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ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 53

post #1561 of 2203

I found this forum earlier this week, AFTER I ordered a PHD-VRX, well it showed up today and I'm not sure if I want to open the box, or just send it back.  I've read about 70% of the posts on this thread so far, I'm hoping in the remaining posts that the ability to record from the HDMI or Component Inputs has been identified as a needed feature.

I'm a cable only customer on Comcast all digital feed.  To view HD and all 400+ channels I have to use the Comcast STB.  All I was hoping for from the PHD-VRX was to record HD (pause live TV, etc.) from the Motorola STB (DCT6200).  But the STB only outputs HD via the HDMI or Component jacks, both of which the PHD-VRX don't record according to the manual.  Thoughts?  Sent it back, or is the record feature to be delivered?

post #1562 of 2203
The component inputs were never intended to let you record content, and they will not and cannot be altered to allow that. The PHD-VRX would need a hardware encoder to convert analogue audio/video into digital audio/video in realtime, and since it does not have a hardware encoder, it is impossible to add that ability through firmware. The inputs are for convenience only. If you need a hardware encoder, you should have gotten a different device than this one. The PHD-VRX is a DVR only designed to capture MPEG-2 transport streams from DTV.
post #1563 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

The component inputs were never intended to let you record content, and they will not and cannot be altered to allow that. The PHD-VRX would need a hardware encoder to convert analogue audio/video into digital audio/video in realtime, and since it does not have a hardware encoder, it is impossible to add that ability through firmware. The inputs are for convenience only. If you need a hardware encoder, you should have gotten a different device than this one. The PHD-VRX is a DVR only designed to capture MPEG-2 transport streams from DTV.

 

Thanks for the response.  Reading through this forum, you guys are doing a great service for ePVision's Engineers and Development team, I hope they take advantage of your input & experiences. 

post #1564 of 2203
I have found the PHD VRX is a very good DVR works great it does have few extras.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave21Push View Post

I found this forum earlier this week, AFTER I ordered a PHD-VRX, well it showed up today and I'm not sure if I want to open the box, or just send it back.  I've read about 70% of the posts on this thread so far, I'm hoping in the remaining posts that the ability to record from the HDMI or Component Inputs has been identified as a needed feature.
I'm a cable only customer on Comcast all digital feed.  To view HD and all 400+ channels I have to use the Comcast STB.  All I was hoping for from the PHD-VRX was to record HD (pause live TV, etc.) from the Motorola STB (DCT6200).  But the STB only outputs HD via the HDMI or Component jacks, both of which the PHD-VRX don't record according to the manual.  Thoughts?  Sent it back, or is the record feature to be delivered?
post #1565 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm hoping in the remaining posts that the ability to record from the HDMI or Component Inputs has been identified as a needed feature.
It will never happen with the HDMI and very doubtful it will from the component. No DVR in the US can (legally) record form HDMI. It's designed that way from the get go. Total control over 'digital' content as in HD. You can blame Hollywood and others for that. There is nothing new here.
Quote:
To view HD and all 400+ channels I have to use the Comcast STB.
That's just the way they want it. Of course you can always "cut the cord". wink.gif
post #1566 of 2203
That is correct, HDMI with its HDCP feature will never be used for recordings. In the United States the discontinued JVC D-VHS machines contain a IEEE-1394 interface that allowed consumers to make a perfect bit for bit 1080i HD recording when connected to an external tuner with a IEEE-1394 interface. The 5C copy protection system would allow consumers to record programs that were marked as copy always or copy once. Also in other parts of the world standalone Blu-ray recorders contain IEEE-1394 interfaces to make perfect HD recordings under the 5C copy protection system.

The Motorola 6000 series cable boxes contain two IEEE-1394 interfaces, and if one wants to make a perfect SD or HD recording from the Motorola 6000 series box under the 5C copy protection system they need an external device like a D-VHS or a imported standalone Blu-ray recorder that uses IEEE-1394. It’s too bad the PHD-VRX does not have a IEEE-1394 interface, the consumer electronics industry has dropped that interface on all consumer purchased tuners and recording devices (desktop computers still offer the feature). The new Motorola 7000 series cable boxes that requires a rental has one IEEE-1394 interface but it will not allow any programs to be recorded from the IEEE-1394 interface since it uses a special copy protection feature. On the Motorola 7000 series boxes, the IEEE-1394 interface is for viewing live programs only, since if one even tries to record a simple program like the local nightly news, digital artifacts are inserted in the recording every few seconds.

