Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 490 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #14671 of 14695 Old 08-10-2017, 02:04 PM
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Cool CM Amplify

I was very pleased to get two more DVR+'s during CM's July 4th sale but their "Amplify" was the most pleasing of all:
https://www.channelmaster.com/Amplif...m?Click=102351

Watch for another 'Sale', perhaps before Black Friday

I have had mostly ideal reception but lately had severe problems with ABC and then NBC was also experiencing intermittent (mostly audio) drops. Adding an old Radio Shack amplifer (variable 10-20 db) helped a lot, but still had problems at least 10% of the time.

Replacing that with Amplify (and two splitters to feed two DVR+'s, a DVD receiver/recorder and TV) has completely solved all the problems.

21 of 29 'channels' are now solid 100/100 and other 8 are 65/100 (but look fine) on the "Low" (17 db) setting. Selecting "High" (30 db) brings them all to 100/100. The high setting works for all channels, but since CM recommends "Low" for indoor use, I just leave it there. It's just one Spanish LP and WGPS-LP (22.1-22.7) with shopping, religious, Spanish and two 'old' Movie/TV channels that rarely attract me to record.

The Amplify came with a fairly short USB (4' with a wall wart) that I just plugged into one of the DVR+'s USB Jacks, its power consumption is <3 Watt, so that should be OK.

I have two of my DVR+'s stacked atop Sony Blue-Ray and temperature is same 100f as just one had been.

Have one of my old type 'flat' remotes paired to one DVR+ so there are no control issues running two stacked.
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Last edited by pilotart; 08-10-2017 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Underline two embedded links.
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post #14672 of 14695 Old 08-10-2017, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotart View Post
I was very pleased to get two more DVR+'s during CM's July 4th sale but their "Amplify" was the most pleasing of all:
https://www.channelmaster.com/Amplif...m?Click=102351

Watch for another 'Sale', perhaps before Black Friday

I have had mostly ideal reception but lately had severe problems with ABC and then NBC was also experiencing intermittent (mostly audio) drops. Adding an old Radio Shack amplifer (variable 10-20 db) helped a lot, but still had problems at least 10% of the time.

Replacing that with Amplify (and two splitters to feed two DVR+'s, a DVD receiver/recorder and TV) has completely solved all the problems.
...
I've been using this CM-7777HD "Amplify" pre-amp for about 3 months, and it works quite well (had to pay full price). Without a pre-amp, reception is horrid, even though I also use a powered distribution amp near the TV equipment! The Amplify replaces a CM-7777 pre-amp which worked just as well and lasted 6 or 7 years (maybe more), but it just died one day and I decided to try the "Amplify" because it has a built-in LTE filter, and has two selectable amplifications. The 16dB amplification doesn't work well for me, so I use the 30dB amplification, which is the same level as the CM-7777 model. The difference being one has the LTE filter, and one does not. I do not see where the LTE filter has made any difference in my particular case.

The power supplies, and the power inserter that connects the power and coax cables, are very different, with the Amplify using a USB cable for power, and the other using coax cable for power (just view the images on the CM pages). Be careful if you need a new power supply, because CM has not updated their only power supply page which states "Replacement power supply for all Channel Master distribution amplifiers and preamplifiers", and I do not see a power supply for the Amplify at this time.

Long story short, if you don't need an LTE filter, and you don't need adjustable pre-amp output, you can save a few dollars with either the CM-7777 30dB pre-amp, or the CM-7778 16dB pre-amp. If you don't know which amplification you need, or you also need LTE filtering, get the Amplify with adjustable gain and LTE.
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post #14673 of 14695 Old 08-11-2017, 04:05 AM
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I always thought the MVPDs got things backwards. Rather than pay for content then selling an aggregation of content, they should charge for carriage and let the content provider deal with the billing. This would give consumers more content and delivery options. It would also make both more market driven (cheaper) and encourage OTA and OTT as less expensive delivery mechanisms while sustaining a premium option via the 'cable companies'.

