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One reason Dish PVRs are better than Tivo

Discussion in 'Standard Definition Receiver Support Forum' started by dbronstein, Jul 1, 2003.

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  1. Danbo

    Danbo AllStar/Supporter

    Oct 3, 2002
    You forgot to mention that, if the customer has "Total Choice Premier" package for DirecTV, there is NO fee for Tivo. That's the package I've always had before switching to Dish for the 721.
  2. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

    Apr 14, 2002
    I knew about there not being a charge for customers with the Total Choice Premier package having no pvr fee but I figure most do not order that package.

    I was figuring that the Tivo could use a hard drive from one computer to another by disconnecting a wire from the one and connecting one up to another, either that or having it remain at one computer. By the time one does that one might as well operate the whole pvr off of the computer with the software and all I figure.

    The savings adds up more over a period of time if you have a Tivo Standalone vs. a DirecTivo. If the period of time is too many years, like 6 years for example, by that time some would upgrade to another pvr or whatever technology is out by then anyways so by the time you did make your money back you are not getting anywhere. It depends on the situation.
  3. dswallow

    dswallow Godfather

    Mar 31, 2003
    Off the top of my head, the 8 people I can think of I see regularly who have DirecTV all have Total Choice Premier... I'm not sure I've ever known anyone who subscribed to less, except those I'm aware of online in forums but don't otherwise know personally.
  4. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    Overrated. Honestly, how hard is it for a Dish user to go into the program guide from time to time to select an event to record at whatever interval they want? How much hand holding do we need here to record programs? I don't see that as a big reason why its better. Aavid tv watchers will be in the guide every night at prime time or whenever they get the chance to irregardless of what they have setup to record and will be apt to catch in advance the few rare occasions when their favorite programs might go over a bit. Sports events lasting longer then their scheduled program time are a no brainer already just as people plan accordingly whenever the President addresses the nation and programs are aired later then usual. Its common sense really. Name based recordings aren't the big be-all, end-all make or break deal that its made out to be here imo. In the end, all that matters is that it records reliably. The search feature built into all the Dish PVR's makes name based recording on Tivo or Ultimate TV irrelevant/a moot point for people with Dish Network. You don't need training wheels and training bras your entire life.
  5. Karl Foster

    Karl Foster Hall Of Fame

    Mar 23, 2002
    I may not need training wheels to watch tv, but the ability for my receiver to continually search for programs that I want to watch and just record them without intervention is a feature that if you don't have it, you don't understand it. When "King of Queens" changes times like it did for the past two weeks, I didn't even know it. The UTV just recorded it. I personally don't find a lot of enjoyment searching the guide every night to find stuff to record.

    We may have to just diagree about that, but to me name-based recording is an absolute necessity for a PVR. Without it, a PVR is nothing but a VCR with a hard drive.

    While I'm ranting, how about the no-timer-limit on the Directv PVR's. Think about that when you have to do a hard reset, or RMA your 721 when you hit that 65th program (51st on a 508). Who was the Einstein that set that limit?
  6. Inaba

    Inaba Legend

    Jun 20, 2003
    You may not find it useful (you've probably never used it, thus you have no idea what you are missing.) - but the fact that nearly everyone who's used a name based recording type PVR mentions that the Dish PVRs suck because they lack this feature bellies that it's YOU who are in the minority, not the people wanting this feature.

    The fact of the matter is, I do not WANT to have to sit down and paw through the guide every night to be sure I get the shows I want. In fact, I want to setup a name to watch for, and have it record it when it comes on. A prime example for this is the movie "Time Bandits." It's not on the pay channels very often (maybe once a year, at the most) - and I don't want to look through the guide every week, or two, hoping to find the movie, so I can set my PVR to record it. I may forget several months down the road... my PVR won't.

    As I've mentioned in other threads, Sci-Fi channel is notorious for rearranging the weekly schedule of shows. The GUIDE IS ACCURATE ... however, shows like SG-1 and others are on at different times every day, of every week, of every month. Thus I'd have to make 365 timers just to record one show. Sometimes, Sci-Fi puts multiple SG-1's on in the evening... so I'd have to actually have MORE than 365 timers just to be sure I caught the shows I want... or gosh, I could have one named based recording timer to "Get all SG-1 shows on ALL channels" - and bang... I get SG-1 on Sci-Fi, and my local stations. The same can apply to ANY show.

    Like karl_f said... if it doesn't have name based recording, it's just a glorified VCR. Yippie do. My 12 year old Mitsubishi VCR does the name thing timer wise. There's no real reason for me to have a Dish PVR at this point, and I regret buying it. Because it has no name based recording, I could never, ever reccomend this PVR to anyone I know.

