Tying it all together
I'm surprised at some of these recent questions. I'll try to help.
***THE TWO TUNERS DIFFER in that only Tuner 1 can tune analog NTSC signals. Both tuners record ATSC or QAM about equally well. Slightly different antenna performance if using two antennae, or a splitter with one attenuated output, can cause them to perform slightly differently.
***BECAUSE EXTRACTING PIPS GUIDE DATA requires a tuner to tune in that station, you can only view guide data for one station during recording - the one that is being recorded. Switch tuners to view other channels. If both tuners are recording, you can't view PIPS data for any other channels.
***SELECTING WHICH DRIVE TO RECORD TO: The PHD-VRX will record to the FIRST DRIVE DETECTED AFTER BOOTING FROM STANDBY (or OFF). This is re-detected every time the machine boots up. Which port it is plugged into has no effect. Because of this, I advise that you never leave two devices plugged in and forget them, because the wrong one may be selected, causing recordings to fail - or at least be recorded to the wrong drive. (More on this at the end of this post.) If you change drives, you should reboot from standby to make sure the right one is selected.
In particular, if you routinely record to one drive, and it's a spinning-rust drive, it will not identify itself to the PHD-VRX as quickly as a solid-state drive, whether that solid-state drive is a flash stick or large SSD hard-drive replacement. So if you have both plugged in and the PHD-VRX goes to OFF or standby, the solid-state drive will be picked as the drive for recording, and the recording will probably fail due to capacity or speed problems.
HAVING TWO TUNERS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HAVING TWO USB PORTS! Once a USB device is selected on boot, BOTH tuners will record to that drive, even when recording at the same time. IF you have one drive selected on boot as the recording drive, and you then plug in a second drive, the second drive will only be able to play back. If you then remove the first drive, the PHD-VRX will NOT record to the second drive.
***DRIVES USED TO RECORD WITH THE PHD-VRX should be formatted with the EXT2 file system. This is a standard Linux/Unix file system. DOS or Windows PCs cannot read EXT2-formatted drives without add-on software, which can be obtained free at links on ePVision's site.
Apple's OSX is actually a disguised version of Unix. (Apple gave up on maintaining its old, kludged OS and file system, and quietly replaced them with Unix as OSX.) Its file system is very similar to EXT2, but incompatible. Again, you can use add-on software to access EXT2-formatted drives.
***The PHD-VRX CAN play back video (and audio and still images) from FAT and NTFS drives (used by DOS and Windows), usually stuff you have created or saved on a PC and then written to an external drive, be it solid state or spinning-rust.
I have had no success with playing OSX-formatted drives, but I haven't tried much.
NOTE: PeninsulaMark above seems to claim he can play EXT2-formatted drives on a standard Mac. Is this true? With which version of OSX?
The PHD-VRX CAN record to FAT or NTFS drives, but there will be dropouts if recording two programs at once - sometimes even when recording a single program. This has nothing to do with lousy NTFS drivers; it is the nature of the journaling file system. You should also not use EXT3-formatted drives.
***RECORDING TO USB FLASH DRIVES: I've done this, but even with very fast drives there are always dropouts, even recording a single program. I think this is because flash drives have to periodically erase large blocks of memory or move large blocks of data. It's their nature, because flash drives can't erase only part of a block - and practise wear-balancing during normal operations, meaning they randomly decide to stop recording and shuffle blocks of memory around, still having to erase in large flash blocks. I believe this is the cause of the long pauses that cause the dropouts. (Sometimes appearing as pixelation) If I am right about this, it SHOULD be possible to record to a freshly-formatted flash drive, or so some drives that handle their data-juggling better than others. The only one I have tried that is pretty good (not perfect) at it is an ADATA 64GB Elist S102 Pro USB 3.0 drive - the blue one. Of course, it has to be formatted to EXT2 to do this.