Also external hard drives connected to satellite receivers and cable boxes are encrypted so that a consumer cannot copy the recordings to another hard drive. When the satellite or cable service is discontinued the recordings on the internal and external hard drive can no longer be played. One of the advantages of the Epvision PHD-VRX is that since a cablecard is not used the external hard drive recordings can be copied since the recordings are not encrypted.
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 5/26/13 at 3:45pm
post #1567 of 2203
I checked Ebay and do not see any for sale yet. However I did put mine on EBAY. PM me here if there is any interest or simply buy it off of EBAY. My second DTVPAL came back from the repair shop and it is working great so I don't really need the PHD-VRX.
post #1568 of 2203
It looks like in the years to come everyone is going to need to purchase a new external or internal ATSC 3.0 tuner in order to watch local over the air broadcasts.


It looks like we are going to lose some physical RF TV ATSC spectrum somewhere in the channel 2-51 range in the years to come (The ATSC 3.0 standard will increase virtual channels with the remaining TV spectrum, however new ATSC tuners will need to be purchased since ATSC 3.0 is not backwards compatible with existing ATSC tuners on the market). It was thought that ATSC 3.0 deployment might be 10 years away, however now ATSC 3.0 rollout might be much sooner than 5 years away and the TV spectrum auction could happen in 2014.

The following are select word for word quotes from the article:

““We’ve set a goal of adopting rules this year in holding the auctions in 2014 in order to meet a shortage [of] spectrum for wireless broadband that may appear as early as 2015,” Lake said. “We’re in full swing on that project and we think that those target dates are aggressive but doable.”

“Lake, however, dashed hopes that rollout of the ATSC 3.0 standard might coincide with the Congressionally mandated TV spectrum auction and repacking of channels.”

“During a Q&A session following Lake’s remarks, he was reminded that Congress had established a 10-year period for the next TV broadcasting “transition,” and was asked if wouldn’t make sense to expand the auction timeline to allow alignment with the ATSC 3.0 deployment.”

““Transitions are painful,” McCoskey said. “The repack is going to be a transition and it’s going to be a painful transition. They cost money, even if you’re reimbursed. And they cause confusion and there’s a cost to viewers as well. We don’t get a chance to do this very often. The concept of dropping backward compatibility is incredibly important to the transition. Ignore backward compatibility, but really focus on forward compatibility…. It also has to be about cost efficiency and operational efficiency.”

http://www.tvtechnology.com/regulatory/0113/fccs-lake--auctions-‘aggressive-but-doable/219363
post #1569 of 2203
Remember the difference between how many years people were saying TV would go digital and how many years it actually took for it to happen? The transition to ATSC 3.0 won't happen for quite a while. The government would be hard pressed to get enough support to put the public through another costly and confusing transition.
post #1570 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Remember the difference between how many years people were saying TV would go digital and how many years it actually took for it to happen? The transition to ATSC 3.0 won't happen for quite a while. The government would be hard pressed to get enough support to put the public through another costly and confusing transition.

That is why the ATSC 3.0 rollout still might be 10 years away. Instead the FCC could auction off TV spectrum and roll out ATSC 2.0 which is backwards compatible with existing equipment until people are ready for ATSC 3.0 . Last time I checked the ATSC 3.0 standard was still in development. The more physical bandwidth that is auctioned off, the greater the demand for ATSC 3.0 will be since the codecs are much more efficient.
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 5/29/13 at 1:57pm
post #1571 of 2203
I can hardly wait for the new wave of ATSC VHF woes in 2015 rolleyes.gif Especially if many stations move back to VHF-Lo, now that antennas that don't receive VHF-Lo are common eek.gif
post #1572 of 2203
There will never be a "move" to ATSC 2.0, although some stations and receivers might employ some of its techniques. All it does is add some Internet features, such as targeted advertising and the potential for VOD. It doesn't move the standard away from H.262 (which ATSC 3.0 does), so there is no need to "transition" to it. The HEVC/H.265 standard is pretty much in its final state now, so it won't impede the development of ATSC 3.0.
post #1573 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Planned obsolescence on a grand scale. I can't see this flying at all. This wireless everything is out of control. Period. mad.gif
post #1574 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

This wireless everything is out of control. Period. mad.gif

Well OTA TV is technically wireless too!

