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And so it ends...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV SD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by mikewolf13, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. mikewolf13

    mikewolf13 Icon

    Jan 30, 2006
    Well 23 months after I got my R15....

    I finally gave it to a friend (after full disclosure). It spent 4 months active and 19 months in a closet.

    I disliked the UI, but could have gotten used to it.
    It was the missed recording and repeated resets that sent it to the closet.

    I have seen nothing here to encourage re-activation and subsequent frustration with DTV over being overcharged for the protection plan (their fault) and the lack of Philly's CSN (Comcast's fault) have led me to likely move to FIOS TV

    I test drove the FIOS DVR at the mall and was pleased to see auto-correction similar to what I was used to, and quicker response time than my mom's cable DVR (also on a motorola box) which concerned me. I also found the Search results to be more like what was used to with my Dtivo more robust than the R15.

    I am dissapointed that the R15 was never able to deliver promised features in two full years like VOD ( or whatever you want to call it), remote scheduling, DIrecTV to go, let alone simply being able to differentiate channels I receive from those I don't, or record shows I tell it to. I love 2 button "season passes" but not when it doesn't actually record.

    What the HR-20 can do or what the CEs promise is irrelevant to me. I do not trust the DVR+ products. After two years, they have exhausted any goodwill about updates and upgrades.

    Will FIOS be better? I dunno. I like DTV content, channels, love the Sunday Ticket. But, I watch 98% of non-sports programming via DVR. And if I can't trust the DVR, then all the content in the world won't compensate for a failed recording.

    If DTV does in fact read these boards, understand that I am willing to pay an early cancellation fee (1 year ago got the HR10-250 free with ST) and move to FIOS after my experience in the last 2 years in lieu of the likely free programming and free HR20 to stay.

    I do not believe my experience and opinion to be unique and if DTV can take notice and make improvements,than we all may benefit

    A brief look at my postings will show, I have been critical (and satirical) but, IMO never ranting and bashing of DTV.

    Finally, the simple fact that DLB was not and is not a feature of the DVR+ line is a clear indication of the poor design of the product.

    It is a very popular feature and although not universally used, it offered no downside. I know people who never listen to AM radio..but it comes on every car stereo I've ever seen.

    If the next generation of DVR+ (whenever that is) does not include it, I will be shocked.
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    While I agree that upgrades to the R15 have been painfully slow in coming, they are now getting a little better.

    However, any comparison to the HR20 is not valid. They are totally different platforms, with totally different development teams, and different underlying software platforms. To not trust any DVR Plus product because of early experience with the R15 is being unfair to both yourself and DirecTV.

    Your R15 was in service for 4 months and on the shelf for 19. Were any of the in-service months recent, or are you basing your "it isn't getting any better" on other people's posts or experiences?

    Regardless, I hope you are happy with whatever solution you end up with.

  3. mexican-bum

    mexican-bum "Jack Of All Trades, Master Of Some"

    Feb 25, 2006
    Glad that you found something that you like. My grandparents have Fios and like it pretty well. Definitely not my cup a tea but thats my opinion:)
  4. convem24

    convem24 Icon

    Mar 11, 2007
    I have not missed a recording in 12 months and after CE upgrades I am pleased with my R15, I believe however the HR20 is a better DVR product that D* has built. I hope the R16 is a better product once it is released. I will probably pay a lease upgrade fee to change over to the R16 once the verdict comes out on the functionality of the R16. I know that customers have been frustrated with the R15 but my luck must be better than most. I have never had to go through a replacement from D* on mine plus I have a R15-500, which I have heard is better than the R15-300 or R15-100. So I guess it depends on which iteration of the R15 you have.

    In your situation in the Philly DMA (service area) satellite companies are legally prevented from Comcast Sports Net Philly because of a weird law that was in place at the time. Comcast sells the right for Verizon FIOS to broadcast CSN Philly but no other competitor so in your situation is Sunday Ticket more important or the content CSN Philly can give you. Personally I like more HD content but your situation is unique and difficult to deal with. Good luck either way!
  5. NorfolkBruh

    NorfolkBruh Legend

    Jun 9, 2007
    convem24: I think you might have missed his point. For the original poster, if you disliked the R15 you would absolutely have issues with the HR20. So many of the DBS folks make excuses for D* and this box. The fact that it is improving and it has improved over what it was a year ago does not excuse the fact it is STILL missing recordings or saying it DID record and you get an "error 3" or some other useless message. It's a DVR that has problems recording and if recordings are important to you then missing them is unacceptable regardless of the box.

