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Thinking of Switch From Dish

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mistrmac, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. mistrmac

    mistrmac Cool Member

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    I am currently with Dish and am thinking about switching to Directv. I currently have 3 722k receivers (running in Single mode) hooked to 3 Samsung HD TV's. I use 2 two TB external drives (1 for myself, 1 for my wife) to archive programs. I have 2 remotes for each 722k using UHF.

    I was thinking of ordering an HR34 and 2 HR24 receivers from Directv. I realize this will give me 9 tuners versus 6 with my current Dish setup and whole home DVR (which I guess I could get with Dish via Hoppers).

    However, I will be losing my ability to archive my recorded programming. Is there any archival ability with Directv receivers?
     
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    At this point no. You can use an external hard drive, which disables the internal, but recordings are tied to that DVR.

    Also, Whole Home works differently with the HR34 than a hopper. Most of us would say it works better, but we can be a bit biased. :)
     
  3. mistrmac

    mistrmac Cool Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Can you add a little more detail to how whole home works differently with Directv vs Dish (hopper)?
     
  4. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    The Hopper requires Joeys, which uses a Hopper tuner. The HR34 can be used with a full receiver (which has its own tuner), but can't pause/RW live TV, or a system similar to a Joey that is built into some Samsung TVs, or a standalone box coming later. Those do use a HR34 tuner.

    The 34 also has more flexibility in recording, since it has 5 discrete tuners, so can record 5 things at once, any time and on any channel.
     
  5. mistrmac

    mistrmac Cool Member

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    Yup, that's why if I were to stay with Dish I would want to do a 3 hopper no joey install/upgrade. That would give me 9 total tuners, whole home with each hopper seeing the others, and pause/rewind/etc at each TV.
     
  6. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    I don't want to be the skunk at your little garden party, but I am hearing some troubling things regarding the whole Hopper/Joey thing, in that the whole system is pretty buggy and frustrating to use due to a terrible search and program list GUI. The whole commercial skip thing is up in the air too; if they lose the lawsuit, which is expected, they will have to disable that. The question becomes can they disable the commercial skip without torpedoing other features of the DVR?

    For DTV, if you want to archive programs, I think the best thing is to use an external or eSATA drive, and place that in a ThermalTake enclosure. The disadvantages are as stated here by others: recordings are married to the DVR so that they will not play on other DVRS, you can't see both internal and external drives at the same time, and it takes a reboot to switch drives. Unlike DISH, DTV does not employ any techniques where programs are migrated from one drive to another.

    But other than that it is pretty easy to manage; to start from the internal drive, just power down the external enclosure and reboot the DVR. To start from the x drive, just power the enclosure up for about 30 seconds and reboot the DVR. You don't have to worry about connecting or disconnecting cables or any of that. It also helps to take cellphone snapshots of the program list so you can refer to that when booted from the other drive.

    And if you want to have multiple drives with multiple archives, the ThermalTake makes that pretty easy too; just pull one drive out and stick the other drive in (and reboot).

    I have seen reports claiming 585 hours of HD on a 2 TB drive. My real-world numbers have been closer to 475 the few times I have actually filled one up.

    Finally, having been a subscriber for 8 years to each service (not at the same time), and having dealt with both services at work and for relatives, DTV impresses me as a much better run company, and that may manifest in less frustration when dealing with them directly, which subscribers unfortunately must do on occasion. DTV still leads in HD channels as well; be sure the channels you need in HD are available on DISH before you switch (if you do).

    As for the OP, switching from DISH to DTV should be a mostly-positive experience. Some DTV DVRs (possibly not the HR34) are sluggish compared to the snappy interface of the 722s, but I think the DTV DVRs are more reliable.
     
  7. mistrmac

    mistrmac Cool Member

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    Tomcat, thank you for your input. GUI design and preference is a subjective user experience and I find things I both like and dislike about the Hopper (former 922 GUI) and Directv HD GUI.

    In terms of external hard drive usage and implementation, I have to, in my subjective experience (and based on your description of what seems to me to be a quite cumbersome swap usage with Directv), give Dish's implemetation the edge.

    Yes, I know there are bugs with the Hopper as there are with the HR34 as both have been extensively reported on in the forums on DBStalk. Both platforms will improve over time with firmware upgrades. From my experience with Dish and what I have read here in the Directv forums, both appear to use their subscribers as beta testers for new receiver platforms.

    As far as receiver reliability, I have never had a Dish receiver fail or need replacing (maybe I am the exception).

    I can agree that Dish can appear to be run like a bush league operation at times (thank you Mr. Ergen) and cannot say my limited dealings to date with Directv (pre sales contact) has been all that encouraging either (too big of a company is not always the best either).