    So it may not be a big deal to you, but those of us who've used name based recording before will go kicking and screaming back to the stone age of VCR's and Dish's PVR. Hi! Welcome to the 90's.
  7. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    I don't have to have name based recordings to understand and appreciate what it does. It takes only a couple of seconds to push guide and then another few seconds to scroll several hours in advance each night through my favorite channels to see whats on tv for the evening. I can understand the conveniance novelty factor of it, but really its not necessary at all when you can do the same thing manually in no time. You can check the tv listings in the newspapers or online just as you would lookup movie showtimes at the local theater and avoid the program guide entirely in checking whats on tv/avoiding timer problems. Really not a big deal at all and it takes next to no time to accomplish whatsoever in the grand scheme of things. I guess I could take the same logic above and say I can't believe my lazy boy recliner doesn't automatically phone up and order me a pizza when i put the phone on it. It's nothing but a stupid recliner with a phone on it. Who cares? It does exactly what its supposed to do and doesn't suggest shows I'd never want to sit through in a million years simply because I liked one offbeat movie with a random reference in it somewhere. Some folks prefer to be spoonfed and pampered with automatic dishwashers while others are fine doing it by hand.

    As for the 65 event timer hypothetical scenario you mentioned above, the day I go in and setup that many timers is the day I realize that the TV is controlling me and every facet of my life to a ridiculously unhealthy extreme instead of vice versa. I don't know many people that have the free time to set aside 65 hours to just sit and watch tv endlessly. Seems like overkill to me. Thats a potential problem which affects a very small percentage of power users when evaluating it with the overall number of users. Hardly a reason to make much noise over it at this point in time. Isn't it interesting that these types of threads more often then not generally deteriorate into a handful of posters all doing their best to trash the competing satellite provider?
  8. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    Its a feature that is always trumped up to be the best advantage ever over Dish PVR's when in reality it takes no time to achieve the same desired results. Tivo and Ultimate Tv users still babysit their recorders from time to time and still get bit by bugs just like Dish users do. Some folks boldy maintain name based recording is a necessity to sustain life on this planet while others view it as an unecessary lazy man's tool. Color me in the latter group. Welcome to 2003.
  9. dbronstein

    dbronstein Hall Of Fame

    Oct 21, 2002
    You're the first person I've heard claim to be in the latter group. Had I known the 721 didn't have it, I probably wouldn't have bought it and I would've given serious consideration to switching to DirecTV and getting a Directivo. (My fault for not doing the research - I just assumed a PVR would have it.) It's great that Dish doesn't track what we watch like Tivo does, but I'd gladly trade that for name-based recording. I disagree that without it a PVR is just a VCR with a hard drive, because it's still much more powerful, especially a two-tuner one like the 721. But there's no comparison between a PVR with it and one without it.

  10. spanishannouncetable

    spanishannouncetable Icon

    Apr 23, 2002
    IMO, you DO need to own a unit with name-based recording and dual-tuners to really appreciate it. I owned a 501 and a DirecTiVo at the same time and had plenty of time to notice the differences and consider the possibilities. The DirecTiVo gave the 501 a no-contest, hands-down thrashing.

    Why should anyone have to waste even a few minutes a day sorting through guide listings for 150+ channels, or even a handful of favorites, and then setting up recordings manually when the technology exists to have the receiver sort through the guide for you while you spend your time actually watching the recordings that are already stored on the hard drive (or doing something else altogether) ? If you spent even 5 minutes a day doing this, you'd waste more time in a month reading listings than I've spent in the last year scanning the TiVo guide. Also, by using name-based recording, the dual-tuners AUTOMATICALLY resolve conflicts (and with 2 DirecTiVos, being able to simultaneously record 4 shows during sweeps months is especially gratifying), so that's even less time wasted on scheduling TV.

    Your analogy is very bad. Video recorders have everything to do with recording video; phones have nothing to do with sitting in a chair, and chairs have nothing to do with ordering pizza. Now, a chair with heat/cooling/massage/variable comfort settings that could tell what sort of seating preference I had every time I sat down would compare to a full-function PVR (and it would rule, too :) ).
    And I turned off suggestions as soon as I had my DirecTiVos installed. They're an optional feature, not a necessary function.