I had DirecTV Now from December to May during the Apple TV promotion. I hung on while they worked out their technical issues (I was prepaid) and they kept me in the fold by adding HBO, but bailed because the programming was not worth $1 per day.

I've had Dish and Comcast. I've had Netflix and Prime. It's not like I don't know what I'm missing. I have high speed internet now. The way things are going, I could see me dropping high speed internet and relying on my cell carrier for data down the road. And I'm not really price sensitive. It's a value thing.

These are interesting times we live in.
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post #14674 of 14695 Old 08-11-2017, 05:56 AM
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@pachinko , power supply for Amplify is 5 VDC and for 30 db is 15 VDC, so their description "All" would not apply to Amplify and its included 'wall-wart' is a generic AC-5 VDC not labeled CM. The included "Power Inserter" (only for outdoor installation) has mini-USB instead of coax power input.

I take from your description that you're mounting Amplify out with the antenna. Their (Professional Install) 30 db is not recommended for indoor install although I guess it could.

$20 more expensive Amplify has two methods of inserting power with mini-USB directly into Amplify's Jack preferred for indoor installation. Obvious supply would be USB from TV, but mine power down when TV is off. No power and Amplify blocks signal which is why I was pleased to have the spare USB Jack (Ethernet) on DVR+ for simple power supply.
Spoiler!
So glad Amplify overcame that as I didn't want to trim my jungle or put up a mast.
Art
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post #14675 of 14695 Old 08-11-2017, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
The power supplies, and the power inserter that connects the power and coax cables, are very different, with the Amplify using a USB cable for power, and the other using coax cable for power (just view the images on the CM pages).
My Amplify came with a power injector, so you could go either way: hook the USB power supply directly to the Amplify, or hook it to the power injector and send the power up the coax as with the original CM-7777.
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Be careful if you need a new power supply, because CM has not updated their only power supply page which states "Replacement power supply for all Channel Master distribution amplifiers and preamplifiers", and I do not see a power supply for the Amplify at this time.
Luckily, USB power supplies are cheap and plentiful on sites like Amazon. Just make sure it supplies enough current and you should be good to go, whether or not you use the power injector.
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Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
Long story short, if you don't need an LTE filter, and you don't need adjustable pre-amp output, you can save a few dollars with either the CM-7777 30dB pre-amp, or the CM-7778 16dB pre-amp. If you don't know which amplification you need, or you also need LTE filtering, get the Amplify with adjustable gain and LTE.
I'd like to toss in a recommendation for a non-CM option as well: the Winegard Boost comes in two models: the LNA-100, which requires power from a USB power supply (included), and the LNA-200, which uses a power injector. Neither has an LTE filter, and the gain is only 18-20 dB, but the noise figure is super low: only 1 dB! They're also resistant to overload, so they're ideal for suburban settings where you might've used the CM-7778 or the "low" 17dB setting on the Amplify. The LNA-100 is pretty cheap, too: Amazon has it for only $15+shipping at the moment.
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I always thought the MVPDs got things backwards. Rather than pay for content then selling an aggregation of content, they should charge for carriage and let the content provider deal with the billing.
That's an interesting idea! Instead of paying Spectrum or Comcast for a bunch of content you don't want, you'd just pay them a base fee for broadband internet and a number of video channels to be named later, then pay Fox, NBC Universal (now owned by Comcast, but that's another rant), Viacom, Disney, Time-Warner, etc. for their respective offerings. You'd only have to pay for the content you wanted, it'd get rid of those stupid MVPD-vs.-provider spats we've all had to deal with (when, for example DirecTV and Viacom can't agree on a fair price, and DirecTV is forced to shut off all Viacom programming, during which time each side spams their viewers with ads imploring them to call the other side and agree to their terms), and Spectrum, Comcast, etc. would become common carriers and wouldn't have any interest in destroying Net Neutrality so they could block or cripple competitors. There would be no need for services like Sling because that's how cable and satellite would work in the first place.

