iView-3500STB Tuner & DVR Owners Thread - Page 180 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #5371 of 5449 Old 04-23-2019, 08:56 AM
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Well, not exactly. The last time someone asked about this, I tried that....
Interestingly, both the old 7816-based and new 7802-based iViews use .mts as the extension for recordings, but apparently there's some subtle difference that keeps them from playing back if moved to a box with the other chip.

.M2ts is actually the same format as .mts. Older camcorders that used this format needed a 3-letter extension for compatibility with older version of DOS, so they dropped the 2, leaving them with .mts. But iViews only recognize .mts files as "recordings;" other extensions are considered "movies." Apparently the code to play "movies" is a bit more forgiving, which lets this trick work, at least in one direction.
Wow. That is both interesting, and unfortunate. It won't be that huge an issue with a little more carefully thought out recordings, but I do suspect I will miss that interchangeability. I suppose though for the price I paid, under 30, I may just get another one and have a hot spare. I'll play with it and see how that goes.

is the remote range any better with the new boxes? If that's been improved upgrading both may be sooner in my plans than later.
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post #5372 of 5449 Old 04-23-2019, 05:15 PM
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One of the few complaints I have with the 3200 is its remote. It comes with one of those tiny ones like the eMatic. And, those remotes use AAA batteries that run down more quickly than the AA batteries in the 3500 remote.

Luckily you don't have to use it. The remote for your 3500 will work just fine.

I haven't had any problems with poor range, but I don't happen to sit very far from my 3200. Perhaps if I did, I'd notice problems too.

If you do have problems with the remote's range, you could try Energizer Ultimate lithium AA batteries. They have a slightly higher voltage, which results in a slightly brighter beam from the LED (even though it's invisible to humans). They also have a flatter discharge curve, so you won't have to replace them until they're just about completely used up. Alkaline batteries fail more gradually, so you can start having problems long before they're completely dead.

I suppose if your first 3200 works well, you could order another. It'd be more shipping but that's all.
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post #5373 of 5449 Old 04-23-2019, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
One of the few complaints I have with the 3200 is its remote. It comes with one of those tiny ones like the eMatic. And, those remotes use AAA batteries that run down more quickly than the AA batteries in the 3500 remote.

Luckily you don't have to use it. The remote for your 3500 will work just fine.

I haven't had any problems with poor range, but I don't happen to sit very far from my 3200. Perhaps if I did, I'd notice problems too.

If you do have problems with the remote's range, you could try Energizer Ultimate lithium AA batteries. They have a slightly higher voltage, which results in a slightly brighter beam from the LED (even though it's invisible to humans). They also have a flatter discharge curve, so you won't have to replace them until they're just about completely used up. Alkaline batteries fail more gradually, so you can start having problems long before they're completely dead.

I suppose if your first 3200 works well, you could order another. It'd be more shipping but that's all.
Another great tip for the batteries. Thanks! That has bothered me so much since day one. There was a tape trick I tried that did not help. I'm relatively close to the box, but the angle is bad.

I did try tweaking the tabs in my 3500's USB port. It's been working well again. I'm not sure if it's a fluke or not, but I'm not setting my hopes too high.

Re the shipping on the 3200s, Amazon even without Prime is selling them to your door for 29 bucks. You really can't go wrong for that price.
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post #5374 of 5449 Old 04-24-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
If you do have problems with the remote's range, you could try Energizer Ultimate lithium AA batteries. They have a slightly higher voltage, which results in a slightly brighter beam from the LED (even though it's invisible to humans). They also have a flatter discharge curve, so you won't have to replace them until they're just about completely used up. Alkaline batteries fail more gradually, so you can start having problems long before they're completely dead.
I happened to stumble upon some Energizer Ultimate lithium AA batteries in my storage bin from another project. I needed 2 and of course they sell them in packs of 4 so they were just going to waste. What a HUGE difference the swap made! My old batteries were fairly new and never worked as well as these on their best day. Even if my new DVR just sits unused for years, the battery recommendation was worth its weight in gold. Thanks!
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post #5375 of 5449 Old 04-27-2019, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Good luck. Hopefully it was just a bad connection and it's fixed now. (One other thing you might look for is bulging electrolytic capacitors.)

