Homeworx HW-150PVR, Support and Discussion - Page 95 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2821 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 07:49 AM
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I see that it saves in mts format. Is this a standard method for OTA DVR, or will different brands use different file formats?
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post #2822 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post

What does EPG stand for & why does it have a key labeled such?
Others who actually use the unit (I'm not using mine) might be able to answer your other questions, but EPG stands for Electronic Program Guide.
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post #2823 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by theqmaster View Post
Hi,

So I gave Homeworx another change my 180 stopped working after 1 year so I got a HW-150PVR. Anyone knows how can I get to the firmware upgraded ? The listed firmware is V6.1 (September 25, 2018 18:21:21)

Help a friend, drop a note!

Q
V6.1 is the latest version for the HW-150PVR.

You may think otherwise because some of the very first HW-150PVR's had firmware versions like V10, V12, V13, and V14. (I think there may have even been a V18 at one point.) But those firmware versions were for a different chip (7816, vs. the 7802 in today's HW-150PVRs). The firmware developers foolishly started the version numbers over at V1 when they switched, and that has caused a lot of confusion.
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post #2824 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
Overall this unit is pretty crappy wrt the user interface, compared to my LG DVD recorder. Is this typical of USB based PVR units? Are there brands with better human factors design?
I agree, but the box is under $40, after all. There are PVRs that are much more user-friendly, but they usually cost over $200.
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Deleting a recording requires pressing the "EPG" key -- what does EPG mean, anyway? Why can't you label a key "DELETE" like on a normal remote control?
Many of the buttons perform multiple functions, including EPG. When watching live TV, EPG brings up the program guide (which is the easiest way to schedule a recording, BTW); hence the label.

If they had spent a few minutes thinking about the remote, they probably would've put on the typical four colored buttons (red, green, yellow, & blue) and used those for context-sensitive functions, instead of choosing random buttons to perform functions like Delete and paging lists up & down.
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I had recorded a show, then later on we had a power outage (lights flickering off long enough to mess up digital clocks) and the USB stick started flashing, even though no recording in progress. Later I could not find any recordings.... Am I going to have this problem with an SSD drive? We have frequent small outages like this; so I might have to plug this into my uninterruptible power supply.
Several things: first, yes, if you have frequent power flashes you should invest in a UPS. That goes for any PVR, not just this one.

Second, many USB sticks simply will not work. Their write speed is too slow, especially when recording HD stations. One brand of USB stick that will work is SanDisk - but avoid the tiny "Fit" USB drives and use the larger "Ultra" drives instead.

Third, while you can use an SSD with this PVR (assuming an appropriate USB dock or enclosure), that's a pretty expensive recording medium. An ordinary spinning-platter hard drive with its own power supply (i.e., not powered by the USB cable) is your best choice if you want more capacity than a SanDisk USB stick.

Finally, consider formatting your USB stick or hard drive in the NTFS format. Most larger USB sticks nowadays come preformatted in the exFAT format - that will not work!
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
What does the TIMER key do? Just an empty popup box labeled "SCHEDULE."
Pressing the "1" key brings up:
EVENT ADD -
That's the "hard" way to set up a recording. It works like an old-style VCR.
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
I input the time 4:18AM to 4:20AM which is a couple minutes from now. Result is "station invalid" -- what's going on? Tried 4:20AM to 4:22AM, same error.
No idea - if you continue having trouble, post a screen shot; maybe someone can spot the problem.
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The REC key does not allow me to enter a stop time or interval.
Correct; unfortunately, if you use REC you must be there to stop the recording when done.
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
What does the HOLD key do?
Another one of those context-sensitive keys. I have no idea why they labeled it "HOLD."
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
How do I get to page 2 of a program description?
I believe the 3 key should do the trick; however, most stations only transmit short descriptions. It's rare to even have a page 2.
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
Also the tiny thumbnail images of the key functions shown in the popup box are fuzzy & too small to make out. This is with a 32" diagonal television, 10 feet away.
RF and composite video are going to be fuzzy. Use an HD video connection (HDMI or component video) if possible. Also, make sure the box is set to the highest resolution your TV will support. Even HDMI looks fuzzy at 480i resolution.
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
I see that it saves in mts format. Is this a standard method for OTA DVR, or will different brands use different file formats?
Different DVRs may use different formats, but most of the DVRs in the same price range as the HomeWorx use the .mts format.

.Mts is a shortening of .m2ts for old file systems that were limited to 3-character extensions. It's a standard A/V container format.

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post #2825 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
Daylight Saving toggle seems to be built backwards. Had it ON since its the dead of winter... and the program times were one hour late (listed 10 for a start time actually at 9).

