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A few questions from a potential sub...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by BenJF3, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    The time has come where I am taking a hard look at my TV options. I called DirecTV, but the CSR's weren't very helpful and seemed more interested in the sale than making sure it fit my needs. I've come to expect this as TWC's CSR's are oblivious.

    I am currently a Time Warner Signature Home subscriber and am happy with everything except the DVR/Software. It has become so frustrating to use that I am looking at alternatives. I'm sick of having to babysit the machine to make sure it doesn't miss recordings and even then it still does. Piss poor conflict resolution, laggy and just an abysmal excuse for a DVR. Very user un-friendly.

    Now, I'm putting up with it at this point because they have a better HD line up than DirecTV. D* is still missing some core channels like Tru TV HD, ID HD, H2 HD, DIY HD! They also don't carry all the locals in HD which Time Warner does, nor do they carry my "real" locals which Time Warner does. (Short of it is I'm in a split DMA and our "locals" are actually 40-50 miles away out of Syracuse versus Utica which is 20 miles away and actually covers our area. I figure I can go OTA for this and one of my questions will address a potential issue.

    Under my Signature Home package I get 2 Networked DVR's for Multi-Room viewing. Time Warner's multi-room is terrible! I have 4 available tuners, but constantly get conflicts due to duplicates recordings schedules at each separate unit. This happens because the DVR Series Manager is independent and doesn't show across each unit. Since you can't schedule remotely, when a family member checks the guide or Series Manager and doesn't see something they scheduled, they schedule it thinking they forgot or the DVR glitched out again. This issue has me very interested in the HR-34 with non-DVR units across the network. It's my understanding that you can schedule from any unit and they all see the same things as far as scheduling. Can any one confirm this? That would be a HUGE plus.

    Next is smartphone apps. I have a TWC TV app, which gives me Remote DVR management and the ability to view TV on my phone. However, the remote viewing only works while you are on your home network making it absolutely worthless. What type of smartphone apps does D* have and do they offer remote viewing?

    Third is availability of my locals. D* does provide most Syracuse locals to use, but I really need my neighboring Utica locals. I'd have no issue installing an AM21 to the HR-34 as I have great location for OTA reception. However, my question which D* CSR's were confused on is this. Will the HR-34 show those OTA locals in the guide and make them available across all the connected DVR's and have them available for recording? On the other hand, would D* provide me with both (Utica & Syracuse) locals since they do carry them?

    Does the HR-34 have the new HD Guide yet?

    I may be willing to overlook the lack of HD for a better experience as I basically rely on a DVR for my TV viewing because work rarely has me around for the actual broadcasts. Heck, without a DVR I might as well not have a programming package!

    What is the outlook for D* to get/add these basic HD channels? It seems odd that they were once the "HD Leader", but are now bested by cable ops (depending on your tastes and division). That and th general consensus is D* has a cleaner HD picture than TWC in our division.

    Any info is helpful and thanks for taking the time to check this out.
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    You can select two DMAs for OTA reception, but satellite delivery will be from your home DMA only. HR34 currently does NOT have the new GUI.
    Yes, you can schedule from any receiver (but not DVR) on the HR34, but do not believe there is any way to bring up the HR34's ToDo list on the remote receivers.

    Have you considered two Tivo Premiers with cablecards? They have a HD GUI, lots of apps, and with the new software just released, multiroom.
  3. RudeDogs-DTV

    RudeDogs-DTV Cool Member

    Feb 13, 2012
    I will only address the Local HD, DTV would like to have them all in HD but for some reason some networks will not let us have that feed, as a csr I am not told why but i can speculate maybe the channels have a deal with cable companies to not allow it to help them . Just like locals we have 94% of the nation now but there is 4% that will not allow DTV to carry there channels
    Mind you Its My Speculation and not a DTV fact
  4. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    No PPV or VOD, which is another reason I like Time Warner. Honestly, if I could get a fully functional third party box with VOD support, I would and not even consider a switch. I thought about going to an HTPC, but I need something simple for the wife and kids. If it were just me, I'd do a Ceton Infinity 4 build! I may be picking up a Tivo from a sub who hates it because he can't get his PPV on it, soI might try that.

