I absolutely hate having to deal with D*. Given that this is the season of programming lulls and my unwatched list is getting short I finally overcame my reluctance and ordered an HR34. My detailed setup is in my signature. Up until a week ago I had a SWM8 and no DECA, just direct ethernet connection to one of my DVRs. As usual, I refuse to let a D* installer hack put new things in my central wiring location so I obtained and installed a SWM16, wired CCK, DECA adapter, band stop, an green splitters. All my receivers were back to working normally including internet. I had not been using Whole-Home so my first call this week was to activate it. Of course I couldn't do it online because my account wasn't marked as having DECA (D* fail #1). So I call an 800# that was on an old card that had been sent to me years ago as a "VIP customer" or so I thought. Nope, it's now the PPV ordering number; agent had to transfer me (fail #2). The English was pretty good and I could understand fine although there was a LOT of other voices in the background that made it a bit difficult. No doubt an offshore (India probably) call-center sweat shop (#3). Took maybe 5 minutes of the agent doing multiple things before it finally appeared as Authorized on my DVR (this suggests systemic flaws - #4). Then agent started doing something without clearly telling me what he was doing; I finally realized he was ordering an equipment replacement for my "old" HR20. I asked him to stop and not do that as I planned on returning it in a few weeks after I got some new equipment. $3/mo more for Whole-Home. I asked about the HD/DVR/Whole-Home @ $20/mo package that I heard about. ONLY for new customers he tells me. 17 years and over $150/mo and they are refusing a $1/mo "discount"! (#5) End of first call. So now I'm interested in an HR34. Want to get rid of my H20 (and eventually my HR20 once I'm convinced the HR34+my external drive is stable). Of course I can't order the HR34 online (#6). I call the normal customer number and ask for retention. I tell agent I'm interested in an HR34, that I want to upgrade my H20, and what kind of deal can I get. (Perfect English, clear sound, obviously not offshore. One point credit!) First, I can't upgrade my H20 to HR34. I can ONLY ADD an HR34. But I can immediately call back and cancel my H20. Fail #7. I'm offered free install ($50). How generous to have a grunt come to my house to connect 3 wires and take 30 minutes of my time (I figure it would take me maybe 5 minutes to do same). But HR34 is $399; period. I tell agent there is no way I'm paying anything like that knowing full well that many people are getting it for much less and that if D* continues to treat me like this I'm moving to Dish or cable. Agent says he is not authorized to discount and that he has to talk to supervisor. What seems like 10 minutes pass. He comes back on line and says he is still working on it. Another 10 minutes. (What a great time for a bathroom break.) Finally comes back on the line and offers a $200 credit. Wow (NOT)! At the same time I'm staring at my account online and there is a big splashy loyal customer free HD DVR upgrade - a $199 value. I'm so glad I spent 20 minutes listening to music to get the same credit I could have gotten for another model. I hate wheeling-n-dealing so I grumble a bit and finally accept. Fail #8 for having to spend all this time and frustration when I could have just pushed a button on a web page. Of course it takes another 5 minutes for agent to do all the data entry to order and schedule install (#9 as it would again be one button online). Then I ask about AM21N off air tuner. Agent can see it in his system but can't see any way to order it. (It CAN be ordered online but out of disgust I order from Solid Signal instead.) Then after all that I'm forwarded to "3rd party verification". English very hard to understand (sounds hispanic). Very noisy connection. Another 5 minutes repeating all the legal CYA and reviewing the order. Repeatedly telling me what a fine product I've acquired and how happy I will be with it. Finally I can say "Yes" and be done with it. Instead of a single button push online. Fail #10. "Thank you for being a loyal customer for 17 years"… Why do I feel like I just came from a prostate examine? Then I start getting calls from an 800 number. My caller id says "TOLL FREE". I never answer those as they are almost always spam. It never leaves a message. I finally google the number and find out it is D* confirmation robocaller. Is it too much to ask for their call to come up DIRECTV INSTALL??? Or leave a message (even if it is going to keep calling)?? #11. They send an email too - gee, suppose it would be too hard to allow confirmation there (hey, just put a stinking CONFIRM link in the email - ONE BUTTON). Fail #12. Now I get to endure an installer. And call back again to turn off and return an H20. And eventually call and return an HR20. And finally call again to order an RVU client when it becomes available. By then my hair will be falling out even faster. All for around 300 channels of which we watch maybe 20 regularly. Actually, it's about 5 less than that as they are actually off air channels. Half of the stuff we record is off air. $1900+/year. And should my DVR fail (I will be using external storage with RAID-1 so at least a disk fail won't sink me) I will lose on average 2 months of programming I paid for. Apparently I should be thrilled at the privilege of being a D* customer. The grief, cost, and value have passed the breaking point for me. I'm stuck with a new commitment but this is probably my last 2 years of D*.