AirTV networked OTA tuner - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 202 Old 04-10-2019, 02:29 PM
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OTA recording doesn't use a stream. The data goes straight from your TV antenna to a tuner in the AirTV black box, and thence to the attached disk drive. Your home network isn't even involved. So you can record one or two OTA shows without using any streams. The two-stream limit only applies to OTA (live or recorded) content you're watching at the time.

I'm less sure about Sling's cloud DVR (for recording Sling channels) since I never used it myself, but I think it doesn't use a stream either. It all happens on Sling's servers. Again, I think the 3-stream limit applies only to content (live or recorded) you're watching at the time.

I don't know if, if you have a good enough home network and five TV's, you can watch five things at once (two AirTV streams and three Sling streams). The Sling app might limit you to three simultaneous logins; if so, you could only watch from three TV's at once, two of which could be from the AirTV box.

The only downside is, on-demand content and policies vary from channel to channel. Some channels (e.g., TBS) are pretty good; others (e.g., MSNBC) aren't so good.

You can give Sling a 7-day trial before you buy the AirTV, to see whether the channels you watch have the content you want on demand, and whether using the cloud DVR counts against the 3-stream limit.
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post #152 of 202 Old 04-10-2019, 03:56 PM
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Thanks. But the 2 recordings use 2 tuners, so can't use Airtv for 3rd channel watching, right? But Sling has 2 of my locals live, so can watch 2 through Sling, and record 2 locals on Airtv.

I was actually thinking of buying the Airtv before Sling to make sure it picked up the same stations as my TV. My TV picks up 20 stations good quality, so Airtv should pick up the same 20 if I don't touch the antenna, right? The TV is a cheap DVD combo thing in a remote room, but with a router/access point in the room.
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post #153 of 202 Old 04-10-2019, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcat View Post
Thanks. But the 2 recordings use 2 tuners, so can't use Airtv for 3rd channel watching, right?
Right. If you're recording two OTA shows at once, you can only watch:

  • Sling (or other streaming apps)
  • Prerecorded shows
  • One of the two channels you're recording

IOW, it's just like any other 2-tuner DVR, except it has two independent "outputs," so to speak (you can stream from it on two TVs at once).
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But Sling has 2 of my locals live, so can watch 2 through Sling, and record 2 locals on Airtv.
Not sure about that. When you add the AirTV, the many locals it finds OTA replace the few locals Sling carries OTT in the Sling guide. Each of your local stations only appears in the guide once; those two stations don't appear twice, so there's no way to stream the "Sling" copy.
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My TV picks up 20 stations good quality, so Airtv should pick up the same 20 if I don't touch the antenna, right?
I would think so, yes. In fact, you might be able to do even better. The AirTV doesn't have to be near a TV, so if you can get more stations by putting the antenna elsewhere, go ahead and move it and put the AirTV where you can hook it to the antenna.
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post #154 of 202 Old 04-11-2019, 06:48 AM
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Howdy @tcat - The two are very integrated and the recording between antennae and Sling proper are totally separate.

The limitations are no pausing live TV without setting up a recording, and no padding recordings.

Since you are in Austin too(I am in South Austin) I would be willing to let you borrow mine to try for a bit and you can then buy it if you want to keep it.. I have had the new Tablo Quad for a week now and am going to go with it as our solution as it fits our needs better.
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post #155 of 202 Old 04-11-2019, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by xnappo View Post
I just bought the new Tablo Quad. So I will have HDHomeRun Extend, extend and the new Tablo Quad. I will let y'all know what I think of it.. Then two of three are going to eBay
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I have had the new Tablo Quad for a week now and am going to go with it as our solution as it fits our needs better.
Excellent! If you'd like, let us know what you think.

I know it's OT for this thread, but it'd be a perfect post for the thread at https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hd...-new-post.html
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post #156 of 202 Old 04-11-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Excellent! If you'd like, let us know what you think.

I know it's OT for this thread, but it'd be a perfect post for the thread at https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hd...-new-post.html
Thanks, I will post something there.
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post #157 of 202 Old 04-12-2019, 06:23 AM
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post #158 of 202 Old 04-12-2019, 01:05 PM
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Thanks! And assuming you don't mind, I'll quote the AirTV section of your comparative review here as well (Everyone: for all reviews follow xnappo's link above):
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnappo View Post
Hi Guys,

I wanted to drop in and do a little review of three solutions I have tried.

