Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 77 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2281 of 2466 Old 11-23-2016, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That was in response to a question about cross-flashing iView firmware onto a Homeworx:
My original response was yes, there are a few advantages; but there was also a fatal bug with CC on playback. I was just letting the OP know that there's now a version without that bug.
@JHBrandt looking at the rar file and there are 2 bin files present, I know when flashing the 150 in the past I always used a file called usb_upgrade_all_flash.bin of which there is one present but it is roughly half the size of the other file flash.bin

I am guessing the full flash.bin file is only needed on certain iView units and the usb_upgrade_all_flash.bin is the one we use on 150's.

Last note with this newest version fixing cc crash it really seems like there is no downside to using this in place of the 150's v5.3 since I have a universal remote that can emulate the iView or the homeworx

Last edited by Skitz1967; 11-23-2016 at 11:59 AM.
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post #2282 of 2466 Old 11-23-2016, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skitz1967 View Post
@JHBrandt looking at the rar file and there are 2 bin files present, I know when flashing the 150 in the past I always used a file called usb_upgrade_all_flash.bin of which there is one present but it is roughly half the size of the other file flash.bin

I am guessing the full flash.bin file is only needed on certain iView units and the usb_upgrade_all_flash.bin is the one we use on 150's.

Last note with this newest version fixing cc crash it really seems like there is no downside to using this in place of the 150's v5.3 since I have a universal remote that can emulate the iView or the homeworx
Here's what I was told about that flash.bin file:
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Originally Posted by jprc View Post
The flash.bin can be deleted. It's a file only useful to the developers. I argued with iView for over a year to get them to stop including that file in the updates because it was confusing people, was useless, and I was writing endless replies to people that were trying to use it to upgrade their box unsuccessfully. They finally stopped and then evidently have started again with the latest version.
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post #2283 of 2466 Old 11-23-2016, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That was in response to a question about cross-flashing iView firmware onto a Homeworx:
My original response was yes, there are a few advantages; but there was also a fatal bug with CC on playback. I was just letting the OP know that there's now a version without that bug.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Good news! iView posted yet another version on their 3500STBII page, and unlike the 3200 version, this version does not lock up when CC is pressed. Also has the small improvements I described earlier, and fixes several other little bugs in the 3200 version:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Here's what I was told about that flash.bin file:
So back to the original question .... now that cc is fixed it APPEARS that this version trumps 5.3 in every way with no disadvantages vs 5.3.... Do you agree?

UPDATE: So after all that I have determined I CANNOT use iView software. The remote control codes for iView conflict badly with my RCA television. For example if you hit the down channel button it will turn the tv off. Well back to 5.3 which I am happy to say is working great no issues at all though would have liked newer information screens and such

Last edited by Skitz1967; 11-23-2016 at 01:29 PM.
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post #2284 of 2466 Old 11-23-2016, 01:38 PM
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I agree. Of course, if you don't like it for some reason, you can always go back to 5.3.

For me, the biggest advantage was the iView remote, which I really like. But since you're using a universal remote that will emulate either a HomeWorX or iView remote, that's not a big advantage for you. But the iView remote does have a few extra buttons, a couple of which (Aspect and PVR) you may find useful.

The second big advantage may or may not apply to you. If you have channels without a -1 subchannel (or if you've deleted or skipped the -1), the iView firmware lets you tune it by just entering a channel number. You don't get "Invalid Channel" if you leave off the -2 (or whatever the lowest subchannel is).

Finally, there's more info in the infobox, transparency for the menus, and a 12-hour time option. Those aren't "biggies" but are kind of nice.

There is one teensy-weensy downside: iView firmware doesn't have HomeWorX's "Power On/Off" scheduling function. But I've never heard of anyone who used that anyway.
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post #2285 of 2466 Old 11-23-2016, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I've had luck with PNY 64GB and 128GB drives but you have to get their "Turbo Attache" model, not just plain "Turbo," "Turbo Elite," or plain "Attache!" How confusing is that?

Most of the PNY drives have a curved cover over the USB port, like this:
Avoid these!

The Turbo Attache models that have worked for me look different:


The 128 GB model works best. The 64 GB model seemed to work OK too, even recording HD, but I've also lost data with it, so make sure to back it up often. The critical spec, especially for HD recording, is write speed.

