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HaiChinGow said:
You do realize that this forum itself is indicative of the overall problem. Soliciting Beta feedback through a non-official proxy shows that D* was not prepared to release a product that was not ready for market.
-hai
If this was the case, then the same would go for almost ever consumer device I know of. Does Canon have an official software reporting mechanism and Beta programs for their cameras? Sony? I am not aware of one. I know Dish does not and I am not aware of any of these type of mechanism from the cable side of the fence. Dish does have a Beta program but it is closed and from my understanding people that participate in it are under NDA.

From my experience, this type of situation is not uncommon for companies where software is a necessary evil (company perspective) to sell hardware or services. Software companies get it, but most hardware and service oriented companies don't. In this case, DirecTV is a content company and not even a hardware company so they are even further from a software company as I see it.

Yes it would be nice to see official software related communication with companies like this, but software to them is not primary (I have worked with hardware companies and now data delivery companies), it is a small piece in their eyes and one that rarely gets the focus it should. (From a software engineers perspective). This is not a DirecTV issue.. It is a issue of a lot of companies whose primary focus is not the delivery of software but the delivery of hardware or data through the use of software.

Since I don't frequent this forum.. Really can't comment on how your two statements are tied together.. From my vantage point.. I don't see the connection, but I don't have the details so I will let others that do have the context answer that question.

Yes I agree this area could much be improved with these type of companies.. But also, given the threads I have removed over the past year because of the nature of the content, I can also understand their hesitancy to jump into that abyss. ;)

<< Personal Opinion on purpose of DBSTalk>>>
I agree with you hai and this is one of the main areas that DBSTalk tries to fill by trying to create an environment were users can discuss their issues, look for work-arounds, get help from other users, and hopefully by providing constructive areas engineers from both D* and E* will frequent the forums and will use them as a tool to improve the products we use. The goal at DBSTalk is not to only provide threads of glowing opinions, It is to have users help users. From the Dish side of the fence, our support forums have a no bash rule, the main purpose of this rule is so those forums remains constructive and even toned so that the E* engineers don't have to wade through the bash rocks to get to the meat of the issues. I know if I had to, I personally would not hang around often. Maybe other engineers have no problem hearing "You guys suck", but I wouldn't stick around if I had to do that and from my perspective I want engineer eyes here because those are the eyes that will fix the issues.
<<<End of Persona OPinion of DBSTalk>>>
 

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Ron Barry said:
If this was the case, then the same would go for almost ever consumer device I know of. Does Canon have an official software reporting mechanism and Beta programs for their cameras? Sony? I am not aware of one.
Are you insane? Are you seriously suggesting that since you've never personally participated in a beta for these companies, that they do no testing? By your same logic, I can assert that the world is flat- I have never personally seen the planet from space, so it must not be round!

Even if you have not personally participated in any user acceptance, usability, functional or other testing from any large technology company, I can assure you- they all consider it a required step in the introduction of a new product.

I know Dish does not and I am not aware of any of these type of mechanism from the cable side of the fence. Dish does have a Beta program but it is closed and from my understanding people that participate in it are under NDA.
Wait, so, uhh, DO they have a beta program, or do they NOT? You have gone both ways in the span of TWO SENTENCES! Am I misunderstanding you?

From my experience, this type of situation is not uncommon for companies where software is a necessary evil (company perspective) to sell hardware or services. Software companies get it, but most hardware and service oriented companies don't. In this case, DirecTV is a content company and not even a hardware company so they are even further from a software company as I see it.
Agreed with you there. They have avoided doing an apropriate amount of pre-release testing, and are now paying the price. If they had done diligent testing before the release, there would be no need for a beta-test type backchannel from the "testers" (actually customers in this situation) to the testing and engineering staff.

Unfortunately, because of the position DirecTV has put itself, their customers, and DBSTalk in, we're forced to improvise and work with a makeshift backchannel- and the frustration of not knowing whether they even care or are paying attention (see their latest press release) is really taking a negative toll on the community.
 

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Ron Barry said:
If this was the case, then the same would go for almost ever consumer device I know of. Does Canon have an official software reporting mechanism and Beta programs for their cameras? Sony? I am not aware of one. I know Dish does not and I am not aware of any of these type of mechanism from the cable side of the fence. Dish does have a Beta program but it is closed and from my understanding people that participate in it are under NDA.

