Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jdmx View Post

Meanwhile, how easy would it be for this bug to be fixed in the firmware?

The first rule when dealing with cheap, buggy, and largely unsupported products is to figure out ways to avoid the bugs, because they rarely get fixed. Anyone buying a DVR at 1/5 the normal price point for such a device should have known what he was getting himself into.
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post #632 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by seattlemark View Post

1) Do the various "Digital Audio" options affect in any way the recordings being made?

2) My recordings are rather low in volume when I bring them over to my PC, and import them into DVD authoring software programs. (I recently bought two of the HW-150DVRs in part to make DVDs from Over-the-Air recordings, but both units have that relatively lower volume in their recordings when I use them on the PC.) Any way to increase the volume of the recording itself while it's being made on the HW-150DVR?

Edit- I have tried to use one of my DVD Authoring programs to artificially "normalize" the audio gain for a DVD, but it did not work.

I had the same problem with my PC. It's not a problem with the Homeworx; it also occurs if I remux a WMC recording (.wtv extenstion) to a standard container format like .ts. The Homeworx just records the digital data it receives from the station - no processing is done until playback.

The fix I discovered was to enable "bitstreaming" (aka HDMI pass-through) on the PC; unfortunately a non-trivial task (at least on Windows).

You can also adjust the audio volume when converting the file on your PC, but that generally requires decoding and re-encoding the data stream. Many DVD authoring programs will detect that the recorded data stream is compatible with DVDs and simply copy it instead, since that's much faster and doesn't lose any sound quality.
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post #633 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jdmx View Post

I cannot seem to find the right words to adequately express how mind-bogglingly stupid your firmware version numbering scheme is. If some evil saboteur intentionally set out to create as much confusion and frustration for your customers as possible, they could hardly do any worse than you're doing all by yourselves.
Yes they could. They could make the next version "V2014" (after the year), then they could switch from numbers to letters a la sports cars ("VZX"), then to a cool-sounding but meaningless word like "Panorama," then maybe they could go back to numbers for a version or two; and finally end by introducing a brand-new DVR called the "Homeworx One" (because the current one is what: the Homeworx 150?)
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post #634 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jdmx View Post

If Mediasonic or Mstar won't release the source code to their craptastic firmware, then can somebody, ANYBODY, PLEASE decompile or reverse-engineer it so that it can be fixed or replaced by competent open-source developers?
That may turn out to be the best approach. There are folks who reverse-engineer code for fun. It's like a crossword puzzle for them. Usually they have to work in the shadows to avoid running afoul of license agreements or copyright laws, but if this was based on GPL code, that shouldn't be a problem in this case - and it would actually help Mediasonic sell more boxes!
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post #635 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post


Yes they could. They could make the next version "V2014" (after the year), then they could switch from numbers to letters a la sports cars ("VZX"), then to a cool-sounding but meaningless word like "Panorama," then maybe they could go back to numbers for a version or two; and finally end by introducing a brand-new DVR called the "Homeworx One" (because the current one is what: the Homeworx 150?)

 

Shhhh! Don't give it all away!

Or there's another possibility; my "Whack-a-mole" theory. The Chinese are deliberately setting up a confusing array of small, low-profile, loosely-related companies to distribute several similar but slightly different products.

 

All the harder for the suits at big TiVo to sue them and shut them down. Mebbe they're crazy like a fox? They can name them whatever they want, afaic, as long as they keep improving their offerings and giving us a choice. Because, let's face it, without them the pickings are pretty slim.


Cable-free since Nov 2013
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post #636 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 07:57 PM
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I have a question. We know The IR sux on this device. Can we improve it by changing the IR light? Or is it controlled by a chip?

Sent from the TermiNOTEr 2! ;-)
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post #637 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bori View Post

I have a question. We know The IR sux on this device. Can we improve it by changing the IR light? Or is it controlled by a chip?

