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New DVR/PVR due this year: ePVision PHD-eZ1

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Old 07-15-2010, 08:02 AM   #1  
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Default New DVR/PVR due Jan. 2012: ePVision PHD-VRX

I have never been a fan of rentals/leases (cars or most anything else) and DVR's are no exception. I prefer to own the device, which makes it mine and mine alone. No one has any claim to it AFAIC. Also, why keep on feeding the MSO's, their pockets are deep enough.

Anyway this company has a new DVR they announced last December that I would like to see take off. One thing it needs is support. Here is the page on the product with a space for a name and e-mail address alone with comments;
http://epvision.com/HDTVSTB/phdez1pre.htm

The other current choices are the DTVPal (that is OTA only), the Moxi (that is CATV only) and of course TiVo, with their subscription cost hanging over your head, which does have both types of inputs and a CC slot. The ePVision does has both types, but with only one input.

I'm asking anyone reading this (which already tells me you are at least partly interested) to add their name to the list showing support for this, even thou you have no plans for purchase.
The more the better. Use a secondary e-mail address if you prefer. There is no issue with spam. I have dealt with them before (I have absolutely NO connection to them in any way, shape or form) and found their service at least decent.

Here is the e-mail that I received from Allen (their representative). Note, most of it has to do with their new tuner/input switcher;
Quote:
Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the email. For your answer, PHD-eZ1 does have OTA and CATV recording features. Not like some PVRs can be only limited to OTA. We may end up to build full feature PVR instead of eZ1, reason is the cost is very close. We can add additional component and cvbs inputs and encoding but it will cost much more. Output so far is limited to HDMI and CVBS outputs just like PHD-8VX but we may change it the last min. based on the demand and cost.

For PHD-8VX, it is on the way to here. We will send out the re-release coupon this week or early next week. Please kindly find the attached PHD-8VX user manual for your reference. There are so many fine features added in this model and we are very excited about it. For some of the nice features mentioned in the following:

(1) Excellent 1080p scaling and enhancement. Video looks much richer than PHD-205.
(2) "Custom Aspect Ratio" adjustment so user can control video over-scan issue and cover 100% HD picture content on the screen. Not like many TVs chop out certain video content around the edges. This custom aspect ratio adjustment can also apply to PHD-8VX internal graphics as well as PC input video.
(3) Dual scan channel database. Keep both OTA and cable (QAM/NTSC) channel information and easy to toggle to each other.
(4) Additive channel adding: To periodically scan any additional channels without erasing the original channels and only adding them on top of it.
(5) individual picture adjustment on each inputs. We add brightness, contrast, sharpness and others picture adjustments for video. Each input adjustment is individual.
(6) Adding virtual surround sounds and other audio adjustments.
(7) USB port to play pictures as well as music (MP3) separately or both in the same time.
(8) Can accept PC inputs from both VGA/audio port as well as any one of 3x HDMI ports.
(9) PHD-8VX HDMI input can handle 24p mode to display even more vivid movie pictures if the source content is filmed by 24Hz from Blu-ray.
(10) New generation RF tuner reception. In some areas, PHD-8VX can pick up more OTA as well as QAM/NTSC channels!

So many more from PHD-8VX box...

Thanks.
Allen
ePVision.com
And here is my response;
Quote:
Allen,

Thanks for the reply. I was just interested in the DVR. As I stated, the most important features that are lacking are;
1. A second RF input (one for CATV, one for OTA),
2. A CC (Cable Card) slot to make it functional with all encrypted channels. Many cable systems are encrypting ALL channels, even 'basic' ones, so without a CC slot, the QAM tuner is pretty much worthless,
3. You say this will have a composite output, but no component? Component is necessary as some older monitors might not have HDMI and you should consider the fact all HDMI inputs on a TV might already be in use.

I understand these will cost more, but I'm sure most will gladly pay for what I consider 'basic' features. There is a demand for this, it's only because of the lack of consumer education the demand isn't greater. I would suggest going the deluxe route first. Don't come out with a limited function model, I don't think it will sell anywhere as much.

Thank you,
Bruce
One point I did forgot to add is a program guide. A real bad omission on my part.

He did send me a .pdf manual for their tuner (that was too large to add as an attachment) as follows;
http://ugotfile.com/file/1788594/PHD-8VXv1.62w.pdf

If that doesn't work PM me, I will e-mail you the file. Again, this is not for the ez1, just the tuner/switcher.

Last edited by videobruce; 12-23-2011 at 04:54 AM.. Reason: model number change and expected date
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:35 AM   #2  
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60 views and no input? All of you love throwing $$ at the MSO's?

