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I'm considering Direct TV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by benpub, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. benpub

    benpub New Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    with hd dvr. I currently have tw cable. I actually had an appointment for dtv to be installed tommorrow but I canceled my order after reading these forum and the issues with the software rollout for dvr service. I'm not here to bash or trash, I'm looking for info from what appears to be a highly active and intelligent forum.
    Heres my situation.
    I have 5 hd tv's in my house only one is 1080p. 3 tv's have heavy dvr usage. For viewing programs, not so much the sports but hbo and showtime and locals and as much hd as possible. I live inland empire so cal, absolutely nothing can ever block the signal. Cat 5 network to central box from every room.

    If some here would respond on if waiting til february would be better, as maybe more channels open up and different hardware becomes available. Are there new tivo/direct boxes on the way? What has been you experience with the dvr service so far, does the hard drive get programing blown out often? Would anyone share their on demand experience?

    I thank any respondants in advance. I just don't want to make a change and create more problems and be locked in to 2 years.

  2. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    I've had no issues with any of my 3 DVR's over the last 13 months . The only new announced box would be a new Directv DVR with Tivo, but nobody knows when that will be available (guesses range from 6 months to 1 year). I don't see any reason to wait until February. On demand works great for me too. I can start downloading programming and watch it almost immediately without catching up to the download. However, this is dependent upon your internet speed.
  3. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2002
    Well, October was a BAD month for DirecTV and the HR2X HD DVR's. Twice they sent something out in the guide data that caused the boxes to lock up. The 1st time they sent out a reboot command to all of them in the late afternoon. The 2nd time it happened they again did the reboot but then decided to do a forced download of the level of software that a numbe of folks here had been testing that had a fix in it for the problem, which caused another reboot, for some this happened in prime time which didn't make them happy.

    There have been folks that have had nothing but problems with them, going through multiple replacements but IMHO those are the vast minority of users and maybe their problems are being caused by something external to the DVR.

    My own experience has been with two HR20's, a HR21 and HR22. I had the HR21 replaced once because the RF remote function didn't work. There was a software problem with a HR21/AM21 with trick play performance on the HR21 which looks like it was fixed in a recent software release.

    Don't know about your February rumor, haven't heard that. There was the announcement about DirecTV and Tivo getting back together, I had the HR10-250 HD Tivo box and I don't miss it. I haven't seen a date on when they think that box will be available, could be many months if not years. Look how long it's taken cable to get their Tivo based DVR out.
  4. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    One important consideration to keep in mind. Most people will go on-line to seek help with a problem, or complain about a problem, but very few will go on-line because everything is working well. As a result, forum posts tend to be heavily biased to the negative.

    Further, this specific set of forums is populated by a dedicated group of users who are working very hard to find and report every little problem, no matter how insignificant, as part of a collective effort to help DirecTV improve these products. You will see here reports of problems that in many cases will have no adverse impact on the typical or average users experience. Most users would never even notice some/many of the issues we report here.

    There are literally millions of DirecTV DVRs in service right now. If one tenth of one percent of one million had problems, that would be 1000. If 50% of those went on-line to seek help or complain, that would be 500. That is more than the number of complaints you see in this forum or the DirecTV forums. I would suggest that the actual percentage of problem units is very very small. I personally have an HR20, an HR21 and an R22, all of which work fine and have since I got them.

    I see no advantage to waiting 6 months or a year to make the change if you have in fact decided to go with DirecTV.

  5. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I'm moving this to the General Discussion forum.
  6. TMullenJr

    TMullenJr Godfather

    Feb 22, 2006
    I've had DirecTV since the mid 90's and probably over 20 different receivers over the years and I could count on 1 hand the issues that I have had. I currently have 2 HR-20's, an R-15 & an R-16 and they all perform great.
  7. joed32

    joed32 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    If you are afraid to switch then don't. Wait until you feel comfortable with trying something new. I like Directv and I use 5 HD DVRs and like them too, but it's not for everyone.
  8. Ken S

    Ken S RIP

    Feb 12, 2007
    What is your reason for wanting to switch? Cost? Certain channels?

    I've had the HR2x series of HD DVRs for about a year and a half now...and had numerous problems...mostly with them recording consistently. There have been some disappointing software releases in the past few months and a couple of nationwide DVR lockups caused by DirecTV transmissions. The boxes are not horrible, but they have been problematic and do require babysitting.

    On the other hand, they are really your only choice if you want a DVR and HD from DirecTV. There was a press release about a new Tivo DirecTV DVR being released in late 2009, but Tivo hasn't exactly had a reputation for hitting release dates....and you can't record programs on a press release.

