PrimeDTV PHD-8VX - New ATSC tuner, upconverter, HDMI switcher, and more. - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 135 Old 08-04-2012, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What are the comments in the related owners thread?

I was very active in that thread many months ago when I was originally working through the PQ issues with the set. We managed to identify the specific issues... the biggest one being a strange spike in the gamma in the upper IREs on nearly every set, and a severely bright green primary on some unknown percentage of sets. There are also lots people complaining about brightness, which I can attest is a problem on this set. It is much dimmer than the 5 year old Panny in my living room.

This nifty little VP that I got off Fleabay fixed every problem except the brightness.


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post #92 of 135 Old 08-08-2012, 06:45 AM
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Well, I got my 8VX in the mail yesterday. After a few hours of testing, I do not see any issue with clipping blacks or false contouring, but more testing is to follow.

Here are problems I have uncovered thus far:

1) the unit isn't very good at converting incoming 720p signals to outgoing 1080i signals. The result is jaggies. My television is able to make this conversion flawlessly. Perhaps the ATI chip is using some old technology in this regard.

2) The default color settings for all resolutions are way off, and unfortunately they are off by different amounts. 1080i content has too little color, 720p too much. Hopefully, the inaccuracies are merely with the luminance of all three primaries (ie the saturation control on the 8vx) or with the CIE position of the secondaries (the hue control on the 8VX), in which case I should be able to correct them with my colorimeter.

3) The 8VX brightness and contrast controls appear to affect one another in non-inuitive ways. For example, raising black level a few clicks can clip white detail.

Overall the unit is a good value and does some unique things. If I can fix the color issues, I will likely keep it. If I cannot, it will have to go back.


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post #93 of 135 Old 08-08-2012, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
I do not see any issue with clipping blacks or false contouring
It uses a different chipset (SoC).

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post #94 of 135 Old 08-08-2012, 10:50 PM
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Spent some more time with the unit tonight. I lugged out my colorimeter (checked it for consistency against the previously calibrated settings on my gear first), and here are the results:

1) The 8VX seriously whacks out the colors, the gamma, and the grayscale. All three, on all resolutions. There is no video bypass setting, and the defaults will alter the PQ. Gamma was lowered from 2.2 to 2.1, and a HUGE dip was introduced at around 90 IRE. While CIE color coordinates were not effected, the luminance of all three primaries was impacted to varying degrees. That's a real problem. Also, grayscale experienced serious drift. And with the default settings, black detail was completely crushed.. so was white detail, by the way.

First I had to adjust the 8VX brightness setting to 59 to stop clipping black and drop the contrast down to 42 to avoid clipping white. Be careful.. these two controls effect each other in unpredictable ways. The good news is that since I have an external video processor, I was able to fix all the other problems as well. Unfortunately, those without a VP will have no such luck. If you're not used to looking at calibrated color, you may not be able to identify the problem. You may just sense that something isn't right... sort of like the post further up the page that mentioned that 1080i content was too dark. It is too dark, of course. But that's not even the half of it.

After spending about 2 hours tonight recalibrating with the 8VX in the video chain, I am reminded just how nice it is to have the picture calibrated correctly. Accurate grayscale, color, and gamma are more important than resolution IMHO. Big, big difference.

2) I'm worried that the unit might be a bit flaky. So far, I've had two problems that required a reboot. The first .. when I switched to a different input, the 8VX lost the audio. The second, one of my TV stations started dropping frames. A reboot fixed both. I'll keep an eye on it going forward.

I'm still not sure if I am going to keep it. Now that I've spent all this time calibrating, I hate to get rid of it. So hopefully the flaky behavior stops.


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post #95 of 135 Old 08-09-2012, 12:55 PM
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Update: since this particular unit doesn't appear to be very good at converting 720p to 1080i, I have changed the output resolution of the 8VX to 720p. It seems to convert 1080i to 720p just fine.

In theory, this means that I am losing up to half of my spatial resolution. However, in practice, the OTA stations in my area are all running substations, so the difference in detail is usually negligible, and it also seems to eliminate quite a bit of MPEG noise likely caused by taxing the chipset. It will likely be an unacceptable compromise on Blu-Ray and VUDU 1080p though, so for these I may switch to the higher resolution.