OTOH prices would probably go up for folks who really did want everything, since an individual consumer has much less bargaining power than a typical MVPD, but I guess there's no perfect solution.

The current business model is a holdover from the CATV era, when communities on the fringe of a reception area would hire a company to erect an antenna farm and build a distribution system, so residents could get the "local" stations from 60 miles away without every household having to put up a big outdoor antenna. Those companies evolved into today's cable companies, then went through a phase of mergers and consolidations to become the monopolies we've all come to hate, but they never considered alternatives to that 80's-era business model they're all based on.

We kind of started to go down that road with C-band satellite dishes. Folks would buy a satellite system and a "VideoCipher" decryption box, then pay HBO, CNN, or whoever directly for their content. But the cable companies used their muscle to ensure that was never a competitive alternative, just as they're now trying to do with Net Neutrality. (Besides, those C-band dishes were big, ugly, and had to rotate, meaning there was more to go wrong with them.)
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post #14676 of 14695 Old 08-11-2017, 09:06 PM
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That's an interesting idea! Instead of paying Spectrum or Comcast for a bunch of content you don't want, you'd just pay them a base fee for broadband internet and a number of video channels to be named later, then pay Fox, NBC Universal (now owned by Comcast, but that's another rant), Viacom, Disney, Time-Warner, etc. for their respective offerings. You'd only have to pay for the content you wanted, it'd get rid of those stupid MVPD-vs.-provider spats we've all had to deal with (when, for example DirecTV and Viacom can't agree on a fair price, and DirecTV is forced to shut off all Viacom programming, during which time each side spams their viewers with ads imploring them to call the other side and agree to their terms), and Spectrum, Comcast, etc. would become common carriers and wouldn't have any interest in destroying Net Neutrality so they could block or cripple competitors. There would be no need for services like Sling because that's how cable and satellite would work in the first place.
Not quite what I meant. You would pay a local carrier for internet, phone, and/or television, but he would only be an agent and gate keeper for the content providers. They would pay him for a slot or slots in the local lineup then make money off the subscriptions. Content providers could bundle channels as packages and local carriers could bundle packages as services. Since the content providers would be paying for bandwidth, it would not be in their interest to air 'filler' content. It would also eliminate carriers from content pricing battles.
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post #14677 of 14695 Old 08-12-2017, 10:20 AM
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I'd like to toss in a recommendation for a non-CM option as well: the Winegard Boost comes in two models: the LNA-100, which requires power from a USB power supply (included), and the LNA-200, which uses a power injector. Neither has an LTE filter, and the gain is only 18-20 dB, but the noise figure is super low: only 1 dB! They're also resistant to overload, so they're ideal for suburban settings where you might've used the CM-7778 or the "low" 17dB setting on the Amplify. The LNA-100 is pretty cheap, too: Amazon has it for only $15+shipping at the moment.
I have to agree with this recommendation. I had a LNA-100 when I was running my antenna to only one TV, and it worked fine. I moved it up before the splitter when I tried to add another TV after upgrading the antenna, and it wasn't quite up to the job. The Amplify solved the problems I was having when put in it's place with the higher gain setting.

