It would be ideal if a firmware update was written by EpVision programmers so that the PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 would be able to backup its user settings and channel maps
It would be more ideal if all the major
entries in the laundry list were addressed;
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.
1b. Locking the preview window (EPG on/off) to speed up the display of data prevents data from showing on any channel that has not been previously accessed from standby. If you 'surf' through all channels before you enter the Guide, there isn't problem. Rename that “EPG Tuning Mode” to “Lock the preview window”
1c. 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.
1d. 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 indication or previously scheduled programs to record in the Guide. This may not be possible,
1f. No direct ability to cancel a upcoming recording made through the Guide, unless you do it in the Upcoming Recordings screen,
1g. The 'reading' of program data appears to provide less listings compared to other PSIP 'Guides'. Example; Comparing to a older DTVPal on the same stations at the same time, the DTVPal (with no TV Guide data) has their listings further into the future.
1h. 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.
1i. Disable the channel up/down buttons while in Guide. It's too easy to hit and accidentally exit from the Guide.
1j. Access to a website (like it is with You Tube) that has program listings for convenience to manually schedule a recording. PSIP Guide data is unreliable, spotty and inconsistent if it is there at all. What good are three to six hours of listings? Anything less than one full week shouldn't be acceptable in this day and age.
Image quality: (2c may be hardware related)
2a. Gray horizontal bar across the bottom half of the screen when using 1080p out with the new "2" models.
2b. The default output of this DVR is very dark with saturated highlights. The default brightness needs to increased to between 16, contrast reduced to 65 & color reduced to -5 for each input. These shouldn't be that far off in the first place.
2c. False contouring in blacks, shadows, dark scenes. This has been confirmed. Especially noticeable anywhere there are shadows and/or dark clothing, especially mens 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 didn't have the problem. Not all programming is affected. This affects recordings played outside of the DVR and effects less than 20% of the recordings.
3a. Add the ability for a multi-event, manual recording option allowing entering more than one recording at a time without re-entering the Manual Record mode again,
3b. Manual record duration; 1. When changing to less than one hour, make the default 30 minutes instead of five. 2. Unable to enter numbers 1-4 to change minutes. 5–0 work Ok. Only way to do so now is toggling up or down one at a time.
3c. In the Guide; add the ability to delay (add) to the start time and allow the end time to finish early (subtract). Programs do start early and end early also.
3d. Add the ability to rename a manual recording when it is scheduled instead of just afterwards,
3e. Remove that “Active” check box in the new “Record Schedule Timer”. That is available in the schedule screen if one wants to skip recording for a week. You don't schedule a recording not to record.
3f. Modifying a recording in the "Upcoming Recording" menu will not show any time changes in the recording list when you 'pad' the start and/or end time of a program. It then appears no change was made.
3g. Change weekly icon to “W”, change “Once” icon to “O”, remove Sat & Sunday entry. I see no need for that.
3h. Unable to schedule a manual recording using the inactive tuner. If you are on tuner one, any stations on tuner two can not be setup to record.
4a. Those small, somewhat identical, circular Menu icons are hard to read and decipher. They all look the same, except for when you are actually in that sub menu. 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. Move the text over of each sub-category, replacing the associated icon. The GUI in their Media Switcher was better. It appeared that was easier to navigate.
4b.Reduce the number of entries in the main menu and each sub menu so there are six or less, allowing all to show on the screen at once, eliminating scrolling to find a hidden entry. Specifically;
4c. Move the main “Locks” entry to “Settings” reducing the sub menu entries down to six,
4d. Change “Dynamic Contrast” to “Gamma” and move it to “Picture Settings”, then delete the “Advanced” entry under “Picture”,
4e. Under “Record”, combine the three USB entries into a single sub menu,
4f. Under Media Player/Recordings, move Forward Skip & Backward Skip into a single group,
4g. Under “Picture Settings”, remove “Color Temperature” since it has no effect,
4h. Quick menu; replace Scale Window with a added “Aspect” control. Scale Window is only for specific situations,
4i. In the “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. Change the behavior to the way it is in the Quick menu so all show in a small window,
4j. Add “V Mode”, which should be re-named to “Resolution out” (or similar) to both the Quick Menu & under “Picture Settings” since it is only available from the remote,
4k. Remove the "Presets" entry. There are too many choices in the first place, some do little to change the actual settings. Each input has it's own memory settings anyway, it's not needed,
Audio: (these probably are hardware related)
5a. Audio controls have no effect on analog or optical outputs. Only HDMI is affected. Specify this in the manual.
5b. 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.
6. Nothing preventing you to place the DVR in standby to prevent stopping a recording in progress. You will loose the recording if standby is pressed accidentally. Some confirmation is needed.
7a. If you are watching a previously recorded program in Media Player, if this goes into recording mode for a scheduled recording, there is no response from user input except to shut the unit down. Thanks to LenL for this,
7b. Pressing 'Exit' while in Media Player will completely exit you out of MP while watching a recording. Exiting out of MP should only be permitted while in the main menu. Use of the Exit otherwise should take you back to the Main Menu,
7c. Shorten the manual recording file name in Media Player by removing the seconds and changing the year to two digits. It's too hard to read with those extra unnecessary digits,
7d. 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?
7e. Media Player/Recordings; When you use the skip feature, the time bar remains on the screen to long. Reduce the duration from 8 to 4 seconds and/or provide selectable times,
7f. While playing back 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)
7g. The "Video" section in MP still has the issue of not remembering where you left off when you stop playback and not remembering changed picture settings.
7h. 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.
8a. Slow channel changing, especially considering this DVR does not do continuous time shifting. How can this be improved? (This may be hardware related)
8b. Improve the signal level display to expand the resolution of the reading by using similar to the System Info screen that has a 0-100 numeric readout.
8c. Change the color of RF 1 icon from gray to some other color. Gray is hard to see,
9. There is no clock backup if there is a power outage.
Standby & spin down:
10a. An external enclosed hard drive does not spin down when the DVR is on and no recording is scheduled, only when in standby. This was changed from early firmware releases. Why have it run when it is only being used as a tuner with the HDD connected? (Yes, you can disconnect the drive, but you shouldn't have to.)
10b. 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.
10c. Timer recordings from standby loose the 1st 45 seconds of the program due to the boot time if the recorder was in standby. Power on should start one minute early so the recorder is up and running.
11. 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.