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Leaving AT&T for DirecTV


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164 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

Or at least I want to...actually I've signed up to have DTV installed on the 27th.
But now I'm wondering if I should cancel and wait it out a little bit longer, because I hate being new into something and then something newer comes out, so getting the free HR-34 is cool, but knowing the HR-44 is lingering out there ready to come to new customers bugs me.

I can wait, heck I've never experienced DTV, well back in 1998 I had it when I lived in Houston, but thats worlds and eons ago. So obviously there is no right/wrong decision here, just whats best for me and my needs. I'm just trying to feed off some chatter about the service and the new and old boxes, etc...feedback about being in this position would be nice.

Is now a good time to jump in or wait a bit longer and take advantage of the newer box coming out when it does? Etc...

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#2 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

The HR34 and 44 likely will be considered generally functionally equivalent, though the 44 is faster and has built in wifi. Is the speed a real consideration? Maybe not. If you are a channel surfer, or go all the way through the guide a lot to find something to watch (or wife is one etc) then it might be a consideration. Bootup is faster, but I would put it on a UPS anyway for power blips.

The problem is that it's likely that DirecTV won't guarantee a 44, even when it comes out. You would get either a 34 or 44.

I would go ahead with it now.

#3 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

The HR34 and 44 likely will be considered generally functionally equivalent, though the 44 is faster and has built in wifi. Is the speed a real consideration? Maybe not. If you are a channel surfer, or go all the way through the guide a lot to find something to watch (or wife is one etc) then it might be a consideration. Bootup is faster, but I would put it on a UPS anyway for power blips.

The problem is that it's likely that DirecTV won't guarantee a 44, even when it comes out. You would get either a 34 or 44.

I would go ahead with it now.


Ok, and thats about what I figured. Something new like this to me, I'm actually the one who channel surfs and goes through the menu, there is so much in there and thats just how I do it. My wife is the more organized one who learns how to better search for exactly what she wants etc, because I guess I never know what I like to watch, sometimes I just like to come across something and stop, etc...she's direct and to the show.

I won't be using WiFi as I have a switch behind the tv there and will be hard wired into my network, as all my entertainment devices are; TV, BluRay, XBox, AppleTV and STB.

Some other questions I had are about DirecTV vs. Dish and why those here chose DTV over DISH. I know its a very personalized question to answer, so looking for those personal reasons. My early and somewhat informed and educated reasons to lean towards DTV over DISH was PQ.

I just got a new Samsung UN60ES8000 LED TV and am not real happy with UVerse pictures I'm getting, they are grainy, pixelated, and washed out. Can I tell its HD, yeah, but I think it could be better. So I went looking around and hear DTV has the best quality picture of all the options I have, is this true? A nice HD GUI Menu, the better compression and signal of my options (UVerse, COX, Dish and DTV)?

The 1080i and 1080p signals would be nice to have. Does Dish not have these?

#4 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:10 AM

Also, there are some maintenance or protection plans out there, are those the same thing just different terms or is there two different plans? Something that was $5.99/month and something $19.99/month, what do they cover and which one to get? What are these good for?

#5 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

First, welcome to DBSTalk! There's tons of information here and generally good answers to your questions.

I think you'll find PQ to be much better than uV and probably best of all unless FIOS is available.

I'd go ahead with the 34 and also get the C31 for any other TVs you have. It's not the wait.

Check out the Protection Plan details on the D site. In general, the lower priced plan covers all your D equipment and free shipping of a dvr. The bigger plan covers most or all electronics in your house.

Enjoy your HD.

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#6 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

First, welcome to DBSTalk! There's tons of information here and generally good answers to your questions.

I think you'll find PQ to be much better than uV and probably best of all unless FIOS is available.

I'd go ahead with the 34 and also get the C31 for any other TVs you have. It's not the wait.

Check out the Protection Plan details on the D site. In general, the lower priced plan covers all your D equipment and free shipping of a dvr. The bigger plan covers most or all electronics in your house.

Enjoy your HD.


Thanks Dennis! Is the C31 the client box, the smaller thing that works with Genie? Sorry I'm so new I don't know all the model numbers yet. I'll go read up on the site about the protection plans, I just didn't know if I had one and when the new HR-44 came out if I could use it to get the old HR-34 replaced?

#7 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

I just got a new Samsung UN60ES8000 LED TV and am not real happy with UVerse pictures I'm getting, they are grainy, pixelated, and washed out. Can I tell its HD, yeah, but I think it could be better. So I went looking around and hear DTV has the best quality picture of all the options I have, is this true? A nice HD GUI Menu, the better compression and signal of my options (UVerse, COX, Dish and DTV)?

