AirTV networked OTA tuner - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 186 Old 07-22-2018, 12:45 PM
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Well, that's one reason I've been looking at the AirTV BB. The nice thing about Rokus is that just about everyone (except SD, apparently) supports the things, and I'd like to have a single device that easily supports both OTA and a streaming service. You know, like I had with the DVR+ before Sling killed the DVR+ Sling app. And if I could replicate the DVR+'s, um, DVR on the OTA side, then so much the better.

An Android box is one option, but the DVR requirement is a big sticking point. The Stream+ is barely a DVR at all, though it's better now than when it first came out. I haven't looked at the AirTV Player (not BB) DVR option much, because I understand it will become subscription-based once it's out of beta. I hope they don't make that mistake with the BB. I'm not sanguine about a DVR that comes crashing to a complete halt if I miss a monthly payment (and I realize they can probably auto-bill a credit card, but even those expire or hit limits from time to time, so the auto-bill has to be updated).

As subscription-based DVR services go, the HDHR service is pretty reasonable. $35/year is only a bit more than the $25/year you'd pay for a Schedules Direct guide using free software. But I'd prefer if they unbundled that, and charged a one-time price for the software, plus maybe $30/year for the guide. That way, you could at least limp along with PSIP if you missed a payment. I realize Emby and Plex offer TiVo-style "lifetime" subscriptions that would avoid the issue entirely. They seem rather expensive, though, probably because you're paying up-front for a lifetime guide in addition to their software. Odd that nobody (except of course WMC with EPG123) seems to have an "unbundled" pricing option.

Nevertheless, for those who don't need a DVR, I see nothing inherently unreasonable about an HDHR Extend + Rokus combo, and there doesn't seem to be any technical reason why it wouldn't work. Don't know specifically about the Extend, but traditionally, the HDHR has been a fairly "open" platform for software developers. So could someone besides HDHR develop a Roku app for the Extend? Or will Roku only accept apps directly from service providers, so that Roku users are at SD's mercy for a potential Extend app?
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post #62 of 186 Old 07-22-2018, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Nevertheless, for those who don't need a DVR, I see nothing inherently unreasonable about an HDHR Extend + Rokus combo, and there doesn't seem to be any technical reason why it wouldn't work. Don't know specifically about the Extend, but traditionally, the HDHR has been a fairly "open" platform for software developers. So could someone besides HDHR develop a Roku app for the Extend? Or will Roku only accept apps directly from service providers, so that Roku users are at SD's mercy for a potential Extend app?
Anybody can write a Roku app, the "public" APIs are just that ("public", there's a website), and free.

There is a slight wrinkle, though, in how you PUBLISH your Roku app. You can either distribute it yourself (and maybe just for yourself), or you can make it available through the Roku "channel" store. To do the latter, the app must pass a certification test, which verifies that certain technical and other aspects of the app meet Roku standards.

Once again, last time I checked, all free. If you think you can do it with the Roku "public" APIs, then just go ahead and write the app, for your own use, to be distributed to others, or publish in the "channel" store.

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post #63 of 186 Old 07-22-2018, 01:27 PM
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So, essentially they use the Apple app store/Google Play store model.

Seems odd that someone hasn't tried to write an app for the HDHR Extend. I don't have the expertise; maybe after retirement I can try to learn, though.
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post #64 of 186 Old 07-22-2018, 01:54 PM
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So, essentially they use the Apple app store/Google Play store model.

Seems odd that someone hasn't tried to write an app for the HDHR Extend. I don't have the expertise; maybe after retirement I can try to learn, though.
You made me look at the intrawebs for "HDHR Extend". You're right, they don't show Roku as a streamer. Exactly why this is, and they list AppleTV, FireTV, et. al., I do not know. There are a lot of references to "DRM coming soon" so there may be legal issues at work.

I wouldn't try writing an app for Roku at any time in your life if you don't know what the "server" does. I'm not seeing any description of the "HDHR Extend" server interface in my admittedly quick and shallow search for the term.

Without that knowledge, you can't write an app for any device to play the streams. It kind of looks like this company controls information on the programmatic interface and writes its own apps (hires programmers) for streaming devices as it deems correct for its business plan. This is true of many companies, still doesn't explain exactly why Roku wasn't deemed correct (or maybe Roku would not certify the app or something, and threatened to sue over private distribution).

