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ePVision PHD-VRX & VRX2 Owners Thread - Page 27

post #781 of 2203
I just received the PHD-VRX and after using it for a week I am generally pleased with it. I used my PC to format a WD Essentials 2TB external with the ext2 file system. The PHD-VRX claims it transfers at 20 mbs.

LIKES:
* HD is sharp and clear although a little dark. This is fixed with the color correction.
* Allows instant recording a program you are watching (but only for 1 hour)
* EPG, although very short term, is stupid easy - you can add a minute before the program starts to let the system boot up.
* Manual programming is just like a VCR, very straightforward. Will you record some re-runs? Yes, but you can always delete them. Better to have too much than too little! Nice weekly programming feature.
* I think the Menu is fairly well laid out. It made sense to me without having to resort to the user guide (which is apparently only available online -- it doesn't ship with one). It could be more efficient but it is definitely usable.
* Does what it says it will do. It records 2 HDTV signals OTA or from QAM to an external HDD. It will record digital SD signals but those are very elusive creatures.
* Quiet. It uses passive heat sinks and there are no fans.
* Includes an HDMI cable. Not that big a deal but it's a nice addition in this world of "buy accessories"!
* The remote is large and better than many DVD players I've had. (But see below)

DISLIKES:
* Only allows one hour of "live" TV storage. I'm at a loss. Why not 6 hours or 12 hours or some other random larger time?
* Chasing a program (watching it while it's recording) sometimes results in pixelation. I think this is an input/output problem with the USB.
* Requires 2 physical antenna connections (nice for those using an OTA and QAM but a PITA for those who want to use 2 logical tuners from the same input).
* The EPG is very short term - about 4 to 6 hours in the future. This is supposedly being revised to a pay for EPG in an upcoming firmware upgrade.
* Does not record non-digital SD. I knew this going in but I am still mystified. I would love to have a "one size fits all" box and get rid of my Magnavox SD DVR. I realize this box is essentially just stripping data off of an MPEG-2 stream and saving it but I can't imagine an MPEG-2 encoder would add more than 50 bucks to the cost of this thing.
* HDMI audio is VERY soft. I have to turn the TV to "45" to hear it. I usually watch on "12".
* The plastic protective overcover is a bear. It covers the vents. It takes about 10 minutes to slowly remove it all. This could be very bad if you don't realize it's there and the vents are covered -- you'll probably overheat the board.
* The remote MUST be pointed directly at the box.

This product is a great replacement for my HD home theatre box. Granted I used a MYHD 130 with DVI daughtercard and could not record a decent SD program with it either. The sound was always out of sync. A better EPG and the elusive ability to record non-digital SD would make this box the "killer app".

I think my main question to this thread (I hope this is the correct place to pose it), is why isn't there a community out there creating custom firmware? My WDTV Live has CFW. This product is apparently built around linux and other open source code (which some posters suppose causes the USB NTFS to be so slow), so why aren't there geeks out there, much smarter than I of course, writing CFW to meet their desires?
post #782 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Requires 2 physical antenna connections (nice for those using an OTA and QAM but a PITA for those who want to use 2 logical tuners from the same input).
A simple splitter solves this. Surely better than just one input.
Quote:
I can't imagine an MPEG-2 encoder would add more than 50 bucks to the cost of this thing.
Probably less, but they wanted to cut costs just like they did by not providing a component out that was already designed into the board.
Quote:
why isn't there a community out there creating custom firmware?
It was offered to them bu a couple of members here, but it was ignored just like almost everything else. rolleyes.gif
Quote:
The plastic protective overcover is a bear. It covers the vents. It takes about 10 minutes to slowly remove it all.
Interesting that you are only the 2nd to report this.
Quote:
This product is a great replacement for my HD home theatre box. Granted I used a MYHD 130 with DVI daughtercard
Now that's really going back. eek.gif
post #783 of 2203
There's a new update available (22.22). The install pdf doesn't mention what is changed.
post #784 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Here is the link. It's not on their main site, just on their FTP site;
http://www.epvision.com/HDTVSTB/Documents/PHD-VRX/

That problem when you moved down a channel and the Guide data not updating apparently has been fixed, but now if you go to a unavailable channel (different direction where antenna is pointed, loss of signal etc.) the data doesn't get changed. What was listed from the last good data station remains. If you try to schedule something, the Guide locks up. You have to exit and re-enter.
Worse yet, though there doesn't seem to be a specific pattern, with unavailable stations, the system continuously tries to look for data that isn't there, locking up the Guide. This doesn't always happen and I didn't see a pattern to it. Again, one has to exit and re-enter to clear the lockup.
I didn't see any other improvements or fixes or far. The Guide is still not integrated into one. Playback still doesn't remember where you stopped it, video settings are still way off, confusing menu structure is the same.

