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Directv Genie/GenieGo vs Tivo Roamio/Stream/Comcast

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by jayerndl, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. jayerndl

    jayerndl AllStar

    Aug 4, 2007
    Ever since I heard about the 6 tuner Tivo Roamios I have been interested in maybe switching back to Tivo. I have been with Directv for almost 14 years. I started with the RCA DTC-100 (the first HD satellite stb). Then used almost every Directv DVR including: the Microsoft Ultimate TV (the first dual-tuner satellite DVR), the SD dual-tuner Directivos, the HR10-250 Directivo (HD dual-tuner DVR), the HR-20 and the HR-34. I was skeptical about the new Directv branded DVRs but eventually got used to them.

    I am about 3 weeks into a 30 day evaluation of the Tivo Roamio and Tivo mini and would like to share some of my observations. For a few days I had both my Directv system and Tivo up and running at the same time. I now have my Directv account suspended until I decide what to do.

    My existing Directv system includes (1) Genie(HR-34), (2) HR-20, (1) GenioGo with whole home service using DECA. My Tivo system consists of (1) Roamio Pro (3TB w/integrated Stream) and (1) Mini, both with lifetime service. My use in the 3rd room is very light. At first I used just 2 DVRs and supplied my 3rd room with a modulated channel off one of my HR20s. Then Directv changed the SD signal on the composite jack so I just used an extra HR20. Now for my 3rd room I again use a modulated channel off the Tivo mini. It's a small 22" bedroom TV so SD doesn't look that bad. I admit that this may not be a an exact fair comparison because my Directv equipment isn't the newest and my Tivo stuff is the latest and greatest. Anyway here are some of my observations.

    Tivo Roamio Pro/mini/Comcast system.

    1. 6 tuner
    2. Both Roamio and Mini have very fast UI
    3. Large 3TB hard drive without having to add or replace drive
    4. Unit has good resale value after 3 years
    5. Support for other content providers (Netflix, Huluplus, Amazon Instant videos, etc.)
    6. On Demand now available with Comcast
    7. Tivo Stream is integrated into main box
    8. Very nice iPad app for all functions including: Season Pass view/manage, To Do list view/manage. Way better than Directv iPad app
    9. Streaming (locally. I haven't used much out of home) shows from DVR to iPad allows use of trick play and is in general a much better experience than using GenieGo and the Directv iPad app. With Directv I have found it is better to download the show and then watch it especially if you want to be able to navigate around the commercials.
    10. Many tools (including Tivo Desktop and 3rd party) to legally copy content to/from DVR
    1. High initial cost. About $925 for Roamio Pro and $230 for Mini including Lifetime service for both. (current pricing on Amazon).
    2. Cable TV only. no OTA. 4 tuner Romaio Basic can do OTA or cable but not both.
    3. Having to deal with cable company(Comcast) for install of cable card.
    4. No Android support for Tivo Stream.
    5. Having to get used to new system again.
    6. No way to use "real" channel numbers for locals
    7. No way to "hide" SD channels.
    8. If using a single Roamio and it goes out you have no backup. Minis can't do anything on their own

    Directv Genie/GenieGo system.

    1. Able to add OTA option.
    2. Low initial cost.
    3. Andriod support with GenieGo.
    4. Better support. Although sometimes not great Directv is better than Comcast/Tivo combination
    5. Low maintenance/repair costs since you don't own the equipment.
    6. SD channel hide feature.
    7. Use "real" channel number for local channels.
    8. Affordable to have multiple DVRs for redundancy and extra tuners
    1. Slow (sometimes extremely slow) UI on both HR34 and HR20. Don't have Genie client to test.
    2. No way to manage DVR from PC or tablet.
    3. GenieGo is separate product (not integrated).
    4. No practical way for existing customers to get "latest and greatest" equipment.
    That's all I can think of for now. I welcome any question or comments.

  2. bpratt

    bpratt Godfather

    Nov 24, 2005
    Salt Lake...
    Several months ago when I was having pixelation issues with my HR44-500, I considered going to Comcast with the new Tivo Roamio. I currently have Comcast internet and phone bundled, but to add Comcast TV to my bundle I get a good price for the next year, but after that the price to match what I currently have with DirecTV is about $20 more per month.

    Shortly after getting the price from Comcast, the problems with pixelation stopped happening, so other than a few minor irritations with my HR44 it works perfectly. It is very fast and the only problem that really bugs me is that skip back only skips 3 seconds which is way too short.

    When my current 2 year contract ends with DirecTV in the next 18 months, I may again consider the Tivo Roamio depending on how much damage the DirecTV programming staff has done to their DVR software.
  3. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    Excellent write-up Jay. I dropped DirecTV for TWC in Sept. 2012 and having the TiVo HD in place made the transition possible. It hasn't been perfect, as anyone who has to contend with a tuning adapter in an area where the cable company has deployed Switched Digital Video can attest, but it's been manageable. It used to be that Sports and more HD channels kept me with DirecTV, but TWC did a great job of catching up and now that Internet and streaming take a bigger role my choice has to be TWC.

    I thought about the Roamio, but if I were to expand I would probably go the HTPC route and either go with a Ceton or Silicon Dust product. Disappointed me when DirecTV's tuner card got taken off the table. Keep us posted if anything changes.

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