    I am thrilled the HR20 is improving but like many folks on here I was an early adopter and remember the horror of missed shows. I work very hard, volunteer a lot, and enjoy my time watching shows I've recorded except... well... the HR20 DOES miss them and THAT is the posters point. He's tired of it. He also makes a point of DLB. It is IMPORTANT to him and the fact Earl has pointed out time and time again that DLB is HIGHLY unlikely to implement this is reason enough for him to move to something else.

    The fact that both of these units, the R15 and the HR20 are "improving" through the CE process is a good thing. The fact that the NR (national releases) are missing recordings, saying a program is recording when in fact it is not, showing error messages that don't mean anything to the subscriber and apparently nothing to the CSR level, Supervisor Level, or even Retention or Tech level folks at D* are EXACTLY why he is switching.
  6. redram38

    redram38 Icon

    Dec 6, 2005
    Millington Tn
    No missed recordings on my R15-500's in a loooooonnngggg time. Cannot even remember it has been so long. The updates did the trick and the CE's have made it even better
  7. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    I switched from DirecTV to fios and I'm very happy. I loved my directv service, but fios is better suited for me. All that being said, just wanted to give some info to the OP - just food for thought:

    1) You mentioned the search capability. I'll be honest, I found the searching on the moto DVR that verizon uses to be it's weakest aspect. There isn't too much flexibility in it's searching capability. For example, you can search by subject (say Movies), but there's no sub-topic you can add to that. There's no autorecord/wishlist functionality at all.

    That being said, they are rolling out their new guide s/w - everyone's supposed to get it by year's end (they hit some bugs, so they halted roll-out, and are applying bug fixes before resuming). There is some enhanced search functionality included.

    2) The amount of recording capacity for the DVR is pretty small. It has a 160 GB harddrive, which is small for an HD DVR. Made smaller by the fact that Verizon doesn't compress their signals. For example, on the R15, I noticed that 1 hour of SD would take about 1GB of space. On this DVR, you're looking at close to 3 GB/hour of SD recording. That's good because you get better PQ, but in one respect it's bad because you suck up alot of space per recording. And some HD recordings just really suck down space. Verizon is considering adding a capability for additional storage, but that's way down the road, if at all. I don't think you'll see additional capacity until they get their next gen of STBs - for which they recently submitted and RFP.

    3) You mention DLB - realize that the Verizon DVR doesn't support this either (currently... although it is being worked, from what I understand).

    4) One good thing, though, is that if you really hate the Verizon DVR, you do have an option - you can get a Tivo HD DVR and a cable card or two from Verizon and you'd be good to go.

    I don't want to hijack this thread, so I'll throw this out there. If you have any particular questions/concerns about fios, IM me. I'd be more than happy to give you my take - and I'll be totally honest with you.
  8. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    One more thing I meant to add. My overall impression of the Verizon DVR is that it's capable. It doesn't have the functionality of the R15, but it's much faster, and pretty robust. It's insanely easy to use - the functionality is really intuitive. And it does have some of the niceties of the R15/HR20 (one touch recording, e.g.). And it does have the one thing that the R15 doesn't (or at least didn't when I had the R15) - a series manager! I've never understood that aspect of the R15's design. The idea that you would need to have to have an upcoming recording just to modify the settings for an existing SL is something I just never understood.

