Samsung GX-SM530CF - CableCard tuner and media streamer - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 459 Old 11-17-2013, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by JasG View Post


Wouldn't a DTA from the cable company be cheaper than a CableCard? That is the stock solution for now obsolete analog TVs.


While that would work, they only have the inferior modulated RF output, basically any TV should see improvement using composite(S-video would be even better but I won't even go there). Oh and I don't believe DTAs would get every channel a person paid for like a CC should.

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post #32 of 459 Old 11-17-2013, 08:03 AM
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While that would work, they only have the inferior modulated RF output, basically any TV should see improvement using composite(S-video would be even better but I won't even go there). Oh and I don't believe DTAs would get every channel a person paid for like a CC should.

TW's Cisco DTA-170HD's here DO have HDMI outputs in addition to analog RF. If you tune to an analog channel number that is in HD, say FNC 57, the DTA will tune and display the HD channel 1403 instead. (There is no digital copy of FNC here) For an analog like CNN 32, they re-tune to the digital copy. Locals are available via digital copy as well as HD. Not all the CC channels are available, tho the available listing on the DTA is rather impressive. I have found that the ones I have for dedicated remodulation, such as CSPAN, tend to require a reboot or channel re-tune fairly often. Overall, The DTA-170HD is a slick little box. smile.gif TW made an excellent choice in DTA's IMHO. cool.gif

I am interested to see if the Samsung left on the same channel for days on end has the same symptom.

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post #33 of 459 Old 11-17-2013, 03:36 PM
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Btw, You can add channels manually with the Samsung..just punch in the QAM's RF channel, and it will scan and find any channels there without a rescan. smile.gif

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post #34 of 459 Old 11-17-2013, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Amazon had them in stock this morning, matching the Walmart price of $138.

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post #35 of 459 Old 11-17-2013, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by signcarver View Post


1) How is the interface on this thing for navigating a guide for cable and keying in a number directly to change channels? (I assume with cablecard channel numbers are the usual virtual numbers... the setup screens I saw seemed to only use qam frequencies/programs not the virtual numbers... I will be there to perform initial setup so it is mainly the front end user experience compared to WMC I am interested in as well as accuracy and length of guides)

2) How well does the CC button work for closed captions (will it also toggle CC for things like youtube)?

3) Can the device boot to watching TV? (I see a live TV on the remote so this might be moot)
It acts just like any cable box I have used. Have not tried Youtube.
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4) How well does the device work if the TV switches off while keeping the unit on? (Mainly concerned in case it can't boot to TV as I don't think they want to go through too many menus to watch TV... just don't want them to have hdcp handshake issues resulting in blank screen)
Again, it is just like a cable box. Turn in on and start watching. There is a "QuickStart" mode you can disable - resulting in a 10 second delay before watching.
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5) This may seem like an odd request but has anyone used it with a prime via DLNA... (thinking of not using cablecard in the device but putting it in a seldom used guest room instead of an echo but leave cablecard as an option... I guess DTCP-IP would also be too much to ask for)
I have no experience with this.
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6) I thought I read it had a full web browser, how well does that work?... If used by guests how secure is it to forget cookies and passwords... are there multiple users for different settings

7) Other general opinions on user interface, guide, ease of use and other issues
Broswer would be much better if you used a wireless USB keyboard/mouse.

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post #36 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 11:03 AM
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Thanks... I still think this will probably be the better route for me to take with my parents home... I was planning on getting them a new TV, and network cablecard tuner to serve the guest bedroom but was undecided on extender or nuc in that room (echo not getting android made me lean towards NUC). I know they could handle it but then I thought about their guests (mostly 65-85 year old friends and relatives of all ages) and the simpler the better... I know these older people do like to check their email so I am interested in the browser. I was planning on a keyboard/mouse.. any recommendations (I thought they might be bluetooth but that doesn't seem to be the case... I believe some bluetooth adapters do have a HID proxy mode that may work but is something I would probably have to research as well as if trackpads are compatible HID devices (I would like a keyboard with trackpad as I think that would be easiest to tuck away in the night stand).

