HR21-100 - Your opinions so far...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV - HR21 Discussion (private)' started by Greg Alsobrook, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Jan 8, 2008 #1 of 53
    Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    Now that we've all had a chance to get our hands dirty with this box, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick little recap. I didn't want to spam the issues thread, so I decided to start a new one.

    Here are my thoughts/feelings after using the HR21-100 for a couple of weeks now...

    -I find this unit to be extremely stable 'out of the box'.
    -Other than a couple of minor software glitches, this box has been rock solid so far.
    -I have never had to preform any sort of reboot or reset on this unit to date.
    -I've recorded several programs with no issues.
    -Seems to run alot cooler than the HR20-700 did in the same location.
    -Other than not having my OTA channels, this has been a flawless transition from my HR20-700. With that said, I have had no regrets making this unit my primary receiver. I am using it 3+ hours a day in my living room and have completely replaced my HR20-700 with it.

    Once everything settles down after CES, I can't wait for the CE process to begin.

    I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in the field test. My wife are I are truly enjoying it.

    I look forward to hearing everyone else's thoughts so far...
  2. Jan 8, 2008 #2 of 53

    TomF Icon

    Sep 20, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I would have to agree with nearly everything you've stated.
    - Definitely very stable "out-of-the-box".
    - It's been mostly rock-solid for me.
    - I've had to RBR twice. The first time I turned on the TV in the morning and had nothing but "static". The second time the unit froze trying to play a recording in the Playlist. Both occurred the same day, last Sunday.
    - I've definitely had problems with the networking. I've had lots of problems trying to use a static IP address, although it's running fine that way right now. When I've tried to get it back to using DHCP, my router shows that the HR21 has picked up a proper IP address, but when I check, it's showing a 169 internal IP address. When I can get it to use a proper IP address, it sees the network but can't connect to the Internet. I've rebooted it dozens of times trying to get the networking working correctly. It's fine right now.
    - I've recorded tons of stuff and everything I've watched has played back flawlessly.
    - Definitely runs cooler. Right now it's at 100 degrees after using it all evening. This is the same temperature as my HR20-700 with a Targus Chill Mat.
    - I've been treating it as my primary DVR, and all of our watching is being done on it, but it's also being backed up by my HR20-700 and my HR10-250 downstairs and my HR20-100 upstairs. I don't use OTA on my HR2xs, but I do on my HR10-250 (because I have to!). I would look forward to testing the AM21 if I'm lucky enough to be chosen. (hint, hint!)

    I can and will express my appreciation for the opportunity to participate in the field test (I know what you meant!). I'm truly enjoying it, less so for my wife.

    Definitely looking forward to the first CE.
  3. Jan 8, 2008 #3 of 53

    MartyS New Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    I'm in the same place. Once I got all the lines run for the HR21-100 everything has worked flawlessly. It's been stable, and I've one had to re-boot it once. I mirror my recordings on the 21, recording the same things at the same time as the HR20 does, just to compare, and I've had no discrepancies or missed recordings.

    Temperature runs about 10 degrees cooler than the HR20 which is nice.

    Only issue I'm having right now is that I can't get my computer to recognize the second gaming adaptor I added to the HR21. That will get fixed when I actually have the time to spend on it.

    Can't wait for the first CE on this box!
  4. Jan 8, 2008 #4 of 53

    Pinion413 Icon

    Oct 20, 2007
    I'll echo that for the most part. The only exception being that I have had to reboot it once or twice due to lockups, but they seem to be software related. The unit itself seems to be rock solid otherwise. I'm looking forward to the first CE for this when it rolls out.

    The HR21-100 is our primary receiver in the living room as well, and is serving us quite well.

    Thanks again to DirecTV and Earl for giving us the opportunity to participate in this field test. We're very happy to be able to help!
  5. Jan 8, 2008 #5 of 53

    bnglbill Icon

    Nov 29, 2006
    I have to agree with you so far. Only big problem I had was with the initial setup and the 72.5 degree satellite being selected but after input from others, I believe that setting was set by someone for testing and not actually a default.
    The only thing keeping me from replacing my HR20-700 (primary) is not having an ota option at this time.
    Channel changing seems much quicker and smoother than the HR20-700 but maybe this will change when all of the extras are loaded...
  6. Jan 8, 2008 #6 of 53

    Alexandrepsf Icon

    Oct 26, 2005
    I unfortunately am in a position where I cannot agree with you guys.

    The box freezes as soon as I go on any HD channel (excepted channel 70s).
    I noticed that other testers mentioned seeing the freezing problem as well (not as bas as for me).

    There is obviously something that crashed the software and needs to be fixed.

  7. Jan 8, 2008 #7 of 53

    waynebtx Hall Of Fame

    Dec 24, 2006
    I will say that I also agree with you. Only minor problem with setting up AUTORECORD all my S/L have recorded so far. I record almost everthing on it except my locals record the on the HR20 becasue of the no OTA on the HR21. I would say that i am useing it a good six to eight hours a day. I have not had any lock ups all and all i am very pleased with the HR21-100 and appreciat the opportunity to be part of the field test.
  8. Jan 8, 2008 #8 of 53

    mikhu Beer Aficionado

    Oct 10, 2006
    Very happy here as well. Knock on wood, we haven't had a single problem with it that we know of (i.e. I don't think we've missed any recordings, but I haven't scoured the history to see if we have or not), and it's pretty much on from about 7 AM until 10 PM in our house (my wife is home with the kids).

