iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 3682 Old 04-09-2013, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I did two 'midnight ' recordings. The 1st 30 minutes (15 before, 15 minutes after midnight). The 2nd was five before and 5 minutes after.

Take a look at the file sizes. The 1st attempt, recoding was stopped when I checked around 1pm the next day. I didn't think it took, I didn't look.
The 2nd attempt, when I checked around 11am had that gray bar with a 7' 47" record time, but no flashing yellow light. I stopped it and took a look at both files. have a look here. Note the files sizes of both. eek.gif

.
117 GBs eek.gif
That was the reason I used a low bitrate SD channel for my midnight testing wink.gif
I could have swarn during my testings that if the unit was OFF before a scheduled event, after the event the iView would change back to the channel it was on before the event, display a OSD asking if you wanted it to turn off and if you didn't say NO it would automatically turn itself off. If the iView was already on during a scheduled event it would change the channel and start recording the event and after the event it would stay on(can't recall if it went back to the original channel or stayed on the one that the scheduled event was on).
Sounds like some more testing is due biggrin.gif
I now have mine in a cabinet in it's permanent position. I'm using 1080i component to my TV(due to lack of an open HDMI port) and composite to one of my DVDRs for burning things to DVD. I'm not using the RF passthru anymore and my HDD of choice is a very small 80GB USB powered drive.
Oh and I've made sure I have access to it's power cable for any possible lockups. Like I said earlier playing back certain JPEGs I've had the iView lock up tight and not even the power button restored control, only pulling the power cord seemed to do the trick.
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post #62 of 3682 Old 04-09-2013, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the more I think about this the more it seems to be problematic. I need to look closer at the ePVision PHD-VRX. Tivo is not going to be viable for me with the high cost and the higher 24x7 energy consumption.
How about wind power?? wink.gif

I should also add, not just two DVR's and two HDD w/ enclosures, don't forget two separate power supplies for those drives. BTW, the newest TiVo series does consume less power that the original HD Series 3 though it would never get a Energy Star rating due to their bloated O/S requiring the unit to run 24/7.
I've never heard a DVR continuously thrash the recording head arm back and forth as much as these TiVo's. tongue.gif

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post #63 of 3682 Old 04-09-2013, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
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117 GBs. That was the reason I used a low bitrate SD channel for my midnight testing
I wasn't concerned since it will get deleted anyway.
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if the unit was OFF before a scheduled event, after the event the iView would change back to the channel it was on before the event, display a OSD asking if you wanted it to turn off and if you didn't say NO it would automatically turn itself off.
I stand corrected. You are right, but I swore with some recordings, the unit did not shut off. I will have to watch this closer.

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post #64 of 3682 Old 04-10-2013, 04:50 AM
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Well my event last night(23:00-23:59) went off without a hitch and the iView was off this morning(and on the channel I had left it on, not the one of the event). Everything seems OK, not sure what happened the night before but I've programmed 3 such events in the coming days as tests to make sure things work OK.

Oh I did discover one odd thing......I have my iView sitting right on top of my CM-7000 CECB(which feeds my analog EH-55 DVDR below that) and since putting the iView on top of the CM I'd occasionally find the CM on. Well I finally discovered the 1 button on the iView acts like the power button for the CM mad.gif Probably won't effect many(I mean how many other people would happen to stack a CM and iView) but kind of odd. Guess there are only so many remote codes and overlaps must happen on occasion.
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post #65 of 3682 Old 04-10-2013, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Regarding this shutting off after scheduled recordings, it apparently depends on how many you had scheduled and/or the length of each.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #66 of 3682 Old 04-12-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

