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Challenge to DIRECTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by edpowell, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. Apr 19, 2012 #1 of 161

    edpowell New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    I have been with DirecTV for 14 years, and am now thinking of switching to FIOS/TIVO. The reasons are well known to everyone in this forum:

    1) The new software performs so poorly that the entire experience is completely frustrating. Delays between pushing remote control buttons and the actions resulting from those presses can be 2->3->5 seconds.
    2) 30-second skip no longer works reliably (through digital ad insertion)
    3) The Guide no longer works reliably. I have large blank spots in the guide beyond 24 hours. Rebooting presents me with a different guide filled with holes.
    4) Recording series no longer works reliably. I have to constantly monitor my "To Do List" each night before prime time to ensure that my scheduled recordings are correct.

    I have no idea why these problems were created by DIRECTV, when they had perfectly good software six months ago, and quite frankly I'm past caring. They've had six months to fix it and they haven't. But I have a lot of shows recorded that I still need to watch, so my final decision to switch will be put off until June.

    I realize than many of you think I should upgrade from my current HR21Pro to the latest HR34 for $400 + $50 installation (at least). I realize that many of you have gotten a friendly CSR to give you a discount. You must realize that this *never* happens to me--no one *ever* gives me a discount on anything, no matter what I say. So this upgrade route is $450 staring me in my face, and no guarantee that the software will work any better on the HR34.

    Switching to FIOS/TIVO will also cost $400 for the new TIVO Premier Elite, plus another $80 for a second TIVO Premiere for the bedroom. The Premiere Elite has similar specs to the HR34, but with 4 tuners instead of 5. It can play programs across my gigabit wired ethernet network without a lot of crazy and expensive Connection Kit contraptions. [I realize many DIRECTV customers do not have wired gigabit ethernet, by why punish those of us who do?]. The FIOS/TIVO service is also slightly cheaper per month (when bundled with my existing internet/phone service) than is DIRECTV. The TIVO software is impeccably written, and performs brilliantly.

    So, since I know people at DIRECTV read this board, I want to publicly issue them a CHALLENGE, if they want to keep me as a customer:

    By June:

    They don't even have to fix the problem by June, just acknowledge the problem and present a plan to fix it. That action alone will restore much of the goodwill that has been lost over the last six months. After all, admitting one has a problem is the first step towards recovery.

    I want to stay with DIRECTV, I really do. I like DIRECTV, and I have a lot invested in DIRECTV equipment. But I can't stay unless the problems are fixed. I don't want credits, discounts, promotions, or any premium channel free for 3 months. I JUST WANT THE SOFTWARE TO WORK.

    Does anyone really believe I am out of line with this challenge?

  2. Apr 19, 2012 #2 of 161

    mnassour Icon

    Apr 23, 2002
    I'm afraid you're out of line demanding a "timetable". All these DVRs are nothing more than little computers. There's no way someone writing and testing code can tell you when they'll be done.

    And D* won't admit to a problem because Dish would beat them over the head with it and someone would wind up filing a lawsuit.
  3. Apr 19, 2012 #3 of 161

    Kerry Mentor

    Jul 17, 2008
    They had good (old) software that was at least fast and less buggs that this new CRAP sofware they have now. Total crap slow and ruins a perfectly fast hr34 and returnes it to crappy hr21 speed. What a wast. get it togther turkey(directv)i mean
  4. Apr 19, 2012 #4 of 161

    cover Icon

    Feb 11, 2007
    I was a vocal critic of the HR2x DVRs for quite a while. I'm currently using primarily HR24-500s and an HR20-700. I do a lot of recording (far more than I can actually watch) and haven't noticed any of the issues you described. I'm not implying that you're imagining things - just that I haven't had the same experience lately.

    I would suggest maybe trying to get an HR24, but I know that might be money out of your pocket and would likely start a new 2 year commitment.

    Others here will know better than I, but I bet if you can get your HR21 diagnosed as the problem then DirecTV might send you a luck-of-the-draw replacement with no new commitment.

    It would at least be worth trying a different piece of hardware before switching services if you can do so without a new commitment.
  5. Apr 19, 2012 #5 of 161

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Have you ever used a Tivo Elite? I can tell you, if you have the HD interface turned on, it is *NOT* fast, its actually slower than my HR34 for menu and guide functions, plus, it has been over a year and a half, and the UI is still not finished. Switches between HD and SD (with the associated time required for the TV to resync).

    While I share your frustration with the apparent lack of speed promised by the HD GUI from DirecTv, the Tivo is not a cure, although it is pretty quick if you leave the HD menus turned off, but then you lose several functions.

    One plus for the Tivo, you can copy the programs off it to your HTPC server if you want to.
  6. Apr 19, 2012 #6 of 161

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    The OP appears to be a fan of owning the equipment outright so their only commitment is the dollar difference IF they manage to find a buyer for something most don't want to own.
  7. Apr 19, 2012 #7 of 161

    edpowell New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Davenir, thanks for your review of the Tivo premiere software. I have extensive experience with the previous Tivo software, as practically everyone I know has it, and I've used it a lot. I have no personal experience with the new software, I am just reading reviews. I appreciate the comment.

    Harsh, I don't really care about owning versus leasing. It's all about the large hard drive for me. I bought the HR21Pro at a time when it had the largest hard drive. I'd trade it for an HR24 in a moment if I thought the HR24 was going to perform better. SolidSignal lists the HR24 for $200, so I'm not sure whether that's the right approach over the HR34. I suppose I care about cost as much as anyone, but I'm not a person who wants to invest lots of time wheedling Directv into giving me a discount. I just want a box that works properly. I would hesitate to sell my owned HR21Pro on ebay--how could I inflict it on some poor unsuspecting n00b? There's no upside in hurting someone that way for a few measly dollars.

