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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The DIRECTV HD DVR - Year 6


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69 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

Wow a lot of great evolution in 6 years. Can't wait to see what the next 6 years brings!

Hoping for speed improvements changing channels and soft transitions between UI elements (like Comcast Xfinity X1, Apple iOS, Android, Windows Aero, Max OSX, etc...). Then maybe a user configurable mini-guide. Currently (and default) to 1 row, but I'd love to be able to adjust it to 2,3 or maybe even 4 rows max.

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST: Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, Up, Music Choice Play HD, Al Jazeera America, Military Channel, NASA

My DirecTV SD WISHLIST: MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Music Choice, Youtoo TV

 

---

HR44-500
HR24-200

 


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#27 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:54 PM

At least for me, future enhancements may be moving away from the DVR, to external items outside the DVR, such as cloud management/backup and nomad enhancements. Similar to the PC/laptop world, where you get to the point where performance is fine for everyone. Speedy, 1TB, multiple MRV streams, PIP, I'm just about there, but cloud and sync features very important.
DirecTV: Genie HR44, H25, CCK, GenioGo, SWiM-16 & SWiM-8, DECA to Gigabit Switch with FiOS (75/75)
FiOS: Roamio Pro's (2), Roamio Plus, Mini's (4) with Ultimate HD (My Roamio Thoughts)

#28 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

We came over to DirecTV (from Dish Network) in 2001 specifically to get the DirecTiVo. We had 2 Series 1 units and eventually grew to have 5 Series 2 DirecTiVos. It was with great trepidation that we got our first HD DVR in 2008. By the time we came aboard most of the serious bugs had been worked out, but there still a few interesting anomalies. We did wish for a fully functional HD DirecTiVo at times.

Now, with 5 DirecTV HD DVRs (including a HR34) we'd never dream of switching back to the TiVo. DirecTV has done a great job of building on this product line. I look forward to what the next 6 years will bring.

I do wish they would add one feature from the TiVos - the ability to transfer recordings from one DVR to another. This would make upgrading easier, and enable customers to salvage recordings when a DVR shows signs of imminent failure. Of course, swappable external drives would be better, but DVR to DVR transfer would be a pretty good partial solution.

Dish Network Customer from 9/1998-11/2001
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Current setup:
DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


#29 OFFLINE   TMullenJr

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

My first DirecTV DVR was the UltimateTV. I still think that was a great interface.

#30 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

At least for me, future enhancements may be moving away from the DVR, to external items outside the DVR, such as cloud management/backup and nomad enhancements. Similar to the PC/laptop world, where you get to the point where performance is fine for everyone. Speedy, 1TB, multiple MRV streams, PIP, I'm just about there, but cloud and sync features very important.


I can agree with you there Sixto. I would love to be able to create a favorites list or make some settings adjustments ONE TIME and restore it to every set top box. Either do it via the web or any of the dvr's / clients in the home.

I changed my package and I had to go through and fine comb my favorites. First box I cleared it and then added "channels I get". Big mistake... Took forever. Channels I get was completely wrong. Second box I opened up my iPad to directv.com and compared channel differences and just manually unchecked the ones I no longer get.

Also, although you can set recordings on your DVR remotely (ipad, iPhone, web, etc..), you can't MANAGE them. I'd love to be able to rearrange series priorities, make modifications to them, cancel certain things, look at how much space is left all from the internet or mobile app.

Also if you have a DVR in your DECA network and say an H24 or H25 in another room with MRV authorized... those H24 or H25's should be able to fully utilize the DVR in your home and display VOD screens and stream them directly, or save them to the DVR on your DECA network.

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST: Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, Up, Music Choice Play HD, Al Jazeera America, Military Channel, NASA

My DirecTV SD WISHLIST: MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Music Choice, Youtoo TV

 

---

HR44-500
HR24-200

 


#31 OFFLINE   rahlquist

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:08 PM

Would love to have a decent DLNA client. ;)

#32 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

At least for me, future enhancements may be moving away from the DVR, to external items outside the DVR, such as cloud management/backup and nomad enhancements. Similar to the PC/laptop world, where you get to the point where performance is fine for everyone. Speedy, 1TB, multiple MRV streams, PIP, I'm just about there, but cloud and sync features very important.


Is there any talk at all about allowing a sub to view any HDD recorded on any HR within an account? Also, is anyone thinking about changing the 2TB limit on any of the 2 tuner HRs?

Rich

#33 OFFLINE   Sixto

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

Is there any talk at all about allowing a sub to view any HDD recorded on any HR within an account? Also, is anyone thinking about changing the 2TB limit on any of the 2 tuner HRs?

Rich

Hmmm, thought someone tried that (>2TB) and it worked.
DirecTV: Genie HR44, H25, CCK, GenioGo, SWiM-16 & SWiM-8, DECA to Gigabit Switch with FiOS (75/75)
FiOS: Roamio Pro's (2), Roamio Plus, Mini's (4) with Ultimate HD (My Roamio Thoughts)

#34 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

Hmmm, thought someone tried that (>2TB) and it worked.


