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DBSTalk First Look: HR21-700

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Earl Bonovich, Oct 16, 2007.

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  1. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Great piece. Love the pdf format.

    - Craig
  2. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006

    No, but it could in the future. The phone line is really only needed for ordering PPV via the remote and that function could easily be performed with an internet connection.
  3. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Coming from the "Master of Undocumented Wonders" that you are, this is quite a compliment. Thanks.
  4. Knon2000

    Knon2000 Legend

    Nov 20, 2006
    I personally would LOVE to have this as a second receiver on the main TV. There are many times that 2 tuners just don't cut it. For my purposes, I currently use OTA for all primetime recordings since I don't have HD LIL's as of yet. However, when I do get conflicts with 2 recordings, it is usually with Comedy Central, or SciFi. so in these cases, it would work perfectly. Count me in as a future purchaser, at least when it comes available for the mainstream user.
  5. rawilson

    rawilson AllStar

    Oct 9, 2007
    Same here...in fact, but I have one of those little set top jobs sitting beside my TV. I get many more digital (not all HD) channels than I ever imagined existed. Local channels broadcast 24-hr local news (I know, but it's THERE) and weather. PBS has a kids' channel. I have like 5 Spanish channels (again, it's THERE)...none of which can be found on D*. I am very pleased that the HR20 lets me "DVR" those channels.
  6. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    Except that in my area, you can only do that if your attic is big enough for not only a decent-sized antenna, but also one that can be mounted on a rotor. The towers are 30 - 35 miles away through semi-hilly terrain AND (here's the kicker) not on the same azimuth from our town. So if you want to get them all and get them reliably, you have to be able to rotate the antenna. Most people don't have big enough attics for that, nor the urge to rig up such a shining example of 1970's technology (something my grandparents had to do, I'll point out).

    And here's the key thing: nothing anyone can point to seriously indicates that OTA-capable receivers are being phased out completely. De-emphasized? Possibly. Heck, I'll even say it's likely. That said, it's far more likely that "standard HD upgrades" at some point will include an H(R)21 or some future H(R)xx receiver that is not OTA-capable, but that a "premium upgrade" or some other deal will be required if you want an OTA-capable box plus help rigging up the antenna. Most installers would typically have a truck full of non-OTA receivers and perhaps one or two OTA-capable ones just in case, or have access to a few of them in a warehouse for such non-standard installation jobs.

    Of course, this is entirely speculation on my part but it would make sense.
  7. flipptyfloppity

    flipptyfloppity New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    I can see the difference. But it's very minor. On any show except those that provide the best quality HD image (like CSI:Vegas), it's unnoticeable. Thus I record almost all my HD network shows off the satellite, taking advantage of the smaller H.264 encoding.

    On the biggest scale, the image deficiencies in both version due to the original MPEG2 lacking bandwidth for fast pans is far more noticeable than the additional degradation on the HD SAT locals due to reduction in horizontal resolution and tighter compression.

    I prefer to have OTA available to me, but if it were not, I would be satisfied with the HD SAT locals.

    And again, I do not condemn the mere existence of the HR21, it's a great unit for 90% of customers, which is plenty enough reason to justify its existence even if the unit cost is only slightly lower.
  8. highheater

    highheater Legend

    Aug 30, 2006
    Nice taunt ... but if you'd spend some time over in the AVS Forum you'd see all the complaints about poor HD from Direct TV. Especially in comparison to FIOS. Poor sourcing is the number one excuse offered for poor picture perfromance on even the most expensive HDTVs. If you think Direct TV HD is the Holy Grail of HD then you really don't know what you are talking about.

    Wasn't it bad enough that Direct TV got sued over whether their compressed HD was really HD? Or was that just someone's imagination?

    I have numerous friends that have HD with Direct TV and I've been very unimpressed. I'm hoping the new sats will help the situation. Perhaps things will be better. But I'm not encouraged if they continue to compress their signals to allow the broadcasting of 1000+ locals in the future.

    As far as getting competitive with cable when they decided to offer 'locals'. Instead I'd think they would have left cable in the dust if they offered all these HD stations two years ahead of cable with that extra bandwidth.

    Have a nice day.:)
  9. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I used to go there on occasion...and then realized DBSTalk was the only place that had accurate and valuable information about D*TV, not propaganda, rumors, and the like. :D

  10. say-what

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    There tend to be too many people who are hyper-critical of everything at AVS and hence why I tend to take most things posted there with a grain of salt.
    Anyone can file a lawsuit, the question is whether or not it was successful.
    By this statement, you imply that you have not seen the new mpeg4 channels. Their quality is excellent.
    They really had no choice when it came to broadcasting locals - the Feds pretty much mandated local carriage. Go blame your Congressman and the local broadcasters' lobby for that one.

