1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Your opinions: How should DIRECTV compete against Dish's Hopper?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Stuart Sweet, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Apr 6, 2012 #101 of 209

    kevinturcotte Active Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Dish's Hopper has 3 tuners. However, during primetime, 1 tuner is dedicated to recording NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX (It can do this on 1 tuner, this is one of it's main selling points). If you turn this feature on, it will do it every night, and during primetime, you will only have 2 other tuners available to record other channels.
    The HR34 can record 5 different channels at once, anytime.
  2. Apr 6, 2012 #102 of 209

    cartrivision Hall Of Fame

    Jul 25, 2007
    What does that mean? What is a "fulltime" tuner? And how can one of those "3 full time tuners" be used to record 4 shows at once?
  3. Apr 7, 2012 #103 of 209

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Is there an echo in here? Look above, you got your answer.
  4. Apr 7, 2012 #104 of 209

    Jerry_K Godfather

    Oct 21, 2006
    The poster wants to know HOW one tuner records four channels at the same time.

    Just guessing but it is multiplexing somehow.

    Kind of like our satellite signal strength screen. All of the available LNB configurations are shown on one tuner. So that tuner is getting multiple channel information. It is sorting it by LNB configuration so if it wanted to it could record it one configuration at a time for many channels.

    Personally I would need to know a lot more about how one could sort that so that shows would be kept. Many times we leave our system recording for a week at a time when we are not there. We would want only those shows that are germaine. The hopper could not know that and for sure it would have to delete something before we could move it to the protected portion of the drive.

    BOO on that.

    I did see that you can turn off the feature. At that point it is far inferior to the HR34. Just another DVR and with less tuners.
  5. Apr 7, 2012 #105 of 209

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Satellite receivers tune the whole transponder when you tune in a channel. There may be 1 to ~20 channels on that one transponder. You can either extract the single channel you want before sending it to the hard drive/video output, or you can record the whole transponder and extract the channel you want.

    Obviously, space wise, unless you WANTED all the channels on one transponder recorded, extracting the single channel before saving to disc would be much more efficient.
  6. Apr 7, 2012 #106 of 209
    Mike Bertelson

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

    Jan 24, 2007
    It means out has three tuners just like any other DVR. However, during prime time one is dedicated to recording the four networks. It can't bee used for live viewing because it's pulling in the four streams. I don't know if it's
    A special stream or if it's multiplexing four individual streams but it results in four recordings.

  7. Apr 7, 2012 #107 of 209

    cypherx Hall Of Fame

    Aug 27, 2010
    PA - Berks...
    An HR34 with more content (HD channels) and a better HD on demand library would compete fine against the harper. (I know its hopper - I just love that commercial).

    Instant streaming would be cool too. Some HDUI tweaks like different view options may appeal to the techies, but other than that the people want something easy to use with the content they want to watch.
  8. Apr 7, 2012 #108 of 209

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Certainly it can. If you are fuzzy on the concept of PTAT and how the DISH system works, it is easy to get distracted by posts claiming that other DVRs can record "anything anytime". That's hardly the point, and those posters know it. Seems much more like a sour-grapes defense of the home team and an attempt to muddy the waters more than anything helpful to those who might be interested in it.

    First, PTAT refers to playback, not recording. It takes the recording aspect for the big 4 during PT completely out of the hands of the user; it does all of the recording for you, and more importantly it manages all of the recording for you, which is the entire idea of what makes this concept attractive to those who watch a lot of PT, which is a large universe of viewers. Regardless of what it might be able to record, what's really important is that the Hopper can play back any part of PT from the previous 8 days (of the big 4 nets) any time, without the user ever lifting a single finger to record or program anything. So PTAT is a sort of on-demand service, except the content is cached locally rather than remotely somewhere.

    I always thought that the real significant advances that Tivo brought us (other than trick play and better rercord quality for DBS) were the on-board database for recordings, and the ability to record programs rather than time slots. I watch some shows every week, but I don't have a clue when they are actually broadcast because I don't have to. That is a convenience Tivo brought us: transparency allowing us to ignore the broadcast/cablecast schedule. But we still have to set up SPs/SLs.