    I actually have about 60+ Season Passes and Wishlists spread across my 2 DirecTiVos, and I spend less time watching TV now than I did before I had a PVR, but getting better quality in the time I do spend watching. See, just because the TiVo records lots of stuff doesn't mean you're obligated to watch it all. Hey, I never even watch live TV any more. My DirecTiVos are my slaves, recording EVERYTHING I tell it I am likely to watch and giving me a buffet of choices whenever I choose to view regardless of the networks' often infuriating schedule changes, but they don't force me to watch what they record. The shows sit on the hard drive until they're watched or deleted because they're old and the drive is filling up. So how is TV controlling me ?

    And FWIW, I don't think I've ever "trashed" Dish Network. I had both services w/PVRs at the same time, and decided that, for my needs and based on my own experience, Directv was better. I have no complaints about either company (billing, price, service, etc.), but I preferred Directv's PQ and IMHO Echostar PVRs just don't measure up technology-wise.
  11. bills976

    bills976 Godfather/Supporter

    Jun 30, 2002
    Agreed. How many Tivo/PVR skeptics were there, who thought that Tivo was just a gimmick for rich people? I did, that is until I tried it. Then I actually knew the difference between a regular old VCR and a Tivo.

    As for the 501/Tivo comparison, I too have owned a 501 and they just don't compare. In three months of straight usage (and quite heavy usage I might add), I have yet to reset the receiver. No smartcard pull, no nothing. If I would turn the channels too fast on my 501, it would lock up. Resetting the receiver was a weekly event... not too bothersome, but it speaks to the reliability of the product.

    EXACTLY!! Isn't the whole point of a Tivo to save time? I mean, isn't the only reason you use a PVR over recording something on tape to avoid the hassle and time it takes to get the tape, find the spot on the tape where the program starts, and then hit play? You can pretty much get the same basic functionality out of a VCR if you've got the patience.

    Me too. I didn't really find much use for them, though for those who'd like it, it's really nice to have it there.

    Same here. I've never tried to badmouth either company. I just disagree with Echostar's philosophy regarding their hardware. If they would just outsource their software development for everything, from the 301 up to the 721, I honestly think they would put out a better product. What incentive does their development team have to improve their own product? If they were a software vendor, they'd have competition a la Directv and would be forced to continually improve their product. But that's just my opinion.
  12. Inaba

    Inaba Legend

    Jun 20, 2003
    Really? A couple seconds? You must be joking. It takes much longer to scroll through the next 24 hours of shows than "a couple seconds." But that's neither here nor there. Unlike you, apparently, I am not a slave to my TV. Which means I don't sit down and watch TV EVERY SINGLE NIGHT of the week. I watch it when it's convenient for me, which is why I have PVR's. If I had the time or desire to sit down and watch TV every night, then I really wouldn't need a PVR, just a VCR, eh?

    Guess what else... I don't get a newspaper. Haven't for years. I don't see a need for it, and if you are suggesting that I get a newspaper solely to check TV listings, you are nuts.

    So basically, you are suggesting that name based recording is a novelty, and that I should spend extra time each day perusing the EPG, when I could have a machine do it for me? With that skewed logic, why do you have any time saving device? I bet you have a number of them in your home, and you use them daily... yet this time saving device is a novelty? I really don't understand where you can even say some of the things you've said with a straight face... How many minutes per day do you spend perusing the guide? I'll bet it's more than "next to no time at all." With name based recording, you don't HAVE to do that. You don't have to be concerned with missing a show because the time changed for no apparent reason (or even an apparent reason... you just don't have to worry about it). Your PVR SHOULD scan the EPG for you constantly, looking for a particular show you've been wanting to record for a long time, and probably forget about now and then. I know I could never find some of the movies I want to watch w/o name based recording... simply because I don't keep a list of them memorized and check off that list every week while I scan the guide out for the next week... that would be utterly ridiculous... yet that's exactly what you are proposing people do...

    No, it affects everyone who wants to watch a series that is on at irregular times. I gave you the 365 timer scenario because it illustrated a point, not because it was practical. Since you missed the point, I'll spell it out for you: With name based recording, it's the equivilent of having 365+ timers in one. By any stretch of the imagination, that's not a novelty. In fact, let me illustrate it in another way that may be familiar to you; Do you watch TV based on the time, or do you watch TV based on the show? IE - do you just sit down at 7:00pm on Thursday nights on any channel, regardless of what's on? Or do you sit down at a given time, on a given channel to watch a particular program? Name based recording is intuitive to humans, we watch TV shows based on the name, essentially... we do not watch TV shows based on the time. Why should we record shows based on the time, when we could easily do it based on the name, a method we are much more intimately familiar with.

