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DirecTV interface performance / MIPS SoC limitations? Frame-buffer bottleneck?


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#26 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:15 AM

Directv has the slowest buggiest equipment.
Show me a box that's slower. I want to see!


Last time I saw one, the TWC Navigator was pretty bad.

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#27 ONLINE   damondlt

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 08:26 AM

Last time I saw one, the TWC Navigator was pretty bad.

Maybe we can Youtube it?

Scientific Atlanta boxes from out Blue ridge cable were very responsive.
Dish 722k I had for 3 years lighting quick and loaded with so many features.

Sure we love Directv, we love the receiver options, programming options, Sometimes the Price, But that doesn't mean were should have to over look the same Receiver issues.
Directv wants to be named the best, then nothing should be unturned.

I hear the same things all time, I love my Directv, But the receivers are slow, sometimes they freeze.

Look at the threads here, look at the reviews.

I'm all for a good solution to help Directv's HRs

Blue Ridge Communticatons

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#28 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:21 AM



Hopper commercial focuses on its 3X speed advantage over Genie

Now DirecTV could invest money in optimizing the code to make it faster, or waste money on advertising against Hopper. I think they should sink money into making the platform fast.

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST:  NickJR, Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, We, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, BBC World News, Sundance, 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

 


#29 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:50 AM



Hopper commercial focuses on its 3X speed advantage over Genie

Now DirecTV could invest money in optimizing the code to make it faster, or waste money on advertising against Hopper. I think they should sink money into making the platform fast.


I think the UI should be left alone or we'll suffer the consequences we always do with any major changes. All I ever wanted was something better than a VCR. You have to admit the HRs are better than any VCR. Gotta be careful what you wish for with D*.

Rich

#30 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:08 AM



Hopper commercial focuses on its 3X speed advantage over Genie

Now DirecTV could invest money in optimizing the code to make it faster, or waste money on advertising against Hopper. I think they should sink money into making the platform fast.


You'd think that Dish Network would be using the 'speed' of their receivers in all their marketing... At least in the bullet point comparisons with each commercial.

I saw a Hopper for the first time last week and it beats the pants off even my HR24s. I'd say their 3x faster is pretty conservative. It's pretty crazy to hit a button on the remote and get instant response from the receiver!

#31 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 07:12 AM

I think the UI should be left alone or we'll suffer the consequences we always do with any major changes. All I ever wanted was something better than a VCR. You have to admit the HRs are better than any VCR. Gotta be careful what you wish for with D*.

Rich


I'm with you Rich, the last thing I want DirecTV doing is another major overhaul like they did with the HDGUI. Even the simple updates since the HDGUI make old problems return only to be fixed (again) over the next few updates. Getting pretty old...

I think the fix is to just upgrade the hardware - leave the software as-is and speed up the slow-software by increasing the speed of the hardware. Maybe that's what they've done with the HR44 - I guess it won't be too long and we'll know.

Short of a hardware fix maybe DirecTV could steal some engineers from Dish Network!

#32 ONLINE   ejbvt

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

I have never experience such terrible guides as the the Time Warner Cable guide. You haven't seen buggy, laggy, or unresponsive until you've used that thing.
TV: Directv HR44/AM21, Terk HDTVo, LG 42" 3D, 2 Samsung TVs
Internet: Xfinity/Comcast w/ESPN3 access
Phone: AT&T Samsung Galaxy 3
Other: Denon AVR591, Panasonic 3D BluRay, Panasonic DVD w/tuner, Phillips VCR

#33 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:29 PM

You have to admit the HRs are better than any VCR.

My JVC VCR skips commercials.

Gotta be careful what you wish for with D*.

In this, you speak the truth.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#34 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

I think the fix is to just upgrade the hardware - leave the software as-is and speed up the slow-software by increasing the speed of the hardware.

This would appear to be what DIRECTV was thinking with regard to the HR24 prior to the HD GUI. The HD GUI unequivocally proved this theory to be hogwash.

The answer lies in writing good code; not Rapid Application Development code and not jack-of-all-trades code.

Efficient and technically sound code will cost, but it will allow them to continue to recycle hardware that is otherwise going to have to be end-of-lifed for no other reason than it doesn't have the horsepower to run crappy code..

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#35 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:06 PM

The answer lies in writing good code; not Rapid Application Development code and not jack-of-all-trades code.


Kind if like how a flash based website / game can bring google chrome to 100% CPU usage and an entire older PC to a crawl?

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST:  NickJR, Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, We, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, BBC World News, Sundance, 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

 


#36 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:31 PM

Kind if like how a flash based website / game can bring google chrome to 100% CPU usage and an entire older PC to a crawl?

I was thinking more along the lines of Microsoft's CPU-devouing .net "technology". Flash is an admirable attempt at bringing widely disparate hardware and software platforms to a common multimedia code base.

