Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 70 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2071 of 2195 Old 04-02-2016, 04:47 PM
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Seriously considering taking a flyer on the HW180. The scheduling bug was for programs that span midnight, wasn't it?

Edit: Derp, no it was selecting from the EPG the time/channel info wasn't copied.
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post #2072 of 2195 Old 04-04-2016, 10:12 AM
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Re: the HW-180

CC definitely works on recorded programs...I'm watching it now. I am OTA only...

I've recorded past/across midnight for Late Night with Steve Colbert, with no issues, so I haven't found any "midnight bug".

When I began, I had an 8 GB Sandisk memory stick, which other than being too small, worked without problems. I tried a 128 GB memory stick but got stuttering....I'm now using a 1 TB Toshiba drive and all is good. It is set up for a grab bag of public affairs shows and news on mostly PBS subchannels, and so far, has recorded all correctly.

The only change I'd make is "daily" meaning "except weekends", but for $40 I'm not going to expect my Tivo.....
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Last edited by speedlaw; 04-04-2016 at 10:21 AM. Reason: derp
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post #2073 of 2195 Old 04-04-2016, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post
Re: the HW-180

CC definitely works on recorded programs...I'm watching it now. I am OTA only...

I've recorded past/across midnight for Late Night with Steve Colbert, with no issues, so I haven't found any "midnight bug".

When I began, I had an 8 GB Sandisk memory stick, which other than being too small, worked without problems. I tried a 128 GB memory stick but got stuttering....I'm now using a 1 TB Toshiba drive and all is good. It is set up for a grab bag of public affairs shows and news on mostly PBS subchannels, and so far, has recorded all correctly.

The only change I'd make is "daily" meaning "except weekends", but for $40 I'm not going to expect my Tivo.....
The programming bug was if you find a program to record using the EPG and select it, you would go to the timer page, but nothing would be filled in (copied from the EPG).
You'd have to manually set the times and channel.

Didn't want a 180, but it seems pretty attractive now.
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post #2074 of 2195 Old 04-04-2016, 03:29 PM
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DoctorM correctly described what I call the scheduling bug. It appears in the latest iView firmware; I'm hoping it does not appear in the HW-180.

There is also a midnight bug: it appears if you try to schedule a "weekly" show that starts before and ends after midnight. If you have any other "weekly" shows on the same day, it will incorrectly report a conflict and won't let you schedule it. I'm guessing speedlaw has Colbert set as "daily" which, paradoxically, doesn't trigger the bug.

I just recently discovered I could get around the midnight bug by changing the recording from "weekly" to "once," then doing the same with other "weekly" shows for that day, then changing everything back to "weekly."

Last edited by JHBrandt; 04-04-2016 at 03:32 PM.
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post #2075 of 2195 Old 04-06-2016, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
Okay, let me be sure I understand.
*The current HW180STB works with CC (using v11.0 firmware)?
*The 180's only difference from the 150 is losing component video (even though Amazon says it's there) and a better looking remote design?

There must be a downside. What am I missing?
Besides what's already mentioned, the 180 lacks a front panel LED numeric display to show, for instance, the tuned channel number, which the 150 has. Without having to hit any buttons or change channel to invoke the OSD, I like having a way to glance my eyes in a certain direction to instantly learn the current channel. Sure, I'd rather have the USB port on the back, not the front, but I can sort of work around that.

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".

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post #2076 of 2195 Old 04-06-2016, 03:39 PM
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Not sure I like the missing display either. That seems like an important feature.

I really don't understand the existence of the 180STB. It seems to have multiple cheaped-down features, but sells for a hair more.
I could see the manufacturer doing that for a bigger profit margin, but then why does the 150 still exist?
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post #2077 of 2195 Old 04-07-2016, 01:21 PM
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Originally the HW-180 sold for about $5 less than the HW-150, but Amazon is kind of weird sometimes. Lately they've had the HW-150s really cheap but haven't dropped the HW-180's price, so the latter has ended up going for a bit more.