Last year I took U-who for a test drive, while keeping my DirecTV.
I was able to measure the bit-rates between the two for the same show.
U-Who came out at 2/3rd of the bit-rate DirecTV uses.
As to waiting for a new Genie, or not: I'd say the most significant difference is the size. If a small footprint is needed, then the newer one is the way to go.
There is a speed difference, but frankly it looks to be over stated in the other thread IMO. The user experience between the two may be only a 1/10th of a second in reaction time.
A.K.A VOS

#8 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Last year I took U-who for a test drive, while keeping my DirecTV.
I was able to measure the bit-rates between the two for the same show.
U-Who came out at 2/3rd of the bit-rate DirecTV uses.
As to waiting for a new Genie, or not: I'd say the most significant difference is the size. If a small footprint is needed, then the newer one is the way to go.
There is a speed difference, but frankly it looks to be over stated in the other thread IMO. The user experience between the two may be only a 1/10th of a second in reaction time.


And so the bit-rate is like the amount of data coming down to the box? Explain how bit-rate plays a part in my signal or picture quality etc?

#9 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:48 AM

Ok, and thats about what I figured. Something new like this to me, I'm actually the one who channel surfs and goes through the menu, there is so much in there and thats just how I do it. My wife is the more organized one who learns how to better search for exactly what she wants etc, because I guess I never know what I like to watch, sometimes I just like to come across something and stop, etc...she's direct and to the show.

I won't be using WiFi as I have a switch behind the tv there and will be hard wired into my network, as all my entertainment devices are; TV, BluRay, XBox, AppleTV and STB.

Some other questions I had are about DirecTV vs. Dish and why those here chose DTV over DISH. I know its a very personalized question to answer, so looking for those personal reasons. My early and somewhat informed and educated reasons to lean towards DTV over DISH was PQ.

I just got a new Samsung UN60ES8000 LED TV and am not real happy with UVerse pictures I'm getting, they are grainy, pixelated, and washed out. Can I tell its HD, yeah, but I think it could be better. So I went looking around and hear DTV has the best quality picture of all the options I have, is this true? A nice HD GUI Menu, the better compression and signal of my options (UVerse, COX, Dish and DTV)?

The 1080i and 1080p signals would be nice to have. Does Dish not have these?


Keep in mind, you can also do some personalization of the channels and guide, removing the ones you will never watch. Of course they can be added back in at will.

I chose DirecTV for a few reasons, but it ended up being the best choice for me based on things I've since learned. The time I did use a Dish DVR, I had trouble figuring it out, something I never had trouble with from a TW Scientific Atlanta, to a Tivo on DirecTV.

1080i is dependent on the channel. So ABC is 720p, NBC is 1080i. Only certain PPV is 1080p, no networks are. I don't know if Dish offers this.

#10 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

Thanks Dennis! Is the C31 the client box, the smaller thing that works with Genie? Sorry I'm so new I don't know all the model numbers yet. I'll go read up on the site about the protection plans, I just didn't know if I had one and when the new HR-44 came out if I could use it to get the old HR-34 replaced?


The C31 is the client that works with the Genie, it is not required. Benefit is that it is a non dvr that can pause/rewind live TV. A receiver like the H21-25 cannot do this. Downside, the C31 uses a tuner from the Genie when watching live.

At some point this year, the Protection Plan will allow for a free upgrade every two years. The question though is if the HR44 would count as an upgrade. But, in two years time, there may be a true upgrade. Look at the Protection Plan for Texas, we are getting something like this nationwide according to DirecTV's CEO. No timetable other than this year.

#11 OFFLINE   maartena

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

Or at least I want to...actually I've signed up to have DTV installed on the 27th.
But now I'm wondering if I should cancel and wait it out a little bit longer, because I hate being new into something and then something newer comes out, so getting the free HR-34 is cool, but knowing the HR-44 is lingering out there ready to come to new customers bugs me.


There is always something new. The HR34 is only about 1 year old now, and if you wait three months to get a HR44.... 6 months after that there is a HR45 on the horizon. New receivers get released almost on a yearly basis, just like computers, new phones, and other new gadgets.... You can wait, but you'll be waiting for "something new" for eternity.

Get DirecTV, have it installed. You can always upgrade to a new receiver later.
[Disclaimer] The definition of "soon" is based solely on DirecTV's interpretation of the word, and all similarities with dictionary definitions of the word "soon" are purely coincidental and should not be interpreted as a time frame that will come to pass within a reasonable amount of time.

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#12 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

And so the bit-rate is like the amount of data coming down to the box? Explain how bit-rate plays a part in my signal or picture quality etc?

PQ basically comes down to bit-rates. There are two ways to encode the signal, MPEG-2 & MPEG-4. Both U-who & DirecTV use MPEG-4, while a broadcast network still uses MPEG-2 over the air.
The more data that is sent, the more detail in the image.
This isn't any different than a Jpeg picture on your computer. The more you compress the image, the smaller the file size and the poorer the picture quality is.
A.K.A VOS

#13 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:01 AM

PQ basically comes down to bit-rates. There are two ways to encode the signal, MPEG-2 & MPEG-4. Both U-who & DirecTV use MPEG-4, while a broadcast network still uses MPEG-2 over the air.
The more data that is sent, the more detail in the image.
This isn't any different than a Jpeg picture on your computer. The more you compress the image, the smaller the file size and the poorer the picture quality is.


