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ePVision PHD-208 or PHD-205LE

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
They finally released the PHD-208 which is supposed to replace the 205LE but they have both in stock. I'm looking for a OTA QAM tuner box for an older tv and that's it. Has anyone bought the 208 yet or should I just get the 205LE since it's been proven already?

Also, does this mean that the PHD-VRX will keep my channel info, recording info, and/or scheduled recordings even if a channel numbers changes because I have switched digital video from my cable provider who provides OTA channels through their signal? Or do I need to re-scan everytime a channel number changes and re-do my schedule recordings?

"Dual channel-scan database on each tuner. Keep both OTA (ATSC) and cable (QAM/NTSC) channel list information on each tuner without re-scanning every time"
post #2 of 29
Being several years newer, the 208 should have the most recent generation tuner, meaning it may be more sensitive and tune weaker signals better. Also, some versions of the 205 had a soft picture and images were not that sharp. I would go with the 208, and they are currently offering a coupon code.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm debating between the PHD-VRX too now since it would be nice to have the ability to record.
post #4 of 29
The VRX also allows you to hook up 2 different antennas if needed for multiple markets or more precise antennas for certain channels. It has 2 antenna inputs/tuners, and can also allow an antenna and cable connection. Which is a nice feature to have.
post #5 of 29
I just got the PHD-208, the digital tuner in my Vizio GV42L bit the dust. Pretty happy with the image quality, although disappointed that the sensitivity does not seems to be better than that of the old Vizio. The documentation is really the bare minimum, but the menu items are self explanatory. There are lots of tweaks available to dial video and audio to your liking.The RF front-end appears to be sensitive to out of band noise, at first I thought I had gotten a lemon or that the sensitivity was really low. Then I realized I had to turn the "VHF gain" on my internal amplified antenna all the way down and leave only "UHF gain" all the way up, otherwise the box did not pick up the weak signals and the level of the strong ones was much reduced (there is a real time signal meter in the OSD). HDTV signals are all in the UHF band now anyway, I guess the antenna was just adding noise with the gain up on VHF. With this setup I pick up all the channels I picked up when the tuner on the Vizio worked.

If anyone has specific questions on the PHD-208 I will be glad to answer. By the way, it has a very handy "additive scan" function which scans only for new channels NOT already in the memory. The box can receive unencrypted cable signals, but I do not have cable so I do not know if the additive scan works also when mixing OTA and cable channels.
Edited by MusicHead - 6/16/13 at 8:36pm
post #6 of 29
The 205 is very dated. The tuner was not a sensitive as the newer models
IIRC a firmware update supposedly defeated the ability to store both band channel maps (OTA & CATV). I never tried that newer firmware since loosing that ability would be a problem.

The VRX, being newest is a fine tuner, the DVR portion still needs work. The dual inputs are a real plus. One for each antenna pointed in different directions possibly eliminating the need for a rotor. wink.gif

I would remove that amp/preamp (whichever it is) since it is overloading the front end of the 208's tuner.
What you could do is take some detailed screen shots of the menu and the sub menus and post here. The firmware is different due to the chips they use. You could also open it up and take some closeups of the main board and list the make/model main chips here.

Edited by videobruce - 6/17/13 at 7:50am
post #7 of 29
The 208 has a better tuner and better video quality than the 205. Probably the amp is overloading the tuner in the previous post causing the problem. Also the VRX has a good tuner and the bonus of dual antenna inputs. I ordered it for that very reason, not for use as a DVR. Excellent dual tuner box.
post #8 of 29
the antenna I am using is an indoor amplified antenna, I can't remove the preamp smile.gif However, reducing the gain on VHF did the trick, I do receive now exactly the same channels (30 total) that I receive when the built-in tuner of the Vizio works. I have a Winegard antenna in the attic (no pre-amp), which I use to feed the Hauppauge TV tuner card in my main computer (I use it as a second TV but especially as a DVR). With that I receive only a couple more channels, so I am pretty happy with the set-up, considering the difference in height between the indoor amplified antenna on the ground level of house and the one in the attic two stories higher.

I will see if in the next few days I can take snapshots of the setup screens and OSD. The graphic is quite decent, for sure much better than the Vizio's! I really like the "additive scan" function and the real time signal bar that you can call up as part of the OSD, together with the channel and program information at the bottom of the screen.

My only wish right now is that it had a "proper" TV guide. The one that the PHD-208 has is the same as the Vizio's. It shows only the guide for the channel you are watching. You can "flip" through it changing channels with the guide on the OSD, but a "stand alone" guide would have been nicer, like the one I have on the Hauppauge tuner through Windows Media Center.

