Updated "Laundry List";
(74 separate entries grouped in order of importance)
1a. The Guide needs to include both tuners integrated together as one Guide no matter which input you are in. It's a real problem and inconvenience to have to switch back and forth between tuners to try to schedule programming. Especially if you have overlapping recordings. Also, more than one channels programming needs to be available. You schedule one program only to find something better on another channel at the same time. If you forget what channel it was, you have to go back and find it, one channel at a time.
1b. Locking the preview window prevents data from showing on any channel that has not been already accessed from power up. If you 'surf' through all channels before you access the Guide, the problem isn't there. A locked window speeds up the collection of data.
1c.There is no ability for the system to save the existing PSIP data for each station in the Guide. After you stop on that channel, continue, then return, the data has to re-loaded every time on every channel.
1e. No direct ability to cancel a upcoming recording mad through the Guide, other than the multi-step process of unchecking "Active" in the “Upcoming Recordings” screen,
1f. The number of entries (hours or days) is not as great as other tuners PSIP Guides. Example; the DTVPal doing a comparison with the same stations art the same time period. The older DTVPal (with no TV Guide data) has their listings further into the future.
1g. Add the ability to 'wrap' from the lowest channel to the highest & vice versa without scrolling through the entire channel list. as you can in Media Player.
1h. Disable the channel up/down buttons while in Guide. It's too easy to hit and accidentally exit from the Guide.
1i. Stopping on a weak station that is not receivable at the time, will lock the Guide up forcing you to exit and re-enter. These are 'on the cliff' signals. Channels that are not there at all, have no effect if you stop on those..
2a. False contouring in blacks, shadows, dark scenes. This has been confirmed. Especially noticeable anywhere there are shadows and/or dark clothing, especially men's suits. The default dark, contrasty video settings appear to hide this problem. After extended testing, it now appears this Broadcom/ATI chipset is sensitive to lower bitrates. A difference of only 3MB/s will cause noticing the false contouring. I have compared the same program from two different sources (stations & networks) and the station (source) that had the higher bitrate transmission didn't have the problem. Not all programming is affected. I don't believe this affects recordings played outside of the DVR.
2b. The default output of this DVR is very dark with high contrast. Change the brightness to between 15 & 18, contrast between 65 & 70 and the color to -5 for each input. It's a one time setting, but it shouldn't be that far off in the first place.
3a. A multi-entry, manual recording option, no matter if there is Guide data or not, that is directly accessible without going into the Menu or Guide. This means the ability to enter more than one recording at a session without re-entering the Manual Record mode again. As this stands, other than diving into the main menu a number of layers deep, when in the Guide, there is no full manual recording available if there is Guide data of any kind (good or bad) on that channel.
3b. Repeat recordings setup in the Guide (Weekly or Daily) sometimes only record for the 1st time. After the initial recording, the next scheduled recording (next week or the next day) is ignored (this seems to be inconsistent). The status column shows a green check mark for the initial recording of repetitive recordings (daily, weekly etc.), but disappears afterwards.
3c. Allow adjustments, plus and minus for the start and stop times. Not just one or the other. Programs do start early and end early also.
3d. When there is a conflict, you have no idea (unless you can remember) where the conflict is. A conflicting entry should have a pop-up box appear with the following choices; 1. Allow new entry, 2. Allow existing entry, 3. Enter both, but make both inactive.
3e. Remove that “Active” check box in the recording options. One less thing to click through. That is already available in "Upcoming Recordings" if needed.
3f. Remove the Sat. & Sun. entry. I can't see any purpose for this.
3g. Modifying a recording in the "Upcoming Recording" menu, will not show any added record time when you 'pad' the end time of a program to extend the recording longer.
4a. Pressing 'Exit' while in Media Player will completely exit you out of MP while watching a recording. Exit should only be permitted while in the main MP menu and/or a confirmation popup box appearing.
4b. Shorten the manual recording file name in Media Player by removing the seconds and changing the year to two digits.
4c. Allow renaming recordings while in Media Player for names that are incorrect or for manual entries with only that cryptic number.
4d. Include channel number, date & time to the recording entry under the new "Recordings" screen. What happens if there are more than one of the same program listed?
4e. Depending on your TV or monitor, watching SD recordings from sub-channels will show them stretched no matter which aspect setting you choose. This doesn't affect main channel SD programs, nor is it a problem watching them live. This may be a issue with PC monitors, as this is where I have observed the problem. HDTV's may not have the problem.
