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Switched from DirecTV/Hopper first impressions

Discussion in 'Hopper System Support Forum' started by nicholb, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. nicholb

    nicholb Cool Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    I've been a long time DirecTV customer and have had DVR's since the UtimateTV days. I have always wanted a whole home type setup. Most recently I've had 3 HR2* DVR's networked for sharing. I never liked the fact that you had to go to the individual DRV to manage timer settings and all the juggling of which program to record on which box.

    Last week I called D* and went to the retention department. After a few calls to try to get the HR34 for no charge (which I know for a fact they did for a coworker). After some investigation I decided to give Dish and the Hopper a try. Last Saturday I had a 1H/3J installation put in.

    The installation went great. The installer was better than any I have ever had from D*. I love the features of the Hopper/Joey. It is very nice not having to wait several seconds for a response any time you hit a button. I can actually scroll through the guide faster than I could read it. The picture is comparable. The setup of only one cable to each box is a welcome improvement. We ripped out about 8 cables coming down the side of my house and replaced them with 3.

    I am still waiting for the Sling to be delivered.

    So far I have only found a few quirks/bugs.

    1. Custom channel list. I created a custom channel list and I missed adding one of the local channels. Now I cannot get it to add that channel to the list. I edit it, check the missing channel, save, and go check. Still no channel 9. If I go back into the custom list it is again unchecked. I also confirmed that it does show up when in "My Channels".

    2. DNLA does not work. I have the Hopper hard wired in. It can see the DNLA sources but never will bring up a folder list when one is selected. Also the Joey's cannot do DNLA through the Hopper even though the installer stated that they could. I have read in other threads that I could most likely get it to work by adding a HIC. Since I have either an xbox360 or a BluRay player at each location, I already have a fully working DNLA client and don't really need the Hopper/Joey one to work.

    3. With DirecTV if you were watching a show from the beginning an at some point decided you wanted to record it, the DVR would capture what was in the buffer and record the show from the beginning. With Dish it only records from the point you started recording the show.

    4. Last night I was watching a show and hit record. When it was over the next show came on the same channel and I thought it looked interesting. It was 11pm so I hit record to watch it later. Since the first show was still doing its 3 minute past the end recording the Joey would not let me start recording the show starting at 11pm since it was already recording that channel. I had to go in and manually stop the 1st shows recording in order for it to let me start recording the next show. I suppose I could have switched tuners too.

    Overall I am very happy with the switch. I have much better equipment, more channels, and 4 TV locations instead of 3. My monthly bill went down $1 (not much, but consider I am adding things at the same time).

    Since the switch DirecTV has twice offered my the HR34 for free. I told them it is too late now.
  2. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    The workaround for item 1 at the moment is to add at least 2 channels, then your local will stick, for a while at least. Seems like this was fixed in 2.07, but maybe not.

    DLNA does work with a few servers like PlayOn, on the direct connected Hopper at least.

    Dish will start from the beginning of the buffer if you rewind to it first. Older DVRs gave you the option to start from the beginning, but not Hopper.
  3. nicholb

    nicholb Cool Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Thanks, I'll try those.

    The DNLA servers I have are Playon and Serviio. Both work fine on the other clients. Neither work on the hopper. It just searches forever. It will probably be fixed in an update. Like I said I already have devices with working clients so no big deal.
  4. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Glad you're happy. DIRECTV has had a one-wire solution for quite some time, however.
  5. nicholb

    nicholb Cool Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Yes, I know, but I did not have that equipment. I would have stayed with them if they would have switched things out. After seeing the hopper I am glad they did not.

    Adding two channels did I work for me.
  6. nicholb

    nicholb Cool Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Ok, more custom channel weirdness. Today one of the local channels removed itself from my custom list. I was able to add it back by adding two, saving it, and then removing one.

    Also had the Hopper mauve screen on me and reboot today.
  7. oldengineer

    oldengineer Godfather

    May 25, 2008
    I have the local channel retention problem with one of my Hoppers. It doesn't like to save channels 10 & 12 in one list and drops one every few days. S207 didn't fix it.
  8. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    S207 isn't the software update. S208.
  9. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    W.Mdtrn Sea
    So far only one member here got it.

    Counting it was very limited spool, perhaps just less then 500 boxes.
  10. nicholb

    nicholb Cool Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    Ok, it did it again tonight. The Hopper froze up and rebooted. Hopefully 208 fixes this.
  11. sregener

    sregener Godfather

    Apr 17, 2012
    I just switched from DirecTV (HR22) to the Hopper on Dish, also. My savings after the promo period will be $1.

    I found one quirk, which involves watching a program while it is still being recorded - you apparently can't resume from where you stop watching, something you can do if you watch a program that has finished recording. That's being addressed on another thread.

    Overall, I am very happy. HD quality, however, is obviously less than DirecTV. There are more HD channels I watch, which I think compensates. I wouldn't say it is unwatchable, but it lacks that certain crispness the best HD shows. I am a perfectionist with video, so most of you may never see it.

    HD Locals are pretty bad. Color is squashed, and lots of macro-blocking visible on busy areas. I will be in line for an OTA module for my Hopper as soon as they come out.

    But DVR speed is unreal. I'm so used to 2-3 second delays on things like 30-second skip. They're instant now. Fast forward is too fast - I have to find a way to slow that down! My reflexes aren't that good. It doesn't matter if it is recording or not - last night all 3 tuners were going (one with PT Anytime) and it was still blazing on playback. PT Anytime is a really cool feature - I don't watch that much network TV, but just having that many programs as options when I'm looking for something to watch is really cool.

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