ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year OTA and QAM capibility. Input wanted. - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 8 Old 07-15-10, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
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ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year OTA and QAM capibility. Input wanted.

ePVision 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;

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 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.

Anyone reading this (which already tells me you are at least partly interested) please add their name to the list showing support, even thou you have no current 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;
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...

And here is my response;

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,
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;

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; 07-17-10 at 07:57 AM. Reason: typos
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-15-10, 09:49 AM
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year

Bruce, why don't you contact them and suggest that they submit their company for entry in our vendor list. The link to the vendors is at the top of forum pages near the center. There is a link to the right when you go to the Vendor list where a company can submit info for a listing. A basic listing with 300 characters is free. We also have sponsorships available with banners, priority listings and other benefits if they are interested. With the free listing they will also get a thread in the Manufacturer and Vendor Reference Information forum. Perhaps they would like to have someone here evaluate and review the unit. If they do, appropriate threads will be created with links to the vendor listings.

Looking for me, just google my username. I have used the same one for most sites for many years.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-15-10, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year

I will pass it along. See what happens.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-16-10, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year

Got a reply;
Hi Bruce,

Thanks again. Yes, I received both your emails today. Thanks. Our design engineer also agreed with you sometime ago to start high-end PVR first instead of low cost one. The ideas and design directions are the same, but we need to evaluate how fast we can deliver the product to the market. Thanks again and I will check on this thread.


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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-10, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year

Here is an additional e-mail I sent;
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.
Here is his response;
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!
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-21-10, 01:01 PM
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year OTA and QAM capibility. Input wanted.

Thanks, Bruce.

My understanding, PHD-eZ1 will adopt many of your suggestions. Time to market is still our main concern. We will use powerful and very nice, of course, more expensive cost for the PHD-eZ1 remote control this time. How is your opinion of watching live channel and recording other channel in the same time? Just curious about your thought. Thanks.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-22-10, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year OTA and QAM capibility. Input wanted.

Thanks Allen for the on-line reply.
I can't speak for others, but in the three years I have owned the older Sony DVR, I have never recorded/watched live TV so as to use the replay feature. Ever since 1978, 95% plus of my TV viewing has been time shifted. But, I'm sure others probably use the feature.

My biggest gripe of just about all DVR's is: they are power hogs because they are always 'on'. The HDD is constantly spinning for starters. While there is need to have the drive up to speed, that only takes seconds. No different with a VCR . If you remember the early VCRs always had the head spinning, newer models only spun the head when a transport function was selected. There is NO reason, especially when the unit is in standby for the HDD to spin constantly, unless the replay feature is in use (or expected to be).

I don't buy that story of temperature concerns with electronics, when it's better to keep electronics on all the time to eliminate the hot-cold cycle of powering something up and shutting it down. At least give the option to 'park' the HDD when not in use. This also addresses the other 'gripe' I have with the Sony (and most other TiVo type DVR's). The painfully slow channel change because these units are always recording.

The Funai/Magnavox DVD/DVR does spin down the HDD when it is in standby.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-22-10, 02:06 PM
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Re: ePVision PHD-eZ1; DVR/PVR due this year OTA and QAM capibility. Input wanted.

Thanks, Bruce regarding recorded/watched live TV.

Using external storage connection for recording is always our preferred choice so the unit is cooler, no noise and more reliable. Nowadays, internal processor chip is much powerful than old days. Usually they are dual cores or triple cores. So the process for recording and changing channels are independent. It should have no delay on each side.
Thanks, Allen
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