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post #271 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

(Problems... 1-36)

Yeah, sure. But how do you really feel, Bruce? smile.gif

My concern is that considering the # of years it took them to get this far, and the length of your list (to which I suspect I could add a few of my own), how many more years before a satisfactory # of them are resolved? And will the unit even still be in production by then? frown.gif

I'd agree with all or most of the issues you raised, possibly only changing the priority of some. E.g., while it's odd and inconvenient not to have a User Manual, I can get by without one if the device does what I need it to. If it doesn't have the functionality, or what's there is broken, then the manual is irrelevant. (My biggest add would likely be, not true/compliant-format 'MPG' recordings.)

To me, #5 (no Resume Play), #3 (no Weekly recordings), #4 (buried Manual settings), and #8 (poor PQ without twiddling adjustments) would be deal-killers. Considering the fact that this is a device which MUST primarily be used to set up Manual recordings, making that difficult and omitting Weekly are unforgivable sins*. Without Resume, enjoying playback (a primary function) would be horribly reduced. And why I'd have to fart around adjusting video settings for recordings on a DVR is beyond me. If they want to provide some adjustment range, that's fine, but the defaults should be perfect as is (i.e., output = input). Not remembering settings after you've taken the time to adjust them is a crime.

Re: the Split Guides, I agree these are a PITA, but I suspect that given the time that's already gone into them, asking now for them to be merged is highly unlikely to yield happy results. I.e., doing so would be highly non-trivial programming, and likely to result in a whole new raft of bugs.

[* and yes, I understand that Weekly is promised for a future firmware update.]

- Tim
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post #272 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:39 AM
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EpVision PHD-VRX brief NTSC tuner review and other comments


It turns out that there are some low power analog NTSC stations still in the United States between channels 2-6 (just recently after the review I found out I live in a city that has one low power NTSC station after turning the antenna with the rotor and doing a channel scan). These low power analog stations in the United States sometimes apply for permission from the FCC to convert their station to a low, medium, or full power ATSC digital channel. When the FCC gives them permission to convert to digital the new station is assigned a channel on VHF 7-13 or UHF 14-51. There are several antenna manufactures now making TV antennas that are only designed to pick up channels 7-51. Many years ago TV antennas were designed for channels 2-83 then when bandwidth was taken away from TV stations, TV antennas started being designed for channels 2-69. The newer antenna designs are [/COLOR]only designed to pick up channels 7-69 with the very latest TV antenna designs only made for channels 7-51 since the TV spectrum keeps shrinking in the United States. The new VHF only antennas are being made to pick up only channels 7-13. The FM radio band is between channels 6 and 7 at 88 to 108 Mhz. One looking to receive both TV signals,digital FM, and analog FM radio stations will need an outdoor TV antenna with channels 2-51 capability. Also there is dedicated FM only antennas designed for outdoor installation.

Solid Signal is a good source for antenna supplies

One thing I like about the PHD-VRX is that under the “Find Channel” option one can view the literal RF channel number and the virtual digital channel number. Many times the RF digital channel number is different when compared to the main virtual digital channel number. When TV stations converted from analog NTSC to digital ATSC some TV stations decided to keep their old TV station number so that is why many virtual digital channel numbers do not match up with the literal RF channel number. So on the “Find Channel” menu screen one can see all the virtual digital channels that are assigned to that RF channel. One negative is that when one adds a RF channel manually in the “Find Channel” menu screen they cannot delete the channel at all which is a bad feature. To delete the channel one has to do another auto channel scan. So you can add channels with “Find Channel” but you cannot delete them. Of course one can go to the “Master List” and disable the visibility of the channels in the guide and channel database. A firmware update to allow one to delete a channel from the “Find Channel” menu feature would be ideal. If I can manually add a RF channel then I also should be allowed to manually delete at least the channels that I manually created. When one selects a RF channel to be added if no digital channels are found an RF NTSC channel is automatically added to the PHD-VRX database by default even if no NTSC signal exists on that channel you wanted to be added. If one does the manual channel creation 10 or 20 times for different channels then when channel surfing one well have many blank channels in between active channels.

The EpVision PHD-VRX has a very strong high quality NTSC tuner


To my surprise I found one low power analog NTSC channel to briefly test the analog tuner in the PHD-VRX. I moved the TV antenna with the rotor and did a channel scan. I picked up a low power, low band VHF TV station. The station was so weak that I could not get any audio accept a low level crackling sound. The picture quality even though snowy was fairly good since I could make out the small words on the screen. With another NTSC tuner in the house I also could not get any audio for that NTSC station, so not getting any audio was not a problem with the PHD-VRX but instead a signal quality issue or station problem. On the other brand of NTSC tuner the picture I could just barely see. So this PHD-VRX has an extremely sensitive NTSC tuner that pulled in the video so good that the snowy picture was at least watchable. I tried the close captioning feature and it does work for NTSC channels but the problem was the text when it did pop up on the screen had jumbled letters since the signal quality of the low power station was very weak. The Close Caption also turns on when mute is pressed on the remote for both analog and digital channels. Even when one presses the “FREEZE” picture button the Close Caption along with audio continues to work. “FREEZE” button is ideal to press when one wants to write down an address or phone number. The "FREEZE" button works for all analog and digital signals.