From my experience, this type of situation is not uncommon for companies where software is a necessary evil (company perspective) to sell hardware or services. Software companies get it, but most hardware and service oriented companies don't. In this case, DirecTV is a content company and not even a hardware company so they are even further from a software company as I see it.

Yes it would be nice to see official software related communication with companies like this, but software to them is not primary (I have worked with hardware companies and now data delivery companies), it is a small piece in their eyes and one that rarely gets the focus it should. (From a software engineers perspective). This is not a DirecTV issue.. It is a issue of a lot of companies.

Since I don't frequent this forum.. Really can't comment on how your two statements are tied together.. From my vantage point.. I don't see the connection, but I don't have the details so I will let others that do have the context answer that question.
If Directv is a content company, why did it choose to make it own DVRs (or at least its own software to run those DVRs)? Can you explain it for me? They did have success with early Tivos (I own them) and the HR10, based on the comments I read on DBS Talk by people who own them. Both of those DVRs required software, I believe.

Buying a Canon camera is a relatively simple prop, you buy it and if it doesn't work, you return it. The process is fairly easy. Not so with the HR20. The HR20 has a sub commitment attached to it, and it entails a much tougher return process (in the sense of going someplace else for an alternative). Changing digital camera or TV manufacturer is a simple step, with many alternatives. With D*, the choices are cable and E* or nothing (or fiber, if you are lucky enough to have it already). You have choice, but it's not very much choice. Even if you want to stay with D*, they no longer will even lease you and HR10. And even if they did, at some point, you would be compelled to get an HR20 if you want to record HD.

In fact, many of us who are experiencing problems with the HR20 actually like D* and its service, believe it or not. We were very happy customers until this launch. We just expected to get a product that works. Complex explanations/excuses, especially the "what'd you expect, it's a new product?" don't mean much to customers outside the realm of software developers/tech experts.

In the past 20 years, I've purchased way more tech gear than the average person, and I have never had an experience like this one. Well, there was the time I decided to install my own multimedia kit (sound card and CD drive) into a 133mhz Gateway computer. That took 12 hours (much of it spent on the phone with tech support), tons of sweat and much cursing, but in the end, it worked. Other than that, in my experience, returning a defective product (or even one you just didn't want due to buyer's remorse) required a simple RMA request and postage.

Anyway, these debates will go on forever. Hai's comments resonate with a lot of people on this site, whether you make the connection or not. Of course, many of us are not programmers or software experts. We only expected the HR20 to work as advertised. It doesn't. Not yet.
 

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Go look up almost any computer product out. Motherboards as an example, I know of MANY motherboards that are out there in HUGE numbers by very highend manufactures. You read the online reviews of consumers and you will see plenty of bad reviews some for varying reasons. Same can be said for cars, motorcycles and so on.

As you stated no matter how good a product is there will be bad reviews of it, there will also be good reviews. It's the nature of personal opinion. Yes this product has issues but not all issues cause problems for everyone, which in the computer field is a very common thing.

I'm not sure where you are going with the paranoia angle, I am not paranoid at all. I know some people have issues, I hope they will be fixed for all. Reality just tells me there will never be no problems for everyone. Heck I have a friend who his house was hit by lightning and his PC died. He blamed the PC manufacturer and now talks bad about them. Not sure how is was their fault and by the way I have seen him write bad reviews on placs like BB or CC websites because he doesn't like the company any longer.

tstarn said:
Disagree on your first statement. Sure, you can find individual reviews on either side of the fence, but overall, products that work well and deliver on their promises rise to the top and often reflect the consensus of reviewers. That's why products like Panasonic plasmas and Sony's latest batch of LCOS sets get good word of mouth/reviews. And you will find negative reviews on both, but not the majority.

Fuel to the fire? Because people aren't happy with their HR20s they complain? That just sounds like paranoia. Hope I didn't cross the line. It's not meant to be uncivil, but I just don't agree that every product has good and bad reviews, so on balance they mean absolutely nothing.
 

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Clint Lamor said:
As you stated no matter how good a product is there will be bad reviews of it, there will also be good reviews. It's the nature of personal opinion. Yes this product has issues but not all issues cause problems for everyone, which in the computer field is a very common thing.
But what will the preponderance of reviews be like? Are you denying that for a good product, the preponderance of reviews will be good, and vice versa?