Unfortunately no one publishes their write speed. Everyone loves to brag about their read speed, but almost all these drives have plenty of read speed.
The Turbo Attache doesn't appear to be a current model. I recently bought a PNY Elite-X. It looks like all sizes have 185Mb/s speeds. Haven't tested it on a Homeworx yet, but should be fast enough for anything.

Considering the speeds we're talking about the ports on these boxes should be USB 3.0... but I didn't think they were.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I agree. Of course, if you don't like it for some reason, you can always go back to 5.3.

For me, the biggest advantage was the iView remote, which I really like. But since you're using a universal remote that will emulate either a HomeWorX or iView remote, that's not a big advantage for you. But the iView remote does have a few extra buttons, a couple of which (Aspect and PVR) you may find useful.

The second big advantage may or may not apply to you. If you have channels without a -1 subchannel (or if you've deleted or skipped the -1), the iView firmware lets you tune it by just entering a channel number. You don't get "Invalid Channel" if you leave off the -2 (or whatever the lowest subchannel is).

Finally, there's more info in the infobox, transparency for the menus, and a 12-hour time option. Those aren't "biggies" but are kind of nice.

There is one teensy-weensy downside: iView firmware doesn't have HomeWorX's "Power On/Off" scheduling function. But I've never heard of anyone who used that anyway.
What's the advantage of flashing a HomeWorx with iView firmware over just buying an iView?

Last edited by DoctorM; 11-23-2016 at 10:42 PM.
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post #2286 of 2466 Old 11-24-2016, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
The Turbo Attache doesn't appear to be a current model. I recently bought a PNY Elite-X. It looks like all sizes have 185Mb/s speeds. Haven't tested it on a Homeworx yet, but should be fast enough for anything.
The Elite-X doesn't have a very fast WRITE speed so may cause problems? Some specs from PNY on the 64/128/256GB models:

Interface: Sleek and durable, USB 3.0 Flash Drive
Read Speed: Up to 185MB/s
Write Speed: 60MB/s
Capacity: 256GB [same write speed for 64 and 128GB models]
Compatibility: Most PC & MAC laptop and desktop computers with available USB 3.0 port. Backwards compatible with USB 2.0
Environmental Conditions:
Operating Temperature: 0° to 60° C
Storage Temperature: -25° to 85° C
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post #2287 of 2466 Old 11-24-2016, 09:53 AM
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PNY has a real naming issue. P-FD256TBO-GE on their website is called their Turbo Attache 3: http://www.pny.com/turbo-attache-3-u...=P-FD256TBO-GE
On Amazon the same model is called PNY Turbo Elite, but if you dig into the description they call it Elite Turbo Attaché 3.
PNY doesn't officially give a write speed on these (which probably means they aren't fast) and reviews on Amazon vary (probably by capacity) from 30MB/s to 120 speeds.

So.... yeah.

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post #2288 of 2466 Old 11-24-2016, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
The Turbo Attache doesn't appear to be a current model. I recently bought a PNY Elite-X. It looks like all sizes have 185Mb/s speeds. Haven't tested it on a Homeworx yet, but should be fast enough for anything.
What Wajo said.
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Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
Considering the speeds we're talking about the ports on these boxes should be USB 3.0... but I didn't think they were.
USB 2.0 is plenty fast, but all the flash drives I've seen with good write speeds are USB 3.0.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorM View Post
What's the advantage of flashing a HomeWorx with iView firmware over just buying an iView?
If you're buying a new box, none. But if you already bought a HomeWorX and it's too late to send it back, flashing it with iView firmware will give you the same advantages at the much lower $10 cost of an iView or compatible remote control.

BTW, it should be noted that I have not tested iView firmware for bugs playing DD 5.1 sound. I don't have a system to test that.

Note that finding iView firmware that's compatible with a HomeWorX can be tricky. iView's newest firmware appears to be compatible with HW-150s and HW-180s running V5.x or V11.x only. It's not compatible with older HW-150s or HW-180s running V2.x or V8.x, even though they use the same SoC (a 7802). It won't brick them but the tuner doesn't work, rendering the box useful as a media player only. If that happens, you'll need V2.1 or V8.1 from Mediasonic to revert back.
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post #2289 of 2466 Old 11-24-2016, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Skitz1967 View Post
UPDATE: So after all that I have determined I CANNOT use iView software. The remote control codes for iView conflict badly with my RCA television. For example if you hit the down channel button it will turn the tv off. Well back to 5.3 which I am happy to say is working great no issues at all though would have liked newer information screens and such
That is too bad, although at least the iView firmware did work.

