HR2X vs. TiVo: A comparison

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Capmeister, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

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    As I've said recently in the TiVo thread, how one uses a DVR is dependent upon one's thoughts about it. I enjoyed reading your comparison, and found myself agreeing with some, but disagreeing with others. Though I won't comment on every disagreement or agreement since you have clearly stated that it's your own PERSONAL comparison, there is a few I wish to comment on:

    • OVER THE AIR RECORDING: You state that both boxes were even in the number of OTA channels received, but that's really dependent upon where you live. As with every location, the HR2x allows you to receive guide data for OTA channels from 2 DMAs. The TiVo Series 3 (and I'm sure the HD XL) allows you to receive channels dependent upon your zip code, so at my location, I can receive guide data for channels from around 8 different DMAs. Though I can't receive many of the channels the TiVo Series 3 offers guide data for in my location, I can receive many of them that I can't get guide data for via DirecTV.

      CUSTOMIZATION: Yes, you can get rid of SD duplicates on the HR2x with one change in the menu, but you can't get rid of channels that you don't want on the HR2x like you can the TiVo.

      SPEED: Kudos to awarding this to TiVo! I too have found TiVo to be consistently faster than both my HR23/HR20. The only areas where I have found the TiVo to be consistently slower is on the GRID Guide and on the Season Pass Manager. Both are much faster on the stand-alones compared to the HR10-250, but still much slower than the HR2xs.

    As I said, I agree and disagree with several of your points and outcomes, but I found the write-up to be well-written regardless of my disagreements. That being said, I do have two small criticisms about it.

    One being the thread title. I really think it should have been named "HR2x Vs. TiVo: A Personal Comparison"... since, again, you have been clear that it's your own personal comparison, and not an in-depth comparison.

    Two is the fact that I would have liked to have seen a comment in it that you didn't go over every feature, but rather the ones important to you... since you've already noticed several people chiming in with things missing from your review (Wishlists, Series Link limit).

    ~Alan
     
  2. Ken_F

    Ken_F Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Since you weren't familiar with that feature, you may want a refresher on what else is new (link).

    Your comparison is good, but a little late for a potential reason (link) not mentioned by other posters. That design refresh appears imminent.

    People once said the same thing about season passes, i.e.

    We still see similar comments from those with DVD recorders and other timer-based recorders. Of course, anyone who has actually used a modern DVR for any length of time knows that isn't true. These users are speaking out of ignorance; they don't see the same value in the feature, because they've not spent any serious time with it.

    Many still see wishlists as some sort of category recording feature, because it had limited utility outside that in its DirecTiVo implementation. That older implementation did not always produce the desired results. The current TivoHD implementation makes it more of a custom season pass. You tell the DVR what specific event or what specific team you want it to record and that's what it does, eliminating the need to check schedules. For sports fans, it's the only practical way to catch every broadcast of one's favorite MLB, NBA, NHL, or NCAA team. Good luck catching all 162 MLB or all 82 NHL games without it.

    The DirecTV DVR has similar autorecord-by-search capability, but the current implementation is far more complicated and confusing to setup. If I belabor the point, it is only because I think this is one of the more significant differences between the two DVRs, and because DirecTV makes a serious effort to attract the type of consumers (i.e. sports fans) that find value in the ability to easily record all new games with their favorite pro and college teams, without unwanted programs like repeats, duplicates, classics, talk shows, and highlight shows.
     
  3. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I'm pretty sure I said that it was my thoughts comparing the two systems. I didn't know I needed to do that in the title. ;)

    People are taking this far more seriously than I expected. :)
     
  4. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

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    Peachtree...
    Yeah, we're a tough crowd here at DBSTALK.COM and I have found out that you can't be Thin Skinned around here but there are some pretty sharp guys that hang out here and I learn something new everyday from some very knowledgeable guys who are technically very savvy.

    A Great Article though and it just needs some tweaking to be a very good article for those to read who want to know the differences so they can decide which way to go.
     
  5. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

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    While it's obvious that anyone who does a review for a product is using their own opinions, you gloss over features that you don't care much about... as stated by you in other threads. This is understandable, but their isn't really a disclaimer other than perhaps you saying that those "are just my initial musings".

    I just felt that the difference in thread title would help to more accurately reflect your (generally) excellent post.

