iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 168 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #5011 of 5437 Old 05-14-2017, 09:34 AM
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Something else.....

I work in a hospital that has basic DirecTv going to each room via normal RG-6 coax cable.

Channels can be tuned and set on a TV by selecting "Cable" as opposed to "OTA".

Are they unencrypted digital channels?

Is there any way to combine this with an antenna cable and feed it to a $40 box like we talk about here?

Based on my reading here, I'm not sure there is but still.....

Thanks!

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996

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post #5012 of 5437 Old 05-14-2017, 05:27 PM
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You're not going to believe this.....

  • Using the same USB flash drive from before with no other files
  • Put the iView FW successfully used before
  • Inserted the drive
  • Pulled the wall plug in-n-out several times until 'firmware updating' screen fired up and processed to 100%
  • Unit back to normal

Then flashed back to original ViewTV FW.

Going to leave it this way - Thanks for all your help!
Great! I'm going to remember this post. Every once in awhile someone bricks a unit by installing incompatible firmware, and this technique would be a great "last-resort" option for them.
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post #5013 of 5437 Old 05-14-2017, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Something else.....

I work in a hospital that has basic DirecTv going to each room via normal RG-6 coax cable.

Channels can be tuned and set on a TV by selecting "Cable" as opposed to "OTA".

Are they unencrypted digital channels?

Is there any way to combine this with an antenna cable and feed it to a $40 box like we talk about here?

Based on my reading here, I'm not sure there is but still.....

Thanks!
Well, the track record of using these boxes with cable, fiber, or other QAM distribution systems isn't great. But as long as the channels aren't encrypted (and it sounds like they aren't, since you can tune them on a TV), you should be able to tune them with any of these boxes (set to "cable" mode). Be aware that you won't have an EPG, and the box's clock may be incorrect when tuning QAM channels, since PSIP data is usually not present on QAM channels. Also the channel numbers will probably not match the TV's channel numbers.

As far as combining QAM and antenna channels on a single cable, that usually won't work, because the frequencies probably overlap. But you could use a low-pass 470 MHz filter on the QAM feed, and the UHF output of a UHF/VHF splitter (often called a UVSJ) on the antenna feed, to produce a composite of some QAM channels and your UHF antenna channels (which is probably most of them) that you could then combine onto a single cable.
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post #5014 of 5437 Old 05-15-2017, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
the UHF output of a UHF/VHF splitter (often called a UVSJ) on the antenna feed
I know I'm doing something wrong but unless I misunderstood something here, I cannot find anything on Amazon or Walmart sites. Am I assuming these are not normal splitters? I see ones that split UHF/VHF and SAT signals

Nick

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days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996
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post #5015 of 5437 Old 05-15-2017, 02:24 PM
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This is what I had in mind but apparently, it's currently unavailable: https://www.amazon.com/Pico-Macom-UH.../dp/B000JKUT34

They used to cost like 5 bucks. But I can't even find them on eBay now
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post #5016 of 5437 Old 05-15-2017, 03:28 PM
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I saw that on Amazon.

Will this setup work w/o the UVSJ?

What's the difference between combiner & diplexor?
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Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
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post #5017 of 5437 Old 05-15-2017, 05:23 PM
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You have the right idea; the problem there is you're using what looks like a satellite diplexer. That device is intended to combine satellite and OTA TV signals on a single cable, so you can connect both a satellite dish and an OTA antenna to one end, and a satellite receiver and an OTA TV or tuner to the other.

Satellite diplexers work because satellite signals are much higher frequency and don't overlap OTA frequencies. But what you described earlier is that the satellite signals have already been received and remodulated onto (lower) cable TV frequencies, which do overlap OTA frequencies.

My idea with the UVSJ was to block out the higher satellite frequencies and the lower (VHF) OTA frequencies, so you could combine what's left without overlap and get a reasonable mix of both. But then I ran into the problem finding a UVSJ.

To answer your question, there are two types of combiners: one kind is just a reversed splitter and doesn't filter frequencies at all. Anything put into either input will come through to the output.

