Ematic AT103B DVR - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by afterlife2 View Post
Mark maybe try exchanging the box. I don't have issues, then again I don't rtecord 3 in a row daily. I'll give it a try and report back next week or so. Remember the heat inside messes stuff up, so get a cheap fan with air circulating out. Maybe call Ematic and ask if there is a firmware update and let us know.

Yea I tried calling and got some lady who didn't know SHT. I emailed support from their website so maybe they will get back....If not, I guess I'll just change the dates everyday. I really don't want to take it back because I've read countless reviews on amazon with people describing the exact same thing, while others don't even mention it. I would think that would be on of the most important features.
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post #32 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 02:00 PM
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Mark, I watched your video and it looks like your eMatic has two different bugs:

  1. If you schedule a daily recording it treats it as weekly. Each time it records, it adds 7 days to the date instead of 1.
  2. If you select a show from the EPG and press OK, it just brings up the list of already-scheduled recordings. It should bring up an "Add Event" dialog filled in from the show you selected.

The newest iViews also have bug #2 , which makes me wonder if eMatic recently changed their hardware and firmware like iView did.

Can you post a picture of the Information screen from the Settings menu? I want to see if it's different from the one @afterlife2 posted earlier in the thread.
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post #33 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mark40511 View Post
Yea I tried calling and got some lady who didn't know SHT. I emailed support from their website so maybe they will get back....If not, I guess I'll just change the dates everyday. I really don't want to take it back because I've read countless reviews on amazon with people describing the exact same thing, while others don't even mention it. I would think that would be on of the most important features.
I had to do that with the HW everyday. Like I said it's not perfect, but better than a VCR picture wise and you can put shows faster on a tablet/PC for watching on trips, lunch break, bus ride, train, etc. So for $20 I'm not complaining.

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post #34 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 04:15 PM
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True I guess. But I emailed mediasonic support asking them about their boxes and described the problem that I was having with my ematic. The tech said they knew exactly what I was talking about and that bug was fixed a long time ago in their boxes, and seemed surprised that the ematic still had this issue. Apparently it's an OLD issue. I dunno. I mean, you're right. It's only 20 dollars.

You mentioned heat and that I should get a fan. The thing is only on from 5pm to 6pm, then from 11pm to 1130pm, then from 130am to 3am. Otherwise, it's in standby. While it was recording the 5pm just a few minutes ago, at 545pm I felt it and it felt a little warm, but not hot at all.
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post #35 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Mark, I watched your video and it looks like your eMatic has two different bugs:

  1. If you schedule a daily recording it treats it as weekly. Each time it records, it adds 7 days to the date instead of 1.
  2. If you select a show from the EPG and press OK, it just brings up the list of already-scheduled recordings. It should bring up an "Add Event" dialog filled in from the show you selected.

The newest iViews also have bug #2 , which makes me wonder if eMatic recently changed their hardware and firmware like iView did.

Can you post a picture of the Information screen from the Settings menu? I want to see if it's different from the one @afterlife2 posted earlier in the thread.
Well I tried to insert the image - didn't work correctly - so here's the link to the pic

http://postimg.org/image/qha60q2iv/

Last edited by mark40511; 04-15-2016 at 04:39 PM.
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post #36 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 06:54 PM
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Thanks, Mark. That is a different version than afterlife2's eMatic. I'm guessing his version doesn't have these bugs.

Unfortunately, your info screen doesn't identify the SoC; but I also got confirmation that the new iViews suffer from both bugs, so I'd bet that eMatic did the same thing as iView and switched hardware from a 7816 SoC (which afterlife2's eMatic has) to a 7802. The "stock" 7802 firmware seems to be the culprit: the iViews acquired the same bugs when they switched firmware as well. The older 7816-based iViews didn't have either bug.

The timing is also about right. iView started selling a 7802 box (the 3200) with these bugs last June, then switched their bigger 3500 boxes over to the 7802 in October. It looks like your firmware is dated September of last year (assuming 150914 is year,month,day).