Well my event last night(23:00-23:59) went off without a hitch and the iView was off this morning(and on the channel I had left it on, not the one of the event). Everything seems OK, not sure what happened the night before but I've programmed 3 such events in the coming days as tests to make sure things work OK.
I'm happy to report all my programming tests have gone off without a hitch this week. Not to say the iView still doesn't have a midnight bug(where events overlapping midnight seem to record indefinitely until you stop it) the temporary(until or if iView corrects it with a firmware fix) is to program the first event ending at 23:59 and the next event starting at 00:00 to the end of your program. Again not ideal but may be better than a very long event on the DVR.
Other than this obvious bug it seems to be working just fine(with the exception of the crummy remote tongue.gif) and I wouldn't hesitate to suggest it to someone looking for an extremely cheap DVR and willing to live with it's shortcomings.
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post #67 of 3682 Old 04-12-2013, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I talked to Robert Chui today. What follows are the highlights;

The limitation of not being able to play a recording while one is being made is a hardware limitation,
the manual is still being worked on,
24 hr will be changed to 12 hr,
he is aware of the QAM problems.
They (China) want this to stay at this price point. That seems to tell me not to expect too many 'fixes'. frown.gif

I stressed priority on the lack of proper channel numbers,
a manual method of clock setting,
the QAM issues; not skipping all the encrypted channels and the "0-0" channel number for all the receivable stations,
changing "Program" to Channel list ( or similar) in the menu and dropping the password requirement.

There is a roadblock understanding that CATV physical channel numbers max out at between 115 and 158 depending on the system. The 380 channel count (in his market) after a scan seems to be the cause. There is also a concern that some channels are not showing when they should. I suggested comparing what a TV set with a QAM tuner shows, write down all the stations, then compare that with what the iView lists. CATV is not available at their business, discovery is at home. They have TWC.


jjeff;
Would you do a test on receiving program listings?
Specifically, when you scroll to the next channel (up or down), do the listings remain from the previous channel, or if correct listings do appear, there only a few of them?

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post #68 of 3682 Old 04-12-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

it seems to be working just fine(with the exception of the crummy remote tongue.gif)

Have you tried a Harmony 200? At $16 on ebay may be worth a shot.

Bob

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the FOX,ABC,CBS,or CW Networks,MeTv, my employer or its parent company. Nor my wife for that matter!
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post #69 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I tried the new firmware and the only changes that I found were changing the default RF out to ch 3 and the reversal of the red & green LED's on the front panel. When off the green "Lock" is lit, when on the dim red "Power is lit.

Have you (or someone else) tried to D-compile the firmware? redface.gif
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post #70 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 04:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I've never done it. Wouldn't know where to begin. frown.gif

There are two files;
"flash.bin" 4096 KB &
"usb_upgrade_all_flash.bin" 3167 KB

.

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The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #71 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by profhat View Post

Have you (or someone else) tried to D-compile the firmware? redface.gif

Not sure why you are asking this but I have looked into Dcompilers as I was interested in getting at the code for the PALDVR firmware. From my investigation I found that the freeware versions will not do a very good job of bringing the compliled code back to its pre compiled state. The result will vary but the best you can get is not something very useable. I don't know if you can buy Dcompilers that will do a better job.

Have you used them?
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post #72 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I talked to Robert Chui today. What follows are the highlights;

The limitation of not being able to play a recording while one is being made is a hardware limitation,
the manual is still being worked on,
24 hr will be changed to 12 hr,
he is aware of the QAM problems.
They (China) want this to stay at this price point. That seems to tell me not to expect too many 'fixes'. frown.gif....

