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DIRECTV First Look: C31-700 Home Media Center RVU Client

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Scott Kocourek, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I agree, charging for more than the right now is very annoying. Id never even consider having more than three clients right now. However, I have to wonder if in part they are (in addition to the obvious reason of gaining income from it) doing it the way they are because of consistency, and also because at some point, we will see people with multiple c31s and HR34s, and at that point, how do you start working the numbers in the system? Could it be done, sure, but at what cost to their backed, and knowing that I doubt very manny of their installs are for more than four tvs anyway...
  2. dishrich

    dishrich Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2002
    Just yet another reason why I'd just as soon go with full (non-DVR) receivers at the remote-viewing locations, instead of thin-clients.
    Rather loose live trick play functions, but still have a separate (remote) tuner, for when there are NO RVU sessions &/or live tuners available, out of the HR34.
  3. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    After using the HR34 with clients, after always having DVRs at every TV before, I can say while I used to think just like what your saying, I've changed my mind. I
    Love the clients. I'd just never have more than three, so I never run into the situation of not being able to watch something.
  4. skemp

    skemp New Member

    Oct 16, 2012
  5. Hotelone

    Hotelone Cool Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    FWIW, I've been with D* forever and I haven't asked Customer Retention for anything for a long time. My SDTV in my playroom died last month and I bought a 60" Panny to replace it and when I called and asked CR they sent me an HR34 for free w/free installation and the contract extension. I was pleased enough with that. After reading this thread I stated thinking about my small kitchen flat panel that was connected with RCA's and after calling CR again today they scheduled me for this Saturday for a free install of a C31 for the kitchen panel for the $6.00 per month with no contract extension. I've been with D* for almost 15 years so YMMV but it might be worth a call to Customer Retention to see what they'll cough up.

    Mariposa, CA
  6. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    According to posters at Solid Signal the C31 can stream LIVE TV. The user claims to have confirmed it. If this is the case, I'm sold.

    From Solid Signal:

    Originally Posted by SS@SolidSignal

    Live OTA, yes. That's what I've been told. VOS, can you confirm?
    It works, I just tried it.

    My next question is if I have another HD-DVR on this (HR24, etc), will it act as a client? I know it will share it's recorded content. However, will it share it's schedule with the HR34 so everyone can see ALL scheduled recordings? The major problem I have with my Time Warner Whole Home (beside the crap software) is that I always end up with duplicate recording of the same show because my wife will schedule a show in one room and then be in another where she see it is not schedules, therefore she sets it again. I'd like to have the dedicated tuners because I would have up to 4 C31's (if I outfitted every outlet in the home/ 6 total).

    This may be my tipping point to pull the trigger and switch, especially since the OTA is streaming because D* won't provide me with all my locals.

    I like what I see with D* even though they lack much of the HD that my current Time Warner lineup has. I know they will continue to add the HD.

    My only real negatives are no G4 (even SD) and the new guide lacks channel logos in the grid. Logos make for much easier guide scrolling/searching/finding. I really like the Dish GUI for that and think D* should really add it. It's also my understanding that D* has an extensive line of VOD available.

    Since I don't yet have it and have been on the fence for awhile sweating out this garbage TWC DVR I'd take any input or comments. I'm especially concerned about the OTA streaming. Thanks

    PS: The only other con I see is banging you $6 extra for having the C31 connected since it doesn't have it's own card. It's using the HR-34, but it's still way cheaper than having a DVR on the extra outlet.

    ADD ON QUESTIONS: Since the OTA would be recording alot of my items, wouldn't that free up a sat tuner? So, if I'm recording multiple primetime shows, I should be able to still stream the 5 tuners? Could I di-plex my OTA onto the SWiM line?
  7. dmark1867

    dmark1867 Cool Member

    Sep 3, 2012
    Ordered a couple yesterday, thanks!
  8. Smuuth

    Smuuth Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2005
    1. The C31 will stream live OTA only if an AM21 is hooked up to the HR34.

    2. Future scheduled recordings on another DVR are not visible to the HR34 or the C31.

    3. The maximum simultaneous streams from the HR34 is 3, which can be any combination of live OTA, Satellite, and previously-recorded content. A 4th television can be watched if it is connected directly to the output of the HR34.

    4. OTA cannot be diplexed into the SWiM line, the AM21 Off-Air Tuner requires a separate Coax feed from the OTA antenna.
  9. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    Thanks for the info! Anyone have any insight if they will add the ability for other units to behave the same as the C31 in relation to scheduled recordings?

    On that note, one wonders why they didn't just make an HR-34 that supports 8 tuners to take full advantage of a single SWiM feed. That would have made more sense. Then again so would having the add on OTA module just be a dongle or insertable module like how Dish is doing it. The AM21N is huge in comparison to the new hardware coming out.

    I do love the fact that clients can stream OTA!

    Also, can anyone comment on if D* might add channel logos to the grid? Is there a contact to submit ideas? I know D* pays attention to these forums. Thanks all for the great info. I see a switch soon!

    ADD ON: Can anyone confirm how VOD works via the C31?
  10. denpri

    denpri AllStar

    Aug 8, 2009
    As to your VOD question, just checked and VOD works fine on my C31!
  11. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

    Oct 8, 2005
    Since I don't see the C31 listed anywhere on DirecTVs website I suppose you currently have to call them to get one (if you want to get one from them vs SolidSignal or some other non DirecTV source)? Also, does anyone know if they require a truck roll or will they just send one. I already have an HR34.
  12. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

    Sep 12, 2008
    I only saw it as I was pricing out a new sub sign up. Since I'm looking at this and Dish (now that they have AMC back) and the Genie with clients are available that way. Maybe a new sub only thing via the website.
  13. TMan

    TMan Legend

    Oct 30, 2007
    Long time lurker.