The only HomeWorX that has a numeric front-panel display is the HW-220. That's the "karaoke box" that comes with a mic and costs about $60.

Other boxes that have numeric displays are the iView 3500STBII, the Boost Waves BW1658, the eMatic AT103B and the ViewTV AT163. Of those, only the iView is known to have firmware that supports closed captions during playback (I tested it myself) but of course it has the scheduling bug too. Also, the firmware on iView's Web site is apparently different from what the box ships with. It disables the front-panel display if you install it and there's no way to go back!

Afterlife2 started a thread on the eMatic. His is a 7816 box so it's unlikely to support CC during playback. I don't know of any owners of the Boost Waves or ViewTV boxes, so I have no idea if either supports CCs during playback.

Personally I never felt the need for a front-panel numeric display. It doesn't display the true channel number; it only displays a sequential number (so the first channel in the box's memory is C001, the second is C002, etc.). I guess that still gives you some idea which channel you're on, so it may be somewhat useful if you use the front-panel channel up/down buttons; but I always use the remote and look for the (true) channel number on the screen.
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post #2078 of 2195 Old 04-07-2016, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Originally the HW-180 sold for about $5 less than the HW-150, but Amazon is kind of weird sometimes. Lately they've had the HW-150s really cheap but haven't dropped the HW-180's price, so the latter has ended up going for a bit more.

The only HomeWorX that has a numeric front-panel display is the HW-220. That's the "karaoke box" that comes with a mic and costs about $60.

Other boxes that have numeric displays are the iView 3500STBII, the Boost Waves BW1658, the eMatic AT103B and the ViewTV AT163. Of those, only the iView is known to have firmware that supports closed captions during playback (I tested it myself) but of course it has the scheduling bug too. Also, the firmware on iView's Web site is apparently different from what the box ships with. It disables the front-panel display if you install it and there's no way to go back!

Afterlife2 started a thread on the eMatic. His is a 7816 box so it's unlikely to support CC during playback. I don't know of any owners of the Boost Waves or ViewTV boxes, so I have no idea if either supports CCs during playback.

Personally I never felt the need for a front-panel numeric display. It doesn't display the true channel number; it only displays a sequential number (so the first channel in the box's memory is C001, the second is C002, etc.). I guess that still gives you some idea which channel you're on, so it may be somewhat useful if you use the front-panel channel up/down buttons; but I always use the remote and look for the (true) channel number on the screen.
I came into this thread really late and have no experience with the earlier boxes. I can report that the 180 works on CC on recordings. There is a video out port and an HDMI, but no component, but as the grand scheme of the HDMI consortium is to phase out the analog hole, this is no surprise. I don't miss a channel on the box, as most gadgets today all work off the remote anyway. Not much to report, and a whole lot less maintenance than my HDD-250. A bit more than a Tivo, though. Unless you need component, it doesn't matter. I still have a CRT fed component 480i from a DVR in one room, but everything else is now HDMI.

You can't do any of that fancy tivo record and watch in delay at the same time, and good listings are vital-I've used the Tivo listings to set timers for the 180. (don't get excited...I used pen and paper)


While a simple device, it does what it needs to forever for one month's cable bill. I've also never seen one in a store-I found out about these boxes here.....

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Last edited by speedlaw; 04-07-2016 at 02:35 PM.
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post #2079 of 2195 Old 04-12-2016, 03:31 PM
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Pulled the trigger on an HW-180STB today. It's $.66 cheaper than the 150 at the moment, that's good enough for me.

Hopefully it'll have the v11 firmware.
I just re-read the last several posts, and although the scheduling bug was discussed (failing to copy scheduling data from EPG to timer), no one seems to have tested if this version has it or not.

I guess I'll be the guinea pig.

Edit: Where's the spittake emoticon? The price of the 180STB dropped today on amazon to $20. Just updated my order to get that price.

