Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 81 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2401 of 2429 Old 05-01-2017, 02:23 PM
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I wanted to mention that the SanDisk Extreme stick that many here recommend has a newer model, the SanDisk Extreme Go. It's rated faster than the old model and priced cheaper: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0YZVQE

@JHBrandt - Did you ever manage to get the HDD dock to work with android? I'm considering it for use with a couple Sony Android TVs we have. Even if the manufacturer's own app doesn't work, does Kodi or VLC recognize the files on your network?

And a question: From what I've seen here on this thread, it sounds like the current 150 models have no closed captions under any condition. Is that true and has anyone spoken with Homeworx about it?
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post #2402 of 2429 Old 05-01-2017, 03:56 PM
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I wanted to mention that the SanDisk Extreme stick that many here recommend has a newer model, the SanDisk Extreme Go. It's rated faster than the old model and priced cheaper: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0YZVQE
I'm suspicious of this stick since it has too many "weasel words" around its speed... "up to" etc. and this note on the 150MBs write speed:

"(1) Up to 150MB/s write speed to drive, up to 35X faster than standard USB 2.0 drives (4MB/s)... [what!]; up to 200MB/s read speed. USB 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.0 support required. Based on internal testing; performance may be lower depending upon host device. 1MB = 1,000,000 bytes."

There are others available that are faster and w/o so many weasel words!?
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post #2403 of 2429 Old 05-01-2017, 07:22 PM
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@JHBrandt - Did you ever manage to get the HDD dock to work with android? I'm considering it for use with a couple Sony Android TVs we have. Even if the manufacturer's own app doesn't work, does Kodi or VLC recognize the files on your network?
Specifically, I was referring to the Android app that was advertised. I wanted the app for my Android smart phone, but AFAICS it doesn't exist.

I don't know anything specific about Sony's Android TVs, but there shouldn't be any problem using that dock with any device that supports network access to storage, regardless of which OS the device uses.

Incidentally, I had some trouble using that HDD dock with my newer (7802-based) HomeWorX and iView. The dock would shut down network access as soon as I plugged in the USB cable, whether the PVR was on, in standby, or even completely unplugged! I didn't have this problem with an older (7816-based) HomeWorX.

I don't think the chip inside the PVR actually makes a difference; it's probably just a marker for some difference in the USB hardware. But it does mean I can only use my dock with that particular HomeWorX. If it ever dies, I'm in trouble.
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post #2404 of 2429 Old 05-02-2017, 06:52 AM
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And a question: From what I've seen here on this thread, it sounds like the current 150 models have no closed captions under any condition. Is that true and has anyone spoken with Homeworx about it?
The current official 5.3 firmware supports closed captions for both live TV viewed through the box as well as recordings. Closed Captioning is not available when using the pause function to time-shift / chase-play live TV. @mdbratch had received an unofficial version 5.4 F/W that added am/pm instead of military time -- but it also apparently nerfed closed captioning.
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post #2405 of 2429 Old 05-02-2017, 08:31 PM
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The current official 5.3 firmware supports closed captions for both live TV viewed through the box as well as recordings. Closed Captioning is not available when using the pause function to time-shift / chase-play live TV. @mdbratch had received an unofficial version 5.4 F/W that added am/pm instead of military time -- but it also apparently nerfed closed captioning.
So if I set a timed recording and started to watch it while recording, I would NOT have captions? That's unfortunate. The 150 was their only box that actually did that right. Sounds like it now functions like their other models.

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post #2406 of 2429 Old 05-03-2017, 02:42 PM
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If you're watching live as it records, you will have closed captions. But if you 'chase play' (press Play to watch the recording from the beginning), you won't. To get closed captions you'd have to wait until the recording completes, then watch it.

I know that's inconsistent. You get captions while watching live, and you get captions while watching a completed recording, but you don't captions while watching a recording that's still being made. But such are the vagaries of MStar 7802 firmware.
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post #2407 of 2429 Old 05-03-2017, 07:25 PM
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I cannot believe the inconsistency of the different versions of what is supposed to be the same model. I'll just wait and see what the next running change brings.
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post #2408 of 2429 Old 05-04-2017, 10:47 AM
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If CC are important to you, you shouldn't wait. CC have been broken for so long that it's a miracle they're working at all now, and they might break again in the future. Snap up the firmware that works while you can.
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post #2409 of 2429 Old 05-04-2017, 06:54 PM
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I bought and returned a 150 and 180 over the past few years. I've been waiting for Homeworx to get their act together, but that appears to not be likely.

I finally decided what I need most is the ability to chase play (which the 150 could do up until recently).

For playback of completed recordings it is a simple matter of moving the USB stick a couple feet over to my android TV's USB port and playing back on my favorite media player, any of which can read the CC's without a problem.