DVRs don't need this so much as they're mostly running Linux variations with relatively comparable hardware give or take a some high-zoot graphics rendering hardware. There are trade-offs between having a single codeset across all platforms and having separate sets tailored to their respective platforms.

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -- JFK


#37 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:00 AM

This would appear to be what DIRECTV was thinking with regard to the HR24 prior to the HD GUI. The HD GUI unequivocally proved this theory to be hogwash.

The answer lies in writing good code; not Rapid Application Development code and not jack-of-all-trades code.

Efficient and technically sound code will cost, but it will allow them to continue to recycle hardware that is otherwise going to have to be end-of-lifed for no other reason than it doesn't have the horsepower to run crappy code..


Maybe so but why the HDGUI update then? They screwed up by going with the HDGUI software 'upgrade'. What did we get out of it? Color change and maybe crisp text that wasn't blurry to begin with. No more guide info or anything - just 9 months of debugging in an attempt to get back to a little less performance than before the HDGUI.....

Writing good code may come if the number of subs stops increasing or actually reverses course and goes down. Maybe they'll hire someone in management with a little pride - you never know! Until then it will be business as usual. You'd think 'Good code' would make sense but they are not hurting for money or subs so 'Mediocre code' is just fabulous.

If I had anything to do with DirecTV management I would be embarrassed - especially with the C31 clients... Talk about under-performance - wow - they should be ashamed! :eek2:

#38 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:04 AM

I was thinking more along the lines of Microsoft's CPU-devouing .net "technology". Flash is an admirable attempt at bringing widely disparate hardware and software platforms to a common multimedia code base.

DVRs don't need this so much as they're mostly running Linux variations with relatively comparable hardware give or take a some high-zoot graphics rendering hardware. There are trade-offs between having a single codeset across all platforms and having separate sets tailored to their respective platforms.


Maybe 'admirable attempt' but a failed attempt noless. The sooner Flash goes away the better the entire PC world will be. With Flash and Java general troubles and massive security problems I for one will be happy when there is not trace of them left on any computer anywhere!:D

#39 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:09 AM

You'd think that Dish Network would be using the 'speed' of their receivers in all their marketing... At least in the bullet point comparisons with each commercial.

I saw a Hopper for the first time last week and it beats the pants off even my HR24s. I'd say their 3x faster is pretty conservative. It's pretty crazy to hit a button on the remote and get instant response from the receiver!


I agree, the Dish Hopper is very fast in comparison to anything HR! And the newest model with Sling is even faster than the original, and done on a full GUI interface too!

But I do miss the simplicity of the D* GUI and the lists. E* has iconified every damned thing and it is a not pretty when trying to manage some things that lists are perfect for.

I have to wonder how Dish is able to get things so fast, and D* just doesn't seem to be able to.

The single thing that is the same between them when it comes to speed is channel changing. If the HR is set to Native Off and a single resolution, then the channel change speed is the same as Dish's equipment since that is all they offer.

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#40 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:11 AM

Writing good code may come if the number of subs stops increasing or actually reverses course and goes down. Maybe they'll hire someone in management with a little pride - you never know! Until then it will be business as usual. You'd think 'Good code' would make sense but they are not hurting for money or subs so 'Mediocre code' is just fabulous.


I think that for the majority of customers, even though the HRxx's are all pretty slow in comparison to Dish's equipment, it just isn't enough of an issue. For us geeks here it is something to talk about nearly every day!! :)

Lloyd
Receiver : Dish Hopper w/Sling & Super Joey, Genie
HDTV : Mitsi WD-73742 73" 3D DLP
Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#41 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

I agree, the Dish Hopper is very fast in comparison to anything HR! And the newest model with Sling is even faster than the original, and done on a full GUI interface too!

But I do miss the simplicity of the D* GUI and the lists. E* has iconified every damned thing and it is a not pretty when trying to manage some things that lists are perfect for.

I have to wonder how Dish is able to get things so fast, and D* just doesn't seem to be able to.

The single thing that is the same between them when it comes to speed is channel changing. If the HR is set to Native Off and a single resolution, then the channel change speed is the same as Dish's equipment since that is all they offer.


I also like the simplicity of DirecTV's GUI etc. Just think how fast Dish Networks GUI would be if it was the simple GUI DirecTV has. Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

I don't know how Dish does it either - and apparently for less hardware cost per box. It is cheaper to buy (and actually own) Dish Network hardware than DirecTV's hardware. Quite a mystery!

