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leaving E* and need a good DVR?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by johnner1999, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Sorry to hear that nothing has changed since I left in 2004. I agree that DTV seems to have the upper hand in software up revs.

    I think the HR10 in its day was far and away the best DVR of the dozen or more I ever owned, but the level of reliability and GUI friendliness is now about the same on the HR2x. Each does certain tasks a bit better than the other. The HR2x's reliability has become significantly better over time while the reliability of the HR10-250 took a major hit with the release of 6.3, making them pretty even by now. The DISH DVRs were absolutely the worst, but I hear the 622/722 is a major improvement over them (and probably any improvement would be most welcome and hard NOT to be considered major).

    The elegance of the DTivo and the hamhandedness of DISH DVRs is what drove me away from DISH and towards DTV in the first place. Now that that particular playing field may have been leveled, I consider it a serendipitous chance of fate that the DBS vendor I am currently with also just happens to be the one leading the HD race fairly significantly at least for now (based on www.whereishd.com).

    I guess what is really puzzling is that the feature that folks miss the most on the HR2x is DLB and that has been well-known for about 2 years. One would think that if they are truly listening to feedback from their customers, that this is a feature that would be added. I honestly don't think it would ever matter to me, though.

    I had DISH and DTV for an overlap period in 2004. While I can't speak to HD quality, I noticed differences between SD channels. For the CONUS channels, DTV seemed to have a bit more mosquito noise, while DISH seemed to have a bit more quantization error noise, so it was a 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other situation. This is probably due to equipment differences and personal choice in how the encoding was set up, but it was uniformly so from channel to channel. It was not significant enough to rate one over the other, and there was no way to tell which service it was simply by looking at the video.

    For local-into-local channels, DISH is uneven, specifically because in many markets they still receive SD OTA (ATSC HD PQ is not degraded by OTA reception the way SD analog is), while DTV typically uses fiber feed backhauls directly from the local stations. This makes DTV better at LIL SD in many instances.

    Bottom line, I would have to be either very pissed off or very desperate to ever go back to DISH, as I regard them slightly inferior to DTV.
  2. rustynails

    rustynails Godfather

    Apr 24, 2008
    I think that the hd picture is much better with D than with E. The sd picture is slightly better with D. I haven't had too many problems with recording shows or loosing picture except when it rains. The HR21 has been fairly reliable for me. The VIP 722 was much better from a users standpoint. It has more functionality than the HR21!
  3. bgottschalk

    bgottschalk Icon

    Aug 30, 2007
    Which functionality do you miss?

    Just curious because I think it's all a matter of personal preference myself. Personally I don't have much use for DLB (had it with Mediacom - never really used it) or PIP (had it with my old TV - never used it). The ability to drive two TV's with one DVR is unique and appealing, but I really don't like the idea of sharing the tuners with the other TV - for example, I am recording and watching something in the main room and the kids try to watch something else in the other room - can't do it.

    On the other hand, the unique HR2x features: Media sharing, VOD, DTVtoPC, Remote booking and very soon Multi-room viewing are features that I love, use all the time and would miss very much. However, the absolute best feature in my opinion is the fact that D* is constantly adding huge features and improving existing ones without making you buy a new DVR. Dish recently bought Sling Technologies and announced a "Sling-enabled" DVR - very cool stuff - but surprise, surprise - you will have to buy a new DVR to get that functionality. On the other hand, all those things I listed above (and more) did not originally exist, but were added over the last year and a half with no new DVR needed. Oh, and the complaint above about push and hold to advance to tick - in the latest CE, that has changed - you can now click ffw or rwd then the skip button and it skips to tick.

    Long and short of it with D*, if you don't like how it works, wait a bit and there is decent chance it will change to suit you. With the others, not so much.

    Anyway, I can definately respect how people would miss the extra things the Dish DVR offers, but to me they both have very unique advantages and it just depends on what you are looking for...
  4. Capmeister

    Capmeister Large Hairless ApeCutting Edge: ECHELON '08

    Sep 16, 2003
    I left Dish because I wanted a good HD-DVR. At the time, that was the HD-Tivo. I've stayed with DirecTV because the HR-2x series of HD-DVRS (I have three) have won me over.
  5. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

    Jul 24, 2007
    Just to clarify, Dish also has Video On Demand.

    In addition, as you mentioned you get Dual Live Buffer, Picture in Picture, but you also get AutoTune and Reminders, Interactive Local Weather Radar on Weather Channel, a "Channels I Get" feature that works, Four Favorite Lists, six options for guide display including a Seven Channel/3 Hour grid and some other nice touches.

    It is not perfect but it is very well done and very polished. And no need for a sticky to report blank recordings. :D
  6. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    I would have to say that my HR2x's(I have three) are just as reliable as my HDVR2 TiVos were.

    Ok people, if you're going to jump on for my comparison to my TiVo units, don't bother. I know how well my equipment has/hasn't worked and I stand by my opinion.