Kodi is good but VLC supports variable speed playback. Picture quality is better too since the Homeworx boxes don't support native resolution output.
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post #2410 of 2429 Old 05-04-2017, 07:50 PM
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Which HW firmware version could display CC during chase play? I haven't seen one where that worked since the 7816 days - and those couldn't display CC when playing back the recording.
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post #2411 of 2429 Old 05-04-2017, 08:35 PM
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Which HW firmware version could display CC during chase play? I haven't seen one where that worked since the 7816 days - and those couldn't display CC when playing back the recording.
Searching the thread here, it looks like it was Feb. 2016 when I had it. The firmware was v4.1 dated April 2015. I don't seem to have posted the HW version.
Definitely wasn't any CC playing back completed recordings and no raw DD audio.
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post #2412 of 2429 Old 05-05-2017, 06:07 AM
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OK, that makes sense. Firmware V4.1 was for the last 7816 box they sold, so CC probably worked during chase play, but not when playing back completed recordings.

All the 5.x boxes (as well as earlier 2.x boxes like the one I have) have the 7802 chip and the firmware works in reverse: CC works when playing back completed recordings but not during chase play

I never could figure out why it's so tough to write the firmware so that it'd work both ways. It's not just HomeWorX either. All these MStar boxes (iView, etc.) have the same CC issues.

Edit: In fact I'm just starting to dimly remember the whole saga. IIRC you wanted to know whether the HW-150 supported closed captions on playback; I tested my V2.1 box and reported that yes, it definitely does work; so you bought an HW-150, got a V4 box, and it turned out it didn't work after all! So you sent it back, and later tried again with a V5 box - only to discover that while closed captions did work during playback, they no longer worked during chase play! I then checked by V2.1 box and found it worked the same as your V5 box (I'd never tested CC during chase play before). That's when I finally figured out that the chip (7816 vs. 7802) was the key to how CC would work on any given box.
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post #2413 of 2429 Old 05-06-2017, 10:16 PM
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I'll split this into two parts, one a story about the time and date and the other about an issue while recording to a usb HDD. I have read quite a bit about the HW and other similar boxes including this thread and the iView one. I've had this for a few days now.

What I have:

Homeworx HW180STB
Firmware V12.1 from Sept 2016
WD 2TB My Passport Ultra USB drive connected
Clear QAM channels in 480i resolution

Everything recording-wise has been problem free surprisingly except after the first few times the video and audio would be more and more glitched and garbled. I don't know if its the amount of power being drawn from the USB port, how many recordings or files are on the HDD (400 GB is used up for other stuff with 2 partitions) or interference. I then tried a usb stick that's 8 GB (FAT32) with about 250 MB of space left on it and it worked perfectly - no distortion at all. Should I try a usb external power cord (I can't test some other portable drive as the WD 2TB one is the only one I have). As soon as recording is done, the picture and sound are back to normal.

I just read from another topic that moving the usb HDD further away from the box might help but my situation may be completely different and it is as this is not OTA signal. The USB wire is only 6-8 inches long. If it doesn't affect the video and audio, maybe this wall wart I may look into can solve more than 1 issue.

This is an in-depth walkthrough of how to set record timers without having date and time data at all pulled in from a source. Read the last paragraph for a tldr summary (***). I don't know if this has been documented, but I'm using the HW180 to pick up a few clear QAM channels and there is not a shred of EPG or other data to feed into the system in which to easily record. It just has Jan 11 1980 00:00 in the EPG screen when I first start the box (clock is frozen). Something I do and I don't know what it is (but I think its related to recording more than a small clip just by pressing the rec button or timeshifting), changes that date to Tues Jun 12 2159 in which the clock starts to work by starting at 00:00. I've had that exact day pop up after hours of use twice now. Just as I wrote this 24 hours of having that date intact has gone by and saw it does continue to Wed Jun 13 2159. I'm pleased with that as I can also do weekly timer recordings if I leave the HW on. Because of the idiotic inability for one to manually set the time and save it, that is one of many steps for me to automatically record something without any EPG data or time fetches.

I have to use the manual timer to set any recordings and this is where the obstacles the makers of the firmware put in place really stand and enrage. When scrolling through channels I had that bug (was documented on page 48) that only 15 or so channels are there to find and the ones I wanted weren't. There seems to always be work-arounds on these MStar devices so I wasn't too nervous. I tried different tactics like setting the channel to one before the desired ch but it failed. Then I realized I might have to delete a bunch of channels so that the list can be beside my channels instead of the useless ones. Then I found you could just mark channels by skip which was far easier and less risky! I did that and success!! I was able to scroll to the channels that worked (a relief).

