iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 131 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3901 of 5437 Old 01-06-2015, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
My head hurts because I just want these boxes to work
properly and they don't and I don't know why exactly
except a lot of stuff doesn't work properly and I don't
know why exactly except it seems to have something
to do with "software development".

I mean, I spent $39 for mine and it works worse than
other boxes I paid $11 for (after the federal coupon).
In both cases the hardware and the basic codecs and
DACs or whatever work well, but then "software
development" of a different nature rears it's ugly
head and I wind up with something I can't even use.

And I don't even think I can fix it myself due to
"legal" issues, only a few of which I have any real
respect for (such as DRM).

I've got all kinds of total crapware on various boxes
and TVs and just can't understand how this can happen,
except of course I understand EXACTLY how it
happens...

And that's why my head hurts...

--
maxreactance

What exactly doesn't your box do which you wish that it did?

Other than a few odd quirks, mine works great! Especially for the cost. What legal issues do you foresee with the iview? Technically, we do have the code (albeit in machine readable form), and there was nothing in my documentation such as a license agreement which expressly forbids decompiling, modifying, or distributing that code or any derivatives thereof.

About DRM, I respect the need for it, and the need for implementation, but not when those needs are self serving. For instance Google, acquired web drm content decryption software company widevine sometime in 2010. Awhile back companies like netflix started looking for ways to get out of platform dependent drm encryption such as silverlight and flash and began looking at HTML5 and Encyrpted Media Extensions for DRM playback and happened to choose widevine as the CDM (Content Decryption Module) that they would migrate to.

Back in 2013 Google announced widevine_cdm's inclusion into Chrome on all platforms, including android. Last year by default widevine_cdm started to ship in Chrome as a built-in extension, which if you look in their GIThub is distributed as a closed source binary, precompiled for each target platform/OS.

EXCEPT android!! There is source there in the repository to build the wrapper for the extension but the binary portion is oh so absent. Do you know why? Because for an android device to be allowed to playback HD content in Netflix, it has to be certified as level 1 DRM compliant by Google and surprise, surprise!! It costs way too much money for all but the largest hardware manufacturers to pay Google's fee for this certification, despite freely giving this away for chrome os, linux, windows, os x, etc. in the form of the browser extension widevine_cdm. Going on 2 years after promising this for Chrome on Linux, they have not released it because they make more money with the old way of licensing android DRM decryption.

I have not been able to find any widevine code(not enough to build the necessary binaries), but I have found some widevine libraries that are precompiled for certain manufacturers for inclusion into their android OS's and would really like to try building chrome or chromium from source and trying to see if the widevine_cdm python code would work with these libraries to enable the necessary decryption for using netflix.

Until someone tries this out or figures out another solution, 98% of android netflix users will have to continue to watch with caps on bandwidth and screen resolution. It may not be so noticeable on your phone, but with android TV catching on it becomes all too apparent when you put it up on a 4K TV and there are pixelation artifacts because you are watching SD streams. Some android TV has level 1 DRM. Google's Nexus tv and ADT-1, probably also amazon fire TV, but not the chinese companies who are actually producing the fastest systems with the best hardware video decoding.

That kind of DRM makes it all look bad. Especially when I have a UBOX R89 android TV box that supports hdmi 2.0, 4K 1080p at 60fps (even non-CPU hardware ENCODING at 30fps), and can run circles around my ADT-1, yet my R89 is artificially capped at 1750kbps 720x480 in Netflix, while my slower and technically inferior ADT-1 does Full 1080p at 5800kbps in the same test in netflix on the same internet connection.

This concludes the Sawbones rant of the day

Cheers,
-SB
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post #3902 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
My head hurts because I just want these boxes to work
properly and they don't and I don't know why exactly
except a lot of stuff doesn't work properly and I don't
know why exactly except it seems to have something
to do with "software development".

I mean, I spent $39 for mine and it works worse than
other boxes I paid $11 for (after the federal coupon).
In both cases the hardware and the basic codecs and
DACs or whatever work well, but then "software
development" of a different nature rears it's ugly
head and I wind up with something I can't even use.

And I don't even think I can fix it myself due to
"legal" issues, only a few of which I have any real
respect for (such as DRM).

