Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 83 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2461 of 2804 Old 09-19-2017, 01:59 PM
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Well, sounds like the 16GB Ultra just isn't working for you, even in SD Perhaps it's defective, or perhaps felf just got lucky with his.

Since the HDD works fine, I'd just stick with that for now. If you ever happen to buy a 32GB or larger Ultra, you might give it a try just to see if it does better.
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post #2462 of 2804 Old 09-19-2017, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plplplpl View Post
I can totally see him finding his niche doing that, LOL.

Thanks for all the research on flash drives. When I got my Homeworx a couple of years ago, I was initially disappointed how poorly USB flash drives often performed in it. Still debating whether to go flash or HDD, since I don't really have portability high on my sine qua non list.
Yeah, the Moooch seems to want to break into his third career in show business (last career lasted 11 days), he's following up his well-received hosting gig on TMZ with a guest host spot on "The View" sometime this week...

For me, I do most of my serious recording (and particularly editing) on my old PC that I now use exclusively as a media center with a 500GB internal drive and over 8TB of attached storage. I never liked using the various HDDs I tried with the iView for various reasons, and truthfully, the thing spent most of its five years of my ownership in a box with other unused junk electronics.

But just recently, when I found a flash drive that worked, I began using it on regular basis, in conjunction with the media center PC. It actually works a little better than the PC for recording and time-shifting "on a whim", so that's what I use it for.

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post #2463 of 2804 Old 09-19-2017, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Well, sounds like the 16GB Ultra just isn't working for you, even in SD Perhaps it's defective, or perhaps felf just got lucky with his.

Since the HDD works fine, I'd just stick with that for now. If you ever happen to buy a 32GB or larger Ultra, you might give it a try just to see if it does better.
If it doesn't work for plain recording SD, it's the worst flash drive I've ever heard of, since even the cheapest USB 2.0 drives I bought years ago with like 8GB for about $2 could do that...either that, or there really is some difference between Homeworx and iView...

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post #2464 of 2804 Old 09-19-2017, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxreactance View Post
If it doesn't work for plain recording SD, it's the worst flash drive I've ever heard of, since even the cheapest USB 2.0 drives I bought years ago with like 8GB for about $2 could do that...either that, or there really is some difference between Homeworx and iView...

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Eherberg has had some success with a 64GB Ultra on his HomeWorX, at least up to 720p:
Quote:
Originally Posted by eherberg View Post
I'm using the 64 GB Ultra with the homeworx (5.3 firmware) and so far it has been flawless. I've time-shifted in short batches with no issues (but I only have 720p stations with a max of 6 GB/hour). My big test was going to be yesterday time-shifting football for 3 hours to match up with the radio broadcast -- but unfortunately I forgot I had a concert to attend Saturday evening and was traveling back home during the broadcast on Sunday. So the big 3 hour timeshift test will now happen next Sunday. :-)
So at least one HW-150 with V5.3 firmware works with at least one flash drive (a 64GB Ultra). Also, Felf's iView works with a 16GB Ultra, again up to 720p. But that same 16GB model won't work with Skitz's HW-150 at all.

Skitz1967 may just be an unlucky HW-150 owner who got a lemon for his 16GB Ultra, but the frustrating thing is the inconsistency.
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post #2465 of 2804 Old 09-20-2017, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Eherberg has had some success with a 64GB Ultra on his HomeWorX, at least up to 720p:So at least one HW-150 with V5.3 firmware works with at least one flash drive (a 64GB Ultra). Also, Felf's iView works with a 16GB Ultra, again up to 720p. But that same 16GB model won't work with Skitz's HW-150 at all.

Skitz1967 may just be an unlucky HW-150 owner who got a lemon for his 16GB Ultra, but the frustrating thing is the inconsistency.
Yeah poor unlucky skitz....

Just confirmed the Western Digital blue 500gb drive will work unpowered in the usb enclosure I linked earlier. No issues at all even at 1080
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post #2466 of 2804 Old 09-20-2017, 05:56 PM
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Well, unlucky with flash drives, anyway....