This PHD-VRX has an MTS decoder built in with SAP audio option for use only with the NTSC section in tuner one (menu options are Mono, Stereo, and SAP). The PHD-VRX converts that analog NTSC audio like MTS stereo to 2.0 PCM stereo when one uses the HDMI and optical connections. Even if the optical audio menu setting is set to “AC3” the PHD-VRX firmware is smart enough to convert the MTS stereo sound to 2.0 PCM stereo. Also in the main menu is the option to make SAP the default setting instead of Stereo or Mono. Someone that speaks mostly Spanish that is on a cable system with NTSC channels will be able to setup the PHD-VRX to automatically switch to the Spanish language track for each NTSC channel that offers it (Since I have only one low power NTSC over the air TV station that is so weak that audio cannot be received I was not able to test audio or this feature to verify that it works, also Verizon FIOS is 100% digital QAM). Under the audio menu “Digital Preferences”, is an audio option for English, Spanish, and French (The problem is the Digital Preferences does not work), When I select Spanish audio I hear English instead of Spanish. One has to manual toggle the “AUDIO” button on the remote each time they want to listen to an ATSC/QAM digital channel in Spanish.

Major firmware updates needed

1. As mentioned before HDMI output on the PHD-VRX needs to be able to pass 5.1 Dolby Digital and also when pressing the “V-MODE” button on the remote it should toggle between 6 different settings: “native”, “480i”,”480P”, “720P”, “1080i”, and “1080P”. Right now consumers are only able to toggle between “720P” and 1080P”.

2. A firmware update to correct the cold reboot time loss bug: The PHD-VRX does an excellent job at keeping the exact time from the Network Time Protocol under normal conditions. This is one reason why an Internet connection is ideal for PHD-VRX especially if one plans on recording. Pressing the power button on the remote control to turn the unit off and back on is like giving the PHD-VRX a warm reboot (button is called “POWER” on the remote but button is labeled as “STANDBY” on front of PHD-VRX). Doing a warm reboot will still maintain the time. Pressing the master power button on the far left of the unit is like doing a cold reboot since it will reset the clock to 12:00 am and also menu options like “Front Panel Lock” will be set to off without the need to enter a pin number. The problem is when there is a power outage or when the master power button on the front of the unit is pushed the clock will be reset to 12:00 am. This is very bad since if the power goes out for only a second the clock and all future recordings will not be recorded. Sure one can purchase a UPS power backup device to fix the power outage issue but that well not fix the problem with the power button on the front of the unit resetting the clock to 12:00 am. Now I realize that after the time is lost, that the time can instantly be restored within 1 minute by pressing the “STANDBYE” button on the front of the PHD-VRX or if one presses the power button on the remote control. Under most conditions, the time will be placed back to normal when the unit is booted backup by pressing the power button on the remote. As long as someone is on a digital QAM or ATSC channel the PHD-VRX after reboot is finished will go grab the exact time within about 10 seconds after the picture appears on the screen. The problem is if one leaves the PHD-VRX on an analog channel and then one boots up the PHD-VRX, it will never reset the time to the exact time until someone changes the channel to a digital channel. The time setting feature, program guide, and recording features do not work while one is watching an analog channel. At the very minimum the time setting and program guide should work while watching an analog channel.
The ideal fix for the time loss bug is the following: As soon as the power is back. The PHD-VRX firmware should automatically go to the Network Time Protocol internet connection and set the clock to the exact time without the need for the consumer to have to do anything. I am very surprised that a battery backup feature for the clock was not made in the event of a 1 second or longer power outage. The PHD-VRX since it has no battery backup feature for the clock needs to be able to automatically set to the exact time as soon as power is restored. Also the PHD-VRX needs to be able to check and see if a program was in the process of recording during a power outage. Not everyone is going to have a UPS power backup device in their home or apartment. Also someone might toggle that power button on the front of the unit on and off and then all future recordings will be messed up since the PHD-VRX was reset back to 12:00am.



Minor firmware update recommendations

1. A firmware update to allow one to delete a channel from the “Find Channel” menu feature. If I can manually add a RF channel then I also should be allowed to manually delete at least the channels that I manually created.

2. The “Direct” viewing mode does not work at all for analog and digital channels. Also the “Normal” viewing mode does not work on an analog NTSC channels. Another issue is that while watching a native 4:3 NTSC channel the PHD-VRX firmware for some reason will stretch the native 4:3 program to 16:9 then a few minutes later it will go back to 4:3. This happens even when “Auto Aspect” is set to off and “View Mode” is set to “4:3”.


3. Digital Preferences in the audio menu does not work. A firmware update should be able to fix this issue so that if someone wants Spanish audio they do not have to manually turn it on every time they switch a channel.

4. The 6–Digit display currently only shows the number of the channel one is on after the channel is switched. A firmware update could be created that would show the channel number on the 6-Digit display that someone is typing in on the remote in real time. Currently one has to look on the screen to see the numbers that are being pressed on the remote in real time.

