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DBSTalk Exclusive First Look: HR34-700 Home Media Center HD DVR


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#681 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:46 PM

So you are saying you want to be able to use an HR34 with less than 3 RVU (or MRV) clients in the home?


What I want and what I'd like are two different things. :D

WHAT I WANT:

My current setup is 6 HD-DVRs. I intend on "soon" getting rid of TWO of those HD-DVRs. If pricing and money allow, I intend on getting an HR34 and deactivating another DVR. That would make my setup one HR34 and three HR24s. If I could get all that for $18 (not counting DVR + WHDVR fees), that'd be great...

WHAT I'D LIKE:

I believe the Home Media Center will be the only DVRs DirecTV makes. I believe it's even been hinted as such. Therefore, I look towards the future:

It was rumored (briefly) last year (or at least I was concerned about it anyway) that DirecTV was going up on their DVR fees to a similar model as Dish Network's multiple DVR pricing... pricing that is too high for me. If that's the case, the HR34 would most likely be a cheaper alternative, but I'd want/need two HR34s and three C30s. Would one have to get an additional three C30s?

Right now, I live with two other people. If I ever had my own place (I'm not holding my breath...), I'd like an HR34 and either an HR24-100 or a C30. That's less than three clients...

I mentioned the people I know who want satellite, but can't justify the costs of lease/mirroring fees.

Let's say I had a big house. I'd like a TV in the kitchen to listen to... one in the bathroom, one in the dining room, one in each guest room, one in the room for my little giraffe. $6 for a C30 in every room that I'd rarely use would be expensive...



Essentially, I had high hopes for the HR34, and it still seems like an awesome product, and I hope/intend to get one next year, but if it's basically going to be business as usual for the subscribers, I'm disappointed. :(

~Alan

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#682 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:52 PM

Comcast gives 2 free DTA's and it's $1.99 for any beyond that. That only gives you about 100 channels though. If you want on demand, the full guide and everything else, including premiums, that'll cost you (sometimes as much as $9.80 in certain markets!!!)


THANK YOU!!

That was what I was referring to above.

I know others who will say the situation is different because with the HR34/C30 or HR34/RVU setup, you will get access to EVERY channel, onDemand, and everything else...

... but I was just hoping the HR34 would also be a way for DirecTV to not only lower THEIR hardware costs, but pass on SOME of those savings as well.

Naive, yes, but I was hoping. :nono2:

~Alan

#683 OFFLINE   TBoneit

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:33 PM

There is no way DirecTV is giving up the revenue stream from the box at each TV set and give free of monthly cost client boxes.


My view of the HR-34 is as a great one TV DVR that finally has enough tuners. If I were getting a new DVR then I'd want something like the 34 for each TV. I don't want them sharing content. As is I have to record in two locations anything that is recorded on the living room TV if I want to be sure I can watch it.
Things there tend to get watched and erased. Timers get cancelled by accident etc. Easier for me to keep things separate.
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#684 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:09 PM

a different approach. I sent Customer Service a nice email that basically stated that I have been a customer since 1994, have paid them ten's of thousands of dollars over that time period (and always on time) and that I am frustrated that new customers who have not paid them a dime get first access to the HR34. And that I would like one.

The response I got:

Dear Mr. XXXXXXXX,

We are writing in response to your recent correspondence. We appreciate your interest in the new HR34 Home Media Center DVR.

As you are aware, the HR34 is in live testing only in certain markets at this time. We plan to release the HR34 HMC-DVR to our customers in early 2012 and do not have an option for placing the order before release. The planned pricing for the HR34 HMC-DVR is $399.00, plus any required installation charges. As a long time, loyal customer of DIRECTV, once the new receiver is available, you will be able to take advantage of the best offers we have at that time.



So it looks like the price will be $399. That seems in line with that I would have expected. Now what early 2012 means is anyone's guess.

#685 OFFLINE   Alan Gordon

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:22 PM

So it looks like the price will be $399. That seems in line with that I would have expected.


As well as what has been reported...

Now what early 2012 means is anyone's guess.


January, February, or March, though possibly April, May, or June. :P ;) :D

I couldn't help myself... :)

~Alan

#686 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:46 PM

. . . .
So it looks like the price will be $399. That seems in line with that I would have expected. Now what early 2012 means is anyone's guess.

My personal target is before the start of the MLB season, but the earlier the better to figure out how to get the most out of it features. Plus I'm hoping they have the C30 available by then.
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#687 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:25 PM

a different approach. I sent Customer Service a nice email that basically stated that I have been a customer since 1994, have paid them ten's of thousands of dollars over that time period (and always on time) and that I am frustrated that new customers who have not paid them a dime get first access to the HR34. And that I would like one.

The response I got:




So it looks like the price will be $399. That seems in line with that I would have expected. Now what early 2012 means is anyone's guess.


I would say early 2012 means sometime during the first quarter.

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#688 OFFLINE   Beerstalker

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:37 PM

There is no way DirecTV is giving up the revenue stream from the box at each TV set and give free of monthly cost client boxes.


They won't be giving it up totally. I'm sure the HR34 is going to have a fee higher than the current $6/month we pay for normal receivers.

