Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 71 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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Old 04-26-2016, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
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?
Mine's complicated: I took one of the oldest HW-150s and added a USB hub, thumb drive, and a very thin fan I got at Fry's Electronics. I don't remember the make of the fan, but it was meant to be mounted in tight quarters. I don't yet have a fan for my newer HW-150.

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Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
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?
No, the 150 still has the same bug. Recordings don't play in DD on any HomeWorX, iView, or any other clone I know of without using the workaround.

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Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
As far as captions you are basically looking at either captions on timeshifting (on the HW150) or captions on playing recordings (the HW180).
My newer HW-150 (with V2.1 firmware) appears to work exactly like your HW-180. Here's a summary:

  • Live viewing: CC works
  • Time-shifting: CC doesn't work unless you FF to the end (so you're essentially watching live). If you pause or rewind CC stops working until you FF to the end again.
  • Chase play: Same as time-shifting
  • Playback: CC works

As you've noted, 7816-based boxes like the current HW-150s work differently. CC works live and when time-shifting (and probably during chase play too), but not during playback. So far, no box has firmware that lets CC work in all cases.

BTW, pressing Exit will dismiss the progress bar at the bottom that comes up when you start time-shifting or chase play. You don't have to leave it on-screen.
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Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
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:
I'll be returning this unit... again. It hurts more this time because I'm sure I'll never get a price as good.
Unfortunately Mediasonic makes frequent small hardware changes. I guess their policy is, once they stop using a particular hardware configuration, firmware development on that configuration stops, and starts on the new configuration. I guess I can't blame them: who wants to put the same fix into possibly dozens of slightly different firmware versions? But the problem is, you never know when a hardware change might happen. If it happens to the HW-180 before they figure out how to fix the CC issue, your only recourse would be to buy a new HW-180 with the new hardware/firmware. IOW there's no guarantee the CCs will ever be completely fixed on your particular box.

Mediasonic exaggerates the firmware incompatibility issue. It's true that some hardware changes, such as the SoC or demod chip, render firmware utterly incompatible; and I try quite hard to watch for those kinds of changes. But most of their hardware changes are minor, so the "wrong" firmware will still "mostly" work.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
No, the 150 still has the same bug. Recordings don't play in DD on any HomeWorX, iView, or any other clone I know of without using the workaround.
I just bought a new 150 with of course different firmware than the old one. Recordings from the old won't play on the new, which is described in this thread.

The new box won't play recordings from a DD5.1 source broadcast in 5.1, as you describe. I haven't tried the rename to .ts workaround yet.

But, the old box, with v. 14 firmware, always has played the recordings from DD5.1 sources directly in 5.1 without any workaround.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:15 PM
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Interesting! V14 was the last firmware version for the "1st-generation" HomeWorXes with the Samsung demod chip. I used to have an HW-150 with V14 but it died on me. (I don't have an AVR so I couldn't have discovered that DD5.1 playback worked on it.) They may have fixed the DD5.1 bug in that version, then lost the fix when they had to start over with the new boxes with the 1237 demod chip. I don't suppose your V14 box does closed captions on playback too, by any chance?

Also interesting that your new HW-150 won't play back recordings from your old V14 one. This had been reported for HW-180, but I hadn't heard about it with the HW-150. What firmware and hardware version is the new one?
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I don't suppose your V14 box does closed captions on playback too, by any chance?

Also interesting that your new HW-150 won't play back recordings from your old V14 one. This had been reported for HW-180, but I hadn't heard about it with the HW-150. What firmware and hardware version is the new one?
I couldn't get CC to work with the old box, but I'm not sure if I tried all the right settings.

The new box is firmware V.5.0 and HW V.5, MLG-7802-ATSC.
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Old 05-02-2016, 09:27 PM
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OMG they've switched hardware and firmware yet again!?!

This is the fifth time - and that doesn't even count more minor hardware changes! Original HW-150s had a 7816 SoC and Samsung demodulator, like your old one. 2nd-generation boxes had a 7816 but an MStar 1237 demodulator (Samsung quit making the demod used in the original boxes); firmware versions were V1 and V18 . 3rd-gen boxes replaced the 7816 with a 7802; the firmware versions were V2.0 or V2.1. (I have one of those.) 4th-generation went back to the 7816, and the firmware version changed to V4.0 or V4.1. (They had to skip V3 because that was an old firmware version for the original box!)