I wish the remote allowed separate buttons for each resolution. Toggling through them one by one takes too long.

Also, this remote sort of sucks. I mean, I like all the functionality on it, but either it or the box itself doesn't have a very big sweet spot.


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post #96 of 135 Old 08-09-2012, 09:09 PM
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I've done some more testing. I have good news and bad news.

First, the good news..

The 8VX has wicked bad overscan. I know that doesn't sound like good news, but here's why it is: The 8VX has controls to correct the overscan. Once I managed to achieve a pixel to pixel match with my television, the 720p to 1080i conversion suddenly looked MUCH better. It's not perfect (my TV still does a better job of it), but it doesn't look bad at all, and the 1080i output resolution now has a CLEAR advantage on 1080i channels. In short, the pic got much sharper, as would be expected.

Now, the bad news...

I believe someone earlier in the thread mentioned something about dropped frames.

I too have noticed this problem now.

If you have a situation where the 8VX is convering 720p input to 1080i output, you can notice this effect on smooth pans. The picture appears to "hitch" every few seconds. I think the processor just doesn't do a very good job of the 720p to 1080i conversion and may be struggling to keep up with the data.

The effect does not happen if the incoming signal is 1080i. Nor does it happen at all on any incoming signal if the output resolution is 720p.

Also, another annoyance: If you use the "custom" aspect ratio to correct the terrible overscan, suddenly the 8VX loses all ability to automatically size 4:3 content with the appopriate black bars on the left/right. This happened automatically in the "normal" aspect ratio. Of course, I can switch it automatically, but really, that's a pain when the unit has the processing power to do it for me. To me, this is a silly software limitation.


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post #97 of 135 Old 08-14-2012, 10:23 PM
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I realize this thread gets like zero traffic, so at this point I am most likely just talking to myself. That's okay though. I figure I might as well finish documenting my tests and give my final analysis here in this thread just in case it might be of benefit to anyone in the future.

The dropping frames issue on 1080i content is extremely unfortunate. Other than dropping down to 720p resolution, there does not appear to be any way to fix it.

I cannot recommend this unit to anyone who doesn't have a colorimeter, a video processor with calibration controls, and a lot of patience. The default video settings on the 8VX are just too messed up. There really should be some way to completely bypass all that video processing. A setting that just passes through the native signal as is without any modification would be extremely helpful, but I don't expect we'll be seeing that anytime soon.

My final analysis is this: It's a unique product and it has a lot of potential, but it just isn't there. If I had it to do over again, I would buy something else. I could always send it back I suppose, but I've spent so much time setting up my VP to deal with its shortcomings that it seems like such a waste.


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post #98 of 135 Old 08-26-2012, 09:19 PM
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Hey gremmy, thanks for all your info.
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post #99 of 135 Old 08-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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First, thanks gremmy for all the info you've posted. I'd be really curious what your picture settings are for 1080i material. I've wanted a way to turn off all picture processing. The only real reason I wanted this box was for the manual overscan correction, since my HT CRT has no way to correct horizontal overscan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

I've done some more testing. I have good news and bad news.
First, the good news..
The 8VX has wicked bad overscan. I know that doesn't sound like good news, but here's why it is: The 8VX has controls to correct the overscan. Once I managed to achieve a pixel to pixel match with my television, the 720p to 1080i conversion suddenly looked MUCH better. It's not perfect (my TV still does a better job of it), but it doesn't look bad at all, and the 1080i output resolution now has a CLEAR advantage on 1080i channels. In short, the pic got much sharper, as would be expected.
Are you referring to video through the internal tuner? Or any HD source?
Quote:
Now, the bad news...
I believe someone earlier in the thread mentioned something about dropped frames.
I too have noticed this problem now.
If you have a situation where the 8VX is convering 720p input to 1080i output, you can notice this effect on smooth pans. The picture appears to "hitch" every few seconds. I think the processor just doesn't do a very good job of the 720p to 1080i conversion and may be struggling to keep up with the data.
The effect does not happen if the incoming signal is 1080i. Nor does it happen at all on any incoming signal if the output resolution is 720p.
Also, another annoyance: If you use the "custom" aspect ratio to correct the terrible overscan, suddenly the 8VX loses all ability to automatically size 4:3 content with the appopriate black bars on the left/right. This happened automatically in the "normal" aspect ratio. Of course, I can switch it automatically, but really, that's a pain when the unit has the processing power to do it for me. To me, this is a silly software limitation.

