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Guest Message by DevFuse

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INTERFACE, INTERFACE, INTERFACE and AMC


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18 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   wowsers66

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

After 14 years of DirecTV I switched to Dish because my HDR was running very slow and DTV wouldn't replace it. So after 2 months of the Dish Network Hopper/Joey and a $385 Early Termination Fee... I'M BAAAAAAAACCCCCK!!! :lol:

The nail in the coffin was Dish dropping AMC. There's no way I'm missing Breaking Bad, Madmen and Walking Dead. So, for those who are considering or pining after a Hopper, let me give you a DirecTV user's perspective.

First, the hardware is super slick. The Hopper is very slim and looks nice, and the Joey is about the size of a couple of decks of cards and also looks nice. The two devices are networked with just one cat5 cable.

The software interface on the other hand SUCKS. Whoever designed the interface must have been recruited from the Windows 98 team of designers. Let's start with the most used item on ANY dvr: the LIST view. What's easier? Scanning down a list of typed words or trying to decipher tiny icons with even tinier titles in a grid formation? What's even worst is when you highlight said icon, it GRAYS OUT the whole thing so you can't read it. Is that insane? You have to move off the show you selected to see if it's what you want. STUPID. You'd think by hitting the SELECT button it would just play, but instead brings up a pop up of options. So you finally find the show you want and it starts playing. Hmm, wonder where I am in the show? I'll hit PLAY to see the scrub bar. NOPE. Doesn't work. How about skipping commercials? NOPE, won't show. You have to pause to see the bar.

The "human" element. With DirecTVs DVR, it was intuitive. I never scratched my head going, "what is this? or where is that?" For instance, on DTV, to go back a page or window, you click the LEFT arrow; makes sense. On the Dish if you do that you get a confusing as all hell, filter window with dozens of boxes to check. Things just don't make sense. The interface is also very inconsistant. There's an area to check your account. Very cool right? Not really. It brings up a new window that looks completely different than anything else, right out of DOS.

Searching for shows also leaves you scratching your head. When you hit search it automatically puts the show you're watching in the search field. Huh? Why? So you have to start by deleting it. Then you get tiny icons of the shows with no idea of when it first aired. It's a mess.

Everything just looked better on the DTV. Windows were better organized, colors were nicer, fonts were bigger and easier to read, there was less "dead space" on the screen. Why have tiny text when 70% of the screen is empty on info windows?

While the Hopper/Joey system is slick, but several times shows were cancelled because my kids would either leave on the Hopper or switch channels canceling our show. The system is kind of glitchy. Sometimes I had to select a show 2 or 3 times before it would start playing. Other times it would just be a black screen. Lots of screen glitches.

There are some good things: the commercial skip is sweet, the system is pretty fast (except for when a show ends; inexplicably it just hangs for about 20 seconds deciding what to do).

The final nail in the coffin was Dish dropping AMC. What balls. So now I am waiting for DTV to install my HD34 and receiver. Will be curious to see how it compares to the Dish system. I'd call the Dish experiment a $400 failed experiment for me.

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#2 OFFLINE   jdskycaster

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 10:47 AM

Mine are connected via a single RG6. No CAT5 is necessary.

#3 OFFLINE   directv newb

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:09 AM

I to looked at dish and dirctv and I chose directv, and I am sooo happy that I did. The hopper has 3 tuners, ok you can record 6 shows during prime time (8-11), so 1 tuner is taken up recording EVERYTHING on cbs,nbc,abc,fox, from 8-11pm, and you have 2 free tuners for everything else. First off I DON'T want to record all that junk on primetime and then you have to go thru it all and move the recordings you want to keep from the ptat partition over to your hard drive partition, seems like nothing but work to me. My hr-34 has 5 tuners so I can choose the shows I want to record maybe 2 in prime time and 3 of any other channel. Each unit gets 1tb of hard drive space, the hopper pretends to have 2 tb but 1 of those is partitioned only for prime time any time. I don't think the hooper even compares to the hr-34 and I love directv. I am so glad I did not get dish!!!!!!!
These are just my opinions, in reality they mean nothing to anyone but me :)

#4 OFFLINE   WestDC

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:22 PM

Okay-Then- One man's trash is another man's treasure-(for sure) :lol:
"Let's Have Some Fun!"