But it's good to hear the Scorpio + USB enclosure works without external power. I figured it probably would, but as we learned with the flash drive, you never know for sure until you try it.
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post #2467 of 2804 Old 09-24-2017, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherberg View Post
I'm using the 64 GB Ultra with the homeworx (5.3 firmware) and so far it has been flawless. I've time-shifted in short batches with no issues (but I only have 720p stations with a max of 6 GB/hour). My big test was going to be yesterday time-shifting football for 3 hours to match up with the radio broadcast -- but unfortunately I forgot I had a concert to attend Saturday evening and was travelling back home during the broadcast on Sunday. So the big 3 hour timeshift test will now happen next Sunday. :-)
Just a follow-up: Used the Ultra today with a lengthy time-shift. Found an audio stream of the Vikings radio broadcast that was about 15 seconds behind the OTA broadcast. Synced up the video/audio using chase-play with the Ultra on the Homeworx. With 3+ hours of reading and writing to the Ultra - it performed flawlessly. Worked perfectly for an extended period of read/write with the Fox 720p signal.
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post #2468 of 2804 Old 09-25-2017, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Well, unlucky with flash drives, anyway....

But it's good to hear the Scorpio + USB enclosure works without external power. I figured it probably would, but as we learned with the flash drive, you never know for sure until you try it.

OMG what was I thinking messing with thumb drives so long. Got that $8 wd blue 80gb and not had even a minor hiccup since I started using it. Its great that some of you got that ultra working but at least for me never had a thumb drive that worked 100% like the unpowered hard drives. Will keep following thread out of curiosity but I have found my working system and wont be changing it again
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post #2469 of 2804 Old 09-27-2017, 06:54 AM
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Arrow Works on sister units from ViewTV AT263/AT300

I got a 64GB Ultra Flash, and used it with time shift, and several recordings for the sister units ViewTV AT-300 & AT263. Works well. It seems to work FASTER at starting the recording mode on AT300 timers than its sibling AT-263.

The 263 has a 2TB Seagate USB 3.0 $70 from Tarjaay too. I guess I need to get another stick and drive and play swap with each to see if its firmware or differences. These all are using MIPS based SoC's.

Or find a 7200 RPM USB drive.
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post #2470 of 2804 Old 10-23-2017, 05:30 PM
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I haven't been using my HW extensively (especially a few months ago) but now that fall is here I've been using it more and I tried weekly timers. I think it works for 2 weeks and then it recorded a day too early so counted wrong? The date didn't change.
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post #2471 of 2804 Old 10-24-2017, 06:52 AM
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What firmware version is your HW using?

Weekly timers should be simple - just add 7 days each time - but some firmware versions have had bugs in this area.
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post #2472 of 2804 Old 11-02-2017, 11:55 PM
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Just received a new 150PVR unit, it is:
SW Version: Mar 30 2017-15:02:00-V5.3
HW Version: MLG-7802-V5

I found the remote ok, despite some said it's odd, maybe I havent used it fully, havent tried the recording yet.
I use it as tuner and have it connected to an older TV at 1080i.

1. cannot fit entire picture to the tv screen. The cutoff on 2 sides is noticeable. For example ABC logo without the C.
The box is set at 1080i output. I tried different "aspect ratio" setting, doesnt help.
Is it something firmware update may correct, IF there is a firmware update.
Or is it something should be corrected at the TV itself? Tried all available settings at the TV, none helps.
(there may be service menu that I have yet to explore on the TV).

2. the major network HD channels are getting 50-60% signal quality reported by the box.
Dont notice pixelization, so that's good. It connects to TV via component video output.
However, when connecting HDMI out, signal quality dropped like 10% making 1 channel jumping between 0 and 40%
continuously, making it unwatchable.
I still have the component video output connected and that is also affected the same way.
If disconnected the HDMI, signal quality went back up.
Looks like connecting HDMI makes a difference. Anyone has similar experience?

3. is there newer firmware update for the unit?