Still, if you find the server description of the "HDHR Extend", that might go a long way to determine what the hangup is, and how to solve it...

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post #65 of 186 Old 07-22-2018, 05:42 PM
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You made me look at the intrawebs for "HDHR Extend". You're right, they don't show Roku as a streamer. Exactly why this is, and they list AppleTV, FireTV, et. al., I do not know. There are a lot of references to "DRM coming soon" so there may be legal issues at work.

I wouldn't try writing an app for Roku at any time in your life if you don't know what the "server" does. I'm not seeing any description of the "HDHR Extend" server interface in my admittedly quick and shallow search for the term.

Without that knowledge, you can't write an app for any device to play the streams.
Of course, after I posted this, I did a slightly more specific search for "hdhomerun api", and got many results, including the API documentation on GitHub (which explains--not really--why there were no links to "developer documentation" on their website), example page:

https://github.com/Silicondust/docum...-Engine-Status

Which shows me they are using a "REST"ful API. The good thing about that for beginning developers is that it is so simple to see how it works, and to implement it. You're just posting and getting files in JSON format that allows humans to easily read and write the data that needs to go back and forth between the HD Homerun and the client device (could be a Roku). The Roku APIs include special JSON parsing routines, so you can use those to build the bulk of your Roku app.

Haven't searched further for a GitHub implementation of a HD Homerun Roku client, it may or not be there, but you should be able to write one...

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post #66 of 186 Old 07-22-2018, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Even the Single tuner Clearstream TV network tuner, and sibling Hauppage CordCutter TV dual network tuner have apps on Roku.

The Hauppage unit recently added support for "scheduled recording" onto local USB drives, although that feature may not be available for Roku http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/produ...dcuttertv.html I really don't understand why it wouldn't be as the transcoding and recording are done on the Hauppage device and stored on a drive connected to it. Hmmm.

I have confirmed with Hauppage that even though their device transcodes to mpeg 4, and can record broadcasts and save through USB port, it can not perform any recording with ROKU. What am I missing?

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post #67 of 186 Old 07-23-2018, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by merman9393 View Post
Even the Single tuner Clearstream TV network tuner, and sibling Hauppage CordCutter TV dual network tuner have apps on Roku.

The Hauppage unit recently added support for "scheduled recording" onto local USB drives, although that feature may not be available for Roku http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/produ...dcuttertv.html I really don't understand why it wouldn't be as the transcoding and recording are done on the Hauppage device and stored on a drive connected to it. Hmmm.

I have confirmed with Hauppage that even though their device transcodes to mpeg 4, and can record broadcasts and save through USB port, it can not perform any recording with ROKU. What am I missing?
Another streamer?

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post #68 of 186 Old 07-24-2018, 06:31 PM
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2 Questions...

  • To use the slingTV app with AirTV do you have to be signed up for one of the slingTV packages (with a monthly fee), or can you use the slingTV app with it with no monthly fee?
  • Can you use a roku and or firetv outside of your home network to watch the airTV that is at your house? Aka, Can one take their roku or fireTV to a hotel on vacation and watch their home team's game? (With either app?)

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post #69 of 186 Old 07-26-2018, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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2 Questions...

  • To use the slingTV app with AirTV do you have to be signed up for one of the slingTV packages (with a monthly fee), or can you use the slingTV app with it with no monthly fee?
  • Can you use a roku and or firetv outside of your home network to watch the airTV that is at your house? Aka, Can one take their roku or fireTV to a hotel on vacation and watch their home team's game? (With either app?)
Supposedly SlingTV now has a "Free Tier" with some free channels, with a la Carte options https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/28/sl...arte-channels/

That article says the new app is already available on Roku, with other platforms rolling out soon. I have a SlingTV subscription, and I've tried logging out to see what this looks like, but my Roku can't find a newer version of the SlingTV app. Maybe because I'm already a subscriber? Other than that possibility, I really think to use the SlingTV app with AirTV BB you need a subscription.

I can view my OTA on my iPhone whoever I am. I have read that the out of network streaming is only for tablets & phones.

I'm reaching out to my AirTV tech guy to verify, and I'll post back.