    When I got my HR20 (Jan, 07) I could not have said that. There were too many problems back then. Now I can say with all confidence that in the last year my HR2x's have been done the job that my family expects just as reliably as my HDVR2s did. We loved our TiVos then and we love our HD-DVRs now.

    To the OP, if you do a bit of searching and reading you find many examples of the DVR+ units being just a reliable as you would expect.

    IMHO, how well it all works is largely due to how well it's installed. A properly installed dish, properly anchored, goes a long way to avoiding problems down the road.

    Good luck and welcome aboard....:)

  7. bgottschalk

    bgottschalk Icon

    Aug 30, 2007

    Fair enough.

    I really think both models have advantages and it comes down to what is more important to each person. The items you list I'm absolutely positive are a huge deal to some people, just not to me. I have to agree the blank recordings would be a major pain! Personally I've never had that issue with either my HR20-700 or my HR21-100.

    Could you give a little info about the Dish on-demand feature? Last I saw it was just PPV movies from a web site that you download and could watch on your DVR if you wanted. It may have changed since then, but I didn't see anything like D*'s free on-demand content (series shows, movies, specials, etc.) for almost every channel that you get in your package. Just curious - I'm all about every provider getting cool new features - keeps the pressure on D* to add them for us as well.
  8. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

    Jul 24, 2007
    I'm actually AGAINST every provider adding 'cool new features' since that's when they tend to break things! I was very happy with DirecTV and their DVR till they started with all the Media add-ons. That's when I started getting blank recordings. Which became the deal breaker... :nono2:

    Since I'm one of those people who don't use OnDemand, I actually had to see what it was like on Dish.

    It looks like Dish has 3 scenarios:
    1) "Movies on Demand" which lists about a dozen movies you can select and download via the satellite.
    2) "TV Entertainment" which is pre-loaded to the DVR, again via the satellite. Right now there's not much on my DVR other than a bunch of olympic summaries and replays. But I don't subscribe to any premium channels, so that may be why.
    3) DishONLINE which is the IP based service (I think the one you were talking about). Mostly movies but it also lists about 1300 'shows' but not network related as far as I can tell. So no reruns of Mythbusters, etc.

    So if you're a parent looking to have a steady supply of kids shows at the ready, Dish may not be for you. :)
  9. bgottschalk

    bgottschalk Icon

    Aug 30, 2007

    Sounds like it may have evolved somewhat.

    I am a parent looking to supply my kids with shows. I just downloaded Jurassic Fight Club episodes from History Channel on demand - no need to wait for it to come on. :hurah: I love it and so do the kids! However, I just turned it off and kicked them outside - exercise is a good thing. :D

    I think we have fundamental differences in our philosophy. I love new bells and whistles - it's one of my "toys". You see it as a service and just want it to "work". I totally get that and completely respect your point of view - even though it is not mine.
  10. t_h

    t_h Icon

    Mar 7, 2008
    I was initially pretty interested in the directv DOD service, but the offerings were just too limited and the content rarely was changed or updated.

    Same thing here, I'd like it for kids shows since dod would be better than dedicating 300gb of my drive to episodes of handy manny and barney. But they served up the same handful of episodes of the same shows month after month.

    We're getting a lot more bang for the VOD buck with the Roku box and our netflix account. Theres quite a bit of kids stuff.
  11. Jhon69

    Jhon69 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 27, 2006
    Central San...

    The 722 should be more mature that's Dish's 3rd HDDVR where the HRxx's are DirecTV's first in house HDDVRs.I also believe the best HDDVR is pretty much useless without the right programming to record.It's kind of funny Dish has a DVR with DLB now normally subscribers like DLB for sports yet Dish has shown a disregard for sports MLB being one example.Where DirecTV kept MLB.;)

    As for DirecTV's HRxxs thanks to Earl Bonovich and DirecTV the Cutting Edge program was born.Which is advancing the reliability and stability of the HRxx's and Rs at a more extreme rate than any other DVR program in history.:)
  12. rustynails

    rustynails Godfather

    Apr 24, 2008
    I have seen no improvement in my HR21 since I signed up with D. It always recorded the shows I wanted and that has never been an issue with me. It has become even slower in changing chanels though. There is still no pip, dlb or true slow motion or a way to change the guide to different views. The remote doesn't even fell right in my hand compared with the VIP722.
    D still has the best picture and programming though.
    It would be great if I had D programming with an E dvr!
  13. Brandon428

    Brandon428 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2007
    "You know what they say,70% of the time it works everytime ":lol:
  14. Redlinetire

    Redlinetire Icon

    Jul 24, 2007
    I wouldn't say the HR2x is 'advancing' - it was reliable up until last fall. It's clearly less so now. Remember, Earl had to start the 'Report Your Blank Recordings Here' Sticky back in April.

    So far - no one has needed to start such a thread in the Dish forum.

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