And it sounds like your new box is a 5th-generation, which has gone back to the 7802 again! And the firmware is now at V5.0. I believe recordings made by 7816 boxes are incompatible with those made by 7802 boxes, but I haven't been able to positively confirm that (although it seems to be true in your case).

iView sells a similar box, and has also changed from a 7816 to a 7802 SoC recently. But they badly screwed up their firmware in the process. Mediasonic seems to do a better job with their firmware - but they did manage to lose the DD5.1 fix they had in V14, didn't they?

As far as closed captions work, a pattern has emerged: CCs work on all HomeWorxes during live viewing; they work on 7816 boxes when time-shifting, but not when playing back recordings (pressing the CC button just displays "invalid"); while on 7802 boxes, they work during playback, but not when time-shifting! Mediasonic has claimed to one of us (DoctorM) that they're working on getting CCs working during time-shifting on 7802 boxes, which should result in them working in all cases on those boxes. I'm sure he'd be interested to learn whether Mediasonic made any progress on CCs in V5.0.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 05-03-2016 at 12:19 PM. Reason: Change "support" to "works;" also see bold text
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
OMG they've switched hardware and firmware yet again!?!

This is the fifth time - and that doesn't even count more minor hardware changes! Original HW-150s had a 7816 SoC and Samsung demodulator, like your old one. 2nd-generation boxes had a 7816 but an MStar 1237 demodulator (Samsung quit making the demod used in the original boxes); firmware versions were V1 and V18 . 3rd-gen boxes replaced the 7816 with a 7802; the firmware versions were V2.0 or V2.1. (I have one of those.) 4th-generation went back to the 7816, and the firmware version changed to V4.0 or V4.1. (They had to skip V3 because that was an old firmware version for the original box!)

And it sounds like your new box is a 5th-generation, which has gone back to the 7802 again! And the firmware is now at V5.0. I believe recordings made by 7816 boxes are incompatible with those made by 7802 boxes, but I haven't been able to positively confirm that (although it seems to be true in your case).

iView sells a similar box, and has also changed from a 7816 to a 7802 SoC recently. But they badly screwed up their firmware in the process. Mediasonic seems to do a better job with their firmware - but they did manage to lose the DD5.1 fix they had in V14, didn't they?

As far as closed captions work, a pattern has emerged: all HomeWorxes support them during live viewing; 7816 boxes also support them when time-shifting, but not when playing back recordings (pressing the CC button just displays "invalid"); while 7802 boxes support them during playback, but not when time-shifting! Mediasonic has claimed to one of us (DoctorM) that they're working on getting CCs working in all cases. I'm sure he'd be interested to learn whether Mediasonic made any progress on CCs in V5.0.
Actually at one point I was told they didn't support CC (in reference to them not showing up on PVR recordings.)
The statement about 'fixing' CC was only in reference to getting them to work when timeshifting the 7802(?) boxes.

I don't know if that's still their stand on the issue or not.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
Actually at one point I was told they didn't support CC (in reference to them not showing up on PVR recordings.)
The statement about 'fixing' CC was only in reference to getting them to work when timeshifting the 7802(?) boxes.

I don't know if that's still their stand on the issue or not.
I remember that. It was in reference to the HW-150 you bought with V4.1 firmware. But "not supported" isn't the same thing as "doesn't work!" It just means if it doesn't work, they won't try to fix it. I edited my last post to clarify this distinction. (BTW that's Mediasonic's position on cable/QAM also. It sort of works, but if it doesn't work correctly on your cable system, too bad - cable is "not supported.")

Your HW-150 was 7816-based, whereas whosbest1's new HW-150, your HW-180, and my HW-150 are all 7802-based. So far, CCs work during playback on every 7802-based firmware version I've been able to check - even on otherwise-buggy iViews! So it's a good bet it works on this new HW-150 too.

So the question I have is, did they fix CCs when time-shifting in V5.0? If they did, it seems unlikely that the fix would somehow stop CCs from working on playback. IOW, CCs may actually work in all cases, even though they're "not supported" during playback.