5. A new “Front Display Menu” option in the main menu should be created: Front panel display should have 3 different options:

a. Leave the default setting the same: The current default option would be the option that the PHD-VRX does now. The time in the 6-Digit LED display is only shown when the PHD-VRX is tuned off into standby mode. The channel number in the 6-Digit display is displayed when the PHD-VRX is turned on. The green and red status LED should remain on 24 X 7 in this mode.

b. The option to turn off the 6-Digit LED display completely for those that want dark movie watching. This includes the green and red status LED being turned off completely.

c. The option to have the 6-Digit display, display only the clock 24 X 7. When the channel is changed the new channel would display for 1 minute and then return to the clock being displayed on the 6-Digit display. Some people would like to use the PHD-VRX as a clock to see what time it is. The green and red status LED should remain on 24 X 7 in this mode.
.
.
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Edited to fix text formatting. (Black font color was set for all text thus could not be seen in the bark skin.)
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post #273 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

EpVision PHD-VRX is the best subscription free ATSC/QAM tuner box that I have every used so far

Thanks for all the time and work that went into such an omnibus posting! Lots of useful information and opinions. While I don't agree with all of your conclusions, the piece was very well done.

Quote:
This review does not cover the recording feature since I have not tested that feature out yet (requires external USB drive to record)

I have to apologize, but this part had me LMAO. biggrin.gif To review a DVR, and not comment on any record/playback functions is like Car & Driver reporting on a vehicle, while never taking it out of Park.

- Tim
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post #274 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

It turns out that there are some low power analog NTSC stations still in the United States between channels 2-6

You are still misinformed on this information. Channels 2-6 are not restricted to low-power analog stations. In fact, I have two such full-power digital stations (RF5, and RF6) available to me locally.

Quote:
These low power analog stations in the United States sometimes apply for permission from the FCC to convert their station to a low, medium, or full power ATSC digital channel. When the FCC gives them permission to convert to digital the new station is assigned a channel on VHF 7-13 or UHF 14-51.

Again, incorrect. However, they may request such a higher channel assignment, due to the problems inherent in Lo-VHF.

Quote:
The newer antenna designs are only designed to pick up channels 7-69, with the very latest TV antenna designs only made for channels 7-51

Nope.

Quote:
...since the TV spectrum keeps shrinking in the United States

Well, you got that part right. frown.gif

Quote:
The new VHF only antennas are being made to pick up only channels 7-13.

Numerous Lo-VHF (2-6), and full VHF (2-13) antennas [as well as all-band] are still available from Antennas Direct, AntennaCraft, ChannelMaster, and even Winegard.

- Tim
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post #275 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by VideoGrabber View Post

You are still misinformed on this information. Channels 2-6 are not restricted to low-power analog stations. In fact, I have two such full-power digital stations (RF5, and RF6) available to me locally.
Again, incorrect. However, they may request such a higher channel assignment, due to the problems inherent in Lo-VHF.
Nope.
Well, you got that part right. frown.gif
Numerous Lo-VHF (2-6), and full VHF (2-13) antennas [as well as all-band] are still available from Antennas Direct, AntennaCraft, ChannelMaster, and even Winegard.
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Originally Posted by VideoGrabber View Post

Thanks for all the time and work that went into such an omnibus posting! Lots of useful information and opinions. While I don't agree with all of your conclusions, the piece was very well done.

I have to apologize, but this part had me LMAO. biggrin.gif To review a DVR, and not comment on any record/playback functions is like Car & Driver reporting on a vehicle, while never taking it out of Park.

I will get around to it when I hook up a USB hard drive in the future. My main purpose of the PHD-VRX was to have a QAM and ATSC tuner with dual RF inputs and dual channel maps (it really has 4 channel maps). This would be an excellent product if it would have only been sold as a high-end tuner. smile.gif

That is odd you have RF5 and RF6 in the exact same city? One would think that they might be problems with two full power stations right next to each other. In the analog days they never placed two NTSC channels right next to each other. I guess in the digital world its allowed.

When I look at the Winegard online catalog I see just older antenna models between 2-51. The newer outdoor models are channels 7-51. I never said they stopped making 2-51 model antennas but with the switch to digital it has made antennas 7-51 more popular. Also according to the Winegard website, Winegard is currently only making VHF only antennas for channel 7-13 reception. I do not see any VHF 2-6 or 2-13 only antennas on their website. I do see 2-51 antennas still being offered but those are older models. So if one wants a dedicated VHF Winegard antenna and a dedicated UHF antenna they will not be able to pick up stations 2-6. Only if one goes with the older VHF/UHF combo antenna models do they offer channels 2-51.