Sent from the TermiNOTEr 2! ;-)

Yes, replace the led diode on the remote with this one: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062565#pr-header-2062565

I did so for my fta satellite receiver, and it made all the difference in the world. It's a diode, and has polarity, so pay attention!
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post #638 of 1367 Old 12-22-2013, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Unless you have the legal means to pursue litigation against multinational corporations, you have to tolerate it as much as the rest of us.
No, I don't have to tolerate it. I choose to raise a stink about it.

What's your purpose: are you trying to inform me so that I'm not disappointed by the real world? You're not telling me anything enlightening, and people that know me don't call me an optimist.
Are you trying to discourage me so that I don't "rock the boat"?
Maybe it's in your self-interest that Mediasonic continues to support this product while violating the GPL, since that is probably inconsequential to you?
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

It isn't fair to portray people who are "willing" to tolerate GPL violations as the villains, when everyone here would benefit from MediaSonic releasing the Homeworx firmware as free software, so that somebody more competent than the Chinese engineers could iron out the problems.
Why the defensive stance? I didn't make any accusations.

Why do you guys keep on calling MStar Chinese when they are Taiwanese?
In fact, why does race or nationality have to be used as a descriptor? Why not refer to MStar or Mediasonic? Or is Walmart also a Chinese company (since they sell products made in China)?
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

We're just being realistic when we acknowledge that we have no means within our financial constraints to force MediaSonic to abide by the obligations it assumed when it decided to incorporate GPL software into its firmware.
You call it being realistic.
I call it being complacent.
And it's this complacent attitude/behavior that implicitly condones and encourages (continued) violation of the GPL.

No one on the Iview thread seems to asking them for GPL code; there's just wishful thinking about "if the code was made available...". If nobody asks for the GPL source, then Iview could facetiously claim that they aren't denying anyone the code. Maybe they're not even aware of their GPL obligations. At least Mediasonic cannot make that claim.

Why is litigation the only course of action?
Consumer attitude and public opinion can be effective tools, and reportedly a few companies have been shamed into compliance.
Change has to start somewhere. And it doesn't happen by ignoring/tolerating a condition.

Regards
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post #639 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmx View Post

I cannot seem to find the right words to adequately express how mind-bogglingly stupid your firmware version numbering scheme is. If some evil saboteur intentionally set out to create as much confusion and frustration for your customers as possible, they could hardly do any worse than you're doing all by yourselves.

 

Yes they could. They could make the next version "V2014" (after the year), then they could switch from numbers to letters a la sports cars ("VZX"), then to a cool-sounding but meaningless word like "Panorama," then maybe they could go back to numbers for a version or two; and finally end by introducing a brand-new DVR called the "Homeworx One" (because the current one is what: the Homeworx 150?)

 

LOL! You may have a point there. Actually, I was thinking they could name each firmware version after a different animal at the zoo: Giraffe, Baboon, Alligator, Meerkat, Octopus, Flamingo, etc. At least nobody would be misled into thinking that some sort of chronological or numerical sequence was implied.

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post #640 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 12:15 AM
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@ blue_z

Rather than derail the thread with further philosophical discussion, I will instead wish you luck on fighting an uphill battle.
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post #641 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post

Yes, replace the led diode on the remote with this one: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062565#pr-header-2062565

I did so for my fta satellite receiver, and it made all the difference in the world. It's a diode, and has polarity, so pay attention!
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerozed View Post


I'm using Firmware 14. I just received my tuner from Newegg about 2 weeks ago and have the "new"
remote.



After reading all your posts, I am befuddled about what could be wrong. It really boils down to two things:

1) The MediaSonic unit is somehow at fault
2) The XBox is the root problem

If #1 is correct, then you could either return your unit or just buy another one since they're relatively inexpensive...still a PITA, but your options for HDMI out of a digital tuner are few.

If #2 is correct, and the problem lies with the X-Box, then the path forward is less clear as identifying the problem is more complicated. MS has pushed at least 2 updates to the XB1...I suppose there's a chance you haven't received them, which might be the problem (although it is unlikely your unit hasn't been updated). Your Kinect might not be "hearing" your voice commands, or you might not be saying them properly...again this might be a stretch. I assume voice commands work for everything else (like pulling up OneGuide). Maybe double-check the voice commands you're trying...I'm not able to give the commands as quickly or as broadly as the guy in the YouTube video (e.g. I can't just say "watch ABC" for some reason).