Hopefully, @whosbest1 can check whether CCs work when time-shifting and/or during playback on his new HW-150. That said, even if it works I wouldn't buy another HW-150 just yet! There's no guarantee you'd get the new one. Probably best to wait a few months to let any old stock get sold off first.
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Last edited by JHBrandt; 05-03-2016 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Hopefully, @whosbest1 can check whether CCs work when time-shifting and/or during playback on his new HW-150. That said, even if it works I wouldn't buy another HW-150 just yet! There's no guarantee you'd get the new one. Probably best to wait a few months to let any old stock get sold off first.
I checked my new box and it only works displaying a live broadcast. I hit record during that broadcast and the CC disappears from the display. Playing the resulting recording also has no CC.
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Old 05-06-2016, 04:23 PM
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So a step back on CC for version 5
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Old 05-06-2016, 06:56 PM
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Apparently. AFAIK the only HW firmware versions where CC works on playback are:

  • HW-150PVR: V2.0 and V2.1
  • Edit: I've tested V5.0 since this post, and CC works on playback with that version too. However it doesn't work during chase play (pressing Play while recording to play the recording you're making from the beginning). Also, closed captions are often delayed, and some may be skipped, when playing HD video.
  • HW-180STB: V11.0 Edit: and V8.1

So if that's important, I'd go with the HW-180. Of course, it has no component video or coaxial digital audio. But its remote is a bit nicer.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 08-15-2016 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 05-09-2016, 05:37 AM
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Is there a table of current firmware for all the different hardware versions?
I have a HW-150 PVR with hardware version MLG7802-ATSC-QAM-V2.
Sofware is DEC 27 2014 09:48:15 - V2.0.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:15 PM
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I have the same unit. There is a V2.1 available for it. You can email support(AT)mlglobal.net (replace (AT) with the @ sign of course) for a copy. Just send them the same info you posted here Edit: and your HW150's serial number.

Mediasonic has a rather muddled post at their forum containing this info:
Quote:
V08, No Firmware update Required
V10, No Firmware update Required
V13, No Firmware update Required
V14, No Firmware update Required
V18, No Firmware update Required
V1, No Firmware update Required
V4.1 No Firmware update Required

V18 is the latest for your unit
V3 is the latest for your unit
V2.0, Please update to V2.1 (email us)

V4.0, update to V4.1 if you use close caption. (If you don't use close caption, there is no need to update)
V5.0 Update to V5.1.
Note: "V3" is very confusing. It's also very rare, but if you see "V3," double-check whether it's the firmware version or hardware version! They require different firmware updates (V3 firmware to V10, or V12 for QAM support; V3 hardware showing no firmware version number to V2.1) and updating with the wrong firmware will ruin the box.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 08-15-2016 at 01:55 PM. Reason: Fix link; add new V5.0 line & serial no. requirement
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Old 05-10-2016, 06:02 PM
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Had a very interesting chat with tech support today in email. I also have a new v5 homeworx 150 and as posted above had no cc when playing back videos. Here is the interesting part.... Tech support sent me a firmware update (downgrade) and it was 2.1 which at least loaded just fine. I am still testing if it actually helped anything.
Filename was: V2.1 HW150PVR_20150206QAM
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Skitz1967 View Post
Had a very interesting chat with tech support today in email. I also have a new v5 homeworx 150 and as posted above had no cc when playing back videos. Here is the interesting part.... Tech support sent me a firmware update (downgrade) and it was 2.1 which at least loaded just fine. I am still testing if it actually helped anything.
Filename was: V2.1 HW150PVR_20150206QAM
Ok confirmed that CC works on video playback just like you would expect in a 2.1 version. Also as noted previous timeshifting has no CC on this version. Appears I now have a true 2.1 unit even though I started as a v5 unit. What other bugs should I be testing or be made aware of?
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:02 PM
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Believe it or not 2.1 is one of the less-buggy firmware versions. I was actually surprised to learn CCs didn't work during playback with V5.0. With V2.1, closed captions work during live viewing and playback, although as you confirmed, not when time-shifting or during chase play (unless you "catch up" to live viewing using fast-forward). So your "downgrade" may have been more of an upgrade!

Recordings made with different firmware "families" seem to be incompatible. If you have multiple HomeWorXes with different firmware versions, you may not be able to move recordings between them. Or it may work just fine; you just have to try it and see what happens.

DD5.1 works during live viewing, does not work during playback of recordings, but does work when playing "movies." You can make it work with recordings by changing the file extension from .mts to .ts with a PC, then playing it as a "movie." This is a bug on all firmware versions except V14. Unfortunately V14 is not compatible with any HW or clone still being made today. V14 only worked on the boxes it came with.

All firmware versions sometimes add back deleted subchannels when tuning to other subchannels on the same channel. This bug is unpredictable and varies from station to station, but it seems to happen less often if you "skip" subchannels instead of deleting them.

All firmware versions also have a bug when scheduling a weekly recording that spans midnight: if there are other recordings scheduled for the same weekday, the firmware will falsely state there's a conflict and won't let you schedule the recording. You can get around it by changing the recording to "once" and scheduling it that way, then changing the "conflicting" recording(s) to "once," then changing the midnight-crossing recording back to weekly, and finally changing the other recordings back to weekly.