#5 OFFLINE   wowsers66

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:23 PM

Well, no DirecTV love for me for now. I was at the gym and saw a commercial. "YOU WILL LOSE 26 of your channels because viacom wants higher fees." WHAT? I just left Dish because of that. I can't lose Comedy Central. So, I resched my install for tomorrow so I can research more. Personally I'd like to give the middle finger to the whole broadcasting industry and just record OTA but the wife won't go along.

#6 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:33 PM

As you can see, I have 3 HR24s from D* right now.

And I spent a couple hours at a friends house with the Hopper/Joey setup he has. Frankly it is much better from an equipment, software and UI perspective than the current D* hardware by a fairly large margin. If I was choosing strictly on equipment, D* would be a very distant second to the Hopper/Joey setup.

Lloyd
Receiver : DirecTV Genie HR44-700, Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#7 OFFLINE   jdskycaster

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:10 PM

The hopper has 3 tuners, ok you can record 6 shows during prime time (8-11), so 1 tuner is taken up recording EVERYTHING on cbs,nbc,abc,fox, from 8-11pm, and you have 2 free tuners for everything else. First off I DON'T want to record all that junk on primetime:)


Simple fix, there is an option to turn this feature off.


and then you have to go thru it all and move the recordings you want to keep from the ptat partition over to your hard drive partition, seems like nothing but work to me.:)



What? Not sure why you would be doing this when you are not interested in recording with PTAT anyway but all you have to do is select the show or series you want to save and it is done automagically. Simple single button press.

My hr-34 has 5 tuners so I can choose the shows I want to record maybe 2 in prime time and 3 of any other channel.:)



Problem solved with a second Hopper. Now you have 6 discrete tuners. During prime time record all 4 of the majors plus 5 of any other channel. In addition you can watch any recorded program from either hopper at any time.

Each unit gets 1tb of hard drive space, the hopper pretends to have 2 tb but 1 of those is partitioned only for prime time any time.


No pretending here. It actually does have a 2TB hard drive. I have had both of my hoppers in operation for three months now and have not come anywhere close to filling them up:)

#8 OFFLINE   wowsers66

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:20 PM

Wow, you really think the UI is better? The LIST grid is the stupidest UI I have ever seen.

<<Frankly it is much better from an equipment, software and UI perspective than the current D*

#9 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:41 PM

I also dropped Dish due to AMC. I'm glad I went with cable instead of coming back to DirecTV with this Viacom fiasco. Although cable isn't immune to disputes, they aren't nearly as likely to lose channels since they own many of them.

Anyway, the OP got a few things wrong regarding Hopper as well:
- To see remaining time you need only press SELECT, no need to pause
- To play a recording, just press PLAY, no need to select then resume
- While it does search the current program by default, that's an easy way to show future airings
- I've never seen the behavior of having a thumbnail greyed out upon selection

I agree about it lacking a simple list view, the inconsistent interface and glitches.

While there are a lot of things I like better in DirecTV's GUI, the response time throws a big bucket of water on everything.

While not for everyone, I've found the nicest interface in Windows Media Center. So for any defectors to cable or cord cutters, it's brilliant. The GUI is beautiful to look at and responsive. The usage and options are intuitive. It lacks a few things like PIP and multiple live buffers, but some of that can be worked around. Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised how happy I am with cable (aside from the cost). So if you can't tolerate the loss of another 25 channels, you may want to give it a look.

Edited by mdavej, 10 July 2012 - 02:04 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   wowsers66

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:45 PM

I'm now researching AT&T Uverse. The reviews online seem really positive. I like the on demand stuff where you can watch shows for free on demand. I have 24 hours to decide on going back to Dish, rolling the dice on DirecTV dropping 26 channels or trying U-verse for 30 days risk free. Leaning on the latter. If it were just me, I'd drop it all and go OTA with a recorder and a few a la carte for some shows I can't miss. But the WAF is low on that.

