Need a new HD Converter Box. Suggestions Welcome. Toledo Ohio - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 91 Old 10-04-2017, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
1. Yeah, Full-Band, I'll work on it, thanks.
You can mount these in the attic too, if you have the space, IF. I know, IF.

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2. It was just an example but I like the sound of Magic Alien Technology Antenna. I read OTARD and all, but I think I better stick to something small ... under the roof eave.
While I understand taking the path of least resistance.... Let me just give my perspective on this... and try to control my absolute vehement disdain and hatred of these un-American tin star dirtbag scum...

By NOT excersizing YOUR RIGHTS these people will keep going to do this on antennas, illegally, next it will be the type of car, or color of car or something else. People in the US, need to worry about themselves and QUIT NOSING in OTHER PEOPLES BUSINESS! Like I said you think your stupid ugly roses are beautiful, and my KGB headquarters antennas are ugly! Well. We are even! Worry about your yard and house! For other issues, in most areas there are laws and/or ordinances to handle other issues, except maybe in TX or something, but most areas have building codes, etc. to deal with most of it. Report it to code enforcement and let them deal with it.

Honestly I think I need to start the AFF Antenna Freedom Foundation and get some less than scrupulous lawyers to just start suing and filing with the FCC on these scum groups!

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3. My brother wanted to cut-off his cable and get "free TV" . He had an old one of those in his garage from old house. About 25 years old and designed for analog NTSC. I told him it would work fine for digital ATSC HDTV. We put it on the roof with some RG-6 and a ground wire and it works excellent for about 2 years now.
No difference in antennas analog or digital. This is just antenna marketing which is crap. Probably even more crappier than it was in the past.

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4. The FM-Tuner on my Onkyo AVR gets it but it's weak. Onkyo only has a single-contact jack for the FM antenna. It's just a piece of insulated wire. I'm not sure how to hook-up a better indoor-antenna that uses 2 contacts.
Which model of these dolby thingys??? The QUICK and I do mean quick look at like 5 or so models on the page found they all had 75 ohm F connectors for FM and about a gazzillon other connectors for stuff. The back of that thing looks like the back end of a Grass Valley.

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5. Yes, my house is "Faraday Cage" like.
Mine is too. Think bunker. Concrete block walls, with rebar and filled block. Windows have various coatings for UV and hurricane stuff, and its just down right an RF blocker. The fact that I get any RF in at all is through the roof which is standard shingles and OSB sheeting. Some strong signals do come through the window. I actually tested one of those flat antennas in a window. It did pretty well for its location and the constraints. Low height, sub optimum positions, etc..

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6. I'll check. I think I save Pluto-TV on my Apple-TV4. Thing about FM is it's real easy to start with a single-click of my Harmony. And changing Channels (Presets) is easy too with TV-Channle button.
Nah that takes all the fun out of a bucket of remotes and hitting buttons!

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7. I think we agree here. Siruis/XM is gouging customers on multiple hookups. But even in the cars, people have so many options now-days (including streaming-like stuff). I guess as more people cancel the packages will continue to trim-down and the higher their prices will go?
[/quote]

Sirrus, needs to first, FORCE the xm lusers to get new radios! They lost, their company was bought up! GO AWAY! Let the sats burn up! They don't want to do this as they know they will be forced to pay for new radios. I think it was a condition to keep these for so long as part of the merger too. We have to be close to that limit being up. Time for xm to die! DIE DIE! Keeping 2 constellations going can't be cheap. Just start winding it down. Only allow new Sirrus based stuff in the cars etc..

As for the packages they need to rework them. A cheapo $5.00/month, $50/year paid in advance package. Pick 10 channels. ANY 10. That would suit me fine. I'd have probably 4-6 spots vacant even on this. I paying for filth that I wouldn't listen to on FMR, for FREE!

Then they can have what ever else they want. I would suggest making the sports stuff available as add on packs.