So then as I set a test timer out I noticed when I finished the year wasn't 2159 anymore, it somehow went to 2059 during my entering. I wasn't sure if internally it thought it was still the former so I hoped that it was and left it and put the Homeworx in standby mode. It never recorded anything. The first big reason was when I put it in standby, the time is set back to Jan 11 1980 00:00 so the box wouldn't do anything. I hope there is a workaround for that. I suspect it wouldn't have recorded anyways due to the year being off by 100 lol. The year changes as soon as you highlight the date entry (switches the 2nd digit or hundredth year to a 0 automatically even though its 2159 in the EPG menu). You can't edit the first or 2nd digit of the year, doh! I knew I either had to somehow have the 2159 forced into the timer or figure out a way to get another date and time (without the clock being frozen) and hope that whatever random year it is is within our current century.

I had 3 ideas in mind, and one of those was an insane one. The first and easiest one was to see if I could complete a timer without selecting the date so I selected the channel and then moved my cursor up and it did scroll back to the bottom entry!! I filled out the rest and confirmed with the year unchanged. I was confident this would be it as it appeared everything was entered correctly and indeed the timer and recording WORKED!!! Absolutely ecstatic that all the BS was solved. It changed the channel as it should. It was only a few minute record so I'll test long ones soon. On a related note, the day before where I was playing with the year and date I changed the year from 2059 to something like 2017 and left everything else as is (reasonable entries of course), it will give me a message saying "Invalid Entry"....what!?! So this bugged system is telling me setting the year to the current year is invalid but yet 2159 or 2059 is perfectly fine...seriously that is darn rich.

***So I overcame 4 pointless obstacles/bugs/glitches that could easily be fixed. All three of them seemingly looking like a lost cause. Hilariously I'm using the date Jun 12 2159 to set my timers and I'm forced to keep the box on all the time unless there is a workaround to that as well which hopefully there is. I have to do basic math to figure out the times the clock just happens to be at to set anything. I realize if it weren't for the ability to scroll in that timer menu backwards to reach the bottom options I may have been screwed. Thank heavens some programmer made that possible while so much else is "broken". Highlighting the date where the year is switches the 2nd digit or hundredth year to a 0 automatically even though its 2159 in the EPG menu and you can't edit it. By bypassing that spot somehow the glitch remains in the timer entry and auto recording is possible despite zero time fetching!

Summary of my Questions: What could be causing the distortion when I record on the WD 2TB My Passport Ultra USB drive? It wasn't bad the first couple of test records but then it got pretty horrible. Is there a power hub that can include a small fan and what exact one should I use? How do I easily keep the time on the box or get the glitched date and time with the clock working "on command"?
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post #2414 of 2429 Old 05-07-2017, 02:46 PM
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What I have:

Homeworx HW180STB
There's another thread covering the HW180STB specifically.
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post #2415 of 2429 Old 05-07-2017, 03:42 PM
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There's another thread covering the HW180STB specifically.
I've seen and read through that but appears to be neglected for the most part. Its essentially the same thing as the HW-150 (with some hardware differences) which leads me to wonder why they released a new version at all without fixing stuff users were asking for 4 years ago (like 2 tuners, time problems). Nearly all the quirks brought up here was relevant to what version I got. The HW-180 is readily available in Canada but the others aren't which is fine because I wouldn't want the HW-150; clear QAM needs a firmware update I believe.
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post #2416 of 2429 Old 05-07-2017, 08:16 PM
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V12.1 for the HW-180 is new. Last version I was aware of was V11.

Mediasonic usually changes the "major" version number (the part left of the dot) when there's a hardware change. Could you post the info your System / Information screen please?

Recording glitches can be caused by bad reception, in which case moving the HDD physically further from the HW-180 could help (less RFI). They could also be caused by too-slow data writing, but that's more likely to happen with a thumb drive than with a modern HDD like your 2TB WD. So I'm sort of baffled.

Reformatting the partition you record to might be worth a try. Try both FAT32 and NTFS in case one works better than the other. (If they both perform about the same, NTFS is the better choice; FAT32 will cause the HW-180 to break up long recordings into multiple files.) Also, if you use a PC to reformat the partition, you can try larger cluster sizes than the default.

You could also simply try a smaller partition. I've heard a few complaints about poor performance with large drives or partitions, particularly on NTFS. If you wish you could create multiple partitions for your recordings (the HW-180 will let you choose C, D, etc. from a HDD with multiple NTFS or FAT32 partitions).

I'm still experimenting with powered hubs. Haven't yet found one that works well, although I think someone else recently mentioned one they were using. Edit: Found it! This should bring up a 7-port USB 2.0 hub with a 5V, 4A PS: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQFGJR4. If a different hub comes up, there should be a 7-port USB 2.0 box to click to get to the right page.
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post #2417 of 2429 Old 05-08-2017, 08:04 PM
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V12.1 for the HW-180 is new. Last version I was aware of was V11.

