GEOSATpro My take on the HDVR3500 (3 Viewers)

Radioguy41

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 7, 2008
2,098
1,601
Lehighton, PA
SatelliteAV has provided me with an HDVR3500 for evaluation. My approach is, and has been, to evaluate this box as a new unit with no pre-conceived ideas or opinions based on a long running thread here on the forum. I have read all 140 pages of that thread so I’m familiar with the issues presented but I have put them aside to take a fresh look.

Be aware this is an evaluation of this box strictly as an FTA receiver – not Internet, Wi-Fi, Linux apps, dish moving, or recording (at this time, maybe later). The box is piggybacked onto my 4DTV which moves the dish and controls polarity.

In my opinion this is a well put together box, unlike many (most?) of the inexpensive (usually plastic) Chinese imports. Although not perfect, I also like the remote. People could nit-pick the remote to death, primarily based on personal preferences but the only really annoying thing, for me, is the use of the blue button in combination with the menu button to access setup, but more on that later.

Pros:
Great picture
Fast blindscan
The ability to scan a single polarity at a time (this is a big deal when piggybacking)
No audio breakup on Grit, Escape, Bounce, Justice or any others

Cons:
Funky signal quality display
Occassional errors in the transponder lists
Less than user friendly menu system

Let me expand a bit on the menus. First, it would be nice if, when first started, it would have a basic menu offering two options, FTA or Apps. It annoyed me that I kept having to hit Menu followed by the blue button to get back into FTA setup.

There are some inconsistencies in the way the menu functions. On some selections just continually hitting the Enter button rotates you through the choices, on others you need to use the arrows to scroll left or right and on at least one dropdown you need to arrow up or down to make a choice. Having them all work the same would have been nice and more user friendly.

As for the transponder lists, I came across several preprogammed transponders with the wrong polarity. Unless you’re scanning by individual polarity you might never notice that.

I noticed an odd anomaly with the signal quality graphic bar. Blindscans locked in, and the box displayed perfectly, a handful of channels that only showed 5% signal quality while a couple of channels showed better than 80% quality but the picture was loaded with digital artifacts. An FEC display bar would be helpful.

I do have it connected via Wi-Fi to my system in order to keep the clock accurate. Normally I wouldn't care but since the clock displays on the front panel when the box is in standby I decided it would be better if it showed correctly. I do not like that it's a 24 hr clock however.

Bottom line, for my application this is a great box; great picture, individual polarity scanning, and no audio breakup on the problem channels gets it done for me. YMMV.
 

N6BY

Geek
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 1, 2006
2,509
2,146
Roseville, CA 121W
SatelliteAV has provided me with an HDVR3500 for evaluation. ...
Be aware this is an evaluation of this box strictly as an FTA receiver – not Internet, Wi-Fi, Linux apps, dish moving, or recording (at this time, maybe later). ...
I can understand your reasoning for not evaluating the 3500 for internet, apps, and other fluff. Makes sense because many here have expressed an interest for a 'pure FTA' receiver. But for FTA, recording and dish moving are essential, and IMO it would be good to know how it performs in those areas.

The above concerns me because someone making a purchasing decision for an FTA receiver based on this review alone is not getting a complete evaluation. I would strongly advise anyone considering purchase of a 3500 to gather ALL the facts.

The other thing not discussed -- the price. Is the 3500 really worth $189.99 (64 GB version including shipping) or $159.99 shipped for the 16 GB version?
 
Last edited:

Lehman bud farm

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 31, 2015
370
288
Chantilly
The above concerns me because someone making a purchasing decision for an FTA receiver based on this review alone is not getting a complete evaluation. I would strongly advise anyone considering purchase of a 3500 to gather ALL the facts.

First I want to say I never want to disparage anyone who is willing to write up a review, however I had misgivings on this review for a few points myself. Having read the long 3500 thread with all the problems and not ever reading where there were addressed or fixed including this thread had me wondering. Secondly the fact that it was "Provided" when all the others in the long thread had "Purchased" the receiver led me to think the OP here may have felt "obligated" to give a positive review. Again I want to take nothing away from the OP as I know I tread a thin line here, these were my thoughts, I trust those who spent the $159.00-$189.00 for the receiver and posted their questions as they had a vested interest in having a receiver that could do things properly.
The 3500 has a long history of being a failed receiver, and by that I mean there were more negatives on the receiver then there were positives and all had to be weighed individually.
If items were fixed that many brought up as being deficient then they were done quietly and never mentioned so the receiver could not ever be evaluated properly and honestly.
Then there was the issue of what the one bringing the receiver to market here did to some of those who purchased the receiver and to the dealers who were trying to sell it.
Sorry, but there is much more that people should have been aware of before supporting this receiver as many were hurt over it.
I have seen and heard better results from a $25.00 FTA receiver then this one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: . Raine and N6BY

. Raine

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 6, 2013
2,690
946
North America, CT.
I agree with N6BY, motor and switch control definitely plays a huge part in FTA.