Thanks very much.
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post #2473 of 2804 Old 11-05-2017, 12:22 PM
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To take your last question first, Mediasonic has a version 5.4, but it's beta and reportedly has a few bugs. Main thing it supposedly adds is 12-hour time.

You can probably email Mediasonic for a copy, but make sure they also send you a copy of 5.3 (the version you have now) so you can switch back if you don't like it.

As for the HDMI interfering with reception, I haven't heard of that happening before, but it doesn't totally surprise me. I have heard of folks whose hard drive interfered with their reception, making recording impossible. Luckily, just moving the box, cable, or antenna will often help some.

Your signals do seem a bit weak, though. Most of mine are in the high 70's. So perhaps an RF amplifier with adjustable gain can help. (I usually hesitate to recommend amps for the HomeWorX - its tuner is so easily overloaded, amps often cause more problems than they solve - but in your case, one may be appropriate.) A good (albeit rather expensive at $50) choice would be a KT-100VG amp from Kitz Technologies. You can adjust the gain from 20dB (factor of 100) all the way down to 0dB (no gain), so you can avoid making the signals too strong and making your reception worse. (Note: if you're splitting the antenna signal for multiple TVs, if possible put the amp before the split so all your TVs can benefit from it.)

And last but not least, that overscan issue. That probably has to be fixed at the TV end (although if you can get HDMI to work better, that may fix the problem too). Most TVs have an Aspect Ratio setting; try to find it and try all modes to see what works best. Also, if the TV's display resolution is less than 1920x1080, try setting the HomeWorx to 720p instead, then try various aspect ratios on the TV again.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 11-07-2017 at 03:01 PM. Reason: Fix typo
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post #2474 of 2804 Old 11-07-2017, 01:27 PM
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Thanks JHBrandt. I'll take a look at the Kitz amp. The indoor antenna came with a small USB amp, it helps boosting 10-20%, without it is even worse.

I tried only plugging in the HDMI(actually it went thru an adapter to DVI, I think the 2 formats are compatible), same reception setback. And same picture fitting issue with HDMI.

When I connect the TV using PC HDMI, with ATI graphics, if resolution is set to 1920x1080, 30Hz interlaced, it does not fit the screen either. I have to tune the video driver to output something like 1720x968, it then fits much better. Given the homeworx does not have fine adjustment option(granted, unless they add that into FW), I guess like you said the only way is to tune it in the TV itself. If there is
such thing with the old Mits 65413, it will be in the service menu. The TV user menu takes 480i, 480p or 1080i. It doesnt take 720p. I tried 480p with homeworx, picture does not fit entirely either, though slightly better.

One q, is Ivew 3500STBII the same with respect to fitting picture on TV?

Thanks again.
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post #2475 of 2804 Old 11-07-2017, 03:13 PM
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HomeWorX and iView are pretty much the same, and have the same resolution settings. I doubt you'd see any difference.

After some research I found the manual for your TV and downloaded it. If you don't have a copy, you can get it here: https://www.mitsubishi-tv.com/asset/...e/WS-65413.pdf

MAN that is a complicated TV! On page 62 it talks about the various aspect ratio modes. It looks like in 1080i you have either Standard or HD Expand modes; from what you're describing, it sounds like the TV is in the HD Expand mode and needs to be in Standard mode to avoid cutting off the image. But from the manual, I couldn't figure out how to change the mode! Try experimenting with the TV remote; maybe you'll stumble upon the right place to change it.
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post #2476 of 2804 Old 11-07-2017, 04:00 PM
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Thanks. Yes, I have the manual.

At 1080i, the TV only has standard and expanded mode. I am using standard with the matter here.

Correction: At Expand, it is stretched horizontally. It is sometimes used when the source is pillar-boxing making the image
compressed horizontally. The expanded mode attempts to correct that.

Last edited by PortAh; 11-07-2017 at 10:01 PM.
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post #2477 of 2804 Old 11-07-2017, 06:45 PM
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Well, it was worth checking. Sounds like you have it set correctly though.

