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Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by haas, Sep 12, 2011.
The boxes are old. The technology is current.
(except for the HR20 with cannot do 3D)
So you would put Windows 7 on a Pentium 233mhz and sell it to someone? What do you think that experience would be like?
Same thing here.
The precedent was set 30 years ago when cable TV started using STB converters. It made sense then for them to continue to provide used converter boxes to new customers, and it makes sense now for DBS to do much the same thing. Otherwise your $100 a month bill would be more like $125-150 for the same level of service.
Doing it any other way would be like junking the car as soon as the ashtrays start getting full. This is really the only method that makes good business sense, and to throw out perfectly-good DVRs would be indecently wasteful, even in a world where there is an island of garbage in the ocean the size of Texas (which will never go away). "Every new customer deserves a brand-new box" is nothing but an unrealistic fantasy, unless you are the sort of person that wears a pair of pants once and then throws them out rather than laundering them and wearing them again and again, which is what the rest of us do. There is your perspective on "pathetic".
Besides, the HR20 is the oldest and yet possibly the most reliable DVR they offer, and is still faster than all the other models but the HR24. The HR20 was released before a number of cost-cutting (read: corner-cutting) methods were introduced. And there really is not a great deal of difference between available models; the PQ is exactly the same, the interface is exactly the same, and they all do basically the same job to the same general level of performance.
It's not the only game in town, so you have plenty of choices. Even it it were, you have the choice of accepting what they have available or buying your own outright. Up to you. The only choice you don't have is to force them into giving you the latest model. That, and moaning to everyone about it.
Would you be OK with it if you went to Target to buy a new pair of pants and they handed you a pair that might or might not be used? Maybe they have stains. Maybe they are torn. But hey, they work so deal with it.
Don't forget though, our phone reps will promise that you will get a brand new pair of Levi's.
No, I don't think it's anywhere close to the same thing. If Windows 7 were designed for a minumum requirement of a 233mhz system maybe it would be closer. But you really can't compare a purposebuilt box running specialized software designed for it to a system running Windows.
Now, I would not like it if I got a box that looked like it fell off a truck, or smelled of cigarettes. But if my HR20 went out and was replaced with a HR22, it wouldn't bother me. Though, admittedly, if my H25 went out, I probably wouldn't be happy with an H24 because I like the size for where I have it.
My area has Time-Warner. Upon request, they will send a technician to replace a defective box no charge or you can pick one up at the cable company's office if you want instant service. When I had cable my box used to fail every couple years and they sent a technician out either the same day or the next day with a replacement.
Uhh, no not even the same.
I'll have to pick on a couple of things here. First, the level of performance between dvr's isnt 'the same'. The HR20's used to have decent speed before a lot of new features were laid on top. Now they're pretty slow. The HR21 I got recently is pathetically slow. The HR24 I just got is very fast. Not a little faster. Night and day faster.
So while all cable boxes can tune a channel, pushing a remote button and waiting 3-5+ seconds for the dvr to respond to it isnt really acceptable.
The reason for the poor performance is that the software features were added to extensively. While I like some of the new features, I'm not fond of the performance. There appears to be a 'tick-tock' release structure where the new features get put out, then later the performance impact of those features gets addressed to some degree.
As far as the whole subsidizing argument, I'm afraid that went out the window around the time the HR21 production started. I've seen the BOM on these receivers and they cost around $150 to build, labor included. The 20's cost a lot to build, but none of the dvr's since has cost more than the initial asking price. Even if they give new dvr's away for free, they're going to recoup the box cost $6 a month, right about at the end of the 2 year commit. Then they get the box back and can recycle it.
I guess if you're a one or two dvr home that doesnt use whole home or on-demand or record a lot of series links where both tuners are in use, an hr21 or two wouldnt really be a problem. If directv is trying to save a few bucks by reissuing old equipment while not feeling bad about churning out fat slow software, they ought to target new single receiver customers for the slow refurb boxes and deliver newer, faster hardware to long time customers with lots of equipment thats used heavily.
