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Which HD DVR is better

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by nocola, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. nocola

    nocola Mentor

    Jul 28, 2009
    Hi, I was wondering is someone can tell me which HD DVR is better?
  2. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    A working one. ;)

    In all seriousness though. Other than hard drive size, color and built in OTA tuners, they are for all practical purposes identical.

    Anyone who says that one model is better than another is just giving opinion.

    As for my opinion, having seen literally hundrends of HR2xs, I see no difference in them other than those listed above.
  3. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    Well, "better" is really subjective.

    Functionally, they are all very much the same. All models have the same features and functions available with a few minor exceptions:

    The HR-20 has built in tuners for receiving OTA broadcasts. The others require a seperate tuner module (AM-21) for this function.

    The HR-23 has what are called "wide-band" tuners which allow it to work without the need for external converters (BBCs).

    The HR-22 and the HR-23 have a larger hard disk (500 GB vs the 320 GB in the HR20 and HR21 I believe).

    The HR-21 and above have an active ethernet switch integrated in the unit allowing the DVRs to share a single network connection with another network device. Although the HR-20 has 2 ports on the rear panel, the second port is not enabled.

    I think this covers most of the differences. If you have a choice, I would go with the HR-23. It has the larger hard disk and there have been occaisonal reports of the BBCs going bad and needing to be replaced.
  4. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    I believe that the HR23-700 has a little better PQ and AQ as I have it side by side with an HR21-700 and it looks a little better and the Audio is definitely louder but maybe that is just because they tweaked the audio setting to produce a little louder sound.

    It also has a larger hard drive, 500 Gig and you don't need the BBCs hanging off the back or connected to the device because it has built in Wideband Tuners for this purpose.
  5. nocola

    nocola Mentor

    Jul 28, 2009
    Ok Can you tell me what the BBC and widertuners are becouse I have never heard of them.
  6. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    This requires a bit of a technical explanation: In addition to traditional Ku band DBS frequencies, Directv uses two parts of the Ka spectrum, Ka-High (from the Spaceway 1 and 2 satellites) and Ka-Low (from Directv 10, 11 and soon 12). The tuners on most HR2x boxes are capable of receiving only Ku and Ka-High. These two parts of the Ka frequency band are sometimes referred to as "A Band" and "B Band."

    A "BBC" is a "B-Band Converter." It uses a signal from the HR2x to shift frequencies that the tuner cannot receive natively to ones that it can. The HR23 has a wideband tuners (which are more expensive) that can tune the entire Ka band (high and low) without the necessity of BBCs. However, for receivers connected to an SWM system (either a standalone SWM module or a SWM LNB on the dish), neither wideband tuners nor BBCs are necessary. The SWM hardware modulates all the frequencies used by all the different receivers on the system.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  7. mcbeevee

    mcbeevee 97% Complete

    Sep 18, 2006
    Here is a photo of the BBC's.


  8. Racer88

    Racer88 Icon

    Sep 12, 2006
  9. PlanetBill

    PlanetBill Icon

    May 8, 2006
    I have a hr-20, -22 and a -23. I would gladly trade the -22 for either another -20 or -23. It seems soooo slow and less responsive. Just my opinion...
  10. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    BBCs are Broadband Converters used to upconvert the Directv signal after it has been compressed into basically half it's bandwidth or frequency range. The Wideband Tuners do the same thing as in upconverting the signal after it has been cut in half thereby allowing it to send more bandwidth down the pipeline or cable as it is.

    BBCs have a potential for failing as they are cheaply made so it is better to have the Wideband tuner do it as they have not had a problem failing to upconvert the signal.

    I have a Directv Installation Video which explains the technical aspects if needed but this is basically what it does. Once the frequency is cut in half the tuner can not pick it up as it is out of it's range. So it must be converted back to it's original frequency range so it can be detected by the tuner in the DVR. The Wideband Tuner upconverts the frequency range back to it's normal range (after it was cut in half for delivery to the tuner thereby saving bandwidth) just as the BBCs do so the tuner can not detect it in it's normal frequency range.

    Here is another explanation I used earlier.

    The new SATELLITES, 99c & 103c, are Ka-Lo which come from the Dish in the 250-750 MHz band. These need to be upconverted to 1650-2150 MHz for the DVR. SWM doesn’t require this upconversion.

    Also, the HR23 doesn't require this upconversion because it is done by the "Internal Wideband Tuner" which upconverts the 250-750 MHz frequency range to the 1650-2150 frequency range.

    This is also why you can't Diplex OTA into the stream as it gets upconverted also and can't be recognized by the DVR in it's upconverted frequency range.
  11. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    BBCs are B-Band Converters!

    Wideband tuners do as their name suggests.
    They tune the entire band without the need for any frequency conversions.

    See LameLefty's description.
  12. dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 18, 2007
    To Answer your question, most people prefer the older HR20 but since that is almost impossible to get the best option is an HR23.

    HR23 has a slightly better picture than the rest and it has the largest hard Drive that DTV offers and it's fairly reliable and it's OK in the speed department. It's not as fast as the HR20 but it's much better than an HR21/HR22.
  13. Richierich

    Richierich Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    DITTO!!! Some say it also has better Audio but that is a Subjective Observation much like an Opinion.
  14. webcrawlr

    webcrawlr Cool Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I feel the same way!! Although the latest national software release helped a little.
  15. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    NE Oklahoma
    They sell owned HR20's on Ebay all the time. I dont consider them hard to get at all and if you get an owned one you cna put a larger hard drive in it and you wont have to extend your commitment either.
  16. Grentz

    Grentz New Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    Horrible for Directv though ;)
  17. dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

    Sep 18, 2007
    I will agree with that, the only problem is finding an HR20 on ebay that you can really trust to be good! Between the question of not being sure if it's still leased and the even bigger problem of not knowing if it has some kind of hardware problem, you best stick with a new HR23 unless you can find a trusted member of this forum to buy an HR20 from.

    (BTW before you say it. I don't trust a CSR to tell me if a receiver is off the lease. One person tells you it's fine then when you call to hookup you get another story)
  18. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    I have 3 HR22-100's, there are times when others units are really fast mine are too and sometimes mine are slow. There are also times when others are starting thread after thread about how bad their HR2x units are working and mine are working great. It really depends on the software if you ask me. There are some here that will say the HR20-700 is the best, it is also the oldest and may start having problems or failure first too. (My opinion-and yes I had one many years ago.)
  19. Paul E Fox II

    Paul E Fox II Legend

    Jul 6, 2008
    I have to agree that they all seem to be very similar in everyday use.

    However, I will say that the HR-20 we now have in the bedroom is smokin' fast and I love the fact that I don't have to have another AM21 in the mix for OTA.

    I wish it wasn't silver but that has NOTHING to do with it's capabilities.
  20. ndole

    ndole Problem Solver

    Aug 26, 2009
    HR20-700's are my favorite D* HR2x. They always seem (may be subjective) to run much faster and smoother than their other HR counterparts. The only things I don't care for about HR20-700's are the case color and the ugly LED ring appearance. But I prefer performance over appearance.

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