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ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 44

post #1291 of 2203
videobruce on skipping have you try a older frimware to see if it still skips
post #1292 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Ok, I reverted back to the previous firmware and the 'skipping' is still there. I then connected the drive to my PC with the ext2 drivers, opened Media Player Classic and the file played with no issue.
It's something in their playback path and something the station did, probably with the change/addition of PSIP program data. That seems the only explanation, since it wasn't this way when they had no usable data.

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Edited by videobruce - 4/1/13 at 9:40am
post #1293 of 2203
Well since my last post I have been able to conclude that this device has a mind of its own. There must be some sort of internal memory management problems. It can work almost ok for a day and then suddenly change to being a balky hunk of iron that wont change channels and skips recordings or wont even respond to commands until you push the same button 3, 4 or 5 times or more. Sometimes the panel controls (ex left or right button does not go left or right but instead the volume control pops up) wont even do what the screen is showing. When it gets real messed up the best temporary solution seems to be to unplug it from the wall, wait a few minutes and then plug it back in. Seems I have to do this every other day.

This is such a great product concept. I am so looking forward to a stable release that can just do the basics 100% right every day. I would buy another 2 units for the house.
post #1294 of 2203
Thread Starter 
That doesn't sound like a firmware issue, but hardware. System chip communications within the board, something corrupting the commands. The unit could of been 'zapped'. I would ask for an exchange.
I don't see firmware responding that way. One day it's good, the next it isn't. Could be corrupted memory. I'm just taking a stab in the dark.

ASAIC, 50 to 75% of that laundry list should be fairly easy firmware changes. Half of those should of been already changed by now. mad.gif

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Edited by videobruce - 4/5/13 at 9:37am
post #1295 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Personally I don't like the PHD-VRX asking when you if you want to start Media Player when you turn it on. I would like to turn it on and have it go right to a tuner and watch TV. That aside, if you view a previously recorded show this way you can delete it when you are done (provided a scheduled recording has not started).
However if you choose to not use Media player and watch TV at startup and then later go into Menu and then Media Player to watch a previously recorded show you CAN NOT delete that show when you are done. Media Player behaves differently depending on if you start it when the unit turns on or you latter go to it!
If you enter MP directly via the new 'orange button' shortcut, you can not exit back to MP's home page. BUT, if you enter via the Menu, you can use the misnamed "GoTo' button to return to that home page and enter another mode (photo, music etc..
I entered both ways and proceeded to delete and rename a recording. Either way, dialog pop up boxes appeared allowing me to do so. This was when I was already up and running, not from start up. I doubt that would/should make a difference.

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Quote:
If you are watching a previously recorded show with Media Player and during the show the PHD-VRX goes into recording mode for a scheduled recording (REC-1) you can't do anything with the remote except shut the unit down.
This was brought up some time ago by another owner. I forgot to take a look at the issue and never added it to the list. Now added to the laundry list.. Post 1174;
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1414002/epvision-phd-vrx-owners-thread/1170#post_23061889

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Quote:
Meanwhile the 30 minute show I was recording just kept on recording beyond the 30 minutes like it was stuck and when I finally shut the PHD-VRX down it appears the 30 minute recording got blown away.
Has this been confirmed??

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Edited by videobruce - 4/6/13 at 4:50am
post #1296 of 2203
Not trying to gloat, but my phd-vrx has been going strong for around 2 months with no locked screen/recording. Cross my fingers. I do have only one M-F recording every week, but a few months ago I would come home and around 50% of the time it would be stuck in recording mode (even though the show done over an hour before) or it was just freeze on a channel (sometimes literally freezing while audio still on or picture/audio fine but remote/commands not working).

The only 2 things I did that seemed as a possible link (I tried reformatting HDD, downgrading/upgrading firmware etc... with no success):
1. Disconnected Ethernet, might be coincidence, but I realized there was not use for it since I have WAY better media players (I did also configured internet to set the time, but took that off and now have channel set time)
2. I did forget to point out in the earlier threads that I pulled the unit of my media console, thinking maybe there needed to be better airflow (however, if I'm not mistaken, I still experienced some problems).