In my opinion, the problem here was scheduling a timeline of software features that wouldnt run satisfactorily on the installed base hardware. Directv should have switched to a faster box like the 24's about some time ago to give them more headroom. Or not getting the right software development team in place to produce efficient code. Other dvr products like the tivo manage to do pretty much everything the directv dvr's do, with hardware similar to the hr21/22's, with much better user interface performance.
Another way to solve the problem is to offer a 'standard' and 'performance' receiver. You get the refurb 21's for free as a new customer and replace like for like with existing customers who have defective equipment. New receiver adds and requests for the performance receiver cost extra. That lets your basic customers get cheap, free equipment, lets directv get rid of their warehouses of slow dvr's, lets customers who need more performance or are willing to pay for 'better' to do so...I dont really see a downside to that.
IMO, refurbs if used should be used for equipment swaps not for new installs ... and every refurb should have it's fan and HD checked and automatically replaced after a certain amount of time. The remote control and any other worn items should be replaced. The circuit boards should be cleaned and the whole system tested.
If that adds up to more than the cost of a new DVR, then just provide a new DVR; but passing one customer's lemon on to another customer is just asking for trouble.
If we decide to stick with DirecTv (currently trying out FIOS), I think I may look in to getting an account credit towards purchasing an HR24. We have to clear off our recorded backlog to switch to FIOS, so we could just as well switch to the HR24. Either way, something has to change, because our HR20's are way too slow, but there's no sense returning them just to play refurb roulette.
Of course the issue with doing what you suggest is that it would require D* to implement good inventory control. And that is something they've never shown an interest in doing.
The technology is the best DIRECTV currently offers (with the noted exception). That the five year old HR20 does what it does second only to the HR24 says a lot about the HR20 but isn't a glowing retrospect on the state of DIRECTV's art.
just a thought on the refurbs.... Not every refurbs that has been removed had issues, some were from upgrades and so on. Yes some did have issues. All things considered electrical issues in a home will affect DTV equipment, (shorts, miss wiring, ect) when these things are swapped out they are taken into a test facility to be check and repaired. However this test facility is set up for the "Perfect" coditions. Some receivers are mis diagnosed but DTV is trying hard to rectify that..
Think of it as a cost issue... it cost more to build new. Rumor has it that the 24 are a revampt 23.
I'd consider a pre-worn hard disk and fan an issue.
I bought my HD Tivo with a 5yr warranty because I didn't much trust the DVR technology at the time - what with the HD getting beat on 24/7 for years, and sure enough, that warranty got me my $1000 back.
The so-called test facility of which you speak,do you have first hand knowledge of its existence? Are you a technician at this test/repair center? If so, please detail for me exactly what is done there before a machine is approved to be passed on to a subscriber who has every right to believe he or she is getting a fully functioning unit. How is it then that many arrive as reported in this forum DOA or look like they have been dropped from a second story window. Also explain how you know DTV is trying to rectify misdiagnosed unit problems.
I and several others who constantly get called shills and apologists have seen the refurb process in action. Is it perfect? No. Do boxes make it through that end up being DOA? Yes.
As for the claims of beat up boxes, let me toss this out there. There have been a half dozen or so users that have made that claim. In each case, I have asked for some pictures to see just how bad it those boxes are. I have yet to get a picture. I wonder why?
I admit I made the mistake of not taking pictures of several of my received refurbs. One in particular could have been the poster boy of refurb screwups. You are absolutely correct that visual(photo) documentation carries a lot more weight than a verbal claim. I encourage all to do just that in the future. Take pictures and send them in.
How many times do we have to rehash this discussion?
In all reality, new equipment is only tested in samples. Small samples. Every single refurb that is designated as failed for any reason goes through a rigorous testing process (It does, I've seen it). The only reason for a DOA refurb is because of a mislabeled return, or because it was damaged in shipping/warehouse.
And new equipment can sometimes be DOA or die in a short time, such is the nature of electronics. I agree that this topic has been beat to death. Almost all tv providers who use the lease/rent model for their equipment send out refurbs for new and existing customers...its just the lottery about whether you'll get new or refurbed when you need a replacement or order additional equipment.
That's not a valid reason...
It's not? I've seen it with my own eyes, Sooo..