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HR20 vs. Series 3 TiVo

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by batguano, Aug 18, 2006.

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  1. batguano

    batguano Cool Member

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    Aug 17, 2006
    So, I'm making the big switch from SD to HD, and I know I won't be able to live without a DVR. I've been waiting for the HR20 and Series 3 to come out before I take the plunge.

    So, I know it's a little premature to make comparisons (since the Series 3 is still unreleased, and all of 2 people on this board have HR20s), but I'd still like to hear people's thoughts.

    The battle:

    DTV and the HR20-700

    vs.

    Series 3 TiVo and Comcast


    My important criteria, in rough priority order:

    1) Quality of interface/ease of use

    2) Programming choice, especially HD. I know Sunday Ticket is the killer app for a lot of people here, and it's something I would get (especially with Superfan/HD games) but lack of ST is not a deal breaker.

    3) Picture quality

    4) Costs

    FWIW, I am a current DTV sub, with a ReplayTV DVR. I'm more-or-less happy with the RTV now (my first two units had to be returned, and the software was EXTREMELY buggy for a while, though much less so now). The 30-sec skip feature on the RTV is very nicely implemented. And my wife can use the RTV without me having to run it for her.
     
  2. jeffster

    jeffster Mentor

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    Nov 2, 2005
    The HR20 is out now -- when will the S3 Tivo be out?
     
  3. batguano

    batguano Cool Member

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    Aug 17, 2006
    "real soon now" -- the general guess is sometime in September, and no later than the end of October.
     
  4. jeffster

    jeffster Mentor

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    Nov 2, 2005
    If true, I'd at least consier switching to TW cable, though they have slightly fewer hd channels than D* in my area right now...
     
  5. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Just to address some of your points

    #1) The interface... that can only be decided by the individual purchaser.... there is not going to be one universal answer... Some peple think the DirecTV interface is "difficult", other find it very easy... Some people find the TiVo interface difficult, others find it very easy.

    One of the biggest problems there... is people are VERY used to the TiVo interface as they have had it for 6 years now... Changing to something else is always difficult..... Kinda like if a Windows person switched to a Mac... Different interface... it will take a while to get used to.... doesn't make the Mac a bad system...

    #2) That is going to differ by area of the country, even possible down to the city you are in. Not each and every cable co has the exact same lineup. So where it might be significantly more programming in Chicago or Boston, may only be 1 or 2 if any in some other part of the country.

    #3) There are ways to measure bit-rate, There are ways to find out what type of image you are getting... but ultimately... "Your Eyes to Your Brain, Displayed on Your TV, From Your Source provider"..... sure some generalizations can be made... but then again it is going to be on an individual basis.

    #4) Cost...... cost is cost... until the T3 is release, really don't know what it is going to cost... but you also have to mix in the "other" costs if you switch (like receivers for your other TV's and the added "rental" fees and stuff like that... which exist for both enviornments)
     
  6. shaun-ohio

    shaun-ohio Icon

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    Aug 24, 2002
    zanesville ohio
    wow earl you must have a huge house with all those receivers? how do you have time to watch all of them? i dont think the tivo series 3 will be a cost issue, i have a dvd recorder with tivo now, and i can get the series 2 tivo with dual tuners for only 30.00 and of course pay the monthly subscription too, and of course its a lease too just like directv receivers and dvr's are now, so i doubt the tivo will be a cost issues, because look at it in the long run what you are getting for your money, more features then the r15 or the hr20 and broadband capable too
     
  7. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    The house is "big".. not too big though.

    I have three of the DVR's on the main TV... then one on each of the others (master bedroom, spare/guest/play room, basement, and the flip top in the office).

    "indications" over at www.tivocommunity.com are that the T3 isn't going to be "cheap".. but probably one clip the $1k mark the HR10-250 did when it came out.

    The feature set... all depends on what you are looking for.
    The HR20 is expected to be "broadband" compatible as well... once they have enabled those features...

    There is feature A on one unit feature B on another and so on...
    I highly doubt we will ever see a DVR that has "every" feature ever thought of for a DVR...
     
  8. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
    This should be an excellent thread. I'd guess that there are many people with the exact same decision to make. HR20 vs Series3. I've been following this forum and the TCF forum forever. Thanks Earl for the HR20 review! Now we await the Tivo Series3.

    I've been with DTV for as long as I can remember. I also have Cablevision and Optimum Online (with Boost).

    We have 7 TV's.

    The 3 main TV's have DirecTV with two HDTivo's (with large HD TVs) and one DirecTivo (with a SD TV). The service is everything from DirecTV. Total Choice Premier with the HD package, along with NFL Sunday Ticket and Superfan.

    The other 4 non-critical TV's (kitchen and bedrooms) have just regular cable with no cable-box. Just have the basic cable service which includes YES network (which is critical throughout the house).