Mediasonic usually changes the "major" version number (the part left of the dot) when there's a hardware change. Could you post the info your System / Information screen please?
SW Version: Sep 18 2016 17:43:25 V12.1
HW Version: MLG-7802-V12

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Recording glitches can be caused by bad reception, in which case moving the HDD physically further from the HW-180 could help (less RFI). They could also be caused by too-slow data writing, but that's more likely to happen with a thumb drive than with a modern HDD like your 2TB WD. So I'm sort of baffled.
I could try moving the HDD away from the box, but I'm not optimistic. Another thing I noticed with recording on a USB drive, was the time it takes to hit the rec button to when it actually starts to record, is less than 1 second! That is quite impressive. With the WD 2 TB usb drive it was 20-25 seconds. I don't even think I noticed any artifacts on the screen when it (jumpdrive) was starting unlike the WD which as soon as the process starts, the glitches on the screen commence. Its not purely the recording that does it, its the initialization too.

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Reformatting the partition you record to might be worth a try. Try both FAT32 and NTFS in case one works better than the other. (If they both perform about the same, NTFS is the better choice; FAT32 will cause the HW-180 to break up long recordings into multiple files.) Also, if you use a PC to reformat the partition, you can try larger cluster sizes than the default.

You could also simply try a smaller partition. I've heard a few complaints about poor performance with large drives or partitions, particularly on NTFS. If you wish you could create multiple partitions for your recordings (the HW-180 will let you choose C, D, etc. from a HDD with multiple NTFS or FAT32 partitions).
Lots of great ideas here, there is just so much to experiment with when it comes to these products. I won't be playing around with partitions on my WD 2TB HDD since I'm not versed in that, with other data on the drive too.

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I'm still experimenting with powered hubs. Haven't yet found one that works well, although I think someone else recently mentioned one they were using. Edit: Found it! This should bring up a 7-port USB 2.0 hub with a 5V, 4A PS: *Amazon Link*. If a different hub comes up, there should be a 7-port USB 2.0 box to click to get to the right page.
Awesome, that's something I can check out if problems continue. Thanks.

So what are your general thoughts on the issue of trying to get a fake time instead of a frozen clock? Anywhere either on Mediasonic's forums, Amazon, or here that discusses more on that or has some tips? Any harm leaving the device on all the time?

I've encountered another glitch just before I wrote this (a theme it seems), when I was flipping through channels it had the wrong channel label on the one before it. It didn't last though, just a one off. Then when I was viewing the PVR folder for something I had, I accidentally hit the EPG button thinking what will it do but forgot that it "deletes" the selected file. I couldn't figure out how to cancel out the delete command with that check-mark icon beside the filename. I pressed exit. Do you press the ok button to confirm delete?

So after I set a daily timer event which was 1.5 hours long, I looked at the schedule and found two of the entries including the one that did the long recording was changed to a date and time that wasn't legit!! I've read about this happening but that had to do with shaky OTA issues and buffer-overruns. It was already set to the glitched time the EPG provides so the main entry went from Jun 14 2159 to May 8 2023! What is this thing's deal? Interesting that is today's date...a coincidence or did it detect something and get the year wrong. The recording was fine except it was cut off 1 minute too short. After doing these longer recordings that's when stuff like that happens. I really don't want to input entries every day to get this to auto-record, not the worst thing but still bad. I might try loading the schedule list up with dummy entries so that certain timers are not affected by possible buffer-overruns.

There should be an option for storing the timers on the USB media instead of internally within the HW. Key word: option - so that there is less chance of screw-ups after the first record. Also a Mon-Fri selection for event frequency.

I'm hooking the WD 2TB HDD back to the HW and I'm going to see if moving it fixes the issue, and set the timer before 00:00 on the glitched date. I'll see how it handles multiple recordings in the schedule and if the dummy events do anything after the long program is done.
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post #2418 of 2429 Old 05-09-2017, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Capit View Post
SW Version: Sep 18 2016 17:43:25 V12.1
HW Version: MLG-7802-V12
Thanks! Looks like they still use a 7802 chip, at least.
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So what are your general thoughts on the issue of trying to get a fake time instead of a frozen clock? Anywhere either on Mediasonic's forums, Amazon, or here that discusses more on that or has some tips?
Well, here's what we've figured out: when tuned to a station with a PSIP System Time Table, these boxes continually reset their internal clocks to the broadcast time. When not tuned to such a station, the clock seems to run free (so it will come out of standby at the correct time for a recording), but there's no way to set the clock other than finding a station with correct PSIP time.

That's a problem on cable systems. Many of them don't use PSIP (which is why you don't get an EPG on cable either), so the only way to set the clock is to hook up an antenna and tune in an OTA station. Luckily, the box can store both OTA and cable stations. Which stations you see listed depends on whether you have it set to Air or Cable in the menu.