None of the settings on the HomeWorX or iView are really acceptable either, as far as I can tell. The best combination to shrink the screen seems to be 480p resolution combined with 4:3 letterbox aspect, but you lose HD quality that way.

At this point I'd have to start wondering if the TV can be adjusted physically somehow, especially since you've run into a similar issue with your PC (although you were able to program around it with the PC). Unlike an LCD, LED, or plasma screen, where every pixel is visible directly, projector designs have optics that focus separate red, green, and blue images onto the viewscreen.

But I'm sure you'd need an expert to make any adjustments to the TV's optics - if it's even possible at all. Doing it wrong could really mess it up.
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post #2478 of 2804 Old 11-16-2017, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
To take your last question first, Mediasonic has a version 5.4, but it's beta and reportedly has a few bugs. Main thing it supposedly adds is 12-hour time.

You can probably email Mediasonic for a copy, but make sure they also send you a copy of 5.3 (the version you have now) so you can switch back if you don't like it.

As for the HDMI interfering with reception, I haven't heard of that happening before, but it doesn't totally surprise me. I have heard of folks whose hard drive interfered with their reception, making recording impossible. Luckily, just moving the box, cable, or antenna will often help some.

Your signals do seem a bit weak, though. Most of mine are in the high 70's. So perhaps an RF amplifier with adjustable gain can help. (I usually hesitate to recommend amps for the HomeWorX - its tuner is so easily overloaded, amps often cause more problems than they solve - but in your case, one may be appropriate.) A good (albeit rather expensive at $50) choice would be a KT-100VG amp from Kitz Technologies. You can adjust the gain from 20dB (factor of 100) all the way down to 0dB (no gain), so you can avoid making the signals too strong and making your reception worse. (Note: if you're splitting the antenna signal for multiple TVs, if possible put the amp before the split so all your TVs can benefit from it.)

And last but not least, that overscan issue. That probably has to be fixed at the TV end (although if you can get HDMI to work better, that may fix the problem too). Most TVs have an Aspect Ratio setting; try to find it and try all modes to see what works best. Also, if the TV's display resolution is less than 1920x1080, try setting the HomeWorx to 720p instead, then try various aspect ratios on the TV again.
Reading a few posts back about the amplifier and the potential to overdrive the signal I have another option. Its even MORE expensive but its one of the best amps on the market for over drive protection.

Antennas Direct Juice.

Just added one to my setup and it does make a difference. Not sure I could say a substancial difference on most channels but then i am 25 miles out of atlanta where most of the towers are.

What I did find was on my weaker stations the % signal report by the homeworx increased by 5-10% More importantly my snr increased by about .5 on strong stations and by as much as 3 on my weakest stations. So for example my snr on channel 32.x was about 15.5 without the juice... barely passable but ok to watch, with the juice in place and no other changes I now have an snr of 18 on that station.

Lastly I did not overdrive any stations aka didnt lose any and one of my stations was at 85% approx without the juice in place

The juice is VERY expensive at $80 or so but paired with my antennas direct db4e antenna in the attic I can now pull in OTA 122 channels. 40 actually have content I watch.

JHBrandt: If you got cash burning a hole in your pocket you should try one out and report back with a more technical review then I have given for others to benefit from.
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post #2479 of 2804 Old 11-16-2017, 02:21 PM
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Regarding preamps, there are folks here who know much more than I. I found this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaveras View Post
Kitztech KT-501 Preamp Tests

I purchased and tested a KT-501. There was a report that Kitztech claimed IP3 as +36 dBm. If true that would be a good number for handling of strong signals. Unfortunately I was not able to confirm that number. It appears to me KT-501 is just a lower gain version of the KT-500.

I've attached a series of spectrum analyzer images showing tests results for gain, noise figure and IP3 for VHF and UHF for the KT-501. The images are as follows:

1) VHF Gain
2) UHF Gain
3) VHF NF
4) UHF NF
5) VHF IP3
6) UHF IP3

Here's a summary of the test results for the KT-501 and KT-500. All tests are done with gain set to maximum.

