Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 280 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #8371 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobarino View Post
https://www.facebook.com/mychannelma...568743/?type=1
Looks like adding SlingTV to the guide is the "unexpected sudden opportunity". ???
Thanks for the Facebook link. Being an owner of the DVR+, I'm excited at seeing the product feature at multiple "stations" at that trade show. And, there is a large contingent from CM. This tells me there appears to be solid commitment from CM to move the product forward either via software (new features) or hardware (probably a larger financial investment), the former being a positive thing for all us current owners.
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post #8372 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Russell_ View Post
Thanks for the Facebook link. Being an owner of the DVR+, I'm excited at seeing the product feature at multiple "stations" at that trade show. And, there is a large contingent from CM. This tells me there appears to be solid commitment from CM to move the product forward either via software (new features) or hardware (probably a larger financial investment), the former being a positive thing for all us current owners.
It would be nice if they actually rolled out the improvements they keep hinting at in a timely fashion.
Werent we expecting something concrete by COB friday (this past friday)????
Did that happen or was the silly facebook posting of their attendance supposed to excite the current owners and motivate new owners to purchase their product?
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post #8373 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post
It would be nice if they actually rolled out the improvements they keep hinting at in a timely fashion.
Werent we expecting something concrete by COB friday (this past friday)????
Did that happen or was the silly facebook posting of their attendance supposed to excite the current owners and motivate new owners to purchase their product?
The FB posting definitely excited this current owner - so while it may have been silly to you it had a profound effect on me for the reasons I stated in post #8374 . Yes, software would be great, but I'm fine waiting until it's ready.
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post #8374 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 01:43 PM
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Big announcement

Surprise, surprise. Echostar makes the DVR+ and is adding another of their products the Sling TV app. I guess if you don't own any type of media player or gaming system this is a way to get the app. For 95% of the users, it is a big yawn..........
Great dvr, but don't get the excitement about adding this app or any others. Was really hoping for new firmware and enhancements.

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post #8375 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 02:12 PM
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I took the "Next week is going to be a great week!" post last week to mean they were close enough to launching the linear TV channels that it would be released this week. I expected to see it on Monday or Tuesday. When it wasn't released on Thursday I figured it wouldn't be this week (I work for a software company and even though we have support on weekends we NEVER release changes to the app on a Friday).

They are finally getting smart by not promising a date and only using "soon". People will try to nail down an estimate from you then say you've broken a promise by not meeting that date. What they should be saying is that "the next release" will include x or y, or "that is in development now", etc. Testing usually reveals problems you didn't see before, even after the "final build" of the software.

If they are smart they will release it the first part of the week, and not toward the end of the week.
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post #8376 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
That is incorrect. You had a choice. People who got the TiVo at $299.99 (I got two) got a good deal which was available and may not be available again just as people who paid $175 for the DVR+ (I got three) on BF did.

People who are making that choice now are choosing between a $300 DVR+ (with 1t disk) and a $50+$15 a month Roamio OTA. They are also (apparently) choosing between Sling TV and Prime, Plex (apparently), and Netflix. Given this choice, I would say the DVR+ is the better deal for potential customers given the likelihood that most of these potential new customers may be leaving cable now because enough 'cable' programming is available OTT.

$35/month gets a Sling subscriber: ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, CNN, A&E, Lifetime, History, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, ABC Family, IFC, H2, El Rey Network, Maker, Galavision, and HBO.

For another $5/month, you can add special interest packages to your subscription…

Sports: SEC Network, ESPNews, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line
Kids: Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV
Hollywood: EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In, Sundance TV
World News: Bloomberg TV, HLN, Euro News, France 24, NDTV 24/7, News 18, Russia Today
Lifestyle: truTV, Cooking Channel, DIY, WE tv, FYI, LMN

It's only one set at a time, but cord DVR+/Roamio OTA owners watch broadcast television, for the most part, right?

The real question is whether people who chose a DVR with no monthly fees will pay for any programming. I think many do (Netflix, Prime).

