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ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 69

post #2041 of 2203
I hope I am not violating some rule on this forum, but is there any agreement about whether the PHD-VRX2 is worth my trouble? Or is there another unit more worthy?

I am mostly interested in the dual tuner functionality, not the DVR so much, although that would be a plus.

Given that I really am more interested in the dual tuner capability (cable and antenna) can someone (or several people) please save me all the time of reading this entire thread and compress the consensus opinion?

Thanks in advance!

P.S.

My recently purchased HDTV got a lightning hit and the tuner is marginal on HD channels. Actually, it will NOT tune channels in the digital channel spectrum from at least 48.0 to 54.0 maybe more. Strange, but true. That is the ONLY reason why I am looking for a tuner, rather than a new HDTV.
Edited by Kerry1960 - 1/20/14 at 9:39pm
post #2042 of 2203
It does have dual tuner the for DVR and or OTA to Cable switching
I do not know why you would need a dual tuner with out a DVR How do you plan to use the dual tuner
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry1960 View Post

I hope I am not violating some rule on this forum, but is there any agreement about whether the PHD-VRX2 is worth my trouble? Or is there another unit more worthy?

I am mostly interested in the dual tuner functionality, not the DVR so much, although that would be a plus.

.
post #2043 of 2203
The only reason I purchased the PHD-VRX was because it’s the only product on the market that has 2 RF inputs with 4 channel maps (The current TIVO models dropped dual RF input).

The PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 are ideal for people that want clear QAM cable and ATSC broadcast channels. With a push of a button one can switch back and forth between cable and an indoor/outdoor TV antenna. Also legacy NTSC is supported on tuner one. This product is not for everyone since it lacks a cablecard feature that is needed to subscribe to encrypted QAM channels from ones local cable company.

Therefore, I would have been happy with the PHD-VRX if it just had one tuner and a dual RF input with 2 channel maps and no HD DVR function. The PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 has two tuners because it allows consumers to attached up to a 2TB hard drive so that one can turn the product into a HD DVR that records 2 channels at once while watching a previously recorded program at the same time.

My point is some people are only interested in the PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 as a tuner only, however later on many people decide to turn the product into a HD DVR by purchasing an external hard drive with a USB interface.
post #2044 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Given that I really am more interested in the dual tuner capability (cable and antenna) can someone (or several people) please save me all the time of reading this entire thread and compress the consensus opinion?
You don't have to go through the entire thread. Have you read the 1st 10 posts, especially 7, 8 & 10?
post #2045 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

The only reason I purchased the PHD-VRX was because it’s the only product on the market that has 2 RF inputs with 4 channel maps (The current TIVO models dropped dual RF input).

The PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 are ideal for people that want clear QAM cable and ATSC broadcast channels. With a push of a button one can switch back and forth between cable and an indoor/outdoor TV antenna. Also legacy NTSC is supported on tuner one. This product is not for everyone since it lacks a cablecard feature that is needed to subscribe to encrypted QAM channels from ones local cable company.

Therefore, I would have been happy with the PHD-VRX if it just had one tuner and a dual RF input with 2 channel maps and no HD DVR function. The PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 has two tuners because it allows consumers to attached up to a 2TB hard drive so that one can turn the product into a HD DVR that records 2 channels at once while watching a previously recorded program at the same time.

My point is some people are only interested in the PHD-VRX and PHD-VRX2 as a tuner only, however later on many people decide to turn the product into a HD DVR by purchasing an external hard drive with a USB interface.

Geeze! Why anyone would buy this just to have a tuner is silly and a big mistake.. There are much cheaper options that cost $40 or less that can do that.
post #2046 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post

Geeze! Why anyone would buy this just to have a tuner is silly and a big mistake.. There are much cheaper options that cost $40 or less that can do that.

No that is not true. There is no other external tuner with 2 RF inputs. Sure, I could purchase a tuner with 1 RF input and then purchase a $40 remote control RF A/B switch to switch between cable and broadcast TV. However unless that $40 tuner your talking about has dual channel maps then it would be useless for my situation since I would have to do a new channel scan every time I switch between cable and broadcast TV.

I needed the PHD-VRX for my Pioneer PRO-101FD 50 inch monitor since it does not have a tuner. The PHD-VRX works great for switching between clear QAM Verizon FIOS cable and ATSC broadcast over the air channels.