Here's another example of some voice command quirks....I'm browsing OneGuide last night and I see that Survivor is on. On the OneGuide it is listed as "Survivor: Blood versus Water." When I went to select it, this is how the voice command (didn't) work...
"Xbox OneGuide" This pulled up the guide with the available shows/channels in green links
"Xbox watch Survivor" Nothing happened
"Xbox watch CBS" Nothing happened (not sure why I have this issue, it probably has something to do with my OTA Guide shows multiple CBS channels?)
"Xbox watch Survivor Blood versus Water"--This works...the XBox changed the channel to 8.2 without issue.

I only offer up that example to help you troubleshoot. Although I am very satisfied with how well voice commands work for me, they don't necessarily work as advertised or even like that guy in the video. You have to give a precise command. That said, you should be able to use your XBox controller to send some IR commands without voice....see my earlier post regarding that. If that works, then the issue should be in how you're giving the commands or the sensitivity of your mic.

I'm sorry you're having a tough time with it. We've all been there with one gadget or another. I really do hope you get it figured out and that you tell us how.

EDIT: I'll record a video illustrating how I screw up voice commands and upload it here later today.

I dont want to change the one on the remote. I want to change the one in the box.
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post #642 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 12:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bori View Post


I dont want to change the one on the remote. I want to change the one in the box.

That won't work. It must be the one on the remote.
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post #643 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post

That won't work. It must be the one on the remote.

So the one on the remote will improve the voice commands?
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post #644 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 01:35 AM
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Voice commands? What are you talking about? There's no voice control from the original device and remote. It's an IR remote, and nothing but IR. Think of it as sort of a smart flashlight and an "eye" on the receiver that can see the beam sent from the remote. The brighter led from Radio Shack has a brighter beam than the original led, so the receiver can see it better.
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post #645 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post

Voice commands? What are you talking about? There's no voice control from the original device and remote. It's an IR remote, and nothing but IR. Think of it as sort of a smart flashlight and an "eye" on the receiver that can see the beam sent from the remote. The brighter led from Radio Shack has a brighter beam than the original led, so the receiver can see it better.

The problem is that the device does not work well with voice commands from the Kinect IR blaster. I wanted to improve this with the Xbox one.

Sent from the TermiNOTEr 2! ;-)
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post #646 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 01:33 PM
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Bori, the Homeworx box doesn't have an LED! It has an IR photosensor. There's no way to make it "brighter;" that'd be like making your eye "brighter!"

There is an LED in the remote, and there's an LED in the XBox's IR blaster. These are the things you'd need to make brighter if you want the Homeworx to see them and respond to them better.

I'm not sure how easy it is to replace the LED in the IR blaster. Doing so would probably void your XBox warranty, though.

Edit: I suppose what you could do, perhaps, would be to remove the IR sensor from the Homeworx box and mount it on a 2-wire cable. Then you could place it close to the XBox's IR blaster without having to move the whole Homeworx box. (It'd be as if you could take an eye out of your head and place it close to something you were trying to see by dim light.)
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post #647 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Bori, the Homeworx box doesn't have an LED! It has an IR photosensor. There's no way to make it "brighter;" that'd be like making your eye "brighter!"

There is an LED in the remote, and there's an LED in the XBox's IR blaster. These are the things you'd need to make brighter if you want the Homeworx to see them and respond to them better.

I'm not sure how easy it is to replace the LED in the IR blaster. Doing so would probably void your XBox warranty, though.

Edit: I suppose what you could do, perhaps, would be to remove the IR sensor from the Homeworx box and mount it on a 2-wire cable. Then you could place it close to the XBox's IR blaster without having to move the whole Homeworx box. (It'd be as if you could take an eye out of your head and place it close to something you were trying to see by dim light.)

