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ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 3

post #61 of 2203
I installed the partition magic and fs-Driver freeware apps you mentioned.

I took an old USB flash drive and partitioned it to ext2. I went into Explorerer and copied an .mpg file over to the flash drive. I ran VideoReDo and it could open the .mpg file in the ext2 partition.

So, it looks like a PC can access the PHD-VRX recordings without resulting to a 2nd drive formatted NTFS.
post #62 of 2203
I'll be keeping a keen eye of interest on this thread. Great job so far.
post #63 of 2203
My impressions so far after using the box over this past weekend. Out-of-the-box experience somewhat poor. Default settings for the tuner are not usable, took forever to experiment with settings that would produce an acceptable picture. This has to be done for each tuner, media player, etc. The changes do seem to stick, so that much is good. I'm not real big on re-inventing the wheel, so was not terribly interested in the DVR features, but I did make some short test recordings from the tuners. The recordings did not play back well, lots of artifacts and pixelizing. I was using a large NTFS externaI drive that is very full, so perhaps a fairer test with a smaller, fresher drive is in order. I was not interested in the VRX as a DVR, since I already am using WMC for DVR and have the HDHomeRun dual tuner on the network for that purpose. What I wanted to do was use the VRX box as an extender for WMC. In fact, I had emailed the ePVision support with that question, and they indicated that it would "probably" work that way. Wrong-o, it does not.
I had used an X-box as an extender for WMC in the past, but no longer have one. It would access all my WMC and other content on my Windows Home Server and stream it very nicely so I could view all my family pictures and movies on the big TV. The VRX box will connect to the content, it takes a very long time (at least 5 minutes or more) for it to index before it can be accessed (this happens each time you change modes or folders) only to be told that these are unsupported files.
Really? Jpegs and Avi's are not supported? Wow. Would not even stream music mp3 files.
On the plus side it will play a movie in MP4 (.m4v) files. But the down side of that for me was it would lose connection with the device (home server) for some reason and would I have to start the movie again, after going through the connection/browse process again. Finally copied the movie to a usb drive to get around the network/device connection problem. I will reserve judgment on that one as it could be a networking problem on my end, but when I was playing my content on the Xbox, this was never an issue. (This is a wired 10/100 connection.)
There is one built-in steaming connection available, the "net" button takes you to YouTube, but there is not a way to access any other site, bummer.
One of the few positives is that the tuners seem to be very robust and stable. My previous generation HD tuner was prone to break-up due to reflections and otherwise weak signals. The tuners seem to handle that much better.
Over all, mostly disappointed with this half-baked product. Hopefully future firmware upgrades will introduce better features and make the existing ones work correctly.
In any event, I will keep the box as a superior tuner, but may have to go back to MS for another X-box. At least then I would get ESPN-3 back.
post #64 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvoldtimer View Post

My impressions so far after using the box over this past weekend. Out-of-the-box experience somewhat poor.
[.]
In any event, I will keep the box as a superior tuner, but may have to go back to MS for another X-box. At least then I would get ESPN-3 back.

Thanks for the feedback. Since you mentioned ESPN-3, would that mean you have a cable feed?
post #65 of 2203
ESPN3 + XBox = ESPN3 over the Internet.
post #66 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711 View Post

ESPN3 + XBox = ESPN3 over the Internet.
What he said. ESPN3 is a streaming service available through certain ISPs. The downside is to access ESPN3 via XBox, a Live or Live Gold account is required, more monthly fees.
post #67 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvoldtimer View Post

What he said. ESPN3 is a streaming service available through certain ISPs. The downside is to access ESPN3 via XBox, a Live or Live Gold account is required, more monthly fees.

Thank you. I suffer from a lack of knowledge of the XBox/PSx world. I did play pong once.
post #68 of 2203
Ordered this unit last Friday but am concerned after reading your "review." I really want this primarily as a tuner and hopefully they will keep the until updated regarding other features. Keep the posts coming as to how best to address "bugs." THANKS!
post #69 of 2203
I had another round of email with the people at ePVision. They continue to say that you can manually schedule a recording even if guide data is available and that when you schedule a recording using the guide that both the start and end time can be adjusted.
post #70 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas_Tom View Post

I had another round of email with the people at ePVision. They continue to say that you can manually schedule a recording even if guide data is available and that when you schedule a recording using the guide that both the start and end time can be adjusted.

