Ematic AT103B DVR - Page 4 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #91 of 287 Old 05-24-2016, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Well, not sure about your station, but ours (KTXA) recently changed Me-TV from 4:3 to 16:9. They left it at 480i, so not really any more pixels, and I hadn't been recording it recently so I don't know if the bit rate changed. But perhaps your station gave Me-TV some more bandwidth along with the aspect ratio change to improve picture quality?

Just a guess, but the timing makes it seem plausible.
Ahhh, thanks! That makes perfect sense. For me, a reasonable file size for a 22 minute recording for decent SD quality would be around 140 mb. But this file is HUGE and even using handbrake encoding at 26 constant quality, it STILL ends up being 250 to 300 MB. That still a dramatic shrink while retaining quality, but it's still too big for a 22 min file (to me). So I guess I'll have to play around with the settings.

Kind of off topic, sorry
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post #92 of 287 Old 07-07-2016, 02:52 PM
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FYI, these things are easily converted to USB power, get rid of the 110vAC to 5vdc conversion inside the chassis and it will run significantly cooler. No fan needed.

I have one running in my car currently.
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post #93 of 287 Old 07-07-2016, 02:59 PM
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I need one more post before I can post a picture of where I tapped in for the 5v conversion.
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post #94 of 287 Old 07-07-2016, 03:01 PM
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It's super easy to convert. I've run it off a 1.5 amp adapter with a flash drive, and a 2.1 amp adapter with a USB HDD powered off it as well.

Edit: I’ve also run it off the usb of the tv it was connected to for testing before I installed it in the car.
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post #95 of 287 Old 07-08-2016, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
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That's awesome FE! Can you show us links to where you can get them?
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post #96 of 287 Old 07-08-2016, 12:16 PM
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I'm interested in DC/USB power too. Getting ready for super efficient solar system someday. I'm pretty sure everything I use on a regular basis outside of the kitchen that isn't vintage/antique is already DC. I know my Laptop, TV, speakers are.
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post #97 of 287 Old 07-08-2016, 12:58 PM
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That conversion looks pretty simple. It should work on other, similar devices as well, such as iView, HomeWorX, etc. I may give it a try on a HomeWorX.

A few of these devices already have external 5V power via a wall-wart. I believe the iView 3200STB and RCA DTA880 have already been mentioned. There's one more now: HomeWorX has added an HW-130 with external power to their lineup. Other than that, it's similar to the eMatic except it lacks the eMatic's front-panel numeric channel display and has a hardware channel 3/4 switch for the RF output. I doubt it has the eMatic's Tetris & Snake games, though
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post #98 of 287 Old 07-10-2016, 07:23 AM
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Cool Thank You---->(non-cynical mode)

My CM7400 finally bit the dust & ordered an Ematic. If it functions for OTA local with a powered USB dock, it may be fine.

(I found that placing the CM unit on small wooden slat shelf, exposing the bottom kept the unit from freezing up.)

I'll try the same with the Ematic thingie.

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post #99 of 287 Old 07-13-2016, 12:17 PM
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Cool Help....(a Stupid Question!)

ya gotta keep the laugh going........

The little box works great. It even does Dolby Dig.

Why is the box shrink wrapped in plastic? The vent holes on the sides are open but the top is sealed? (And there is a "Do Not Remove" sticker on the plastic.)
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post #100 of 287 Old 08-17-2016, 07:02 PM
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Here's a question I never would have even thought to ask, until it turned out the RCA DTA880 doesn't do this:

Does the eMatic support time-shifting (pausing a live broadcast, then resuming with the Play button) and chase play (similar to time-shifting; pressing Play while recording starts playing the recording from the beginning)?

It's not a big deal; both the iViews (except maybe the oddball iView 3100) and HomeWorXes support these functions, so I just assumed all the clones did. But I just learned from an RCA owner that the DTA880 doesn't so now I have to ask you all whether the eMatic does.
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post #101 of 287 Old 08-18-2016, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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I will let you know over the weekend if no one answers. I never tried it, but tried it on the HW. My HD is full right now, so I can't check.

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post #102 of 287 Old 08-24-2016, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Here's a question I never would have even thought to ask, until it turned out the RCA DTA880 doesn't do this:

Does the eMatic support time-shifting (pausing a live broadcast, then resuming with the Play button) and chase play (similar to time-shifting; pressing Play while recording starts playing the recording from the beginning)?