So now we have two brands (iView and eMatic) that have both screwed up their products by switching to bad firmware

Mediasonic's HW-180 uses a 7802 chip and the same remote control as the eMatic. I'll ask on the HomeWorX thread if the HW-180 has either bug. If not, perhaps that box's firmware could be used to fix yours.
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post #37 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 06:57 PM
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You mentioned heat and that I should get a fan. The thing is only on from 5pm to 6pm, then from 11pm to 1130pm, then from 130am to 3am. Otherwise, it's in standby. While it was recording the 5pm just a few minutes ago, at 545pm I felt it and it felt a little warm, but not hot at all.
From experience I know that chips inside can get a lot hotter than the box feels on the outside, and can get hot very quickly.

Your best bet might be a USB-powered fan, so it only runs when the eMatic is on. One of Afterlife2's links was for a fan with a built-in USB hub; that might be your best bet.
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post #38 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 08:51 PM
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Thanks, Mark. That is a different version than afterlife2's eMatic. I'm guessing his version doesn't have these bugs.

Unfortunately, your info screen doesn't identify the SoC; but I also got confirmation that the new iViews suffer from both bugs, so I'd bet that eMatic did the same thing as iView and switched hardware from a 7816 SoC (which afterlife2's eMatic has) to a 7802. The "stock" 7802 firmware seems to be the culprit: the iViews acquired the same bugs when they switched firmware as well. The older 7816-based iViews didn't have either bug.

The timing is also about right. iView started selling a 7802 box (the 3200) with these bugs last June, then switched their bigger 3500 boxes over to the 7802 in October. It looks like your firmware is dated September of last year (assuming 150914 is year,month,day).

So now we have two brands (iView and eMatic) that have both screwed up their products by switching to bad firmware


Mediasonic's HW-180 uses a 7802 chip and the same remote control as the eMatic. I'll ask on the HomeWorX thread if the HW-180 has either bug. If not, perhaps that box's firmware could be used to fix yours.

Thanks. It would be great if there were a way to fix these bugs. Such a simple interface you would think it would just work...the recordings are GREAT, not a single glitch in them and being able to take them to my computer to edit them is amazing because I can't do that with a regular DVR (at least, not easily) I think I actually have a usb fan somewhere. How would this fan work with this? Will it only engage the fan when it boots, and the fan turns off when it's in standby?
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post #39 of 287 Old 04-15-2016, 09:16 PM
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If the fan is USB-powered it should be off in standby, same as a HDD.

Still trying to clarify the firmware situation. Seems there are several different iView firmware versions with the same version number (5.0) - and they don't all have the same bugs! All of them have the bug with pressing OK from the EPG; some of them, but not all, also have the bug with daily recordings being treated as weekly ones. At least one version has yet another bug: if you enter a channel number without a dash, such as "2", it's treated as a subchannel number instead of a channel number! So if you're on 5.1 and enter "2" it goes to 5.2, not 2.1 You have to enter "2-1" to go to channel 2.

I do have firmware for a HomeWorX HW-150PVR, V2.1, that works on an iView 3200STB I bought and doesn't have any of these bugs, so I know it's possible to get this right. I don't know if that firmware will work on the eMatic though. (At a minimum you'd need the HomeWorX remote control to use it.)
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post #40 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 07:03 AM
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If the fan is USB-powered it should be off in standby, same as a HDD.

Still trying to clarify the firmware situation. Seems there are several different iView firmware versions with the same version number (5.0) - and they don't all have the same bugs! All of them have the bug with pressing OK from the EPG; some of them, but not all, also have the bug with daily recordings being treated as weekly ones. At least one version has yet another bug: if you enter a channel number without a dash, such as "2", it's treated as a subchannel number instead of a channel number! So if you're on 5.1 and enter "2" it goes to 5.2, not 2.1 You have to enter "2-1" to go to channel 2.