    I appreciate the feedback, especially from those of you who have an HR34 that seems to work properly.
  8. Apr 19, 2012 #8 of 161

    tds4182 Legend

    Jul 17, 2003
    I've never heard of the Tivo Elite. The top lever Tivo now marketed is called the Premiere. I do not own one of them but do have two Tivo HD dvrs. One is an HD XL the other is a Tivo HD. Both are very quick to respond to remote commands and work flawlessly.
  9. Apr 19, 2012 #9 of 161

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Right now I would still shy away for the HR34. Some aren't having problems and some are.
    Since you're starting from a point of frustration, I'd wait until more of the HR34 is sorted out.

    Now I haven't really had the problems you've been. I had a HR21-200 when they first came out and it was only slightly slower than my HR20s. The 20s lasted a good five years, but I've since moved on the the HR24-500s and just haven't had any problems with them either.

    If you really want to try another round/chance with DirecTV, I'd get beyond the first level of customer service and see what they'll do for the HR24.
    Between the two HR24-500s and a H25-500 with whole home, it really works well.
    Changing channels takes all of about one second longer than my TV does off its antenna.
  10. Apr 19, 2012 #10 of 161

    jkal25 New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    I see your delays as well Ed. I'm a 11 year subscriber, and like you, it's getting harder and harder. I see the remote delay on my HR20-700 and my HR24-100, and it's killer. When I turn a receiver on, I can not change channels, I just can't. I press 2-5 on the remote, it changed to channel 2, then channel 5, I try again, same thing. It seems worse at the top of an hour, or when a receiver is just turned on. I had this years ago before the HD upgrade, but it's much, much worse now. It wasn't always this way either, it seems real bad over the past couple months.

    I'm not ready to throw down a gauntlet yet, but every day that goes by makes me more frustrated. Tonight was enough to get me to look here for any other experiences, and I'm glad I did.

    I work in IT, so I hesitate to call them and say "My receiver's slow"... It's like people calling and saying their Internet is slow... It take a lot of digging to get to the root cause, but maybe I should at this point. Has anyone called this issue in and what have you gotten for any response?

    I'm curious what you finally decide. I don't have the FIOS card to play in my area...

  11. Apr 19, 2012 #11 of 161

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    When the receiver is first turned on, I can see how there may be a delay. Do you turn your TV on at the same time too?
    Within the first few mins [really seconds here], things need to settle down before I even think that they would be slow.
    I normally leave mine on the channel I expect to watch in the morning before I turn it off.
  12. Apr 19, 2012 #12 of 161
    Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I don't see DirecTV accepting your challenge... I'm sure they don't enjoy having DVRs that can't keep up with the user. They have apparently been this way on and off to some degree from day one. I know my HR22s sucked from day one 3 years ago....

    They had their chance at a fresh start with the HR34 but sadly it looks like at least for some it suffers many of the same issues. If they didn't fix it with all new hardware on the HR34 I'm not sure they have the technical ability and/or the budget to ever fix it.

    I'm guessing that management is ok with current performance level as long as the sub numbers keep growing. If, or should I say when, it hurts the bottom line you can bet your behind that the problems will be fixed! Until then they seem to have the attitude of why spend money to correct the issues when we'll have more than enough new subs to replace the people that give up and leave. It all comes down to the money.

    I'm sure DirecTV management thanks their lucky stars that no one (well almost!) signs up without a 2 year commitment. Can you imagine what would happen if, like many cable systems, DirecTV subs could just call at any time and cancel their service? Talk about the bottom line taking a hit!

    Keep adding things that marketing can use... Pandora etc... That will help add subs.
  13. Apr 19, 2012 #13 of 161

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    I have a challenge - We go a week without multiple threads being started complaining about speed. ;)
  14. Apr 20, 2012 #14 of 161
    Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    That would be nice wouldn't it!? Maybe some day soon DirecTV will resolve the trouble and the threads will stop.:)
  15. Apr 20, 2012 #15 of 161

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Surely you jest. There will always be those who have something to complain about.
  16. Apr 20, 2012 #16 of 161

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR

  17. Apr 20, 2012 #17 of 161

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    I'm with you, my HR22 is performing better then ever. Not saying its perfect, but decent. And my HR34 is very fast, since the HD GUI release. I'm just hoping things don't change with future releases that are designed to fix the performance issue others are experiencing.
  18. Apr 20, 2012 #18 of 161

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    Although there are some, the number of threads on this site with frivolous complaints are few IMO. The vast majority of "complaining" threads are rooted in legitimate issues (some more severe than others). I see far more unabashed defending of D* in threads with legitimate complaints than I see people starting threads with frivolous complaints.
  19. Apr 20, 2012 #19 of 161

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    I suggest that this be approached a different way:

    How about DIRECTV solving the issue for those who have it? Suspending, marginalizing, ignoring or denying the problem isn't going to solve it. It may not have manifested for many (or it may have but they're soft-pedaling it) but for those who are beset, it is a very real and often debilitating problem.

    I bet DIRECTV isn't going to deny the "Black Theme" movement for very long. Sometimes they just need a little help in prioritizing.
  20. Apr 20, 2012 #20 of 161

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    In another thread about "slowness" the other day I asked for patience and "clarity" when posting about "slowness". How you can tell what anyone's talking about when all you've got to go by is "My HR is slow" is beyond me.

    Many folks have posted about calling and trying to get a new/used replacement, but they seem to be stonewalling until the issues with the new firmware are fixed.

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