As for opening it, I will wait till the warranty expires, you never now. I work for a semiconductor company and I am definitely curious too to see what's inside biggrin.gif
post #9 of 29
There we go, screenshots of the first level menu.
post #10 of 29
Sorry, I am doing this from my phone... now it gives me an error when I try to upload more pictures.
post #11 of 29
As for opening it, I will wait till the warranty expires, you never now.
One of the 1st things I do. Just like buying a car, you pop the hood. It's not sealed and it doesn't bite. wink.gif

Thanks for the menu shot. That is a much easier to read menu with the text next to the icon instead of to the right and above like it is on the VRX. Text you don't have to guess what you are looking at lie those silly icons.
How about a shot of the "Channel" sub menu with the add channel screen (or whatever it is called) ?
post #12 of 29
Videobruce, I do have several other pictures, one for each of the other menu items, plus the "info" OSD and the guide. Just need to get the pictures out of my phone and upload them. I will do it as soon as I can.
post #13 of 29
This is really strange, I downloaded the pictures from my phone to my computer, I am trying to upload them from the computer now and I still get errors. It happens whether I tried to upload a single pictures or all at once. Is there a size limitation or number of character limit in the file name when uploading pictures? it happens even if I try to upload a picture as attachment. Do not understand why the first went through and not all the others.
post #14 of 29

Edited by MusicHead - 6/19/13 at 5:51pm
post #15 of 29
post #16 of 29
One more...
post #17 of 29
Very good. That GUI is far superior to what is used for the VRX. Easier to see where you are since plain text is used next to a smaller icon as opposed to a large icon and the text placed away from it in another column.
How about the multimedia tab?

Out of curiosity, what/where was the problem with the photos? There is a "testing area" and the bottom of the forums home page for experimenting with posting. wink.gif
post #18 of 29
The Multimedia tab is greyed out, I guess it becomes active once a flash drive is plugged into the USB port. The remote has a few dedicated buttons for viewing that kind of content.

For the life of me, I cannot understand what is wrong with the pictures upload. I follow the same steps every time and most of the time it does not work. It gets stuck after I click "Submit" or it gives me an error message, whether I try a picture upload or to attach a file. Ah, what do you know, I just tried the mobile version of the site from my phone and it seems to be working. Still strange, I had tried from my laptop and it did not work either. Well, enjoy it, this is the last picture for now, the OSD. It has two toggles, the lower bar only or it adds the one on top with description of the program and signal bar.
post #19 of 29
You have a PM.
post #20 of 29
Thank you for your post. Does the 208 have an electronic program guide to see upcoming programs. What is it like? Grid layout? Thanks in advance,.
post #21 of 29
Heya thanks for posting the pics.
The top first left pic has a channel guide with info. How did you get that? I didn't see that on mine.

I also just received the PHD-208 today and am happy with it.
PROs: I think it's great quality and tuner found many channels.

Cons: The channel changing is slow, firmware version has not been updated since early 2013,
post #22 of 29
Does the 208 have an electronic program guide to see upcoming programs.
That should be from the Info button.
The channel changing is slow,
Compared to ??
firmware version has not been updated since early 2013
It's a older model, I would doubt any further updates will show, they have been concentrating on the VRX.
post #23 of 29

At your top left pic , it shows a type of TV guide with info. How did you get that to display? Is it data that comes down through the coax cable or over internet?
Im not seeing that on mine.

post #24 of 29
Sorry everyone, I haven't visited the forum recently.


Yes, there is a basic program guide, you can see it in posting #14. It shows only the listing for the channel you are tuned-in, though.


The guide pops up pressing "guide" on the remote :-) The data is embedded in the received signal via cable or antenna. If you do not see it, it could be that is not being transmitted. I use the box for OTA TV, do not have cable.
post #25 of 29
Thank you. I ended up buying the PHD-208. I am happy with the EPG. I notice the picture quality not quite as good as the built-in tuner in my Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT50. But I use the PHD-208 when I want the EPG. I think its criminal that HD TV manufacturers are not provding EPGs.
post #26 of 29
I think its criminal that HD TV manufacturers are not provding EPGs.
Your kidding, right? I must of missed the law stating this. rolleyes.gif
post #27 of 29
I'm not sure what you mean. Are you actually supporting the deliberate ommision by the set manufacturers of free information we are entitled to have access to?
post #28 of 29
I'm not impressed with the Prime DTV PHD 208. While it has good HD picture they have a design flaw in that HDMI audio output only does stereo and to get 5.1 you have to connect a toslink optical cable. Okay but many receivers like my Onkyo 807 ignore anything else when HDMI audio is detected as HDMI is expected to be highest quality. To work around this design flaw I had to connect the tuner directly to my projector then just the optical cable to the receiver. Means another 20' hdmi cable : ( And customer service assumes their customers are clueless when I probably know more that they do. And they won't refund my money.
post #29 of 29
Are you actually supporting the deliberate ommision by the set manufacturers of free information we are entitled to have access to?
I never saw the question come up anywhere, but since the subject did, I did find this here in this forum;

Now, how detailed the Guide has to be is another thing. Where did you see that it wasn't a requirement?

While it has good HD picture they have a design flaw in that HDMI audio output only does stereo and to get 5.1 you have to connect a toslink optical cable.
That sounds like the same problem the original VRX DVR had that was corrected in the VRX2.

Edited by videobruce - 3/14/14 at 4:26am
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