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Help me move away from our DirecTivo setup and into the 21st century

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by tonydi, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. tonydi

    tonydi Mentor

    Jul 10, 2010
    I feel like Rip VanWinkle....I was so on top of the DirecTivo scene, with our 4 Hughes Tivo DVR's (HDVR2) with larger HD's and hacked using the Zipper tools and then all of a sudden I woke up and found DECA, SWiM, ICK and Whole Home DVR's!

    We've been a DTV customer since 2003 and since we didn't have HD TV's, there was really no reason to give up our beloved Tivos. But we're really limping along right now because a couple of them are having the dreaded Tuner 2 pixelation bug and I'm not all that thrilled to pay $170 to fix each of them. Plus, up until now there didn't really seem to be any good alternatives, but that appears to have changed with the Whole Home thing from DTV and I'm hoping some of you can give me some advice specific to our situation.

    My main concern is, what would we give up by moving to the new Whole Home DVR's with MRV and ICK? Just randoming thinking about what we do with our Tivos now....

    1. It appears as though the MRV feature is similar (maybe better) than what we have with the hacked Tivos so am I not losing anything there?

    2. I guess there's no way to replace the Tivo Server capability and be able to download a torrent from a missed episode and dump it to the DVR, right?

    3. What about 30 second skip?

    4. It appears as though the new DVR's can match the "record two different channels and still play back something recorded" capability, correct?

    5. How do the new units compare to the Tivos capability for Season Passes/Wishlists?

    6. What about padding shows, what's the largest padding for end of shows (I watch a lot of racing and even with 3 hrs extra tacked on, sometimes red flags and rain delays can come really close to using up that extra)? Also, is there automatic padding like I have with one of the Zipper tools?

    7. What about buffers? Do the new units have comparable buffer capacity and the ability to come home after a show has begun and be able to hit record and capture what's already in the buffer too?

    8. Can you be watching live TV on one tuner, pause it and switch to the other tuner and watch it and switch back and forth like this (not talking receivers here, but the tuners on one box)? That's a feature that comes in really handy when two sporting events are on at the same time.

    9. What equipment should I end up asking for? Even though we still don't have any HD TV's, I don't think that situation will remain for much longer. I understand I need HD DVR's in order to do MRV, so obviously I have to go that way now no matter what TV's we have. And I guess I want the ICK, even though I'm still not exactly sure what that gets me. :( Because our family situation has changed, we probably don't need 8 tuners, but we need at least 4 and 6 might be nice so I'm thinking maybe 3 DVR's and 1 regular HD box (which I presume could play back what's on all the DVR's, right?).

    10. And finally, what can I expect from DTV as far as "freebies"? We've never, ever asked for anything from them. We've had the same equipment since 2003, so same Triple LNB 18x20 Dish, same 4 HDVR2's and the same 5x8 multi-switch. We've never asked for promos deals, not even free Showtime, nothing. I know lots of people play the game on a semi-regular basis and get DTV to cough up some sort of concession but I refrained, mostly because there wasn't anything I needed and also because I figured I'd "save up" my markers for a situation like this.

    I should add that our house is fully wired, each TV location has a panel with two RG6 and two CAT5e drops (the family room has two of those panels behind the TV) all going back to a central wiring closet where everything drops in including phone and Internet.
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    1 MRV works great. Never had TiVo so..
    2 Not at this time.
    3 30 sec skip or 30 sec slip, are selectable with a key word search
    4 2 recordings while watching another.
    5 can set up 50 series links
    6 padding needs to be manually done up to 3 hours
    7 90 min buffer
    8 it's called double play using 2 90 min buffers
    9 ???? :shrug:
    10 again ??? :shrug:
  3. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    2. You could download to your computer via a torrent and stream the video via Media Share (the ICK or your existing ethernet will provide a connection to your DVR).
  4. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2009
    I've read about the Tivo hack for MRV. It works via transfer which Directv HD-DVR only streams which is good and bad. The playlist is combined which can be lengthy and trickplay (ie, FFW RW, skip, replay) is slower over a stream as opposed to local HDD. Arguably, the Tivo method is less problematic and places recordings on the preferred drive. IMO, a combination of both methods would be preferred (ie, stream or transfer?).

    From what I've read, if you're not upgrading to HD, you may be happier with Tivo World. There's also been a long anticipated return of Tivo but who knows when that happens again.

