or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Recorders › ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 60

post #1771 of 2203
Yes, I agree. If the only real change is the HDMI audio bitstream feature, then at AVS there does not need to be any new full reviews. Just brief comments on the HDMI audio fix. I just have never seen a company release a new model number and totally revise the old listing on Amazon to make the old model disappear from the Amazon online catalog. The EpVision website has different listings for the two models, it’s unheard of to list new products on Amazon without creating a totally new listing.
post #1772 of 2203
Thread Starter 
I have seen many similar items get their reviews merged together with the same list under more than one listing.
post #1773 of 2203
For example I have seen older DVD reviews on Amazon get the DVD reviews merged with a new Blu-ray release, however in that case there is still a separate DVD and Blu-ray listing (One does NOT modify the old DVD catalog listing on Amazon and make it look like the Blu-ray came out over a year before it was released). What I am mentioning is that they just deleted the pictures and description for the original PHD-VRX and instead added the picture and descriptions for the PHD-VRX2 with a release date of the PHD-VRX2 as August 1st 2012. Looking on Amazons website its like the PHD-VRX never existed and instead the PHD-VRX2 was first introduced on Amazon 8-1-2012. Only those consumers that are more educated about this issue will realize that the PHD-VRX2 was not released until October 28th 2013, and the release date of August 1st 2012 is incorrect information. A better solution would have been for EpVision to create an entire new PHD-VRX2 catalog listing on Amazon and then if they wanted to they could have used the same user comments from the old PHD-VRX listing for the new listing.
post #1774 of 2203
Amazon frequently fails to make a clear distinction between similar products, and sellers often list their items under the wrong product, which is why it's much easier to find specific items on eBay, where sellers are personally responsible for describing what they're selling.
post #1775 of 2203

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.

post #1776 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
the video window has not been resizing back to full screen after going to the channel guide or even when switching channels.
No idea what you are talking about. What type of monitor are you using?
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.
.
Quote:
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.
You can start here;
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1414002/epvision-phd-vrx-owners-thread/360#post_22184354

Long story story, it was a bad USB connector that wasn't apparent until a couple of weeks after it was returned.
post #1777 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post


No idea what you are talking about. What type of monitor are you using?
 

 

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.

post #1778 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Preview size as in that small window in the upper right side while in Media Player or while in the Guide?
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. wink.gif
Edited by videobruce - 11/2/13 at 6:18am
post #1779 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Preview size as in that small window in the upper right side while in Media Player or while in the Guide?

Yes, I'll close either one and the screen just stays small.

post #1780 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanS57 View Post
 

Yes, I'll close either one and the screen just stays small.

I just did a complete system reset and it started to work correctly again. I don't know how long it will last, but thanks for the helping effort, Bruce.

post #1781 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Yes, I'll close either one and the screen just stays small.
Ok, I think I know what you mean. Just that area is visible, the rest of the screen is black, correct?
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.
post #1782 of 2203
Videobruce

I have a question is this unit (phd-vrx2) even remotely a good substitute for the cm-7000pal?
post #1783 of 2203
As a Pal owner myself, I don't think there's any good substitute on the market right now. Channel Master is supposedly close to releasing a new DVR, but it's not on the market yet and I don't think anyone knows what its capabilities will be.

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.
post #1784 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I have a question is this unit (phd-vrx2) even remotely a good substitute for the cm-7000pal?
If the issues would get ever get corrected instead of making changes that were never necessary. Yes it would,
.
Quote:
I don't think there's any good substitute on the market right now.
Thanks to TiVo.
.
Quote:
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.
Full time. Wait until you discover UEFI & GPT. tongue.gif
post #1785 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Wait until you discover UEFI & GPT. tongue.gif
I'm not even going to ask. I already spend enough time compressing DVDs to .MP4 and editing commercials out of recorded shows.
post #1786 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

As a Pal owner myself, I don't think there's any good substitute on the market right now.