It's not a big deal; both the iViews (except maybe the oddball iView 3100) and HomeWorXes support these functions, so I just assumed all the clones did. But I just learned from an RCA owner that the DTA880 doesn't so now I have to ask you all whether the eMatic does.
Sorry for the late reply, but yes it does!

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post #103 of 287 Old 08-24-2016, 06:29 PM
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Excellent!
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post #104 of 287 Old 08-25-2016, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Excellent!
Here it is in the manual:
http://www.manualslib.com/manual/691...page=16#manual

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post #105 of 287 Old 09-04-2016, 01:09 PM
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Interestingly, page 16 in the eMatic manual is identical to page 15 in my HomwWorX manual - right down to the incorrect instruction to press PLAY to activate time-shifting. (You actually press PAUSE, which makes more sense, then press PLAY when you're ready to start watching again.)

In fact, the whole manual looks identical except for the front cover, the HomeWorX manual's "Package Contents" page, and the "Overview of the Equipment" and "Cable Connections" pages (all of which have photos or drawings of the box or remote, so they have to differ). I bet there's a generic manual, just as there's generic firmware that each OEM modifies to suit the specifics of their product.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 09-04-2016 at 01:21 PM.
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post #106 of 287 Old 09-05-2016, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The interface looks nicer to me than the Homeworx. So ya getting one?

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post #107 of 287 Old 09-05-2016, 08:03 PM
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I would if I could guarantee getting a 7816 box like yours. Your box is the good model but I don't want one of the 7802 models; the firmware is too buggy and I haven't yet found anything to cross-flash it with to fix the bugs.

Perhaps HomeWorX HW-130 firmware would work with the 7802 eMatic, IF I can get it. Mediasonic now makes you send them a photo of your HomeWorx's serial number, to prove you have the correct model HomeWorx for the firmware you're asking for. You can't get firmware from Mediasonic to experiment with cross-flashing other boxes, so I'd have to find an HW-130 owner who updated his box and was willing to share the firmware update with me.

I did see that eMatic's on-screen graphics for its menus (not to mention the games) were nicer, but I'd lose that if I had to cross-flash another box's firmware onto it.
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post #108 of 287 Old 09-06-2016, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Well If you get it from Amazon you can always return it.

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post #109 of 287 Old 09-06-2016, 10:41 AM
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Yes I've done that before. Not long ago either. Amazon makes returns as easy as anyone I've seen.

The thing is, I'm almost sure all the boxes on the market right now are 7802 boxes. So I estimate there's an 85% chance I'd have to return the box. I'd rather wait for better odds
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post #110 of 287 Old 11-14-2016, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john79605 View Post
The box freezes when I fast forward through commercials. I was about to box it up for a refund but I remembered I could just move the hard drive to the blu-ray player to play the recordings. I lose captions, but that has always been true on my Hauppauge HD PVR recordings anyway.

I'm still impressed with the ematic.
A similar bug has been reported with the HomeWorX HW-180 running V11.0 firmware. I believe Mediasonic released a fix for that; wonder if eMatic has?
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post #111 of 287 Old 11-15-2016, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
A similar bug has been reported with the HomeWorX HW-180 running V11.0 firmware. I believe Mediasonic released a fix for that; wonder if eMatic has?
I don't think Ematic has an update page. I tried looking for one when I first got it and nothing.

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post #112 of 287 Old 12-26-2016, 06:01 PM
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I have several AT103B units.

If I select MENU; System; Information, One (of the units) shows:
SW Version Sep 5 2014-17:37:27
HW Version ABL7802-R836-ATSC

What I have found is that a show recorded using one of these units will show up if the HD is moved to one of the others - but cannot be played (back) on the other unit.

I wondered if "everyone' had a different SW Version, or if there might be a 'few' versions out there so that, if one could get two models with the same SW Version, a recording made using one of the units could be played back on the other (upon moving the HD, of course from one to the other).

I had expected I could have one of these each with a HDD Attached to every TV in the house and record what I might on anyone of them and (moving the respective HDD) play it pack on any of the other units.

Has anyone investigated this situation?

