Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 483 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #14461 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 11:54 AM
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I'll wait for $4.44 to buy one, then will play with it and look into creating independent format utility.
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post #14462 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
Channel Master is having a 20 day TV Freedom Sales beginning July 4, 2017 at 6:00 AM Pacific. For complete information, click HERE.

Below is a list of what's on sale. There are 4,000 of each. The DVR+ is the 16GB model (no mention if new or refurbished). Not sure how they figure that $144.44 is 40% off of the regular $249, but at least the error is in the buyers favor. Perhaps an honest mistake, or they're just trying to use as many 4's as they can to honor The 4th? The sale includes free shipping within the continental U.S.

Indoor Antenna Bundle
FLATenna, Amplify and coaxial cable
$54.44 (50% savings)

Outdoor Antenna Bundle
STEALTHtenna, Amplify and coaxial cable
$74.44 (50% savings)

DVR+
$144.44 (40% savings)

Amplify
$44.44 (50% savings)

LTE Filter
$14.44 (40% savings)
It's 42% off, probably to get all those 4's. So, I guess "about" 40%, rounding off.

That's about the best price ever on the DVR+. Closest before now was the 2-for-$299 Cyber Monday deal, wasn't it? It's now an old product, which probably explains the good price, but it's still one of the few decent OTA DVRs available.

I wish that page had links to pages about the various products on sale though. I hadn't seen the "Amplify" amplifier before and wanted to know if they renamed the venerable CM-7777, or if it's some new (probably not as good) product.
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post #14463 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
...
That's about the best price ever on the DVR+. Closest before now was the 2-for-$299 Cyber Monday deal, wasn't it? ...
That's what I remember, and yeah, it's a great price (not considering the age of the device, maybe no more updates, or ATSC 3.0).
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post #14464 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
... it's a great price ...
I think this is a good time to remind everyone, especially those new to this thread, that newer USB disk models larger than 2TB may no longer format to their full capacity on the DVR+, at least through DVR+ update 134R. This is because some USB disk manufactures have changed the disk sector size to 4,096 from 512 bytes per sector, and 512 byte sectors are required by the DVR+ (a MBR thing) at least through version 134R and the DVR+ doesn't properly support that (click HERE for corrected info). This is going to become a really big issue as time goes by unless a DVR+ update is released to address the issue, but that's looking bleak.

Also, disks larger than 2TB (with 512 4,096 byte sectors) require version 124R in order to format to the full capacity of the disk. After formatting, any version can be installed.

Last edited by pachinko; 06-30-2017 at 02:41 AM.
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post #14465 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 05:39 PM
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I would not be surprised if they sell out all of the DVR+ on the first day.
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post #14466 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by pachinko View Post
I think this is a good time to remind everyone, especially those new to this thread, that newer USB disk models larger than 2TB may no longer format to their full capacity on the DVR+, at least through DVR+ update 134R. This is because some USB disk manufactures have changed the disk sector size to 4,096 from 512 bytes per sector, and 512 byte sectors are required by the DVR+ (a MBR thing) at least through version 134R. This is going to become a really big issue as time goes by unless a DVR+ update is released to address the issue, but that's looking bleak.

Also, disks larger than 2TB (with 512 byte sectors) require version 124R in order to format to the full capacity of the disk. After formatting, any version can be installed.
Correction: it's the other way around. The DVR+ doesn't require 512-byte sectors and (with firmware version 124R only) will format USB disks that expose 4K-byte sectors to over 2 TB.

The DVR+'s problem is actually with large USB disks with 512-byte sectors. Such disks won't format to full capacity with any firmware released so far. Most firmware versions will format them to 2.2 TB; 124R will format them to their capacity minus 2.2 TB (or 4.4 TB for really large disks), so if you format with 124R, you may end up with a very small partition!