I don't have/nor ever installed the latest firmware, I stopped at VRX.242.23.36 However, my problems happened with both VRX.242.23.36 and the one before that VRX.242.22.22

I'm still crossing my fingers, but I have been issue free as I mentioned for about 2 months.
post #1297 of 2203
Thread Starter 
I still don't see the poor remote response others have mentioned. There always has been a issue with aiming the remote. The only critical lockup I had was a couple of weeks ago that I had to re-flash the firmware. I did revert back, but returned to the current version.
post #1298 of 2203
Just curious, for those who are having the unit freeze/lockup on a channel/recording, are you running a media server on your network? I'm running Universal Media Server (a branch off of PS3 Media Server) to stream from my pc and I wonder if the phd-vrx doesn't do well when communicating with the server. I thought about this earlier today, because I purchased a new LG smart tv two weeks ago and movies started skipping when streaming to my PS3. After two days of headache and blaming the files, network, and/the pc, it ended up being the LG tv was requesting tons of media info to the media server, causing the skipping. Even though I was not using the TV to stream (again I was using the PS3). Some of the experts pointed that out on the debug trace log I saved. I'm wondering if the phd-vrx was doing the same thing, causing the unit to lock up. I did originally set up the vrx to be on the network and share etc...
post #1299 of 2203
Thread Starter 
FWIW, this is back up om Amazon, but at $240.
post #1300 of 2203
Epvision needs to update there web site price too it is at 229
post #1301 of 2203
Thread Starter 
$10 discount direct from the manufacture. biggrin.gif
post #1302 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Golly, a instant Amazon price reduction; it's back to $230. I wonder when he realized the price was wrong? tongue.gif
post #1303 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Golly, a instant Amazon price reduction; it's back to $230. I wonder when he realized the price was wrong? tongue.gif

I wonder when he is going to realize that the product is wrong! It doesn't do anything well and does a lot of bad things! He should be giving it away. Anything over a couple of bucks is highway robbery. He should make a promise to those of us who are owners that he is committed to fixing the issues that can be fixed by firmware and that he will provide us a brand new remote that is better than the one we have as soon as he can! I can dream can't I?biggrin.gif
post #1304 of 2203
Thread Starter 
The product isn't wrong, they are for thinking they know our culture and how DVR's should operate. Add trying to write code 5k miles away where it can't be tested directly.
Other than size, that iView for $45 is 1/5th the price of this is actually the best buy around. Their fix list is almost as long as this. It wouldn't be quite as bad if 1/4 of this, consisting of what should be simple changes, would get fixed.

Of course there is also Goliath TiVo with their grade school user interface with 25-30 screens to click to get through their lame "Guided setup" and a PAY guide than doesn't provide listings on CATV systems in the clear local stations that don't need a CC. mad.gif
post #1305 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Of course there is also Goliath TiVo with their grade school user interface with 25-30 screens to click to get through their lame "Guided setup" and a PAY guide than doesn't provide listings on CATV systems in the clear local stations that don't need a CC. mad.gif

Man, I know a fella on another thread that you could have some huge flame wars with. BIG "TiVo is cool.gif, all else frown.gif" fanatic. Already crossed swords with him a few too many times myself.
post #1306 of 2203
Thread Starter 
It's hard to say which is worse;

1. Their lame setup (and excuse) preventing receiving program data (that you paid for) for 'in the clear' OTA stations on CATV,
2. The 25-30 ridiculous screens (half of which aren't necessary and/or could be combined into others) one has to wade through for their "guided setup" ,
3. Their grade school level menus that are archaic, insulting, beyond annoying and utterly necessary,
4. Their stranglehold on the entire DVR market causing substandard, overpriced products to be produced with the consumer ending up some half baked result,
5. Inability to recognize a realistic, practical and fair business model and offer a product with the option of a pay guide instead of creating a 'boat anchor' if there is no program data available or,
6. Lastly, reverting to the lowest level business practices in desperation to stay afloat by suing everyone and anyone who doesn't bow down and kiss their ass!

Come to think of it, they all are.
post #1307 of 2203
VideoBruce,

Now tell us how you really feel!biggrin.gif

Now that you go that off your chest lets get back to this EPI beast that is close to being just as bad!
post #1308 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
this EPI beast that is close to being just as bad!
If you take everything into account, they are almost the same.
post #1309 of 2203
A big reason for TiVo's near-monopoly is the inability of potential competitors to provide extensive TV guide listings with their would-be products. Unfortunately that won't change anytime soon, but it has me wondering about alternatives.

I accept that an integrated guide (beyond PSIP) is impractical in the USA, with licensing fees, user subscriptions, and the like. But what about a simple non-integrated guide? Most of today's OTA DVRs, including the PHD-VRX, have an Ethernet connection; so why can't someone just include a Web browser in the DVR? Nobody could sue over a Web browser, but it would let a user bookmark their favorite TV guide Web sites and consult listings with just a few button presses on the remote. They'd still have to schedule recordings manually or via the PSIP-based guide, but perhaps the scheduling dialog could be limited to half the screen. Just being able to look at listings onscreen would be an easy way to make manual scheduling a lot less painful.
post #1310 of 2203
I hope ever one emails Epvisoin on a web base guide
I did about 4 weeks ago
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

A big reason for TiVo's near-monopoly is the inability of potential competitors to provide extensive TV guide listings with their would-be products. Unfortunately that won't change anytime soon, but it has me wondering about alternatives.

