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HR34 / C31 First Impressions of a returned D* customer

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Capmeister, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    5,222
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    Sep 16, 2003
    So, I've not been a DirecTV guy for about 3 and 1/2 years. I was very active back in the day, and while I switched to Verizon FiOS in that time, I only ever used one of their DVRs (and only for a month)--I mostly used TiVos. I like TiVos. When I became a DirecTV customer the first time, I had a TiVo (the old HR10-250), and as DirecTV phased those out and began introducing their own HD DVRs, I was one of the early adopters who grew along with the line, until leaving DirecTV meant I would actually MISS the HR series as I thought it was actually BETTER than TiVo in many ways.

    My 3 year turn with only the TiVo was fine. But it wasn't the DirecTV HDDVR experience I'd become accustomed to, and though I've only had 24 hours to play with the HR34 (GENIE) and the C31 clients... I am VERY glad to be home.

    One of my biggest concerns when the HR20 HD DVRs came out was closed captioning. My brother is deaf and captioning has to be just right. The HD TiVo was awesome on captioning. DirecTV took special care to work with me and others on their HR2x captioning and when I left DirecTV 3 years ago, their captioning was pretty awesome.

    A bit nervously, I turned on captions yesterday, and found... a very pleasant surprise. The smooth fonts of the HD captioning on the GENIE are awesome. The TiVo and TiVo Premier have nice captioning fonts. The Verizon FiOS DVR has sucky captioning fonts. The GENIE has the most clean captioning fonts I've seen on a DVR outside of a Blu-Ray disk, with which they're on par. BRAVO!

    Things I forgot about that I missed without remembering I missed them:

    * 30 second slip (rather than skip). I like the slip rather than the skip. I like to see if I want to maybe go back and see the ad I just missed.

    * The QuickTune menu (up arrow on the remote) which gives you 9 QuickTune channels in any configuration you desire. Especially nice for me since I don't remember all the D* channels yet.

    * Removal of SD duplicates from the guide. Oh, how I needed this on my TiVo and unless I wanted to do it manually, which I was too lazy to do, it just wasn't an option.

    * OnDemand. I didn't have this with my TiVo. It's just not an option, other than Netflix or Amazon, and they're nothing near a TV provider's OnDemand list.


    New Things that I think rock:

    * Picture in Picture. Not something I'll often use, but seems nice.

    * Integration of the C31 clients. Well done. They seem smooth and while I've had two small glitches on the bedroom one (I had to wait a bit while changing the channel a couple times, and had to change it and change it back), I realize it takes a bit for a new software update (as the HR34 and C31's got when hooked up) to settle in. But the combined playlist and series links are wonderful. And I didn't need a LAN cable in the bedroom or dining room (or in my case Wireless N TiVo bridges which died after 18 months).

    * Five tuners. Nice. Last night 4 shows were recording at once rather than doing two and pulling two others at a later time during a rerun.

    * iPhone/iPad apps for setting up series links. Well done. Made it easy. TiVo has this but it's a bit more clunky and certainly not as fast.


    Things that didn't work for me:

    * Dolby Digital. I tried it, it worked, but quickly went out of sync. I'm back to PCM. Which is fine, really--it did the same thing on the TiVo and so that could just be my system. It's nothing I care about. The amp does the decoding so PCM is preferred to me anyway.

    Yeah, that's all I can think of. Like I say, I had one issue, twice, on the C31 with a channel changing giving me a black screen for a while. But eventually I changed the channel down and back up and it was fine. *shrug* Sometimes things glitch, especially in the first few hours after a new software update, while new guide data is getting acquired and so on.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the move back to DirecTV. I'm going to keep looking at captioning since I see that the GENIE only has DTVCC and not classic CC as well, but so far it hasn't made a difference. For all I know, the system defaults to CC if DTVCC isn't available.
     
  2. Strog

    Strog Mentor

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    Dec 20, 2011
    Glad everything is working for you. I have same setup but I didn't get that lucky, everything worked well for about 4 hrs... How is your H34 connected to your home network, direct connection from the router to the LAN port or did your installer use CCK? They are replacing my H34 tonight and want to see what is working for you. Thanks.
     
  3. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    5,222
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    Sep 16, 2003
    LAN cable to my router for the network connection. What didn't work for you after 4 hours?
     