The reason is indeed MBR. MBR will work with either sector size but the number of sectors is limited to 2^32 (about 4.3 billion). So multiply that by 512 and you have 2.2 TB. Multiply by 4096 and you theoretically have a limit of 17 TB or so, but for PC compatibility reasons, it's getting harder and harder to find large USB disks that expose 4K-byte sectors.

A permanent firmware solution would probably need to support the newer GPT (GUID Partition Table, an acronym within an acronym), which allows a number of sectors larger than any foreseeable HDD.

P.S. WTF is up with the forum today? All the controls at the top of the edit window are either missing or broken.
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post #14467 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 07:20 PM
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Odd - reply window is fine with old Opera (version 12.18), but messed up with much more current Firefox (version 52 ESR). Guess I'll just use Opera for a while.
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post #14468 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Correction: it's the other way around. ...
Ok, thanks, I'll strike my error and restate.

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...
P.S. WTF is up with the forum today? All the controls at the top of the edit window are either missing or broken.
I ran into this myself earlier this week. If you're running NoScript in Firefox, you must allow the following:

avsforum.com
ajax.googleapis.com
google-analytics.com

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post #14469 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 08:07 PM
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Thanks! Turned out Privacy Badger was blocking ajax.googleapis.com. Changed the setting to block cookies only and all appears well again.
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post #14470 of 16976 Old 06-29-2017, 11:17 PM
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Ok, thanks, I'll strike my error and restate.


I ran into this myself earlier this week. If you're running NoScript in Firefox, you must allow the following:

avsforum.com
google-analytics.com
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Correction: it's enough just enable only one additional ajax ... site.
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post #14471 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 04:05 AM
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Selling off of the DVR+ model, model end sell off, or going out of business sale. Just saying.
Who cares what their motive is? This is the best price by a couple bucks ever for this DVR and you had to buy two to get the next best price. With PSIP guide capability, this DVR will be viable even if CM moves on.
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post #14472 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 08:18 AM
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post #14473 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 09:21 AM
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...,
but did want one for (now) "PC Monitor" TV.
Art
I got one a few years ago Dell 2408 1920x1200 which have all types of inputs, DP,HDMI, DVI, Component,RCA... still running OK, accepting any SD or HD signals from TR-50, K77, dish, DTV, etc.
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post #14474 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 11:29 AM
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Selling off of the DVR+ model, model end sell off, or going out of business sale. Just saying.
They listed an awful lot of products besides the DVR+, so I don't think they're doing this just to sell off the last of their DVR+'s.

CM could conceivably be going out of business entirely, but they're probably just clearing out excess inventory.
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Who cares what their motive is? This is the best price by a couple bucks ever for this DVR and you had to buy two to get the next best price. With PSIP guide capability, this DVR will be viable even if CM moves on.
Agreed. Even if we never get another firmware update and the Rovi guide goes the way of TVGOS, this is still a good, solid OTA DVR. It may not be worth the full list price of $249 anymore but it's easily worth $144.44.

