Ematic AT103B DVR - Page 8 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #211 of 288 Old 02-12-2018, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for your comment and suggestion JHBandit. Much appreciated. I was looking all over the web and couldn't find an answer/solution. Ill transcode the files as you suggested. Im looking into purchasing an external hard drive for recording on this converter box. Are there any external hard drives that you would recommend?
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post #212 of 288 Old 02-12-2018, 07:26 PM
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I'd stick to lower capacity 500GB drives. These boxes respond much better with lower-capacity drives.

If you'd rather go with a 1TB or 2TB HDD, try to get an externally-powered one. These boxes don't seem to have a lot of juice to spare to power a big HDD through the USB port. But 500GB, 2.5" USB-powered drives have worked OK for me.
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post #213 of 288 Old 02-13-2018, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrandom12 View Post
Thanks for your comment and suggestion JHBandit. Much appreciated. I was looking all over the web and couldn't find an answer/solution. Ill transcode the files as you suggested. Im looking into purchasing an external hard drive for recording on this converter box. Are there any external hard drives that you would recommend?
My 2 cents:

If you have old PC or laptop hard drives, like I do, you could use an inexpensive USB adapter and use all of your old hard drives. I have many because I work on many computers and just didn't want to dump them all when they work fine.

Here's an adapter for $16:
http://a.co/29V7GzX

The only downside to using these external adapters is that if you set the AT103B for a Timed event, you MUST ensure the AC power plug for the USB adapter is ON.

Large HD8200XL antenna with HDB91X and RCA preamp and a RCA VH226F rotor motor
,aimed at Mt. Wilson (Los Angeles) from Etiwanda area.
CM3410 Dist. amp in attic for a 5 room hookup.
Located in foothills behind Mt. Baldy, and experiencing signal loss and pixelation depending on time of day.
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post #214 of 288 Old 02-13-2018, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'd stick to lower capacity 500GB drives. These boxes respond much better with lower-capacity drives.

If you'd rather go with a 1TB or 2TB HDD, try to get an externally-powered one. These boxes don't seem to have a lot of juice to spare to power a big HDD through the USB port. But 500GB, 2.5" USB-powered drives have worked OK for me.
Have used WD and Seagate 1TB and 2TB HDs with my AT Tuners. The issue I've had is the inability to record on one AT and move the HD to another AT and play it back.

It may be that some of the re-booting we experience has to do with the HD in use, but experience has me thinking the issues are due to differences between individual units - we have three in use with HDs attached to two of them and another AT as an 'extra'.

If I were to begin again, I would purchase three or four units at once from Wal-Mart or other Brick and Mortar Vendor with a decent return policy. Fire them up and note the hardware version of each. Then, try record and playback on matched pairs (assuming, of course that there were two identical units in the first batch!) keeping the units that worked and returning the others until I would up with four with the same Hardware version.

Almost all the issues treated here can be lid to rest at differences in Hardware/Software releases over time. This thread should add some sort of HEADS UP advising all to find and note their HW and SW release with each post. If this had been done from the git go, we might have (by now) Identified the best HW and SW versions out there. Then folks could simply return units with buggy HW SW until they wound up with the 'right' versions.

If, for instance, you saw complaints about a specific HW version on Amazon and return the unit you bought because of it - one can imagine Amazon refusing to sell that version as a Prime selection(as they eat the returns and postage both ways).

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post #215 of 288 Old 02-13-2018, 04:28 PM
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Have used WD and Seagate 1TB and 2TB HDs with my AT Tuners. The issue I've had is the inability to record on one AT and move the HD to another AT and play it back.

It may be that some of the re-booting we experience has to do with the HD in use, but experience has me thinking the issues are due to differences between individual units - we have three in use with HDs attached to two of them and another AT as an 'extra'.

If I were to begin again, I would purchase three or four units at once from Wal-Mart or other Brick and Mortar Vendor with a decent return policy. Fire them up and note the hardware version of each. Then, try record and playback on matched pairs (assuming, of course that there were two identical units in the first batch!) keeping the units that worked and returning the others until I would up with four with the same Hardware version.