IIRC you had the same issue when you tried the oddball iView 3100, and had to send it back. Which makes sense, because even though its hardware and firmware are totally different, I think it uses the same remote as the 3200, which uses the same codes as the 3500.

And wasn't there an issue with the HW-180 remote too? That RCA TV seems to be very finicky about what other remotes you can use in the same room with it.
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post #2290 of 2466 Old 11-26-2016, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
The Elite-X doesn't have a very fast WRITE speed so may cause problems? Some specs from PNY on the 64/128/256GB models:

Interface: Sleek and durable, USB 3.0 Flash Drive
Read Speed: Up to 185MB/s
Write Speed: 60MB/s
Capacity: 256GB [same write speed for 64 and 128GB models]
Compatibility: Most PC & MAC laptop and desktop computers with available USB 3.0 port. Backwards compatible with USB 2.0
Environmental Conditions:
Operating Temperature: 0° to 60° C
Storage Temperature: -25° to 85° C
My wife has been using this thumbdrive to record her daily soaps, it has been flawless since June 2016.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Read Up To 245MB/s; Write Up To 190MB/s
SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive - SDCZ80-064G-GAM46
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post #2291 of 2466 Old 11-29-2016, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That is too bad, although at least the iView firmware did work.

IIRC you had the same issue when you tried the oddball iView 3100, and had to send it back. Which makes sense, because even though its hardware and firmware are totally different, I think it uses the same remote as the 3200, which uses the same codes as the 3500.

And wasn't there an issue with the HW-180 remote too? That RCA TV seems to be very finicky about what other remotes you can use in the same room with it.
Yeah the problem is rca tv's in general use the same code set as all these units
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post #2292 of 2466 Old 12-05-2016, 08:01 PM
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I've started looking at these again for my mom because her vcr will ware out and tapes are getting hard to find. I'm looking at the company site and they have a 130, 150, 180, and 220. The 220 doesn't look interesting, but the 130 looks like a cross between the 150 and the 180. It doesn't have the extra composite outputs of the 150 (have no need for them) like the 180 and it has the USB on the front like the 150 (prefer it on the back). Anyone know any other difference between it and the 180?
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post #2293 of 2466 Old 12-05-2016, 08:12 PM
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I've started looking at these again for my mom because her vcr will ware out and tapes are getting hard to find. I'm looking at the company site and they have a 130, 150, 180, and 220. The 220 doesn't look interesting, but the 130 looks like a cross between the 150 and the 180. It doesn't have the extra composite outputs of the 150 (have no need for them) like the 180 and it has the USB on the front like the 150 (prefer it on the back). Anyone know any other difference between it and the 180?
The differences between the 130, 150, and 180 are all fairly minor:
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

  • The 130 & 180 lack the 150's component video, and coaxial digital audio outputs. This was the decisive issue for me; I like having those outputs available.
  • The 130 & 180 use a smaller remote. Oddly, I like that remote a little better than the 150's remote. Even though it's smaller, it's easier to read the buttons. But the difference isn't that great.
  • The 180's USB port is in back. The other two have the USB port in front
  • The 130 & 180 have a hardware "channel 3/4" switch for the RF output (so I guess they don't support "loop-through;" but I recommend using a splitter vs. loop-through anyway)
  • The 130 & 180 have a "soft" power button that just puts it in standby just like the remote's power button. The 150's front panel has a "hard" power switch that physically disconnects power (like unplugging the 150)
  • The 130 uses an external "wall-wart" power supply. That could be an advantage: if the wall-wart fails, you don't lose the whole box
  • Depending on the firmware version, the 180 may have some minor quirks with entering channel numbers. Not sure about the 130, but the 150 doesn't have these minor bugs
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is not officially supported on the 180 (though HDMI audio can be set to Raw through the menu, and so DD5.1 may work anyway)
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post #2294 of 2466 Old 12-05-2016, 09:06 PM
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So basicly the 180 has the USB on the back and the 130 uses a wall transformer. Thing about power supplies failure is most likely going to be in the switch mode regulator which would be in the unit regardless of the transformer is in the unit or on the wall.