I've got all kinds of total crapware on various boxes
and TVs and just can't understand how this can happen,
except of course I understand EXACTLY how it
happens...

And that's why my head hurts...

--
maxreactance
If, as I suspect, you are really asking "Why are there no name-brand OTR PVR's available here" then you should check out this thread:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hdt...-ota-dvrs.html

Cable-free since Nov 2013
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post #3903 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 08:20 AM
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One of the long-standing bugs with the iView, Homeworx, etc. is their inability to display closed captions when playing back a recorded show.

The closed captions are recorded and can be viewed with some PC software. But if you press the CC button when playing a recording, these boxes just flash "Invalid."

However, on the Homeworx thread, someone just reported getting a new Homeworx from Amazon which doesn't have this bug! Unfortunately this box had some other reliability problems, but I was wondering: has anyone checked the various firmware versions for the new iViews with the channel 3/4 switch? It's possible the firmware developer has addressed this bug on iViews as well as Homeworxes.
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post #3904 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 02:28 PM
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I think I can finally wrap this up. I got my box back from being serviced today. The tech replaced the USB port and System Board. For those that are having problems losing USB connectivity before giving up on the box you may want to check inside as the connector to the System Board reportedly had come off of mine. Anyway, mine was shutting down intermittently so he also replaced the System Board as well. It looks like I have a different version of the Firmware than when I brought it in as well. Also I returned my USB 3.0 HDD and bought a Sabio enclosure and a 500gb Seagate Pipeline Mini HD. Both were rated for low power consumption. The Seagate was specifically made for DVRs. I found mine for 30 bucks, so the price is right for them too. The Hdd draws less than .5 amp. Anyway, as of this early testing all seems to be running well.
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post #3905 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawbones999 View Post
What exactly doesn't your box do which you wish that it did?

Other than a few odd quirks, mine works great! Especially for the cost. What legal issues do you foresee with the iview? Technically, we do have the code (albeit in machine readable form), and there was nothing in my documentation such as a license agreement which expressly forbids decompiling, modifying, or distributing that code or any derivatives thereof.

About DRM, I respect the need for it, and the need for implementation, but not when those needs are self serving. For instance Google, acquired web drm content decryption software company widevine sometime in 2010. Awhile back companies like netflix started looking for ways to get out of platform dependent drm encryption such as silverlight and flash and began looking at HTML5 and Encyrpted Media Extensions for DRM playback and happened to choose widevine as the CDM (Content Decryption Module) that they would migrate to.

Back in 2013 Google announced widevine_cdm's inclusion into Chrome on all platforms, including android. Last year by default widevine_cdm started to ship in Chrome as a built-in extension, which if you look in their GIThub is distributed as a closed source binary, precompiled for each target platform/OS.

EXCEPT android!! There is source there in the repository to build the wrapper for the extension but the binary portion is oh so absent. Do you know why?

...

That kind of DRM makes it all look bad. Especially when I have a UBOX R89 android TV box that supports hdmi 2.0, 4K 1080p at 60fps (even non-CPU hardware ENCODING at 30fps), and can run circles around my ADT-1, yet my R89 is artificially capped at 1750kbps 720x480 in Netflix, while my slower and technically inferior ADT-1 does Full 1080p at 5800kbps in the same test in netflix on the same internet connection.

This concludes the Sawbones rant of the day

Cheers,
-SB
Well, let's see, off the top of my head (I haven't used
the box in about two months): the episode guide is only
displayed once correctly (if that), after that the new
contents of the episode guide are pasted on to the
bottom of the old episode guide, after a while the
whole mess just stops working at all. If you record
a show with DD 5.1 SS you can't play it back except
in PCM 2.0. It doesn't have a clock or reliable
recording capabilities and lists channels and programs
according to their own bizarre numbering scheme.

Is that enough? My ChannelMaster CECB is capable
of displaying the episode guide properly, but then I
would have had to spend like another $400 to get an
episode guide at all in my Sony flatscreen, so I don't
really know how to compare these various boxes in
that regard...

Legal issues always abound in software development,
you just mentioned an annoying DRM loophole from
our frenemies at Google(TM). Obviously the things
I said I'd like to fix are probably not at all related to
DRM, so they have to be filed under the general
umbrella of software developers behaving stupidly.