Now if I was in a rural area where cable TV did not exist then I could have went with a $40-$50+ ATSC tuner for my needs. But since I wanted cable TV also I was forced to go with the PHD-VRX.
post #2047 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
As much as paid guide support would be nice . . . having recently cut the cord (used to have money-grubbing Rogers as my provider), I still can't believe that life "post cable" can be as sweet as it is with OTA options as provided by the PHD-VRX2, and the like.
It also depends on where you live. Huge difference between major markets vs ones at the bottom of the list. wink.gif
.
Quote:
Geeze! Why anyone would buy this just to have a tuner is silly and a big mistake.. There are much cheaper options that cost $40 or less that can do that.
The fact it's two separate tuners with two separate inputs makes a nice substitute for a rotor. Two antennas pointing in different directions.
post #2048 of 2203
Well, I suppose one could buy, say, a Homeworx for their OTA tuner and an iView for their QAM or second OTA tuner. That's under $90 and they'd still have the ability to add DVR capability later. But:
  1. Two boxes are a hassle (two remotes, two separate outputs to the TV, etc.)
  2. The iView/Homeworx tuners are a bit weak
  3. Using the iView for QAM is problematic: without PSIP there's no way to set the clock, so no timer recordings
  4. The PHD-VRX2 has several non-RF inputs, which may be useful; the iView/Homeworx have RF inputs only
  5. No analog tuner; many cable systems still have some analog channels
So, I could understand going the PHD-VRX2 route. OTOH, the iView/Homeworx have component outputs, and can be set to 480p, which may be useful as well.

All things considered, probably best just to give the options and let the buyer decide.
post #2049 of 2203
Since Post #1, item U3, mentioned the new iTE HDMI transmitter, and after a little bit of squinting at the photo, I found this iTE document for their IT6263FN:

http://en.honestar.com/product/datasheet/ITE/IT6263%20Datasheet%20v0.8.pdf

My interest is that I am a long time happy PHD-205 user. I would like to get the VRX2 for its DVR capability, but my projector only accepts 1080i (not 1080p).

As is also mentioned in Post #6, the apparent change in the VRX2 to only support 720p/1080p HDMI output is a concern and it appears that 1080i was dropped in the manuals based on the 1.6 VRX manual (Page 11), and the 1.0 VXR2 manual (Page 7). The above mentioned IT6263FN PDF does indeed list 1080i for the on Page 15 (in Note 3) so the chip itself seems to support this mode.

I hope that ePVision puts 1080i support back in. Otherwise I am out of luck (or I need a 1080p to 1080i sub-sampling converter, yuck!)

Scott
post #2050 of 2203
EpVision finally pulled the older VRX2.243.25.41.RC2 firmware from their website also. That firmware also was listed as having the paid third party program guide. So now all PHD-VRX2 owners have is the original firmware the unit shipped with back in November of 2013.

http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/Documents/PHD-VRX2/
post #2051 of 2203
The last firmware still works great

Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

EpVision finally pulled the older VRX2.243.25.41.RC2 firmware from their website also. That firmware also was listed as having the paid third party program guide. So now all PHD-VRX2 owners have is the original firmware the unit shipped with back in November of 2013.
post #2052 of 2203

I am using my Roku 3 through the HDMI in on the VRX2.

I now have audio issues when playing things from Netlfix.

If the VRX2's optical is set to PCM there's no problem, but when it's on AC3 the audio clips in and out.

Am I correct in that PCM is only stereo?

Is there any explanation for why this is happening?

Funny thing is, it only happens of some programs on Netflix but not all.

Both The Walking Dead and Mad Men say they are 5.1 but Mad Men clips while The Walking Dead doesn't.

post #2053 of 2203
This is a follow-up to Post #2049. I heard back from the EPvision folks:
Thank you very much for your email. Based on the main chip of PHD-VRX2, it is currently not supporting 1080i output video resolution. However, if your projector works with 720p, then PHD-VRX2 720p video quality is very nice. You can kindly consider that. I thank you very much!

Thanks for your email. It is the main Broadcom chip, which can’t support 1080i right now. iTE IT6263FN chip is passing through the video and can’t do scaling. Thanks again!

Support Team
ePVision.com

I had asked them about the 1080i limitation. After a little back-and-forth, and pointing out that the IT6263 does do 1080i, they confirmed that the Broadcom chip (which they referred to as "the main chip" in their first email) is the problem in supporting 1080i. The "right now" comment is at least encouraging implying that it might be fixable.

Does anyone know if the 1080i limitation is hardware in the Broadcom chip, or just a firmware issue.

