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Comparison: HR20 vs Comcast HD-DVR vs Tivo HD vs Dish VIP622

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dnemec123, Aug 7, 2007.

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  1. Aug 7, 2007 #1 of 25

    dnemec123 Legend

    Jul 19, 2007
    Hillsboro, OR
    I've been able to "test drive" all but the HR20 from the list in the subject line, and my concern on the usage is the speed that the FF and Now Playing List appear.

    The WAF (wife approval factor) is extremely high on the Tivo units since it is very responsive to FF and has the 30 second skip feature.

    She does not like the Comcast HD-DVR as it is too slow, sometimes doesn't respond to commands at all, and is generally "too klunky" (her words). I have to admit that it's like the DVR is processing, converting and thinking about the commands sent to it from the remote before it actually does the command(s). Not sure why this would be, but it is our experience with the device.

    We tried a neighbors Dish VIP622 and were impressed with it's responsiveness, ease of Search by Title for shows, and the number of available HD channels.

    So, has anyone that has a HR20 done a speed comparison with any of the other DVR's? When pressing FF, is it similar in speed to a Tivo?

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide!

  2. Aug 7, 2007 #2 of 25
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    With regards to FF:

    With current software... no it is not the "same" as TiVos.

    With the current CE version of the software, it is getting closer... but is it = or better... depends on who you talk to.
  3. Aug 7, 2007 #3 of 25

    MikeR7 Icon

    Jun 17, 2006
    The only comparison I can do between DVR's is a Charter MOXI and the HR20. The MOXI was cluncky as you described your Comcast experience.

    You must really have a time crunch around your house though if a DVR FF feature is going to make a big difference for you.

    My first priority is sport programming, and if the box has a slower than TIVO FF, I guess I will have to suffer through it.:lol:
  4. Aug 7, 2007 #4 of 25

    dnemec123 Legend

    Jul 19, 2007
    Hillsboro, OR
    No, not a time crunch issue, just a "when I press a button does it respond" issue. I admit, we've been spoiled by the "TiVo experience". Finding another DVR that comes close to it is proving to be challenging.

    Thanks for the reply!
  5. Aug 7, 2007 #5 of 25

    bwaldron Impossible Dreamer

    Oct 24, 2005
    Agreed. Though what might be a small thing to one person can be major to another.

    I do think that to properly evaluate competing DVRs, you need to live with them for awhile -- both to learn their particular quirks, and to get a feel for reliability.

    I don't have any experience with the newer Dish DVRs -- from what I have gathered, they have improved dramatically over the older model I have used in the past.

    But as another sports fan, it's ultimately about the programming for me, and cable/Dish/FIOS aren't good options, regardless of some advantages they may have over D* in certain areas.
  6. Aug 7, 2007 #6 of 25

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Not sure what you mean because my HR10 is very slow to respond to the remote and commands often get buffered. (Not so much with SD Tivos, maybe that is what you are getting this notion from.) In fact, I have turned off the sound at times on my HR10 because the bongs were out of synch with what was happening.

    The HR20 is very responsive to the remote.
  7. Aug 7, 2007 #7 of 25

    trevorst Godfather

    Jul 16, 2007
    I had a Comcast DVR (or should I say 6 of them all went bad) for about a year and agree with the clunky comment and the reliability was bad to say the least. Have had an HR20 for about a month now and it is much better than the Motorola Comcast units. Response to a remote button push (FF etc) is very fast and the only thing I can say is slow is channel changes if you have native on, I prefer the PQ with nataive on so i am more than willing to live with an extra coupple of seconds on ch changes. Some of the menu items for recording management are not in what I consider logical places but you soon learn where to go.

    Oh and one more thing the 30 second skip is there although it is not a true skip, it runs a pre-timed high speed FF. Takes about a second or two to hit 30 seconds, one nice thing about it is that will stack so hit the button 5 times quickly and in less than 10 seconds you are through a commercial.

    My wife sounds like yours as she has no patience when she pushes a button and she has had no problem with her own HR20.

    Hope this helps
  8. Aug 7, 2007 #8 of 25

    djstough AllStar

    Nov 26, 2006
    If you push a button on an HR20 remote, it responds! The actual speed of the forward is up for discussion, but it fast forwards when you press the button.
  9. Aug 7, 2007 #9 of 25

    bakers12 ΔS > 0

    May 29, 2007
    Chicago -...
    I had a Comcast HD DVR which had terribly slow response to push-buttons sometimes. Often it was fine, but it always made up for it by slowing down drastically. I had the box replaced with a different model, but the problem was there, too.

    The HR20 has been very good for me and my wife. It always responds reliably. :biggthump

    There are advantages to keeping native on, but I set it off for quicker channel changes. Since my (all) DLP TVs run at only one resolution, native on is usually not a benefit for me.
  10. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus You make it, We break it

    Oct 16, 2006
    I can address the "wife-factor".
    We have an HR-20 upstairs and a Philips D-TiVo downstairs. At first, my wife was a bit confused by the interface differences between the 2. She knew how to run TiVo and the HR was new to her.

