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post #271 of 287 Old 08-28-2019, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
"Radio" channels are rare, and the newest firmware for these boxes doesn't seem to use them anymore anyway. (So you'd think they'd eliminate them from the menus, wouldn't you?)

At various times, my market (DFW) has had a few "radio" channels. They were actually audio-only channels broadcast by TV stations with no accompanying video.

At present, DFW doesn't have any of those left. But when we did, I found that different firmware versions would handle them differently: some of the older firmware would classify them as "radio" channels, and even had a cute "screen saver" animation when you tuned to them; but newer firmware just classified them as TV channels, and would just display "no program" when you tuned to them (but it would still play the audio).

Check that HW version. I suspect it's actually ABL7802-R836A; even if it's not, it's most likely a typo in the firmware.

7802 is the CPU chip; R836 is the tuner chip. (The R836 is a small chip located within an RF shield.) There's also a flash ROM chip where the firmware is stored.
You are correct R836-A.

Also worth noting that the Ematic I bought had a serial number on the box that they had to scan and, when I asked for the Extended warranty today, I was told Walmart did not offer a warranty on the unit. It came with the 14-day return and 90-day Warranty!

I also purchased a DVD Player at the same time and they offered a 1-year and 2-year warranty for a couple of bucks on the DVD player.
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post #272 of 287 Old 10-02-2019, 03:49 PM
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So I finally tried out the DVR function of my Ematic tuner. I tried recording Wheel & Jeopardy (ABC). Although Wheel seemed to record, Jeopardy only partially recorded.

I tried recording FBI (CBS), it recorded about 40 minutes then stopped. After those two fails I tried again later. This time I tried recording L F Nikita (Charge). As far as I could tell both episodes appeared to record.

For all recordings I preset them, and had the tuner tuned to the correct channel before the start times.

I am using a USB 2GB flash drive for the recordings. That's what I have to work with right now.

Is there anything I could do to have the Ematic record better? Any tips?
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post #273 of 287 Old 10-02-2019, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by IN2tvClassics View Post
So I finally tried out the DVR function of my Ematic tuner. I tried recording Wheel & Jeopardy (ABC). Although Wheel seemed to record, Jeopardy only partially recorded.

I tried recording FBI (CBS), it recorded about 40 minutes then stopped. After those two fails I tried again later. This time I tried recording L F Nikita (Charge). As far as I could tell both episodes appeared to record.

For all recordings I preset them, and had the tuner tuned to the correct channel before the start times.

I am using a USB 2GB flash drive for the recordings. That's what I have to work with right now.

Is there anything I could do to have the Ematic record better? Any tips?
Make sure the media that you are using is formatted with the NTFS file system. The FAT32 filesystem has a file size limit of 4 GB, so that might explain why recordings are being partially recorded. HD channels will likely stop sooner due to their larger size where SD channels will record longer, but it all depends on the amount of subchannels that a station has and their encoders.

Newer is not always better.
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post #274 of 287 Old 10-02-2019, 06:08 PM
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What Snowdog said. Always format your drive with NTFS for use with these boxes. The eMatic will break up a recording on a FAT32-formatted drive into 512MiB (~546MB) "chunks" and it sounds like it may be getting too far behind when switching to the next "chunk" and crashing.

Also, judging from the 2GB capacity, your thumb drive is probably pretty old. Older thumb drives usually work poorly with these boxes. Besides, 2GB isn't much. Even at standard definition, it's about an hour's worth of recording.

I've had good luck with SanDisk Ultra thumb 64GB and 128GB drives, and they've gotten pretty cheap lately. Avoid the tiny "Fit" drives, though; they also work poorly.
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post #275 of 287 Old 10-03-2019, 09:15 AM
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For all recordings I preset them, and had the tuner tuned to the correct channel before the start times. Any tips?
From my experience there is no need to tune to the channel you have scheduled to record at a particular time. Indeed, if I am not watching TV and have a recording scheduled for the wee small hours, I simply turn it off. It turns itself back on at the appropriate moment and records (to my USB HDD) without issue. And turns itself off again when the recording is done.