KT-501 / KT-500

VHF Gain - 16 dB / 35.5 dB
UHF Gain - 16.8 dB / 33.5 dB
VHF NF - 1.8 dB / 1.3 dB
UHF NF - 1.9 dB / 1.3 dB
VHF IP3 - +26.2 dBm / +21.6 dBm
UHF IP3 - +26.3 dBm / +21.3 dBm

Those numbers for UHF IP3 on both preamps are some of the lowest I've measured. I can't recommend either of these preamps. The KT-200 is a much better preamp. I measured its IP3 at +30 dBm and the NF is a bit lower.

The best commercial preamp I've measured for IP3 is a 30 dB gain Tinlee MA-25U-77A at +37.5 dBm. The next best is the Clearstream Juice at 35.5 dBm. Both of those numbers are excellent.

The Juice preamp NF is about 1 dB higher than the 500/501 but I think that's a very small price to pay for the much superior strong signal handling. If you have a station that's so weak that 1 dB actually makes any difference then the station won't be anywhere near 100% reception.
... and this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit73 View Post
@Calaveras; did a comparison chart of preamps. What you want is a preamp with a high max input in dBm and a high SFDR (Spurious-Free Dynamic Range).



The Spurious-Free Dynamic range is the difference between the strongest signal and the weakest desired signal plus the minimum SNR of 16 dB for the weakest signal. IOW, from the top of the strongest signal to the bottom of the weakest desired signal.

Wish I could find Calaveras's original document instead of an image of it.
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post #2480 of 2804 Old 11-16-2017, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
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Regarding preamps, there are folks here who know much more than I. I found this:... and this:
Wish I could find Calaveras's original document instead of an image of it.
Well I dont know about all the fancy numbers, the tests I did were much more real world. The % increase was done by taking the stations % listed from info on the homeworx 150 then hooking up the juice and taking the same readings again for each station.

The SNR reading was taken using an old hauppauge 1600 card in a computer hooked to the antenna using the hauppauge signal meter program and wintv8, again doing a before and after.

While much much less technical, and I guess much more situational in nature, for me it showed very clearly what I got and what i didn't.

For example I gained a very weak uhf (4k broadcast) station that i couldn't get without it or with a cheaper amp (the rca one) but still was still unable to get 2 very weak vhf stations (3k broadcast)

Overall its a very expensive solution but it does work and seems to work well even if my antenna cost almost the same as the amp.

Update: Sad to say I will be returning the amp. While all my readings and findings were completely accurate I had tested at night. Tried to test again in the morning and the 2 weak stations no longer come in at all.

An aside while the meter on the homeworx under info says quality I believe its actually just a signal strength indicator. One of my weak stations never dropped below 45% and even this morning when it cannot get a lock still shows 47%-49%. I would assume this is a case where the signal is strong enough but the SNR is just to low to get a reliable lock.

Last edited by Skitz1967; 11-17-2017 at 06:51 AM.
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post #2481 of 2804 Old 12-20-2017, 02:10 PM
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The Great Flash Drive Experiment -- Terminated

Taking a break from looking up hook calls for AndroidTV Live Channels to chronicle my experience using flash drives with the HW150-PVR:

To summarize, I was using the Mediasonic for recording the wife's daily shows. They get recorded, copied to the computer, sometimes commercial-removed if I have time, and then converted to h.264 for inclusion in the Plex library. She (typically on the weekends) will sit on the FF button for her daily shows until she sees a segment she wants to view. She can get through the whole week of her daily M-F shows in about an hour or two depending on how many segments she watches.

Originally I was using a small hard drive (this one, actually) and powered via a powered USB hub due to concerns about the power availability from the USB port.

A while ago, I (like many others) began to use the Sandisk Ultra USB flash drive for recording. At first, it was great. No problems ... everything recorded fine ... even 3+ hours of time-shifting live football worked flawlessly.

But about a month ago, things started to go south. It was infrequent at first. A recording would be missed, and all timer entries on that channel would be gone. That's not an unheard of occurrence with these boxes, so I just chalked it up to things you have to live with when using a $30 box with no internal clock. Re-enter the timers and start again. But a few days later, it happened again. Repeat process, and a few days later again.

