Homeworx HW-180STB - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 02-04-2015, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Homeworx HW-180STB

According to the Mediasonic website, it appears the "new version" of the HW-180STB has recording capability (http://www.mediasonic.ca/product.php?id=1422401158), so should there now be a support and discussion thread for this device?
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post #2 of 22 Old 02-04-2015, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hate to be the first to reply to my own post, but I ran across these reviews online: http://www.88review.com/2015/01/real...pros-cons.html
http://www.amazon.com/review/R2K2GTU...R2K2GTUHMZX88S

Last edited by Eben; 02-04-2015 at 04:03 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-28-2015, 05:25 AM
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I bought this unit about 2 weeks ago from Amazon. All in All, FOR THE PRICE, I am happy with it.

It is slower and cheaper built than my older OTA tuner that I bought from Radio Shack 3 years ago. Changing Channels is slow and clunky.

It is very small and light. With Cables attached to it this causes it to want to tilt upward making using the remote a little tricky. A small counterweight would help or I might move it under the TV which might solve that problem.

The remote is taking me forever to learn without looking, which tells me that it is either not intuitive or I am getting Alzheimers. Very small buttons. and small writing for my old eyes.

The Channel Scan works great, especially since I got a 50 mile antenna. I think my old box was a little better. The biggest thing is that after the scan, you can't manually punch in a channel that was not scanned. My old box allowed this. Some distant channels might not always scan but they will tune in occasionally. On this box you gave to go back and do a full scan to test this. You can't just scan for new channels. .

The major benefit over my old box is a very big one. You can DVR and play Media and do it from a SD Stick or USB hard drive. FAT32 or NTFS.

There are several minor annoying glitches with the interface. I need to contact customer service and get them to email a firmware upgrade as I understand that they will do.

Military time only and Recording times have to be punched in, not scrolled.

I would like to just hit record and then tell it how long but I don't see this option. You can hit record and stop it later. Or record from the EPG or use the Timer for later. All of these are handy features.
I find that if I have several shows on timer record it might not get them all. It might have to do with the date change after midnight but I need to test more.

I almost always have to turn the box off and back on to initialize the connection to my external hard drive to get my new recordings to play on the box. Weird. But they do play fine from my laptop too. I need to try another drive that I have that has it's own power to see if that helps.

The naming convention of recorded files is channel, date and time. . No show name or episode number. You can rename them but I haven't tried yet. I would tend to do this from a laptop if I planned to keep the show. I am not the recording collector type so not a big deal to me.

The price for what it does is wonderful. I guess my biggest question now is how long it will last. For $40 and cheaper I really don't mean to complain. I was considering setting up a VCR before this. Lol.
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-02-2015, 11:03 AM
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Changing Channels is slow and clunky.

Most of the extra time is consumed by the tv adjusting/upscaling the resolution. If you set the hw180 to output a fixed resolution it will greatly improve your channel surfing. My older tv can handle a max resolution of 1080i. So that is what i set the hw180 to. Screen size auto, resolution 1080i.


It is very small and light. With Cables attached to it this causes it to want to tilt upward making using the remote a little tricky. A small counterweight would help or I might move it under the TV which might solve that problem.

If you gently bend the stiff cables downward. It should resolve this.


The Channel Scan works great, especially since I got a 50 mile antenna. I think my old box was a little better. The biggest thing is that after the scan, you can't manually punch in a channel that was not scanned. My old box allowed this. Some distant channels might not always scan but they will tune in occasionally. On this box you gave to go back and do a full scan to test this. You can't just scan for new channels. .

You can manually enter any channel in the menu. You can then choose to skip or delete the channel also.


I would like to just hit record and then tell it how long but I don't see this option. You can hit record and stop it later. Or record from the EPG or use the Timer for later. All of these are handy features.

In the menu if you adjust the time shift size. It will stop recording when the file size reaches the time shift size limit. 4gb recorded are aprox 2hours in 1080, 2gb is aprox 1hour of 1080. They put the size limit in. In case you hit record and walk away. You Wont fill your hard drive up. Would be nice if they just used time in intervals you could adjust 0-12 hours in one minute intervals.