Last edited by DoctorM; 04-13-2016 at 10:33 AM.
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post #2080 of 2195 Old 04-15-2016, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
Pulled the trigger on an HW-180STB today. It's $.66 cheaper than the 150 at the moment, that's good enough for me.

Hopefully it'll have the v11 firmware.
I just re-read the last several posts, and although the scheduling bug was discussed (failing to copy scheduling data from EPG to timer), no one seems to have tested if this version has it or not.

I guess I'll be the guinea pig.

Edit: Where's the spittake emoticon? The price of the 180STB dropped today on amazon to $20. Just updated my order to get that price.
DoctorM .. Thanks for being a willing guinea pig Look forward to your findings. Good luck.
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post #2081 of 2195 Old 04-15-2016, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post
I came into this thread really late and have no experience with the earlier boxes. I can report that the 180 works on CC on recordings. There is a video out port and an HDMI, but no component, but as the grand scheme of the HDMI consortium is to phase out the analog hole, this is no surprise.
I seriously doubt that Mediasonic gives a hoot about what the HDMI consortium wants. These boxes won't tune any DRM-protected content anyhow.

Mediasonic just wanted a box that was cheaper to make. They still sell the HW-150PVR for folks that need or want component video.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
Pulled the trigger on an HW-180STB today.

Hopefully it'll have the v11 firmware.
I just re-read the last several posts, and although the scheduling bug was discussed (failing to copy scheduling data from EPG to timer), no one seems to have tested if this version has it or not.

I guess I'll be the guinea pig.
I'm hoping one or both of you can check on another bug I just learned of today: on 7802-based iViews and eMatics, "daily" recordings don't work - the firmware treats them as "weekly" recordings instead.

I'm really hoping the HW-180 doesn't have the same ridiculous bug.

Edit: One more thing to check, if you please; if you enter a channel number without a dash, say, "2", does it go to channel 2.1 as you'd expect, or does it try to go to subchannel .2 of the channel you're on? (The iView 3200STB does the latter )

Last edited by JHBrandt; 04-15-2016 at 07:15 PM.
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post #2082 of 2195 Old 04-16-2016, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I seriously doubt that Mediasonic gives a hoot about what the HDMI consortium wants. These boxes won't tune any DRM-protected content anyhow.

Mediasonic just wanted a box that was cheaper to make. They still sell the HW-150PVR for folks that need or want component video.
I'm hoping one or both of you can check on another bug I just learned of today: on 7802-based iViews and eMatics, "daily" recordings don't work - the firmware treats them as "weekly" recordings instead.

I'm really hoping the HW-180 doesn't have the same ridiculous bug.

Edit: One more thing to check, if you please; if you enter a channel number without a dash, say, "2", does it go to channel 2.1 as you'd expect, or does it try to go to subchannel .2 of the channel you're on? (The iView 3200STB does the latter )
Okay so the current list is:

1) Does EPG data get passed to 'set program'.
2) Does hitting a single number go to the current channel's subchannel or channel (.1).
3) Does daily recordings work?

Is there an easy way to test the last one or do I have to set a program and wait 24 hours to see if it fires?
Anything else I'm missing?

Cough.
4) Closed captions on playback.

And I'll toss in:
5) Does hitting volume up during FF allows faster playback with sound. (That was a thing, wasn't it?)

Edit:
6) Does v11 firmware play DD 5.1 from recordings?

Last edited by DoctorM; 04-19-2016 at 04:08 PM.
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post #2083 of 2195 Old 04-16-2016, 06:09 PM
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The way I tested daily recordings was, I set up a daily recording in the next 1/2 hour, waited for it to finish, then checked the book list to see if the date had been increased by 1 day (correct) or 7 days (wrong). Folks who encountered this bug on eMatic or iView boxes reported that the date increased 7 days after recording, as it should for a weekly recording but not for a daily recording.

