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HD DVR FAQ (High Definition PLUS Digital Video Recorder)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by Milominderbinder2, Jan 16, 2007.

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  1. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Please post any questions or responses regarding the HR20 or HR21 in the HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread...

    These Frequently Asked Questions are a compilation of ideas from dozens of contributors at DBSTalk. Content is offered without guarantee.

    Where are the manuals?
    HD DVR-HR20HR21Remote ControlSlimLine DishAcronyms

    Where is DIRECTV™’s official forums?
    High Definition Digital Video RecordingDIRECTV System Installation/Set-Up

    What are DBSTalk's product reviews?
    DBSTalk First Looks

    Where are DBSTalk's DIRECTV™ Forums?
    DIRECTV™ HR20/HR21 Q&AInformation Resources

    From the HD DVR FAQ: What do I need to know about HD DVR ordering and installation?
    Ordering Tips
    Installation Guide
    Single Wire Multiswitch

    Why is it so important to have a battery backup for my satellite receiver?
    UPS: Protect against lost recordings

    Is your dish properly installed and grounded?
    Satellite Dish FAQ

    How can I be sure I will get an HR20 instead of an HR21? I want all of my local channels!
    How to get an HR20 instead of HR21 (Thanks to Hasan)

    What will I be asked to sign once the installation is complete?
    Installation ChecklistAgreement

    Is there an easy way to get started?
    5-Minute Quick StartUndocumented HD DVR PLUS Tips & Tricks

    What can help me transition from TiVo? How do I get Suggestions?
    TiVo Users Survival GuideBetter Suggestions than TiVo!

    What new HD channels are coming to DIRECTV™?
    HD Channels (with resolution info)AVSForum Listing

    How can I watch my HD DVR on more than one TV? In another room? Record to a DVD Recorder?
    Connecting Multiple TVs to the HD DVR+Is HDMI better than Component?

    Why would I want to watch HD on an old Standard Definition TV?
    Top 20 Reasons To Use an HD Receiver With an Standard Definition (SD) TV

    I only watch live TV, why would I want a DVR?
    Top 15 Reasons to Get an HD DVR Instead of a Basic HD Receiver

    How can I support DBSTalk?
    Become a DBSTalk Club Member for only $15

    More FAQ: HD DVR FAQ Advanced Topics
  2. Feb 3, 2007 #2 of 44

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    From the HD DVR FAQ:

    Why would I want to connect a TV antenna to my HD Receiver? How do I do it?
    Get Great Local HD Channels

    How do I program my Remote to also control my TV, DVR, stereo or another satellite receiver?
    Remote Control Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    How can I do more advanced searches?
    Enhanced Search

    Is there a way to get Dual Live Buffers (Watch two live programs at once)?
    DLB Workaround

    How do I schedule a recording on the HD DVR+ from my PC?
    DVR Scheduler New Online Suggestions

    How do I setup my HD DRV+ so that I can I listen to MP3 music and see jpg photos?
    Networking Your HD DVR+Media Share Overview

    How do I use DIRECTV on Demand to download movies and programs to my HD DVR?
    DoD OverviewFAQNetworking Your HD DVR+

    Where can I learn about adding a big external hard drive to my HD DVR+?

    HR20 eSATA Hard Drive Discussion ForumTenBox

    What are the codes so that I can control my HR20 using the USB port?
    DIRECTV Set-Top Box Information (Using Creston or Elan Controllers, etc.) Using MythTV

    How can I add Dual Live Buffers, Picture In Picture, Double the tuners, and Double the storage?
    Add PIP DLB for $5 a month

    What does DIRECTV have left to do? What features do users want?
    Missing Promised FeaturesWish List Survey

    What bugs are left?
    Long Term (multiple CE) Bug List

    Can I help test new beta software updates?
    The CE: Rules, FAQs, and Tips on participatingNotify Me of New ReleasesCutting Edge Forum

    What improvements have been made to the HR20 since it's release?
    Listing of Improvements to the HR20

    How does the HR20 Compare to TiVo or DISH?

