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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
Wow... I found out today a great deal about the Pioneer DVR-633-HS that I didn't see listed anywhere. The end result is that if I send it back it's going to cost me... but maybe it's worth it. I wonder whether anyone at Pioneer has any brains at all or maybe I just cannot find critical items in the manual... nor can their tech support.


1) There is absolutely no manual timed recording on the Pioneer 633 in the same way you set it on your VCR and you MUST use the TV Guide (TVGOS) - if you can get it. This means that if your system cannot download TV Guide or it doesn't download it, you have only the manual "press the record button option." So you cannot have it set up to "record channel 4 at 7 PM this Thursday." It gets worse.


2) There is no way you can set the 633 to record any program that occurs more than a week later. What if you decided to go away on a 10 day vacation? Too bad, so sad. You must use whatever the TVGOS has downloaded and that will give you, at most, a week of programming.


3) This means that you cannot set the DVR to record Monday Night Football every Monday night at 8PM or whatever your time zone may be. There are no recurring settings whatsoever - it's next 7 days and that's all. They suggested I try to get hold of the 520, the manual recording "feature" was apparently removed. I was unaware that this is a "feature" that was not included but rather silently omitted so you must use the TV Guide.


== NOTE TO SELF: Has the world gone mad when your old VCR technology from over a decade ago makes the options on this unit look absurdly poor?


4) Pioneer claims that you can download the TVGOS anywhere and with any equipment so long as you connect the RF input to an antenna. They claimed that they only download the additional info being broadcast with your TV. Are they for real? When I asked them what took 24+ hours... well... they were vague. They did say that it should be great because you can experience the same TV Guide that you see on cable (although nobody mentioned the word "commercials too" during the conversation or in the manual.) Thus the downloading mechanism, if this is in any way true, will take an eternity to get hold of the TV Guide programming because it includes video and you may not be so lucky to get the next 7 days of programs.


5) They told me that they do not honor purchase of the unit from household, reputed appliance chains if they are not official retailers for the product. This means places you've bought from over many years are out because Pioneer has the option not to accept it. They also mentioned that the unit for +media is an absolute maybe and they do not support even reading +media. Makes me wonder how much they can stick it to the customer should you need the warranty. Part of the discussion was about my being able to avoid any restocking fee although this wasn't exactly pleasant.


OK... so what do we do? I guess that Dual Layer disc players are not out yet. Not critical but would have been nice. Hoping to get one of them before football season but the Toshiba XS34 apparently has its shares of manual recording problems since the unit apparently has a three hour shut off. Comments? Did we all miss something here? I hope so otherwise I'm in for a loss...
No offense, but are you real?? Not a competitor posing as a consumer??

Quote:
1) There is absolutely no manual timed recording on the Pioneer 633 in the same way you set it on your VCR and you MUST use the TV Guide (TVGOS) - if you can get it. This means that if your system cannot download TV Guide or it doesn't download it, you have only the manual "press the record button option." So you cannot have it set up to "record channel 4 at 7 PM this Thursday." It gets worse.
I have DirecTV and I can have it record any line input or channel. Put your zip code in, if your guide isn't availabe through channels you can receive OTA or through analog cable, just leave it. You can manually program on any channel or line "MANUALLY".

Quote:
2) There is no way you can set the 633 to record any program that occurs more than a week later. What if you decided to go away on a 10 day vacation? Too bad, so sad. You must use whatever the TVGOS has downloaded and that will give you, at most, a week of programming.
You can record 32 timers per month. If your past the TVGOS number of days, program a manual timer.

Quote:
3) This means that you cannot set the DVR to record Monday Night Football every Monday night at 8PM or whatever your time zone may be. There are no recurring settings whatsoever - it's next 7 days and that's all. They suggested I try to get hold of the 520, the manual recording "feature" was apparently removed. I was unaware that this is a "feature" that was not included but rather silently omitted so you must use the TV Guide.
Read your manual, it's all there, you've missed it.