Kansas_Tom, That was the point I was trying to make in my earlier post here.
The way I read the manual, the procedure for "manual recording" is different in the way you navigate through the menu. videobruce has assured me that his machine can not achieve this. Now I am wondering if it is a problem in videobruce's specific unit.
Can someone that has received their unit please try the manual record procedure from the recording guide and report you findings? Page 2 procedure 3.
post #71 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Default settings for the tuner are not usable, took forever to experiment with settings that would produce an acceptable picture.
Are you referring to the 'dark' video issue I referred to?
Quote:
The recordings did not play back well, lots of artifacts and pixelizing. I was using a large NTFS external drive that is very full
Was this by doing single recordings (one tuner at a time) or both tuners?
Quote:
What I wanted to do was use the VRX box as an extender for WMC.
"Extender" to access files on your PC as in a 'Thin Client'?
Quote:
There is one built-in steaming connection available, the "net" button takes you to YouTube, but there is not a way to access any other site
As already stated. It was only designed for just U Boob. VuDo isn't available yet. Did you actually use the search feature and your take on it?

Since I don't have and never will, a "XBox", what/where does this come into this equation especially with this EPSN3 deal??

Ok, since we have at least two owners (other than myself), would you and anyone else be so kind to confirm or deny the following;
1. Formating a HDD to ext2 using the internal utility. Yes or no? If so, details; what drive, what interface, USB to IDE or SATA?
2. Dark video from the DVR. tvoldtimer seemed to confirm this, thought it wasn't clear,
3. Behavior of the Guide when changing channels and consistency of the data from each station. How far out (hours or days) and does it matter what time of day when you view the schedule?
4. Opinion of the hard to decipher Icons in the menu vs plain text and/or the menu arrangement overall.
5. False contouring of 'dark' network filmed series. (Fringe, Castle, CSI, CSI NY, etc.) Please, no so called 'reality' shows rolleyes.gif. State TV type (DLP, LCD, Plasma, PC monitor) used.
6. Confirm the HDD does indeed spin down with the latest firmware when not recording and after it's been on for a couple minutes. Also what interface (enclosure) used.
7. Firmware version (latest is VRX.242.18.10)
post #72 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvoldtimer View Post

My impressions so far after using the box over this past weekend. I'm not real big on re-inventing the wheel, so was not terribly interested in the DVR features, but I did make some short test recordings from the tuners. I was not interested in the VRX as a DVR, since I already am using WMC for DVR and have the HDHomeRun dual tuner on the network for that purpose. What I wanted to do was use the VRX box as an extender for WMC.

I do not want to muddy up this thread with another device, but would the PHD-HM5 Advanced Network HD Media Player have met your needs? It seems your using an unproven multi-tool for a specific result that is not the primary function of the device.
post #73 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I installed the partition magic and fs-Driver freeware apps you mentioned.
It's Partition Master, not Magic, completely different program. wink.gif
Quote:
I really want this primarily as a tuner
The only downside would be the somewhat slow channel change. Somewhat slower than other tuners I have, but probably bot by much, mostly annoying if you keep jumping around.
Edited by videobruce - 6/12/12 at 8:54am
post #74 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by morc258 View Post