jjeff;
Would you do a test on receiving program listings?
Specifically, when you scroll to the next channel (up or down), do the listings remain from the previous channel, or if correct listings do appear, there only a few of them?
For it's price point I could accept a lot of it's quirks and limitations(24hr time would be a quirk and play/record at the same time would be a limitation) but for a DVR to me a unforgivable issue is not being able to correctly record a program that spans midnight. Hopefully this should be able to be a simple patch that they could fix with a firmware update.
AFA program listings when changing channels, what I've observed is when you change channels it keeps the previous channels info on the grid for a while but slowly fills in the current channels info(takes 5-30 seconds to update the grid). Again I haven't really been using the EPG because of it's slow operation(and if you do try and access info too soon it tends to lock things up) but when using it I've found if you just give it 30 seconds or so it will update with all the correct information. Compare this to my Vizio TV with PSIP EPG which updates it's grid within seconds, in fact so fast that you don't really notice it's doing it.
Weird thing last night with my iView.....I hadn't recorded anything(or even turned it on) for a couple days but when I awoke it(and my attached USB powered HDD) was on confused.gif At least it wasn't recording and I didn't see any odd recordings but it does make me worry a bit if I were to go out of town for a week or so, would I find it ON when I got back?.......I know it was OFF yesterday afternoon and no one else uses it so I really have no idea why it turned it self on......I'm quite sure my little USB HDD does not spin down(unlike a couple of my other wall powered USB HDDs) so I think I'll look around for a cheap USB powered HDD that does spin down. That way if it turns itself on for no reason, at least the HDD won't be spinning for no reason.
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post #73 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Instead of editing the older post on the 1st page, here is the revised list. Entries with a * preceding the number, are simple menu text changes.I only included the first 22 items;

1. Display the actual channel numbers on the display and in the favorites list as it is elsewhere! No need for the letter “C” preceding the number. This is very confusing and not user friendly,
2. Add ability to initiate a record entry directly in the Guide instead of entering it in separately. This defeats the purpose of the Guide. This is a huge disadvantage,
3. When you switch back and forth between channels in the guide, the listings appear for the previous channel. If you enter the guide from a channel, the full listings appear. Switch to another station, the same problem, listing from that previous channel show, or limited entries for the new station will show.,
4. Add a manual method to enter the correct time. Relying on stations time isn't always accurate. There is also a problem using the GMT offset which can be off by one hour.
5. Add a resume function for playback to remember where you left off if you have to stop playback,
6. Switch to 12 hour clock format. Or provide a choice of both,
7. Only 11 program listings per station show, no matter how many the station is actually providing. Is this a hardware issue?
8. On CATV systems., all the channels are labeled "0-0". Also, 1/3 of the encrypted channels are not 'skipped',
9. Recordings that span midnight will not allow any additional scheduled events to be added. Also, the recording will not stop when it should,
10. Display is too bright. You could never use this in a bedroom or any dark room. Fast fix, add a sheet of gray film or some color to reduce brightness and/or change the color to something other than red,
11. Add a record indicator on the display. You can't tell if it is recording or not if the TV is not on.
12. Add the ability to enter a 'dash' for sub channels,
13. The info banner stays on screen to long. It's also too large. Reduce 10 sec. down to 4 sec or add adjustable timeout options.
14. When scrolling through the recorded programs, eliminate the need to press “Ok” each time to activate playback in the preview window. Use 'Play' or "Ok" to play the recording in full screen,
*15. Rename "Program" to "Channel" in the menu. You are editing channels, not programs,
*16. Rename “Hold” to “Schedule” and “Recall” to "Return” on the remote.
17. There is no 'space' entry when editing the program names to separate words,
18. Remove “Radio” channels. This doesn't always see audio channels as “Radio”, placing many under the normal video. This just makes things more complicated and confusing,
19. Add a conformation step when using the 'Auto search' since it's easy to hit it by mistake and wipe out all your channels when you wanted to do a manual search,
20. Add a confirmation when using 'Manual search' to save new channels. Return back to the manual search screen after entry is saved instead of exiting. It's a real annoyance to re-enter the screen again to add additional channels.
21. Remove those four choices for sorting the channels. They do not have any affect on channel order. Also, their labels are mostly unknown here. The ability to move individual channels is already there,
*22. Rename “Book” in the manual record screen to 'Schedule' and remove the “Book Info” since both do the same thing.
23. Volume & mute have no effect on the HDMI output when in Raw mode (for 5.1 audio),
24. The GoTo button duplicates what is already in the menu that needs a password. Remove the need for a password and use the button for something else..
25. When in the menu, do not use the term “boot” on the display.
26. Change the default HDMI audio to “Raw HDMI On”,
*27. Rename “Movie” in USB mode to “Recordings”. These aren't always movies that are recorded.
28. There is no slow motion function,
*29. Change time zone names of cities to 'standard time” designations: EST, CST etc.
30. Remove the “TV Format” entry in the menu since there is no “PAL” format in N. America
31. During recording, when you click on 'Info', there are two entries that should be removed; “Max record size” which seems to be a duplicate of “Disk free space” and “Cur play size” which always shoes “0KB”,
32. Is that above pop up suppose to display during playback? If so, it doesn't.
33. Where are these “colored keys” that are mentioned on page 14 on the remote?
34. What is this “service mode” that is mentioned in the manual?
35. There is no mention of the term “ATSC” in any of your literature or in the on line manual. References to “DVB-T” should be removed,
36. Revise the features on page 3; change DVB-T FTA to ATSC OTA, remove that incorrect “400 channel capacity”, change 570i & p to 480i & p.
37. Revise the specs on page 18; change frequency range to 57-803 MHz, bandwidth to 6 MHz, add "ATSC" to demodulation and remove “DVB-T”.
38. Remove all of those distracting, unnecessary digital wipe patterns. Add a simple 'dissolve' in their place,
39. Unable to return to Photo configure from Multimedia to change settings,
40. Use the lower two of the forward and back buttons to advance or go back in photo mode.

