Aluratek ADT B01F after more time
Just picked up at bestbuy an Aluratek ADT B01F. My Homeworx 180 had died after four years, and I was getting a new small TV for an office.
I knew it was one of the many $40 boxes, but when hooked up, turns out to be pretty much my Homeworx STB 180. Same menus, same commands, looks a bit more polished, but not much....better remote with same buttons. I have it set for 1080p.
After a day or so getting things set, the menu is pretty much the same as the STB 180. Unlike the prior system, there are some games (!), a simple tetris, snake and go. Talk about a home entertainment system for $50 :0 . Someone saw some extra space on a chip and had fun.
Tuner is good, one scan got all stations and everything locks. Dolby symbol comes up but it's not hooked up to a surround system, so no idea if 5.1 is coming out of the HDMI.
The remote is equally confusing - zoom is "hold" and recordings are "USB". The commands are helpfully displayed on screen so that part is OK.
Seems less buggy, more responsive. Whoever dropped the games in may have cleared up a few bugs, so who knows.
SW Version Aug 29 2018-10:08:15
HW Version ABL7802-R836-A
There is a "software update" function I don't recall from the 180 as well. Haven't experimented.
Upgrade is a better fascia, with an led and four character display. Unhelpfully it displays channels by the internal order, not anything you might know, but otherwise has "boot" when you turn it on and "usb" when you play recordings.
Seems a stable box so far, a few experiment recordings (onto 128GB stick) are fine.
One nice feature which isn't on the 180-a direct remote control button which brings you to the recordings menu-yellow button.
One oddity we did discover. You can't delete multiple recordings at once, you have to delete them one by one...my 180 would allow me to mark several recordings and delete.
Otherwise still stable....
I picked up an Aluratek DVR from BestBuy a few weeks ago. I could have just added another HDHomeRun to my setup but was curious about these kind of boxes. I hooked it up to a Stellar Labs 30-2370 antenna pointed to WYFF and WHNS. The tuner is not as sensitive as my HdHomeRun, I ended up adding a RCA Preamp to stabilize the signal.
I use it to record shows like Columbo from COZI TV. The Aluratek's file format is ".mts". The .mts files can be shuffled off the USB drive to a computer to be viewed/transcoded. VLC Media Player on a computer plays the .mts files without issue. I tried to drop a Columbo .mts recording into my Plex Media Server and it would not play. I used the Handbrake program to transcode the .mts file to .mp4 and it then worked over the Plex Media Server. Transcoding with Handbrake also gives the option of burning in subtitles which I prefer over traditional closed captions.
Overall I'm satisfied with the Aluratek. The interface is clunky compared to a TiVo but it's not a deal breaker. I think it would be an excellent minimalist DVR for someone without an internet connection as it uses the DVB/ATSC data.
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