IF the internet option was $2/month or $15/year PIA, add on I might think about. Also they need to think about the add on radios.I could think about another radio at $5/month, but at $10/mo. nope.


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Interesting. I would have thought a "metal roof" would hamper radio reception about as much as a radiant barrier layer in attic (basically, tin-foil-like material glued to all roofing boards).

I guess it also depends on what the walls and windows are made of (so RF signals can get "under roof" if they need to).
It all depends. If the metal roof is the part you need to aim through, you got trouble right here in River City! If you have eaves with standard OSB sheeting and stuff, or you are REALLY REALLY CLOSE, it can penetrate the metal or do as you said come in the sides.

Attic mounts are nothing, NOTHING but HEADACHES and TROUBLE. Thats why I say EXCERSIZE your RIGHTS! Put up antenna! See a HOA scum head blow up!

http://otadtv.com/factors/index.html#attic

Read that link to understand the ins and outs of attics stuff, and building construction in general.

Notice: I no longer provide assistance in re OTA antenna and RF related queries.
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post #62 of 91 Old 10-04-2017, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post
Interesting. I would have thought a "metal roof" would hamper radio reception about as much as a radiant barrier layer in attic (basically, tin-foil-like material glued to all roofing boards).

I guess it also depends on what the walls and windows are made of (so RF signals can get "under roof" if they need to).
Probably worse as my metal is thicker and contiguous. I remember how I went 'crap' when reception basically died after the install. I had a wood roof before and reception would weaken when it got wet.

I still have single pane windows. But it should penetrate the walls to some degree, yet I bet you have the foil barrier sheets in your walls (ex: RMax). Maybe you can find a small 'metallic gap' in your attic between the top of the wall sheets and the roof line. I think you said any kind of gable was on the wrong side (if not too far off maybe add an amp.). Sometimes folks don't bother e-glassing the small bathroom windows with their funky frosting.

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post #63 of 91 Old 10-06-2017, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got a Tivax STB-T8 converter box and it works really well. I got it for only $5, with the manual, remote and no cables other than the power cord. I have all the cables I need so no big deal. This one will be my second box when I get a newer one later on with a antenna. The rabbit ears I have is barely adequate but still seems to get in a lot of channels that is located in a window. I also have a another set with a built in amplifier but it seems to do real good on some UHF channels and VHF channels wasn't coming in at all.

I have this box setting behind a fan that is setting on a chair. The fan is sucking most of the heat out of the box and it's keeping it cool for sure.

Here is the manual for this box and a Amazon link as well.

http://www.ezdigitaltv.com/Tivax_STB-T8_Manual.html

https://www.amazon.com/Tivax-STB-T8-.../dp/B001EJJ2UU

I'm going to be writing my signal strength down for each channel, soon. Generally I can get 11,13,24,30,36,48,68 with the sub channels as well. Up to 1-4 each.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a421fc3ce3da
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post #64 of 91 Old 10-06-2017, 02:42 PM
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That thing has a D-SUB connector for RS-232! I wonder it spits out the uboot stuff.. I don't suppose you can connect up to it and minicom and capture it? ? ? should be 115K,8,N,1

Would be interesting to know...

And those "Smart Antennas" thats another left over...

Definitely don't like the loop through mode operation on these.. I depend on the loop through to be that at all times.

Notice: I no longer provide assistance in re OTA antenna and RF related queries.
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post #65 of 91 Old 10-07-2017, 12:22 PM
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I just got a Tivax STB-T8 converter box and it works really well. I got it for only $5, with the manual, remote and no cables other than the power cord. I have all the cables I need so no big deal. This one will be my second box when I get a newer one later on with a antenna. The rabbit ears I have is barely adequate but still seems to get in a lot of channels that is located in a window. I also have a another set with a built in amplifier but it seems to do real good on some UHF channels and VHF channels wasn't coming in at all.

I have this box setting behind a fan that is setting on a chair. The fan is sucking most of the heat out of the box and it's keeping it cool for sure.