Quote:
4) Pioneer claims that you can download the TVGOS anywhere and with any equipment so long as you connect the RF input to an antenna. They claimed that they only download the additional info being broadcast with your TV. Are they for real? When I asked them what took 24+ hours... well... they were vague. They did say that it should be great because you can experience the same TV Guide that you see on cable (although nobody mentioned the word "commercials too" during the conversation or in the manual.) Thus the downloading mechanism, if this is in any way true, will take an eternity to get hold of the TV Guide programming because it includes video and you may not be so lucky to get the next 7 days of programs.
Get a reliable data signal from a clear OTA channel or from your cable company (if they select to even add that broadcast data to their channels). If you can't get all of your OTA signals clear, one of the channels you can't receive probably has the data. Not all cable companies put the data in their broadcasts. It's up to them to supply you with the data. The recorder can't use something it's not receiving.

Quote:
5) They told me that they do not honor purchase of the unit from household, reputed appliance chains if they are not official retailers for the product. This means places you've bought from over many years are out because Pioneer has the option not to accept it. They also mentioned that the unit for +media is an absolute maybe and they do not support even reading +media. Makes me wonder how much they can stick it to the customer should you need the warranty. Part of the discussion was about my being able to avoid any restocking fee although this wasn't exactly pleasant.
Of course, any reputable makers isn't going to support flee market, gray market, and other people to sell you a unopened package as new. How does Pioneer verify that it wasn't opened used, then resealed, and sold as new. I'll tell you how, they have authorized dealers. Most better makers have a policy as such, Yamaha, Denon, HK, etc.


Why would they support the (+) format when it's not even a DVD Forum acknowledged format. It's a bastard format, even perhaps a good one, but none the less.

Quote:
OK... so what do we do? I guess that Dual Layer disc players are not out yet.
They been out for years, all DVD players are dual layer players.


Gotta love the smear compaigns. :rolleyes:
 

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I read the first paragraph of his thread post and knew it was dubious as to legitimacy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
Wow... I found out today a great deal about the Pioneer DVR-633-HS that I didn't see listed anywhere. The end result is that if I send it back it's going to cost me... but maybe it's worth it. I wonder whether anyone at Pioneer has any brains at all or maybe I just cannot find critical items in the manual... nor can their tech support.


1) There is absolutely no manual timed recording on the Pioneer 633 in the same way you set it on your VCR and you MUST use the TV Guide (TVGOS) - if you can get it. This means that if your system cannot download TV Guide or it doesn't download it, you have only the manual "press the record button option." So you cannot have it set up to "record channel 4 at 7 PM this Thursday." It gets worse.


2) There is no way you can set the 633 to record any program that occurs more than a week later. What if you decided to go away on a 10 day vacation? Too bad, so sad. You must use whatever the TVGOS has downloaded and that will give you, at most, a week of programming.


3) This means that you cannot set the DVR to record Monday Night Football every Monday night at 8PM or whatever your time zone may be. There are no recurring settings whatsoever - it's next 7 days and that's all. They suggested I try to get hold of the 520, the manual recording "feature" was apparently removed. I was unaware that this is a "feature" that was not included but rather silently omitted so you must use the TV Guide.


== NOTE TO SELF: Has the world gone mad when your old VCR technology from over a decade ago makes the options on this unit look absurdly poor?


4) Pioneer claims that you can download the TVGOS anywhere and with any equipment so long as you connect the RF input to an antenna. They claimed that they only download the additional info being broadcast with your TV. Are they for real? When I asked them what took 24+ hours... well... they were vague. They did say that it should be great because you can experience the same TV Guide that you see on cable (although nobody mentioned the word "commercials too" during the conversation or in the manual.) Thus the downloading mechanism, if this is in any way true, will take an eternity to get hold of the TV Guide programming because it includes video and you may not be so lucky to get the next 7 days of programs.


5) They told me that they do not honor purchase of the unit from household, reputed appliance chains if they are not official retailers for the product. This means places you've bought from over many years are out because Pioneer has the option not to accept it. They also mentioned that the unit for +media is an absolute maybe and they do not support even reading +media. Makes me wonder how much they can stick it to the customer should you need the warranty. Part of the discussion was about my being able to avoid any restocking fee although this wasn't exactly pleasant.


