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Guest Message by DevFuse

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C31 for sale at SS


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108 replies to this topic

#81 OFFLINE   harperhometheater

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 01:19 PM

VOS, thanks for the quick reply

Also
Any news on the RCA dongle for the C31? Seems like they are still very hard to find.


I always wondered why, if all the pins are already there in the H25/C31, they didn't just make one cable that had both composite AND component connectors?
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#82 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:56 PM

Just tried it, right up to placing the order, it was a single line @ 99.00 nothing else on the checkout invoice


As I said, the receipt has a single line item.

Since I got hit in the incorrect preorder pricing thing from SS I got free shipping. I checked the order status page after the order to make sure the shipping had come off. That is the only place I saw them broke out and the numbers.

#83 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:09 PM

Hi everyone!

It's my pleasure to explain.

C31 Genie clients are packaged in very small boxes that don't include a remote or HDMI cable. We send them with a HDMI cable and remote at no cost to you, because we think that's the right thing to do.

Our warehouse uses the instructions in your order status to pull the right parts for you, so that's why you see it broken out.

Genie Clients are $99 with an included remote and cable. We don't have a part price for just the client without the cable. We've adjusted the kit prices to show the client at full price and $0 for the remote and cable, and I'm sorry for the confusion.


I suspect that this price and packaging is set by DTV so SS has no choice but to go along.

Whoever decided on this package should not make people pay for cables and remotes (the same can be said for DVRs or receivers). Especially if they view them at that kind of value. I have no idea how many people actually use the remotes that come with the devices but it's just wasteful to require them.

There should by default be a kit for the C31 or any receiver. That kit should include everything that a new customer would need including remote and cables. The device should also be offered "bare" - nothing but device and power cable.

The remote and cable cost might be relatively small for a full-price HR34 but it isn't for a C31.

Of course DTV inventory management is already really weak so this flexibility would probably break everything...

#84 OFFLINE   harperhometheater

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 05:11 PM

I agree, especially if you're "upgrading" from an H25 to the C31 and they make you return the remote that came with your 25, then pay for basically the same remote with the 31! I just got my 25s in August so I'd be pretty much double billed for the remotes :-/
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#85 OFFLINE   keebler21

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:40 PM

Update - My two C31 Clients are installed. The install tech had never installed them yet and hardly even knew what they were. After I explained and helped him hook them up and getting the order setup properly he \ we finally got them installed and working properly...

#86 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:42 PM

Update - My two C31 Clients are installed. The install tech had never installed them yet and hardly even knew what they were. After I explained and helped him hook them up and getting the order setup properly he \ we finally got them installed and working properly...


And how much you paid finally for the two client ?

Edited by P Smith, 12 October 2012 - 07:00 PM.


#87 OFFLINE   Rtm

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:45 PM

Roku 2 XD 1080p is $79.99 and can be had for much lower when on sale. Oh and it's owned. I agree way over prices for lease, but I think the C31 is definitely better than the H25 by all means.

#88 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

I agree, especially if you're "upgrading" from an H25 to the C31 and they make you return the remote that came with your 25, then pay for basically the same remote with the 31! I just got my 25s in August so I'd be pretty much double billed for the remotes :-/


Or when something dies and they come and swap it out. They have never taken the old remote in my case.

I've got two deactivated (HR20 and H20) units that aren't going to be collected so two more remotes.

Eventually I'll have to pay for electronic waste disposal...

#89 OFFLINE   TheRatPatrol

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:45 AM

OK, like I told VOS the other night when he tried to shove the C31 down my throat, let's just agree to disagree because the C31 has no advantages for my situation at present. What I want to know is will Directv allow me to activate a HR34, HR44, and HR24 on my one account so I can get more tuners and more hard drive space? What I really would like to do is activate 2 HR34s on my account but for some reason they won't allow that.

Probably because they'd have to swap out too many already installed SWiM 8's with SWiM 16's. Two HR34's would be 10 tuners. What may have been better is for the HR34 to have had 4 tuners, then you could have installed two in a SWiM 8 situation.

Right now DIRECTV is limiting one HR34 per account (yea there were a couple that slipped through before they put that policy into effect). All the rumors are that the policy will be changed in the future, but no definite date. As for activating more HR24's on your account, knock your socks off and activate as many as you want.

Is their answer to this the rumored 3 tuner HR44? One HR34 (5 tuners) + one HR44 (3 tuners) giving you 8 total, perfect for SWiM 8's already installed, and 3 C31's.

Of course all of this would be solved with an 8 tuner HMC Genie. :D

#90 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:36 PM

I think it's worth saying, RVU is the future direction for all of this. It's not proprietary information, it's just obvious. Just like DIRECTV first made SWM optional, then made it mandatory for new installs, and now has both a DVR and receiver that are SWM only, I think you can expect to see the same thing happen with RVU. And it's a good thing, in my opinion.