With HW-150 V2.1 firmware, the date increased by 1 day, so I concluded daily recordings work correctly. I didn't actually wait a day to confirm it.

Your (5) was actually a bug in some HW-150 firmware version, but since it's actually a useful bug, we considered it an accidental feature Unfortunately Mediasonic "fixed" it in later versions but I suppose it might have reappeared in the HW-180 line.
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post #2084 of 2195 Old 04-18-2016, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I seriously doubt that Mediasonic gives a hoot about what the HDMI consortium wants. These boxes won't tune any DRM-protected content anyhow.

No, the mad genius of the HDMI socket is that it is licensed....the media producers of the world were afraid the open source DVI plug would be the default plug and then they'd never "close the hole". HDMI requires you agree to the licensing terms. The boxes don't tune any DRM content, it is true, but if you want the plug you sign the licensing agreement. There are quite a few issues with HDMI as a standard, they could have done a lot better, but the two requirements were that every one agree; CE makers and Content Providers; only provide content to licensed devices, and licensed devices all support copyright protection and HDCP. Even though you can take the recordings off your HD and play them anywhere, you probably can't record from the HDMI, even if you could easily find a device to record FROM HDMI.

Mediasonic just wanted a box that was cheaper to make. They still sell the HW-150PVR for folks that need or want component video.

I'm hoping one or both of you can check on another bug I just learned of today: on 7802-based iViews and eMatics, "daily" recordings don't work - the firmware treats them as "weekly" recordings instead.

Daily recordings are just that, weekly works as well OK. Only thing I'd change is a M-F function since daily is seven days a week.

I'm really hoping the HW-180 doesn't have the same ridiculous bug.

Edit: One more thing to check, if you please; if you enter a channel number without a dash, say, "2", does it go to channel 2.1 as you'd expect, or does it try to go to subchannel .2 of the channel you're on? (The iView 3200STB does the latter )
Press x. box shows x. Wait four or five seconds, if it sees no further inputs, will default to x.1 Overall the tuner is decent...I even pick up a 300 watt translator from NYC, 40 miles off, on RF 2 on good days, and RF 2 was annoying even back in the day of NTSC full power.
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post #2085 of 2195 Old 04-18-2016, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mark40511 View Post
I got the 150 instead of the 180, but they were BOTH pretty much the same price. I did this because the bugs seemed to have been worked out of the 150. Ematic has still yet to get back to me....
Yes, it looks like Amazon's $20 price on the 180 is gone. I figured it wouldn't last long - but it's all the way up to $35 now, which is actually a bit more than the 150! Since you said closed captions on playback weren't important, I probably would have gone with the 150 too. Its component and coaxial digital audio outputs might come in handy at some point.

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Quote:
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Good news. @speedlaw just posted that his HW-180 does not have the bug with daily recordings. (It doesn't have a "weekdays" recording option, but I haven't yet seen that in any of these boxes.)
UGH! LOL

My luck! Anyway, that's good to hear. But I wonder if it could be the same case with my eMatic, where some have the bug, different firmware, some don't. Would that not stand to reason the same could be said for the 180? One person has the bug, another doesn't? I dunno. At least if the 150 has the bug, I can get the firmware for it. But that's cool that the 180 has a weekday option.
No, I said it doesn't have a weekday option, but none of the other clones do either.

And yes, there's always a risk the box you get won't have the latest firmware, especially when you buy online. But Mediasonic seems to do a better job with their firmware than most. (Of course that's a VERY low bar. I'm not saying they do a particularly good job, just that they're better than the others ) If your 150 comes with V4.0, they'll send you V4.1 on request.
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post #2086 of 2195 Old 04-19-2016, 01:14 PM
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HW-180 (only) firmware info

For anyone who has an HW-180 (not HW-150) with older firmware than V11, you may be able to get updated firmware from Mediasonic.