OK... so what do we do? I guess that Dual Layer disc players are not out yet. Not critical but would have been nice. Hoping to get one of them before football season but the Toshiba XS34 apparently has its shares of manual recording problems since the unit apparently has a three hour shut off. Comments? Did we all miss something here? I hope so otherwise I'm in for a loss...
slinky, take a deep breath, lay back and relax, and think pleasant thoughts for a bit. Now that you are feeling better, let me assure you that the engineers at Pioneer have not gone mad, but you will need to be open to new ideas if this is going to work. I don't have time to address all your points, so here's a just few:


1) The timer record function is invoked by hitting the Timer Rec button on the remote. You will see the EPG launch, but don't despair, the timer record menu is on the left side. If you cannot get the EPG, then do a search on the EPG in this forum for step-by-step instructions on how to turn off the EPG permanently.


2) TV Guide produces the EPG, not Pioneer, so don't blame 633HS if your want a two week guide instead of a one week guide. If you paid for the guide you could demand your money back, but the darn thing is free. That's their con - they give it to you for free.


Also, let's not glorify 20 year old VCR technology too much. 20 years later, many VCRs still have the flashing 12:00, so there weren't many timer recordings, and certainly no EPG recordings, done on these VCRs. The performance wasn't all the good either with only 240 lines of resolution, and the recording media was bulky and still 5 times the cost of a blank DVD.


I suggest you do more research in this forum on the 533/633, and you may decide to keep your unit after all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
There is no way you can set the 633 to record any program that occurs more than a week later. What if you decided to go away on a 10 day vacation? Too bad, so sad. You must use whatever the TVGOS has downloaded and that will give you, at most, a week of programming.
As others have mentioned, you can set manual recordings for shows that aren't in the EPG. What I wanted to add was that having only one week of information available is no worse than what I've been getting from magazines for many years.


The other thing I should mention is that pretty much all of the current DVD recorders use the same EPG software, so you'd better get used to it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Up
No offense, but are you real?? Not a competitor posing as a consumer??
No offense to you and HoustonGuy who "knows" that my whole story is "dubious as to legimacy" but vbulletin is remarkable for its ease of use. Click my name and find some of my other 134 posts and you'll see how I arrived at my decision to buy the 633. I hope none of you work for the CIA, lol.


(1) Regarding the ability to manually set a recording, I looked in the Index of the manual for the timer recording and the only mention is on page 37, setting it up with your TV Guide. You can't turn off the TVGOS interface. probepro, thanks for the suggestion I hope the Timer works and that may do the trick - I'm going to test it out before I send it back. The manual is also built completely around TV guide.


(2) The answers I got were *directly from Pioneer Tech Support* and I came here because I couldn't believe it. I guess they too were confused because there is no way to shut off the TV Guide and just do a manual record. If Pioneer isn't clear on that, how in the world do they expect consumers to wade through their manual and pick out what is and isn't usable if you can't/don't use the TV Guide? From reading other posts Toshiba's manual is better organized as is their machine from this viewpoint.


(3) The con is that the TV Guide is advertised as a *feature* and not a replacement of manual recordings in the way the prior Pioneer models and recorders have worked for a decade. It is always on because it has to be on. It shouldn't be up to me to have to find it a signal that the TV Guide must use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Up
Why would they support the (+) format when it's not even a DVD Forum acknowledged format. It's a bastard format, even perhaps a good one, but none the less. They been out for years, all DVD players are dual layer players. Gotta love the smear compaigns. :rolleyes:
No offense to you but where are you getting your facts from? The "bastardized" format you talk about is supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh and Yamaha. Dual +/- *players* have been stardard forever and it shocks me if I find one claims it isn't, let alone the top of the line player.