***MORE INFO THAN MOST PEOPLE CAN HANDLE AT ONE SITTING (I've detailed this before, but will try to recap it) :
Video files from any source, in any format the PHD-VRX can play, can be played from the "Video" list, which you reach from the menu as MEDIA>VIDEO.
-Only the actual filename will be displayed.
-There will be no closed captions. If subtitles are coded into the file itself, you will see them but not be able to turn them off.
-You won't be able to Fast-Forward (>>) or Rewind (<<) at speeds over 64X. (Only speeds up to 32X will show in the control bar, but there is one faster than shown)
-Holding down the forward-skip (>>|) or backward-skip (|<<) button will usually result in the place in the file being lost, often jumping to the start or end of a file, or to the previous or next file.
-Forward and backward jumps will be of uncertain length, rather than the interval you select in MEDIA or QUICK menus.
-You won't be able to delete the files using the PHD-VRX unless you format the device, erasing everything on it. You will have to use a computer that can mount the drive to manage files.
-Your viewed-to place in the program will not be saved if you exit to the list or out of the menus.
Only files recorded by the PHD-VRX can ALSO be played from the "RECORD" list (which should have been named "RECORDINGS"), selected from the menu as MEDIA>RECORDINGS.
They can still be played from the "VIDEO" list.
The same goes for playing back the start of a program WHILE IT IS BEING RECORDED! It's not as flexible as time-shifting, but it's often useful, and allows one to jump between two programs while they are being recorded, which some sports fans like to do.
When a file is recorded and correctly saved from the PHD-VRX, it is saved in three parts:
1. The media file (such as "The-Blacklist_1302016_220015.mpg") containing the actual program.
2. The meta-data "navigation" file (such as "The-Blacklist_1302016_220015.nav") containing indexing and closed-caption information.
3. An ENTRY in the "record" file (there's only one on any drive) linking the .mpg and .nav files, and to a "display title" that will appear in the "RECORD" list. It also holds the viewed-to place.
Recordings that are not properly saved - say, because of a crash, drive disconnect or power failure - will not have the "record" file entry, and can only be used as "VIDEO" list files.
Time-shift files and .nav files will not appear in the "VIDEO" list. (They did on early firmware versions, though.) They can be seen if the drive is mounted on a computer.
Proper, successful PHD-VRX recordings that appear in the "RECORD" list will have extra features:
-There will be a file name in the "VIDEO" list such as "The-Blacklist_1302016_220015.mpg", but with the PIPS guide name as display title in the "RECORD" list as well. If the start time and PIPS data are correct, the "RECORD" list would show "The Blacklist" as the title, but it might be incorrect if starting early or late, or if the PHD-VRX has its time/date set wrongly, or if the PIPS data is wrong. The "RECORD" list will allow you to change the display title, which will then be changed in the "record" file on the disk. The actual .mpg and .nav file names will not change.
-You will be able to turn closed-caption subtitles, if any, on or off.
-You will be able to Fast-Forward (>>) or Rewind (<<) at speeds up to 256X. (Only speeds up to 128X will show in the control bar, but there is one faster than shown)
-You will be able to forward-skip (>>|) or backward-skip (|<<) continuously.
-You will be able to set the skip length from the MEDIA menu or the QUICK menu.
-You will be able to delete the file.
-Your viewed-to place in the program will be saved if you exit to the list or out of the menus USING GOTO. If you use the EXIT button, it won't be saved.
Because each drive has its own "record" file (an actual file on the drive named simply "record" in lower-case), you will not then be able to move the file from one drive to another and still be able to see the drive in the "RECORD" list; you'll still see it from the "VIDEO" list IN ITS OWN ORIGINAL FILE NAME - not the display title you'd find in the Record list.
One COULD save both "record" files to a separate drive and load whichever was needed to play a particular program, but that's really asking for trouble, particularly since new programs have to be added to the appropriate "record" file and that copied to the separate drive.
ED BEAR <<(+*+)>>
Last edited by Ed Bear; 08-01-2016 at 08:03 AM.
Reason: corrected oopsies, added more info, improved organization