    Also, the speed of the moto DVR makes up for some of the missing functionality. One example - I loved the mark & delete functionality of the R15. I used it alot. The moto DVR doesn't have anything resembling a mass delete like that. I thought I would really miss it. I don't. The reason is because the delete is really quick on this DVR. The mark & delete became necessary because of how long it took to do multiple deletes on the R15. The moto DVR is fast when it comes to that, and takes very little time to do one-by-one deletes. Even if there was a mass delete on this DVR, I probably wouldn't use it because of that faster speed.
  9. qwerty

    qwerty Hall Of Fame

    Feb 19, 2006
    I disagree. I think it goes to D*'s standard of quality. Yes, the R15 has improved, but it was extremely buggy when the released it to their customers. They also eliminated any other choices for DVRs other than third party/legacy. I hadn't followed the HR20, but I recall hearing it was also very buggy. NorfolkBruh confirms.
    Point is, D* has a history of releasing products to their customers that aren't ready for market, and taking the stance "Tough! We'll fix it later." I think that history should be taken into account any time you consider another D* product.
  10. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    ^ This is not just DirecTV's problem. Microsoft, anyone?

    Look at the situation right now. DirecTV is trying to roll out multiple HDTV channels at once and new hardware to receive them. It they didn't have on-going quality issues, I'd be shocked. Such is life on the bleeding edge.

    I'm not excusing DirecTV for their faults. I'm very glad I just got my HR20 now, not months ago. But this is unfortunately the way of the consumer electronics industry.

    No matter what they say, the ultimate consumer IS the beta tester in this rapidly evolving technological world.
  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I agree that the way the world works... there isn't enough time for testing extremely complex systems.

    To the OP, I wish you well, all anyone could ask is that you be entertained, not frustrated, by your entertainment.
  12. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    God, isn't this the truth!

    Back in the '80s I went for a full balls-to-the-wall audiophile sound system. I spent many thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours setting up a record playing stereo system that would blow any body's socks off. I had to get rid of it. All I could hear was what it did wrong. I was ultimately disappointed in something everyone else loved.

    My solution was to get off the merry-go-round. I've had the same whole-house stereo system for 21 years now. It doesn't sound as magnificent when sitting in the ONE chair, your head locked in a vise for things to image properly, but it does sound fine when I'm in the shower. This is better.

    Sometimes I think I'm going through this life just to learn this one lesson. There is no joy without acceptance.

    Maybe in the next life I won't care if people talk behind me at rock concerts.
  13. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

    Jul 4, 2006
    Mike -- please stop back in 4 to 6 months and give us you impression of Fios. When my DTV commitment is up next summer, I will seriously consider a move to Fios, and I am interested in comparisons from people familiar with both DTV and Fios, including picture quality, DVR functionality, content, and customer service.

    ( And JPL, thanks for your insight on comparing the two services.)
  14. mikewolf13

    mikewolf13 Icon

    Jan 30, 2006
    Thanks for the info. Like I said I gave it a real quick try out at the mall I am sure I'll have a couple questions before I committ.

    I believe what I test-drove is the new GUI. (In Delaware)

    Again I am not endorsing FIOS (yet) just saying I would rather try that than stick with what I have.

    I am aware PhillY CSN's lack of avaialbility is comcast's fault not DTV (or DISH) and althoug I love ST, Since I live in my home market for the NFL, I will trade ST for all the Phillies, sixers,and flyers games I miss...

    DYK, that when the phillies play on ESPN, it is usually blacked out on my system becuase CSN has the local rights...even though CSN isn't avail on DTV..That stinks (Not blaming DTV)

    In reference to othe other posts/questions:

    None of the 4 months are recent, I base my assumption on it not being much better on what I have read here. I don't care how much the CEs have improved.Nationally, the box is still not a quality replacement for what I had before (and currently). I am happpy DTV is making improvemnts and doing CEs but two years is too long..remember the posts in 12/05 how an upcoming upgrade would fix alot of the issues? it's been too long.

    Many of the issues the R15 had, the HR20 had upon release...it has ahd more upgrades and more aggressive upgrades, but the bottom line is the handling of the R15 (right or wrong) influences my opinion of the HR20. They are branded the same.

    If i hated my Nissan altima, it would impact my decison to buy another Nissan, even if the Maxima, Rogue or Quest were designed and built by others...

    At some level DTV has oversight of the two products, if they are completely seperate. and have many of the same issues that does not compute. IF they are completely seperate but are extremely similar in the UI, that seems odd to me (not a programmer). What they share is the DTV DVR+ brand at a minimum and I hold them accountable for that.