EDIT/ADDITION: Seth from AirTV says it is possible to use a STB through out of network streaming. Either I misunderstood, or it has been changed. Using a Fire TV stick or Roku in a hotel or vacation home to view AirTV OTA is possible due to that Xcode 5661 engine.

Still looking into SlingTV Free Tier/Guest Account roll out.

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post #70 of 186 Old 07-26-2018, 10:57 AM
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EDIT/ADDITION: Seth from AirTV says it is possible to use a STB through out of network streaming. Either I misunderstood, or it has been changed. Using a Fire TV stick or Roku in a hotel or vacation home to view AirTV OTA is possible due to that Xcode 5661 engine.

Still looking into SlingTV Free Tier/Guest Account roll out.

Awesome. I think I'll give it a shot and buy one.
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post #71 of 186 Old 07-26-2018, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merman9393 View Post
Supposedly SlingTV now has a "Free Tier" with some free channels, with a la Carte options https://techcrunch.com/2018/06/28/sl...arte-channels/

That article says the new app is already available on Roku, with other platforms rolling out soon. I have a SlingTV subscription, and I've tried logging out to see what this looks like, but my Roku can't find a newer version of the SlingTV app. Maybe because I'm already a subscriber? Other than that possibility, I really think to use the SlingTV app with AirTV BB you need a subscription.
I read the article, but I got the impression you still need a subscription - the difference was that your subscription no longer requires a base package (Orange or Blue). I didn't see any free channels mentioned either, although I wouldn't be surprised to see a few.

Edit: A visit to Sling's web site didn't exactly clear things up. There was no mention of the a la carte offerings mentioned in the article. Have they been withdrawn already?

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post #72 of 186 Old 07-29-2018, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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The "new SlingTV" https://whatson.sling.com/announceme...-new-sling-tv/

As I'm already a subscriber, and my Roku is really, really old, I can't check this out. If anybody has a new Roku, and is NOT a current subscriber to SlingTV, please check on this and post back. It specifically states "This content is available to you absolutely free, without restarting your subscription. Simply click and watch!"

This opens up possibilities of using AirTV (BB) on SlingTV app without a SlingTV subscription.
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post #73 of 186 Old 07-29-2018, 05:41 PM
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Thanks!
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Starting today, [June 28, 2018,] returning Sling TV customers can enjoy more flexibility and control through the new Sling TV experience on Roku devices, which includes the ability to watch free, on-demand content, purchase à la carte channels, pay-per-view (PPV) events and movies without purchasing a Sling TV base subscription.

Once you re-open the Sling TV app on your Roku device, you’ll see new ribbons on the “My TV” screen, highlighting more than 100 hours of popular TV shows and movies, including “Wrecked,” “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” “Good Behavior,” “Flip or Flop” and more. This content is available to you absolutely free, without restarting your subscription. Simply click and watch!
Looks like the "new" Sling TV is aimed at former Sling subscribers who dropped their subscriptions (although you apparently need a Roku).

Hey, that's me! I have a relatively new Roku Express that I bought because Sling disabled both my Windows 7 app (which was pretty unstable anyhow; besides, you can still watch on Win 7 via Google's Chrome browser) and my DVR+ app. But after I got the Roku I realized I didn't need to stick with Sling any more; I could get more value from my local ISP (Spectrum), at least while their 2-year intro price lasts.

Guess I'll have to check it out! Anyhow, it sounds like the trick is to subscribe to Sling (you may need to keep it past the 7-day trial and pay for a month), then drop the subscription (and wait until Sling's next billing period), then launch the Sling app on your Roku. And maybe you'll still get your local channels via your AirTV BB.

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post #74 of 186 Old 07-30-2018, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I think the ISP's are starting to feel the heat, of customers dropping the cable portion of their service for Streaming providers,....

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I could get more value from my local ISP (Spectrum), at least while their 2-year intro price lasts.
.
I have received offers from Comcast every month since we dropped our Cable portion of service, but generally was still covered with all of their "fine print" of; this offer for single outlet only, HD requires X1 device and HD technology fee, Broadcast fee of $8.95 per month, regional Sports fee up to $6.95 may apply, and other fees and taxes as required.