This info comes from Mediasonic's HW-180 forum:
Quote:
V7 is the latest for your unit
V1 is the latest for your unit

V8 is the latest for your unit
V3, please update to V8.1. Fixed recording bugs.
V8.0, please update to V8.1. Fixed recording bugs.

V9.0, please update to V9.1. Fixed recording bugs.
V10.0, update it to V10.1. Fixed bugs on close caption.
As usual Mediasonic has some confusing version numbers. Apparently there's no update for "V8," but there is one for "V8.0" If you have the latter you should write Mediasonic and ask for V8.1.

You should also update to V8.1 if you have V3 Doesn't that make sense?

Also, Mediasonic didn't mention it, but I believe it was reported here that V10.1 fixes a bug in V10.0 where movies with DD 5.1 audio only play in stereo.
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post #2087 of 2195 Old 04-19-2016, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by lanb View Post
I have the 180STB with firmware version 10.1 (latest I believe) and the CC does not work on playback. Get an "invalid" message.
lanb, this may seem like an odd request, but can you post the "HW version" info from your HW-180's settings / information screen?

Reason is, CC does work on HW-180s with V11; I'm trying to see if Mediasonic changed SoC chips between V10.1 and V11.
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post #2088 of 2195 Old 04-19-2016, 04:08 PM
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Ah yes, added to list of things to test: Does v11 firmware play DD 5.1 from recordings?
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post #2089 of 2195 Old 04-19-2016, 04:59 PM
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You may remember us discussing that last Sept. Before V10.1, it wouldn't work. As of V10.1, it would, but only if you changed the file extension from .mts to .ts and then played the recording as a "movie." The HW-150 and AFAIK all the other clones work that way too, so my guess is it will still work that way in V11.

But a few HW-180 owners did write Mediasonic about the issue, so here's hoping they finally fixed it so you don't have to change the file extension anymore.
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post #2090 of 2195 Old 04-19-2016, 05:36 PM
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Ah yes, added to list of things to test: Does v11 firmware play DD 5.1 from recordings?
Can't answer this one, as the 180 is hooked to a boring set with no real sound help.

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post #2091 of 2195 Old 04-19-2016, 06:53 PM
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Got the HW-180STB tonight (late delivery).
First observations:
- No wall wart for the power, just a standard plug. I think the 150 used a wart.
- No AAA batteries included... I guess they needed to save money somewhere.
- Of course this doesn't explain Red/White/Yellow RCA cables being included. Useless.

Firmware version: SW Version: Jan 21 2016-03:52:18-V11.0

Questions Before us:
1) Does EPG data get passed to 'set program'.
Yes.

2) Does hitting a single number go to the current channel's subchannel or channel (.1).
Goes to the major channel point 1. Can't figure out if there is a way to hit 'Enter' to speed along channel entry. Type it in and wait for it to register and change channel whether hitting a single number or number dash number.

3) Does daily recordings work?
Yes. Works fine. After recording once, the timer page incremented to tomorrow for the next program occurance.

4) Closed captions on playback.
Mmm. Kind of?
The CC is sketchy. During live TV you can cycle through all six 708 and four 608 streams. I don't recall the 150 having all those subtitle choices.
When timeshifting I can't get them to come up. All 10 sub streams are visible to cycle through. Funny thing is this worked on the 150PVR.

Playing completed recordings I had one instance of the subs being 10 seconds late. Otherwise they do work. Hitting CC USUALLY brings them up (default is off). The CC button only turns the captions on and off and there is no on-screen indication of the change, just the presence or absence of subs.
Update: Apparently the on/off engages the 608 subtitles not the 708. I know this because I customized the 708 to a transparent background, but the font/style/location is that of the 608.

5) Does hitting volume up during FF allows faster playback with sound.
No.

6) Does v11 firmware play DD 5.1 from recordings?[/QUOTE]
Yes.
Almost always with RAW audio enabled I have an echo-y garbled sound for live TV, but time-shift and recorded programs play back clean in 5.1. FF and REW can occasionally cause this garbled sound to reappear even on recorded programs.
Edit: No. I could swear I was getting DD from PVR played recordings, but if I was, I'm sure not now.