Here is an additional e-mail I sent;
Quote:
1. Ability to have OTA and CATV (which you already have),
2. Dual RF inputs. (What good is only one input, especially if you are set to record programs from both sources?),
3. A dependable program guide. I completely forgot to mention this. I completely understand this will add additional cost to the device. Putting myself in your shoes (trying to keep costs down), just having the ability of manual recording will not fly. Most are spoiled by clicking a single button to record a program. My self included. I have probably set a thousand recordings for the 20 plus years I used a VCR using a paper copy of TV Guide and using a manual method, with the Sony, using TVGOS has spoiled me. I can also speak for others, even thou I fully understand costs, something other than the very limited 2-12 hour data the station provide (and that's ONLY OTA stations, not CATV) won't cut it,
4. A cable Card slot. At least one MSO has switched to all digital and they are encrypting every channel (AFAIK). Without a CC slot, having a QAM tuner is a waste,
5. The easy ability to replace/upgrade the HDD and the option of an external HDD,
6. A metal enclosure. Unlike that cheap looking plastic 'box' that that DTVPal uses, a metal enclosure that will allow equipment to be placed (stacked) above it,
7. Lastly, a larger remote and a menu structure that has channel access at the top of the list. That remote that your PHD-205 tuner has is terrible. The buttons (for the most part) are too small, especially the "OK" button. 90% of the time I go into the 205 menu is for channel purposes and to switch from OTA to CATV.

Again, thanks for listening and please pass this alone to your people overseas.
Bruce
Here is his response;
Quote:
Hi Bruce,
Thanks again for the email. To quickly answer your questions:
(1) Yes, it is both OTA and CATV.
(2) Are considering now. Two separate tuners will add up cost, which is the main concern. Technical-wise, it is no problem.
(3) EPG, as you said, will add cost a lot. When we build this unit, we will add Ethernet port for future expansion. We may consider downloading EPG info from Internet instead EPG packets grabbed from channel data to lower the license cost. How do you think about that method?
(4) Cable card slot is considering. But no any promise now.
(5) No internal HDD for current design. Use external USB port to connect external USB storage devices. So, you can hook up 2TB HDD for recording if you want.
(6) Yes, metal case.
(7) Yes, will improve remote control greatly.

Thanks again!
Allen
ePVision.com
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:34 AM   #3  
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115 views and no response??
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:52 AM   #4  
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Wow,
I can't believe nobody else has posted. I signed up for preview discount coupon. It says it is supposed to be released in 2010. Thats not looking very good. I am with you, I to will not lease or commit to a monthly fee. I just want an Over The Air DVR. I cannot believe there is only 1 on the market. It seems to me that there is a huge market for them. The old DTVPAL OTA DVRs are selling for over $200.00 on ebay and I have heard kinda bad things about them. Someone, Please someone produce an OTA DVR. I am waiting first in line.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:13 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by IloveOTA View Post
Wow,
I can't believe nobody else has posted. I signed up for preview discount coupon. It says it is supposed to be released in 2010. Thats not looking very good. I am with you, I to will not lease or commit to a monthly fee. I just want an Over The Air DVR. I cannot believe there is only 1 on the market. It seems to me that there is a huge market for them. The old DTVPAL OTA DVRs are selling for over $200.00 on ebay and I have heard kinda bad things about them. Someone, Please someone produce an OTA DVR. I am waiting first in line.
There aren't many options (none?) because there is no way to provide a program guide for the DVR free of charge and software to operate the DVR free of charge and like you, most don't want to pay for the service despite the fact it costs something to provide. I use an HDTiVo, purchased with lifetime service and it works great.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:00 PM   #6  
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I already own a PHD-200.

It WON'T work with cable or satellite. Well, it will work with cable, but only if they have QAM channels. Also, no guide.

I an't imagine that the new one does any better with those 2 things.

Oh, and its OK to feed money to a DVR manufacturer but not a cable company??? I don't get your logic.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:31 AM   #7  
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because there is no way to provide a program guide for the DVR free of charge and software to operate the DVR free of charge
Apparently, you haven't heard of TVGOS. It's free (other than small ad inserts within the user interface). Where do you think the DTVPal gets the data from (when it's not using each stations individual PSIP data)??
Are you not familiar with the older Sony DVR (easily available on eBay) or any TV with TVGOS?
Quote:
I already own a PHD-200.
It WON'T work with cable or satellite. Well, it will work with cable, but only if they have QAM channels.
First you say it doesn't work with cable, then you say it does if there are QAM channels. What digital transmission system do you think CATV uses anyways?? NTSC analog will be gone shortly. At least one MSO is all QAM which is why they didn't bother with an analog tuner.
Quote:
Oh, and its OK to feed money to a DVR manufacturer but not a cable company??? I don't get your logic.
I don't consider "feeding" a DVR manufacture (or any manufacture) when you purchase a item for a one time price. I do consider "feeding" a supplier when there are continuous charges to allow the device to be usable.
HUGE DIFFERENCE!
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:09 PM   #8  
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Apparently, you haven't heard of TVGOS. It's free (other than small ad inserts within the user interface). Where do you think the DTVPal gets the data!
What I stated was it can't be provided free of charge, somebody has to pay and the advertiser paid model doesn't work well, thus you have few or no free choices now. I am aware of how the DTVPal works and have seen it which is why I paid for something far better and why the DTVPal was I thought a failure and no longer available, just the same as the other DVRs I have seen you mention. If you think there are good free options, go ahead and get one, nobody is stopping you. Where is the one you started this thread about?

