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UltimateTV Discontinued! Protection Plan?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Nodnarb, May 21, 2003.

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  1. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    I've had DirecTV since 1995 when 1 Receiver and a Dual LNB Dish cost $1000 installed! Received a Sony UltimateTV receiver for Christmas in 2001. Satellite TV hasn't been the same since then! UltimateTV is awesome!

    After problems, DirecTV technicians diagnosed the problem as the receiver. Tuner 2 Fails the System Test. They replaced my MultiSwitch, and some cable ends, but I still have my suspicions about an LNB problem. I may test both lines directly this weekend with a regular tuner, bypassing the multiswitch.

    So, I called my DirecTV protection plan to have my receiver replaced, and found out that UltimateTV service is discontinued. Here are my options:

    1 - They will replace my Sony Ultimate TV Receiver with a Generic brand TiVo immediately. (Not a Sony model - I assume the cheapest thing that have in inventory.) No PiP or watching 1 program, and recording another with the TiVo's since they only have 1 tuner. (As I understand it?)

    2 - Keep my UltimateTV with only one working tuner, since it will currently do the same thing as a new TiVo unit.

    3 - Buy another UltimateTV receiver and send this one back to Sony for repair. (Can't do without!)

    4 - ?? (Your suggestion?)

    I was disappointed that the DirecTV Protection Plan wouldn't replace my unit with the same brand. I paid $200 extra for a Sony model over the RCA.

    I have a Circuit City protection plan that I haven't been able to reach them to find out how they will handle this.

    But, I can't stand the thought of DirecTV without UltimateTV.

    Any ideas or recommendations on where to buy another UltimateTV receiver?
     
  2. HarryD

    HarryD Icon

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    Mar 24, 2002
    Lehigh...
    How's the temperature? I have heard of heat causing tuners to fail. Just an idea.

    Check this site for UTV units ($199.00) + ship :hi:
     
  3. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Ultimatetv service hasn't been discontinued, but production of new units - both RCA and Sony have been discontinued.

    The new HDVR2's (DirecTivo's) have dual tuners, but no PIP, so you won't lose any tuners by getting the new equipment. I'm sure they'd send you the Hughes model. The functionality is about the same, with some minor differences. For example we have Auto-Records and Tivo calls them Season Passes.

    You can still find UTV units out there. www.americansatellite.com is one vendor that still has them in stock. They usually run about $200 plus shipping. All I have seen, though, are RCA models. I have three of the RCA's and they have worked flawlessly. One of them is two years old now, and just runs and runs.

    I'd take the deal for the new HDVR2 as that is the way Directv is going. The fee is $4.99 per month, so you'll save a little each month there, and as it is the product that Directv has chosen to use, there will be more continued support.

    I am also a UTV lover, and I am not looking forward to the day the stop supporting them altogether. I can't stand watching tv without a PVR, so I'm with you on that. The HDVR2 seems like a good machine, so I don't think you'll be disappointed.
     
  4. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    Thanks - This Sony unit has run hot from the day it was plugged in. It is ventilated, so it's about as cool as it can get, short of blowing a fan on it.

    I probably will buy the RCA from American Satellite, and get the Sony fixed.

    Sorry - I didn't mean to imply that the service was discontinued. What I meant was that UltimateTV "Service" on the Protection Plan has been discontinued because of hardware obsolescence.

    From what the DirecTV Protection Plan 800 number described, the TiVo unit they wanted to send me was an older single tuner style, because he said I could watch a saved program & record at the same time, but I couldn't watch and record different channels at the same time. (That's the reason I chose UltimateTV in the first place!) Maybe I should call them back and ask if it's the model you mentioned.

    I'm a Sony geek. That company has never disappointed me. I don't know if I can put a Hughes next to all my Sony AV equipment. :)
     
  5. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    There's something else disturbing about this...

    Microsoft actually lost one???? This ruins my expectation that the world will come down to Bill Gates and Rupert Murdock...
     
  6. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    Just a quick note. A second call to DirecTV Protection Plan has netted an agreement to replace my UltimateTV with what I understand to be the new, 2-tuner Hughes DirecTiVo. So, no PiP, but at least I can watch and record different programming at the same time. That's better than the first call when they offered a plain single TiVo unit.
     
