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Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I'm a newbie here, but have been a Directv customer since the 1st year they were in business. It was a happy day when I cancelled my cable service. I love D*TV & have experienced very few problems. I had a Microsoft Ultimate TV PVR (loved it!!) for several years, and switched to the HR10-250 when I went to a Hi-def TV almost 5 years ago. I added a 2nd HR10-250 about 3 years ago for a 2nd plasma. I have had a few freezeups, maybe once every 3-6 months, but am overall happy with the Tivos. I think the PVR is the best invention since the remote control!!
But now I'm told I need to get the new HR-2x receivers or lose my Hi-def signals. I (and the wife) are very used to the Tivo system, and are completely happy with the reliability of the HR10-250's.
After reading the threads on this forum, I am scared to death to pull the trigger on the new dish/ receivers. I am lead to believe lockups, lost recordings, resets that require re-setting your favorites, and faulty receivers are normal and to be expected.
I realize the happy customers are less likely to post here, but these new boxes get really bad ink here.
I almost am thinking to cancel D*TV and get cable until the new TIVO boxes are released & de-bugged. I hate to do so, but I will go wild if I experience some of the issues I have read about here.
I know my experience will vary, but any feedback and suggestions would be most appreciated.

Regards,
Bill
 

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Lifetime Achiever
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28,939 Posts
I think you've hit the nail on the head when you say "I realize the happy customers are less likely to post here." A properly installed system should work well and give you access to all of the HD features out there.

You will need to give yourself about a month to get used to the new User Interface. It is not a difficult UI, but it is different than the TiVo. Personally, I find myself wincing every time I use a TiVo interface now, so give yourself time with learning the new interface and the way things work.

I've enjoyed my setup for exactly 2 years tomorrow.

Cheers.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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1,743 Posts
I hated the idea of giving up my Tivo when it died but I actually prefer the MPEG4 boxes to Tivo. It might be because of how I use a DVR but if given the option, I wouldn't go back to the HR10-250. And you're right about happy posts. A lot of people come here looking for answers to problems so I can understand you getting the impression that the new boxes are unreliable. But I'm sure you'll find that a lot of people are quite happy with the HR2x boxes.

I've had no lost recordings on either my HR20 or HR21. I believe I've had only 1 lockup on one machine in over a year. They've been great.
 

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Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys!! You make me feel a LOT better. I have called D*TV twice to order & lost my nerve thinking I was going to have nothing but problems. I guess there is really no alternative anyway...
 

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I used to be a rocket scientist
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12,182 Posts
I have had my HR20-700 for about 4 weeks shy of two years now. It's been great. Although I used Tivo boxes for 5 years prior to that, I prefer the Directv UI now by a long shot and so does my wife. :)
 

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Cool Member
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29 Posts
I'd suggest that you not connect the new HR2x boxes to your home network for now. For some people it works fine, for me it is the difference between a stable, working HR2x box and a machine that locks up every 24 - 48 hours.

There are things I prefer about the D* interface - the guide is better, I like the look of the interface better. Overall I think it's a wash in terms of functionality.

Good luck. The MPEG-4 HD channels sure do look nice.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Last Thursday was my 2 year anniversary of my first HR2x. I've got 3 now.

I missed my Tivos at first. Now, you can count me among the crowd who isn't foaming at the mouth over the recent DirecTV/Tivo announcement.

Granted, I've had no significant problems at all in my 2 years. I think I had 1 recording ever that was blank. I've never missed an important recording (I have seen some kids shows that don't record properly, which is pretty well documented around here).

All in all, I'm thoroughly pleased with my HR2x experience. And, perhaps more importantly... Mrs. Sharkie is pleased with the HR2x experience! :D
 

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RIP
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6,198 Posts
bstern said:
Hello all,
I'm a newbie here, but have been a Directv customer since the 1st year they were in business. It was a happy day when I cancelled my cable service. I love D*TV & have experienced very few problems. I had a Microsoft Ultimate TV PVR (loved it!!) for several years, and switched to the HR10-250 when I went to a Hi-def TV almost 5 years ago. I added a 2nd HR10-250 about 3 years ago for a 2nd plasma. I have had a few freezeups, maybe once every 3-6 months, but am overall happy with the Tivos. I think the PVR is the best invention since the remote control!!
But now I'm told I need to get the new HR-2x receivers or lose my Hi-def signals. I (and the wife) are very used to the Tivo system, and are completely happy with the reliability of the HR10-250's.
After reading the threads on this forum, I am scared to death to pull the trigger on the new dish/ receivers. I am lead to believe lockups, lost recordings, resets that require re-setting your favorites, and faulty receivers are normal and to be expected.
I realize the happy customers are less likely to post here, but these new boxes get really bad ink here.
I almost am thinking to cancel D*TV and get cable until the new TIVO boxes are released & de-bugged. I hate to do so, but I will go wild if I experience some of the issues I have read about here.
I know my experience will vary, but any feedback and suggestions would be most appreciated.