I don't want to decompile the box software to fix
it, I don't see that as a viable option. If you do, more
power to you, and if you think there is no legal
ramification for doing so go ahead and set up a
source tree and I'll fix the problems and you can
compile a loadable binary which you can make available
to everybody here. If any legal problems do arise
I never said this, you don't know who I am and even
if you did I'd deny it, it's all on you...

--
maxreactance (actually my real name unless sued, then not)
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post #3906 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laridae View Post
If, as I suspect, you are really asking "Why are there no name-brand OTR PVR's available here" then you should check out this thread:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hdt...-ota-dvrs.html
Without reading it I can imagine what it says.

But of course there is Microsoft Windows Media Center
which has a decent OTA DVR, I use it ALL the time.

Is Microsoft a "brand name"?

--
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post #3907 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 06:24 PM
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I'm still getting familiar with this unit (STBII 3/4). I connected it to an old Dynex Flat Screen we bought back in '06. The TV doesn't have any sort of EPG and I wanted to test OTA recording. So I got this hooked up using the Component connections and ran my OTA antenna right into the back of the box. I also ran a coax from the output on the box directly to the TV. This actually worked. I can have the DVR tuned to one channel and look at that through the component input, and then switch to the TV input and all my channels through the TV's tuner work just fine. So I can record one thing and watch another on that TV. Nice. I also tested recording a few minutes onto a thumb drive and then pulled the thumb drive and plugged that into an open USB port on my LG Smart TV (LN5600). The LG read the file and played it perfectly. This is far from ideal, but still pretty cool that it worked. I'm still playing with the idea of connecting a TV Tuner to an old win 7 machine and using that to record files that can be dumped to my Plex Server, but right now I'm still working out how I want the whole thing to work. Since I'm strictly running this OTA channel scrambling and Cable stuff isn't something I have to worry about. So does anyone out there with the 3/4 box know if I have to leave the unit turned on for a scheduled recording to work? I'm still waiting for a larger flash drive to get delivered so I can test it.

Thanks All
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post #3908 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
Without reading it I can imagine what it says.

But of course there is Microsoft Windows Media Center
which has a decent OTA DVR, I use it ALL the time.

Is Microsoft a "brand name"?

--
maxreactance
Also Channel Master (DVR+).

At $249 it's quite a bit more than an iView or Homeworx, but it's certainly a brand name. And a decent 2-tuner DVR, with some Internet streaming apps as a bonus.
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post #3909 of 5437 Old 01-07-2015, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by androidawg View Post
So does anyone out there with the 3/4 box know if I have to leave the unit turned on for a scheduled recording to work? I'm still waiting for a larger flash drive to get delivered so I can test it.

Thanks All
You should be able to leave it in standby, and it will turn itself (and a USB-powered drive) on automatically for scheduled recordings. But try it yourself first. Some have reported problems with their iViews not turning themselves on.

Be cautious recording to a flash drive. Many write too slowly to keep up with HD video (although SD will usually work). You'll probably need a USB 3.0 flash drive for adequate results, even though the iView's USB port is only 2.0.

I've had good results with a PNY Turbo Attache 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive, but others have had problems even with that. If you do find a flash drive that gives good results, post back and let us know what worked well for you.
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post #3910 of 5437 Old 01-08-2015, 06:09 AM
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Be cautious recording to a flash drive. Many write too slowly to keep up with HD video (although SD will usually work). You'll probably need a USB 3.0 flash drive for adequate results, even though the iView's USB port is only 2.0.

I've had good results with a PNY Turbo Attache 64GB USB 3.0 flash drive, but others have had problems even with that. If you do find a flash drive that gives good results, post back and let us know what worked well for you.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I had the option of 128GB USB 2.0 or 64GB USB 3.0. I bought the 128 because the output from the iview was only 2.0 and, well, 128 is bigger. But I can return it if it doesn't work. It'll be delivered tomorrow and I'll schedule some recordings over the weekend and see what's up.

I did test a recording with the box turned off. It turned itself on, recorded the program, and turned itself back off. Very nice. But the boot time it took meant that the first 30 seconds or so of the recording was missed. So now I know to set the recording to start a minute early.