I have three dishes with motors, two C band and one Ku. One DISEqC switch and at the moment, four fixed dishes. Motor and switch operation is a major deal to me and many other FTA'ers.

To review it accurately, motor and switch control can't be left out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N6BY

Radioguy41

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 7, 2008
2,098
1,601
Lehighton, PA
Let me be very, very clear, I in no way felt obligated to fluff the review and if you read it you would see that. Secondly, what I saw in that 140 page thread was a number of people who got so POd at the original specs, especially the proc, that it didn't matter what happened after that and third, I reviewed it as I am using it, which is 100% accurate for my specific situation. Is it comprehensive of all capabilities? No. Is it accurate? Absolutely.

The above concerns me because someone making a purchasing decision for an FTA receiver based on this review alone is not getting a complete evaluation.

Anyone who would make a purchase decision based on this review alone for a system situation different than mine isn't fit to buy their own equipment. I clearly stated, as you quoted, the limitations of this review. If I want to know how a vehicle performs off-road I'll read off-road reviews; if I want to know how it handles towing I'll read towing reviews. You don't read towing reviews to base a purchase decision for off-road use or vice-versa.
 

. Raine

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 6, 2013
2,690
946
North America, CT.
Not to stir the muck here surrounding this receiver, but do you truly believe everyone was upset over just the specs? That's simply not true.

To evaluate the box as a new unit is a bit odd too, it's not. If things had been fixed in it, then maybe I could see that.

What is the reason for you getting a evaluation unit, a year, maybe almost two years after its release? Fixes? New features? I haven't heard of any.

What firmware is in your box, if you don't mind my asking?

The 3500 is a Chinese import too, like all the rest.
 
Last edited:

Radioguy41

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 7, 2008
2,098
1,601
Lehighton, PA
Didn't say it was a new box, said I was evaluating it as suchm since it was new to me, with no pre-conceived ideas or opinions. Look, I understand you had a problem with it, that's fine, but you really need to stop trying to nitpick someone else's opinion based on their use in their specific situation. And where did the Chinese comment come from?

Hardware version - OUI:0x3_HW:0x20
Linux version - 2.6.35.7@May 11 2016
HALO_V1.0.7.0_0x8_1344

By the way, pressing the right arrow on the remote turns on my V8 Super. o_O
 

. Raine

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Aug 6, 2013
2,690
946
North America, CT.
Sorry, I'm really not trying to cut you down or nit-pick your opinion of the box. I probably should've ignored this thread altogether, but the 3500 does have issues.

There's actually a few things I really like about the 3500, it can receive ACM correctly, the fast blind scan, like you mentioned, there is good points to it.

I really liked the fact that the firmware on the box wasn't locked down and it's having open source software in it. If it weren't for that, I would've sent mine back for a refund, because of the problems it had. If that point of the 3500 had been made use of with a basic firmware available that others could work on, we all probably would have a real nice FTA receiver right now. Not likely that anyone on here capable would work on it now though.

The Chinese comment is because when reading your description of it's build quality and your comparison to Chinese receivers, it seems as if you're saying that the 3500 is something other than a Chinese import. It is most definitely a cheap Chinese import. I myself wasn't impressed with the build quality.

I didn't have a problem with the 3500, I had multiple problems. Which, if you read the long thread, you should've seen that. Most problems weren't readily apparent either.

The specs deal, which you mentioned, and in reading that long thread, it's obvious I and others were OK with it.

The heat sink not being properly attached to the processor, causing the box to overheat and lock up. N6BY helped me out with that one, his 3500 had the same issue, as have others.

Initially, with the motor control, on C band satellites, I had to go to a Ku sat first then to a C sat to get it to lock in, IIRC. Brian gave me a work around for that problem but then a later firmware made the work around unusable and (big problem here) caused my C dish to randomly slam itself to it's hardware limits.