Last edited by Chris Gerhard; 03-17-2011 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:07 AM   #9  
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Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Apparently, you haven't heard of TVGOS. It's free (other than small ad inserts within the user interface). Where do you think the DTVPal gets the data from (when it's not using each stations individual PSIP data)??
Are you not familiar with the older Sony DVR (easily available on eBay) or any TV with TVGOS?First you say it doesn't work with cable, then you say it does if there are QAM channels. What digital transmission system do you think CATV uses anyways?? NTSC analog will be gone shortly. At least one MSO is all QAM which is why they didn't bother with an analog tuner.I don't consider "feeding" a DVR manufacture (or any manufacture) when you purchase a item for a one time price. I do consider "feeding" a supplier when there are continuous charges to allow the device to be usable.
HUGE DIFFERENCE!
TVGOS was taken off the cable system that I used the PHD on, so it ISN'T for everyone. When it did work, it had many problems.

Lots and lots of cable companies are doing away with QAM except for "lifeline" broadcasts, so that is another reason to be wary. They are going to a digital box only solution.

How much is that device? I am guessing $300??? the $6 a month charge that I pay for my Direct TV DVR means I can use it for over 4 years before paying for the PHD. You STILL have to pay for cable service.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:38 AM   #10  
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Why do I rent?

Over the years I have seen quick obsolescence in this kind of technology. Had I bought a DVR for analog, then one for unencrypted QAM, then one for digital, then one for digital HD, the one with 40 Gig's storage, then one with 80, then one with 160 and now one with 500. Then another for MRDVR and then another for the "next best thing" and spent $400 on each of these improvements I'd have spent a king's ransom. If you stand pat you have the constant gnawing "gee I wish I had that feature" gnawing at you.

As it is I have gotten a year free a couple times followed by a $10 or $15 a month for a year before obsolescence set in and I needed switchover to a newer model box. In addition, a BIG addition, I have had 3 DVR's blow on me after a while. I am VERY glad I didn't have to eat that cost, my only cost was a bus ride to the cable office for a new box.

For some things, rental is a LOT more cost effective and fast moving technology is one of them.

There is also the element of taking a cable signal and recording it without paying for the privilege. Certainly operating outside the law, or dancing on its edge can pay dividends but it also extracts costs, like fear of ever letting a cable repair man near your TV. When you have your own box you also tempt the cable company, often fraught with problems, to blame your box for all problems.
"Sorry sir, we aren't responsible for that" as an excuse for every cable outage.


But when you get your box, let us know how it works out.

Last edited by zip2play; 03-18-2011 at 07:42 AM..
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:51 AM   #11  
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somebody has to pay and the advertiser paid model doesn't work well
But, it isn't you. It works fine in the vast majority of the TV markets. It's only isolated cases where there is a problem. of course, when there is a problem, that problem gets magnified 10-20 fold by complaints. When things work well, rarely does anyone post.
Quote:
DTVPal was I thought a failure and no longer available
1. It isn't "a failure" and
2. It is still available (under the Channel Master name)!
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:58 AM   #12  
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TVGOS was taken off the cable system that I used the PHD on, so it ISN'T for everyone. When it did work, it had many problems.
That's the fault of the MSO.
Quote:
Lots and lots of cable companies are doing away with QAM except for "lifeline" broadcasts, so that is another reason to be wary. They are going to a digital box only solution.
You are really showing your ignorance making a statement as that. Just what do you think they are using?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's still QAM. Just because those stations are not 'in the clear' doesn't make it some other form of transmission. The "digital box solution" is nothing but a QAM tuner with CC slot. Something many consumer items had 5 or so years ago, but due the the stranglehold the CATV industry and especially CableLabs has, CE manufactures dropped this option. All of those will work with a MSO provided 'adapter' for systems that are using that unnecessary SDV.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #13  
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For some things, rental is a LOT more cost effective and fast moving technology is one of them.
I understand your point. I have three DVR's (two used, all the same model) and all working fine.The oldest is almost five years old and has never had any issues other than a few short lived Guide outages. Also consider, those MSO supplies STB's are cheap by design. I can see those failing faster then anything actually purchased.

But, if you add up all those 'rental' fees, it does tip the equation.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:54 PM   #14  
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That's the fault of the MSO.You are really showing your ignorance making a statement as that. Just what do you think they are using?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's still QAM. Just because those stations are not 'in the clear' doesn't make it some other form of transmission. The "digital box solution" is nothing but a QAM tuner with CC slot. Something many consumer items had 5 or so years ago, but due the the stranglehold the CATV industry and especially CableLabs has, CE manufactures dropped this option. All of those will work with a MSO provided 'adapter' for systems that are using that unnecessary SDV.
Nope, YOU are showing your ignorance. If there are only a few clear QAM stations available, then the cable companies ARE NOT BROADCASTING IN QAM. Period.

Their own "digital box" model is what decodes the signals, not a QAM tuner. I don't care if you stick 17 QAM decoders on that cable, if the signal is not sent in clear QAM you will not see it, unless you RENT a cable card that decodes it.

Oh, forgot...you are violently opposed to renting.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #15  
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If there are only a few clear QAM stations available, then the cable companies ARE NOT BROADCASTING IN QAM. Period.
Ok, smart ass, then what are they using?
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