Here is the manual for this box and a Amazon link as well.

http://www.ezdigitaltv.com/Tivax_STB-T8_Manual.html

https://www.amazon.com/Tivax-STB-T8-.../dp/B001EJJ2UU

I'm going to be writing my signal strength down for each channel, soon. Generally I can get 11,13,24,30,36,48,68 with the sub channels as well. Up to 1-4 each.

http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...e6a421fc3ce3da
There's even a (short) thread for that box here on AVSForum: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/186-co...ax-stb-t8.html. You may find some useful info there.

The STB-T8 was a true coupon-eligible converter box, with composite (SD) output only. Personally, I would've gone with a HomeWorX or iView; but if the Tivax meets your needs, $5 is tough to beat! Maybe someday, you'll even find a smart antenna for that port
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post #66 of 91 Old 10-08-2017, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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This new box I have will go on my second TV in my bedroom once I get another box, which will be HomeWorx or iView, some of those Channelmaster boxes look good too but I hear they are not available.

It was random chance when I got this box for $5. So, it's a good deal and I needed a box right now because my old box is done for.

That's awesome that this box is a original coupon eligible box. Thanks for the link, I just read it from a post made in 2009. This is a old box but hasn't been used at all, it looks like.
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post #67 of 91 Old 02-02-2018, 03:26 PM
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Next step-up from the low-tier clones

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Originally Posted by eherberg View Post
...But many clones of that type of box exist - with most users here probably using either an Iview or Mediasonic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
...Aside from that, you are describing what are sometimes referred to as "mStar" boxes, which are several brands that are variations on a common motherboard and firmware API design. The brands are things like iView, Mediasonic Homeworx, ViewTV, etc.

They are cheap devices with a lot of bugs and user interface problems, but at some crude level they get the job done if they work at all when purchased...
Having used two short living year ~2004 Humax's, a barely bootable Samsung ~2005 (three receivers in ~a year or so), year 2017 iView 3200 (destroyed I suspect from surges during an after-storm electric company outage-restoration), another year 2017 rather no-name-low-tier clone, and a year 2018 Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB; what's the next clone group step-up from the low-tier clones? I'm not too keen with the sometimes very short longevity and now an incompatability it seems with one specific broadcast tower that I'm trying to currently rectify. The low-tier Mediasonic HW130STB and the non-name clone seemingly have an incompatability issue with a broadcast tower; whereas last I know the broadcast came in fine with the iView. But, I'm not too keen of the version of iView 3200 I had with slow channel-changing response.

OTA digital receivers user since 2003~2005.
Antenna: 4-bay (2.5' x 1.5'--medium size) outdoor omni-directional.

Last edited by ota-see; 02-04-2018 at 12:33 PM.
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post #68 of 91 Old 02-02-2018, 03:39 PM
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Here's my latest issue that I'm looking for a non-low tier receiver to fix:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-loc...l#post55614118

OTA digital receivers user since 2003~2005.
Antenna: 4-bay (2.5' x 1.5'--medium size) outdoor omni-directional.
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post #69 of 91 Old 02-02-2018, 06:39 PM
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I do hope someone answers your question. I too would like to see a better tuner, perhaps in the $60 range. The only other options I know of are network or WiFi tuners like the HDHomeRun, ClearStream TV, AirTV, etc. Those run $100 or so new, although if you're patient you can get a good deal on a used HDHR.

The issue you're having with Fox 15 is a known problem with some (luckily not all) Fox affiliates. In particular the DTVPal (aka CM-7000Pal) DVR has the same problem with the audio dropping out periodically on those same Fox affiliates. It's the station; not a problem with a poor signal or interference.

A better antenna system might help with Fox 42; if so, it would make the problem with Fox 15 moot. If you want to pursue that option, try posting a TVFool.com report in the Abilene thread, or start a new thread in the HDTV Technical area (parent to this CECB area).