Regarding the "fact" that all DVD players are "dual layer", perhaps you're not understanding that the 633 can also *write* to a DL disk and the XS-34 by Toshiba cannot. That's a big difference. So much for your conspiracy theory guys, lol. ;)
 

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Sorry to fan the flames (and offend you "clam down" folks) but I agree with many of slinky's comments. Why can't they just let me set the timer like the older versions of Pioneer units? Yes, we can set a manual timer, but we still only get the left one-third (or effectively one-fourth) of the screen to do so, and setting it up is a lot less convenient than the manual timers on previous models.

While the EPG is designed to make using the unit easier, it actually may make it more difficult for people in some situations. It's like automatic transmission on a sports car. If Pioneer is no longer viewing DVD recorder buyers as "performance drivers," perhaps that is a good thing. However, it may turn those who are "motor heads" off.


Some of slinky's other points were missed by some of you. Pioneer will not honor the warranty on their unit if it is sold by "unauthorized" dealers. These include retailers to whom Pioneer obviously ships large amounts of their product, and even gives exclusive rights to sell certain models (such as Costco). To me, this is pretty shoddy; other manufacturers don't place such stupid restrictions on their warranty. I own two Pioneer recorders that are not covered by Pioneer's warranty (a 510 and a 420) simply because the retail stores that sold them to me are not on Pioneer's special list. Pioneer is free to set this requirement, but consumers are free to consider it when buying Pioneer products.


Even though it is covered by warranty (since I bought it from Walmart) I was seriously thinking of taking my 531 back until I realized that I had thrown some of the packaging away.
 

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Where are all the Toshiba and Sony owners re the EPG? Have not heard much from them on the TV guide system lately. Are they having the same problems as the newer Pioneer owners? Does the TV Guide system limit the Toshiba XS34 owners as much as the Pioneer seems to have done for many?
 

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I have a Pansonic E-85 and we don't have these kinds of problems with the EPG. If one does not want the EPG (i.e. sat. users) you have the choice to disable it during the setup and go to a manual mode for clock, channel and recording setting. Most of us that use the EPG pretty much like it. The advertisement panel is pretty much unobtrusive and I really never paid much attention to it until I read so many Pioneer users complaining about it. The EPG covers 8 days with repeat settings to record the scheduled program on a daily or weekly basis. Settings outside the EPG range can be scheduled manually.


The biggest problems we've had with the EPG is that: it sometimes skips a scheduled recording event -or- "bad" EPG data downloaded can sometimes crash or lockup the recorder. A lot of these issues were fixed by recent Panasonic firmware updates to their recorders.


And I believe Panasonic honors their warranty no matter what dealer you buy it from.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonk
Where are all the Toshiba and Sony owners re the EPG? Have not heard much from them on the TV guide system lately. Are they having the same problems as the newer Pioneer owners? Does the TV Guide system limit the Toshiba XS34 owners as much as the Pioneer seems to have done for many?
One again - there's no limitation with the EPG, just a case of some folks bitching because it's not designed the way the would like to see it, so let's get over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by probepro
One again - there's no limitation with the EPG, just a case of some folks bitching because it's not designed the way the would like to see it, so let's get over it.
Actually, I couldn't disagree with you more. As I mentioned the EPG has been made a *replacement* to manual recording.


That said, I took a look at the Toshiba XS34 manual. It seems that manual recording is done the same way -- through the TVGOS. It seems that the manufacturers did a very nice job of shoving the "TV Guide" logo on top of every menu regardless of whether it's being used. The bitching is warranted when you spend $450 on a DVR to find out that you can't edit out the advertisements that have been put into YOUR PRODUCT. What's next, coke and pepsi on every programming screen? When I get part of those dollars, I'll stop bitching that they spent more time on the wrong priority. Until then, I'll rip the daylights out of Pioneer, Toshiba and every other manufacturer that does this... at my expense.


I'll take a look at the Panasonic. The only reason I didn't buy theirs was because of a lack of a DV input in any model.
 

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Woohoo! Good discussion going on here...


I think all of you have made good points so once again it looks like this is just a matter of tastes...