I setup a few test recordings to see if anything is different here. Someone else who schedules weekly recording would post if that problem was fixed.

Post #10 was updated.

.
Edited by videobruce - 10/13/12 at 7:00am
post #785 of 2203
It looks like this update has tweaked the EPG. It populates the list of pgms better, both moving up and down the list.
post #786 of 2203
Unbelievable - You STILL cannot resume watching a recording where you left off. You must fast-forward and try and find where you left off. Groan...
post #787 of 2203
Can someone please point to where I can find the instructions for installing the update? I have downloaded the zip file, but I do not know how to install it. I am sure that this has been posted before, but I can't find it.

Thanks.
post #788 of 2203
Thread Starter 
It's on both of their sites as a pdf file (third entry on the above link).

Anyone else that finds changes, please post. Alzso confirm what I posted above regarding 'no signal condition' stations in the Guide.
post #789 of 2203
The 'no signal' condition has always locked up the guide. I always exit the epg list and then hit channel up/down to move it to the next good channel, and then reentered the epg list. This always broke it out of the locked state.
post #790 of 2203
Thread Starter 
I don't recall that, but with 70 or so issues, it's hard to keep track. rolleyes.gif
post #791 of 2203
Hi everyone! smile.gif

I bought one of these and tried it out yesterday. I have a rabbit ear antenna until the real one goes up on the roof.
I have a question about the tuners ability. I have a LG 50" pk750 plasma. I first scanned plugging the rabbit ears into the LG, When I hooked the antenna to the VRX, the channels it does find break up when displaying solidly through the TV tuner. Some channels found on the TV are not even seen through the VRX. I did scan through tuner input 1 and 2, I only wish to receive HD digital channels. I am a little worried here, the VRX is for the Epson pj which is in the basement.
Would appreciate your comments!



Thank you for reading,

bedo
post #792 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Was the indoor antenna in the exact same location and positioned the exact same way? Moving one of those a few inches can make a difference so can rotating it a few degrees especially when you are on the "cliff". wink.gif.
post #793 of 2203
Boy, you are not kidding. Yes, I was very careful with the antenna and did reproduce result a couple times going back and forth. However, since posting this this morning I flashed newest firmware and rescanned. It is doing much better although there is still one channel that comes in great on the tv tuner and no signal on the VRX. I am more comfortable the results will be good when the roof antenna is up tomorrow.

Thank you for your feedback videobruce!
post #794 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Without going OT, what antenna are you getting and are you getting a rotor?
After the install, place a splitter for the TV & DVR, then compare the same two stations and report back.
post #795 of 2203
Hi, I recently purchased a PHD-VRX but I am having trouble learning some of the basics. If I set a recording for 8pm-10pm, is there a way for me to turn on the unit at 9pm and start watching the show from the beginning while it continues recording? I've been using more expensive Cable company services so any advice on how to watch the recording in progress is greatly appreciated, thanks!
post #796 of 2203
Thread Starter 
You should be able to go into Media Player and select the entry and begin recording. I tried it a couple of times, but had mixed results. I don't remember exactly what/where the problem was though.
post #797 of 2203
I will try to do that, don't know if I have a splitter onhand though. Will at least reply with result after antenna is up tonight.

Thank you again
post #798 of 2203
Nit Picking The PHD-VRX:

1. They need to get rid of the opening box "do you want to open media player?" Hey, if I need to open media player, I'll open media player. What am I..a child?
2. They should put the current time in the channel box that appears when changing channels.
3. Moving through channels is too S.L.O.W.
4. Picture hue scale goes from orange to greenish/purple (with nothing in between). Not all programming is about zombies!!
5. The video recording is usually darker than pre recorded. I'm always adjusting my picture controls. But at least I can tweak the recorded facial hue so that everyone doesn't look like a zombie.
6. Allow recording in SD (unstretched) with vertical bars only. How else can I record 'Car 54 Where Are You?' on my crappy SD station?
7. Allow timeshifting for more than 60 minutes. How can a person timeshift a 60 minute program and get all the way to the end? Won't the program end before you have time to catch up? (I haven't timeshifted yet, so I might just be confused) I wish I could timeshift in real life.
8. What the hell is 'color temperature'? The only person who could give me a straight answer was an old hippie who lives down the street. He said he felt the temperature of colors the last time he tripped on some Owsley acid.
##########################