Are you sure your iView 3200 is dead? It has an external "wall-wart" power supply; perhaps that's all that got fried. If so, it's a generic 5-volt 2-amp wall-wart; you should be able to find a replacement on Amazon or maybe even at a local electronics store. That was one reason I bought my own 3200; I've seen power supplies go out on these boxes, and I knew a wall-wart could be replaced easily without replacing the whole box.

Edit: One more thing: in my experience, even the cheap tuners last longer than your experience has been. It sounds to me like something (your electric company, perhaps?) keeps blowing them up. Have you considered an Uninterruptible Power Supply?

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post #70 of 91 Old 02-03-2018, 08:17 AM
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Fox intermittency

JHBrandt, I've started a further details thread of my technical Fox intermittency problem here https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-loc...l#post55614118 so as not to add unrelated problem-solution comments to this fine receivers topic, appreciate this thread much.
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post #71 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota-see View Post
Having used two short living year ~2004 Humax's, I barely bootable Samsung ~2005 (three receivers in ~a year or so), year 2017 iView 3200 (destroyed I suspect from surges during an after-storm electric company outage-restoration), another year 2017 rather no-name-low-tier clone, and a year 2018 Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB; what's the next clone group step-up from the low-tier clones? I'm not too keen with the sometimes very short longevity and now an incompatability it seems with one specific broadcast tower that I'm trying to currently rectify. The low-tier Mediasonic HW130STB and the non-name clone seemingly have an incompatability issue with a broadcast tower; whereas last I know the broadcast came in fine with the iView. But, I'm not too keen of the version of iView 3200 I had with slow channel-changing response.
I think there are just the low-tier clones, then you have to step up to something like a ChannelMaster DVR or Tivo for considerably more money.

You do have a lot of hardware failures in your experience and I'm not surprised, they are not the most robust designs. I was worried about the internal power supply in the my old iView would fail when I tried to use it with USB-powered hard drives, because the box got very warm. Then I found a USB flash drive that would record HD and time-shift properly, and the box stays pretty cool using them, so I would suspect the box would last a lot longer.

I do keep all my electronics on some type of middling surge protector power strips, that probably helps. My iView has lasted around five years now, but I didn't use it much for four of those years, so who knows if it will stay alive now that I use it much more frequently.

--
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post #72 of 91 Old 02-04-2018, 12:02 PM
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...a lot of hardware failures in your experience and I'm not surprised
The two nearly year ~2004 Humax's seemed sub-low-tier very fast. After a rather destructive storm hit a few years ago I installed a mid-low surge protector. Later, after the iView had electric utility surge-caused damage, I did a replacement to a high-medium surge protector.

So far, I would classify the iView 3200 as high of the low tier receivers, except for the slow channel response. Except for a seeming incompatability currently with my local Fox station, I seem to like the Mediasonic Homeworx HW130STB the best of the six low-tier receivers I've had--two-second channel changes, and retains reorder of channels when powered off.

It'd perhaps be nice to have an avsforum.com wiki "Comparison of HDTV receivers" table, comparing low-tier, and comparison of the upper, non-low tier receivers. There are differences in the low-tier receivers. Neither iView or Mediasonic are in Wikipedia.

OTA digital receivers user since 2003~2005.
Antenna: 4-bay (2.5' x 1.5'--medium size) outdoor omni-directional.