My brother in law has my old antenna and the LNA-100 on his single TV and it's working fine. We are in an area that is 60 miles from the transmitters, with many stations "2 Edge", and it works great.
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post #14678 of 14695 Old 08-13-2017, 06:09 PM
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One of my local low-power TV stations just moved from RF 28 (UHF) to RF 10 (VHF). On 134R firmware, you can only hide channels, not delete them; so I thought I'd have to do a full channel scan to get my channels back with their correct virtual channel numbers (28-1 through 28-9). But when I scanned RF 10, my DVR+ surprised me: it put the new channels at 28-1 through 28-9, and moved the old (now dead) channels up to the 100+ range! So all I had to do was hide channel numbers 101-112 and all is good!
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post #14679 of 14695 Old 08-13-2017, 06:30 PM
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One of my local low-power TV stations just moved from RF 28 (UHF) to RF 10 (VHF). On 134R firmware, you can only hide channels, not delete them; so I thought I'd have to do a full channel scan to get my channels back with their correct virtual channel numbers (28-1 through 28-9). But when I scanned RF 10, my DVR+ surprised me: it put the new channels at 28-1 through 28-9, and moved the old (now dead) channels up to the 100+ range! So all I had to do was hide channel numbers 101-112 and all is good!
Thanks for posting that. I just did the same thing for those channels. I also noticed two interesting things in the process. One, I didn't know that the DVR+ tuners would tune to channels above 69, but they did. The channels were dead in the 100+ range, but it tuned to them. The other thing I noticed was that the manual scan screen appears to have changed. Last time I used it I seem to remember an entry for "Network ID", but didn't see it this time around.
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post #14680 of 14695 Old 08-14-2017, 06:31 AM
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Thanks for posting that. I just did the same thing for those channels. I also noticed two interesting things in the process. One, I didn't know that the DVR+ tuners would tune to channels above 69, but they did. The channels were dead in the 100+ range, but it tuned to them.
Actually, the DVR+ does not scan past RF channel 51 (frequency 695000). The 100 series is a virtual channel bin used by the DVR+ when if finds multiple RF channels trying to claim the same virtual channel, and moves the 2nd claimant to a 100 series channel.

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The other thing I noticed was that the manual scan screen appears to have changed. Last time I used it I seem to remember an entry for "Network ID", but didn't see it this time around.
Are you thinking of "Transport ID"? Here's a photo of the Manual Scan window from 108R.
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post #14681 of 14695 Old 08-14-2017, 02:54 PM
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Under "Technical Info / Signals & Network" there is a "Network ID" which appears to be the true RF channel number.

True RF channels are always in the range 2-51 (to become 2-36 in a few years), but virtual channels can in theory be anything from 1-999. Actual stations only use 2-69 though. Has to do with FCC regs.

The channel 100+ trick is a longstanding one with E*-designed products. The DTVPal put duplicate channels at 70+ instead of 100+, but basically did the same. If you happened to have duplicate virtual channel numbers, the first set would get their actual numbers, and the second set would get the 70+ channel numbers.

I expected the DVR+ to do the same; what surprised me was that the new set got the actual numbers and the old set got "bumped" to 100+. The DTVPal would do it the other way around (unless you delete the old set first - the DTVPal does let you delete channels).
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post #14682 of 14695 Old 08-14-2017, 04:14 PM
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I apologise if has already been mentioned but.. I noticed the RT content isn't working on CMTV anymore... Well at least not for me anyway. I'm starting to wonder if it's worth keeping CMTV activated...
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Confirmed. The RT channels try to come up, but then the message "An error has occurred while loading this Internet Channel" appears.

On Sling, RT is working fine, so the network itself isn't the problem.

It could be a temporary glitch, so I wouldn't push the panic button just yet; but given other recently-removed channels, it's quite possible CMTV is in a death spiral: as more and more channels leave, more and more viewers deactivate; as more and more viewers deactivate, more and more channels leave.
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post #14684 of 14695 Old 08-14-2017, 07:27 PM
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By luck, I finally got a chance to answer a question that was asked about the DVR+ long ago: Can the DVR+ store two different channel maps for the same RF frequency?

And the answer is: Yes! This is good news for those wishing to use a DVR+ with an antenna rotator. It means you can have channels on RF 19 in one direction and also have different channels on RF 19 in the other direction. (Of course, if the virtual channel numbers aren't unique, one set of the duplicate numbers will wind up renumbered into the 100+ range, but they'll still work.)

One of our local LPTVs, operating on RF 31, went off the air recently. Still don't know if that's temporary or permanent, but while they're off the air, I happened to catch a more distant station that also operates on RF 31 (due to what's called "tropospheric propagation"). So just for the heck of it, I did a manual scan on RF 31, and the DVR+ added the more distant stations to my channel list.