I accept that an integrated guide (beyond PSIP) is impractical in the USA, with licensing fees, user subscriptions, and the like. But what about a simple non-integrated guide? Most of today's OTA DVRs, including the PHD-VRX, have an Ethernet connection; so why can't someone just include a Web browser in the DVR? Nobody could sue over a Web browser, but it would let a user bookmark their favorite TV guide Web sites and consult listings with just a few button presses on the remote. They'd still have to schedule recordings manually or via the PSIP-based guide, but perhaps the scheduling dialog could be limited to half the screen. Just being able to look at listings onscreen would be an easy way to make manual scheduling a lot less painful.
post #1311 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
A big reason for TiVo's near-monopoly is the inability of potential competitors to provide extensive TV guide listings with their would-be products.
Absolutely not. It's their stranglehold due to all the patents they have acquired by one means or another. Kinda hard to introduce a product when a good portion of the expense goes to a bunch of "robber barons". You gave the reason with your next statement;
Quote:
I accept that an integrated guide (beyond PSIP) is impractical in the USA, with licensing fees, user subscriptions, and the like.
I do not accept that at all.
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Quote:
so why can't someone just include a Web browser in the DVR?
I thought about that months ago, based on the fact there seems to be NO issue with a "grid" for a program guide on a web site as there apparently is if a similar grid is used in a DVR. That makes little sense. AFAIC, it's the same thing.
If Titan TV can link to a specific piece of equipment and schedule a recording as a program guide in a DVR does, I would say that should not be hard to accomplish. If this can access You Tube (though not very well), why can't it access Titan TV or Zap2It? wink.gif
post #1312 of 2203
One big problem.

Internet TV guides are NOT designed to be used by devices other than to display ( Computer monitor) the contents. As such the companies that maintain the guides can change the formats on the fly and not worry about some downstream HICK (EPI DVR) device having hiccups over a format change.
post #1313 of 2203
Thread Starter 
What would changing "formats" have to do with anything? As long as the DVR would recognize tagging a program with it's scheduled time, there shouldn't be a problem.
post #1314 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What would changing "formats" have to do with anything? As long as the DVR would recognize tagging a program with it's scheduled time, there shouldn't be a problem.

There in lies the problem. I'm not an expert and I could be all wet. But as a former programmer and systems person it seems the fundamentals still apply. The program has to know what the input looks like and has to be programmed to accept the format of the input. IT also has to be programmed to search the web for the correct URL. If for example the EPI was programmed to use the ROVI guide. It is formatted a certain way. If ROVI completely redesigned the guide or simply went away the EPI would not in my opinion be able to read and process another guide without being reprogrammed (I guess via a firmware update). That is why I don't think the internet guides at all care who uses them. They are not designed for any device but the human eye.

OK...perhaps I have it all wrong. But if it was all that simple all these OTA DVRS would have been designed to use the INternet guides and not over the air guides like TVGOS that don't change formats and are designed for OTA DVRS. OF course Channel MAster I guess tried to go Internet I with the 7400? IT worked so well they are no longer making anymore DVRS.biggrin.gif
post #1315 of 2203
Thread Starter 
What are/were the devices (PC cards I believe) that were interfaced with sites like TitanTV, all you had to do is choose whatever you wanted and it would program the device (PC?) to record? What was envisioned here is directly dealing with the program data supplier instead of being a third party as TiVo & CM w/ the 7400 are.

The problem with the 7400 is the refusal of redesigning the top cover with plenty of additional vents and/or adding a fan.
post #1316 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post

One big problem.

Internet TV guides are NOT designed to be used by devices other than to display ( Computer monitor) the contents. As such the companies that maintain the guides can change the formats on the fly and not worry about some downstream HICK (EPI DVR) device having hiccups over a format change.

Actually my idea was just to display it; not to have the DVR recognize anything. Just a plain-vanilla Web browser. Leave interpreting the display up to the user.

Of course that makes it less useful. The user would have to schedule recordings using the DVR's existing functions - not just click on a show. But I still think it's a worthwhile improvement.
post #1317 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Actually my idea was just to display it; not to have the DVR recognize anything. Just a plain-vanilla Web browser. Leave interpreting the display up to the user.

Of course that makes it less useful. The user would have to schedule recordings using the DVR's existing functions - not just click on a show. But I still think it's a worthwhile improvement.

It's also much more realistic. As LenL suggests, trying to integrate a website into the functionality of another device would be a nightmare in terms of product upkeep. Just look at programs for downloading YouTube videos: every time Google makes a minor tweak to the site, those programs become useless until their authors update them to download videos with the new page format. Trying to keep DVR software compatible with an online guide would be similarly troublesome, especially for DVR manufacturers like this that rarely release timely software updates.