revised order, clarified #15

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post #74 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

4. Add a manual method to enter the correct time. Relying on stations time isn't always accurate.

I've got a question on this one. Is the station time signal needed for the iView the same signal that the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders use? My Magnavox recorders don't get a time signal for it's auto clock setting (at least on cable).
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post #75 of 3682 Old 04-13-2013, 08:09 PM
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FWIW my order of one of these STB's arrived a couple of days ago. I played with it for about 1 hour and decided it was not going to be user friendly as a DVR. It's on the way back to Amazon.com. Maybe if you were going to use it as a STB or Digital to Analog converter and sparing use the DVR function it could be functional. But even then you probably have almost as much functionality with the built in TV tuner.
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post #76 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 06:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Is the station time signal needed for the iView the same signal that the Magnavox HDD/DVD recorders use?
Yes. It would be the only way (without Internet connectivity) to get the time automatically. Via PSIP. The question is, which station is used? I assume it is the 1st one found.

andydrew;
Out of curiosity, what were the deal breakers?

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post #77 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

andydrew;
Out of curiosity, what were the deal breakers?
I'd kind of like to know too. While I agree the iView isn't for everyone I've always tried to point out it's shortcomings, no sense in trying to oversell something just to have people return it because of it's issues.
To me the the biggest selling point of the iView is it's extremely cheap price, if that isn't a big deal or a person isn't willing to overlook it's shortcomings because of it's price, the iView probably isn't a good choice smile.gif
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post #78 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Yes. It would be the only way (without Internet connectivity) to get the time automatically. Via PSIP. The question is, which station is used? I assume it is the 1st one found.

I ordered one of these but it may be a short lived experiment. My Maggies don't get a time signal on cable. I'm planning on using the iView on my OTA side so hopefully there is a time signal that the cableco is stripping.
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post #79 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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OTA should be no problem. As stated, I did stress the importance of a manual entry which is assumed it wasn't necessary.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #80 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 10:03 AM
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Yes, I know this device is very inexpensive so it's hard to compare it to other solutions. But as a DVR it is very limited. As I stated, I only looked at this device for about an hour. I already knew this device wasn't going to work for me but I wanted to check out what $45 buys.

For me the dealbreaker is not being able to watch a previous recording while something else is recording.

This device may be feasible for someone who really needs the STB functionality or DVR functionality on occasion. It may work out well if you are recording programming at a different time of the day from when you watch the programming. But if you are like most TV viewers that you are recording prime time programming and trying to watch it in prime time it's not going to work out well. Of course the interface is not the easiest to navigate either. And the klugy channel numbers definitely need to be fixed.
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post #81 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

Yes, I know this device is very inexpensive so it's hard to compare it to other solutions. But as a DVR it is very limited. As I stated, I only looked at this device for about an hour. I already knew this device wasn't going to work for me but I wanted to check out what $45 buys.