Almost all the issues treated here can be lid to rest at differences in Hardware/Software releases over time. This thread should add some sort of HEADS UP advising all to find and note their HW and SW release with each post. If this had been done from the git go, we might have (by now) Identified the best HW and SW versions out there. Then folks could simply return units with buggy HW SW until they wound up with the 'right' versions.

If, for instance, you saw complaints about a specific HW version on Amazon and return the unit you bought because of it - one can imagine Amazon refusing to sell that version as a Prime selection(as they eat the returns and postage both ways).

I'll keep the suggestions in mind, thanks.

Does anyone know why the recordings are broken up into multiple files? I transferred my recordings from my thumb drive to my external hard drive and noticed that there is a 35 minute AVCHD file followed by 6 . MTS files. per recording.

I was about to only transfer the AVCHD file to my external drive until i noticed that the file did not contain the full 2 hour recording. So I ended up transferring the AVCHD file along with its MTS files.

Ive been recording the olympic games and some recordings are 2+ hours each. Is there a way to combine each recording into one video file? or a setting in the device that does this?

My apologies for the noob questions. I'm transitioning from years of DVD-R recording to Digital HD recording.
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post #216 of 288 Old 02-14-2018, 08:39 PM
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Does anyone know why the recordings are broken up into multiple files?
In all likelihood, your drive is formatted as FAT32. FAT32 allows a maximum of 4GiB per file, but the eMatic and similar boxes don't push it anywhere near that far. They break the recording up into 0.5GiB segments.

If you format (or reformat) your drive as NTFS instead, the eMatic won't break up the recording into segments like that. You'll always have one file per recording.

(Well, maybe two: if your eMatic is one of the newer 7802-based units, you'll probably get a 6kB .meta file along with each video file. But you can ignore the .meta files.)
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post #217 of 288 Old 02-14-2018, 08:56 PM
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The issue I've had is the inability to record on one AT and move the HD to another AT and play it back.
There needs to be a FAQ for these boxes. Don't know if I've answered this question before on this thread; if I have, pardon the repetition.

BTW, HomeWorx and iView have the same problem. I think it was first reported with HomeWorx's HW-180, but then it spread to all the other models and other clones.

The issue was indeed a hardware change - MStar apparently stopped making the 7816 chip, so everybody had to switch to the 7802 chip, which required new firmware. Eventually everyone selling a version of these boxes had to switch. And in the process, the firmware developer (which I suspect is MStar itself, but I'm not sure) made some slight changes in the format of the recordings. So recordings made on a 7816 box won't play on a 7802 box or vice versa.

I discovered a partial workaround: change the file extension from .mts to .m2ts with a PC, and you can then play the file as a "movie" instead of a recording. Often (but not always) it will play OK even on the "wrong" box. .Mts and .m2ts are the same format - AVCHD - but these boxes only recognize the .mts extension as recordings. Any other video file extension is considered a "movie," even if it's the same format as the .mts recordings these boxes make.
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post #218 of 288 Old 02-15-2018, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
There needs to be a FAQ for these boxes. Don't know if I've answered this question before on this thread; if I have, pardon the repetition.

BTW, HomeWorx and iView have the same problem. I think it was first reported with HomeWorx's HW-180, but then it spread to all the other models and other clones.

The issue was indeed a hardware change - MStar apparently stopped making the 7816 chip, so everybody had to switch to the 7802 chip, which required new firmware. Eventually everyone selling a version of these boxes had to switch. And in the process, the firmware developer (which I suspect is MStar itself, but I'm not sure) made some slight changes in the format of the recordings. So recordings made on a 7816 box won't play on a 7802 box or vice versa.

I discovered a partial workaround: change the file extension from .mts to .m2ts with a PC, and you can then play the file as a "movie" instead of a recording. Often (but not always) it will play OK even on the "wrong" box. .Mts and .m2ts are the same format - AVCHD - but these boxes only recognize the .mts extension as recordings. Any other video file extension is considered a "movie," even if it's the same format as the .mts recordings these boxes make.
"There needs to be a FAQ for these boxes."

You answered that one for me!

