PrimeDTV PHD-8VX - New ATSC tuner, upconverter, HDMI switcher, and more. - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 135 Old 02-18-2012, 05:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Since no one has seen their new DVR, I only went by what he has already told me.

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #62 of 135 Old 03-01-2012, 12:42 PM
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I got my 8VX last week. I haven't had too much time with it, but I do have a few thoughts. I'll post a full review in a few days, and post a few pictures (not that you'll see anything that you wouldn't from their website). I guess I could post pictures of the internals as well. One thing I wish it had was a way to set a pass-through for the picture and sound, so it would not change the color/brightness/etc. or volume.

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post #63 of 135 Old 03-01-2012, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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By all means, post some closeups of the circuit board!

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post #64 of 135 Old 03-01-2012, 08:56 PM
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Ok, here are some pictures. I didn't realize, but the largest flickr has is 1024x577, but the pictures are really 3264x1840, so I could find some other upload service to use. All pictures were taken with my HTC Amaze 4G (I say that because I think they're pretty impressive for cell phone pictures).


PHD-8VX front panels by oryan_dunn, on Flickr


PHD-8VX back panel by oryan_dunn, on Flickr


PHD-8VX internals by oryan_dunn, on Flickr


PHD-8VX internals by oryan_dunn, on Flickr


PHD-8VX internals by oryan_dunn, on Flickr


PHD-8VX internals by oryan_dunn, on Flickr


PHD-8VX internals by oryan_dunn, on Flickr

Edit: I guess since I have a free flickr account, the largest picture is 1024pixels wide on one side. Perhaps I'll get my imageshack account back up and use that.

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post #65 of 135 Old 03-02-2012, 04:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, nice that someone at least is curious, unlike the owners of that new CM DVR. (Probably to busy text messaging ).

There is surely enough real estate for a HDD since this is the same enclosure their DVR will use.
Would you list the make/model of the major components on the main board for us? Six that I count not including what's under the heat sink unless you are really adventurous ?

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post #66 of 135 Old 03-12-2012, 11:55 AM
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Ok, I'll get my imageshack pictures (full res) posted tonight, along with the info you'd requested.

After using the box for a while, I have quite a few software enhancement requests for Allen, and a few software bugs that really should be fixed. Right now, this is all based on hunches, but I think the box outputs YCbCr colorspace, and when you use the VGA input, I don't think it properly scales the 0-255 to 16-235, resulting in clipped blacks and whites when using VGA. More testing will hopefully prove this.

The other thing is I'm not sure they're using the right Rec 601 or Rec 709 coefficients for decoding YCbCr, in that 480i from my Pioneer bluray to my calibrated TV looks very good color wise when everything is at the neutral picture setting on the 8VX. Any source that outputs 1080i to the 8VX, using the neutral color settings is much too dark and a bit oversaturated. My gut says that the box is decoding 1080i with Rec 601 (SD) instead of Rec 709 (HD). The image using neutral settings looks a bit like the second set of pictures here:
http://www.glennchan.info/articles/t...709rec601.html

I need to check using the built in tuner on neutral settings as well, to see if it has the same issue.

Edit:
The DVDO Edge Green allows you to specify output video level (Auto/RGB/YUV), output colorspace (Auto/RGB/YCbCr 444/YCbCr 422) output colorimetry (Auto/BT.601 (SD)/BT.709 (HD)), and input video level, colorspace, and colorimetry for each input. Ultimately, this is what I'd like to see, but the "Auto" option has to be there and work first.
http://www.dvdo.com/documents/DVDO/D...ers_Manual.pdf

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post #67 of 135 Old 04-13-2012, 11:32 AM
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Anyone else here have this box? I've noticed a problem (and haven't heard back from Allen) with 480i material. When you select a source that is 480i, the output framerate isn't smooth. It looks like there are dropped frames every couple seconds. I'm curious if anyone else has this problem. I noticed it with my DVD player connected through component at 480i, and it's very noticeable with the SNES when playing Mario. I'm wondering if it's a design flaw, firmware issue, or I have just a bum unit.

