Getting HR20 tomorrow maybe, need tips

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by buggs1a, Jan 21, 2008.

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  1. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Installers should be out here tomorrow to upgrade us to HD. They're bringing 2 HR20 and 1 receiver only model along with necessary hardware etc of course. So since I'll be new to it, I wonder if someone could give me some info/tips on it that might be useful. I'm currently using an R15 that seems to work ok cept the buffer and then I've used a 35 hr and a 75hr DirecTivo that I still use and LOVE.

    I've read here something about how the HR20 can stream music and movies and photos from a pc even if it's not something.

    I do have a question. I am trying Comcast HD and have had it for a week plus. I hate the guide interface cus it's too small, the R15 and Tivo are much nicer. I hate how ugly the Comcast UI is since it's totally stretched and not properly formatted or something. Sometimes when watching an HD program and then the pic will go to 4:3 mode if I bring up the guide or info etc from the Comcast, it looks much nicer formatted that way not blown up and stuff, the info or whatever comcast screen is up will then switch to full screen stretched type and look horrible. However the Comcast doesn't allow you to change this behavior. So I am curious how the HR20 does this and if there's anyway to make any screen changes in the Hr20 to help with colors or guide looks or anything. I'd really like the guide/UI to be HD and look nice without all the darn ugly jaggies.

    Is there any feature difference from hr20-100-700/hr21 the black one? I know HR20 is only one with on demand.

    Is there a way to connect an external drive to the HR20 to offload programs to it? Or over the LAN?

    Is there a way to tell the guide to only show HD content/programming? Like HD channels only and HD on demand only. Comcast does have that as an option that I like. It'll show only the HD channels in the guide, but there's like 10 only that are shown in that part.

    Can you search for HD programs like with Tivo? So you'll search and say find HD only.
     
  2. Spanky_Partain

    Spanky_Partain Active Member

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    Dec 7, 2006
    The guide is a little squished looking in a HD format on a 4:3 TV, but everything is very readable.

    Yes, look around there are a lot of posts stating the differences.

    Yes, there is an eSATA jack that when you plug in an external drive or and array, it will REPLACE the internal drive, not add more space to the existing drive.

    Yes, hide SD channels is one of the selections.

    Don't remember if it is HD specific.
     
  3. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Well, I have an HDTV 42" Hitatchi Plasma P42H401 model, not a 4:3 TV if that is what you thought. Comcast DVR looks terrible when it's all stretched and huge. When a commercial is on tv that is SD it is 4:3 and if I click info or play it brings up the bottom info bar with the time left etc. It looks great. If the image on tv is full screen then it looks terrible when you bring this up from Comcast. In that 4:3 commercial or whatever then if you bring up the on demand or any part of the main menu it looks nice as it's in that 4:3 square image. However once the image goes back to full screen for an HDTV program then the Comcast looks like crap again. I don't get it.

    I was confused after reading the stuff from this site that compares the models. I guess I just am asking for any specific differences between the HR20-21 and the different versions in between such as the 100, 700 model or whatever. That I didn't get or seem to have totally forgotten. Cus I want the best end all be all HDTV DVR that's at least available right now. One that will be supported and upgraded for years.
     
  4. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

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    Aug 28, 2006
    The main difference between the HR20 and the HR21 is that the HR20 supports OTA broadcast channels via a built in ATSC tuner and the HR21 does not (until the AM21 external tuner is released). The -xxx numbers just indicate the manufacturer of the box, functionally they're pretty much the same.
     
  5. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    I don't know what this OTA means. I know it's over the air antenna right?, but that is what? comcast and dtv and even others get HD content from locals and non locals. you can get some hd content free with rabbit ears as well i think.
     
  6. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Wylie, Texas
    You may or may not get all of your locals from D* in HD. In order to get all the stations possible, some members use an antenna to receive their local stations OTA (over the air). A line from the antenna is connected to the HR20 receiver and local stations received this way can then be recorded and watched just like the other stations that D* carries. Yes, OTA channels are free.

    You can refer to THIS THREAD to find out which HD channels will be available to you.

    If some of your locals aren't available in HD, you can find out why and what to do about it in THIS THREAD.

    Keep in mind that most new members are getting the HR21, which currently can't access OTA locals anyway (but will eventually).
     
  7. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    What does it mean HR21 can't access OTA?

    I also know all local are available without the need for any rabbit ears etc. I live in Seattle, well, Tukwila and all locals are going to be available via the DTV guide and no need for rabbit ears/antennas if that's what that is.

    Thanks so much for the quick info. I totally appreciate it.
     