Thanks,

Scott
post #2054 of 2203
It does have to be firmware issue as the drivers come from the MFG
But you can buy hdmi cable adapters to other ports like DVI, 5-RCA AV and PC
See http://www.amazon.com/CommonByte-HDTV-1080P-5-RCA-Cable/dp/B00B8FSEWC/ref=sr_1_65?ie=UTF8&qid=1390496585&sr=8-65&keywords=hdmi+cable+adapters+1080P+to+1080I

Hope this helps
Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by 645824 View Post

This is a follow-up to Post #2049. I heard back from the EPvision folks:
Thank you very much for your email. Based on the main chip of PHD-VRX2, it is currently not supporting 1080i output video resolution. However, if your projector works with 720p, then PHD-VRX2 720p video quality is very nice. You can kindly consider that. I thank you very much!

Thanks for your email. It is the main Broadcom chip, which can’t support 1080i right now. iTE IT6263FN chip is passing through the video and can’t do scaling. Thanks again!

Support Team
ePVision.com

I had asked them about the 1080i limitation. After a little back-and-forth, and pointing out that the IT6263 does do 1080i, they confirmed that the Broadcom chip (which they referred to as "the main chip" in their first email) is the problem in supporting 1080i. The "right now" comment is at least encouraging implying that it might be fixable.

Does anyone know if the 1080i limitation is hardware in the Broadcom chip, or just a firmware issue.

Thanks,

Scott
post #2055 of 2203
Thanks Smithdoor (Dave). I had also thought about adapters going into other ports, but the problem is that my projector doesn't have enough bandwidth for 1080p on any of its input ports.

Based on my experiences with my EPvision PHD-205 tuner, I absolutely love its RF receiver's sensitivities (my high gain TV antenna points to the antenna farm in Walnut Grove California 69 miles away). Hence my interest in the VRX2.

Based on EPvision's emails, it sounds like I will need to wait until they resolve their Broadcom issues. I looked for a 1080p to 1080i subsamplier, but I didn't find anything reasonable compared to the cost of the VRX2.

It is a shame that the recent manual for the VRX (VRX #1) also excludes 1080i.

Thanks,
Scott
post #2056 of 2203
EpVision has just released new firmware for the PHD-VRX2, however there is currently no PDF document mentioning what the improvements are.

PHD_VRX2_firmware-VRX2_243_25_43_RC2.zip
post #2057 of 2203
I'd guess it's the same as before except with the S.D. module removed. Which means at least it should still give the option to turn off the red LED display. (That and "deep function improvements," whatever the heck that means rolleyes.gif )
post #2058 of 2203
Did you try it

Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV1080P24 View Post

EpVision has just released new firmware for the PHD-VRX2, however there is currently no PDF document mentioning what the improvements are.

PHD_VRX2_firmware-VRX2_243_25_43_RC2.zip
post #2059 of 2203
HDTV1080P24 exchanged his PHD-VRX2 for an original PHD-VRX, so he can't use the VRX2 firmware.
post #2060 of 2203
The PDF for the 243.25.43 RC2 firmware step-by-step has shown up on the EPvision site:

http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/Documents/PHD-VRX2/PHD-VRX2FirmwareUpgrade-VRX2_243_25_43_RC2.pdf

This goes with the .ZIP file that HDTV1080P24 mentioned previously.

This does not include any info on what fixes were implemented. But the EPvision web page lists these topics:
01/24/14:
New firmware will be released soon. (Thanks to many users feedback!)
Some Features include:
• Switching Tuner1 or Tuner2 EPG within the Guide screen
• Navigating channel name/number in both directions within the Guide screen
• Ability to cancel the recording events within Guide screen
• Forbidding directly changing channels within Guide screen
• Changing the default color/picture setting based on user inputs.
• Combining text and icons in on-screen menu for more intuitive menu control
• Changing RF1 icon color and more...

For reference, the documents presently there right now (Jan 24 2014 9:57 PST) are the QuickStart guide (VRX2-v1.11) and the Manual (VRX2-v1.0). These document version notations are shown on the last page of each. I included this for reference since the files appear to be undated. So perhaps we can use this in the future to determine when the documents are updated.

Scott
Edited by 645824 - 1/24/14 at 1:57pm
post #2061 of 2203
Did you know the pay guide is still in this update
Quote:
Originally Posted by 645824 View Post

The PDF for the 243.25.43 RC2 firmware step-by-step has shown up on the EPvision site:

http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/Documents/PHD-VRX2/PHD-VRX2FirmwareUpgrade-VRX2_243_25_43_RC2.pdf

This goes with the .ZIP file that HDTV1080P24 mentioned previously.