Toggled the setting OFF and now the start times are correct.
No, that's correct: we are on standard time now. DST starts in March.

There is a "gotcha" though. This box doesn't switch between standard time and DST automatically. You have to go into the menu and turn it ON when DST starts in March, then go back in and turn it OFF when DST ends in November.

I would've thought ON switched automatically, and OFF was only for places like AZ and HI that don't have DST at all. But that's not how this box works.
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What is PROGRAM EDIT -- and why does it demand a password?
That's actually where you move, rename, delete, or flag channels to skip or as favorites. The developers' command of the English language is not great.

The password is 000000 unless you change it (for parental controls).
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
Why is playing back a recorded program not a direct button on the remote? Its buried several layers deep --
Menu
Last icon on the right
Multimedia
PVR
then there is a random string as some sort of folder name
FINALLY it displays recorded files
There is a USB button on the remote that will take you directly to the "Multimedia" menu. Your recordings are stored in a folder labeled "HBPVR", which I agree isn't very obvious.

To be blunt, the HomeWorx PVRs have lousy remotes. Iview's is better, and has a "PVR" button that takes you directly to the "HBPVR" folder. (Yes, the recordings folder is named "HBPVR" on all these inexpensive PVRs - no idea where the developers came up with that name)

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post #2826 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 03:38 PM
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For someone who would know how to do it, a new set of firmware would do these boxes wonders.

The CM-7004 would have been a wonderful little box if not for the abysmal firmware.

Nick

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days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996
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post #2827 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 04:23 PM
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One of my issues with the inexpensive DVRs is that you have to take some action before it starts buffering. Any chance the current gen of the 150pvr initiates a buffer automatically?
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post #2828 of 2844 Old 12-30-2019, 09:24 PM
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The .MTS format is indeed .m2ts which is pretty much how the raw streams are coming in over the antenna. It's not difficult to play or repackage into .mkv or .mp4 containers without re-encoding if you want. There's even software that will help you losslessly cut commercials.

As far as the remotes and control of the unit: it blows. I only use my PVR's interface to set the recording timer (which I usually ignore the EPG and just enter manually because I like to add extra time before/after).

I've mentioned it many times before, but I use a CableMatters HDD Dock. I can use one of my many spare internal PC hard drives in it, and it connects to my home network.

So once a program is recorded I either play it back on my smart TV using Kodi or my PC using any media player I feel like. The advantages are that multiple people can access the drive simultaneously (just not while the PVR is powered on), I can control playback with my TV's far superior remote (or media player controls), and the audio and video are a raw pass through (the PVRs resize the video based on your setting preference and some models don't pass AC3 audio).

Edit: Oh yeah, every time the clocks change back or forth for daylight savings I completely forget that these things need to be adjusted. The way it works is just so atypical for consumer electronics.

Last edited by DoctorM; 12-30-2019 at 09:27 PM.
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post #2829 of 2844 Old 12-31-2019, 07:53 AM
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...SNIP
I've mentioned it many times before, but I use a CableMatters HDD Dock. I can use one of my many spare internal PC hard drives in it, and it connects to my home network.

So once a program is recorded I either play it back on my smart TV using Kodi or my PC using any media player I feel like. The advantages are that multiple people can access the drive simultaneously (just not while the PVR is powered on) .... SNIP
How does this CableMatters Dock connect to both the HomeWorx and your network? Is it a wifi networked HDD? Sounds like a good solution for me since I don't particularly like watching recordings on the Homeworx.

I have a HDD dock but I have to unplug it from the Homeworx and plug into my computer to watch the recorded shows.
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post #2830 of 2844 Old 12-31-2019, 08:37 AM
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How does this CableMatters Dock connect to both the HomeWorx and your network? Is it a wifi networked HDD? Sounds like a good solution for me since I don't particularly like watching recordings on the Homeworx.

I have a HDD dock but I have to unplug it from the Homeworx and plug into my computer to watch the recorded shows.
I have a CableMatters dock too. It has a USB port to connect to the HomeWorx, and both an Ethernet port and WiFi to connect to your home network. (I prefer Ethernet but it's nice to have the WiFi option too.) If you search this thread for "CableMatters," you should be able to find the old posts where we worked out how to use this thing.

The HomeWorx powers down its USB port when it's off, so once you set it up to record your shows, you can turn it off and it will only turn on to make recordings, then turn itself back off. The CableMatters dock will disconnect from the network when the HomeWorx powers the USB port up to record, then reconnect to the network when the recording is done and the HomeWorx powers the USB port back down.