I do have firmware for a HomeWorX HW-150PVR, V2.1, that works on an iView 3200STB I bought and doesn't have any of these bugs, so I know it's possible to get this right. I don't know if that firmware will work on the eMatic though. (At a minimum you'd need the HomeWorX remote control to use it.)
Yesterday, I actually bought this:

http://www.amazon.com/Mediasonic-Hom...onic+converter

Only because it's a newer version and mediasonic got back to 3 of my emails really quickly, and they have a forum, unlike ematic. Support told me that if I had one of their devices that had this behavior, they could walk me through steps to correct it. Ematic, good luck hearing back from them. Again, it was only 19.99, but their boxes are selling for over 40 dollars on some sites....

Additionally - with a USB fan, I'm assuming since there is only ONE USB port, when connecting a USB fan to one of these boxes, does the USB fan itself have another USB port to connect the box to?

Does this box generate the most heat while recording? Or just being on a channel, such as an HD channel? Thanks

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to ask one thing. Is there limit to the drive storage? I read some people have a 3 and 4 tb drive connected and it works, but the specs say up to 2tb.
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post #41 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I have both Ematic & Fan on an extension cord and unplug it when not in use. I'm using a 500GB I was using a 2TB one with the HW and it got corrupted, so when WD replaced it I started to use 500GB with no problems. I'm pretty sure it was the drive, but you never know. Too bad about the firmware I'd go to Walmart and see if you can replace it, hopefully it will have the newer firmware. I started to use the fan after the HW started to not work. I noticed how hot it got, so when I got the Ematic I also ordered a fan and thus far no problems. I tried the HW the other day and still gets stuck when watching stuff. At least I can use it as a tuner for my PJ. Keep pushing Ematic to send you the new firmware if all fails.

What's this lol: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ARGXJ90?...A2UA4Q9PFVJAKP

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post #42 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 08:35 AM
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I have both Ematic & Fan on an extension cord and unplug it when not in use. I'm using a 500GB I was using a 2TB one with the HW and it got corrupted, so when WD replaced it I started to use 500GB with no problems. I'm pretty sure it was the drive, but you never know. Too bad about the firmware I'd go to Walmart and see if you can replace it, hopefully it will have the newer firmware. I started to use the fan after the HW started to not work. I noticed how hot it got, so when I got the Ematic I also ordered a fan and thus far no problems. I tried the HW the other day and still gets stuck when watching stuff. At least I can use it as a tuner for my PJ. Keep pushing Ematic to send you the new firmware if all fails.

What's this lol: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ARGXJ90?...A2UA4Q9PFVJAKP
Out of all of these boxes, which is the most likely not to have any bugs? I keep reading reviews and all of them have questionable reviews, mostly good.but the bad ones make me wonder.
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post #43 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Pretty much all made the same in China. Try the firmware that JH recommended and if anything fails take it back to Wally.

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post #44 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 12:20 PM
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I saw a link to the actual unit, but not the firmware. I don't know where to look to try it.
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post #45 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 06:39 PM
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That's the HomeWorX "karaoke" box. All these boxes can play music files; I guess Mediasonic had the idea to add a couple of mic inputs so you could sing along with a music file as you played it. To me, except for those mic inputs it looks a lot like the previous "generation" of iView 3500STBIIs that had the channel 3/4 switch.

Comes with one mic but there are two inputs; I think you can buy a second mic if you want to sing duets.
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post #46 of 287 Old 04-16-2016, 07:27 PM
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Out of all of these boxes, which is the most likely not to have any bugs? I keep reading reviews and all of them have questionable reviews, mostly good.but the bad ones make me wonder.
Unfortunately they all have bugs; but at the moment, Mediasonic (HomeWorX) seems to have the fewest. The HW-150s, at least, don't have either of the bugs you found on your eMatic. We should have a report on the HW-180 soon, from someone who follows the HomeWorX thread and bought one. I'll post here in case you don't follow that thread.

