ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 13 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 2Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #361 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 07:53 AM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Gee, I get the impression that H1P may have something to say... biggrin.gif

- Tim

(is this the electronic equivalent of throat-clearing? wink.gif)

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #362 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked: 133
Quote:
Gee, I get the impression that H1P may have something to say.
I think he's upstaging me again. biggrin.gif

I hope everyone can read all of those without re-quoting. wink.gif

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.
videobruce is online now  
post #363 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked: 133
I selected a number of members who had the most participation in this thread to PM a e-mail I received from Allen Chung of ePVision. Due to the nature of the mail, I felt it best to do this "privately". The consensus was to make it public.

I also asked for those members who posted messages to C&P what they posted here so all could see at their option (not mine). The e-mail was related to the continuous problem of formatting two different hard drives from day one. Mounted or not, neither could be formatted. After numerous e-mails to Allen asking him to describe the exact procedure and exactly what drives and enclosures they used, I never received an answer until a month or so ago and that was not clear. Something about powering the DVR down, then powering it back up to format the drive. Of course, that made no sense what so ever, but that was all I got.

When I shipped the DVR & drive back, I left the drive as is, but packed it with bubble wrap between the drive and the case so it couldn't shift. I placed a note on the top of the case to remove the packaging and the issues (mostly the formatting). The drive made no noise what so ever and worked fine with no bad sectors according to the recommended easeUS PC program that I used (as stated).
BTW; Allen complimented me on the initial installation of the 2.5" enclosure & HDD.

As to "misleading others", that has already been explained and corrected in the associated posts that they obviously haven't read.
Lastly, there was no "disclosure agreement" or anything in writing between us. It was all verbal or text via e-mails.
Quote:
Bruce,
We have been running your unit for about a week using the old firmware you installed, we keep it as it.
First, we heard all kind of noise coming from your HDD. By further examining your HDD, we found you carelessly put some tapes stick HDD to bottom of PHD-VRX case. However, the tape doesn’t cover 100% the area of USB HDD enclosure bottom, and the tape doesn’t firmly secure USB HDD enclosure to PHD-VRX bottom case. So, the problem is when you start recording show about 1 or 2 hours, high spinning head, high speed motor and unbalanced ( not horizontally) internal disc inside HDD gradually cause mechanical failure.
So, the symptoms for this HDD are (1) something you heard very unpleasant noise from HDD, (2) something you heard loud spinning noise from HDD because disc is already unbalanced, (3) sometimes, PHD-VRX can’t detect such HDD when plugged, (4) sometimes, PHD-VRX is doing good job and finally detects your HDD, but during formatting, it says format failure because when format to certain sector on the disc, which is already damaged so badly.
We instantly replace three different our HDDs. They all doing excellent job on recording as well as formatting. No problem what so ever. The old firmware version you installed has to turn off and on for formatting each time. Even this version, unit can format our HDDs no problems at all.
Unit has been running for a week on and off. It is perfect ok! All the problem is from your HDD. This gives you a lesson, that installing internal HDD is not easy as you thought and always creating a potential problem. Even you think you know what you are doing but in the end you damaged your own HDD because your carelessness. And you blame our product?? In this point, we are very disappoint of you as a beta tester. Our engineers are even more disappointed of you.
However for your Toshiba HDD, you should be able to call them for RMA for replacing a new one for you.
To answer your three big notes on the top cover:
(1)    USB format utility is always working!!! “Format failed” is caused by you! If you don’t know how to securely mount HDD inside the unit, then don’t do it.
(2)    We can do “manual” recording. It is in the unit features. If you were beta testing, you should know already. You SHOULD NOT mislead others in the forum.
(3)    HDD is not spinning or intermittently spinning is again causing by you. Please learn how to mount HDD inside the unit securely before you do.
We will send back your HDD and the unit if you want it together on Monday. Again, our engineers are very upset now. You really creates many issues by yourself but not us.
Allen
ePVision.com

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.
videobruce is online now  
post #364 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:28 AM
Thread Ender
 
WS65711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Covington, LA OTA & Charter CableCard
Posts: 4,134
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

The EpVision PHD-VRX final review (at least I hope it is my final review) Part 3 of 3



Major firmware updates needed


1. The PHD-VRX cannot use the NTFS file system to record HD quality channels since the PHD-VRX limits the transfer speed to 6MB/s instead of 26MB/s. This is the most popular file system to use with a Windows PC and this issue should be fixed.
a. If for some reason the NTFS file system cannot be fully supported on the PHD-VRX then the exFAT file system would be a good alternative since all Microsoft operating systems from Windows XP thru Windows 7 supports exFAT file system.

2. Offer a native video option so the picture control settings can be disabled in the PHD-VRX. Satellite receivers and Cable boxes do not require picture adjustment menus.

3. Firmware update needed for the pause feature when AC3 is used: The PHD-VRX when playing back previous recorded TV programs will work fine with HDMI and optical when the audio is set to PCM (HDMI is variable PCM only and the optical is fixed PCM). The problem occurs when the optical output is set for “AC3” while watching a recording. When the pause button is pushed on the remote the picture will instantly pause but the problem is the audio will take another 5 seconds before it pauses. Then when one pushes the pause button again the picture will instantly start moving again but the audio will take around 5 seconds before it starts up again.

4. When the time shift feature is activated on the PHD-VRX and the consumer has the “AC3” option turned on for the optical output the audio will be completely lost in the live viewing mode but not in the time shift recordings. Consumers are forced to use HDMI which is only PCM or to change the optical audio option from “AC3” to “PCM” in order for the time shift feature to work properly. This needs to be fixed in a firmware update.

5. AC3 menu option when turned on messes up the quality and smooth scanning of the fast scan feature: Watching a previous recorded program on the PHD-VRX requires the use of the Media Player menu option. The problem I ran into with the PHD-VRX is its ability to fast forward up to 32 times speed is not working correctly when the “AC3” audio option is turned on in the menu. It did not matter if I was recording two 1080i programs at once or just plain old recording nothing. The previous recorded program feature had some major issues with scanning while the “AC3” option is turned on. I tested the feature on a 1080i recoding that was over 11 hours and 15 minutes long. Now the backward scanning appeared to work just fine most of the time with 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X and 32X scanning. The backward scan offers no audio scanning but it was so much more smoother and faster compared to the forward scanning when the “AC3” audio option was tuned on. Now the fast forward scanning was slower and most likely the reason is that it appears to pause and to try and capture the AC3 audio stream once and awhile when in 2X, 4X, 8X, 16X, and 32X speed. The 2X speed forward offered the best audio option with AC3 but the faster one goes with the scanning forward the audio is captured less, and the 32X speed offers no hearable audio. Also once and awhile the graphics menu would get messed up for the direction of the arrow for a few seconds when switching from forward to backward scan while the “AC3” option was turned on. Now if the consumer turns off the “AC3” option in the menu to “PCM” the scanning forward up to 32X speed is nice and smooth but with no audio at all while scanning forward. The rewind and fast forward feature was very fast way to jump through a program that is several hours long with brief screen freezes in that mode to give some an ideal where they are. Pushing the fast forward or rewind button briefly jumps the program 20 seconds forward or backward. This issue needs fixed with the “AC3” audio causing the fast scan forward to be choppy.

6. The time shift feature needs a firmware update: There should be an option in the menu to turn the time shift feature on 24 X 7 instead of having to manually activate it. On HD DVR satellite boxes and HD DVR cable boxes the time shift feature is automatically activated as soon as one flips to a new channel and runs 24 x 7. It would be ideal if the PHD-VRX would automatically have the option to do the same and have the time shift run 24 x 7 like other HD DVR’s do. At the very minimum the time shift feature if not running 24 x 7 should start running as soon as the consumer presses the pause button on the remote.