I do not want to muddy up this thread with another device, but would the PHD-HM5 Advanced Network HD Media Player have met your needs? It seems your using an unproven multi-tool for a specific result that is not the primary function of the device.
There is every indication that this device would have been a good choice if I had been interested in only one feature. I am using an early HD display unit, the Toshiba 46H84. Since it pre-dates DTV and ATSC, the built in tuner is useless. So, with only 1 HDMI port, 1 component HD in, I really need an "all in one" box to feed it. I've also got to remember other members of the household and not make selecting the inputs a nightmare of multiple remotes and patches. So I was really hoping ePVision had put as much effort into the media player portion of the VRX as they had put into the PHD-HM5; but alas, apparently not.
I will amend one statement made regarding the performance of the media player: I said it would not play mp3's. Not true, it will. Apparently the limited browse capability of the box managed to find an empty playlist, that is just names of songs, not the actual files. Once I realized this I was able to find actual mp3 files and they play just fine. Still cannot view my pictures which are just common jpegs.
Edit:
Maybe I can muddy up this thread a little bit myself. I just happened across this thing, maybe it is what I have been looking for all along? Probably not, looks like vaporware at this time anyway.
Edited by tvoldtimer - 6/12/12 at 12:41pm
post #75 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Quote:
Default settings for the tuner are not usable, took forever to experiment with settings that would produce an acceptable picture.
Are you referring to the 'dark' video issue I referred to? Yes
Quote:
The recordings did not play back well, lots of artifacts and pixelizing. I was using a large NTFS external drive that is very full
Was this by doing single recordings (one tuner at a time) or both tuners? I only have one tuner hooked up, need to get more RF gear to finish.
Quote:
What I wanted to do was use the VRX box as an extender for WMC.
"Extender" to access files on your PC as in a 'Thin Client'? Not sure what you are asking here. Windows Media Center needs some sort of device to "extend" it to a large screen display, such as the Xbox.
Quote:
There is one built-in steaming connection available, the "net" button takes you to YouTube, but there is not a way to access any other site
As already stated. It was only designed for just U Boob. VuDo isn't available yet. Did you actually use the search feature and your take on it? Since I have almost no interest in YouTube, did not spend any time on it.
Since I don't have and never will, a "XBox", what/where does this come into this equation especially with this EPSN3 deal?? ESPN3 is like Netflix, an internet only service available on the Xbox, but requires a Live or Live Gold account, therefore more monthly fees.

Ok, since we have at least two owners (other than myself), would you and anyone else be so kind to confirm or deny the following;
1. Formating a HDD to ext2 using the internal utility. Yes or no? If so, details; what drive, what interface, USB to IDE or SATA?
2. Dark video from the DVR. tvoldtimer seemed to confirm this, thought it wasn't clear,
3. Behavior of the Guide when changing channels and consistency of the data from each station. How far out (hours or days) and does it matter what time of day when you view the schedule?
4. Opinion of the hard to decipher Icons in the menu vs plain text and/or the menu arrangement overall.
5. False contouring of 'dark' network filmed series. (Fringe, Castle, CSI, CSI NY, etc.) Please, no so called 'reality' shows rolleyes.gif. State TV type (DLP, LCD, Plasma, PC monitor) used.
6. Confirm the HDD does indeed spin down with the latest firmware when not recording and after it's been on for a couple minutes. Also what interface (enclosure) used.
7. Firmware version (latest is VRX.242.18.10)

I have not spent any time other than a few on the fly recordings of local newscasts. I really have no plans for the DVR features of this box. The VRX was shipped with 242.18.10. My display is a Toshiba 46H84 (CRT projection) which by the way brings up another gripe. The Toshiba will only does 1080i, the VRX only 1080p, therefore I am forced to 720p. Bummer. Oh, and one other thing, my chassis also had the "knockouts" for additional connectors.
Edited by tvoldtimer - 6/12/12 at 11:48am
post #76 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Windows Media Center needs some sort of device to "extend" it to a large screen display, such as the Xbox.
Confused here. When you say "extend" are you referring to in another room? Most PC's now (with newer graphics cards) have a DVI out that can go to a HDMI input on TV.
Quote:
The Toshiba will only does 1080i, the VRX only 1080p, therefore I am forced to 720p.
On a CRT set, I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference. But, this brings up one of my many concerns, TV's with no 1080p capability which are many except for the most recent models!
Quote:
my chassis also had the "knockouts" for additional connectors.
Interesting. Funny their photo didn't show any and they are now being delivered with. It makes adding what isn't there and already provided easier. wink.gif