$35/month for HBO plus Sling basic vs $31 a month for Hulu plus Netflix. Still hoping for Netflix/Plex on the DVR+, but Sling TV is a very positive development.
Correction: I still have a choice as I have thirty days to decide about holding onto the OTA Roamio. Just for the record, I also picked up two of the DVR+ for $175 on Black Friday as well.... I have been waiting to see what linear would bring to decide on which product to keep and which to return to the seller (possibly Tivo OTA) or sell on ebay.

Where have you seen Plex is coming to DVR+?
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post #8377 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Russell_ View Post
The FB posting definitely excited this current owner - so while it may have been silly to you it had a profound effect on me for the reasons I stated in post #8374 . Yes, software would be great, but I'm fine waiting until it's ready.
I was hoping for something of substance this past week. Hinting at but not being able to specifically state that they are attending an industry event is beyond foolish and all they are trying to do is generate buzz/excitement for something that does not benefit the consumer one bit-be it current owners or new buyers. I mean really-keeping hush-hush about participating with an industry meeting is something double top secret! What a joke.

CM needs to bring on the actual rollout of what they are hinting at IMO.
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post #8378 of 16647 Old 05-16-2015, 08:21 PM
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I'm happy about what i saw in the short demo. The linear live internet channels loaded fast and were integrated nicely into the guide. Sling tv will be a huge but for a lot of people.
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post #8379 of 16647 Old 05-17-2015, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by sinkdrain View Post
I'm happy about what i saw in the short demo. The linear live internet channels loaded fast and were integrated nicely into the guide. Sling tv will be a huge but for a lot of people.
It would be disappointing to many people if the ability to record did not exist in Linear TV. The brief demo that Channel Master posted only showed one selection, "Watch this program".
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post #8380 of 16647 Old 05-17-2015, 05:56 PM
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Once Showtime launches their new OTT service this summer or fall, If CM could get Showtime to provide subscribers with their live streaming linear channels incorporated into the channel grid, plus an on-demand app (like Showtime Anytime), that might be enough to get me to sell my new TiVo Roamio OTA with lifetime and buy a DVR+. I really like the concept of combining OTA and OTT channels (plus apps) right in the same channel grid.
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post #8381 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by richart View Post
It would be disappointing to many people if the ability to record did not exist in Linear TV. The brief demo that Channel Master posted only showed one selection, "Watch this program".
Yeah, I think the Linear TV channels will not allow recording. They are streaming only, like a Netflix or Prime account, but I think they will be even more limited as I don't see a way to access a menu to view "on demand" programs from the Linear TV channels.

I'm not sure how Sling.tv works, if you can record Sling.TV channels or if they are streaming only. And if streaming only, can you view shows "on demand" (for example, see any episode of House Hunters on HGTV). A cable subscription does not allow "on demand" streaming, but at least you can record the programs.
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post #8382 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 06:50 AM
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I found a source for how streaming works on Sling TV, and it appears you can access up to three days worth of programs depending on the cable channel. Except for the movie channel add-ons, it appears the pickings are slim. I'm inferring that you don't have the ability to record and then skip commercials on the Sling TV channels:



That image, if it comes through, is from the Tech Hive article at http://www.techhive.com/article/2909...one-chart.html
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post #8383 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 08:38 AM
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I'm inferring that you don't have the ability to record and then skip commercials on the Sling TV channels:
If Sling TV works simply as a gateway app as it does on my Roku there certainly would be no direct access to schedule a recording. And since there is no real-time recording ability on the DVR+'s existing streaming services while you are actively watching a program I would not imagine anything different for Sling (especially considering its late addition to the DVR+).

HBO on Sling TV is essentially HBO NOW, so you can watch just about all their programming on demand.

I honestly cannot see much chance of recording any of the Internet linear streams, at least not at launch. If that ever becomes possible I will be over the moon, but even now my DVR+ does everything I bought it to do with aplomb. The added features are just gravy, as I already have other means of streaming.

But I like gravy!