This is the point where I got mad and I and my daughter began working on the box ourselves.

Then another big issue once we begin digging into the firmware, we find software that I've actually worked on and I get nonsense from Eugene like whether Microsoft would release open source software to me if I asked for it. They will release open source software to me and they have, many times, in the past. This in itself isn't a big deal, I see such software all the time and it doesn't bother me. Eugene's belittling attitude did bother me. A business person shouldn't assume that his customers are morons, like Eugene did with me.

My remote chews through batteries like crazy. There was other issues I never mentioned in the long thread too.

There had been recent issues that I myself haven't experienced, like the one that Psikic and the user from Japan had, where the receiver blanked out the screen and had to be tel-neted into to recover it. Read Psikic's thread on that and it becomes readily apparent who knows what they're doing when it comes to the 3500 and who doesn't. The 22 kHz thing is another recent one.

Sorry for going on so long, but the 3500 does have some issues and none are being address properly.

Your firmware I don't recognize, perhaps it's a new one and the reason for the evaluation unit? Thanks for posting that up.

Again, not trying to cut you or your review up, just our experiences and results with the 3500 and Eugene are very different and in a review of anything, the negative must be addressed too.

If you review a off road vehicle but exclude the tires from the review, then no one has an idea of how good they are and will assume they are good, if all else said in the review is pretty much positive. Such is the case here with motor and a switch control.

This is only my opinion and the problems that I had and readers can decide for themselves whether the 3500 is right for their situation or not.
 
Last edited:

Hockeynut

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 13, 2010
848
689
Sat Farm in NC.
Thank you jeepguy...I will say this and be done with it...We in the FTA world are a very small percentage of folks!.I have my faults and have criticized when I should not have..Learned the hard way many times in life!..We are so small of a group I firmly believe we should stick together and any and all reviews are welcome in my book.

What I want to know about this box is does it do ACM/VCM?...The music ch`s on 125?
 

Lehman bud farm

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 31, 2015
370
288
Chantilly
What I want to know about this box is does it do ACM/VCM?...The music ch`s on 125?

It has been stated that it does receiver those channels but upon deeper digging, there is an anomaly that occurs with a black screen box coming up every so often on those channels.
So while the answer is yes it does but maybe not perfectly. It is hard to tell since there was little to no info given out in the thread to the extent of the software upgrades and the issues they actually did correct along with bringing out even other items that were not right.
If you go to the long thread you can dig out this info but I must agree the attitude of the one bringing out this receiver was not that grate towards anyone who did not go along with him all the time.

I welcome all reviews myself as they are not always easy to do and take a considerable amount of time. However the ship has sailed on the 3500 receiver and I don't think it floated too far and is never going to be resurrected no matter how glowing of a report comes out at this time.

I do think there is an advent of much less expensive receivers coming out that can do more then this one ever did.
I look forward to seeing what Jeff from Manhattan has coming out that is 4k capable, supposedly. If that one has the chip set that can decode the ACM video it may be the game changer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N6BY and Hockeynut

Radioguy41

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 7, 2008
2,098
1,601
Lehighton, PA
Hey, no sweat. As I think I mentioned in my original post, this isn't a perfect box, even under the constraints of my limited testing efforts. I hope my little review didn't appear to be glowing, it wasn't meant to be. Bottom line is it does what I need it to do in my specific system, nothing more. How does the hardware version compare to the boxes some of you other guys have? I'm wondering if there was a change there as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: . Raine

N6BY

Geek
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 1, 2006
2,509
2,146
Roseville, CA 121W
It has been stated that it does receiver those channels but upon deeper digging, there is an anomaly that occurs with a black screen box coming up every so often on those channels.
So while the answer is yes it does but maybe not perfectly. It is hard to tell since there was little to no info given out in the thread to the extent of the software upgrades and the issues they actually did correct along with bringing out even other items that were not right...
The flashing error message came up because of the extremely low video frame rate of the source channel (1 frame every few seconds). It probably would have happened even if the signal modulation was other than ACM, but there are no other channels with that low of a frame rate to test that theory. All they (the developers) would have needed to do was increase the tolerance of frame rate before it reports 'signal lost' -- just adjust a parameter. But I don't think they ever bothered because, even back in July '15 the receiver was far past its prime.

