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First Day with HR20 - (from an HD Tivo lover)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Sport73, Sep 27, 2006.

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  1. Sport73

    Sport73 Cool Member

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    Sep 27, 2006
    I'll save some time by saying: All in all, I like it...Quite a bit.

    The install was a bit of a nightmare; service showed up more than 4 hours late (4PM as opposed to the 8AM-Noon window) yesterday and put up the new 5 LNB Dish.

    WARNING: The 5 LNB dish is substantially larger, and DOES NOT SATISFY THE W.A.F (Wife Approval Factor). My lovely bride was freaking out at the size. In fact, the technician told her it could not be mounted on the 'rim' of our single-story Florida home where the other dish had been, as it would rip off in a storm (and take the roofline with it), and instead needed to be bolted into the concrete walls of our home. She was NOT happy. Personally, I think it looks fine, not noticeably larger from the street, and cleaner than the 3LNB plus Off-Air setup that preceded it.

    Rain hit and the tech abandoned install before final aiming the dish and connecting the cables. He made it out this morning and finished the install in minutes (I already have the multi-switch etc. needed to support the signals in the rooms I want). I began installing the 2 new HR20's in my Family Room/Master Bedroom while he was finishing up.

    A few quick positives I noticed:

    - MUCH FASTER than the Tivo unit. It's nice to be able to schedule a Season Pass or regular recording with a simple push and move on...

    - PQ is generally excellent; I really don't understand the complaints about DirecTV's HD-Lite; Unless you have super-vision this is clearly HD-Level quality and a vast step up from SD. The SD & HD Channels, including locals, look pretty much identical to the HDTivo/Off-Air feeds I've been watching to this point.

    - MINI-GUIDE; a nice change of pace and quite useful. I love to browse what's on while watching something, and it's nice to be able to do that (Couldn't really do it with the HDTivo).

    - UNITY, the best word I can think of to describe the fact that watching a recorded show 'feels' more like watching a LIVE show than Tivo. In Tivo, you opened your list of recordings and started a show, and pretty much couldn't do anything else while watching it. The HR-20 functions the same, including browsing channels, setup etc. even while watching a recording. That's a very nice and overlooked feature in previous posts.

    - INTERACTIVE, I set my Fantasy Football lineup and can't wait 'til Sunday; I love th idea of Alerts and this finally makes SUPERFAN seem almost worthwhile. The Mix Channels don't perform as expected; they're slow to come up and I can't seem to change the audio (which I thought was the point). When it comes up, I LOVE the What's HOT feature. That should be moved FRONT AND CENTER on a future release. It's really the quickest way to see what's worth watching in multiple categories. Weather etc. is nice as well.

    - REMOTE, surprisingly solid and well laid-out, but I scrapped it in minutes in favor of my Harmony 880. Following tips posted here, I set the color buttons to the LCD, programmed the SLIP and BACKUP buttons via learning, and taught my TV the DirecTV guide command so that ONE-CLICK of guide brings me into the full guide, I never even see the category menu. It was surprisingly painless to setup and everything's pretty much mapped to be identical to the control of my HD Tivo, which has made acclimating much easier.



    NEGATIVES:

    - UI, it's fine, plenty of BLUE (my favorite color), but I really think it's time for Apple to teach some people how to use simple AQUA/GLASS/AERO designs to make the interface as 'sexy' as my sleek 50" HDTV. Obviously, Tivo was/is more intuitive, but the HR-20 is a step up from the ugly Cable DVR's I've used and set up for neighbors.

    - UI. Things are harder to find than they should be, and there's very little use of 'icons' rather than text.

    - ...other than that, I have no complaints. I don't really use/miss the dual-buffer on my HDTivo that ticks so many others off. I have programmed in my Season Passes, and as long as they record as expected (I KNOW THAT'S A BIG IF) then I'm content with this unit and to finally integrate my viewing into one source (once they enable my local CBS feed, which appears to be held up by contractual issues).


    In summary, I love the Tivo interface, and had the SD Philips withTivo unit pre-ordered the minute it became available (still reliably in use in my daughter's playroom). However, if DTV continues to upgrade/update and improve the HR20, it's certainly 'good enough' to warrant the switch (if you believe in the 'PROMISE' of Mpeg-4 and more HD).

    My fingers are crossed that the unit performs reliably, so that I don't eat these words.
     
  2. skierbri10

    skierbri10 Godfather

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    Sep 17, 2006
    Tell your wife that she could have this:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Jun 19, 2006
    Once the interactive application loads, just use the arrows to highlight the different channels, and the audio will change to whatever channel is highlighted.
     