The other kind has a low-frequency and a high-frequency input. The low-frequency input filters out higher frequencies, and vice versa for the other input. This is the kind often referred to a diplexer, especially when it's designed to combine or split OTA and satellite signals.

Strictly speaking, a UVSJ is a diplexer, with the low-frequency input covering the OTA VHF band and the high-frequency input covering the OTA UHF band. But the term "diplexer" isn't commonly used for these, for some reason.
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post #5018 of 5437 Old 05-15-2017, 06:29 PM
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If I can't use a satellite diplexer and can't find a UVSJ, what will this setup do without the UVSJ?

My OTA range is between 500-700 MHz

According to you, the satellite signals have already been received and remodulated onto (lower) cable TV frequencies, which do overlap OTA frequencies.

What do you think the frequencies of the processed satellite signals would be?

Quad shielded RG6 all around.

Suggestions on what to do or am I SOL?

Thanks!

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996

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post #5019 of 5437 Old 05-15-2017, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
If I can't use a satellite diplexer and can't find a UVSJ, what will this setup do without the UVSJ?

My OTA range is between 500-700 MHz

According to you, the satellite signals have already been received and remodulated onto (lower) cable TV frequencies, which do overlap OTA frequencies.

What do you think the frequencies of the processed satellite signals would be?

Quad shielded RG6 all around.

Suggestions on what to do or am I SOL?

Thanks!
Alainl12 found a UVSJ replacement that should do the job!
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Originally Posted by Alainl12 View Post
This one is less expensive than the antennadirect. The outdoor enclosure is included. The insertion loss is a little bit higher than the anetennadirect though based on specs.

http://www.mcmelectronics.com/produc...-2230-/33-2230
Basically, what we're trying to do is take your OTA signals, at least the ones in the UHF band, and combine them with the converted satellite signals that happen to fall below the UHF band (i.e., VHF lo-band, midband, hi-band, and superband signals).

Before buying anything, though, I'd hook up an iView, set it to cable, connect it to one of the hospital cables, and make sure that it can scan the hospital system's frequencies. (Don't be surprised if the iView shows different channel numbers than a TV. We're just trying to confirm that it will receive the signals and display a picture.) No sense buying extra equipment before you're sure the iView will work with your hospital's system.
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post #5020 of 5437 Old 05-16-2017, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'd hook up an iView, set it to cable, connect it to one of the hospital cables, and make sure that it can scan the hospital system's frequencies. (Don't be surprised if the iView shows different channel numbers than a TV. We're just trying to confirm that it will receive the signals and display a picture.) No sense buying extra equipment before you're sure the iView will work with your hospital's system.
Tried it. No soap. Scanned it as OTA and Cable. Twice. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Butkus.

Suggestions or is this a dead issue?

Regarding my tuners: Samsung TV > iView > viewTV

Tuner on TV is ATSC / Clear QAM

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996

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post #5021 of 5437 Old 05-16-2017, 06:16 PM
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Probably a dead issue. It's possible that different firmware could have more success, but as you've learned that's a risky proposition.

When the iView first came out, it had a different chip (a 7816 vs. the 7802 in today's units) and different firmware. Different versions of that firmware would handle QAM signals differently. For their last 7816-based units (the ones that had a channel-3/4 switch on the back), they had three different firmware versions, and folks using their iViews with cable (QAM) systems were encouraged to try all three to figure out which one worked best with their cable system.

But with the current 7802-based units, there are fewer firmware versions to choose from, and it's not clear that different versions handle QAM signals differently. So unless you have an old 7816-based iView lying around somewhere, you're probably SOL.
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post #5022 of 5437 Old 05-16-2017, 08:46 PM
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Oh, well. Thanks for all your help! At least I learned a few things.....

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996
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post #5023 of 5437 Old 05-17-2017, 02:36 PM
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Just out of curiosity, which combo of model numbers + FW that you know of work?

Also, why can my TV tune in these channels and this box can't? I know it must have something to do w/the tuner. Are they lower quality than those in TV's?

