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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Anyone switch from cable/HDTiVo to DirecTV/HDTiVo?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   RMBittner

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 01:39 PM

As soon as the D* TiVos are released nationally (tomorrow, maybe?), I'll be dropping cable and my wonderful Series3HDTiVo and signing up for DirecTV with TiVo.

My question is for anyone who has made this particular switch, keeping TiVo but moving from a cable provider to DirecTV: Any differences between the two TiVo units that surprised you? disappointed you? Anything you think anyone in my position should be aware of before making the move?

Thanks!

Bob

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#2 OFFLINE   litzdog911

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:03 PM

Be sure to read the First Look here ....
http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=199680

The DirecTV Tivo is somewhat limited compared to your Series 3 Tivo.
HD DVRs: HR34-700; HR24-500; (2) HR20-700 + WD eSATA 1TB drive/Antec MX1 case; HR21-700; HR21-200 w/AM21
Receivers: H25-500 HD Receiver; H21-100 HD Receiver
Mobile Devices: Nomad

Additional equipment configuration details

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#3 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:33 PM

I am testing that exact scenario now. Still too early to tell which way I'll go. I have a THR22 that's just a couple days old. I've been using the Tivo HD XL with Comcast for a couple years. I also have a HR24 that I only used for NFL Sunday Ticket. These are all in the same room hooked to the same TV - a Pioneer Elite 60" Plasma. I have other SD Tivos for DirecTV in other rooms - that's only pertinent as background info.

Early Findings:

What's worse about D*Tivo HD compared to CC*Tivo HD

1) The D*TivoHD has poorer picture quality - at least on some channels. I've seen it on History2 and ESPN/U and am starting to make a more concerted effort to determine the scope of this problem. The degradation is significant and if it occurs on all channels it would be a deciding factor. Remember, my TV is Pioneer Elite so no blame there. I'll post back with more findings later.

2) The D*TivoHD is very noisy. Mine was upgraded by Weaknees to 1.5TB and I'm very surprised since they usually use very quiet drives. I"m not sure if the OEM 500MB drive would be as noisy. The unit sits behind a glass door in a wooden cabinet and the drive noise is audible (loud even) from 15 feet away - it's a problem for sure.

3) The D*TivoHD remote is not as nice. It has 7 extra buttons on it so it can be used with an HR but only one has any value on the Tivo. Some buttons are mushy and lack tactile feedback (like Select) and other buttons have tactile feedback (like FF). It's OK but just not quite as nice - would not be a deciding factor.

What's better about D*Tivo compared to my CC*Tivo HD

1) The FFx1 is much better. The CC*Tivo unit FFx1 on some channels is barely faster than real-time - on most channels it's nice. On my local CBS channel it skips a frame every 5 seconds or so. The D*TivoHD FFx1 is fast, consistent, and smooth - really good for sports (which is what I like it for).

That's about it on the routine usage - I"m not going to compare other features (like on-demand movies, searches, and such).

I will say that if DirecTV didn't have NFL Sunday ticket and a couple other sports packages I would have left them long ago and stayed gone. But, I like the NFL and really, really, really want to like the new Tivo - because their HR24 is dreadful for sports - at least for me.

#4 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:41 PM

Oh, another possible drawback to the THR22 is the "FF jump ahead" bug. It's been reported by others but I haven't seen it (yet). The bug is that while in FF playback the Tivo occasionally jumps you to the end. For sports this can be a real spoiler. I had this happen infrequently but regularly on my SD Tivos during sports playback so I guess I"m not surprised to hear it surface on the THR22. That *never* happens on my Tivo HD XL on cable.

#5 OFFLINE   RMBittner

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:35 AM

Be sure to read the First Look here ....
http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=199680

The DirecTV Tivo is somewhat limited compared to your Series 3 Tivo.


Thanks, Litzdog. I went over the "First Look" when the units first came up for review, but it's time to revisit it, I think.

As for the limitations of the DirecTiVo. . . I have a feeling that the "limitations" actually involve things that I don't use (or use often) on the S3. I never stream Netflix or music through it (the S3 is extremely clunky in that regard); I have no need to integrate it with any kind of network, since I'll be getting an additional DirecTV HD DVR (and additional receivers) for that functionality.

Like some others here, I really really love TiVo, but I would have moved to DirecTV at least a year or two ago if it weren't for my wife, who refuses to learn yet another remote/interface just to watch TV. So I'm basically trying to get a handle on what differences she's going to encounter, so I can run a little interference. (And I'm hoping that the major leap in HD channels will help to smooth over any speed bumps along the way.)

Bob

#6 OFFLINE   RMBittner

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:39 AM

Oh, another possible drawback to the THR22 is the "FF jump ahead" bug. It's been reported by others but I haven't seen it (yet). The bug is that while in FF playback the Tivo occasionally jumps you to the end. For sports this can be a real spoiler. I had this happen infrequently but regularly on my SD Tivos during sports playback so I guess I"m not surprised to hear it surface on the THR22. That *never* happens on my Tivo HD XL on cable.


Good to know! I've never had this issue on my older S2 (now retired) or the HD S3 TiVo unit I've used for years. But it's helpful to know that it's a possibility. (Shield those eyes!;))

Bob

#7 OFFLINE   bghmsh

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

Can your DirectTivo play videos on your network I am a new Dtv user HR34 and the ability to play networked video is very poor.