Other bugs:
Playing or FF recordings to the very end frequently locks up the unit. I've had a garbage screen once, but many times it drops to the USB menu and freezes (ignores remote and front power button). The last time I just waited and after several minutes it left the USB screen and several minutes after that the tuner started working again.
It's easier just to unplug the box.

I'll be contacting customer support over both these issues.
For $20 I can ignore a lot, but I'm not sure how I feel about needing to constantly unplug this thing.

Edit: Updated about daily timer and timeshift subtitles.
Edit 2: More subtitle info.
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Last edited by DoctorM; 04-21-2016 at 12:21 PM.
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post #2092 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 10:04 AM
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I think I'm confused by what time-shifting is versus chase play.
If I hit record and then play, I'm calling it time shifting. On the 150PVR I had, I could play captions during that. On the 180STB I can't.

Edit: More details.
I thought I could set the timer, then hit USB/PVR and play something else or at least start playing the what's being recorded from there, but the USB button (and Menu button) don't work while recording.

Playing during a timed program gives you the ability to watch what you're recording, but that is all.
So I'm not sure the distinction between timeshift and chase play.

Last edited by DoctorM; 04-20-2016 at 10:35 AM.
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post #2093 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Basically yes: you hit record, then go to the PVR menu and play the file you're recording. (Oddly, while it's recording, that's the only file it will even let you play ) Edit: OK, when you hit record, the PVR button doesn't work? I guess you're automatically in chase-play mode when you hit Play.

For time-shifting, you usually hit pause then play. (You don't need to hit record unless you want to keep the recording.)

Try pause vs. record and see if CCs work either way.

2nd Edit: BTW, there's a setting for the size of the time-shifting buffer. You may want to increase it. IIRC the max is 4GB, which is only 30-40 minutes of HD, but the default is much smaller.
Okay, I'm testing something else now. I'm starting to think the play to the end lock up occurs if you manually stop the recording versus the timer stopping it.

I can't get into the USB menu while recording... it sounds like you're saying I should be able to. I really WANT to be able to, then I could watch something other than what I'm recording.

Finally, I was surprised that when I hit record during live TV and then stopped that the recording appeared on the USB/PVR list afterwards. I assumed it would be immediately purged. Checking the manual, you're right. By hitting Record instead of Pause I'm technically doing chase play(?). That is, recording permanently and watching that recording. I need to hit Pause for true Timeshift.
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post #2094 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 11:44 AM
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Okay. Here's what I've learned.
I tired both a manually stopped and timed recordings today... and couldn't reproduce the lock up. Although it did hang to a garbage screen once while fast forwarding.

Hitting 'Record' and then 'Play' gives no subtitles and a graphical bar can be brought up on the bottom to show your position while playing by hitting Info.
Hitting 'Pause' and then 'Play' behaves identically to hitting record. No subtitles and a graphic bar on 'Info'. The only difference is this recording does not end up in the PVR menu when completed.

Going to the USB/PVR menu and playing a program gives subtitles, but info brings up a text box of data about the recording and only xx:xx:xx/xx:xx:xx details on runtime in the box. No graphical position bar like chase play or time shifted recordings.
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post #2095 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 12:24 PM
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Here's hoping the lock-up was just a fluke that won't normally happen!

A difference between time-shifting and chase-play is that time-shifting won't eat up space on your HDD if you accidentally leave it on. Once you hit the maximum buffer size it just "wraps around" and doesn't get any bigger, while with chase-play the recording will keep growing until you stop it.

OTOH, with chase-play you can rewind all the way back to the point you hit "record;" with time-shifting you can only go back a limited amount of time.

Anyway, the bottom line on CCs is:

  • Live viewing: all streams available
  • Time-shifting and/or chase play: not available
  • Playing a recording: one stream available

(You may be able to use the setup menu to set the CC stream used in playback. No guarantees though.)