  4. Strog

    Strog Mentor

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    Dec 20, 2011
    Couldn't turn on C31s back on after they were turned off or went to stand by. To fix that they had me reset everything and when I did that H34 only works in 480p resolution, if I select anything higher I can hear audio but get a blank screen. I was able to re-connect C31 to it and they worked fine for a while but the next day the power-on issue returned.
     
  5. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    5,222
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    Sep 16, 2003
    Yah, I'd have replaced your HR34 with a symptom like that!

    I had my first real annoying moment with my C31 last night, but I think it was my doing more than the equipment. The GENIE was recording 5 things. One I didn't want it to so I could watch LiveTV upstairs. So from the C31 I manually cancelled the recording downstairs. But, it then thought "Okay, so the GENIE is on LiveTV" and it refused to give my bedroom C31 the tuner. I then tried to use my iPad to tell the GENIE to "Play on TV" something from my playlist so it would release the tuner, but that didn't seem to work, so I just watched a recorded show.

    What I SHOULD have done was try to change the channel and when it told me the turners were all working, I should have then selected the one I wanted to cancel so it would hand that tuner over, I think.

    Learning curve is all.
     
  6. usnret

    usnret Icon

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    Jan 16, 2009
    Capmeister - that is a really well written opinion above and welcome back.
     
  7. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

    2,267
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    Nov 23, 2005
    I've said it before. GENIE should never interfere with live viewing (or double play) or recordings. GENIE should be completely in the background and should simply silently release a tuner if the viewer wants to use a tuner. No prompts, nothing, just release the tuner.
     
  8. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    5,222
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    Sep 16, 2003
    It did release the tuner, but didn't know that there was no one watching the tuner in the living room. I should set my Harmony remote to turn the HR34 off when I turn the TV off. Problem would be solved. :)
     
  9. TMan

    TMan Legend

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    Oct 30, 2007
    I am scheduled for my DirecTV install this weekend. Genie with two C31 clients. Never had satellite service before.

    I am coming from a TiVo background with cable service, but various issues are making those less feasible than they used to be.

    Hope the quirks/differences between the two DVR systems aren't too much to adjust to.
     
  10. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    15,247
    553
    Dec 2, 2010
    Winters,...
    Welcome to DBSTalk!

    Hope your transition is easy. Lots of info. around here.
     
  11. TMan

    TMan Legend

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Thanks!
     
  12. TMan

    TMan Legend

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    Oct 30, 2007
    I am also glad to hear that the captions work well.
     
  13. silkypimp

    silkypimp Cool Member

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    Sep 30, 2012
    How do you get this receiver? Is it only for new customers? I go on my account and it says available soon?
     
  14. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    5,222
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    Sep 16, 2003
    Yes, new customer (well, not been one for over 3 years).
     
  15. usnret

    usnret Icon

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    Jan 16, 2009
    Welcome TMan and may the taters be with you;)
     
  16. pduh

    pduh New Member

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    Oct 19, 2012
    Current customers have to call directv and ask for the upgrade the Genie which is what I did and got mine installed last Saturday.
     
  17. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    5,222
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    Sep 16, 2003
    I think you'll enjoy it more than your TiVo. I love TiVo but they're not as robust and are feeling a bit OLD in their tech, even on the new premiere units.
     
  18. TMan

    TMan Legend

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    Oct 30, 2007
    That's good to know. I think that is completely different from the days when Dish/Direct offered their earliest DVRs, which seemed to be regarded as quite lacking compared to the TiVos of the time (early TiVo-powered DirecTV units notwithstanding).

    I will miss the trademark sound blips TiVos make. Do satellite DVRs make sound effects during trick play/menu navigation?
     
  19. Tom_S

    Tom_S Icon

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    Apr 9, 2002
    Hey welcome back! I remember working with you fixing the closed captioning in the early days of the HR series. With two deaf sons I was very greatful for you help. I think you'll continue to enjoy the new HR34. I love it so far.

    To the previous poster, there are some sound effects for error entries but it is much quieter in that regard. It does show the progress bar for skip ahead unlike the HR24 which is an improvement in my opinion. TiVo is so 10 years ago, not missed at all.
     
  20. TMan

    TMan Legend

    216
    1
    Oct 30, 2007
    Poor TiVo. It always seemed like The Little Company That Could(n't).

    It doesn't help that cable companies do the absolute bare minimum to support content access on third-party, customer-owned devices. CableCARD, that tuner dongle thing, etc.

    I will report back here after things settle on my install, and hopefully make a valid post relevant to the thread topic: HR34/C31 First Impressions. :D
     

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