I'm not sure how best to succinctly "label the issue." If so, it would be easier to recall the 'fix' you provided (work around).

Or find it via a search.

HW:ABL7802-ATSC-R836-02
SW: 2/24/201610:29:16

If everyone posting included the HW and SW versions listed for their box . . .Nah, herding cats!

But it might be worth gathering this detail from everyone willing if we could store the results so all might access them.As no one knows how many different combinations are 'out there.'

Am I correct in assuming that the SW referenced is the instruction set for the 7802 CHIP?
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post #219 of 288 Old 02-15-2018, 10:12 PM
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In all likelihood, your drive is formatted as FAT32. FAT32 allows a maximum of 4GiB per file, but the eMatic and similar boxes don't push it anywhere near that far. They break the recording up into 0.5GiB segments.

If you format (or reformat) your drive as NTFS instead, the eMatic won't break up the recording into segments like that. You'll always have one file per recording.

(Well, maybe two: if your eMatic is one of the newer 7802-based units, you'll probably get a 6kB .meta file along with each video file. But you can ignore the .meta files.)
"If you format (or reformat) your drive as NTFS instead"

In my experience, the formatting is done by the box itself (an option in the menu USB; PVR Configure; Format)

SW: 2/24/2016 10:29:16
HW: ABL7802-ATSC-R836-02

My HD looks to be formatted as NTFS - It was NOT formatted using the box, but came formatted from mfg as NTFS.
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post #220 of 288 Old 02-16-2018, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by EmaticUser View Post
HW:ABL7802-ATSC-R836-02
SW: 2/24/201610:29:16

If everyone posting included the HW and SW versions listed for their box . . .Nah, herding cats!

But it might be worth gathering this detail from everyone willing if we could store the results so all might access them.As no one knows how many different combinations are 'out there.'

Am I correct in assuming that the SW referenced is the instruction set for the 7802 CHIP?
Yes, you are correct. Actually, both the HW and SW versions are hard-coded in the firmware; the firmware doesn't actually query the hardware in any way. But the HW version usually has 7802 (or 7816) in it somewhere, indicating which chip the firmware is for.
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post #221 of 288 Old 02-16-2018, 08:09 PM
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I see JHBrandt, it completely flew over my mind that FAT32 drives don't support 4GB+ files; my 128GB flash drive is indeed formatted in FAT32. I ended up finding an unused WD 1TB 3.0 Elements Portable External Drive (WDBUZG0010BBK-WESN) and used this external drive. I formatted the 1TB drive to NTFS via the AT103B menu. However, within the first day of using the 1TB external drive to record, the device started acting up. The picture began to pixelate even though I had great reception. I rebooted the Ematic AT103B DVR and re-plugged the 1TB external drive and it said "Unsupported Device." I recorded about 4 hours yesterday using the 1TB drive. Now the AT103B converter box continues to pixelate the image and doesn't recognize the 1TB drive anymore.

Since my AT103B is pretty much done with. I'm now using the iKonvert SC-58 converter box that I have in my living room. I switched back to using the 128GB flash drive to record and it is working great so far on the iKonvert box. Surprisingly this flash drive hasn't been giving me any problems when I record. I don't really like that the 128 GB drive splits the recordings in 4GB chucks, but I guess that will have to do for now. I'm hesitant to plug the 1TB drive to the IKonvert box because of what happened to my AT103B. Do you know if Handbrake will allow me to combine all MTS. files into one video file?

You mentioned that you wouldn't recommend using USB powered external drives on the AT103B and now I see why. I read on Amazon that others had similar problems using the WD 1TB Elements Drive on other converter boxes, while some used portable Seagate external drives and they didn't have a problem. Are there any specific external hard drives that are known to work well with these converter boxes; either USB or independently powered drives? Most stores seem to sell mainly portable external drives, cant seem to find many External Desktop Drives for sale, even online.

Also, are there any other reliable converter boxes that allow you to record? or are they mostly unstable?
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post #222 of 288 Old 02-17-2018, 06:39 PM
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You can reformat the 128GB drive to NTFS using either of the two boxes, or using a PC - but of course, you'll lose the recordings already on it unless you copy them off first. That might be a good use of the 1TB drive (saving a copy of the recordings from the 128GB drive), assuming it at least still works with a PC.