    I still do not understand why any negative post gets multiple "I've never had any problem" posts. ...Congrats! Those with issues are certainly the minority..but it is a far too big population that increasingly gets dismissed.

    Norfolk: +1 ..exactly
  15. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    Where are the mass volumes of recent posts of people having issues with the R15? They are just as rare... and are actually more expected in a forum board to be posted.

    Given the population of R15's out there... and the post counts here and on other forum boards.... by the "numbers" the volume of issue posts, are by far the minority... and by a very very large margin.
  16. mikewolf13

    mikewolf13 Icon

    Jan 30, 2006
    I will be happy to, I will be around...just as I have been for months (with minimal posting recently)

    At this point the switch is more a matter of when than if,, it's hard to turn off perfectly functioning TIVOs for the unknown....and the longer I hold out the smaller my fee...so once the sign up offer is too good to resist or my hunger for Flyers/SIxers heats up, it'll be done...
  17. mikewolf13

    mikewolf13 Icon

    Jan 30, 2006
    I acknowledge it's a minorty.

    I never cited mass volumes.

    The number of posts have dropped dramatically on this forum (movement to HR20? abandoning the R15?, Happy? or discouraged by what sometimes seems to be a pro-DTV atmosphere?)

    Most happy posts are CE participants...that's great..but talk about aminority of R15 users.

    When I stop in I read many the same issues as we had 22 months ago, I see few (in comparison to HR20 ) improvements.

    With regards to the "atmosphere" comment above....I have no doubt that you and the vast majority of posters give their honest and objective opinion. I laud the CE program, but it does make you and others vested in the idea that the products are quality and appropriately gives pride in driving improvements.

    However, for those that continue to have issues or newcomers with issues, too often their legitimate issues are responded to by "mine's perfect" or the same "It'll get better" soon responses and not help.

    Do i doubt the credibility and sincerity of those here..not at all.
    But I do think sometimes the atmosphere appears to be very pro-DTV.

    22 months ago many people posted how great the R15 was how there were no issues...and the same ones have posted many times how much better it has gotten since then...That rings hollow TO ME, because it appears to be empty praise. I have a hard time listening to someone touting all the improvements and "fixed stabiltiy issues" of a box that never had issues in the first place.
  18. Mark20

    Mark20 Godfather

    Dec 24, 2006
    Unfortunately Motorola (more specifically the company that they bought) also has a bad history of also releasing products well before their time. To a large degree they abandoned the user interface aspect in their digital cable boxes and let others develop it since it was very problematic and they could not get it anywhere close to stable.

    I've had one short chance to look at a Moto Fios box. The downconverted HD was horrid. SD was at least as good as D*'s, maybe better. And I quickly found that the PAGE button on the remote shot me out of the guide instead of moving it up/down a page.
  19. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    What do you mean by downconverted HD? Not sure what you're referring to there. The regular HD on fios really is stunning... no compression at all (well, Verizon doesn't do any additional compression - if the source is compressed then that gets passed along too). As for the page up/down buttons - yeah, that's currently an issue. The reason is due to some short-sightedness on Verizon's part. When they decided to develop their new IMG guide s/w, they switched remotes on new subscribers. The old remote had separate page up/page down buttons (in addition to the channel up/down buttons). These buttons were used to control scrolling through the guide. With the new guide, they went with more of a DirecTV approach, and had the channel up/down buttons do double duty.

    The problem is that the new remote (made by Philips) doesn't have the page up/down buttons... they only have the channel buttons. If you get the new remote, with the old s/w, though, you're kinda stuck. The channel up/down buttons only control channel changes. If you try to use the channel up/down in the guide, you get what you saw. As a result, if you stick with their remotes, you have to wait to get the new IMG before the page up/down will work.

    Is it annoying? Yeah it is, but I got an old comcast remote from someone that has the page up/down buttons and it works fine for that.
  20. Mark20

    Mark20 Godfather

    Dec 24, 2006
    The TV was SD. I forget what the connection was between the Moto box and the TV but what I saw could have been a lot better. The downconverted HD image was fuzzy. SD channels where fine though.

    Again I didn't have alot of time to critique it or examine the set-up.
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