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Looking for advice on best DVR for DirecTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dbassman, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Aug 6, 2012 #1 of 31

    dbassman Mentor

    Jul 27, 2007
    I'm thinking seriously about setting up for DirecTV I stayed with a friend for a couple months he had DirecTV with an HR20 DVR it was great except for it took quite a while for menus to come up and forever to reboot. From what I'm seeing on the website the HR34 is the latest DVR correct? What advantages does it have over the HR20? Is there a review of the HR34 anywhere? Can you record more than two programs at a time on any of the DVRs? Another nice thing I liked about the HR20 as you can connect a antenna to it and pick up off air channels, this came in really handy during storms when we lost satellite plus picked up a few local channels that weren't on direcTV. On their commercials it shows that you can watch shows on the DVR in any room your have a receiver, how does not work?

    Any other advice you have for a newbie getting ready to sign up is appreciated!
  2. Aug 6, 2012 #2 of 31

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    In general, I wouldn't expect the HR20 to be given to a new customer. And it was the only one to have OTA available internally, all the rest require the AM21 add on external module.

    All the HR series, up to the HR24 can record 2 events at once max, even the HR20 couldn't record more than 2.

    The HR34, aka HMC Home Media Center, has 5 tuners and can record 5 events at once. If you add the AM21, you can get over the air, but it is still limited to 5 events at once.

    If you want Multi-Room viewing, you can share the recordings of any of the HDDVRs with any receiver or other HDDVR in your MRV network. With the HR34, up to 3 of them can view at the same time you are viewing directly on it.

    It all works very nicely, but it isn't perfect. There are no perfect solutions out there. As to speed of operation, well that is sometimes slow and irritating, other times quick enough. All depends on what the Direct programmers have decided to stuff into the boxes at differing times.

    Right now the HRs up to the 24 are all pretty quick. The HR34 (HMC), is a bit behind in software level, so there are still some issues. If I were a new customer wanting multi room viewing, I wouldn't hesitate to get an HR34 even with some minor issues.
  3. Aug 6, 2012 #3 of 31
    Mike Greer

    Mike Greer Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    You'll want an HR24 for a standard DVR - the only way you can guarantee that you'll get it is if you work with a local dealer or buy the lease online through a third party that will guarantee an HR24. DirecTV considers all the DVRs to be 'equal' and could send you a very used and abused HR20/21/22/23 or 24 when you sign up. Don't listen to the rep that says otherwise....

    The HR34 is a different beast that has 5 tuners and can run 'some' TV's without a separate box. You can read up on it in the 'first look' here on DBSTALK. If you order the HR34 you will get the HR34 - different animal all together.

    No matter what DVR you get from DirecTV just plan it being slow here and there. The HR24s are the fastest but DirecTV has performance issues off and on with all their DVRs including the HR34. Many possible reasons but the only thing we know for sure is that if you want DirecTV you're going to have to deal with software updates that fix some things break other things and often times make everything run at a crawl. Sad but true!

    Good luck!
  4. Aug 6, 2012 #4 of 31

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    NE Oklahoma
    If you need more than 2 tuners then go with a HR34. If not then a HR24 is great for your needs. Me personally I would go with a HR34 just to have the tuners not to mention the hard drive space (1 TB). Also I think it depends on how many tvs you are gonna want to be able to view D* programming. If you get a HR34 then you can buy or maybe get for free a AM21 for the OTA channels you were speaking of. The HR20 is the only HD DVR that had the OTA tuners built in. All others are the add on AM21 that connects to the DVR. Good luck and let us know if you decide to join and what you get.
  5. Aug 6, 2012 #5 of 31

    dbassman Mentor

    Jul 27, 2007
    Sounds like I would want the HR34, what are the known issues with it?

    Is a review of it on here somewhere?

    Where do I get the AM21?
  6. Aug 6, 2012 #6 of 31

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Mar 4, 2006
    Herrin, IL
    There are a few long running threads on the HR34, just look around a bit and you should easily find them.