This does not include any info on what fixes were implemented. But the EPvision lists these topics:
01/24/14:
New firmware will be released soon. (Thanks to many users feedback!)
Some Features include:
• Switching Tuner1 or Tuner2 EPG within the Guide screen
• Navigating channel name/number in both directions within the Guide screen
• Ability to cancel the recording events within Guide screen
• Forbidding directly changing channels within Guide screen
• Changing the default color/picture setting based on user inputs.
• Combining text and icons in on-screen menu for more intuitive menu control
• Changing RF1 icon color and more...
For reference, the documents presently there right now (Jan 24 2014 9:57 PST) are the QuickStart guide (VRX2-v1.11) and the Manual (VRX2-v1.0). These document version notations are shown on the last page of each. I included this for reference since the files appear to be undated. So perhaps we can use this in the future to determine when the documents are updated.

Scott
post #2062 of 2203
Oops.... rolleyes.gif
post #2063 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
New firmware will be released soon. (Thanks to many users feedback!)
Some Features include:
• Switching Tuner1 or Tuner2 EPG within the Guide screen
• Navigating channel name/number in both directions within the Guide screen
• Ability to cancel the recording events within Guide screen
• Forbidding directly changing channels within Guide screen
• Changing the default color/picture setting based on user inputs.
• Combining text and icons in on-screen menu for more intuitive menu control
• Changing RF1 icon color
and more...
Hummm. If I didn't know better, three or four of those sounded like what had been in my list for over 18 months. wink.gif
The 4th entry was already enabled some time back labeled "EPG Tuning Mode".
.
Quote:
Did you know the pay guide is still in this update
I think you better look again.

.
Edited by videobruce - 1/24/14 at 2:03pm
post #2064 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Taken from the list in post 1842, how do these changes relate to the similar numbered 'issue' below?;

• Switching Tuner1 or Tuner2 EPG within the Guide screen
"1a. The Guide needs to include both tuners integrated together as one Guide no matter which input you are in. It's a real problem and inconvenience to have to switch back and forth between tuners to try to schedule programming. Especially if you have overlapping recordings."

• Forbidding directly changing channels within Guide screen
"1i. Disable the channel up/down buttons while in Guide. It's too easy to hit and accidentally exit from the Guide."

• Changing the default color/picture setting based on user inputs.
"2b. The default output of this DVR is very dark with saturated highlights. The default brightness needs to increased to between 16, contrast reduced to 65 & color reduced to -5 for each input. These shouldn't be that far off in the first place."

• Combining text and icons in on-screen menu for more intuitive menu control
"4a. Those small, somewhat identical, circular Menu icons are hard to read and decipher. They all look the same, except for when you are actually in that sub menu. Plain text is needed instead cutesy icons. It's confusing to guess at a icon, then read the text above and to the right of that icon. Move the text over of each sub-category, replacing the associated icon. The GUI in their Media Switcher was better. It appeared that was easier to navigate.
4b.Reduce the number of entries in the main menu and each sub menu so there are six or less, allowing all to show on the screen at once, eliminating scrolling to find a hidden entry. Specifically;
4c. Move the main “Locks” entry to “Settings” reducing the sub menu entries down to six,
4d. Change “Dynamic Contrast” to “Gamma” and move it to “Picture Settings”, then delete the “Advanced” entry under “Picture”,
4e. Under “Record”, combine the three USB entries into a single sub menu,
4f. Under Media Player/Recordings, move Forward Skip & Backward Skip into a single group,
4g. Under “Picture Settings”, remove “Color Temperature” since it has no effect,
4h. Quick menu; replace Scale Window with a added “Aspect” control. Scale Window is only for specific situations,
4i. In the “Picture” sub-menu, once you selected a item, you can't scroll up or down to the next item to adjust without returning to the previous screen. Change the behavior to the way it is in the Quick menu so all show in a small window,
4j. Add “V Mode”, which should be re-named to “Resolution out” (or similar) to both the Quick Menu & under “Picture Settings” since it is only available from the remote,
4k. Remove the "Presets" entry. There are too many choices in the first place, some do little to change the actual settings. Each input has it's own memory settings anyway, it's not needed,
4m. Hide 'Wireless Settings” since this is not enabled,
4l. Re-enable the highest analog channel noise reduction setting that was removed.
4n. Rename "Picture" to “Video” in the Main Menu. Picture is a non technical, childish term. "Audio" is used instead of 'Sound', why not 'Video' instead of “Picture”.