  4. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 19, 2005
    Similar situation, had TiVo in one form or another for 6 years come next month. Thing is, I intend to stay with D* for the foreseeable future so that means learning a new platform. I'm not completely averse to it. I know TiVotees like to think that platform walks on water and, while I appreciate the reliability, there are things I would change about TiVo if I could.

    I don't need the hand-holding TiVo wants to give, I shut Suggestions off on every unit. That's one of the ways it's a little too clingy. I like the D-TiVos because the cartoonishness is subdued.

    Unlike your experience, my install on Tues. AM went fairly smoothly. I was caught unaware that it would be a roof install for the dish. Previously, if fit nicely under the eave on the side of the house.

    I like the look of the HR20 better than the HR10 and the fact that I can see the screen when I access menus and during the 30 second skip. It's a bit awkward coming back to more of a receiver interface after 5 and a half years with the TiVo, but it's coming back to me.

    The only thing is that I kept my HR10 for 2 reasons: I need dual buffers for Sunday Ticket and I need to see reliability long term from the HR20. If this unit at some point offers both of those things, I'll be quite content.

    Since I still stop in at the TiVo forums I have to say that I see issues with the S3. In fairness, it's in it's infancy, but couple that with the fact the S2 SAs are slow as molasses, and TiVo doesn't glide across the water as well as it used to.
     
  5. dbdynsty25

    dbdynsty25 Cool Member

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    Sep 28, 2006
    Nice rundown Sport...I'm getting my new DVR installed this afternoon. Hopefully I am as pleased as you. I just got the upgrade for my HR10-250 (6.3) and I'm REALLY happy with it (finally FOLDERS in Now Playing and a little faster menu speed)...so the HR20 has a lot to overcome.
     
  6. jabroni

    jabroni Legend

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    Apr 5, 2003
    My HR 20 is to be installed October 5th. The retention people wanted me to trade in my HR 10-250 so I could get the HR 20 for 99 bucks! NOT GONNA HAPPEN !

    Anyway, I keep the HD Tivo and still get the new unit for 99 bucks.

    As far as the quality of HD programming, it really is bad. I have had Time Warner side by side with Directv for the past 3 months and TWC is infinitely better in PQ. Unfortunately, their HD DVR's are really bad (I have three). SOOO, I am going to turn my Tivo's back on that I turned off. The wife and I are not satisfied with the cable DVR's and so I am gonna get rid of them.

    Sooo, my son gets his 80 Tivo back, the wife gets her 105 hr modified Tivo, the daughter keeps the HD Tivo, I get the HR20 and the kitchen gets the H20! Those are all HD TV's, BTW, on the wife and son do not care about HD....

    I sure hope I like this new DVR.........
     
  7. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

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    Jan 21, 2003
    Yes, this is very, very nice. I haven't posted it before because it was so seemless I forgot all about it as a difference from Tivo. It is very nice to watch something recorded and see an ad for a show and be able to actually pull up the guide or search menu to set up a recording for it, all the while still watch your recording. And the trick play functions actually work in the mini-window if you are in a full screen menu. Found that out by accident when I hit the pause button by mistake.

    Last Sunday was my first use of this and I've got to tell you, it is AWESOME. I watched more red zone plays then I ever thought I would. The red button will popup the scores screen which puts all the games and scores in an "L" around the channel you are currently watching. You can move the highlighted box around and if you click it will take change you to that channel. Same as in the Game Mix channel on 701/702. In both places the scores have a bar as the background of the team with the ball and it is farther to the right the closer to the goal line they are. And it turns red if the team is in the red zone. I used this a lot to keep switching around between games with my fantasy players that could score.

    Player stats would popup as a small bar along the bottom. First thing I saw was it popup with "Jake Delhomme 21 yard TD to Keyshawn Johnson". Whoohooo! One of my players scored already! Game and player stats can be brought up with the green button but for some reason that option didn't work for me most of the day. Not sure why but it is brand new but I've got my laptop next to me streaming live stats anyway so no biggy.

    As for Mix channels in general, one tuned it takes about 20 seconds for it to fully load up and have the box highlighted so you can change to different channels. Once it loads then the audio changes as you highlight different channels automatically.

    Have fun with the new box!
     
  8. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 19, 2005
    Free Space Indicator...how long has TiVo had to implement this feature? The machine should be able to do the math, not leave it to me. A very welcome feature on the HR20 IMO.
     
  9. Jeremy W

    Jeremy W Hall Of Fame

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    Yeah, I honestly don't know why Tivo has such a problem with putting a free space indicator on their DVRs. It had to be one of the most requested features, and it's just something that (IMO) you'd expect to be on a DVR.
     
  10. redrover

    redrover Cool Member

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    Sep 26, 2006
    I too live in Florida...lil south of you...

    Your DTV installer wouldnt install it on the Facade even with the extra legs?

    Can you PM me a picture of your setup?