The one I received mid July is interesting. We have zero option on who our ISP is, there is only Comcast, which in a major City, where my home is 7 miles to the White House , should be a crime. Their broadband service is high, my bill has been $101.93 with all fees taxes etc. for last 11 months, (Performance Pro 120 ), but reliable. The offer this month retains the same Performance Pro Internet, with 2nd Tier Cable, 250 channels for 69.99. It includes all of the same add on stuff I mentioned above which brings it close to what we are paying for just the Internet and then says to come to their Comcast store for a guaranteed quote. That was new. I had an afternoon free, so I did.

My quote is open for me to consider for 30 days, then is guaranteed for 1 year, and $10 more a month for year two.
I will use Cablecard instead of X1 box, no HD fee , no X1 rental fee, but the Broadcast fee and Regional Sports fee I will pay. I already own an HDHomerun Prime that will give me 3 tuners using a single MultiStream CableCard. The quote is less than what we paid for just Internet for first year, and $10 more for the second.

Since we can drop SlingTV, which I am paying $35 a month for, we will save about $40 a month in first year, and $30 a month for second. This quote is dramatically less than the $211 a month I was paying Comcast when we left a year ago, for the same if not better current channel lineup.

I really think they are feeling the heat.

I have about another week to decide, and SlingTV needs to be cancelled by the 14th, ( they do have a reputation for billing you at the same minute you started your service and no refunds if you don't cancel in time), but the entire family has agreed to make the switch.

Our only hesitation is being tied down for 2 years. Just look at how the entire industry was 2 years ago, compared to today.
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post #75 of 186 Old 07-30-2018, 10:01 AM
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I'm in sort of the same boat. My only broadband alternative to Spectrum is AT&T. I tried to get their U-Verse service once but they couldn't make it work (and screwed up my non-AT&T phone service in the process!) So for me, their best option is probably traditional DSL. Spectrum runs about $60/mo for Internet for an old 25Mb/s package that they've grandfathered in (if that ever goes away it'll probably jump to $75/mo for 100Mb/s), so without U-Verse, AT&T isn't really competitive.

(I suppose satellite Internet is an option, but it's only half a solution AIUI; the download speeds are fast but uploads are still via AT&T DSL.)

Spectrum is kind of unique (I don't know if they're totally unique, but I don't think Comcast does this) in that they don't force you to use "cable" equipment to receive any of their cable offerings. They have iOS, Roku, & Android apps that let you stream anything you subscribe to. So we can just subscribe to their Internet service and whatever TV offer ("TV choice" in my case) and I can watch whatever I want on the Roku (my wife prefers to watch on her iPad). Unfortunately there's still a boatload of "fees" that don't apply to Sling, but nothing like Comcast's! So "TV choice" still comes out a bit cheaper for what we watch. Nevertheless, I suspect that, after the 2-year intro price expires, it'll become cheaper to drop "TV choice" and go back to Sling. I may do that even earlier, if the AirTV BB DVR is too tempting

Of course if I wanted to DVR it, I'd need (at a minimum) a CableCard and compatible tuner, such as a TiVo. Luckily I'm only DVRing OTA TV, which my DVR+ still does quite well.
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post #76 of 186 Old 08-12-2018, 08:00 PM
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This opens up possibilities of using AirTV (BB) on SlingTV app without a SlingTV subscription.
I just set up a new (actually refurbished) AirTV BB and can confirm this, at least for Sling ex-subscribers like myself. You can indeed use an AirTV BB via a SlingTV app to get local channels (confirmed on Roku and Android) with a full program guide, without reactivating a Sling TV subscription. The only caveat is, it looks like they made it very easy to reactivate my subscription (even possibly by accident), so I need to be careful unless/until I want to resubscribe.

A few words about the AirTV setup process. First, you need an Android or iOS device to do the setup. A Roku won't do the job. That usually isn't a problem, as both Android and iOS devices are ubiquitous (you probably have a smart phone, at least, that will work) - but I don't think it's been mentioned before and could be a stumbling block for some folks. You also need to use the Android or iOS app to make any changes to the AirTV setup. E* should add an option to set up the AirTV using a Web browser on a PC.

Second, if the setup process shows any name for your AirTV box other than the default "My AirTV," you have a refurbished unit and will need to reset it to factory defaults before use. You need a paper clip for this, and you need to hold the Reset button down with the paper clip until the network LED blinks twice (about 12 seconds - be patient). If that doesn't happen you haven't fully reset the box yet.