    Over time, and especially since the last few updates, now the only "responsiveness/FF" complaints she ever has is when she's using the HR-20:

    "Why is the TiVo downstairs so slow..." is the standard comment these days.
  11. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    What is the model number of the Comcast HD DVR? Is there somewhere online where you can get data on the device?
  12. joelq

    joelq Cool Member

    Jul 12, 2007
    I had asked about the "slowness" in another thread. Specifically, when I press FF the HR20 would take a half second or so before it would start FF-ing. Then, when it was finally FF-ing, it was extremely choppy to where I would many times miss the point where I wanted to start watching again (not because I stopped FF too late, but because the frames I wanted to see were dropped). I understand that in order to FF that some frames will have to be skipped, but it seems the HR20 was skipping much more frames than I was used to with the HR10-250.

    However, someone said that this "slowness" was related to the content having been MPEG-4. I was told that if the content was still MPEG-2 (either OTA or from Sat) that the FF would be much quicker. Haven't had a chance to check it out yet, though.

    ETA: I just checked it real quick and it IS a bit quicker when the source video is MPEG-2 (I checked with HBOH - 509) versus MPEG-4 (my local HD channels). Now the question is, can this be improved over time with software updates or will it require a more powerful offboard MPEG-4 decoder?
  13. tonyd79

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    There is a marked improvement in trickplay with the lastest CE on MPEG4. Pretty much instant start on FF or REW (except when the first rewind from live TV, which seems to kick into the buffer).
  14. superunlikely

    superunlikely AllStar

    Oct 20, 2006
    I see the same thing on my HR20. I would caution the OP on that point. Also, the first time I press the replay button on live TV, it pauses and takes up to 5 seconds to actually jump back. After that initial jump back though, it is very responsive. FWIW I am running the current national release, 0x17E.

    That said, I am still glad I dumped my HR10 (Tivo) and got the HR20.
  15. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    If someone actually took screen shots of the different units in action, and did some measured comparisons, that would be a great article!
  16. Bizarroterl

    Bizarroterl Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    Consider this - We have 2 HR20s and one DirecTivo. Every time I use the Tivo I'm amazed at how good the interface is. The only reason the HR20s are in the house is that they do HD. Otherwise all would be Tivos, regardless how much slower they are.

    I spent 1/2 hour last night trying to delete a "season pass" on the HR20 and still wasn't able to figure out how. Does it really matter how fast a DVR is when basic functions are missing?
  17. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    Select/Highlight it in the Priority List and then hit the - key twice.
  18. mdgolf

    mdgolf Legend

    Apr 14, 2006
    I haven't (and likely won't) have any experience with a Comcast or Tivo unit because both would invlove being a cable sub...and that won't happen. I was an E* subscriber for 9 years, but just left due to programming issues. I knew that the HR20 would be, and is, and inferior machine to the VIP622, but I'm learning to live with it for the programming advantages. The 622 was outstanding in performance and very easy to navigate with the supplied remote or an after market such as a Harmony. As far as the HD channels, I miss a few of them, but they will be available through D* in September. Some of E*'s "lead" in HD consists of the VOOM channels, most of which I could care less about (Fashion, Kung Fu Theater etc...)

    Personally, I think the decision should be based on the right programming for you and not on which DVR is best, as they will continue to evolve. Personally, If I could have D* programming and an E* DVR...I'd be one happy camper. :righton:
  19. AlbertZeroK

    AlbertZeroK Icon

    Jan 28, 2006
    If you are use to the TIVO interface, the new HR20 can be painful. Not because it's not a good device, it just different. Like me, driving my wife's car and tromping on empty space with my foot expecting a clutch to be there.

    As for features, I'll say, I really like the 30 second skip. And you can hit it more than once, I normally go 5 times in a row, that skips 30 seconds five times! The fast forward and rewind buttons are not "TIVO" quality, but they are pretty decent. There is also a skip back button I like to use when I got a bit too far, It doesn't skip back 30 seconds, but it's handy!

    Considering the TIVO is no longer an option for HD and that I don't want to go with DISH, the HR20 was my only choice. I will say, I've never had it miss recording something. And it is actually usable and stable - which is saying alot, because neither was true when the HR20 was released.

    How it compares to others? The comcast DVR is a joke. Never played with DISH.

    one last thing to think of, the eSATA port on the back of the HR20 allows you to attach a larger drive to the HR20 for more capacity. (It won't add to the space in the machine, it will stop using the internal drive and start using the one you attach). But that is a nice option for some people, it's easy and quick. I don't know of any other DVR that has this option...
  20. dnemec123

    dnemec123 Legend

    Jul 19, 2007
    Hillsboro, OR
    Thank you to all that have replied to my questions.

    I found a friend-of-a-friend that has two HR20's and he's agreed to let me "test drive" one of them today.

    I'll post back later today or tomorrow my opinions of the test drive.

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