    I'm scheduled to get DirecTV installed this Saturday. I'm getting the Genie (which I've now learned is also known as the H34) and two C31 units.

    I have never subscribed to satellite before, and currently have cable. I will remain with cable for internet, but will be dropping television service with them. Hopefully the location where all my home runs terminate can simply be disconnected from the cable company's splitter (except for the one feeding my cable modem) and be connected to the multiswitch equipment necessary to make the DirecTV equipment work. Ten-year-old home with RG-6 cabling, two cables to each drop.

    I recently upgraded our main HDTV, and the one displaced will move to the bedroom. The bedroom TV, an older SD CRT, will be the third outlet in the basement. That comprises my three intended outlets.


    I normally watch my bedroom TV through ear buds connected to a small bookshelf stereo. That audio signal comes from the TiVo, so the audio is available whether the TV is on or off. If I can get my hands on one of the H2510 10 pin dongles, can I drive an HDTV with HDMI and still deliver audio to the stereo? I guess I don't care if I get the composite or component dongle, as I'm only going to use the audio portion of it.

    If I want to move a C31, can I do that by simply ensuring the appropriate home run cable in the intended location is plugged into the multiswitch, after unplugging the home run that connected it to its former location?

    I have some space/shelving issues at the main TV. Would it be practical to put the DVR in the bedroom and use a C31 at the main TV, or would there be performance/feature reasons to want the DVR there instead of a client box?

    I often record some kids' programming off the air on local subchannels, which won't be carried on satellite. Can I add the AM21 OTA tuner to the H34 and have seamless access to OTA stuff at all televisions?
  14. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Yes, both outputs are active simultaneously.

    You don't even need to disconnect the cables, just use any barrel and cheap terminator on the end of the line. Leaving unused cables isn't optimal but with most installations it's no big deal as long as the unused runs are terminated. If you do run into any issues, disconnecting unused cables would be the first thing to try.

    In most cases there is very little performance difference between the client and the server. The client is a little slower to "wake up" and some people say it's a little slower to perform, but not much.

    OTA programming will go to all clients if the AM21 is connected to the HR34.
  15. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    Congrats and welcome!
    Responses in blue below.

  16. David Ortiz

    David Ortiz Save the Clock Tower!!

    Aug 21, 2006
    Fresno, CA
    congrats on your first post!

    If you plan to use PIP, it is only available on the TV that is directly connected to the HR34.

    The AM21 will allow you to watch and/or record only two OTA channels at a time.
  17. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    When the installer arrives, take a couple of minutes to walk/talk through the install so you are both in agreement as to what will be done and how it will be done. Make sure the installer understands you will still be using cable for internet and does not disturb the coax that is needed to make that happen.
  18. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    :welcome_s to DBSTalk, active chapter.

    You've lurked well, as your questions show a lot of savvy. Don't hesitate to followup.....
  19. TMan

    TMan Legend

    Oct 30, 2007
    Thanks for the information! I appreciate it. I'm gonna ramble again.

    Sounds like the AM21 is something I can add on my own, purchased at retail, without being formally "installed" on my account per se, other than following the procedure to connect and make the H34 aware of its presence. Good to know that it contributes two OTA-capable tuners (but does not increase my overall tuner count to seven, I assume) to the Genie system. I can't imagine ever being scheduled more than two programs deep on channels not already available to me on the satellite side. Would also make a nice rain fade backup device, too, for the locals. Caution on subchannel guide data is noted. Just ten miles from our local transmitter towers, my antenna is small.

    Okay, good. The C31 will drive HDMI and the breakout dongle simultaneously. Not only do I often watch that television without its speakers on (sleeping wife), listening instead through the little stereo's ear buds, I also listen to some news in the morning without even turning the television on. I will probably have to turn on the C31, though, as I assume it will time out overnight, or at least not be on the correct channel. Right now, my old analog-only TiVo is set to record the morning news, so at the appointed time it's always pumping the audio from the correct channel for me. Yeah, that's a pretty bizarre thing I've got going there. :D

    Is there a preferred vendor for ordering one of the dongles?

    Looks like I'll want the DVR in the living room then, as I can envision using PiP and/or side-by-side functions more there versus the bedroom television. Glad to hear the C31 is adequately responsive otherwise, though.

    I don't understand exactly what the DirecTV Cinema Connection Kit is. Is that just a device that connects to the H34 and behaves like a wireless network card to talk to one's existing home wi-fi, or does the device actually add the additional Web-based content to the system? I have wired Ethernet available at the H34's location; will that give the H34 any and all the internet connectivity it needs? The matrix displayed on this page was confusing with how it mentions Ethernet: (edit: the forum won't let me post a URL yet due to low post count)

    It will be hard to give up my beloved TiVos after nine years, but it's time to try something different, gain some new channels, and new functionality along the way.

    Currently, the cable company coax enters my home. A (powered/amplifying, I think) two-way splitter drives the cable modem on one leg (and thus a nearby router, patch panel,and CAT5 Ethernet home runs), and the other leg splits again into a four-way to drive four home runs that go to various points in my home, though I was only using two. There shouldn't be any other splits elsewhere. I presume we'll just unplug the home runs from that cable four-way and use them with the new switch gear, leaving the cable company stuff undisturbed up through and including the cable modem.

    I'm not sure about physically terminating runs like Stuart mentioned, but if I move a C31 to a different room, I can surely manage to swap what cable run is being fed at the multiswitch.
  20. dettxw

    dettxw MRVing

    Nov 21, 2007
    Choctaw, OK
    Responses in blue below.


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