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post #68 of 135 Old 04-15-2012, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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It never fails to surprise me just what is sold on Amazon. I never even considered looking there, but came across a listing for this product. Here are the reviews, mostly favorable (except one of those "it died" types);
http://www.amazon.com/PrimeDTV-PHD-8...rBy=addOneStar

It also is sold directly by ePVision, unless you want to pay $65 more than buying direct.

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post #69 of 135 Old 06-01-2012, 08:50 AM
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Does anyone have experience with the PHD-8VX's RS-232 control? Does anyone know if it provides feedback? The PDF from the company seems to indicate that it's simply remote control emulation with no acknowledgement.
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post #70 of 135 Old 07-23-2012, 06:57 AM
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I received my PHD-8VX last week. I do not have or want cable TV or satellite TV. I am a fairly light TV viewer watching a couple of favorite shows, sports and local news. I am not a technical person so consider that in my initial opinion of this product. I have a monoprice HDMI switcher with the switcher routing an Xbox, DVD player and the PHD-8VX to a 34" Panasonic Tau HD TV and an Epson HC 720 projector. The cable run from the switcher to the projector is made with a Monoprice 30 foot 22AWG CL2 HDMI cable. The audio is stereo out directly to the TV while I have an optical cable from the PHD to my old faithful Pioneer 5.1 receiver.

I found the setup process and instruction manual fairly straightforward. Picture quality is very good. I would love to do a side by side comparison with a typical 34" LCD or LED TV currently being sold. I believe my used $60 Tau and this tuner would compare very favorably or better than many of today's flatscreens. I will need to do some adjustments for the projector but once again the picture quality is sharp and I look forward to the Olympics and football season on the big screen. The tuner found all the stations in the Raleigh Durham area and signal strength on each is a full bar or just one bar shy. I am continuing to learn more about the unit. One thing that is nice is when you press "v select" at the top of the remote it toggles through the video formats and the display screen on the front of the PHD shows the format as you toggle. Since my old Tau will only show 480i or 1080i this is a nice feature for when I am going between the TV and the projector.

I haven't yet had a chance to watch a TV show that may provide 5.1 audio but the stereo through the TV is great and the audio through my receiver is fine as well. No problems noticed.

Switching between channels is tolerable as are the guide and menu functions. Since my main purpose for this unit is to watch TV programs, mostly sports on my projector and TV, I am happy. If it lasts even two years that's only $7.30/month for crystal clear HD viewing, a price I can live with.
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post #71 of 135 Old 07-23-2012, 10:00 AM
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The PHD-8VX has a very good tuner, especially when you have a good outside antenna. And I believe you can connect the DVD player and XBox to the 8VX with HDMI and use it as a switcher.
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post #72 of 135 Old 07-24-2012, 07:34 AM
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Yes I could. Since I have the Monoprice switcher which has four inputs/two outputs, I just use that. My main reason for the phd-8vx was the tuner. But who knows if I add more video equipment its nice to know I have the extra inputs available.
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post #73 of 135 Old 07-25-2012, 05:36 AM
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i have the PHD-8VX device - i bought it because i have basic cable and finally got a flat panel (had 3 cable-ready CRTs and since they still worked, never bothered to upgrade). the new tv i got was a plasma hand-me-down with no tuner in it... and instead of paying the local cable company for a box or digital service, i thought i'd get this.

however, i'm basically using it to mainly tune SD channels coming over NTSC... so they're 480i channels. some local Dtv channels come through in HD, i assume via clear QAM.

anything coming through HD comes through crystal clear, and i find the device easy to use. connected to it are my AV receiver via component, an Apple TV via HDMI, and a Wii via composite. connected to the AV receiver is a DVD player via component and a VCR via composite.

anything HD looks awesome, again, i'm VERY happy with the unit overall, it is doing what i wanted it to do. my ONLY real complaint is that upscaling isn't as clear as i'd hoped. the color had to be adjusted through the menus to make it look decent (hue and saturation needed adjusting because people looked too pink), and the pictures seems just a touch grainy... and there's no way to 'zoom' the picture without losing the ability to see the menu/channel entry.

but, this may just be the nature of the beast...

here's my problem: as you can tell, i'm not the AV guy i was 20 years ago, and i'm comparing the picture on this plasma (being upscaled from basic cable) to the picture i'm seeing on the 36" Sony CRT in the other room. i don't know if it's a fair comparison, since they're different, kinda... like comparing oranges and grapefruits.

i'd like to hear people's thoughts on two things:

A) since i'm going basic cable 480i thought this to a 720p 42" plasma, should i be happy to have a descent picture, and accept that it won't be perfect until i at least get digital tv service?