http://www.winegard.com/offair/vhf-antennas.php
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post #276 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
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That is odd you have RF5 and RF6 in the exact same city? One would think that they might be problems with two full power stations right next to each other. In the analog days they never placed two NTSC channels right next to each other. I guess in the digital world its allowed.
In the Buffalo market there are two channels next to one another (38 & 39) with transmitters one mile apart. In the Toronto market there are two others (19 & 20) on the same tower. wink.gif
Quote:
One thing I like about the PHD-VRX is that under the “Find Channel” option one can view the literal RF channel number and the virtual digital channel number. Many times the RF digital channel number is different when compared to the main virtual digital channel number.
This feature has carried over from their 205 tuner. Though I didn't address this feature in my first 10 posts, (which I will now) if you don't know your local physical CATV channels, after a scan you can go into this sub menu and toggle through all the physical channel numbers and see what virtual channels are included.
Quote:
One negative is that when one adds a RF channel manually in the “Find Channel” menu screen they cannot delete the channel at all which is a bad feature.
As with just about all tuners, you can't completely remove that entry, but you can 'skip' it when surfing as with just about all tuners. As I stated. at least with the "Find Channel" option, only physical channel numbers are added that you entered, not everything as when you do a full scan. wink.gif
Quote:
Also someone might toggle that power button on the front of the unit on and off and then all future recordings will be messed up since the PHD-VRX was reset back to 12:00am.
Another reason why I requested the "Power" button to be removed (or at least moved to the rear panel as with some other devices).
Quote:
A firmware update to allow one to delete a channel from the “Find Channel” menu feature. If I can manually add a RF channel then I also should be allowed to manually delete at least the channels that I manually created.
The vast majority of tuners have no feature. Ok to have, but not really that important that I can see. Hiding it by the "Skip" function gets rid of the entry when channel surfing.
Quote:
The “Direct” viewing mode does not work at all for analog and digital channels. Also the “Normal” viewing mode does not work on an analog NTSC channels.
Allen told me not all modes work in every type of signal.
Quote:
while watching a native 4:3 NTSC channel the PHD-VRX firmware for some reason will stretch the native 4:3 program to 16:9 then a few minutes later it will go back to 4:3. This happens even when “Auto Aspect” is set to off and “View Mode” is set to “4:3”.
Interesting. I never encountered that happening. A bug? eek.gif
Quote:
The 6–Digit display currently only shows the number of the channel one is on after the channel is switched. A firmware update could be created that would show the channel number on the 6-Digit display that someone is typing in on the remote in real time. Currently one has to look on the screen to see the numbers that are being pressed on the remote in real time.
Thats' been a hold over from their 205 tuner,. I kinda forgot about that annoyance. You enter a number while looking at the tuner/recorder and you think either it was aimed wrong or it just didn't respond, then see that channel was changed.
Quote:
The option to turn off the 6-Digit LED display completely for those that want dark movie watching. This includes the green and red status LED being turned off completely.
I single LED should not be a problem. These are not that bright as some other devices (especially ones that are using these new blue LED's that almost blind you.

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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post #277 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 04:23 AM
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If one has like 50 or more digital channels the ability of the PHD-VRX to rapidly get to another channel in a few seconds with the channel up and down button is possible by holding down the channel up or down button. The PHD-VRX will move extremely fast to the channel number and when one releases the button on the channel it will tune the channel.

My other tuners I have tried in the past have taken minutes sometimes to go through all the channels hitting the up and down button. This was a nice feature.
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post #278 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 05:02 AM
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Entire post quoted... simply to make it readable to forum members using the "Dark" skin . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

EpVision PHD-VRX brief NTSC tuner review and other comments


It turns out that there are some low power analog NTSC stations still in the United States between channels 2-6 (just recently after the review I found out I live in a city that has one low power NTSC station after turning the antenna with the rotor and doing a channel scan). These low power analog stations in the United States sometimes apply for permission from the FCC to convert their station to a low, medium, or full power ATSC digital channel. When the FCC gives them permission to convert to digital the new station is assigned a channel on ....

It appears that the Moderators have fixed the text color of the original post, so I've truncated this quote . . .

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #279 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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You really don't need to re-quote all these long posts. Have you considered just switching views? Black text on a white background, just like a sheet of paper.
Ever try to print a black background?

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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post #280 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

You really don't need to re-quote all these long posts.

I was actually kind of glad that WS was doing that. The reason for the problem is that whatever H1P is using to formulate his posts is inserting explicit COLOR#0000 commands, which results in the invisible black on black.

Quote:
Have you considered just switching views?

Even though I have done so temporarily, simply because I thought H1P's contributions were worth the pain, I don't think this is a good suggestion. Some of us (especially those reading late at night) are not that fond of bathing ourselves in a bright all white screen. And we can no longer simply flip a switch at the bottom of a post to conveniently change temporarily (thanks, Muddlers). Now it's a trip to the Profile to make such changes.

I'll be switching back soon.

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Ever try to print a black background?

What does that have to do with anything? rolleyes.gif

- Tim
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post #281 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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What does that have to do with anything?
Try printing a page formatted that way. Unless you make other changes, the printout will look the same way. A page of black ink with some white text.
I hope you have a large supply of black ink. Some of the PC forums does this (probably purposely so you can't print the page) and it can't be easily changed.
I understand viewing at night, but I hope you have some other light on in the room. Even staring at a black screen with white text is not good for your eyes with no other light on.

While this was being 'fixed', I switched to the optional "Black" (or was it Dark) version. While the black background might be easier on the eyes, pages with white ad boxes or pics seem to be more of a strain on the eyes due to the contrast of black and 100% white I would think.