There will always be retailers who will sell (lease) you additional equipment designed for the DIYer or someone who wants to service an older installation. But moving forward RVU gives the vast majority of users exactly what they want:

-DVR features in every room in a small, quiet box
-5 tuners (the most common install now is HR24 + 3 H25 == 5 tuners)
-the possibility for a "no box" install (if Samsung ever approves the 2012 TVs)
-lower electric bills

I understand that high-end users like us won't be happy with 5 tuners. That's why you can get an HR24 through your choice of sources.

To characterize this as DIRECTV pushing something bad on us that we don't want... I just have to disagree.

And to be 100% clear that is my opinion and not that of any other entity I represent.

well sports bars and hotels RVU will not work.

As it was far to few tuners. And the HR 34 can only put 3 different shows at the same time.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#91 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 09:42 PM

Probably because they'd have to swap out too many already installed SWiM 8's with SWiM 16's. Two HR34's would be 10 tuners. What may have been better is for the HR34 to have had 4 tuners, then you could have installed two in a SWiM 8 situation.


Is their answer to this the rumored 3 tuner HR44? One HR34 (5 tuners) + one HR44 (3 tuners) giving you 8 total, perfect for SWiM 8's already installed, and 3 C31's.

Of course all of this would be solved with an 8 tuner HMC Genie. :D


can the hardware do 8 tuners on the same box?? maybe it's to much IO on the HDD or to much CPU load.
I want CLTV / CLTV HD on direct tv.

#92 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:54 AM

can the hardware do 8 tuners on the same box?? maybe it's to much IO on the HDD or to much CPU load.


Any how many simultaneous playback streams? HR34 is 8 streams (5 record, 3 play). At an average 12mbit/sec each that's ~100mbit/sec (or ~10MB/sec) for all. That's nothing for HDD or CPU.

A bigger problem is the layout of the data on the disk and how much seeking needs to be done. Seeking is a major performance block. A good filesystem can put all the write streams in the same general area to avoid seeks. Playback is the problem as the programs can be anywhere on the disk. Can only buffer so much. Eventually the seek time of a spinning disk is the limit.

Given enough $$ any number of streams could be supported.

MRV/RVU playback is limited by the bandwidth of DECA. I'm sure there is a post somewhere that states what the DECA bandwidth is; it's probably max 100 mbit. Pseudo real-time requirement probably makes far less than that the practical limit.

All these factors are decided based on cost/value/demand sweet-spot. 5 record and 3 play is probably about right for a typical "advanced" home. (9 possible viewing locations too)

No matter what size is chosen it will be too big for some and too small for others. There is no avoiding that. So it seems a bit odd that DTV would even create the HR34 (I have one and like it). One would think a smaller building block that can be scaled in smaller increments would be better - assuming one has the software to make multiple units behave (aggregate) in a user friendly way. For example, why not have a stack of multiple HR24's in the basement with C31s that transparently access all of them. By transparent I mean the user doesn't know or care which DVR is recording a given program. In enterprise computing this is called "load balancing". If DTV would have taken this approach they could have easily implemented redundancy (two "bricks" mirroring each other) so that one DVR could fail and not lose anything - not impact user experience at all.

#93 OFFLINE   keebler21

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

It was $49.00 for each C31 from directv... I ordered two. The tech also included the HDMI cables and RF remotes for free...

#94 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:23 AM

Any how many simultaneous playback streams? HR34 is 8 streams (5 record, 3 play). At an average 12mbit/sec each that's ~100mbit/sec (or ~10MB/sec) for all. That's nothing for HDD or CPU.

A bigger problem is the layout of the data on the disk and how much seeking needs to be done. Seeking is a major performance block. A good filesystem can put all the write streams in the same general area to avoid seeks. Playback is the problem as the programs can be anywhere on the disk. Can only buffer so much. Eventually the seek time of a spinning disk is the limit.

Given enough $$ any number of streams could be supported.

MRV/RVU playback is limited by the bandwidth of DECA. I'm sure there is a post somewhere that states what the DECA bandwidth is; it's probably max 100 mbit. Pseudo real-time requirement probably makes far less than that the practical limit.

All these factors are decided based on cost/value/demand sweet-spot. 5 record and 3 play is probably about right for a typical "advanced" home. (9 possible viewing locations too)

No matter what size is chosen it will be too big for some and too small for others. There is no avoiding that. So it seems a bit odd that DTV would even create the HR34 (I have one and like it). One would think a smaller building block that can be scaled in smaller increments would be better - assuming one has the software to make multiple units behave (aggregate) in a user friendly way. For example, why not have a stack of multiple HR24's in the basement with C31s that transparently access all of them. By transparent I mean the user doesn't know or care which DVR is recording a given program. In enterprise computing this is called "load balancing". If DTV would have taken this approach they could have easily implemented redundancy (two "bricks" mirroring each other) so that one DVR could fail and not lose anything - not impact user experience at all.


You could continue evaluate file system/seek bottleneck (XFS) if you will take in account a factual size of one block of recordings: 16 MB.

I recall there are simulation tools: so input physical parameters like 3 Gbps interface speed, drive's 64 MB cache size, 5 mS seek time and the 16 MB chunk size for reading/writing you could build a model what will shold sustain 16 HD streams of 1080p24 format.

#95 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:39 AM

well sports bars and hotels RVU will not work.