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post #8384 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 10:26 AM
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WD My Passport, Ext2Fsd, Lister, etc.

I hate to bring this up again, but I've just succeeded, at last, in using WD Drive Utilities to set the My Passport's sleep timer to 10 min. But I still can't get Pachinko's Lister to find that drive. In Disk Management (Vista), I think the drive shows up, but without a drive letter, which it won't let me assign (option is greyed out). Am I not using Ext2Fsd correctly? How exactly is that meant to be used? I'm kind of stupid about that. Thanks.

Note: I plugged the drive into the PC without the 'Y' cable; I unplugged a joystick first, which may have done the trick. Funny, though, I had to jiggle the plug a bit before the drive appeared to power up.

UPDATE: At last, I've used the Lister to copy a 30-min. recording to my PC! (Took a little over 2 min., I think) It seems I need to have the HDD connected while the PC's booting so that it'll be found by both Ext2 and the Lister. Is this common? Also, I had to manually move the help file and the copier executable into the Executables folder for them to be used by Lister. I have v15.2.3.0 of the software. And one thing seems strange to me: the record_event_index file is on G: and the TS source is H: -- I guess those are the partitions. The help file shows the same 2 letters as examples, although it says H:\record_event_index, which differs from how it actually is. Thanks.

[Signature not found -- or just not clever enough.]

Last edited by SirCrow; 05-29-2015 at 08:11 PM. Reason: update
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post #8385 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 11:04 AM
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New user - 2 questions

Hey guys.

I'm official now. Got the 16gb version on ebay. I have 2 questions now. As reference... I'm just using the 16gb on board memory - no external HDD attached yet.

I've played with it for just a little while, but can't figure this out...

1. When I change the channel, it's seems to be requiring that I hit pause or something to start the "rewind live tv" ability? Is that the way it should be? I strongly don't want to have to remember to do something every time I change the channel to begin the recording live television process.

2. If I purchase a wifi adapter for this unit, and use it's extended guide ability to schedule something a week out, and then turn off my phone's hotspot (my only internet)... when it comes time to record the show, will it remember I told it to record XXX and do it, or does it need to maintain connection up until the time to record the show?

Thanks, so much!

Happy to be a part of the community.
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post #8386 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirCrow View Post
I hate to bring this up again, but I've just succeeded, at last, in using WD Drive Utilities to set the My Passport's sleep timer to 10 min. (remains yet to be tested). But I still can't get Pachinko's Lister to find that drive. In Disk Management (Vista), I think the drive shows up, but without a drive letter, which it won't let me assign (option is greyed out). Am I not using Ext2Fsd correctly? How exactly is that meant to be used? I'm kind of stupid about that. Thanks.

Note: I plugged the drive into the PC without the 'Y' cable; I unplugged a joystick first, which may have done the trick. Funny, though, I had to jiggle the plug a bit before the drive appeared to power up.
On Win 7, I run Ext2Fsd every time after plugging the drive in. Otherwise, the drive does not get a drive letter assigned.
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post #8387 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by brettdacosta View Post
Hey guys.

I'm official now. Got the 16gb version on ebay. I have 2 questions now. As reference... I'm just using the 16gb on board memory - no external HDD attached yet.

I've played with it for just a little while, but can't figure this out...

1. When I change the channel, it's seems to be requiring that I hit pause or something to start the "rewind live tv" ability? Is that the way it should be? I strongly don't want to have to remember to do something every time I change the channel to begin the recording live television process.

2. If I purchase a wifi adapter for this unit, and use it's extended guide ability to schedule something a week out, and then turn off my phone's hotspot (my only internet)... when it comes time to record the show, will it remember I told it to record XXX and do it, or does it need to maintain connection up until the time to record the show?

Thanks, so much!

Happy to be a part of the community.
1. I've never encountered this, so I really can't say. Sorry.
2. Once you've set a recording, you don't need internet connectivity for the recording to occur. Internet connectivity exists only to download the electronic guide, get firmware updates, and maintain the system clock.