There are more bugs, but those listed above are probably the most important ones.
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Old 05-11-2016, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whosbest1 View Post
The new box is firmware V.5.0 and HW V.5, MLG-7802-ATSC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
OMG they've switched hardware and firmware yet again!?!

This is the fifth time - and that doesn't even count more minor hardware changes!

And it sounds like your new box has gone back to the 7802 again! And the firmware is now at V5.0. I believe recordings made by 7816 boxes are incompatible with those made by 7802 boxes, but I haven't been able to positively confirm that (although it seems to be true in your case).
It just occurred to me - I hope @rramjet was able to get all the HW-150s he needed before this latest hardware change. I'm sure these new boxes are not compatible with the iView V3 firmware like the V4 HW-150s were.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:17 PM
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It just occurred to me - I hope @rramjet was able to get all the HW-150s he needed before this latest hardware change. I'm sure these new boxes are not compatible with the iView V3 firmware like the V4 HW-150s were.
I hope this is not inappropriate but since this thread has been comparing all the different models and chipsets I thought I would post... Iview has just released a new unit a 3100... has anyone played with one? I called tech support and all they were able to tell me was that the main chipset is no longer an mstar based one at all and that all features and even the firmware look very much like other models.
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Old 05-11-2016, 06:59 PM
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I hope this is not inappropriate but since this thread has been comparing all the different models and chipsets I thought I would post... Iview has just released a new unit a 3100... has anyone played with one? I called tech support and all they were able to tell me was that the main chipset is no longer an mstar based one at all and that all features and even the firmware look very much like other models.
Just took a quick look. HDMI and composite outputs only, like the HW-180. Amazon has it for $33.66; but iView is selling it for $99! The remote looks identical to the 3200STB remote (including the funky layout of the 0-9 digit buttons); to me, the 3200 looks like the better box of the two.

I'll cross-post this on the iView 3500 thread for further discussion.
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:57 PM
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Walmart has the 3100 for $19.99 with free in store pickup at least near me. I decided to take a chance and I should have one in hands tuesday. Will list the software and firmware numbers then
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:46 PM
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That's the same deal Wal*Mart had on the eMatic AT103B. The 3100 looks a great deal like the eMatic too.

There appeared to be two versions of the eMatic: one had several bugs; the other was relatively bug-free. If the 3100 is a rebranded eMatic, I hope iView got the "good" one
Yes I tried that one and was decent BUT was very susceptible to sound issues. The sound would turn to all echos for no reason especially after doing timeshifting. Would either have to keep playing with starting and stopping via timeshift or reboot the box, thus why i dont have it anymore.

I really have to say that so far this new 150 that started out v5 and was converted to v 2.1 seems the least problematic and most stable. The only real problem I have is that I have an rca tv and apparently the 150 uses some of the same ir signals as the rca tv's volume controls for example. So have to keep the 2 ir sources pretty far apart (not easy) or as i do some menu functions on the 150 the volume on the tv changes as well.
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Old 05-12-2016, 07:47 AM
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Echos? Interestingly, DoctorM reported that same problem with the HW-180:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
I think the 180 still has the edge (and don't forget the slightly improve remote).

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.

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.

So I'm open to suggestions for an inexpensive HDD, which apparently needs to be externally powered, to replace my USB stick with.
So echo seems to be a common bug in (at least one version of) the HW-180 and the eMatic AT103B, which makes me suspect they're using the same "insides."

It'll be interesting to see if the iView 3100 has the same problem with echos.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Just took a quick look. HDMI and composite outputs only, like the HW-180. Amazon has it for $33.66; but iView is selling it for $99! The remote looks identical to the 3200STB remote (including the funky layout of the 0-9 digit buttons); to me, the 3200 looks like the better box of the two.

I'll cross-post this on the iView 3500 thread for further discussion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Echos? Interestingly, DoctorM reported that same problem with the HW-180:
So echo seems to be a common bug in (at least one version of) the HW-180 and the eMatic AT103B, which makes me suspect they're using the same "insides."