And component video is more a thing of the past unless you already have equipment that uses it and not HDMI.
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post #2295 of 2466 Old 12-06-2016, 06:13 AM
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Well, the 130's wall-wart isn't just an AC transformer. It's a 5V DC power supply similar to a plug-in USB charger.

AC wall transformers are even rarer than component video these days
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post #2296 of 2466 Old 12-10-2016, 01:54 PM
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I have noticed what seems to be false information on the Amazon website for these units/clones:
Edit: guess can't post links so look up the 150 or 180, etc on Amazon and look near the bottom at the comparison charts.

Tried to cut and past a bit from the chart near the bottom. They imply that they have some form of networking. They flat out say Wireless for the 150 and Ethernet for the AT103B. Looks like they are saying powerline LAN connection for the 180.

Also Internet Apps? Browser for the 150, Free Sat/Free View (whatever that is) for the 180, and browser for the 103. the only one in that chart that has networking is the SiliconDust being a dual tuner that sits on your lan but has no DVR function.


Mediasonic HW-150PVR HomeWorx

SiliconDust HDHomeRun CONNECT

Mediasonic HW180STB HomeWorx HDTV Digital Converter Box

Digital Converter, Ematic Digital TV Converter Box with Recording, Playback, & Parental Controls [ AT103B ]

Price $32.99 $67.84 $34.49 $27.85

Connectivity Technology: Wireless No Wi-Fi Powerline Ethernet

Internet Applications: Browser Google TV Free Sat/Free View Browser
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post #2297 of 2466 Old 12-15-2016, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Skitz1967 View Post
Been playing with hw150 for a while now and found that NO FLASH DRIVE works as well as a simple 2.5" usb drive enclosure and an old laptop hard drive. Yes its un-powered but works great for me using a 500gb drive even took the ntfs formatting already on it.
After using a SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (recommended in a previous post) I find it started having recording drops/freezes/jumps after the disk got about 1/2 full. The more data stored the worse the recordings. Worked well for about a week and I would have declared it a success but NOT.

I have an old Maxtor 500 GB USB HDD (about 1/2 full) in a docking station that does not do this and it is more than 1/2 full. I have to remember to turn it on or leave it running all the time though. Not as convenient.

I have also tried an old Lacie 500 GB USB HDD (about 3/4 full) that performed about as poorly as the SanDisk USB flash drive.

Seems to be a hit or miss proposition.

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Last edited by dmatch; 12-15-2016 at 08:21 AM.
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post #2298 of 2466 Old 12-15-2016, 03:39 PM
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That is interesting. I hadn't considered that a USB stick's write speed might go down as it fills up with data. I should probably retest my PNY Turbo Attache to see if that happens.
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post #2299 of 2466 Old 12-15-2016, 07:59 PM
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It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, as flash memory has no moving parts and thus doesn't suffer a speed penalty from fragmentation.
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post #2300 of 2466 Old 12-16-2016, 08:40 AM
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I think you are right, it doesn't make sense.

I cleared out the flash drive and it is still freezing/jumping/glitching right from the get-go. About once a minute.I guess something is already SNAFUing on the flash drive and it had nothing to do with amount of data on the drive.

I even changed formatting from FAT32 to NTFS. Same result.

BTW, I watched the live signal while recording and it wasn't glitching.



I guess it's back to the PC for recording/playback. My HTPC setup doesn't suffer with this problem (has HDD). It also doesn't suffer the 300-500 msec audio delay (audio sync problems) that the Homeworx seems to have on nearly all channels here.

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post #2301 of 2466 Old 12-16-2016, 12:04 PM
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Flash drives are something of a mystery to me. My guess is that it has something to do with the load-balancing algorithms built into them so that each write goes to a different section of the flash ROM. Each section can be rewritten many times, so as long as no section gets "overloaded" with multiple writes (to, e.g., the FAT sectors on a FAT32 drive), the whole drive will last a long time.

I suspect load-balancing also speeds up writing to the drive, since it can start writing to a new section before the previous write to a different section has completed. That would explain why larger flash drives usually have better write speeds than smaller ones, and some can even equal HDDs. But as a flash drive gets more use, the load-balancing may not work as well, slowing things down as successive writes get routed more often to the same section of flash ROM. Even reformatting the drive wouldn't fool the load-balancing algorithm.

