HR-20: Positives for me (Meaning the good things I have found and use with the HR-20. Other people probably utilize other benefits like OTA)
1. Having an HD picture can be spectacular.
2. The Prioritizer is a nice feature and allows for the user to make more decisions about what is/isn't recorded.
3. The UI isn't bad...It's different, but on par with the Tivo.
4. The HD holds a LOT more SD programming than my Tivo did.
5. I don't have to reprogram in SORT and 30-second skip after a device reboot.
6. The List with folders is a nice way to organize the programming.
7. The space remaining/used bar is helpful (hopefully, it's accurate).
I've had my HR-20 since mid-October 2006; had I found these forums when I purchased my widescreen, I'd have given thought to finding something else on e-Bay.
I agree with all seven positives ... it took me some time to get used to the User Interface and, since I still have my DirecTiVo upstairs, sometimes forget which is which. That's just me suffering from CRS ...
1. The Box is unreliable in handling its basic function. Recording shows. There are several problems with the box in this regards.
- The HR-20 has problems starting and stopping a show on time. It is almost mandatory to "pad" record requests if you want the first few seconds or last minute of a show.
- The HR-20 just will not record some shows that appear in its guide. Setting a Series Record is no guarantee that you'll record those shows. (See my other posts on Wiggles & Blues Clues)
- The HR-20 will not populate it's To Do list for hours (and maybe days) after you set a Series Record making it even harder to determine if your show will be recorded.
Way back when the networks actually had an abundance of quality programming (in the 70's and 80's), there was always three or four minutes following the credits of one until the start of the next. Now, the credits of the previous are rolling as the introduction of the next are starting ... (watch "Law & Order" on TNT - gawd, I hate that)
I've learned to pad a minute on each end of the show ... never hurts.
4. On occasion the HR 20 will shutdown a tuner without warning. Programs won't record and even their system test will not report the problem.
Yeah, that happened to me a couple of nights ago ... I came down one morning and, after turning on the TV, saw "No Signal" floating on the screen. Remote was non-responsive so it was RBR (red button reboot). This was happening on a more regular basis when it was connected to my home network; this past week, I was not connected to my home net.
10. The HR-20 Remote tends to suffer from key bounce...meaning pressing a key once may trigger that function/character being entered twice on screen.
I've had a couple of replacement boxes sent (back in the Fall and Winter) and on one of those occasions, a remote was included. I started using the second remove because it had larger keys as well as the hopes that the key bounce was related to the remote. Not so, I still get the bounce ...
11. Audio dropouts, audio/video sync issues and pixelation and other PQ issues.
Most times, it's usually with the HD channels ... happened several times during today's British Open on ABC.
I live under the flight path for northbound approaches to IAD (Dulles International) so I'm used to an occasional "blip".
12. Connecting the HR-20 to a network where UPnP is active will cause the HR-20 to lockup and cease operation. It will also prevent it from rebooting properly until the network cable is removed. This isn't a huge problem now because I don't need/want to play music or display pictures through the HR-20, but it will be if they require the network connection for their Video on Demand services.
I plugged mine in as well, especially since the techs said it should not be causing problems I had been having. What got me very frustrated was when I had shows recording concurrently with Season Pass and the second one (which started one minute later) didn't record for consecutive weeks. I disconnected the RJ-45 and things worked like they should.
I have a few things in my NAT'ed home network: Win2K desktop (wireless), WinXP Pro laptop (wireless), Linux Slackware File Server, Linux Smoothwall Firewall, Vonage VoIP box, Netgear Wireless Access Point, Netgear Print server connected to Epson Stylus 740.
As it's been a few months (and a couple of national releases) since I disconnected the RJ-45, I plugged it back a little while ago. If I start to have issues again, I'll take it back out.
(I know it doesn't have Dual Live Buffers but that really doesn't bother me all that much)
I've asked their techs about it many times over ... I can see where they sent it: circular file.
I hope that the coming change in ownership of DirecTV brings about some serious changes in the way they handle this device, quality control and technical support. They may be working on some of these issues and fix them in a future patch....they may not...DirecTV doesn't seem to acknowledge issues like mine in a knowledgebase or in their forums.
I've often asked the techs to check their knowledge base and while they might/might not acknowledge that the problem is out there, they won't indicate more than that. I find that frustrating as I'm a believer in having a documented knowledge base that is shared with all.
If some of you consider my evaluation unfair...remember it's MY evaluation of the HR-20s that I purchased and use. Your experience may be different for the better or worse.
I like seeing these kinds of posts because it shows I'm not the only one with issues ... again, if I had found these forums months ago, I may have saved myself a lot of frustration with the techs on the phone.
Something else I need to add to the CONS list: after a reboot, the program guide beyond the first several hours to one day is gone. Anytime my DirecTiVo reboots, the long term guide data was still there. I always worry that if a reboot occurs within a few hours of a Season Pass recording, the show won't record.
Overall, it's not a bad box; it still has bugs that need to be solved. I recall the techs telling me the HR-20 was rushed out to market with the expiring agreement with TiVo. Again, that's what *they* told me.