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Ready to pull the trigger, questions, thanks

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by jacmyoung, Dec 4, 2007.

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  1. Dec 4, 2007 #1 of 31
    jacmyoung

    jacmyoung Hall Of Fame

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    Ready to switch from E* (two 622’s) to D* (two HR20’s, a 3rd later) and take the advantage of the $20/mo. programming off for 12 moths deal. I have a few questions remain if I can get some quick answers or a link to the Q&A.

    1) How to ensure I get the HR20’s not the HR21’s since I need OTA? Will I be in trouble if I buy one from Costco and ask the installer to add it during installation, even though I will place the initial order through D* directly?

    2) Do the HR2x boxes have a simulcast of the main A/V output modulated on ch3 or ch4 so I can run a coax to support a second TV? If so will the HD channels be available too on that 2nd TV in 480i of course? Can I get a second remote that can be used through the walls? And if so can the remote change address so two of them do not interfere with each other?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dec 4, 2007 #2 of 31
    say-what

    say-what Active Member

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    1) It's virtually impossible for DirecTV to specify which dvr you get. About the best you can do is make the request and ask for the number of the installation company to check what they have in stock. As for getting one locally (notice I didn't use the word buy as all DirecTV equipment is leased and you just pay the up-front lease costs even at Costco) and having it installed instead of getting the dvr via DirecTV, ask when you order. They generally will give you the same credits on a new install.

    2) DirecTV's HD equipment does not have rf video outputs. However, each output - hdmi, component, s-video or composite are all active and output the same signal as is being viewed on the TV. You can run one of those to another TV or into a rf-modulator. DirecTV's HD equipment supports RF remotes and the supplied remotes should be rf-capable.
     
  3. Dec 4, 2007 #3 of 31
    tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    You really can't ensure that you will get an HR20. You can request one and notify DirecTV that you will deny the installation unless you get one and then try and try again.

    As for adding an extra box, talk to DirecTV about that. You may be able to buy your DVR at a store and get a credit for any price difference on your bill. I did that with my HR10 about two years ago as I was doing a self-install and wasn't happy that I would have to be home to sign for it.

    They do not have built in RF modulators for Ch3 or 4 but they do have normal outputs that you can put through a cheap RF modulator. And all channels are available that way in 480i. HD stuff will be squeezed.
    Don't know how the RF remotes work.[/QUOTE]
     
  4. Dec 4, 2007 #4 of 31
    Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus You make it, We break it

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    Hey jac,
    there's no real way to ensure you'll get HR-20s, so actually going and getting them yourself from Costco is the better way to go. There's no downside to doing it this way as long as D* is charging you the same for the receivers. If you're a "new" customer and they offered you some freebies/discounts though, you could end up paying more by getting the HRs yourself. If not, you can get the HRs from Costco, then call D* and tell them you will not be needing receivers from them. This will make no difference in the activation process - just make sure the installers are aware they still need to hook "your HRs" up.

    For #2, the HR20s output everything simultaneously, so multiple TVs is not a problem, however RF coax is not an option. If you want to use coax, you'll need an RF modulator connected between your composite video and audio outputs, and your RF cable.

    The HRs have RF support for remotes, so it;s quite possible that using RF mode, you'l be able to control the HR from that second TV location, depending on where it is.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2007 #5 of 31
    sNEIRBO

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    I switched from DISH about a month ago. Keep in mind, the HR20 DVRs do NOT have dual tuner outputs like the ViP622s do. All outputs are hot, but the HR20 only has one video processor so all outputs show the same thing. No multi room viewing in other words - you can't watch different programs in different rooms. If you want / need multi room viewing, you'll need additional DVRs. For the $5/month mirroring fee it is worth it just to get a SD DVR (R15) to connect to your system. The R15 DOES have an coax output, but again - all outputs show the same thing on that DVR as well.