Slinky, return your DVR-633H if you want to. That's your right as a consumer...


The rest of you, keep your units if you feel like it.


Me, I'll get a 533H soon since the general concensus here as well as my personal requirements point me in such direction...


Cheers and be well you %#@$!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here's a good example of why TVGOS is nothing but a big advertisement for TV Guide and what infuriates me. Take a look at the attached picture - this is typical for the TVGOS. It features the TV Guide logo in THREE places on a small 4:3 picture, TWO OF THE TVGUIDE LOGOS LARGER THAN ANY OF THE OTHER ITEMS ACTUALLY IN THE GUIDE. There is another view that has it FOUR places. The screen real estate could have been better used for almost anything else and would the logos have been missed if they were still only at the TOP of the screen? Pathetic. Overmarketing to the point of negating the purpose of the eyeball effect.


After playing around with it, I'll say this much - in theory it should be wonderful to use. Being able to scroll around, see what's on TV, just click and record. Beautiful. But there are some real issues and I'll probably use the timer recording for most items.


I don't know how well the Toshiba works but I'd be surprised if it is much different. The Guide is s-l-o-w. Scrolling takes forever and you'll be pressing the remote several times. Other items also takes a long time like the home menu popping up, etc. It's like the processor is underpowered or there is just way too much data or it's multitasking because it's constantly downloading the EPG.


Setting up channels... I've read some of the fun others have but I didn't realize that this is a TREMENDOUS CHORE. From first view and playing around I can't see any way to easily sort the channels or find the one you are looking for. You're probably thinking "what's the big deal, the setup will come in in the order your cable channels are ordered." Ah... no, at least not on the Pioneer, and again, I'm doubting it's any different on the Toshiba because essentially it's the same TVGOS. ABC comes in as channel 7, correct, but it is in "location 1" which means it's top of the list. TNT, which is channel 10, comes in in "location 50" or somewhere all the way down the list. I can't find any way to arrange the channels easily in the order that they are viewed when pulled into the tuning.


I've also noticed that the unit doesn't pull in the HD channels info. This is unfortunate although I'm sure there is a way to set this up. This might have to do with the fact that my original programming said connected to cable but not connected to a cable box.


Trying to rearrange the channel order and turn off unused channels is another example of pure frustration. If you ever lose them and they can't be backed up... well... clear an entire afternoon. I can't find a way yet to just turn channels on and off - this might be hidden in the manual but it isn't intuitive. You have to click "enter" on the channel, scroll 2 clicks down to "off" or "auto" and then scroll 3-4 more clicks down to "done" and you have set up that channel. Multiply that by 100 for basic cable and you'll see how much fun you're having.


There is no question the TVGOS was rushed. The timer recording is easy enough and, once again guys, LEAVE IT TO THE FORUM FOR KNOW HOW since the Pioneer Tech Support couldn't even find it in their own manual apparently. This is not a knock on Pioneer over Toshiba but more of a knock on TVGOS and the desire to use it prematurely to make additional bucks at our expense... with great subtlety. I just hope there is a way to upgrade the firmware....


On the bright side of the Pioneer DVR-633-HS, the fan noise is not noticeable. On occasion I will hear the hard drive making that writing sound although you don't hear it over the air conditioner. If off, you'll hear it a bit but at least it isn't the constant fan noise. It has many inputs and outputs. Right now I'm using the RF to record from the cable connection. It is surprisingly good, even on my 50" HDTV. I'm doing it this way for now because I have a cable card in the TV. Would be great if eventually you can put the card in one of these DVRs but you and I know that it would add a HUGE cost and, in addition, would be even larger since it would require HDTV going through the unit and they would have to copyright protect everything up the wazoo. Recording 16:9 channels SEEMS to work though, as I pass a picture that is being shown on the TV to the output, e.g. an HDTV channel, and into the DVR. It is obviously scaled down to 480p. The picture is OK and somewhat pixelated. Not sure why just yet.