Some background - I was doing the HTPC thing for a long time using cable TV with a Ceton card and WMC. My HTPC died, and I moved to NVidia Shields for both my living room and home theater. I have FireTV stick for the bedroom.

I will never go back to having multiple boxes - I love just having the ShieldTV being the ONLY thing to control.

I use SlingTV Blue for my cable now after trying Hulu and YouTubeTV - the interface has the highest family acceptance and the price is right - of course there are no locals.

Third solution: AirTV 'black box' with Sling App

Pros:
Integration with Sling App (obviously)
Very simple setup
Free guide data (with Sling subscription anyway)

Cons:
No 'trick play' - you can't pause and rewind live TV (you can go through several clicks and start recording, but this is annoying)
No way to set early/late start times for recordings
No way to transfer recordings off drive
Picture quality slightly worse than other solutions
Pretty much zero online presence from Sling for feature requests/status etc (please let me know if I am missing something!)

Hope this is helpful.

xnappo
I agree with those - especially the first three "cons." Any competent DVR should be able to pause/rewind live TV, adjust start/end times, and allow OTA recordings to be copied off. Even "cheapo" iViews and HomeWorXes can do those things! And the last con makes it hard to get the other cons addressed.

AirTV's slightly worse PQ is probably a result of transcoding. Of course the Tablo does that too, but its more powerful CPU lets you choose higher PQ (at the expense of HDD storage). I guess that's one reason the Tablo costs more.

Also, I still think AirTV needs a four-tuner model. The AirTV allows two streams for two TVs, so it's typically going to record more than a one-TV DVR, meaning there will be more recording conflicts. And conflicts will get worse if they fix it to let you adjust start/end times, since that can make recordings overlap at the starts and ends.
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post #159 of 202 Old 04-15-2019, 01:25 PM
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FYI from Facebook:

Chris: Please add ability to pause live tv, and to add buffer to beginning and end of recordings!

AirTV: Hey Chris! We do have an firmware update to improve the DVR features forthcoming. Stay tuned!
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post #160 of 202 Old 05-22-2019, 07:56 AM
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I have been thinking about one of these again. Did they ever add an Audio Only mode in the Android app for this? These are times when I want to hear the audio portion of something, but not need or want the video.



https://www.microcenter.com/product/503730/airtv
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post #161 of 202 Old 05-22-2019, 04:51 PM
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I don't think there's an audio-only mode, but that's a good price on one of these.
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post #162 of 202 Old 05-23-2019, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Air TV mini $79

Looks like Dish is releasing a new Dongle using Android TV,..
https://9to5google.com/2019/05/20/ai...-tv-from-dish/

Reportedly this unit doesn't support their direct connect OTA tuner, but would rely on the "black box" network tuner to integrate live OTA into Sling TV.

They also are releasing a new "black box" using better wifi, but all other specs seem unchanged.
https://zatznotfunny.com/2019-05/airtv2/

Lots of info about new Dish equipment including the above two and, an OTA signal locator for installing antennas
https://www.satelliteguys.us/xen/thr.../#post-4366741
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post #163 of 202 Old 05-23-2019, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merman9393 View Post
Looks like Dish is releasing a new Dongle using Android TV..
https://9to5google.com/2019/05/20/ai...-tv-from-dish/

Reportedly this unit doesn't support their direct connect OTA tuner, but would rely on the "black box" network tuner to integrate live OTA into Sling TV.
Makes sense Dish would get in on this. Most Android boxes (whether Android TV or just vanilla Android) will run the Sling app and therefore will integrate with the AirTV BB.

Ironically, the AirTV player reportedly has some trouble in this area, probably because its Sling app is customized to use its own tuner dongle; hence the need for a new Android box. But I suppose one could substitute an eMatic Jetstream and save $10.
Quote:
Originally Posted by merman9393 View Post
They also are releasing a new "black box" using better wifi, but all other specs seem unchanged.
https://zatznotfunny.com/2019-05/airtv2/
They need to release a 4-tuner version, along with some firmware enhancements, including allowing recordings to be padded.
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post #164 of 202 Old 05-27-2019, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
They need to release a 4-tuner version, along with some firmware enhancements, including allowing recordings to be padded.
I just had a look at the SatelliteGuys thread merman linked to and there is a 4-tuner version coming. To sum up the info from that thread:

AirTV Mini is the dongle that will replace the AirTV Player. It's faster than the current Player, but has no remote finder and with no USB ports doesn't support the external tuner and hard drive that allowed the Player to tune and record local channels. To integrate local channels you'll need one of the black boxes, either AirTV or AirTV 2. The Mini is coming in July and will cost $80.