Ok, how about when you did record? What HDD setup did you sue and how was it formatted?
post #77 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Quote:
Windows Media Center needs some sort of device to "extend" it to a large screen display, such as the Xbox.
Confused here. When you say "extend" are you referring to in another room? Yes Most PC's now (with newer graphics cards) have a DVI out that can go to a HDMI input on TV. Very aware of that, however I am trying to avoid yet another PC purchase or build one for the purpose of HTPC. An existing device (i.e. Xbox) will "extend" (WMC terminology, not mine) via ethernet the WMC from your local PC to the TV or other display device. I would still be using the Xbox, but it is now gone. (Belongs to my son). I needed a new tuner and an extender, thought maybe this would do both. I gambled, I lost, life goes on.
Quote:
The Toshiba will only does 1080i, the VRX only 1080p, therefore I am forced to 720p.
On a CRT set, I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference. But, this brings up one of my many concerns, TV's with no 1080p capability which are many except for the most recent models! Well I can tell the difference, but then again I am a TV engineer and am paid to know the difference.
Quote:
my chassis also had the "knockouts" for additional connectors.
Interesting. Funny their photo didn't show any and they are now being delivered with. It makes adding what isn't there and already provided easier. wink.gif
Ok, how about when you did record? What HDD setup did you sue and how was it formatted?
Already explained this, but again all I had was a very full 2TB drive that is NTFS. It took almost an hour for it to come online since it has to index everything on the drive. Until I do further testing with a smaller uncluttered drive, I will reserve final judgement.
post #78 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
all I had was a very full 2TB drive that is NTFS. It took almost an hour for it to come online since it has to index everything on the drive.
Your paragraph was kinda long and I didn't see that.
Probably too much on the drive for the system to deal with, especially since it can't access everything that was there, only certain media. I added that in the notes in post #9. smile.gif
Edited by videobruce - 6/12/12 at 9:57am
post #79 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I think there is some confusion here. According to the Recording Guide, there is a different procedure for Manual Recording associated with Program Guide and Manual Recording. As noted on pages 2&3.
The way I understand it a "manual recording" can be made regardless of EPG data. If this is correct, that would ease some peoples fears on the limitation of recording flexibility.
videobruce, can you please elaborate on this? As I guess you are the only one with a unit as of yet.
After a conversation with Allen, apparently, I now have much 'egg on face'.
The #3 method in the recording features does state for a "full control" to go into Menu - Record - Schedule Recordings - Manual Schedule to do a actual Future Manual Recording.

I have always accessed recording via the Guide or by the remotes 'Record' button, the logical way to do this, never from the menu itself. While I saw that entry, since the manual recording screen is the same except for the grayed out entries, I never noticed this. If you look back at post 9 (other then the background video) the screens are identical with 11 entries , other than what's grayed out. Not exactly a major difference. I should of seen this, but didn't notice and never went back to check.

My bad (sort of). frown.gif
Edited by videobruce - 6/13/12 at 6:04am
post #80 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

After a conversation with Allen, apparently, I now have much 'egg on face'.
#3 in the recording features does state for a "full control" to go into Menu/Record/Schedule Recordings/Manual Schedule to do a actual future manual recording. I have always accessed recording via the Guide, the logical way to do this, never from the menu itself.
Guys, please confirm this that is correct as I sent my unit back for other unresolved issues. I will change the associated post.
My bad. frown.gif

Yes, you can schedule a future recording the way you've described. No info has to be in the guide. Just go to Menu/Schedule Recordings/Manual Schedule and then set the timer.
post #81 of 2203
Is there a way to browse through the guide without having the channel change?
post #82 of 2203
Also, does anyone have any idea why the picture breaks up/sound drops out whenever I use the time-shifting feature?
post #83 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by idknyc View Post

Also, does anyone have any idea why the picture breaks up/sound drops out whenever I use the time-shifting feature?
USB drive throughput?
post #84 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Is there a way to browse through the guide without having the channel change?
No. It has to change channels to update the data. Remember, data is not saved (post 9, 2nd paragraph). I was wondering when someone would comment on that.
Quote:
does anyone have any idea why the picture breaks up/sound drops out whenever I use the time-shifting feature?
I only tried this a couple of times.
1. What were you doing when you were recording? Was there a 2nd recording in progress?
2. How many minutes was the 'timeshifing' set to?
3. How far back did you go to 'review'?
4. What is your drive formated to; NTFS or ext2?
5. What does the USB speed test show?
post #85 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by idknyc View Post

Also, does anyone have any idea why the picture breaks up/sound drops out whenever I use the time-shifting feature?
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamKat View Post

USB drive throughput?