B) has anyone compared the PHD-8VX to the PHD-VRX as far as tuner & upscaling?

thanks for your thoughts.
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post #74 of 135 Old 08-02-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oryan_dunn View Post

Any source that outputs 1080i to the 8VX, using the neutral color settings is much too dark and a bit oversaturated. My gut says that the box is decoding 1080i with Rec 601 (SD) instead of Rec 709 (HD). The image using neutral settings looks a bit like the second set of pictures here:
http://www.glennchan.info/articles/t...709rec601.html


I need to check using the built in tuner on neutral settings as well, to see if it has the same issue.


Does anyone know if this problem was ever fixed? I just ordered an 8VX, but in my application, this defect would render it almost useless.

I will be using it to decode a 1080i signal that will get fed to an older Lumagen video processer to correct the color decoding and gamma in my display. If the 8VX decodes 1080i input incorrectly, the VP will not work right.
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post #75 of 135 Old 08-02-2012, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
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This seems to be the same problem their DVR has; crushed blacks, overly highly contrasted image and a slightly high chroma level.

Anyone know what the main processor is (under the heat sink).

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #76 of 135 Old 08-02-2012, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

This seems to be the same problem their DVR has; crushed blacks, overly highly contrasted image and a slightly high chroma level.
Anyone know what the main processor is (under the heat sink).

Is it only on 1080i input?

If so, does the input accept 1080p? If so, perhaps that could skirt the issue.
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post #77 of 135 Old 08-02-2012, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm talking about the output of the tuner/DVR. I don't know about looping another source through the box, but it may be the same thing since everything passes through the main processor AFAIK.

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post #78 of 135 Old 08-02-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I'm talking about the output of the tuner/DVR. I don't know about looping another source through the box, but it may be the same thing since everything passes through the main processor AFAIK.

I see. Thanks for the explanation.

I plan to run the 8VX in 1080i out to my video processor, so I'm gathering that I am going to have the problem. If it's just a problem with black level, it's easily fixed. Unfortunately, if gamma and color are off (as your post seems to imply) then this is going to be a big problem for me. I was hoping not to have to get my colorimeter back out again, but I might need to create an entirely new color/grayscale/gamma profile for this thing.

I may just send it back if that's the case.

What a bummer.
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post #79 of 135 Old 08-02-2012, 06:18 PM
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I asked Allen if he was aware of any color space or darkness issues related to 1080i content, and this is the response he sent via email:
Quote:
Thank you for your email. If color space is set wrong, the video is totally off. These settings are basically done by Broadcom/ATI people originally and has been tested for many situations. You need to connect to your TV and see what happened. As you mentioned, PHD-8VX also provides many color adjustments you can try to adjust including brightness. Thanks.

There's no mention in the email that he knows anything about it. If this is a known issue, has it been reported?
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post #80 of 135 Old 08-03-2012, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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If it's just a problem with black level, it's easily fixed. Unfortunately, if gamma and color are off (as your post seems to imply) then this is going to be a big problem for me.
1. I don't know what processor this uses. he states it's a Broadcom/ATI, but is it the same on the VRX uses?
2. I never said anything about "color space", just that the chroma level might be a little high.
3. The real problem is false contouring with blacks. See the VRX thread as I posted screen shots of the problem. It doesn't show on all material, just in dark areas/ scenes/colors. especially dark suits, clothes ands shadows.
Quote:
There's no mention in the email that he knows anything about it.
That's seems to be his standard answer, as it is with most corporations. " I no nothing". rolleyes.gif

I have no idea how this is decoding 1080i as oryan_dunn mentions.

