem you'd have is the remote, which isn't as good as the iView remote. But you could cross-flash iView firmware onto the HW, then you could use a 3500STBII remote.
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post #4871 of 5095 Old 01-26-2017, 06:44 PM
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Exclamation

Warning: before buying the product described in this post, please read this other post first: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hdt...l#post51628929

I wanted to let the iView community know about an interesting gadget I just bought from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KNCVFL8. It's an HDD dock with both USB and WiFi access.

What makes it interesting for iView (or HomeWorX, etc.) users is that it switches WiFi access off/on when power is applied to/removed from the USB port. That means you can connect your iView to its USB port, and your iView will have exclusive access to the HDD when it's on (and say, recording) - but when it's off, anyone can access recordings on the HDD via WiFi. (There are even iOS and Android apps to stream videos from the HDD, but I haven't tried them yet so I don't know if they'll work with iView recordings.)

Now this doesn't turn an iView into a full-blown "whole-home" DVR - but the total cost of an iView, this dock, and a bare HDD is under $150, and this is an easy way to access your iView's recordings wirelessly for that little money.

I'm sure there are other access solutions that others have discovered. Please feel free to share if you've found one!

Edit: Although the user manual talks about both iOS and Android apps, I was only able to find the iOS app (MyAirDisk Pro). The Android version of the app doesn't seem to exist. (There are several with similar names, but they don't work with this dock.) Still, the iOS app does work, for the most part. I had a couple of apparent crashes when I tried to make a selection and my iPad just went back to its desktop, and I had to restart the app. Also, the app didn't support rotating the iPad to landscape mode, which was annoying. But it plays videos quite smoothly.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 03-20-2017 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Add warning & link to details
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post #4872 of 5095 Old 01-26-2017, 07:48 PM
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Nifty! When you say wifi is active when the box is 'off' - do you mean simply when the box is not accessing the hard drive? I mean - can the box be in use simply for watching live television ... and as long as you are not recording or accessing the drive you could utilize the WiFi features? If not - is stand-by mode acceptable for being 'off'?
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post #4873 of 5095 Old 01-27-2017, 07:08 AM
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Standby is considered "off," so you don't have to unplug anything to use WiFi access. But the WiFi is switched off by power to the USB port, so the WiFi goes off when the iView comes on, even if you're not recording or playing a recording.

So the best way to use it is probably to keep the iView in standby as much as possible, except or course when recording or setting recordings up. When the iView is in standby, different folks in the home could watch different recordings through PCs, or hopefully tablets, smart phones, or even DLNA-capable TVs. (I'm anxious to test all this, but I just got the thing yesterday.) But whenever you're using your iView, you lose wireless access and can only watch recordings through the iView and the TV it's connected to. So it's not as smart as I'd like.

It'd be great if someone could hack the firmware to only power up the USB port when necessary to record, time-shift, or play a video. Then you could at least use the iView as a tuner without losing wireless access. That would be especially handy if your TV is a monitor with no tuner, or an old TV with only an analog tuner. (Of course, I guess you can do that by simply unplugging the USB cable, but for me it's too easy to forget to plug it back in before the next scheduled recording.)
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post #4874 of 5095 Old 02-02-2017, 06:51 AM
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(Apologies for an OT post, but this is a follow-up to posts made in this thread last year.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEC581 View Post
(Also...please go to FCC website search proposal 16-42 or Unlock The Box to make public comment on the proposal to allow 3rd party navigation and get rid of your cable box lease!)
Here's the link: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/hotdocket/listIt's the top one listed, with over 60 thousand comments so far.
Unfortunately the election results have probably ended our chance of seeing this rule adopted. House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to President Trump's pick for FCC chair, asking him to close proceedings on the set-top box rule proposed last year, which would have required cable companies to provide access to their content on third-party set-top boxes and thus freed customers from having to rent their cable company’s proprietary box. The letter claimed the proposed rule had “cast a shadow over innovation and investment in traditional video programming delivery.”

So (back on topic) it doesn't look like QAM support on iViews (or any of the other MStar boxes) will be improving anytime soon.
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post #4875 of 5095 Old 02-02-2017, 12:00 PM
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proprietary and exclusive are just other words for monopoly.
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post #4876 of 5095 Old 02-02-2017, 05:05 PM
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Amazon's price today on this is the lowest I've ever seen.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A3H89ADJHTH9SN

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #4877 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
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Amazon's price today on this is the lowest I've ever seen.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A3H89ADJHTH9SN
Good price on a classic! (shipping costs may eat away at that bargain, though).

Did you notice one of the "viewed by other customers" DVRs on that page?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CXCLZQK...productDetails

Took a while to track down that it's a Cody DTV100C, BUT it looks like a rebranded iView 3200STB (box) with an iView 3500STBII remote. Best of both worlds.... LOL All that for a 50% premium. Such a deal?
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post #4878 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 10:15 AM
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Almost as if someone bought a boatload of 3200s and a boatload of 3500 remotes and assembled them into packages for sale. Maybe that explains the $42 price (but not the ridiculous shipping charge). I wonder how many 3200 remotes the seller has stacked up or thrown away?