Thanks for the response but ended up getting the IR extension cable. Hooked it up to the Xbox one now the voice commands work flawlessly. No matter where the Kinect is now the voice commands work. So anyone having issues just buy an IR emitter extension cable and you will be good. Just make sure u stick the IR led right where the photosensor is on the HW.

Sent from the TermiNOTEr 2! ;-)
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post #648 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 08:18 PM
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That's the one from Amazon you mentioned earler, right? Glad to hear it took care of the problem.
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post #649 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

That's the one from Amazon you mentioned earler, right? Glad to hear it took care of the problem.

Yes and it works great. Now I can close the sliding glass doors in my entertainment center and still use voice commands.
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post #650 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post

Yes, replace the led diode on the remote with this one: www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062565#pr-header-2062565

I did so for my fta satellite receiver, and it made all the difference in the world. It's a diode, and has polarity, so pay attention!

I picked up the RS 276-0143 "High Output Infrared LED" from your link, and also picked up the 276-0142 "Infrared Emitter and Detector" as well. To my surprise, the 276-0143 emitter was quite a bit dimmer than any of my remotes when viewed on my phone camera. (my multimeter has a function to test and power LEDs and diodes.

I thought, perhaps my multimeter is not powering the LED emitter with the same power as the remote? So I tested the 276-0142 emitter, and it was very bright, much brighter than the 0143, about the same as some of the remotes I tested.

Upon looking at the specs on the package, the 0143 has 16mW radiant power, the 0142 has 75.5mW. I then attached the detector photo diode from the 276-0142 to a voltmeter, set it on a/c, and measured 380mV from the 0143, and 420mV from the 0142 emitter, when touching the detector. Not nearly the difference I expected.

Testing from about 24" showed the 0143 @ 9.4mV, and the 0142 @ 66mV. That's more like it. A Panasonic Showstopper remote @ 105mV, the Homeworx remote @ 46mV, and a Harmony 300 remote @ 54mV and the widest pattern. Darkened room. I suppose the battery voltage in the respective remotes could play a part in these readings, although the Harmony batteries are new Duracells.

My hypothesis is that, while the Homeworx remote is somewhat weak, I believe the problem is in the detection circuitry. Perhaps the detector diode is being shielded or is not aligned properly?

I think you are on to something, and I may switch out the emitter in my Homeworx remote, as well as the detector in the HW-150. (Won't be messing with the Harmony, too expensive to replace, as the 300 is no longer made.) I'll try the detector 1st, and report back. I think I will use the more powerful 0142 emitter for my test. It may take me a week due to the holidays.

Thanks for the good idea!
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post #651 of 1367 Old 12-23-2013, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Primestar31 View Post

Yes, replace the led diode on the remote with this one: radioshack link (won't let me post)

I did so for my fta satellite receiver, and it made all the difference in the world. It's a diode, and has polarity, so pay attention!

I picked up the RS 276-0143 "High Output Infrared LED" from your link, and also picked up the 276-0142 "Infrared Emitter and Detector" as well. To my surprise, the 276-0143 emitter was quite a bit dimmer than any of my remotes when viewed on my phone camera. (my multimeter has a function to test and power LEDs and diodes.

I thought, perhaps my multimeter is not powering the LED emitter with the same power as the remote? So I tested the 276-0142 emitter, and it was very bright, much brighter than the 0143, about the same as some of the remotes I tested.

Upon looking at the specs on the package, the 0143 has 16mW radiant power, the 0142 has 75.5mW. I then attached the detector photo diode from the 276-0142 to a voltmeter, set it on a/c, and measured 380mV from the 0143, and 420mV from the 0142 emitter, when touching the detector. Not nearly the difference I expected.

Testing from about 24" showed the 0143 @ 9.4mV, and the 0142 @ 66mV. That's more like it. A Panasonic Showstopper remote @ 105mV, the Homeworx remote @ 46mV, and a Harmony 300 remote @ 54mV and the widest pattern. Darkened room. I suppose the battery voltage in the respective remotes could play a part in these readings, although the Harmony batteries are new Duracells.