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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post #282 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

My main purpose of the PHD-VRX was to have a QAM and ATSC tuner with dual RF inputs and dual channel maps (it really has 4 channel maps). This would be an excellent product if it would have only been sold as a high-end tuner. smile.gif

I agree that it does sound like a good match for your current needs!

Quote:
That is odd you have RF5 and RF6 in the exact same city? One would think that they might be problems with two full power stations right next to each other.

Two available in one city does not imply both transmitting from the same location. Although as Bruce mentioned, that's not a no-no either. In my case, RF5 is northerly, and RF6 westerly.

Quote:
When I look at the Winegard online catalog I see just older antenna models between 2-51. The newer outdoor models are channels 7-51. I never said they stopped making 2-51 model antennas but with the switch to digital it has made antennas 7-51 more popular. Also according to the Winegard website, Winegard is currently only making VHF only antennas for channel 7-13 reception. I do not see any VHF 2-6 or 2-13 only antennas on their website. I do see 2-51 antennas still being offered but those are older models.

Does it matter if they're "old" or "new"? In what way? If they have an "old" model that covers 2-6, or 2-13, or 2-51, why would they create a new one to do the same thing? Especially when the "old" one was still in production. They have created the new" models you're referring to, specifically because some areas no longer have any Lo-VHF stations. That doesn't mean they've all vanished though (either the stations or the antennas that can receive them).

Quote:
So if one wants a dedicated VHF Winegard antenna and a dedicated UHF antenna they will not be able to pick up stations 2-6. Only if one goes with the older VHF/UHF combo antenna models do they offer channels 2-51.
http://www.winegard.com/offair/vhf-antennas.php

Again, I disagree. If you want to limit your choice to Winegard (which is a fine antenna), then the YA-6260 ProStar will do the job for Lo-VHF. And is available not only from the supplier you initially linked to (SolidSignals), but also SummitSource, WinegardDirect, and several others.

- Tim
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post #283 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Quote:
What does that have to do with anything?
Try printing a page formatted that way. Unless you make other changes, the printout will look the same way. A page of black ink with some white text. I hope you have a large supply of black ink.

Yes, I'm aware of that, but it still doesn't answer my question. So what? I've been reading the Forum here for over 12 years, and the number of times I wanted to print anything was miniscule. So much so that I can't even remember the last time, though I suspect I have on rare occasion. My point was that your comment was completely irrelevant to anyone reading the topic. To imply that folks should switch to the bright mode for viewing, because it's easier to print, was disingenuous.

Quote:
I understand viewing at night, but I hope you have some other light on in the room. Even staring at a black screen with white text is not good for your eyes with no other light on.

Thank you for your concern. smile.gif (And yes, I always have a bias light. For TV viewing too!)

- Tim
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post #284 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 07:05 AM
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If I need to print something from a post, I generally highlight what I want to print, and then right-click and print "selection" at the printer dialog.

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #285 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 07:12 AM
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BTW, some folks do have ONLY UHF stations available to them now. No 2-13 at all. So I understand what you're talking about. That's a pretty convenient situation, since it makes it possible to have a much smaller antenna, and/or even high gain antennas that aren't nearly as big as what VHF requires.

Unfortunately, in my location, we have _7_ VHF stations within a 50-mile radius. eek.gif I watch or record 5 of them on a regular basis (along with about a dozen UHFs).

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post #286 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
My point was that your comment was completely irrelevant to anyone reading the topic. To imply that folks should switch to the bright mode for viewing, because it's easier to print, was disingenuous.
But, relevant to anyone that may have wanted to print out a long post or relevant page. I didn't have the problem, I just offered a solution and a secondary reason for the change.

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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post #287 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 08:28 AM
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I am one of the members of the group looking for decent and stable OTA DVR without a subscription. TIVO would be great, but I am philosophically opposed to paying a monthly fee for right to record free TV, no matter how many features it has (and don’t really need) I have been patiently waiting for a good replacement to my DTVPal which fried a couple of months ago (overheating related problem I suspect). I was not too disappointed as the unit crashed on an average every three hours or so. The problem is alternative models are scarce. I don’t want to mess around with recording to my laptop computer. Reviews of the Channel Master 7400 are very mixed, especially with the overheating issue which I already have experience with. TVIX 6620N Duo looked promising, now apparently its parent company is dropping it, therefore no future support. Then I discovered the forum discussion of the PHD-VRX. Based on the thorough reviews by many members (thank you very much), I think I am ready to pull the trigger on this one. Even with its short comings, it seems like it will be satisfy my needs, especially considering lower cost compared to others. I hope EPVision will continue to listen to user complaints/recommendations and address these shortcomings with future updates. I would rather invest in an up and coming unit that is a bit green but committed to improving, rather than a better developed unit (like TVIX) but is no longer supported (besides being more expensive). Of course there is no guarantee of quality updates from EPVision, so the question is: Will it satisfy my needs as is? I will consider updates to be a bonus.