Last edited by ota-see; 02-04-2018 at 12:35 PM.
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post #73 of 91 Old 02-05-2018, 02:45 PM
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It'd perhaps be nice to have an avsforum.com wiki "Comparison of HDTV receivers" table, comparing low-tier, and comparison of the upper, non-low tier receivers. There are differences in the low-tier receivers. Neither iView or Mediasonic are in Wikipedia.
I agree. This is more a features comparison than a full-out quality comparison, but FWIW:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Here's a chart I put together summarizing the (mostly minor) differences between the various under-$50 DVRs on the market. Note that there are some unknowns in the table, which I marked with question marks:
Make
iView
iView
iView
HomeWorX
HomeWorX
HomeWorX
HomeWorX
Boost Waves
eMatic
RCA
Terk
ViewTV
Channel Master
Model
3500 STB
3500 STBII
3200 STB
HW130 STB
HW150 PVR
HW180 STB
HW220 STB
BW1658
AT103B
DTA880
TUNVR1
AT163 / AT263
CM-7003
Power Supply
Internal
Internal
External (5V, 2A)
External (5V, 2A)
Internal
Internal
Internal
Internal
Internal
External
External (5V)
Internal
External
RF Out Switch
Software
Varies
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Software
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
Software
Software
Software
No RF out
Software
Hardware (Ch. 3/4)
USB Port
Front
Front
Side
Front
Front
Back
Front
Front
Front
Side
Front
Front
Front
SoC
7816
Varies
7802
7802
Varies
7802
?
?
Varies
7802
7802
?
7802
Component Video Outputs:
X
X
No
No
X
No
X
No
No
No
No
X
X
Coaxial Digital Audio Output:
X
X
X
No
X
No
X
X
No
No
No
X
X
Media Player
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
No
No
X
X
Special Features
None
None
None
?
None
None
Karaoke
None
Games
None
See Below
None
None
Time-Shift / Chase Play
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
No
X
X
X
Front Panel:
             
Numeric Display
X
X
No
No
No
No
X
X
X
No
No
X
No
Controls
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
None
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Channel Up/Down
Full Menu
Channel Up/Down


Features common to all boxes: All these boxes have HDMI, composite video, and L/R analog audio outputs, so I removed those rows from the table. All boxes can output the same five resolutions via HDMI and/or component: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p. The composite output is always 480i, naturally.

New Models: I just added the Terk TUNVR1. It's mostly unremarkable except for one feature: the names of the recordings include (or at least try to include) the show title. I hope other models adopt this feature.

HomeWorX has an HW-130 model which is similar to the HW-180, but smaller with an external power supply. ViewTV now has a new AT263 model. It looks a little smaller but seems to have exactly the same features as their older AT163, so I didn't create a separate column for it. Channel Master sold one of these for a time, but it appears to be discontinued now.

I think the RCA DTA880 clone may no longer be on the market. I couldn't even find a decent picture of it on the Internet, which is why it has so many question marks. Edit: Found a listing at eBay that shows pictures of the DTA880 box. That's good enough, because the box has a drawing of the back panel. I've filled in its video and audio outputs according to that drawing.

I tried to identify the SoC used where I could, mostly because different SoCs require different, incompatible firmware, so it's important if you're trying to ensure compatibility of your recordings when replacing one of these boxes, or if you experiment with "foreign" firmware. All these boxes seem to use either a 7816 or a 7802 SoC. The iView 3500STBII and HomeWorX HW-150PVR have been sold with each of those two SoCs at various times.

All the firmware for the 7802 SoC I've seen addresses a longstanding bug with displaying closed captions on playback. Unfortunately the 7802-based iViews have managed to introduce a few new bugs in the process
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post #74 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota-see View Post
... what's the next clone group step-up from the low-tier clones?
I just learned of this tuner, available at Best Buy:
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamajestic View Post
NS-DXA3

I do not recall this box being discussed previously. It looks like it has been available for a year. The first reviews on Best Buy are from February 2017.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insigni...?skuId=5449400
Looks like an HD version of their old converter box. For just a tuner (no DVR) it seems a bit pricey at $80, but at least it's clearly not based on the same firmware as the iView, HomeWorx, etc. (I found a manual online and the setup screen shots look totally different from the MStar clones.)
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post #75 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 01:05 PM
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@ JHBrandt , recently I started noting two features not in your chart. 1. The ability to switch channels while in EPG mode; instead of having to exit out change channel and go back into EPG. I don't recall that the iView 3200 had this ability. 2. Ability to retain channel order when powered off. A current rather no-name clone I have looses channel order and the unit seems to lockup more readily. The HW130 retains channel order when powered off--I reorder the channels to surf most NEWS channels. 3. A third feature; that I'm not sure about; but, the length of the EPG. Some supposedly do a week. I don't recall having one showing more than one day of channel scheduling.