So the dropped frame thing really stinks for me, since my TV can only do 1080i, which means that I can't use the 8VX for any think like my DVD player, SNES, N64, etc.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

I realize this thread gets like zero traffic, so at this point I am most likely just talking to myself. That's okay though. I figure I might as well finish documenting my tests and give my final analysis here in this thread just in case it might be of benefit to anyone in the future.
The dropping frames issue on 1080i content is extremely unfortunate. Other than dropping down to 720p resolution, there does not appear to be any way to fix it.
I cannot recommend this unit to anyone who doesn't have a colorimeter, a video processor with calibration controls, and a lot of patience. The default video settings on the 8VX are just too messed up. There really should be some way to completely bypass all that video processing. A setting that just passes through the native signal as is without any modification would be extremely helpful, but I don't expect we'll be seeing that anytime soon.
Yes, two fixes that really need to be done. Bypass all picture corrections (except for overscan correction) and fix frame drop issue. There are other bugs to fix, but these two are huge for me.
Quote:
My final analysis is this: It's a unique product and it has a lot of potential, but it just isn't there. If I had it to do over again, I would buy something else. I could always send it back I suppose, but I've spent so much time setting up my VP to deal with its shortcomings that it seems like such a waste.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gremmy View Post

I realize this thread gets like zero traffic, so at this point I am most likely just talking to myself. That's okay though. I figure I might as well finish documenting my tests and give my final analysis here in this thread just in case it might be of benefit to anyone in the future.
The dropping frames issue on 1080i content is extremely unfortunate. Other than dropping down to 720p resolution, there does not appear to be any way to fix it.
I cannot recommend this unit to anyone who doesn't have a colorimeter, a video processor with calibration controls, and a lot of patience. The default video settings on the 8VX are just too messed up. There really should be some way to completely bypass all that video processing. A setting that just passes through the native signal as is without any modification would be extremely helpful, but I don't expect we'll be seeing that anytime soon.
My final analysis is this: It's a unique product and it has a lot of potential, but it just isn't there. If I had it to do over again, I would buy something else. I could always send it back I suppose, but I've spent so much time setting up my VP to deal with its shortcomings that it seems like such a waste.

I probably should have returned it and got rid of my HD CRT, but I very much like my HD CRT and just wanted to fix overscan, which this did.

What I'd like to see is a calibrated TV with this added into the chain, then using only controls on the 8VX, get the picture as close as possible back to calibrated levels, what those settings would be. If that's basically the jist of what you did, could you post the settings?

Anyways, thanks for the info, the thread may seem dead, but I just haven't been on in a while, so it's been useful for someone.

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post #100 of 135 Old 08-28-2012, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
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For around $40 more, their DVR has an adjustable underscan function that might solve your problem. The tuner portion is good except for the false contouring, but the DVR portion is a disaster. frown.gif

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post #101 of 135 Old 08-28-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

For around $40 more, their DVR has an adjustable underscan function that might solve your problem. The tuner portion is good except for the false contouring, but the DVR portion is a disaster. frown.gif

The custom aspect (over/under scan) adjustment works perfectly for me. I use the 8VX as a component and HDMI switcher, which also works well. It's just a couple of the picture issues that I'd like resolved (trashing the picture and dropped frames on 1080i upconversion). I have no need for the DVR, and have been loosely following the VRX thread, seems they have quite a few issues with it.

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post #102 of 135 Old 09-24-2012, 01:35 PM
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Gremmy and everyone, thank you for all your work and sharing of your findings! I am looking for a ATSC tuner for my Epson pj. I am going to be quitting Time Warner and am trying to find the best quality ATSC tuner that is not too expensive. The approx $200 price for the PHD-8VX is at the top of my budget.