My hypothesis is that, while the Homeworx remote is somewhat weak, I believe the problem is in the detection circuitry. Perhaps the detector diode is being shielded or is not aligned properly?

I think you are on to something, and I may switch out the emitter in my Homeworx remote, as well as the detector in the HW-150. (Won't be messing with the Harmony, too expensive to replace, as the 300 is no longer made.) I'll try the detector 1st, and report back. I think I will use the more powerful 0142 emitter for my test. It may take me a week due to the holidays.

Thanks for the good idea!
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post #652 of 1367 Old 12-24-2013, 06:05 AM
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Looks like the detector diode in the HW150 is a 3 wire diode, which I believe indicates it has a preamp. The Radio Shack detector is 2 wire. I suppose I could go to another electronic store and find a more sensitive 3 wire detector, but, while testing with the cover off the front of the unit and the detector exposed, as well as with the cover on, I was able to use the original remote successfully from 24'.

Turns out my cable from the USB external drive was blocking the IR detector somewhat. Moved the wire, all OK now. Not stellar, but decent. So I won't be replacing the emitter in the remote after all.
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post #653 of 1367 Old 12-24-2013, 07:06 AM
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I purchased a "new layout" remote control for my HW-150PVR from Mediasonic. I can confirm the old and new remotes are identical except for the labels printed on several of the buttons.

Tonight I'll install V13 firmware so the buttons will act as labeled on the new remote.

Update: V13 firmware installed. (I noticed after installing that it was the QAM version, but it still works with OTA stations too.) I have a working "dash" button on my remote now.
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post #654 of 1367 Old 12-26-2013, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I purchased a "new layout" remote control for my HW-150PVR from Mediasonic. I can confirm the old and new remotes are identical except for the labels printed on several of the buttons.

Tonight I'll install V13 firmware so the buttons will act as labeled on the new remote.

Update: V13 firmware installed. (I noticed after installing that it was the QAM version, but it still works with OTA stations too.) I have a working "dash" button on my remote now.
Yes, you are right. The remote is exactly the same.
You only need to put stickers on those buttons changed.
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post #655 of 1367 Old 12-26-2013, 02:15 PM
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I actually thought about doing that, but it'd look kinda ugly and a new remote was only $10 including shipping....
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post #656 of 1367 Old 12-26-2013, 02:36 PM
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So quick question. Should I purchase this or the iView? I honestly do not care about the DVR functionality at this time, but just need a cheap, good OTA box.
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post #657 of 1367 Old 12-27-2013, 01:08 AM
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Does anyone know a way so that the PC date/time of recordings is showing at least the correct year? For example a recording I made on 12/26/2013 that completed at 11pm has a Windows file date and time of 12/21/2033 12:49pm. It is off by 20 years!
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post #658 of 1367 Old 12-27-2013, 03:39 AM
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Does anyone know a way so that the PC date/time of recordings is showing at least the correct year? For example a recording I made on 12/26/2013 that completed at 11pm has a Windows file date and time of 12/21/2033 12:49pm. It is off by 20 years!

You can't change it on the homeworx. I'm sure there are programs to change file dates on the computer but I've never used one so can't give a recommendation. But that would require keeping track of and manually setting the date on each individual video to the correct date which I doubt you want to do on a regular basis unless you are just talking about the occasional video.
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post #659 of 1367 Old 12-27-2013, 08:16 AM
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For changing file dates, you might try this on your PC: http://www.attributemagic.com/attributemagic-free.html. This free utility should do what you want; they also have shareware versions that do more stuff.
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post #660 of 1367 Old 12-27-2013, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by seattlemark View Post

Does anyone know a way so that the PC date/time of recordings is showing at least the correct year? For example a recording I made on 12/26/2013 that completed at 11pm has a Windows file date and time of 12/21/2033 12:49pm. It is off by 20 years!

You might want to consider taping a lottery results tv show! That way you'll know the results 20 years ahead of time! tongue.gifbiggrin.gif
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