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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's amazing how the board has been dominated in recent weeks with discussion of the new Pioneer units (531/533/633) that have included an EPG. Lots of praise, lots of complaints.


I have a Panasonic E-85 which came out with EPG over a year ago. One of the items of discussion we have beat to death here is EPG reliability. It is no secret the EPG in this series will miss or skip over a scheduled recording event. Mine just did it again to me on Wednesday when it simply ignored the scheduled weekly record for "LOST" and deleted the event from the list.


To those of you who have been using the new Pioneer EPG -- hows the reliability been. Have you missed any records?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson
I have a Panasonic E-85 which came out with EPG over a year ago. One of the items of discussion we have beat to death here is EPG reliability. It is no secret the EPG in this series will miss or skip over a scheduled recording event. Mine just did it again to me on Wednesday when it simply ignored the scheduled weekly record for "LOST" and deleted the event from the list.
There has been a lot of recent discussion about some missed recordings from the xs-34, but I do not recall reading of similar problems from Pio owners. (They have had other EPG issues though). Actually, yours is the first post I have read that describes a missed recording with a Panny recorder (although, admittedly, I have not frequented the Panny threads as often as others lately). Perhaps this problem is more widespread than I thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Panasonic EPG discussions were months ago. That's why you haven't read anything lately.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson
It's amazing how the board has been dominated in recent weeks with discussion of the new Pioneer units (531/533/633) that have included an EPG. Lots of praise, lots of complaints.


I have a Panasonic E-85 which came out with EPG over a year ago. One of the items of discussion we have beat to death here is EPG reliability. It is no secret the EPG in this series will miss or skip over a scheduled recording event. Mine just did it again to me on Wednesday when it simply ignored the scheduled weekly record for "LOST" and deleted the event from the list.


To those of you who have been using the new Pioneer EPG -- hows the reliability been. Have you missed any records?
The "skipped" recording is not a common event in my Panasonic E-500, in fact it has never happened. Maybe the E-85 comes from a different series than the E-500, but the EPG in the E-500 is flawless -- no errors or skipped recordings in over a 100.


Perhaps this problem relates to the recent firmware update. Did you update the firmware in your E-85? If you haven't that may explain your skipped recordings.


RG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. That was a part of the speculation that a firmware update along with the EPG update that was broadcast in May would set things right. My firmware was updated back in April. Other Panasonic users have experienced the skips. Interesting that the E500 has not. The EH50 has only been out for a short time, but it will be intersting to see how they fair wrt EPG reliability.
 

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My Pioneer 633 is going back on Monday but for the week or so I've had it, no skips on the EPG at all. Then again, mileage may vary and nobody knows when it may crap out but while I've heard it consistently with the XS34 owners, nothing from Pioneer. At the same time the navigation in the TVGOS is pathetic. Apparently unlike the Pannys:


1) you cannot control the TV preview window so every time you move the cursor vertically the DVR will try to tune in the station for the channel the cursor is now on. Ridiculous.


2) There is no page up/down feature so you have to go through your cable channels, all of them, one by one by one...


3) There is no chapter mark/insert button so if you are viewing playback of your program, you can't simply insert the edit/cut/chapter marks as you view. The only option is to watch the whole thing again in edit mode and place the marks in there.


Apparently I'm learning a whole lot about these recorders. I really wanted to get a Panasonic (as I have a Panny TV, DVD) but the EH50 has no firewire input for my DV cam which is ridiculous at that price. If it wasn't for that I would have bought one myself. The EH95 apparently is an older unit and many have reported numerous problems... maybe they are fixed. But it probably has an older feature set and it is also unavailable anywhere I've looked and while I saw a good price (under $400) it's still unavailable. I wonder if Panny will come out with a new DVR soon...


EDIT: A new difference. The Panasonic models do not show video previews of your shows, only a thumbnail when browsing your list of programs. Panny has got it right almost every time - the stupid video preview causes so many worthless delays. A thumbnail is fine and doesn't require the recorder to try to load (and spend time holding you there) each time you move the damn cursor down the program list on the 633.
 

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Slinky is incorrect about #2 - no page up/down feature. When using the EPG there is a page up feature on the remote, although it is not labeled page/up/down. They are arrow keys. They are described in the manual.


I have had good reliability with recordings done via the EPG. It hasn't missed anything yet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
Apparently unlike the Pannys:


1) you cannot control the TV preview window so every time you move the cursor vertically the DVR will try to tune in the station for the channel the cursor is now on. Ridiculous.


2) There is no page up/down feature so you have to go through your cable channels, all of them, one by one by one...
It's frustrating seeing the same inaccurate information being repeated in thread after thread. Adyu has refuted point (2), and this post refutes point (1). I believe that all the current TVGOS models have these same capabilities.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu
Slinky is incorrect about #2 - no page up/down feature. When using the EPG there is a page up feature on the remote, although it is not labeled page/up/down. They are arrow keys. They are described in the manual.
Sean - before we start talking about who is posting inaccurate information, it would help that the people allegedly posting "accurate" information also post the manual page which this information is allegedly written.