Are there any other alternatives to consider or is this my best choice at this time?

Thank you again!

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post #103 of 135 Old 09-24-2012, 01:54 PM
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For $200 I'd seriously look at a HD DVR. They start a little over $200 and generally include 2 tuners. The RCA and CM are the most recent and among the lowest price. Check this forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/f/42/hdtv-recorders
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post #104 of 135 Old 09-25-2012, 11:15 AM
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Any votes for the PHD-VRX? http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phdvrxmain.htm
DVR functionality would be nice but mainly want the best quality tuner for the best price.

Thank you
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post #105 of 135 Old 09-27-2012, 09:13 AM
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I have had severe ghosting/ almost a double image since I bought the 8vx. It looks ok from 10 feet back. But any closer and it's pretty bad. I'm using a Pioneer 500m and sending it a 1080p signal from the V8X. I tried other resolutions and still the same thing. Any ideas? Thanks
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post #106 of 135 Old 09-27-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 440forpower View Post

I have had severe ghosting/ almost a double image since I bought the 8vx. It looks ok from 10 feet back. But any closer and it's pretty bad. I'm using a Pioneer 500m and sending it a 1080p signal from the V8X. I tried other resolutions and still the same thing. Any ideas? Thanks

What kind of TV? How is it hooked up?
Can you post a picture of the ghost?
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post #107 of 135 Old 09-27-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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1. What is a Pioneer 500M?? If this is a TV, have your tried another set?
2. I assume your are using HDMI.
2. Have you tried component?
4. Is this a straight run from tuner to TV?

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post #108 of 135 Old 10-01-2012, 05:20 PM
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Pioneer 500m Kuro plasma http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Plasma/KRP-500M I tried to get some pics but it doesn't show very well. I'm going through a Pioneer elite receiver. But when I go straight to the tv with a different HDMI cable it does the same thing. I have another OTA box and it doesn't have the artifacts as this one does. Thanks
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post #109 of 135 Old 12-11-2012, 11:17 AM
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I spoke with Allen from ePvision on the phone a couple days ago. He said he was going to forward my email about the frame rate issue when upconverting 480i material to 1080i to the 'engineers'. He said he thought it was an issue with the Broadcom chip, and that there was nothing they could do in firmware to fix it. I asked if I could get a refund (I bought the box 8mo ago), and he kinda laughed and said no. I (mistakenly) hung on to it thinking it was something they could fix.

I also asked about a pass-through mode for video processing, and again he said there was no way to disable the color modification the Broadcom chip does.

There are more issues I have with this box, but those are the two biggest, so I saw no reason to push on the other issues until I heard back on the 480i upscaling issue.

If you need a box to pair with a 1080i display, this is absolutely not the box for you. If you're pairing it with a 720p or 1080p, I sill wouldn't recommend it due to the color issues.

All I really want is an HDMI switcher / analog upscaler that can scale the window (to correct for display overscan). The DVDO Edge is about the only other reasonably cheap option, and even the modern box can't handle 240p that my consoles output. I emailed DVDO support asking if the 240p issue would be resolved, and haven't heard back in 2 weeks.

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post #110 of 135 Old 12-11-2012, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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This frame rate issue, is dropped frames and/or studdering?

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post #111 of 135 Old 12-11-2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

This frame rate issue, is dropped frames and/or studdering?

To me, it seems like dropped frames, but I'm not sure. The easiest way to see it is to hook up a SNES and play Mario World. Running to the right, the framerate hicups, which never happens with the SNES connected directly to any TV. I know technically it's a 240p source, but I see the same problem with my DVD player connected via component and set to 480i. It's a bit harder to noticed unless the screen is panning or has some kind of fluid motion.

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post #112 of 135 Old 12-12-2012, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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240p???

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post #113 of 135 Old 12-12-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

240p???

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1138330/480i-vs-240p

The old Nintendo consoles (NES, SNES, N64) output 240p instead of 480i. I'd find a better source, but any sites about gaming are blocked here at work.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-definition_television
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Older video game console and home computers generated a nonstandard NTSC or PAL signal which placed both fields on top of each other.[1][2] This is equivalent to 240p and 288p respectively.