One other clone group I've run across mostly on Amazon is at the $33-$36 level:
DCB-MCHD
DCB-MCANT-RF & DCB-M3ARF
DCB-MCANT
DCBM8940-ANTRF Has volumn buttons.
DCB-MC1

At ebay, the "M3-ATSC"--a rather no-name, with no listed help-support, at low-tier pricing, looks similar to one of the ones I listed above. I have one and don't recommend it. It has the 7802 firmware, if I'm interpretting it correctly as the first four digits of the hardware number.

OTA digital receivers user since 2003~2005.
Antenna: 4-bay (2.5' x 1.5'--medium size) outdoor omni-directional.

Last edited by ota-see; 02-06-2018 at 01:18 PM.
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post #76 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ota-see View Post
The ability to switch channels while in EPG mode; instead of having to exit out change channel and go back into EPG. I don't recall that the iView 3200 had this ability.
It does (I have one), but it's pretty limited and counter-intuitive. You can only tune to the next or previous channel. You can't enter a channel number, because the number buttons have non-intuitive functions in the EPG screen: 1 and 2 page the EPG listing; 3 and 4 page the show description on the right (if you ever have a show description longer than one page).

And you tune to the next/previous channel by using the left/right arrow buttons, which normally control the volume! That's because the up/down arrow buttons move through the program listings instead.

AFAIK all the MStar clones work this way. My chart only lists things that differ among the various boxes
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post #77 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 01:43 PM
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Special features of the HW130

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Special features...HW130
I have one; it has no Karaoke or Games. It retains channel order when powered off with the remote, not the case if the using the box button. Allows viewing each channel EPG, by arrowing left-right, without exiting the EPG.

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post #78 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ota-see View Post
Ability to retain channel order when powered off. A current rather no-name clone I have loses channel order and the unit seems to lock up more readily. The HW130 retains channel order when powered off--I reorder the channels to surf most NEWS channels.
They're all "supposed" to have that feature; however, it's notoriously buggy. I've actually seen this feature work or fail on the same model, depending on the firmware version installed!

A common cause of losing a custom channel order is the "channel rescan" bug, which afflicts many firmware versions. The bug randomly causes the box to act as if you went into the menu and manually rescanned a channel when you tune to it. A manual rescan always puts the channels back in their original order, so this bug causes the box to lose a custom channel order, among other problems.

I'm glad to hear the HW-130 doesn't seem to have this bug. I tried the latest firmware version for its big brother, the HW-150, and it still has the bug!

BTW, have you tried the "Favorites" feature on these boxes? In the Program Edit screen, you can push FAV on any channel and assign it to one of four categories: Movie, Music, News, or Sport. Then when surfing, you can press FAV and bring up a list of one of the categories. Press Left or Right to move to the other categories, then Up or Down to select a channel from the current category, and OK to tune to it.
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post #79 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ota-see View Post
A third feature; that I'm not sure about; but, the length of the EPG. Some supposedly do a week. I don't recall having one showing more than one day of channel scheduling.
Yes; I'm afraid there's been a lot of false advertising here. AFAIK all these boxes show a maximum of 24 hours. (And some stations do broadcast more than 24 hours, so it's definitely a box limitation.) But I've also seen many, if not most, of these boxes advertised as having a 7-day EPG! I've checked my own boxes and asked other owners; nobody has ever seen more than 24 hours on any of these.
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post #80 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
BTW, have you tried the "Favorites" feature on these boxes? In the Program Edit screen, you can push FAV on any channel and assign it to one of four categories: Movie, Music, News, or Sport. Then when surfing, you can press FAV and bring up a list of one of the categories. Press Left or Right to move to the other categories, then Up or Down to select a channel from the current category, and OK to tune to it.
Yes, a bit on the HW-130.