    Comparing the HR10-250, HR20-100/700 and ViP622/722

    What Troubleshooting Guides do your offer?
    Find Missing Channels
    HR20 Troubleshooting GuideTroubleshooting Caller ID

    What are the FCC Closed Captioning Rules? How can I file a complaint?
    FCC Closed Captioning FlierFCC RulesFiling a Complaint

    My Guide info is wrong: repeat/first run, HD, etc. How can I file a complaint?
    Call Tribune Media Services at (518)792.9914 ext. 2227

    Back to the HD DVR FAQ. Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread

    - Craig
  3. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Unless you pay $749, the HR20 will be leased. A 2 year commitment is required. See Agreement. You may need an AM21 accessory to receive all of your local HD channels (OTA).

    1. Note that competing offers from Comcast, DISH, etc. may not be HD DVR, etc.
    2. Call 800-531-5000 or email DIRECTV. Be polite. Don't threaten. Do not brag about how old you are or how big your "package" is. Offers vary.
    HR10 owners sample email. - You can also check the online newbie offers and customer upgrades.
    3. If you call, repeat the Rep's name & write it down. Explain what you want. You can ask about special offers, credits, or free trials. Note.
    4. Ask for a morning installation. DIRECTV may have to do the installation. Clarify the work to be done and verify any charges.
    5. Before you hang up, confirm that your work order is for:
    - DIRECTV HD DVR (Expanded HD Prog. Capable)
    - Standard Professional Install that will include:
    - New RG6 cabling and connectors (up to 125' x 4 as needed)
    - Multiswitch (Zinwell 6x8 if needed)
    - DIRECTV 5-LNB Multi-Satellite Dish (New SlimLine HD dish, if needed)
    - Your date and price
    6. Click here to verify your order. Or call Customer Installation Support (CIS) at 1-888-355-7530.
    7. Click here to see if you can move up your installation date. You may need to check several times to get a great delivery date.
    8. Click here to verify your changes to your bill.
    9. Next check out the Installation Guide and Installation Checklist.

    Bonus Programs:
    Referral Program: If you refer someone to DIRECTV you both may get $50 credits.
    Welcome Back Program: If you left DIRECTV and come back, you may qualify for a $100 credit.

    Resources from the HR20 FAQ:
    Undocumented Tips & Tricks
    TiVo Users Survival Guide
    HR20 Official User Manual
    Would you Recommend the HR20 to a Friend? Poll of 767 HR20 users: 92% say "Yes".

    Want to help test the latest HR20 software?
    Participate in the Cutting Edge Forum also Sign up to be notified of new releases and Read the CE Rules

    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  4. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    This is Part 2 of Getting More HD Local Channels

    .There are easy and cheap things you might be able to do to add local HD channels to an HR20 or H20.

    I am in the "deep fringe" with useless analog TV reception but now great HD TV reception. Here is how.

    Antennaweb.org says that 57 miles southwest of Chicago, I will at most be able to get 1 HD channel. Even in Chicago, antennaweb thinks you can only get 12 digital channels.

    HDTV Magazine correctly lists the 28 digital channels that are possible with a great color map. Click TVGuide.com to see what all is on right now.

    One great source for amps, splitters, and antennas is Solid Signal. Their prices are great and they ship almost instantly. They will also talk you through gettingexactly the right equipment if you call them at: 866-374-4625.

    The HR20 could only lock in a few channels on the old antenna and at best with 50% signal.

    I upgraded to a decent antenna for about $70, Channel Master 3020. That helped a lot. 16 channels were now at 50% or higher signal. (If you call Solid Signal, they will match up the right antenna for your situation.)

    Next I tried a basic distribution amp. A splitter can cut your signal in half or worse. A distribution amp does not really amplify that much but at least it is not worse. The distribution amp helped, but on the SD, you could see that it was also amplifying the noise. I needed the amplifier right at the antenna.

    I tried a Radio Shack Pre-Amp for $50. It made little difference.

    Then I finally got a $65 Channel Master 7777 from Solid Signal. WOW! That worked. Channels that the HR20 was not even able to lock on before are coming in. I now get 27 OTA channels at 70%-100%. Better yet, those new channels are in the HR20 Guide just like the channels coming from the Satellites. See this picture.

    There is a lot that you can do even if you are way out on the fringe. Wait until you see all of the PBS channels you may be able to get...