The most annoying thing about all these boxes is the "backsliding" that seems to happen from time to time, where the seller starts importing boxes with different hardware, which requires different firmware of course. Then it turns out that the new firmware has bugs that weren't in the older version! You'd think firmware bugs would decrease over time, but not with these boxes

That's happened with iView, eMatic, and even HomeWorX with their HW-150s. The one I bought a year ago will show closed captions when playing a recording - then they started selling newer HW-150s where that doesn't work! (But it reportedly does work on the HW-180s.)
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post #47 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 06:28 AM
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Unfortunately they all have bugs; but at the moment, Mediasonic (HomeWorX) seems to have the fewest. The HW-150s, at least, don't have either of the bugs you found on your eMatic. We should have a report on the HW-180 soon, from someone who follows the HomeWorX thread and bought one. I'll post here in case you don't follow that thread.

The most annoying thing about all these boxes is the "backsliding" that seems to happen from time to time, where the seller starts importing boxes with different hardware, which requires different firmware of course. Then it turns out that the new firmware has bugs that weren't in the older version! You'd think firmware bugs would decrease over time, but not with these boxes

That's happened with iView, eMatic, and even HomeWorX with their HW-150s. The one I bought a year ago will show closed captions when playing a recording - then they started selling newer HW-150s where that doesn't work! (But it reportedly does work on the HW-180s.)
Gotcha! So basically, (for what I want) consistent timer recording with no bugs, I'm better off with the HW 150 and not the 180. At least I know that there is firmware to fix the 150 if it does have a bug.

I want to add this - Just for giggles, I tried to change the timer from daily to weekly to see what would happen, and of course, weekly works as it should. I was hoping it was reversed. Anyway, another thing I find really DUMB is there is no "weekdays" option. To me, the options should be once, daily, weekdays, or weekly. I filled out a ticket on ematic's support page website a few days ago. It would someone would get back within 24 to 72 hours. If they do, I will post, but I'm not holding my breath.

Another weird thing that I'm almost sure is non-related - my sound bar in the room where the ematic is, just died. Suddenly there's this major annoying static sound coming out of it. I think it must be at LEAST 7 or 8 years old, maybe even more.
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post #48 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I saw a link to the actual unit, but not the firmware. I don't know where to look to try it.
I think you can email HW for the firmware.

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post #49 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 04:20 PM
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Gotcha! So basically, (for what I want) consistent timer recording with no bugs, I'm better off with the HW 150 and not the 180. At least I know that there is firmware to fix the 150 if it does have a bug.
Well, it's a bit more complicated than that

Mediasonic has actually sold several versions of the HW-150, each with slightly different hardware. The most recent change was about a year ago, when they switched back to 7816-based boxes. I say "back" because a few months before that, they had switched from 7816 to 7802-based boxes.

The firmware I mentioned earlier (V2.1) is for a 7802-based box and won't run on a 7816-based box.

I believe the current HW-150s are at v4.1. AFAIK this version has only one more bug than V2.1 did: 4.1 won't show closed captions when playing back a recording. If that feature is important to you, you should hold off for a few days until we get a bug report on the HW-180.
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post #50 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 04:20 PM
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I think you can email HW for the firmware.

Just to clarify - mediasonic will send me firmware for an ematic box?
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post #51 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 04:24 PM
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Anyway, another thing I find really DUMB is there is no "weekdays" option. To me, the options should be once, daily, weekdays, or weekly.
Agreed. AFAIK none of these boxes have a "weekdays" option. You have to use "daily," thus ending up with a couple of extra unwanted recordings each weekend.

Seems like "weekdays" would be easy to add, but if they can't even keep the bugs out, I don't know when they'll find time to add new features.
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post #52 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 04:28 PM
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Just to clarify - mediasonic will send me firmware for an ematic box?
Probably not. If you have a HomeWorX they'll send you the firmware for it, though. Just email them the Information screen so they'll know which version you need.

If you then try it on another box, you do so at your own risk. (Remember what I said about 7802 vs. 7816 boxes.)
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post #53 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 04:41 PM
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Probably not. If you have a HomeWorX they'll send you the firmware for it, though. Just email them the Information screen so they'll know which version you need.