    PTAT is the new significant advance; now recording PT shows at all is conveniently taken care of for us. You don't even have to know if any particular show is even scheduled at all. If you are a big PT watcher, that is huge. If the hot co-worker at the water cooler says "Did you see that new show The Firm on NBC last night?" and you have never even heard of it, you already have it if you want to check it out. You can even tell her that your new assistant already has that completely covered for you, and that you'd be happy to have her over to watch it together. Kismet.

    The HR34, lovely as it is, can't do anything like that, so I fail to see why folks are trying to compare it. There really is no comparison; they are two significantly-different approaches to what two significantly-different types of users might want. Except that the Hopper also can revert back to being a conventional 3-tuner DVR if that suits you better, which broadens its appeal.

    The first thing to do is decide what kind of viewer you are. If you like lots of prime time, the Hopper makes a tremendous amount of sense, and the HR34 makes a lot less sense. If you don't record more than a handful of PT shows a week, then the HR34 might actually make more sense, but it is still an apples and oranges comparison.

    About 70% of what I record is PT, and the other 30% is from other channels. I can't recall ever wanting to record more than 2 other programs other than PT on the big 4 during PT, and since the Hopper approach has that covered, I would love to see that offered by DTV. instantly, 70% of the busywork of programming the DVR is history, as is missing PT programs I forgot to schedule. I'll take two, thankyouverymuch.

    Technically, what makes the two approaches different is that a conventional DVR demultiplexes (parses out) a single program from the 4 HD programs available in the transport stream coming from the spot beam transponder, and records that separately from anything else (if you want more than one of those programs, you need a separate tuner and record path available to accomplish that, along with a conscious effort expended by you to make it happen), while the Hopper approach records all 4 programs by recording the entire transport stream from that single transponder, and demuxes out the program you want to watch at playback instead. It simply moves the demux stage later in the game, letting you decide which programs you might want to watch from all of the PT programs available, rather than being limited to just the ones you might have remembered to record. That's a quantum leap in the application of existing technology. Steve Jobs would be proud.

    Forget about what it records that you don't watch, just like you can forget about what it doesn't record that you don't watch. There's plenty of room and that stuff ages out on its own, completely transparently to the user. Simple, and clever. The technology has been here all along; bringing it to consumers might prove to be revolutionary.

    With luck, that approach will become common. Instead of being razzle-dazzled by technology we don't quite understand, like sheltered darkest Africa pygmies being astounded by an iPad or a set of shiny car keys, a Hopper-like DVR will become ubiquitous; just another appliance to make life easier, before you even know it, just like your toaster.
  9. Apr 7, 2012 #109 of 209

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    Just to clarify, a tuner is different from a record path or a playback path. A tuner is only a module that converts an RF carrier to an IF frequency. A record path includes a tuner, a demodulator to convert the IF to baseband, a demultiplexor to cull out the desired program and throw away everything else in the transport stream (except for PTAT), and a HDD. A playback path includes the HDD, a decoder, and possibly a D-to-A module for component (and a demux for the Hopper). You can put those together in various combinations to create a simple block diagram for any DVR.

    If you simply want to count tuners, even the HR20 has four of them, two ATSC and two DVB. But is has only two record paths, and only one playback path (until you invoke double play). So counting tuners sort of misses the mark if used to assess what a DVR is capable of. Comparison of how many record paths it can mount at once makes a lot more sense.

    The stream is not special, its the same stream you record today. It creates one recording, but of the entire transport stream, which can contain multiple programs.
  10. Apr 8, 2012 #110 of 209

    34290Mem New Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    4 x HR24 w/ MRV.

    Directv FTW.
  11. Apr 8, 2012 #111 of 209

    Sharkie_Fan Hall Of Fame

    Sep 26, 2006
    I'm actually seriously considering a switch from DirecTV to DISh, and it's only partially about the hardware. Yes, the DirecTV DVRs can be anywhere from sluggish to painfully slow, but a few extra seconds here or there isn't a killer for me.

