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Is the HR20 even going to work for me?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Mr.72, Feb 9, 2007.

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  1. Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

    Feb 2, 2007
    I'm getting a little anxious about this thing... I guess reading about all the problems on this forum is kind of giving me some "buyer's premorse".

    The HR20 is to be installed in about 2 weeks. Is it even going to work for me?

    I don't record a lot of stuff. We have the following "season passes" right now:

    1. Spurs AT
    2. American Idol
    3. House
    4. 24

    I doubt we will ever have more than that. Additionally I commonly have scheduled recordings from IFC. With the advent of the new HD channels, I might have other scheduled recordings. We are not TV addicts but I cannot tolerate it missing a recording!

    AI, House, 24 are all on the same channel that we get exquisitely OTA. I guess this will be easy on the HR20, right? These are by-the-book series.

    However, is this thing going to record all of my Spurs games? How do you set it up to record something like this? I think I have read that keyword searches don't work right, and also CIR doesn't work so the odds of it trying to autorecord Spurs games on channels I don't get is very very high. Do I have to manually enter each and every Spurs game recording?

    You see the big problem is a lot of these games are on one or another of my RSN channels and the guide information is not up to date until just before the game sometimes. Also, if the games are on a local network (and therefore in HD), usually it pre-empts some other programming. Like the local CW affiliate is very happy to dump their Friday night primetime programming in favor of a Spurs game but it won't be accurately indicated in the guide until some time on the day of the recording. So it would be labor intensive for me to manually enter every Spurs game.

    How do sports series like this work? I am only interested in games from one team and that's IT! But they appear on like 10 or more different channels and sometimes on multiple channels at once, not to mention NBALP channels I don't get.

    Is an HR20 going to work for this? The Series 2 DirecTiVo has done this almost flawlessly, only a couple of times attempting to record a Spurs game on a channel I don't get.
  2. bonscott87

    bonscott87 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07

    Jan 21, 2003
    For your Spurs, if the guide data isn't updated until just before gametime, not a whole lot you can do about it and a Tivo would have issues as well.

    Here is how I record my Red Wings:

    I have a saved search for keyword "Red Wings".
    Every 2 weeks I run that search and then set each game to record. If I know a game is missing (like you say, last minute addition to a channel) then I'll make a mental note to check it that day. No biggy, I know when all the games are.
    I also keep check on the DirecTV web site and the channel guide to see if the game will show up on channel 95 in HD (many times don't show up until a few hours before gametime). If so when I get home I'll cancel the SD recording and setup the HD recording.

    It's pretty low maintanace but it helps since I know when every game is so I know if it's missing or not from the guide data.
  3. Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

    Feb 2, 2007
    Yeah the big problem with that approach is the Spurs games are broadcast on a local San Antonio channel (all the home games anyway) and I have no indication whether FSN or the other RSN I get is going to pick up that game. Sometimes a local Austin station will pick it up. But there's no listing. It's not like the Spurs schedule on the NBA/spurs web site says "KENS + DirecTV RSNa in Austin market" on the schedule. So I can't really pre-set them. Likewise the road games might appear on the RSN but copied from some other local broadcast like the game the other day was vs. Memphis and it was a broadcast from a local Memphis station ... wasn't even on the Spurs TV schedule. I was surprised to find it was even ON tv.

    The only time the TiVo has screwed any of this up is when the game is on NBALP channel that has a lower channel number than my RSN, in which case for some inexplicable reason the TiVo will try and record the channel I don't get (NBALP) instead of the RSN and I get a blank recording. This has happened maybe 5 times in a couple of years.

    I don't mind manually programming all of the ones that are on the schedule, but some of them are going to be hard to figure.

    They really need a season pass type function like "Spurs AT" did on TiVo.

    And while I'm wishing for the moon, howabout instead of NBA League Pass, just give me a Spurs season pass, a channel with every spurs game and forget the rest and the big price tag?

    I guess I can dream.
  4. Milominderbinder2

    Milominderbinder2 Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Oct 8, 2006
    Here are the steps you can take that seem to help reduce problems:
    1. Native Mode OFF.
    2. No HDMI.
    3. Less than 30 Series Links.
    4. Never use Autorecord.
    5. Do not turn your HR20 Off.

    In the HR20 Site Survey - Finding the Cures, no respondent who said NO to these five questions had replaced their HR20.

    6. Get a good install with all new cables & Connectors

    See the HR20 Installation Guide for more on what you can do to make sure you have a great install.

    See the 101 Undocumented HR20 Tips & Tricks for setup and usage tips plus key workarounds. It will also translate all of the new terminology.

    Check out the HR20 FAQ for 30 other resources.

    What you do in the next 2 weeks can have a big impact on how well you will like your HR20.

    - Craig
  5. swans

    swans Legend

    Jan 23, 2007
    When I first got it back in November 06, I was having quite a bit of difficulty with recordings. Recordings with no sound, receiver lockups, and the blank screen with 0 timer recordings.

    I called customer service each time to document the issue. Obviously they knew this was going on, but wouldn't admit it. By the 3rd call they tranferred me to technical support. The tech guy sent me a new one and said I didn't have to return the old one.

    Well after all this, I started doing research and found this site. I found thousands of others having the same problems. After the 1B code update all of my real problems went away. I got comfortable enough with it, that I put the other HR20 back into service in the bedroom. Both have been working fine and I must say that it is actually a pretty good product at this point.

    The bonus is the second one only cost me $21.95 shipping and handling.
  6. tstarn

    tstarn Banned User

    Sep 30, 2006
    Very good advice (the five commandments above) for optimal use conditions. The only of the five commandments I broke is HDMI, and so far, I do have the original HR20 from September. It has sound/audio dropouts, and freezes now and again (requiring an RBR), but as far as missed recordings, the only time that happned was "back in the day," meaning when BSODs roamed the earth (that would be in October).

    On the other hand, the trick play still stinks for sports. And that's pretty much on every HR20, would be my guess.

    If you read my posts, you know I am a critic of Directv's overall launch strategy, but I also have noted in several posts (and in an article), if the box worked without all these caveats, it would be perfectly fine, with one exception: dual buffers are paramount to making it a full-service DVR in my view. It's just weird to get a new piece of home entertainment gear and have to deal with so many variables.

    Of course, you could be one of the people who haven't had any problems since September, or on the downside, you could be one of the people who haven't had anything but bad fortune and some have even gone through 3-4 HR20s. Hope you fall into the former category.
  7. islesfan

    islesfan Hall Of Fame

    Oct 18, 2006
    The Spurs are the only problem you should still have. For some unknown reason, they refuse to enable the Channels I Receive function, so wishlist (keyword autrorecord) does not work. You will get whatever the lowest channel number is recorded. If you get that channel, great, if you don't, tough. Also, if you set the games to record individually, get ready to babysit the ToDo list, since it cancels recordings in advace on a nearly daily basis.
  8. Mr.72

    Mr.72 Icon

    Feb 2, 2007
    This sounds like a major PITA.

    What cracks me up is that there is Linux software out there that will do this reliably FOR FREE!!! It's open source folks! Just look and see how it's done!
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