4f. Media Player/Recordings; Every time you use the skip feature, the time bar remains on the screen forcing you to hit 'Info' to clear it. (only relates to Recordings)
4g. While watching from Recordings, the right & left navigation buttons will change what you are watching to the next or previous recording without any other interaction. If pressed by mistake, you are now watching something else. This needs to be disabled, except for Photos or Music. (only relates to Recordings)
4h. The "Video" section still has the issue of not remembering changed picture settings. You have to re-initialize those settings by clicking each one for them to take affect.
4i. Use skip fwd & back to move through the pages instead of channel up/down like it is in all other menu functions where this is used. Consistent and less confusing.
4j. Don't allow using 'Mute' to automatically bring up Closed Caption. If CC is wanted, use a Quick menu entry.
4k. Change "Movie" to "Recording" in the delete confirmation box.
5. Nothing preventing you to place the DVR in standby to prevent that will stop a recording in progress. You will loose the recording if standby is pressed accidentally. Some confirmation pop up is needed.
6a. Audio controls have no effect on analog or optical outputs. Only HDMI is affected. This is not specified in the manual.
6b HDMI audio level is noticeably low compared to optical out.
6c. HDMI apparently passes only two channel, variable PCM uncompressed stereo audio. (Which is the only output that can be adjusted.) A option to turn on AC3 for HDMI is needed.
6d. There is no audio at all when the timeshifting mode is activated. Only when you are watching the delayed portion of the recording is there audio. There is audio on the HDMI output.
7. A timer recording from standby looses the 1st 45 seconds of the program due to the boot time if the recorder was in standby. Booting from standby should start one minute early so the recorder is up and running.
8a. An attached external enclosed hard drive does not spin down when the DVR is on, only when in standby. This was changed from early firmware releases. Why have it run when the this is only being used as a tuner? (Yes, you can disconnect the drive, but you shouldn't have to.)
8b. After three or more consecutive recordings are finished or recordings over 90 minutes in length (approximately), the DVR does not go back into Standby. Single recordings or two short recordings back to back will allow Standby two minutes after the last timer recording is finished.
9. There is no clock backup if there is a power outage. User intervention is needed to power up so the DVR can get a clock update.
10a. Those small, somewhat identical, circular Menu icons are hard to read and decipher. They all look the same, except the sub menu you are in. Plain text is needed instead cutesy icons. It's confusing to guess at a icon, then read the text above and to the right of that icon. Substitute plain text for those icons by moving the text of the sub-category to the far left column replacing the associated icon. The GUI in their Media Switcher was better. It appeared that was easier to navigate.
10b. Quick menu; replace Scale Window with Aspect. No need for that Scale Window,it's only for specific problems. If you don't use the provided remote and your 'Programmable' remote doesn't allow the "Aspect" entry, you can't change resolutions.
11. Slow channel changing, especially considering this DVR does not do continuous time shifting.
12a. No 480p or 1080i for older HDTV's w/o a 1080p input. 480p was removed from the early firmware. Some TV's have limited aspect options with some resolutions. Sometimes the 480 choice works out better. This should be restored.
12b. Allow front panel "V Mode" selection. to change output resolutions similar that was on the 205 tuner Since there is only one way to change output resolutions (the remote), if something happens to that remote or for any reason your TV doesn't like one or the other existing setting, you need another way to change this.
13a. Improve the signal level display to expand the resolution of the reading. from five to ten bars, or use something similar to the System Info screen that has a 0-100 numeric readout.
13b. Ability to manual edit the channel number (along with the stations call letters) for entries that get a bad channel number from improperly ID'ing the virtual channel number from the actual physical number. I have three stations I always have a problem with.
13c. Re-enable the analog channel noise reduction that was removed. The highest setting did make a difference, thought not as much as it should. This is unlike the digital version that was removed. That made no difference that I ever noticed.
14a. Internal disc format utility; The lack of any documentation from the start back in April 2012, up to the release of the owners manual, has been a problem. This can only be used with a drive that is initialized which leaves out all "bare" drives. The owners manual makes no mention of this. It isn't a problem with these pre-packaged combo enclosures & drives, but it makes this useless with any bare drive that has to be initialized first, before Windows can even see the drive. Then it can be formatted. The recommended program; EaseUS Partition Manager does all of this very well eliminating the need for that lame utility. If you have to initialize a drive in a PC, why do it again here? Separate components are always better than some pre-configured package. You have control over each item. Obviously, ePVision doesn't understand any of this.