    It's always seemed easier to have DirecTv on the main TV's with all of their content (including HD) available, and cable on the remaining TV's for casual viewing in the kitchen and bedrooms which also allows the YES network to be available everywhere in the house.

    Now the big decision, and I've been thinking about this for months, along with reading every forum. Money really isn't an issue. The "best" TV experence is the goal.

    Now the decision criteria ...

    1) We all (including my wife - this is important) love the TiVo interface. My wife can hardly use a cell phone or VCR but absolutely loves the Tivo. I'd guess either the HR20 or Series3 would work out with the Series3 being simple.

    2) It bothers me every day that the HDTiVo's are slow. While the box is stellar, I continually switch one of the tuners to an XM music channel so that the interface speeds up. I'm sure this will be fixed by 6.3 or the HR20 or the Series3.

    3) It's always bothered me that the DirecTv TiVo boxes do not have all of the usual Tivo cool features. I want to be able to access the TiVo's from the internet, on the road. I also want MRV (multi-room viewing) and Tivo2Go. Want ALL of the TiVo cool features. Want the latest and greatest. If I switch to the Series3, I feel that I'll finally have TV nirvana. Finally.

    4) I love the dual buffers on the TiVo's. I use dual buffers every day. So do the kids. I continually have 1 baseball or football game on 1 buffer and another on the other buffer and switch between the two. It's easy. Hit one button to contunally swap between the two tuners. It's the way I watch TV. The kids also do exactly the same thing. My wife has no need for dual buffers (doesn't know they exist). The Series3 has it all. The HR20 would be lacking.

    5) HD content worries me. I love the HD content on DirecTv. We watch all of the network HD shows, have ESPN HD, all of the movie HD channels. DirecTV is fine. Now here's where the guessing begins. Cablevision today is somewhat the same. In doing a thorough comparison to see which service has better content. DirecTv has the advantage with NFL Sunday Ticket HD, and ESPN2 HD. Cablevision has the advantage with YES HD, SNY HD, and MSG HD. Looks like DirecTv with MPEG4 may get the sports networks with HD but today it bugs me everytime we can't get a Yankee game in HD on DirecTv but it's on Cablevision. The real issue here is who will have more HD over time. I'm just not sure. I even may do the unthinkable and sacrifice NFL Sunday Ticket to get all of the bells and whistles of the Series3.

    6) HD picture quality. It seems to be about the same. I do have one Sci-Atlanta HD box in the house to test the Cablevision HD picture against DirecTv HD and they seem to be similar with maybe a slight advantage to Cablevision but it's really no different.

    So now within the next few months ... have a MAJOR TV decision to make.

    Do we switch to 3 Series3's (with Cablevision) with the major advantage of getting all of cool TiVo featues (dual buffer, MRV, TivoWeb, TiVo2Go).

    Or do we go with 3 HR20's (with DirecTv), but really have no confidence in new cool features, but keep NFL Sunday Ticket (with HD).

    The choice would be very easy if both services had the exact same content. I'd go with the Series3 and feel extremely confident that TiVo would always have more features then everyone else.

    This is also actually a strange situation because for years I've trashed Cablevision but now the Series3 may push me back.

    I'm also considering maybe getting the Series3 as the main hub everywhere but have one TV with NFL Sunday Ticket with the cheapest DirecTv service during the Fall/Winter for football on Sundays.

    Tough decision!
     
  9. jeffster

    jeffster Mentor

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    Nov 2, 2005
    Is the Series 3 from Cablevision going to be something out in advance of a generally available cablecard S3? (We've got TWC - just took over for Adelphia) here.
     
  10. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    The TiVo Series 3, is not a "integrated" system. It will only be available from TiVo (at least at this point).

    You would need the Cablecards from your local cable-co to work with the unit.

    See www.tivocommunity.com for a lot more detail
     
  11. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
    Got back to thinking about the HR20 vs Series3 with the rainy day here in the east. Been watching the HR20 posts all week and all the hoopla about the Series3 beta picture (from HDBeat) and now the little bit of info on the Tivo web-site about the Series3.

    As I mentioned last time, been DirecTV HD for a long time now.

    The HDBeat pictures were interesting because the guy also had a Cablevision box, so hopefully the Series3 will work with Cablevision. Also, I read the comments about 3-4 visits to get the thing to work. Well, guess I have two thoughts: first, hopefully they've worked out the bugs during the beta, and 2) so what if it takes a few days to get it to work as long as they get it working and it's great for years to come. Yep, certainly would be nice to have zero issues with cablecard but I'd guess that once it works it stays working.

    What I'm starting to get excited about is all of the TiVo additional bells and whistles with the Series3. Was talking to friend this week, and he's scheduling his Tivo from work (when he forgets to setup a recording) and he's watching his other family members shows on his Tivo with MRV. Geez, that would really be convenient.

    Again, I love DirecTV HD with the HR10, somewhat better content then Cablevison especially with Sunday Ticket, but the other bells and whistles of the Series3 could be very useful every day.