It makes a cheap solution for recording programs that are on between, say, 11 PM and 7 AM, then watching them at a more reasonable time. (The major network stations often just fill time with infomercials during that time, but independent stations and diginets like MeTV often still have good programming late at night.)
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post #2831 of 2844 Old 12-31-2019, 01:16 PM
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Thank you very much for the info. I'll search this thread for more information.
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post #2832 of 2844 Old 01-24-2020, 08:41 PM
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There seems to be no way to determine how much free space is available on the external hard drive ???
It did not record last night, even though I saw the blue light on the HD flashing as usual.
Seems to use about 1.2 GB per hour ?
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post #2833 of 2844 Old 01-25-2020, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
There seems to be no way to determine how much free space is available on the external hard drive ???
It did not record last night, even though I saw the blue light on the HD flashing as usual.
Seems to use about 1.2 GB per hour ?
I am interested in this information as well. We just got one of these for my MIL, and the timers she set kick off as scheduled, but then it flashes a "disk full" error and exits after recording only one second. We erase almost all the recordings she made manually, and still get the same thing. I bought a new HDD for her but haven't installed it yet. I didn't want to spend too much, so I only bought 500GB. How much recording time (approximately) should I tell her it has? If it makes any difference, she mostly records old shows like the original McGuyver, Hart to Hart, etc. from the Cozi and Heroes and Icons channels, so they aren't real HD quality.
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post #2834 of 2844 Old 01-27-2020, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by IwantMyVCR View Post
Seems to use about 1.2 GB per hour ?
It will depend on the channel being recorded, but a rough rule of thumb is 1 to 2 GB/hr for standard definition channels and 4 to 8 GB/hr for high-def channels.
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post #2835 of 2844 Old 02-24-2020, 09:06 AM
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I have a hard time setting recording for a specific number of minutes. The RECORD button does not seem to allow me to say "for 55 minutes from now, START."

If the program I want to record has already started, the EPG function will not allow it to begin recording. I have to manually change the start time, and it seems I need to set it to several minutes from "now" in order to make it work. Or something; its just annoying that there are no instructions. And doing all the fiddling makes me miss a couple more minutes of the show.

Also, when selecting a program well ahead of time, I always need to move the start time one minute prior to the actual start time, because the hardware takes a good 30 seconds to actually start recording. So an input start time of 6pm actually starts recording at 6:00:30 and I miss the start !
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post #2836 of 2844 Old 02-24-2020, 10:32 AM
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stupid fricking piece of crap... Just spend 15 minutes trying to figure out why the unit was not outputting to the TV. Set up using the HDMI cable. The IN coax had fallen out, and the problem started after I plugged it back in. Swapped the HDMI from 1 to 2 to see if the TV was faulty, etc.

Turns out there is a button on the remote labeled HDMI and it seems that if you push that button, it turns off the HDMI output leaving ... nothing. Because when I noticed the button & pushed it, it worked again. So WTF is that button for?
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post #2837 of 2844 Old 02-24-2020, 11:47 AM
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I agree: the RECORD button just starts a recording, and you have to be around to stop it manually. This box needs the old "Quick Recording" VCR feature that let you not only start a recording but also set the end time to 15, 30, 60, etc. minutes from now, by just pressing a button a few times until the desired length was shown.

That second problem is partly due to the station. The HW syncs its time to the station it's tuned to, and if the station's clock is off (and they often are), then your recording will either start late or end early (depending on which direction the station's clock is off in).

But the box needs a way to set a default amount of "padding" (say, one minute) just once, instead of having to overtype the start and/or end time of every recording you schedule. To be fair, there are quite a few other DVRs that also lack this useful feature, including Channel Master's Stream+ and Echostar's AirTV. But other DVRs have it, and you'd think that would be something easy to implement in firmware.
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Turns out there is a button on the remote labeled HDMI and it seems that if you push that button, it turns off the HDMI output leaving ... nothing. Because when I noticed the button & pushed it, it worked again. So WTF is that button for?
It rotates the output resolution of the HDMI (and, on the HW-150, component) outputs, cycling through 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p. Unfortunately, if it changes to a resolution your TV or display doesn't support, you get ... nothing, with no clue as to why it's not working! That button really shouldn't be there, or if it is, at least paint it red as a warning!

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post #2838 of 2844 Old 02-24-2020, 03:50 PM
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That second problem is partly due to the station. The HW syncs its time to the station it's tuned to, and if the station's clock is off (and they often are), then your recording will either start late or end early (depending on which direction the station's clock is off in).