BTW, I have a couple more questions:
  1. Does the HW-180 menu have an "antenna power" option?
  2. Does the menu have a "transparency" option to make the menus partially transparent?
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post #2096 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Here's hoping the lock-up was just a fluke that won't normally happen!

A difference between time-shifting and chase-play is that time-shifting won't eat up space on your HDD if you accidentally leave it on. Once you hit the maximum buffer size it just "wraps around" and doesn't get any bigger, while with chase-play the recording will keep growing until you stop it.

OTOH, with chase-play you can rewind all the way back to the point you hit "record;" with time-shifting you can only go back a limited amount of time.

Anyway, the bottom line on CCs is:

  • Live viewing: all streams available
  • Time-shifting and/or chase play: not available
  • Playing a recording: one stream available

(You may be able to use the setup menu to set the CC stream used in playback. No guarantees though.)

BTW, I have a couple more questions:
  1. Does the HW-180 menu have an "antenna power" option?
  2. Does the menu have a "transparency" option to make the menus partially transparent?
1) I don't see any such option, where would it be located?
2) Ditto.
3) Interestingly, there is an antenna setting that can be Air or Cable. I didn't know they supported QAM.

Customer support is really helpful. I'm really blown away by it. With regard to the things I found, this is what they say:

-Lock ups at end of recording: Might be from using a USB memory stick. They lack a buffer unlike an external HDD. He could not reproduce the issue himself.
-No subtitles on timeshifting: A known issue. They are working on it. There is no ETA. Current they are running into the problem that turning on the captions turns off the bottom OSD bar.
-Echo-y audio: The fact that there is any 5.1 on these devices is use-as-you-can. Dolby 5.1 is NOT supported on the HW-180STB, only the 150. No fix is coming. Frankly, most of the time I can make it work so I'll put up with it. It's really only an issue for live TV... but if you timeshift it's fine.

At this point it's mostly fingers crossed that they really come up with the captions fix.
Does the memory stick vs HDD buffer make sense?
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post #2097 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 07:07 PM
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Antenna power would appear just above modulation type:

Not sure where transparency would be. I'd have to reflash my iView 3200 with its own firmware to find it. But if you don't see it you probably don't have it. AFAIK only iView has it.

Neither one is a big deal; I just wanted to be sure in case the 180 had some "Easter eggs" the 150 didn't. I don't even know of an antenna that can use the antenna power option, although I think the Winegard Boost LNA-200 preamp might be able to. Transparency is merely cosmetic, although it can help mitigate the large size of several of the HW-180 menus and other displays.

Mediasonic used to ship their HW-150s with cable (QAM) disabled, and you had to ask them for a QAM version of the firmware if you wanted it. About a year and a half ago, I think that just became too unwieldy for them, so they now ship their boxes with QAM enabled - it's just not advertised or supported. QAM works rather poorly on all these boxes anyway, although if it does happen to work on your cable system, great! (You may remember @rramjet bought an HW-150 and reflashed it with iView V3 firmware just to get a box that worked with Verizon FiOS.)

The point about USB flash drives vs. HDDs may be correct. I know one big problem is the flash drives have slow write speeds compared to HDDs. (This surprises a lot of folks since there are no moving parts, but it's true.) This can lead to corrupted recordings, particularly on HD channels, and I suppose a corrupted recording could lock up the box when you try to play it back.

It's very good to hear that Mediasonic is working on fixing CCs during time-shifting and chase play. They may be the only one of these importers working on any firmware issues at all. iView and eMatic have even more serious firmware issues. It sounds like the only big problem with Mediasonic is, you have to choose: 150 for DD 5.1, component video, and/or coaxial digital audio; 180 for closed captions.
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post #2098 of 2195 Old 04-20-2016, 10:03 PM
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That tab only has Auto Search, Manual Search, Country, and Signal Type.

