I just received a new Mediasonic Homeworx HW-150PVR to replace my fairly new Ematic AT103B. I really love the AT103B, but two of the remote codes conflict with my Vizio sound bar: (1) sound bar MUTE matches AT103B PLAY, and (2) sound bar INPUT SELECT matches AT103B FF.
The new HW-150PVR is running SW version "Jun 8 2016-0606:08-V5.3" and it is HW version "MLG-7802-V5". According to the Mediasonic website forum
, V5.3 should not require an update (they have what looks like on the surface to be a confusing array of firmware versions, some needing update, and some not).
The good news is that the HW-150PVR remote doesn't conflict with the Vizio sound bar. Yay! It also works nicely with the Logitech Harmony universal remote.
The user interface is nearly identical to the AT103B (in fact, many of the online views I've seen of UIs on these small PVR units indicates they are largely about the same).
There are some minor quirks:
- The program timer wants military time. Not an issue for me, but my wife finds it quite annoying. The AT103B used 12-hour time.
- A couple of times, when I was pressing a button like FF or Replay multiple times quickly during live viewing, I caused the unit software to "freak out". It just kept randomly, alternately, rapidly presenting different info popups. I had to do a hard reset to stop it. I'm not able to reproduce this problem easily, and I wouldn't normally press the buttons that way on the remote. I was just running a particular IR test.
- Something odd happened when I first plugged in my USB hard drive that I used for the AT103B. The unit was able to play MTS files I had on the drive, but when I attempted to record to the drive, even though there is over 200GB of free space, I got "Error disk full". I unplugged the drive, reset the unit, plugged it back in, and then it worked fine.
I emailed Mediasonic about the drive anomolies and the military time. They got back to me literally in minutes! And they included a V5.4 beta software file which adds the 12-hour clock option! For hard drive issues, they pointed me immediately to a link on their forum
indicating some things to be careful about, like if it's a 2.5-inch drive (which mine is), it cannot sink more than 800mA. They also warned against hard drives that have an automatic sleep mode (but from reading the above, it sounds like they're workable).
I'm very impressed so far with the promptness and usefulness of support both Ematic and Mediasonic. (I had called Ematic earlier this week about the IR codes and I got in to a knowledgable support person very quickly.)
So the HW-150PVR is likely a keeper and the AT103B will go back to Walmart. I'll hang on a few more days before finalizing. Outside of the remote conflict for the AT103B, I would recommend either one of these units.