It happened initially with enough infrequency that I couldn't pin it down to a probable cause. And there are certainly many things that could be at fault:

  1. The box itself is flaky.
  2. The drive is flaky.
  3. Write speed problems.
  4. Signal being lost.
  5. Bad PSIP from the station

Any of those could have been the problem. I live in a fairly remote area where it is not unheard of to lose the signal for a second while watching a program. On top of that - the station where most of her programs are recorded is notoriously bad in their PSIP. On one day, the time will be 2 minutes fast ... the next day 2 minutes slow ... the day after that right on. There was a stretch of 4 days there was no EPG data at all that was available.

So, initially I assumed the station's signal itself was the likely cause (and certainly may have been for some of the failures).

But, I finally started noticing a pattern of failure as time went on. The box would start recordings just fine (every time), but failed to finish them. I always knew when there was a failure when I came home and saw the box was still 'on' and not in standby. I would look at the PVR menu and see that the recording had not been written to the drive -- but also noticed that the entries for that channel in the timer menu were either gone completely - or the channel to record in the entry would be changed from 8-1 (the intended channel) with 38-0 as the channel. Where it got '38-0' I have no idea. The channel is actually broadcasting on VHF channel 8 and there are no UHF channels accessible to me where I live in the boonies.

When possible, I tried to watch the end of her recordings while they were in progress to see if there was some kind of visual clue on the screen that I could use to narrow down the cause. Of course, every single time I actually was able to monitor this - the recordings all successfully completed. Ha-Ha, Homeworx HW150-PVR, pretty funny joke on me.

When recordings started to initially fail, there were 2 choices available to me when updating my wife regarding the availability of her programs:

  • Inform her that I don't have a particular airing of show 'X' for the week.
  • Don't say anything and hope she doesn't notice.

I initially went with the 2nd option. Yeah, Yeah ... I know ... I'm a prick ...

As time went on, the failures started happening more frequently. I could see on those failures that PSIP data was still present (with varying degrees of clock accuracy), so that wasn't it. I could see decent signal, so that didn't appear to be it (at least for the moments I was able to check). But failure rates were still on the upswing.

I did things like reformat the drive (with various tests of sector size) -- both on the box itself or using the computer. I would get in the habit of either late at night or early in the morning doing a 'reboot' of the box via the physical power button to ward off any on/standby gremlins that could possibly be the cause. This would help for a day or so - and then the failures would return.

Eventually there were enough failures during a week that I finally heard called out from the bedroom where my wife was looking at her daily shows listings in Plex, "Hey - why am I missing 3 'Rachael Ray' shows this week?"

There were 2 choices available to me in responding to that question:

  • Confess that the box had failed to record them.
  • Try to convince her that the missing recordings were repeats

Okay -- I'm a prick ... but not a GIANT prick ...

I 'fessed up. They were missing because of failure. She was not spectacularly thrilled and as a result, now I have to record every single episode of 'Rachael Ray' (including repeats) because she wonders how many others she missed ...

Given that the failure point always seemed to be after a successful start of a recording - I theorized that perhaps the issue was the drive. Although working so well in the beginning - perhaps there was usage problems as time went on. I was hopeful that reformats would eliminate that, but as they always came back shortly - perhaps the problem was in sustained writes to the drive -- or problems with closing the stream and writing -- or who knows what other reason. Interestingly, using the flash drive for football time-shifting on Sunday still works perfectly with no problems whatsoever. So, I wasn't terribly confident in my initial guess - but since the flash drive was the only constant when considering signal, PSIP, drive, flaky box, etc - I decided to start there first.

So I dug out the maxone 320 GB drive referenced above and put that back on the box. This time, not even with the hub. I just let the box itself power the 2.5" drive. I figured best to start changing single items and observe results.

And so far ... no failures.

The drive has powered up -- recorded what it is supposed to record -- and powered down with the box. No failures. Granted, this is only after 4 days of testing, but I haven't had 4 successful recording days in a row for about 3 weeks.

