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How Solid is the DIRECTV HMC (HR34)?


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36 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chewbach

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:57 AM

We're looking to dump Time Warner Cable (Cincinnati) primarily because our DVR experience has been nothing short of lousy. Thus, we're looking at both DIRECTV HMC (HR34) and DISH (Hopper).

If we go DIRECTV, the setup should be pretty simple: 1 HR34 + 2 additional HD receivers. However, before we make the plunge, we'd love to hear some feedback from other HR34 users. Specifically, feedback on:

- Reliability (how often is a reboot necessary)?
- Speed of the interface
- Other general feedback

Coming from TWC, we suspect everything will be an improvement. However, now is the time to decide between DIRECTV and DISH.

Consequently, 2-year pricing between DIRECTV and DISH are about the same. Thus, that really isn't part of the equation.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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#2 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:14 AM

I'm not going to say the HR34 is bug free (but I don't think Hopper is either), but I will say I never have regretted upgrading to it.

It's a far cry from the last TWC DVR I saw at a friend's house for sure.

#3 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:25 AM

chewbach, welcome to DBSTalk.

The HR34 is a new model. It does have some teething pains but nothing, as a long term DirecTV subscriber and a HR34 owner, that I find disqualifying. It is a joy to use. It's fast and with five tuners, not a bottleneck in my system in terms of recording. It also seems to be the platform which DirecTV is making available their latest technology, with Genie, a show suggesting utility, available only on the HR34. That may be a function of its 1TB drive.

If you want further information, your same question was recently asked by a forum member and you might want to read his thread. He ended up getting a HR34. One change from that thread. There has been a new software download that fixed some bugs and added Genie.

As for your specific questions:

1) In the three weeks I've owned it, have never had to reboot my HR34 to solve a problem.
2) It's faster than the older DirecTV DVRs I own, an HR20 and HR23. I have heard the HR24 is a hair faster. I can't speak to that myself. I also can't compare it to Time-Warner's units.

Good luck with your decision.
hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#4 OFFLINE   Tom_S

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:30 AM

I upgraded a week ago and love it. My setup is HR34, HR24, H23. With this setup I have the ability to record 7 things at once. I use the HR34 as my primary DVR in the Family Room. The speed is great. The PIP and Double-play(where you switch between two live tuners with the down-arrow) is near-instantaneous. The 5 tuners make life oh so much easier.

I have never used the Hopper, but from what I understand you don't have the ability to record five separate channels, although they have some service to record all primetime shows to alleviate some of that. Sounds funky to me.

No problems so far.
Panasonic 58PX60U
DirectTV HR34-700, HR24-500, H23-600

No OTA only Sat
AU9(Slimline) SL3 SWM Dish

All 3 receivers connected via DECA and bridged to 8-port Rosewill RC-410X Gigabit Switch.

#5 ONLINE   harsh

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:38 AM

The HR34 is a new model.

As the HR34, is coming up on being 1 year old (the First Look was released on October 6, 2011), I'm pretty sure that disqualifies it as a "new model". It seems like the HR23 came in went in little more than that amount of time.

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#6 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

As the HR34, is coming up on being 1 year old (the First Look was released on October 6, 2011), I'm pretty sure that disqualifies it as a "new model". It seems like the HR23 came in went in little more than that amount of time.

So it's "the newest model", and is a significantly different DVR, so it still has some things to sort out.
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#7 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:45 AM

harsh, I'm a stereo salesman. Everything is new, even stuff that's was released three years ago. I never had a customer come into my shop and ask me, "What's old?"

:grin:
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#8 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

harsh, I'm a stereo salesman. Everything is new, even stuff that's was released three years ago. I never had a customer come into my shop and ask me, "What's old?"

:grin:

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#9 ONLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:50 AM

As the HR34, is coming up on being 1 year old (the First Look was released on October 6, 2011), I'm pretty sure that disqualifies it as a "new model". It seems like the HR23 came in went in little more than that amount of time.


Given your philosophy the same can be said for DISH's Hopper and Joey. :sure:

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#10 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:59 AM

harsh, I'm a stereo salesman. Everything is new, even stuff that's was released three years ago. I never had a customer come into my shop and ask me, "What's old?"

:grin:

I guess you haven't met me then. I used to get deals on their demos. ;)
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#11 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:32 AM

There have been many comparisons between Dish and DirecTV in these forums. Suffice it to say there are proponents and opponents to each. I like DirecTV, but have never used Dish.

I think the HR34 works just fine. I've got one and have not had problems or issues that require reboots, etc.

The other thing you really should look at before deciding on a service provider is the selection of channels that are important to you. It does not matter if one service offers 10 or 100 channels more or less than the other, so long as it offers you the channels you watch.