AirTV 2 is the network tuner that is basically the same as the current AirTV (Black Box) but is smaller and has better WiFi. It's coming in September and will cost $100.

And finally, the AirTV Plus DVR will be the 4-tuner version with a 1TB hard drive. It's coming in November, but no price information was given.

https://www.satelliteguys.us/xen/thr...2#post-4367020
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post #165 of 202 Old 05-27-2019, 12:08 PM
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Thanks. I think it's a good move, and it looks like it'll be just in time for Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

Interesting that the 4-tuner version will include a 1TB HDD. I'm not psyched about that - built-in DVR HDDs tend to be overpriced and are a bigger hassle if anything goes wrong. (With the current USB-attached HDD approach, a mirroring enclosure supplies a measure of backup.) But I suppose they're trying to go head-to-head with the 1TB Recast.
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post #166 of 202 Old 07-04-2019, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshaver76 View Post
I just had a look at the SatelliteGuys thread merman linked to and there is a 4-tuner version coming. To sum up the info from that thread:

AirTV Mini is the dongle that will replace the AirTV Player. It's faster than the current Player, but has no remote finder and with no USB ports doesn't support the external tuner and hard drive that allowed the Player to tune and record local channels. To integrate local channels you'll need one of the black boxes, either AirTV or AirTV 2. The Mini is coming in July and will cost $80.

AirTV 2 is the network tuner that is basically the same as the current AirTV (Black Box) but is smaller and has better WiFi. It's coming in September and will cost $100.

And finally, the AirTV Plus DVR will be the 4-tuner version with a 1TB hard drive. It's coming in November, but no price information was given.

https://www.satelliteguys.us/xen/thr...2#post-4367020
I wonder if DISH will update the software/feature set for the AirTV 2 so that it finally allows padding the start and end times for recordings? That seems to be one of the biggest gripes about the AirTV DVR.

I also wonder, since the AirTV 2 reportedly has much better wifi performance, if this model will be set to transcode OTA video at a higher bitrate in MPEG-4 H.264. Apparently the original AirTV uses a pretty paltry bitrate (I read only 1.6 Mbps), resulting in sub-par HD video quality. Any decent wifi network should be able to easily handle twice that bitrate, though. I would imagine that the same chipset could be used again in the AirTV 2 and a simply change in firmware could allow for a higher transcoding bitrate.
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post #167 of 202 Old 07-28-2019, 10:58 AM
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Have a bizarre frustrating software glitch that will not allow me to future record any primary .1 virtual channels (2.1 - 13.1) in my local LA market. Get a 'cannot record' message. It's only the .1s that won't future record. ALL other channels, including sub-channels for virtual 2-13 (.2&up) and all channels virtual 14-64 future record just fine.

Have had a ticket open with AirTV support for over 2 weeks. Have called several times. The reps are nice and try to be helpful but they can only tell me that they've escalated the ticket (#4133320) to their engineers. Nothing has been solved, and apparently I have no other recourse.

All my hardware is brand new, and all my firmware and software is up to date. Brand new 2TB WD My Passport external hard drive (recommended by AirTV) working fine to record, through both my Roku and my iOS device. I am almost certain this is not a hardware issue, but a software issue.

This is a real bummer. I really like my AirTV / Sling integration, but if nothing can be done, I guess I'll have to return the AirTV and try something else.

Anyone else experience this type of problem?
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post #168 of 202 Old 07-28-2019, 01:57 PM
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That's very strange. As a test, I just set mine up to record a show on 11.1. It seemed to work fine but I guess we'll see if it works when it's actually supposed to record it.

Edit: My 11.1 recorded fine. I wonder if the problem is specific to the L.A. area? Maybe there's something funky with the guide data they're getting for L.A.

I don't know if this would help, but you could try going through the setup procedure again and specifying a different Zip code.

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post #169 of 202 Old 08-04-2019, 02:07 PM
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by cc2018 View Post
With an AirTV (black) tuner; while attempting to configure it for Sling TV with the Sling TV Android app v5.9.821 (player v3.3.1.221) it can not save the found channels and throws a 9-701 error when proceeding to the "Watch TV" step.

For confirmation that this is a Sling TV app problem; I have used the AirTV Android app v1.0.4 (player v1.50.2) to configure the AirTV and can watch OTA TV channels both with the AirTV Android app and the Fire TV app on my TV as well.