If you decide to get a 3rd-party WiFi adapter, i.e., not bought from CM, check post #582 . It's on page 20 if your "number of posts per page" is set up with the default. The chip-set in the adapter MUST be the type that the DVR+ works with. Otherwise the adapter won't work.

Last edited by Arenal04; 05-18-2015 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Add WiFi adapter info.
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post #8388 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by brettdacosta View Post
Hey guys.

I'm official now. Got the 16gb version on ebay. I have 2 questions now. As reference... I'm just using the 16gb on board memory - no external HDD attached yet.

I've played with it for just a little while, but can't figure this out...

1. When I change the channel, it's seems to be requiring that I hit pause or something to start the "rewind live tv" ability? Is that the way it should be? I strongly don't want to have to remember to do something every time I change the channel to begin the recording live television process.

2. If I purchase a wifi adapter for this unit, and use it's extended guide ability to schedule something a week out, and then turn off my phone's hotspot (my only internet)... when it comes time to record the show, will it remember I told it to record XXX and do it, or does it need to maintain connection up until the time to record the show?

Thanks, so much!

Happy to be a part of the community.
#1 . I've not used the internal 16GB for anything, but I know it does operate slightly differently with the internal memory v external hard drive. IDK if what you describe is "normal" for the internal memory, but it is not how it behaves with an external drive attached.

#2 . It will remember, and even if the Rovi guide times out, it will use the Over the Air Programming Guide (OTAP), and if the OTAP guide shows that program it will record it. NB: the OTAP guide will only go out 3 days, but it will pick up the scheduled recording once it gets withing 3 days of the broadcast. You can confirm this by viewing the schedule.
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post #8389 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirCrow View Post
I hate to bring this up again, but I've just succeeded, at last, in using WD Drive Utilities to set the My Passport's sleep timer to 10 min. (remains yet to be tested). But I still can't get Pachinko's Lister to find that drive. In Disk Management (Vista), I think the drive shows up, but without a drive letter, which it won't let me assign (option is greyed out). Am I not using Ext2Fsd correctly? How exactly is that meant to be used? I'm kind of stupid about that. Thanks.

Note: I plugged the drive into the PC without the 'Y' cable; I unplugged a joystick first, which may have done the trick. Funny, though, I had to jiggle the plug a bit before the drive appeared to power up.
Open the DVR+ Lister’s Help file, and go to the last page (8), Questions and Anwsers.

Scroll down to item “11. How to assign drive letters to a DVR+ USB HDD in Windows using Ext2Fsd?”.

Please let me know if this gets you up and running, and especially if you see where it can be clarified or improved.
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post #8390 of 16647 Old 05-18-2015, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by richart View Post
It would be disappointing to many people if the ability to record did not exist in Linear TV. The brief demo that Channel Master posted only showed one selection, "Watch this program".
The demo showed the Bloomsburg Channel and Abc Live internet channels firing up. The clip shows a much quicker load up time than I expected.
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post #8391 of 16647 Old 05-19-2015, 09:19 AM
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I bought the Channel Master DVR+! Just waiting for it to arrive at my US mailbox...

I'm a little bummed I missed that $299 Tivo deal by a matter of days, but meh, I had decided on the CM DVR+ anyway and from what I've read there are pro's and con's to each unit, not to mention if I like it I recommend this unit to friends without a long spiel about how I got a "great deal" but they can't get it anymore. I like the simplicity of the DVR+, the way everything is centred around a TV guide view, and the idea of easily being able to back up my recordings as well with the EXT formatted drive. Just really hope that the Netflix app comes out for it soon, and I agree with previous posts that a Plex app would be awesome! I currently use a hacked Boxee with Plexee for that, so maybe even if CM never release it themselves someone will figure out how to inject their own apps into the system, just like with Boxee Hacks.

Last edited by CanadaJimmy; 05-19-2015 at 09:33 AM.
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post #8392 of 16647 Old 05-19-2015, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by brettdacosta View Post
Hey guys.