I expect the DVR+ will be even less come Black Friday, though. ($139?) The trend of lower sale prices will probably continue until they do close out the model for good.
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post #14475 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 04:26 PM
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I knew someone would come up with the theory that a test in one market area cannot disprove a theory, and I fully intend to state that in my final report. However, the truth is that we already have many people performing the same test every day. Everyone who is not running 134R, and who has the alias tr50.dishaccess.tv blocked in their router, is performing the same test, and we still don't have any credible reports of forced updates via OTA signals. Of course, we have no way of knowing if each and every market area is being tested, so in theory we still can't disprove the theory if we want to take things that far.
Are you saying that a FW check could potentially be performed via OTA signals, or that a FW update could potentially take place via OTA signals? If the former is possible I would think that the latter would also be possible, though an actual update would probably require the FW to be updated to make it possible.
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post #14476 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 04:34 PM
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I'll wait for $4.44 to buy one, then will play with it and look into creating independent format utility.
I've often wondered how hard it would be--instead of hacking or waiting for an E* employee to release the code, to simply write new software and overwrite the existing software. I'm not well versed in Linux, but doesn't it use standard routines for accessing FW, bootloaders, etc?
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post #14477 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 05:04 PM
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Are you saying that a FW check could potentially be performed via OTA signals, or that a FW update could potentially take place via OTA signals? If the former is possible I would think that the latter would also be possible, though an actual update would probably require the FW to be updated to make it possible.
There is evidence that both were actually being done on some unknown TV related devices (no evidence with the DVR+) by a company that changed its name a few times (or was bought out), using the UpdateTV service. I've never seen it as practical for the DVR+ since it has Internet capabilities (and other reasons), but for nearly 3 weeks now I have been running a test on my DVR+ anyway. Thus far there has been no indication that the DVR+ uses OTA TV broadcast technology to determine that an update is available, much less attempt to install the update. Further, it appears that most PBS stations have abandoned UpdateTV, making it even less likely on the DVR+.
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post #14478 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 06:47 PM
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There is evidence that both were actually being done on some unknown TV related devices (no evidence with the DVR+) by a company that changed its name a few times (or was bought out), using the UpdateTV service. I've never seen it as practical for the DVR+ since it has Internet capabilities (and other reasons), but for nearly 3 weeks now I have been running a test on my DVR+ anyway. Thus far there has been no indication that the DVR+ uses OTA TV broadcast technology to determine that an update is available, much less attempt to install the update. Further, it appears that most PBS stations have abandoned UpdateTV, making it even less likely on the DVR+.
In that case I think that I have been running a similar test since the day I bought my DVR+. It has never been connected to the Internet, and is running 132R (0.5) since it was released and I installed it. I don't know if the bootloader and downloader versions have ever been updated, but they are 105S and 104B-104B, respectively. If I remember correctly, I've only updated my DVR+ twice since I've had it--124R in September 2015 and 132R in January 2016. The only other FW I have is a copy of 108R that I recently downloaded in case I want to revert to a version that supposedly collects PSIP data than later versions. So A) OTA FW checks/updates aren't happening at all, or B) they are not happening in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, which is one of the top 5 markets in the country. On the one hand, if OTA checks or updates were taking place one could argue that they would be tested in a smaller market. But on the other hand, one could argue that they would be tested in a larger market that would reach more units for a valid test. But if I had a third hand, I might scratch my head and wonder how they could ever know that any unit not connected to the Internet has been updated.
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post #14479 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 07:47 PM
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OTA or sat path of FW updates always been used in e*/dish devices; essentially it wouldn't use third party company's service, it just require to add to a station's mux just one PID with predetermined number. The STB checking presence of the PID on regular basis, if spooling version is higher then current, it will download it and do normal FW upgrade same way as from USB storage or Internet. In case of recovery, selection of the OTA PID, USB or Internet defined by FW setting and/or a jumper.
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post #14480 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
I've often wondered how hard it would be--instead of hacking or waiting for an E* employee to release the code, to simply write new software and overwrite the existing software. I'm not well versed in Linux, but doesn't it use standard routines for accessing FW, bootloaders, etc?
Im theory, if you had a C++ compiler for the processor used in the DVR+, you might be able to overwrite the firmware with Linux; but then you'd just have a Linux PC in a DVR+ case. Sure, you could then run open-source DVR software like MythTV on it, but it's easier to do the same thing with a cheap Android TV box.