#12 OFFLINE   chewbach

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:48 AM

There have been many comparisons between Dish and DirecTV in these forums. Suffice it to say there are proponents and opponents to each. I like DirecTV, but have never used Dish.

I think the HR34 works just fine. I've got one and have not had problems or issues that require reboots, etc.

The other thing you really should look at before deciding on a service provider is the selection of channels that are important to you. It does not matter if one service offers 10 or 100 channels more or less than the other, so long as it offers you the channels you watch.


Great point on the channel selection. From the outsider looking in, it seems as though DISH is always in a dispute with a provider. Thus, it would seem that DIRECTV is a more "stable" provider.

#13 OFFLINE   chewbach

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:52 AM

chewbach, welcome to DBSTalk.

The HR34 is a new model. It does have some teething pains but nothing, as a long term DirecTV subscriber and a HR34 owner, that I find disqualifying. It is a joy to use. It's fast and with five tuners, not a bottleneck in my system in terms of recording. It also seems to be the platform which DirecTV is making available their latest technology, with Genie, a show suggesting utility, available only on the HR34. That may be a function of its 1TB drive.

Good luck with your decision.


Great feedback and thanks for the link to other thread. (I missed that one!)

#14 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:55 AM

To echo some of the comments above ... while there might be a few minor glitches here and there, the HR34 is a beast DVR and you will love it.

5 independent tuners
3-streams for MRV/RVU
PIP
1TB

You may get some debate of RVU (tuner-less) clients vs H25 clients ... it provides for a great whole-home solution.

Also, with the upcoming Genie roll-out, you'd be picking DirecTV's latest-and-greatest primary DVR platform, as of today.

It's a fabulous DVR, and I would never go back.
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#15 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:21 PM

Amen! As a very recent HR34 owner, I'd agree, go for it!
While I've not had the RVU client, I am hooked up in one room via an H25, and all's good.
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#16 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:02 PM

Mine is coming tomorrow.
HR34-700
HR24-200
HR24-200

#17 OFFLINE   kevinturcotte

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 01:18 PM

Great point on the channel selection. From the outsider looking in, it seems as though DISH is always in a dispute with a provider. Thus, it would seem that DIRECTV is a more "stable" provider.


Directv has had it's fair share of disputes, especially lately. Basically, forget the hardware for the moment. Is there a channel that you absolutely HAVE to have that one carries and the other doesn't? If yes, then I'd say go with the provider that carries that channel. If they both offer what you want, check prices. Who's going to offer what you want at the cheapest price? Who's going to charge more up front for what you want?
The fact that Dish doesn't have a 5 tuner DVR can be remedied by adding multiple DVRs. From what I have seen/heard, Dish's receivers ARE more responsive that Directv's. However, this does not prevent me from using Directv's receivers (As long as you get an HR24/H24 or HR34, you're probably not going to notice too many signifigant speed issues).
If possible, play with the receivers before hand. Is there an electronics store nearby that has either (Or ideally both) on display that you can actually play with? You may find that you HATE one UI, and would NEVER want to use it.
The Tivo receiver is also an option with Directv (Model THR22). It uses Tivo's UI, if you're familiar with that and like that. That IS limited to 2 tuners however, and cannot do MRV.
I never have any reliability issues with the receivers. The HR34 was a bit flaky when I first got it in Feb, but it's very good now. RARELY have a problem with it.
And yes, coming from TW's DVR, most anything would be considered an upgrade!!! When I had TW, I used my Tivo Premiere, but other family members in the house used TW's DVR, and I HATED the thing! I'd almost rather go back to a VCR than use TW's DVR!!!

#18 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

Great feedback and thanks for the link to other thread. (I missed that one!)


Here is another thread to check out it is a little older but this is someone coming from TWC in Columbus, OH that switched to D* and shared there experience:
http://www.dbstalk.c...ad.php?t=206602

List of networks with HD VOD content available on DIRECTV   DIRECTV Customer Service Live Online Chat (available from 8am-1am ET)   DIRECTV Regional Sports Network (RSN) fee lookup tool (zip code required)
 
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My Setup: 5-LNB SlimLine with SWM-16 | HR44-700 w/AM-21N | HR24-200 | H25-100 | H25-100 | C41-500


#19 OFFLINE   kevinturcotte

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

Also, another thing to check out is does each provider offer you locals, and offer them in all in HD? Being as you're in Cincinnati they probably both offer them, but they may not offer them ALL in HD.

#20 OFFLINE   celticpride

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 03:24 PM

carl6 hit it on the nail make sure you get the channels you want i made the mistake of leaving directv for verizon fios 3 years ago,and to this day verizon only has 1 HD channel in the nba league pass!!:nono2: so i rarely get to watch my celtic games in hd on league pass,i'm trying to figure out a way to come back to directv , If i do i will ask for a hr34 and hr24 i dont think i want the client 31 ,but i wont rule it out just yet.




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