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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Should I get a 921, HDTivo or wait for Voom DVR?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   pad971

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:21 AM

Greetings,

I am a new member of DBSTalk, so please forgive me for any faux pas.

My wonderful 13 year old, 32" Sony Trinitron XBR driven by a 721 is starting to give it up (aweful horizontal bars across the picture.) As such, I am making the move to HD. First thing is I bought a Samsung HLP5063W 50" DLP Monitor.

Now I need an HD source. My options seem to be:

1. Simply replace the 721 with a 921 and I'm good to go. That seems reasonable, unless you folks indicate otherwise.

2. Switch to DirectTV and get their new DVR. (Is there any significant difference between DVI connection and the HDMI connection?)

3. Wait for VOOM to come out with their DVR and go recorder-less until then. (who knows how long that will be?)

I would greatly appreciate any comments to support option 1 or honest, constructive criticism favoring the other options. Please support opinion with some factual experiences.

Thank you in advance.

-- Peter Desaulniers

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#2 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 08:42 AM

You're easiest option is to replace the 721 with a 921. Unplug the 721, plug in the 921.

Aside from that, there are several aguments for and against all cases that I'm sure will be expounded on in great and heated detail to the point that this thread will have to be closed by the end of the week.

But, before that happens, here's my take from the 921 perspective:

The 921 currently has problems with at least one OTA station in the Bay area (I'm assuming that you're in the San Fransisco area, looking at Sutro Tower for your OTA). My gut feel is that those problems will be resolved in the next software release due soon. The 921 currently doesn't have OTA guide data, although it will be in testing shortly on the 921, and available soon after that.
The 921 currently doesn't have name based recording, although that is also coming, possibly by the end of the year, but more likely early next year.
The 921 has one OTA tuner, while the HDTivo has 2.
Advantages for the 921: You don't need to swap out any hardware other than the receiver. The 921 has the fastest guide out there. If you like to use your guide, you will be sorely disappointed with the HD-Tivo. Currently, according to several reports, Dish HD channels are not nearly as compressed at Directv HD channels. But, Directv has announced that they are building 3 or 4 more satellites for the purpose of doing HD local channels over satellite. They are more than a year away that this point, though. Dish has announced they are buying 3 more satellites, but have given little to no indication of what they will be used for.

Bottom line - some people like the 921 very much. Some people like the HD-Tivo very much. My personal experience after using both boxes, is that I can't stand the interface on the Tivo's. I'm not in love with the 921 interface either, but for me, it's a more functional interface. I like the fact that the 921 is getting new software roughly every month (especially since it's needed it to this point). Directv has sent one new software version to the HDTivos since release many months ago.

HDMI and DVI cables are different, but converters are available to go either direction.

Now, with all of that said, I'm going to move this thread out of the 921 support forum, as it really has nothing to do with 921 support.
Mark Lamutt
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#3 OFFLINE   Capmeister

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 09:33 AM

Mark, why do you hate the TiVo guide?
--Cap

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#4 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 09:48 AM

Because compared to the guide on the 921 and the 721, the Tivo and HDTivo guides are abysmally slow. Painfully slow. And, yes, I know the arguments about how once you get all of your shows set up that you'll never use the guide again, and how the Tivo style guide isn't as slow as the grid style guide, and how if I used it for a couple of weeks I'd get used to it. But, even the Tivo style guide is slow compared to the 921 guide. And, I happen to be a guide user, just to see what's on. I don't have the Tivo mindset.

That's why. :)
Mark Lamutt
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#5 OFFLINE   Capmeister

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 11:08 AM

Interesting. I wonder if I can get used to it. I surf the guide a lot on my Dish boxes. What is the "style" guide?
--Cap

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#6 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 11:35 AM

Hi Pad and welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s

My advice. If you have the 721, the jump to the 921 will be easy both in equipment and interface. Using the Tivo interface is very different and might be more than you want to handle. I made the jump from a 721 to a Tivo last November and it took some time getting used to the new way of handling a DVR.

BUT, I will never look back. The HD-Tivo works wonderfully! All of the OTA guide data is there from day one. You will also have name based recording now instead of waiting. The HD-Tivo is also a very reliable machine and never needs a reboot except for software upgrades.

One of the main reasons why I also stick by the HD-Tivo is the fact that is has two OTA tuners. There have been several instances where I needed to record two OTA HD channels at the same time. Having only one OTA tuner can be a big drawback if you plan to record a lot of local HD broadcasts.

So there you have it. Just my two cents. Whatever you decide, you will love recording HD. :)

P.S. - If you haven't already, you might want to check out my review of the HD-Tivo and maybe visit our HD-Tivo forum to gather more information.

#7 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 04 October 2004 - 11:43 AM

Interesting. I wonder if I can get used to it. I surf the guide a lot on my Dish boxes. What is the "style" guide?

Mark was talking about the Tivo style guide which looks like this:

http://www.dbstalk.c...hd_stations.JPG

It's basically a text guide. Take some getting used to but IMHO, it's more functional than the grid guide.

#8 OFFLINE   mini1

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 11:52 AM

No question the HD DirecTivo is should be your pick. The 921 is still highly problematic, as you can see by the support forums it requires to operate. It doesn't even come close to the power of Tivo, which can run circles around the 921 or anything from cable. The HD DirecTivo is currently the best HD DVR on the U.S market. If you like to frequently re-boot, lose recordings, not be able to tune some local HD channels and more then the 921 is for you. If you want the best all around HD DVR made, which works as it should then the HD DirecTivo is for you. I erge you to read the support forums.

#9 OFFLINE   moviegoerman

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Posted 05 October 2004 - 06:44 PM

No question the HD DirecTivo is should be your pick. The 921 is still highly problematic, as you can see by the support forums it requires to operate. It doesn't even come close to the power of Tivo, which can run circles around the 921 or anything from cable. The HD DirecTivo is currently the best HD DVR on the U.S market. If you like to frequently re-boot, lose recordings, not be able to tune some local HD channels and more then the 921 is for you. If you want the best all around HD DVR made, which works as it should then the HD DirecTivo is for you. I erge you to read the support forums.


Ditto!
-Brian (Marietta, GA)
DirecTV Tivo HR10-250 DVR
DishNetwork 921 DVR - L211HECD-N, 140B, F052
DishNetwork 721 PVR
Channel Master 4228 8-Bay Bow Antenna
Samsung HLM5065 50" DLP
Samsung 931 1080i DVD Player
Onkyo TX-600-SR601 w/ Polk 5.1 Speakers




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