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What to expect in D* HD DVR

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by NorthOlyPen, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. NorthOlyPen

    NorthOlyPen Cool Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    While waiting for the D* TiVo HD box we've been nursing our two Series II D* TiVo SD boxes along. However, the D* TiVo box has been delayed again, this time out to Q1-2011. Then there will be teething issues so best case is likely Q4-2011. That combined with two old CRT TV's that have been been replaced with newer HD-capable sets have us thinking about a D* HD DVR.

    Love DIRECTV's service and have no intention of replacing that. Love TiVo. Had one painful experience with D*'s R15 SD DVR. We want nothing that resembles that POS.

    Reading here and elsewhere leads me to ask:

    1. Given that we have a simple 18" round dish with a dual LNB what will D* do to upgrade our infrastructure to HD? I'm told that the new single wire LNB and antenna can use the existing RG6 coax. Does that LNB and antenna cost extra? Near as I could tell there will be a $95 non-recurring charge and then $10 per month after that.

    When I spoke to a D* CSR it was confusing. Every time I asked a question the price went up. Also, when I mentioned lack of an HR24 availability guarantee, she had to ask a supervisor. The supervisor confirmed that there was no way to guarantee that an HR24 would be supplied. Existing compatible DVR's would continue to be circulated through the inventory until gone.

    2. What are today's (11/27/10) chances of getting a "good" (HR24-100 or 200) DVR by simply calling D*, ordering the upgrade and taking pot luck?

    3. Several have mentioned the importance of the 30 second jump forward feature in the context of it disappearing in the course of a software upgrade. Doesn't the HR24 have a fast forward/reverse that can be throttled and stopped on command?

    4. Anyone who has switched from a TiVo-based DVR to the current HR24 DVR care to comment on the experience?

    I'm sure there would have been many more questions if my detail-specific memories of the R15 experience had not been successfully repressed.


  2. Mike Bertelson

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

    Jan 24, 2007
    1. The dish will need an upgrade, but no matter what sort of upgrade deal you get it won’t cost anything additional for the new dish.

    2. I don’t have a clue what your chances would be. There are a lot of variables involved but maybe one of the installers can help with this one.

    3. The entire HR2x series has a FW/RW where the speed is controlled by the number of times you press the button. It will auto correct when you hit play. There is either a 30 skip or a 30 slip as well as a 7-9 second replay button.

    4. I did switch from a DirecTiVo (HDVR2) to an HR20-700 almost four years ago. I did the research beforehand (as you are doing) and I got exactly what I was expecting. It got better as time went on too. IMHO, there will never be a reason for me to go from my current DVR, which includes an HR24, to the upcoming TiVo.

    My 2¢ FWIW. :)

  3. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    1) Since you are upgrading to HD DVR, DirecTV will replace your old 18" round dish with the Slimline dish. Depending on if you intend to keep the TiVo boxes will depend on if you get the SWM LNB or not.

    2) The chances of getting the HR24 are iffy, but if you order the Whole Home DVR setup it increases the odds.

    3) The 30s skip function function remains in affect even after a reboot, unlike the Tivo where you had to re-enble the function.

    4) It was awhile ago when I switch from Tivos. I had to get used to the interface, but it was easy. The only thing I really still miss is the list style program guide. This unit does have a 90 minute buffer on both tuners and you can switch between them without losing the buffer.
  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    The uinit does have a list style guide. Its a little different than tivos, but it is there...

    I'd order whole home dvr service if you have more than one tv.. You will neevr go back.. just like you will never be without a dvr again...

    HR24, thats iffy at best, as everyone says.. The only way to guarantee it is to get one from solid signal yourself.. They might reimburse you, they might not...

    The 10 is probably the hd fee.. You can get that waived if you sign up for autopay, where they charge your credit card automatically every month...

    Oh, and 30 skip is great. There is a secret way to enable it just like the tivo, but unlike tivo, as others say, it sticks till you change it, not a reboot of the unit like tivo... The HR's are vastly superior to any directvtivo in use today.. You will need to get used to it, but after a month or so, I doubt you'll even care about the new directv tivo... The key is to learn how it works, and to not be afraid of doing it differently than tivo did, cause tivo did a lot right, but not everything....