I will still probably get the HTPC tuner as well to allow my dad to record some shows to watch while sitting at his PC (he spends at least 12 hours a day doing genealogy work in front of 3 monitors and had recently asked what it would take to record a movie that came on at midnight to watch it during the day... the cable company's solution would cost $35 more per month and he is more interested in lowering his cable bill than raising it)... I think I also convinced him to get the TV for the bedroom as the current 13" tube isn't cutting it. So right now it looks like I might get them one of these and one hdhomerun prime so he could record and watch at his desk... If it wasn't for the service fees on the tivo, I would probably go that route for them but to me lifetime is about twice what it should be for product lifetime for both the main unit and the mini's

I would love for some of you to post some shots or reviews somewhere.... the ones I have seen are way too brief all stating the same thing. As well as what you are seeing for apps.
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post #37 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 01:02 PM
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At first glance this looks to be an excellent product for addressing situations when the cost and or size of an HD set top box are undesirable. I was seriously thinking about getting one to address my need for an HD cable box in the kitchen. However, after spending considerable time going around on the phone with Comcast I concluded that I really would not be able to save money over their full sized HD set top box. Why? Because Comcast has devised their pricing scheme to ensure that one way or another they are going to make basically the same money off everything connected to their system. If this device is purchased and connected with a cable card as a second (or third HD) outlet, Comcast will provide the cable card at no charge but will tack on an extra $9.25 per month service charge per extra outlet. That means that in addition to the cost of the Samsung box I would still have to shell out another $120 a year to for the service to my kitchen. Further I am not actually sure that it would be economically advantageous to use it as a substitute for my current main room digital converter as it appears Comcast has creatively restructured their charges to bury their set top box charge into the cost of the service. That means that if I hook up this box in place of theirs I am supposed to get a credit for providing my own equipment (i.e. get refunded for the cost of their box in the monthly charges). Whoopee. According to their pricing list it appears they would credit me back $2.50 a month for not using their box. You know that however they want to posture they are charging me more than $2.50 for their box. Now, I could be wrong about these charges, but good luck getting any kind of a definitive or consistent answer from Comcast when you call them. No wonder Comcast is one the most hated companies in America.

Also
"Wouldn't a DTA from the cable company be cheaper than a CableCard?". From my research a DTA isn't a solution. First, they haven't rolled an HD DTA out in my market and couldn't tell me when it might getb here. Secondly, unless I am mistaken, the HD digital adapter will not deliver HD channels above the digital starter level.

Direct from Comcast web site: "Over the next year, we will be enhancing our digital adapter service so you can view most of the channels in your current XFINITY TV package up to and including the Digital Starter tier of service (excluding premium channels, XFINITY On Demand, channels that are a part of Digital Preferred and above). This enhancement will be available at no additional monthly charge." WTF good is an HD DTA if you subscribe to Digital Preferred service from those idiots?
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post #38 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasG View Post

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Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

HD cable box - $8.50 per month
CableCARD - $2.00 per month
SDV tuning adaptor - no charge.

So, a $6.50 per month savings. That's $78 per year. In two years, the GX-SM530CF is paid for.
...and the Mfrs warranty is 36 months parts and labor - 39 if you register it online.

In my case, I have a 2-tuner DVR. It often has both tuners tied up recording stuff, but I might want to watch a NBA or MLB game. If the game is not in ClearQAM, I'm SOL. I considered an extra cable box at $8.50/month, but the two remotes would interfere with each other. The GX-SM530CF seems to be the answer.
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post #39 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 03:21 PM
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WTF good is an HD DTA if you subscribe to Digital Preferred service from those idiots?

Umm,.... Duhh..It's not.. That's why if you subscribe to "Digital Preferred service" from "those idiots" they'll give you a real converter box..rolleyes.gif Taking the place of a full blown STB is not the goal of the DTA's ..which are a much lesser cost to the sysop.

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post #40 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 05:29 PM
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Anyone here using the Samsung with Win7 ?