I've had good luck with a couple of 500GB Samsung HDDs that are USB-powered, but it seems like the 1TB Touro drive I have draws just a bit too much power for these boxes' own good. I don't know if that's because of its larger capacity, or just bad luck with my choice of HDDs. Both the 500GBs and the 1TB are 2.5" HDDs - most 3.5" HDDs seem to have their own power source, so they don't need power from the box.

None of these boxes seem to make recordings perfectly reliably. The best I've found so far is the iView (either the 3200 or 3500 model) but their current firmware has a bug that locks up the box when tuning to some subchannels so you have to update the box with an older firmware version (which is luckily still available on their website).

It might even be possible to load the correct iView firmware version onto an AT103B, if the AT103B is one of the newer 7802-based boxes. You'd need an iView remote to operate it after updating the firmware, but iView sells remotes separately. The iView 3500 remote is better than the AT103B's own remote anyway.

No one has tried that AFAIK, so it may not work. One user did have some success flashing his AT103B with firmware for a HomeWorx (IIRC, V2.1 did not work, but V5.3 did).
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post #223 of 288 Old 03-31-2018, 03:49 PM
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Here's a heads up on selecting channels for recording. If I just let the auto search feature grab everything out there and order up the channels according to their digital ID rather than RF channel, this box will not access them all for recording. No clue why. I tried deleting all the shopping and religious channels and although it opened up more channels, one particular station, 27-1 in Vegas, remained inaccessible.

The eventual workaround was to move the channel in the list so that it was before channel 15-1. There may be some significance in that 15-1 (RF ch16) is Univision and 27-1 (RF ch15) is Unimas. I'm wondering if there is something crossed up in their PSIP.

Anybody else seen similar behavior?

The DTA880 I have refuses to acknowledge that 27-1 exists. Waiting on attenuator pads to see if it a receiver saturation issue.
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post #224 of 288 Old 03-31-2018, 07:15 PM
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Some folks have reported problems recording certain channels on other MStar boxes. IIRC iViews also exhibited this behavior a few years ago, although the example I found (below) was reported by a cable user.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisvilleDan View Post
The vexing problem is one where the PVR won't let me record programs on certain channels.... To recap, I'm now using the V3 firmware, which picks up just 20 of the local broadcast channels on the receiver (and zero cable channels). But in the PVR scheduler module, there are only 16 of those channels being shown as options for recording programming. So effectively, there is no way to record programs on those other four stations other than manually being in front of the TV in real time and hitting "record."
These boxes tend to share each other's bugs at times. But I think you're the first to discover that reordering the channels can work around the problem.

Someone with TSReader (a PC program for analyzing ATSC transport streams) may be able to figure out if something is hinky with either station's PSIP data that triggers the issue. There's probably someone like that in the Las Vegas area but I don't know if any of them follow the eMatic thread!
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post #225 of 288 Old 03-31-2018, 09:16 PM
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These boxes tend to share each other's bugs at times. But I think you're the first to discover that reordering the channels can work around the problem.

Someone with TSReader (a PC program for analyzing ATSC transport streams) may be able to figure out if something is hinky with either station's PSIP data that triggers the issue. There's probably someone like that in the Las Vegas area but I don't know if any of them follow the eMatic thread!
Comparing the DTA880 and the eMatic record menus, certain features stand out.

1) They both start at the lowest channel ID.

2) The DTA 880 will scroll up through all the acquired channels and loop round at the end. You can even scroll back to the high channels from the start channel. This appears well programmed.

3) After automatic channel programming, the eMatic will scroll up so far (more than 16) then return to channel 15-1 and begin scrolling up again. If that isn't weird enough, if you scroll down from the start, the first channel it sees is not necessarily the one with the highest ID number. It strikes me that the programming/addressing in the record function is royally hosed.
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post #226 of 288 Old 04-01-2018, 10:40 AM
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Just tried it on my HomeWorx with (old) V2.1 firmware. (Like I said, these boxes often share each other's bugs.) I hit Timer, then 1 to add a scheduled recording. It starts at my lowest channel, 4-1.