Still trying to figure out if this is what I want permanently or if I want to upgrade to a Channelmaster DVR+.
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post #3911 of 5437 Old 01-08-2015, 07:08 PM
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So now I know to set the recording to start a minute early.
I do that anyway, because the station's clock is seldom precisely synchronized to the end/start times of their shows. A minute of "padding" before and after each recording is good insurance.

Of course, since the iView is a one-tuner recorder, if you have back-to-back recordings you can't add any padding. You just have to experiment and find the best transition time (or if they're on the same channel you can schedule one recording covering both shows).

Ironically, I discovered the DVR+ has a similar problem, even though it's a two-tuner recorder. You can't have any padding between back-to-back recordings on the same channel. (You can if the recordings are on two different channels, though.)
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post #3912 of 5437 Old 01-11-2015, 01:45 PM
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So as near as I can tell my 3500STBii with 3/4 switch is running well. Shows record on time and play back just fine using my 500Gb USB2 HDD. I'm just an OTA user. No cable. I've noticed my unit is running 20140305 v2 firmware. Any point in moving to 20140522 v1 firmware?
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post #3913 of 5437 Old 01-11-2015, 02:04 PM
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As I understand things, the only advantage of V1 is for QAM (cable) users who don't have PSIP on all their unencrypted channels. So, since you're OTA, probably not.

The one thing I might check is whether the CC button works on recordings. On all firmware versions for the older boxes, CC only works when viewing live - not on recordings. But I've read that CC works on recordings with some newer Homeworx boxes, so I'm curious whether it works on any of the newer iView boxes too.
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As I understand things, the only advantage of V1 is for QAM (cable) users who don't have PSIP on all their unencrypted channels. So, since you're OTA, probably not.
I actually did check that out during my last viewing. I got something like "invalid function" when I tried.

Thanks for the input!
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Thanks. So the CC button still doesn't work for recordings, at least on V2.

Post back if you happen to try a later version!
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Will do.
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
One of the long-standing bugs with the iView, Homeworx, etc. is their inability to display closed captions when playing back a recorded show.

The closed captions are recorded and can be viewed with some PC software. But if you press the CC button when playing a recording, these boxes just flash "Invalid."

However, on the Homeworx thread, someone just reported getting a new Homeworx from Amazon which doesn't have this bug! Unfortunately this box had some other reliability problems, but I was wondering: has anyone checked the various firmware versions for the new iViews with the channel 3/4 switch? It's possible the firmware developer has addressed this bug on iViews as well as Homeworxes.
I have a new Homeworx that had some issues at first, but is working great with the latest software. Just checked and CC works for recordings. Hopefully they fix this on the iView soon.
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What firmware do you have? It must be a new version if CC finally works with recordings. I'm pleasantly surprised that an actual improvement got made so late in the game.
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post #3919 of 5437 Old 01-12-2015, 09:21 AM
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I reconfirmed 20140305 v2 firmware wasn't working with cc. I even tried recording with cc on and that did not work as well. Then I figured I'd try the 20140522 v1 firmware. No luck with cc recordings here either. It didn't record with cc on or off, then later trying to pick up the cc'ing in the recording. "Invalid" was displayed in call cases of trying to use the cc button while watching the recording.
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Originally Posted by acrosstic View Post
I have a new Homeworx that had some issues at first, but is working great with the latest software. Just checked and CC works for recordings. Hopefully they fix this on the iView soon.
Here is the first firmware version I saw where CC is reported to work. (Note that unlike iView, Mediasonic dropped the version number and only shows a date & time.)
SW Version: NOV 18 2014 16:44:14

Is your HW the same version? If not what version is yours?

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I reconfirmed 20140305 v2 firmware wasn't working with cc. I even tried recording with cc on and that did not work as well. Then I figured I'd try the 20140522 v1 firmware. No luck with cc recordings here either. It didn't record with cc on or off, then later trying to pick up the cc'ing in the recording. "Invalid" was displayed in call cases of trying to use the cc button while watching the recording.
OK, so V1 and V2 are both out.

There's also a V2a and V3 for the new boxes. If anyone tries those, please post back whether CC works with recordings on those versions.
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Is your HW the same version? If not what version is yours?
Original that had EPG time bug and a few other issues:
SW Version: Aug 29 2014 16:22:49
HW Version: MLG7802-ATSC-V3

New and working great:
SW Version: DEC 27 2014 09:48:15-V2.0
HW Version: MLG7802-ATSC-QAM-V2

Just realized my hardware version changed to V2 from V3. Odd.