    For setup instructions see the HR20 - Welcome to ATSC/OTA

    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  5. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    DIRECTV has enhanced the HD DVR+ PAUSE feature to allow you to easily toggle between two shows, each with a rewind buffer. You have the option to flip back to the time you left off (Option 1) or to real time (Option 2). When you flip shows, it automatically starts playing. Here is how to do it.

    Option 1 - Flip Back to The Time You Left Off
    1. Tune to Show 1. Press ®. This is your first live buffer or "anchor" program.
    2. Tune to Show 2. Press PAUSE. This sets your second live buffer.
    3. Press LIST > PLAY.

    Flip Between the Dual Live Buffers (DLB) (For instance, toggle between Game 1 ↔ Game 2)
    Press PAUSE > PREV

    Cleanup: Delete the Temporary Anchor File Recording
    After you are done watching, you will now have the option of keeping the primary show or deleting it. To delete it:

    1. The old 30 minute DLB limit is gone. Show 1 will be buffered as a recording in it's entirity. Show 2 will have a 90 minute buffer.
    1. When toggling from the anchor Show 1 to Show 2, you only need to press PREV. But for simplicity, always use PAUSE > PREV.
    2. Now you won't accidentally lose your primary buffer because it is actually a recording.
    3. Now you have the option to PAUSE Show 2 or to let it keep playing, for instance, to come back after commercials.
    4. You can keep your anchor Show 1 and tune to Show 3. Press PAUSE > LIST > PLAY as before. Now PREV toggles between Show 1 ↔ Show 3.
    5. You can also watch a an anchor show, say game 1, and channel surf during commercials. To go back to Game 1 press LIST > PLAY.
    6. To anchor for an extra 3 hours: Setup Step 1. Tune to Show. Press INFO > Record > Stop > 3 Hours later.
    7. The TiVo DLB setup was a full second quicker because it did not require the third step.
    8. Fixing the PREV button so that it always goes to the previous program would allow toggling with only one keystroke.

    Option 2 - Flip Shows in Real time
    1. Tune to Show 1. Press ®. This is your first live buffer or "anchor" program.
    2. Tune to Show 2. Press ®. This time you have a second anchor program.

    Flip Back in Real Time
    Press PREV

    Option 2 Notes
    1. The purpose of Option 2 is not to hold the place where you left off. You will have a buffer that you can rewind.
    2. Option 2 anchors both buffers. You will not be able to switch the second show or channel surf.
    3. Option 2 gives you the opion to save both shows. To delete both when you are done press LIST SELECT SELECT.
    4. Option 2 uses a single key toggle (PREV) like TiVo DLB. Option 2 requires 2 more keystrokes to set up than TiVo DLB.

    - Craig
  6. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    If Caller ID does not pop-up on screen when a call comes in while watching the HD DVR PLUS, here are steps that may help solve the problem.

    1. Doug Brott discovered improper or missing satellite cable grounding can prevent Caller ID from working. See this thread: Caller ID - A Breakthrough! . Make sure that your satellite cables go through a ground block that is properly tied to your house ground just before they enter your home.

    2. Test Caller ID: Attach a phone with Caller ID to the wall jack the HD DVR PLUS normally uses. Use the same phone cord you use for the HD DVR PLUS. Call your home number with a cell phone. Verify that Caller ID Name and Number are displayed.

    If the phone does not get Caller ID either, the problem is not with the HD DVR PLUS.
    - a. Try another phone cord.
    - b. Unplug all phones. If Caller ID works, reconnect the phones one-by-one to find the problem.
    - c. Connect the HD DVR PLUS to another phone jack that has working Caller ID for other devices.
    - d. Verify with your phone company that you have Caller ID with Name & Number.

    3. Make sure the phone line is connected to the HD DVR PLUS.

    4. Connect the HD DVR PLUS directly to the verified phone wall jack with no splitters or extenders.

    5. Run the HD DVR PLUS Phone Test: On the front panel press Active and the Right arrow at the same time. Dial a test call. If problems call tech support at 800-DIRECTV.

    6. Verify that the HD DVR PLUS Caller ID Notifications are on: Click Menu, Calls & Messages, Edit Settings, Notifications ON.