But the box needs a way to set a default amount of "padding" (say, one minute) just once,
An out of synch time signal is a separate potential issue. But it seems to me that if two channels are sending different time stamps, it is helpful for the box to use the signal it wants to record from. It should then always match the station's start time, and never start early or late.

At say 6pm, the unit will say something like "preparing to record" and it takes a long long time to actually start. This is true even if the unit is already powered up. My old DVD/VHS recorder powers up a minute before the scheduled time, and finishes the "preparing" message prior to the scheduled start time.
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post #2839 of 2844 Old 03-17-2020, 09:04 PM
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I used the REC key to grab something in the middle of a program. When the commercial started, I used PAUSE to try to skip the commercial. Except that the screen just froze -- I could not see when to un-pause.
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post #2840 of 2844 Old 06-01-2020, 10:46 PM
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Anyone know if Mediasonic is going to build ATSC 3.0 versions of these boxes?
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post #2841 of 2844 Old 06-02-2020, 05:38 PM
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I have no knowledge, but I'd speculate that if/when ATSC 3.0 chipsets precertified for all the DRM ("Digital Rights Management") become available, the Chinese will build a box around them and importers like Mediasonic will sell them. That may happen in a year or two. ATSC 3.0 tuners will have Internet access, so any such boxes will include Ethernet and/or WiFi. They may use an OS such as Android instead of proprietary firmware, with the functionality provided by an app. If so, they'll probably cost more, maybe 2x-3x what an HW-150 costs, but not an outrageous amount.

In some ways it probably won't be as good because of DRM: you may not be able to record everything, and what you can record, you may not be able to play back on any device other than the one that recorded it. It's even possible the recordings will be encoded so that you cannot skip past commercials (a la streaming apps).

DRM depends on the broadcaster, though; I hope that at least some stations will elect to broadcast ATSC 3.0 without DRM.
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post #2842 of 2844 Old 06-02-2020, 06:39 PM
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My fingers are crossed for them to bring out something pretty much identical to what we have, but with an upgraded tuner. I wasn't aware that DRM was going to be a thing with ATSC 3.0. That makes me sad. I always felt HDTV was dated when it launched in the country. It should have been H.264 with 1080p capability.

As far as internet functionality, it seems so random and pointless. OTA television is in decline, especially with younger viewers. I can't imagine what audience they think will utilize it.

I only brought this up because I saw one of those ridiculous commercials on TV selling plain old antennas saying they will give you 4k TV.
Considering ATSC 3.0 is supposed to launch officially this month, I've got to assume there are SOME TVs that can do that, but the rest of us will need add on tuners... again.

Edit: It looks like there are not yet ANY external tuners but HDHomeRun is crowdfunding one (according to this article: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-t...-0-nextgen-tv/). (For the low price of $200 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...merun-atsc-30/) Considering their market niche, I have to assume that will have some sort of record function.

Anyone feel like the 3 Stooges are running this rollout?
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Last edited by DoctorM; 06-02-2020 at 06:47 PM.
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post #2843 of 2844 Old 06-03-2020, 05:54 PM
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HDTV was dated when it launched in the country. It should have been H.264 with 1080p capability.
The irony is, H.264/1080p was added to the ATSC 1.0 standard a long time ago, but nobody uses it because there are still some older tuners/converter boxes in use that won't decode it. I say, when a station transitions to ATSC 3.0 and they have to crowd their channels onto an ATSC 1.0 "lighthouse," they should consider H.264 for some of the secondary lighthouse channels. It would make a lot of room on the lighthouse stations without dropping some channels or reducing resolution or picture quality.

The only time I've seen H.264 used (albeit in SD) on ATSC 1.0 was Ion's defunct Airbox pay TV service. The video was encrypted but the guide and audio were in the clear, and I could listen in for free with my HomeWorx!
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post #2844 of 2844 Old 06-03-2020, 07:42 PM
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The irony is, H.264/1080p was added to the ATSC 1.0 standard a long time ago, but nobody uses it because there are still some older tuners/converter boxes in use that won't decode it. I say, when a station transitions to ATSC 3.0 and they have to crowd their channels onto an ATSC 1.0 "lighthouse," they should consider H.264 for some of the secondary lighthouse channels. It would make a lot of room on the lighthouse stations without dropping some channels or reducing resolution or picture quality.

The only time I've seen H.264 used (albeit in SD) on ATSC 1.0 was Ion's defunct Airbox pay TV service. The video was encrypted but the guide and audio were in the clear, and I could listen in for free with my HomeWorx!
Then I wonder if our boxes could record H.264 broadcasts. Of course, this is the first I've heard of any station using it.
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