I'll refrain from reciting the whole story and skip right to the Bottom Line: Monday, somebody from Channelmaster reached out to me. He agreed my situation could've been handled better, and gave me a choice: He'd send me a new remote or a pre-paid return label. During the conversation he reiterated his and CM's feeling that the DVR+ was a great product and that he felt that, had I been able to give it a fair go, I'd probably love it.
Well, when a vendor representative goes out of their way to reach out to me, I feel the effort should be rewarded by giving that vendor a chance to get my business. So I asked him to send me the replacement remote. Although I told him "no hurry," he overnighted it, anyway. I received it yesterday. Unlike the original remote: It works
Preliminary results and impressions...
First off: The tuners. Yep, they're a bit (?) weaker than that in our Samsung TV. There are several weaker, inconsequential, channels it didn't catch, and two that suffer breakup. Of those latter two: Only one is very important, and it's a duplicate (PBS). So, providing the thing passes the first stormy weather test on the other channels: We'll be okay with the tuner performance.
Networking: I ran into a couple issues. At first I thought I'd also gotten a bum WiFi adaptor. Turned out you have to explicitly check the WiFi radio button for it to see the adaptor. Once I did that, it was straight-forward... except
... I found I couldn't perform a software update via WiFi. It tried, and failed. Luckily I have an Ethernet bridge right there, so I was able to supply it a wired connection for that. The upgrade went smoothly, after which I switched it back to the WiFi connection.
Other than those items... to be honest: I wanted to dislike the thing. The whole deal with the remote and so forth put me in a bad frame-of-mind regarding it. I wanted to dislike it, but I couldn't. In fact: So far the DVR+ strikes me as a very neat bit of kit!
Even the remote. I haven't tried to program it for the TV or anything, yet. Besides: I have an MX-500 Home Theater Master. But the remote, at least for running the DVR+, seems fine to me. Certainly not the worst I've ever used.
One thing, Channelmaster: I know
it's a Channelmaster
DVR. The PSIP pop-up when you change channels is nice, and the uptime delay is perfect
, but could you maybe reduce the size of your self-advertizing banner, please?