If I am looking through or watching one of the shows we have already recorded, it will interrupt and switch over to record as scheduled.

Often I set the recording to start a minute or two 'late' to avoid recording intro material and set it to stop as much as five minutes 'early' to avoid recording the 'stuff' they tag on at the end. When I do this, however, the 'Set to record' indicator does not show on the extended program guide display! It records as set, however, nonetheless.

MODEL AT103C
SW Dec 21 2018-17:18:19
HW ABL7802-R836-A

I include this information from my unit because these boxes all look alike but the innards are significantly different.
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post #276 of 287 Old 10-03-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by snowdog 88 View Post
Make sure the media that you are using is formatted with the NTFS file system. The FAT32 filesystem has a file size limit of 4 GB, so that might explain why recordings are being partially recorded. HD channels will likely stop sooner due to their larger size where SD channels will record longer, but it all depends on the amount of subchannels that a station has and their encoders.
This flash drive was brand new when I tried. I didn't format it before using it. I'll have to check to see if it was factory set for NTFS or FAT.


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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
What Snowdog said. Always format your drive with NTFS for use with these boxes. The eMatic will break up a recording on a FAT32-formatted drive into 512MiB (~546MB) "chunks" and it sounds like it may be getting too far behind when switching to the next "chunk" and crashing.

Also, judging from the 2GB capacity, your thumb drive is probably pretty old. Older thumb drives usually work poorly with these boxes. Besides, 2GB isn't much. Even at standard definition, it's about an hour's worth of recording.

I've had good luck with SanDisk Ultra thumb 64GB and 128GB drives, and they've gotten pretty cheap lately. Avoid the tiny "Fit" drives, though; they also work poorly.
Old yes, but it was new used until now. What would be the smallest sized drive, and largest sized flash drive I could use?

The drive I'm using weighs/lots similar to a highlighter cap.


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From my experience there is no need to tune to the channel you have scheduled to record at a particular time. Indeed, if I am not watching TV and have a recording scheduled for the wee small hours, I simply turn it off. It turns itself back on at the appropriate moment and records (to my USB HDD) without issue. And turns itself off again when the recording is done.

If I am looking through or watching one of the shows we have already recorded, it will interrupt and switch over to record as scheduled.

Often I set the recording to start a minute or two 'late' to avoid recording intro material and set it to stop as much as five minutes 'early' to avoid recording the 'stuff' they tag on at the end. When I do this, however, the 'Set to record' indicator does not show on the extended program guide display! It records as set, however, nonetheless.

MODEL AT103C
SW Dec 21 2018-17:18:19
HW ABL7802-R836-A

I include this information from my unit because these boxes all look alike but the innards are significantly different.

Well my AT103B messed up again last night.

I had it tuned already to the channel. The record message showed up (blue screen with text). Then it showed the channel with the recording indicator in the top left corner of my screen.
For the next recording on the same channel it failed. The first show stopped recording, the box showed the recording text and retuned to the same channel. Then when the show started it retuned
again, this time without the recording indicator.

It there an easier way to record a block of shows without these boxes retuning? IE: How would I setup a recording for 8PM, 9PM shows on the same channel?
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post #277 of 287 Old 10-03-2019, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by IN2tvClassics View Post
Well my AT103B messed up again last night.

I had it tuned already to the channel. The record message showed up (blue screen with text). Then it showed the channel with the recording indicator in the top left corner of my screen.
For the next recording on the same channel it failed. The first show stopped recording, the box showed the recording text and retuned to the same channel. Then when the show started it retuned
again, this time without the recording indicator.

It there an easier way to record a block of shows without these boxes retuning? IE: How would I setup a recording for 8PM, 9PM shows on the same channel?
I take it that you're selecting the program that you want to record from the guide? If that's the case, before confirming to the record schedule, extend the end time of the first program for another hour so that it will record the following show. While this will put both programs on the same recording, it will eliminate gaps and other issues. If you want to watch the second program on the same recording at any time, just press the go to button on the remote, key in 01:00:00 and it will take you there without the need to fast-forward though the first program.