One nice feature is the ability to lip synch the recording. I just hope it actually works.
post #799 of 2203
Thread Starter 
1. Already noted in laundry list,
2. Why? How many clocks do you need?
3. Typical for a DVR,
4. You shouldn't have to use it. Unlike analog, where chroma phase (the correct term) did vary, ATSC/QAM for the most part doesn't,
5. See #1, nothing will be done about it, see previous posts in the thread,
6. This records as is, it doesn't change anything. You need to change the aspect setting, or some issue with your TV. Try another TV ans see if the issue is still there,
7. I believe that is already noted, but I never have "timeshifted" except with a scheduled recording that was already setup. If it is longer than 60 minutes, schedule the program in advance (assuming you can),
8. You really need to look that up. It's a standard term used for television and also for lighting. As already noted in the thread, it has little effect.
post #800 of 2203
Thread Starter 
I haven't seen any of the few other owners report any changes other that what was already mentioned to the latest firmware. Can I assume there isn't any?
post #801 of 2203
I haven't installed the latest firmware update yet but does anyone know if this fixes the extremely low audio level coming out of the HDMI port? I'm tired of getting blasted when switching HDMI ports from this unit to my Blu-Ray player! :-)
post #802 of 2203
FCC OKs encryption of cable TV basic tier

This might mean that possible in 3+ years from now the Cable companies might convert to 100% QAM and encrypt 100% of all channels including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, etc. That is if my understanding of the article is correct.

In the future a cablecard rental or digital settop box from the cable company with a cablecard will be required for all channels offered by the cable company.

This would mean that in the clear QAM tuners are useless in 3+ years unless they have a cablecard feature. Of course some cable companies might not encrypt 100% of the channels.

QUOTE

"The cable industry wanted the rule changes. The only real losers in the deal, reports said, are the few subscribers who actually use the Clear-QAM tuner in their TV or use HTPC software that’ll never get an update."

http://broadcastengineering.com/regulation/fcc-permits-cable-encrypt-basic-services-requires-programming-be-available-ip
post #803 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
the few subscribers who actually use the Clear-QAM tuner in their TV or use HTPC software that’ll never get an update
"Few"??
More BS! mad.gif
post #804 of 2203
Since this last update, I'm seeing some recordings being named with the program playing when the recording was scheduled rather than the program being recorded. It seems to be one step forward and two steps back with each update (although I still haven't figured out exactly what that one step forward is since they don't document changes).

I connected the harddrive to my laptop and noticed something about Linux. File names apparently can include special characters (smile.gif in the PHD which are not allowed in Windows. It means that Windows won't let you rename those files.
post #805 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm seeing some recordings being named with the program playing when the recording was scheduled rather than the program being recorded.
Wow. Good luck fixing that.
Can you give specific examples?
Quote:
File names apparently can include special characters ( in the PHD which are not allowed in Windows.
Special examples again?
post #806 of 2203
From Post #6:
Quote:
Anyway, it should be noted, there is a composite output, but the GUI menu will not be available, making it mostly useless other than as a output to a DVD recorder or VCR.
Since there is (unfortunately) no component out, that leaves only HDMI. There are (now) only 720p and 1080p output resolution choices. 480p has been removed that the original firmware had. No 480i, 480p or 1080i. Anyone with a 1080i TV will have to revert to 720p.

Is this still true with current firmware? I have an old CRT TV that I am considering getting one of these for, but want to make sure the menu system, guide, etc. is usable on the composite out before I purchase this device.

Thanks,

ZooloZ
post #807 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Yes, the composite was designed to allow SD recording on another analog device (DVD recorder or VCR), no user menu is available.
post #808 of 2203
First, thank you for all the good information about the PHD-VRX!

Has anyone installed the VRX.242.22.22 Firmware update, it seems newer than what came with my unit last week (VRX.242.20.14)

Does the seemingly later firmware VRX.242.22.22 increase capabilities or performance?
post #809 of 2203
Thread Starter 
Yes, it was discussed 24 posts back.
post #810 of 2203
sorry if this is in the previous 26 pages of this thread. I have formatted my external drive for recording and timeshifting into ext2 as suggested here using the EaseUS partition master and that seems to work great. however, I am not sure what the best formatting is for a drive onto which I would like to transfer files from my windows machine and play with the phd-vrx. I'm not sure which utility to use to write to ext2 in windows and it doesn't seem like fat32 is recognized on my machine when I formatted the drive that way. what's the best solution?
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