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The HR44 from an Outspoken Cynical DirecTV Critic


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54 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:33 PM

I replaced one of my HR24-500s with an HR44-500 Genie a couple weeks ago.  I also added two C31-700 clients.  I have to say that the 'First-Look' accounts on the speed of the HR44 so far have been right-on-the money!  Happy to say that using the HR44 I don't have to slow down to make sure it can keep up with keystrokes etc.  It is a breeze to use and makes my HR24s seem painfully slow to use.
 
I can honestly say that the HR44-500 I have seems to be as quick and responsive as the old Dish Network receivers where 6 years ago.  I didn't think this day would every come!  And I hope my friends in the Engineering department will leave things alone....  We don't need to slow them down and call it progress!
 
Here is the bottom line:
 
HR44-500 Genie:
 
The speed is there.  Even while recording 5 things it zips through the menus with ease.  Hitting ®ecord twice in the guide to set up a series nearly instantly gives you the double R indicating it has set up a series recording.  It is just fast.
 
5 Tuners are grand.  For us scheduling conflicts are a thing of the past.
 
Small and cool.  The thing is tiny and runs much cooler than my HR24s do.
 
IR/RF simultaneously.  I can finally use my Slingbox again!  Haven't really used it since I switched back to DirecTV from Dish Network because I needed RF and the other HR receivers can't do RF and IR at the same time.  Great to have Sling up and going again.
 
Did I mention this thing is fast?  Finally!
 
The disappointments - but are overcome by the speed:
 
Caller-ID is still whacked.  You'd think they would either fix caller-ID or just remove it.  If I enable it a get 'ghost' calls like so many others have mentioned.
 
New remote can't control the audio on my Denon receiver like previous remotes could.  The good news here is that because the HR44 can do simultaneous RF/IR I can use my programmable IR remote there and use the RF remote in the next room that I also have a TV using the HR44.  Stupid but not a deal-killer.  They also need a lighted version of the new remote - hopefully that will be coming soon.
 
Trick-play as in Fast-Forwarding remote recordings from my HR24s doesn't use the 'auto-correct' to jump back a few seconds when coming out of Fast Forward.  It starts playing from the spot you hit play at and you have to backup a second or two.  This is an improvement over how my HR24s handle it in that they jump back further the longer you are Fast Forwarding - sometime as much as 30-40 seconds or more back!  Local playback works as expected - just not remote recordings.
 
C31-700 Client:
 
Size is great.  Tiny little box is easy to hide.
 
Full control of the Genie.  Unlike using another HR as a client to the Genie you have full control of the Genie from  the clients.
 
The downsides of the clients:
 
Remote response is not great.  Not anywhere near as fast as using the Genie itself.  Back to slowing down to make sure the client executes remote commands correctly.  Honestly not as bad as I expected.  Much better on mine than on my neighbors HR34/C31 setup.
 
Takes a tuner away from the Genie.  This is by design but if you have a house full of kids and TVs the Genie will essentially become a two tuner DVR.  You can have up to 3 clients max.
 
If the Genie fails you're done.  If the Genie has a problem the clients are useless.  If you don't have any other receivers you'll be without TV until your Genie is fixed.  Again, this is by design but keep it in mind if you go the Genie/Client route.
 
I've also had couple quirks with the clients.  A few times when I've tried to play recordings from one of my HR24s the preview window will start playing the program fine but the menu stays up for 10-12 seconds (as the video continues to play in the windows) and then I get a message that 'no packets received' so and so and the video stops.  The same recordings play from the Genie itself fine and later in the 2 or 3 times it has happened the recordings worked fine. Not sure what the deal is there.  
Twice I've had to unplug the power on one of the clients because everything seems normal but there is loud static coming through along with the regular audio.  Turning it off and on doesn't fix the static.  I have to actually unplug the power from the back of the client and the noise stops and all is well once the client boots up again.
 
Conclusion:
 
For me the HR44 is a no-brainer.  The speed alone makes it worth making the change from an HR24-500.  It may not be perfect but it is a huge step forward.  Let's hope some update doesn't slow things down like has happened so many times in the past!
 
The clients are a mixed bag and as others have said in the past the clients are best suited for less used TVs, spare bedrooms etc.  I suspect most would ok with the slower performance but if you do more than just turn it on, pick a channel or recording and watch TV the navigation can get annoying.
 
My neighbor has an HR34 that he mostly likes but I've used it quite a bit and for the most part the remote response is slower than my HR24s which is why I didn't try an HR44 sooner.  He has one client and it can be painful to use at times....  Like when the HR34 is recording multiple things and you try navigating around the guide on the client.  It jumps around and the response is not always the same making it even harder to use.
 
If you are considering an HR34 or an HR44 my advice would be if you have the option to wait for an HR44 to be available it will be well worth the wait just for the speed.  If HR34s are not available in your area I'd wait.  You won't be disappointed.  The HR34 is noticeably less responsive to the remote and you have nothing to gain by going with the HR34 unless you just can't wait.
 
I look forward to the day DirecTV will allow us normal people to have 2 Genies.  I'll be replacing another HR24 with and HR44 when that happens.
 