The only difference found, is that the Sling TV Android app skips the zip code question and; obviously, does not save the found channels.

In three serial chat sessions with Sling TV (two chat sessions dropped off midstream) they were unwilling to work on the issue with their Sling TV app and instead recommended contacting AirTV instead. Since AirTV does not offer support via web chat or e-mail and a phone call is not going to happen; I am asking the community if anyone has found a workaround for this bug in the Sling TV app?

Also, can anyone explain why the Sling TV app not read the profile created by the AirTV app? It would seem that utilizing a common structure for the configuration would simplify the whole ecosystem that they are attempting to create.
Did you ever get this resolved? I had everything working fine till I tried to disable some channels..and started getting the 9-701 error. I've verified I can configure the box with airtv as you did. The sling app however even after doing hard reset's on the airtv and downloading the firmware again continues to error out on saving the channel list...worse now I have NO channels vs before I at least had them and one extra I didn't want.
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post #170 of 202 Old 08-04-2019, 10:20 PM
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Answering my own question: I was able to get around the 9-701 error by configuring the airtv on a different android device.
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post #171 of 202 Old 08-10-2019, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mshaver76 View Post
AirTV Mini is the dongle that will replace the AirTV Player. It's faster than the current Player, but has no remote finder and with no USB ports doesn't support the external tuner and hard drive that allowed the Player to tune and record local channels. To integrate local channels you'll need one of the black boxes, either AirTV or AirTV 2. The Mini is coming in July and will cost $80.

https://www.satelliteguys.us/xen/thr...2#post-4367020
Looks like the Mini is out now: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hd...sling-dvr.html. They didn't quite make July as promised, but early August ain't bad.
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post #172 of 202 Old 08-16-2019, 12:48 PM
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Just pulled the trigger on an Air TV "black box". Will be delivered in a couple of weeks.
Question: I get the impression that it will work better thru Sling's app than the Air TV app. I have a Sling account. My Sling service is currently "dormant". Is the Sling app still a better choice? Has anyone used both, and can give me a comparison?
I can hook the Air TV up to my network thru Ethernet. Will that work on both apps?.

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post #173 of 202 Old 08-16-2019, 01:29 PM
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I haven't used the AirTV app, but my understanding is the Sling app offers more features, particularly the OTA DVR. (You also have to plug a HDD into your AirTV box to use the OTA DVR, of course.)

You don't need to reactivate your Sling subscription to use the Sling app with the AirTV. My Sling subscription is dormant too (although I expect to reactivate it once my 2-year deal with Spectrum runs out). Just launch the Sling app, then it should detect the AirTV and guide you through the setup process.

(Note: I had to use the Android version of the Sling app to do the setup; the Roku version wouldn't work. But once setup is complete, the Roku app works just fine.)

If you don't expect to use the OTA DVR, or Sling integration, the AirTV app should be fine. The only thing is, I don't think you can use both the Sling and AirTV apps at once: if you decide to switch from the AirTV app to the Sling app, or vice versa, I think you have to go through the whole setup process again from scratch.

Edit: BTW, Ethernet is the best choice for your new AirTV. I know it will work with the Sling app; I assume it will work with the AirTV app too.

My Roku is WiFi, but it's WiFi to my router. I'm not using the AirTV's built-in WiFi.

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post #174 of 202 Old 08-16-2019, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I haven't used the AirTV app, but my understanding is the Sling app offers more features, particularly the OTA DVR. (You also have to plug a HDD into your AirTV box to use the OTA DVR, of course.)...

If you don't expect to use the OTA DVR, or Sling integration, the AirTV app should be fine......
So the DVR does not work using the AIR TV app? That could be a dealbreaker. I thought the Air TV app might be simpler, but if I can use the Sling app, I'll most likely do that.

Thanks for your input.

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post #175 of 202 Old 08-16-2019, 04:22 PM
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When AirTV announced the DVR feature, only the Sling app supported it. I suppose it's possible they've enhanced the AirTV app since then, but I haven't seen anyone post about it here, so I think that's still true.
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post #176 of 202 Old 08-21-2019, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I ran into unexpected trouble setting this up with a RAID array. I figured if I put four 750 GB drives into an array and set it up as RAID 5, it would give me 3x750GB=2.25 TB (in RAID 5 you lose one drive's worth of space) - just barely over the AirTV's 2 TiB limit. So I'd get the maximum space for recordings (370 hours) without wasting a lot of space, and the RAID array would keep my recordings safe if I lose a drive (as long as I don't lose two. The AirTV makes you reformat and start from scratch any time you plug in a new drive, so traditional backups aren't an option. )
A RAID array sounds like (expensive) overkill for a DVR, but since the AirTV doesn't let you swap HDDs without losing all your recordings, it's really your only option for dealing with inevitable HDD failure. Well, mine just paid for itself. Drive #3 failed - its blue LED started blinking.