For me the dealbreaker is not being able to watch a previous recording while something else is recording.

This device may be feasible for someone who really needs the STB functionality or DVR functionality on occasion. It may work out well if you are recording programming at a different time of the day from when you watch the programming. But if you are like most TV viewers that you are recording prime time programming and trying to watch it in prime time it's not going to work out well. Of course the interface is not the easiest to navigate either. And the klugy channel numbers definitely need to be fixed.
I agree with all those points and if this was my only DVR(I also have a dual tuner Tivo HD which has none of those limitations) they would be big concerns but for the occasional recording when both my Tivo tuners are occupied(maybe once or twice a week and when watching it back I'd probably not be recording something else) it fits my requirements.
Even something as basic as a Magnavox SD HDD DVDR(or really any HDD DVDR) has the ability to play while recording something else, makes me wonder if they could easily add it to the iView.....

edit: looks like videobruce has confirmed with iView that the ability to play and record something different is a hardware limitation and will probably not be added for this model frown.gif
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post #82 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff View Post

I agree with all those points and if this was my only DVR(I also have a dual tuner Tivo HD which has none of those limitations) they would be big concerns but for the occasional recording when both my Tivo tuners are occupied(maybe once or twice a week and when watching it back I'd probably not be recording something else) it fits my requirements.(

I have been searching for one device to serve as a DVR. So yes, this is not it.
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post #83 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 01:53 PM
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Something mentioned on Amazon I haven't seen talked about here:
Quote:
Video Decoder: MPEG-2 MP at HL, MPEG-4 SP, ASP, H.264 HP at L4.1, DivX3.11, 4.X, 6.X, FLV format and VC-1, Video Resolution: 1080p, 1080u, 720p, 576p.

So you can load DivX and MKV files onto the HDD or a USB stick, plug it back in and watch these other media formats?
Considering how bare this is, that's a surprising feature.

Actually, what the heck is HL and HP?

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post #84 of 3682 Old 04-14-2013, 02:44 PM
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MPEG-2 HL is Main Profile at High Level, which is the default mode for ATSC broadcasts. AVC HP @ L4.1 is High Profile at Level 4.1, which is the standard limit on what hardware players can decode. Superior profiles add support for features that improve quality, such as 10-bit video, and superior levels add support for higher resolutions and framerates.
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post #85 of 3682 Old 04-15-2013, 04:22 AM
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Maybe a dumb question but can you use the USB to a PC and view OTA TV through VLC ?
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post #86 of 3682 Old 04-15-2013, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I assume you mean to use this as a tuner for a PC? If so, no. I would think it would have to be at least through a Ethernet port.
Any way, not at this price point.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #87 of 3682 Old 04-15-2013, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyrw2 View Post

Maybe a dumb question but can you use the USB to a PC and view OTA TV through VLC ?
Do you mean run a USB cable from the iView to the PC? If so I haven't tried that, I suppose I could try and locate a long USB cable(would have to be at least 10 feet from where my iView now sits to my computer) and see what happens. I have VLC on my computer, it's what I mainly use to watch video files.
Let me know if I understood your question and if so I can look for a longer USB cable smile.gif
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post #88 of 3682 Old 04-15-2013, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
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You may be able able to playback recordings from the attached HDD when you connect that back to your PC.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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post #89 of 3682 Old 04-15-2013, 05:11 AM
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videobruce, have you tried hooking the iView to your PC with a USB cable? If so and it didn't work I won't bother and yes I have hooked my USB HDD to my PC and VLC plays back the video files just fine but I think johnnyrw2 was wanting to display the iViews tuner on a PC.
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post #90 of 3682 Old 04-15-2013, 05:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I doubt any DVR using just a USB port would be able to do that. Mostly due to the fact it's a port for recording or playing recordings, not sending live video elsewhere.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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