Regards,
Bill
No, they're not more hassles than they're worth...they are, however, much more hassle than they should be.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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No hassle here for the last year or so. I've got two and a third HD DVR is coming in a couple of weeks.

However, mine are not networked.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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If you liked the Ultimate TV, then you should be just fine with the HR2x. The interface and functionality is very similar. Other than truly defective boxes and the occasional software bug, the HR2x’s are not more trouble than they are worth. Like Ken said, they are ore trouble than they should be, but a lot of the complaints people have about them are caused by signal issues. Not necessarily dish alignment, but bad cables, LNB’s, multiswitches, connections, etc. Where a small intermittent problem with a connection won’t phase other receivers, it can cause lock-ups and blank recordings on the HR2x’s. Maybe someday the software will evolve to better handle these problems, but for now, the best thing you can do is verify that everything required to get the signal into the receiver is operating at 100%.
 

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Godfather
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308 Posts
The only thing that I have missed from my HR10-250 is the dual live buffer, outside of that I very much prefer the new boxes. My wife is in that same category as well.... I kept the HR10-250 in the kitchen (which she is the only one that watches there) when I first got the HR2x boxes, then DTV called about a month later to replace the one in the kitchen for free for us. I wanted it but wasnt sure how my wife would like it, when I mentioned it to her she was very happy it was going to be replaced! Shows you how well it has worked in our house, and i think it is faster and easier to use. Just posted a thread last night on another feature I found that made me very happy to have my new boxes:
http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=140707

There are more like this in the forum, just few and far between. Most people only end up here when they have a problem.
 

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Cool Member
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I too was very apprehensive over giving up my Tivos's and moving to the HR series.

The UI takes getting used to, but honestly is not bad at all. You will find yourself loving some of the features, as it definitely does make some tasks quite a bit easier.

However, there simply is no way anyone can say they are as reliable as tivo was. I say that with fairly high confidence, due to the dozens of both types of units I'm aware of with friends/family.

That said, the incident rate really isn't that large. Expect to miss a recording here and there, but nothing too major. If you have more problems than "once in a while" there likely is something wrong with your installation that you'll need to troubleshoot. The HR series are definitely more "fragile" to bad signal issues/etc. than the old Tivo's. This may be due to MPEG4 and the new frequency bands being used, but who knows.

Overall I would not go back to the HD Directivo's. The access to the new content is great, and the HR series works "okay" for me. If they were 100% reliable like my tivo's were, I wouldn't hesitate to say that they ARE a step up from tivo.

Due to reliability concerns, I definitely am excited about the tivo announcement. Who knows what it will actually pan out to be though.

As far as features you'll maybe miss:

Wishlists
Suggestions
DLB

Other than that, the HR unit in my opinion is superior in features than the old tivo's. The only thing I really miss is suggestions, but I got used to not having them.

Hope the info helps!

-Phil
 

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Godfather
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291 Posts
Hi. I, too, had(and still own) two UTV's in service for years. I loved them. I STILL wish the HR*'s had PIP!!! These units are closer to the UTV in operation than the TiVO interface is. I don't think it'll take long for you to transition into them comfortably.
 

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Just to provide a little balance to the "Dont worry" crowd, I've had no end of problems since migrating from directivos to HR20's. I'm on the edge of sending the HR's back and reinstalling the directivos and giving up HD.

The remote is hard to use. Small buttons clustered too close together. I regularly hit the 'active' button when I'm trying to pause a show or hitting the record button when trying to bring up the now showing list.

The UI is randomly sluggish. I frequently press a key and have to wait 2-4 seconds for the unit to respond.