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post #41 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone here using the Samsung with Win7 ?
How? This is just a cable box. I fail to see how you could do anything with a computer.

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post #42 of 459 Old 11-18-2013, 08:09 PM
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I believe it also has "all share" so it should connect to a win 7 machine and allow it to play the content of the win7 machine that is not protected. I have seen some dlna and shared folder devices not get through to win 7... since I don't have one of these, I don't know if it works or not but one of my tv's when it tries to connect to my windows machine (since vista and I think sp 2 or 3 in xp) the windows machine tries to ping the device and if it does not reply it won't allow the connection... never did figure it out but didn't really try other than to see what was going on with the network traffic.

Now if the question was geared to using it as a tuner for win 7, I'm pretty sure that cannot be done (easily) as I would assume its hdmi output is protected.
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post #43 of 459 Old 11-19-2013, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I believe it also has "all share" so it should connect to a win 7 machine and allow it to play the content of the win7 machine that is not protected. I have seen some dlna and shared folder devices not get through to win 7... since I don't have one of these, I don't know if it works or not but one of my tv's when it tries to connect to my windows machine (since vista and I think sp 2 or 3 in xp) the windows machine tries to ping the device and if it does not reply it won't allow the connection... never did figure it out but didn't really try other than to see what was going on with the network traffic.

Now if the question was geared to using it as a tuner for win 7, I'm pretty sure that cannot be done (easily) as I would assume its hdmi output is protected.
<<smacks head>>right<</smacks head>>. I was thinking the question was about use as a tuner for Win7.

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post #44 of 459 Old 11-19-2013, 05:24 AM
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I believe it also has "all share" so it should connect to a win 7 machine and allow it to play the content of the win7 machine that is not protected. I have seen some dlna and shared folder devices not get through to win 7... since I don't have one of these, I don't know if it works or not but one of my tv's when it tries to connect to my windows machine (since vista and I think sp 2 or 3 in xp) the windows machine tries to ping the device and if it does not reply it won't allow the connection... never did figure it out but didn't really try other than to see what was going on with the network traffic..

You are correct.. While it sees my Win7 pc just fine, it does not want to see all of the content available that it should. Even content in the same folders is not visible. It also does not show all folders that have content that my Popcorn Hour does just fine.

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post #45 of 459 Old 11-20-2013, 06:08 AM
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Just got this yesterday, and only hooked it up and poked around for 30 minutes or so. I don't have the cablecard from Comcast yet (will pick it up this weekend and return my STB), but I'm a little underwhelmed so far. No Hulu? Can't seem to add apps to the 'my apps' despite following the instructions in the guide. It will still be worth it to ditch the STB, but definitely nowhere near as good as a Roku.

EDIT: When I ordered it on Amazon (I ordered when it was out of stock, content to just have it ship when they got in), the description said (and still does) "Features Samsung Smart Hub with access to streaming services including Amazon Instant Vide, Netflix, and Hulu+". The Samsung product page says nothing about Hulu+, so maybe that's just someone overzealous writing descriptions at Amazon. Hopefully it is added in the near future.
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post #46 of 459 Old 11-20-2013, 08:19 AM
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I don't think they meant for it to compete with a Roku (and very few things can.) I agree that leaving Hulu off is baffling (probably tied into licensing), although it's not the only one. I personally think Vudu should be in there as well. At least it's app based.

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post #47 of 459 Old 11-20-2013, 08:38 AM
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I love my Roku, but it can do WAY more than I really need. I've had it for 9 months now, and I pretty much use Netflix, Amazon Prime, Pandora...and Hulu+. So while 3 out of 4 isn't bad...I'm hoping for the 4th. Surprised that it isn't available out of the box, since it seems to be on just about every other Samsung Smart product.
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post #48 of 459 Old 11-20-2013, 10:08 AM
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Surprised that it isn't available out of the box, since it seems to be on just about every other Samsung Smart product.

Which makes me think it's a licensing issue. They probably don't have a blanket "we can use your app on everything we make" contract with Hulu or something to that effect.