    I think even though this thing might be larger it beats looking at 2 phase III dishes and a 110" ota antenna.

    Thanks!
     
  11. kendrid

    kendrid Cool Member

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    Sep 22, 2006
    The free space indicator was the first thing that I noticed. I've had TiVo since the beginning and always wanted that.

    Once the bugs are worked out this will be a great PVR, much better than my Comcast HD PVR.
     
  12. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 19, 2005
    I'm coming to feel that way.

    I like the 30 sec. slip, or whatever it's called, on the HR20 better than the one I have to program into the HR10 because I can see the screen while it's jumping forward.

    I have a SP for "Arrested Development" on HDNet on the HR10 and last night it clipped a minute off on the opening of both eps, while the HR20 recorded both eps of "Dead Like Me' flawlessly. Just show me you can do this long term HR20 and I'll invest in another.
     
  13. JerryShain

    JerryShain Legend

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    Sep 5, 2006
    Don't give up the Tivo until you have to. I'm waiting for my second replacement HR20-700. I glad I left the Tivo hooked up. Even if it cost a couple of bucks extra a month.
     
  14. Sport73

    Sport73 Cool Member

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    Sep 27, 2006
    I'll try to take a pic sometime tomorrow and PM you with it. It really looks fine to me, cleaner in many ways than hanging on the roofline.
     
  15. dbdynsty25

    dbdynsty25 Cool Member

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    Sep 28, 2006
    Well Sport...I got mine installed today as well. So far, I'm fairly happy with it. It definitely is DIFFERENT than the Tivo branded HD DVR and I don't know if it's better per se.

    My main issue is the convoluted way they decided to do the season pass thing. It's more of a hassel, especially when you have to deal with the double channels in LA (7 and 7 show up in the guide, one is HD, one is regular, rather than just 87 for HD and 7 for regular). Picking programs to record like this is a pain in the ass. Oh well...I'll get used to it I'm sure, but right now it doesn't seem like all of the guide data has been downloaded since some programs are missing in the guide.

    I am also getting a little Hard Drive chirp that a lot of other people are complaining about. It goes away if you put something on top of the unit, but it's completely vented up there and I imagine that's for a reason (heat of course). So that isn't the answer. Now for the kicker...I have another brand new unit sitting on my floor.

    When the installer came today...he said, alright, I've got two HD DVR upgrades...where do you want them? I said I only ordered one, but if he wanted to hook the other one upstairs that would be cool. So instead of installing it, I just told him to leave it and I could do it. He did...so I'm contemplating just switching the two and finding out if the other one does it as well. It seems like it's fairly common though so I don't know if it's worth my time. So I basically got another HD DVR for free...that's pretty sweet.
     
  16. Sport73

    Sport73 Cool Member

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    Sep 27, 2006
    Oddly enough, I had only ordered one HR20 and got 2 as well!

    I don't notice a chirp from my machine, so I have no comment there...

    As for the Series Link, setup your channel lists and you shouldn't see the double-listed channels in the guide, then it's just 2 pushes of the record button for a 'season pass'. I've noticed that the DIGITAL (HD) locals also are listed with their call-letters, so it's easier to tell them apart.

    It takes at least 24 hours to get all the guide data.

    Check out the What's Hot section (clearly in BETA) by going to a Mix channel (NEWSMIX 102) and hit the red button when prompted. That, to me, is the coolest thing and a great way to see what might be worth watching; I hope they enhance it and put it a click away.
     
  17. durangoD

    durangoD New Member

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    Sep 29, 2006
    Just got the HR20... I'm new to direct tv... it's saying that my DVR service is not activated on my account.... do i have to wait a while for it to download the guide data before i can record ?
     
  18. Sport73

    Sport73 Cool Member

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    Sep 27, 2006
    You need to call DirecTV to activate the DVR service, otherwise it will not function...

    Now, let me confess that I've had my first souring moment with the HR20.

    Being the Apple nut that I am, I was excited to watch Woz's appearance on The Colbert Report last night. I have a Series Link, and sure enough it was in the recorded Playlist menu this evening when I wanted to watch.

    Select...Black screen. FF, RW, Play, wait...Nothing.

    Fortunately the episode was repeated at 8:30PM tonight, so I caught the aweful interview anyway. I can assure you that my wife will not be as forgiving if/when the HR20 misses an episode of HOUSE.

    Hopefully its either something solved by an upcoming software release

    OR

    a pattern is identified for behavior that prevents/overcomes this problem.

    Tivo was slow, and held your hand a bit too often, so there are many things a like about the HR20, but the HR10-250 and all other Tivo models I've used are reliable to say the least. Priority 1 for a DVR has to be 100% accuracy recording and playing back scheduled programs.
     
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