    As a DISH switcher, I can honestly say - I was SERIOUSLY disappointed in DirecTVs DVRs. But SERIOUSLY impressed with the quantity and quality of their HD programming. IMO the HD content more than makes up for the deficiencies of the DVRs.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2007 #6 of 31
    swans

    swans Legend

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    get whichever is available HR20 or HR21. I got an HR20, but I am in an area where HD locals are not available. I think DirecTV has made a decision to send the HR20s to these areas. That is just my opinion though.
     
  7. Dec 4, 2007 #7 of 31
    Rolando42

    Rolando42 AllStar

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    HD locals are not available in my area and I just had an HR installed and it was a HR21. I use the TV tuner to get the HD locals OTA.

    I also have an HR20 (installed in April) and depending on where you live, the HR20 may not do you any good anyway. I had a great signal on all networks with my H20-600 and when I switched to the HR20, I could only get one at a time and I had to rotate/tweak my antenna so much I finally gave up (my signals were around 40% with the HR20, 85% with the H20). I bought a Samsung digital set-top box and now get all networks without rotating my antenna. Better use of $150 in my opinion (get your HR20/HR21s from D* free of charge if you can and don't bother with Costco).
     
  8. Dec 4, 2007 #8 of 31
    jacmyoung

    jacmyoung Hall Of Fame

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    I did not know the D* HR20/21 is that much worse than the 622, that could be a problem since my wife loves the 622 DVR functions and don’t care much about the new HD’s nor quality of HD. But I hope over time she will get used to it. Or do you think I am just asking for trouble?:)

    I understand the HR20/21 does not have TV2 function as my 622, which is fine. But I still need to know if I buy two more D* RF remotes, each for one of the two HR20’s used on the second TV’s (don’t want to bring remotes from room to room), will the two remotes interfere with each other or their addresses can be changed to avoid that, like the 622 remotes or any other wireless device in the house?

    Lastly, I did not explain my Costco plan well. To make sure I have at least one HR20, I plan to buy one at Coscto for $269, the only way to do so is telling them I am an existing D* sub, if I am new and ordering D* from Costco, I will not be able to bring home any boxes from Costco, they will only sign me up and let D* take over from there.

    So the plan is pretend to be a D* sub, buy an HR20 from Costco, then order D* directly with one HDDVR, try the best to let them know I need an HR20 not HR21, and ask the installer to install both HDDVR’s. Anyone sees flaws in this plan?
     
  9. Dec 4, 2007 #9 of 31
    CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    You have to punch in a specific ID number to each remote, so, they shouldnt interfere with eachother

    Why even tell Costco anything at all? Why not just purchase the HDDVR? Meanwhile, worst case scenario, because its not on the work ordere the tech wont install it. Call D* and tell them you need a free install of equipment you bought at a retail location.
     
  10. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    Depending on the wife the you could range from no problem to plenty of grief.

    Why not find someone/Somewhere that has a HR20 or HR21 and let the wife put it through its paces.
     
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    DirecTV will do installs for equipment bought at local retail, I've had it done. I do not know how that will play with the introductory discount offer you mentioned, you'll have to talk to a CSR about that.

    As everyone has said, call and discuss this with a CSR. If they will arrange the install and give the discount, based on HR20's bought at a local retailer, then do that.

    Carl
     
  12. sNEIRBO

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    The ViP line of receiver is extremely easy to use. There is a transition curve going between the ViP and the HR2x. The HR2x does everything a DVR should, just not as easily as the ViP does it. And it's the little things that will make you sit back and shake your head thinking "That was a LOT easier to do with my DISH ViP".

    For instance - if you set up a Series Timer for a show and select FIRST RUN only by accident. If the program is only showing reruns for the next 2 weeks, you can't just open the timer on the HR2x to change the recording type from FIRST RUN to BOTH. Why? because the timer shows as 0 episodes set to record - as it should - then won't let you open it to alter the parameters. You have to go and do a search, select the show, select the channel, select Series Rec, change the type of recording then save it. I know it's only 2 or 3 steps more than being able to open the timer (like you can on a ViP), but there are constantly 2 or 3 extra button pushes all over the machine, that aren't there on the ViP. But if the wife isn't setting up the recordings, then you don't need to worry about that.