Worse, if a station does send PSIP but sends an incorrect date or time, tuning that station will set the HW-180's clock to that incorrect value. So it could be that many of your cable stations are sending a "dummy" date and time, which "freezes" the HW-180 on that particular date and time.

Frankly, these boxes aren't great for cable users. This is only one of the reasons. But I understand there aren't many other choices.
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Any harm leaving the device on all the time?
It's probably safe. The only concern would be overheating. If that powered USB hub works for you, you could plug a small laptop cooling fan into it and use that to keep your HW-180 cool.

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I've encountered another glitch just before I wrote this (a theme it seems), ... when I was viewing the PVR folder for something I had, I accidentally hit the EPG button thinking what will it do but forgot that it "deletes" the selected file. I couldn't figure out how to cancel out the delete command with that check-mark icon beside the filename. I pressed exit. Do you press the ok button to confirm delete?
I think you got it right. OK to confirm the deletion, Exit to back out.
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post #2419 of 2429 Old 05-09-2017, 06:51 PM
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Well, here's what we've figured out: when tuned to a station with a PSIP System Time Table, these boxes continually reset their internal clocks to the broadcast time. When not tuned to such a station, the clock seems to run free (so it will come out of standby at the correct time for a recording), but there's no way to set the clock other than finding a station with correct PSIP time.
I realized when reading this that maybe I can turn my HW to standby and still have it remember the Jun 12 2159 glitched time so that it can record stuff without needing it on. As long as I don't turn it on until I need to "service" something it might keep the time - not sure though.

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That's a problem on cable systems. Many of them don't use PSIP (which is why you don't get an EPG on cable either), so the only way to set the clock is to hook up an antenna and tune in an OTA station. Luckily, the box can store both OTA and cable stations. Which stations you see listed depends on whether you have it set to Air or Cable in the menu.
That was my "insane" idea that I mentioned earlier if I wasn't able to overcome that problem of forcing the 2159 year in my timers. The problem with that was I have no antenna, and even if I did the area I'm at is so atrocious for OTA channels that I might not even get more than 1 or 2 digital ones...and there is no guarantee that those would feed any time to the HomeworX. You would need to either borrow something and see what happens or take the HW to someone else's antenna that gets a time and then somehow keep the HW powered on until it gets back to homebase.

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Worse, if a station does send PSIP but sends an incorrect date or time, tuning that station will set the HW-180's clock to that incorrect value. So it could be that many of your cable stations are sending a "dummy" date and time, which "freezes" the HW-180 on that particular date and time.
In my case that would actually be better not worse because a glitched time with an active clock would be way better than a frozen 00:00 time. Some bugs are helpful, like the one that gave me Jun 12 2159 with a working clock . I'm assuming what I'm doing has never been documented or mentioned before and probably one of the few who use this for clear-QAM cable.

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Frankly, these boxes aren't great for cable users. This is only one of the reasons. But I understand there aren't many other choices.
Only a few of the devices that use the MStar chip would work for my purposes and even then I was unsure whether any of this would work period. I'm stunned I've even made it this far. The number of obstacles and layers of "things that can go wrong" is remarkable for me to see the end goal in sight .

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It's probably safe. The only concern would be overheating. If that powered USB hub works for you, you could plug a small laptop cooling fan into it and use that to keep your HW-180 cool.
My box doesn't seem that warm even when the HDD is recording, its just normal. I temporarily have it in a strange position where its on a diagonal so both the top and bottom are fully unobstructed. I may not get a powered hub because I solved the issue with the distortion that I detailed below.

When I plugged in the WD 2 TB into the HomeworX yesterday after trying a usb stick, it restarted the unit...

Yeah not happy to see that for two reasons: I'm concerned for the power supply unit of the device and the other components and the other is the glitched date and time that I need is gone and its right back to Jan 11 1980 with the frozen 00:00, yay! Before I can continue any testing I need the 2159 nonsense to come back but at least the day of the week will match. I looked over the settings, timers, and HDD contents and everything is perfectly fine...surprised the timers weren't erased.

I then decided to manually record something shortly after and had the WD as far away as possible with some height difference and when I pressed the big magic button, there was zero artifacts on the screen and no garbled reception during the initialization and the 20 minutes of recording...so that's something. It appears it was interference from the coax because I had the drive nestled in the middle of the coax wire coil which when I think about it would REALLY screw up the signals because there would be maximum proximity with the 7 looped coil. Its now close to the CRT TV which raises the next question if that is good or not - this setup is temporary though. One channel though and I don't know if its because the drive is close to the TV, seems to have a minor pulsing effect that isn't that bad but I notice. Happens all the time since moving the drive close to the TV.