    I have never even looked back since I went form a tivo to directvs HR's... (I had an ultimate tv too.. And it was better than the tivos, as was replaytv, so I was not as big a fan as some are of tivos)

    If you are a sports fan, pm after you get your upgrade done, I'll tell you how to make sure you catch every sports game you want for your team, unlike the unreliable wish list that tivo has... ( I NEVER had it record everything and only the things I wanted for my sports teams, but the HR's do it without fail for me)
  5. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    I think there is little to worry about with any of the DVRs, which primarily all work the same, and well at that. The new one is a little peppier, but it has its own issues.

    We all want to romanticize the DTivos, and they were formidable and unmatchable in their day. We all loved them dearly. But they had their share of issues as well.

    And I would never pretend that moving to a new GUI interface is not challenging. I overlapped, meaning I had both HR10's and HR2x's active at the same time (still do). But after about a year, once the HR2x's became the primary recorders for me and the HR10's became the overflow/backup recorders, I realized that I was by then more accustomed to the new DVRs and actually preferred them.

    There are a couple of things Tivo still does better (search, slo-mo, suggestions) but there is a long laundry list of things the new ones do better, and there are even some features that Tivo never dreamed of that are quite handy and clever.

    It's OK to have a different opinion than mine, but my personal opinion is that it is more of a pain to hang on to old Tivo waiting for new Tivo than it is to simply transition to the new DVRs, even if that is only as a bridge to new Tivo. Having both platforms at the same time is having the best of both worlds. Plus, there is no guarantee the new Tivo will be all that, or even affordable. Only time can answer that, and you can have the current new DVR during that time spent waiting.

    Since September I have been down to one HR10 and the rest are HR2xs. When the old girl finally gives up the ghost, it will be a sad day, but not an uneasy transition, since I've all but made that transition already. When the new Tivo ships, I will be in a good position because I am happy with what I have and won't be pressured to jump. If the new Tivo turns out to be everything dreamed of and includes an espresso machine and built-in pencil sharpener, then that's all gravy, and I'll step up. But unlike those hanging on to dying HR10s and R15s, I won't have to if its not. Some food for thought.
  6. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    Yeah, I know that there is a list style guide, but having the option to have it shown all of the time would be great.

    In fact, I don't remember much else about the TiVo interface. :)
    I never really used suggestions that much and I don't miss slow motion either.

    I'm still wondering if the new HD DirecTV Tivo might not have growing pains of its own?
  7. NorthOlyPen

    NorthOlyPen Cool Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Thanks, guys, for your thoughtful responses. I really do appreciate it. Based on the reading done, the people spoken with, and your shared experiences, I just ordered the HD DVR from DIRECTV. I asked the CSR to put a note to the installer requesting an HR24-100 or 200. She of course agreed but allowed as how there were no guarantees. Be interesting to see if the installer even gets the request.

    I decided to upgrade only one of the two current D*TiVo's. I want to keep the other one to use in the motor home. I move it from the house to the RV and hook it up to the King Dome where it works like a champ within the limitations of a single LNB. I even continue to get my locals within the spot beam's footprint.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

  8. MartyS

    MartyS New Member

    Dec 29, 2006
    When the installer comes be sure to ask him what he has in the truck before he installs the DVR. A while back, I got an HR 23 instead of a 21 just by asking that question. Not a big difference, but at the time it was the latest and greatest, and didn't need BBCs so I was happy. It never hurts to ask..
  9. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    Except that the HR23 has a larger hard drive. :)
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    That's not the only difference!

    Since this will NOT be a SWiM install, the HR23 doesn't require the BBCs that all other models will.
  11. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    Not needing BBC on the HR23 was mentioned by MartyS. :)
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I live on the East Coast and I realize things are different for us, but all the trucks I have seen recently have only 24s on them. So the odds on getting a 24 with a new install are pretty good around here.