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post #49 of 459 Old 11-20-2013, 02:31 PM
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I think Hulu has been relegated to PC only while Hulu+ is the one available on streaming devices (have to pay for Hulu+ but not Hulu)???

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post #50 of 459 Old 11-20-2013, 09:13 PM
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Just ordered one from Wally World tonight with site to store and Pay Pal. Been doing online surveys and having them pay out with PP or Amazon and had over 150 saved up so technically a free toy to try out and use. Of course it says order today pickup today but it's later and their page says takes up to 4 hours to get a pickup E-mail so probably go get it tomorrow after work rather then Banzai down tonight with my receipt printout.
We'll see how I like it, I have a hard wired 1 gig network plus wifi and several media players out front and the old DCH 3200 that I actually like pretty well plus a HD HomeRun Prime so don't need this to try and record from, just need a decent box that costs me less then 9 bucks a month to use. SO might take back the 3200 and the crappy DTA boxes I never installed but they still charge me 2 bucks a month each to have depending on how this works out and what else I can get outa them when I go to get another card. They originally gave me the box for free and much later started charging me after I complained about paying 200 a month for TV and they gave me a better price to stay put. Probably worth loosing free on demand to save a few extra bucks a month on equipment rentals and again own my own box.
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post #51 of 459 Old 11-23-2013, 10:36 AM
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And yesterday after work while waiting for family to get together for my birthday I set it up as far as I could without a cable card. It sees my wired network fine and shortly after wanted to update all its apps and I had it update the firmware as it hadn't auto updated that yet. It also can do wifi BUT I don't think I entered the right password for my account so it didn't hook up but it did see ALL other signals in my area better then my phone or tablets do so will be interesting to see how well it does on wifi if I ever figure out which password I used rolleyes.gif . It also appears to hookup at 100 rather then a gig according to my switch and I'm pretty sure I used a gig capable cable but that should still be way faster then it needs to stream videos and things.
It doesn't see all my shared folders either but is able to play all the WTV videos in my recorded TV folder though it doesn't seem to get the resolution or widescreen setting right, but the videos play well enough, just no fast forward or other features, it also can't play MKV files or probably some others in common use so wont be a good replacement for either of my media players that play 90 percent of anything I throw at them.
It has a lot of proprietary Samsung On Demand movies and shows built in that it can stream, not sure if any of it is free yet as I wouldn't give them my card and it wouldn't let me play any of them till I setup a free account through them for the box and I didn't try again after I was reged to see what happens.
It also has a lot of free and small charge widgets and apps on the Samsung store that you can add to do extra stuff and maybe we need to start a thread about what does and doesn't work well for users of these things and what costs money and what doesn't and is worth having.

If this thing is able to be modded or tweaked to do extra stuff like the WDTV Live and Aios media players it might be even more useful but that may not be doable without messing it up what with the cable card and all the DRM that it has but who knows.
I did run into a problem with my 4 outlet HDMI switch not liking 1080p video so I had to hook it directly to my TV and set it to 1080i max and it works fine with the switch now and later I'll get a better switch.

Comcast is charging me a 9.95 digital outlet fee which MAY be for my HD HomeRun Prime so they may also try to tack that on for the Samsung so yes that may kill any savings you get from having your own box mad.gif I do get a 2.50 month credit for the prime too and with their obscured billing charges that don't really correspond to what the charge is actually for I'm now not sure if they have started charging me for the DCH 3200 box, if not I will keep it and use it elsewhere and maybe call retentions department later if they get stupid with extra charges and see what they'll do.
I AM going to take back the two crappy DTA boxes that are costing me 2 bucks a month to not use so at least I'll save 4 buck a month there.
I might be able to pickup a cable card today as I'm going to help my Mom fix the faucets in her shower today so we'll be running around finding the parts so maybe we can find a Comcast shop by her home or around here close by and combine trips cool.gif
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post #52 of 459 Old 11-23-2013, 10:57 AM
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Am I the only one that sees the irony of your using a $2 bill for comparison here ? smile.gif
No...sadly no...