    Some of us were hoping the HD-DVRs would adopt Tivo f/w whenever Tivo came back to MPEG4 HD.
  5. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    You should try to get the new HR24 DVR's if possible. They respond quicker to remote commands, scrolling through the guide, etc. The only problem is, to guarantee you get one, you have to get them from a place like solid signal and spend $199 per.

    If you order HD DVR's from DIRECTV, you might be able to get one or both of them for free, but no guarantee of what model you will get. No matter where you get them from, they will be leased and on a 24 month commitment. You should be able to get the free HD offer and maybe something like Showtime for free. You just have to call and see what they will offer.
  6. tonydi

    tonydi Mentor

    Jul 10, 2010
    So that takes care of season passes. Do the new units have a way to search for shows by keyword, title, actor, etc, and then automatically record any show that matches those?

    Cool, that's 3x as much as the Tivo has. Buffers are a great feature.

    Ahh, excellent solution! Do you have the same sort of playback options when streaming, like pause, slo-mo, frame advance? Wait, do the new DVR's even do slo-mo and frame-by-frame?

    Yeah, I saw that these are the preferred units but it's a roll of the dice as to what shows up. I presume that's mostly because they're pretty new so there's still old inventory of the other model out there.
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Yes there are some very good search features, but I don't think there is any automatic record. When you find something you'll still need to press the record button.
  8. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    You can setup auto records based on keyword, actor, etc. I have one setup for Eddie Izzard that works nicely.
  9. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    Glad you posted this, since I don't use the feature that much.
  10. balboadave

    balboadave Legend

    Mar 3, 2010
    I am just finishing up an entire system upgrade, from 2 R10s I've had almost since they were released, standard def and a phone line, to full HD with a pair of HR-24s and the Whole Home Connection. Bottom line, run, don't walk, into the future.

    The questions for which I can shed a little more light:

    1. MRV is amazing, but is somewhat more limited than the advertising. You can see and play what's recorded on every other DVR if you set it up that way, but you can't see what's going to be recorded on them (to Do list), so setting up series links (that's a Season Pass to you) can get a little complicated.

    4. Yes. You can even switch between watching live TV with a recorded program.

    5. For Season Passes, it's worse, but that's because TiVo owns the patents. The limit of 50 is tough to bear (I used to have over 400 on two machines), and the scheduling doesn't seem to be as robust, but it does work well, and reordering them is instant. With the Whole Home option, you can double or triple your total. You can go on-line with DirecTV, or maybe use a phone app, and add recordings on DVRs in other rooms.

    It's not obvious at first, but Keyword searches (Wish Lists) at least match the Tivos, and in some cases are better. If Smart Search doesn't find the show (or movie, or actor, etc.) you want, just press the red button and it turns into a Keyword search. When you get a chance, look up how to use the Boolean operators.

    6. Padding is just like the TiVos, not automatic, but there is a friendly prompt when recording a live event asking if you want to pad an extra 30 minutes. You can of course add more.

    7 and 8. The buffers are 90 minutes, but there is a gotcha. One, it has to be turned on, which is really simple, but two, if there are two recordings scheduled, and you choose to go ahead with the recordings, you can't watch the buffers once the recordings start. They just go away. That isn't the case with TiVo.

    9. Ask for Whole Home and the HD upgrade. You'll get everything you need. A new dish if you need it, HR-24s for the DVRs, they will update your lines to SWiM (required for Whole Home), and add the internet connection (DECA or ICK). Internet is required for VOD and I think remote scheduling. If you have a PC based server, you can access all the media files on there too, or even watch DirecTV recordings on your PC.

    10. The price I got, if I remember right, was a free DVR, another for $99, $49 for the Whole Home upgrade and $99 for the install. And I got to keep the R10s. Just be patient and polite with customer service, and they'll give you all the deals they have.
  11. jal

    jal Icon

    Mar 3, 2005
    Overall, I still miss my TIVO HR10-250. In my mind, the Hr2x's are just not as fun to use, and the bugs in them along the way have soured me on them.

    Yet, they are much better now than at the start. Still, Directv can't seem to fix the smallest of things. For example, the Hr2x remote will not turn on my Panasonic Plasma unless I slide the top toggle to TV mode. Just a small thing, but an every day annoyance. One would thing that as Directv released different firmware versions of the remote, this would have been fixed.