But here's the good part: the old channel 31 stations are still there! If that station happens to come back on the air, it'll already be in the channel list and ready to receive.
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post #14685 of 14695 Old 08-15-2017, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotart View Post
I was very pleased to get two more DVR+'s during CM's July 4th sale but their "Amplify" was the most pleasing of all:
https://www.channelmaster.com/Amplif...m?Click=102351

Watch for another 'Sale', perhaps before Black Friday

I have had mostly ideal reception but lately had severe problems with ABC and then NBC was also experiencing intermittent (mostly audio) drops. Adding an old Radio Shack amplifer (variable 10-20 db) helped a lot, but still had problems at least 10% of the time.

Replacing that with Amplify (and two splitters to feed two DVR+'s, a DVD receiver/recorder and TV) has completely solved all the problems.

21 of 29 'channels' are now solid 100/100 and other 8 are 65/100 (but look fine) on the "Low" (17 db) setting. Selecting "High" (30 db) brings them all to 100/100. The high setting works for all channels, but since CM recommends "Low" for indoor use, I just leave it there. It's just one Spanish LP and WGPS-LP (22.1-22.7) with shopping, religious, Spanish and two 'old' Movie/TV channels that rarely attract me to record.

The Amplify came with a fairly short USB (4' with a wall wart) that I just plugged into one of the DVR+'s USB Jacks, its power consumption is <3 Watt, so that should be OK.

I have two of my DVR+'s stacked atop Sony Blue-Ray and temperature is same 100f as just one had been.

Have one of my old type 'flat' remotes paired to one DVR+ so there are no control issues running two stacked.
Art
Amplify is an excellent product that works very well for me.
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post #14686 of 14695 Old 08-16-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
Are you thinking of "Transport ID"? Here's a photo of the Manual Scan window from 108R.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Under "Technical Info / Signals & Network" there is a "Network ID" which appears to be the true RF channel number.
That may be what I was thinking of. It's been a long time since I did a manual scan for any channels. Since I seldom watch the 28 series of channels I may not have even noticed they were dead if @JHBrandt hadn't mentioned it. Right now I am receiving 99 channels, but as with cable and satellite, most of them are channels I don't watch. Yet having a lot of channels is still a status thing with me, and as the old saying goes, he who has the most channels when he dies, wins. Plus I like seeing the expression on cable/sat people when I tell them I get almost 100 channels for free.
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post #14687 of 14695 Old 08-16-2017, 02:54 PM
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I have been searching and believe what I am looking for does not exist. Could someone confirm this?

I was hoping to find an iPhone app that would control the DVR+ like the remote.

Anyone know of any out there.

Silly as it may seem, there are times I am too lazy to get up and walk 20 feet to get the remote....just being honest.

(I walk 5 - 10 miles per day)
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post #14688 of 14695 Old 08-16-2017, 04:49 PM
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... I was hoping to find an iPhone app that would control the DVR+ like the remote. Anyone know of any out there. ...
I have absolutely no experience with this, but a little YouTubing and Googling and maybe you’re in luck. There is an App named ZaZa Remote – Universal Remote Control (there may be other Apps).

Your iPhone needs an IR Blaster since the DVR+ is IR. Here’s one at amazon.com. There are others, and I don't know if this one is compatible with ZaZa.

I have no idea if ZaZa offers the DVR+ as a pre-defined device (likely not), but I see a “DIY Learn” option in the Apps menu system. I assume that option can be used to teach the buttons on the DVR+ remote control to the ZaZa App. Hmm... If this works, I wonder if it can be taught how to "pair" the iPhone to a particular DVR+?