If you get a new iView 3500STBII (or, if you won't miss the component video or front panel, an iView 3200STB) it will probably come with the latest 1903 firmware. I got a chance to try 1903 out, and it has some bugs; mostly minor, one potentially serious (can't initiate time-shifting). But you can "down-date" / upgrade these new boxes to the 1511 version; the hardware is compatible.

Another option, which IIRC eherberg used, is a HomeWorx HW-150. It's very much like the 3500STBII, except it doesn't have the front-panel display that (sort of) tells you what channel you're on. Keep your iView's remote control, though; if you cross-flash iView's 1511 firmware onto it, it'll think it's an iView and you'll need the iView's remote control to work it.
Just a heads up. I just got my new 3200. I am not sure what version the firmware is, but in setup it displays as 20190318v5. I was able to use the timeshift out of the box with it. Anyway, so far it's a great little box. My old remote is working better than ever with it too. Thanks again for the recommendations!
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post #5376 of 5449 Old 04-27-2019, 05:32 PM
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Another bit of trivia. I confirmed that if I renamed an .mts file from my 3500 to the .m2ts as recommended it does play on my 3200. But I also found the happy surprise of my 3500 being able to play the stock 3200s .m2ts files with no renaming necessary. As a test I did try renaming without the 2 and it would not play on my 3500. Also, to delete the files I had to hook my usb drive to my laptop to get rid of them. Not exactly convenient, but for the rare occasions I'd have to do this not a huge problem either.
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post #5377 of 5449 Old 04-27-2019, 05:34 PM
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Glad to hear time-shift worked OOTB for you. I couldn't get mine to work with that version. Time-shifting did work with the equivalent version for the 3500STBII though, so maybe my experience was a fluke.

As long as the time-shift function works, it's probably OK to stick with that firmware version. It looked to me like very little was changed between 2016 and 2019. They did seem to fix a bug with displaying closed captions during playback of a recording, and of course they added the box with the channel number and station name in the top left corner when changing channels, but everything else seemed pretty much the same, right down to the minor, cosmetic bugs.
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post #5378 of 5449 Old 04-27-2019, 05:49 PM
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Also, to delete the files I had to hook my usb drive to my laptop to get rid of them. Not exactly convenient, but for the rare occasions I'd have to do this not a huge problem either.
I forgot about that. The "movie" section of the USB menu lacks a delete function. You can only delete from the PVR section, which of course only shows files with a .mts extension, so you have to delete files with .m2ts or other extensions on a PC.

Personally, I think it's silly that the USB menu has separate "Movie" and "PVR" sections. They could have made things much simpler by combining them into a single "Videos" section that showed all extensions and had delete, rename, create folder, and move functions. (Also, the "HBPVR" folder should have a more understandable name, like maybe "My Recordings." I've never figured out what the "HB" stands for.)
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post #5379 of 5449 Old 04-28-2019, 09:19 AM
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Glad to hear time-shift worked OOTB for you. I couldn't get mine to work with that version. Time-shifting did work with the equivalent version for the 3500STBII though, so maybe my experience was a fluke.

As long as the time-shift function works, it's probably OK to stick with that firmware version. It looked to me like very little was changed between 2016 and 2019. They did seem to fix a bug with displaying closed captions during playback of a recording, and of course they added the box with the channel number and station name in the top left corner when changing channels, but everything else seemed pretty much the same, right down to the minor, cosmetic bugs.
That corner box is going to take some getting used to. I really haven't had occasions to use the cc'ing, but I'll play with that. There are a few times what I wonder what was mumbled that I know at least have another option for to decipher. The machine itself does seem pretty peppy so that's a big plus too. Is the version I listed equivalent to the 1903 version they have for download?

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I forgot about that. The "movie" section of the USB menu lacks a delete function. You can only delete from the PVR section, which of course only shows files with a .mts extension, so you have to delete files with .m2ts or other extensions on a PC.

Personally, I think it's silly that the USB menu has separate "Movie" and "PVR" sections. They could have made things much simpler by combining them into a single "Videos" section that showed all extensions and had delete, rename, create folder, and move functions. (Also, the "HBPVR" folder should have a more understandable name, like maybe "My Recordings." I've never figured out what the "HB" stands for.)
I never noticed that delete problem with the Movie option. I had a few items I dropped in there, but it never occurred to me that they couldn't be deleted. I've made some other folders on the root that contain some yoga video my wife uses and other stuff I've archived too. That is such a bad design flaw. I can't understand the reasoning they used for that.