14b. Add a progress bar to let one know where in the formatting is. and a timer to show how long it's been since the process started.
14c. Add the ability to defrag the drive.
15. The display on the unit will not show a channel change entry until that channel is actually changed. It would be nicer if the entry on the unit would duplicate what is seen on-screen, especially if you have "music only" CATV channels available and are using the tuner just to listen without a TV on.
16. Ability to turn clock display off when in standby and when using the device as a input scaler, A single LED is sufficient.
17. Change the “Recording List” to “Recording History”. Since it is just a history, not what is actually on the hard drive. It's confusing since one would assume these recording are still available.
18. You can not record on tuner one if you are using one of the inputs to the switcher.
19a. Speed play is of no value as it stands due to inter-reaction with the audio sampling when using AC3. Using PCM, the problem isn't as bad. Mostly noticeable in FF. The sample rate is to low, making the feature worthless. You can't see enough frames to make any sense out of the video. Adding faster speed steps makes matters worse. This surely wasn't needed.
19b. If a recorded program is paused during playback, the video freezes but the audio continues playing for an additional 5 seconds. This happens when AC3 is in use. When the video stream is resumed by hitting play, there is no audio until the video "catches up" to the point where the audio originally paused (another 5 seconds). The HDMI output behaves normally.
20a. Rename "Picture" to Video in the Main Menu. Picture is a non technical, childish term. Note, the proper term of "Audio" is used instead of "Sound',
20b. Move Dynamic Contrast out of that 'Advanced' menu so all A/V adjustments are in one sub-menu. Then delete "Advanced" since nothing would be under that heading anymore.
20c. Remove Color temperature since it has no noticeable effect.
20d. In the Video (Picture) sub-menu, once you selected a item, you can't scroll up or down to the next item to adjust without returning to the previous screen. This is not a problem using the Quick menu.
21a. There are too many 'Aspect' choices. Normal is the proper setting for probably 95% of the material available without distorting the image just to fill the screen.
21b. For analog & SD channels; Normal, Direct & 4:3 are identical. For HD channels; Direct & Full Screen are identical.
21c. Direct should be 1:1 pixel mapping, it isn't. Normal is.
21d. 4:3 will 'narrow' a HD channel. I can't see any need for this. Since it is the same as normal, remove it.
21e. 'Panoramic' disproportionately stretches the screen, mostly the extreme edges. Remove that.
21f. 'Zoom1' is ok for proportionally expanding a 'postage stamp' image, but 'Zoom2' over stretches the image vertically & horizontally. Remove that.
22. Channels will get added to the channel list when doing a direct entry. This is normally good, but since the analog function of RF input 2 is disabled, entering any channel number that is empty, will automatically just add that to the channel map. Allow complete removal of those added unwanted channels, not just “skip”.
23a. Add USB support for a keyboard[/B] to make it easier to use U Tube. Trying to use the on screen keyboard gets old real quick.
23b. Using You Tube, the aspect control has no effect. No full width. If you try to watch a 16x9 clip, it is squeezed down to 4x3.
23c. U Tube can not be used when recording. Accessing U Tube will stop all recordings.
24. Timeshift; Duplicate use of the skip fwd. & back function for slow motion is confusing. Use the separate orange & blue buttons for this and leave the skip & back functions the same.
25. Trying to record and use the USB speed test causes conflicts. Disallow testing while recording. The speed test also is depending on the state the device is in at the time. Sitting on a blank channel produces better results.
26a. Remove the "Lock" feature as it can cause issues if one forgets the pin number.
26b. The 'Lock" feature can be easily overridden just by powering off the DVR and powering back up via the mechanical power switch (not standby).
26c. Doing a factory reset doesn't restore access to the front panel buttons. Since this only records non-premium channels, there shouldn't be a need for it, other than locking out the front panel.
27. In Favorites under channel list, icons from the input list show for the first five channels instead of the RF input icon.
28. Add the ability to have a 'delete' section/area to fully restore recordings with the ability to automatically delete the oldest entries if space is needed to record.
Moved #21 up the list.
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.