It has USB 2.0 = 60 MB/s... should be plenty of throughput capacity?
post #86 of 2203
Quote:
Originally Posted by idknyc View Post

Is there a way to browse through the guide without having the channel change?
Perhaps, should the unit be a big seller, they will offer a paid internet guide. Then "locking" the display might be an option. I have that option on my Sony DHG (V8 TVGOS) and my Sony TV (TVGOS V10) & Tivo guide work that way. Future improvements.

Without a PSIP, I wonder what happens?
post #87 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It has USB 2.0 = 60 MB/s... should be plenty of throughput capacity?
That's just the USB2 spec for throughput, nothing to do with the interface of the drive, format of the drive or O/S and associated drivers or modules that the recorder uses.

wajo; I was wondering when you would stop in and visit. biggrin.gif
Edited by videobruce - 6/13/12 at 8:05am
post #88 of 2203
I found a useful little utility to test the speed of USB devices among other things.

USBDeview v2.11
post #89 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Would you beleive there are 53 revisions (updates) to this software? eek.gif
Now that's customer service. Good find. NirSoft has some nice utilities.

Equally interesting are the posted results;
http://usbspeed.nirsoft.net/
post #90 of 2203
This may be so obvious that it goes without saying, which is perhaps why I saw nothing anywhere here or in the "manuals" referencing it, but I assume that 4 of the 6 inputs are display-only, and not recordable? I.e., composite, component, VGA, and HDMI are only inputs to the switcher? You can't record from those sources, even though the Input menu does not discriminate in any way. And of course, it's not "just" a switcher, since it has to perform A/D on the analog sources, and transcode the component input, to be able to output them all uniformly.

Secondly, I am a bit surprised at the absence of some extremely simple, but very common functions. E.g., you can press Record, and select Now, and it will record until you press Stop, or the hard drive is full. redface.gif What happens if I won't be available in an hour to shut it off? I have to waste time going through setting up a manual timing event (and missing content). Commonly, most recording devices have 'one-touch' recording, so that pressing Record again while a manual recording is in progress, sets the duration to 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes, etc. Pretty trivial to implement, but a huge user-benefit.

Lastly, there doesn't seem to be much discussion of what format the video files are recorded in on the hard drive. They seem to be named with an .mpg extension, yet somehow they're NOT playable in VLC? Just what kind of "mpg" file is that, exactly? Also, I can see not wanting to record an entire MUX in a transport stream (though it would be handy for me on cable, since I could record all 4 networks using just 2 tuners), but stripping it down to a program stream and discarding all the error-recovery and resync information seems like a really bad idea to me. It should not be that hard to simply select one PID out of the TS, and record a TS as output. TSreader has always managed to do it pretty well.

[Oh, and I really liked the suggestion from one commenter here to provide a RecordList in a specific file (simple .CVS). If this file could also be located on a network drive, then there wouldn't even be any need to push it to the box periodically. Great idea, RamKat!

Re: the overall Guide, personally, I find PSIP-based EPGs nearly useless (if not less so, due to timer-inaccuracies), and if the company provided a mechanism to allow Guide Info to be user-supplied, they could leverage the power of the community to greatly enhance their device. This could be as simple as a GuideUpdate file, which contained info on programs and channels of interest to the owner, which the device would then read (and auto-delete), extract, and merge into it's own internal guide database for display and selection. The interface layer would be nothing more than a standardized file format (perhaps in XML, so it could ignore any fields it currently had no use for, but might use in a later update). By opening things like this up, their device could really take off, while requiring minimal investment on their part.]
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