The arrow keys allow you to move one channel down at a time. I did not see any way to page down so that you can see channels 1-7 on page one, next key press brings 8-14, next brings you 15-21, etc. All I can see is scrolling one by one by one. If you know a way, I'm all ears but if this is missing, it's signficant.


You can page horizontally going day to day such as from your current screen of Sunday at 10am to Monday at 10am, etc. Because only one hour is displayed at a time (thanks to those damned TV Guide icons/logos/ads taking up the left half of the screen) you can't fit 2 hours at a time on the screen so no need to have a horizontal paging function other than one day at a time by using the slow ff and rev buttons.


EDIT: OK, someone just posted the answer regarding the 531 and it works for the 533/633 but it is NOT clearly written in the Pioneer manual unfortunately. The prev/next button will page vertically when in the TV guide mode and the step slow buttons will page to next and previous day.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson
It's frustrating seeing the same inaccurate information being repeated in thread after thread. Adyu has refuted point (2), and this post refutes point (1). I believe that all the current TVGOS models have these same capabilities.
Once again, if someone will start saying that information is inaccurate, then let them post the manual page numbers that the information appears upon. I find it more frustrating when people say things can be done and never state how or sources.


I have the PDF manual for the 633 and text searches yielded no answers either. I don't see any easy option to freeze the "video window" which is what Pioneer calls it. On page 35 it says that it allows you to continue to view the channel you were watching but the next page says it allows you to preview any channel. Those are the only two places the video window is mentioned in the manual.


EDITED: Per the suggestion by a 531 owner to lock the video box by hitting the menu button while in the TV Guide listings, the option stated doesn't appear for me on the 633. How frustrating.
 

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OK, there is a reason why nobody can point to manual pages for operation of the TVGOS. BECAUSE PIONEER DIDN'T BOTHER PUTTING IN HALF OF THESE KEY COMBINATIONS IN THE MANUAL!!!


Something irked me when I was viewing the video window, seeing an icon of an unlocked lock. After experimenting with that menu button for about ten minutes, here's the way you can lock the video window up on the top left corner. Ready for this one?


(1) Press TV Guide to enter the guide

(2) If you are not in "Listings" then navigate into Listings

(3) If you are already in Listings, which you should be, press the "Menu" button, not the "Top Menu" button

(4) Navigate to "go to Service Bar" and press enter

(5) Now that you are in the service bar, press "Menu" again and you will see a video option which says "unlocked" and set it to locked.


Wasn't that intuitive? So you need to be in the Service Bar but ONLY when you are in the Listings option for the Menu button to work to show you the video lock option.
 

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Slinky, why are you surprised that the owners manual of an Asian consumer electronics product is not 100% complete or all that easy to understand? They've been that way for about 40 years. Something gets lost in the translation.


Instead of freaking out about the new feature set the Pioneer units have (and posting innaccurate and misleading info about how they work), take a deep breath and relax. Read some more from people who've owned a bunch of different DVD recorders and are now exploring the utility of the new Pioneer models. Doubtless there will be even more discoveries made by home theater enthusiasts and video hobbyists about these highly capable new machines.


There are also numerous threads about these units at videohelp.com
 

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These things are complex and the manuals for most all electronic devices are written as afterthoughts by the manufacturers. The Asian to Engligh translation doesn't help. I'm sure other languages are equally as confusing.


I find the easiest way to navigate a new piece of equipment is to use the quick start instructions that come with most everything. After that, I experiment. If something doesn't seem right, or a function is missing, I look in the manual to see if there is help.


This is how I found the page/up/down instructions. It may be that you have to be looking for something for the wording in the manual to make sense.


I too read about the ability to freeze the preview pane, but I will admit that the manual does a really poor job of telling you how to do it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gshelley61
Slinky, why are you surprised that the owners manual of an Asian consumer electronics product is not 100% complete or all that easy to understand? They've been that way for about 40 years. Something gets lost in the translation.


Instead of freaking out about the new feature set the Pioneer units have (and posting innaccurate and misleading info about how they work), take a deep breath and relax. Read some more from people who've owned a bunch of different DVD recorders and are now exploring the utility of the new Pioneer models. Doubtless there will be even more discoveries made by home theater enthusiasts and video hobbyists about these highly capable new machines.


There are also numerous threads about these units at videohelp.com
Let's see... as of right now I'm the one of the few here that actually posted accurate and useful information about how to accomplish basic tasks are just not in the manual. We have spent time trying to make sense of it all and, in the course of doing so and trial and herror have been trying to make assumptions that nobody, least of all the wise uberpeople with decades of DVR owning experience, have been able to correct and provide some type of reference or source for their information. I enjoy responses such as "no, you're wrong, it can be done." Gee... that was really helpful.


