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5 days with DirecTV ... some observations

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Mr.72, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. domingos35

    domingos35 Icon

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    Jan 11, 2006
    U Need to have your eyes checked
     
  2. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 30, 2007
    I've only had Dish for about a month after having DirecTV for several years. Unlike the OP, I can't tell any difference in HD PQ between the two. I've never experienced any audio or video dropouts (except rain fade), pixellation or compression artifacts. Dish's SD PQ is much better than D*'s to the point that it's actually watchable. I did have some rain fade early on when it got cloudy, but I re-peaked the Dish myself and that issue went away. I suspect the OP may have had alignment issues because the HD PQ difference is negligible, to my eyes anyway.

    I do like Dish's Guide better. The graphics are very sharp and detailed, and you can display 3 hrs and 7 channels at once. Paging through the guide also goes faster because it doesn't repeat the last line at the top when you go to the next page. You can skip forward or backward in the guide a specific number of hours with only 2 button presses.

    If someone with a Sony 60" SXRD will post a picture of an HDNet test pattern from D*, I'd be glad to post one from Dish for comparison.
     
  3. E91

    E91 Godfather

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    The answer to your question is pretty obvious. Lots of people care, since it is the topic being discussed here.

    But, as far as PQ is concerned, I personally think D* is a significant upgrade (although I have no idea why).
     
  4. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Cincinnati
    The one thing I like about the Dish menu (assuming it's the same on current versions) is recording time left. When I see I have 83% left, that means nothing to me. I know I have plenty, but would love to see # of HD and SD hours.
     
  5. Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

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    Feb 2, 2007
    I would be interested in someone showing me how to manage the recordings on the web for DirecTV the way I did with my Dish VIP622.

    So far I can't tell how to do things like:

    1. create a "timer" (Dish parlance) for a TV series, set its priority, options such as how many episodes to keep, pre- and post-recording times, etc

    2. create a one-time recording for a football game and extend the end time by 1.5 hours

    3. reshuffle the priority list

    4. identify recording conflicts and manually skip items that are in conflict (for example, let's say the same basketball game is playing both on a local affiliate and also on NBATV ... they would both be recorded since they are different programs but I only want the one with the local broadcasters...)

    5. delete recordings, scheduled recordings, create complex searches, etc.

    ??

    All of this I could do with the VIP622 remotely.

    And for the wiseacre who pointed out that we are here to watch the programming, well since I don't sit in front of the TV and watch live TV programming EVER, then the ability to quickly (and especially remotely) set up recordings and manage the DVR content is very critical if I am to ever watch a program.

    Here is an example. My 2nd job is as a church musician which means I spend about 10 hours at church on Sunday with a 2-hour break in the middle of the afternoon. So let's say the guys in the band want to come over to my place to watch a Sunday afternoon football game, which we will all miss in real time, since I am the band member with the nice TV and big game room. The inability for me to set a recording with extended ending time from my Android phone while I am at church makes this impossible on DirecTV but I did it all the time with Dish... Suffice to say I don't spend a lot of time at home in front of the TV... 99% of the time I spend watching TV it's with programs I set up to record remotely.

    So these are improvements or enhancements that DirecTV could probably easily make, and I hope they do because I am stuck with them at least for the next two years. Overall I like the DirecTV package better, but in some ways Dish had them beat cold.

    I'm sure I'll get used to the quirks of the HR24's user interface as long as I can find a way to get things done. Having to be in front of the TV to do any real DVR programming may be a potential deal breaker...
     
  6. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Cincinnati
    The remote stuff does have a long way to go. But, I'm fairly confident it will get there. The extended recordings are one area. If you set a football game to record from the DVR, it asks you if you want a 30 minute extension automatically.

    One thing to keep in mind, when you are doing a remote scheduling, you are not actually connecting to your DVR. It's a system at DirecTV that then sends a command to your DVR.

    I also wonder how much is patent related. Did Dish have that functionality before they bought Slingbox?
     
  7. kmcnamara

    kmcnamara Icon

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    In theory, I agree with you. The problem is that the amount of recording time left is an estimate in the extreme. Different programs take up different amounts of disk space depending on their content. A 3 hour football game would generally take up a lot more space than 3 hours of a talking head news program and the unit doesn't have any idea what kind of stuff you will be recording next.

    Also, it doesn't even seem to know how much space you've currently actually used. Let's say the DVR said I have 12 hours of HD recording space left. Then I deleted 4 hours of HD content. You'd expect it to jump to about 16 hours of HD recording space left. Often It would end up at 13.5 or 14 hours left.

    So ultimately, the # of hours remaining was never accurate at all. I had a 622 for about 4 years and I waited for the estimate to improve and it never did.
     
  8. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    Doubt it is patented related. Fios has more dvr management remotely than does Directv. Dish probably got it with Sling and Fios is built around telecommunication so it make sense they have it. Directv would need to acquire or build the technology.

    I would like to see more remote management. I'm sure nomad will have it.
     
  9. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Simple solution...Record the game, plus whatever is on after.
     