If I scroll forward, it scrolls up normally, through channels 33-3, 38-2, -3, -4, and -5. But then it goes down to 34-5, a channel I have marked as "skipped." What's it doing backing up to a skipped channel?

At this point it's caught in a loop and goes back to 38-2 again. Scrolling backward from either 34-5 or 38-2 exits the loop and goes back to 33-3.

I can also scroll backward, wrapping around from 4-1 to my highest channel, 69-4, and continuing backward from there. But when I get down to 52-4, it jumps all the way down to 28-5!

Since it doesn't allow a way to enter a channel number directly, every channel between 38-5 and 52-4 is inaccessible for recording if you start this way. I had never noticed it before because I normally book recordings from the EPG, which works on every channel (well, every channel with an EPG - the LPTVs typically don't have those, but I rarely record those channels anyway).

But some firmware versions have another bug which prevents booking recordings straight from the EPG. If you try, it just brings up the scheduled recordings list; you still have to schedule the recording manually. If you have that bug too, the "hosed channel order" bug would completely stop you from scheduling timed recordings for some channels.

Edit: Checking with an iView (3500STBII firmware version 20160815V5.0) reveals a similar bug (the details of exactly which channels are skipped are different, but the essence is the same) with one mitigating factor: instead of always starting at the lowest channel, this version starts at the current channel. So with this firmware version you can always schedule a recording by tuning to the channel you want to record before pressing the "Schedule" button.

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post #227 of 288 Old 04-21-2018, 03:30 PM
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I got an Ematic AT103B last weekend. The receiver is great, but the recording menu is giving me fits. It point blank refuses to access most of the channels. I try scrolling up the channel numbers but it won't go to the channels I want. Any ideas?

I discovered by accident that it has the same hardware ID as a ViewTV AT-163, ABL7802-R836-A. The software is dated from February 2017 with the suffix V3. ViewTV has an update on their site dated from September, so I have to wonder if it would work on the AT103B.
Just thought I'd mention that my Terk TUNVR1's firmware, dated April 2017, also has the suffix V3 and the same hardware ID, ABL7802-R836-A. (FYI, 7802 is the CPU chip; R836 is the tuner chip. I'm guessing A is like a version, so the next hardware design would be B, etc. No idea what "ABL" is supposed to mean.) So there's a good chance all three boxes (eMatic, Terk, and ViewTV) are very closely related. There are a few very minor differences; for example, the Terk lacks the eMatic's RF output (for older TVs that only have an RF input).

Terk's V3 firmware can be downloaded at http://static.voxxintl.com/firmware/TUNVR1/. Unfortunately, Terk's firmware has the same bug, along with a few others. And there's still the problem of finding a compatible remote, although I discovered that a HomeWorX HW-180STB remote, which can be purchased from Mediasonic separately, will work with Terk firmware, although several buttons are mislabeled!

So the easiest workaround to this bug appears to be just to schedule recordings from the EPG instead of using the recording menu. If the show you want to record isn't on the EPG because it's not airing in the next 24 hours, you can just pick whatever show is listed at the desired start time, and manually edit the date (and end time, if necessary).

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post #228 of 288 Old 11-17-2018, 04:47 PM
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TIPS for EMATIC AT103B

EMATIC AT103B DVR
The ANTENNA Trumps all !
1. The Over the air (OTA) works good for me with 20 outside antenna. Beware when you are close enough to 2 towers you might get the bad signal from one and not ever seem to be able to get the closer one since the tuner seems to stick not with the best signal but whatever one is picked up first, the CURE is to use Fav channels function to pick the best signal ie if you have 9-1, and another 9-1 in the FAV menu, choose the other one for a better signal. I wish I knew what "antenna power on " means in the channel menu.

2. The USB works fine for me with the 128GB mem stick; once in a while if the system seems to lock up , just turn off n on with remote; in the worst case very rarely I might have to unplug & replug power cord. So all in all its pretty good , rep told me that anything over 32gb would not work right after a couple weeks but mine is doing fine, I would recommend using a non flexible mem stick as movement may impede its operations. It does take 15-20 seconds for the delete a program function but I can live with that.