Just tried the feature on your mention using the no-name clone: The fav channels are retained when the unit is powered off--so that may work well for the channel reorder problem.

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post #81 of 91 Old 02-06-2018, 08:12 PM
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Not to confuse, but I just learned of another option you may be interested in:
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Originally Posted by eherberg View Post
Channel Master Stream+ box? TiVo with new IFTTT functions? Phfft ... The *real* news is there is apparently a new HW180 model that will be available starting Friday on Amazon. :-)

Model 'HW180STB-Y18' Per the Mediasonic page (spelling errors left as is):

Model: HW180STB-Y18 This is an Upgrad version of HW180STB. The new improvement inlcude material upgrade, recording stability, and reception sensitivity; thus, Mediasonic offer 2 Year warranty.

On the Amazon page it also adds the 12/24 hour option:

New 2018 Version with 2 Year Warranty from Mediasonic Store. The new improvement included material upgrade, recording stability, reception sensitivity, and 12 hr. AM / PM feature.
The HW-180 has been around for a while; it's similar to the HW-130 except for having an internal power supply vs. using an external wall-wart. As I said on that thread, my guess is that the new "-Y18" has a beefed-up power supply relative to the "vanilla" HW-180, in order to be able to offer that 2-year warranty. Can't say whether it (or for that matter, the Insignia tuner I mentioned earlier) will help with Fox's audio, though.
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post #82 of 91 Old 12-11-2018, 10:15 AM
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Tests I'm going to try from now on after purchasing a receiver, and if the receiver doesn't pass I'll return the receiver: 1. Doesn't freeze when changing channels fast; which often results in loss or corruption of user-set schedule and channel lineup. 2. Retain channel order memory when power is lost/OFF, then powered ON.

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post #83 of 91 Old 12-14-2018, 02:23 PM
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I decided I'm going to purchase my third receiver for one TV this year[IMG]file:///forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/IMG] I've been putting up with the FOX channel audio and video continuously dropping every 1-15 seconds (with no signal quality drop), as the few programs I'd watch on the channel didn't annoy me "enough" to try a third receiver. However, trying to watch a fast-action program is more annoying.

Considered getting an iView 3500STB, as it's the only one in your list that has a non-..7802 SoC..., aka 7816 SoC; whereas both my current FOX problematic receivers have hardware version ...7802... However, I see a 7/2018 comment that the iView 3500STB is also 7802.

My personal requirement is: 1. Don't use DVR. 2. HDMI. 3. Fast channel changing--keeps up as fast as I can press channel changes. And, no freezing when quickly changing channels or changing channels during FOX audio/video drop, which often results in loss or corruption of user-set schedule and user-set channel lineup (my generic, semi-clone of my HW130STB has this problem).

Any other current recommendations, to try, besides the mentioned?
HW180STB-Y18
Insignia NS-
DXA3

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post #84 of 91 Old 12-16-2018, 11:28 AM
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AFAIK all the Mstar-based boxes have moved to the 7802 chip. I don't think Mstar makes the 7816 anymore. The iVIEW 3500STB isn't made any more, replaced by the 7802-based 3500STBII. You might still find a used 3500STB on places like eBay, but be aware that most sellers probably don't even know the difference between a 3500STB and a 3500STBII, so you still may get the "wrong" box and chip.

I do know of a few non-Mstar boxes: the Insignia NS-DXA3 is one; the Channel Master CM-7004 is another. These two boxes are very close cousins; they use a Broadcom chip instead of an Mstar chip and for the most part have better firmware and a better user interface (for example, a grid-style program guide). The main difference is the CM-7004 can record, while the Insignia cannot; but my tests have shown the CM-7004 recording feature works poorly, so it's not really an advantage for the CM-7004. As simple HD tuners, though, both work fine. Based on your requirements, I'd say one of these would be your best choice: they have a unique feature that speeds up channel changing. When you change channels, the typical HD tuner has to first wait for an I-frame, then wait for either another I-frame or a P-frame before it starts playing video. But these boxes show a "still" image as soon as they get that first I-frame, which turns into video when the next I- or P-frame comes along. That trick really makes channel surfing feel a lot more responsive.