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
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post #5024 of 5437 Old 05-17-2017, 06:02 PM
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I'll start with the second question. OTA TV uses a published means (called PSIP) of assigning displayed channel numbers to the programs carried on each frequency. But cable TV uses a different, non-published means. My understanding is that tuner manufacturers have to sign a nondisclosure agreement to get the documentation they need to make their tuners work with cable. And the hospital's DirecTV system probably simulates a cable TV system, so that cable-ready tuners, like the one in your Samsung TV, will work. But given the low price of these MStar boxes, the manufacturer (who I think is in China) probably isn't up to the security demands of nondisclosure agreements. So they don't have the info they need to correctly assign channel numbers to cable TV channels. So as a workaround, they developed two "flavors" of firmware:

  • One flavor uses PSIP, because even though cable systems don't use it, they'll sometimes include PSIP for the OTA channels they carry. This flavor will only find cable stations that have PSIP data, possibly few or even none. But the channels will have recognizable numbers and names.
  • The other flavor doesn't even try to assign correct channel numbers. Instead it uses the "RF" channel number and program ID. This flavor will find most cable channels, but the channel numbers will probably bear no relation to the channel numbers seen on a TV tuner.

For some time, iView sold boxes with a 7816 chip, which could be easily identified by the "channel 3/4" switch on the back of each box. And their firmware download page for the 3500STBII still sports three different firmware versions for this box (V1, V2a, and V3). I believe V1 is the second flavor described above, and would have a better chance of working with your hospital's system.

Unfortunately, sometime in 2015 there was a chip change, and all the manufacturers switched to the new 7802 chip, which required brand-new firmware and sent us back to square one in many respects. AFAIK all the firmware for these new chips is of the first flavor, which won't work on cable systems without PSIP.
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post #5025 of 5437 Old 05-19-2017, 11:30 AM
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a couple of questions

My, at least, several year old 3500STB11 - D06830 that "partially died" has a Ch 3/4 switch on the back. I contacted Cust. Serv. and they offered to repair it for $25. Does that seem like a reasonable investment of time and $ considering it has an outdated chip inside?

I bought a new 3500STB11 - DZ2344 as I did not want to wait for a repair. It has no channel switch. I don't see a suggestion to do a FW upgrade. It seems to work properly and the remote is much more responsive than the old one.

I would like to use a 2.5" HDD with aux. power to record to but booking a recording out a week or so means the HDD would be spinning for days. Is there a reasonable way to start/stop it since the iView will not? Is the aux. power supply a necessary feature, as in maybe protecting somewhat the iView?

The use of a flash drive would seem to take care of the always on HDD problem. Any recos for a fast enuf writing USB flash of about 64 GB?
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post #5026 of 5437 Old 05-19-2017, 12:04 PM
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My, at least, several year old 3500STB11 - D06830 that "partially died" has a Ch 3/4 switch on the back. I contacted Cust. Serv. and they offered to repair it for $25. Does that seem like a reasonable investment of time and $ considering it has an outdated chip inside?
Good chance that what they mean by "repair" is sending you a new one. Which means you'll be spending a bit less for a new iView than throwing it away and buying a new one on Amazon or wherever.

If they actually repair it, that's OK too. (In fact if you get it repaired, you might see if you can arrange a swap with ncsercs! He could probably make it work with his hospital's TV system.)

I don't consider the 7816 "outdated" - just "different." For a few situations, such as cable TV, a 7816 box may do a better job.
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I bought a new 3500STB11 - DZ2344 as I did not want to wait for a repair. It has no channel switch. I don't see a suggestion to do a FW upgrade. It seems to work properly and the remote is much more responsive than the old one.
If it's working without issues, don't worry about the firmware. If it's new it probably has the latest firmware or close to it anyway.
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I would like to use a 2.5" HDD with aux. power to record to but booking a recording out a week or so means the HDD would be spinning for days. Is there a reasonable way to start/stop it since the iView will not? Is the aux. power supply a necessary feature, as in maybe protecting somewhat the iView?
Do you already have the HDD and/or the aux. power supply, or are you looking to buy something new for your iView?
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post #5027 of 5437 Old 05-19-2017, 12:31 PM
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I didn't know the 7816 chip would be better for cable on the iView, I was looking into getting one (the new iView version) but went with the HomeworX first. The HW works for my needs but I may look into getting this for hobby purposes (to see if it picks up more and how it handles certain commands).