I know you don't agree but TV content and distribution is moving from multiple 'pipes' (OTA, cable, satellite) onto the internet. It seems more efficient to me to allow multiple types of equipment to share the same network (TV, PC, tablet, SmartPhone, smart devices, etc). Provide more bandwidth for these many devices. As a benefit all TV watching can be on demand without any need to record and store the content in your home via a DVR type device.
post #1575 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

Well OTA TV is technically wireless too!

I know you don't agree but TV content and distribution is moving from multiple 'pipes' (OTA, cable, satellite) onto the internet. It seems more efficient to me to allow multiple types of equipment to share the same network (TV, PC, tablet, SmartPhone, smart devices, etc). Provide more bandwidth for these many devices. As a benefit all TV watching can be on demand without any need to record and store the content in your home via a DVR type device.

After a major natural "event" (hurricane, earthquake, etc) the Cable can be out for weeks if not months. OTA television signals get back on the air quickly. How long are you prepared to go without?
post #1576 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

After a major natural "event" (hurricane, earthquake, etc) the Cable can be out for weeks if not months. OTA television signals get back on the air quickly. How long are you prepared to go without?

That's exactly the purpose of the FCC trying to free up spectrum for broadband wireless - to allow more functionality and higher bandwidth for wireless devices that can have many uses.
post #1577 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by andydrew View Post

That's exactly the purpose of the FCC trying to free up spectrum for broadband wireless - to allow more functionality and higher bandwidth for wireless devices that can have many uses.

Oh I see. It's all gonna be wireless. Right now it costs me $205/mo for 4Gb data plan split between 3 phones. What is the monthly price gonna be for God only knows how much data when everything I own is connected? One hour of HDTV is about 8Gb.
Edited by WS65711 - 5/30/13 at 10:03am
post #1578 of 2203
I think you just hit the nail on the head. I think that was videobruce's point as well - just not quite as elegantly stated.

It's true that OTA TV and data-on-demand are both "wireless," but the business model is quite different. OTA TV is ad-supported and free to the viewer; wireless data is pay-per-GB, but you still get the ads anyhow! Reassigning spectrum from the former to the latter won't lower prices since AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile will still be the oligopoly we all have to buy our gigabytes from; it'll just mean less for free TV, less "white space" for possible unlicensed users, and more $$ from viewers' pockets to the Big 4.

Of course I know there are alternatives: you can buy your gigabytes from your local cable monopoly or telco (probably still AT&T or Verizon, though), or even a wireless alternative like Clearwire - but why are we creating a world in which we have to buy tons of internet bandwidth just to watch "free" TV?

I'm not completely opposed to reassigning some spectrum, but this hacking out another 100 MHz every decade has to stop, and some spectrum needs to be reserved for unlicensed users (like the 900 MHz band, the 2.4 GHz band, and the 5.8 GHz band today), rather than it all going to the Big 4 so they can gouge us for miserly slices of "their" bandwidth.
post #1579 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Well OTA TV is technically wireless too!
And that was there first, long before all this other crap of very late.
Quote:
It seems more efficient to me to allow multiple types of equipment to share the same network (TV, PC, tablet, SmartPhone, smart devices, etc).
As long as the network has the capability which AFAIC it does not. At least not in the US with it;s decades old system.

This open season on what should be grandfathered has gone well past what it should of. Just like the military machine and it's bottomless pit of money thrown at it. There is plenty of spectrum between 230 & 400 MHz that is rarely used.

.
Edited by videobruce - 5/30/13 at 9:21pm
post #1580 of 2203
One day in the near or far future, the entire TV spectrum might be auctioned off and free over the air broadcast TV might completely disappear. If ATSC 3.0 and subscription based ATSC catches on maybe it will save the entire broadcast TV spectrum from being auctioned off one day. It’s much harder to get rid of the broadcast TV spectrum if companies are providing premium channels to viewers along with the free local network channels.
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 5/31/13 at 2:22pm
post #1581 of 2203
We're already seeing some subscription OTA content today: http://www.airbox.com, http://www.dyle.tv. ATSC 3.0's improved video compression will undoubtedly help too, since sister stations will both be able to broadcast HD while sharing a single RF channel.