The Amazon page had some screenshots, but it would be interesting to see the System / Information screen, just to see if it says DTV100C or iVIEW 3200STB (or 3500STBII)!
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post #4879 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 11:00 AM
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Good price on a classic! (shipping costs may eat away at that bargain, though).
The shipping is free if you spend $49 or more. The remote will need new batteries eventually and now that the better ones have tremendous shelf life of 15 years or more you could buy a bunch in bulk, in advance, at a reasonable price, to put you over that $49 minimum and this way when you need new batteries you are all set and don't need to go out and buy them. In my use this would have me all set for a decade of use or more, plus even if you lose interest in using this product in 5 years (say due to newer technologies coming along) I bet you'd find some use for those spare batteries anyways.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #4880 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
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The shipping is free if you spend $49 or more. The remote will need new batteries eventually and now that the better ones have tremendous shelf life of 15 years or more you could buy a bunch in bulk, in advance, at a reasonable price, to put you over that $49 minimum and this way when you need new batteries you are all set and don't need to go out and buy them. In my use this would have me all set for a decade of use or more, plus even if you lose interest in using this product in 5 years (say due to newer technologies coming along) I bet you'd find some use for those spare batteries anyways.
Haven't bought a battery in years, as all my remotes are equipped with rechargeable NiMH batteries.

Not really in the market for a new DVR since I replaced my (failed) 3500STBII with a 3200STB years ago. So I created my own 'perfect world' by re-using my 3500 remote with the 3200. Best of both worlds. And now even better with rechargeable batteries. Better for the environment too.

But that's just me.
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post #4881 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 12:13 PM
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Yes, I use rechargeables too, but I was just thinking off the top of my head of what a buyer, not specifically you, might add to bump the price up to the free shipping level, $49. For some people that might be an OTA antenna, hard drive, thumbdrive, etc.

As I understand it, Amazon does sell other goods besides just DVRs and batteries.

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post #4882 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 12:22 PM
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Haven't bought a battery in years, as all my remotes are equipped with rechargeable NiMH batteries.
I like NiMH batteries too, but I've noticed their lower voltage doesn't always work in learning remotes. (They've always worked fine for me in ordinary remotes though.)

From your experience, it sounds like the iView 3500 remote may be an exception where they work fine. I may try long-life rechargeable batteries in mine.
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post #4883 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 01:23 PM
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Yep, they work fine in the 3500 remote. Just remember to have a fully charged set of NiMH batteries close by when you replace them, as the remote will only hold a charge for less than a minute and will 'forget' the programmed keys if your not quick enough. Otherwise you'll have to reprogram the 'blue' keys again in 'learning mode'.
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post #4884 of 5095 Old 02-03-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
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Just remember to have a fully charged set of NiMH batteries close by when you replace them, as the remote will only hold a charge for less than a minute and will 'forget' the programmed keys if you're not quick enough.
That's probably the difference, then - the learning remotes that didn't like NiMH batteries wouldn't forget their programming, even if the batteries were removed or completely discharged for an extended period. Those remotes probably use something like flash ROM that requires a higher voltage for programming, and NiMH batteries won't cut it.

The iView remote probably just uses ordinary static RAM along with a super capacitor to keep it alive while you change the batteries. Luckily, even if you lose the programming, there aren't that many keys to relearn. You really only need power, although input, volume up/down, and mute are nice to have too.
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post #4885 of 5095 Old 02-04-2017, 08:08 AM
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Although I like to use NiMH batteries in things like a wireless mouse, I find that, well at least the cheap ones I get on eBay, they don't last very long (maybe a week) before needing recharging. I'm in the process of getting a USB-plugin rechargeable Bluetooth mouse to deal with that inconvenience. Ideally I'd like one with wireless charging. Or with a small nuclear pellet that would last centuries ;-).

However, for most remotes I've owned, I find that dollar-store alkalines have been known to last me 5-10 years. At that rate it's hardly worth worrying about. I've had my '3500 for 3 years now on the original batteries.
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post #4886 of 5095 Old 02-04-2017, 09:46 AM
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I use Amazon NiMH and many reports say they are actually Eneloops (Sanyo/Panasonic) but not always the highest "Pro" capacity level of the current production year. But even if they are only the same as Eneloops of a couple of years ago they seem to last a reasonable period of time for me and they cost much less than the Sanyo/Panasonic ones. Some of the reviewers on Amazon have actually tested their MAh capacity using fancy chargers that measure that and this is how I came to this conclusion.

Disposablee batteries still have their place for some applications and for those I use Energizer Lithiums. They are expensive but they make up for it in their tremendous time of use and phenomenal shelf life, plus when they do go bad they never leak, sometimes ruining the product, whereas even high end alkaline Duracells are prone to leaking in applications where you don't open the battery compartment sometimes for years at a time because it is a rarely used device (so it may sit for a long time without monitoring the status of the batteries).
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post #4887 of 5095 Old 02-05-2017, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post
SW Ver 20160815V5.0
HW Ver 78021237836650

One scheduled recording (out of many trials) DID work. This was set from the EPG, but of course it missed the beginning of the show. I always schedule manually to start at xx:59 to avoid this problem.