Likely the reason why your second program failed the way you had it set it up is that the PSIP for the station changed, and these DVR's will re-initialize any station when it detects that change. (The re-initialization will cause the station that you just tuned into to black out for a split second, and any schedules associated with that station will be wiped out). Re-initialization does not occur while a recording is in process, so if that's the case, doing what I described in the previous paragraph should allow you to record both shows successfully.

Newer is not always better.
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post #278 of 287 Old 10-03-2019, 06:15 PM
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This flash drive was brand new when I tried. I didn't format it before using it. I'll have to check to see if it was factory set for NTFS or FAT.
Drives between 512MB and 32GB usually come formatted FAT32, so reformatting as NTFS will probably help. It may not solve the whole problem, but it's worth a try.
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Old yes, but it was new used until now. What would be the smallest sized drive, and largest sized flash drive I could use?
With a thumb drive, I wouldn't go over 128GB. If you want more than that, I'd go with a traditional hard drive instead. USB-powered hard drives up to 500GB seem to work OK; above that I'd go with an externally-powered drive (up to 2TB).

Smaller thumb drives are OK as long as they're of recent vintage (the flash chips and controller chips keep getting better as technology improves), and as long as it's big enough to hold what you want to record. Figure 2GB-4GB per hour for standard definition or 6GB-8GB per hour for high definition. It's hard to give more precise estimates because it depends so much on the bit rate the TV station gives each channel.
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The drive I'm using weighs/lots similar to a highlighter cap.
I don't know for sure why those little "fit" drives don't work. It could be they're just too small to hold a decent flash controller chip, but that's just a guess.
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Well my AT103B messed up again last night.

I had it tuned already to the channel. The record message showed up (blue screen with text). Then it showed the channel with the recording indicator in the top left corner of my screen.
For the next recording on the same channel it failed. The first show stopped recording, the box showed the recording text and retuned to the same channel. Then when the show started it retuned again, this time without the recording indicator.
Uh-oh; that sounds like the dreaded "channel rescan bug." It's a bug in the firmware.
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It there an easier way to record a block of shows without these boxes retuning? IE: How would I setup a recording for 8PM, 9PM shows on the same channel?
Select the 8 PM show, but edit the end time so you get one 2-hour recording vs. two 1-hour recordings. (Be aware you may need more than 2GB for two hours of video.)
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post #279 of 287 Old 10-05-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by snowdog 88 View Post
I take it that you're selecting the program that you want to record from the guide? If that's the case, before confirming to the record schedule, extend the end time of the first program for another hour so that it will record the following show. While this will put both programs on the same recording, it will eliminate gaps and other issues. If you want to watch the second program on the same recording at any time, just press the go to button on the remote, key in 01:00:00 and it will take you there without the need to fast-forward though the first program.

Likely the reason why your second program failed the way you had it set it up is that the PSIP for the station changed, and these DVR's will re-initialize any station when it detects that change. (The re-initialization will cause the station that you just tuned into to black out for a split second, and any schedules associated with that station will be wiped out). Re-initialization does not occur while a recording is in process, so if that's the case, doing what I described in the previous paragraph should allow you to record both shows successfully.
Yes, and I tried to edit the start/finish times, but failed. The controls to make the time adjustments didn't work for me. So I just cancelled the recording, then just set it normally. I don't know why the PSIP would change. The recording was for a tv series the channel shows, not the movie of the week.

So how would I set the recording for a back to back recording 12AM to 2AM? Do I need to leave my tv, Ematic, or both on to record?



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Drives between 512MB and 32GB usually come formatted FAT32, so reformatting as NTFS will probably help. It may not solve the whole problem, but it's worth a try. With a thumb drive, I wouldn't go over 128GB. If you want more than that, I'd go with a traditional hard drive instead. USB-powered hard drives up to 500GB seem to work OK; above that I'd go with an externally-powered drive (up to 2TB).

