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CES 2013: Engadget posts a hands on for the HR44


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#81 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

Hi. Wow.

Since I usually prefer to have the "best", if it's affordable, I regularly compare/contrast the different TV & DVR technologies that are currently available. I've yet to find a DVR that exceeds the capabilities of the HR34 (now HR44) for my needs. Now, my high-end needs may not match anyone else's needs, but as I read your post, I wonder, because I'm under the impression that the HR44 is leading in the "high-end" space at the moment when I consider DirecTV, Dish, FiOS, my cable offerings, and TiVo ... all of which are available to me. And I've thoroughly researched this several times.

To review your points ...

Harddrive ... "The hard drive is far too small" ... while it comes with 1 TB, which meets my needs because I intend to have multiple, one per family member, once multiples are supported, others here have shown that very large eSATA implementations, even RAID, can be enabled. DirecTV just recently removed the 2TB restriction, as has been documented by some here at DBSTalk. Again, I don't have a need for it, but for everyone that does, now has a very high-end storage offering with the HR34 or HR44. I also can understand why DirecTV selected 1TB for the base unit, because 200+ hours of HD is probably a good base for J6P. You need to pick a base that's reasonable, but also provide an option for high-end needs.

Tuners ... "it only has 5 tuners" ... yep, that's true, and it seems to be better then everyone else, at least until the FiOS 6-tuner media server ships. For me, it's also better then the Hopper since DirecTV's 5 tuners are totally independent and there's no restriction tied to the major 4 networks, which would be a huge problem for me. I also prefer 5 tuners rather then 8 tuners, so that I can have one HR44 on each side of a SWiM-16 with other receivers, thus an HR44 and a few speedy H25 clients on each side, or an HR24 if needed. I like the high-end flexibility, where if it was 8 tuners, more then one would make pairing with H25's or HR24's more challenging.

Wireless ... "it offers wireless which everyone knows is unreliable" ... my view is that's just additional flexibility for those that don't want to run hard-wire for the internet connection. The HR44 already supports multiple options for connectivity to the internet, you can hard-wire Ethernet and use the HR44 as the CCK, you can hard-wire Ethernet and use a real CCK for the rest of your receivers, you can use DECA and a real CCK, or now there another option of using wireless. Lot's of high-end options, and also now a wireless option. Lots of flexibility.

Size ... "it has an outside power pack" ... it seems to me that it's the smallest of the high-end DVRs, which I love, especially if I intend to have multiple (once supported). It looks like DirecTV has taken the time to design a better more compact model with less internal heat, which for me, is high-end thinking.

Remote ... "new remote lacks some of the functions and convenience of the old remote" ... you might have something here, but I actually prefer the RC71, though I might be in the minority. It should be considered though that it appears that the thinking was to support high-end two-way protocols, thus some may consider the RC71 as targeting high-end needs.

Well, that's your list, and I'd probably add a few ...

nomad for me is a better high-end sync offering then the sync option in the new Hopper, based on those listing the Hopper sync restrictions from CES. nomad is also compatible with every DirecTV HR2x as well, and who knows what 2013 will bring.

MRV, multiple streams, from any HR2x, HR34, or HR44 through-out the home, it works great for those with high-end needs. The totally decentralized client/server architecture is awesome, especially with those with high-end setups.

Also, the HR44 does IR and RF concurrently, for those with Slingbox needs, it works great, you can use the new RF two-way capability and still have any Sling that you want.

Well, that's it for now, just figured that I'd post, because I always strive for the "best" and I always come to the same conclusion that DirecTV has the best current hardware, and I'll continue to compare as new technology ships ...


OK, let's just agree to disagree. I like Directv, but I am not in love with Directv. The problem with being in love is that you tend not to see faults even when you are on top of them. I think there are plenty of things Directv could improve on. We do agree on one thing,, they are the best of what is currently out there right now. I do not just blindly accept that though and I am always looking at alternatives that might better meet my needs.