• Changing RF1 icon color
"8c. Change the color of RF 1 icon from gray to some other color. Gray is hard to see,"
post #2065 of 2203
This is a follow-on to my Post #2053:

The EPvision PHD-VRX2 only has HDMI (720p and 1080p) and Composite outputs.

My projector supports many formats including 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, but it does not support 1080p. Since my projector doesn't support 1080p, I can use 720p. The EPvision staff indicated that the VRX2's Broadcom chip doesn't support 1080i (yet?).

I have no way to see the VRX2's menus until it is in 720p mode since the Composite output doesn't show the menus. So I will use the V.MODE button on the remote to toggle between 720p and 1080p on the HDMI output port.

My projector doesn't have an HDMI input port, but it does have VGA. I presently have my PHD-205LE tuner connected to my projector using the 205's VGA output port. So an HDMI-to-VGA converter which also supports HDCP is needed for the VRX2 and I bought one this morning.

I placed the order for the PHD-VRX2 this evening and I should receive it in a couple of days.

Scott

PS eventually I'll actually get a projector that is made in the 21st century and has an HDMI port (or whatever 4K needs at that point). But for now, I can't bear to part with my $7000 1999 projector that has been super reliable, has a DLP chip (no screen-door effect), and has a great picture.
Edited by 645824 - 1/30/14 at 11:19pm
post #2066 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I have no way to see the VRX2's menus until it is in 720p mode since the Composite output doesn't show the menus. So I will use the V.MODE button on the remote to (hopefully) toggle between 720p and 1080p on the HDMI port.
That is another item that is on my list. No rear panel resolution switch like their older tuner had. Though, using that "V mode" (misnamed) button to toggle back and forth will work.
post #2067 of 2203

I just came across this reference to NFS.  I contacted the manufacturer who said that NFS is not supported.  I wonder if this is a "support" answer rather than a technical one.  Do you have more information?  Can I really log in?

 

Thanks for any information.

post #2068 of 2203
I use ext2 format works great the NTS you can only record one show

Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by DruidZ View Post

I just came across this reference to NFS.  I contacted the manufacturer who said that NFS is not supported.  I wonder if this is a "support" answer rather than a technical one.  Do you have more information?  Can I really log in?

Thanks for any information.
post #2069 of 2203
For those not up on linux, DruidZ and Smithdoor are discussing file formats:

1. ext2 is a linux file format. It is quite an old format (released Jan 1993), and was the default format in several linux distributions until supplanted by ext3; but performance is good and it is a well known format. In linux kernels prior to 2.6.17, a limitation in the block driver means that the file system is limited to 2 TB [wikipedia ext2 reference]. Since the PHD-VRX2 is linux based, and presumably older than 2.6.17, that is probably why the external USB disks that we plug into the VRX2 are limited to 2 TB. More modern versions of linux, without the block driver limitation, max out at 32 TB for ext2.

2. NTFS is a Windows file format. It has been around for quite awhile also (released July 1993 in Windows NT 3.1). [wikipedia NTFS reference]

3. NFS is the linux remote file system (Network File System). It allows users to mount a disk from one computer onto another computer through the network (e.g. ethernet). Older NFS has known lag problems that would probably make it challenging for real-time recording.

DruidZ was asking if VRX2 supports NFS. This would allow us to record onto a disk via the network instead of needing to be plugged directly into the VRX2. DruidZ said that the manufacturer indicated that NFS was not supported by the VRX2.


As several other posters have pointed out, the performance of the VRX2 is much better with ext2 than with NTFS. They indicated that the implementation of NTFS on the VRX2 is poor, not the file format itself. Regardless, the VRX2 has a built-in formatting tool for ext2 (accessed via the VRX2 menu system). However, it has been reported that the tool doesn't work with bare blank drives -- the drive has to have some existing file format on it in order to reformat it to ext2.

Presently, if you want to record two shows at the same time, you have to use ext2. The VRX2's implementation of NTFS is too slow to record two shows at the same time.

Scott
post #2070 of 2203
Does anyone know how to use a Logitech Harmony 650 with the VRX2? I went to the 650's configuration screen but it only knew about the VRX. It doesn't know about the VRX2 yet.

Does anyone have hands-on experience if they are similar enough to use the same remote codes? I will be able to answer this question myself on Tuesday when my VRX2 arrives. But since it is the weekend, I was configuring everything else before it arrives.

Thanks,

Scott
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