7. A 24fps and 60fps menu option would be ideal feature to have on the PHD-VRX. Those with older 1080P displays that do not support 24Hz would then be able to allow the PHD-VRX to do a 3:2 pulldown for native 1080p/24 VUDU programs (VUDU is planned in the future). Also it would be a nice feature to have the PHD-VRX be able to do a reverse 3:2 pulldown for film based programs and upconvert SD and HD film based programs to 1080p/24 instead of 1080p/60. Video based programs would be outputted at 1080p/60Hz. The current system information screen does not mention if the 1080P signal being output is 60HZ or 24HZ. That information added to the System information screen would be ideal.

8. An option in the channel data base menu could be created for customers to disable the second electronic program guide and second channel database for those consumers that only have one signal source (only cable TV or only ATSC broadcast, but not both). This would solve many of the complaints about having two program guides. If the signal source is exactly the same for digital channels then there does not need to be two electronic program guides and two channel databases. This would be an easy fix.

9. The dual signal source is where the consumer has one tuner setup for cable TV channels and one for ATSC broadcast channels. The dual signal source situation is when the programming would become more complicated. The cable TV QAM channels could be integrated with the ATSC broadcast channels by creating a channel database and electronic program guide that combines the two tuners. The ATSC channels would have one color in the electronic program guide while the QAM cable channels another color in the electronic program guide. Then the consumer could flip channels from both the cable system and ATSC antenna system without having to toggle back and forth between the two tuners.

10. Consumers that hit the power button on the remote by mistake while recording would like the following firmware update. There needs to be a firmware update that pops up with a message that says “You cannot place the PHD-VRX in standby mode while you are recording”. The PHD-VRX firmware needs to be changed so that the PHD-VRX properly shuts down the recording before entering the standby mode. This would greatly prevent the PHD-VRX from locking up and getting stuck in the booting mode.

11. The “Recorded Shows” menu feature is currently a useless feature that should be completely re-written by the EpVision programmers. When a user selects the “Recorded Shows” option it should only show the TV programs that are available for the USB hard drive that is currently connected and not a complete history of programs that exist on USB drives that are not even connected. Also the “Recorded Shows” menu feature should be interfaced in with the Video Media Player so that a button can be pressed to watch the TV program from the “Recorded Shows” menu option. Also when one deletes a TV program from the “Recorded Shows” menu it should delete the program from the USB hard drive and not just the history.

Minor firmware updates needed


1. Make tuner 1 and tuner 2 operate exactly the same way while channel surfing:Consumers will get confused if on one tuner they can type 65 on the remote to get to digital channel 65.1 and on the other tuner they need to type 65.1. A software update would be able to fix this issue. The problem is tuner number 2 software works different since typing in channel number 65 will cause the box to get locked in a scan mode and the only way to get it out of that mode is to push the channel up or down button.

2. The Digital Preference feature does not always work for some channels: When Spanish is selected under Digital Preferences the PHD-VRX on some channels that were broadcasting in 2.0 or 1.0 Spanish Dolby Digital automatically switched to Spanish. Also once and a awhile the PHD-VRX would have a glitch and not flip to the Spanish audio track even for channels it worked for a few minutes before while channel surfing. This feature needs to be improved for accuracy with a firmware update.

3. The ability to playback recorded programs that are Close Caption encoded would be ideal. There is no menu option in the PHD-VRX to turn on the Close Captioning feature when a recorded program is played back. So even if the Close Captioning data might be recorded in the MPEG-2 transport file system if there is no menu option to turn it on then that is bad for the consumers that want Close Captioning.

4. The ability to record up to 3 audio tracks at once would be nice for some people (being able to record all the audio tracks offered on that channel would be ideal). The current menu selection does not allow the toggling of the audio track options when playback a recording.

5. Consider offering a firmware update that would add support for 3TB hard drives.

6. There should be a firmware update that fixes these speed test issues. When a consumer tries to run a speed test while recording a TV program there should be a message that pops up on the screen that says something like “USB Speed test is not available, please stop your recordings first”. This will prevent recordings from being messed up. Also the speed test accuracy needs to be improved since running the program on a digital channel can mess up the results by 1-3MB/s.

7. Add program title with channel description information during channel changes: On Direct TV HD DVR’s and on Digital Cable boxes when one changes the channel they are able to see the channel number with program title and program description briefly appearing on the screen for a few seconds. Currently the PHD-VRX only shows the channel number data when flipping the channel. Adding the ability to see the program title and description along with the channel number would be a nice feature.

8. A software update to change the USB port labeling to match the back panel labeling would be a simple firmware fix. The problem with the “Select Device” menu selection screen is that the USB ports are labeled as “USB:usba” and “USB:usbb”. The big question is which USB port is number 1 and which is number 2 (On the back panel the ports are labeled as “USB1” and “USB2”).

9. To make things simple for the consumer the PHD-VRX should pop up with a message that says “This program is already being recorded” when the consumer hits the record button for a channel that they are already recording. Currently when hitting the record button the message box says “NOT AVAILABLE” if the channel is already being recorded.

10. The ability to view and schedule future recordings on other channels when using the electronic program guide should be possible when recording two programs at once but instead the PHD-VRX is unable retrieve that program data from other channels while recording. The recordings needs to be stopped in order for the electronic program guide to be fully functional again. Then for the tuner that does not have a recording occurring one can look at the program guide with program titles and descriptions.

11. A firmware update would be ideal to allow the favorite lists menus too be combined so one could have a favorite list that contained channels from both tuner 1 and tuner 2.

12. One feature that I do not like is that every time I power up the PHD-VRX out of standby it displays the following message “USB device was connected to TV. Do you want to open Media Player?”. That option box should only be designed to pop up when one plugs in a new USB drive and not when one power cycles the PHD-VRX out of the standby mode.

13. There needs to be a firmware update that would automatically power up the PHD-VRX 1 minute before the scheduled recording is suppose to start so that 35 seconds of the beginning of the program is not missed.

14. A firmware update should be issued to fix the file size information for recorded shows in the PHD-VRX media player. There have been many times the Media Player lists the incorrect size of a file when comparing the exact same file on a Windows PC. Also it would be nice to be able to rename the file name of the recordings on the PHD-VRX, currently one needs to plug the USB drive into a Windows PC in order to rename the file name.

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

normal on a two month old set..
WS65711 is offline  
post #365 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:30 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoeKustra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ashland, PA 17921
Posts: 6,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post


13. There needs to be a firmware update that would automatically power up the PHD-VRX 1 minute before the scheduled recording is suppose to start so that 35 seconds of the beginning of the program is not missed.

Nothing says "We don't use this product" more than 13.

Ok, maybe most of everything else does too. Great job.
JoeKustra is offline  
post #366 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:37 AM
Advanced Member
 
HDTV1080P24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamKat View Post

I am still finding that the is a notable difference between the sensitivities of the two tuners. This is especially noticeable with marginal channels. In my case it is a channel at the high end of the UHF band (Channel 51) Anyone else having a similar issue?