Too early to conclusively say I've found the problem - but initial results do seem to suggest that the prolonged use of the flash drive is what led to at least most of my problems. If this turns out to be the case, I will admit I'm disappointed to not being able to use the flash drive. It was certainly a convenient way (and I would have thought easier on the usb power supply) to get her daily programs.

Curious to know how others who have been using the Ultra are still coming along. Is it still performing well after steady use a couple of months down the road? I had the same initial positive experience in the beginning as everybody else using it - but is steady usage of the Ultra simply putting nails in a coffin lid as each week of regular use goes by?
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post #2482 of 2804 Old 12-20-2017, 02:40 PM
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I've been using mine mostly for time-shifting and a little bit of testing and, so far, no problems - but of course with time-shifting, the box is basically writing the same sectors over and over. So perhaps it works fine in that environment but not yours.

How full has your Ultra gotten - ever? Several posts ago (or was it on the iView thread? I can't remember now) it was pointed out that flash drives can slow down dramatically if they get too full - and reformatting the drive doesn't speed it back up! That could conceivably cause recording failures.

Besides formatting the Ultra, have you tried anything to restore the drive to its factory state? Micro$oft used to have a program called precompact.exe that would write zeros every unused sector on a drive - something like that might do the trick.
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post #2483 of 2804 Old 12-20-2017, 03:37 PM
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It never got too full -- the most, I think, was about 20 GB or so on the 64 GB drive. I may look into a 'refresh' to see if that helps matters at all.

Of course, the possibility exists that the maxone drive starts flaking out next week -- but right now 4 successful days in a row hasn't been seen for so long that I'm hesitant to pull it. My wife's pretty sensitive at the moment to her missed programs and I've got another experiment running with the HDHomerun that I don't want to move her stuff to that. :-)
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post #2484 of 2804 Old 12-20-2017, 05:26 PM
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it
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post #2485 of 2804 Old 12-21-2017, 07:35 AM
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@JHBrandt or any of you other AV guru's

Got a few things to ask about.. First of all what version of 5.4 firmware were you testing? 5.4.8 was just sent to me so thats considered the "current". Just loaded it so cant tell you much other then live CC works fine and cc in chase play doesn't work but thats expected. Currently I don't do much recording on the box as I have a hauppauge 1600 in a Plex server for my recording but can test anything you like assuming this is a different version then you tested previously.

Now hoping you can help me with an issue I am having. I have a station in my area that is being troublesome. Its 32.x in the Atlanta area. I would say 95% of the time the station is fine. I have checked the "quality" value on the homeworx 150 and its is about 60%-65% which is very good I get some stations clearly that are only at 41% or so though that seems to be the lower limit.

The other 5% of the time the station breaks apart with pixilation or becomes horribly out of sync between video and audio. Now the pixelation I just figured was a signal issue. Not so, I monitored the "quality" number when the pixelation was occurring and it never dropped below 60%. So I hook up the hauppauge 1600 and used the signal monitor utility. The SNR didn't change when the pixelation was occurring. Low end was about 21 for SNR and typical was 23 to 25 SNR. Very strong. No correctable or uncorrectable errors occurred at all.

I have purchased another 150 and it experiences the same issues. Any idea what might be causing this? Would a 180 or 130 help at all in this situation? I do have a pre-amp and a distribution amp as well in this setup but really don't seem to have these issues on any other stations and I have about 35 other stations, some stronger and some weaker. Currently also testing the 5.4 firmware in hopes this may help as well.

Lastly an interesting aside. The new 150 I purchased will scan and find 101-106 stations consistently, the older 150 i have finds 118-120 stations. So apparently like with so many other electronics there is a quality control issue. Just thought I would mention this for others in the forum so they know that all 150's are not equal.
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post #2486 of 2804 Old 12-21-2017, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Skitz1967 View Post
Any idea what might be causing this? .
Maybe the issue isn't the signal strength but rather multi-path? A highly directional antenna might work and rather than aiming it for the strongest possible signal the best course is to aim it with a reasonably strong signal but with the weakest possible multi-path (reflected) signal, not that I have a good way to suggest how to do that other than by trial and error.