    7. Delete all existing Caller ID Messages (if any): Click Menu, Calls & Messages, select each Notification and delete.

    8. Test Caller ID: Try calling your home phone number from a cell phone again. Make sure that no answering machine or voice mail picks up before the 5th ring.

    9. If still no Caller ID notification pop-up, unplug the HD DVR PLUS for at least 5 minutes: Make sure no recordings are being made & put it in Standby (Off) first. This will take several minutes.

    10. Test Caller ID again. If still no notification pop-up, check to see if Caller ID is being logged: Click Menu, Calls & Messages, and look to see if the new Name and Number are present.

    11. If still no Caller ID, call tech support at 800-DIRECTV.

    - Craig

    With special thanks to Carl6, Litzdog911, brott, Tom Robertson, Earl, and others for posting help with Caller ID. Another thank you to Doug Brott for finding grounding problem.
  7. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    The HR20 has multiple outputs that are all on at the same time. This one-page guide tells how to connect multiple TV's to one HD DVR+.
    It also suggests the how to get the best picture quality.

    In addition, steps are given to set up an RF Modulator to broadcast through a home's antenna cabling.

    The Wiring Diagram and sample part numbers are included.

    Version 1.3a 454 Downloads
    Version 1.2 463 Downloads
    Version 1.1 1706 Downloads
    Version 1.0 38 Downloads

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  8. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    1. How far away are the TV towers? Any obstructions in your Line Of Sight?
    2. Do you have newer RG6 Quad Shield all the way from the antenna to receiver?
    3. How long is your antenna cable?
    4. How old are the connectors?
    5. Are there any splices or crimps?
    6. Where is your antenna? Outside? Inside? Where exactly?
    7. Any buildings or terrain nearby to cause reflectsions?
    8. How high is your antenna?
    9. What antenna are you using?
    10. Any amplifiers? What ones?
    11. Are you using splitters or diplexers?

    - Craig
  9. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    The order for trying resets is:

    1. Menu Reset (Warm Reboot)
    2. Red Button Reset (Cool Reboot)
    3. Unplug (Cold Reboot)

    Under normal circumstances, you should rarely do more than a Menu Reset. The Red Button Reset is used when the Menu Reset fails.

    Sometimes, as a last resot you will need to do an Unplug Reset. Unplugging the HR20 will reset the HR20 when a normal Reset will not. It is the difference between a "cold boot" and a "warm boot." The reason is that it lets all capacitance dissipate and all internal votages should drop to zero.

    Here are the steps:
    1. Make sure the HR20 is not recording.
    2. Turn the HR20 "off".
    3. Go to the wall and unplug the HR20 power cord.
    4. Wait at least 5 minutes, no less.
    5. Plug the HR20 back in.
    6. Wait at least 2 minutes after the plug-in to press ON.
    It may come on by itself which is OK.

    - Craig
  10. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    DIRECTV Official Investor Releations Website

    DIRECTV Q1 2008 Earnings Report Conference Call Transcript

    DIRECTV Q4 2007 Earnings Report Conference Call Transcript

    Investor Day 2008

    DIRECTV Q4 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    • ...an eight-year low in monthly churn of 1.42%, 275,000 net subscriber additions, and an ARPU growth exceeding 8%.

    DIRECTV Buys ReplayTV

    DIRECTV Extends Contract with NDS

    DIRECTV Q3 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript and DIRECTV Q3 2007 Earning Report
    • Net new subscribers up 240,000, almost double the growth of the past quarter 128,000.
    • 50% of new subscribers in the quarter signed up for HD and/or DVR (advanced services) compared to only 28% a year ago.
    • Third quarter revenues increased 18% to $4.33 billion.
    • Of DIRECTV's total subscriber base, just under 40% now have advanced services compared to less than 30% a year ago.
    • Average Revenue Per User (APRU) rose to $78.79.
    • ARPU growth was actually adversely affected by the increase of use of discounts and credit (HBO, Showtime, and Stars)
    • ...expect to end the year with close to 100 HD national channels...
    • ...move more towards drop shipping a box to a home that is already set up for the upgrade and not require a truck roll...
    • ...HD DVR is still a $430 or $440 box, and by the end of the first quarter, I think that HD DVR is down a bit over $250.
    • ...our HD box is still about $210 to $220, and I think by end of first quarter beginning of second quarter next year, it will be $140....
    • ...I think we’ll end the year probably with somewhere a bit over half a million [MPEG2 HD] customers...
    • ...the longer we can stretch it out [MPEG2 HD to MPEG4 swaps] the better it is for us...
    • ...I would think we’ll do certainly probably over half of it [MPEG2 HD to MPEG4 swaps] in ’08....