I have not tested the tuner sensitivity levels but you are most likely correct about one tuner being better than the other. To keep cost lower tuner 2 does not have a NTSC section. Tuner number 1 is most likely a more expensive tuner since it does NTSC/ATSC/QAM while tuner number 2 is only ATSC/QAM. Different model tuners are most likely going to have different sensitivity issues. Also you might want to briefly bypass the splitter and just switch the RF cable between tuners to make sure you do not have a bad splitter or cable. I am using tuner 1 for over the air ATSC channels and one low power NTSC channel. Tuner number 2 is being used for 100% QAM Verizon FIOS channels. If there was a more accurate signal meter that went between 1-100 it would make it more easer to test the quality of the tuners. A family member of mine has some old 1080i JVC D-VHS machines from 2004 that have a built in ATSC tuner that has a nice signal meter screen that goes between 1-100.
HDTV1080P24 is offline  
post #367 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:56 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoeKustra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ashland, PA 17921
Posts: 6,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

I have not tested the tuner sensitivity levels but you are most likely correct about one tuner being better than the other.
We could probably start a new thread on the ways to measure signal strength. Being old school, I prefer the SNR shown by my Sony TV. It shows 36-37 up to channel 128. It doesn't display analog but is dynamic and I can change channels within the diag screen. My cable modem shows the same numbers. The numeric display of 0 - 100 is like my Mag DVR, also dynamic. Since I am cable only it usually shows 92-96. Any display is good when you are trying to find a bad cable or splitter. Digital is much harder than analog since the screen display of a show isn't much help until you get blocking or pixelation.
JoeKustra is offline  
post #368 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 09:36 AM
Senior Member
 
morc258's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I selected a number of members who had the most participation in this thread to PM them a e-mail I received fro Allen Chung of ePVision. Due to the nature of the mail, I felt it best to do this "privately".
The consensus was to make it public. I also asked for those members who posted messages to C&P what they sent here so all could see at their option (not mine).

Per our correspondence earlier:

Bruce,
Sorry it took so long to reply, I've been busy.
I would like to read your reply to Allen. I feel that they are full of excuses and your method of installing the HDD internally, in no way contributed to the issues you were having. It is possible the HDD took a lick during shipping that made it prematurely fail, but the way it was secured inside the VRX was absolutely kosher in my opinion.
It is normal for people (ePVision) to get defensive about criticism, but they also need to be open minded and learn from their mistakes.
morc258
morc258 is offline  
post #369 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 11:15 AM
Member
 
tvoldtimer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I selected a number of members who had the most participation in this thread to PM them a e-mail I received fro Allen Chung of ePVision. Due to the nature of the mail, I felt it best to do this "privately".
The consensus was to make it public. I also asked for those members who posted messages to C&P what they sent here so all could see at their option (not mine).

(What follows is the copy of my PM to Bruce when he was asking for our impressions of the email from Allen)

Bruce,
Not having read your response as yet here are my first impressions. Since I don't know how you entered into this beta tester relationship, I don't know what their (ePVision) expectations were. Apparently they had enough confidence in your technical expertise to begin the relationship. It would be interesting to learn if there are other U.S. beta testers, or if you are it. I am the one who used the term "half baked" when evaluating their product, so far nothing I have seen has changed my mind.
As to the insulting tone of the email, my first impression was to chalk it up to the "Asian factor", but I think it goes deeper than that. My guess is this development team is in over their heads and the frustration level is rising by the minute. They apparently are following the forum updates and seeing daily how far short of a full deck of cards this product is. They are very likely getting pressure from the home office over the extended delay of the initial launch and expectations are to make it right ASAP, or else! My guess is that if significant progress isn't achieved soon, the company will fire the development team and scrap the product.
On a personal level, I know what it is like to pour your heart and soul into a project, only to be told your contribution is less than appreciated.
Bottom line, my recommendation would be to terminate your relationship with them, and state on the public forum your reasons for doing so. Then the rest of the VRX owners could chime in, positive or negative regarding the product as to recommend purchase of the product to future customers.
My overall impression of the insulting level of the email is first the inability to grasp the cultural differences and the rising level of frustration of being responsible for a product that is so far off target (at least to an American market). I think someone posting on the forum hit it right on the nose, the issue is lousy code, it looks like each area was written independently and the pieces just don't fit.
Personally, I like the box as a replacement for my other stand-alone HD tuner (Samsung DTB-H260F), the new tuners are far superior. That being said, the product should deliver on what it is advertised to be, a DVR/Media player. My belief is that it is an epic fail on the media player functionality as well.
My 2 cents Bruce, hope it helps.
TVOldtimer
tvoldtimer is offline  
post #370 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 02:48 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Aleron Ives's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,710
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Liked: 333
One has to wonder why ePVision asked for beta testers at all, since they clearly don't want to hear what you (or anyone else) have to say. If they aren't willing to listen to constructive criticism that would help them to improve their product and get more people interested in actually buying it, they might as well dispense with the pretense of asking for feedback.

If they don't want to listen to videobruce or the other people who have posted in this topic, they're free to continue shipping the unit as-is. The sales figures will vindicate our dissatisfaction, but they won't include our suggestions for how to fix what ails this poorly developed product. If ePVision wants to go it alone, they'll apparently be getting their wish. If they can't or won't use our feedback to improve the VRX, then they'll need a miracle to turn it into a capable DVR on their own.
Aleron Ives is offline  
post #371 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 05:40 PM
Senior Member
 
DB100's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I was looking at the remote and it has keys for V-MODE, SLEEP, and AUDIO. Now, how often does one use those keys? Never? And how often do you setup a recording or view a recording? Lots? So Setup & View a Recording are buried down in a menu while V-MODE, SLEEP, and AUDIO get their own key? Would someone please explain the logic of that to me.
DB100 is offline  
post #372 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 05:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JoeKustra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ashland, PA 17921
Posts: 6,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by DB100 View Post

I was looking at the remote and it has keys for V-MODE, SLEEP, and AUDIO. Now, how often does one use those keys? Never? And how often do you setup a recording or view a recording? Lots? So Setup & View a Recording are buried down in a menu while V-MODE, SLEEP, and AUDIO get their own key? Would someone please explain the logic of that to me.

There is so much to say. But my mother taught me that if you can't say something nice........

The Sleep button. Now that's amazing.
JoeKustra is offline  
post #373 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 06:53 PM
Member
 
tmn1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I selected a number of members who had the most participation in this thread to PM them a e-mail I received fro Allen Chung of ePVision. Due to the nature of the mail, I felt it best to do this "privately".
The consensus was to make it public. I also asked for those members who posted messages to C&P what they sent here so all could see at their option (not mine). The e-mail was related to the continuous problem of formatting two different hard drives from day one. Mounted or not, neither could be formatted. After numerous e-mails to Allen asking him to describe the exact procedure and exactly what drives and enclosures they used, I never received an answer until a month or so ago and that was not clear. Something about powering the DVR down, then powering it back up to format the drive. confused.gif
Of course, that made no sense what so ever, but that was all I got.
When I shipped the DVR & drive back, I left the drive as is, but packed it with bubble wrap between the drive and the case so it couldn't shift. I placed a note on the top of the case to remove the packaging and the issues (mostly the formatting). The drive made no noise what so ever and worked fine with no no none bad sectors according to the recommended easeUS PC program that I had little problem with (as stated).
BTW; Allen complimented me on the initial installation of the 2.5" enclosure & HDD.
As to "misleading others", that has already been explained and corrected in the associated posts that they obviously haven't read.
Lastly, there was no "disclosure agreement" or anything in writing between us. It was all verbal or text via e-mails.
Quote:

Bruce,

I have now read most of the PM messages and I concur with most. It is absurd that this product was sent out with no manual. All that being said I want to personally thank you for all your hard work and effort. I kind of wished I had waited to order until now since I would not have bought this unit had I known there was no manual forthcoming. There is certainly no way that I have the expertise to make this thing work without some manufacturing help, like a set of directions or where to find things and how to make the unit function correctly.

