Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 50 - AVS Forum
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post #1471 of 1497 Old 08-26-2014, 10:41 PM
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This is why always using mod16 is a good idea. Not all hardware players understand H.264's autocropping convention.
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post #1472 of 1497 Old 08-27-2014, 02:28 PM
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Air or Cable choice in firmware?

Hi,
I just received the QAM updated firmware from Mediasonic and believe I updated the firmware correctly, but I don't see any choice to select Air or Cable. Can anyone tell me what screen this should be on?
Thanks.
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post #1473 of 1497 Old 08-27-2014, 04:54 PM
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There should be a "Signal Type" option under the Channel Search menu, just above "Modulation."

If it's not there, either your firmware update didn't "take" or the updated firmware isn't QAM enabled. You can check your firmware version with the "Information" option under the System menu. The SW version should contain "QAM."
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post #1474 of 1497 Old 08-27-2014, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
This is why always using mod16 is a good idea. Not all hardware players understand H.264's autocropping convention.
Confirmed! With modulus set to 16, Knight Rider crops to 544x480 instead of 540x480. 544 is divisible by 16 and the file plays correctly on the Homeworx. Only drawback is the file's slightly larger (since 4 fewer pixels were cropped), but it's still significantly smaller than the original.

Edit: Well, I spoke too soon. I re-transcoded a bunch of videos today with modulus set to 16. This fixed most of them, but even though this gave them all standard dimensions, a few still wouldn't play correctly on the HW! The troublesome videos were ones that defaulted to cropping both horizontally and vertically. To get those to play correctly, I had to resort to turning off cropping completely, which is rather inconvenient on Handbrake (you have to select "Custom" then manually enter 0's for all four cropping values).

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post #1475 of 1497 Old 08-29-2014, 09:43 AM
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Okay, so it turned out that the flash drive needed to be formatted to fat32 for the firmware to take. Seems to be working now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
There should be a "Signal Type" option under the Channel Search menu, just above "Modulation."

If it's not there, either your firmware update didn't "take" or the updated firmware isn't QAM enabled. You can check your firmware version with the "Information" option under the System menu. The SW version should contain "QAM."
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post #1476 of 1497 Old 08-29-2014, 09:47 AM
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Searching for stations

Hi,
Is there a way to switch back and forth between clear QAM and OTA and still retain my channel search selections for each?
Thanks.
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post #1477 of 1497 Old 08-29-2014, 12:50 PM
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I think I read over on the iView thread that this works. Of course, you'll need an A/B RF switch to switch your Homeworx's RF input between antenna and cable.

I think you can only auto-search one band (say, antenna). Then you switch to the other band, throw the A/B switch, and manually add its channels one at a time.

But that's just from my fallible memory. You may want to check the first five posts at the iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 08-29-2014 at 01:20 PM. Reason: Remove repeated word "thread"
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post #1478 of 1497 Old 08-29-2014, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I think I read over on the iView thread that this works. Of course, you'll need an A/B RF switch to switch your Homeworx's RF input between antenna and cable.

I think you can only auto-search one band (say, antenna). Then you switch to the other band, throw the A/B switch, and manually add its channels one at a time.

But that's just from my fallible memory. You may want to check the first five posts at the iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread thread.
This is correct.
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post #1479 of 1497 Old 09-02-2014, 02:34 PM
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This is correct.
Okay, so it is possible to have either the QAM and OTA stations available if the feed is switched. I am now wondering if there is a way to save the channel line up when the unit is unplugged (or through a power outage).
Thanks : )
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post #1480 of 1497 Old 09-02-2014, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mk3000 View Post
Okay, so it is possible to have either the QAM and OTA stations available if the feed is switched. I am now wondering if there is a way to save the channel line up when the unit is unplugged (or through a power outage).
Thanks : )
Well, simply unplugging it (after putting into standby) should not reset the box and erase channels. If you have a power outage and it doesn't shut down properly, it may or may not reset. Sometimes my iview would just reset to factory defaults all by itself for no reason, although the later firmware cut down on that a lot. Also, sometimes it would randomly delete individual channels, even while I was watching them, but not the whole channel line up. If you find that on whatever hardware/software combo you are running that it does delete all your channels when unplugging, then no there is nothing you can do to save them.
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post #1481 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 04:44 PM
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Forgive me if this has been answered before, but on the HW-1580PVR can you "stop" a scheduled recording early? I set one of the NFL games to record today with a buffer, and when the game ended early I wanted to cut it off. The box doesn't respond to my remote commands however. The light continues to flash on the hard drive, and the picture from the HDMI output displays on my TV... but the box won't respond to anything.