It seems that it takes this box #3 much longer to start a recording than I was used to with box #2. Perhaps the scheduled recording is failing if the drive does not respond soon enough...

A minor irritation: When changing channels, the program information stays up almost 15 seconds -- much longer than with box #2.
This is the firmware I just uploaded to my iView a few days ago. Solved the issue of not being able to schedule from the EPG (I had to manually program the records- like an early VCR!) and now the captions are much better.

I also just added a new, slim hard drive (a WD Elements 1TB) to replace the old powered USB drive I had. I noticed that the access LED flashes regularly on this drive when it's connected to the iView and it's just sitting idle (not playing back or recording). Would this happen with all slim drives or is it just a WD Elements thing.

Thanks-

Val
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post #4888 of 5095 Old 02-06-2017, 02:29 PM
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some newbie iView questions

I decided to ease into the 21st century of A/V so I dragged out my several yr. old iView (mod. 1403) that I had used as a converter box but now want to use as a digital OTA recorder, instead of the VCR.
A few questions please:
1. To what use are the 5 resolution options since the box seems to record with the same format with each one?
2. Is there a way to have the iView or the HD itself turn on and off so it is not spinning except when recording or playing?
3. Are the newer models of the iView significantly improved over my old 1403?
4. I think it is recommended that one not use coax cable to make connections after the box as the signal transmission is better via component or HDMI. Why, since the OTA signal arrives at the box via coax from the antenna? How can HDMI out from the box improve on the original coax signal in?

Thanks for any help.
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post #4889 of 5095 Old 02-06-2017, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by felf View Post
I decided to ease into the 21st century of A/V so I dragged out my several yr. old iView (mod. 1403) that I had used as a converter box but now want to use as a digital OTA recorder, instead of the VCR.
A few questions please:
1. To what use are the 5 resolution options since the box seems to record with the same format with each one?
2. Is there a way to have the iView or the HD itself turn on and off so it is not spinning except when recording or playing?
3. Are the newer models of the iView significantly improved over my old 1403?
4. I think it is recommended that one not use coax cable to make connections after the box as the signal transmission is better via component or HDMI. Why, since the OTA signal arrives at the box via coax from the antenna? How can HDMI out from the box improve on the original coax signal in?

Thanks for any help.
I'll take a stab at answering a few of your questions.... First I assume the 1403 refers to the 3500STBII unit (as this thread has since included the 3200STB model also). BTW, the 1403 is not that ancient, but there have been some firmware upgrades since then:

http://www.iviewus.com/firmware3500STBII/

Fire off an email to iView support to make sure which version FW upgrade works with the 1403.

1) I believe the five formats are used to select the output to the TV (monitor)
as the box can be used with a analog SD and digital HD TV.
2) I believe the older iViews always have power to the USB port, so pick a external HDD case that turns itself off (standby mode) during periods of inactivity.
3)I believe that some of those features are in the FW. So you may get those with a FW upgrade.
4) IIRC, you only get HD via component and HDMI outputs, composite out is SD. Never used coax out to view the iView output, so can't help you there.

Hope this helps, user mileage may vary.

Last edited by QAM; 02-06-2017 at 04:41 PM.
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post #4890 of 5095 Old 02-06-2017, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felf View Post
I decided to ease into the 21st century of A/V so I dragged out my several yr. old iView (mod. 1403) that I had used as a converter box but now want to use as a digital OTA recorder, instead of the VCR.
A few questions please:
1. To what use are the 5 resolution options since the box seems to record with the same format with each one?
2. Is there a way to have the iView or the HD itself turn on and off so it is not spinning except when recording or playing?
3. Are the newer models of the iView significantly improved over my old 1403?
4. I think it is recommended that one not use coax cable to make connections after the box as the signal transmission is better via component or HDMI. Why, since the OTA signal arrives at the box via coax from the antenna? How can HDMI out from the box improve on the original coax signal in?

Thanks for any help.
I'll hit #4 for you since that's the clearest answer --

The Coax output (RF) is only standard analog 480i; your antenna OTA signal is digital and carries up to 720p or 1080i depending on the broadcaster. You are right in saying, why isn't an RF output the same as OTA? Because they choose NOT to modulate the signal in digital. Seems that RF modulators that do HD digital (ATSC) are frightfully expensive, like $800, so that'll hardly fit in the iView box.

What kind of TV are you driving? If it's an old non-HD (tube TV) then it'll have coax input (RF) and maybe composite video, but won't do HD so you have no other option to connect it anyway.

Standard video (composite) [the yellow plug] is still analog and does no more than 480i, but is a bit better than RF since you won't pick up degradation in the modulation process.

Component cables (red, blue and green) is analog but handles HD. In many cases you won't notice a significant difference between component and HDMI.
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