    When the HRs first came out, they only had one model, the 20-700. And it wasn't ready for Prime Time, by any stretch of the imagination. Not only were we (the customers) not ready for it, neither were the installers or the CSRs and for about a year, or a bit more, chaos reigned. Then the 20-700s suddenly became more stable and are now my choice for a good reliable DVR.

    This is not to denigrate the 24s. I have two of them and they both are working really well, but I haven't had them very long and I have no idea what they will be like in a year or so. Meanwhile, my eight 20-700s soldier on, reliable and trustworthy.

    Between the 20-700s and the 24s were a variety of HRs, few that I would have in my home. The 21-700 being the most dependable of the lot, but a bit slower than either the 20-700 or the 24s, which are the quickest, with the 20-700 not far behind.

    Getting a 20-700 from D* that works correctly is almost impossible, so your best bet is a 24. I've had one 24-500 fail miserably (probably my fault, but that's another story), and it was replaced with a 24-500 that has worked very well since I got it.

    Just my opinions, not set in stone.

  13. NorthOlyPen

    NorthOlyPen Cool Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Thanks again for the helpful information. I wound up fabricating an adapter for the 2.375" pole left over from a deactivated HughesNet service to provide a 2.000" diameter protrusion for the D* antenna. The installer was able to use the existing RG6 coax pair from the HughesNet antenna and the RG6 coax pair from the existing 18" round dish SD D* antenna.

    D* would have installed a new 2" pole for $70 but I decided to do it myself and save money. Don't ask what mechanical tubing (2.25" OD X 1.25" ID X 24" Long) costs. Then there was fuel for the trip into and around town to obtain said tubing, labor (even if I'm only worth minimum wage), and pretty soon the $70 D* price of a new pole started to look pretty good.

    All of the above is semi-important to us because the antennas are over 100 feet away from the house and I do not want to dig another trench to bury a new wire run.

    Though when setting up the appointment I asked the D* CSR to send a note to the installer to supply an HR24-100 or 200, the note did not appear on his paperwork. Notwithstanding, he had HR24-200's on his truck and said that those were all he has seen in recent weeks.

    Now comes the process of reprogramming the brain-to-thumb interface so that the remote will know what to do and how to do it. This is certain to be the most difficult aspect of the transition.

    Is it really true that recordings, once deleted, cannot be retrieved? If so, oh sh$t-oh dear, spouse is not going to be happy with something I just did!

  14. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Welcome to HD. As for deleting...yup, it can't be recovered. A few helpful links:

    HD DVR FAQ (High Definition PLUS Digital Video Recorder)
    Undocumented HD-DVR+ Tips & Tricks
  15. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    I would call Directv back and ask them to put in the Notes for the Installer to call you at your phone number that you give them and then when the Dispatcher calls you can tell him/her what you want and he/she will tell you if that is possible.

    Then the Installer won't show up without your equipment that you requested if he can accomodate the request.
  16. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    :lol: Good ol' Rich...you might want to read the whole topic. ;) The OP got set up...post #13. ;)
  17. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    Okay then just ignore my post!!! :lol:
  18. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    Some great tips in here; thanks. I am considering getting the 24 series; have the 20-700 in the LR, and a non-recording HD receiver in the BR. I'm in a short term rental situation, will be buying in the next 2-12 months, so I don't want to pay up for something that'll not work in new home.

    It seems almost equal to me between getting a new DVR for the LR and putting the older one in the BR vs. All Home service. What would you do?

    And, is the DECA thing pretty much a converter that sends the picture stream to another room via RF?
  19. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    DECA is Directv Ethernet Coaxial Adapter and it just uses the coax as an Ethernet cable and it is Opimized to distribute Audio/Video Packets the best and fastest way possible, much better than just using your own LAN Network.

    "It seems almost equal to me between getting a new DVR for the LR and putting the older one in the BR vs. All Home service. What would you do?"

    You can't beat the Whole Home DVR Service in my opinion and I have waited years to get it and now just love it.
  20. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    I have to ask, 10 DVRs?

    I just sent back a SD DVR and am now only running two HD DVRs, one on each floor. Of course part of that is having WD media players that can Netflix.

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