    It always turns up because it's a sorely lacking feature of EVERY OTHER PVR on the market, except Dish. I wonder why that is? Maybe because it's a popular feature? I never had to babysit my UTV. NEVER. It did exactly what I wanted it to do... it recorded the shows I wanted. I can't recall a single bug I've experienced with the UTV... and I've already hit a few with the 721. I'm not advocating UTV, nor am I advocating Tivo. I have Dish. I got Dish because I like the company. But trying to pass the 721 and the other Dish PVR's off as "equivilent" to other PVRs is pure fantasy. They do nothing as good as every other PVR on the market. They are an unfinished, rough edged product, lacking in critical features and prone to crashes. Yet, I have a Dish PVR, and I will continue to be an E* customer, even with crappy hardware... because I believe E* is better than D* as a company.

    Calling name based recording the "lazy mans tool" is like calling an Airplane the lazy mans automobile. lol... Next time you want to get somewhere fast, don't take a plane... follow your own advice and drive to Europe!

    You are the first person I have ever met that claims that name based recording is not superior to time based recording. The first, and I suspect the only person that can claim that with a straight face. Regardless, no matter how much you want to deny it, the 721 is a glorified VCR, nothing more. It doesn't have the defining PVR feature.
  13. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    One disadvantage of going with an outboard TiVo (or ReplayTV) unit (which can be done with either E* or D*) is that you have to go through a decode, a baseband cable, and an encode versus a direct to disk save. Same goes for audio.

    In theory, DishPVR (and DirecTiVo) should offer better drive space utilization because of the "cleaner" signal versus the codec outboard solution.

    The "lifetime" fees for both standalone TiVo and ReplayTV are supposedly both jumping up to $299.99 for the life of the serial numbered unit (not the life of the owner). Alternatively, the monthly fees are $12.95 for TiVo, $9.95 for ReplayTV and $4.95 for DirecTiVo.

    One major advantage (if I understand the dysfunction of the Dish OTA tuner) is that an outboard PVR solution can give you stereo sound on the locals (with an OTA antenna) without having to subscribe to local programming. This may not be an issue with DirecTV receivers.

    I'm kinda torn between DishPVR and ReplayTV.
  14. Jacob S

    Jacob S Hall Of Fame

    Apr 14, 2002
    I think that if one has not used the name based recording feature that they do not completely know what they are missing and may not see that as much of a must have feature as those that do have the feature. Its just like someone that does not have pvr and then getting it and not being able to do without it like you used to or someone that got satellite tv and not being able to do without it.

    It is just a matter of time until there will be a unit out there that resolves all these problems and the closest thing I can think of is a Tivo standalone that can work on anything and can be upgradable unless you get software for your computer.
  15. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    Not joking at all. I used two PVR 501's from the day they were first available from Dish Network and now use one 721 for all my recording needs. Every night around 6pm or so, I'll scroll ahead through the local channels along with the rest of my favorites to see if anything looks good to record for later viewing. The 721 shows 7 channels worth of guide data at once with the pip window enabled that you can cruise forward through in no time at all. Painless, simple, incredibly easy to do and something I'd do anyways. Bad assumption on your part on me being a slave to my TV - figured you would have gotten that part right if nothing else from my previous response regarding having no need for 65 timers. I watch tv when its conveniant for me as well and do time shifting every day. Gotta love folks that jump to premature conclusions and assume things without all the facts properly assembled in advance.

    You must have missed the part where I mentioned you can read most newspapers and tv listings online for free anytime you want to for the most part. Again another wrong assumption on your part. I read all my favorite papers online for free myself.

    I said name based recording is overrated and something that can easily be done manually in no time at all on the Dish PVR's. It's not the ace in the hole trump card many DirecTV advocates love to proclaim it is imo. At least for courtesy sake, quote me correctly if you are going to bother to reply to my posts here. I don't spend minutes in the program guide every day. I have timers set to record all my favorite programs whenever they air so I can watch them whenever I want to. I'll zoom through the guide whenever the urge strikes to see if anything else looks good. I'm not the type to freak out and deem the world has ended, because my non name-based "unintelligent digital vcr" didn't record a rerun from six years ago of Buffy, Star Trek, insert whatever your favorite show here is as I don't even watch any of those shows. Tv isn't a life or death thing. If I'm dying to see Time Bandits so badly and its not shown on regular satellite tv all that often, I'll go down and rent it on DVD if the urge strikes like most everyone else would do.