I assume this is because the recording is active?
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post #1482 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpalmer2k View Post
Forgive me if this has been answered before, but on the HW-1580PVR can you "stop" a scheduled recording early? I set one of the NFL games to record today with a buffer, and when the game ended early I wanted to cut it off. The box doesn't respond to my remote commands however. The light continues to flash on the hard drive, and the picture from the HDMI output displays on my TV... but the box won't respond to anything.

I assume this is because the recording is active?
You just hit the stop button and then confirm you want to stop.
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post #1483 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jprc View Post
You just hit the stop button and then confirm you want to stop.
That's the problem.. no matter what button I push I can't get any on screen display to come up. As I say it *appears* the box is working, the hard drive light is flashing, and the video is going out to the TV but nothing I push makes any banner, command, etc pop up.

I've hit the "stop" button a dozen times, the standby button a dozen times, it doesn't respond to anything. Has it just frozen up?
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post #1484 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpalmer2k View Post
That's the problem.. no matter what button I push I can't get any on screen display to come up. As I say it *appears* the box is working, the hard drive light is flashing, and the video is going out to the TV but nothing I push makes any banner, command, etc pop up.

I've hit the "stop" button a dozen times, the standby button a dozen times, it doesn't respond to anything. Has it just frozen up?
Yeah. Try long pressing the power button to see if it will shut down. If not, pull the plug.
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post #1485 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jprc View Post
Yeah. Try long pressing the power button to see if it will shut down. If not, pull the plug.
Ugh... had to press the power button to get it to shut off. Pulled the hard drive while it was off and found it recorded none of the game I set... Not too happy with this box right now. Guess I see now I can't trust it as my only recording option. It obviously locked up whenever it came on and never started recording. What I can't figure out is the light flashed the entire time like it was.

Thanks for the help...
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post #1486 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpalmer2k View Post
Ugh... had to press the power button to get it to shut off. Pulled the hard drive while it was off and found it recorded none of the game I set... Not too happy with this box right now. Guess I see now I can't trust it as my only recording option. It obviously locked up whenever it came on and never started recording. What I can't figure out is the light flashed the entire time like it was.

Thanks for the help...
That happens sometimes. Sometimes it's because of weak signal, even momentarily, sometimes because of not getting correct time info within the several second time frame before the recording starts, sometimes it's a USB problem, sometimes the hard drive didn't wake up in time if it is not always on, and sometimes it's just random. For most people, it works a majority of the time. But no, you can't rely on it for anything it is important to you not to miss.
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post #1487 of 1497 Old 09-07-2014, 05:29 PM
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I had it in standby mode for the recording this time. I think I'll leave it powered up completely next time, that should eliminate some of those issues. Thanks for the heads up


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post #1488 of 1497 Old 09-08-2014, 09:00 AM
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I'm still mildly shocked if this is the sorry state of things now. Hasn't RF had the capacity to deliver stereo sound since the '80s? Why the step backwards?
For several years the folks that came up with stereo for analog TV signals had several restrictive patents on the system, which kept stereo RF modulators mostly off the market. Those patents have since expired, but with TV having gone digital in the meantime, there's little demand for stereo RF modulators anymore. Most folks just use HDMI, or the L/R audio jacks along with composite or component video.

However, if you have an older stereo TV that lacks composite video and L/R audio inputs, like I do, it would be nice if the RF output were stereo. In this case I'm afraid your only choice is an expensive Channel Plus RF modulator intended for in-home video distribution. Frankly, it's probably cheaper to buy a new TV. (As a bonus you'll get HD video.)

BTW, one more thing on the RF modulator: it occurs to me that if you have one of the newer Homeworxes (that came with V1 firmware) and you decide to run iView firmware on it (to use the iView remote), you won't be able to control the RF output. The iViews that this firmware was written for use a new RF modulator with a physical switch for channel 3 or 4 output, but the Homeworxes still use a software-controlled RF modulator. Because of this difference, the iView firmware no longer has the option to set the RF output to channel 3, 4, or loop-through. I have no idea what the default is, but whatever it is, you're stuck with it if you load iView firmware.