I have a few of questions for those with more knowledge than me:
1. Can someone give me some recommendations for a good 1 or 2TB HDD for this unit? I read previous posts debating 2.5” vs. 3.5” and 5400 rpm vs. 7200 rpms HDD. I am a novice in this area and would appreciate some specific advice.
2. Is there any other hardware needed to hook up the internet connection? Is an Ethernet hard wire better than wireless?
3. I will only use OTA signal. With a splitter feeding my one antenna signal to both tuners, will I see just one schedule list or two? How will a splitter affect functionality?
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post #288 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 08:46 AM
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2. Is there any other hardware needed to hook up the internet connection? Is an Ethernet hard wire better than wireless?

See:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1414002/epvision-phd-vrx-owners-thread/100_50#post_22134955
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post #289 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

If I need to print something from a post, I generally highlight what I want to print, and then right-click and print "selection" at the printer dialog.

TY for that little tidbit. I never tried that, but it works like a charm. smile.gif
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post #290 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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shur0013;
First off, welcome to the forums,
1. Have you taken a close look at the 1st 10 posts? Especially #5 & 7? 5400 rpm drives are smaller, use less power & create less heat which are necessaries for mounting it internally. Externally it doesn't matter as much, if at all. Speed shouldn't be a issue, but 7200 rpm drives would be better suited for PC use especially if it will be an drive in an external enclosure.
2. Wired is always better than wireless since it is cheaper, less hassle other than the initial running of the cable, more secure and faster (depending on the interfaces),
3. Each tuner has it's own Guide no matter what signal is feed to them. A two way splitter will drop the signal by up to 4db dependent on frequency, but no function difference.

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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post #291 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shur0013 View Post

I am one of the members of the group looking for decent and stable OTA DVR without a subscription. TIVO would be great, but I am philosophically opposed to paying a monthly fee for right to record free TV, no matter how many features it has (and don’t really need) I have been patiently waiting for a good replacement to my DTVPal which fried a couple of months ago (overheating related problem I suspect). I was not too disappointed as the unit crashed on an average every three hours or so. The problem is alternative models are scarce. I don’t want to mess around with recording to my laptop computer. Reviews of the Channel Master 7400 are very mixed, especially with the overheating issue which I already have experience with. TVIX 6620N Duo looked promising, now apparently its parent company is dropping it, therefore no future support. Then I discovered the forum discussion of the PHD-VRX. Based on the thorough reviews by many members (thank you very much), I think I am ready to pull the trigger on this one. Even with its short comings, it seems like it will be satisfy my needs, especially considering lower cost compared to others. I hope EPVision will continue to listen to user complaints/recommendations and address these shortcomings with future updates. I would rather invest in an up and coming unit that is a bit green but committed to improving, rather than a better developed unit (like TVIX) but is no longer supported (besides being more expensive). Of course there is no guarantee of quality updates from EPVision, so the question is: Will it satisfy my needs as is? I will consider updates to be a bonus.
I have a few of questions for those with more knowledge than me:
1. Can someone give me some recommendations for a good 1 or 2TB HDD for this unit? I read previous posts debating 2.5” vs. 3.5” and 5400 rpm vs. 7200 rpms HDD. I am a novice in this area and would appreciate some specific advice.
2. Is there any other hardware needed to hook up the internet connection? Is an Ethernet hard wire better than wireless?
3. I will only use OTA signal. With a splitter feeding my one antenna signal to both tuners, will I see just one schedule list or two? How will a splitter affect functionality?


Depending on your location and ability to get decent OTA reception as well as if you have one of the good markets for TVGOS I would recommend you look into getting one of the CM 7000 units. I have two with one of them used over two years. The only problems I have encountered are when TVGOS went out and the very seldom occuring mentioned lockups before I turned off the update feature. If you will go read the http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1099071 you can pretty much learn everything you will need to make that unit function well. It has a very good EPG and a very good tuner as long as your location has TVGOS. That is a free service and will remain until it goes away, if ever. I believe you can still find some of the open box units available although they are not cheap. In my opinion that would be the best option at this point as long as you have the proper situation as mentioned above. Good luck.
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post #292 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 12:11 PM
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Brief NTSC analog audio comments with the PHD VRX


In the old NTSC analog days if a broadcaster was broadcasting on channel 7 then within 50 miles or so one would not see a TV station broadcasting on channel 6 or 8 to avoid interference from channel 7. That has totally changed in the digital world. The virtual digital channels can be deceiving, I checked the literal RF channels where I live and there is a total of 6 channels within the UHF TV spectrum that are right next to each other. Where I live none of the VHF channels are next to each other in terms of channel assignment but of course other bigger cities sometimes will have VHF digital channels right on top of each other with no interference issues.

I am now getting audio on the weak low power analog NTSC channel in my area. The problem appears to have been the TV station having technical problems. The signal is even weaker today but the snowy picture is visible with audio.


The main purpose of this post is to comment on the way the PHD-VRX should handle NTSC audio like MTS, SAP and Mono. I am guessing that the station I am receiving is mono audio only. The info button is not telling me the type of audio being received. Toggling the Mono, Stereo, and SAP button produces the same effect. The ideal box should only allow the toggling to Stereo or SAP when the station is broadcasting in MTS and SAP. Again all NTSC audio is converted to 2.0 PCM over HDMI and optical which is a good design.