#11 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:53 PM

Wow, you really think the UI is better? The LIST grid is the stupidest UI I have ever seen.

<<Frankly it is much better from an equipment, software and UI perspective than the current D*


UI is very subjective. What one person hates, another finds intuitive.

#12 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:58 PM

Wow, you really think the UI is better? The LIST grid is the stupidest UI I have ever seen.

<<Frankly it is much better from an equipment, software and UI perspective than the current D*


Yes, I do think it is better overall. Not everything perfect of course. The D* HDGUI is basically nothing more than the old SDGUI with a bit of skinning. Does exactly the same things it did before, only a bit slower in many cases, but still nothing to write home to mother about. Does it look better, yep. Does it work better, nope. And it still has the 1.5 hour program grid that it has always had and which always sucked and does not have any reason for it to be that way other than actually making no real changes to the operation other than cosmetic.

The Hopper/Joey HDGUI is very much a complete departure from E*'s previous designs. After fiddling around with his, I can see that some would find it irritating because it is so very much different than any other out there. I can't imagine that it would take any really appreciable time to learn though.

Lloyd
Receiver : DirecTV Genie HR44-700, Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#13 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:08 PM

.Problem solved with a second Hopper...

I considered moving to DISH exactly because of the Hopper. They told me "Sorry, one Hopper only". Now I am not sure what everyone else's experience has been, but they just simply would not let me have two. I tried to convince them that I was waving the money right under their noses, but their directive not to take my money was apparently quite clear to them (and is still a mystery to me).

Eventually the temporary insanity passed, my mind cleared, and I stayed with DTV. But if they would have let me have two Hoppers during my little "episode", who knows who my current provider would be?
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#14 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:50 PM

...I'm glad I went with cable instead of coming back to DirecTV with this Viacom fiasco. Although cable isn't immune to disputes, they aren't nearly as likely to lose channels since they own many of them...

Dave, I think that might be just wishful thinking. About the only popular channels that cable owns are those in NBCU, and then there would be a smaller chance of dispute, but only if your provider is Comcast.

I'm sure you will remind me, but off the top right now I can't even think of any channels owned by cable companies other than that, a lot of direct marketing channels, private channels equivalent to AUD 239 that don't really show much, or public access or government channels.

90% of viewers are tuned to the 17 most popular OTA and cable channels. Most of them are owned by major media companies or movie studios, like Disney, FOX/Newscorp and Viacom. The other 10% of viewing is done on pay tv or the other 300 largely-unpopular channels out there, and that is the subset of channels where cable actually owns a few of them. The odds of any particular cable MSO owning more than a couple of popular channels and more than a handful of non-popular channels is pretty low, actually.

Reports out today indicate that there were 4 disputes such as this a couple of years ago, more last year, and 22 already this year, so this is just the beginning. Since two of those 22 disputes involve DBS, that means the other 20 involve cable TV. But you don't hear about those; you hear about DISH and DTV, and that's because those are national stories. Media companies have regained much more of what they lost in the economic downturn than cable and DBS have, and since cable/DBS are at 87% saturation with not much room to go any higher (another 9% is where cable and DBS are unavailable and the remaining 4% are satisfied with OTA), they feel a certain desperation to hold the line on costs. They are pushing back harder, and so are the providers, which results in longer, protracted rate wars.

If they have to raise prices on us because of that, it means they can't raise prices on us strictly in the interests of them making more profit, and they are tantruming for that very reason. Prices to us will go up, but if they lose and their costs also go up, that may not mean a raise in profits for them. We can't have that, now can we? At the same time OTA stations, which were historically free to operators, have decided they want retrans fees, and are actively pursuing them. And we are the collateral damage; we miss our shows, AND the rates go up.

Whether you have cable or DBS, you will probably be seeing a lot more of these games of "chicken" in the next few years. Being a cable sub doesn't seem to lessen anyone's chances of being a victim of these disputes, except that the channels nobody actually wants to watch very often might be a bit safer. Cold comfort.