Smaller thumb drives are OK as long as they're of recent vintage (the flash chips and controller chips keep getting better as technology improves), and as long as it's big enough to hold what you want to record. Figure 2GB-4GB per hour for standard definition or 6GB-8GB per hour for high definition. It's hard to give more precise estimates because it depends so much on the bit rate the TV station gives each channel.I don't know for sure why those little "fit" drives don't work. It could be they're just too small to hold a decent flash controller chip, but that's just a guess.Uh-oh; that sounds like the dreaded "channel rescan bug." It's a bug in the firmware.
Select the 8 PM show, but edit the end time so you get one 2-hour recording vs. two 1-hour recordings. (Be aware you may need more than 2GB for two hours of video.)
I'm only using this flash drive to just temporarily record old shows so I can watch later. After I watch them, their deleted. I'm not interested in keeping a show library. I may pick up a 128GB flashdrive.
I don't believe these shows are broadcasted in HD. The shows are on Charge! & H&I.

As for the shows "not" recording, it must of been a bug. I scheduled 8 recordings on 4 days, only 3 showed the recording indicator. But when I checked the USB library all "8 recordings" were there.
I didn't watch the recordings, because I already watched the shows when they aired.

Should I assume that the recordings were complete because they were listed in the library?
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post #280 of 287 Old 10-05-2019, 09:36 AM
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Yes, and I tried to edit the start/finish times, but failed. The controls to make the time adjustments didn't work for me. So I just cancelled the recording, then just set it normally.
You should be able to adjust the time as long as it doesn't overlap with another scheduled recording.

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So how would I set the recording for a back to back recording 12AM to 2AM? Do I need to leave my tv, Ematic, or both on to record?
Your TV has nothing to do with recording, regardless if its on or off. The DVR will record a schedule regardless if its on or off, but if its left on, it will not turn off automatically when the recording is finished.

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I'm only using this flash drive to just temporarily record old shows so I can watch later. After I watch them, their deleted. I'm not interested in keeping a show library. I may pick up a 128GB flashdrive.
I don't believe these shows are broadcasted in HD. The shows are on Charge! & H&I.
IIRC, a hour of a SD recording is about 600 MB, more or less depending on the channel's bit rate and scheme. (Constant or Variable). HD is much more, like 3 or 4 GB, so your 2 GB drive (assuming its empty) will likely be filled in 1 hour.

If you do get a bigger flash drive, it would be a good idea to buy a name brand one that supports USB 3.0. Although the DVR doesn't support USB 3.0, this will help ensure that the drive's controller can write at USB 2.0 speeds faster compared to non-USB 3.0 drives. This only becomes a problem when recording HD channels as slow write speeds will cause corruption.

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Originally Posted by IN2tvClassics View Post
As for the shows "not" recording, it must of been a bug. I scheduled 8 recordings on 4 days, only 3 showed the recording indicator. But when I checked the USB library all "8 recordings" were there.
I didn't watch the recordings, because I already watched the shows when they aired.

Should I assume that the recordings were complete because they were listed in the library?
I've always seen the on screen recording indicator on my eMatic. You should be able to confirm if your show is recording by looking at the USB flash drive's access light, if it has one. In my case, I have an external hard drive with no light attached to mine, so to confirm, I have to listen for the "clicking" of the actuator arm for the read/write heads.

Newer is not always better.
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post #281 of 287 Old 10-05-2019, 09:05 PM
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I tried to edit the start/finish times, but failed. The controls to make the time adjustments didn't work for me.
Could you give us more details, please? How exactly did your attempt "fail?" Did you get an error message? What was it?

BTW the "controls" to make time adjustments are just the number buttons on the remote. You don't scroll the hours or minutes; just move the cursor to the digit you want to change and type over it.
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So how would I set the recording for a back to back recording 12AM to 2AM?
Start time 00:00; end time 02:00. Make sure the date is correct!