    I also miss suggestions. I enjoyed seeing what was recorded based upon my tastes.

    Finally, the Hrxs I have are noisy (don't have a 24 so i can't comment on that unit). You can easily hear the hard drives clicking away.

    My Directivo from years ago is still wisper quiet. Look, if I could get 4 HD TIVO's and lifetime service on them for a reasonable price, I'd go back to cable just to have the TIVOs. Maybe I'd regret it later, but that's where I've been at for a while.

    TIVO is the Rolls Royce of DVRS. The Hr2x's are like buying cheap generic soda. It doesn't taste bad, but you can tell its cheap by the taste.
  12. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Many would debate that - perhaps 3-4 years ago...but no longer.

    As for the HR2x units...the HR24 units actually compare quite well with the attributes you describe.

    I know of one person with 3 HR24's in his home, along with Whole Home DVR Service activated, and walking anywhere in his house and seeing the fast guide presentation and searches, playlist scrolling, channel changing, WHDS playbakc, and other activities is nothing shy of extremely impressive.

    If you can pass up the cartoon network guide/menu feel of the Tivo's...the migration to an HR24 has no pain involved - many former Tivo users have made the switch quite comfortably. My HR10 is a distant memory.
  13. jal

    jal Icon

    Mar 3, 2005
    How did you get the HR24? Through the whole home upgrade?
  14. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Folks have received HR24's through a number of promos...yes...including WHDS. Also some NFLST and other package / new subscriber promos.
  15. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    My DirecTV remotes turn on my TVs just fine. I use the AV1 or AV2 switch positions (two DVRs on different TVs).

    Also, my HR20 is in the bedroom and I can only hear it when standing near it. My HR23 is also quiet, but it's in the LR, so it doesn't matter if it were noisy.
  16. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    Yeah, I have the same problem with my Home Theater Master MX-600 Universal Remote. It won't power on my TV unless the TV button is selected. Also, it won't adjust the volume on my A/V receiver unless the Audio input has been selected. Bitch ain't it? :rolleyes:
  17. tonydi

    tonydi Mentor

    Jul 10, 2010
    You mean you can't see the to do list for other DVR's without going to each one, right? I see there's an iPhone app, does that help work around this limitation? Right now I have TivoWebPlus, which is a PC app that gets you right into the Tivo over a network connection. So I can pull up the various screens on my PC and use them when setting things up.

    I don't follow you here. My Tivos buffer live TV and if both tuners are recording then there's no live TV left to watch.

    You make it sound like a slam dunk that I'll get HR-24's, although from reading the forum most people seem to indicate that it's a crap shoot, you get what they give you. Is that something that's changing now because of supply or were you somehow able to negotiate what you got.

    So you didn't go to Retention and try to bargain, you just went through regular Customer Service?

    Not a problem for me, I disabled Suggestions long ago. We never run out of stuff to watch with our regular shows so I've never seen the need.

    That brings up a good point. Anyone with an HR-24 care to comment on the noise factor, since at least one of these would be in a bedroom? I replaced the stock HDVR2 fan with a quieter fan and I suppose that is do-able with these new units if necessary. I never had issues with the hard drive noise, though, just the fan.
  18. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    24s are dead quiet.
  19. dtvmike1652

    dtvmike1652 AllStar

    Jun 14, 2010
    The only way to guarantee getting an HR24 is to get it from solidsignal.com or go to Ebay. Directv cannot specify which model you receive. If you get an HR22 or above they all have a 500gb hard drive and the software versions are the same. Basically there is no difference. Don't count on getting that specific model if you upgrade but if you do get an HR22 or above they are just as good. Just because it is the latest model doesn't mean that it is any better than the rest. Also Tivos are junk. They are difficult to navigate through, major pain for techs when they have to work on them, and not to mention who needs those stupid suggestions and wishlists? I'm glad that there are the new HR's they are so much easier to navigate and with so many new features who couldn't love what they have to offer
  20. dtvmike1652

    dtvmike1652 AllStar

    Jun 14, 2010
    Keep in mind though if you do open up that receiver and replace anything on the newer models unless you out right payed full price to own that receiver it voids any kind of warranty even if you have the protection plan on your account.

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