    Before taxes and without any premiums or sports packages you're probably looking at a monthly fee of about $100 - $110. If you start adding in HBO, Showtime, etc. you'll end up somewhere around $130 (before taxes).

    There is an upfront cost to the DirecTV DVRs. They list at $199 each which is for a lease. You will not own them and must return them should you ever leave DirecTV or want to disconnect a receiver. DirecTV will often cut deals for new subscribers so you may be able to get one or two DVRs for free or at a reduced price. They will also offer significant programming discounts for the first year.

    The quality of the install can vary greatly. I would advise anyone to understand what the installer is supposed to do and how things should look before scheduling the appointment.

    You will find a great deal of valuable information in the forums here.

    Hope this is of some help.
  9. DrummerBoy523

    DrummerBoy523 Godfather

    Jan 9, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    I have been a DirecTV subscriber for almost 9 years. This time last year, I was in a similar boat as you - I was pondering a change to their HD service. I got on here and after reading the many, many posts on the subject, I was a bit concerned like you. I owned a DirecTV Tivo unit for our standard def tv's and we love(d) it. My wife and I were concerned about the D* DVRs after reading this forum.

    But, I decided to bite the bullet and get D* HD & their HD-DVR installed last December. I have not regretted it. We had a few problems with the DVR with blank recordings - but we are pretty sure it turned out to be a dish alignment. The only other issue I've had is that our tuner 2 went bad for some reason and we just recently got a replacement DVR which is working flawlessly.

    DirecTV has so much more HD content than cable that you can't go wrong. Waiting until February will just make you wish you had gotten the HD sooner so that you didn't miss out on the NFL in HD, College Football, College Basketball to name a few (yes, I'm a huge sports fan). Once again, I can't stress enough that the HD content will blow you away.

    The DVR itself for the most part does what it says it will do. I check up on it about once or twice a week to make sure it is recording the shows properly - but I have not had any issues other than a couple of kids shows which could be traced back to guide data (which D* is not the owner). The DVRs GUI is clunky - but who cares? It gets the job done. The best part about the DVR is the searching capabilities. Very powerful and much more powerful than Tivo.

    The "trick play" functionality of the DVR isn't as good as Tivo IMO, but it is sufficient. D* has actually upgraded and improved upon this somewhat over the past year. I thank this forum for that.

    There are only 2 things I can think of off hand that I miss about my Tivo:
    1. Dual Live Program Buffers (DLBs)
    2. One Button return to "live TV"

    But - there are a ton MORE features on the D* HDDVR than Tivo that I really love. To name a few:
    1. Group Play in the Play List
    2. Space Remaining/Full indicator
    3. Searching capabilities are endless and very powerful with Boolean operators
    4. You can add external storage to replace the internal hard drive w/o voiding the warranty
    5. Triple Tap text entry

    The two year commitment is nothing - just do it. Also, I'd recommend the protection plan for the first year as peace of mind.


    Good luck!
  10. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Sep 16, 2003
    I have three HR-2x boxes on 3 HDTVs in my two bedroom apartment. :) I recently moved from a house in Michigan and while looking for an apartment I needed a place that took pets, and would let me have a DirecTV Dish without problems. ;)

    I find my HR-20/1's far more stable than my HD DirecTivo, which rebooted itself a lot and was painfully slow. I've seen DirecTV work very hard to keep improving their HR2x line, and listen to customers wants and desires. I can't imagine having another TV provider nor can I imagine going back to Tivo. I may try the new HDTivos when they come out, but they'll have to do some special things to make me give up my HR2x's.
  11. benpub

    benpub New Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    This is for all, Thanks for your replies. My reasons for considering switching are, not enough hd channels, some in the cost, my cable bill with 5 hd dvr's, internet, and home phone is 272 including tax. The boxes are about 100 a month alone. I've been getting a lot of pixelization in my hd service especially when the hd channel switches to local non hd commercials and the on demand pay per view is many times highly pixelized. I've had a lot of outages of late and thats what prompted me to explore Direct TV. I'm sure many of you have spouses that don't want to deal with "technical" difficulties. I think my wife would shoot me if she lost all of her recorded shows. She knows record, play, stop, pause, and fast forward, and that it should always work perfect. LOL.
    If I drop the TV portion and keep the internet and phone its about 75 per month including taxes. So overall, it looks like a savings. I think when I saw the issues with the new software upgrade, I thought about the wrath I might have to face from my wife.
    Anyway, sorry for the long post, I think I'll wait just a bit to see the software update issue get resolved and then take the plunge.
    And not to confuse anyone but my mention about february was due more to cable having more bandwith for more channels after the digital transition.
    Thanks all, I'll let you know when I take the plunge.
  12. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    The February digital conversion is only applicable to over the air transmissions and has nothing to do with cable. Cable companies can continue to use analog, digital, or combined analog/digital feeds after February.