But that's all speculation and guesswork on my part. I don't really know for sure if that's what happens.
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post #2302 of 2466 Old 12-16-2016, 06:39 PM
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post #2303 of 2466 Old 12-17-2016, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CANNON-FODDER View Post
Thanks for the link.

From what it says, when I deleted all the files, that may not have changed much of anything because partially filled blocks still remain that would have to be read, changed, and then rewritten. That would be slower than just writing to an empty block.

Bummer!

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post #2304 of 2466 Old 12-17-2016, 05:30 PM
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The Windows DISKPART utility has a CLEAN ALL command that will write binary 0's to every sector of a drive. (You would need to reformat the drive afterwards, of course.) I wonder if that would restore the write performance of a flash drive that has been "overfilled?" (Note: USE EXTREME CAUTION if you try this! You wouldn't want to zero out the wrong drive!)

BTW, to reserve space on a flash drive, you could partition it and leave some unallocated space. But you said your drive started slowing down when it was only 1/2 full. Wasting 1/2 the drive's capacity to maintain write performance doesn't sound very appealing.

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post #2305 of 2466 Old 12-21-2016, 05:53 AM
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Does anyone know of this is a common problem with the HW-150PVR? The volume level is normally a bit too low. However, after playing a recorded video and then returning to live TV, the volume is significantly higher and at the proper level it should always be.

I've gotten in the habit of going through this routine each time after turning the unit on. But it seems like a bug in the firmware.

Last edited by RF8655; 12-21-2016 at 06:08 AM.
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post #2306 of 2466 Old 12-27-2016, 04:13 PM
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I'm looking at picking up a HW-150PVR as an inexpensive way to pick up a few TV shows for my wife that we cannot get thru my Kodi (RPi) or her Roku Ultra. Specifically, Dr Phil and Judge Judy.

Before we cut the cord, when my wife got home from work she watched them religiously via the cable DVR. I think that it should work out fine, but I have just one question.

Is the Homeworx unit HDMI-CEC compatible?

I don't like a pile of remotes and the TV that I plan to hook the PVR to uses only the TV's remote to operate the TV and my RPi Kodi. I'd like to keep it simple.
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post #2307 of 2466 Old 12-27-2016, 07:21 PM
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To my knowledge, no; none of the MStar boxes (HomeWorX, iView, eMatic, etc.) can accept remote commands via the HDMI connection. That said, I don't know of anyone who's ever tried it! But I'd be quite surprised; these boxes are very basic.

Thus, to "keep it simple," you'll need a universal remote. HomeWorX boxes don't come with universal remotes, so you'd have to buy one separately.

I'll put in a small plug for the iView 3500STBII and Channel Master 7003 here: those very similar boxes do come with universal remotes that can control the TV as well as the box itself. (Note that other iView models do not come with a universal remote; the 3500STBII is the only iView model that does.)
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post #2308 of 2466 Old 12-28-2016, 12:24 AM
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Generally units that have CEC-HDMI control, or whatever its called, will have an option in their menu system like "accept turn off/on commands via HDMI-CEC, yes or no?" and I don't recall ever seeing that in my 3500STBii ch3/4 menu system so I assume none of the other related family units have it either.

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 master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #2309 of 2466 Old 12-28-2016, 11:27 AM
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Some TVs can extend support. My Sony is capable of adding the local channels to its built in channel guide and using an IR blaster dongle to control the Homeworx.
Not a perfect solution, but it can reduce how often you use the Homeworx remote.
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post #2310 of 2466 Old 01-02-2017, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatch View Post
After using a SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive (recommended in a previous post) I find it started having recording drops/freezes/jumps after the disk got about 1/2 full. The more data stored the worse the recordings. Worked well for about a week and I would have declared it a success but NOT.
dmatch
The SanDisk Extreme CZ80 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive I recommended, is still working fine, my wife uses it 5 days a week.
I will add (something I have told her she doesn't need to do) she will delete programs she has watched about once a week.
She is not tech savvy, I'm surprised she figured out how to delete, but maybe she is preventing problems by doing this. ??
I do know, that when it did fill up, it would record over the oldest program. After she took over using the unit she started deleting
the watched programs.

Mikek
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