I manually recorded the 1.5 hour program I usually do and once that was done no surprise the Jun 12 2159 glitched time and date came right back. All I know is its related to recording long things to get that date on command. I thought the clock starts once the recording stops but saw that it started about 1 hour and 24 minutes into the recording. 6 minutes had already gone by once I stopped the rec. No idea. I'm able to somewhat control when this time and date starts by doing that action so getting the time right shouldn't be that hard...if desired. I may want to land it in such a way that I can set a timer for something that starts after midnight because I can't with the way I have to configure it. With the way it "landed" this go-around I have to contend with the midnight bug now.

Its becoming increasingly clear that a high speed USB stick is the best option for my purposes. There is no downside when recording standard definition with one. I was able to timeshift fine too unlike what the manual states.
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post #2420 of 2429 Old 05-09-2017, 09:58 PM
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I set 2 timers for this evening and after the first one finished (set as daily) I found my schedule list of 8 had been affected by some crazy taint. First off about the midnight bug, I attempted to input a start and end time for the 1.5 hour program that crosses the glitched time and date midnight period (not real midnight) expecting it to refuse and give me a invalid entry message...well it accepted it but strangely it set what I put as 00:06 for end time to 17:06 instead. Would it try and record for another 17 hours? I can watch and see what happens past "00:06" and hopefully I can stop it if it keeps going (I believe you can stop timer records manually IIRC).

As usual the entry that was set for daily was changed to May 7 2023 after it finished. I'll try the dummy timer entries in the other order this time.
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post #2421 of 2429 Old 05-10-2017, 07:03 AM
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... I have no antenna, and even if I did the area I'm at is so atrocious for OTA channels that I might not even get more than 1 or 2 digital ones...
One is all you need. And they pretty much all send something for date & time. Even if it's inaccurate you can probably compensate.

You could hook up the antenna, switch to Air, tune in your one station, then disconnect the antenna, switch back to Cable, put it in standby, and finally hook up the cable. You'd probably have to redo that after every recording, but at least it's something....
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My box doesn't seem that warm even when the HDD is recording, its just normal. I temporarily have it in a strange position where its on a diagonal so both the top and bottom are fully unobstructed.
Mine neither; I just noticed when I had the top off, some of the chips seemed to get awfully hot. The chips aren't heat-sinked to the case, only to the air circulating within, which, coupled with no fan, didn't seem like the best design to me
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When I plugged in the WD 2 TB into the HomeworX yesterday after trying a usb stick, it restarted the unit...
I read on the Mediasonic forum that the HW-150 only supplies 800 mA to the USB port. I assume the HW-180 is similar. Luckily, thumb drives draw much less current - just make sure you get one with good write speeds (scan the last several pages of this thread).
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I then decided to manually record something shortly after and had the WD as far away as possible with some height difference and when I pressed the big magic button, there was zero artifacts on the screen and no garbled reception during the initialization and the 20 minutes of recording...so that's something. It appears it was interference from the coax because I had the drive nestled in the middle of the coax wire coil which when I think about it would REALLY screw up the signals because there would be maximum proximity with the 7 looped coil. Its now close to the CRT TV which raises the next question if that is good or not - this setup is temporary though. One channel though and I don't know if its because the drive is close to the TV, seems to have a minor pulsing effect that isn't that bad but I notice. Happens all the time since moving the drive close to the TV.
Yeah it does sound like that HDD is radiating a bit of RFI.
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I was able to timeshift fine too unlike what the manual states.
That's good to hear! I've tried thumb drives before that recorded OK, even in HD, but wouldn't time-shift worth a damn. It really does depend on the specific drive model.
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post #2422 of 2429 Old 05-10-2017, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
You could hook up the antenna, switch to Air, tune in your one station, then disconnect the antenna, switch back to Cable, put it in standby, and finally hook up the cable. You'd probably have to redo that after every recording, but at least it's something....
There would be no way I'd do that. Much better to use the glitched time I got and have to set a new timer each day.

I got a new batch of glitches when I've been messing with the usual. I attempted to set a timer to rec immediately and then end at a certain time; when I waited 2 minutes for it the prompt came up but the countdown was frozen and the box didn't go away. I tried pressing OK and nothing. I forgot about pressing exit for some reason which took the box away. I still have some things to try but setting a daily timer and not having it implode right when it records the first show is not looking good.
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post #2423 of 2429 Old 05-11-2017, 01:35 PM
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Turns out these recent timer issues were just the tip of the iceberg, some real bizarre craziness happened when I left the HW to record something while I wasn't around (not surprising). There's so much its difficult to keep track of and document what is happening here.

Right from the outset, when I checked on the HW and HDD I noticed the drive indicator light was doing something I've never seen it do as far as blinking LED pattern. For the WD 2 TB, it was a quick blink for a few seconds followed by a constant on and then that repeated. It was suppose to be on standby which is just a very slow blink. I knew something was wrong and when I turned on the TV to my "horror" I saw that it was STILL RECORDING from that timer I set - hence it was 8 hours and 26 minutes into a recording file!!! Sigh, of COURSE that happens when I can't be there FFS! I had made sure that didn't happen by setting a new timer to once and the time not crossing 00:00...plus I checked it to make sure it didn't change to something else.