3. One poster mentioned the OTA program info did not work, mine does work but its slow, sometimes taking an incredible 3 minutes to pull down the tiny data that is the program info .. Maybe the big corps who hate OTA are delaying it or the ematic design didn't allow enough memory or data flow? Yeah irritating but again < i can live with that.

4. IF the antenna is not High enough it will cause some programs not to record properly and may drop then altogether for bad or no signal.. other time with a weak/bad signal it will still record but its really skipping and unwatchable. U need better antenna.

5. Antenna I use is on 2 top rails from chain link fence strapped to the facial board on the house (or you can easily use a bracket from satellite dish on facial board). A simple wire in a circle (makes it omnidirectional ) about 12" diameter in a plastic tube such as Pex from lowes or home depot (makes it water proof) and a basic $2 transformer from 150ohm to 75ohm (its the one you use to go from 2 wire old antenna to modern cable connector about 2" long and small enough to fit inside pvc tubing you will use to come down from the circle antenna on the 20' mast. (make it all water proof by keeping all connections and any solder points "inside the 3/4" Pvc" ; just tie strap circle antenna to mast at top. No need to aim it since it is a 12" circle. IF reception is very poor, add an amplifier (20$) and/or increase mast height.

6. Another way to get better reception with the circle antenna is to remount it so the circle is vertical instead of horizontal; now it direction antenna, so just turn the mast until the signal is best. My info says that ALL the DTV OTA signals now come from just one or two towers in your general area so you can aim it one time and forget it ;

7. Or you could try one of the many rotor equipped antennas from online vendors that use a remote control to rotate antenna, *(the power is sent up the cable to the antenna as (i think) a DC low voltage signal that doesn't interfere with the high frequency DTV OTA signal , and some also amplify the signal at the antenna using that same power (this clever method eliminates the need for separate power cord up the mast, so it looks just like any other setup with just the one cable but really as said it carries both the signal down to tv, and also the power to run amp and rotor up the cabl e at same time).

8. The simple and cheap DIY circle antenna works so well, that I can actually put one on each end of house for better reception
9. There is another amplifier that works a a duet (two components) one can be up on th antenna (but you will need to weather proof it with plastic bag, waterproof tape, etc) but the duet really it works quite well within a foot of each other. One looks benign with just an led light and in & out cable connections, which feed into the power source which has a wall wart, this as in the other amp of 7. provides power to the benign looking amp and lights up the led too so you know its got power, probably again with low power DC which apparently does not interfere with high freq DTV siganl.
10. The time shift (pause) function does work well and you can change the amount of data it can be (i put mine at 4gb) BUT it will lose the whole show if it runs too long like more than 30-60 minutes or if you try to go back and forward too much..
11. The ematic sometimes seems to take 15-20 seconds to "think" but it usually comes back to center ok.
Yeah, antenna makes the ematic dvr work alot better.
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post #229 of 288 Old 11-17-2018, 04:53 PM
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Sorry for misspellings, i was in a hurry.. lol
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post #230 of 288 Old 11-17-2018, 05:08 PM
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4. IF the antenna is not High enough it will cause some programs not to record properly and may drop then altogether for bad or no signal.. other time with a weak/bad signal it will still record but its really skipping and unwatchable. U may" need better and much higher antenna; many units state that they presume you have 30 ft outside antenna with amp.
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post #231 of 288 Old 11-18-2018, 06:30 PM
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I'd stick to lower capacity 500GB drives. These boxes respond much better with lower-capacity drives.
I have Three AT102B's I posted some of the firmware/software details in an earlier post (last year?) and use 1 and 2 GB Portable Hard Drives From WD Elements; Seagate and another brand I can't read at the moment as I am recording a show and the USB connector is loose (that is an issue with these as the USB is up front and makes placement of the HD an issue if you want to see the HD activity led).

I buy these at WalMart (or some other Brick and Mortar) as every third one is flaky and you need to buy one to determine what the SW Version is - do try and get matching units if you wish to record on one and play back on one of the others.

