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ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 60
Gear mentioned in this thread:
After waiting 1 year I took the plunge in Feb and bought the VRX. Everything people have said about it is true. Lately, it has been acting up, and the video window has not been resizing back to full screen after going to the channel guide or even when switching channels. I found 1 post dealing with this problem, and one suggestion for a solution, but no confirmation of it working. It also seems that the link for the upgraded firmware no longer works. What is up with this company? I really would like them to do well, but if you give your customers grey hairs, I doubt they will survive. Has anyone dealt with the repair costs? For this instance, parts are free, but labor is not.
I don't believe anyone has had any type of repair done. If anything it would be an exchange as I doubt any repair could be done here.
Long story story, it was a bad USB connector that wasn't apparent until a couple of weeks after it was returned.
Freddyk13 had the same problem in post 916. The monitor is a 60" Panasonic DLP. It has worked correctly in the past, now I can't use the VRX to watch any recorded shows because it stays at the preview size, and doesn't use fullscreen mode anymore.
I went back a and looked at that post that I responded to 10 months ago. I would say some 'quirk' between the output of this and the monitor.
Changing resolution out doesn't do anything? I bet if this had those component outs that it was originally designed to have that would be a work around.
Edited by videobruce - 11/2/13 at 6:18am
Corrupted video issue. I think I have had that happen a couple of times in the past. I don't use this at all, it's just available to use since it's a nice tuner. I think I only connected it to a regular TV once, it's connected to a PC monitor. I'm not sure how much the tv/monitor has to do with the problem. I would guess little.
You might check out Bruce's DVR comparison chart at http://www.avsforum.com/forum/newestpost/1460149 to see what would work best for you. At one end of the spectrum, the iView or Homeworx have very limited capability, but they're cheap, and external HDDs are getting cheaper, so maybe you could buy two of each? At the other end, TiVo has all the Pal's capabilities and much more, but their mandatory monthly subscription really adds up after a couple of years.
Personally, if I had to replace a Pal, I'd probably build an HTPC, but as Bruce once said, an HTPC isn't a DVR, it's a hobby.
And even on the cable systems that aren't encrypting all channels yet, analog's definitely going away in favor of digital QAM. Soon the only analog signals in existence will be created by in-home RF modulators like the ones built into consumer equipment.
Kinda depends on the buyer, so I thought it best to just highlight the low and high ends of the spectrum and refer to videobruce's comparison chart for a fuller range of options.
Hopefully within a few days or so I might connect it up and make some brief comments about the new PHD-VRX2. The only reason I upgraded from the old PHD-VRX to the new PHD-VRX2 is so that I could have the 5.1 Dolby Digital bitstream feature from the HDMI output. I was able to sell my old PHD-VRX for around $199.99 to someone, so the cost of the upgrade was only around $30+. So hopefully in a few days I might login and make some more comments about the new and improved PHD-VRX2.
In general all the menu setting on the PHD-VRX2 appear to be almost exactly the same as the original PHD-VRX accept for the HDMI audio pass through feature which was a completely new design. The HDMI resolution menu still has only 720P and 1080P for choices, however the video quality for some reason appeared a little sharper than what I experienced on the PHD-VRX. I did not have a PHD-VRX on hand for direct comparison, and everything was from memory. Perhaps the PHD-VRX2 uses a different video and audio chip which might explain why the old PHD-VRX firmware is not compatible with the PHD-VRX2 HDMI output.
The PHD-VRX2 and the bitstreaming 5.1 Dolby Digital over HDMI feature works fine. There is an option in the menu of the PHD-VRX2 to convert everything to 2.0 PCM or to offer audio pass through. The optical audio output offers 3 options (off, AC3, or PCM). The HDMI audio does not offer the off feature but does offer both PCM and AC3 feature (however AC3 is called pass through). Placing the HDMI output in pass through mode resulted in a nice loud 5.1 Dolby Digital signal that is bit for bit the same as the master broadcast signal. This one new HDMI pass through feature solves all the audio problems people have been complaining about with the old PHD-VRX. The old PHD-VRX converted everything to 2.0 PCM over HDMI. When connecting a Blu-ray player to the HDMI input of the PHD-VRX2, lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital is passed as 5.1 Dolby Digital when the pass through feature is turned on in the PHD-VRX2 menu. However lossless audio Dolby True HD is down sampled to lossy 5.1 Dolby Digital. DTS and DTS-HD Master audio is automatically converted to 2.0 PCM on the PHD-VRX2. Of course most people with a Blu-ray player that want lossless audio will want to bypass the HDMI input on the PHD-VRX2 and run it directly to the HDMI input on ones A/V receiver.