The problem is timing: it appears OTA TV will be losing significant spectrum just two years from now, long before the public is ready for another round of converter boxes and coupons! By the time ATSC 3.0 comes to the rescue, OTA TV may look a lot like it did back in the 70's: a mere handful of channels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

There is plenty of spectrum between 230 & 400 MHz that is rarely used.

225-400 MHz, to be precise. For those who are interested, check out this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAVE_QUICK. Given their budgets I'm sure the US military and NATO could move to an updated aircraft radio system, perhaps using digital spread spectrum instead of AM (!) with frequency-hopping, and free up a good chunk of that 175 MHz while maintaining immunity from jamming.

The "Big 4" probably don't want it because it's VHF and low UHF, and they prefer higher frequencies that work better with small antennas. But it sounds like a reasonable chunk of spectrum to incorporate into the ATSC 3.0 standard (since ATSC 3.0 will require a new generation of receivers anyhow). It would require a new generation of TV antennas, but that's still preferable to this Chinese water torture.

Edit: Corrected the Airbox link (Airboxspain.com was Europe's version.) Note however the Airbox website is currently down. I hope that doesn't bode ill for the success of subscription OTA TV.
Edited by JHBrandt - 6/6/13 at 8:37am
post #1582 of 2203
The airbox system is Internet based and the Dyle system with the encrypted ATSC-MH channels is for portable devices. With ATSC 3.0 combined with digital encryption there could be all kinds of 8K, 4K, and 1080P channels offered. HEVC codec is 4 times more efficient when compared to MPEG-2. Also 1024QAM is supported with ATSC 3.0 to increase efficiency.

For example there could be made available Fox News HD, CNN HD, and a few other ATSC 3.0 channels for only $10 a month along with the free local ABC HD, NBC HD, PBS HD, and FOX HD. For $20+ a month a few movie channels like HBO HD, Showtime HD, and others could be made available. The TV spectrum could be used as another option for those that are not interested in the high prices of cable TV and satellite TV. I believe if one could purchase a few channels like MSNBC HD, CNN HD, and Fox News HD, there would be a lot of people willing to pay $10 a month for that package. Subscription based ATSC 3.0 would also make it much harder for the FCC to take away more TV spectrum.

I do not believe that the FCC will every assign new physical TV spectrum space to the existing TV spectrum, instead the FCC is more interested in auctioning off the entire TV spectrum one day.
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 5/31/13 at 2:57pm
post #1583 of 2203
More ATSC 3.0 ideas and the use of TV spectrum


If one TV tower contained a total of 4 physical RF TV channels broadcasting from the exact same location, then with ATSC 3.0 technology it would be possible for a company to offer 40+ HD quality premium channels made up of several news and movie channels, etc. Consumers in a major city if they wanted to watch more than the free local channels, then they could purchase just one or two channels or an entire package of channels.

The ATSC 3.0 standard should make it mandatory to have either built in encryption, downloadable encryption, or some type of credit card encryption system that is similar to the cable card slot.
post #1584 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

The airbox system is Internet based....
Huh? Tell that to all the Ion affiliates broadcasting it, not to mention the TViX 6620 owners suffering incompatibilities with Ion due to it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

... and the Dyle system with the encrypted ATSC-MH channels is for portable devices.
Regardless of what types of screens it's "for," the point I was making is that there are already OTA subscription channels available. IIRC Fox has even experimented with making "Fox News" available to Dyle subscribers in one or two markets.

Of course ATSC 3.0 will allow for many more OTA channels, whether subscription or free, within a given slice of spectrum. But it's doing that by more efficiently using the same 6 MHz-wide channels. Unless the Big 4's voracious appetite for spectrum is checked, we're likely to be left with only about 20 OTA channels by the 2020's - with five of those in the undesirable VHF-Lo "ghetto."

So, while ATSC 3.0 will be a big improvement, it's no panacea. A 20-channel OTA spectrum won't be a problem for the big networks, but unless the FCC forces stations to open part of their 19.39 Mb/s spectrum slices to competitors (highly unlikely IMO), it will pretty much force smaller niche networks off the air and onto the Internet - which, of course, is exactly what the Big 4 are counting on.