I try to read all the eSATA posts and I haven't seen any mention of that. I have 2TB drives in/on all 12 of my HRs. I'd have to buy a 3TB drive to try it. I don't really care about the limitation, my capacity far exceeds my needs. Just curious. Anything about the "within the account reading any HDD from any HR" thing?

Rich

#35 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

So far I recall only HR34 [perhaps HR44] support > 2 TB per drive ... I have 3 TB to test on older model like HR21 ...

#36 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

So far I recall only HR34 [perhaps HR44] support > 2 TB per drive ... I have 3 TB to test on older model like HR21 ...


Do hurry... :lol:

Rich

#37 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

DOING NOW !!! :) Perhaps need upgrade FW to latest version ...

EDIT: 0x5d2 doesn't support 3 TB, DL-ing 0x62c ...

EDIT2: Nope, no go; jinxed eSATA cable and DL 0x62c did stop at 52%; now trying DL a few times - cannot as no an announcement for it, DVR cannot find it without that. Damn !

EDIT3: Getting 062c after chasing it for whole hour ... ouch.

EDIT4: NO DISK or Disk not recognized (using Seagate Barracuda 3000 GB and BlacX on the HR22-100 guinea pig). Time to install it inside ...

EDIT5: Inside ... Error 14-793 :(

Edited by P Smith, 24 January 2013 - 02:33 PM.


#38 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:54 PM

The only thing I remember before HD DVRs is me saying "I'll never need on of those" :lol:


Me too. Then, within a week of getting the HR10-250, I decided that I couldn't live without a DVR in my guest bedroom, where I watch TV while on a treadmill, so I ordered a second DVR.

#39 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:01 PM

One is down: HR22-100 with version 062c doesn't support Seagate ST3000DM001 internally nor external with BlacX.

#40 OFFLINE   Surveyor40

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

Thanks Scott for bringing back so many memories. My first HR20-700 started with only one tuner activated, no OTA (yet), and a very buggy interface. D* dvrs sure have come a very long way since the " first " year. Makes ya wonder what the next 6 years will bring.

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17 year D* customer, LONG LIVE D*'s HDPC


#41 OFFLINE   Groundhog45

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:09 PM

Fun to see all of that again. Thanks. :D

Richard -- DirecTV since '97
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#42 OFFLINE   anopro

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

Ah yes memories DTV has done a great job with their HR series DVR's in fact I am still running a HR20-700 needed OTA as locals were not available then and it still works great. My favorite DVR was Ultimate TV but now looking back it could not hold a candle to what the HR's can do now.
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#43 OFFLINE   Tonedeaf

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

Remembering back to the days of Instant Cake and having MRV with my DirecTivo's and then moving to all HD-DVR's was a bit painful at first, but now is a pleasure. Still have all of my old DirecTivo's in the attic. As well as an old Samsung 360 receiver and even older RCA model receivers. Just hate to throw those things out.
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HR22-100(VOD/MRV) SWM/DECA connected via HDMI on Panasonic TC-P58S2
HR24-200(VOD/MRV) SWM/DECA connected via HDMI on Panasonic TH-50PZ85U
HR21-700(VOD/MRV) W/AM21 SWM/DECA connected via HDMI to Sony KDL-46V3000
HR22-100(VOD/MRV) SWM/DECA connected via HDMI to Westinghouse 37"LCD
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#44 OFFLINE   h4b1t

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

I love DirecTV DVR's but.. FOLDERS FOLDERS FOLDERS!!! =(

#45 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

I love DirecTV DVR's but.. FOLDERS FOLDERS FOLDERS!!! =(


What about folders?
DTV = Digital Television

#46 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:21 PM

Probably has something to do with the fact that the specific hardware plays such a small part in the experience. Creeping featuritis and sloppy programming have all but negated most hardware advances so discussing this chip versus that clock rate is really quite irrelevant if you can't do anything that will positively improve the platform.

Discussing chipsets does little more than support arguments about why brand X's DVR performance compares so poorly with brand Y's.

That is a good point.

The second most stupid move in the history of the HD DVR+ was how not ready for prime time it was when it launched. Maybe it did not make economic sense at the time, but they should have waited another year at least. It was HORRIBLE, and had a direct comparison to installed DTivos with a performance and reliability track record that only underlined that argument. It was hard to have much faith in where it would go, but successful later tweaking makes that one pretty forgivable. Launching it later would have at least masked its early incompetence and prevented having to overcome a bad reputation.

But the most stupid move, which is not forgivable, is what you refer to as "creeping featuritis and sloppy programming", which seems to have become the downfall of the elegance of this platform, which was pretty unbeatable in 2010, and has now devolved to the level of a garden-variety cable DVR.

And speaking of those "chips", those who manufacture DISH DVRs have the same access to the same off-the-shelf component parts as DTV does, which only points out the difference in ability to program a snappy interface. Elegant? Maybe not so much. Reliable? Again, probably not as reliable as the HD DVR+. But using the UI (DISH) is like driving a Lotus up Mulholland drive compared to a Yugo (DTV) with cement blocks in the trunk trying to navigate downtown San Francisco at rush hour; there is a lot of waiting at a lot of invisible stop signs. They really need to fix that, focus on that, instead of on whatever they seem to be focusing.