    You can tell a lot of learning from the HR20 went in to this one. The first couple weeks with this have been far more pleasant than the first couple months with the HR20.
  9. Jan 8, 2008 #9 of 53

    tonyd79 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 24, 2006
    Columbia, MD
    Worked right out of the box once I got things set up properly. Have had to RBR twice. Hasn't missed a recording. Seems a bit sluggish at times but probably the older software.

    Has been a good box so far. Looking forward to CEs and to an AM21 for it. ;)

    Haven't put a lot of SLs on it but have used it extensively for recording and watching HD movies.
  10. MartyS

    MartyS New Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    Hmm, Alex... I wonder if it's possible that you received a box that had been previously tinkered with, like the box that couldn't get the 72.5 degree sat.

    I assume that you've reset everything? Correct?
  11. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007

    my bad.... i fixed it :D
  12. Thaedron

    Thaedron Hall Of Fame

    Jun 29, 2007
    Mine has been solid out of the box since the day I received it. HR10-250 out, HR21-100 in. I'm not actually viewing content from it more than a couple times a week, but it is setup to record several SLs and hasn't locked up once.
  13. TomF

    TomF Icon

    Sep 20, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'll second that!
  14. Alexandrepsf

    Alexandrepsf Icon

    Oct 26, 2005
    Hey Marty,

    When I got the box I saw that it was used by someone else before, not sure for what purpose, but I did reset the box to factory settings twice. Changed BBCs as well, but none fixed the situation.

    One thing that I just think of and that I will try tonight is to try my HR20-700 on the cables that are connected actually to the HR21 to see it makes any difference, I do not think, but it worth the shot.

    But, I was reading the issues thread, and I saw that many people encounter sporadicly my issue which is box becoming unresponsive to any command from the remote or directly on the box.
  15. TomF

    TomF Icon

    Sep 20, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Interesting observation and it backs up something I learned during a neighbor's recent holiday party.

    Our neighbor works for a small engineering firm that has worked with DirecTV for a long time as consulting engineers, at least since their relationship with TiVo. At one point, DirecTV & TiVo were their largest customers. One of their guests at the party was this firm's primary engineer on the HR20. She was brought in to help solve the problems DirecTV was having with the HR20. She said that there were a lot of problems and she worked on the HR20 for about two years before it was released. She said that initially DirecTV had to hire an entire engineering team for the HR20. When they started to develop the HR21, only the best engineers from the first team were picked for the new team.

    It was a very interesting conversation and we also talked a bit about TiVo.
  16. cygnusloop

    cygnusloop Hall Of Fame

    Jan 26, 2007
    I have to say my box has been pretty good. It hasn't missed a recording, and I would have to say the trickplay response to the remote is a little bit improved over my HR20-700. The only caveats to a stellar review are:

    1) Found the box locked up on two consecutive mornings last week, but not before, or since. (Perhaps a fluke??).

    2) My Dolby Digital sync issues.
  17. mikhu

    mikhu Beer Aficionado

    Oct 10, 2006
    Very cool story! It would be interesting to live in a high tech area of the country. The only engineering people I run in to at parties around here are ones like me, who work on machines that make paper, film, and paper and film based consumer products, things like that. Oh well, it pays the bills I guess!
  18. lucky13

    lucky13 Active Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    I've also had a pretty solid experience with the new box.

    No freezes, no reboots, no unusual problems.

    It seems cooler to the touch, though I keep forgetting to check its temp.

    I've set up a few SLs, recording and watching a lot of sports events. Mostly, I'm aggressively using TP to speed through the games. (Watched BCS in under an hour after my wife went to bed last night.) Miss the 30SKIP, though.

    As I posted elsewhere, the HR21 sits near the bottom of my AV shelf system, and pointing the remote is awkward. I intend to Sling it, so RF isn't an option. I'm going to move an unused Radio Shack IR repeater from another room. (It's been controlling an SD box in my den, which was hooked up to one of my widescreen's inputs, but that cable's been pushed out by the HR21.)

    Let's see if the first software update brings any problems.
  19. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    Rock solid.

    No freezes, no reboots, no missed recordings.

    Very happy with it.
  20. bwaldron

    bwaldron Impossible Dreamer

    Oct 24, 2005
    I've been using mine as my main DVR for the past couple of weeks. No major problems, and certainly no issues with missed or unplayable recordings.

    As others have noted, it does seem a bit sluggish compared to my HR20s. On a few occasions, it has taken up to a minute to register commands from the remote (A/V continues normally throughout, the "stacked" commands execute after the delay). On one occasion the box locked up hard, requiring a RBR.

    I am seeing some problems that I saw in earlier HR20 CEs (occasional brief searching for signal messages when changing channels, the "please wait" message popping up now and then when I'm not actively doing anything with the box). Since these were fixed on the HR20 in later software releases, I fully expect the same will happen on the HR21.

    Looking forward to CEs to get us up to par with the HR20s, it is a bit difficult to remember which interface features are/are not available on my different DVRs (I really miss the left-arrow as the "back" button on the HR21).

    I do like the internal ethernet switch capability, new to me as my HR20-700s lack this. I am running my Slingbox off of the second ethernet port on the HR21, allowing me to get rid of an external ethernet switch I had been using (simpler/neater is always better!).

    All in all, the DVR has performed pretty well so far.

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