BTW, if you try to set daily or weekly recordings that cross midnight (e.g., start time 22:00, end time 00:00; or start time 23:00, end time 01:00) you may run into the "midnight bug." If you have any other recordings scheduled for the same day the recording starts, the eMatic will incorrectly report a conflict with that recording. Workaround is to set the midnight-crossing recording first, then set the others. The eMatic will allow both recordings to be set if you do them in that order.
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I'm only using this flash drive to just temporarily record old shows so I can watch later. After I watch them, they're deleted.
I understand, but realize that 2GB is not a lot of space for video! It's less than half the size of a DVD. It may hold an hour or less, even at SD. If your channels' bit rates are low you may get two or even three hours, but that's unusual.
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I don't believe these shows are broadcasted in HD. The shows are on Charge! & H&I.
You're probably correct. Those subchannels are usually SD.
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As for the shows "not" recording, it must of been a bug. I scheduled 8 recordings on 4 days, only 3 showed the recording indicator. But when I checked the USB library all "8 recordings" were there. I didn't watch the recordings, because I already watched the shows when they aired. Should I assume that the recordings were complete because they were listed in the library?
8 recordings on a 2GB drive? At least some are probably incomplete. You should at least watch them in FF to see.
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post #282 of 287 Old 10-05-2019, 11:34 PM
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You should be able to adjust the time as long as it doesn't overlap with another scheduled recording.

Your TV has nothing to do with recording, regardless if its on or off. The DVR will record a schedule regardless if its on or off, but if its left on, it will not turn off automatically when the recording is finished.

IIRC, a hour of a SD recording is about 600 MB, more or less depending on the channel's bit rate and scheme. (Constant or Variable). HD is much more, like 3 or 4 GB, so your 2 GB drive (assuming its empty) will likely be filled in 1 hour.

If you do get a bigger flash drive, it would be a good idea to buy a name brand one that supports USB 3.0. Although the DVR doesn't support USB 3.0, this will help ensure that the drive's controller can write at USB 2.0 speeds faster compared to non-USB 3.0 drives. This only becomes a problem when recording HD channels as slow write speeds will cause corruption.

I've always seen the on screen recording indicator on my eMatic. You should be able to confirm if your show is recording by looking at the USB flash drive's access light, if it has one. In my case, I have an external hard drive with no light attached to mine, so to confirm, I have to listen for the "clicking" of the actuator arm for the read/write heads.
When the Ematic was recording I had the recording message on my tv in the upper lift corner. The flashdrive light was also flashing.


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Could you give us more details, please? How exactly did your attempt "fail?" Did you get an error message? What was it?

BTW the "controls" to make time adjustments are just the number buttons on the remote. You don't scroll the hours or minutes; just move the cursor to the digit you want to change and type over it.Start time 00:00; end time 02:00. Make sure the date is correct!

BTW, if you try to set daily or weekly recordings that cross midnight (e.g., start time 22:00, end time 00:00; or start time 23:00, end time 01:00) you may run into the "midnight bug." If you have any other recordings scheduled for the same day the recording starts, the eMatic will incorrectly report a conflict with that recording. Workaround is to set the midnight-crossing recording first, then set the others. The eMatic will allow both recordings to be set if you do them in that order.I understand, but realize that 2GB is not a lot of space for video! It's less than half the size of a DVD. It may hold an hour or less, even at SD. If your channels' bit rates are low you may get two or even three hours, but that's unusual.You're probably correct. Those subchannels are usually SD.8 recordings on a 2GB drive? At least some are probably incomplete. You should at least watch them in FF to see.
So I tuned to the channel I wanted to record a show(s) on, then pressed EPG. I scrolled down to the the show(s) I wanted to record, pressed ok. For each recording I confirmed and exited.
Prior to the scheduled recording I tuned to the channel. At the recording time the recording message indicator message appeared, the screen flashed to the channel, and the recording message was in the top left corner. When the first recording ended the message repeated, the tv flashed a slightly different message, but no recording indicator.
Sorry but I couldn't see the message because I don't were my glasses for tv watching, just movie theaters.

So for adjusting the recording times, I move the cursor < >, then press the desired # buttons? Sounds promising, I try it out today.