    Merrill Lynch Presentation 09/17/2007

    DIRECTV Q2 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    • ... Between now and year end, the HD DVR box cost will decrease about $100 per box.
    • ... We will launch with an HD package with over 70 channels around the end of the third quarter.
    • ... between the end of the third quarter and the end of the year, we’ll get to the 100 channels that we talked about.
    • ... the launch of our initial VOD offer in the fall.
    • ... SAC [Subscriber Acquisition Cost] will still be in our $650 to $700 band
    • ... We announced today a new $1 billion buy-back [shares, on top of the earlier $1B buyback]
    • ... we will not have a programming cost increase related to HD.
    • ... We’ll have the capacity around the end of the third quarter if the satellite comes online to do 100 channels.

    DIRECTV Q1 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    • ...DIRECTV-11 is scheduled to be in service the first half of next year.
    • ...a customer will be able to browse and schedule recordings when away from home...
    • ...We are going to have thousands of titles available...]most of them are broadband...
    • ...in [the] summer we will have boxes that will have broadband capability that will be able to deliver video from websites onto your TV or your PC.
    • ...we’ve got a $10 price to the [HD] package and we don’t have plans to change that.
    • ...we are going to be moving continuously to...set-top boxes that feeds multiple TVs or a set-top box that integrates multiple devices in the home.
    • That will all be part of what we will be launching, as well as services like being able to program a DVR from your office on the web or from a cell phone.
    • ...towards the end of the year bringing 100 channels of HD to the marketplace.

    2006 Annual Report
    DIRECTV Q4 2006 and Full Year 2006 Results
    DIRECTV Q3 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    DIRECTV Q2 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
    TiVo Contract/Patent Licenses Extended Through 2010 Business Week's Account
    TiVo (TIVO) announced yesterday that they have extended their agreement with DirecTV Group (DTV) for three years. In addition to this, both parties have agreed to not assert patent rights against each other. The previous agreement was due to expire in 2007.

    DIRECTV Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

    Investor Day 2/22/06 (Transcript)
    ...1500...high def locals once the new satellites are launched.
    ...22 call centers, 19 of them are manned by vendors, 3 are in the Philippines (slide 9)
    2.5 million subscribers have DVRs, 1 million have HD (slide10)
    HD & HD DVRs installed in 2004 - 80k, in 2005 - 150k (slide 15)
    2005 ARPU Components - Mirroring: $5.90, PPV: $2.50, Ad Sales: $1.30 (highly profitable)
    2.6 receivers per home on average...
    ...expect to have 300,000 [HR20] installed by the end of 2006. (transcript p. 14)
    ...five hearts would represent our best customer and one heart would represent our lowest value customers. (transcript p. 20)
    APRU - Basic Box: $64, HD DVR: $89 ($25 more per month) (Slide 88)
    Churn - Basic Box: 1.8%, HD DVR: 1.0% (Slide 88)
    ...we'll end up with what looks like about 800,000 [MPEG2] customers that will convert over the next two to three years (transcript p. 24)

    DIRECTV Q4 2005 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

    - Craig
  11. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    1. To Do List Button "Press LIST, then press YELLOW to display the To Do List. p. 20 & 21" - manual p. 33 (HR21 p. 33)
    2. CIR "Display only the channels that are in your current subscription package" - manual p. 33 (HR21 p. 33)
    3. Apply Current/Favorite Channels as a filter to Search for “just what you want to watch” manual p. 31 (HR21 p. 31)
    4. Enable Title Search Autorecord - manual pp. 20 & 31 & 0x115, 0x119, & 0x11b release notes. (HR21 pp. 20 & 31)
    5. "Select the Scan for Channels button to have the receiver scan local off-air frequencies" manual p. 78 (No OTA in the HR21)
    6. Enable Setup>Display>Screen Centering per manual p. 28. (HR21 p. 28)
    7. PREV should jump to the previous channel even from one recorded channel to another. manual p. 11. (HR21 p. 11)
    8. ...in [the] summer...deliver video from websites onto your TV or your PC. 5/9/07 Conference
    9. MRV Multiroom Viewing ...set-top boxes that feeds multiple TVs...a set-top box that integrates multiple devices 5/9/07 Conference
    Perhaps the most encouraging fact is that DIRECTV made extensive corrections when going from the HR20 to the HR21 manuals. Errors such as stating that you could record 3 programs at once are removed. But DIRECTV still contends that the features above are a part of the HR20 and now the HR21 as well.


