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DBSTalk.com First Look: AM21; OTA Add-On for the HR21


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363 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 08:42 PM

Why wasn't it in the HR21 to begin with? - real smooth move on Directv's part to not have a OTA tuner integrated - of course now they can charge extra for it!

DIRECTV determined that they could save money on the cost of the HR21 by removing the OTA tuners, making it easier for customers to acquire the HR21. Still, the total cost of the HR21 and the AM21 is still less than the original cost of the HR20, so cost savings are still realized. To me, this was a smart move by DIRECTV.

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#42 OFFLINE   ToddinVA

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 08:46 PM

My opinion is that is the same as the HR20. It works pretty close to my HR20-700. But, my TV tuners works better.


I was hoping for something better. The tuner in the HR20 is mediocre at best. The one in my Samsung LCD TV is far better.

#43 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:05 PM

Great work guys and congrats for being featured on Engadget!

http://www.engadgeth...e-directv-am21/

#44 OFFLINE   techieguy23

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:24 PM

Has anyone tried plugging it into their PC and seeing if it will be recognized as a USB device? Would be kinda cool for a PC based OTA solution. I'm sure someone could find the drivers for the tuner chips somewhere!

#45 OFFLINE   waynebtx

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:36 PM

Nice Work guys

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#46 OFFLINE   gully_foyle

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:39 PM

DIRECTV determined that they could save money on the cost of the HR21 by removing the OTA tuners, making it easier for customers to acquire the HR21. Still, the total cost of the HR21 and the AM21 is still less than the original cost of the HR20, so cost savings are still realized. To me, this was a smart move by DIRECTV.

I guess some people figure if DirecTV is giving DVRs away for free then removing a function is somehow gouging the customer.
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#47 OFFLINE   gully_foyle

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:42 PM

One thing I don't see mentioned... is there an NTSC tuner mode? It mentions needing to have HD service enabled, but no mention if you can watch/record regular TV if it isn't. Assuming anyone wants to, of course.
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#48 OFFLINE   say-what

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:17 PM

One thing I don't see mentioned... is there an NTSC tuner mode? It mentions needing to have HD service enabled, but no mention if you can watch/record regular TV if it isn't. Assuming anyone wants to, of course.

DirecTV's policy is that you need to pay the HD Access fee to access any live or recorded HD programming, including OTA, on the HR2x series. The AM21 is an ATSC/Digital tuner, it does not have NTSC capabilities, so it is useless without paying the HD Access fee.

#49 OFFLINE   sbl

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:17 PM

My experience is that the tuner in the AM21 is much better than the one in the HR10. I have not used the OTA tuner in my HR20 so I can't comment on it.

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#50 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:38 PM

One thing I don't see mentioned... is there an NTSC tuner mode? It mentions needing to have HD service enabled, but no mention if you can watch/record regular TV if it isn't. Assuming anyone wants to, of course.

It's ATSC only.. as all OTA broadcasts will be ATSC next year (all tho not all HD) there is no reason to add NTSC tuning..

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#51 OFFLINE   VHS or Beta

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:56 PM

If you record a local HD program off air, do you know what compression is applied by the HR-21? This would go toward figuring out how many hours of HD (or SD for that matter) programming one could store when recording OTA.


Same amount of space is taken up as an OTA recording on an HR20. That would mean Mpeg2.


Are the satellite-fed HD locals also Mpeg2, or are they Mpeg4? Given the choice between recording from the OTA tuner or the DirecTV feed of the same HD channel, would the D* version take less disk space?

#52 OFFLINE   azarby

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 11:52 PM

Has anyone tried plugging it into their PC and seeing if it will be recognized as a USB device? Would be kinda cool for a PC based OTA solution. I'm sure someone could find the drivers for the tuner chips somewhere!



There are no PC drivers avaialble.

bob

#53 OFFLINE   cartrivision

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:32 AM

If you record a local HD program off air, do you know what compression is applied by the HR-21? This would go toward figuring out how many hours of HD (or SD for that matter) programming one could store when recording OTA.

Thanks in advance for any info....


Neither the AM21 or the HR21 applies any compression. The OTA signal is already encoded with MPEG2 compression before it is broadcast by your local TV station. All that the AM21 does is pass the raw MPEG2 data "as is" to the DVR to be recorded to the disk.

#54 OFFLINE   cartrivision

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:38 AM

Are the satellite-fed HD locals also Mpeg2, or are they Mpeg4? Given the choice between recording from the OTA tuner or the DirecTV feed of the same HD channel, would the D* version take less disk space?


The locals off the sat are MPEG4 and anything from the OTA tuner will be MPEG2, so yes recording the sat feed of the local will use up less disk space.

#55 OFFLINE   Jeremy W

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:49 AM

Has anyone tried plugging it into their PC and seeing if it will be recognized as a USB device? Would be kinda cool for a PC based OTA solution. I'm sure someone could find the drivers for the tuner chips somewhere!

It shows up as two devices, both called DIRECTV USB Tuner Device v1. You don't need drivers for the tuner chips, because the computer doesn't talk directly to them. You'd need custom drivers for the AM21, which will likely never be available.

#56 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:21 AM

There are a lot of other ATSC tuners available for PCs at a fair price, other than the thrill of the hack I don't see a lot of reason to support AM21 on a PC.
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#57 OFFLINE   docderwood

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:58 AM

Assuming the Tuner is better...Can I plug it into my HR20 and use bypass the crummy HR20 tuners?

#58 OFFLINE   Spanky_Partain

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:59 AM

Good job guys....

Patiently waiting for the official release now so I can buy one....
Is it released yet?

How about now?


Well?....


F5, F5, F5, ...

Someone PM me the second this thing hits the WEB for ordering from Directv!

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#59 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:01 AM

Assuming the Tuner is better...Can I plug it into my HR20 and use bypass the crummy HR20 tuners?


No... the HR20 is not and will not be compatible with the AM21
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#60 OFFLINE   tkrandall

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

I would really appreciate someone that uses OTA and that has both the HR20 and and HR21 testing this AM21 device and comparing its OTA reception. Preferebaly someone with reception "issues".

I live only 20 miles from the stations but have weak signal and/or multipath issues (I live a couple of miles behind a 600 ft ridge in the line of site to Atlanta stations) and the HR20 and is no where near as good as my Samsung DLP's at holding signal. I really would like to know if the AM21 tuner is better than the HR20 OTA tuner.




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