    However, I do have to say as far as responsiveness (and I have had receivers from the 501 up to the 922) compared to the Directv receivers I have tried when contemplating switching (R15, R20, R23), well there is no comparison (in my experience). Being subjective again, I absolutely despised the pre HD GUI on Directv receivers (although the HD version is basically the same interface in a prettier package).

    It will come down to programming, hardware, interface, pricing, and subjective preference.

    I am thinking of switching for better sports, more HD premiums (Dish has the edge in HD nationals), new subscriber savings, and becuase I want AMC back.

    You have provided valuable input (which I don't necessarily completely agree with nor completely disagree with), thanks again.
     
  8. naijai

    naijai Hall Of Fame

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    Based on what you want to be able to do, most can be accomplished with your initial equipment list. 1 HMC & 2 HDDVRs. Record up to 9 things at the same time, no lost tuners unless you convert to RVU. Each room has access to recordings on any of the other receivers. You can use 2TB drives on the hddvrs as well. You cannot tell shows to record to another dvr but that's can be bypassed with apps on ipad or smartphones and internet as well.
     
  9. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Your are very welcome. And yes, get some other opinions. Weigh them all. You and I may (or may not) be very different in what appeals to us. That is what is so great about this forum; there may rarely be consensus, but there is always the ability to use what folks post to form your own informed opinion.

    That said, and while I agree with the "subjectiveness" of a user interface, the reviewers I have been reading have been exceptionally harsh on the Hopper, and I can find no credible reason to question the reasons for their harshness. Let's just say it was enough to be a cautionary tale for me.

    But it may not be all that terrible, either; after all SOMEbody had to approve this design. I think the concept is brilliant. I am hoping and waiting for DTV to offer something similar, only better. I think they are up to it, but the direction the HD DVR+ has been headed in the last couple of years might be a harbinger of them not being up to it. Time will tell, I guess.

    The problem with a DVR is the same problem with an iPad, in that it really was not designed to be a shared device. There is no real ability to set up accounts on either device (although some earlier DVRs had a rudimentary form of that). A decade ago the term PVR was much more the common designation, with the P standing for "Personal". Of course when HDDs were 9 GB managing one person's 14-hour playlist was difficult, let alone an entire family's, so maybe that designation made more sense then.

    But your particular workflow, with you and your wife having personal HDDs for your own shows, while unusual, makes a lot of sense. I think you will find that the DTV approach, however cumbersome, is still very workable. I will admit that I do not swap HDDs often; only if a DVR lasts more than a couple years does the HDD ever get quite so filled up that I have to add another one. 475 hours is a lot. I was rationing 83 hours each on two DTivos just a couple of years ago.

    It sounds like you may have made up your mind; I hope your time with DTV is a happy time. Good to have you on the forum.
     
  10. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    You will be able to specify the 34 when you order, but as far as the 24s go, you'll get what ever HD DVR the installer has on their truck.
     
  11. charlesh

    charlesh New Member

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    Feb 16, 2007
    Will they remove a Dish Network dish and put the Direct dish in its place?
     
  12. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Probably not. Probably will just add the DirecTV dish. But you can discuss that with the installer. Depending on where the Dish Network dish is located the installer may or may not want/be able to go to it. Also, older dishes (both companies) use different size masts than newer dishes. So the DirecTV dish may not (probably won't) fit the mast of the Dish Network dish.
     
  13. mistrmac

    mistrmac Cool Member

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    Feb 13, 2006
    So, I priced it out and am getting close to placing the order. If I have to pay $427 ($399 plus taxes) for the equipment (and yes I reaize the equipment is leased), I will not accept any old model the installer has. I will leave a note for the installer when the appointment is scheduled of what specific equipment I will accept. Either they will bring and install the requested equipment or I will refuse the install.
     
  14. mistrmac

    mistrmac Cool Member

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    Feb 13, 2006
    I am sure I can talk to the installer and throw him a few bucks if necessary to have him replace the existing dish.
     
  15. PK6301

    PK6301 Legend

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    When I changed mine over they took down the Dish equip and left it in the back yard, it now sits in my shed. So it depends on the installer. It did not cost me a penny !
     
  16. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Makes it easy to return the LNB and not have to deal with getting the charge waived.
     
  17. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I still don't understand why DISH has a policy of having it's customers return the LNB when they discontinue service?
     
  18. PK6301

    PK6301 Legend

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    Erie, PA
    But yet when you do a Movers deal with them, they just have you pack up your receivers and they will come and intall a new dish and rewire your new home..so you leave the dish and LNB at the old location.. I am confused (but if you know me that is easy to do)
     

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