    You also realize that if you're using an OTA, you can only record 2 things at a time on an HR2x, not 3 like you could on the ViP? With the ViP you could do 2 SAT and 1 OTA. With the HR2x you can do only 2, whatever combination you want - 2 SAT, 1 SAT & 1OTA, or 2 OTA. I used to record 3 shows during prime time on Thursday nights with the ViP - Survivor (SAT), 30 ROCK (SAT), Smallville (OTA). I can't do that with the HR20 - I'll catch Smallville during summer reruns or on HDNet next Fall.

    Additionally, I also think the ViP machines are a lot more stable than the HR2x machines. I had one and only one ViP622 for 18 months. I am now working on my 3rd HR20 - in a little over a month since I switched. I got a brand new HR20-100 with the install - it had a bad OTA Tuner that was messing up recordings. DirecTV replaced that with a REFURBISHED HR20-100 that had a bad Tuner 1 that would not receive MPEG4 channels. I just got a REFURBISHED HR20-700 yesterday as another replacement. So keep in mind - you may go through all these gyrations to get the HR20 machines you want from Costco, BB or CC then it could have a bad tuner and DirecTV is going to send you a REFURBed unit - and it's a crap shoot if you'll get an HR20-100, HR20-700 or an HR21-700 when they send the replacement.
     
  13. jacmyoung

    jacmyoung Hall Of Fame

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    Well that blows. Being a long time E* sub I remember back in the old days all the above you described were the signature of E*, not D*, since when the table had turned?

    Although I was the one who introduced the modern Tivo concept to the rest of the family, I don't do much other than watching live sports events and some movies on impulse, using pulse and replay sometimes. The other members in the family however are so addicted to DVR's not only do they fill up the storages on both 622's, the way they punch through the keys and flipping through the menu items makes me dizzy every time.

    If the HR2x is half as bad as you described it, I have no doubt I will see it sitting on our front lawn in no time and HD will be the last thing on my mind from that point on:)

    Maybe I will give it some more time to improve before committing myself to certain marriage counseling.
     
  14. sNEIRBO

    sNEIRBO Icon

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    If HD content and quality are not important to you - stick with DISH. I have been seriously frustrated since switching to DirecTV. And I haven't even told you about all the problems with their Customer Service - they auto billed when they were not authorized to resulting in $352 worth of overdraft fees to my checking account and their CSR tells me "It's not our fault you didn't have the money in your account". A Tech that missed an appointment to check out the first bad HR20 - no call, no show, wasted a half day of precious Vacation time on me. They sent the wrong replacement receiver the first time - they sent a SD R15 DVR instead of an HD HR20 DVR. They lost one of the receivers I sent back, and charged my account for the missing receiver even though I had the FedEX tracker showing they received it. I disputed the charges for the "lost" (or as they referred to it "not returned") receiver - then they shut off my service because I didn't pay those charges. Everything has been resolved - because I keep such good records - but it has taken MANY hours of being on the phone with countless CSRs to get it straightened out.

    BTW - the replacement HR20-700 I got on Monday - now has an HDMI audio problem - so they're sending me ANOTHER replacement today. Another hour wasted on the phone with Tech Support trying to figure that out last night. The receiver I returned on Monday hasn't even been delivered to DirecTV yet, and already they have to send me another one. These REFURB units SUCK! They obviously are NOT doing the proper reconditioning or testing prior to throwing them back into the pool!

    If you've got solid equipment from DISH and your only reason for switching is to save $20/month - I hate to tell you but the CSR probably didn't tell you about all of the hidden costs - mirroring fees, lease fees, DVR fees, etc. By the time you get done, you'll be saving about $5 per month - I know that because one of the reasons I switched was to save money, and I'm not! If you're not changing for the better HD service, then DON'T change!
     