The drawback to a 4-HDD array is that you'll have 4 times as many failures. But the good news is, when it does happen (a) the array will still work, in what's called "degraded" mode; and (b) all you have to do is replace the failed HDD and let it rebuild the data, and you're good to go again. The AirTV doesn't even know anything has changed!

In theory a RAID array can rebuild itself while attached to the AirTV, but IMO rebuilding is best done with the array connected to a PC, so you can use RAID software to monitor progress. Just be sure to click "cancel" when Windows offers to format the three partitions on the array!

I did make one error: I didn't have a spare HDD on hand, so I had to run "without a net" for a week, waiting for new ones to be shipped. But this time I ordered two, so when (not if) the next HDD fails I will have a spare and can swap it out right away.
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post #177 of 202 Old 08-22-2019, 05:29 AM
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A RAID array sounds like (expensive) overkill for a DVR, but since the AirTV doesn't let you swap HDDs without losing all your recordings, it's really your only option for dealing with inevitable HDD failure. Well, mine just paid for itself. Drive #3
I did make one error: I didn't have a spare HDD on hand, so I had to run "without a net" for a week, waiting for new ones to be shipped. But this time I ordered two, so when (not if) the next HDD fails I will have a spare and can swap it out right away.
While this is good information, it really just solidifies my choice in going with Tablo. I miss the integration, but the other benefits outweigh it.
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post #178 of 202 Old 08-22-2019, 05:13 PM
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It's true that other DVRs that use external HDDs generally let you back those HDDs up. You may have to jump through some hoops though, depending on the particular DVR, and let's face it, most of us don't do regular backups even when the equipment makes it easy! So a RAID array may make sense even if the DVR doesn't force the issue.

For most folks, a much simpler and cheaper RAID option than mine would be a mirroring ("RAID 1") enclosure. You just put two HDDs in, and the enclosure will write everything to both of them. If one fails, the other HDD keeps everything working until you replace the failed one, then it clones the good one over to the replacement and you're back in business. In fact, with mirroring you could even replace a non-failed HDD as a simple backup procedure.
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post #179 of 202 Old 08-24-2019, 08:15 AM
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That's very strange. As a test, I just set mine up to record a show on 11.1. It seemed to work fine but I guess we'll see if it works when it's actually supposed to record it.

Edit: My 11.1 recorded fine. I wonder if the problem is specific to the L.A. area? Maybe there's something funky with the guide data they're getting for L.A.

I don't know if this would help, but you could try going through the setup procedure again and specifying a different Zip code.
Thanks. Yeah, still no luck after a month of waiting.

Pretty sure it's a software issue, and it might be related to my location.

Might try a different zip as you suggested at some point, cause nothing else has worked, and I'm in tech support limbo.
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post #180 of 202 Old 09-22-2019, 07:11 PM
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Had a bit of a scare with my AirTV setup today.

I used the Roku app to look at my recordings, and chose one to watch. When I selected it, there was a very long delay, followed by some kind of "timeout" error message accessing the AirTV. I pressed Exit, and it went back to the initial screen - but all my recordings were gone!

I exited the app and restarted, and this time it acted as if I'd never even set the AirTV up for recording! Not only were the recordings gone but the HDD was gone, and it didn't even say "USB disconnected!"

Starting to panic, I went to the AirTV, turned off the HDD enclosure, waited a few seconds, and turned it back on. Then I tried the Roku app again. Luckily, this time it worked. My recordings were back and this time I was able to watch the one I wanted to.

OK; so, if this happens to anyone else, that's the thing to try: exit the app, then turn off the HDD, give it a few seconds, and turn it back on. Then try the app again.

But the AirTV's DVR sure seems "brittle" - easily broken by nothing in particular. I've been using it as a tertiary backup, in case a DTVPal and DVR+ both fail (believe it or not, that has happened at least once), but I don't yet feel confident enough to move it up to primary or even secondary status.

The AirTV's a nice device, Echostar, but you still need to work on it. Folks aren't gonna be happy with a DVR that appears to lose all their recordings if some obscure error happens.
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