I'm hoping for something like $20-25/month for the HR34 and that would include the DVR and Whole Home fees, no monthly costs for thin clients since the former mirroring fees from them would pretty much be built into the $20-25 fee.

Think about it with current equipment. The most TVs you can have on at one time with the HR34 is 4. So if you had a home with 2 HR24s and 2 H25s that would be pretty much the equivalent of a home with an HR34 and 3 thin clients. The HR24s and H25s would run you $28/month in fees. 3 mirroring fees at $6/month, the DVR fee of $7, and the MRV fee of $3 (3x6 + 7 + 10 = 28). So charging around $28 dollars a month for the HR34 gives DirecTV the same montly income as if the customer had legacy equipment, but the equipment itself is cheaper (I'm sure 1 HR34 and 3 thin clients costs less for them to purchase than 2 HR24s and 2 H25s). So they won't lose any money by doing this.

Now if you increase the number of TVs in the house to 7 the HR34 setup really becomes a good deal for the customer. Instead of 2 HR24s and 5 H25s that would run them $36/month in fees they would still just have to pay the $28/month. So the customer would be able to save $8/month, but they will have to give up the ability to watch TV on more than 4 TVs at once. If they need to be able to watch on all 7 TVs at once they would just go with a legacy setup and have to pay the extra $8 a month. DirecTV isn't really losing out on money because chances are if the people who won't use all 7 TVs at once just wouldn't get boxes for their extra TVs. They would try doing stuff like RF modulation, or running long HDMI/component cables to other TVs to share boxes. By allowing the customer to just buy a TV with a thin client built in, or buy a seperate thin client, and not pay an extra fee DirecTV looks more appetizing and will gain customers like this.

For example my parents. They are still with cable even though out of the 7 TVs in their house only 3 of them get very many channels. They have an HD-DVR in the living room and DTAs on two of their other TVs. The other 4 TVs in the house only get the remaining analog channels Comcast is still putting out, which is pretty much just the local channels. So while I'm staying with my parents the TV in my old bedroom only gets the local channels. They won't pay the $3/month Comcast wants for additional DTAs (the first 2 are free).

Now if DirecTV doesn't charge for thin clients I can buy a client myself and install it in my old bedroom and then have access to everything. But if they charge for thin clients my parents won't be interested because they aren't going to pay $6/month for a bunch of TVs that only get used a few times a year. They'll just stick with crappy Comcast, and I'll have to deal with it.

Think of it this way. How well would it go over if Netflix started trying to charge for each different device you access their streaming content on? Sure you can stream from the app in your TV in the living room, but if you want to use the app on your TV in the bedroom you have to pay extra. That wouldn't go over well.
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#689 OFFLINE   David Ortiz

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:02 PM

Think about it with current equipment... So they won't lose any money by doing this.


Everything doesn't need to be equal. I am thankful that the "mirroring" fee for a dual tuner DVR isn't twice as much as for a receiver. There are way too many possible configurations for there to be a flat HMC fee that includes DVR and WH services. If I have only the HR34 I should have to pay the equivalent of 2 DVRs and 2 receivers?

#690 OFFLINE   Beerstalker

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:18 PM

Everything doesn't need to be equal. I am thankful that the "mirroring" fee for a dual tuner DVR isn't twice as much as for a receiver. There are way too many possible configurations for there to be a flat HMC fee that includes DVR and WH services. If I have only the HR34 I should have to pay the equivalent of 2 DVRs and 2 receivers?


Yes because you still have the ability to record 5 streams at once and stream 3 out to other devices if you want to. You also wouldn't be paying the up front costs to purchase the thin clients if you aren't going to use them so you are saving money compared to those who will. If all you needed was to record 4-6 things and use it on one TV you should just get 2 or 3 HR2xs and save the extra money.

They charge the same for HR2x and H2x receivers because you can only watch them in one location at the same time. If they would have had a way for you to actually watch the second tuner on the HR2xs at the same time as the first I bet they would have charged more than $6/month for it.

How can you justify charging $6/month for thin clients on 7 TVs when the most they could possibly use at one time is 3 of them. You aren't mirroring the service to all 7, you are only mirroring it to 3 of them. If any of the other TVs are on while you are using 3 of them they will get some kind of message saying the service is unavailable. Do you want to pay $6/month to look at that?

So if I have 4 TVs in my house but only 3 receivers, and I carry one receiver back and forth between two TVs should I have to pay for 4 mirroring fees? That doesn't make any sense, and neither does charging someone for a thin client that isn't going to be able to watch any content if others are being used.

Edited by Beerstalker, 25 October 2011 - 05:24 PM.

Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver."
-by Jack Handy

#691 OFFLINE   David Ortiz

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:16 PM

Yes because you still have the ability to record 5 streams at once and stream 3 out to other devices if you want to. You also wouldn't be paying the up front costs to purchase the thin clients if you aren't going to use them so you are saving money compared to those who will. If all you needed was to record 4-6 things and use it on one TV you should just get 2 or 3 HR2xs and save the extra money.

