I just set up my DTVPal, and would like to offer a few impressions that others here have not touched upon yet.
I was excited when I read in the user manual (which I found online before I purchased the box) that it would respond to Scientific Atlanta cable-box codes. Excited, since I have a Toshiba RD-XS32 DVR for which Scientific Atlanta is one of the cable-box brands its IR Blaster can control. But I found the DVTPal HAS to be set to the "TV Guide" mode for them to work (and as has been previously mentioned, the EPG, event timers, etc. do not work in TV Guide mode). What's more, I only seem to be able to enter channel numbers numerically; the channel-up/down buttons on my Toshiba remote appear to cause the Toshiba's IR Blaster to transmit the codes as expected, and I even see the LED on the front of the DTVPal blink in response, but it takes no action! Makes it impossible to just channel-surf. This might be due to the age of my Toshiba, maybe the DTVPal expects codes from a newer Scientific Atlanta box; but I can't see Scientific Atlanta having changed something as basic as its channel-up/down codes in the last few years. (and yes, I've tried codes from other manufacturers, as well as other S.A. codes listed in the Toshiba manual, but only the one S.A. code set appears to work at all, namely, code 008.)
This is made extra-frustrating by a couple of other DTVPal foibles. First, in TV Guide mode, the box seems to be picky as to how fast or slow the IR-blasted numeric codes are transmitted. Go too fast or too slow and it misses numbers, then tunes to some unwanted channel. Unfortunately, the Toshiba appears to transmit the codes too slowly when starting a timer recording, so the DTVPal ends up on the wrong channel every time! It would be nice if the DTVPal were more forgiving of numeric entry speed.
Second, while in TV Guide mode, the DTVPal provides NO on-screen information. Zero. No channel number, call letters, signal-strength, or anything else. It doesn't even display any numbers when I'm typing them in on the Toshiba's remote. So when the above problem happens, I have no idea WHICH channel the DVTPal winds up on.
Like some others have noted, the DTVPal's own built-in event timer only supports five entries; if not for that, I might not even bother with the IR Blaster. (During the height of the TV season, I might need to record eight or more programs.) It's just frustrating to find that the Scientific Atlanta compatability was implemented in such a half-baked way!
Now, I want to let you know that there is a trick to entering channel numbers when the DTVPal is in TV Guide mode. Given a DTV channel number in "standard" format ("Main channel-subchannel" form, like "5.1" or "5-1"), the number to plug into your remote is
100 + (Main channel x 10) + subchannel
so, for example, channel 5.1 becomes 100+(5x10)+1 = 151, while channel 16.4 becomes 100+(16x10)+4 = 264. It's okay to add a leading "0", e.g. "0264", if your IR blaster puts out a four-digit number. Again, this only works in TV Guide mode... in the normal "digital" mode, you enter the original channel numbers ("0164" for 16.4). I had to discover this purely by trial-and-error, mind you. Hope it's helpful to someone!