Note that the last paragraph does not apply to running iView V13 firmware on an older Homeworx. That version controls the Homeworx RF modulator just fine.
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post #1489 of 1497 Old 09-08-2014, 09:00 PM
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I have the issue where it will work for maybe 5 minutes, then the unit will shut down and restart. I think I have two signal amplifiers in the antenna run, and it may be overwhelming the unit.


Has anyone been able to fix this, or is this something that I have to return? I read somewhere else a person suggested putting an FM trap on the line. Any opinions on whether this will help or not?
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post #1490 of 1497 Old 09-08-2014, 10:32 PM
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It was reported often that overloading the front end will cause all kinds of problems. Many have place attenuators in the coax to resolve the issue. But it is a black art and your mileage will vary.

Signal amplifiers will often raise the noise floor, making things worse. But there are decent noise figure amplifiers available, so I dunno if its your case.... placing two amps in the same circuit generally is a bad thing for digital, however. Tell us a little more about your connections in terms of what kinds of antennas, legnth of cable and brand/model of amps you are using. Are other devices like TVs also having issues. Is the issue on one channel or another.

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post #1491 of 1497 Old 09-09-2014, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CartmanDDT View Post
I have the issue where it will work for maybe 5 minutes, then the unit will shut down and restart. I think I have two signal amplifiers in the antenna run, and it may be overwhelming the unit.
Are you seeing evidence of signal overload, such as picture/sound breaking up, or being unable to tune channels that "should" be strong enough?

I agree that two signal amps is a risky setup, but it's odd that overload would cause the Homeworx to completely shut down and restart. Signal overload can definitely cause reception problems, especially with these boxes, but this sounds more like a defective box.

It's also possible the Homeworx is overheating. Try disconnecting your HDD and see if it will stay on for longer than 5 minutes. If so, your HDD may be drawing too much current. You may need a USB "Y" adapter so you can power your HDD from a wall wart instead of from the Homeworx.
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post #1492 of 1497 Old 09-09-2014, 09:29 AM
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It was reported often that overloading the front end will cause all kinds of problems. Many have place attenuators in the coax to resolve the issue. But it is a black art and your mileage will vary.

Signal amplifiers will often raise the noise floor, making things worse. But there are decent noise figure amplifiers available, so I dunno if its your case.... placing two amps in the same circuit generally is a bad thing for digital, however. Tell us a little more about your connections in terms of what kinds of antennas, legnth of cable and brand/model of amps you are using. Are other devices like TVs also having issues. Is the issue on one channel or another.
I use a Mohu Leaf Plus, which has a built-in amplifier. I feed that into a cheap Rocketfish splitter/amplifier with 4 outputs, sent to television, a HDHomerun, and this Homework HW-150 PVR. The TV and HDHomerun have short runs, probably 3 ft. each, but the Homeworx is on a 30 ft cable that travels through the wall to my basement. I have no problems with the signal on the HDTV or the HDHomerun, it's just the Homeworx that has this issue.

It does sometimes lose picture while maintaining audio for a short time before it reboots. No problem pulling in the expected signals, and no hard drive/usb drive attached. I do have limited clearance for the unit, so I'll try to pull it out and see if "letting it breathe" helps.

Last edited by CartmanDDT; 09-09-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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post #1493 of 1497 Old 09-09-2014, 12:45 PM
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If letting it breathe doesn't help, another thing you could try is temporarily putting it on one of the short cable runs. I know you don't want to leave it that way, but just for a test. If your problems disappear, it's the cable.

30 feet isn't that long of a cable run. Even old-fashioned RG-59 cable should be OK for that length. So if it's the cable, replace it (but go ahead and use RG-6 cable while you're at it).

You could also try replacing your amplified splitter with a cheap unamplified splitter. Check the results at each location, not just the Homeworx. If any get better instead of worse, then your signals are probably so strong they're causing some devices to overload.

Aside from that, it's hard to say whether you have too much amp, too little, or something else without knowing how strong your signals are at your location and how much gain each amp has.

Personally, I've never trusted the built-in amps on amplified antennas. The main reason is that I have to replace the whole antenna if the amp fails, but it's also because many built-in amps aren't all that good. They usually have decent gain, but only a so-so noise figure (as much as 5 dB or even more). I'd much rather have a very clean amp as the first (or preferably, only) amp in the chain. A clean preamp can often make up for a so-so tuner.
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post #1494 of 1497 Old 09-20-2014, 03:48 PM
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One of my DTVPals died last week, so I've been using the Homeworx more heavily while I try to procure another. I only use it as a backup in case I screw up recording on my PC; still, it's been an adventure.