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post #53 of 459 Old 11-23-2013, 11:41 AM
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If I'm reading this right, they proposed to DROP the ability to support CableCARD devices....impact on Samsung device is UNKNOWN....and so far it appears to only be a PROPOSAL....not approved....and the cut-off of CableCARD support may NEVER be approved because the whole idea was to be able to BUY an STB (e.g. Samsung), DVR (e.g. TiVo, HDHomeRun), i-PC (CETON, ATI TV Wonder, Hauppauge WinTV-DCR, et.al.) or CableCARD HDTV and be able to MOVE it to ANY other cable system in the country...but if TiVo & Samsung already have the internal encryption prerequisites (e.g. AES128 and/or AES256) on their internal chips so that they can ALSO implement downloadable Encryption, the CableCARD may finally go away (please....)....
Please? confused.gif

I'll take freedom of choice over the illusion of convenience any day!

My reading of the article is that Charter has a temporary waiver to the FCC requirements for system interoperability, until a new CableCard spec is rolled out. When that new spec happens, older CableCard compatible devices such as my HD TiVo will become unusable (and TiVo will instantly go bankrupt), and Charter will once again lose me as a cable TV customer.

The intriguing part is the mention of abandoning QAM. What that hints at is something that I've been advocating for a while now: getting rid of the NTSC-compatible RF channels and moving DTV as packet data. For those of us who don't live in the land of FIOS, the prospect of getting Internet data rates that could make Google blush certainly is tempting. Making all of that 1GHz of RF bandwidth fair game for Internet data seems like a dandy way to accomplish that goal. And as a former OTA broadcaster and Charter customer, I sure would appreciate a DTV "signal" that at least rivaled the uptime of the average NTSC broadcast TV station. As things stand QAM isn't working, so why not trash it? I'd like to see someone take a stab at an IP multicast IPTV plant. A well regulated, open standards plant.

The downside is that the days of being able to record and store cable programing for personal use would be limited. But I think they're limited regardless, so might as well get something in return.

If Charter is smart they'll get out of the cable TV business and into the ISP and CDN business. Let the CDN people backhaul the TV programming, and let folks like Amazon and Netflix sell the "channels" just like on my Roku. Force the issue on multi-unicast and let the CDN people come up with a better method. Free up some Internet bandwidth for other things. Free up all of that satellite bandwidth that won't be needed for network TV delivery for other things; I'm sure someone will find a use for it.

If I was to bet on it though, my money would say that Charter will be stupid, continue to be unable to make a deal with the NFL, and turn their cable plant into a costly, incompatible mess that only exists as a dumping ground for proprietary set top boxes that I will not pay money to rent.

