Reactivating UltimateTV?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by jimbo56, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. Jan 6, 2008 #1 of 16

    jimbo56 Legend

    Nov 13, 2007
    Years ago I subscribed to DirecTv with UltimateTV DVR service. I later cancelled my DirecTV account, but have since re-subscribed. I currently have an HR20, H20 and a D11 receiver. I would like to replace the D11 with my old UltimateTV receiver (IMHO, the best DVR I ever owned).

    The two questions I have are: a) Will DirecTV allow me to reactivate the UltimateTV, and b) Will they charge me an additional fee to use its DVR features? I am already paying the DVR service fee for the HR20.

    I think I read somewhere that DirecTV is no longer activating UTVs on new accounts, but as a previous subscriber I'm hoping they will make an exception.
  2. Jan 6, 2008 #2 of 16

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    Not being familiar with UTV units I'll ask - is it dual tuner/would it require an additional cable run?

    I would imagine you'd be able to activate it, but if you need DirecTV to run another cable line, you may need to pay for a service call. I don't know that they'd throw that one in for free in that case.
  3. Jan 6, 2008 #3 of 16

    Edmund Remote Master

    Apr 17, 2003
    Des Moines, IA
    If they activate it, you will have to pay the utv fee, $9.95 a month.
  4. Jan 6, 2008 #4 of 16

    csgo Legend

    Oct 15, 2006
    It's not easy to get DirecTV to activate UTVs now days. Most of the CSR's have never heard of the unit, and the UTV support group has long since been disbanded. If you can find the right person they can activate the unit.

    The DVR service fee will not cover the UTV unit. They'll charge you both the DVR fee and the $9.95 UTV fee.

    Your UTV probably has old software on it. They released an update a few months ago. The update is still in the data stream every night, but that will end in a few months. You can still download the update via MSN, but that has provent to be difficult for many.

    I agree that UTV was the best DVR ever made. I still use one on occasion and love the interface.
  5. Jan 7, 2008 #5 of 16

    TMullenJr Godfather

    Feb 22, 2006
    And keep in mind that the UTV will not receive anything on the new sats and does not support HD. I also agree that the UTV was the best DVR, especially since I think it was one of the first.
  6. Jan 7, 2008 #6 of 16

    jimbo56 Legend

    Nov 13, 2007
    I guess I'll hold off trying to activate the UTV. I would need another cable run, and I don't feel like adding another $120 to my DirecTV bill...

    That being said, I have to add that I really do miss my UTV. For a product designed by Microsoft, (surprisingly) it worked flawlessly from day one. The interface was great, better than Tivo or the HR20, and it had the wireless keyboard which made searching for programming a breeze. To this day, I wonder why the UTV never caught on. It was truly a product which was ahead of its time.
  7. Jan 8, 2008 #7 of 16

    VinceV AllStar

    Sep 18, 2006
    I agree. I finally deactivated my UTV after I got my HR20 due to lack of HD capability. Everyone seemed to love UTV. It's a shame it's dead. Does anyone know what the recent software update actually did? I assume it was just bug fixes and not any new features.
  8. Jan 8, 2008 #8 of 16

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    Ultimate was the first DVR for DirecTV and (I think also for all of satellite). Replay was the first to market for any DVR, followed by Tivo, and then I believe UTV. It got chaotic after that....
  9. Jan 8, 2008 #9 of 16

    Chardo AllStar

    Apr 11, 2002
    I still have UTV--love it. I'll be sad to get rid of it when I finally upgrade to HD.
  10. anopro

    anopro Legend

    Sep 13, 2006
    Still miss my Ultimate TV unit without a doubt the best DVR UI to date.
  11. leeberwhite

    leeberwhite Cool Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Someone else loves UTV and is a Farscape fan?!?! What are the odds?:lol:
  12. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

    Sep 27, 2006
    Add one more on both counts :)
  13. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 27, 2007
    Ultimate TV is indeed dead, Directv will not reactivate your Ultimate TV because the special codes for Ultimate TV service are no longer available to add to your account. the New DVRs are every bit as good as ultimate tv.
  14. northrk

    northrk Mentor

    Sep 13, 2007
    Actually, I beleive the Echostar DishPlayer 7100/7200 was the first sat rcvr integrated DVR circa 1997?. I had one before switching to DirecTivos.

    It was single tuner and had the same interface, developed by WebTV, that UTV has.
  15. jimbo56

    jimbo56 Legend

    Nov 13, 2007
    I respectfully disagree. I have had both the UTV and HR20. If the UTV were able to receive HD I would take it over the HR20 in a heartbeat. Not that there's anything wrong with the HR20, I just think the UTV was better - ease of use, great UI. Not to mention, the HR20 took a year's worth of software updates to make it relatively stable - the UTV was rock-solid from the start.

    Just my opinion, of course. Not that it matters anyway. The UTV is, for all practical purposes, dead.
  16. csgo

    csgo Legend

    Oct 15, 2006
    The HR20 has come a long way, but I would still take a UTV over the HR20 if they had a HD version of UTV. The user interface is far superior.

    I also miss the advanced guide data, and PIP.

    The UTV today is not much different than when it was introduced. There were a few features added over the years. I think there have only been 4 or 5 software upgrades over the years... the most recent being a few months ago.

    The advanced guide data would give you a lot more info. than the HR20. Directors, actors (most credits), original air date (even for old programs), and told you if the episode was a repeat.

    The original UTV software had PIP, but it was fixed in one corner. A few years ago they improved the software so you could move the window to any corner of the screen. You could easily swap main picuture or sound to either tuner.

    Another thing just came to mind... the fast forward speed. It had four different fast forward speeds with the fastest being 300X. This was nice when you were slipping thru a long movie or sports event. The HR20 seems very slow.

    The slow motion and frame-by-frame advance worked much better than the HR20 as well.

    Hopefully the HR20 will continue to improve. Tbe HR20 has enjoed success because DirecTV has been the only HD game in town and the HR20 is the only DVR option. This is quickly going to change this year. DirecTV will have to improve the HR20/21 series.
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