The DVDO Edge Green handles 480i material fine, but when showing 240p, this is what happens:
http://pms.hazard-city.de/edge_green_240p.mov

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post #114 of 135 Old 12-12-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Can't really tell with all that shaky camera motion.
Seems like the 240p is a bit much.

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post #115 of 135 Old 12-12-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Can't really tell with all that shaky camera motion.
Seems like the 240p is a bit much.

Huh? A bit much? Not sure I understand.
You don't see the fact that the game is messed up? It's split and the colors are off. The Edge just can't sync to 240p.

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post #116 of 135 Old 12-13-2012, 03:28 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't know what it was suppose to look like and with the poor video recording coupled to the shaky camera, I couldn't tell.
Sorry, I'm not into video games, nor have any interest in them. If it was a set of test patterns that would be different. wink.gif

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post #117 of 135 Old 12-28-2012, 08:50 PM
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I just changed the way I had this hooked up and realized it doesn't pass the HDMI audio unaltered. I'm not sure why I expected something labeled as an HDMI switcher to just switch. Silly me.

It converts everything to 2 channel PCM.

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post #118 of 135 Old 12-29-2012, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Same problem with their DVR. How about the optical out using a HDMI in? Is that 5.1?

Abundant OTA television is what makes this country different from all others. Lets keep it this way.
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post #119 of 135 Old 12-29-2012, 08:11 PM
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Hi. New here and nowhere as technically literate - can only guess how you'd use a colorimeter. I've been enjoying reading the great exchanges that have been posted about this unit. Lucky for me I'm not as knowledgable or I'd apparently be having alot of buyer's remorse right now. wink.gif

I bought this unit for the ATSC tuner with HD output to connect my DTV anntenna (RCA ANT75, in the attic, works great) to our bedroom TV (Sony WEGA KV-34HS510). There is a DVD player in this setup but hardly used. Primarily user is wife watching network stuff. Just got rid of TWC as I don't watch alot either. (Increased my internet speed and dropped my bill ~$100!)

So the OTA picture is great - HDMI to DVI in on the TV. No issue with sound (standard analog output direct to TV).

My question is about the remote. It works ok but I was hoping that it would be a learner - and take control of the basic TV functions such as power and volume. Not so much, apparently. Or am I missing something...? I don't see it documented in the manual. Also, the SONY remote isn't a learner and there's no "EpVision" or "PHD" listed in the manual's mfg/device list. In fact there's no category for this device...

I bought a SONY URC (RM-VZ320) - thinking its going to work on the TV with no programming (true) and which has pages of devce codes but no listing for this unit. So far, either the universal learner remote won't search out a code that works for the PHD-8VX, or I'm not patient enough... has anyone been abel to "teach" a URC to run this unit? If so, what URC did you use? If it only changed the channels on the PHD-8VX would still be a plus.

I did find a pdf on the EpVision company site with a single page graphic showing the remote buttons with numbers on each button. They appear to be hexidecimal. I have no idea what to do with this informaiton. The page is labeled:
NEC IR protocol
System code: 00FF
Carrier Frequency: 38KHz

Can anyone provide guidance? I'd really like to get this simple setup down to one remote.
(I also just sent an email, via the EpVision website - so hoping to get some help either there, or more likely, here.)

Thanks!
Scott
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post #120 of 135 Old 12-30-2012, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
It works ok but I was hoping that it would be a learner
I don't know of any consumer device with a remote that actually has "learning" capabilities. Programmable to other devices as in TV's, but not learning.
Learning ability puts a remote in a higher level (price range) than a basic 'programmable' remote which are a dime a dozen. Their (ePVision) remotes are very basic. I never use any of the supplied remotes except one where it is a small TV sparingly used with no other devices.

Those codes are for programming remotes that have the ability to input that data (called JP1). That's as far as I know, having never done that. Take a look here;
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/index.php?sid=91d0e58368f9b4506bd5c7bac661c681

Look for a "learning" remote so you can customize it the way you want (by learning each needed button) as opposed to take what they give you for programmability. Start here;
http://www.remotecentral.com/ureview/index.html

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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