Once almost everyone has converted to ATSC 3.0 and the DVR+'s built-in tuners have become mostly useless, it might be worth considering.
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post #14481 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
I've often wondered how hard it would be--instead of hacking or waiting for an E* employee to release the code, to simply write new software and overwrite the existing software. I'm not well versed in Linux, but doesn't it use standard routines for accessing FW, bootloaders, etc?
Not easy for sure, plus you must have libraries for all components: tuners, demods, CPU [STi or others] ,etc what providing by mfgs via NDA ...
Actually, there are open source PC based PVR/DVR, but porting it to the HW [K77] with a lot of security traps by e* (protected bootloader for start, what will not not load anything not signed by unique e* key).
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post #14482 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 07:57 PM
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Once almost everyone has converted to ATSC 3.0 and the DVR+'s built-in tuners have become mostly useless, it might be worth considering.
Sorry, but this will not happen in our lifetime. ATSC 3.0 will be in addition to ATSC 1.0 not instead of.
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post #14483 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
In that case I think that I have been running a similar test since the day I bought my DVR+. It has never been connected to the Internet, and is running 132R (0.5) since it was released and I installed it. I don't know if the bootloader and downloader versions have ever been updated, but they are 105S and 104B-104B, respectively. If I remember correctly, I've only updated my DVR+ twice since I've had it--124R in September 2015 and 132R in January 2016. The only other FW I have is a copy of 108R that I recently downloaded in case I want to revert to a version that supposedly collects PSIP data than later versions. So A) OTA FW checks/updates aren't happening at all, or B) they are not happening in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, which is one of the top 5 markets in the country. On the one hand, if OTA checks or updates were taking place one could argue that they would be tested in a smaller market. But on the other hand, one could argue that they would be tested in a larger market that would reach more units for a valid test. But if I had a third hand, I might scratch my head and wonder how they could ever know that any unit not connected to the Internet has been updated.
Thanks for the input for your area! I've reverted to 132R for my testing because that's the version that SirCrow is running, and is what instigated this adventure (see SirCrow's update nag and the speculation of OTA DVR+ updates by P Smith).

If you check the rabbitears UdateTV page, which is the best source that anyone has come up with (thanks JHBrantd), Dallas/FW does NOT show the UpdateTV icon when the list was last updated on 02/26/2014. Whether that means they never tested UpdateTV in Dallas/FW, or it was a failure, we can't know.

I doubt that a company could know for certain that all units were updated, but if the device was able to received a PBS channel, it likely would update, at least I assume that was the concept. Of course, there could reception issues on PBS, or PBS might be on VHF and the DVR+ is connected only to a UHF antenna, and likely other issues like getting all PBS stations to participate. If the developers, or CM, or whomever wanted to force DVR+ updates, there are other ways to do it, and they wouldn't have to pay for an outside service. Fortunately, thus far, it doesn't appear that they want to force updates upon us. Even though my area also lacks the UpdateTV icon, I plan to continue testing for about another 9 days, for a total of 28 days of testing (in my area)!

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OTA or sat path of FW updates always been used in e*/dish devices; essentially it wouldn't use third party company's service, it just require to add to a station's mux just one PID with predetermined number. The STB checking presence of the PID on regular basis, if spooling version is higher then current, it will download it and do normal FW upgrade same way as from USB storage or Internet. In case of recovery, selection of the OTA PID, USB or Internet defined by FW setting and/or a jumper.
Of course, discussions not related to the DVR+ is a bit OT. That said, SAT is one thing because it reaches almost everywhere from few sources, but OTA TV is another animal. If e*/dish is doing this using OTA TV broadcasts, the stations that broadcasts the data are the 3rd party, and I suspect they would want to be paid, and how do they get every/most geographic areas covered unless at least one station in all areas participates (refer to UpdateTV's pitiful showing with PBS)? Again, I don't doubt it can be done, or has been done, but it seems full of problems to me, especially for devices with Internet capabilities. And don't forget, thus far we have no reports that an update to a DVR+ via OTA has occurred.
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post #14484 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 08:52 PM
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OTA or sat path of FW updates always been used in e*/dish devices; essentially it wouldn't use third party company's service, it just require to add to a station's mux just one PID with predetermined number....
I know that Dish receivers can get FW updates via satellite, but Dish has full control over its satellite transponders (that's kind of the point of satellite TV). To be useful, doing the same via OTA would require cooperating TV stations in most if not all major markets, but neither CM nor E* owns or controls TV stations across the country! So the only practical way to reach most DVR+ owners OTA would be to make a deal with one of the big five networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, or PBS), or to use a service like UpdateTV that already made such a deal. Why would CM/E* do that just to push 134R out to DVR+'s that are mostly disconnected from the Internet anyway?