I guess everybody on this forum loves watching ION, because nobody (except me) ever recommends the TViX 6620 as a substitute. tongue.gif
post #1787 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

I guess everybody on this forum loves watching ION, because nobody (except me) ever recommends the TViX 6620 as a substitute. tongue.gif
Does the TViX 6620 have a good tuner?
post #1788 of 2203
Yes. It's slightly more sensitive than the tuner in my LG TV, which has the same sensitivity as the tuners in the Zenith DTV converter boxes (as Zenith is owned by LG).
post #1789 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

Yes. It's slightly more sensitive than the tuner in my LG TV, which has the same sensitivity as the tuners in the Zenith DTV converter boxes (as Zenith is owned by LG).
Good to know. Will research the other thread.
post #1790 of 2203
Since most cable systems are converting to all digital, the VRX will no longer be suitable as an alternative cable box. Most clear qam cable signals are now being encrypted, and the analog/NTSC signals are being eliminated. A cable card and possible tuning adapter will now be required to receive most cable signals. So they should consider a new VRX version with a cable card receiver for the box to be fully functional. For it will soon only be useful as an OTA antenna tuner/DVR. Which is still nice if you need dual antenna inputs for multiple markets. But if you need a cable DVR, your choice may now be limited to TiVo or the cable company's own DVR box.
post #1791 of 2203
More info on which cable companies are encrypting and which ones aren't (yet) can be found here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1475637/are-all-your-qam-channels-scrambled.

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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

I guess everybody on this forum loves watching ION, because nobody (except me) ever recommends the TViX 6620 as a substitute. tongue.gif
I do think the TViX is one of the best of the lot. As a direct replacement for a Pal, its main drawbacks are a relatively high price, and a limited EPG. And like all DVRs including the Pal, it has its bugs and annoyances, the issues with Ion being the most serious and best-known. But it also offers a lot of unique features.

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.
post #1792 of 2203
Update on my PHD-VRX2 purchase. I pre-ordered the new PHD-VRX2 which was officially released on October 28th 2013. EpVision packaged the unit up on October 28th 2013 and shipped it on November 1st 2013. I received the PHD-VRX2 today on November 5th 2013 at 11:38am in the morning, however I have not had the time to even open the package yet.

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.
post #1793 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

... I was able to sell my old PHD-VRX for around $199.99 ....
Give or take a few mills ... might have been only $199.986; don't remember exactly biggrin.gif
post #1794 of 2203
The PHD-VRX2 has a little bit different cosmetic design (I ended up pealing a plastic coating off the bottom of the PHD-VRX2 where the prior PHD-VRX had the plastic on the top). The master power button that power cycles the AC power does not exist at all on the PHD-VRX2. I liked that feature on the original PHD-VRX. Now when I need to do a power cycle on the unit I have to either reach in the back to unplug the power cord or power cycle everything connected to the UPS system. Also the PHD-VRX2 LED display is red color, compared to a yellowish orange type color on the original PHD-VRX (it would be ideal if an option existed to dim the front panel lights to off). The PHD-VRX2 also had a slightly newer optical audio jack that does not need the plastic dust cover plug. The 4 plastic feet are also a little different on the 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 VRX2.243.23.31, 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 VRX2.243.23.31. 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.


http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/Documents/PHD-VRX/
Edited by HDTV1080P24 - 11/7/13 at 3:49am
post #1795 of 2203
Thanks for an excellent first review of the VRX2. Bottom line, if I understand correctly:
  • 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 rolleyes.gif
  • 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 eek.gif
Edited by JHBrandt - 11/8/13 at 10:57am
post #1796 of 2203
Yes JHBrandt that is an excellent summary you made of my orignal post.

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
post #1797 of 2203
The only explanation I can think of for the grey bar is that the VRX2 isn't cropping 1080i channels correctly, as they do not actually use a resolution of 1920x1080. ATSC stations all use MPEG-2, and MPEG-2 requires videos to have mod16 resolutions, and 1080 is not divisible by 16. As a result, 1080i stations actually send 1920x1088i signals, and ATSC MPEG-2 decoders are automatically supposed to crop the bottom 8 pixels from the image to restore the 1920x1080 image. If the VRX2 isn't doing that the way it should, that might account for the grey bar at the bottom of the screen, although a 0.5" bar sounds a bit tall for only 8 pixels, even on a 50" screen. Regardless of the cause, it is certainly an unaccceptable flaw.
post #1798 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Posts 1 & 10 updated.
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
post #1799 of 2203
Let's see: using the Pythagorean Theorem and assuming a 16:9 screen, a 50" screen should be about 24.5" tall. 1080/24.5 is about 44 scan lines/inch, so a half-inch would be about 22 lines.

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?
post #1800 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Still no 480p output
There use to be but it was removed 16 months ago for no apparent reason which means all what is needed is a firmware change (alone with the other dozen or so changes needed). rolleyes.gif
Quote:
VRX and VRX2 firmware not compatible
Other than a conflict with the change in the digital audio, there shouldn't be a reason why it isn't if you are not using HDMI for audio.
Quote:
VRX2 firmware not yet online
It's on their FTP site that I posted a link.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Recorders
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Recorders › ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread