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HDVR2 Upgrade & TiVo Impression


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#1 OFFLINE   Nodnarb

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 09:15 AM

As noted on the previous thread, the DirecTV Protection Plan replaced my UltimateTV receiver with the new HDVR2 DirecTiVo unit.

Getting used to TiVo after 18 months of UTV is quite different. My UTV did exactly what I wanted it to do. My favorite shows were set to record each time, and when I turned to it, what I wanted was there and nothing more.

TiVo is a little different, because out of the box, it seems to try to maintain a hard drive full of programs to view. So, I need to further customize the channels I don't want it to record, like the Washington DC local Spanish station.

In seeing the shows/movies rotate through the "Now Playing" list, some that I would like to see but didn't have time to watch, I decided that additional recording space will be a necessity. So, after reading this forum, and visiting the two upgrade vendors I could find, I purchased the WeaKnees 120 gig second drive, and the twin-fan kit. As one who ran a BBS in the 1980's and built my own computers through the mid 90's (now, I just call Dell!!) I had no fear in tackling the upgrade myself.

WeaKnees shipped my unit on the same day I ordered it (Friday 5/30) and it arrived, freight-free on Wednesday 6/4 via FedEx Ground from Los Angeles to Maryland. Everything was packed securely, and included instructions and necessary hardware, cables and connectors and the Torx tools for opening the case and removing the drive.

Documentation was great! It was about 10 pages of simple photocopied instructions, complete with clear pictures of each operation where necessary. They were clear, and concise, and they seemed to cover every possible part of the operation, and even offered a few different methods (ie. if it's too difficult that way, then do this instead.)

My impression is that anyone could carefully complete the instructions. I used extreme caution, and it took about 1 hour, including a few brief interruptions.

So, I'm back in business with 141 hours of space on my new HDVR2. Saved the hardware and brackets that I removed, in case I ever have to use the Protection Plan again, I can restore the HDVR2 to its original state.

The HDVR2 runs much cooler than my UltimateTV receiver, and hopefully the twin-fan setup will continue to keep it cool with that second hard drive inside! (I'll report inside-case temps back later!)

So, to summarize, the DirecTV Protection Plan is worth the $60/year, and the HDVR2 isn't the same as my old Sony UltimateTV receiver, but it's quickly winning me over with the TiVo service!

OH! Also, I upgraded my DirecTV programming package that I've had since 1995, to include Starz and Sports (Platinum package?) and the TiVo is included. So, instead of paying $9.95 for UltimateTV with fewer channels, for only a few dollars more, I receive pretty much everything. So, I'm getting greater value out of my programming package, because of the HDVR2!

I wanted to relate my experience here, since you folks are such a great resource. I was thankful for these forums during my UTV failure.

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#2 OFFLINE   cnsf

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 11:01 AM

Have you noticed a slow-down in speed on the HDVR2s with the upgraded HDs?
Choice Xtra Plus HD DVR and NY DMA Locals, (1) HDVR2 Series II DirecTivo (upgraded to 160GB), (1) HR20-700, (1) HR23-700

Windows Home Server, 2 TB storage, Gigabit LAN

#3 OFFLINE   Nodnarb

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 11:09 AM

Not really. I doubt if I've gotten into the second hard drive much, if at all. I try to keep the thing cleaned off. But it may be too soon to tell.

#4 OFFLINE   Nodnarb

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 08:10 AM

Have you noticed a slow-down in speed on the HDVR2s with the upgraded HDs?



When the DVR gets a bunch of programs saved to it, YES, it is slower. I probably had 80 to 100 hours worth of movies and when it's loaded up like that, accessing the directory of saved programs is slower. Also, clicking to record something while you're watching it leaves the "Please Wait" icon up in the right corner for 10-20 seconds. So, navigation is slower, but once it's playing a saved program, it's beautiful! I love TiVo!

#5 OFFLINE   shaun-ohio

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 06:02 PM

i am curious as to what they will replace my 70 hr utv unhacked model with after july 16th? i have the extra protection plan also and my hard drive went bad on it, i am not going to trade it for a 35 hr model. they dont even make the 70 hr model anymore.

#6 OFFLINE   Nodnarb

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Posted 30 June 2003 - 06:42 PM

i am curious as to what they will replace my 70 hr utv unhacked model with after july 16th? i have the extra protection plan also and my hard drive went bad on it, i am not going to trade it for a 35 hr model. they dont even make the 70 hr model anymore.


I'm guessing the HDVR2 TiVo unit! I had my reservations about switching from my Sony UTV to the TiVo unit, but all I can say now is DO IT!

My HDVR2 with the upgraded hard drive is totally awesome! Microsoft gave up in the PVR business, and TiVo is the winner. DirecTV is in bed with TiVo, so if they're going to give you a $250+ HDVR2 TiVo unit to replace your dead UTV, the only thing better would be the cash in hand. (And, that's not an option!)

#7 OFFLINE   Gunnyman

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 12:19 PM

you mentioned having unwanted recordings on your tivo,
if you don't want them recorded, you can turn off suggestions in the setup menu.


I am suprised with Microsoft killing off the Ultimate TV when they could just use the code from widows XP Media Center in the units.
I haven't followed too closely but I assume an Ultimate TV box is pretty much a PC like an X-Box is.

#8 OFFLINE   Nodnarb

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 02:25 PM

you mentioned having unwanted recordings on your tivo,
if you don't want them recorded, you can turn off suggestions in the setup menu.


I am suprised with Microsoft killing off the Ultimate TV when they could just use the code from widows XP Media Center in the units.
I haven't followed too closely but I assume an Ultimate TV box is pretty much a PC like an X-Box is.



I can't imagine anyone, who isn't ancient, wanting to waste their TiVo on Woody Allen movies. My TiVo -L-O-V-E-S- that guy! :confused:

As for UTV, I with TiVo would put various episodes of the same program under a sub-menu like UTV did! That would reduce some of the required scrolling, and is probably the single biggest thing I miss about UTV.

Now that the Showcases are working on TiVo, I probably will turn off the TiVo suggestions. About 60% of what it records (now that I deleted the spanish channels!) are pretty good. But that still leaves a bunch of junk to delete!

#9 OFFLINE   Gunnyman

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 02:30 PM

IF we ever get 4.0 software on our HDVR2's (supposedly September but not holding my breath) these folders will be added.
I love my tivo's functionality especially when compared to Dish Network's PVR offering.

btw if you havent found it yet, check out http://www.tivocommunity.com
great tivo resource.

#10 OFFLINE   Nodnarb

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Posted 25 July 2003 - 02:37 PM

IF we ever get 4.0 software on our HDVR2's (supposedly September but not holding my breath) these folders will be added.
I love my tivo's functionality especially when compared to Dish Network's PVR offering.

btw if you havent found it yet, check out http://www.tivocommunity.com
great tivo resource.


Thanks - I think that's where I learned of Weaknees.

I don't know a thing about Dish. I put my DirecTV system in 1 hour after I closed on my new house in 1995. Never saw a reason to leave, especially after $800 for the Dual LNB, single receiver system!




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