    To Do List Button
    To reach the To Do List, try these key sequences:


    Channels I Receive (CIR) Bug
    The CIR work does not pull development hours because it is yet another group who is working on CIR. But fixing the CIR bug does not address the fact that the Favorite Channels filters do not work in Searches:

    Screen Centering
    The new H21 has this feature. DIRECTV is going to a consistent user interface across all receivers.
  12. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    1. Your new HR20 can output to an old SD TV!
    2. Your old SD TV can show 100 HD Channels including all of the new channels
    3. Not all HD channels are available in SD.
    4. Even some of the best premium channels are only in HD.
    5. Same monthly receiver mirroring/lease cost of $4.99 for an SD or HD receiver.
    6. Same monthly DVR of $5.99 for an SD or HD DVR.
    7. Same monthly HD Access cost of $9.99 no matter how many HD receivers.
    8. The picture quality of an HD channel on an SD TV is stunning.
    9. The HD channels show the full letterbox the SD channels cut off.
    10. Be ready when you upgrade the TV to HD.
    11. Have the same user interface on all of your receivers in your house.
    12. Play mpg3 music from your PC.
    13. Watch jpg photos from your PC.
    14. ATSC OTA and OTA sub-channels
    15. eSATA external drive option to add storage
    16. DIRECTV on Demand (Video on Demand)
    17. SWM (Single Wire Mutliswitch) compatible
    18. 200 hours SD storage capacity
    19. 50 Hours MPEG4 HD storage capacity
    20. Start the 24 month commitment now to be able to upgrade in 24 months.
    21. HR20 CE program is the flagship program
    22. You may be able to get the HR20 for great price
    Finally consider this. Over your 24 month contract, many DVR customers will average $90 or more a month. That's over $2,000 in two years. Why not get the receiver you want?

    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  13. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Let's say you could buy an upgrade to your HR20 that would add:
    + Dual Live Buffers
    + Double the tuners (4 instead of 2)
    + Double the storage space
    + Picture In Picture - Watch two games truly live
    + Double the 50 Series Link Limit to 100 (Thank you to christo76 for this one!)

    Let's pretend you could get this extra service for $5 per month and a one-time $300 charge.

    Would you do it?

    Then just buy a second HR20.

    Connect two HR20's to your HDTV. Use the TV's PIP (split screen) to watch both at once. Click back and forth. Pause one then the other if you want.

    How well this works depends on the capabillities of your TV. You need 2 HD inputs and ideally a simple to use Picture in Picture (Split Screen).

    Program one remote to control both. Or be a two fisted user and have truly Dual Live Buffers, controlled simultaneously.

    Here is an example:

    Adding PIP DLB...$5 a month on debit Master Card

    Watching your team win and Satellite Signal Strengths at the same time...



    - Craig

    Please post any discussion of this post here: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=97929.
  14. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006

    Some spcial characters you can use press and hold Alt functions as shortcuts:
    © - Alt-0169 or Alt-Crtl-C
    ® - Alt-0174 or Alt-Crtl-R
    ™ - Alt-Crtl-T
    ° - Alt 0176
    • - Alt 0149
    ± - Alt 177
    ¼ - Alt-0188
    ½ - Alt-0189
    — - Alt-Crtl-Num -

    Here are some others...
    ▪ ■ □ ● ← ↑ → ↓ ↔ ↕ ▲ ► ▼ ◄

    Here are some special codes you can use and what they do:







  15. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Click through each link in the Ordering Tips. If you have placed your order, you are on step 5. The last few steps are critical. In particular look at the check list you will be asked to sign and confirm everything on line ahead of time.