I'm official now. Got the 16gb version on ebay. I have 2 questions now. As reference... I'm just using the 16gb on board memory - no external HDD attached yet.

I've played with it for just a little while, but can't figure this out...

1. When I change the channel, it's seems to be requiring that I hit pause or something to start the "rewind live tv" ability? Is that the way it should be? I strongly don't want to have to remember to do something every time I change the channel to begin the recording live television process.

2. If I purchase a wifi adapter for this unit, and use it's extended guide ability to schedule something a week out, and then turn off my phone's hotspot (my only internet)... when it comes time to record the show, will it remember I told it to record XXX and do it, or does it need to maintain connection up until the time to record the show?

Thanks, so much!

Happy to be a part of the community.
1. On the DVR+ 16Gb version, (same version as mine). The internal memory is limited to less than 2 hours (or less, i got 80 minutes-ish). Live TV Recording is very limited because of this, unless you add a compatible external hard drive. It will "Start" recording when you hit the pause button (let's say you need a bathroom break and don't want to miss the game), when resuming, you can watch delayed or move forward & backwards from that exact time you paused up to live play (good for skipping some commercials and catching up with the program). If you had recorded a program or two, it can affect how much time DVR+ will catch up, one or two half hour programs will shorten the time. With an external storage, it is way different. DVR+ will use internal memory exclusively for recording Live TV (and it's system software, forgot to mention), it starts as soon as you change the channel, while external storage will record any other program you scheduled in your guide. I have not tried mine with an external storage as I bought an incompatible drive, but I got this info from the DVR+'s owners manual on CM's website.

2. Is a good question, once a program is scheduled for recording on the DVR+, it will use one of it's tuners to start recording at the time, date and channel the program is scheduled, even if there is no internet connection, or even if you remove that channel from the guide, it will still record it. The extended guide is only used to give the program it's title, description and other info. I discovered this when I was fooling around with the antenna and adding, removing and re-scanning for channels, one of the messages the DVR+ gave me is that if I had a program scheduled for recording, even if I removed the channel from the DVR+, it will still tune in and record that program, unless I cancelled that schedule. Also, the DVR+ can operate smoothly without any internet connection at all, it gets it's guide from the same channels.

If in doubt, disconnect the hotspot and schedule a random program, give it a try offline!

Thanks
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post #8393 of 16647 Old 05-19-2015, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Bacenet View Post
... Seagate Expansion Desk 2TB ...
2. USB to Sata interface seems to be the cause of incompatibility on the DVR+, not the hard drive.
etc...
Just adding some info to my previous post regarding this Hard Drive...

No matter what hard drive you put inside, the USB-Sata bridge inside will mask the hard drive as "Seagate Expansion Desk SCSI Disk Device", it does not show the actual information reported from the drive. Drive is unreadable if it's pulled out and used as an internal drive on a PC, unless you reformat (and then unreadable when used back inside the enclosure).

Conclusion... CM has homework to do, make sure whatever they use for OS inside the DVR+ has a more generic driver compatible with UAS (USB attached SCSI) devices. If you have an external hard drive that has problems, it might be due to the adapter built into it, consider another enclosure and/or external HD brand or model.
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post #8394 of 16647 Old 05-19-2015, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Anthony Bacenet View Post
Just adding some info to my previous post regarding this Hard Drive...

No matter what hard drive you put inside, the USB-Sata bridge inside will mask the hard drive as "Seagate Expansion Desk SCSI Disk Device", it does not show the actual information reported from the drive. Drive is unreadable if it's pulled out and used as an internal drive on a PC, unless you reformat (and then unreadable when used back inside the enclosure).