    The big draw for our household to DISH is the packages that are available. We watch primarily network television, but we have a handful of other channels that we don't want to give up at this point. To get those channels with DirecTV, I have Choice Xtra Classic, for $68.99 a month. I can get the channels we want with DISh for $49.99 a month (regular price - for the first year it's even cheaper). Because the channels other than network don't number more than a handful, a single hopper and 3 joeys will suffice for our needs. We have multiple DVRs now only so that on certain nights we can record 2 network and 1 "other" channel. With PTAT, the two other tuners will handle anything else we want/need.

    For us, the directv offerings (hardware wise) would be "OK" if the value (programming wise) matched up with DISH.

    Obviously, I realize that the packages are created in such a way to (hopefully) maximize both profit to the company and value to the customer. For the programming that we watch, DISH has accomplished that balance better than DirecTV has.

    So, simply based on the needs of our own household, DirecTV could compete with the Hopper/Joey by improving their programming packages.
  12. Apr 8, 2012 #112 of 209

    ibooksrule Godfather

    Feb 16, 2003
    i am already hating the hopper is the stupid commercials. I hate hate the one with all the people in the house yelling out Hopper hopper hopper. Then the one with the guy who says im recording 4 prime time shows and im not doing anything. Then jumps out of the car to prove he is not doing anything. SO STUPID.
  13. Apr 8, 2012 #113 of 209

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    I agree. Presentation is very important. It would be a shame if DISH could not capitalize on a clear advantage by shooting themselves in the foot with bush-league promotion. They would do both themselves and potential customers no favors.

    That said, as much as I am really liking the Hopper concept, my 8-year history with DISH will easily keep me from ever jumping ship. DTV would have to really screw the pooch first. I'd rather stay in bed with the devil I know and program the DVRs myself than let the DISH unit do it and go through the hassle of handing my money over to incompetent nincompoops.

    DTV isn't perfect, maybe not even great. They're still the best.
  14. Apr 8, 2012 #114 of 209

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    You hit Guide on your satellite DVR and nothing happens.
    When nothing happens, you hit the button again.
    When you hit the button again, you get strange unwanted screens
    When you get strange unwanted screens, you post rants on DBSTalk
    When you post rants on DBSTalk, all your friends disown you.
    When all your friends disown you, you take a handful of pills and die.
    Dont take a handful of pills and die.

    Get HOPPER now. Nothing is faster than a Kangaroo.
  15. Apr 8, 2012 #115 of 209

    ibooksrule Godfather

    Feb 16, 2003
    LOL great take on DTV commercials
  16. Apr 8, 2012 #116 of 209

    34290Mem New Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Go to Channel 1 (customer information channel) and press (in this order):


    not too fast, not too slow. If done correctly, you'll see a message at the bottom left corner of your screen saying something like "NVRAM/Cache cleared..." (it's really tough to read).

    Once that is done (may take a few tries to even see the message), do a soft reset with the red reset button on the dvr.

    Should give you those few seconds back.
  17. Apr 8, 2012 #117 of 209

    usnret Icon

    Jan 16, 2009
    How much hard drive space does the Hopper take/use when it's doing the 4 channel recording thing? Reason I ask is that we record a lot of "other channel" stuff (A&E, Bravo etc.) on the 34 too.
  18. Apr 8, 2012 #118 of 209

    txtommy Icon

    Dec 30, 2006
    I don't remember ever wanting to record 6 channels at one time. In fact it is seldom that I care about recording more than 1 channel. I don't care to watch 90% of what is on network tv and even though I do have a few shows set to record, most go unwatched now. With more recordings there would just be more to go unwatched. I would have no use for the Hopper.
  19. Apr 8, 2012 #119 of 209

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Same here. I too watch very little network television. I do record the handful of shows I watch so I can skip through the annoying commercials and view on my schedule. Same applies to my wife's viewing habits. Rarely does the need arise to record more than one channel at the same time. The bulk of my recordings are movies that are unavailable on Bluray or DVD.
  20. Apr 8, 2012 #120 of 209

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    1TB of protected space. User has 500GB for everything else. That can be augmented with external drives. Unlike D*, external drives with Dish add to your existing space rather than replace it.

    If you don't care about network tv, you can turn off PTA. I personally like the feature as well as having a very fast, always responsive DVR. I have a lot less timers to manage now.

Share This Page