The setup process will automatically check if your AirTV has the latest firmware; if not, it will download and install it before it does the channel scan.

The channel scan itself is remarkably fast. I wonder if the scan uses both of the AirTV's internal tuners to speed things up? I wish my DVR+ did that.

The tuners themselves picked up all the OTA channels I expected except the one created by my ATSC RF modulator. It may not be compatible, or (like the DVR+) it may simply not scan above RF 51 (my modulator is set to RF 69). It did miss a few extremely weak channels in my area, but most of my other tuners miss those as well.

The Android worked for setup, but not really for watching TV. Audio and video kept pausing on HD channels. (SD channels seemed better.) However, it seems fine on my Roku, so it may just be that my Android (an RCA Galileo Pro) isn't up to the task.

After it scans in all your channels, it gives you a list where you can uncheck unwanted channels. Unfortunately the first time I ran the setup, the Sling app on my Android crashed while I was going through the list, forcing me to start over. The second time, I made it all the way through.

There are a few problems with the channel scan. First, there's no way to edit the wanted/unwanted channel list without starting over and rescanning all channels from scratch! That's a huge omission that E* needs to fix in the next app update. In the meantime, the best approach is probably to leave in all channels (unless you know for sure you don't want them), then edit the list down further with the "My Channels" option of the Sling app.

Second, there's no way to scan in additional channels without erasing the channel list and starting over. This makes it impossible to use the AirTV with a rotator, or multiple antennas and a switch (although I suppose multiple AirTVs might work for the latter case).

Finally, while the guide is pretty good, it's not perfect. There are some errors, especially on low-power TV stations whose programming changes often. Unfortunately, if the guide thinks it knows what's on a particular channel, it identifies the channel with the logo it thinks "belongs" there and nothing else. Even worse, some channels don't seem to appear at all if the guide doesn't know they exist! (That may also explain why my ATSC RF modulator doesn't show up.)

Needless to say, this makes it challenging to figure out which channel is which in the case of guide errors. E* needs to switch to a DVR+-style guide which lists all channels by number and 7-character PSIP label, in addition to the logo the guide provides, so you can find the correct channel even if guide errors produce an incorrect logo.
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post #77 of 186 Old 09-12-2018, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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AirTV local channel DVR (black box) released

AirTV has finally released the local channel DVR feature for its Black Box.

https://www.airtv.net/airtvdvr/
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post #78 of 186 Old 09-12-2018, 03:11 PM
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AirTV Networked OTA Tuner

Thank you for the update. Great job!
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post #79 of 186 Old 09-12-2018, 03:33 PM
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Sounds good. You have to use the Sling app to access the DVR, but that's not a problem* because:
Quote:
There is no additional charge to use the local channels DVR and it can be used with or without a paid Sling TV subscription. Visit Sling.com now to start your subscription or visit sling.com/airtv to set up a guest sling account and start recording local channels today!
Former Sling subscribers like me already have a "guest" Sling account, so we're good to go.

(*For some, I suppose it could be a problem because it requires an Internet connection. But it should be OK for most folks.)

This also sounds good:
Quote:
Selecting record on a show that has series information will ask the following options:

  • This show only: Only records the selected content.
  • All episodes: Records all content of that show on that channel.
  • New episodes: Records only new content of that show on that channel.
So the series recording options are the same as they were on the DVR+. Makes sense because Echostar designed both devices.
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post #80 of 186 Old 09-15-2018, 12:38 PM
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Hi All,

Just ordered one of these to play with. I will be using it with my ShieldTVs and the SlingTV app. Currently using SlingTV for 'cable' and HDHomeRun for locals.

Question: Does the new DVR feature support 'trick play'? Aka - pausing of live TV?

Thanks,
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post #81 of 186 Old 09-15-2018, 02:02 PM
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I tried to set this up earlier today, but I ran into some problems. The AirTV formatted my HDD and said it was ready to use - but when I tried to set up recordings, there was no "record" button available If the show was live I did have a "watch" button; just couldn't record.

In the settings / DVR section of the app there is an option to eject the HDD, so I did that just to see if I could figure out what was the matter. I hooked it up to my PC to see how the AirTV had partitioned it. Surprisingly, even though the DVR only supports 2 TB, it used a GPT partition table intended to support larger HDDs!