I thought I was the only one baffled by that folder name. I figured if it were HDpvr that I would get. Maybe it's a typo?

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post #5380 of 5449 Old 04-28-2019, 04:45 PM
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Is the version I listed equivalent to the 1903 version they have for download?
As far as I can tell, it is.
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I thought I was the only one baffled by that folder name. I figured if it were HDpvr that I would get. Maybe it's a typo?
Maybe, but it's been that way for 5 or 6 years, and it's the same on every box I've tried (HomeWorx, iView, Terk) so if it's a typo, it's obviously not a priority for the firmware developer to fix.
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post #5381 of 5449 Old 04-30-2019, 01:29 PM
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I've been using the 3200 for a few days now. I guess I fell in love with the iViews all over again. This new one solves two problems for me. That near useless LED isn't there to disturb my sleep at night when it records or draw my eye in if I'm watching a movie on the big screen. I had some electrical tape on the old 3500 to block that in the bedroom. And that old remote with the battery upgrade works like a dream with this version as well. Oddly, even the fast forwarding works much better too than on my old rig. Anyway I couldn't hold back and I bought another and plan to move my 3500 to backup duty. Great recommendations all around. Thanks!!!
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post #5382 of 5449 Old 05-02-2019, 06:55 PM
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The first couple of minor annoyance I've noticed popped up that I'm wondering if there's a fix for that doesn't involve downgrading the firmware.

When the guide menu populates enough that you need to see programs on the second page my earlier units would allow me to page to the next screen using the Fast Forward key. That unfortunately does not work using my old remote or the new little mini remotes. I need to manually arrow past each program to hit the second page and continue arrowing down until I hit the program I want to dvr.

The other minor issue is the audio used to work fine on all channels using RAW HDMI. Using RAW on the new 3200 yields a garbled sounding audio on a few channels. Using PCM works fine and it does apparently work with my Dolby Surround when it comes to feeding the side and rear speakers so I'm not overly concerned unless there's a relevant reason to use the RAW option.

UPDATE:

I'm editing this to add that one of my annoyances wasn't actually worth mentioning. The page down issue I mention is because they've changed the previous buttons they used to the '1" and "2" buttons. I couldn't see these well when they were displayed on my old standard definition tube tv. But when I looked on the HD big screen they stood right out.

Last edited by SD73; 05-04-2019 at 10:02 AM. Reason: UPDATE
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post #5383 of 5449 Old 05-04-2019, 06:44 PM
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Yes, all the "new" firmware for the 7802 boxes seems to work that way now. The 1 and 2 buttons page the list; the 3 and 4 buttons page the description. Even odder, the legend on the EPG screen displays the buttons with a leading zero; i.e., "01" for the 1 button; "02" for the 2 button, etc. making it look as if you need to press 0 followed by 1 to page down. You don't, of course - just press 1. I don't know why they labeled the paging functions so oddly.
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post #5384 of 5449 Old 05-05-2019, 09:22 AM
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Yes, all the "new" firmware for the 7802 boxes seems to work that way now. The 1 and 2 buttons page the list; the 3 and 4 buttons page the description. Even odder, the legend on the EPG screen displays the buttons with a leading zero; i.e., "01" for the 1 button; "02" for the 2 button, etc. making it look as if you need to press 0 followed by 1 to page down. You don't, of course - just press 1. I don't know why they labeled the paging functions so oddly.
I file that 01 with the HBPVR naming. Just plain goofy.

I did have one other mostly minor issue, but a bit more annoying than the others I mentioned. I've seen a few others here mention it as well so I thought I'd email their tech support to make sure it's on their radar even if a fix isn't eminent. It's the issue where the timing of recording is off a bit. Mine tend to start about 22 seconds early and end just as early. Some shows I miss a line or so off the end. And with adding extra time doesn't always work when I have multiple recording lined up.
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post #5385 of 5449 Old 05-05-2019, 06:51 PM
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It sounds like the iView's time may not account for the 18 "leap seconds" that have been added to the calendar since the start of GPS week 0 (upon which ATSC time signals are based) at 00:00:00 UTC, 6 Jan 1980. There are two likely reasons:

  1. The station may be broadcasting a GPS-UTC offset of zero instead of the correct value (18)
  2. The station is broadcasting the correct offset, but the iView's firmware designers forgot they had to subtract it from the transmitted time value

Either, or both, would put the iView 18 seconds fast, resulting in recordings starting and ending 18 seconds early, which is pretty close to the 22-second discrepancy you're seeing.