Like I said these recordings are for old shows, and they are on late (12AM-2AM). I watch them when they air, or the next day if I can record them. The 8 that I "recorded", were watched when they aired. So I didn't need them, and deleted them w/o watching them.
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post #283 of 287 Old 10-06-2019, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
BTW, if you try to set daily or weekly recordings that cross midnight (e.g., start time 22:00, end time 00:00; or start time 23:00, end time 01:00) you may run into the "midnight bug." If you have any other recordings scheduled for the same day the recording starts, the eMatic will incorrectly report a conflict with that recording. Workaround is to set the midnight-crossing recording first, then set the others.
My eMatic doesn't appear to suffer from the midnight bug, but I suppose that depends on the firmware version. However, 12 AM is treated as 00, an oversight when they introduced the 12 hour format in later firmware versions. My RCA DTA880 didn't have that problem.

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It may well depend on the firmware. eMatic firmware is hard to keep track of, since they have no customer support to speak of, but Mediasonic did release firmware for the HW-150 (v5.5.1) that fixed the midnight bug, so it wouldn't surprise me if new eMatics have the same fix.

I've seen the "12:00 = 00:00 even in 12-hour time mode" bug on my iView, so that bug doesn't surprise me either. (To their credit, Mediasonic seems to have gotten that bug fixed too.)

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post #285 of 287 Old 10-07-2019, 06:28 AM
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It may well depend on the firmware.
Indeed!

A couple of points.

1. Good Idea to copy your Software and Hardware details and include them in your post when you are asking for help as it is abundantly clear from the posts and replies in this forum that SW / HW is key.

2. While the 'Quote' button seems so convenient, use it sparingly - selecting a word or phrase you wish to respond to as opposed to including the OP's entire posting. KISS Principle!

We have been going back and forth for days and still do not know the SW or HW versions the OP's box is carrying. We know he's asking how to peel his fruit, we just don't know if he's holding an apple or a tomato.
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post #286 of 287 Old 10-07-2019, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Could you give us more details, please? How exactly did your attempt "fail?" Did you get an error message? What was it?

BTW the "controls" to make time adjustments are just the number buttons on the remote. You don't scroll the hours or minutes; just move the cursor to the digit you want to change and type over it.Start time 00:00; end time 02:00. Make sure the date is correct!

BTW, if you try to set daily or weekly recordings that cross midnight (e.g., start time 22:00, end time 00:00; or start time 23:00, end time 01:00) you may run into the "midnight bug." If you have any other recordings scheduled for the same day the recording starts, the eMatic will incorrectly report a conflict with that recording. Workaround is to set the midnight-crossing recording first, then set the others. The eMatic will allow both recordings to be set if you do them in that order.I understand, but realize that 2GB is not a lot of space for video! It's less than half the size of a DVD. It may hold an hour or less, even at SD. If your channels' bit rates are low you may get two or even three hours, but that's unusual.You're probably correct. Those subchannels are usually SD.8 recordings on a 2GB drive? At least some are probably incomplete. You should at least watch them in FF to see.
Assume that the recordings listed in the library are complete.

Yes, absent evidence to the contrary that is a reasonable assumption.

However, I have 'discovered' that that is not always or invariably the case.

I have discovered truncated recordings in the library list from time to time. Often weeks or even months after the record date.

Now, I regularly rename the shows so as to better access them often months later.

I also use a HDD and will connect it to my PC to delete a block of recordings (as my HW/SW does not allw me to select multiple files and delete a dozen at a time using the Ematic controls. (SEE MY HW SW Versions earlier in this thread.
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post #287 of 287 Old 10-08-2019, 01:37 AM
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Well yesterday I recorded 3 shows. The first was a half hour show. While the other two I recorded in a two-hour block. The ematic recorded the first show fine. But the only about 1 hr 40 minutes of the second recorded.

The plus side the ematic recorded from the first hour into the second show. So I mostly likely will need to get a larger flashdrive. Other than the controls being a learning curve, the dvr it works for a OTA backup.
I didn't plan on using the dvr function, but may on/off.
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