One thing I have learned in my life of doing business and even extending over to personal issues is that when someone has no obvious logical and reasonable answer for a problem they will likely respond by lashing out. As someone else mentioned it is very likely that a few heads are on the chopping block and this note was a note of frustration. Unfortunately I fear this product is destined to fail and that we have a fairly expensive TV tuner. EP has done themselves irreparable harm with this whole fiasco but fear not, you have made many friends and are universally held in high regard. Thank you again,

Tom biggrin.gif
tmn1 is offline  
post #374 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

The consensus was to make it public. I also asked for those members who posted messages to C&P what they sent here so all could see at their option (not mine).

(What follows is a copy of my PM to Bruce at 10:08am this morning, when he was asking for our impressions of the email from Allen. Thanks Muddlers, for stripping out all the formatting! Just boatloads of fun to re-do by hand.)

Bruce,

first off...
Quote:
I typed up a very lengthy reply, but I will have to modify it as it was "too emotional" per my close highly educated friend who read it.

I completely understand your position, and your reaction. However, I agree with your friend that an emotional response (while justifiable) will not be helpful.

Secondly, there aren't as many issues here in contention as I was thinking there were. The big one is the drive issues, and the other is your "misleading" folks about lack of Manual record capabilities. To get that one out of the way, just because it turned out that they had a buried functionality that does allow Manual recordings, does not excuse the fact that it is NOT AVAILABLE at a point where you would expect to find it (which is what you reported). Perhaps if they had an actual User Manual for their "product", which is expected of every other commercial product ever released, that might have been avoided. IMO, their "software engineers" simply have done a piss-poor job on the UI for this product. Clumsy, confusing, and difficult to use (when it works). Their claim that because you were a beta-tester you should have been clairvoyant is [baloney].

The main issue is the hard drive. To give them as much benefit of the doubt as possible, there is a chance that the drive suffered some impact damage when the unit was shipped to them. I.e., it was fine when you had it, but damaged when they got it. I didn't realize that when you shipped your PVX back to them that you left the HDD in place. So it's possible they may not be BS'ing you on that point.

Current drives are WAY more tolerant of shock than they used to be, withstanding many G's of impact while the heads are docked, yet I still would not recommend shipping one isolated by nothing more than double-sided sticky-tape, to a metal chassis. If the package was dropped from a height of several feet at any point by the carrier, or slid rapidly along a conveyor and came to an abrupt halt, it is entirely possible that the drive would not survive. I know because I've personally purchased 200+ HDDs (most in the last 5 years), and had to send a number of them back that did not survive their trip to me. And in every case, they were packed in such a way to survive better than in your configuration.

[TiVo, Dishnet, DirecTV, etc. do all ship their DVRs with drives already internally mounted, yet they have special damped 'suspension mounts', that can absorb a lot of shock.]

OTOH, other comments that Allen made make me wonder whether they whole thing is a crock, meant to shift the blame for their deficiencies on to you. For example "the problem is when you start recording show about 1 or 2 hours, high spinning head, high speed motor and unbalanced (not horizontally) internal disc inside HDD gradually cause mechanical failure." is complete nonsense. He has no clue what he is talking about, or the language barrier is preventing him from articulating it to you.

Then his "So, the symptoms for this HDD are (1) something you heard very unpleasant noise from HDD, (2) something you heard loud spinning noise from HDD because disc is already unbalanced..." is also bogus, because you never heard any noise of any kind at any time. It also makes no sense for him to claim that you did. Again, perhaps this is the language thing, and he really wasn't referring to you, but I can definitely see why you'd be insulted.

His going on about "we found you carelessly put some tapes stick HDD to bottom of PHD-VRX case. However, the tape doesn’t cover 100% the area of USB HDD enclosure bottom" is also ludicrous, for stable operation of the device, as you maintained during your testing period. Again, it just reads like he's trying to push the burden of responsibility on to you. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with securing it as you did, for normal use. And I have no clue what the frak he's talking about with "unbalanced (not horizontally) internal disc inside HDD". eek.gif Does he mean, like the "unbalanced disk" mounted internally in my TiVo-S3, that's been running continuously (24/7) for the past 5+ years? (approaching 50,000 hours)

[There's also the possibility (though I'd prefer to discount it), that they purposely damaged your HDD just to provide an explanation for the problems. That seems unlikely, but it's not impossible. I am sure though that when you get it back, it will sound just as bad as they've described. frown.gif]

A lot of his other claims are very hard to evaluate, since he pins the failure to format on the damaged drive. For example, it is possible that you could have one drive that didn't format due to bad-blocks, though unlikely to have two. That at least is easily checked... just run the WesternDigital drive test utility (which I do here on every incoming drive as part of acceptance testing), in WriteAllZeroes mode. That will catch write/read/and seek errors. On the bad drives I found, those problems could materialize anywhere from 10% of the way into the drive, to 98%! I.e., someone could buy a new drive (thus "perfect", right?) and then complain when it "went bad" 2 weeks, 2 months, or 9 months later. When in reality, it was defective the day they got it. They just did not realize it.

The biggest problem I have with his entire diatribe (and that's what it is) is that you have obviously spent a large amount of your own time, not only testing and providing feedback to them, but also in evaluating and writing up information on the product, which can only be helpful to them. And yet, he emphasizes not once, but twice, just how disappointed his 'engineers' are in you, and how upset they are? Considering how low their standards are for their own expertise, it seems they have extremely high ones for their beta testers. Where in there was any shred of gratitude for what you have contributed? I saw none whatsoever.

Honestly, it doesn't bode well for how I expect they will treat their end-users either. They owe you a lot more than they do an ordinary user, yet they have no hesitation in berating you, rather than trying to find an explanation for why their experiences differed from yours. That's what they should have focused on.

I could say more, but I think that's probably enough. wink.gif

(end PM)

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #375 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:37 PM
Newbie
 
GilesLevy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

I selected a number of members who had the most participation in this thread to PM them a e-mail I received fro Allen Chung of ePVision. Due to the nature of the mail, I felt it best to do this "privately".
The consensus was to make it public. I also asked for those members who posted messages to C&P what they sent here so all could see at their option (not mine).

Below are my two responses. (a) is from before Bruce posted the email and (b) is after (verbatim except for 2 fixed typos 'If' to 'It' and '.' to '?'). But first I wanted to add (not an original sentiment) that even though ePVision may not be grateful, I sure am - thanks for doing the early beta testing!

(a) Yes and I'm happy to offer feedback before you send off the reply. It's a shame: they should realize that purchases (like mine) were made after learning about it from you and others in the speculation thread.

(b) It seems like there are two issues:

1. Intellectually laziness: the first possibility (hard drive noise) is automatically assigned the blame and everything else is now a non issue to them.

2. They're incredibly rude.

If either 1 were not true or 2 were not true then their reply should have been something like:
"We were unable to recreate your problem as the hard drive you installed is not working properly. Were you able to recreate the problem with any other hard drives?"
GilesLevy is offline  
post #376 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 08:58 PM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DB100 View Post

I did some testing on this... This drive is formatted NTFS and the PHD played them, but in a start-stop fashion. Basically useless. I don't know why they even mention NTFS - recordings on a NTFS drive are unviewable. FORGET ABOUT NTFS!

Thanks, DB!

Quote:
I next copied some files over to the ext2 formatted drive. I copied a .ts file that I had left over from my HTPC-on-my-laptop days, and it played. I was really surprised when I copied over a .MKV file and that played as well. Alot of video players on my laptop have trouble with that file... So I was really surprised that the PHD played it.

The Broadcom chip in this unit is a good one, and should handle many formats well. However, that doesn't mean they might not have munged something up in their firmware. So your report was good to hear. The thing is that ePVision should explicitly list what formats their Media Player supports. Is that too much to ask? (Ideally, it should even list those it does not support, if for no reason other than to avoid numerous inquiries and potential disappointment due to customer expectations.)