    Also check out the Installation Guide. You can control so much. At the very least you will know how to test to make sure the installation and receiver is good before you sign for it.

    Here are a couple more links from the HD DVR FAQ.

    What will I be asked to sign once the installation is complete?
    Installation ChecklistAgreement

    Is there an easy way to get started?
    5-Minute Quick StartUndocumented HD DVR PLUS Tips & Tricks

    What can help me transition from TiVo? How do I get Suggestions?
    TiVo Users Survival GuideBetter Suggestions than TiVo!

    Good Luck!

    - Craig
  16. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Using your remote...
    1. Press GUIDE. Use your ▲▼ ARROWS to find any show (or enter a channel number.)
    2. Press SELECT to watch it. Try out: ll PAUSE, ►►FAST FORWARD, ◄◄REWIND, REPLAY, & ADVANCE 30 seconds.
    3. Press ® to record the program. Press the GUIDE button again. Notice the ® symbol there now?
    4. You found a show & are recording it! Want to record all upcoming episodes? Press ® again for a Series Link.
    5. Notice the ®)) for Series Link? Find a second program. Press ® twice to set it’s Series Link (Season Pass).
    6. Press LIST . See your recordings in MyPlaylist? You are recoding two shows at once!
    7. Press the YELLOW button to see your To Do list. Your HD DVR+ may have already found upcoming episodes!
    8. To delete the ToDo list items: Press the button to delete the 1st “To Do” then Yes. Press again to delete the 2nd “To Do.”
    9. To delete the current recordings, press LIST . Press to delete the 1st recording. Press again to delete the 2nd record.

    You can now: find shows, Pause, Replay, Advance, Record shows, set up Series Links, and Delete!

    Are you ready to see more of what your HD DVR can do? Click here: 144 Undocumented Tips & Tricks

    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  17. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    At the completion of your installation or other service, you will be asked to sign a form showing that the following was completed. Read it ahead of time to know what to expect.

    Here some highlights:

    The installer will:
    + Call a day ahead to confirm and again when he is on his way to you
    + Arrive on time and clean up afterwards
    + Before starting work explain any extra fees
    + Provided a name and phone number if there are any problems
    + Give you your owners manual

    The installer will show you how to:
    + Find national and local channels (verifies HD Access and local channel access is correct)
    + Turn the satellite receiver, TV, DVD, etc. on/off using the remote (verifies remote is programmed)
    + Change channels and volume with the remote (verifies TV can be controlled with the remote)
    + Set up parental controls and favorite channels
    + Check satellite signal strengths (Check 103(b) to make sure it is at least 85+)
    + Find your OTA TV antenna channels if you have a TV antenna connected
    + Record a program (verifies DVR service is correct)
    + Restart the satellite receiver (if needed)
    + Change the TV Input to all devices connected to the TV (verifies everything is connected)
    + Compare picture and settings for SD and HD channels (verifies you really are watching HD)

    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  18. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Even if you don't think you will ever record a program, here are some reasons to consider an HD DVR instead of a basic HD receiver.
    1. Skip up to 25 minutes of commercials and credits an hour.
    2. Watch a 60 minute show in 35 minutes.
    3. Even if you are watching live TV, you still will want to replay a great play or a funny scene.
    4. Pause to answer the phone or the door, get something to eat or drink, etc.
    5. If you really like two shows on at the same time, watch one and record the other (you don't need tapes or DVD's).
    6. Never miss your favorite programs.
    7. Record the news so that when you get up or get home you don't waiting for a story to come up again.
    8. Always have some of your favorite shows recorded for when you have a moment to watch TV.
    9. Same monthly receiver cost of $4.99 whether it is a DVR or not.
    10. Same monthly DVR of $5.99 no matter how many DVR's you have.
    11. Same monthly HD Access cost of $9.99 no matter how many HD receivers.
    12. Play mpg3 music from your PC.
    13. Watch jpg photos from your PC.
    14. DIRECTV on Demand (Video on Demand)
    15. Remote Booking: Setup a recording from a PC or cell phone if you won't be home in time.
    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
  19. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    There is a whole world of HD OTA (Over The Air) programming free for the taking!