The more fundamental problem, though, is that the iView has no provision for adjusting incorrect times sent by the stations. That's been a problem from the very first iView until today. Since some stations broadcast wildly inaccurate time, that can be a serious impediment to getting recordings to start and stop at the correct time. (While I have a lot of problems with Channel Master's CM-7004 converter box/DVR, at least this is one thing the 7004 got right: ability to manually set the date and time.)

The problem is compounded by the inability to pad recordings that happen back-to-back. Of course, with only one tuner, if back-to-back recordings happen to be broadcast on different frequencies, there's nothing the iView could do; but often, back-to-back recordings are on the same channel. In that case, the iView should be able to write the same data to both recording files (end of the first one and start of the second) during the minute or two of overlap.
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post #5386 of 5449 Old 05-05-2019, 07:42 PM
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About stations broadcasting inaccurate time, I saw that years ago when DTV was first starting, and the converter boxes and the iView had problems because of this. I started by shooting out some email to the offending stations pointing out their problem and referencing the FCC regulation requiring the time to be accurate within a pretty tight range (I forget what it was and won't look it up now, but it's like around a second). When one station kept sending bad times (like 12 minutes) with no correction or response to my email, I responded again saying how much I enjoyed their programming and would feel bad if they incurred a heavy FCC fine or lost their broadcasting license over this violation. Have no idea if they really responded to that or just got around to fixing it, but it was fixed.

Point is, if a station in your area isn't in compliance, might be worth shooting them an email referencing the FCC requirement. Be nice but accurate.
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About stations broadcasting inaccurate time, I saw that years ago when DTV was first starting, and the converter boxes and the iView had problems because of this. I started by shooting out some email to the offending stations pointing out their problem and referencing the FCC regulation requiring the time to be accurate within a pretty tight range (I forget what it was and won't look it up now, but it's like around a second). When one station kept sending bad times (like 12 minutes) with no correction or response to my email, I responded again saying how much I enjoyed their programming and would feel bad if they incurred a heavy FCC fine or lost their broadcasting license over this violation. Have no idea if they really responded to that or just got around to fixing it, but it was fixed.

Point is, if a station in your area isn't in compliance, might be worth shooting them an email referencing the FCC requirement. Be nice but accurate.
OK, I actually searched thru my old emails and indeed the spec is one second. Here's a quote from the FCC reg:

FCC Document A/69:2009, 25 December 2009:

• System Time Table (SST). The System Time is required to be accurate to within plus or minus one second. It should be checked daily and, ideally, locked to GPS time. See Section 6.6. A/65 recommends that the STT be inserted into the TS a few milliseconds before each seconds-count increment of the house time with the to-be-valid value.

Since I found this old email, I exaggerated the error, it was actually 4 minutes, but plenty to ruin recordings.
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post #5388 of 5449 Old 05-06-2019, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
It sounds like the iView's time may not account for the 18 "leap seconds" that have been added to the calendar since the start of GPS week 0 (upon which ATSC time signals are based) at 00:00:00 UTC, 6 Jan 1980. There are two likely reasons:

  1. The station may be broadcasting a GPS-UTC offset of zero instead of the correct value (18)
  2. The station is broadcasting the correct offset, but the iView's firmware designers forgot they had to subtract it from the transmitted time value

Either, or both, would put the iView 18 seconds fast, resulting in recordings starting and ending 18 seconds early, which is pretty close to the 22-second discrepancy you're seeing.

The more fundamental problem, though, is that the iView has no provision for adjusting incorrect times sent by the stations. That's been a problem from the very first iView until today. Since some stations broadcast wildly inaccurate time, that can be a serious impediment to getting recordings to start and stop at the correct time. (While I have a lot of problems with Channel Master's CM-7004 converter box/DVR, at least this is one thing the 7004 got right: ability to manually set the date and time.)

The problem is compounded by the inability to pad recordings that happen back-to-back. Of course, with only one tuner, if back-to-back recordings happen to be broadcast on different frequencies, there's nothing the iView could do; but often, back-to-back recordings are on the same channel. In that case, the iView should be able to write the same data to both recording files (end of the first one and start of the second) during the minute or two of overlap.
You may be correct in the 18sec vs 22sec which I stated. I used the highly controversial 1 Mississippi technique to arrive at that figure. Your timing misconfiguration makes sense. I would never have put that GPS signal info together so I really do appreciate you bring that up. In lieu of a manual adjustment like the Channel Master has, I think I'll pursue ProfQuill's avenue of attack for a fix.