    I guess I'm passionate about it, because I've used both a TiVo Series 3 and a HR2x for the last several years, and when I'm using the TiVo, I miss certain features on the HR2x, but when I'm using the HR2x, I miss features on the TiVo.

    You spent time on several things about the systems that meant a lot to you, but mean very little to me about the respective systems... which is understandable, but when I think of comparisons, I tend to think of one that takes ALL the features into account, and not just ones that focus on features important to the writer. Because of that, I felt that the title was a little misleading, and thought I'd mentioned it.

    No disrespect was intended (heck, I have a lot of respect for your efforts on behalf of CC), and I have repeatedly expressed how great I think the post was, I just felt that I should express my opinion on it... which should be taken in the complimentary manner in which I intended it (that's seriously all I have to complain about?). ;)

    ~Alan
     
  6. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Exactly how I feel about it. I did have some Wishlists set on the DSR-6000, but it never felt that "must have" to me. I do have an Auto Record set up on the HR20: "Mystery Science Theater 3000". If it ever were to return, I figure I'd get a heads up before that though. I'm not averse to handling all the recordings since I used a VCR prior to DVR. Where most folks would have "12:00" flashing on theirs, the clock and timers were set on mine and it's primary use was for recording TV, not viewing pre-recorded tapes.

    I know there are folks that find "TiVo Suggestions" and Wishlists a godsend, but those folks have to deal with the fact that if you use "Suggestions", TiVo wants to record continually and that can lead to the phenomenon of "DVR guilt", where the user is unable to keep up with the recordings and they eventually get deleted unwatched. Yes, I'm aware TiVo Suggestions are deleted first. Like I say, it's a terrific feature for some, not for me.
     
  7. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Oh, no disrespect was felt, either. :) Note the smiley faces. Also, there's a reason this was posted in a forum where people can reply, comment, add their two cents, etc. It was meant to inspire discussion.
     
  8. Maruuk

    Maruuk Hall Of Fame

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    How do you leave out a Slo-mo comparison? The most critical feature to anybody who watches sports. D* units essentially HAVE no slo-mo. The insane hold-and-wait-and-wait-and-wait until the system decides when it will kick in slo-mo system is worthless. Tivo PWNS D* in this critical dept.

    I've owned many D* HD DVRs. They were and are all very consistent in their input response. Dead slow or none. No updates have ever affected this sluggish input response in any way. It's just how they are. It always feels like it's on the verge of or in some buffer overload. Very flaky.

    Every Tivo I've ever owned had instant button-push response. Accurate, instant, effective. I'm appalled by D*'s sloppy tech. I used to bang the Tivo :30 jump 6 straight times like a machine gun, and it would instantly pop me back at the beginning of the next segment, assuming 3 minutes of ads. Try that with the D* units. OMG. They'll just as likely jump you straight to the end of the show, one of their favorite nasty bugs which has ruined many a sports program and an evening for me! Buggy as all hell. Toy tech fit for toddlers.

    Bring on Tivo! They actually get that when you find the exact spot where Ryane Clowe dekes the goalie out of his jockstrap, you need A BUTTON to push to INSTANTLY start the SLO-MO. Like every single VCR ever made has always had. Now Ryane Clowe wears a helmet because he plays hockey. I suspect the guys who designed the D* DVRs all wore helmets for a vastly different reason. Hopefully when the Tivo comes out, they can all go back to designing the Stars Wars ABM system. It doesn't really matter if those buttons work or not.
     
  9. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

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    Because it was the OPs personal comparison...
    There are plenty of things that were 'left out'.

    Looks like you've already done your own personal comparison too :)
     
  10. Maruuk

    Maruuk Hall Of Fame

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    Way more than I bargained for in the D* dept. They kept shipping me bad HD units, and I kept testing them for 10 hours, then shipping them back. Took months. Such fun!

    Point is, Slo-mo is an extremely glaring shortcoming for the D* HD-DVRs. And I would think it would rank very high on anyone's comparo list who enjoys sports. But to each his own.

    I only pray that the Tivo software/hardware isn't contaminated with D* tech!
     
  11. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. AllStar

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    I was one of those guys who waited forever to switch to a DTV DVR, because of two reasons--I liked the TIVO UI and I kept reading disasterous things about the DTV HD DVRs' stability.

    I finally bit the bullet recently, and so far, so good. Button response is not as good as the DirectTivo, but it's livable. Like others, I like some features of each system, and dislike others.