I do not receive enough analog channels to give an accurate review on how the PHD-VRX box handles MTS and SAP signals (only one low power mono NTSC station and a cable system that is 100% digital QAM is preventing a more accurate review of the NTSC audio section). Hopefully consumers that have several NTSC channels on their cable system will be able to tell if a station is broadcasting Stereo and SAP. The PHD-VRX in theory should say the words Stereo when a consumer changes to a channel that is MTS encoded. Also the SAP feature should show up on the info screen when a SAP signal is present. If it turns out that for some reason there is no way to tell if the cable NTSC station is in encoded with MTS or SAP then a firmware update should be done to correct the issue.

The ideal tuner box should be able to tell the consumer if the channel is Mono, Stereo, and SAP encoded. Also when on a Mono station one should not be able to toggle the “AUDIO” button to Stereo and SAP if those signals are not present.
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post #293 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

Brief NTSC analog audio comments with the PHD VRX


In the old NTSC analog days if a broadcaster was broadcasting on channel 7 then within 50 miles or so one would not see a TV station broadcasting on channel 6 or 8 to avoid interference from channel 7. That has totally changed in the digital world. The virtual digital channels can be deceiving, I checked the literal RF channels where I live and there is a total of 6 channels within the UHF TV spectrum that are right next to each other. Where I live none of the VHF channels are next to each other in terms of channel assignment but of course other bigger cities sometimes will have VHF digital channels right on top of each other with no interference issues.

I am now getting audio on the weak low power analog NTSC channel in my area. The problem appears to have been the TV station having technical problems. The signal is even weaker today but the snowy picture is visible with audio.


The main purpose of this post is to comment on the way the PHD-VRX should handle NTSC audio like MTS, SAP and Mono. I am guessing that the station I am receiving is mono audio only. The info button is not telling me the type of audio being received. Toggling the Mono, Stereo, and SAP button produces the same effect. The ideal box should only allow the toggling to Stereo or SAP when the station is broadcasting in MTS and SAP. Again all NTSC audio is converted to 2.0 PCM over HDMI and optical which is a good design.

I do not receive enough analog channels to give an accurate review on how the PHD-VRX box handles MTS and SAP signals (only one low power mono NTSC station and a cable system that is 100% digital QAM is preventing a more accurate review of the NTSC audio section). Hopefully consumers that have several NTSC channels on their cable system will be able to tell if a station is broadcasting Stereo and SAP. The PHD-VRX in theory should say the words Stereo when a consumer changes to a channel that is MTS encoded. Also the SAP feature should show up on the info screen when a SAP signal is present. If it turns out that for some reason there is no way to tell if the cable NTSC station is in encoded with MTS or SAP then a firmware update should be done to correct the issue.

The ideal tuner box should be able to tell the consumer if the channel is Mono, Stereo, and SAP encoded. Also when on a Mono station one should not be able to toggle the “AUDIO” button to Stereo and SAP if those signals are not present.

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider THIS
normal on a two month old set..
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post #294 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmn1 View Post

Depending on your location and ability to get decent OTA reception as well as if you have one of the good markets for TVGOS I would recommend you look into getting one of the CM 7000 units. I have two with one of them used over two years. The only problems I have encountered are when TVGOS went out and the very seldom occuring mentioned lockups before I turned off the update feature. If you will go read the http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1099071 you can pretty much learn everything you will need to make that unit function well. It has a very good EPG and a very good tuner as long as your location has TVGOS. That is a free service and will remain until it goes away, if ever. I believe you can still find some of the open box units available although they are not cheap. In my opinion that would be the best option at this point as long as you have the proper situation as mentioned above. Good luck.

Thank you, tmn1, for your suggestion. However, I feel like “I’ve been there, done that.” As the CM-7000 is really the same unit as my old DTVPal, just rebranded, I am not interested in going in that direction again. My luck was not as good as yours. Like I said, reviews of the DTVPal/CM-7000 unit are mixed, as evidence of our two experiences. I did like many features, especially the TVGOS which worked well in my area. But I am not willing to risk it again given my experience with its instability and early demise. Thanks.
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post #295 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoGrabber View Post


You are still misinformed on this information. Channels 2-6 are not restricted to low-power analog stations. In fact, I have two such full-power digital stations (RF5, and RF6) available to me locally

 

Also, the few analog channels still around are not only restricted to lo-VHF. All ours here are UHF.

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post #296 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shur0013 View Post

Thank you, tmn1, for your suggestion. However, I feel like “I’ve been there, done that.” As the CM-7000 is really the same unit as my old DTVPal, just rebranded, I am not interested in going in that direction again. My luck was not as good as yours. Like I said, reviews of the DTVPal/CM-7000 unit are mixed, as evidence of our two experiences. I did like many features, especially the TVGOS which worked well in my area. But I am not willing to risk it again given my experience with its instability and early demise. Thanks.

There is no shared hardware or software between the 7000 and 7400. There are earlier posts willing to donate blood to get a working 7000.

Your choices for a DVR (OTA or cable) are pretty slim right now. I still use my Sony DHG units even though they have 30,000+ hours on them and, except for the TiVo, do the job very well. I'm cable, but no cable cards except for the TiVo.

That didn't come out right. The TiVo works fine, but it's not fee-free. I've have the BV-980H, TViX and tried the CM-7400. I have the Mag MDR515H also.