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OK, I actually searched thru my old emails and indeed the spec is one second. Here's a quote from the FCC reg:

FCC Document A/69:2009, 25 December 2009:

• System Time Table (SST). The System Time is required to be accurate to within plus or minus one second. It should be checked daily and, ideally, locked to GPS time. See Section 6.6. A/65 recommends that the STT be inserted into the TS a few milliseconds before each seconds-count increment of the house time with the to-be-valid value.

Since I found this old email, I exaggerated the error, it was actually 4 minutes, but plenty to ruin recordings.
This is very helpful! I appreciate you posting this. I'll be sending out an email shortly with your content.
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post #5389 of 5449 Old 05-06-2019, 12:26 PM
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Longevity of usb drive with my IView

I have been using an SD Ultra 3.0 16 GB for about a year at roughly 3 - hours recording a week. I had it set while I was away but when I returned the box wouldn't recognize the drive and plugged into a PC I could not open the drive. It appears to be toast as they say. I realize this is a very general question but is this an approximate useful life span of such a drive and would using one with more memory likely add to its life?
Thanks in advance.
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post #5390 of 5449 Old 05-06-2019, 12:59 PM
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Have you attempted t bring it back to life by reformatting it? Also if that's not good enough try opening your device manager, remove its "allocation" and re-allocate/initialize it. [I forget their exact terminology]

In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".
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post #5391 of 5449 Old 05-10-2019, 07:53 PM
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You may be correct in the 18sec vs 22sec which I stated. I used the highly controversial 1 Mississippi technique to arrive at that figure. Your timing misconfiguration makes sense. I would never have put that GPS signal info together so I really do appreciate you bring that up. In lieu of a manual adjustment like the Channel Master has, I think I'll pursue ProfQuill's avenue of attack for a fix.




This is very helpful! I appreciate you posting this. I'll be sending out an email shortly with your content.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
It sounds like the iView's time may not account for the 18 "leap seconds" that have been added to the calendar since the start of GPS week 0 (upon which ATSC time signals are based) at 00:00:00 UTC, 6 Jan 1980. There are two likely reasons:

  1. The station may be broadcasting a GPS-UTC offset of zero instead of the correct value (18)
  2. The station is broadcasting the correct offset, but the iView's firmware designers forgot they had to subtract it from the transmitted time value

Either, or both, would put the iView 18 seconds fast, resulting in recordings starting and ending 18 seconds early, which is pretty close to the 22-second discrepancy you're seeing.

The more fundamental problem, though, is that the iView has no provision for adjusting incorrect times sent by the stations. That's been a problem from the very first iView until today. Since some stations broadcast wildly inaccurate time, that can be a serious impediment to getting recordings to start and stop at the correct time. (While I have a lot of problems with Channel Master's CM-7004 converter box/DVR, at least this is one thing the 7004 got right: ability to manually set the date and time.)

The problem is compounded by the inability to pad recordings that happen back-to-back. Of course, with only one tuner, if back-to-back recordings happen to be broadcast on different frequencies, there's nothing the iView could do; but often, back-to-back recordings are on the same channel. In that case, the iView should be able to write the same data to both recording files (end of the first one and start of the second) during the minute or two of overlap.
Well, small update and an offer. So far no luck with writing the station, and I've alerted the FCC. I also let iView know just to throw it out there and see what sort of answer I'd get back. As you'd expect, nothing that addresses the actual problem, but I did get an offer to reflash my dvr with the 20190318V5 software I'm running. The person who sent it to me swore it worked for another customer. I knew better, but I bit and gave it a shot. Of course it didn't work, but at least I have the s/w. If any one would like a copy pm me your email and I'll send it out. This is for the 3200STB with the 3/4 switch.
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post #5392 of 5449 Old 05-17-2019, 11:53 AM
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Well my issue appears to be resolved. The FCC stepping in apparently did the trick.
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Here is the 3500STBII page: https://www.iviewus.com/firmware3500STBII/ ... and here is the 3200STB page: https://www.iviewus.com/firmware3200STB/

It looks like they've moved their firmware files to an Amazon server. Unlike iView's server, the Amazon server does not allow browsing; you now have to know the name of the file you want.
Well, some good news: iView has moved the 3200 and 3500 firmware back from Amazon to their own servers, which do allow browsing. And the firmware files are better organized now: there's a folder for the original 3500STB, a folder for the 3500STBII, and a folder for the 3200STB. It looks like a few files for the very oldest 3500STBII's got lost in the shuffle, though; if you have a "first-generation" 3500STBII, with a serial number earlier than 1309, iView may not have the firmware for your box any more (but I may still have it in my firmware collection).