I know this is a different area of AVS, but I read there was a software that HW and iView users preferred to use to eliminate commercials and compress/format the .mts/.ts files the MStar chips would record in, for archiving and easy playback on anything. Can someone point me to the right spot for specifically HW/iView users...not just any software that converts files. I read about "Handshake" but don't know if that was the most prominent or something that removes commercials.
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post #5028 of 5437 Old 05-19-2017, 06:19 PM
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I think you mean Handbrake.

I'm not aware of any software specifically for HomeWorX/iView/MStar box recordings. But these boxes produce a standard video format (.mts AKA .m2ts, which is just a minor variation of the .ts format broadcast by digital TV stations) so you don't really need MStar-specific software.

I'm also not aware of any single software package that "does it all," even on a PC, but there are a few good, free programs that you can use together to do what you want.

  • To automatically locate commercials, I'd look at two PC programs: ShowAnalyzer and ComSkip. ComSkip is probably the better choice since ShowAnalyzer isn't actively developed anymore.
  • To edit videos, either manually or automatically, on a PC, I think AVIDemux is a good choice.
  • To reduce the size of videos (edited or not), Handbrake does a good job. It re-encodes the audio and video using a more efficient compression method. You'll need a fast computer to reduce HD videos in a reasonable amount of time though.
  • Finally, there's a program called "MCEBuddy" that can automate all of the above programs. It was designed for use with Windows Media Center, but I think it can be used on its own. It even installs versions of the above programs so you can just download it all in one package.

You could probably learn a lot more info about PC video processing in the https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-hom...ter-computers/ section of this forum.
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post #5029 of 5437 Old 05-19-2017, 09:17 PM
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I think you mean Handbrake.
lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'm not aware of any software specifically for HomeWorX/iView/MStar box recordings. But these boxes produce a standard video format (.mts AKA .m2ts, which is just a minor variation of the .ts format broadcast by digital TV stations) so you don't really need MStar-specific software.
I should have worded that differently, I meant some 3rd party software (its not like Global whatever their name is would ever release something like what we're talking) that users of these boxes prefer over others.

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I'm also not aware of any single software package that "does it all," even on a PC, but there are a few good, free programs that you can use together to do what you want.
That's too bad. Having 3 separate programs to process the .mts files doesn't excite me.

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You could probably learn a lot more info about PC video processing in the https://www.avsforum.com/forum/26-hom...ter-computers/ section of this forum.
That will work, great!
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post #5030 of 5437 Old 05-20-2017, 11:07 PM
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Do you already have the HDD and/or the aux. power supply, or are you looking to buy something new for your iView?[/QUOTE]

I already have a 2.5" HDD in an enclosure. It has 2 usb cables; ie. has the added power supply. I believe the HDD will be powered up from either the aux. usb side and/or the iView connection. In order to book a recording the iView will have to be ON thus the HDD will be spinning even if I were to put the aux. cable on a timer - complicating the attempt to keep it off except for the time to record.

I have no problem buying something else, especially since this whole investment is a fraction of the cost of a conventional DVR.

