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Newbie with HD DVR receiver feature question-

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by trevor78, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. trevor78

    trevor78 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Hi everyone- DirecTV newbie here...thinking of switching from Comcast due to cost issues. Spent 1.5 hours on the phone trying to get some technical questions answered, and realized I should have come here first. If someone could be so kind as to confirm the following:

    1. From what I understand, there are two types of DirecTV HD DVRs- one is the Home Media Center, which I was told has 5 TB of hard disk space and 5 tuners, and does the "whole house DVR" thing.

    2. Then, there is the DirecTV HD DVR which has 1 TB of space, 2 tuners, and also does the whole house DVR. It was implied that the HMC might be a tad overkill for my situation, and I agree considering that rarely do I ever run into recording conflicts.

    3. When I asked how the DVR communicates with the other HD receivers to send the recorded programs to other TVs in the house, I was told it sends it wirelessly over my own network. Is this true? If so, doesn't sending all that HD video to the other TV slow down my internet speeds if someone is trying to use the computer at the same time?

    4. If I don't go with the HMC, is there a specific model of HD DVR I should expect to get or even request?

    The reason I was on the phone so long is because I kept asking fairly technical questions and the rep had to keep putting me on hold to ask their supervisor. Hopefully this makes sense, and any advice you all might have would be helpful.
     
  2. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you were given a lot of incorrect information.

    1. The HR34 has 1TB of space and 5 tuners, not 5TB of space.

    2. The "standard" HD DVR has anywhere from 320gb to 500gb, not 1TB.

    3. It's not wireless no. It's their own proprietary network called DECA which works via coax.

    4. You get what they have on the truck. They don't do requests for model numbers.
     
  3. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Oh boy. Sounds like you got some bad information. Not terribly bad, just bad.

    The Home Media Center HR34 has 1TB of space and 5 tuners.
    The HD DVR HR24 has 500GB of space and 2 tuners.

    The receivers do not connect wirelessly. They communicate through the coaxial cable. You also need a connection between your cable and your router, which is done with a cinema connection kit. That part can be wired or wireless.

    If you go for the HD-DVR, all current models are equivalent. All have the same drive space and same features.
     
  4. trevor78

    trevor78 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks, this is starting to make more sense now. Just to clear it up, the above two responses give me two different answers- one says the HD DVR ranges from 320-500 GB, where the other says all current models are equivalent? Some clarification would be great...

    I'm a little concerned that DirecTV doesn't seem to understand it's own technology, or should I not be as worried since I was simply talking to a Tier 1 sales associate whose main job is to read what I can find on their website?

    Finally, is there any difference in connection between the HMC and the HD DVR? If I'm OK paying the $99 to get the HMC, would it be advisable to do so?
     
  5. brett_the_bomb

    brett_the_bomb Legend

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    Oct 24, 2009

    320-500 is accurate, for practical purposes they are pretty much the same. And yes i would splash for the 34. It would help prevent the need for future hd/dvr upgrades, although i wont run anything but a dvr, but im a dvr snob.
     
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Other than" one will store twice as much as the other.
    50 hrs HD verses 100 Hrs.
     
  7. brett_the_bomb

    brett_the_bomb Legend

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    well yea there is that. Ive never had a 50 hd/dvr so I guess i speak from ignorance.
     
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    My intent was to merely "fine tune" your post.
     
  9. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Of course to DirecTV, recording 50 vs 100 is still functionally equivalent.
     
  10. brett_the_bomb

    brett_the_bomb Legend

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Lol. True.
     
  11. mcbeevee

    mcbeevee 97% Complete

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    Don't think anyone mentioned this, but you can add an external drive via eSata to give you more space. The internal drive is not used when you add an external drive. This means if you get a HD-DVR with 500gb, adding a 500gb eSata external drive will not give you any extra recording space. You would need to add a 1TB external drive to gain more space. The approximate space to hours ratio (High Def) is 320gb=50 hrs, 500gb=100 hrs, 1TB = 200 hrs.

    :)
     
  12. trevor78

    trevor78 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Thanks for that- good to know. I will say that for now I'm trying to make this as easy and simple a set-up as possible, and I'm leaning towards the HMC just so I won't ever wonder if I should have done it when I had the chance.

    Should I expect a different set-up (or any issues with set-up) when they install an HMC versus an HR24?
     
  13. brett_the_bomb

    brett_the_bomb Legend

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    My vote is HMC. Much easier/cheaper now than after your first install. And no real differences unless you do RVU, but wiring should be the same.
     
  14. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    Also not mentioned is that once the external is married to a particular DVR it can't be moved to another and keep the recordings useable.
     
  15. brett_the_bomb

    brett_the_bomb Legend

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    And once you unplug said device you get your old internal hard drive recordings back.
     
  16. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    :welcome_s:
     
  17. trevor78

    trevor78 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Just thought of another question (thanks for staying patient with me, everyone, the knowledge here has proved invaluable).

    What limitations (if any) can I expect with the HMC? In terms of how many TVs can be running at once, or how many TVs can be pulling programs from the HMC's hard drive at once?
     
  18. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    With the HMC you can:

    1. Watch stuff on 3 other remote units, ie; other dvrs or receivers

    2. Watch 2 shows on the HMC using PIP

    All at the same time.
     
  19. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    If you define "current models" to be those still in production (there are 4 or 5 models that they still give out that are no longer in production) then both statements are true, and are not mutually exclusive. The HR24 is the only standard "current" model, under that definition, as the HR34 is not really considered a garden-variety DVR, but is instead considered a whole home media server, which is a DVR that has many more tuners and a built-in capability to serve content to client STBs or other DVRs in the same household over a LAN.

    What gets in the way of clarity is the fact that what HDDS are available to DTV (for installation in their DVRs) has changed over the years. In 2007, the DVRs had 300 and 320 GB HDDs. It is hard to even find a 300 GB HDD these days, so DTV is forced into buying whatever is the cheapest deal they can get on the lowest size, which is probably 500 GB at this point.

    What does all of that mean? It means that if you get a recent DVR such as a HR24, those originally shipped with 500's, and so even a refurbed HR24 would be extremely likely to have a 500 in it. An old HR20 or HR21 may have a 300 or 320 in it.

    They probably try to keep on the shelf an inventory of 300s and an inventory of 500's; the 500's typically slated for HR24 refurbs, and the 300's typically slated for the older models, which are dwindling. But if they were short on refurbs and also short on refurbed 300-320's at that particular time, they may have been forced to put some larger drives in some older models. That said, there are probably few of them that actually do have larger HDDs in them.
     
  20. trevor78

    trevor78 New Member

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Why cable and satellite companies have to be this confusing is beyond me. It could be so simple, but never is.

    Thanks for all the advice and info, everyone. At the end of the day, I don't think it's going to matter whether I get the 300 GB, the 500, or the HMC. I just want everything to work. Here's hoping for that!!
     

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