There's also a new firmware file for the non-mStar 3100STB. I wonder if it addresses some of the serious shortcomings that box had when it first came out. Anyone have a 3100STB they want to try updating?
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I have two 3500STBIIs with the 3/4 switch purchased within months of one another. One works reliably with an HDD recording a half dozen shows weekly, the other uses a USB 3.1 memory stick and is intermittent (resets) anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes after power up even when not recording, does this sound like a symptom of a failing main power supply capacitor C6 1000uF 10V?

If so, any proven recommendations for a replacement capacitor?
Thanks, Trevor.
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At first blush, it sounds like something is overheating. But electrolytic capacitors certainly fail too.

The first thing I'd try is swapping the drives to see if the problem moves with the drive or stays with the same iView. If it moves with the drive there's no sense replacing iView parts; you just need to replace the drive.

If it stays with the same iView, feel around inside and see if you can find something getting too hot. Also look for visible signs of failure like bulging electrolytic capacitors.

If you have (or can borrow) an ESR meter you can test your electrolytic capacitors in-circuit (i.e., you don't have to desolder them from the board to test them).

You can replace any failing capacitor with another having the same value and an equal or greater voltage and temperature rating, as long as it will fit. No need to be picky here. Just watch the polarity when soldering in the replacement and you'll be fine.
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iView-3500STB back to life... but...

Subsequent to replacing C6, 1000µF 10V on the power supply board, the units light up again.



The older one reports SW Version CL630133 121207 V4

which I tried flashing with file 3500STB-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-V6.bin


The unit boots twice, but the SW Version number doesn't change.

Are there undocumented "gotchas?"



The other unit reports SW Version CL630133 130618 V7
Is that a firmware version later than the one currently on the website?



Apologies if these items were covered before.

I can't figure out how to find relevant posts... newbie...

Jerry
-- oakland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
At first blush, it sounds like something is overheating. But electrolytic capacitors certainly fail too.

The first thing I'd try is swapping the drives to see if the problem moves with the drive or stays with the same iView. If it moves with the drive there's no sense replacing iView parts; you just need to replace the drive.

If it stays with the same iView, feel around inside and see if you can find something getting too hot. Also look for visible signs of failure like bulging electrolytic capacitors.

If you have (or can borrow) an ESR meter you can test your electrolytic capacitors in-circuit (i.e., you don't have to desolder them from the board to test them).

You can replace any failing capacitor with another having the same value and an equal or greater voltage and temperature rating, as long as it will fit. No need to be picky here. Just watch the polarity when soldering in the replacement and you'll be fine.
Thanks for the quick reply. It resets when not recording, so nothing to do with the drives, the USB 3.1 drive runs cool during recording and playback, so I don't believe I've stressed the power supply.
Time (wet weekend) to take the iView apart, see if anything looks bad, I could put a voltmeter across C6 while it's running to check for a momentary short. If it's overheating (I assume that means the main chip) I believe I have to trash the iView.
Has the reliability of iViews improved in the last five years, or are they as bad today as ever?
Any improvement in reliability when iView redesigned it for the 3200?
P.S. I need the RF sensitivity that my present 3500s provide.
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If you have a scope you could check for AC ripple across C6; if you see any it's probably worth trying to replace it.

If a chip is overheating you might be able to find a heat sink that would fit it, giving it a new lease on life.

If you do have to replace it, you could consider a 3200 if you don't need the 3500's component outputs. Advantage is the power supply is a 5V wall-wart, so it could be replaced easily if it ever goes out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalevan View Post
Subsequent to replacing C6, 1000µF 10V on the power supply board, the units light up again.

The older one reports SW Version CL630133 121207 V4 which I tried flashing with file 3500STB-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-V6.bin

The unit boots twice, but the SW Version number doesn't change.

Are there undocumented "gotchas?"

The other unit reports SW Version CL630133 130618 V7
Is that a firmware version later than the one currently on the website?