Again, maybe, the solution is a usb drive instead of an HDD. Any suggestions of a flash drive that will record well from the iView as apparently the write speed is important.
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post #5031 of 5437 Old 05-21-2017, 12:54 PM
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I already have a 2.5" HDD in an enclosure. It has 2 usb cables; ie. has the added power supply. I believe the HDD will be powered up from either the aux. usb side and/or the iView connection. In order to book a recording the iView will have to be ON thus the HDD will be spinning even if I were to put the aux. cable on a timer - complicating the attempt to keep it off except for the time to record.
Are you sure the HDD is always spinning when its connected to the iView because my WD 2TB My Passport Ultra drive is always connected to a always on Homeworx box and after 25 minutes of no activity it goes into standby where its not spinning but the indicator light is very slowly blinking. I've read some HDDs go into standby and some don't...if mine didn't I'd get a USB thumbdrive immediately for the HW.
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post #5032 of 5437 Old 05-22-2017, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
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Are you sure the HDD is always spinning when its connected to the iView because my WD 2TB My Passport Ultra drive is always connected to a always on Homeworx box and after 25 minutes of no activity it goes into standby where its not spinning but the indicator light is very slowly blinking. I've read some HDDs go into standby and some don't...if mine didn't I'd get a USB thumbdrive immediately for the HW.
I suspect your HDD has incorporated software to shut itself off wheras mine is just a drive inside an enclosure. I had decided (correctly or not) that I should use the 2nd usb connection - the aux. power supply - to lessen the power load on the iView and, as a result, even if the unit did shut itsef down via the primary usb connection, the aux. one keeps the thing spinning.

Does your external drive have a second cable and, if not, do you worry about the power load to the box?

I know this is mostly just mental exercise since a simple solution is to use a flash drive, which is likely what I shall do. I would still appreciate suggestions as to what grade of flash I should order.
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post #5033 of 5437 Old 05-22-2017, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Do you already have the HDD and/or the aux. power supply, or are you looking to buy something new for your iView?
I already have a 2.5" HDD in an enclosure. It has 2 usb cables; ie. has the added power supply. I believe the HDD will be powered up from either the aux. usb side and/or the iView connection. In order to book a recording the iView will have to be ON thus the HDD will be spinning even if I were to put the aux. cable on a timer - complicating the attempt to keep it off except for the time to record.

I have no problem buying something else, especially since this whole investment is a fraction of the cost of a conventional DVR.

Again, maybe, the solution is a usb drive instead of an HDD. Any suggestions of a flash drive that will record well from the iView as apparently the write speed is important.
OK, I see: your HDD enclosure has a built-in power injector. I recently posted this about power injectors:
Quote:
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... most are unswitched, so they supply five volts to the drive even when the iView is off, causing the drive to spin continuously. (Some drives have a "sleep" feature which can overcome this, but the sleep feature can create its own set of problems.)

If you're willing to build it yourself, I did find plans for a switched USB power injector on the web here: https://www.eeweb.com/blog/extreme_c...al-hard-drives.

For the rest of us, a powered USB hub is probably your best bet. These are usually switched - but I've had trouble with some of those too! So far I haven't tried a powered hub I can personally vouch for, but this 7-port hub was recently recommended on the HomeWorX thread, so it might be worth a shot: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DQFGJR4

If the link doesn't take you to a 7-port hub, click '7-port USB 2.0' on the page. (I had some trouble with the page.) The 4-port USB 2.0 hub linked to on that page is not powered; avoid it. (The 4-port USB 3.0 hub is powered, so it would probably work too, but I don't know of anyone who's tried it.)
As far as flash/thumb drives go, a former AVSForum user (sorry to see him go) posted this info about the same time as my post above:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7558037 View Post
Best FT drives for DVRs will be larger-capacity USB 3.0 drives (128+GB), which are *designed* for faster reading/writing than smaller-capacity models from same mfgr. This can prevent the playback-stuttering-while-recording reported on other DVRs. Here's a good comparison chart that might make your research easier? Look for write speed at least faster than 125MB/s, the typ min. write speed of HDDs. Beware of sellers who show only read speed, which is always (much) higher and not nearly as important as write speed for our recorders.