My first attempt, Knight Rider on Cozi-TV. worked pretty well. The only problem I had was that I couldn't overlap the two recordings, even though both were on the same channel.

That's been a pet peeve of mine for some time: you shouldn't need two tuners to make two recordings of the same video stream! Just write the single video stream to both of the recording files simultaneously during the few minutes of overlap. Even NTFS over USB 2.0 should be able to handle the bandwidth.

But I have yet to find a DVR that will do this. The DTVPal used both tuners during the overlap; if you turn it on and tune to another channel, it's down to one tuner and eliminates the padding in order to do the recordings.

The Homeworx just reports a conflict if you try. Still, it recorded both back-to-back shows just fine. So Cozi TV is good.

My local Retro TV affiliate is another matter, though. First, they're on a low-power station that doesn't broadcast an EPG at all, so you have to book the recording completely manually, VCR style.

No big deal, I thought, until I tried - and discovered I couldn't even set the channel for the recording to 31-4! It started out on my lowest channel, 4-1, and as I pushed the "right" button it went up to 23-3 - but the next button push moved it down to 18-2! I was in a loop and couldn't get past 23-3.

So I tried pushing the "left" button, got back down to 4-1, pushed it once more, and it went to 25-1! From there, there was no escape. If I went left again, I was back on 23-3; if I went right from 25-1, it went back to 18-2 again!

Good grief, I thought; what a weird bug. Odd that I'd never even read about this one. But I finally got around it by tuning to channel 27-3, pulling up the EPG, and setting up my recordings from there. By starting at 27-3 I was able to reach 31-4.

Next problem: I only got the first of two back-to-back recordings. I actually understand this one though; channel 31's time is way off. It did the first recording OK, but then thought the second recording didn't start for another hour or so.

I'll have to combine back-to-back shows into one long recording, I thought, but that's OK because I can cut them apart again on my PC. After all, this is only a backup anyway.

But then I ran into more problems: first, when I tried to play the Retro TV recording on my PC, the audio was complete white noise, even though the video was fine. In contrast, the Cozi TV recordings played perfectly.

That's even weirder, I thought; it plays fine on the Homeworx itself, why is the audio fouled up on my PC? But what the heck; I decided to load it into AVIDemux as if I were going to edit out the commercials.

And from AVIDemux, the audio played perfectly! Great, I thought; the audio will probably get fixed when I save the file after editing it.

But then, I hit a literal show-stopper: the recording was incomplete. It stopped right after the first commercial break.

I actually have an idea why. My local Retro TV affiliate consistently FUBARs the switch from commercials back to programming. In most cases, this just causes a few seconds of "glitchy" video. But apperently the Homeworx was completely flummoxed and just died on the spot.

So, so much for Retro. There are just too many problems with their stream, and the Homeworx just can't deal with it.

Tomorrow night, we'll see how This and Me-TV do.
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post #1495 of 1497 Old 09-20-2014, 05:09 PM
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In this area, the Me-TV and This outlets are solid. The COSI outlet causes problems for the PVR. This will sometimes make my SiliconDust HD HomeRun Dual go into a funk but COSI is solid on it. Go figure.....

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post #1496 of 1497 Old 09-20-2014, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That's been a pet peeve of mine for some time: you shouldn't need two tuners to make two recordings of the same video stream! Just write the single video stream to both of the recording files simultaneously during the few minutes of overlap. Even NTFS over USB 2.0 should be able to handle the bandwidth.
Funny thing is you can record an event on one channel while also using the tuner to watch another event on the same physical channel. For example you can be recording 4.1 and while it's recording you can change the channel to 4.2(as long as it's on the same physical channel). This is a rather odd undocumented feature but it proves you should be(although you can't) do what you want with a single tuner.
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post #1497 of 1497 Old 09-20-2014, 09:45 PM
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My other Homeworx is in Stroud, where it can record Tulsa's Retro affiliate. No problems with that one, so it's clearly the local affiliate, not Retro in general.

Here in DFW, Retro is on one of those low-power "pay-to-play" stations, which explains why the PSIP is so poor (bad time and no EPG). In Tulsa they're on a full-power subchannel and both the time and EPG are good. Cozi, This, and Me-TV are all on full-power stations with good times and EPGs in DFW so I expect less trouble recording those. Still, I'll take another chance on Retro next week, unless I've managed to repair or replace my DTVPal by then.
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