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#82 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

OK, let's just agree to disagree. I like Directv, but I am not in love with Directv. The problem with being in love is that you tend not to see faults even when you are on top of them. I think there are plenty of things Directv could improve on. We do agree on one thing,, they are the best of what is currently out there right now. I do not just blindly accept that though and I am always looking at alternatives that might better meet my needs.

We agree. I also have FiOS TV to continually compare/contrast with my only other tier-1 provider, Cable is rarely competitive, and Dish can't compete in my geography due to lack of basic content like my RSNs. I'm hoping for much DirecTV enhancement in the mobile/cloud DVR management area, offline sync management and speed, and tweaks to the remote MRV Playlist capability. Have posted my thoughts in the 2013 wishlist thread.
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#83 OFFLINE   patmurphey

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:18 AM

...The HR44 with 5 tuners, a 1TB drive (with the option to expand well beyond that with an external eSata drive), wireless support to place it in almost any home location, and the fastest processor to date places it at the top of available DVR devices with service providers at this time.

Even the latest Dish HD DVR (Sling with Hopper) claims a 2TB drive inside, but only about 1TB is actually available for the end user for scheduled recording content...the rest is used for reserved buffered content of several networks on demand and other systemic storage...questionable in terms of their advertising....


The user space on the Hopper is 1.25TB and external storage is unlimited (for the account) 2TB, 2 connected at a time. Are you saying that HR44/34s make all of the 1TB available to the user. I think not. New Hopper has faster processor, wireless support and Sling built in.

#84 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

The user space on the Hopper is 1.25TB and external storage is unlimited (for the account) 2TB, 2 connected at a time. Are you saying that HR44/34s make all of the 1TB available to the user. I think not. New Hopper has faster processor, wireless support and Sling built in.


How do you know what processor is in the 44?

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#85 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:25 AM

Are you saying that HR44/34s make all of the 1TB available to the user. I think not.

A down & dirty "guess" comes out at about 70% for the user.
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#86 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

How do you know what processor is in the 44?

I was wondering the same thing...having seen both units firsthand for extended periods of time a few weeks ago...there is no discernible user experience speed difference, including menus, guide, etc.

The HR44 also can operate in wireless mode.

Note: The Dish deceptive advertising seen at CES recently about the Sling Hopper being 3X faster than the Genie actually was based on a comparison with the original (slower) firmware from months ago on the HR34 - which is now much faster. The HR44 is even faster still. Claiming to have a 2TB drive but only having a little over 1/2 that is equally deceptive. It would seem the Dish marketing folks need to get up to speed (pun intended).
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#87 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

How do you know what processor is in the 44?


But really, why not tell us what is in new HR44 ? I'm pretty sure you know.

#88 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

I almost want to cancel my appointment this coming Sunday so that I can wait for the HR44, it just feels like the right thing to do.

#89 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

But it would be highly likely that since it's considered a Genie, and in the same class as the HR34, DirecTV would not be able to guarantee you get one, even if you did subscribe when they are available nationally. Generally the only way to guarantee it is to have the installation set up directly with an installer that will do that.

#90 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

OK, let's just agree to disagree. I like Directv, but I am not in love with Directv. The problem with being in love is that you tend not to see faults even when you are on top of them. I think there are plenty of things Directv could improve on. We do agree on one thing,, they are the best of what is currently out there right now. I do not just blindly accept that though and I am always looking at alternatives that might better meet my needs.


As one of DirecTV’s biggest critics I have to agree with SOME of your thoughts although on this rare occasion I’ll have to side with DirecTV on most of your comments…

I do agree that they cater to “Joe average or Ma and Pa Kettle” as they should, sadly… They are in business to make money – period. I hate it but that is the truth. Their DVRs are too stinking slow for me – but they are going for “Joe average or Ma and Pa Kettle” and that crowd along with a good number of ‘high-enders’ don’t care.