If you then try it on another box, you do so at your own risk. (Remember what I said about 7802 vs. 7816 boxes.)
I could care less about CC.....so if there's a bug where it doesn't show when it's supposed to, I wouldn't care about that. But I ordered the 180, but I might send it back and get the 150. I can get past not having a weekday option, I just found that ODD when I first setup the ematic. The extra weekend recordings can easily be deleted...

At any rate, I could take this ematic back to wally, but I'm not going to. I'm going to get one of the mediasonics and keep the ematic as a backup to record if something happens to the mediasonic....at least, that's my plan, because if one of the boxes dies, you can NO longer record, unless you rush to get another one. And for me, I'm not simply recording OTA, watching it, and deleting it. I'm actually editing the recordings to SAVE for my hard drive. So if I miss an episode, that will kind of screw up the flow for me.

It's interesting that I read a lot of people saying their recordings are choppy, or funky. I think the recordings are GREAT. Perhaps it's the type of drive you use? I dunno.
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post #54 of 287 Old 04-17-2016, 05:49 PM
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I could care less about CC.....so if there's a bug where it doesn't show when it's supposed to, I wouldn't care about that. But I ordered the 180, but I might send it back and get the 150. I can get past not having a weekday option, I just found that ODD when I first setup the ematic.
I used to avoid recommending the HW-180. V9 and V10 firmware were pretty buggy. But V10.1 was OK, so I'm hoping the current version, V11, is fairly bug-free. (If not, you can always exchange it for the 150.) Also, the savings used to be minimal, but the last time I checked the HW-180 was only $20 (plus shipping) while the HW-150 was $33 plus shipping, which seems like a big difference if you don't need the 150's component video or coaxial digital audio. (Amazon's prices can be very volatile.)
Edit: This old post is worth updating. First, I got to try out HW-180 firmware version V11 and can report it's relatively bug-free. The only bug I discovered was that when entering channel numbers, I had to press "TV List" instead of "OK" on the remote (or else just wait for the box to time out waiting for me to enter more digits). Quirky but not too bad once I got used to it.

BTW, I understand the HW-180 firmware is up to V12 now, but I don't know if V12 fixed that bug.
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I'm not simply recording OTA, watching it, and deleting it. I'm actually editing the recordings to SAVE for my hard drive.
That reminded me of a question I wanted to ask you. If you move your eMatic's HDD to a PC, do you see strange 6Kb files with the extension ".mts.meta" for each of your recordings? (The recorded video/audio has a simple ".mts" extension and is, of course, much larger.)
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It's interesting that I read a lot of people saying their recordings are choppy, or funky. I think the recordings are GREAT. Perhaps it's the type of drive you use? I dunno.
The people saying their recordings aren't good might be using flash drives, many of which are too slow in writing to record HD video. And/or they may have reception issues.

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post #55 of 287 Old 04-18-2016, 11:44 AM
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I used to avoid recommending the HW-180. V9 and V10 firmware were pretty buggy. But V10.1 was OK, so I'm hoping the current version, V11, is fairly bug-free. (If not, you can always exchange it for the 150.) Also, the savings used to be minimal, but the last time I checked the HW-180 was only $20 (plus shipping) while the HW-150 was $33 plus shipping, which seems like a big difference if you don't need the 150's component video or coaxial digital audio. (Amazon's prices can be very volatile.)
That reminded me of a question I wanted to ask you. If you move your eMatic's HDD to a PC, do you see strange 6Kb files with the extension ".mts.meta" for each of your recordings? (The recorded video/audio has a simple ".mts" extension and is, of course, much larger.)
The people saying their recordings aren't good might be using flash drives, many of which are too slow in writing to record HD video. And/or they may have reception issues.