I can't figure out how to find relevant posts... newbie...
Those sound pretty old. Are they original 3500STBs? Do they have the original remote controls?

I just downloaded the 3500STB-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-V6.bin to check and it looks like iView has the firmware for these older boxes mislabeled. -V6.bin is actually V3; -VR.bin is actually V6! I think VR (which is the "real" V6) is for the newer remote control, but I think both remotes use mostly the same codes, so you can still work your iView even if you put firmware for the "wrong" remote on it. There are just a few buttons that won't work right.

I don't think iView's Web site still has any newer version for the older boxes (3500STB's and the oldest 3500STBII's w/o the channel 3/4 switch) but I saved a few versions over the years. I have the V7 that you have on one box, as well as V9 and V13.

I think V13 is the latest for the old boxes. Right after that they changed hardware (adding the channel 3/4 switch) and started the version numbers over at 1! So there's a V1, V2a, and V3 for those. Then they changed hardware yet again (removing the channel 3/4 switch again) and finally started labeling the firmware versions according to the serial number on the box.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Those sound pretty old. Are they original 3500STBs? Do they have the original remote controls?

I just downloaded the 3500STB-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-V6.bin to check and it looks like iView has the firmware for these older boxes mislabeled. -V6.bin is actually V3; -VR.bin is actually V6! I think VR (which is the "real" V6) is for the newer remote control, but I think both remotes use mostly the same codes, so you can still work your iView even if you put firmware for the "wrong" remote on it. There are just a few buttons that won't work right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I don't think iView's Web site still has any newer version for the older boxes (3500STB's and the oldest 3500STBII's w/o the channel 3/4 switch) but I saved a few versions over the years. I have the V7 that you have on one box, as well as V9 and V13.


I think V13 is the latest for the old boxes. Right after that they changed hardware (adding the channel 3/4 switch) and started the version numbers over at 1! So there's a V1, V2a, and V3 for those. Then they changed hardware yet again (removing the channel 3/4 switch again) and finally started labeling the firmware versions according to the serial number on the box.



Yup. The two with power supply failures were the original 3500STBs (gen-1).

From my 35 years abusing electrons for a living, I know electrolytic capacitors tend to fail more often than we would like. For longevity, pick a good one for the production build.

Desoldered and tested C6 (and all the other electrolytics) out of circuit. A factor of 50 decline in C6's measured value accounts for the PS misbehaving.

Not a biggie.

If looking for a root-cause... Possibly a bad batch, or possibly a manufacturer that doesn't know what they are doing... Maybe even a counterfeit part.

I'm glad only one of the electrolytics was kaput. (Same markings on c6 for both units)

(Had to replace electrolytics in some network extenders; the problem isn't limited to DVRs)



The absolutely reliable way to know which file is which is to use the operating system command-line utility md5sum (or on some systems, md5) to calculate the "check-sum"

for each version of the firmware. [All versions of MD5 on all operating systems generate the same check-sum string. ]

If a filename gets changed somewhere along the line, calculating the md5sum can detect the error. **



These are the firmware files I have along with their download dates:

MD5 (3500STBII-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-V1.bin) = d4071d3c3c69d2312f825a23cea6a46aJuly 1 2016
MD5 (3500STB-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-V6.bin) = d366ea1db2cab4d0a166bf73200cd654 July 1 2016
MD5 (3500STB-USB-Upgrade-All-Flash-VR.bin) = bc99dd774e0462ddd2e3b553387df358
July 1 2016
MD5 (usb_upgrade_all_flashV1.bin) = d4071d3c3c69d2312f825a23cea6a46a March 8 2016
MD5 (usb_upgrade_all_flashV6.bin) = d366ea1db2cab4d0a166bf73200cd654 April 30 2014
MD5 (usb_upgrade_all_flashVR.bin) = bc99dd774e0462ddd2e3b553387df358 April 30 2014



As you can see, The three files downloaded a few days ago had basically the same names they did in 2014 and 2016. (short-cut: compare the last few digits of each md5 sum)



YES! I would greatly appreciate getting copies of more recent firmware.



I have two new remotes, and two old remotes.

I have two of the first-generation STB units, and
one of the second-generation STBii WITH the ch3/ch4 switch.

I think the third-generation STBii DOES NOT have the ch3/ch4 switch.

Did I miss any other generations?



** on Apple OSx the MD5 utility is called md5. On linux it's md5sum.

Jerry
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