One thing on the side of cable, is that programming is only part of its revenue stream (DBS can't really provide phone or internet service) so they might be a little less desperate than DBS. Not sure that will make much difference in what programs we become disenfranchised from, however temporary that might be.

The one thing you can count on where there will be no disputes over who gets your money is free OTA TV, where there is no money pie for different interests to squabble over.

Edited by TomCat, 16 July 2012 - 08:07 PM.

It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#15 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:56 PM

Leave Dish because no AMC.
Leave Directv because of Viacom.
Cablevision had their FOX dispute.

Go to uVerse? Who's to say that they won't have a dispute sometime soon?

#16 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:38 PM

Leave Dish because no AMC.
Leave Directv because of Viacom.
Cablevision had their FOX dispute.

Go to uVerse? Who's to say that they won't have a dispute sometime soon?


They have in the past, but then I was reminded it only lasted 3 days.

#17 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 04:49 AM

I'm now researching AT&T Uverse. The reviews online seem really positive. I like the on demand stuff where you can watch shows for free on demand. I have 24 hours to decide on going back to Dish, rolling the dice on DirecTV dropping 26 channels or trying U-verse for 30 days risk free. Leaning on the latter. If it were just me, I'd drop it all and go OTA with a recorder and a few a la carte for some shows I can't miss. But the WAF is low on that.


reseach closely - Uverse has a distance limitation on how many streams you can. Distance does matter with Uverse

#18 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 07:58 AM

Dave, I think that might be just wishful thinking. About the only popular channels that cable owns are those in NBCU, and then there would be a smaller chance of dispute, but only if your provider is Comcast.

I was thinking of Time Warner as well, which has a ton of content, from all the Turner networks to HBO (although the chances of anyone pulling HBO are nil).

On the positive side for me is my cable company is so slow to move, even if they had a dispute it would take 6 months for an engineer to lift a finger to turn off the feed. I don't recall them ever being involved in a dispute, at least not publicly. They have no qualms about simply raising prices, which I honestly prefer over losing content. I can always drop to a lower tier or cut the cord if the price gets too high, which I've done in the past and have no problem doing again.

So I still don't expect many channel losses, nor do I expect many additions. In a couple of years when the content landscape has changed yet again, I'll probably give satellite another look. In the mean time, hopefully my current content is safe, if only due to inertia and bureaucracy.

Coming from a relatively small rural area, my options are very limited. We have one cable company or satellite, no U-verse or Fios or competing cable companies. And right now, neither satellite company has the HD content my cable company has. So I really have no choice but to hold my nose and go with cable.

#19 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:35 PM

I was thinking of Time Warner as well, which has a ton of content...

On the positive side for me is my cable company is so slow to move, even if they had a dispute it would take 6 months for an engineer to lift a finger to turn off the feed...

Coming from a relatively small rural area, my options are very limited...neither satellite company has the HD content my cable company has. So I really have no choice but to hold my nose and go with cable.

So if you are a TWC customer, there is really little risk in ever losing TNT or TBS or TCM (I would only be concerned regarding a couple shows on TNT). But you have to be a subscriber to that exact cable company. Comcast subs are at little risk of losing Bravo, but TWC subs are at the same risk as everyone else. NBC would rip Bravo from TWC in the blink of an eye if they thought it would be a profitable move for them, just like TW would blank TNT on Comcast if they got in a dustup with NBC. I just don't see being a cable sub as being really any more protected than anyone else.

And as someone who worked for cable, I can promise you that the top priority would be to immediately "pull the feed". Anyone who works for any company knows that edicts from the top are followed quickly, while work that has been piling up takes a back seat. Regardless how lazy your cable company might be, a mandate to pull services never goes delayed or unheeded. Don't fool yourself. A lazy cable op may not restore the feed in as timely a manner as a good cable company, however.

I agree though; if you're living in a market so small as to be unserved by local-into-local HD over DBS, cable is probably the more-attractive choice.
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.




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