    But one thing I absolutely agree on with Maruuk is the slo-mo. As a sports fan, I'm horrified by DirectTV's version of it. Virtually unusable. A real bummer. It needs one button, instant response. If Tivo can do it, so can DTV.
     
  12. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I sometimes watch sports, but leave the slo-mo stuff to the show itself and don't even remember the last time I used slo-mo. :) This is how it's impossible to cover every feature... I don't USE every feature, and didn't have DIRECTV and FiOS at the same time. So everything I say about the HR2x is two months old and from memory. ;)
     
  13. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    Usually the broadcaster covers that for me, often from several angles that I don't have access to, but I will say it could be better. However, the 30 sec. slip is much better than blind skip when watching the NFL. If it's Peyton Manning, Brady, or Favre (all notorious quick snap QBs), I can hit play in the middle of a slip and not miss the action.
     
  14. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    I did some updates to the original post. :) I didn't include everything talked about in the thread, because...well the thread still exists. ;)
     
  15. tralfaz

    tralfaz Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    I watch as much sports as anybody and have never used slo-mo (with tivo or current DVR's). Any play that I think I need to see in slo-mo is shown 4 or 5 times by the station.
     
  16. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. AllStar

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    Not my experience at all. In football, for example, there are many plays each game which the networks or commentators do not choose for slo-mo, yet are great to watch for individual match-ups, etc. Or, they will show slo mo of one angle, when I want to see another. With a good slo-mo feature, I can select my own plays, and the angle I want, to review. I used it all the time with Tivo. Can't use it at all with DTV.
     
  17. Brennok

    Brennok Legend

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    Just in case you weren't aware , you can also do this with Tivo under Messages & Settings-> Settings-> Channels-> Channel List. Also if you hit live tv while you are in this menu it will take you obviously to live tv if you want to double check a channel. If you hit left, to clear the banner if it is still up, and left again, it brings you right back into the same master channel list so you can keep removing or adding favorites.

    In that same menu you can also hit thumbs up to add a checkmark to any channel you want to mark as a favorite. By doing so this now allows you to use the guide option of only showing favorite channels or only searching favorite channels when recording by title or channel or time.

    I believe someone touched on this but on Tivo this can also be turned on by hitting right to bring up the banner and hitting down 2 times and then select during playback of a recording or 4 times and select during live tv.

    Just a FYI. I have 180 season passes currently on one Tivo HD with no slowdown.

    Nice comparison. Some of the points I would have given Tivo but many of those are preference. For example for me Tivos have always been about recording what I want to watch later and not about trickplay during livetv. As a result things like picture in picture and picture in guide, don't interest me and since I almost always have two shows recording I don't want to be spoiled by seeing parts of a show I plan to watch later.

    For me I always felt the control on the fast forwarding was tighter on the Tivo. I find the same thing now even with using my Xbox 360 which has 4 speeds as a Media Center extender. I love the extender but I prefer the Tivo playback but then again I have been using Tivos in some form since 2000. I have also never liked using the 30 second skip and always preferred skimming the commercials so definitely personal preference.

    Tivo also used to have a default record season pass setting back on the series 2 and I don't know why they removed it for the series 3. I noticed this when I made the switch back to the Tivo HD from the DirecTivo.

    MRV could definitely be better which the 360/Windows 7 Media Center has spoiled me with the streaming, but since it is a limitation of the older broadcom chip from what I understand this isn't something that will be improved until new hardware rolls out.

    I don't know if you have Windows 7 but I would love to read your take on Windows 7 Media Center vs Tivo vs HR2X especially with the cable card tuners coming out.
     
  18. Tony Chick

    Tony Chick Legend

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    Something I miss from TiVo is the better Actor/Director database. My wife's uncle was in lots of old TV shows and the TiVo's database knew about him so we could record them all, the HR2x does not.

    I also preferred TiVo's Fast-forward, the fact that hitting Play from the slowest speed did NOT jump back while the higher speeds did.
     
  19. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

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    Yes, I can manually remove each duplicate, but on DirecTV I can just tell it if the HD channel exists, I don't want to see the SD one and it's all done for me.

    (This is part of how D* has an advantage by only working with one channel listing whereas each TiVo works with whatever cable provider you have. In the DirecTV line up, A&E's HD and SD are the same number to the end user. On my FiOS system, channel 17 may be Fox and 517 FoxHD.)
     

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