    As for locals, if Time Warner gives me both DMA's why can't DirecTV? Even if they won't I'd likely be content with an OTA solution, but I need to know if the HR-34 will support the OTA feeds across ALL the receivers.
  5. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    The AM21+HR34 will allow the HR34 to record up to two different off-air channels simultaneously, or view an off-air channel Live. And your Whole Home DVR networked Receivers/DVRs will be able to view those off-air recordings from the HR34, but they won't be able to view live off-air channels.
  6. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Directv can't give you both DMA's because cable lobbied congress to allow only them to but not other providers...and it still is in effect. I believe your other question is you will need an Am21 on each other receiver that you want OTA live available on.
  7. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    D* offers Nomad, which lets you download shows to any portable device to watch when you're away from home, but it's not streaming (the advantage is you don't need an internet connection on your portable device, the disadvantage is you have to download shows ahead of time). You can also stream some channels you subscribe to via their own webpages (HBO to go, Cinemax to go, etc.). D* is also working (and some might be done) on streaming select channels via portable devices, but I'm not sure where that stands and I doubt it will be very channel.
  8. gcd0865

    gcd0865 Legend

    Jul 23, 2008

    The AM21N (as with the previous AM21 version) allows for the entry of two zip codes corresponding to two cities/markets/DMAs for stations you wish to receive via antenna. Of course, if your two desired cities are in different directions (such that you might need to rotate your antenna or switch among different antennas to receive those stations), that might present a recording limitation, as not all stations might always be receivable at a given antenna direction.

    As you may already know, the AM21 and AM21N OTA receivers obtain their station and programming guide data from Tribune Media's database at www.zap2it.com. Unfortunately, DirecTV has not updated its station and programming data from Tribune very well recently, such that some stations and subchannels (especially low-powered/religious/translators) and/or their programming data may not show up at all in your on-screen listings when the AM21 or AM21N is used with the H or HR24 and older series of main receivers. When this occurs, those stations/subchannels are literally not tunable by the AM21 or AM21N in any way, even by manual entry of the real or virtual channel number(s) for the station. Depending on how many OTA stations you need to receive, this may or may not be a limitation.

    However, it has been reported that the new HR34 main receiver, when paired with at least the newer AM21N OTA add-on receiver, has the ability to also scan for OTA stations received in addition to those provided by entering the two zip codes. Current reports from new users have advised that programming data is absent from the on-screen guide for stations added via the HR34's scanning, such that all recordings would have to be done manually for those stations. In addition, based on recent user reports, it does not currently appear that the AM21N+HR34's scanning can be done more than once for multiple antenna positions, which could be a limitation, depending on whether your antenna can receive all Utica stations (even if not well or with breakups) when aimed at Syracuse, so that the AM21N+HR34 could at least detect all of them and save all of them into memory in a single scan.

    It has also been reported that the OTA stations received by the AM21N are not distributed to remote tv's by the HR34, although current users are employing main receivers (such as the H24, HR24, etc.) at their remote tv's (which each have their own internal tuner), because the smaller remote client boxes (that do not have their own internal tuner) are not yet available for customers. When those client boxes come out (hopefully later this year), perhaps the removal of the separate tuner at the remote tv's will permit OTA stations from the AM21N/HR34 combination to then be shared with the remote tv's, although some predictions have said that this will not be the case even when the client boxes become available (apparently because it is a function of the AM21N/HR34 operation, independent of the remote client boxes). As I have a similar situation as yours, I am hoping that the AM21N OTA stations can be provided to the remote client boxes.

    This is my current understanding of the OTA situation; others can correct me if I'm mistaken about any of this. Hope this is helpful...
  9. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I didn't see this mentioned in the above posts... the HR34 doesn't have the HD guide but it won't be much longer. A couple months at most. I know that it definitely will.

    And yes, the HR34 will do a channel scan.
  10. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    Thanks for the info guys! Yes, I currently can receive all locals from Utica and Syracuse at my location. I just figured it would be easier for D* to provide them so I don't need a separate tuner at each box.
  11. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    You probably mean it would easier and more convenient for YOU if D* provided you with locals from both DMA's...right? :lol:
  12. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    But is the scan an official feature or what they may consider a bug to be fixed? Not that official features don't go away either.
  13. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    Somewhat, but it would benefit EVERYONE in my area who depend on both and would only be fair seeing as how the cable company is allowed to. It wouldn't cost D* anything as the signal is already here, all they have to do is allow boxes in Rome to see it. I have no real issue putting up a rooftop antenna to get the signal, but I shouldn't have to foot the bill for an AM21 at each outlet seeing as how I'll be paying a fee for each set that I don't pay now. It's too bad they can't just provide neighboring markets (it's really nice during retrans disputes!)
  14. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    In many areas it would cost D* because they would have to-again in many cases-expand the spotbeam footprint to cover both DMA's. The laws are what they are, I like most that know the truth, blame the cable co's and their crazy powerful lobbyists.
  15. BoostedBlazer

    BoostedBlazer Cool Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    Make sure you get an HD DVR and not an SD DVR if you sign up with DirecTv. My belief is that the R16 DVR's are good receivers but if you're looking at stepping up and improving the user experience you're definately going to want the HD DVR or possibly the HMC. The 5 tuners and PIP are nice but I would say you could get just as much enjoyment out of an HR24 with an external 1TB HDD and the ability to get the on demand through the internet.

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