Basically I'm a happy camper and will continue to be as long as my HR44 continues to perform as it has been for the last couple of weeks.  To keep things real I do have to mention that I was not under contract and the new HR44, two C31 clients and installation where given to me at no cost other than a 2 year agreement.  I don't think the fact it was essentially a free upgrade has blurred my vision....  The HR44 is very fast and responsive.  That is simply undeniable.  
 
Thanks DirecTV and great work on the HR44! 
 


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#2 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:38 PM

I should sit down, I'm about to faint.  :D


THIS SPACE FOR RENT

#3 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:42 PM

I should sit down, I'm about to faint.  :D

Sorry, my bad.  I should have started out by recommending you sit and have the smelling salts handy!


Edited by Mike Greer, 31 August 2013 - 12:42 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   gio12

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 01:10 PM

Glad you happy, but I have an HR34 and I don't have ANY speed issues like you mention. Its the best DVR I have used yet. I am about to throw my HR22 out the window because of the HR34.

If DIRECTV ever lets you have 2 Genies, I might be willing to pay retail for an HR44. FYI, never paid full price for a DVR yet.



#5 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 01:22 PM

bd388dbdf703abf7dcd76fdc546611f6.jpg


If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#6 OFFLINE   jimmie57

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 02:09 PM

Nice write up. Glad to hear that you now have fast equipment and are happy.


DirecTV customer since 1996 - Current :Slimline 3 SWM,   HR24-100 HDMI to 32" Sharp LED,
HR24-100 Component cables to 46" Samsung LCD & Optical Cable to Yamaha AVR, H21-200 HDMI to Yamaha AVR & HDMI to 52" Mitsubishi LCD


#7 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 03:33 PM

Glad you happy, but I have an HR34 and I don't have ANY speed issues like you mention. Its the best DVR I have used yet. I am about to throw my HR22 out the window because of the HR34.

If DIRECTV ever lets you have 2 Genies, I might be willing to pay retail for an HR44. FYI, never paid full price for a DVR yet.

I had to dump 3 HR22s because I couldn't stand to use them any longer.  I know that feels!

 

My neighbor's HR34 is not as painful to use as my HR22s used to be...  At least not as long as you don't have an HR44!

 

A different neighbor of mine had and HR34 with clients that Dish Network paid most of his ETF so he could go back to Dish.  He couldn't stand to use the clients at all and had to keep rebooting the HR34.  That was earlier in the life of the HR34 before the HR44 was out...  I think...  The neighbor that I've more recently used the HR34 at doesn't have all that trouble but his HR34 is noticeably slower than my HR24s and not anywhere close to the speed of my HR44.

 

I don't think most people would 'pay' to switch from an HR34 to an HR44.  I'm not sure that even I would pay full price to go from and HR34 to an HR44....  Well, maybe! 



#8 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 03:34 PM

bd388dbdf703abf7dcd76fdc546611f6.jpg

It's happened before!  It may even happen again!



#9 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 03:34 PM

Nice write up. Glad to hear that you now have fast equipment and are happy.

Thanks, the HR44 is great so far!



#10 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 05:13 PM

Ok ill bite why the heck didn't you also get c41s?


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#11 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 05:17 PM

Interesting post from the thread starter but he failed to mention that the HR34 and HR44 are "equal" where it really counts. Both provide the same audio/video quality. Both have the same recording capability. Both have 5 tuners. Both have a 1TB hard drive. But I'm sure those who spend endless hours channel surfing and menu hopping will agree with you Mike. :sure:   


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#12 OFFLINE   TorinTPG

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:34 PM

Ok ill bite why the heck didn't you also get c41s?


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I had no experience with the C31...I've heard there are issues. Is there a big difference between the 31 and 41?

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#13 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 07:04 PM

I had no experience with the C31...I've heard there are issues. Is there a big difference between the 31 and 41?

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pretty much the only difference is the ability for the C41 to use the RF4CE remote technology.


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#14 ONLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 08:17 PM

Glad you're happy now, Mike! 


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#15 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 09:08 PM

I had no experience with the C31...I've heard there are issues. Is there a big difference between the 31 and 41?

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What peds said.


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#16 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:10 AM

Ok ill bite why the heck didn't you also get c41s?


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That's just what the installer had....



#17 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:11 AM

Interesting post from the thread starter but he failed to mention that the HR34 and HR44 are "equal" where it really counts. Both provide the same audio/video quality. Both have the same recording capability. Both have 5 tuners. Both have a 1TB hard drive. But I'm sure those who spend endless hours channel surfing and menu hopping will agree with you Mike. :sure:   

"equal" in what really counts to you maybe.  Not even close to "equal" in what matters to me.



#18 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:29 AM

"equal" in what really counts to you maybe.  Not even close to "equal" in what matters to me.

I had them side-by-side and "sure" the 34 isn't a 44, but the difference wasn't that much.

 

I'm currently using a HR21-100 and so I do know what SLOW is. :lol:


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#19 ONLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 12:01 PM

Mike-

 

If you still want to pursue speed differences between the two Genies, why not time the various key operations on each unit and post the results? 


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#20 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 12:05 PM

"equal" in what really counts to you maybe.  Not even close to "equal" in what matters to me.

Yeah Mike, we know. For you channel surfers and menu hoppers speed and response is all that matters.


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