All depends on the type of flash memory inside, e.g., the Samsung 840 model in that report was not a great performer due to its use of TLC flash but its new 850 models for 2017 (up to 4TB) will be using 2-bit NAND MLC and have 470-520MB/s write speed(!).
Actually, those Samsung drives are SSDs; same technology as flash/thumb drives but optimized for speed and sold in a 2.5" HDD form-factor intended to replace spinning-platter HDDs. But the basic advice still applies.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 05-22-2017 at 02:33 PM.
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post #5034 of 5437 Old 05-23-2017, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by felf View Post
Does your external drive have a second cable and, if not, do you worry about the power load to the box?
Nope. I do worry about the power load to the box and because I didn't think before I acted I plugged in the HDD when the box was already on and it reset the box as if a power interruption occurred because of the load of the drive. I won't do that again and I will switch to a USB stick at some point when I get a system of processing the files going.
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post #5035 of 5437 Old 05-25-2017, 12:02 PM
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Looks like iView posted NEW firmware updates for the 3500STBII (with NO Ch. 3/4 switch) and 3200STB dated 5/24/17

File name(s):

IVIEW-3500STBII_Support QAM PSIP
IVIEW-3200STB_Support QAM PSIP


Serial Number:

1506/1508/1509/1511/1601/1603/1706

Size:

5.5MB


No description found.
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Last edited by QAM; 05-25-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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post #5036 of 5437 Old 05-25-2017, 01:49 PM
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From the filenames, I suspect these new firmware updates may help cable users like ncsercs.
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post #5037 of 5437 Old 05-29-2017, 07:40 PM
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I just tried the new 3200STB firmware. While it does work in an OTA environment, it appears to be intended for cable users only.

It replaces the channel/subchannel numbers with the iView's internal number (the number displayed on the front panel). IOW, instead of 68-5, I now see 089 (since channel 68-5 is the 89'th channel in my channel list), and I have to enter 89 to tune to it

While this is probably friendlier than the seemingly random RF channel and program numbers cable users saw on earlier firmware, it is definitely not an improvement for OTA users! I will be reverting my 3200 to the previously-installed firmware.

Edit: I just noticed another fairly new firmware version on the 3200 page: version "1604" dated 03/24/2017. Unfortunately this does the same thing as the 05/24/2017 version, except the first channel is 002 instead of 001

Last edited by JHBrandt; 05-29-2017 at 07:54 PM.
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post #5038 of 5437 Old 05-30-2017, 12:48 AM
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JH .. I have acquired a used 3500stbii that performs well. Sadly, the unit reboots randomly losing my custom channel listings order and arranges the stations numerically by LCN number. I have to goto Menu:Program Edit and manually rearrange channel numbers to restore my custom order. Any ideas why this is happening?

SW version 2014 0707 V3 (Also tried SW ver 2014 05 22 V1 with same issue .. had hope V3 might resolve, but no luck)
HW ATSC 7816 XD 03 Z00 (with 3/4 switch)
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post #5039 of 5437 Old 05-30-2017, 07:30 AM
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Well, I'm pretty sure it's another bug. Unfortunately V3 is the latest firmware for that box; AFAIK no one is working on firmware for the 7816 boxes any more.

The only workaround I know of is to delete the channel(s) that cause the box to reboot, or just live with the default channel order. Not really satisfactory, I know.

I think V4.1 HomeWorX firmware is compatible with those boxes and might not have this bug, but I don't have a copy of that version, I don't know who might, you'd have to use a HomeWorX remote, and it hasn't been tested in any case.
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post #5040 of 5437 Old 05-30-2017, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I just tried the new 3200STB firmware. While it does work in an OTA environment, it appears to be intended for cable users only.

It replaces the channel/subchannel numbers with the iView's internal number (the number displayed on the front panel). IOW, instead of 68-5, I now see 089 (since channel 68-5 is the 89'th channel in my channel list), and I have to enter 89 to tune to it

While this is probably friendlier than the seemingly random RF channel and program numbers cable users saw on earlier firmware, it is definitely not an improvement for OTA users! I will be reverting my 3200 to the previously-installed firmware.

Tried the 3500II firmware with my box and confirm what JHBrandt experienced with his 3200STB. Unfortunately, tried the hospital cable input and no channels were found

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996
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