  13. oldfantom

    oldfantom Icon

    Mar 13, 2006
    My opinion, D* is pretty darn expensive at startup. Football is the killer app for me. So it was worth the cost. I am sure a lot of folks will come in behind me and mention this deal or that to bring you costs down, but my experience was expensive. I have had no issue since then of note. The DVR is a DVR. A month after you start using it, you will get into the groove and really not care about what you may have had. (Disclosure, I will be one of the first for the new Tivos)

    TV is all pretty much the same thing, with some slight differences. If you watch ESPN and local news, they are all the exactly the same. If you watch HBO comedy, d* is not for you. Of course, football makes the difference for me. What do you want your TV to do for you, does cable do it?
  14. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    Keep in mind something else:

    I see a lot of people who say something like "I have basic cable on 6 TVs and an HD-DVR on the 7th. I want to go to satellite to save money. I want 4 HD-DVRs and 2 HD receivers and a standard DVR from DirecTV. Hey, that's EXPENSIVE; way more than I'm paying for cable!"

    Well, DUH. You aren't comparing equivalant levels of service; with all that DirecTV equipment and programming, you'd be getting a HUGE increase in service, so, yeah, that comes at a price.

    If you compare equivalant services over the subscription period (2 years), DirecTV is almost always cheaper, even with the up-front lease fees, than it would cost to pay the monthly lease fees from the cable company, and you get more/better programming from DirecTV.
  15. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    Just kinda depends what you get. Right now they give away an HD-DVR and 4 SD receivers, so if that is all you need setup is free.

    Considering I paid $499 for a self install kit that I did all the wiring, installation, aiming, etc. and still only had one SD receiver, I think it is a pretty good deal these days :p
  16. chevyguy559

    chevyguy559 Fresno State Bulldog!

    Sep 19, 2008
    Fresno, CA

    Bingo!! This is what I did...for me it took setting up a spreadsheet with a month by month comparison to see how I would still save $$ even with the close to $400 I shelled out to start (1 HD DVR and 2 HD Rcvr's I had to pay for) I'm still saving a bunch of $$ and getting WAY more for my $$ (and can have NFL ST) Hell I'm not even hooked up and I'm happy already :D Monday is my install date :D:D
  17. FlBillsfan

    FlBillsfan Legend

    Apr 22, 2008
    In my opinion the instalation is KEY. If you get a good install, you shouldn't have any problems. There have been reports of bad installs on this board, they do happen & it can be frustrating to get them fixed. Based on what you are paying, unless you watch a lot of PPV in that price, Direct TV will be much cheaper for a much better product. As far as the wife goes, I would recommend recording her favorites on more than one DVR. It is rare for problems to affect more than one DVR at a time (provided you have a good install)
  18. scott72

    scott72 Icon

    Feb 17, 2008
    I highly recommend a local installer. I did that and they will come out (and have) to my house and realign my dish if necessary same day service for no charge, no protection plan needed. Also if one of my receivers drops dead, they'll replace for free. The installer was very polite, and did a very professional job. Local is the way to go. I'd never risk an install with the mother ship.

    I also forgot to add when I read your last post and saw you were paying $272/month with cable my jaw hit the floor. I realize that's a bundle price, but still seems extremely high. I have the DVR HD Plus package, Sports Pak, one HD DVR, and 2 regular receivers and my monthly bill is around $93 bucks/month. There's so much HD content that I never find time to watch it all. I was also hesitant to make the switch earlier this year, now that I have the only thing I regret is not switching earlier.
  19. benpub

    benpub New Member

    Oct 30, 2008
    Well the 272 is including tax, the 5 hd dvrs are 19 per month each, the internet and phone service are after reviewing it about 86 of the bill. The internet is their highest turbo speed. 10 mb down and 1 mb up, which lookis like that would be a great choice to combine with a D* on demand service. the phone is unlimited phone calling which I do need. The equipment is the heavy cost. After I canceled my D* order for yesterday, the cable company came out and readjusted my levels and changed out some splitters and amplifiers and supposedly got every level to perfection. Worked fine until the tech left and the same pixalization issues remain. I have 4 adults and a home office, in the house and everyone heads off to their rooms and watch recorded programs after work or school. So the dvr service is pretty much a must.
    I just can't pull the trigger until I see that issue of that download get resolved. Having 5 HD TV's comes with a high cost from any vendor.
  20. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2002
    If you're taking about the guide download issue that hung the boxes twice last month, yes that was resolved with the 0x290 software level that's productional.

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