Now this is where it gets even more bizarre, I pressed info on the recording to see what I thought would be a 12GB+ file (Thankfully its SD and not HD) but instead it was 3901 MB...huh? Also the recording bitrate said 140 KB/s when usually its about 400 KB/s. No clue what on earth that is about but whatever.

I did notice some more artifacts on the screen now, but nothing much. I went to the PVR to see what the file was like and noticed more recordings than there should have been. I went through them and found the 8.5 hour one and the 1 hour one which was what the timer was suppose to record and it did. The timestamp on the filename shows that it got the desired 1 hour show for the "once" timer, then 1 minute later started a new rec and just went non-stop until I canceled it. Before I inspected that 8 hour file I looked at the other recordings and saw that it captured something I didn't even time for last night but did set for the previous night before that...a daily timer I believe. There was nothing in the schedule to do that as I either got rid of the original entry or it glitched to another date and time like it always would. It was actually really cool to see something you thought you missed and wasn't able to rec but it did. The rest were all legit.

I then inspected the 8 hour file and wondered how long it truly was. I jumped 3 hours in and it was a still screen from where I was but the timer was continuing. I found that the recording actually stopped at 02:48:57 which lines up with 3901 MB. Nothing past that was recorded. That opens a whole new set of questions and confusion. Its another bug that saved the HDD from recording 8.5 hours worth of TV. I know that if you have a FAT32 file system that the DVR will cut off at 4 GB and start another file to continue, but this drive is NTFS plus no new file was created so it wasn't really acting like a FAT32 system anyways.

I have several guesses as to what actually happened. One is that the dummy timer that spilled over into the next day that I thought wouldn't do anything did and after my "once" timer for the 1 hour show was done, the device then realized it needs to be recording (for another timer) and started as soon as possible and was possibly going to go until 11:04 or 3 hours after I manually stopped the 8 hour file. Another guess is that some conflict occurred to make it only cap 4 GB of data.

I checked all the timers I had in the schedule list to see if I could find a pattern or clue. I had 11 timers where all of them should be useless because of the date. I wondered if despite the dates and times changing because of the daily and weekly glitch I wrote in other posts, that the original start and end time somehow was saved and because I set it to daily, went off anyways. I saw a weekly entry I had that was set to go off 7 minutes from what the time was in the EPG. The date was something random not 2159ish. It didn't go off and when I checked what day of the week it was it was a Sunday so ok it wasn't the correct day of the week. Then I set some other timer to go record 5 minutes from the time on a daily timer entry and said it was in conflict with entry 3. Entry 3 had something that was nowhere near a conflict...it was a once record timer set 130 years later. I deleted that anyways and tried again. It accepted it, I waited, and nothing. It would have been amazing to see it work because that would mean daily and weekly recordings would be possible with my glitched time without a bunch of nonsense messing them up.

I wonder if the HW box can keep track of weekly recording schedules over 130+/- years into the future so if the timer entry is set to May 14 2023 and has a proper start and end time - could the internal computer know that lands on a Sunday and to record every Sunday? I could set it to something like Dec 4 2078 and it would know which day of the week that falls on and records accordingly when my date year is 2159? Here I assumed it wouldn't do that so I wasn't concerned about all those dummy timers with their daily recordings. I was going to delete all timers and standby the HomeworX to try something else and get a new 2159 landing, but now I'm curious to see if it does something else unexpected. Its currently a mystery as to how it recorded something last night. This cluster-jumble is one of the most confusing things I've seen.
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post #2424 of 2429 Old 05-19-2017, 02:04 PM
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If I take my HW and try it out on my HDTV, can I plug in the composite AND plug in a coaxial from the output of the unit - which allows passthrough of the clear-QAM to the TV so it can pick up the channels the HW can't, while still being able to use the composite for everything HW related? It has the ch.3/4 switch on the back but I want the coax to just pass as if there is no unit at all so the TV can scan through the frequency.
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post #2425 of 2429 Old 05-19-2017, 06:27 PM
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Yes, but the HomeWorX's pass-through performance isn't very good. A better way is to put a 2-way RF splitter on the cable, then send one output to the HW and the other to the TV. RF splitters are usually cheap (under $5) although a few stores charge more.
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post #2426 of 2429 Old 05-21-2017, 07:27 PM
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I just discovered something intriguing...I left the HW box on during the weekend and when I checked the EPG menu (no reason for it, just seeing how the time and date progressed) I saw it was set to Jan 11 1980 BUT the clock was not frozen and it was 22:30 or whatever!! That's new. On top of that, there was actually some entries in the EPG side panel for upcoming programming but it was just some random words like Celebration something which had nothing to do with anything. Something must have come through at the start of the week like near Sunday morning but why the time isn't frozen is unknown. This throws a wrench into things even more like if I leave it on during the weekdays after this will the Jun 12 2159 stuff be injected in or will it keep with the 80s? Can I set timers without nonsense or will there be more issues? I haven't tested what happens when I set one and I wonder if when I highlight the date and time row if the "1980" year will let me change it to something or glitch like with the 2159. I might be able to set timers days in advance with this unless other dates overwrite the EPG. It would screw up timers I set in the week that went through the weekend but since I plan on disconnecting the HDD and doing other things because nothing is on Saturday, it won't affect me.

