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HR20-700 Revisited -- One Year Later

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by wmccain, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. Oct 8, 2007 #1 of 40
    wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    I installed an HR20-700 a year ago, when they first became available (September or October 2006). It was essentially a "test mode" box, installed in a back bedroom. Now, a year later, with the advent of the HD channels (and after a solid year of regular stability and functionality updates), I decided to "go production". So I ordered and installed two more HR20-700 units, replacing an HR10-250 and an LG 3200A (that was paired with a standalone TiVo Series 2). Now I have an "all HR20-700" house! (Although had I planned to wait for the HR20P "Pro" model, but it does not appear to be arriving anytime soon.)

    I can state with confidence that there have been changes in the HR20-700 over the past 12 months. Mostly minor, packaging changes, but one change is functionally significant (I will save it for last):

    1. The packaging of the B-band converters has changed. (They are still made by Zinwell.)

    2. The remote control package now includes a handy fold-out "reference card".

    3. The remote control itself now has key legends printed in a MUCH LARGER typeface.

    4. The OTA (terrestrial) ATSC tuners have been significantly improved. They now "pull in" the one local station that I could never get before -- and with an excellent, non-pixellated image.

    I know that item 4 is not just a "minor variation in performance" due to "manufacturing tolerances". Here are the details:

    All three HR20 units are connected to the same rooftop OTA antenna. There is an inline RF amplifier, followed by a symmetric 3-way splitter. The run-length from the splitter to the HR20 units varies -- the old (original) HR20 has the middle-length run (the two new units have the longest and shortest runs).

    On the strongest local OTA channels, the original HR20 reports a signal strength of 97-100. On the channel it does not get, the signal strength flickers between "Not Acquired" and 54.

    On the strongest local OTA channels, both new HR20 units report a signal strength of 77 (oddly, the 50-foot difference in run length does not affect this figure). On the "problem channel", they report a signal strength of 48 -- and they tune it in flawlessly.

    All three HR20-700 units have the 0x18a firmware. There are no significant differences in the signal strength numbers reported by the satellite tuners among the three units.

    William C. McCain
    Palo Alto, California
     
  2. Oct 8, 2007 #2 of 40
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Congrats on fully embracing the revolution!
     
  3. Oct 8, 2007 #3 of 40
    wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Has it previously been reported that the current HR20-700 units have upgraded OTA ATSC tuners?

    Bill
     
  4. Oct 8, 2007 #4 of 40
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    I would love to see someone write a review of the HR20 from an "as it stands today" viewpoint.
     
  5. Oct 8, 2007 #5 of 40
    redram38

    redram38 Icon

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    maybe we should wait until it stops missing recordings every night of the week before we elect it the next great KING of DVR's. Don't get me wrong I like quite a bit about the HR20, but until I can stop babysitting this thing it does not warrant all this praise you are giving it
     
  6. Oct 8, 2007 #6 of 40
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    You must realize that all DVRs miss recordings, and that there are posters where who never have missed recordings with the HR20. Each user's experience is different based on their recording patterns, but the OP's point is that the HR20 today is leaps and bounds better than the HR20 of one year ago. There is really no debate about that.
     
  7. Oct 8, 2007 #7 of 40
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    That is a fallacious generalization. While my main HR20-700 has yet to miss a recording, my HR10-250 in its 18-month-old life has never missed a single recording. Ever. Same goes for my three HDVR2s.
     
  8. Oct 8, 2007 #8 of 40
    Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    You must then agree that others who post that the HR20 can't record anything unreliably are also generalizing and are falsely painting all HR20s with a broad brush.

    Regardless, I was referring to every BRAND/MODEL of DVR in existence. There are users here at DBSTalk.com who are posting of missed recordings on HR10-250s. I myself have had missed recordings on my own HR10s. My SA8300HD cable DVR has missed recordings.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2007 #9 of 40
    Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    There are HR20s owner-haters who exaggerate or generalize just like those who love the HR20s.

    I happen to have both HR20-700s and HR10-250s (several of each). I've had more problems on the HR20s in the 1.5 months I've owned them than I've had on my HR10-250s in the 18 months I've owned them. While I do not hate the HR20s, I can say that it's ridiculous they're still so relatively unstable. For technology that's supposed to be more advanced, it's unacceptable the problems many people have with them.
     
  10. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    I'm going to make this my last post on this topic, at the risk of getting into a tit-for-tat debate, but when you say you don't hate the HR20s and that they are unstable, are you referring to the several HR20 units in your possession, or to all HR20s in general? I would hope it's the former and not the latter, because there are people here at DBSTalk.com who have no problems with their HR20s and have posted to that affect.
     