None of the partitions seemed to have a recognizable format, which I guess was the problem. I had the HDD dock set to expose 4K sectors, and I'm wondering if that confused the AirTV; I'll reset the switch to expose the more common 512-byte sector size, reformat, and see it things work better that way.

Edit: Total no-go. Reset the switch to 512 bytes & got a preposterous message claiming my HDD was too slow for OTA recording & playback. Switched back to 4K and got the same message. The message can't possibly be correct but it's clear that for whatever reason, this HDD and dock just aren't going to work with the AirTV DVR.

Anyhow, here's some technical info: The AirTV formatted the HDD with three partitions. The first was 1008 MiB. (Edit: after reformatting with 512-byte sectors (see below), the first partition was 1023.75 MiB, so it's possible the first partition's size is set to align the second partition on a 1 GiB boundary.) the last was 1 GiB, and the middle one was 1997 GiB. (There was also some unallocated space at the end since I used a 3 TB drive to get the largest partitions possible.) Assuming the 1997 GiB partition was for the recordings, that actually works out to 2.14 TB, which is slightly larger than a 2 TB HDD. Sounds like my 2.25 TB RAID array might be a perfect match if I can ever get this %^@#$ thing working.

I was unable to determine the file system used by these partitions. Windows doesn't recognize it and neither did MiniTool's Partition Wizard, which recognizes Linux Ext* as well as Windows file systems. It's quite possible E* reverted to a partitioned variant of "Dave's file system" used on Dish DVRs. That's bad news for anyone hoping to offload recordings, unless someone can hack PVR Explorer to work with the AirTV variant of Dave's FS.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 09-16-2018 at 03:52 PM.
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post #82 of 186 Old 09-15-2018, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post
Question: Does the new DVR feature support 'trick play'? Aka - pausing of live TV?

xnappo
No - but it does support "chase play," which is almost as good. While watching a show, you can start recording it (or you can schedule it to record before it starts); then while the show is being recorded, you can go to your recordings (on the "My TV" page) and start watching the recording even before the show is done. And you can pause, rewind and fast-forward that recording (up to the "live" point, that is).

The drawbacks are, it's not automatic - to pause live TV you have to start a recording, so you can't rewind to a point before you thought to do that; and of course, once the show is over, you have an unneeded recording. But on that second point, there is some good news: the AirTV DVR supports an auto-delete function! If the HDD fills up, it will automatically delete your oldest recording to make room for new ones. The AirTV also lets you protect recordings, in case there are recordings you want to keep no matter what. I don't think the algorithm is quite as smart as the old DTVPal was, but it again proves that E* could have implemented this function on my beloved DVR+, if only CM had asked....
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Last edited by JHBrandt; 09-15-2018 at 09:03 PM.
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post #83 of 186 Old 09-15-2018, 07:05 PM
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Working, but still a lot of rough edges

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Sounds like my 2.25 TB RAID array might be a perfect match if I can ever get this %^@#$ thing working.
OK, I think I have this %^@#$ thing figured out now. The HDD dock I was using was feeding the name of the dock, not the HDD, to the AirTV; so no matter what HDD I put in, the AirTV thought I was reconnecting the same HDD I started with! But since the HDD didn't have the format the AirTV thought it had put on there, it thought something was wrong with the HDD and kept popping up that ridiculous error message. (AirTV needs to generate a volume label and check that instead of relying on the model & serial numbers reported by the dock.) So the trick was simply using a different dock. Changing docks made it finally prompt me to format the HDD again.

One troubling thing, though, was that when it prompted me to format the "new" HDD, it said I would lose any recordings, not only on the new HDD but also the old one! That means it's not possible to swap HDDs - each time you swap back to the old HDD you have to format it again!

(The dock I switched to reports the actual drive model & serial numbers, so I shouldn't have this same problem again.) Edit: Wrong - apparently there are even more pitfalls than I realized! I ejected the HDD to recheck the partitions on my PC, then tried to reconnect it to the AirTV without changing a thing. Nevertheless, the AirTV refused to accept it. So I reconnected it to my PC and discovered all the partitions were now gone! I'm not sure whether it was the PC, dock, or AirTV that wiped them out, but it looks like I'll have to switch docks and reformat yet again.