On the positive side, the most impressive thing about the HD DVR+'s history is how effectively the unit moved from being a disaster in 2007 to being the best DVR imaginable in about 2009 (only to see that wasted by recent developments, sadly). The up rev team, and not without significant help from this community and others, made a Herculean effort that was very successful. For once, those in charge of the DVR's future listened. Too bad they have gone tone deaf since 2010.

Another dead end, at least for me, is the server/client model. I can see how this might be attractive to a lot of customers, but it really only serves a subset of the customer base, plus brings with it the potential for a lot of problems that we do not have with the conventional DVR model. There are a lot of folks who want nothing to do with this technology as it is of no real benefit to them. To us, it is nothing more than a waste of valuable time and energy that could have been spent solving the existing problems this platform has. It is difficult to be happy about that.
It's usually safe to talk honestly and openly with people because they typically are not really listening anyway.

#47 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:13 PM

But using the UI (DISH) is like driving a Lotus up Mulholland drive compared to a Yugo (DTV) with cement blocks in the trunk trying to navigate downtown San Francisco at rush hour; there is a lot of waiting at a lot of invisible stop signs. They really need to fix that, focus on that, instead of on whatever they seem to be focusing.


I suspect this is due to the use of Java. I've never seen a Java application that wasn't slow - on any platform. I used to do software development on Sun (Oracle) Solaris (UNIX) enterprise platform. There are several examples in the administration and developer realms where the GUIs were rewritten in Java. They became slower, bloated, and uglier. The speed has gotten better as the typical CPU and memory size have increased substantially. But that is an enterprise environment; this kind of embedded low-powered set top environment is too underpowered to support this software technology well. On the plus side it's less susceptible to some classes of bugs.

Having committed to that path the only thing DTV can do is throw CPU and memory at the problem. Doesn't seem like a good path given that those are per-unit costs.

Another dead end, at least for me, is the server/client model. I can see how this might be attractive to a lot of customers, but it really only serves a subset of the customer base, plus brings with it the potential for a lot of problems that we do not have with the conventional DVR model. There are a lot of folks who want nothing to do with this technology as it is of no real benefit to them. To us, it is nothing more than a waste of valuable time and energy that could have been spent solving the existing problems this platform has. It is difficult to be happy about that.


Clearly they have work to do with this technology. When you do a simple network layering over an already sluggish technology you get double sluggish.

Despite not being thrilled with the extra level of sluggishness (and more bugs) the model is desirable for my household. My HR34, AM21N, and external RAID storage are at my wiring hub in the basement where they get the best air circulation and nobody hears the fans. We used to have that mess in our living room cabinet. The silence is priceless.

#48 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Are you sure it's in Java?


I think some of the delay may be mitigated by triple buffering graphics. Hardware accelerate the GUI rendering and take the load off the CPU. With frames buffered out, it won't choke so much when things are contending for CPU cycles in a particular moment. Break out the video layer and also buffer transitions (like cross fades or slide on / off screen ) to make the user feel as if a button press DID go through. The transition effect produced by video hardware acceleration hides or masks the fact that the CPU is processing the command. In essence it makes the UI "feel" more responsive because things on screen begin to happen at the push of a button. Look at any modern day operating system and see they all do it. Vista, win 7, win 8, OSX, iOS, Android and others. Xfinity X1 even accomplishes it which is a testament to the possibility of such an enhancement in a set top box (not to mention others like BOXEE). I mean if my iPhone can produce smooth rendered graphics in the palm of my hand using mere milliwatts of power on a tiny battery pack... Why can't a big honkin, power hungry set top box do the same thing?

In the end it's all about overall experience. I hope that there's enough headroom left where DirecTV can focus on finishing the polish on the HD-GUI and make the UI complete. Give it a little personality instead of push... wait... Screen disappear.... Screen redraw...

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST: Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, Up, Music Choice Play HD, Al Jazeera America, Military Channel, NASA

My DirecTV SD WISHLIST: MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Music Choice, Youtoo TV

 

---

HR44-500
HR24-200

 


#49 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:04 PM

Are you sure it's in Java?


No, I'm not sure.

I don't recall the details but the last time I upgraded storage and moved the contents I did see evidence of Java in the file system.

I can't imagine why they would use Java for some things and not the UI. JavaFX fits. It's an obvious platform for loadable apps too.

As for hardware graphic acceleration... depends on hardware capability at a minimum. I doubt they would tune for each box; probably using the lowest common denominator method across all boxes so it will be very low-end. Note that new iOS releases cause obsolete hardware a lot faster than DTV does.

For clients, RVU sends "bitmaps" (compressed one would hope) to the client for the UI. There isn't much hardware acceleration possible with dumb data like that. I doubt RVU is any better than VNC or the like which isn't saying much (heck, X11 used to be far better than VNC).

#50 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

there are a lot of info from Java modules in system logs ... you as proficient in it and could look into these and tell us how it goes ... take your original drive to your Unix station for the analysis




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