  11. Lord Vader

    Lord Vader Supreme Member DBSTalk Club

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    I had no serious problems until tonight. How coincidental.
     
  12. Gotchaa

    Gotchaa Legend

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    Only time I've missed a recording was due to a power outage, or programming conflict due to guide info. I have 3 HR20's and an HR10-250 just retired.

    I had the HR20 installed in August (likely first consumer in LA), was the first to install external HD and internal drives and max them out, and I've had no major issues at all. I've been through every software revision these boxes have had and can say I think D* has come a long way and the box is best that's available. Yes I miss some of the TiVo features, especially the ability to enhance the software and, the dual buffers, and the nostalgic TiVo sounds...but you know what I'm over it. The HR20 is a solid offering, an OTA is great...for kicks I am going to hook up the old RCA DTC-100 (remember that one), and compare the OTA.

    Embrace change, change is good.
     
  13. mexican-bum

    mexican-bum "Jack Of All Trades, Master Of Some"

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    LOL! I remember it, only VGA output for hd, no component, dvi or hdmi. Dang have we came along way:D
     
  14. wmccain

    wmccain Legend

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    Pardon me, but I did not start this thread as yet another "missing recordings" gripe thread. The topic of this discussion is the fact that, at some point in the past year, the OTA ATSC tuners in the HR20-700 were upgraded. Significantly.

    I repeat my question:

    Has it previously been reported that the current HR20-700 units contain upgraded OTA ATSC tuners?

    Bill
     
  15. Strejcek

    Strejcek Icon

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    I have two HR20s. One I purchased in September 2006, the other I purchased in March of 2007. Both have different manufacturing dates. My oldest one was manufactured from the 1st batch of HR20s that were released. My newest was manufactured in Feb. 2007. From an OTA standpoint, I can tell you that both of my HR20s have inferior ATSC tuners. In fact, my newer HR20's ATSC tuners are worse than my oldest HR20.

    I have a 73" Mitsubishi TV with built in ATSC tuners. My TV is able to pull in all OTA signals from the Tampa and Ft. Myers markets. It also pulls in some of the stronger Orlando OTA signals. I'm located on the west coast of FL, almost half way between Ft. Myers and Tampa.

    Neither of my HR20s are able to pull in all the signals my TV is able to. I have done all of the troubleshooting steps for OTA reception on the HR20 and nothing has worked for me. I have a fantastic OTA antenna and as I said previously, my TV is able to pull in 30% more OTA channels my HR20s cannot.

    So unless something major was done with the ATSC tuners of the HR20, I can't imagine they have been improved much. I don't have a HR20-100 to compare my 700 to, but strictly speaking from a 700 stand point, the internal ATSC tuners are duds.
     
  16. Gotchaa

    Gotchaa Legend

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    Actually there was a VGA to Component module RCA released after for $100 bucks, I tried using that recently on the Xbox 360 in hopes of getting some mileage and 1080P out of VGA, no luck!


    I don't know anything about new OTA tuners in the HR20-700s, the last box I got was a 100, and OTA seems to be the same on it, rock solid.
     
  17. jorhett

    jorhett Legend

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    Nov 14, 2006
    Huh? You know I was a huge DVR fan back in the late 90s when ReplayTV and Tivo were baby newborns trying to create a market, and even back then they wouldn't accept that kind of response.

    I've been using DVRs for 10 years now, and that phrase did not hit my consciousness until I joined this forum. You don't hear that on the VIP622 forum, or any other.

    Why is everyone so insistent on claiming that nothing else is better? Um, sorry - you're wrong. This is fairly unique to the HR20.
     
  18. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Visit the TiVo forum here at DBSTalk or at TivoCommunity Forum and you will find many posts complaining about missed recordings. It's a fact of life: there is no perfect DVR - all brands of DVRs have their pluses and minuses, but they are not infallible.
     
  19. jorhett

    jorhett Legend

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    Nov 14, 2006
    If you have a missed recording with Tivo, you call up their customer service. They will take the problem report very seriously, and give you an exact answer as to what happened.

    Only with DirecTV do people say "oh, it happens to everyone"
     
  20. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Huh? I don't know anyone here who would say that or who would consider that response even remotely acceptable. The people I know here ate DBSTalk are devoted to improving the HR20, so I invite you to also be part of the solution and visit the Cutting Edge forum.
     
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