Quote:
ALERT
I'm experiencing something that can't be coincidental. Ever since I hooked up the PHD, my breaker switch in my RV has tripped twice now, shutting off power to that circuit. I took a few devices off that circuit and plugged them into another circuit thinking that would correct it. But when I got up this morning the breaker switch was tripped again.

Thanks for the heads-up on that. You potentially have a unit with a defective power-supply. I'd be very cautious, since that could be an extremely serious problem. I'd consider getting it exchanged if that persists, since the unit should not pull more than 0.25 A. I'd suggest putting the DVR on a different circuit, if possible, and note whether it trips that breaker as well. The thing is that the device's internal fuse should blow long before it trips your house breaker.

[It does look like there might be a fuse (F1) on the power-supply PCB, but the picture I have isn't high-rez enough to be certain.]

255

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #377 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 09:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamKat View Post

I am still finding that the is a notable difference between the sensitivities of the two tuners. This is especially noticeable with marginal channels. In my case it is a channel at the high end of the UHF band (Channel 51) Anyone else having a similar issue?

I'd be interested in hearing comments from others on this as well. I have an RF51 here, and would be dependent on having good sensitivity on both tuners... not just one of them. Theoretically (barring defects) they should both be the same (or very nearly so).

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #378 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 10:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamKat 
I am still finding that the is a notable difference between the sensitivities of the two tuners. This is especially noticeable with marginal channels. In my case it is a channel at the high end of the UHF band (Channel 51).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

I have not tested the tuner sensitivity levels but you are most likely correct about one tuner being better than the other. To keep cost lower tuner 2 does not have a NTSC section. Tuner number 1 is most likely a more expensive tuner since it does NTSC/ATSC/QAM while tuner number 2 is only ATSC/QAM. Different model tuners are most likely going to have different sensitivity issues.

Nope. Both tuners are literally identical. See Bruce's closeup shots on Page 1. Even their S/Ns are close enough to confirm they came from the same production batch. While it's possible that the additional circuitry (post tuner) that allows T1 to handle NTSC as well might degrade it's sensitivity, I can't see how it could possibly improve it.


557x700px-LL-df0f1fa4_Nutunetuners.jpeg

Quote:
Also you might want to briefly bypass the splitter and just switch the RF cable between tuners to make sure you do not have a bad splitter or cable.

That is a good suggestion.

Quote:
If there was a more accurate signal meter that went between 1-100 it would make it more easer to test the quality of the tuners.

Yes, and no. Having such a meter would allow you to accurately gauge the numeric level, however that numeric readout may not be on the same scale on both tuners (since it would be derived from independent tuners). I think RamKat's original post tells the story. I.e, his actual visible reception quality differs significantly, "especially noticeable with marginal channels". You don't need a meter or to quantify that to confirm that there is a qualitative difference.

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #379 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 10:39 PM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

One has to wonder why ePVision asked for beta testers at all, since they clearly don't want to hear what you (or anyone else) have to say. If they aren't willing to listen to constructive criticism that would help them to improve their product and get more people interested in actually buying it, they might as well dispense with the pretense of asking for feedback.

I agree completely. IMO, their response to Bruce revealed a serious attitude problem. First and foremost, their main priority should have been to respond to his concerns, and find an explanation for why his experiences differed from theirs. Instead, they preferred to cast the blame on him, and dismiss his concerns completely. This is an extremely poor "problem solving" approach. I.e., they will never solve any problems this way. Imagine the frustration of a product owner, who can't even get the manufacturer to admit to an obvious problem, much less work on a solution!

The thing is that ePVision was lucky to have someone of Bruce's calibre and experience willing to spend his time working with them. His input is extremely valuable, and should be treated as such, with some respect. Yet he got none. The group here of technically knowledgeable users offering their suggestions and criticisms is also a very valuable resource for ePVision, though it sounds as if they are unaware of that fact. They can either listen closely to our input, and respond positively as quickly as they can manage to implement those that are feasible, or leave things as they are, and suffer from poor reviews, unsatisfied customers, and numerous product returns.

How they react to our feedback will make the difference between a good product, a great product, or a minimal product that barely manages to do enough things properly that a small handful of folks with no other options still find it worthwhile, in spite of its deficiencies.

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #380 of 2316 Old 07-02-2012, 10:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DB100 View Post

I was looking at the remote and it has keys for V-MODE, SLEEP, and AUDIO. Now, how often does one use those keys? Never? And how often do you setup a recording or view a recording? Lots? So Setup & View a Recording are buried down in a menu while V-MODE, SLEEP, and AUDIO get their own key? Would someone please explain the logic of that to me.

Ah, OK. "Ya see, we got this really great deal on overstock remotes from the XYZ product, and we can just re-use those on our new VRX product."

There are many opportunities on DVR remotes to customize the keyset to maximize the usability of the unique functionality. It looks like ePVision failed to take advantage of any of those, and just went with some existing remotes they could get for a good price. If that's NOT the case, then Wow did they screw up on this design!

Aka, your points on bringing purpose-critical functions buried deeply in the menu tree to dedicated buttons are excellent. One button to get to the Guide: Got that. One to set up Manual recordings: Nope. One to check your Scheduled Recording list: Nope. One to watch your recordings: Nope. frown.gif [and BTW, I do NOT want to have to leave my Recording List and go to the Media Player to be able to watch my shows. That's nuts. From that screen, Play needs to be an option, along with Delete, etc.]

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #381 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 01:10 AM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

The EpVision PHD-VRX final review (at least I hope it is my final review) Part 1 of 3...

Ho-Lee-Crap! That's one magnum-opus my friend! I had to clip and save it to a text file to read it, but the 3 parts weighed in at ~64 kB, and 10 pages or so when printed. Amazing dedication.

Quote:
I could create a third party user’s manual...

I have NO doubt about that whatsoever! smile.gif

Quote:
On tuner 2 if there is a virtual digital station on 65.1 one has to type 65.1 on the remote in order for the PHD-VRX to tune directly to that station. Consumers will get confused if on one tuner they can type 65 to get to 65.1 and on the other tuner they need to type 65.1. A software update would be able to fix this issue.

Agreed. That should be relatively trivial for them to fix. But compared to the many other issues, I'd consider its Priority=Low. (Users can just enter 65.1 all the time, and get the same results on both tuners.)

Quote:
Currently the PHD-VRX only shows the channel number data when flipping the channel. Adding the ability to see the program title and description along with the channel number would be a nice feature.

Yes, that would be a nice enhancement, some day. The only problem I see is that there are so many critical issues they need to fix that for us to start listing "nice to haves" may not be very productive at this stage. I wouldn't even tag that as Priority=Low. Rather a "Future enhancement". They need to focus on fixing things, and making the UX a smooth one. You're asking for icing on the cake, when the cake hasn't even been fully baked yet.

Quote:
The PHD-VRX does not offer a high speed e-SATA III interface which is capable of transfer speeds of up to 6Gbps. Also the PHD-VRX lacks a USB 3.0 interface that is capable of transfer speeds up to 5Gbps.

So what? And, who cares? I have expensive computers that don't support any eSata, much less eSata III. And who needs 5Gb USB3 bandwidth on their DVR drives? You do realize that the absolute maximum bandwidth these drives will ever experience would be 58 Mb/sec, while recording 2 full ATSC channels, and playing back a 3rd. With multicasting, I'm not sure you'll ever even find a full ATSC carrier allocated to one channel. If you do, then congrats, because you are very lucky to be in a select minority. The most I ever see here is ~15 Mb/sec. 3 of those would be 45 Mb/s. What possible value would 5,000 Mb/s have for any of us on the DVR side? None whatsoever.