    I have that under control. :)
  11. rahlquist

    rahlquist Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2007
    I will give you an amen on that, the way it works now is beyond stupid. Sorry but thats my opinion.
  12. simpleton604

    simpleton604 Duplicate User (Account Closed)

    Sep 26, 2007
    horrible, when will get 1.3 hdmi on an hd directv dvr ? so we can use them with our new hdmi 1.3 tv's
  13. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    So.... should the eSATA support we have today... be shut off? and not available... until they resolve the "stupid" method that it is today... ?
  14. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    What major advantage are you going to get out of HDMI 1.3 when the systems have to still be backwards compatible with HDMI 1.0 systems?
  15. flipptyfloppity

    flipptyfloppity New Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Honestly, the biggest things we could get are:

    1. Selectable pre-decoded multichannel out. If the audio were decoded in the device, it would be easier to mix in the sound effects or such. It also would help the audio modes switch quicker on some amps because detection of the format of multichannel in S/PDIF (compressed) format can be tricky and somewhat slow.

    This would be of limited value in the short term since most people don't have amps that device multichannel audio on HDMI.

    2. Audio and video sync signals. HDMI 1.3 devices can output signals to help the A/V processing chain keep the audio and video in sync all the way to preamplification. These are ignored by older devices, but not disruptive or incompatible.

    Both would be nice, but I wouldn't delay buying (leasing!) a new PVR to wait for HDMI 1.3 to get them.

    I'd take 1080p/60 (upconverted from source format) over either of them. I want to view 720p and 1080i with no loss of spatial or temporal resolution without having to go to native mode and thus have my TV turn black for 2 seconds when switching channels.
  16. rahlquist

    rahlquist Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2007
    Now now Earl I said it was stupid I didnt say cut off the existing till they get it working in a more adequate manner. So allow me to qualify the stupid;

    Ive been in IT for 13 years, as a network admin, system designer, and currently an application developer/systems analyst. I'm familiar with more OS's than most average folk even know exist. (not bragging just trying to establish I'm not some twit with a shiny new packard bell 486)

    I dont know what electronic or logistic issues are involved in the esata interface in these units but I do know that PATA in the Tivo DVR's was quite capable of running multiple devices. I know the software for the HRXX-XXX series has been an uphill battle, but surely by now they must be close to a solution that works. Even if its an "out of band" solution like the DVR relocating files to the external drive during low use periods. I know that D* is probably not in a hurry to fix this because the unit works and adding external 3rd party devices is likely to create a huge support headache. Obviously the drivers function, maybe not in tandem with multiple ports, I don't know, but in my opinion disabling the internal drive for recording after the unit boots seems a bit of a hack to me.

    So my words may have been harsh but I call em like I see em, even if its not pretty. My apologies if its offensive to you, and D* staff reading the thread or the developers. Take a peek at my blog and you will see its just the way I am.
  17. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

    Jan 25, 2007
    My installer didn't even ask if I wanted OTA. He was anxious to finish and get out. And, yes, I wanted it so that I can record the OTA stations that aren't included in the locals, such as our local PBS HD station. I finally plugged in my OTA antenna lead myself.
  18. ShiningBengal

    ShiningBengal Godfather

    Jan 24, 2003
    MPEG4 on the new satellites is substantially better than MPEG2 on the older ones. I have VERY good display equipment. I also get my locals OTA as well as MPEG4 on my HR20's. If anything, the DirecTV satellite video is better than OTA.

    DirecTV is far more than competitive with cable in pricing, and now certainly has the HD package to go with it.

    History doesn't matter in making a decision on who has the better value. I'm not a great fan of the HR20 (with the exception of MPEG4 capability). But Comcast isn't going to get my business any time soon. (Even with with TiVo software.)
  19. cartrivision

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    I'll let it go when D* provides me all my HD locals via the sats.... until then, it IS a big deal.

    Since in the second largest market in the country (Los Angeles) we don't have full HD local coverage, I would imagine that the OTA tuners built into the HR20 are a big deal for a lot of people who can get some local channels over the air, but not via satellite.
  20. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    The way TiVo uses the PATA drives (not sure how they are using their newly announced eSATA support)... the PATA's are RAID/Stripped together...
    Which with your background... you know what happens when one those drives go down...

    Which is greatly increased when one is external.

    And yes... they are investigating what way they want to expand the usage of the eSATA.

    Sorry, my apologize as well... you have caught me on an extremely bad day...
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