At any rate, returns are more convenient if dealing with B&M Outlets and returns are essential with this sort of hardware. Ematic is not much of a backstop - no DELL! More like a Harbor Freight Tools. Easy Returns is the Key to happy ematic use!
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post #232 of 288 Old 01-02-2019, 11:52 AM
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AT103B giving me problems

After about 9 months of near perfect operation, my AT103B is having issues. Several things are going on.

1) Intermittently not shutting off after completing a recording.
2) Losing the station in a scheduled recording on the timer list
3) Locking up such that when trying to program a new recording, it reads Ch 37 and refuses to scroll.

We did have some kind of mains power event the other week. Came home to find the TV had lost time, the AT103B had lost it's timer data and a laptop left in sleep was in some kind of loop. Are the power supplies in these boxes questionable?

My plan is to do a system reset, rescan and edit my channels then see how we get on.

Any suggestions for a replacement if it carries on giving me problems?
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post #233 of 288 Old 01-02-2019, 02:44 PM
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Sounds like the channel memory got scrambled, most likely not because of a power failure or surge, but because something changed in the PSIP data of one of your stations, triggering a rescan of that frequency. When that happens, sometimes things get mixed up. I've seen similar problems on HomeWorX and iVIEW.

A full rescan, followed by rescheduling all your recordings, should straighten things out; but if that doesn't work and you can't find (or don't want) another AT103B, I'd suggest:

  1. An iVIEW 3200STB
  2. A HomeWorX HW-130 or HW-180. The HW-150 is good too but costs more
  3. A ViewTV AT163
  4. A Boost Waves BW1658

All of those are very similar to your AT103B.
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post #234 of 288 Old 01-02-2019, 07:44 PM
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I've had several digital tuners that will hang at rf37 (It's a protected frequency reserved for radio astronomy) You may have to delete it with the antenna disconnected or some such workaround. (but that would not likely be the other issues you've seen)

Sturgeon's Law: "Nothing is always absolutely so."
Sturgeons Revelation: "Ninety percent of everything is crud."
My Thoughts: "A reasoned argument must share some basic common points."
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post #235 of 288 Old 01-02-2019, 10:39 PM
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Weirdness continues. I rescanned and set up the daily recording I wanted. After some surfing about I went back to that channel. I kept getting information pop-ups that I was not initiating. Afterwards the timer I had set up was AWOL. I reset the timer and repeated the process. This time the recording time was there but the station info was gone. I'm beginning to wonder if the addition of a fifth station on this RF is the issue. Is the box getting spiked by something during channel acquisition that is clearing the timer? Is it grabbing the wrong PSIP during the process and that is screwing the pooch. Dunno.

I rescanned AGAIN and left all the trash channels active this time and set the timer. It is recording right now. However, earlier I did some poking about and found some oddities. The time on a number of stations is up to 20 minutes off. That's sloppy. However, UNIMAS takes the prize. Their time was three hours off, and not even the right way to be Eastern versus Pacific. The topper on this was the year in the date: 1980. Priceless.
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post #236 of 288 Old 01-03-2019, 07:37 PM
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I'm beginning to wonder if the addition of a fifth station on this RF is the issue. Is the box getting spiked by something during channel acquisition that is clearing the timer? Is it grabbing the wrong PSIP during the process and that is screwing the pooch. Dunno.
I'd say that's a pretty good guess. But if so, the only workaround I know of is to delete that station (all five subchannels).

Worse, most of eMatic's competitors have the same infuriating bug. Iview is the only one I know of that finally fixed it (although their firmware has other annoying issues).
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The time on a number of stations is up to 20 minutes off. That's sloppy. However, UNIMAS takes the prize. Their time was three hours off, and not even the right way to be Eastern versus Pacific. The topper on this was the year in the date: 1980. Priceless.
Ideally you (or anyone) could contact the station engineers at the "sloppy" stations. In practice it can be hard to get contact info for the engineers, but if you can get through, they can usually fix their stations' PSIP times.
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post #237 of 288 Old 01-03-2019, 08:24 PM
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I've slapped in a 20 dB (!!) pad in line in the hope that this will reduce any intermod or RF overload that may be part of the problem. Recall I have about -23 dBm at the antenna according to TVFool.