Here's a YouTube video. There are more videos that you should thumb through, and maybe some Googling too. If you get something working, please give us details.
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post #14689 of 14695 Old 08-16-2017, 05:13 PM
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I wonder if it can be taught how to "pair" the iPhone to a particular DVR+?
Probably, but I bet it would need to learn from a remote that was already paired to that particular DVR+. (Well, unless the app could let you display the remote codes in hex and edit them.)
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post #14690 of 14695 Old 08-16-2017, 08:39 PM
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If you were looking for an Android app, I would direct you to AnyMote. I have used it for several years now and it works great for me. I do have the purchased version - Smart IR Remote. It has been well worth the purchase as it runs my TV and surround sound as well.
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post #14691 of 14695 Old 08-17-2017, 04:33 AM
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If you were looking for an Android app, I would direct you to AnyMote. I have used it for several years now and it works great for me. I do have the purchased version - Smart IR Remote. It has been well worth the purchase as it runs my TV and surround sound as well.
Looks like AnyMote is compatible with iPhone as well.

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post #14692 of 14695 Old 08-17-2017, 09:38 AM
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I've tried many remote apps on the DVR+ and have been unsuccessful with my iPhone 6 and 7. The only way I can use my iPhone as a remote is the YouTube app - I posted several months back how you can control the DVR+ through the YouTube app on your phone for the YouTube app on the DVR+.


I actually use it often this way - I like to build a playlist on my phone, pause, FF, etc. on the iPhone but watch the videos on my TV. I'm a music video buff so it is a great tool to find old videos and put together playlists while others are playing.
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post #14693 of 14695 Old 08-17-2017, 11:15 AM
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The YouTube iOS app works differently: it broadcasts the commands via your home network. Therefore an IR blaster isn't required with the YouTube app as with other remote control apps - but you can only control the DVR+ with it when playing YouTube videos!
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post #14694 of 14695 Old 08-17-2017, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
I have absolutely no experience with this, but a little YouTubing and Googling and maybe you’re in luck. There is an App named ZaZa Remote – Universal Remote Control (there may be other Apps).
Other than the method of signal transmission, I've often wondered why remote control phone apps aren't more popular. At this point in the game it seems that every TV manufacturer, cable/sat box manufacturer and CM hasn't developed one for their products. A wireless box that converts the signal to IR so that the phone can control the device seems like the only weak link in the equation, and even that isn't a major obstacle. It might even be worth it to buy a cheap, obsolete smart phone to use specifically for this purpose. Control the TV/device, then call up the wife on it and say, "Hey, honey, how about bringing me a beer?" Everybody wins.
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post #14695 of 14695 Old Yesterday, 02:02 PM
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Cool Alternate Remote's for DVR+

My Samsung TV's have Cell Phone apps called "Smart View" for Android as well as iPhones.

Not only functioning as a remote, but actually putting the TV's image and audio on your Smart Phone. Of course there's no control of a DVR+ through this app. As a remote control, it falls far short of the remotes that come with the TVs.

Samsung's have IR remote capability, but primary remote works through Bluetooth which is far superior to IR, although their Bluetooth remotes must still have IR to turn TV on. If their Smart Phone remote app used Bluetooth it would work better than the slight delay working through WiFi and your home network.

Harmony make$ a Bluetooth remote that drives an IR repeater that you install within sight of your devices.

The best cost-effective alternative for a standard or enhanced DVR+ remote would be a Sony RM-VLZ620 (may be newer versions now) for less than $15 on Amazon.

Can control up to eight different devices and for those not in its extensive pre-programmed list, it's "teachable" for any IR Commands. It also can be programmed for up to four different 'macro' sequences of up to fifteen different 'buttons' and pauses to take care of tasks like 134R DVR+'s CC on/off on just one button press for example.

It has a far more powerful IR transmitter which can control devices by 'bouncing' off the wall or ceiling when you don't point it precisely at the device. Contrary to reports here, my 'flat' remote seems to do IR better than my 'enhanced' remote, even though it's preferred by me when DVR+ is on 134R. My third DVR+ is on 115R in 'office' and 'flat' works better there.
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