Quote:
Most HD DVR cable boxes and HD DVR satellite boxes will offer a high speed e-SATA jack for consumers to plug in a hard drive using the e-SATA interface.

Is this true now? I have 4 HD-DVR boxes, though none of them are cable/satellite, and none of them have eSata. When I did have 2 different HD-DVR cable boxes (from Charter) neither of them supported any eSata. Still, irrelevant.

Quote:
So instead of the PHD-VRX using a e-SATA interface it has two slower USB 2.0 interfaces. The USB 2.0 interface has a maximum speed of 480Mbps (0.48Gps).

Good. That's way more than adequate.

Quote:
Even the old e-SATA 1 interface is over 3 times faster compared to USB 2.0. The latest eSATAp interface is a powered interface that allows consumers to plug in a hard drive without any external power needed.

It's starting to sound to me as if you'd like ePVision to start over, with a new product. frown.gif

Quote:
The one positive feature regarding the USB interface is that it is hot swappable. e-SATA devices are much faster but they are not hot swappable.

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Shirley you can't be suggesting wink.gif that a non-swappable external media approach would be acceptable on such a consumer product?

Quote:
So consumers can plug in their flash drives and hard drives that contain USB interfaces without the need to power down the USB drive and the PHD-VRX.

Yay! That's the only reasonable approach, AFAIC.

Quote:
I would have still preferred to also have both a USB and e-SATA interface. e-SATA would have been ideal for a 2TB hard drive for long term recordings.

Ideal how? Having dual interfaces on the DVR would benefit you in absolutely NO WAY. The only place that the extra eSata speed would be of any benefit is when you disconnect the drive from the DVR, and take it over to your PC. THEN it would be able to extract the data much more quickly than via USB2. Solution: buy a dual-port drive enclosure, that has both USB and eSata interfaces on it. "Problem" solved.

Quote:
The fastest USB flash drives on the market with read and write speeds of 35Mbps or higher can be used on the PHD-VRX. The problem is high-end flash drives do not have the storage capacity of hard drives and also they are higher in cost.

True, but again, so what? Do you overclock your quad-core CPU to 4 GHz to run a word-processor? rolleyes.gif IMO, the use for such memory sticks is to be able to conveniently plug them in and play back music or videos from your computer. NOT as a recording device. (Though even there they could be handy to quickly grab a snippet.)

Quote:
Also extremely fast solid state drives with a USB interface in theory will also work with the PHD-VRX but again like flash drives they lack the storage capacity of hard drives and they are much more expensive.

So since you apparently feel the need for extreme speed, get a small and cheap high-performance SSD drive. Even 60G would be adequate. Connect it to the DVR, and record over 10 hours of content. That should be enough for one day. Then take it to your PC, connect via eSata-III, and suck the data off the SSD at 500 MB/s. You can empty the drive in ~2 minutes (though that speed will be reduced by the device you're transferring to, like your legen- (wait for it) -dairy 200MB/s Seagate). That will take a whopping 5 minutes to transfer to. Then wipe the SSD and return it to the DVR for the next day.

Quote:
3TB hard drives will not work correctly with the PHD-VRX under the current firmware

That's good to know, but since they already documented that, I'm a bit concerned that including such commentary may side-track real issues. If we give them too much to read, they may just toss all of it and ignore it. To have the best chance to get core issues corrected, IMO we need to focus on those issues.

Quote:
I decided to use a Seagate SV35 series hard drive. The 2TB model is the ST2000VX000 which has a SATA III 6Gbps interface with a maximum sustained data rate of 210MB/s and an average data rate of 156MB/s. (lots and LOTS more deleted)

I fail to see how any of this has any place in a review of the VRX. Sorry. It's completely tangential. Especially so if we're hoping that ePVision will read our comments, and make use of them.

Quote:
Test results of the 2TB hard drive connected to both a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 interface

Even more interesting and possibly useful information on HDD performance, completely out of place in the context of a product review.

Quote:
When I placed the SV35 series hard drive inside my USB 2.0 hard drive enclosure and plugged it into the USB 3.0 hub, the speed jumped to an average of 31.35 MB/Sec write and 35.83 MB/Sec read.

This is pretty typical. I use mostly green drives, on several PCs, and I get 30-35 MB/s on USB2 on all of them. Vs. 90-100MB/s over eSata (II) on the same drives. Yes, USB2 is slower. And yet, even running at ~25 MB/s on the VRX as reported here previously, that's WAY more than you'll ever need to run 3 ATSC-HD streams. (Now Blu-ray is something else, but so far we're not talking about that.)

Quote:
Speed results when connected to the PHD-VRX:

Yay! I started to forget that's what this review was about. smile.gif

Quote:
The PHD-VRX USB speed test program has issues. For one thing the “USB Speed Check” program has a problem of not giving accurate results when one is on a digital channel.

Thanks for the useful info and suggestions. IMHO, that utility is not a core function of a DVR. In fact, if they removed it completely, I'd never miss it.

Quote:
...another issue is that the PHD-VRX for some reason allows one to run a speed test while one or more recordings is going on at the same time... the recordings on the hard drive will have digital artifacts until the speed test is finished. There should be a firmware update that fixes these speed test issues. When a consumer tries to run a speed test while recording a TV program there should be a message that pops up on the screen that says something like “USB Speed test is not available, please stop your recordings first”.

Agreed. Though I'd rate the priority of these rather low, because to "fix" them all you have to do is refrain from doing 'the bad thing'. "Doctor, my arm hurts when I move it like this. So..." biggrin.gif I'd much rather see them nuke this, and fix the other stuff.

Quote:
So the PHD-VRX USB ports appear to be limited to a maximum of 26MB/s.

Yep. Not bad at all.

Quote:
When it came to the NTFS file system I was in shock that I could only get 6MB/s maximum which would only be ok for recording one SD channel.

a) I'd be shocked too, if that hadn't already been reported here several weeks ago. wink.gif
b) 6 MB/s (not 6 Mb/s) should be perfectly fine for recording one HD channel.

Quote:
There is a major problem with the way the PHD-VRX handles the NTFS file system.

Yes, they use a really sh!tty NTFS driver they got for free in a back alley. smile.gif

Quote:
I had massive digital artifacts trying to record one or two HD channels using the NTFS file system.

Bruce reported being able to record one HD channel on an NTFS drive successfully. I'm not sure why you had different results. As I said, if you're not doing simultaneous Play while Recording, the 48 Mb/s speed limit under NTFS should not inhibit <19 Mb/s streams from being recorded. However, they may have some additional overhead elsewhere in the chain that slows things down even more (like the time they take to strip stuff out of the transport stream, and convert to a program stream).

Quote:
This NTFS file system quality issue is a clear flaw that needs to be fixed with a firmware update.

Yes, IF they keep it, they should fix it. The other option is to just nuke it. Getting other things working is a far higher priority (IMO) than suppporting NTFS, when as you pointed out, there are numerous other formats that work just fine. I'm not saying that I wouldn't like to have NTFS. I'd rather have it (working) than ext2. But lacking that, a working ext2 is good enough to do the job.

Quote:
The PHD-VRX has a USB Disk Format utility program. This USB Disk format utility will not work with hard drives that are unformatted. So the consumer needs to format the USB flash drive or USB hard drive with either FAT16,FAT32, NTFS,ext2 or the ext3 file system before plugging the drive into the PHD-VRX. I found the “USB Disk Format” utility to work very good for hard drives that already were formatted with FAT16,FAT32, NTFS, ext2, or the ext3 file system.

Aha! Excellent. That may explain why Bruce was unable to Format, yet Allen claimed they had no problems at all.