  7. bills976

    bills976 Godfather/Supporter

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    Jun 30, 2002
    Nodnarb,

    Take the Series II Hughes Tivo. Not only will your monthly bill go down five dollars since the Tivo fee is cheaper than the UltimateTV fee, but you'll get a brand new receiver, which is always exciting anyway. I love my T-60, and having played around with an UltimateTV at my friend's house, I personally prefer the Tivo, though that's just personal bias.

    Good luck with the replacement!
     
  8. Sailermon

    Sailermon Guest

    If you are like me, you would hate to part with UTV. Why don't you try this?...

    Call DirecTV and ask them if they will credit your account for the fair value of the replacement TIVO. Tell them you have located a vender (American Satellite) where you can purchase a UTV receiver and that you would prefer to replace your receiver with another UTV.

    Give it a try.

    Harry
     
  9. Neil Derryberry

    Neil Derryberry Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I'm selling my 2 sony utv's...
     
  10. timf

    timf Legend/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Apr 21, 2002
    In regards to what one of the reps told you on the phone, there is no such thing as a DIRECTV/TiVo combo receiver that only has one tuner. Every model since they were first introduced in Fall 2000 has included this hardware, although the feature was not enabled until Summer 2001. This guy either had outdated information or simply didn't know what he was talking about.
     
  11. Weller

    Weller Cool Member

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    Apr 23, 2002
    If Sony has never disappointed you then why does this thread exist?
     
  12. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    :shrug: Disappointment was with the first replacement offer under the Protection Plan. Not with the quality and features of Sony Electronics.

    The good news is that indeed, on my second call, the customer service agent did know his TiVo product, and, after a 30 mile drive each way to pick up my Hughes HDVR2 TiVo unit at FedEx because DirecTV wouldn't ship to my office, I am in business. Indeed I will be upgrading my programming package so I don't have to pay the TiVo fee, which actually will save me a couple of bucks each month after taking off the UltimateTV. Cool!

    That DirecTV Protection Plan, even though I was frustrated with it a few days ago, has paid for itself many times over on my 8 year old DirecTV system!!
     
  13. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    So, I've been trying to get used to the TiVo service of the HDVR2. TiVo is much more robust than UltimateTV. It's also almost annoying in some of the stuff it records. (ie. it keeps saving programs from the local Spanish channel!!?!)
     
  14. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Mar 23, 2002
    Sacramento, CA
    You may want to go in and see what you have selected as "Channels I watch". It could be that TiVo is recording what could be considered "suggested programming" based upon your recording habits. Remember, programming that is "suggested" by TiVo is the first programming to be removed when the PVR needs additional space.
     
  15. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    I haven't configured the Channels I Watch yet. (Haven't found that yet!) I did notice that I asked it to record the movie Casino, and the next thing I know it's saving every mob movie, and everything with DeNiro and Pesci! Now, that was pretty cool!
     
  16. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 23, 2002
    I was just at my nephew's house and I finally had a chance to really play with the HDVR2. If I hadn't already upgraded my UTV units, I'd sure be tempted to switch over. What a nice machine! I really like the search function. While the UTV search is easy and very functional, especially with the keyboard, the Tivo search blew me away with how fast it was. I'm definitely a UTV lover, but I could be convinced to switch pretty easily. I'm glad you like your HDVR2. I don't read where many people don't like them. That should say something.
     
  17. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    I agree - the HDVR2 Search is better and faster. The first time I used it, I found myself looking for the next letter, when the show I was looking for was already displayed in the list on the right.
     
  18. raj2001

    raj2001 Icon/Supporter

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    Nov 2, 2002
    My advice would be to turn off suggestions and use Wishlists (tm) instead.
     
  19. pvirola

    pvirola New Member

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    Jul 25, 2002
    Just this week I had my RCA UTV satellite receiver replaced under the circuit city product protection plan. One of my tuners went dead. The replacement (refurbished) arrived in about four days. I'm really happy with my UTV and will probably buy another unit.

    From San Antonio
     
  20. Nodnarb

    Nodnarb Cool Member

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    May 21, 2003
    I had the Circuit City PP too on my UTV, but chose to go with the DirecTV PP because they replaced my UTV with a new HDVR2. I'm definitely more satisfied with the TiVo unit, if, for no other reason, I now have Starz & Sports for the same $9.95 I was paying for UTV.

    Free TiVo Service with the Platinum package is definitely a great value!
     
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