So that's some insight and info for you guys looking at the 633. Is it worth it? Difficult to say. I wanted one and the Double Layer write capability was a big factor in it over the XS-34 and 54. I wasn't interested in spending $500-700 for the Toshiba XS-54 that is upcoming with an HDMI ouput. It would be nice to have the ethernet connection but it's not changing a whole lot and I don't need an HDMI OUT from the DVR, which will be used for recording. So for those of you who haven't seen TVGOS, here's a picture and all their logos...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
Actually, I couldn't disagree with you more. As I mentioned the EPG has been made a *replacement* to manual recording.


That said, I took a look at the Toshiba XS34 manual. It seems that manual recording is done the same way -- through the TVGOS. It seems that the manufacturers did a very nice job of shoving the "TV Guide" logo on top of every menu regardless of whether it's being used. The bitching is warranted when you spend $450 on a DVR to find out that you can't edit out the advertisements that have been put into YOUR PRODUCT. What's next, coke and pepsi on every programming screen? When I get part of those dollars, I'll stop bitching that they spent more time on the wrong priority. Until then, I'll rip the daylights out of Pioneer, Toshiba and every other manufacturer that does this... at my expense.


I'll take a look at the Panasonic. The only reason I didn't buy theirs was because of a lack of a DV input in any model.
Sorry, but I just cannot get all steamed up over integrating the timer-record feature with the TVGOS. Commercials aside, it actually make sense to have all "timed recording" options on the same screen. But for all those that are all worked up over this, I think they should return their units, and deprive themselves of this excellent recorder. My guess is, not too many will.
 

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Pioneer recorders can't hold a candle to Panasonic recorders. ;)
 

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I bet the newer Panasonic EH50S also has it's manual timer integrated in the TVGOS as the new Toshiba and Pioneers do. The E85 is last years model and TVGOS has undoubtedly changed their interface firmware to be less confusing for the newbies. Having it in one menu may not be the ideal situation for people in the know, but it is much easier for the less technical.


The E85H's system was the first with the Pioneers and Toshiba and new EH50S being the second gen. TVGOS.


Since Pioneer and Toshiba are not TVGOS, I really don't see how they would be able to rewrite firmware that is only licensed to them. They would need to be one with TVGOS so that the firmware would be written by both.


I can easily see how it would be confusing for my none technical parents to be confused how how to do a manual recording. Going into 2 different recording menus would confuse the crap out of them. Having all recording done in one menu, TVGOS, makes it much less confusing. For technology advanced people, it may seem less convenient with the smaller side bar but then we're not the majority of consumers. We're the majority of buyers now because some are intimidated by them, which this TVGOS will help curb.


Have a good one.
 

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lol I havent been on here in a long time, but nice to see you're still testing recorders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by probepro
Sorry, but I just cannot get all steamed up over integrating the timer-record feature with the TVGOS. Commercials aside, it actually make sense to have all "timed recording" options on the same screen. But for all those that are all worked up over this, I think they should return their units, and deprive themselves of this excellent recorder. My guess is, not too many will.
Now that I know that there is a timer recording, it's not nearly as bad. I was hoping - and thanks to you - that it was there but I couldn't find it and neither could the Pioneer tech support.


I think you are correct. The timer works but those who are hoping that the TV Guide will make things easier will be sorely disappointed. They have a ways to go before it operates in a manner that works efficiently and easily with navigation that is efficient.


Hey vferrari. Good to see you. The Panasonic players are great but I wasn't so impressed with the features of the Panasonic, especially without the firewire in. As the 633 should suit most of my needs (transferring tapes, recording from HDTV input source at 16:9, recording from cable box or recording from the RF input.)


Thanks for your replies all of you. Made a big difference here.
 

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Oops by the way my post was directed at Mike Up because I thought he started this thread. Sorry.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BASHERS33
lol I havent been on here in a long time, but nice to see you're still testing recorders.
Thanks, it's been a while. I have yet another hobby. It's much more expensive, much more social(outside of the forums), much more physical, and takes much more time.:) So I've been preoccupied.


Have a good one.
 
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