Quote:
With Digital cable boxes and satellite systems that allow an external e-SATA hard drive to be connected, those recordings are all encrypted. ...one time the Motorola digital cable box broke and had to be exchanged. All the programs that were recorded on the 2TB hard drive had an encrypted key that only the old digital cable box could read. As soon as the 2TB hard drive with all the programs recorded on it was plugged into the exchanged Motorola digital cable box all the programs were erased...

Yes, Bife's a Litch in the cable world. biggrin.gif

Quote:
The PHD-VRX does not encrypt the recordings onto the 2TB hard drive at all. Also the MPEG-2 video and audio are bit for bit the same quality as the master ATSC broadcast and master QAM signal...

I hope that is true about the stream contents, because they do muck with the PS wrappers.

Quote:
I do wish the PHD-VRX would have had an IEEE-1394 interface to make a bit for bit recording to a D-VHS or future standalone Blu-ray recorder but it does not.

Wow, your wish-list is almost as long as your reviews. smile.gif You left out the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Quote:
With PowerDVD Ultra 12 or other free 3rd party software one is able to watch programs in true 1080i quality on their HD computer monitor.

But not VLC, for some reason. frown.gif Thanks for adding PDVD 12 to the list that it does work with. (I'm not overly concerned that it doesn't work specifically with VLC. It's just that VLC is pretty compliant, which means they are doing something that is not. And I don't know what that is.)

Quote:
The current firmware makes it difficult to connect an external hard drive to a Windows PC

Ext2 file system works the best on the PHD-VRX. So consumers if they want to make backup copies of their recordings onto the PC hard drive or computer Blu-ray drive will need to install special Windows software and or drivers that will read the Ex2 and/or Ex3 file system.

Yep.


I'm wiped out! tongue.gif That's all I have the energy to respond to, and I suspect, more than most folks here are willing to wade through. smile.gif I will have to defer Parts 2 and 3 until tomorrow. I got carried away on this one, and will likely (hopefully) dial it back on the rest.

Thanks again for your time and effort. You obviously put a lot into it. My only constructive criticism would be that if we want to get the ear (eye?) of ePVision, it may be useful to focus on concise descriptions of what we find problematic, and label them with a Seriousness/Priority index (High, Medium, Low). Otherwise, if what they perceive is a mountain of unattainable requests for extra features, they may just get discouraged and give up. There's plenty to discuss in the Priority=High category, without spending a lot of time on Pirority=Low. We can get to those later, IF the product survives that long. If they don't address Priority=High, it simply will not. And all the rest will be moot.

I know that if I were Product Manager on a device in this condition, that's the strategy I would employ. They obviously have limited resources, and if we want them to succeed, we have to help them by focusing on critical issues, and getting them resolved.

My congrats to anyone who made it this far. cool.gif You deserve a medal.

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #382 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 03:09 AM
Advanced Member
 
HDTV1080P24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 27
I did not know that both tuners in the PHD-VRX are exactly the same? If that is true EpVision should not have limited tuner number two to only have ATSC/QAM. If both tuners are really exactly the same then a firmware update would be able to add NTSC capability to tuner 2 in theory. Some consumers have NTSC cable channels and NTSC low power broadcast channels and would like both tuners to tune NTSC.

If both tuners were really exactly the same model (NTSC/ATSC/QAM) then it would make it much easier for a programmer to offer a mode that would allow both tuners to share the exact same channel map and electronic program guide for single TV sources.

Yes all the modern day cable and satellite HD DVR’s have e-SATA hard drive interfaces. Even the old Direct TV HR-21 HD-DVR’s all have e-SATA jack. Plus the new Motorola 7,000 series boxes are being offered with an e-SATA jack. Some boxes even have two e-SATA jacks. Even the new Channel Master CM7400 offers one e-SATA and one USB 2.0. My point is on future EpVision models in the years to come I hope they offer one e-SATA jack like the competition does.

I realize that the 2TB SATA III hard drive I am using inside a USB 3.0 case might be over kill for the PHD-VRX, but I clearly mentioned in the review that when I connected the drive to my PC I was getting 144.23 MB/SEC average write speeds and 140.63MB/Sec average read speeds which is ideal for someone that wants to transfer large HD files back and forth between a PC with USB 3.0. Also in the review I clearly mentioned that EpVision documention says the maximum USB drive size is 2TB. I decided to try 3TB anyways and found out that it does not work. So I was passing that information onto other consumers.

My review of the PHD-VRX as a HD-DVR was for consumers to read. When I have sent my emails to EpVision directly I clearly only mention what I feel is the major and minor issues with the product. In the beginning my two top priorities when I started posting has always been the video and audio quality problems with the product. That’s the first thing that should be fixed and then they can work on getting the HD DVR features working. Some consumers are buying this for the tuner only and later on plan on using it for recording. Getting the video and audio problems fixed first should be the highest priority then tackle the recording problems.
HDTV1080P24 is offline  
post #383 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked: 133
Quote:
yet I still would not recommend shipping one isolated by nothing more than double-sided sticky-tape, to a metal chassis. If the package was dropped from a height of several feet at any point by the carrier, or slid rapidly along a conveyor and came to an abrupt halt, it is entirely possible that the drive would not survive.
I understand that it could of been damaged in shipping though I content it really shouldn't of been unless it was really rough handled.
Let me ask this. The case was supported by cardboard 'end' within the retail box, then placed in a shipping box. The case and drive were 'floating' with space around it. A hard 'hit' should of been absorbed by the 'filler' pieces at each end of the case, shouldn't it (within reason?

I'm not trying to skirt the blame as they seem to be, but just to understand how is that different than a Laptop being shipped with a HDD installed? I admit it probably would of been better if the drive was removed, but until I actually see it, assuming I will, I won't know for sure since we can't trust anything that is said from them anymore.

Considering this was a 'Laptop HDD, one would think it would have a better chance of surviving shipping. wink.gif
Quote:
"the problem is when you start recording show about 1 or 2 hours, high spinning head, high speed motor and unbalanced (not horizontally) internal disc inside HDD gradually cause mechanical failure."
I couldn't figure that out either along with half of what he has replied.. confused.gif

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.
videobruce is online now  
post #384 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:08 AM
Senior Member
 
DB100's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
One worry I have is that if they decide to listen to some of the comments here and make changes to the interface, they DON'T DROP THE POSITIVE THINGS!

Here's a few of the things I really like:

The Favorites utility is really nice. In another post I described how it works. But there's something else. You can go into the Menu/Master List and EDIT THE NAME OF EACH CHANNEL! That's wonderful. My TVIX device shows channel 3 as "3". Other devices use the call sign, so 3 is "3 WLOS". Well, WLOS means nothing to me. I want to see "3 ABC", that means something to me. So I can go into the Master List and edit it so it appears exactly how I want it to appear. When you combine this edit ability with the Favorites listing, you have the perfect way to find the channel you want to view. PLEASE DON'T CHANGE THIS!

I also like the Status checkbox for pending recordings. On my PalDVR, if you want to skip a recording you have to delete it and reenter it after it airs. I always wondered why there wasn't a Status or Active checkbox. Now there is.

So, they have at least one clever person on their staff.
DB100 is offline  
post #385 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:20 AM
Thread Ender
 
WS65711's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Covington, LA OTA & Charter CableCard
Posts: 4,134
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked: 63
What follows are comments that I had posted in the PM concerning the PHD-VRX . . .