I have two new version hw180 ver 8 with the pvr function. I have one hooked to a western digital passport ultra drive 2 tb. It uses the usb from the 180 to power the drive.

Both boxes are fed thru a jtech digital hdmi switcher and audio extractor. Then into a mitz rear projection 65413 tv thru dvi and a sound bar via optical from the jtech.

With two boxes it gives me a two tuner setup that i can record on one and use the other to watch whatever channel i want. For 34.99 a box its a great deal.

Yea there is some quirks with the boxes. But with time. Hopefully they will get worked out with firmware updates.
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-04-2015, 04:27 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. The change to 1080i does seem to have helped. I am getting used to the interface and even the remote.

Will get a modern HDMI port TV this weekend and try out that and the sound out stuff.

The ability to record and watch later is a great thing with my busy schedule.

Thanks for the info on the record buffer size. I got it set to 4GB now. Using an old 1TB USB powered drive and other than having to reset the power to view my new recordings it has been great.
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-12-2015, 05:42 AM
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Hooked the box up to a new TV. No HDMI cable yet. Cable through works but I notice that the TV tuner signal is not as good when the box is turned on.

Will do more testing (playing) with it this weekend
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-12-2015, 03:57 PM
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Yes I'd strongly suggest a splitter before the Homeworx instead of using the passthru future of the box.
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-12-2015, 04:54 PM
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OK. I guess I will get an HDMI cable and a splitter.
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post #9 of 22 Old 03-15-2015, 02:52 PM
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The HDMI cable is the way to go, for sure. Picture seems better. Sound is better. Over Coax, one channel had garbled voice track sound though the box. This was the same on my old box. The Channel is THIS. The TV Tuners handle it fine. The box handles it properly through HDMI. . The channels even change faster through HDMI.

Got a splitter but I get ALL the channels that I want now like it is. I really only use the TV tuner when I am recording on another channel. Might hold off on installing the splitter for a while.

I plan to get another box for my bedroom very soon.
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-17-2015, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyelkins View Post
The HDMI cable is the way to go, for sure. Picture seems better. Sound is better. Over Coax, one channel had garbled voice track sound though the box. This was the same on my old box. The Channel is THIS. The TV Tuners handle it fine. The box handles it properly through HDMI. . The channels even change faster through HDMI.

Got a splitter but I get ALL the channels that I want now like it is. I really only use the TV tuner when I am recording on another channel. Might hold off on installing the splitter for a while.

I plan to get another box for my bedroom very soon.
I just got a new "new version" that has an external power supply adapter. I think it is "v9" as that is at the end of several lines on the info page. Mine could be broken, but it thinks a week has 12 days, ie a weekly recording increments by 12 days after the last recording. And, the program recording stops well before the scheduled time. I read similar comments from someone who bought the ematic version -- coincidence? The v8 one I have behaves as one would expect, as described by others above. I'm quite disappointed to have received a different version that doesn't work. Will see what tech support comes up with and will report back.
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post #11 of 22 Old 03-17-2015, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxjazz View Post
...I will see what tech support comes up with and will report back.
Tech Support responded promptly with "v9.1" firmware. It installed as expected and is reflected on the Information page: hardware still ...-v9, but software now ...-v9.1. Unfortunately, it still records "daily" once every five days, and "weekly" once every 12 days. I have re-reported the issue and will see what comes of that. Still Hopeful
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post #12 of 22 Old 03-17-2015, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxjazz View Post
Tech Support responded promptly with "v9.1" firmware. It installed as expected and is reflected on the Information page: hardware still ...-v9, but software now ...-v9.1. Unfortunately, it still records "daily" once every five days, and "weekly" once every 12 days. I have re-reported the issue and will see what comes of that. Still Hopeful
Will the 9.1 firmware successfully record past 12:00 AM or PM?
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post #13 of 22 Old 03-18-2015, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyelkins View Post
Will the 9.1 firmware successfully record past 12:00 AM or PM?
when i was trying to setup the program, it said that the over-noon recording conflicted with the over-midnight program, so didn't try over-noon. i programmed 23:30 - 00:30 and it was going strong at 8+ hours of recording when i got to it this morning. so i would say that over-midnight experiment was a failure. i'll try over-noon tomorrow. i've not been contacted with another new firmware today. so no news on if the definition of daily and weekly have been restored to commonly understood concepts in this universe.
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post #14 of 22 Old 03-19-2015, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyelkins View Post
Will the 9.1 firmware successfully record past 12:00 AM or PM?
setup a program for 11:30 - 12:30, which had no problems at all in recording, so the over-noon experiment you asked about was successful.