I'm not freaking out about the new feature (less) set the new Pioneer units have, addition with some silly substractions. I'm not happy that while watching last night's football game I couldn't chapter mark anything in playback. Figuring out numerous keypresses isn't my job either and the fact remains that very few manuals I have had for relatively good A/V equipment have not contained, at the very least, information about some of the very basic features. If TVGOS is so ubiquitous now, why isn't the documentation homogenous since it's all the same? I called the horse themselves for most problems, Pioneer tech support. If someone wants to fault me for their responses, then my response to the seers are "don't blame the messenger." I've clearly labeled the source.


I've been to videohelp and unless someone can tell me how to chapter mark in playback, the 633 goes back. IMHO, its YA enthusiast web site like this one, that's all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson
Thanks. That was a part of the speculation that a firmware update along with the EPG update that was broadcast in May would set things right. My firmware was updated back in April. Other Panasonic users have experienced the skips. Interesting that the E500 has not. The EH50 has only been out for a short time, but it will be intersting to see how they fair wrt EPG reliability.
Interesting, can you point me to posts that describe the skipped recordings in Panasonic DVD recorders? I did a search and cannot find more than a couple of posts on the subject (one was yours, I think).


Panasonic E-95, E-500 and EH-50 owners -- do your recorders skip programmed timer recordings?


RG
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gshelley61
There are also numerous threads about these units at videohelp.com
You mean the inaccurate, biased posts from the Panasonic-bashing Lord Smurf -- no thanks, I'll pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
OK, there is a reason why nobody can point to manual pages for operation of the TVGOS. BECAUSE PIONEER DIDN'T BOTHER PUTTING IN HALF OF THESE KEY COMBINATIONS IN THE MANUAL!!! . . .
slinky,

I have a Panasonic E-85. It came with 2 manuals. One for the operation of the DVDR unit and another separate manual for the operation of the EPG (TVGOS). Perhaps you are missing a manual for your Pioneer.


I agree, you need to relax. When the E-85 came out we had lots of threads going on tips and tricks -- all the things that are not in the manuals that people found in other websites, such as firmware updates, how to enter service modes, and do hard resets etc. These will all come for the Pioneers. No DVDR is going to do everything you might want in the way you want so I get the feeling from reading your posts that you will be frustrated with just about any unit you purchase. If the PQ is good and it records the shows you want, just exhale and work around the rest.
 

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Hey Kelson. I'm relaxed and fine. The Pioneer 633 isn't misssing the manual and the EPG/TVGOS is part of the inadequate manual. The huge TV Guide icons on screen that take up half the page of the TVGOS are useless and are just advertisements to go to tvgos.com.


I'm just annoyed. I wasted *so much time* researching and then paid significant cash. People were having problems with the XS34 reliability and so far the 533/633 got excellent reviews. Unfortunately I found out an omission later -- and removing the chapter mark button renders the whole point of using the edit and DVD recorder portion practically useless, IMHO. I bought a DVR so that I wouldn't have to use my computer to do this.


Case in point was last night's football game. I was out, recorded it and hoped to watch it and index commercials and key plays while I was watching the game. No can do on the top of the line Pioneer. My $120 Sony VCR from 8 years ago did this. Every other DVR does this, even Pioneer's prior model, the 520. Just to see how much of a hassle this was, I decided to try out how long it would take me to do edits of an hour and 50 minute video with 47 chapter marks, a few erase chapters, and without having to edit out commercials. It took me an additional hour and 20 minutes. I'm sorry if my frustration comes out but there is no workaround except to watch the whole thing all over again in a small window.


That said I have greater sympathy for Toshiba XS34 owners who plunked down $400 to find out that the TV Guide revenue generating portion of the DVR doesn't record reliably and if they are past their 30 days... well... too bad so sad. Now Toshiba has their money and TV Guide's...
 

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I just thought I should mention that twice my Pioneer 531 has lost all EPG info and has had to re-download from the start, even having to ask me who my cable provider is.


I have timer recorded many programs with none missed. Even after the data loss mentioned, the scheduled recordings saved in memory were not erased, except that they had question marks in parts of the information in them since all the data was suddenly missing. Once the EPG data was re-downloaded, the info about the scheduled recordings was back to normal.


I imagine that if EPG data were not re-downloaded soon enough, a scheduled recording would be missed.


Again, this is twice in a matter of about a month. At any time I'll have about 10 programs set to record. (usually classic college football. ;) )
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slinky
Sean - before we start talking about who is posting inaccurate information, it would help that the people allegedly posting "accurate" information also post the manual page which this information is allegedly written.
Sorry to get your dander up but the false statements you were making had already been addressed in other posts. People reading these threads for research will get the wrong information about these machines unless inaccurate information is refuted.


Your criticism of the manual is perfectly valid and well taken. It's probably a sign of the relatively low margins and short product cycles of these machines that more care isn't taken on the documentation. I suppose that someone could argue that putting all the stuff in the manual would make it too daunting, but I'd counter that by saying: why build a feature into your product if you're not going to tell people that it's there? Features aren't supposed to be easter eggs!
 
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