  15. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    Their refurb department may be overloaded and under pressure to produce. My guess is that proper testing of on HR-20 as an example could take over an hour.

    Proper testing off of the top of my head.
    Pull hard drive, test, reset to like new, reinstall. Test basic functions cold. Let unit reach operating temperature. Test each and every function. Test with different types of switch. older legacy types and SWM for example. Test every Video and audio output type. HDMI etc. Check cosmetics of receiver. Package for shipment.

    Pressure to produce testing methodology could quite easily be.
    Read return trouble ticket. Test that problem. Fix that problem. Check to be sure fixed (Optional under pressure). Check cosmetics of receiver. Package for shipment.


    I may have missed some things or I could be totally wrong.
    It used to take me over an hour just to test and determine what was bad, replace, retest & package. And that was just a portable DVD player with TV & FM tuner + FM broadcast. I hate to think how long a HD DVR would take.
     
  16. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Of course, there are hundreds of us on this forum with no isses at all. I have two HR20s and they have not missed a recording yet.

    I can't speak to the useability issue of the HR20 verus the VIP machines but looking at one person's issues on hardware versus the vast majority with no problems whatsoever is not statistically supportable.
     
  17. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Lease fees?

    You pay for your service.

    You pay one HD fee for the household ($10).

    You pay one DVR fee for the household ($5).

    You pay a mirror fee for any receivers after the first ($5).

    I don't know the Dish structure but facts are better than just a wave of the hands about hidden costs. These are not hidden. They are well documented.
     
  18. sNEIRBO

    sNEIRBO Icon

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    And usually not told to you by the CSRs when you sign up - there's $20 per month, soon to be $25 when the HD Extras kick in on 12/15.

    I point blank asked what my total bill would be per month when I signed up and was told by the DirecTV CSR for 4 months it would be $69.99, then $89.99 after that. She never once mentioned DVR fees or mirroring fees and implied that HD was included in the Premier pack. I was paying $115 to DISH for a package comparable to DirecTV Premier. If you do the math I'll be paying the exact same amount in another 3 months. And I've yet to have a machine work properly for longer than 2 weeks, nor received a bill even close to $69.99.

    I am willing to pay the $115 per month for the excellent HD service and a RELIABLE DVR - I will still feel like I've been bamboozled by the original CSR that sold me the system but we all know the adage about knowing when a Salesperson is lying . . .

    However, it is not worth it to be paying them that kind of money if I can't even enjoy the service because the damned receiver/DVR is never working properly! And that lack of performance doesn't just effect me, but everyone in my house - which results in added grief to me having to listen to all the bitching and complaining because they didn't get to watch their stuff off the DVR before it got sent back. I'm glad you've had a wonderful experience with DirecTV, in fact I'm a bit jealous. But at some point this whole experience becomes ridiculous and I'm going to start screaming from the mountain top . . .

    I'm hopeful that eventually I will get a solid reliable DVR from DirecTV - but I'm not counting on it.
     
  19. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    The extra five bucks is an option. Not a requirement. Kind of like HBO is an extra.

    CSRs do suck, don't they?

    I can appreciate that. And your experience is real. It is just that someone that is making a decision shouldn't rely on just one experience as there are always situations on the fringe.

    However, it does seem that people who have hardware problems have them repeatedly. And those who have no issues often have multiple systems running well. Makes me wonder if there are environment issues that the HR20 does not handle well.
     
  20. sNEIRBO

    sNEIRBO Icon

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    Actually - HDNet is a requirement not on option for me. It should be included in the HD base pack, not the HD Extras. It sounds like that might happen - we'll know soon I suppose. If the Extras end up being MGM, Universal and Biography then I won't sign up for it. If it includes HDNet, then I have to pay it since I record a lot of programming off of HDNet.
     
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