Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario - 8th Line and Upper Middle Road
Hands On First Impressions
Finally got my unit hooked up and configured. Here are my initial thoughts.
First, like PierreP, I have an early softare version that I intend to keep for now:
Software Version: F201TALD-N
Boot Strap Version: 1011TALD
TV is an LG 42" 1080 LCD via HDMI
Packaging was outstanding. Unit was actually vacuum sealed in an anti-static bag like new oem hard drives. Very nice. Universal Remote, batteries, some basic cables, QS Guide and Manual in the box.
Hooked up via HDMI, and also used an additional optical output. No issues at all with my LG display handshaking. In fact, when I turned on the TV, the setup wizard was already up and waiting for me.
The wizard took a couple of minutes, found all of my channels, I punched in the Grand Island Zip I use for Zap2It.com so it could configure the program guide. (14072 - Zap2It also includes all Toronto/Hamilton stations in their OTA listing for this ZIP - FYI - very nice)
The guide proceeded to populate VERY fast - using PSIP data up to about 12 hours out. As 99gecko mentioned, WIVB apparently does NOT have TVGOS. I had hoped the previous online reports that it DID have TVGOS were true, but no go. This is a big disappointment actually - and I will hope that they eventually add this stream for us, as that guide experience is far superior. That said, the DTVPal DVR still has the best non TVGOS guide I have seen.
PQ is fantastic. HOWEVER, I had to calibrate my TV again to accomplish this. I had been using this TV with a direct feed (via splitter of course) from the antenna, so the quality was amazing. To achieve a similar picture with the DVR, I had to tweak some picture settings. Luckily, I have 2 antenna feeds from the splitter in the room, and popped back and forth between the raw feed and DVR feed until I was happy. This is a good lesson for anyone who forgets the fine art of calibrating your TV. Most sets allow seperate calibrations for each input. Do it!! Otherwise, you might be robbing yourself of the best possible picture. (and write down your settings!!)
I did a test recording and it works as you would expect. No picture degradation at all. Also, as I had heard.
Signal strength - like PierreP said earlier - appears to be a fair amount stronger.
The interface is much more polished and sophisticated than I had expected. Very intuitive and easy to tweak if you need to. As a Mac user, this was most welcome!
Setup my Harmony 880 in just a few minutes for the PVR. I love the Harmony system ,as some poor guy before me took the time to plug in each and every code for the remote and now we all benefit. Excellent!
I will open the single malt cask and put the DVR (not the cask!) through its paces tonight and report back if anything odd happens.
So for now, I have to say, mightily impressed. If I stay this way, I can see a second one in our future. I do expect bugs and such nuisances to pop up (some are much discussed online) but also expect them to be ironed out with updates - and I will WAIT to update this unit until such time as it is necessary - but only then if new features are added and the update is proven to be bug free itself.
Hope this helps anyone on the fence about it. Obviously, I may have more observations as I get more time with it - and questions are most welcome.
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