They charge the same for HR2x and H2x receivers because you can only watch them in one location at the same time. If they would have had a way for you to actually watch the second tuner on the HR2xs at the same time as the first I bet they would have charged more than $6/month for it.

How can you justify charging $6/month for thin clients on 7 TVs when the most they could possibly use at one time is 3 of them. You aren't mirroring the service to all 7, you are only mirroring it to 3 of them. If any of the other TVs are on while you are using 3 of them they will get some kind of message saying the service is unavailable. Do you want to pay $6/month to look at that?

So if I have 4 TVs in my house but only 3 receivers, and I carry one receiver back and forth between two TVs should I have to pay for 4 mirroring fees? That doesn't make any sense, and neither does charging someone for a thin client that isn't going to be able to watch any content if others are being used.


I anxiously await firm pricing that proves that it would be cheaper to get 3 HD DVRs for one TV instead of getting 1 HMC HD DVR. I just don't buy that one.

BTW, you can use DIRECTV2PC to watch what's recording on the second tuner of an HD DVR in near real time while watching what's on the main tuner on your TV.

I have no idea what pricing will be for the C30, either initially or monthly, so I am not trying to justify anything on that front.

#692 OFFLINE   sipester

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:54 PM

Since we are all guessing, here is my best guess:


  • $399 for HR34
  • MRV becomes MRV/RVU, if you use either one (or both service) it's $3 a month
  • Each C30 or RVU is $6 a month, up to a maximum of $18 a month (even if you have more than 3 RVU clients, since only 3 can be active at same time)
  • Any other H or HR devices (in addition to HR34) are another $6 a month
  • All other HD, DVR, programming fees the same.

So if you just use the HR34 for one tv, then no extra fees over HR24. But if you add any RVU clients, then $9 for first (since $3 RVU) and $6 for the next two.

#693 OFFLINE   dirtyblueshirt

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:57 PM

Since we are all guessing, here is my best guess:


  • $399 for HR34
  • MRV becomes MRV/RVU, if you use either one (or both service) it's $3 a month
  • Each C30 or RVU is $6 a month, up to a maximum of $18 a month (even if you have more than 3 RVU clients, since only 3 can be active at same time)
  • Any other H or HR devices (in addition to HR34) are another $6 a month
  • All other HD, DVR, programming fees the same.

So if you just use the HR34 for one tv, then no extra fees over HR24. But if you add any RVU clients, then $9 for first (since $3 RVU) and $6 for the next two.


Seems logical. Though I'm in the minority, I don't see DirecTV charging $6 (if at all) for an RVU. It's not even a receiver, let alone DirecTV's equipment. It just feeds from the HR34, which does all the tuning and GUI functions.
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#694 OFFLINE   timf

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:43 PM

I'm stuck with the dilemma of whether to just stick it out with limited basic cable and internet video until the HR34 is in wide release or to go ahead without it. I wired my house specifically with RVU in mind and although wall-mounted H25s would tide me over, I still want to pick up an HR34 as soon as I can. I just hate to spend $99 on a second HDDVR now and then another $399 in a few months (since I doubt a new account will be eligible for any equipment discounts) when they will surely have a better new customer deal once it officially launches. It would be nice to have a clearer release schedule, or at least some way to reserve one as a new customer even if it doesn't get installed right away.

#695 OFFLINE   markrogo

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:07 AM

BTW, you can use DIRECTV2PC to watch what's recording on the second tuner of an HD DVR in near real time while watching what's on the main tuner on your TV.


You can, but it's annoyingly clunky to deal with. I used to do it regularly to keep some game on while we were watching TV. Now with the Slingbox, I just link to an unused tuner on our 3rd DVR. I realize that's neither here nor there; it'd just be nice if DirecTV2PC could be more seamless in terms of letting you really just manipulate the DVR / watch live TV.

#696 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 05:49 AM

I'm hoping for something like $20-25/month for the HR34 and that would include the DVR and Whole Home fees, no monthly costs for thin clients since the former mirroring fees from them would pretty much be built into the $20-25 fee.


Your hoping for $20 - $25 a month?
I'm hoping for $10 tops a month since it's one access card.

On one hand I see the mirroring fee because it's mirroring programming on another access card. However the HR34 has 1 access card, and as the RVU Server, it's the only device that needs an access card.

So the DVR fee plus MRV fee. Then you still undercut the cable, iptv and fios competition which sometimes charge as much as $19.95 for a crummier DVR.

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#697 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:40 AM

My personal target is before the start of the MLB season, but the earlier the better to figure out how to get the most out of it features. Plus I'm hoping they have the C30 available by then.


I'm very doubtful that the C30 will be available by then.

Edited by Stuart Sweet, 26 October 2011 - 11:44 AM.

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#698 OFFLINE   ak4a

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:00 PM

No off-the-air ATSC tuner?

#699 OFFLINE   dettxw

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:19 PM

Easy enough to pick up an AM21 separately from DirecTV or a place like SolidSignal.

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#700 OFFLINE   loudo

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:09 AM

No off-the-air ATSC tuner?

There hasn't been any in any DirecTV receiver since the HR20.

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