    Another wrong assumption on your part. I didn't miss the point about the timers for one and for two it was initially brought up by Karl F. The point was a moot one for me, because I've never had a need to setup 65 event timers and can never fathom a day when I do need to record that many shows to be honest. I'd speculate most folks with Dish Network PVR's will never even be aware of a timer limit that could possibly crimp their record everything lifestyles. For most people it's a complete non-factor in the grand scheme of things. No sense in attempting to make it a horrible atrocity of epic proportions imo. I watch tv whenever its conveniant for me and I browse the guide whenever the urge strikes. I'm not trying to set a world record for recording every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or freaking Star Trek Voyager and I'm not looking to transfer these shows to videotape or dvd later for archiving purposes.

    Threads like these always tend to deteriorate into folks steadfastly maintaining their satellite provider or pvr is hands down the clear cut number one champion when all of them do the essential things people want and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. I don't want a remote control that looks like it came out of a Fisher Price box with goofy buttons and even goofier kindergarten sound effects every time I press it whether its an option that can be disabled or not like Tivo has. I'm glad you love your UTV and you don't have to babysit it ever. It works for you and thats great. My 721 works perfectly for all my needs and does everything I need as well. I don't have to babysit it either fwiw from the very first day I set it up and selected all my favorite timers. Who said anything about one recording format being superior to others? I said it was overrated/overhyped and not the big deal it was made out to be. Jacob S. fyi... I've used Tivo's and Ultimate TV's before so I know exactly how name based recordings work. I've said it before and I'll say it again. At the end of the day, all that matters is that the stuff I want to watch later is recorded in its entirety without issues. People tend to get so passionate and defensive about their choice in providers and pvr's here when in a lot of instances the differences aren't even all that substantial.
  16. AllieVi

    AllieVi Hall Of Fame

    Apr 10, 2002
    It's amusing to see how much response this flame-baiting post generated. I can't be the only one who doesn't take it seriously, CAN I?
  17. Inaba

    Inaba Legend

    Jun 20, 2003
    And this is exactly why the 721 is not a PVR. It can't record stuff you want to watch later if it doesn't know anything but timers... whereas every other PVR on the market can.

    I'm glad you don't feel the need for name based recording, but the fact of the matter is, it's what makes a PVR a PVR. PVR is short for personal video recorder. There's nothing personal about setting a timer for a specific channel, on a specific day... any dumb piece of electronics can do that. What makes it "personal" is the fact that it's intelligent enough to know that you want to record XXXXX show, and thus records it.

    I am not a UTV (or Tivo) or D* advocate. I cancled my UTV and D* in favor of the E* 721. That's the ONLY PVR I'm using right now. I'll say it again, I believe E* to be a superior company from a CS standpoint. Since I've now used both quite extensively, I think I have at least some modicum of authority to state which is better... and hands down the 721 is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to PVRs. I don't like to say that. It's my machine of choice... I'm talking down my own hardware here, but I'm not going to BS and trump it up to be some great piece of engineering just because it's the one I chose to buy, when it's clearly an unfinshed product; especially when compared to everything it competes with.

    Name based recording is a critical feature of a PVR... ask anyone who's used a real PVR and they'll tell you the same thing. Like people have said, if you've never used it, you have no idea what the big deal is... but once you use it, you don't want to go back.
  18. ibglowin

    ibglowin Godfather/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Sep 10, 2002

    I have not only one but two not real (fake) PVRs. On no I guess their not PVR's. Gosh I don't know what to call them now.

    Guess what I hate to tell you this but here goes. I have never needed or missed name based recording. My timers have never misfired and if they did it wouldn't be the end of the frickin world.

    Geeze, you need to get a life. Your quickly starting to stink this place up.
  19. Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 11, 2003
    This whole conversation sounds like a group of little kids saying "My Dad can beat your Dad up !!!"

    I mean there are people who like Dish and there are people who like Directv. Does it really matter as long as we all agree Satellite is better than cable in most cases. I like Dish and I have the 508 and 721 I like both . I also have a stand alone Tivo which I don't really like as well but to each his own. This topic should be listed with the other topics you are not supossed to talk about in polite company: Religion, Politics, Abortion, etc.

    "Can't we all just get along!" and" agree to disagree."
  20. Unthinkable

    Unthinkable Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    What are you talking about? My posts here or the original post? I don't post here to encourage others to flame and I certainly don't delve into name calling or condescending waters in an attempt to take the focus off of the true subject at hand. I disagreed with one point and stated my opinions in a clear and concise manner. If you think flame baiting is my true agenda, I openly encourage you to head on over to Hockey's Future where you can sift through all my posts in the Devils group and elsewhere in that forum under the same name looking for any semblance of proof that would back up such an assertion. Hope you have plenty of free time. What is up with all the judgements and assumptions here btw???? Folks post less here on account of this kind of thing fwiw.
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