Archive for February, 2015

Technology – Review – iView STB3500II

Posted in Blogging, Entertainment, Liberty, Technology with tags , , , , , , , on 2015/02/21 by rmolby

Back in August of 2014, I talked about slowly reducing our recurring bills, and one idea was to cut out the Cable TV bill, and one way I decided to cut down is to only have Over The Air (OTA) TV service, and to use Amazon Prime, Crackle, Hulu, Netflix and other services to fill the lack of regular cable channels.

iView 3500STBII

iView 3500STBII

So, in December 2014, I ordered the iView STB3500II. I had heard a few good things about the device, and one of my co-workers bought one for his office so he can keep an eye on the news.

I read the review on Amazon and at Newegg, and it seems that it is a mixed bag of opinion as to how well the unit works, but I went for it, and now that I have been using it for a while I am quite impressed with its quality and feature sets.

First, a few words of caution, there are a few quirks to the unit, not bad, but something one needs to be aware of.

  1. The unit is slow to indicate it is starting up. When you push the power button, there is no immediate feedback that it is powering up.
  2. When you first set it up, you need to do it using the composite (Yellow-Red-White) cable. It will not auto-detect what is connected to it. This is a major drawback if your TV only has digital inputs. I have an older 720p LCD TV and  it has a lot of different inputs, so it is not a problem, but I struggled trying to make it work with the component (Magenta-Green-Blue-Red-White) output until I realized you start with the composite, then switch it in the settings to component or HDMI. I chose component as my output because I have three inputs on my TV and the iView and my DVD player are the only units with component outputs.

Next, I want to talk about reception. I am currently using the RCA ANT112F “rabbit ear” indoor antenna, bringing back memories from pre-cableTV days.

This antenna seems to be a good paring to the iView as I get excellent reception on all available channels here in the greater Oklahoma City Metro area. I am located just 3 miles south of downtown OKC and I am in range of all the local channels. I have only notice pixelation one time during some really gray and dank conditions, and I don’t even have the extendable antenna booms expanded out.

The antenna just sits on top of the TV armoire, so it is about 8 feet (2.4m) off the ground and there is a good size brick chimney between the antenna and the majority of the TV stations, so just this little bit of elevation off the ground is sufficient for good reception. My PBS station 13-2 OETA-OKLA transmits in something wider than 16:9, I am making the assumtion it is 21:9, but it looks awesome on my 720p TV, currently showing an Outdoor Oklahoma episode. PBS 13-1 OETA-HD on the other hand is in 16:9 and crystal clear watching Hometime home improvement show. 34.-1 KOCB-HD in 16:9 comes in crystal clear as well. 34-2 getTV is a classic TV channel broadcasting in 480i and the remastered B&W show on right now looks crystal clear. Not bad for an US$8 antenna.

The last thing I want to talk about is a cool feature I really like, and that is, I can schedule shows to be recorded to a USB flash or hard drive. I have not used the feature much except to test it. The word is still out how well the videos play on devices other than the iView, but playback on the iView is like watching live TV.

So, overall, I have to say, I am impressed with the quality of the iView, especially for the price at less than US$50.

I would rate the iView 3500II a 4 1/2 on a 5 star scale, or 9.0 to 9.5 on a 10 scale rating.

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