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Thinking of upgrading Directv - what receiver?

directv upgrade receiver

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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   BeeGee

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 09:15 AM

I need advice on Directv and the receiver options available. I am very new to the use of Directv equipment having moved in with my dad who has been a user since 2001. He is 88 y/o and has no idea about equipment, only that it should function and be simple to use.

 

Current equipment in use: H23-600 (main room), DSX-5500 (bedroom)

 

I wish to get him some new options within Directv like On Demand which requires a DVR but which DVR to get?

 

His entertainment requirements are simple, movie selections with no interuptions and a simple to use format.

 

I doubt he would use the 'record' feature or some of the other advertised feature mentioned on the Directv website.

 

I had contemplated getting him a Roku with Netflix as the movie selection there seems to be quite extensive but perhaps On Demand is just as good?

 

I'd like to call Directv for options but first I'd like to educate myself by getting some suggestions from real people who use these systmes. I hope some of you can help give me guidance.



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#2 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 11:45 AM

From a user's perspective, all are identical. Newer models have more features and more tuners. The interface is the same. So decide what your requirements are (how many tuners, how many TVs, how much recording space), and we can be more specific. Since you don't think you want a DVR, then you really have no choice but the same model you already have or a somewhat newer, smaller model (H23, H24 or H25). The other models are DVRs or work in conjunction with DVRs. Realize that adding DVR service will run you an additional $25/month (not including any discounts you manage to negotiate). This goes down to $21 later this month ($15 DVR service plus $6 for first box), in case you want to wait for that.

 

In any case, you really have no choice of the exact model you get. Whatever DirecTV has in the van is what you'll get.


Edited by mdavej, 01 July 2014 - 11:50 AM.

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#3 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:05 PM

I had contemplated getting him a Roku with Netflix as the movie selection there seems to be quite extensive but perhaps On Demand is just as good?

If movies are the goal, Netflix is cheaper than the DVR fee alone per month assuming that a respectable broadband connection is available.

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#4 ONLINE   jimmie57

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 01:21 PM

I need advice on Directv and the receiver options available. I am very new to the use of Directv equipment having moved in with my dad who has been a user since 2001. He is 88 y/o and has no idea about equipment, only that it should function and be simple to use.

 

Current equipment in use: H23-600 (main room), DSX-5500 (bedroom)

 

I wish to get him some new options within Directv like On Demand which requires a DVR but which DVR to get?

 

His entertainment requirements are simple, movie selections with no interuptions and a simple to use format.

 

I doubt he would use the 'record' feature or some of the other advertised feature mentioned on the Directv website.

 

I had contemplated getting him a Roku with Netflix as the movie selection there seems to be quite extensive but perhaps On Demand is just as good?

 

I'd like to call Directv for options but first I'd like to educate myself by getting some suggestions from real people who use these systmes. I hope some of you can help give me guidance.

I would be concerned that you will do more harm than good if you change him to an online service and another item to learn how to operate. My mother is 90 and she really does not like changing her stuff up. She would not use it if you set it up and showed her how to use it. Just too complicated for most people in that age group to deal with.

 

If I were you, which I am not, I would get him a DVR. One of the great things about it is if somebody calls on the phone he can just press the pause button and have his movie stop. Then when the phone call is over press play and not miss any of the movie or program he is watching.

He might also find that there are movies on after he usually goes to bed that he would watch. Just pressing the Record button will do that for him.

Almost no difference in what he is doing now.


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#5 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

I would be concerned that you will do more harm than good if you change him to an online service and another item to learn how to operate. My mother is 90 and she really does not like changing her stuff up. She would not use it if you set it up and showed her how to use it. Just too complicated for most people in that age group to deal with.

 

If I were you, which I am not, I would get him a DVR. One of the great things about it is if somebody calls on the phone he can just press the pause button and have his movie stop. Then when the phone call is over press play and not miss any of the movie or program he is watching.

He might also find that there are movies on after he usually goes to bed that he would watch. Just pressing the Record button will do that for him.

Almost no difference in what he is doing now.

 

If only I could get my father to do that. We once had something recording for him, and he thought you had to wait until it was over, like a VCR. He doesn't get pausing either, and he's only 70. Sometimes, even the basic functions are complicated. On the other hand, my mother runs circles around me in boolean recordings.



#6 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:35 PM

Realize that adding DVR service will run you an additional $25/month (not including any discounts you manage to negotiate). 

Actually it will go up only $10 (as of now) for DVR service.  TS already has HD receiver so they already pay for HD service and with a DVR WHDVR fee is not required.


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#7 OFFLINE   BeeGee

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 05:36 PM

Thanks for all the replies and ideas of about what I need to think. One thing I guess I should ask Directv phone people is, do I actually need newer equipment for upgrading to On Demand?  It was my understanding I WOULD require an upgrade to a DVR (even though I did not aticipate recording anything).

 

I had only considered On Demand as an althernative to Netflix, figuring it would be easier for my dad to use. Roku would require a learning curve. So long as he could use his Directv remote control for all functions, he is good to go.

 

I will now ask questions of the Directv people and hopefully get information and not just a sales pitch.



#8 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 06:19 PM

For VOD, you need a DVR and a good broadband connection. For PPV you can make do with a receiver.