My setup

3 HD Tivo (2 Premier)
Wireless N
Attached NAS (8TB)
4 Tb mixed movies (DVD converts and Home Movies)

The Direct TV HR34 can only play very very small files before the software limits out : Have you used the Home Networking with the new Directtivo?

#8 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:49 PM

Followup to my post of Feb 8:

I have decided to abandon DirecTV in favor of Comcast. The picture quality from Comcast is just better - both HD and especially SD.

On DirecTV the SD is, simply, poor. The same channels and material on Comcast in SD is far better. This alone would eliminate D* from further consideration. But, it gets worse.

Today I see that D* HD material isn't quite as good either. Now, it's pretty good, maybe even very good - but just not as clear and rich as the HD on Comcast. Again, I'm using the same channels and material.

For example, I turned on the THR22 and the movie Jonah Hex was running on HBOeHD. It looked very good but something seemed a bit off. So, I switched on my Tivo HD XL for Comcast to that same movie. You can clearly see the D* picture is lacking detail compared to Comcast. One example is that for closeups the CC* picture shows every pore and hair on a guys face but on D* there are sections of the cheek that are just a solid color. The overall impression is one that is less realistic.

I run both of these DVRs through the same AV receiver which is connected to the same TV so the differences are only the source material and DVR itself.

This makes my decision a no-brainer. I have to keep the THR22 for 2 years now so I'll unplug it except for NFL Sunday ticket games. After my 2 years are up I'll get rid of that too.

I've been waiting a long time for a D* Tivo HD but now that I see it's D*'s picture quality that's lacking I will replace all my other D* DVRs with native Tivos for Comcast.

#9 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:54 PM

Oh, forgot to mention that Weaknees will exchange my THR22 to resolve the noisy hard drive problem. They were very surprised but had no qualms swapping it for another or repairing it - my choice. I'll assume they will be able to resolve that even though it wouldn't change my overall decision to leave D* as soon as my contract is up - as I just described.

#10 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 02:03 PM

Macq - While I never compared them in A/B style like you have, I concur that the PQ on Xfinity was excellent with Tivo Premier. I didnt see anythng that stood out as one being better than the other like you have.

My main problem with Xfinity was their support. Any time a splitter was connected to the line from the pole (one feeding the motorola surfboard) and the other feeding the TV, I would get 2 to 3 internet drop outs a day, some requiring manually unplugging the modem for 10 minutes. I passed all the logs on to Xfinity, who had techs out twice, but since it was intermittant, and probably caused by the 3.5db loss from the splitter, they never were checking it when it happened. TV was never affected either.

Their solution was to choose, internet only, or TV with intermittant internet :(

I still had Directv at the time, so I just had them turn off the Comcast TV.

I had originally added the TV and Tivo to get several HD channels DirecTv doesnt seem interested in carrying, as well as Cardinals baseball included in the package, as well as all those HD Extra channels included in the package that D* charges extra for.

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#11 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 02:21 PM

Davenlr, I suppose everyone has their horror stories. I've been using Comcast w/Tivo HD in our main TV room for about 2 years and it's been working great. I"ve had fewer outages with it than I have rain-fade issues with D*. We've been a mixed household across all our TVs for that time - but not much longer.

I only wish I had studied the picture quality better when I bought an HR24 some time ago. Had I noticed this then I could have saved myself a lot of waiting - and money buying the THR22.

Please let's not start describing our experiences with D* phone support or truck personnel in this thread! We have plenty of "fun" with that elsewhere!

#12 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 02:25 PM

Please let's not start describing our experiences with D* phone support or truck personnel in this thread! We have plenty of "fun" with that elsewhere!


Well, actually, I do all my own Directv maintenance and upgrades, so Ive never had a D* employee on my property. If Xfinity would let me run RG11 the 70' from my house to the pole, Ill bet that internet problem would disappear. They have a policy about me climbing the power pole tho :)

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#13 OFFLINE   midas69

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

Picture quality is very dependent on your area. Here Comcast is a much poorer quality picture than DirecTV on both HD and SD.

#14 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 07:22 PM

Picture quality is very dependent on your area. Here Comcast is a much poorer quality picture than DirecTV on both HD and SD.


This is really a key point. DirecTV picture quality will be the same everyplace, but Comcast (or other cable/fiber provider) will vary widely from one area to another. I'm glad it is so good for the OP. That tends to not be the case for most reports I've seen of side by side HD comparisons (from varying locations). Reports on SD generally rate DirecTV equal to or poorer than most cable providers.

Picture quality will also vary depending on the source. So if the A/B comparisons were of the same show, recorded from the same channel, then they are probably valid comparisons. But if they are of different shows, or were recorded from different channels, then you can't make the comparison. Not all HD is created (or encoded or transmitted) equally.

#15 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 09:58 PM

Carl6, in the tests I described earlier they were always the same material on the same channel at the same time.

#16 OFFLINE   macq

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:15 PM

In my post from Feb 8 I said the THR22 I got from Weaknees was very loud. It had been upgraded to a 1.5TB drive.

I sent it back to them and they replaced the drive under warranty and it is much improved.

The THR22 is still a noisy DVR. The fan hum is very loud compared to various other kinds of DVRs and the hard drive head chatter is pretty quiet but still audible when next to the unit. It doesn't appear that much consideration was given to noise output when the hardware was designed.

But, at least it isn't ridiculously loud anymore like it was with the faulty drive. So, I thank Weaknees for that.

#17 OFFLINE   mchero

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

Long time (10+ year)Tivo user dumping my HDTivos for DirecTV's whole Home. Blows the HHR22 out of the water.

Nuf Said




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