Even if ePVision was on the ball with updates, the reason they haven't (and can't) do this is that integration of online TV guide websites with consumer electronic devices is explicitly forbidden in their ToS documents. A company trying to make a device that used TitanTV or any comparable site for guide data would get sued for doing so.
post #1318 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Quote:
A big reason for TiVo's near-monopoly is the inability of potential competitors to provide extensive TV guide listings with their would-be products.
Absolutely not. It's their stranglehold due to all the patents they have acquired by one means or another. Kinda hard to introduce a product when a good portion of the expense goes to a bunch of "robber barons". You gave the reason with your next statement;
You're not wrong at all. "Patent trolling" has become a huge abuse in the US. There's even some joker now claiming to hold a "patent" on PODCASTS and trying to strong-arm license fees out of every podcaster he can locate eek.gif

But I still think the lack of extensive guide info is a big barrier to consumer acceptance of "no-fee" DVRs, particularly for folks who've been "spoiled" by subscription DVRs like TiVo. Although not a big deal for me and some others, there's just been too much sturm und drang about the loss of OTA TVGoS for me to believe otherwise.
Quote:
Quote:
I accept that an integrated guide (beyond PSIP) is impractical in the USA, with licensing fees, user subscriptions, and the like.
I do not accept that at all.
To be fair, I should clarify: it depends on the guide provider. Rovi provides TVGoS, although it's Internet-only now. Their business model is license fees to the OEMs plus ad revenue. Their guides generally include ads. (The DTVPal DVR was an exception, but that was due to settlement of a lawsuit brought by Dish, so it can't really be replicated.)

Tribune provides Zap2it.com, and guide data for TiVo, Micro$oft, and Schedules Direct. Their business model is different: they seem more interested in subscriptions.

Actually, by using Schedules Direct, you may be right: a DVR like the PHD-VRX could provide an extensive guide with Schedules Direct data. They'd just have to give you a way to enter and save your Schedules Direct ID and password. Keeping your subscription updated would be your own responsibility. I regret I hadn't considered that possibility earlier. frown.gif
Quote:
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Quote:
so why can't someone just include a Web browser in the DVR?
I thought about that months ago, based on the fact there seems to be NO issue with a "grid" for a program guide on a web site as there apparently is if a similar grid is used in a DVR. That makes little sense. AFAIC, it's the same thing.
If Titan TV can link to a specific piece of equipment and schedule a recording as a program guide in a DVR does, I would say that should not be hard to accomplish. If this can access You Tube (though not very well), why can't it access Titan TV or Zap2It? wink.gif
I agree of course; I suppose retrofitting an existing product like the PHD-VRX might be a problem if there's not enough room left on the firmware flash ROM, but a new version of the product could surely be designed with a Web browser in mind.
post #1319 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Actually my idea was just to display it; not to have the DVR recognize anything. Just a plain-vanilla Web browser. Leave interpreting the display up to the user.

Of course that makes it less useful. The user would have to schedule recordings using the DVR's existing functions - not just click on a show. But I still think it's a worthwhile improvement.

It's also much more realistic. As LenL suggests, trying to integrate a website into the functionality of another device would be a nightmare in terms of product upkeep. Just look at programs for downloading YouTube videos: every time Google makes a minor tweak to the site, those programs become useless until their authors update them to download videos with the new page format. Trying to keep DVR software compatible with an online guide would be similarly troublesome, especially for DVR manufacturers like this that rarely release timely software updates.

Even if ePVision was on the ball with updates, the reason they haven't (and can't) do this is that integration of online TV guide websites with consumer electronic devices is explicitly forbidden in their ToS documents. A company trying to make a device that used TitanTV or any comparable site for guide data would get sued for doing so.

Yes, I was going to make the same point but you beat me to it. TitanTV wouldn't bother scrambling their website to foil a DVR's "screen scraper;" far cheaper to just sue the manufacturer and be done with it.
post #1320 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

What are/were the devices (PC cards I believe) that were interfaced with sites like TitanTV, all you had to do is choose whatever you wanted and it would program the device (PC?) to record? What was envisioned here is directly dealing with the program data supplier instead of being a third party as TiVo & CM w/ the 7400 are.
Haven't seen any cards, but there is open-source "grabber" software to do this. Unfortunately, using such software in the US is likely a violation of the Web page's ToS, which could be considered a Federal crime under our draconian Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. eek.gif
Quote:
The problem with the 7400 is the refusal of redesigning the top cover with plenty of additional vents and/or adding a fan.
Not to mention the lousy tuner. But tuner aside, it's too bad CM won't order some of these in the new Amulet case, which does have a fan. Right now you can have a unit with a good guide or a unit that doesn't overheat, but not both mad.gif
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