The upgrade to a DVR doesn't have to preclude using a legacy receiver but Whole Home DVR service would.

The discovery process is often easier if you map out what you want to end up with (as opposed to where your starting) and have us suggest ways of getting there. In that way we don't have to ask a lot of questions to drag the goal out of you and you're likely to reduce the amount of time chasing down dead ends.
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#9 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 07:54 PM

His entertainment requirements are simple, movie selections with no interuptions and a simple to use format.

 

HBO, Cinemax, Showtime/TMC/FLIX, Starz/Encore, TCM, FXM (3AM-3PM ET hours; FXM Retro block), Audience Network, AXS.tv (brief intermissions every ~20 mins), HDNet Movies, MGM HD (intermission once or twice per hour), Shorts HD, Sony Movie Channel.

All of these networks listed have content available On Demand that are offered commercial free and uncut as well.  :righton:  :)  [MGM has some free 1080p/24 available VOD through channel 1100 and all commercial free/uncut]

 

 

Lifetime, LMN, IFC and SundanceTV movies are commercial free via On Demand but the linear channels are NOT.

 

 

*Of course most [but not all] of the networks listed above require an additional subscription per month which he may not currently have.


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#10 OFFLINE   BeeGee

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:45 AM

Thanks harsh and Coolman302003. Yes, my final goal for my dad is to give him content that is as interruption free as possible. He becomes very agitated with these extensive pauses while he is viewing something he is enjoying.

 

Movies and perhaps even a series program or 2 though he is not attached to any particular series programing. One last and major consideration is: it MUST have Closed Captioning. MUST! Dad is WWII vet - 100% disabled with service connected hearing loss (Gunners Mate on a destroyer in the Pacific) He has cc enabled on Directv now which is one reason I am exploring On Demand so thoroughly. Its integration into his current system, I would hope, would be seamless.

 

Netflix was a considered option because it too has cc and has a vast library. I am not sure of the available library on On Demand as I cannot seem to get a clear 'browse' of On Demand content as the On Demand channels do not seem to be enabled (1000 - 1890) I did look through the website to try to view some of what is offered and was not impressed with the total amount - perhaps close to 3000 titles. Netflix does seem to have much more content. Any opinions on the available content of On Demand would be helpful.

 

I believe the DVR from Directv would be an additional $10 per month and the DVR itself is also a cost ($199) but I am hoping to negotiate something with Directv. (dad tends to be very cost conscious to a fault)

 

It is my hope that On Demand will ultimately be what I am looking for.

 

All he needs is a good selcetion of movies, interuption free.



#11 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:56 AM

Honestly in the 30 or so years I've had cable or satellite, on demand has been consistently terrible. Sure they have thousands of titles now, but the vast majority is junk nobody would ever want to watch. Netflix has far more quality content. I predict you use on demand for a week and never touch it again.

I hope you're right about the DVR fee.

#12 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

Keep in mind that, when you're comparing On Demand content with content available on Netflix, you're talking about a lot of Pay-Per-View stuff.  Does your "cost conscious to a fault" father want to be spending $6-7 for a PPV movie?

 

Personally, I think that he will be far better off using the DVR as a DVR, identifying shows and movies that he wants to watch, select them to record (either on a one by one basis or as a full series link) and then he will always have something available to watch whenever he wants.



#13 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 11:33 AM

One last and major consideration is: it MUST have Closed Captioning. MUST! Dad is WWII vet - 100% disabled with service connected hearing loss (Gunners Mate on a destroyer in the Pacific) He has cc enabled on Directv now which is one reason I am exploring On Demand so thoroughly.

This is a whole other discussion and probably deserves a new thread such that the hearing impaired might recognize it.
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#14 OFFLINE   BeeGee

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:31 PM

I am in agreement with the mdavej assessment after having looked through the selection of On Demand movies. Not a lot of great titles from which to pick. I have not yet called Directv to discuss my needs and hope to do this soon. But I am not going to rush to do this until I am satisfied.

 

And as Bill Broderick mentioned, ppv (which we now have available at a cost - channels 120 -199) are not attractive at that price. The offerings are only perhaps 10 or 12 titles repeated several times.

 

Roku2 costs $70 and a subscription to Netflix is $9 or $10 per month however it would then take 2 remote controls for my father to manipulate, switching from his Directv service to the Roku box and its menu.

 

I have gained quite a bit of knowledge through this forum and am beginning to feel confident enough to ask some  reasonably intelligent questions of Directv and Netflix.



#15 OFFLINE   mdavej

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 08:50 AM

I wouldn't let remote juggling hold you back. A universal remote can provide a seamless experience among all sources. Just make a "Watch DirecTV" activity macro and a "Watch Netflix" macro, and let the remote handle all the details. Then it comes down to one button press and one remote to watch anything. The menus on each will be different of course, but both are simple to navigate.

 

Having said that, my own 80-year old father has had access to Netflix streaming for at least 5 years and has never used it on his own. All he has to do is press "Watch Netflix" on the remote, but he can't remember that. Not his fault, but that's the reality. On the positive side, he has no problem with the DirecTV DVR (maybe he learned how to use it before his memory problems). He records hundreds of things per month and manages them well.







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