homeworx tech support update: emailed me they are working on new firmware, but not available now.

btw, you might want to look at the avsforum thread for the sunkey sk-903h. looks like that box is identical to the hw-108stb pvr v9 box, at least from the outside. sunkey seems to have solved the mystery 5 day increment problem and midnight bugs about 1 year ago! i think i will get one of those to see if it will work right. if so, will post there.
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-19-2015, 02:44 PM
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I bought another Homeworx-hw180stb. Should come in tomorrow in time to play with this weekend.

Glad they are responsive with firmware updates. I need to do that.

I will check out that other box you mentioned. I keep expecting to see some newer boxes on Amazon. The 180 has a lot of potential with better firmware and ain't too bad right now.

Last edited by wyelkins; 03-19-2015 at 03:01 PM.
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post #16 of 22 Old 03-19-2015, 02:55 PM
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Thanks for the tip. This thread is old but lots of good info.

http://www.avsforum.com/showthread.php?t=1532162
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-19-2015, 07:10 PM
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Has anyone gotten this to work with iRule? I'm struggling to capture the IR hex codes with my GlobalCache IP2IR.
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post #18 of 22 Old 03-23-2015, 11:06 PM
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Got a second Homeworx-hw180stb in last night. My first is at V8. The new one is V9. The cable through works fine on the V8 but I don't see that setting on V9, and it doesn't cable through. Might have something to do with the TV, but I doubt it. The antenna is just rabbit ears in this case which might be a factor since the other antenna is a 50 mile powered one.

Guess I will hook up the splitter tomorrow night.
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post #19 of 22 Old 03-24-2015, 03:12 AM
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The Version 9 box does have a much improved Channel Guide.

I noticed one very annoying fact this morning. Last night I was able to take the 1TB external drive from the V8 box and watch recordings on the V9 box. I turned off the box and went to bed. . This morning it would not see the drive. . The V8 box sees it and it works fine. I was able to get the V9 box to read and record on a few USB sticks.

I will probably have to contact support on this issue. The ability to move the drive back and forth was a big reason for buying the second box.

What could have changed overnight?
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post #20 of 22 Old 03-25-2015, 02:09 PM
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Switched the External drive back to the new box today and it works. Very strange but good at the moment.
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post #21 of 22 Old 03-25-2015, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyelkins View Post
... The cable through works fine on the V8 but I don't see that setting on V9, and it doesn't cable through...
My v9 box has the RF loop-through or pass-through feature working all the time, hence why it is no longer in the menu. The v9 box can be turned on or off, but must be plugged in to an active power source to provide RF out. The source RF is amplified a bit, in my opinion, at the output. The channel 3 or channel 4 RF output, physical switch selectable, is cable channel 3 or cable channel 4, not OTA 3 or 4, but the "English" instructions are shuch a muddle that it took 3 or 4 readings to figure out what it was trying to convey.
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post #22 of 22 Old Today, 09:56 AM
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It appears that my V9 box is a little finicky with my external drive. I have to turn on the box first and once it initializes I can plug in the drive. It displays a message saying that USB device has been inserted. My V8 box doesn't display this message.

If I turn off the box and turn it on later with the drive attached, it won't access the drive. My v8 box will.

Don't really want to leave the box on all the time, but too lazy for the alternative.

I am about ready to email support to see if this can be fixed in firmware
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