The other cheap non-Mstar tuner I know of is iVIEW's 3100. (The 3200 and 3500 are both Mstar-based.) I know very little about it except that its recording feature appears to have a deal-killer: no weekly recordings! So any recording you set up will happen every day, even if the show you want to record only airs once a week. But again, as a simple HD tuner it's probably fine.

Finally, among the Mstar-based boxes, I think the iVIEW and HomeWorx are probably the best choices. If you can still find an HW-150PVR, it has the best hardware IMO, as well as the newest firmware. Still some bugs though; check out the last five pages of the Homeworx HW-150PVR Support and Discussion thread for details. The new iVIEW 3500STBIIs are pretty good too and provide the most reliable recordings of the lot (admittedly, that's not saying much), although I recommend you downgrade your firmware to a late 2015 or early 2016 version as soon as you get one. Those firmware versions have proven the most usable and reliable in my tests.

Edit: FWIW, most of these boxes, both Mstar and non-Mstar, seem to be using the same tuner chip now (a Rafael Micro R836). So you can expect similar tuner performance no matter which one you choose. The big differences are all in the firmware and user interface.

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post #85 of 91 Old 12-16-2018, 02:22 PM
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Heck I just use an old HD satellite receiver (Hughes) I picked up for $25. Was in the box and didn't look used much. Speedy and performs well. For the EPG I found an old dish and just used the main signaling transponder (Sat-A I believe); Free!
I also have an old Motorola HD tuner I picked up for $20. Similar performance but the EPG is picked up OTA.

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post #86 of 91 Old 12-20-2018, 09:57 AM
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@JHBrandt
Installed a new Insignia NS-DXA3 (with a non-7802 chip), $50 on sale. That fixed the FOX incompatibility problem. If FOX every fixes the problem, I'd go back to the Homeworx HW130STD for it's better features.
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post #87 of 91 Old 05-17-2019, 08:17 AM
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any new information on what to buy? or long term reviews on what has been bought?

Looking to add one for my Vizio P65-C1

TIA
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post #88 of 91 Old 05-17-2019, 02:25 PM
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If you need the ability to record, I'd still go with an iView. It's been around for 6 years but is more reliable than it used to be:

  • If you need component video or a good remote control, get the iView 3500STBII
  • If HDMI is good enough and you don't mind its tiny remote, go with the iView 3200STB

If you don't need to record, the Insignia NS-DXA3 mentioned above, or the Channel Master CM-7004 (which is pretty much the same box as the Insignia) are good choices. (The Channel Master is supposed to be able to record too, but its recording function doesn't work very well.)
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post #89 of 91 Old 05-18-2019, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
If you need the ability to record, I'd still go with an iView. It's been around for 6 years but is more reliable than it used to be:

  • If you need component video or a good remote control, get the iView 3500STBII
  • If HDMI is good enough and you don't mind its tiny remote, go with the iView 3200STB

If you don't need to record, the Insignia NS-DXA3 mentioned above, or the Channel Master CM-7004 (which is pretty much the same box as the Insignia) are good choices. (The Channel Master is supposed to be able to record too, but its recording function doesn't work very well.)
thanks! hopefully they're available in Canada
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post #90 of 91 Old 05-18-2019, 12:54 PM
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If iView isn't available in Canada, I'm pretty sure HomeWorx is, since they're sold by Mediasonic, a Canadian company. They're very similar:

  • The HW-130 and HW-180 are very similar to the iView 3200STB
  • The HW-150 is very similar to the iView 3500STBII (except the HW-150 remote isn't as good)
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