IMO this HDD management is completely unacceptable. Even if the recordings are encrypted and/or stored in a "secret" file system (and there's no valid reason to do either with OTA recordings), you need to be able to swap, clone, or otherwise back up your HDDs without losing all your recordings!

In the meantime, all I can recommend is, settle on an HDD, let the AirTV format it, then leave it there forever, as if it were physically part of the AirTV. In fact I'd recommend plugging the AirTV (and the HDD, if externally powered) into a UPS so there's no chance of a power failure wiping out your recordings. For backup, your only hope is mirroring, or possibly a RAID array, with the ability to replace a failed HDD "hot" (i.e., without disconnecting or powering down the remaining drives). Either would be disproportionately expensive for what's supposed to be a "cheap" DVR.

As for the missing "record" button, it appears the Roku version of the Sling app simply doesn't support it. (And yes, I checked and according to the AirTV Web page I have the most recent Roku app version.) Nor does it appear to support playback of existing recordings. So the AirTV DVR Web page is wrong - at present all the Roku app can do is format or eject the HDD. You'll need the Android or iOS version of the Sling app to access the DVR functions. (I don't have an Amazon Fire device, so it's possible the Amazon app also works, but regardless, this needs to be fixed pronto. If the Web page says Rokus will work, folks with Rokus are going to expect it and be P.O.'d when it doesn't work!)

Edit: More info: the AirTV estimated my recording time, with a maxed-out HDD, as 370 hours. (Any HDD over 2 TB should get the same.) Dividing that into 2000 GiB shows they're estimating about 5.4 MiB/hr, which sounds about right for 720p. In practice, SD shows should be much less and most 1080i shows will be more. Oddly though, I recorded a 30-minute SD show and it now shows 369 hours and 30 minutes as my remaining recording time. It's as if it uses 5.4 MiB/hr regardless of the resolution of the show being recorded

I know the AirTV transcodes; otherwise you couldn't watch with a Roku. But I assume it records OTA content exactly as received (that's how most DVRs work) and transcodes on playback. Otherwise I'd expect much more recording time out of my 2000 GiB.

Last edited by JHBrandt; 09-16-2018 at 06:15 PM. Reason: Updated with yet more HDD woes
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post #84 of 186 Old 09-28-2018, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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AirTV Player adds Dual Tuner

The AirTV Player, an Android TV device by Technicolor that is Optimised for Sling TV, has added a Dual OTA external USB tuner to its line.

https://www.airtv.net/news/articles/article8.aspx

I haven't seen that it is offered separately yet, only offered as a new bundle, but I'm sure it will be.

OTA DVR features are more popular in 2018 than they have been in quite a while. TiVo just released a new Bolt OTA DVR. Amazon the Recast, AirTV black box with OTA and the AirTV Player with OTA DVR, Hauppauge Cort Cutter TV, and other devices are available in the US market, which may be the most devices I've seen available previously.
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post #85 of 186 Old 09-28-2018, 03:14 PM
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It's a little different than I expected:
Quote:
The AirTV Player with AirTV dual-tuner adapter bundle is available for $119 today at airtv.net. The new dual-tuner adapter can be paired with all AirTV Player generations for $29. Starting today, the AirTV Player with AirTV single-tuner adapter is available for $99. Additionally, the AirTV Player is $89.
I expected a clone of the Stream+ with its built-in tuners, but they went with a 2-tuner external adapter instead, probably so existing Player owners could upgrade cheaply. The drawback is you still lose a USB port. Luckily, unlike the Stream+, the AirTV Player has two USB ports.

I found it odd that the Player DVR only allows 1 TB of HDD storage. The AirTV BB's local DVR function supports 2 TB (although as I mentioned earlier, that limitation makes no sense because unlike, say, CM's old DVR+, the AirTV BB creates GPT partitions that could support any size HDD). Perhaps once out of beta, the Player DVR will also allow 2 TB, but I wouldn't count on it.