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 #2487 of 2804 Old 12-21-2017, 02:05 PM
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I'm not actually using version 5.4. I have 5.3. When 5.4 first came out, there were some issues, and I never checked to see if there were any updates. But it sounds like 5.4.8 is finally stable, so I'm willing to take a look at it.

A SNR of 21-25 dB is OK but not actually that high. Minimum that can be received, even with a perfect tuner, is 15 dB, so you're only 6-10 dB above that.
Also note that SNR measures signal quality, not strength.

The strength of all your signals needs to fit within the dynamic range of the HW-150's tuner. The HomeWorX tuners can make things tough, because they don't have as much dynamic range as most tuners. If some signals are too weak, you won't receive them; OTOH, if some are too strong, you'll probably see pixelation on some of your weaker signals.

Since you have both a preamp and a distribution amp, it's possible that some signals are a bit too strong for the HW-150, but not too strong for the Hauppauge tuner. That could explain why one of your weaker stations occasionally breaks up on the HW-150 but not on the Hauppauge. I have the same situation and it's often tough to get all stations working on the HomeWorX or iView.
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post #2488 of 2804 Old 12-21-2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Maybe the issue isn't the signal strength but rather multi-path? A highly directional antenna might work and rather than aiming it for the strongest possible signal the best course is to aim it with a reasonably strong signal but with the weakest possible multi-path (reflected) signal, not that I have a good way to suggest how to do that other than by trial and error.
Any way to tell if that might be the case based on this:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...60edeba37478f0

Channel in question is wann-cd (channel 32) the first one listed in yellow. No other channels seem to have this issue, even ones like wpba-dt that is much lower on the list
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post #2489 of 2804 Old 12-21-2017, 02:43 PM
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Multi-path is a reflected signal from a tall building, metal bridge, mountain?, etc. which arrives at the antenna slightly out of phase, I guess, and from a slightly different direction. I'm no expert on how to measure it but sometimes moving a highly directional antenna just a bit so the troublesome reflected path falls into one of the reception nulls does the trick.

Take this Channel Master antenna I randomly googled up, for example. If you can successfully aim the antenna so the main signal still stays somewhere within the maximum strength forward lobe area yet the troublesome multipath reflected signal falls in one of the deep lulls, say the ones at about 30 degrees to either side, you hopefully will have cured your problem!

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".

Last edited by m. zillch; 12-21-2017 at 02:51 PM.
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post #2490 of 2804 Old 12-21-2017, 02:56 PM
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That helps. Unfortunately, TVFool has some problems with its database. It shows WANN-CD as an analog station (purple), even though it's obviously digital.

So I checked the FCC database for WANN. Looks like they're analog on RF 32 and digital on RF 29. (I assume the virtual channel for their digital signal is also 32 although the FCC doesn't say.) RabbitEars.Info agrees, but TVFool doesn't show the digital signal, probably due to the database problems I mentioned.

TVFool does show another station, WYGA, on RF 29. That doesn't make sense. RabbitEars shows WYGA on RF 16.*

But you can use the (incorrect) WYGA listing to estimate WANN's true status. They're the same direction (200 degrees) and about the same distance. So I'd say WANN is somewhat weaker than it looks: WANN, WYGA, and WPBA are probably all about the same strength.

So why does WANN pixelate when WPBA doesn't? I can only guess, but I do see that there are strong stations on RF 27 and RF 25. If the signal strength is a bit too high, those could intermodulate in the HW-150's tuner, producing interference on RF 29 where WANN is. So, attenuating your HW-150's signals a bit may be worth a try.

*OT: I think the confusion resulted from the upcoming repacking. WANN will be moving from RF 29 to RF 20, while WYGA will be moving from RF 16 to RF 29! Somehow TVFool got the post-repack record for WYGA and nothing (except the analog record) for WANN. Ugh. I'll be so happy when all this repacking is over and done.
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