    As to issues, well I've been reading a lot about them, and the biggest thing is they are just a bit behind the software level of the other HRs. I think they will catch up soon and then it should be just some odd issues on a sporadic basis.
  7. Aug 6, 2012 #7 of 31

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    Am I the only one who's confused when he says he wants to setup with DIRECTV and yet has a HR20 listed in his signature?
  8. Aug 6, 2012 #8 of 31

    Jerry_K Godfather

    Oct 21, 2006
    If you just want standard definition find a second generation DirecTiVo and do the hacks on it. Superb DVR with multi room viewing, transfer of recordings to other DirecTiVos and your computer. Unlimited season passes, superb search. Instant response to commands.
  9. Aug 6, 2012 #9 of 31

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Probably from when he was staying with his friend.

    As for the AM21, doesn't much matter. Directly from DirecTV, a reseller etc. not sure eBay is a good option, they seemed to want as much or more than it would cost from DirecTV. But other than price, there are no concerns about buying them third party. Unlike a receiver they are always owned and don't need activated.
  10. dbassman

    dbassman Mentor

    Jul 27, 2007
    Looks like I'll probably go with the HR34 if I can get one.

    What kind of issues are there with it?

    Is there a review of it anywhere on here?

    Where can I get the AM21?
  11. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
  12. dbassman

    dbassman Mentor

    Jul 27, 2007
    I see in joshjr's signature he has several DVR's that he says he owns, my understanding is even if you buy one from Best Buy or some other place that you are still required to return them if you cancel your service. With that being the case how can you own your DVRs?

    From joshjr's signature:
    HR24-200 Leased, HR24-200 Owned, HR24-200 Owned, R22-200 Owned, HR20-700 Owned, HR34-700 Leased.
  13. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    NE Oklahoma
    Not all DVR's are leased. The HR21 PRO was always a owned DVR and also until the policy changed within the last year, DirecTV employees used to sell their own equipment as it was owned as well. You can find owned equipment on this forum and also on eBay on a regular basis. Its just always a good idea to call the access card department first to verify that the RID is listed as owned. Its not super common to see owned units these days but alot of people on this site have owned units.

    You can also call DirecTV and ask them the price to own instead as well. With the exception of the TiVo model and the HR34, I do not think they can quote a price for a specific model meaning you would just get what ever HD DVR they sent as owned for that price which may be a refurb 20 or 21. Look around on this site. There are alot of people that frequent here that have owned units.
  14. Sandra

    Sandra Legend

    Apr 16, 2012
    Is the HR 34 the only DVR with picture in picture capability? I don't need whole home viewing, but as a sports fan I would LOVE to have PiP.

  15. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

    Feb 9, 2009
    Peoria, IL
  16. dbassman

    dbassman Mentor

    Jul 27, 2007
    I called DTV just to get info on the packages and make sure I knew what wanted to order, I decided on the Choice Xtra package and when they checked everything out they told me I could get the DVR and receiver for $19. I told them I wanted the HR34 DVR and he told me after I ordered to contact sales and tell them that I wanted that DVR and they would be sure ship it to me. I have not ordered yet, but want to before the end of the month. Is that just a bunch of BS and may or may not get that one? If so how can I be sure to get the HR34 DVR?
  17. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    You have to sign up for an HMC, anything else will not get you an HR34.
  18. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Hi, Mike! I've been acquiring 24s to replace my 20-700s and I like the 24-500s the best. I've had all three models of the 24s and have owned models of each of them. The 24-500 is, by far, the easiest to work on of the three models and, I think, very dependable. As dependable as the 20-700s long term? I dunno, but I've had a couple of them since they came out and they're still working well.

    If I had to choose between a 34 and a 24-500 today, I'd take the 500. Perhaps in six months or a year, I might give a 34 a shot.

    Meanwhile, I gotta ask. How are your 22-100s doing?... :lol:

  19. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    As noted above, the only way to get the HR34 is to specifically order the home media center/HR34. Once the order is placed, you get what you get and there is pretty much no way to get anything changed.

    I've got several HR2x series, as well as an HR34. They all work fine for me, and the HR34 is rapidly maturing (early release issue are being resolved).

    If you order from DirecTV, and simply ask for HD DVR, there is no assurance you will get an HR24 though. You could get any of the HR2x series units. If it is really important for you to specifically get an HR24, you need to order it from a 3rd party vendor such as Solid Signal. If it is really important to get an HR34, specify the HMC. Otherwise order and get whatever the installer has on his truck (the odds favor, but do not guarantee, an HR24).
  20. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    His first post was back in 27 July 07 where he stated he had a Sony SAT-T60 and was asking about the HR20. He stopped posting on 23 October 09. Perhaps he had a break in service and has signed up again.

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