  8. Zepes

    Zepes Godfather

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    Dec 27, 2007
    That is correct. HR21 cannot access OTA. it does not have an integrated tuner.
    But, in your situation you will be able to have DirecTV HD locals, so it's not an issue.
     
  9. durl

    durl Hall Of Fame

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    You can easily connect an eSata drive but you cannot transfer programming to it. Programs on the internal drive cannot be moved. And it's been mentioned before, but the unit cannot recognize both drives at the same time. When an external drive is connected, the internal one is ignored.

    When you press GUIDE twice, you'll see an menu that will allow you to filter what your guide displays. HD Channels is an option.

    And you can use HD as filtering criteria when searching for shows.
     
  10. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Awesome durl, thanks. Thanks Zepes. Zepes, I love yer chipmunk avatar and durl, I love yer Reds avatar signalling you like Baseball which is my fav sport.

    I wish you could add an external hard drive for storage and that there was a transfer /copy to external drive option. I also wish you could do that via the lan. Be nice if it accepted USB2/firewire 400/800 and eSata. I've currently only have external USB2.0 drives. 160gb and a 500gb.
     
  11. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    Well the installer came today and did the upgrade. We got 2 HR21-700 black and one black HD Receiver only. I LOVE the black on the HR21's.

    It's UI is *extremely* pathetically slooooooooow. Bring up the guide, hit page up or down and it shakes as it scrolls is so bad. Same with other long lists. I know my R15 is 10 times faster as it scrolls smooth. When reading the tv resolution screen on the HR21 and you page down to read what is off screen it is slow moving. I hope they fix this soon.

    Other then that I've not used it except to look at HD only channels and change the channel a couple times.

    Now I wonder about this ViiV something or other and what the network is for etc. The ethernet ports.

    I see it has a USB connection in front and back. Can you connect a USB2 drive to it and it be used as the hard drive since mine is a 500gb. I'd rather use that one then the 320gb internal.
     
  12. Xaa

    Xaa Icon

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    Nov 17, 2005
    On the guide, go into Help&Settings>>Setup>>Display and disable the animations on scroll. That will speed it up some. Not R15 fast but faster.

    You can connect an eSata drive to it and it will format and go on that drive, but it will replace, not add to your current drive.

    No need for a ViiV computer now, just plug your network up and you can stream using WMP.

    Enjoy.
     
  13. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    I notice now how the 6 second back button and the skip button won't jump to end or beginning like the R15 does. It only goes to the beginning or end of the current block of show instead of the whole buffer. So you watch 90 minutes and there's 3 30 minute programs. In the R15 it would go to the beginning or end when you hit those buttons. Now it only goes to the beginning or end of the 30 minute block. This really sucks to me. Hopefully they'll change it.

    Also in the last 6 seconds button it doesn't just jump when you hold it down to jump to the beginning. It stops 6 seconds ago and if you keep holding it then it will go bacxk to the beginning. The R15 just jumps back to the beginning when you hold it down. That's how it should be.

    How do we tel;l DTV what we want fixed, changed and added? There are sooo many things wrong with the HR21. Well, each thing wrong are huge to me, so that's why I say so many. Just the stuff that's messed up is huge to me.
     
  14. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    My HR21 has twice frozen and I wonder why the firmware is so bad? It might be hardware, but I doubt it. An example is today I turned on my tv and it was on CNN HD. I could not do anything with the DVR. No buttons on the remote nor the DVR itself worked. I was still getting good pic and sound though from CNNHD. Hitting power didn't even shut off the DVR. Menu would not bring up the menu etc. TV picture and sound were normal. I had to hit the red reset button in the front right of the DVR. Things work again.

    Now also yesterday CNNHD the pic and sound went weird several times. Sound would be all jerky for a few seconds while the picture went all messed up for a few seconds. This went on a few times over 30 minutes or so. Even rewind or fast forward did not help. So I wonder if the feed was that way or the DVR did it.

    Sound from fresh prince of bel air the first night i had it, Wednesday was messed up with a little high pitched sound when you heard them talk with using the letter s or similar type sounds. However it happened on other words too sometimes. I did not change the channel to see if it was on others except a commercial on a diff channel to me did not seem to do it. However i only had it on that channel/commercial less then 10 seconds. Then I put it back to fresh prince on nick1. I think this was the nick HD channel. So I don't know what this issue is from. So far since I have not heard the problem.

    The problems really are the 1 or 2 times it froze and then the CNNHD audio/video issues for the few minutes here and there thursday night. i was watching anderson 360 at 9pm something.
     
  15. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
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  16. buggs1a

    buggs1a Legend

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    Oct 27, 2007
    ...
     
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