EDIT: I highlighted the date and time row in a timer entry and unfortunately the same dumb thing happens when I move down to the next row, the year changes from 1980 to 2000. That eliminates the possibility of scheduling things days in advance for "once" time recordings or setting many once records in place of a daily record.

Now there is something good or perhaps really great that came with this next date and time. I set a timer to see if it worked similar to the other date I used to schedule with and on top of testing that I also set it to daily to see if the same oddness transpires. Everything recorded perfectly. I checked the timer expecting a time range to be mucked up...it wasn't!!! The exact start and end time was the same and the day was increased by one to reflect the counter...wow. This time and date (1980) allows me to have daily and likely weekly recordings set without it glitching which means the end goal that was pretty unlikely has been achieved . As always, I have no idea why this is the case but the timer system likes 1980 instead of 2159 I guess. There was only one timer entry so having like 4 and more might affect this. The fly in the ointment is if the station(s) try and send that 2159 date to the HW during a weekday than all of this goes out the window. It appears to be around 9:30 pm or on a half hour that a date is pushed to the HW.

EDIT 2: Its now Friday and there hasn't been a new date pushed to the HW and the daily recordings have been perfect with no BS at all . I still can't believe I got all of that to work. With enough trials and playing around no matter how unlikely success would be the results you want is within reach with these low-end DVRs.

Last edited by Capit; 05-26-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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post #2427 of 2429 Old 06-02-2017, 02:14 AM
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I hooked up the Homeworx to the HDTV for the first time using composite to play content off the HDD. There is one main issue: its quite dark and the colors aren't quite up to snuff. I tried changing picture scene types and adjusting the TV's brightness settings which are robust but it didn't help (like trying to lighten a dark scene in a photo). The recordings don't look dark at all like that on the CRT TV because I guess the way its displayed is very different. I didn't get a chance to play around with the display settings in the menu (toggling 480i to other res formats to see what happens).

If I get a HDMI cable to hook to the TV (instead of composite) despite all recordings being in standard definition, will that change how dark everything looks? I also noticed some odd fuzzy effects that blur and then focus but mainly with the "no signal" message I saw. Lastly the audio and video were out of sync with pretty much all of my videos after messing around for a bit - I don't know what the pattern for that is yet but I know the recordings weren't out of sync.
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post #2428 of 2429 Old 06-02-2017, 06:52 AM
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You aren't the first to complain about the composite output being too dark. Newer iViews have the same problem:
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Originally Posted by oneheadlight View Post
The video output display was not as bright as my old one. So when I would watch the tv display the images were never as bright. As if you turned the brightness control on the tv down by 50%. I flashed to a newer firmware version and that's improved things, but it was more like 85% of the original 3500STB video level output.
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It's connected via composite cables to my analog tv. I did even check the cables, they were fine. Was really odd how dim the display of the menus were on the 3500STBII. I could barely see it. I flashed to the newest firmware and that brightened it up but never to the excellent level of the 3500STB.
Composite is an analog output, so circuitry in the HW-150 can affect the brightness level. As oneheadlight discovered, updating firmware can help, but it may not be enough:
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Originally Posted by oneheadlight View Post
As far as the update on my 3500 and 3500STBII situation. I did email iView but they are very slow in responding, so I'm just going to send the 3500STBII back for a refund. I did flash the latest firmware to the STBII but no not going to keep it when the 7003 is much brighter on the composite output.
Switching to HDMI should fix it completely, because the HW-150 merely decodes the data stream from the station (or from the recording of the station). The HW-150 may upscale or downscale the resolution, but it doesn't convert it to analog, so it no longer has any effect on the brightness. Your TV decides how brightly to display it.
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Last edited by JHBrandt; 06-02-2017 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Grammar & emphasis
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post #2429 of 2429 Old Today, 07:17 PM
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I noticed an issue with the HW-PVR v5.3. When I was scrolling through my EPG to set a recording, when it came to a channel that did not have good reception, the whole EPG screen just froze. I had to manually power it off and on to get it to work again. Anyone have that happen to them?

Thanks.
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