I think the 180 still has the edge (and don't forget the slightly improve remote).
Definitely if you need component video and/or coaxial audio, I guess that's a big deal and worth getting the 150 over, but on most newer equipment you're lucky if they can even handle those signals.

Now to be fair, I can't swear the audio is 5.1. My current setup only identifies the signal as "Dolby Digital" (but not the number of channels), but I'd find it surprising for the box to be downmixing it to stereo and encoding to DD when it's set to output RAW. If this is important enough for anyone, I can move it and test the number of channels.

For anyone looking to take the risk, set to RAW the audio always clean when you first turn on the unit. If you flip channels for a bit, you can usually get the echo to occur. Right now I was attempting to test it and I can't make the audio go funny at all.

I have yet to get bad audio when first time-shifting, chase playing or playing a recorded program, but all will output DD audio.
Sometimes FF or REW will cause the echo to start. Turning it off then on again also helps. I'm wondering if that might also be from using a USB stick in those cases.

Is it perfect for DD? No, but on my last HW-150PVR there was no 5.1 on recordings at all without renaming the file.
Of course at the moment captions for time shifted video is just a promise from someone in support.

So I'm open to suggestions for an inexpensive HDD, which apparently needs to be externally powered, to replace my USB stick with. I don't need huge, just something so it's not a memory stick.
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post #2099 of 2195 Old 04-21-2016, 08:38 AM
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Well, external HDDs start around $40, a little less if used, but this is an item I prefer to buy new.

Capacity goes up rapidly for just a little more money. Browsing at Amazon I see a 500GB drive for $39, a 640GB drive for about $46, and a 1TB drive for about $54. (I use a 1TB drive like that HGST model myself.)

The 500GB and 640GB drives above are USB-powered, but they're USB 2.0 and don't use much power, so you can just plug one into the HW-180.

The 1TB drive is a slightly more power-hungry USB 3.0 drive. My HW-150 runs it, but it's a close call. If I use a USB hub to wedge in a fan, I run out of power. I've ordered a powered USB hub to try; if it works I may use it to run a fan to cool my HW-150 when it's on.

Larger drives start to get a bit expensive: at least $70 for a 2TB, for instance. But they're also more likely to be externally-powered 3.5-inch drives.

You wouldn't need a powered USB hub with an externally-powered drive. The HW-180 could power a small fan through a regular hub.
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post #2100 of 2195 Old 04-21-2016, 09:55 AM
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The support from Mediasonic explicitly said a powered drive. Good to know that's not completely necessary.
As far as a fan, what type do you use and is it actually mounted on your box?

Finally, I guess I owe an apology. After typing the one comment yesterday, I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I moved the box into the room with the AVR... and wouldn't you know it: recordings played from the PVR menu ARE stereo. Even when set to RAW. Same bug as the HW150. (DD is still output for live and timeshifted shows.)

Was the DD bug fixed on the HW150? I know there was talk about it. If so that makes the HW180 inferior.
As far as captions you are basically looking at either captions on timeshifting (on the HW150) or captions on playing recordings (the HW180).
Moving a completed recording to the USB port on my TV lets me play back in 5.1 with captions regardless of what these boxes are doing makes the HW180 less desirable.

That may change with updates, but I'm re-evaluating my purchase. While I'm not using the DD5.1 right now, I'd be nice to have the option. I certainly don't feel great keeping something on the hope that customer service comes through with a firmware update.

Edit: I pressed their support to find out an ETA on a firmware update, and sandwiched in the middle of an email was this gem:
Quote:
Please be aware that if hardware changes are involved, there will be no firmware update, for example, with different hardware, the firmware of V11.0 and V10.1 are not compatible. Of course, it is too early to say that.
I'll be returning this unit... again. It hurts more this time because I'm sure I'll never get a price as good.

Last edited by DoctorM; 04-22-2016 at 08:53 PM.
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