Prices dropped a bit: the Player alone is down to $89 from $99 (which makes it a bit more competitive vs. the low-end Android TV boxes from eMatic); Player + 1-tuner adapter is down to $99 from $119, and (this makes no sense to me); Player + 2-tuner adapter is $119 ($1 more than buying the $89 Player and the $29 2-tuner adapter separately )
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post #86 of 186 Old 09-28-2018, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
It's a little different than I expected:I expected a clone of the Stream+ with its built-in tuners, but they went with a 2-tuner external adapter instead, probably so existing Player owners could upgrade cheaply. The drawback is you still lose a USB port. Luckily, unlike the Stream+, the AirTV Player has two USB ports.

I found it odd that the Player DVR only allows 1 TB of HDD storage. The AirTV BB's local DVR function supports 2 TB (although as I mentioned earlier, that limitation makes no sense because unlike, say, CM's old DVR+, the AirTV BB creates GPT partitions that could support any size HDD). Perhaps once out of beta, the Player DVR will also allow 2 TB, but I wouldn't count on it.

Prices dropped a bit: the Player alone is down to $89 from $99 (which makes it a bit more competitive vs. the low-end Android TV boxes from eMatic); Player + 1-tuner adapter is down to $99 from $119, and (this makes no sense to me); Player + 2-tuner adapter is $119 ($1 more than buying the $89 Player and the $29 2-tuner adapter separately )

The pricing is confusing. Obviously they are attempting to be sensitive to customers who have purchased the Player bundle with the single tuner, but aren't doing a great job. They also need to upgrade their software to support the dual tuner black box. The combination could theoretically provide 4 tuners.

I wish Ematic would get those Jetstreams to Walmart soon. There was a very short window of Pre-orders, (unless that was an error), before changing to out of stock. I have "stock notification" request using 2 different emails, so hopefully I can purchase a couple. I've read fairly good reviews of Ematic devices on the forum, hope the Jetstream is the same quality.
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post #87 of 186 Old 09-28-2018, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by merman9393 View Post
They also need to upgrade their software to support the dual tuner black box. The combination could theoretically provide 4 tuners.
That's a great idea! The "generic" Sling TV app for Android supports the BB, of course (including its DVR), but presumably the AirTV Player has its own version that supports the 1- and new 2-tuner adapters. If it supported the BB's tuners at the same time....

The UI might get confusing though. For simply watching, it could give preference to the locally-connected tuners over the BB's network tuners; but if you click "record," you'd need to tell the app whether to record on the Player or the BB.
Quote:
Originally Posted by merman9393 View Post
I've read fairly good reviews of Ematic devices on the forum, hope the Jetstream is the same quality.
I was not impressed with eMatic's version of the low-cost Mstar tuner/DVR, their AT103B. Admittedly, all Mstar boxes have been plagued with buggy firmware regardless of whose name is printed on the front, but at least the HomeWorX and iView brands made some effort to work with the firmware developer to fix some of the problems and provide firmware updates to their owners. Ematic seemed content to just put a generic box on the market with no support at all.

Maybe the Jetstream will turn out OK. It's easier to get away with limited support with Android TV. Unlike the Mstar tuners, it can be updated over the Internet, and some basic apps (such as Live Channels) are Google's responsibility instead of eMatic's. But that's probably what CM was thinking too, when they put out the Stream+.
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post #88 of 186 Old 09-28-2018, 08:23 PM
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Yeah -- ematic is basically a low-end version of Channel Master ... but without all the deep customer care. :-)

Joking aside - ematic does have a similar business model in that they likely just take some chinese product and make arrangements to get their name slapped on it. I would not expect anything in the line of any firmware updates for the Jetstream (if needed) ... just like there were none for any of their previous products.
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post #89 of 186 Old 09-29-2018, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Sling TV is doing a lot recently to promote their AirTV products, that integrate OTA from antenna, into their Sling TV application.

They are the only Streamer who actually actively explains to consumers, that their device isn't necessary to access locals. They offer free OTA antennas to new subscribers, and just this week emailed Sling TV subscribers in supported areas to inform them of a free service/app that can provide them with the major OTA broadcasters, https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/slin...cals-for-free/

It looks like they are truly wanting to be the streaming service for OTA users. That's great because I would prefer to pay $25 and provide OTA myself.
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post #90 of 186 Old 09-30-2018, 07:03 AM
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I bought one just to play with. I was impressed how easy it was to get working compared to my hdhomerun. Won't be acceptable to the family though unless they add 'trick play'.
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