As it was far to few tuners. And the HR 34 can only put 3 different shows at the same time.


I think RVU will be great for sports bars actually. Who's to say you won't be able to have 4 HR34s on one commercial account?
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#96 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

My receipt has one line item.

Will see if I get 3 things in one box or 3 separate packages. I would assume it's broken out because that is what they pick in the warehouse for shipment.


Got it today. 3 separate items. Bare generic HDMI cable. RC65X remote and batteries in a bag. C31 and power supply in their own box.

Big sticker on box with number to call for activation. It's a SS number. But after selecting activate receiver from their automated system it forwards to DTV. First person didn't have a clue what I was talking about; forwarded me on to someone else. Both people spoke perfect english, no distracting background noises, very professional. (I mention this because it's not my usual experience.)

Last guy was confused. He had no order in his system. Said he probably couldn't activate it. Said that C31 was an installer-only option. Asked how I got it. Was surprised that SS activation number sent me to DTV. Said he was in "Case Management". After a little nudging and my unhappy tone he was able to get it going - after I gave him the ID/serial of C31 and MAC address of the HR34. Said he would call in a couple of days to see if it was working ok.

Seems to be working except can't delete programs. Will wait overnight to see if it improves (new C31 software?).

-- for the cable and remote cost
++ for improved DTV customer service
-- for DTV "systems"/"procedures" still being a mess

Still think it's far more complicated than it should be for a consumer device. Apple is able to register products and authorize iTunes and App accounts without ever talking to someone.

#97 OFFLINE   lzhj9k

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:20 PM

Got it today. 3 separate items. Bare generic HDMI cable. RC65X remote and batteries in a bag. C31 and power supply in their own box.

Big sticker on box with number to call for activation. It's a SS number. But after selecting activate receiver from their automated system it forwards to DTV. First person didn't have a clue what I was talking about; forwarded me on to someone else. Both people spoke perfect english, no distracting background noises, very professional. (I mention this because it's not my usual experience.)

Last guy was confused. He had no order in his system. Said he probably couldn't activate it. Said that C31 was an installer-only option. Asked how I got it. Was surprised that SS activation number sent me to DTV. Said he was in "Case Management". After a little nudging and my unhappy tone he was able to get it going - after I gave him the ID/serial of C31 and MAC address of the HR34. Said he would call in a couple of days to see if it was working ok.

Seems to be working except can't delete programs. Will wait overnight to see if it improves (new C31 software?).

-- for the cable and remote cost
++ for improved DTV customer service
-- for DTV "systems"/"procedures" still being a mess

Still think it's far more complicated than it should be for a consumer device. Apple is able to register products and authorize iTunes and App accounts without ever talking to someone.


I too had the same activation problem. I activated two on Friday and my last one this morning. What throws them is no order in their system, they have to manually enter the C31 serial number and MAC Address from either the label on the end of the box or the green label on the bottom of the C31. I was transfered everytime to the HR-34 Group and they knew what steps to take to get them activated. In fact today, "Sylvia" said she knew what needed to be done and we were done in minutes this morning. She was very good..

You might want to check to verify Whole Home is activated on your account via the website cause if it is not activated my understanding is you won't be able to delete from the C31 ?? Another recent installation had the same problem as you...

Edited by lzhj9k, 18 October 2012 - 09:35 AM.

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HR-34  HR-23  H25  2-C31 Clients and 1 C41 Client


#98 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

Correct. With regard to deleting via the C31, check on the HR34 under Whole Home if it shows Authorized or not. If not, you will need to contact DirecTV to get that done. If it is, check the sharing options to verify that remote deleting is turned on.

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#99 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

Seems to be working except can't delete programs.


It was my mistake; I had not allowed deleting in whole home setup.

Things seem to be working fine. Yesterday we moved the HR34+RAID to the basement and we now feel a great relief at the "loss" of all the noise in our living room!!

After just a couple of days I'd say this is a pretty good device/solution. Definitely slower at responding to remote actions than the HR34 was. Hope they can improve it. If not it's within reason and I can adapt.

I'm generally pretty harsh on DTV but the HR34 and C31 are moving in the right direction. Still has some software issues to get ironed out; not yet to the level of stability that the HR24 has.

#100 OFFLINE   ZPrime

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:38 PM

Since there is a lot of C31 discussion in here, I was wondering if any of you know how it is "authorized" to the HR34? For example, say I were to get an HR34 and a single C31 from DTV to make sure I had everything active and setup correctly. What is stopping me from buying two more C31s and hooking them up to other TVs? They don't have access cards like a normal H/HR box.

Does the HR34 have a list of "authorized clients" that DTV has to update so it won't allow control from any random C31 off the street?

I just hate the idea of having to pay extra for additional TVs when all of the actual logic is in the HR34. I would have less of a problem if the C31s were cheaper (say $3/mo?), given that they lack tuners. Don't get me wrong, I love the consolidated client/server setup, I just don't like that a client that is otherwise "useless" costs the same as everything else.

While I'm asking C31 questions - can they do normal trickplay operations (play/pause live TV, etc), or do they act like an H* box that is live-only?




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