This is excellent news that EpVision has came out with the PHD-VRX2 which is a replacement to the original PHD-VRX. This means EpVision is the only company in 2013 that is making an external tuner with 2 RF inputs which is a nice feature for those that have Verizon FIOS clear QAM and ATSC broadcast (4 channel map memories is awesome also).
The only hardware differences between the PHD-VRX2 and PHD-VRX is that the PHD-VRX2 cosmetically looks different and has individual standby, recording, and operation indicators (Which is a minor change). The big advantage of the PHD-VRX2 is that it has updated HDMI hardware that allows it to bitstream 1.0-5.1 Dolby Digital from the HDMI output interface. This is the very first EpVision tuner that allows bitstreaming audio over HDMI.
Most likely there will be a menu selection in the PHD-VRX2 to output 2.0 PCM over HDMI and a option to output Dolby Digital native bitstream.
This means consumers who purchase the PHD-VRX2 will no longer have low audio problems since most modern HDTV’s will accept a bitstream Dolby Digital input over HDMI. Consumers will just need to use the volume control on their TV to control the volume when bitstreaming Dolby Digital. This also means consumers no longer need to run both HDMI and optical to their A/V receiver. Many people today use A/V receivers as a HDMI switching device that is connected directly to their display.
The old PHD-VRX must have a hardware limitation that only allows 2.0 PCM over HDMI. Many HDTV chipsets have a 2.0 PCM limitation and since the original PHD-VRX was designed around TV electronics this would explain why it cannot bitstream over HDMI.
So consumers will either have separate firmware releases for the PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 or as one person already mentioned the firmware releases will be the same. However if the firmware releases are the same, the option to change HDMI 2.0 PCM audio to Dolby Digital will not exist in the menu for the old PHD-VRX since according to the EpVision documentation the HDMI bitstreaming option is an exclusive feature only found on the PHD-VRX2(It must be a hardware limitation in the PHD-VRX). So it appears the main reason the PHD-VRX2 was released was to overcome the hardware limitation that prevented it from bitstreaming over HDMI.
There must have been many people complaining about low volume over HDMI and no Dolby Digital bitstream option, to justify an entire new model that fixes those issues. That was one of my biggest complaints that I had to run both HDMI and optical to my Pioneer A/V receiver.
Tonight I placed an order for the PHD-VRX2 since I would like to free up one of the optical input jacks on my A/V receiver and also free up an optical cable that will no longer be required. For most people there will not be a big enough of a difference between the PHD-VRX2 and the PHD-VRX to justify an upgrade.
Is someone going to start a PHD-VRX2 user thread or will people just use this thread since the units are so similar?
•PHD_VRX2_8VX_compare.pdfEdited by HDTV1080P24 - 10/23/13 at 11:12pm