Ok then so side by side, how does the UVerse picture compare to the DTV picture?

#14 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

Keep in mind, you can also do some personalization of the channels and guide, removing the ones you will never watch. Of course they can be added back in at will.

I chose DirecTV for a few reasons, but it ended up being the best choice for me based on things I've since learned. The time I did use a Dish DVR, I had trouble figuring it out, something I never had trouble with from a TW Scientific Atlanta, to a Tivo on DirecTV.

1080i is dependent on the channel. So ABC is 720p, NBC is 1080i. Only certain PPV is 1080p, no networks are. I don't know if Dish offers this.


Is the Genie DVR based on a Tivo or is that older DVRs that DTV uses? My wife loved the Tivo when we had one with Cox Cable Cards (Fail), she loved that the Tivo "got her" as she used to like to say. I'm sure she'll like the DTV features. I saw some screen shots of the menus and stuff and the QuickTune is something I'm looking forward to! Having my most favorite and visited channels in a quick little list to choose from, boom. I think the menu and GUI are as important to me as the PQ etc...

#15 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

There is always something new. The HR34 is only about 1 year old now, and if you wait three months to get a HR44.... 6 months after that there is a HR45 on the horizon. New receivers get released almost on a yearly basis, just like computers, new phones, and other new gadgets.... You can wait, but you'll be waiting for "something new" for eternity.

Get DirecTV, have it installed. You can always upgrade to a new receiver later.


I agree with you here, I'm now just trying to justify my move to DTV or Dish from Uverse for good reasons. Pretty much my reason for shopping was PQ with a new LED TV, channel wise I think all I watch on UVerse now I can get on DTV or Dish. So its a matter of features, PQ, over all value.

#16 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

Is the Genie DVR based on a Tivo or is that older DVRs that DTV uses? My wife loved the Tivo when we had one with Cox Cable Cards (Fail), she loved that the Tivo "got her" as she used to like to say. I'm sure she'll like the DTV features. I saw some screen shots of the menus and stuff and the QuickTune is something I'm looking forward to! Having my most favorite and visited channels in a quick little list to choose from, boom. I think the menu and GUI are as important to me as the PQ etc...


My DirecTV Tivo was an ancient one. There is a "current", the THR22 that is based on the HR22. It does not support Whole Home. I think it's more the basic Tivo features, not the advanced stuff their best boxes have. It has a dedicated forum on here, I'd ask about it in there.

#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

Ok then so side by side, how does the UVerse picture compare to the DTV picture?

I have a good Sony TV, which can make a fairly poor picture look "not that bad", so my first impression of U-Who was it "wasn't that bad", which surprised me because I know they have a bandwidth limitation that DirecTV doesn't.
I'm only 200' from their VRAD, so I get full bandwidth, but was still limited to recording 3 HD shows while being able to watch a fourth live.
The thing that I noticed the most between U-Who & DirecTV was U-Who dropped frames, that DirecTV didn't. This causes jumping in the image.

There is another difference which is DirecTV has a native mode, which simply sends the decoded signal to the TV and lets the TV scale it to fit the screen.
U-Who doesn't and you select one resolution, but HD uses 2, 1080i & 720p.
With U-Who, if you're watching a 720p HD channel, and you've set the box for 1080i, then the box is changing this to 1080i.
Since my Sony does a better job, I'd rather it do this than the receiver.

PQ simply comes down to what the viewer sees [or not], so it's hard to give a meaningful answer for you.
The bit-rates are a fact, but everyone has spent a lot of money & time to see how much can be removed from an image before "the average" viewer notices/complains.
U-Who [from talking with them] is targeting to be better than cable, but not trying to match SAT service.
A.K.A VOS

#18 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

Another thing to consider is that all new equipment goes through growing pains.
These are fixed through software upgrades. Reading these threads you can see what's happening with the HR34.

So the HR44 will also have problems which will also go through software upgrades. I'd hope that by the time HR44 is widely available, the HR34 will be a lot more stable.
DirecTV since '96, Waivers for ABC, CBS, NBC, & Fox, HR23-700 & HR24-500/AM21, using ethernet based MRV.

#19 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

I had a test drive with U verse and overall it's not bad, DTV has a better HD picture and you can record more programs at the same time. The best part of u verse is the Internet witch I kept and the very fast channel changes.

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#20 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

Another thing to consider is that all new equipment goes through growing pains.
I'd hope that by the time HR44 is widely available, the HR34 will be a lot more stable.

In the 6+ months I've had my 34, "I'd say" it's gotten there.
A.K.A VOS




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