    This is going to be a difficult choice. Gonna be fun the next few months ... also saw post on HDBeat of rumor 9/12 announce ... we'll see ...

    Hey Earl, you gonna get a Series3 to play with? Be interested in your review.
     
  12. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    If TiVo is willing to hook me up (even if it is just a loan)...

    I'd give it a shot (even though it would mean I would have to activate Digital Comcast.... .... shivers....)
     
  13. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Earl ... yep, would mean going back to big-bad cable ... but I'm starting to think that maybe that's not such a bad thing. ... especially in my house where I have cable for the other 4 TV's (kitchen, bedrooms) anyway.

    Gotta believe that TiVo learned alot from the HR10 so the Series3 should do everything the HR10 did plus all the latest-and-greatest features of the new DT standalone boxes.

    So now the entire interface into the Cable Company world could be TiVo HD. You would only need the cable company for delivery and content. Delivery is hardwired (and more reliable for me then DBS) and the content is pretty close. DirecTV better in some areas (Sunday Ticket, ESPN2 HD) and Cablevision is better in some areas (Local Long Island news, RSN in HD 24/7). DirecTV will probably win the content battle in the long-term but I'm really not sure. Seems like TiVo will always win the features battle because that's what they do to stay in business.

    Good battle ... content vs features ...
     
  14. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    The problem with that.... for one of the contenders... the CONTENT varries from city to city.

    What might be high quality/quantity for another... maybe completely different for another person... even if they have the same cable-co carrier.

    Prices are different, Lineups are different on the cable-co's... which make it so hard to compare on a national scale. (Another reason why it is difficult to bring FIOS into some of these comparison discussions).

    Also the whole cable-card thing.... the cable-co's 100% don't want them to exist... and they are not done fighting it. And that piece is a critical part of the TiVo Series 3 effective ness (As very few people are going to spend that kind of money just for OTA)

    It is going to be intresting....

    There is a lot of discussion going on at www.tivocommunity.com about the unit
     
  15. stuart628

    stuart628 Banned User

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    Jul 8, 2004
    is the HR20 compatiable with the phase 3 dish?
     
  16. Sixto

    Sixto Well-Known Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
    Yep ... that's what will make the debate so complicated over the next few months ...

    Some may love the Series3 while others will love the HR20, with the underlying issue maybe really being the cable company acceptance/content, which is different everywhere.

    Thanks Earl. Your dedication and countless hours spent on this stuff is greatly appreciated.

    Yep, been following the discussion over at TCF but you're the expert so enjoyed the discussion here ...
     
  17. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Bainbridge...
    OT for this thread, but it will receive all but the MPEG4 channels, which are on the 99 and 103 satellites. DirecTV will upgrade you to a 5 LNB dish if you wish, however.
     
  18. stuart628

    stuart628 Banned User

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    too quick on the draw there my friend. First of all I have a Phase 3 dish, I dont want a 55 pound dish to go on my roof that in my area of high wind will probably cause some damage, what about a pole mount you might ask-nada for tree reasons. So my option is stay with Directv and the HR20, or get cable and/or tivo series three, I just thought I would ask a question to see if the Hr20 was compatiable to aid me in my process. I should have explained myself a little better and for that I apologize, but no need to get hasty and declare it Off Topic. Thank you for your answer.
     
  19. cpstew

    cpstew New Member

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    Sep 2, 2006
    I am glad this string was started...
    I have been with D* for 8 year and DTivo for 6. I have been waiting for MPEG 4 and the H20 for what seems like forever. After months of cogitation, last week I finally called TW and made an installation appointment. I am have requested SA 8300's - my plan was to use them until the Series 3 is avaiable. I had to re think the plan when I got the notice aobut the H20 availability.

    I am sticking with the plan to switch to TW and get the Series 3 as soon as it is available for the following reasons, in priority order:

    1) Dual buffers - it's not just a feature, it is a way of life.
    2) Multi-room viewing - I have been irritated for years that D* disabled this feature.
    3) Tivo - The wife LOVES her tivo and would rather stay with SD than give up Tivo and get HD.
    4) D* CSR told me to get the H20 would require a new 2 year commitment.

    I haven't read anything that definitively confirms that the series 3 will have dual buffers and MR, but I assume Tivo is smart enough to know they are required. Does anyone know for sure?

    I am used to the integrated DTivo box. My assumption is that the dual cable card slots will make the tivo effectively integrated. The cost will be a slight hurdle, but I have waited so long (watching a SD picture on my 50" DLP is killing me,) that I can get over the cost.

    Am I missing anything? Seems like a no brainer.
     
  20. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    You might want to do some research on Switched Digital Video, which T-W plans to implement, and how it affects CableCard, which TiVo will be using to decode video.

    Personally, I would wait to see how things go with the S3 deployment and then I would wait to see how far the price might drop.
     
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