I'm still looking.
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post #297 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:40 PM
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There is no shared hardware or software between the 7000 and 7400. There are earlier posts willing to donate blood to get a working 7000.
Your choices for a DVR (OTA or cable) are pretty slim right now. I still use my Sony DHG units even though they have 30,000+ hours on them and, except for the TiVo, do the job very well. I'm cable, but no cable cards except for the TiVo.
That didn't come out right. The TiVo works fine, but it's not fee-free. I've have the BV-980H, TViX and tried the CM-7400. I have the Mag MDR515H also.
I'm still looking.

If you really want a CM 7000 there appear to be a few left here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Channel-Master-CM-7000PAL-DVR-Dual-Tuner-for-over-the-air-antenna-HDTV-Open-Box/140715145974?ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1&ih=004&category=11725&cmd=ViewItem This unit comes with a one year warranty though I wonder how they will replace one when these run out. I am hoping the VRX works out and I have one on order to play with but it does not seem like it is a done deal yet. After reading all the posts in this forum this unit needs a lot of work and refinement. I have yet to read anybodys review of the recording and playback from recording. It seems to me that after reading all the posts from both CM units as well as the DTV-PAL maybe the 7000 had a few inprovements over the DTV-PAL since I have not seen as many complaints. None of these units is perfect but if all you want is over the air and you live in a good TVGOS area I would buy a 7000 while the getting is good. It does have a very good picture and most of the problems can be worked around. Good luck.biggrin.gif
Tom
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post #298 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmn1 View Post

If you really want a CM 7000 there appear to be a few left here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Channel-Master-CM-7000PAL-DVR-Dual-Tuner-for-over-the-air-antenna-HDTV-Open-Box/140715145974?ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1&ih=004&category=11725&cmd=ViewItem This unit comes with a one year warranty though I wonder how they will replace one when these run out. I am hoping the VRX works out and I have one on order to play with but it does not seem like it is a done deal yet. After reading all the posts in this forum this unit needs a lot of work and refinement. I have yet to read anybodys review of the recording and playback from recording. It seems to me that after reading all the posts from both CM units as well as the DTV-PAL maybe the 7000 had a few inprovements over the DTV-PAL since I have not seen as many complaints. None of these units is perfect but if all you want is over the air and you live in a good TVGOS area I would buy a 7000 while the getting is good. It does have a very good picture and most of the problems can be worked around. Good luck.biggrin.gif
Tom

I hope your information helps others. I am cable only without PSIP data. That's why the CM7400 failed (IMO).

My cable feed works very hard to keep TVGOS running.
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post #299 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmn1 View Post

If you really want a CM 7000 there appear to be a few left here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Channel-Master-CM-7000PAL-DVR-Dual-Tuner-for-over-the-air-antenna-HDTV-Open-Box/140715145974?ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1&ih=004&category=11725&cmd=ViewItem This unit comes with a one year warranty though I wonder how they will replace one when these run out. I am hoping the VRX works out and I have one on order to play with but it does not seem like it is a done deal yet. After reading all the posts in this forum this unit needs a lot of work and refinement. I have yet to read anybodys review of the recording and playback from recording. It seems to me that after reading all the posts from both CM units as well as the DTV-PAL maybe the 7000 had a few inprovements over the DTV-PAL since I have not seen as many complaints. None of these units is perfect but if all you want is over the air and you live in a good TVGOS area I would buy a 7000 while the getting is good. It does have a very good picture and most of the problems can be worked around. Good luck.biggrin.gif
Tom

One of my bigger worries is buying a discontinued model. It's a trade-off: yes, the CM-7000 is a more known comodity with some good featues, but when it dies you are SOL. the VRX will have to go through some growing pains to improve (I hope), but at least there is a company behind it to support it in the future. I am gun-shy with the CM-7000 given my bad experience with the DTVPal. You are right, there is no perfect, or close to perfect answer for a subscription-free product. i am surprised given that i think there is a decent market for one.
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post #300 of 2291 Old 06-27-2012, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shur0013 
One of my bigger worries is buying a discontinued model.

Even if they're discontinued, machines like this rarely have anything more than a one-year warranty, and future firmware updates for the DTVPal/CM-7000 are just as unlikely as they are for the TViX (i.e. never going to happen). Since the final firmware revisions are relatively stable, that's not a major problem, even if all these devices have unfulfilled potential. Considering how long it took those DVRs to reach their current level of stability, you can probably expect a minimum of a year to pass before the problems videobruce and H1P have found get addressed, and you can also expect many of them to never get fixed, considering relatively simple things on the other DVRs also went unfixed through multiple firmware updates.

The main draw of the TViX is its capabilities as a media player, which most other DVRs lack. The VRX lets you offload recordings because the drive is external, but the TViX will let you transfer them over the network as well as USB, and it accepts inbound file transfers, too. The DTVPal and its successors have no networking capabilities, so you can only use those models for throw-away recordings, unlike a VCR, which also sufficed for archival purposes.

I would recommend buying a discontinued model that you know will meet your needs over buying a current one based on the hope that it will get an update that enables it to meet your needs in an uncertain future.
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