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How Solid is the DIRECTV HMC (HR34)?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by chewbach, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. chewbach

    chewbach New Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    We're looking to dump Time Warner Cable (Cincinnati) primarily because our DVR experience has been nothing short of lousy. Thus, we're looking at both DIRECTV HMC (HR34) and DISH (Hopper).

    If we go DIRECTV, the setup should be pretty simple: 1 HR34 + 2 additional HD receivers. However, before we make the plunge, we'd love to hear some feedback from other HR34 users. Specifically, feedback on:

    - Reliability (how often is a reboot necessary)?
    - Speed of the interface
    - Other general feedback

    Coming from TWC, we suspect everything will be an improvement. However, now is the time to decide between DIRECTV and DISH.

    Consequently, 2-year pricing between DIRECTV and DISH are about the same. Thus, that really isn't part of the equation.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I'm not going to say the HR34 is bug free (but I don't think Hopper is either), but I will say I never have regretted upgrading to it.

    It's a far cry from the last TWC DVR I saw at a friend's house for sure.
  3. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    chewbach, welcome to DBSTalk.

    The HR34 is a new model. It does have some teething pains but nothing, as a long term DirecTV subscriber and a HR34 owner, that I find disqualifying. It is a joy to use. It's fast and with five tuners, not a bottleneck in my system in terms of recording. It also seems to be the platform which DirecTV is making available their latest technology, with Genie, a show suggesting utility, available only on the HR34. That may be a function of its 1TB drive.

    If you want further information, your same question was recently asked by a forum member and you might want to read his thread. He ended up getting a HR34. One change from that thread. There has been a new software download that fixed some bugs and added Genie.

    As for your specific questions:

    1) In the three weeks I've owned it, have never had to reboot my HR34 to solve a problem.
    2) It's faster than the older DirecTV DVRs I own, an HR20 and HR23. I have heard the HR24 is a hair faster. I can't speak to that myself. I also can't compare it to Time-Warner's units.

    Good luck with your decision.
  4. Tom_S

    Tom_S Icon

    Apr 9, 2002
    I upgraded a week ago and love it. My setup is HR34, HR24, H23. With this setup I have the ability to record 7 things at once. I use the HR34 as my primary DVR in the Family Room. The speed is great. The PIP and Double-play(where you switch between two live tuners with the down-arrow) is near-instantaneous. The 5 tuners make life oh so much easier.

    I have never used the Hopper, but from what I understand you don't have the ability to record five separate channels, although they have some service to record all primetime shows to alleviate some of that. Sounds funky to me.

    No problems so far.
  5. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    As the HR34, is coming up on being 1 year old (the First Look was released on October 6, 2011), I'm pretty sure that disqualifies it as a "new model". It seems like the HR23 came in went in little more than that amount of time.
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    So it's "the newest model", and is a significantly different DVR, so it still has some things to sort out.
  7. Carl Spock

    Carl Spock Superfly

    Sep 3, 2004
    harsh, I'm a stereo salesman. Everything is new, even stuff that's was released three years ago. I never had a customer come into my shop and ask me, "What's old?"

  8. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
  9. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Given your philosophy the same can be said for DISH's Hopper and Joey. :sure:
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    I guess you haven't met me then. I used to get deals on their demos. ;)
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    There have been many comparisons between Dish and DirecTV in these forums. Suffice it to say there are proponents and opponents to each. I like DirecTV, but have never used Dish.

    I think the HR34 works just fine. I've got one and have not had problems or issues that require reboots, etc.

    The other thing you really should look at before deciding on a service provider is the selection of channels that are important to you. It does not matter if one service offers 10 or 100 channels more or less than the other, so long as it offers you the channels you watch.
  12. chewbach

    chewbach New Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Great point on the channel selection. From the outsider looking in, it seems as though DISH is always in a dispute with a provider. Thus, it would seem that DIRECTV is a more "stable" provider.
  13. chewbach

    chewbach New Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Great feedback and thanks for the link to other thread. (I missed that one!)
  14. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    To echo some of the comments above ... while there might be a few minor glitches here and there, the HR34 is a beast DVR and you will love it.

    5 independent tuners
    3-streams for MRV/RVU

    You may get some debate of RVU (tuner-less) clients vs H25 clients ... it provides for a great whole-home solution.

    Also, with the upcoming Genie roll-out, you'd be picking DirecTV's latest-and-greatest primary DVR platform, as of today.

    It's a fabulous DVR, and I would never go back.
  15. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    Amen! As a very recent HR34 owner, I'd agree, go for it!
    While I've not had the RVU client, I am hooked up in one room via an H25, and all's good.
  16. Curtis0620

    Curtis0620 Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Mine is coming tomorrow.
  17. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Directv has had it's fair share of disputes, especially lately. Basically, forget the hardware for the moment. Is there a channel that you absolutely HAVE to have that one carries and the other doesn't? If yes, then I'd say go with the provider that carries that channel. If they both offer what you want, check prices. Who's going to offer what you want at the cheapest price? Who's going to charge more up front for what you want?
    The fact that Dish doesn't have a 5 tuner DVR can be remedied by adding multiple DVRs. From what I have seen/heard, Dish's receivers ARE more responsive that Directv's. However, this does not prevent me from using Directv's receivers (As long as you get an HR24/H24 or HR34, you're probably not going to notice too many signifigant speed issues).
    If possible, play with the receivers before hand. Is there an electronics store nearby that has either (Or ideally both) on display that you can actually play with? You may find that you HATE one UI, and would NEVER want to use it.
    The Tivo receiver is also an option with Directv (Model THR22). It uses Tivo's UI, if you're familiar with that and like that. That IS limited to 2 tuners however, and cannot do MRV.
    I never have any reliability issues with the receivers. The HR34 was a bit flaky when I first got it in Feb, but it's very good now. RARELY have a problem with it.
    And yes, coming from TW's DVR, most anything would be considered an upgrade!!! When I had TW, I used my Tivo Premiere, but other family members in the house used TW's DVR, and I HATED the thing! I'd almost rather go back to a VCR than use TW's DVR!!!
  18. coolman302003

    coolman302003 2014 NBA CHAMPIONS!

    Jun 2, 2008
    Here is another thread to check out it is a little older but this is someone coming from TWC in Columbus, OH that switched to D* and shared there experience:
  19. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Also, another thing to check out is does each provider offer you locals, and offer them in all in HD? Being as you're in Cincinnati they probably both offer them, but they may not offer them ALL in HD.
  20. celticpride

    celticpride Icon

    Sep 6, 2006
    carl6 hit it on the nail make sure you get the channels you want i made the mistake of leaving directv for verizon fios 3 years ago,and to this day verizon only has 1 HD channel in the nba league pass!!:nono2: so i rarely get to watch my celtic games in hd on league pass,i'm trying to figure out a way to come back to directv , If i do i will ask for a hr34 and hr24 i dont think i want the client 31 ,but i wont rule it out just yet.

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