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post #81 of 135 Old 08-03-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

1. I don't know what processor this uses. he states it's a Broadcom/ATI, but is it the same on the VRX uses?

According to the following link, the VRX uses the ATI 243 Chipset, while the 8VX uses the 24x. Is this chipset the one you're talking about or is it a different one?

http://epvision.com/HDTVSTB/Documents/PHD8VX_205LE_205_STB_comparision.pdf
Quote:
2. I never said anything about "color space", just that the chroma level might be a little high.

Right. Oryon mentioned color space, and you mentioned Chroma. I mentioned "color" in the generic sense. If color saturation is a bit high (equal boosting of the luminance of all 3 primaries), then that is easily fixed. However, if actual saturation (CIE color coordinates) of one or more primaries is effected, I'm going to have to get my colorimeter recalibrated to fix it. Unfiortunately, that's probably a no go for me.

Thanks again for all the info thus far. I'll check out that VRX thread.
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post #82 of 135 Old 08-03-2012, 06:38 PM
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Holy Moly. I just saw the false contouring pics you posted in the other thread. .. If my unit does that, it's going back. It's the first thing I'm going to check. If it doesn't pass the test, I'll have this unit repackaged and back at the UPS station within 20 minutes..... Of course, if the company would have just acknowledged the problem ahead of time, I could already have the return slip printed out.
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post #83 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
According to the following link, the VRX uses the ATI 243 Chipset
Then this must be it. I see some Laptops also used it.;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_(graphics_chip)
Quote:
if actual saturation (CIE color coordinates) of one or more primaries is effected, I'm going to have to get my colorimeter recalibrated to fix it.
That I couldn't tell you. Considering it is only OTA/CATV, not BluRay, I doubt it is any big deal. wink.gif
Quote:
Of course, if the company would have just acknowledged the problem ahead of time,
Very little of anything else is acknowledged.
BTW, the problem is worse in person.

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post #84 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Considering it is only OTA/CATV, not BluRay, I doubt it is any big deal. wink.gif

It is a big deal to me. In fact, the only reason I bought the 8VX was because I needed a separate tuner so I could run OTA through my video processor before feeding it to the TV. Based on those pictures, the picture would actually be better if I just went straight to the TV and lived with its inherent limitations (my set has a nasty green primary and some really whacked out gamma).

Also, since the 8VX does provide HDMI switching, I was going to run my blu-ray/streaming device through it as well, so I could have all my switching at the same place.

I expect I'll be sending it straight back after I test it.

In which case, is there a fairly sensitive "tuner only" unit out there that anyone can recommend? I tried to purchase the 205LE before settling on the 8VX, but couldn't locate one.
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post #85 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
the only reason I bought the 8VX was because I needed a separate tuner so I could run OTA through my video processor before feeding it to the TV.
What kind of setup do you have?? confused.gif
TV or monitor? If a TV, what's wrong with that tuner?

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post #86 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What kind of setup do you have?? confused.gif
TV or monitor? If a TV, what's wrong with that tuner?

I am using a TV. There is nothing wrong with that tuner.

The problem is that my television has serious PQ issues related to very poor factory calibration, so I have to use a video processor on ALL SOURCES to correct these issues. If I run the coax directly into the TV, I cannot use my offboard video processor for that input. The VP does not have an internal tuner (nor a coax input of any kind), so I have to use an external tuner if I want to insert the VP into the video chain.

Truthfully, all I need is a sensitive tuner with the ability to delete channels. I got the 8VX because another forum member recommended it (should have done more research first).
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post #87 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, understood. Out of curiosity, what is the make/model/type of the TV?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #88 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 01:07 PM
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Sorry the 8VX does not appear to be working out for you as hoped. I have it connected to a 720p Samsung plasma at my sister's house and it upscales to 1080p very nicely, and the picture is very nice and sharp once adjusted. The tuner is very good, and it has multiple HDMI inputs. But you do have to tweak the color, contrast, and saturation controls to get an optimum picture. Which may vary based upon whatever type of display you have it connected to.
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post #89 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Ok, understood. Out of curiosity, what is the make/model/type of the TV?

It is a 2011 Panasonic ST60 Plasma. I bought it sight unseen because I have always had great experiences with Panasonic. Unfortunately, they've really let their quality control slip in the last couple of years.
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post #90 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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What are the comments in the related owners thread?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
The Internet is no place for streaming video.
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