It'll be interesting to see if the iView 3100 has the same problem with echos.
Just for the record I had the echoy sound using a hard drive as well as class 10 sd card with usb 3.0 adaptor though I will admit it was a 2.5" UNPOWERED hd.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:50 AM
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DoctorM returned his HW-180 for other reasons, so I don't think he ever got the chance to try it with a spinning HDD. I doubt it would have made a difference with the echo, though.
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The support from Mediasonic explicitly said a powered drive. Good to know that's not completely necessary.
On the HW-150, Mediasonic says the USB port can supply 800 mA, which is 4 watts. I would assume the HW-180, as well as any clones, would be similar, but I'd probably set the cutoff for a USB-powered drive at 600 mA (3 watts) just to be safe. Any drive requiring more power than that should probably have its own external power supply to avoid damaging the box.
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Old 05-12-2016, 01:11 PM
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DoctorM returned his HW-180 for other reasons, so I don't think he ever got the chance to try it with a spinning HDD. I doubt it would have made a difference with the echo, though.On the HW-150, Mediasonic says the USB port can supply 800 mA, which is 4 watts. I would assume the HW-180, as well as any clones, would be similar, but I'd probably set the cutoff for a USB-powered drive at 600 mA (3 watts) just to be safe. Any drive requiring more power than that should probably have its own external power supply to avoid damaging the box.
I am finding that A good quality usb 3.0 reader with class 10 chip in it performs BETTER for me then a laptop hard drive in a generic usb 3.0 powered enclosure. Will be trying a few of the 3.5" powered externals I have next
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Old 05-12-2016, 03:14 PM
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Mediasonic doesn't recommend flash drives, but I'd think a class 4 or better SD card would work fine. They're designed to be fast enough for recording HD video. I bet their power consumption is pretty low too.

I think Mediasonic's recommendation is based on typical USB thumb drives, many of which are too slow for HD recording.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:33 PM
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Mediasonic doesn't recommend flash drives, but I'd think a class 4 or better SD card would work fine. They're designed to be fast enough for recording HD video. I bet their power consumption is pretty low too.

I think Mediasonic's recommendation is based on typical USB thumb drives, many of which are too slow for HD recording.
Well apparently my 2.5" powered enclosure is just crap when used with the 150. As stated earlier my class 10 chip in usb reader worked great and now I can also tell you that my ancient 500gb western digital my book works great as well. Tested mostly timeshifiting today.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:38 AM
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Echos? Interestingly, DoctorM reported that same problem with the HW-180:
So echo seems to be a common bug in (at least one version of) the HW-180 and the eMatic AT103B, which makes me suspect they're using the same "insides."

It'll be interesting to see if the iView 3100 has the same problem with echos.
The echos are caused by using RAW to output Dolby 5.1 which the HW-180 does not support (even though it has a menu setting for it). Setting the audio to a stereo option fixes it.

A HDD might help, but the support tech seem to indicated other people had problems 'with some AVRs' and it wouldn't be fixed.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:20 AM
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The echos are caused by using RAW to output Dolby 5.1 which the HW-180 does not support (even though it has a menu setting for it). Setting the audio to a stereo option fixes it.

A HDD might help, but the support tech seem to indicated other people had problems 'with some AVRs' and it wouldn't be fixed.
Possibly different situation with same symptoms then. Mine happened on a Ematic AT103B and was kinda random but happened mostly after timestreaming. It did however at times happen just after changing channels. Messing with start abd stopping timestream would sometimes fix it, other times I would have to reset the box by turning it off. I never messed with the sound settings to be honest but am betting it was not defaulted to dolby/raw but who knows. I have no dolby capabilities so dont think I would have changed it. Also I was using an external usb hard drive (not externally powered) as well as a class 10 sdcard for testing. Both had same issues. Anyway had so many issues I returned that box ordered the 150 v5 i am playing with now (downgraded firmware version to 2.1) and also ordered the iview 3100 to test.

So far only 2 issues with the 150 (now running 2.1)
1) the remote codes for it share some with mt rca tv so have to keep the box and tv ir isolated from one another

2) No matter what I do passthrough simply doesn't work.

oh and technically there is the no cc on timestreaming but thats a well nkown issue
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:23 AM
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The echos are caused by using RAW to output Dolby 5.1 which the HW-180 does not support (even though it has a menu setting for it). Setting the audio to a stereo option fixes it.
It's still a bug. "Does not support" only means Mediasonic won't fix it - it doesn't mean it's supposed to do that!
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:46 AM
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It's still a bug. "Does not support" only means Mediasonic won't fix it - it doesn't mean it's supposed to do that!
LOL well since in both cases the person decided to return the unit I would agree. Thats why unless the 3100 is completely bug free i will likely stick with my 150 that has KNOWN issues I can deal with. As we know any bugs any of these units have will NEVER be fixed.
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