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post #54 of 459 Old 11-24-2013, 04:05 AM
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SO, got my card today for free, I WILL be charged another 9.95 a month for a digital outlet mad.gif They aren't charging me rent for the one HD box they gave me still, and I will be saving 4 bucks a month by turning in those crappy DTA's, plus the extra 2.50 a month for customer owned equipment so the saving will be about a wash.
BUT now I have full channel lineup including my one movie channel and they all look great, as good and possibly better then the HD box I have, but so far no program guide at all. It just keeps saying the guide is loading or like that when I hit the button and it's been about 5 hours now.
How fast did the guide load up for those of you using it with Comcast and does it actually eventually get one loaded up or am I waiting for something that is never going to work? I seem to remember even with my box when it lost power or something it took a while to get the guide completely loaded and working but don't think it ever took this long. Of course I've never had one of these guys before so not sure what to expect and the gal that helped me on the phone get it activated said to call if all the channels and like that don't come in but not sure if they can or would do anything about guide support for a third party box.
Setting the favorite channels and editing out my unwanted ones works pretty well but once you have it all edited down and setup it will either show all channels that aren't deleted, or just your favorites list, but you have to go in and set which option you want, all channels or favorites only, and the option is kinda buried so I had to poke around and figure it out. You can still direct enter any channel that is deleted.
It does show all channels in their native resolution if you haven't limited it down which is nice as my cable box only shows whatever HD resolution I picked, and of course SD.
As far as the on demand stuff that is included through Samsung as part of the media player I tried to view one OLD episode of Scrubs and it had several options of streaming in SD or HD but every one wanted a payment so probably wont be using that unless they have some free older stuff I didn't see.
The cable card setup over the phone went pretty flawlessly, all I had to do was give her all the serial numbers and address of the card type stuff and as soon almost as she told me it was paired and active on her end it started loading channels without me doing anything extra so that was nice, except for that guide I'm still waiting on. She did know about the Samsung when I mentioned it and also knew it was brand new, and first asked if I was activating a Tivo or HD HomeRun Prime so sounds like they are more on the ball about the gear then when I first got my prime.
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post #55 of 459 Old 11-24-2013, 05:18 PM
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I Was also having problems getting the guide to work and early this morning I realised I never went through the total setup so I never gave it my cable service and zip code. Took care of that issue after figuring out what the defualt pin number for setup is (0000) and it loaded up it's version of a guide pretty quickly.
I like that it doesn't have all the lousy comercials Comcast throws in at the bottom, but it does scroll through ALL avaialable channels rather then only the ones you haven't deleted or your favorites list.
Liking it so far and just have to decide which box stays out here and which ones goes into one of the bedrooms.
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post #56 of 459 Old 11-25-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I have turned the "Quickstart" option off so that it consumes less power when not in use.

I have observed that in this mode, it can take a minute or two for the guide to refresh if the box has been off for a few days. Yesterday, I had no guide data, no apps and Netflix would not start.

I reran the setup to refresh the internet connection and everything started working again.

Obsession in moderation
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post #57 of 459 Old 11-25-2013, 02:30 PM
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So I got another cablecard from TWC...this time the box immediately saw it, and the card took an update. Now to get it authorized tomorrow.

Successfully paired the new card today. This makes one of the nicest, smoothest cable boxes I have ever seen. Picture quality is superb. One quirk tho.. If you tune to a channel that is mapped into the card, but not subscribed, the OSD shows: "Scrambled Channel or Weak Signal". The Guide does not work, OSD displays "The guide is currently unavailable because the system info is being updated. please try again later"

Bob

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, MeTv, or AntennaTv; my employer; or its parent company.
Nor my wife for that matter!
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post #58 of 459 Old 11-26-2013, 11:56 AM
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It's pretty annoying that you can't view the guide with just your favorite channels. In fact, I see little point at all in marking any channels as favorites, as it doesn't appear you can sort by them, or pick them quickly. The only place I see any 'favorite' indication is when you press info.
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post #59 of 459 Old 11-26-2013, 05:02 PM
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A lot of times I just surf through the channels so I like to set it to only surf the favoprites, which you can so I'm OK with that, BUT yes, not being able to set the guide to only show non deleted or favoritew only sucks, but I'll live. It's possible they'll add sorting with a firmware update so all is not lost yet. We'll have to see how well they support and update this thing and start requesting missing features and see what they do.
Both of my media players had new features added by the maker as things were requested and both also have a very active user comunity that have been modding the firmware and adding features that would never have gotten added otherwise. I keep discovering features and ways of doing things in this guy that I didn't know about at first so it doesn't hurt to try things and poke around the mnaual(gasp)
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post #60 of 459 Old 11-26-2013, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasG View Post

I have turned the "Quickstart" option off so that it consumes less power when not in use.

I have observed that in this mode, it can take a minute or two for the guide to refresh if the box has been off for a few days. Yesterday, I had no guide data, no apps and Netflix would not start.

I reran the setup to refresh the internet connection and everything started working again.

I'm actually having trouble with the guide. Whenever I turn it on, it always says that it doesn't have guide data. You would think it would gather this the background, no matter what mode it was on. I'm pretty sure I left it on quick start, but will double check.

Is anyone just leaving the box on all the time?
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