Also, has anyone for an Upgrade file? I would think that flashing each unit with the same 'upgrade' might turn them into 'identical' units.
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post #113 of 287 Old 12-26-2016, 06:18 PM
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What is on the other end of the wire you soldered to the board? What are you using to power the unit?
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post #114 of 287 Old 12-26-2016, 06:35 PM
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I have a 7802 Ematic AT103B
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post #115 of 287 Old 12-26-2016, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmaticUser View Post
I have several AT103B units.

If I select MENU; System; Information, One (of the units) shows:
SW Version Sep 5 2014-17:37:27
HW Version ABL7802-R836-ATSC

What I have found is that a show recorded using one of these units will show up if the HD is moved to one of the others - but cannot be played (back) on the other unit.

I wondered if "everyone' had a different SW Version, or if there might be a 'few' versions out there so that, if one could get two models with the same SW Version, a recording made using one of the units could be played back on the other (upon moving the HD, of course from one to the other).

Has anyone investigated this situation?

Also, has anyone for an Upgrade file? I would think that flashing each unit with the same 'upgrade' might turn them into 'identical' units.
I've seen this same problem in other brands of these MStar-chip-based boxes, such as HomeWorX and iView.

The original versions of all these boxes had a 7816 SoC (System on a Chip), but the newer ones have a 7802 SoC. Unfortunately, the two chips require different firmware (so there's no single firmware upgrade that will work on both types of box), and there's an incompatibility between the recording format used by 7816 and 7802 firmware. As a result, recordings made on a 7816 box cannot be directly played back on a 7802 box or vice versa.

But there is a trick you can often use to get around it, if you have a PC: rename the recordings and change the file extension from .mts to .m2ts. (Recordings made by 7802 boxes will also have small files with extensions of .mts.meta. You can ignore those.) Once renamed, the files will show up in the "Movie" section of the USB menu instead of the "PVR" section; and usually they will play on both box types.

This doesn't work 100% of the time. I've had trouble taking high-def recordings made on 7802 boxes and playing them on a 7816 box. They "play," but the playback keeps pausing every few seconds, so it isn't really watchable.

But going the other way (from 7816 to 7802) seems to work better, and standard-def recordings seem to work in both directions.

.Mts and .m2ts files are the same format (AVCHD). But these boxes recognize .mts files as their own recordings, so they put .mts files in the PVR section and are more picky about the contents. If the extension is .m2ts, it thinks it's a video you got someplace else, so it puts it in the Movie section and is more forgiving.

BTW, if you have an AVR, the same trick will let recordings play back with full Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (if they were broadcast that way), instead of always playing back in simple stereo.

One drawback, though: the 7802 firmware will show closed captions during playback - but only in the PVR section, not in the Movie section. (The 7816 firmware won't show closed captions during playback in either section.) So if you use this trick you'll lose the ability to play closed captions on the 7802 boxes. Of course if there's room on your HDD, you could copy the file instead of renaming it, so you could play it in either section.
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post #116 of 287 Old 12-28-2016, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I've seen this same problem in other brands of these MStar-chip-based boxes, such as HomeWorX and iView.

The original versions of all these boxes had a 7816 SoC (System on a Chip), but the newer ones have a 7802 SoC. Unfortunately, the two chips require different firmware (so there's no single firmware upgrade that will work on both types of box), and there's an incompatibility between the recording format used by 7816 and 7802 firmware. As a result, recordings made on a 7816 box cannot be directly played back on a 7802 box or vice versa.

But there is a trick you can often use to get around it, if you have a PC: rename the recordings and change the file extension from .mts to .m2ts. (Recordings made by 7802 boxes will also have small files with extensions of .mts.meta. You can ignore those.) Once renamed, the files will show up in the "Movie" section of the USB menu instead of the "PVR" section; and usually they will play on both box types.

This doesn't work 100% of the time. I've had trouble taking high-def recordings made on 7802 boxes and playing them on a 7816 box. They "play," but the playback keeps pausing every few seconds, so it isn't really watchable.

But going the other way (from 7816 to 7802) seems to work better, and standard-def recordings seem to work in both directions.

.Mts and .m2ts files are the same format (AVCHD). But these boxes recognize .mts files as their own recordings, so they put .mts files in the PVR section and are more picky about the contents. If the extension is .m2ts, it thinks it's a video you got someplace else, so it puts it in the Movie section and is more forgiving.