Conclusion... CM has homework to do, make sure whatever they use for OS inside the DVR+ has a more generic driver compatible with UAS (USB attached SCSI) devices. If you have an external hard drive that has problems, it might be due to the adapter built into it, consider another enclosure and/or external HD brand or model.
I had a similar issue with a WD MyBook drive several years ago - took it out of the enclosure and the entire drive was garbage. Turns out there's a chip in the enclosure that encodes/decodes the data with a key. Not sure why manufacturers do this - if the enclosure ever fails (e.g. power surge) then your data is toast too, even if the drive is fine! Sometimes the safest bet is to buy an internal drive and your own enclosure. In my case I had to backup all the data to another 1TB drive with it in the enclosure, then write the data back to the unenclosed drive!
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post #8395 of 16647 Old 05-20-2015, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
I took the "Next week is going to be a great week!" post last week to mean they were close enough to launching the linear TV channels that it would be released this week. I expected to see it on Monday or Tuesday. When it wasn't released on Thursday I figured it wouldn't be this week (I work for a software company and even though we have support on weekends we NEVER release changes to the app on a Friday).

They are finally getting smart by not promising a date and only using "soon". People will try to nail down an estimate from you then say you've broken a promise by not meeting that date. What they should be saying is that "the next release" will include x or y, or "that is in development now", etc. Testing usually reveals problems you didn't see before, even after the "final build" of the software.

If they are smart they will release it the first part of the week, and not toward the end of the week.

When they say 'Next Week" we have learned on this forum that it does not mean this month or possibly this year. It could mean next week but in the next month or next year. Next week is a code word for in the future at some undisclosed and unknown date due to all sorts of issues being worked on for which there is no known closure or scheduled conclusion.
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post #8396 of 16647 Old 05-20-2015, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LenL View Post
When they say 'Next Week" we have learned on this forum that it does not mean this month or possibly this year. It could mean next week but in the next month or next year. Next week is a code word for in the future at some undisclosed and unknown date due to all sorts of issues being worked on for which there is no known closure or scheduled conclusion.
It seems their own marketing department is their company's greatest threat.

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The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #8397 of 16647 Old 05-20-2015, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadaJimmy View Post
I had a similar issue with a WD MyBook drive several years ago - took it out of the enclosure and the entire drive was garbage. Turns out there's a chip in the enclosure that encodes/decodes the data with a key. Not sure why manufacturers do this - if the enclosure ever fails (e.g. power surge) then your data is toast too, even if the drive is fine! Sometimes the safest bet is to buy an internal drive and your own enclosure. In my case I had to backup all the data to another 1TB drive with it in the enclosure, then write the data back to the unenclosed drive!
IIRC, this was a feature of the MyBook line, but not of the Elements line from WD. They encrypt the drive. I have stayed away from the MyBook line for this reason.
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post #8398 of 16647 Old 05-20-2015, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
It seems their own marketing department is their company's greatest threat.
The same marketing department that called SlingTV “rickety, fickle and barely reliable” on a Facebook post April 7th in response to NCAA Basketball issues. And now they are excited to announce SlingTV will be available with the DVR+.
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post #8399 of 16647 Old 05-20-2015, 11:51 AM
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Facebook/Twitter gaffs are becoming more an more common across all industries. Sometimes you have to wonder who they let loose on the keyboards.

I was wondering if anyone had made any progress in "rooting" the DVR+? Would be nice to SSH in, install Samba and get it to share the recording drive as a network share. The capability has to be there if it's a linux based OS.

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Originally Posted by RTPVid View Post
IIRC, this was a feature of the MyBook line, but not of the Elements line from WD. They encrypt the drive. I have stayed away from the MyBook line for this reason.
Good to know - thanks! I may go with the Elements line for my DVR+ in that case.
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post #8400 of 16647 Old 05-20-2015, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadaJimmy View Post
Facebook/Twitter gaffs are becoming more an more common across all industries. Sometimes you have to wonder who they let loose on the keyboards.

I was wondering if anyone had made any progress in "rooting" the DVR+? Would be nice to SSH in, install Samba and get it to share the recording drive as a network share. The capability has to be there if it's a linux based OS.



Good to know - thanks! I may go with the Elements line for my DVR+ in that case.
I wonder if it is encrypted. I don't see any reason for that.

I wonder if they are using a HDD with too many bad sectors to sell as a standalone. They maybe using sophisticated bad sector mapping within the USB to SATA interface,
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