    There are two ways to watch your local channels. A few local HD channels may be available via satellite. Or you may be able to receive Over The Air (OTA) HD locals using a normal TV antenna. If you can receive OTA HD, you will suddenly have anywhere from 6 to 40 new local channels in your HD receiver guide that you can watch or record.

    Note the HR21 and H21 are not capable of receiving your local Over the Air (OTA) HD channels.

    Many prefer local HD OTA channels via TV antenna to satellite because:
    1. Better picture resolution with less pixelation (less blotchy or grainy)
    2. Greater color depth (more vivid colors)
    3. Better responsiveness to Fast Forward, Replay, REW, etc.
    4. Less cropping (picture cut off on the edges)
    5. More reliable than satellite reception
    6. You may may be able to get dozens of additional local channels.
    7. PBS HD can be breathtaking.
    8. OTA may still work even if heavy clouds to the south block the satellite.
    9. The OTA channels show up in your guide and can be recorded as normal.
    10. OTA HD can be very easy and inexpensive to set up.

    You need a clear line of site to the towers, Anything over 50 miles is considered fringe and special care is needed. As a rule, the higher your antenna, the better your reception.

    An antenna inside an attic or house may work if you are near the towers but can cause echos called multipath. In HD, you see this as pixelation or a dropped signal. You see this as "ghosting" on an older Standard Definition. Mountains or nearby buildings can also cause multipath reflections.

    If your OTA signal strengths are 80% or higher and you have pixelation or your HR20 can't lock onto a signal, you may have multipath. If your cable is over 10 years old or not RG6 Quad Sheild, replace it with new RG6 Quad Sheild. Directional antennas can also help reduce multipath. You may actually have too much signal and need a variable attenuator.

    What local HD channels might I get at my house if I used the right antenna?
    HDTV MagazineTVFoolFCC

    Warning: Antennaweb.org may show half or fewer of your actual channels.

    How do I set up the HR20 to receive OTA HD local channels?
    HR20 Off-Air Antenna Setup Wizard

    Who will help me choose the right amps, splitters, and antennas?
    → Call Solid Signal at: 866-374-4625 for great prices and a custom configuration.

    Are all diplexers and splitters pretty much the same the same?
    → NO! See Choosing the Right Splitter
    → In most cases Diplexers will not work but here is the comparison chart: Diplexers

    Do cables matter? Yes, you want RG6 Quad Shield. Here is a great source:

    What do I need to do to receive those local broadcast HD channels Over the Air (OTA)?
    AVSForum HDTV FAQTV Antenna FAQsChoosing an Antenna

    Where are some places to find spec sheets and more information about Antennas and Pre-Amps?
    Pre-Amp Comparison Winegard Antennas Channel Master Antennas Terk Antennas

    Some of my local HD channels are missing. Who can I call?
    → Call Tribune Media Services, TV Data division 800-424-4747 ext. 338.

    Anyone with OTA signal problems can't use a splitter, diplexer, or coupler.

    To split the signal, use a distribution amp with very low noise. Here are great 2, 4, and 8 way distribution amps: 3043, 3044, or 3045 respectively.

    Wait until you see the world of High Definition that you have been missing!

    Want even more? Go on to Part 2: Even More HD Local Channels

    - Craig
  20. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    You may have wondered what do the model numbers mean? Here is a little info...

    D = Digital SD only, non-DVR

    H = HD

    R = Digital Video Recorder (DVR)

    -100 = Thomson / RCA

    -200 = Samsung

    -250 = Hughes (only used once on the HR10-250. 250 was the hard drive size.)

    -300 = Philips

    -400 = Hughes

    -500 = Humax

    -600 = LG

    -700 = Pace Micro Technology

    -800 = NEC

    1. There are minor differences between manufacturers. For instance the HR20-100 has an external Remote antenna and the HR20-700 is internal.
    2. Changes in model number such as H20 to H21 mean larger changes. In this case the H21 does not have OTa and the H20 does.
    3. Larger model number changes mean entirely new platforms. For instance the HR20 is is a complete redesign and is not based on the HR10.

    So an HR20-100 would be a High Definition Digital Video Recorder made by Thompson/RCA.

    Thank you to michaelyork29 for compiling this!

    - Craig

    Back to main FAQ → Please post responses here: HD DVR FAQ Discussion Thread
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