I could maybe see it in the following (unlikely IMO, but plausible) scenario: A network introduces an OTA service (say, a subscription TV service a la Ion's Airbox) that the DVR+ hardware, but not the current firmware, can support. CM/E* decide to update the firmware to support the new service (perhaps there's a revenue-sharing opportunity), so they partner with the network to push updates out OTA. That way anyone using a DVR+ to watch that network gets the new service, even if their DVR+ is disconnected from the Internet.

Hmm.... Maybe I should tune my DVR+ to Ion just to see what happens....
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post #14485 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 09:31 PM
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Cool My Need for another DVR+

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Originally Posted by pilotart View Post
...,
but did want one for (now) "PC Monitor" TV.
Art
Quote:
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I got one a few years ago Dell 2408 1920x1200 which have all types of inputs, DP,HDMI, DVI, Component,RCA... still running OK, accepting any SD or HD signals from TR-50, K77, dish, DTV, etc.
By "PC Monitor" TV; I was referring to the second TV in my sig which had been powered by my DVR+ until May, when I replaced it with top TV in the 'sig' (view below "Spoiler![SHOW]" at bottom).

It's still a great TV and got the "PC Monitor" idea for it after using the 32" HD Sony (using HDMI) as a Monitor when producing (via PowerDirector12 four years ago) a DVD set to honor my late wife. It was good for that job as those DVD Sets were intended to be seen on friend's / family's TV's but the standard 21" Dell Monitor was better for all other PC uses.

Now that 55" 4K is far superior as a PC Monitor (I probably use my Windows Tablet w/its 'two-fingertip' zooming more anyway) but a lot of tasks are just better accomplished on desktop PC and that TV makes the best PC Monitor I've ever seen.

I also have an antenna on that TV, and being 'spoiled' by DVR+ for TV enjoyment, feel I 'need' this second unit (and as a 'spare').
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post #14486 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 10:45 PM
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... So the only practical way to reach most DVR+ owners OTA would be to make a deal with one of the big five networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, or PBS), ....
That's what I do expect ...
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post #14487 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by P Smith View Post
Not easy for sure, plus you must have libraries for all components: tuners, demods, CPU [STi or others] ,etc what providing by mfgs via NDA ...
Actually, there are open source PC based PVR/DVR, but porting it to the HW [K77] with a lot of security traps by e* (protected bootloader for start, what will not not load anything not signed by unique e* key).
Unless the DVR+ is using proprietary components for the DVR+ wouldn't those libraries already be in existence and readily available? If so, a total wipe and replace of all ROM components shouldn't be that hard, i.e a total lobotomy. Once there, the open source PVR/DVR software shouldn't be a problem at all. All that remains would be to create a reliable and robust platform that meets the needs of users. Personally, I wouldn't care what software or platform was used as long as it got the job done.