  10. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Ill just chime in with a confirmation of one of the earlier posts...
    While *I* have no problems getting my DirecTv DVRs to record all the Nascar races and certain teams ballgames, I have to go to my parents house every time a new season of football starts to program his DVR for him (and Moms tennis matches), as they just have no clue and dont care, about setting up boolean recordings.

    DirecTv should make a simple way for a non-tech saavy user to record all the Green Bay Packer games without recording every show that has Green Bay in the description.

    Like a menu: Pick Sport, then Pick Team, then Pick (live games only, all content)...something like that.
     
  11. feets

    feets AllStar

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    middle of a...
    was with dtv made switch to dish 6 months ago 3 bad 722k receivers, the fox flap i made the switch back to dtv on thurs oct 28th it feels like i'm back home where i belong with dtv pq is better and the interface is not foreign to me like the dish setup.....their setup feels like it came from russia or some 3rd world country............:p but its what everybody gets used to..... and i'm glad i'm back........:D
     
  12. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

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    That is a good idea. A menu of preselected searches. They have some on the fly in smart search. A complete list would be good. No one has that to my knowledge.
     
  13. E91

    E91 Godfather

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    Oct 7, 2008
    One feature that DISH playlists had that my HR24 does not: Episode numbers. As an example, when Covert Affairs first came on the air, I was in the middle of a busy period at work, didn't get to watch any episodes. So, I recorded the entire season of series. Later, I didn't have to go through and figure out which episode was witch because there all numbered.

    And, yeah, sometimes you can just look at dates and watch the earlier episodes first. But, that only works if you are watching a series that is in first run. Sometimes, when a series is being rebroadcast shows are played out of order.
     
  14. jjlkpeterson

    jjlkpeterson Cool Member

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    A few things I have found after switching as well:

    1) Would like to see the guide expanded a bit to make use of my HDTV real estate. Would like to see more channels show up at one time, in addition to 3 hrs or so in the future. Heard rumors that the guid will be revamped shortly.

    2) Remote is used primarily for the guide and DVR control. Dish had a better remote in using DVR controls...I could do everything (DVR listings, play/pause/jump, etc) without having to move the remote in my hand.
     
  15. johns70

    johns70 Legend

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    Quick History Update:

    You were never just a USSB customer.

    You had to buy the equipment from DIRECTV and you could add USSB to your DIRECTV account for receiving certain(Premiums I think) channels.

    USSB merged with DIRECTV at one point so we only had one bill to pay instead of paying DIRECTV for certain channels and USSB for other ones.
     
  16. Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

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    Feb 2, 2007
    I think I know my own history.

    I bought the system outright. It was a Toshiba receiver and dish. We actually stood in line on a black Friday at Montgomery Ward before they opened to get it. I believe it was a few hundred bucks for the equipment.

    I never signed up anything with DirecTV until I was forced to when they bought USSB. Before that I ONLY had the "premium" movie channels and NO "basic cable" type stuff. So I didn't pay two bills, I just paid one. When DirecTV bought USSB, my bill quadrupled and I got a whole lot of channels I didn't want. I wasn't exactly pleased with this.

    Indeed I bought equipment from Montgomery Ward, it was made by Toshiba. The satellites at the time were owned and operated by Hughes (maybe still? I don't know) so the equipment was tech licensed from Hughes for operation with both DirecTV and USSB.

    USSB was acquired by DirecTV. If you care to read up on Wikipedia you can find all of the detailed history, including this:

    "In 1998, DirecTV acquired USSB for $1.3 billion."

    Might be worthwhile to verify your facts before correcting someone who has direct experience.

    FWIW I believe my USSB bill was less than $13 per month. I think we just got Showtime and TMC. When DirecTV bought USSB and I was forced then to purchase programming from DirecTV, my bill went to about $50/month.
     
  17. betterdan

    betterdan Icon

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    May 22, 2007
    So have you experienced any audio drop outs on Directv yet and did you have any on Dish? How is your audio hooked up and finally which receiver do you have?

    Thanks for playing 20 questions. :)
     
  18. Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

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    Feb 2, 2007
    I find sometimes when I use the 30-second skip and skip back buttons, the audio drops and I wind up hitting skip again to get it back. No other audio dropouts so far.

    I didn't have any audio problems or really technical problems of any kind with Dish. Occasionally the system would record a blank screen when there was obviously probably a program actually on, and this appeared to be a corrupt recording. Happened about three times over the years. Other than that, and the odd guide data being wrong (says a game is blacked out when it is not, for some reason Amazing Race always came on about 40 minutes after the guide said it would, etc.) the Dish stuff was relatively flawless.

    I have an antique Pioneer VSX-D498 receiver that I got along with my first DVD player probably in 1999. I have it hooked up with optical. Works fine. Just plugged it in where I had the Dish receiver in there before.
     
  19. johns70

    johns70 Legend

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    May 2, 2010
    :confused:

    With the guide up on the screen, highlight the program you want to record and press the record button on the remote, press the record button twice to tell it to record the show whenever it's on. Seems pretty intuitive to me.
     
  20. EW800

    EW800 AllStar

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    Oct 1, 2010
    E91: I'm with you on this. I switched from Dish to DTV a couple of weeks ago and really miss the episode numbers. Anyone know if this is something that maybe we could see in the future?
     

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