#42 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:29 AM

I think that for the majority of customers, even though the HRxx's are all pretty slow in comparison to Dish's equipment, it just isn't enough of an issue. For us geeks here it is something to talk about nearly every day!! :)


Agreed - unless it costs DirecTV subs it isn't going to change. Although the C31 clients bring performance to a new low. I think even people that don't usually notice or care about the speed are wondering what the hell is going on with those things! Even worse apparently the C41 clients are not any faster....:nono:

#43 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:46 AM

It's more than just slow GUI code. I can press all three channel numbers plus enter before I see the GUI do anything. Surely a slow GUI can't be solely responsible for being unable to put a number on the screen before I can hit two more numbers and hit enter. Maybe the CPU enters an overly aggressive power save mode and takes a long time to fully wake up?

Directv's HD GUI problems remind me of the continuing problems Tivo has had with the performance of their HD GUI on the Premiere boxes. In that case, it is flash based so I can understand the issue. Every Tivo Premiere runs Linux and all use the same hardware, so the only reason for using a cross platform solution is because it is the only GUI that could run on Linux the developers were familiar with. There are plenty of far faster GUI options available in Linux, but they probably used bargain programmers who only know Windows, so decided to go flash rather than hire people who can do the job right. Directv's GUI is slow even on the non HD GUI receivers like H20, so who knows how they managed to screw that up so badly. At least my Tivo Premiere gives me the option to run the classic SD GUI, which is much faster (but lacks some features and is no longer in active development)

Flash sucks, it is nearly impossible to fix its performance issues via a faster CPU because the software is so badly written. As of a year or so ago Adobe no longer develops it for Linux (that's why Android phones won't get updated versions any longer) so its performance will never get better. The only real fix would be for them to start over with a new GUI, programmed by people who know Linux and do it right. For maximum performance they'd use fbdev/DirectFB, but given the desire to run a remote GUI on the Genie clients, X Windows would be a better alternative, even if it isn't quite as fast - still far, far faster than flash. For those who aren't familiar with it, it does a local GUI but has a remote capability built in similar to Remote Desktop - except it has had that remote capability since before Microsoft released the first version of their Windows.

If we're lucky maybe developing a replacement GUI is already underway. If we're not, we just better get used to the current crappy performance, because flash doesn't seem to benefit much from faster CPUs. At least I know based on my quad core 3.2 GHz desktop running Linux that flash still sucks even with all that power to throw at it, so there's no hope for it in the type of CPUs you can put into a Tivo or Directv receiver.

From what I gather from a little googling, Dish also uses Linux. I'm not familiar with their receivers, but if the Hopper GUI is much faster than the Genie, whatever they're using, it isn't flash.

#44 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:49 AM

My JVC VCR skips commercials.In this, you speak the truth.


I had one that skipped commercials too. Had to leave it running overnight so it could process the commercials. Should have never wasted my money on it.

Rich

#45 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:55 AM

Maybe so but why the HDGUI update then? They screwed up by going with the HDGUI software 'upgrade'. What did we get out of it? Color change and maybe crisp text that wasn't blurry to begin with. No more guide info or anything - just 9 months of debugging in an attempt to get back to a little less performance than before the HDGUI.....

Writing good code may come if the number of subs stops increasing or actually reverses course and goes down. Maybe they'll hire someone in management with a little pride - you never know! Until then it will be business as usual. You'd think 'Good code' would make sense but they are not hurting for money or subs so 'Mediocre code' is just fabulous.

If I had anything to do with DirecTV management I would be embarrassed - especially with the C31 clients... Talk about under-performance - wow - they should be ashamed! :eek2:


It's like MLB. As long as there are fannies in the seats, they don't care that much about fielding a good team. The Mets learned that lesson the hard way.

As long as subs aren't bailing out en masse, nothing's gonna change.

And if they did bail out, where would they go?

Rich

#46 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:59 AM

Agreed - unless it costs DirecTV subs it isn't going to change. Although the C31 clients bring performance to a new low. I think even people that don't usually notice or care about the speed are wondering what the hell is going on with those things! Even worse apparently the C41 clients are not any faster....:nono:


It's always baffled me that people would use plain receivers when they could use DVRs.

Rich

#47 OFFLINE   cypherx

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:28 AM

I think my biggest gripe is that when you push a button your not sure if it went through. Then bam it goes through as well as any additional key presses you pushed since you didn't think it went through. Sure the DirecTV logo blinks when it receives a command... But I'm not always in a position to stare at that, especially when I'm staring at the screen. I think some visual feedback or indication ON SCREEN that the button command was pressed would make the system feel quicker. Some sense of context about the direction of where you are navigating in the GUI. For instance on the old SD boxes when you pressed guide, it sort of scaled smoothly onto the screen. Also like in the Xfinity X1 videos, there are some wait times due to the cloud nature of the system... But it's mitigated by animated selections, windows and other effects that at least give the end user confirmation of the reception of the button pressed. It feels faster and smoother, even though a stopwatch comparison would show about the same wait times.