Yes - it does have these strange meta data small files with each recording. I just delete them. If you're wondering what I'm recording. Chips on ME TV , Johnny Carson on Antenna TV, and Carol Burnett & Friends on ME TV. (I LOVE some of those skits). I like the syndicated version of that show because they had her monologue and then focused on just skits (which are my fav), so I wanna keep them. I don't care much about chips, but another member of my house wanted those shows, so I'm doing it for them. And Johnny Carson full episodes is kind of rare, so I'm trying to snatch those too. I have so many hard drives space is no an issue for me. Especially since I use handbrake to encode slowly for super small files while retaining decent quality. The weekend 90 min' Johnny Carson was 1.7 gigs, after editing commercials out using Avidemux, total time was 1 hour and 2 minutes, then encoding that file using handbrake, the file was 250 mb

Another cool thing I notice is the OTA channels I've checked don't do much cutting of the full original broadcast. For example, chips is 46 and a half min's, which means they only cut about 1 minute (give or take) where as if it had aired on TBS or a cable network, they would have probably cut 5 or 6 min's out. I test recorded an episode of Hazel that happened to be on when I first got the box. After cutting out commercials, it was 24:30 long, which is what I would call uncut, which totally shocked me

This little box is PERFECT for what I need it for. I ended up canceling the order because it had yet to ship, and I got the 150 instead of the 180, but they were BOTH pretty much the same price. I did this because the bugs seemed to have been worked out of the 150. Ematic has still yet to get back to me....
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post #56 of 287 Old 04-18-2016, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Good news. @speedlaw just posted that his HW-180 does not have the bug with daily recordings. (It doesn't have a "weekdays" recording option, but I haven't yet seen that in any of these boxes.)

UGH! LOL

My luck! Anyway, that's good to hear. But I wonder if it could be the same case with my ematic, where some have the bug, different firmware, some don't. Would that not stand to reason the same could be said for the 180? One person has the bug, another doesn't? I dunno. At least if the 150 has the bug, I can get the firmware for it. But that's cool that the 180 has a weekday option.
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post #57 of 287 Old 04-19-2016, 04:11 PM
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I think all the 7802 firmware versions create those. V2.1 for the 150 creates them too. I don't know what they're used for, though; especially if the recordings play back fine without them! They don't seem to contain any meaningful text data.
OK, I got the 150 today! I was surprised! It's twice the size of the ematic, but no bugs at all. I checked everything. Booking, tested a daily timer and start date went to the very next day. I tested the recording, looked fine. I tried to book something and it auto filled for me to confirm. So glad I got this box I hope it lasts.
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post #58 of 287 Old 04-19-2016, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark40511 View Post
OK, I got the 150 today! I was surprised! It's twice the size of the ematic, but no bugs at all. I checked everything. Booking, tested a daily timer and start date went to the very next day. I tested the recording, looked fine. I tried to book something and it auto filled for me to confirm. So glad I got this box I hope it lasts.
Cool. That box gets hot, so get a fan, trust me.

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post #59 of 287 Old 04-19-2016, 05:00 PM
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Cool. That box gets hot, so get a fan, trust me.
Ok, which fan was it again that you recommend for these type of boxes? Can you send a link? oh, and how are you connecting a USB fan AND a hard drive since there's only one USB? What exactly are you using to accomplish this? I know it can be done but just wondering what you use. Thanks

I will also add something sort of off topic while I'm here. You know those Jtech powered HDMI switches? You plug them into your HDMI port and plug it in to expand your HDMI ports? I can NEVER get those to work, except for ONE, and it was sporadic. When I ordered this mediasonic, I ordered this, and it works GREAT. I was so worried it wouldn't. It's cool that it knows which HDMI device you're using and switches to it.

http://www.amazon.com/Kinps%C2%AE3-S...braided+switch
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post #60 of 287 Old 04-19-2016, 07:12 PM
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One thing to keep in mind about these boxes is that their USB ports don't have a lot of power. Luckily, they support USB hubs, so you may want to plug a powered USB hub into the USB port, then plug your fan and HDD into the hub.

The ideal solution would be a powered USB hub that switches on/off as power is applied to/removed from the USB port. That way your HDD and fan would power down when the HW-150, eMatic, etc. is in standby; and power up when it's turned on.

Unfortunately I don't know enough about powered USB hubs to know which ones work that way and which ones supply constant power. Anyone have a recommendation?
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