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The CM 7003 is an OTA digital converter box with PVR function. CM does not promote the PVR capability. The PVR function is a hidden feature.

Check out the CM web site.
 
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The menu on the 7003 is virtually identical to the HW 150. I can't imagine that CM would attach their name to such low end products. But that goes along with manufacturing in China.

Save and Replay, here in the Toronto area, has it for $89.95.
 

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Ah, you're looking at the converter boxes, I was looking at the DVR models (which are the focus of this thread).
Well, this box IS a PVR so qualifies for this thread on that score, BUT it's sold by CM, so does NOT qualify for this thread (which is for non-CM boxes only) on that score!

Now back to the main program...
 

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As a Canadian to drive down to the Buffalo area is going to cost me an additional 34% exchange rate, waste a day driving down and back, cost of gas, and then add lunch in Buffalo, etc. That amounts to an expensive RCA pvr.
 

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Looks like it lasted a little under year, before failing.
Noticed it wasn't booting up anymore. Disassembly requires removing the 4 rubber feet to get
at 4 screws, and lifting up the Model Number Label/Sticker to get at the 5th screw.
Once inside I noticed a bad 1000uF 16V Electrolytic capacitor. For now replaced
it with 2200 uF 16V. It was enough to get it working again, until the right part shows up.


The right parts showed up today. All back together with the 1000uF / 16V cap replaced,
HW-180 functioning normally again.
 

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That didnt take long.
You could have left the the 2200 cap in the circuit. I suspect the voltage rating of 16v is inadequate and cause of failure. I have always replaced blown caps with a higher rated voltage without any ill effects.
 

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We also have to consider physical size. Larger Values and Larger voltage ratings = larger physical size.
The 2200uF / 16V would not allow the lid to be secured, as the part is too tall. Increasing the Voltage Rating isn't an issue normally,
but increasing the capacitance is changing the design for sure.

To be honest I did not even bother to take any measurements, like I normally would for something of higher value. My take is the cause of premature walking wounded capacitor failure is the source of the parts. Some cheap chinese capacitor manufacturer with no name recognition. We also have no visibility to their manufacturing processes.
If parts are contaminated during manufacture, chemical reaction can be accelerated internally, resulting in failure. Where I used to work in my previous life for instance, we took care to hand solder such parts after the solder wave / cleaning process. To prevent such contamination.

Stick some reliable Japanese parts in there and I am sure it will last much longer, all else being equal.
 

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When I search aliexpress for "ATSC PVR" a whole host of results come back, some as cheap as $25-30 shipped. Anyone have experience with these units? I'm not expecting a ton of features or an amazing user experience, just something cheap that gets me started with the option of recording OTA programs. If I find out I like the idea of having a PVR but hate the box, no tears shed if I buy (or build) an upgrade.

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
 

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Yup, that's another example. I have to wonder how different all these (inexpensive) units actually are, even if they have different cases. I suspect they all share the same chipset, and quite possibly even the same firmware

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You can read about and comment on various ATSC DVR devices in this thread....
 

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Yup, that's another example. I have to wonder how different all these (inexpensive) units actually are, even if they have different cases. I suspect they all share the same chipset, and quite possibly even the same firmware

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
The chipsets/firmware will likely be uncannily similar, with minor skinning/case variations.

Back to your original question: for recommendations better suited to you, you’ll have to explain more about your use case. Do you have an htpc/media center and/or Netflix/Prime Video/Disney+ subscription(s)? What is your home network setup? Do you have a NAS? I take it you’ve already got an antenna/array mounted on your roof?


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Back to your original question: for recommendations better suited to you, you’ll have to explain more about your use case. Do you have an htpc/media center and/or Netflix/Prime Video/Disney+ subscription(s)? What is your home network setup? Do you have a NAS? I take it you’ve already got an antenna/array mounted on your roof?
I have roof-mounted antenna already. I also have a NAS, but no htpc, and I'm not (yet) looking to set up house-wide PVR. I'm happy to start with a single cheap PVR device connected to a single TV, and think about a more ambitious/integrated project sometime later.

Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk
 

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Ok!
I set up a RasPi kodi about a year ago, and it’s working quite well, but there are still times that it would be nice to see OTA stuff. I’m looking at the HD Homerun solutions, that have an addon to use within kodi. From what I understand, that will integrate quite nicely for streaming OTA to all devices, and permit PVR-ing so I don’t have to feel bad about relying on pirates to get people in my home “their shows”.


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@thomasr, Some NAS devices have PVR software available. Check out supported hardware for HDHomeRun PVR, Emby Server and Plex Server. Emby Server and Plex have free versions but for full PVR service are all paid solutions. The paid versions provide other benefits such as IPTV channels and guide services.

@audioguy_on_ca, Kodi has a number of PVR plugins but they require a backend server running on a PC, NAS or similar device. I've used Kodi with a NextPVR backend running on a low power Windows PC with a big hard drive. It worked quite well. A small PC configured as a NAS, file server or media server can be a cheaper solution than purchasing a ready made NAS since there are a number of free PVR solutions available.
 

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I've used/tested a few of these inexpensive ATSC converter box/PVR devices. I've had units branded Iconvert, QFX and a few others. Most of them seem to be similar and some of them are obviously rebranded copies of each other. I've found most of them to be usable, but not great. Most of them do not have controls on the box, so they require the remote, to even turn on. Even the ones with some control buttons on the box, usually don't have access to the menu, from the box, so the remote is critical. Lose the remote, and the unit is worthless. Most of the software seems to be copies of each other. They seem to have minor differences, but all seem to be based on the same concept. They all seem to work OK as an ATSC tuner. The software isn't as easy to use, as a dedicated PVR. On my Iconvert the record function can be accessed from a "EPG" button on the remote, but the interface is hard to use/understand. The programming edit function is buried in a menu function, in the "Time & Timer Settings" called "ADV Timer". It took some time and experimentation to even find this function. Playback is then lost in a menu called "USB" under "Multimedia" and then select "PVR". Once you find these functions, it's not that difficult to make the unit function as a PVR device, for OTA programming. They all seem to provide some guide information, but it can sometimes be spotty, and never seems to have more than a few hours of guide information. I've also had some issues with the time being broadcast, not matching actual time. This often causes the unit to record at the wrong time, or not record all of a program. This said, right now I'm watching TV on my IConvert unit, and just set it to record some shows tomorrow morning, while I'm at church. These units could easily be improved, if someone would rewrite the software, and make the PVR function easier to use. Some of the issues, such as time issues and the lack of guide information are related to the information being broadcast, so their not as easy to fix. Some more expensive units, such as some CM units and the Tivo series use access to the internet, to access better guide information, and solve some of the time issues, but cost more.
 
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