The 3500 is yet another box made in China (by Vivant) that may have been supported OK for a few months and then dropped in favor of the next one in the pipeline. This might have worked, but in this case I don't think they actually got the bugs out. In fact, I think they gave up with it.

In my opinion (as noted by others above) the 3500's strength is its fast blind scan and ability to receive ACM. I also like the fact that its Linux based, which I really prefer over Android.

That being said, the box never reached its full potential because of what it is: An outdated receiver with a slow, narrow bandwidth 16-bit data bus, along with limited RAM and processing power. I think the only reason it was 'resurrected' for this review was because SatAV is still stitting on a pile of them they want to unload. IMO, this is the current state of the 3500 -----> :deadhorse2
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lehman bud farm

Radioguy41

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 7, 2008
2,098
1,601
Lehighton, PA
I think the only reason it was 'resurrected' for this review was because SatAV is still stitting on a pile of them they want to unload.
Now I'm getting irritated. Who are you to insinuate I'm shilling for SatAV? Give it a rest. I'm out of this thread.
 

KE4EST

SatelliteGuys Is My Second Home
Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Lifetime Supporter
Aug 9, 2004
25,941
6,193
EM75xb
I think there are some misunderstandings going on here and I don't want things to get heated.
Let's not let ourselves come to a personal attack level guys.
We have a great group of guys here in the FTA forum and a great atmosphere, and I would like it stay that way. :)
 

N6BY

Geek
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 1, 2006
2,509
2,146
Roseville, CA 121W
Now I'm getting irritated. Who are you to insinuate I'm shilling for SatAV? Give it a rest. I'm out of this thread.
I neither said nor intentionally meant to insinuate that you are a shill or question your motivation -- I simply assumed that you did not have time to cover all aspects of the receiver and you acknowledged that. I did not intend to offend you.

Also, for the record, I have no idea how many 3500's that SatAV has left. It was just that it seemed odd to me for SatAV to wait over a year and then send out a review sample. It was pure speculation on my part for SatAV's timing of the review. I wasn't questioning your motivation for doing it.

People reading through reviews often just skim through them. Some people, by their own nature, tend to make quick purchase decisions. I have heard from more than one person here who looked at the long 3500 thread and just read at the first few posts. They bought the receiver and were disappointed, wishing they had read more. So that is why I brought up my concern in post # 2.

Anyway, I think we've completed the review here.
 
Last edited:

Lehman bud farm

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 31, 2015
370
288
Chantilly
Now I'm getting irritated. Who are you to insinuate I'm shilling for SatAV?

Jeepguy, when I read that I did not take it as anything against you nor an attack on you.
I saw it simply as Sat AV trying to pull one over on the FTA community and just using a member here to do it.
Much like he did to the dealers by giving them the incorrect chip model to make everyone thing the receiver was more than it was.
That does not reflect badly upon you and one needs to keep it in perspective.
Many of us here and I believe you are one of them too, are looking for that golden receiver out there that will do what we want and a little more.

It never hurts to do a review and a couple who bought in early on the 3500 have stated their thoughts here which appear to be genuine and not with any malice in mind.
I also am hearing in this thread that ".Raine, and N6BY do not want anyone to get hurt again on this receiver like many have been. Remember that the receiver does cost over $150.00 and with that in mind people expected more from it than it could deliver for that price range.
 

Hockeynut

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 13, 2010
848
689
Sat Farm in NC.
For me this box being able to do ACM/VCM would be the absalute only reason I would purchase it as my bases are covered for the most part with other STB`s..But for the 150 dollar price range I will stay away and keep using my TBS card for the music ch`s.
 

N6BY

Geek
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 1, 2006
2,509
2,146
Roseville, CA 121W
....
It never hurts to do a review and a couple who bought in early on the 3500 have stated their thoughts here which appear to be genuine and not with any malice in mind.
I also am hearing in this thread that ".Raine, and N6BY do not want anyone to get hurt again on this receiver like many have been. Remember that the receiver does cost over $150.00 and with that in mind people expected more from it than it could deliver for that price range.
Exactly, thank you.

Earlier this summer, as most of the participants here already know, user 'Psikic' bought a 3500 after reading only the first part of the long 3500 thread. His first 3500 failed right away, and he had problems with the second which made it unusable. Several of us tried to help him through it, but couldn't. I sent him my Amiko Mini HD SE and two months later he finally got a refund from SatAV. Myself and others here would prefer not to see anyone else go through that again.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Latest posts

Top