Comment 1:

Sure, I'll have a look. Personally, as you know, I've already bit the bullet and gone with the TiVo's. But I still have interest in seeing other options available to consumers. Some of the comments I've seen posted by early users of the PHD-VRX contain issues that I don't believe are easily fixable by firmware. Even the time-loss at power-loss, and trying to recover the time when power comes back probably involves more than just a firmware fix. And the audio problems (I know, you're VideoBruce not AudioBruce) where the optical output audio stops and takes 5-sec to recover, and such.... those are likely major issues.

I don't know what Allen told you, but I can imagine it was something like "It is what it is, like it or leave it" rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif

Comment 2:

The post linked to below by "Brian A" (longtime AVS member who apparently doesn't post much) is the other one I refered to that mentions some rather serious issues with the audio . . .

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1414002/epvision-phd-vrx-owners-thread/300#post_22178090

Don't ever make the MISTAKE of buying a Samsung TV..
They consider
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

normal on a two month old set..
WS65711 is offline  
post #386 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:23 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoeKustra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ashland, PA 17921
Posts: 6,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

Even the new Channel Master CM7400 offers one e-SATA and one USB 2.0. My point is on future EpVision models in the years to come I hope they offer one e-SATA jack like the competition does.

It might be different now, but the eSATA connector on the back of the CM7400 was "for future use" when I had it.
JoeKustra is offline  
post #387 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:25 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked: 133
Quote:
Nothing says "We don't use this product" more than 13.
Ok, maybe most of everything else does too.
His six posts and my 37 "issues" all say the same thing.

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.
videobruce is online now  
post #388 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:34 AM
AVS Special Member
 
VideoGrabber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 2,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

I did not know that both tuners in the PHD-VRX are exactly the same? If that is true EpVision should not have limited tuner number two to only have ATSC/QAM. If both tuners are really exactly the same then a firmware update would be able to add NTSC capability to tuner 2 in theory.

Possibly, though it may not be that simple. I haven't read the engineering PDF on the NuTune tuners (it looks like the ones in the VRX are already obsolete... at least they're no longer on the website). But I believe there is another component that comes after the tuner (a demodulator chip), which determines what you can pick up. I.e, the actual tuners only do part of the job, and generate an IF output (up to 5 MHz) that is usually controlled by an I2C command sent from the MCU.

They're not a full tuner in the sense that you or I would think of one. And that is where the 2 channels on the VRX would differentiate themselves. (However, they are the front-end, and control what the sensitivity, image rejection, and other RF factors in performance are.) The differential IF output still needs to be demodulated. With one chain having an NTSC demod, and the other lacking it. But I could be mistaken, since that's not my area of expertise.

Quote:
Even the new Channel Master CM7400 offers one e-SATA and one USB 2.0.

Thanks, I did not know that eSata was enabled on the CM7400.

Quote:
My point is on future EpVision models in the years to come I hope they offer one e-SATA jack like the competition does.

Well, that's not what you said, but it's a fine sentiment. However, I stand by my comments that there is no performance advantage to be gained by doing so, yet there will certainly be a cost penalty.

Quote:
I realize that the 2TB SATA III hard drive I am using inside a USB 3.0 case might be over kill for the PHD-VRX, but I clearly mentioned in the review that when I connected the drive to my PC I was getting 144.23 MB/SEC average write speeds and 140.63MB/Sec average read speeds which is ideal for someone that wants to transfer large HD files back and forth between a PC with USB 3.0.

Are you sure it was 144.23 MB/s, and not 144.232 MB/s? wink.gif More to the point, why bother (repeatedly) citing meaningless digits of precision? Wouldn't "~140 MB/s" serve as well? If you're going to spec things like that, I'm going to start asking what your sample size was, and standard deviations. biggrin.gif

But you already made my point for me. If you have a USB3 enclosure, it is already compatible with USB2. From your own tests, best case average throughput of that high-perf drive is 156 MB/s over eSata. And over USB3, you're getting 140 MB/s. So even though the PVX has no eSata ports, when your USB3 enclosure is connected to the PVX at no time does it impose any penalties, or slow anything down. Then when you take that box and connect to your PC, you're getting 90% of the throughput you might have gotten via eSata. You're quibbling over nits.

And there's no way I would consider trading off hot-swapping of USB on the DVR for a 10% speed gain pulling data off on the PC side. That makes no sense at all. YMMV.

Quote:
My review of the PHD-VRX as a HD-DVR was for consumers to read. When I have sent my emails to EpVision directly I clearly only mention what I feel is the major and minor issues with the product.

That's really great. And as long as they are received that way, I have no problem. They are totally fine (and much appreciated), in that context. It's just that we have been told that ePVision is reading our Forum discussions, and I was concerned that they might be interpreting them somewhat differently. To our detriment.

Quote:
Some consumers are buying this for the tuner only and later on plan on using it for recording. Getting the video and audio problems fixed first should be the highest priority then tackle the recording problems.

I don't want to argue the point with you, since I have no way to prove it either way. But I suspect that most folks are NOT buying it as a Tuner, but rather as a Recorder. It is being billed as a DVR after all. Especially since w/o the Recorder part, your dual-tuner is really only a single-tuner at a time (you can only watch one).

- Tim
VideoGrabber is offline  
post #389 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 15,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked: 133
VideoGrabber;
Quote:
Both tuners are literally identical. See Bruce's closeup shots on Page 1. Even their S/Ns are close enough to confirm they came from the same production batch. While it's possible that the additional circuitry (post tuner) that allows T1 to handle NTSC as well might degrade it's sensitivity, I can't see how it could possibly improve it.
You forgot to take into account there are two of the identical item. Mass produced consumer electronics will not and can not be 100$ identical when it comes to specs and performance.
To sum it up; the reception difference between the tuners is probably manufacture tolerances. wink.gif

F1 in the lower left corner is the fuse. I can't quite make the rating out other than it is 250v @ x.15A I think. Output is 12vdc x2 at the upper right corner.

267

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.
videobruce is online now  
post #390 of 2316 Old 07-03-2012, 05:47 AM
AVS Special Member
 
JoeKustra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ashland, PA 17921
Posts: 6,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by DB100 View Post

One worry I have is that if they decide to listen to some of the comments here and make changes to the interface, they DON'T DROP THE POSITIVE THINGS!
Here's a few of the things I really like:
The Favorites utility is really nice. In another post I described how it works. But there's something else. You can go into the Menu/Master List and EDIT THE NAME OF EACH CHANNEL! That's wonderful. My TVIX device shows channel 3 as "3". Other devices use the call sign, so 3 is "3 WLOS". Well, WLOS means nothing to me. I want to see "3 ABC", that means something to me. So I can go into the Master List and edit it so it appears exactly how I want it to appear. When you combine this edit ability with the Favorites listing, you have the perfect way to find the channel you want to view. PLEASE DON'T CHANGE THIS!
I also like the Status checkbox for pending recordings. On my PalDVR, if you want to skip a recording you have to delete it and reenter it after it airs. I always wondered why there wasn't a Status or Active checkbox. Now there is.
So, they have at least one clever person on their staff.

I also could not live without the Favorites function of my TV or Sony DVR. On the TV I see the channel, network logo, and practically all the channel header shows. It is also done graphically and doesn't block the botton 25% of the screen. It's limitation is no subcatagories.

The Sony DHG DVR (2005) allows creation of favorite catagories like news, HD, etc. and I really need that ablility since I only have the frequency due to no cable card hence no logo or data.

All my recording is manual. No skip box except on the Magnavox units. The Sony has a "date" box, which I like since I could use to enter all the fall shows right now, including weekly shows. It's not as hard as it sounds since I probably only watch 20 channels out of 200 active and 600+ in the guide. I hardly every use the channel up or down. The Favorites function is great.
JoeKustra is offline  
Reply HDTV Recorders

Tags
Epvision Phd Vrx

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off