Note: Looks like they've added the version numbers back in along with the date.
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There's also a V2a and V3 for the new boxes. If anyone tries those, please post back whether CC works with recordings on those versions.
Meaning the boxes with the 3/4 switch? If I can get a copy of those files I'll test them out.
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post #3923 of 5437 Old 01-12-2015, 12:55 PM
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You can get a .zip file with versions 1, 2a, and 3 at http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/79955630/file.html. All versions are for the Ch 3/4 switch version of the iView.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
You can get a .zip file with versions 1, 2a, and 3 at http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/79955630/file.html. All versions are for the Ch 3/4 switch version of the iView.

I checked 2a and 3 as well. Neither of those help with cc'ing. One side problem that developed after doing the multiple firmware upgrades was losing access to my hdd. Mine has two partitions and both were showing a zero for size. Just a heads-up to anyone else who has this happen, I had to back up my data on both drives and reformat them on my PC for each partition to become accessible again.
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post #3925 of 5437 Old 01-12-2015, 06:12 PM
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Thanks for checking, and sorry you had trouble with your HDD.

So it looks like if you want the CC bug fixed, for now you need one of the newer Homeworxes. Of course that also means the less desirable Homeworx remote (unless you use a universal or learning remote).

Perhaps iView will eventually get their act together, but we really haven't seen or heard much since last spring, when the Ch. 3/4 boxes and firmware appeared. They haven't even put the Ch. 3/4 firmware up on their website yet!
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post #3926 of 5437 Old 01-12-2015, 06:51 PM
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No problem on checking, and no worries about the hdd. Yeah, I was surprised to learn those updates weren't available on their website too.

Overall, I have to say I'm very pleased with the box. The cc thing is a non-issue in my case. Mine performs very well. Maybe because I'm pulling signals from the LA area, I don't know, but all my scheduled recordings start and stop on time and that alone makes me happy. Plus I'm able to use my remote for ff and reversing other .mpg and .mp4 files so I feel way ahead of the game at this point.
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post #3927 of 5437 Old 01-13-2015, 08:11 AM
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I went back to V1 of the firmware. I lost access to my hdd after about an hour into recording with V3. It gave me the same error as I reported earlier, a zero for the files size of that volume. Mine had V2 when I got it. Is V2 available anywhere? I'd like to have that one available to test again if the problem returns.

Thanks
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post #3928 of 5437 Old 01-15-2015, 08:55 AM
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Missing Cable Channels

I just bought a new 3500STB and have some questions about receiving cable channels. I get cable directly out of the wall with no special hardware. When I do a full channel search, the 3500STB finds many channels that my other devices (new Seiki TV capable of receiving digital channels, old TiVo Series 2 not capable of receiving digital channels) don't find, including some HD channels, which is GREAT. However, the curious thing is that there are also a few channels my other devices find that the 3500STB does NOT find. Does anyone have an idea why that might be happening and whether there's any way I can set up my 3500STB so that it DOES receive those wayward channels?


By the way, I live in Austin, TX 78741, and my cable service is from Time Warner Cable. However, the service is a non-standard residential service available to student housing. (I don't have an account with Time Warner, but my apartment complex does and includes the service as part of my rent.) As I said, cable is provided via a coax coming out of the wall, with no special hardware, although who knows what's present in the nearby maintenance closet.


In case you want to know the hardware or software version I'm using, here's a listing of my 3500STB's "System > Information" menu:
Model: iView-3500STBI
SW Version: 20140522 V1
HW Version: ATSC7816XD-02-Z00


Sorry if this question has been answered elsewhere on this thread. I did read the first dozen or so posts, but I haven't yet plowed through the whole thread.


Thanks,


A.J.
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post #3929 of 5437 Old 01-15-2015, 09:23 AM
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My guess is those channels are analog, which the iView will not tune. If they show up as 2 or 2.0 on your Seiki TV then they are analog and not tunable by the iView or it's clones.
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post #3930 of 5437 Old 01-16-2015, 12:38 PM
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iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR

In another post, someone mentioned that these can be found somehwere for $30. Every where I check they are much more than that. Does anybody know where I can get these for $30?
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