Sure other things could be busy, but while they are processing and harvesting the data to bring up the menu, direcfb and OpenGL could target a transition which could be offloaded from the CPU due to video hardware acceleration. This way you see something is happening, and while that is taking place the CPU is gathering the data to present there. UI designers can use this to mask the slow response and eliminate the jarring experience of "did I push the button because nothing is happening... Oh wait there it is all at once 3 seconds later".

Also RVU 1.0 is all about cost. It's a shame it's bit mapped transmitted graphics. Something like Microsofts RemoteFX or how Xbox can be a full featured graphically rich "media center extender" while the core processing is running on a PC. Even x-windows like mentioned would have given DirecTV more headroom.

The HR44 has a much better processor so maybe paired with good efficient code, it can support clients smoothly. However I think an RVU 2.0 spec needs to address a remote GUI with hardware acceleration and server processor offloading. The TiVo mini is a good example of how the thin client contains a full featured Broadcom CPU (minus the RF tuning).

- > Link to my setup thread< -

My  DirecTV HD WISHLIST:  NickJR, Nicktoons, Revolt.TV, FXM, We, Oxygen, The Hub, Fuse, GSN, Sprout, GAC, Esquire, BBC World News, Sundance, 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

 


#48 ONLINE   Rich

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:30 AM

It's more than just slow GUI code. I can press all three channel numbers plus enter before I see the GUI do anything. Surely a slow GUI can't be solely responsible for being unable to put a number on the screen before I can hit two more numbers and hit enter. Maybe the CPU enters an overly aggressive power save mode and takes a long time to fully wake up?

Directv's HD GUI problems remind me of the continuing problems Tivo has had with the performance of their HD GUI on the Premiere boxes. In that case, it is flash based so I can understand the issue. Every Tivo Premiere runs Linux and all use the same hardware, so the only reason for using a cross platform solution is because it is the only GUI that could run on Linux the developers were familiar with. There are plenty of far faster GUI options available in Linux, but they probably used bargain programmers who only know Windows, so decided to go flash rather than hire people who can do the job right. Directv's GUI is slow even on the non HD GUI receivers like H20, so who knows how they managed to screw that up so badly. At least my Tivo Premiere gives me the option to run the classic SD GUI, which is much faster (but lacks some features and is no longer in active development)

Flash sucks, it is nearly impossible to fix its performance issues via a faster CPU because the software is so badly written. As of a year or so ago Adobe no longer develops it for Linux (that's why Android phones won't get updated versions any longer) so its performance will never get better. The only real fix would be for them to start over with a new GUI, programmed by people who know Linux and do it right. For maximum performance they'd use fbdev/DirectFB, but given the desire to run a remote GUI on the Genie clients, X Windows would be a better alternative, even if it isn't quite as fast - still far, far faster than flash. For those who aren't familiar with it, it does a local GUI but has a remote capability built in similar to Remote Desktop - except it has had that remote capability since before Microsoft released the first version of their Windows.

If we're lucky maybe developing a replacement GUI is already underway. If we're not, we just better get used to the current crappy performance, because flash doesn't seem to benefit much from faster CPUs. At least I know based on my quad core 3.2 GHz desktop running Linux that flash still sucks even with all that power to throw at it, so there's no hope for it in the type of CPUs you can put into a Tivo or Directv receiver.

From what I gather from a little googling, Dish also uses Linux. I'm not familiar with their receivers, but if the Hopper GUI is much faster than the Genie, whatever they're using, it isn't flash.


You want to see crappy performance? Try the UI at Hulu+, try the NetFlix UI, try a BD player or a VCR. I don't see anything terrible about the HRs as they stand now. I don't have a 34 or a 44, don't need anymore tuners and don't want clients that don't record, but none of my HRs is anywhere near "crappy" as far as performance goes.

Rich

#49 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:42 AM

It's like MLB. As long as there are fannies in the seats, they don't care that much about fielding a good team. The Mets learned that lesson the hard way.

As long as subs aren't bailing out en masse, nothing's gonna change.

And if they did bail out, where would they go?

Rich


Yep!

The only other choice is Dish Network. I prefer DirecTV (I'm sure they wish I didn't!) because DirecTV has Sunday Ticket, a tad better HD quality and MRV. Dish Networks receivers on the other hand are much much faster in everything and you never have to wonder if you need to hit RECORD again or not.:D

#50 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:46 AM

It's always baffled me that people would use plain receivers when they could use DVRs.

Rich


I think the only reason is that if you have an HR34/HR44 you can control everything from the client but not from the DVRs.

DirecTV likes the client idea because it saves them money. The clients must cost them $8 or so!;) And they get to charge the same as if they were receivers.

I personally wouldn't use a client because of what I saw yesterday. The C31 clients bring a new definition to 'SLOW'. Can't FFWD or even move up and down the menus and play list without the thing losing its mind! Pretty sad...




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