If they want to cater to the high-end they’ll need to make some changes… Things like faster on-demand downloads, their pay-per-view would need to be full bit-rate blu-ray quality in both video and audio – as in loss-less compression on the audio, more functional and standard IP control, external drives that can be moved from one DVR to another and few more things like that…

5 tuners are good for by far the majority of even the high-enders. At least it will be when they allow you to have multiple HR34/44s. Storage capacity is an easy fix for a high-ender with external drives. Having the power supply external is kind of mixed blessing but for just about everyone it is a good thing.

Improvements found in the HR44 still keep DirecTV ahead of all the providers I can use. The speed (if real! I haven’t seen it myself) is an important thing for me. As is being able to use RF and IR remotes at the same time are. The wireless doesn’t really appeal to me right now as my house is well-wired but I think to many people it will be a welcome addition.

I am personally cautiously optimistic about the HR44.

#91 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I am personally cautiously optimistic about the HR44.

Just don't get three of them or you know one of them will give you fits. :lol:
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#92 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

Just don't get three of them or you know one of them will give you fits. :lol:


No doubt!:lol:

#93 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 10:56 PM

But it would be highly likely that since it's considered a Genie, and in the same class as the HR34, DirecTV would not be able to guarantee you get one, even if you did subscribe when they are available nationally. Generally the only way to guarantee it is to have the installation set up directly with an installer that will do that.


And thats not something a "new customer" can request huh, only if I were an existing customer who said I'd pay for one...right?

I think this is wrong of them, they should be able to give me the newer box upon request if I'm signing up and they are available.

#94 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

And thats not something a "new customer" can request huh, only if I were an existing customer who said I'd pay for one...right?

I think this is wrong of them, they should be able to give me the newer box upon request if I'm signing up and they are available.

A new install gets what's on the order "and" what's on the truck at the time.
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#95 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:00 AM

And thats not something a "new customer" can request huh, only if I were an existing customer who said I'd pay for one...right?

I think this is wrong of them, they should be able to give me the newer box upon request if I'm signing up and they are available.


This is a point if major disagreement on how things are handled, but no one can specifically request a particular box. A reseller like Solid Signal lets you order a specific model, but not anything more specific, at least last I checked.

#96 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 06:03 AM

A new install gets what's on the order "and" what's on the truck at the time.

This is a point if major disagreement on how things are handled, but no one can specifically request a particular box.

Yup...that's how things work.

And other providers have similar policies - no guarantees on specific model devices.
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#97 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:49 AM

A new install gets what's on the order "and" what's on the truck at the time.


That is why you need to get the Installer's Phone Number and call them before they come and ask them if they have what you want and ask for a Morning Appointment which helps to guarantee that they don't run out if they do have it on the truck.
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#98 OFFLINE   patmurphey

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:49 AM

... Claiming to have a 2TB drive but only having a little over 1/2 that is equally deceptive. It would seem the Dish marketing folks need to get up to speed (pun intended).


Oh, and DirecTV DOESN'T claim that they have a 1TB drive? Talk about calling the kettle black...

...The 2TB drive is used for a myriad of features including 1.25TB user storage and the advertised number of hours of programming that can be stored is accurate. Who needs to get up to speed?

#99 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

Oh, and DirecTV DOESN'T claim that they have a 1TB drive? Talk about calling the kettle black...


With DirecTV the customer gets 9/10 of the drive. With Dish the customer gets 5/8. There's a difference there.
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#100 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

Oh, and DirecTV DOESN'T claim that they have a 1TB drive? Talk about calling the kettle black...

...The 2TB drive is used for a myriad of features including 1.25TB user storage and the advertised number of hours of programming that can be stored is accurate. Who needs to get up to speed?

I don't think anybody in marketing has "clean hands".

Maybe a question might be "how dirty" are their hands?

A 2TB drive is twice as big as a 1TB drive, but the user only gets 30% more recording space. :confused:
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