BTW, if you have an AVR, the same trick will let recordings play back with full Dolby Digital 5.1 audio (if they were broadcast that way), instead of always playing back in simple stereo.

One drawback, though: the 7802 firmware will show closed captions during playback - but only in the PVR section, not in the Movie section. (The 7816 firmware won't show closed captions during playback in either section.) So if you use this trick you'll lose the ability to play closed captions on the 7802 boxes. Of course if there's room on your HDD, you could copy the file instead of renaming it, so you could play it in either section.
In re: JHBrandt reply/response

I first wrote:
If I select MENU; System; Information, One (of the units) shows:
SW Version Sep 5 2014-17:37:27
HW Version ABL 7802-R836-ATSC

So, I looked at my other unit and found:
SW Version Feb 24 2016 10:29:16
HW Version ABL 7802-ATSC R836-02

So, it appears that I have the same 7802 chip in both units - but with different Hardware Versions.

It would be helpful if we could collect and build a Database of the various HW and SW versions 'out there' if fo no other reason then to discover if we can two identical units!

The Sellers don't seem too interested in answering such questions or in offering software updates and such that would allow one to install the same SW on all the AT103B units he owned so that a recording made using one of them could be directly accessed on any of the other units he had.
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post #117 of 287 Old 12-29-2016, 08:01 AM
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That's surprising. I hadn't heard of an incompatibility between recordings made on two different 7802 boxes before. Did changing the file extension to .m2ts help?

As for other versions, check mark40511's post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark40511 View Post
Well I tried to insert the image - didn't work correctly - so here's the link to the pic

http://postimg.org/image/qha60q2iv/
Not sure what Mark's chip is. I think it's a 7802 but for some reason his HW version doesn't say.

Also see afterlife2's post (as you can see, he has a 7816 box):
Quote:
Originally Posted by afterlife2 View Post
Here it is. Not sure if there is a new version available.
But from your post and afterlife2's post, it looks like eMatic sold 7802 boxes in 2014, 7816 boxes early 2015, then went back to 7802 boxes again. HomeWorX did the same thing, but HomeWorX's recordings are compatible between the "1st-gen" and "2nd-gen" 7802 boxes.

Mark40511's firmware was very buggy, so he bought a HomeWorX to replace his eMatic. But as an experiment he tried loading HomeWorX V2.1 firmware on his eMatic. Unfortunately it didn't work, and since eMatic provides no support, he can't even get a copy of the original, buggy firmware to put his eMatic back like it was!

Last edited by JHBrandt; 12-29-2016 at 08:06 AM.
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post #118 of 287 Old 01-18-2017, 11:14 PM
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Does anyone know where a ematic firmware update can be downloaded? (Prior posts refer people to the manufacturer, but nobody seems to have actually obtained an useful update).

As several of the posts suggest, prior versions of the hardware/firmware worked better than the current versions. (Current versions will not record, and are harder to program to record.)

I think JHBrandt indicated he or she was preparing a comparison of this and other DVR models. Has that been posted? If so, is there any consensus on any makes/models that work well? Thanks.
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post #119 of 287 Old 01-19-2017, 10:12 AM
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I posted it here a while ago: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hdt...l#post42541513

It's a bit dated, but still a useful summary, I think.

As for which ones work best, HomeWorX seems to have the fewest bugs, and they do sometimes update their firmware. With their latest "1604" firmware release, iView isn't too bad either, and it has a few nice features not found on other models (nothing major, though).

One big problem all these boxes have is that the hardware keeps changing, requiring new firmware for the new hardware changes. That seems to be when bugs sneak back in. And all these importers (even the ones with big-sounding names like RCA and Channel Master) seem to be shoestring outfits that can barely handle development of firmware for the version they're currently selling, so older box versions with older hardware tend to get neglected.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 01-19-2017 at 10:22 AM.
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post #120 of 287 Old 01-20-2017, 06:22 PM
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Thanks for the link to your summary. It is useful. You might want to consider a ranking or scoring box, but it sounds like the units change frequently. An earlier version of the Ematic AT103B worked much better than the current version -- based on the posts, it sounds like they reverted to earlier firmware, which is unfortunate.

I take it you don't know where the better firmware can be downloaded/obtained?
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