Thanks for the heads up on the iView.

Last edited by Sp8472; 01-03-2019 at 08:37 PM.
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post #238 of 288 Old 01-04-2019, 01:11 PM
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ONE THING FOLKS SHOULD DO IS LIST THE VERSION OF HW and SW on the unit they are asking/complaining about.

It is simply a fact that the Ematic 103B is not a unique device. That, while the Box and connectors and such may appear identical as between units, it is the Programming and Hardware that define the individual unit(s).

I believe we have five of these units at present. One keeps 24 hour ****, the other 12-hour. One can't handle a weaker signal (rain, etc) while the others do just fine. Some lose settings frequently, others - not so much.

The USB connector on/in the unit is a weak ink on al the units we have - so there is some consistency!

Frankly, I think al the (lower priced) units are running the same electronics save the one chip* and are simply programming their version a bit different. Could be that even higher priced units are running the same HW.

That said, if we would track the HW and SW versions, we might be able to at least create a dud list. That would make it easier to return the duds as you could tell by looking at the one screen if you had the wrong SW or HW
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post #239 of 288 Old 03-07-2019, 10:26 PM
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A few days ago I purchased the Ematic AT103B DVR

SW Version: Jan 9 2018 - 16:47:35
HW Version: ABL7802-R836-A

So far it works decent for a tuner. For now I don't need to use the recording capabilities. I just need to know about the channel scanning.

When I did the auto scan, it found most of the channels in my area. It only missed CH 6 & 51. Can I add a missed scanned channel to the Ematic? Or do I just need to adjust my antenna and rescan to find them?

I'm in a area where I receive duplicate CH13. I sometimes need to switch back & forth because one may have issues. But during the scan the Ematic marked the duplicates with a green box to the right of the channels.
In the box it says $CP, SCP, SOP or something. At first I thought it said skip.

13-1
13-1 [skip]
13-2
13-2 [skip]
13-3
13-3 [skip]

How do I remove the green box so I can view both channels?
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post #240 of 288 Old 03-08-2019, 03:16 PM
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When I did the auto scan, it found most of the channels in my area. It only missed CH 6 & 51. Can I add a missed scanned channel to the Ematic?
Yes; but you'll need to know the correct RF channel to scan, which is often a different number!

Channel 51 is the easiest. It's on RF 13, so you would go to the Channel Search menu, select Manual Search, and enter 13. You'll see a signal strength meter on the screen.
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Or do I just need to adjust my antenna and rescan to find them?
You don't need to rescan, but you may need to adjust your antenna. Rotate and/or move it until the signal strength is as strong as you can make it, then press OK. The channel scan screen will appear.

If it works, you'll see 51-1, 51-2, and 51-3 appear before the scan screen goes away. If it doesn't, try again, and try to get an even stronger signal before pressing OK.

Channel 6 is more challenging. It's on RF 6 (so in this case, the channel number matches the RF channel), but channel numbers below 7 are tough to receive without a big antenna. For indoors, your best bet would be an old-fashioned rabbit ears/loop combo, but you'll have to stretch the rabbit ears pretty wide for RF 6. You may be better off catching CBS on channel 45-3.
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I'm in a area where I receive duplicate CH13. I sometimes need to switch back & forth because one may have issues. But during the scan the Ematic marked the duplicates with a green box to the right of the channels.
In the box it says $CP, SCP, SOP or something. At first I thought it said skip.

13-1
13-1 [skip]
13-2
13-2 [skip]
13-3
13-3 [skip]

How do I remove the green box so I can view both channels?
Wow, that's weird. It looks like the eMatic thought one of channel 13's signals is scrambled. That may be because the signal was weak when you scanned; if so, a manual search might fix it.

You should be able to receive channel 13 on RF 12, 18, and (maybe) 38. Rescan each of those channels using Manual Search; hopefully, you can get two of them to work without any green boxes.
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