Also recording two 1080i channels at once while watching a previous recorded 1080i channel works perfectly fine with no audio glitches. Sometimes the old PHD-VRX would have a brief glitch in the audio when starting and stopping a recording, PHD-VRX2 does not have those audio glitches.
However while using the PHD-VRX2 under the factory shipped firmware VRX188.8.131.52, I discovered a major video artifact bug which is completely unacceptable. At the 720P setting the 16x9 widescreen picture quality is perfectly fine, however as soon as one switches the HDMI resolution to 1080P a gray horizontal bar about a half an inch tall is visible on a 50 inch monitor at the bottom of the screen. The problem did not exit with the original PHD-VRX design, and I am surprised that this horizontal gray bar at the bottom of the screen exists with the PHD-VRX2. A firmware update is needed to correct this problem on the PHD-VRX2. I attempted to flash my PHD-VRX2 with the old PHD-VRX firmware to see if the video problem could be fixed. However I discovered that the PHD-VRX firmware is not compatible with the PHD-VRX2 since it disables the HDMI output completely. Now I am unable to use my PHD-VRX2 at all since the PHD-VRX2 firmware is not posted online. I sent an email to EpVision about the video bug with 1080P and also I requested that they post the lastest firmware update online so that I can use the PHD-VRX2.
If this horizontal gray bar issue while being in the 1080P mode is not fixed soon , then I will be returning my PHD-VRX2 for a refund since that is unacceptable. There are native 1080i channels and since there is no native 1080i output on the PHD-VRX2, so one is forced to use 1080P upscaling to get the best video quality.
The EpVision PHD-VRX2 units are shipping with firmware VRX184.108.40.206. Also EpVision at the end of October released firmware VRX.243.23.31 for the original old PHD-VRX unit. Before selling my PHD-VRX the latest firmware that I tried was VRX.243.19.20. Since the PHD-VRX firmware is not compatible with the PHD-VRX2, I am surprised the EpVision made it possible to install the PHD-VRX firmware onto the PHD-VRX2. Since the HDMI output is now disabled I need to wait until EpVision posts the PHD-VRX2 firmware online.
Is anyone getting a horizontal gray bar issue on the original PHD-VRX, while running the latest firmware update that was written on October 24th 2013? This most likely is a new problem with the new PHD-VRX2 units only, however since I sold my old PHD-VRX I cannot test the latest firmware that was just released.
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 11/7/13 at 3:49am
- HDMI audio fixed - pass-through now possible and it works; but
- HDMI video has a new bug at 1080p resolution
- No 1080i output
- Still no 480p output
- VRX and VRX2 firmware not compatible
- VRX2 firmware not yet now online. At present only needed if you flash a VRX2 with the incompatible VRX firmware.
And while unrelated to the VRX2, there's a new VRX firmware update online that apparently no one has tried yet
Edited by JHBrandt - 11/8/13 at 10:57am
The only reason why I tried the PHD-VRX firmware on the PHD-VRX2 was to attempt to get rid on the 1080P grayish black letterboxed horizontal line at the bottom of the screen when the PHD-VRX2 runs under 1080P resolution mode.
EpVision needs to come out with a firmware verification check system so that customers are not able to flash the wrong firmware onto an EpVision product that does not support the firmware. I will most likely be able to get the HDMI port to work again once the firmware is released online so that I can flash the correct firmware version. Then I can check to see if the half inch 1080P artifact is still present.
Some select quotes from a EpVision email I received today
“Thank you very much for your email. First of all, you should never update PHD-VRX firmware. The hardware design is changed between PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2. So, the firmware structures are totally different. By doing that, PHD-VRX2 may have further damages. Please consult with us first before you do that.”
“You can start downloading the VRX2 firmware later in this afternoon after we posted on the line.”
“We have tested 720p and 1080p resolution many times and find no gray bar. After re-upload the firmware, please check again. If still has a grey bar, please take a picture of that and email us so we can ask engineers to check what is going on. Thanks again for your email”
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 11/7/13 at 12:46pm
Added a link to the October firmware and the revised manual (which covers both units). The three additional documents from earlier this year are now included in this V1.6 manual. I didn't see any mention regarding the HDMI issue though.
What is needed is a closeup of the new audio chip with a make & model. Also, any observation of any other changes other than the removal of the power switch.
How about a screen shot HDTV1080p24?? Have you tried another monitor?
Edited by videobruce - 11/7/13 at 3:42pm
Maybe it's cutting off 32 lines instead of only the 8 it should, resulting in a 24-line gray bar.
Can't imagine a bug like that going unnoticed, even by ePVision - unless they only checked the 1080p resolution on 720p and 480i source, where rescaling kicks in. Do you remember if the gray bar was present on all channels, or only the 1080i ones?