My apologies to Bruce - looks like we've drifted off-topic again. All this talk about ATSC 3.0 is largely irrelevant to PHD-VRX owners, although perhaps ePVision will offer a new ATSC 3.0-compatible DVR once the standard is in place and the transition is set. While I'm sure there will be ATSC 3.0 converter boxes (limited to 1080i the same way the original converter boxes were limited to S-video), it's a near-sure bet that current HD DVRs like the PHD-VRX won't be able to record from them frown.gif
post #1585 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
My apologies to Bruce - looks like we've drifted off-topic again. All this talk about ATSC 3.0 is largely irrelevant to PHD-VRX owners
Not OT when it makes any of these boat anchors. mad.gif
post #1586 of 2203
I guess the only good news is that (according to the article HD1080P24 linked to originally) it will probably be a while before the "ATSC 3.0 transition" happens (I'm guessing at least 2020) even though the next spectrum grab will probably happen in 2015. If so, our current DVRs will keep working for several more years, even if there will soon be less for them to record.
post #1587 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

I guess the only good news is that (according to the article HD1080P24 linked to originally) it will probably be a while before the "ATSC 3.0 transition" happens (I'm guessing at least 2020) even though the next spectrum grab will probably happen in 2015. If so, our current DVRs will keep working for several more years, even if there will soon be less for them to record.

I doubt that many of them will still be operating by then just from the standpoint of the cheap components having failed.
post #1588 of 2203
JHBrandt your ATSC 3.0 1080i limit on converter boxes comment might be true, however it’s all speculation. While the 8K, 4K, and QUAD HD built in ATSC 3.0 tuners and external ATSC 3.0 tuners will most likely support up to 8K (or at least 2D QUAD HD and 1080P 3-D), the government converter boxes might be limited to a maximum of 1080P over HDMI and 480i composite video might still be offered (S-Video has been phased out on all new TV’s and most new A/V receivers). However QUAD HD chipsets are getting much cheaper and there is a possibility that all the ATSC 3.0 tuners and converter boxes will be the same quality over HDMI. We are already seeing Blu-ray players that upscale native 1080P to QUAD HD for under $200. By the time ATSC 3.0 converter boxes are made the difference in price between a QUAD HD chipset and 1080P chipset over HDMI might only be $10. This time around the US government converter box program might just give a coupon to any external ATSC 3.0 tuner on the market instead of making converter boxes that max out at 1080P over HDMI. Also by 2020 or 2025 the government approved converter boxes might only have HDMI output and no analog video output as a cost saving measure.
post #1589 of 2203
I hope you're right. I'm clearly assuming the next transition will be like the last one: the government will subsidize converter boxes to avoid bricking existing equipment, but the subsidized boxes will be function-limited, just as the old CECBs were. If so, the FCC will probably allow analog outputs but won't require them, much as they allowed, but didn't require, S-video on the old CECBs. Analog TVs last a long time, so folks who still have them could pay a little extra for boxes with analog outputs; folks who've moved to newer TVs with HDMI connections could buy cheaper HDMI-only boxes.

I think the CECB limitations were based more on ideology than on cost. Congress didn't want to subsidize upgrades, so they mandated that CECBs couldn't go beyond keeping old equipment running. Maybe next time, the government could limit only the amount of the subsidy, not what the boxes that qualify for it can do. That would be a smarter choice. There's not much sense in creating another line of technology that will be obsolete as soon as the equipment it's connected to dies.

And there's no way to know whether boxes that can decrypt content for paid subscriptions will qualify for subsidies. We'll just have to wait, write our representatives, file comments with the FCC when rules are proposed, and hope for the best.

Of course, no matter what the government does, non-subsidized devices will have no limitations and can offer whatever broadcasters send out: 1080p, 4k, paid subscriptions, etc. Nevertheless, it's highly unlikely that any ATSC 3.0 devices will give our existing ATSC 1.0 DVRs a new lease on life. (They'd need 8VSB or QAM RF modulators to do that, and those are still extremely expensive.)
post #1590 of 2203
Any news on a potential release of a new firmware to correct all the issues of this half-backed product ?
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