I once considered cobbling together a PC based DVR, but I didn't want to deal with a giant piece of equipment and at the time I wouldn't sacrifice a laptop for it. The DVR+ is a beautiful piece of equipment, with it's compact, sleek profile. I'd go so far as to say it's a design masterpiece. Its weakness is the software, and even then it's 85% there. These days I think a DVR the size of a Galaxy S8 is within reach--especially if used in conjunction with an external HD, so maybe if CM does come out with a next generation device we might see something like that. And while on that subject it would be nice to see an expandable, multi-HD bank that functions as a library that would allow the user to store years of programming. I wouldn't have a big need for that, but I'm sure a lot of people would love it. Of course, having that would also make an editing function necessary to chop out the commercials and add user generated indexing of programs--all so people could record episodes they missed earlier and drop them into the proper sequence.
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post #14488 of 16976 Old 06-30-2017, 11:05 PM
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Sorry, but this will not happen in our lifetime. ATSC 3.0 will be in addition to ATSC 1.0 not instead of.
You be an eternal optimist on this score, @pachinko @wizwor . I think TV manufacturers absolutely loved the digital switch because it forced people to buy new TVs sooner rather than later. Somewhere in my garage I still have a 20 year old, perfectly good 27" behemoth that I would still have in use somewhere in my house if could still receive signals. Something like that would be great in a guest room to keep inlaws and others from staying too long . PC manufacturers loved the Windows upgrades that forced people to buy new computers. Radio manufacturers loved it when Norway ditched analog FM for digital because it forced people to buy new radios. For the same reason I think CM and all other commercial DVR manufacturers would love it if governments moved to new ATSC standards without any legacy provisions. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there are already lobbying groups gearing up for this and drooling at the thought of ongoing advances that would force people up upgrade equipment every few years. But I hope you are correct on this score. Unless someone wants a whole house home theater with 4K or better capability and program library hundreds of terabytes in size there is no reason why the average person shouldn't be able to use their existing DVR+ or other device until it dies in a big puff of smoke during the the last half of the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, or season finale of the hottest program of the season.

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post #14489 of 16976 Old 07-01-2017, 03:49 AM
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I think TV manufacturers absolutely loved the digital switch because it forced people to buy new TVs sooner rather than later. Somewhere in my garage I still have a 20 year old, perfectly good 27" behemoth that I would still have in use somewhere in my house if could still receive signals. Something like that would be great in a guest room to keep inlaws and others from staying too long .
I have a 36" Sony set in my basement. It doesn't do much, but it still works and absolutely does receive signals. It's attached to my last DTVPal. I have also used it with a TiVo Mini and a digital to analog converter I purchased with one of the government vouchers.

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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
PC manufacturers loved the Windows upgrades that forced people to buy new computers. Radio manufacturers loved it when Norway ditched analog FM for digital because it forced people to buy new radios. For the same reason I think CM and all other commercial DVR manufacturers would love it if governments moved to new ATSC standards without any legacy provisions. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there are already lobbying groups gearing up for this and drooling at the thought of ongoing advances that would force people up upgrade equipment every few years.
There will be no mandate. The FCC has been clear on that. Remember the analog to digital transition was preceded by a period where tv manufacturers were required to put digital tuners in televisions.

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But I hope you are correct on this score. Unless someone wants a whole house home theater with 4K or better capability and program library hundreds of terabytes in size there is no reason why the average person shouldn't be able to use their existing DVR+ or other device until it dies in a big puff of smoke during the the last half of the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, or season finale of the hottest program of the season.
There is a lot more to ATSC 3.0 than 4k. The pay-per-view possibilities will allow people without high speed internet to get, for instance, Netflix over the air. The thing is, that next generation of cell service will do that too. Regardless, in the home, ATSC 3.0 will go from antenna to a tablou-like router and be streamed to a roku-like box. No reason these streaming channels could not be added to CMTV.
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post #14490 of 16976 Old 07-01-2017, 06:38 AM
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That's what I do expect ...
But that's not what you said in your previous post. You said, "it just require to add to a station's mux". Even if one or more of the big 5 networks agreed to embed updates in their transmissions to the broadcast stations, they would have to transmit the update code over and over, much like UpdateTV did/does, for a indefinite period of time to take care of units that are still wrapped for birthday presents, or are still sitting on the shelves in the outlet stores, or are still unboxed backup units, or are receiving poor signals, etc. And the biggie is, who pays for that service? Unless there's a monetary benefit, like outlined by JHBrandt, suppliers of devices like the DVR+ have little incentive to use such a service when it's basically free to use their own Internet servers.
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