"Keep until I delete" doesnt. A season pass set to record 5 episodes with keep until I delete will continue to over-record the oldest episode and never stops recording. Very annoying if you want it to actually do what you've told it to do. My wife likes to watch some old syndicated rerun shows every once in a while and my 3 year old has PBS shows he likes to watch. On the tivo these kept xx episodes and waited until you watched and deleted one before recording another. These continuously record and that makes watching live tv impossible. I have to keep creating and deleting the season passes to get fresh shows on the showing list, generally every other week.

The picture in guide can be a big problem if you watch sports. You turn the tv on in the middle of the game and there it is. Going into the guide, or show list or any other function, and its still there. With the tivo you can push the tivo button, turn the tv on, and start your game from the beginning. Had a couple of games ruined by this.

Recording reliability is much worse. 1-2 shows a week are blank or not recorded and the reason given for not recording the show is a mysterious error message that nobody seems to be able to decode. I've drastically improved this problem by cutting the number of season passes down to <40. Putting the full 50 on, with lots of dual recordings and lots of recordings per day = lots of missed shows.

The autorecord wishlists and searches will search on channels you dont get, and record shows you cant watch. You cant choose the list of channels you "get" and the default "channels I get" list has channels in it that you dont get. You must weed through the PPV channels, adult channels and all sorts of other stuff when doing searches and autorecords.

The parental controls dont always work 100%. Your kids, if you have any, will enjoy the full titles of many adult shows when they do a search.

My wife hates them. Below zero WAF.

If I were doing it all over again, I'd have kept the old directivos until they dropped dead, and given the recent announcement waited until the new directivos with HD come out. Or gotten some HD tivo's and tried the cable route.

The product is really, really good for someone who had non-dvr directv receivers or has been with the directv dvr's all along. It has the same remote, same look and feel, similar UI. And a lot of people who have good results and no problems have small numbers of season passes and low demands on the unit.

So proceed with extreme caution...
 

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Cool Member
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Could not agree more. This is the worst piece of consumer electronics I've ever suffered through. Terrible performance, terrible design, terrible UI, terrible reliability.

I would definitely be happy to keep my old HD TiVo, which I still have. Problem is that there's no access to HD network channels, as I understand it. If I'm wrong, PLEASE let me know and I'll put it back into service. That's the only reason I dumped it for the HR-22. -- Ken
 

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Nope, you cant get HD with the old boxes. But while I like the HD picture quality, I've found that once I've been watching a show for 2-3 minutes I dont notice it anymore. Only time I'm aware of it is when I flip from an HD show to an SD show.

Its really nice to have. But actually getting my shows and not having my wife pissed at the DVR are slightly higher on the priority list.

So we might just give up on the HD until something better comes along.
 

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Godfather
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323 Posts
I have 4 friends with HR2x DVRs. Three have no problems, and one thinks it's a disaster. FWIW. I haven't made the move yet from my SD DVRs, which have been rock solid for me. But I'm able to get some HD with my antenna, so I'm not in a rush to move.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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I've been through the best and the worst with the HR20 since it's release, and it is all the same machine. I got mine a month or two after they became available, and it was a total disaster. THe most unreliable piece of equipment in the house. I actually kept my SD TiVo as a backup to catch all the recordings that this thing would miss/corrupt/delete/make unwatchable. Nevertheless, I have stuck with it. I have not returned the original HR20, and I have not re-aligned the dish, replaced the LNB, replaced the cables, connections, or anything.

Around March of 2007, the machine started becoming marginally reliable. I actually got rid of my backup TiVo that summer.

Now, I rely on the HR20 to record everything, and it does so without a hitch. It has become almost as relaible as a TiVO (if TiVo = 100% reliability, then this is a 98%).

I would have to say that you should go for it. The software has evolved to the point that it is worth the switch.
 

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Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
WOW!! Quite a variety of opinions. Well, I pulled the trigger & ordered 2 of the HR2X's.
Do I understand correctly that the 20 & 21 will need 2 coax lines while the 22 needs just 1 to record two shows? That would be nice since I have only 1 coax up to the bedroom & often wish I could watch 1 & record another. If that is the case, I will strongly push for a 22 from the installer. I hope he has them....

I found it interesting they gave me an installation date of over a month out. Now I can wonder for that long if this will prove to be a good or bad move.
At least I own one of the HR10-250's so if need be, I will just hook it back up & deal with no HD. Or, I can drop the dish & call my old friends at Time-Warner.

Time will tell....
 
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