I'm not sure where you are going with the paranoia angle, I am not paranoid at all. I know some people have issues, I hope they will be fixed for all. Reality just tells me there will never be no problems for everyone. Heck I have a friend who his house was hit by lightning and his PC died. He blamed the PC manufacturer and now talks bad about them. Not sure how is was their fault and by the way I have seen him write bad reviews on placs like BB or CC websites because he doesn't like the company any longer.
Did your friend honestly fault the company for the lightning strike, or was he angry at how they treated him as he tried to get his computer repaired or replaced? They are two very different situations. I don't think you're giving us the full story here, since it conveniently supports your central thesis.
 

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HaiChinGow said:
Feel free to delete this post or remove my account if you feel I have crossed the line. I am pretty sure that I am not the only person who feels this way and in time you can weed out the people who are critical of the way that dbstalk and D* handled the issue leaving only the people who give glowing accounts of how nice their units and experience have been.

-hai
I find it quite funny that since I have stated an opinion on something all of the sudden dbstalk as a whole is deleting accounts from anyone who doesn't say great things about every product we have support for. If that where the fact MANY people would not still be here most likely including myself and every other MOD. Before you spout off on things you seem to have little idea on how they work I suggest you do some checking.

I have had disagreements with people on products, users here as a matter of fact but for the most part I respect their opinion. I know what frustration is I have been dealing with BETA as you seem to deem it electronics for many years in my personal and professional life. It's not fun when something you pay for doesn't work like you think it should. I get very frustrated with all of my DVR's at times, my R15 my Tivo's all of them.
 

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Clint Lamor said:
Go look up almost any computer product out. Motherboards as an example, I know of MANY motherboards that are out there in HUGE numbers by very highend manufactures. You read the online reviews of consumers and you will see plenty of bad reviews some for varying reasons. Same can be said for cars, motorcycles and so on.

As you stated no matter how good a product is there will be bad reviews of it, there will also be good reviews. It's the nature of personal opinion. Yes this product has issues but not all issues cause problems for everyone, which in the computer field is a very common thing.

I'm not sure where you are going with the paranoia angle, I am not paranoid at all. I know some people have issues, I hope they will be fixed for all. Reality just tells me there will never be no problems for everyone. Heck I have a friend who his house was hit by lightning and his PC died. He blamed the PC manufacturer and now talks bad about them. Not sure how is was their fault and by the way I have seen him write bad reviews on placs like BB or CC websites because he doesn't like the company any longer.
Motherboards? I thought we were talking about consumer electronics products for general purpose use. Anyway, you missed my point: Simply stated, generally speaking, a majority of negative reviews usually reflect a poorly performing product (or one not meeting customer expectations). A majority of positive reviews represent a good product, one people like.

In the case of the HR20s, the majority of reviews at CNET and Circuit City are negative. I think it says something other than there are saboteurs out there poisoning the consensus. Sorry you didn't get the point. I thought you were saying that online reviews were mostly negative, but I do not agree.

One last time, if a product works well, the majority of reviews will be positive. If not, they will be negative. And not only negative experiences are communicated via online review opportunities.

Enough with the circular logic already. Bottom line, if a product gets good word of mouth, it generally will succeed.

The fact that Panasonic plasma TVs get a majority of positive reviews is based on many factors, personal taste being one of them, of course. But it's not because that opinion is 50-50 bad vs. good. It's because it's 90-10 or something like that towards the positive. So far, the reviews of the HR20 online are not even close to that number. It means something, and not just that only the complainers bother to post reviews.
 

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matto said:
But what will the preponderance of reviews be like? Are you denying that for a good product, the preponderance of reviews will be good, and vice versa?

Did your friend honestly fault the company for the lightning strike, or was he angry at how they treated him as he tried to get his computer repaired or replaced? They are two very different situations. I don't think you're giving us the full story here, since it conveniently supports your central thesis.
If you need to know the whole story he was hit by lightning and wanted them to replace the computer for free. He stated their product should be able to deal with problem like this since it is a consumer product.

I have seen many very good products that have darn near as many bad reviews as good ones.
 

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Ron Barry said:
If this was the case, then the same would go for almost ever consumer device I know of. Does Canon have an official software reporting mechanism and Beta programs for their cameras? Sony? I am not aware of one. I know Dish does not and I am not aware of any of these type of mechanism from the cable side of the fence. Dish does have a Beta program but it is closed and from my understanding people that participate in it are under NDA.
I have participated in many Beta programs with companies and products that you pointed out above. Yes, they do test their products before release. Yes, they have issue tracking and resolution software to work problems through to resolution. many are conducted under NDA, others are not. One important point is that users are informed that they are part of a beta program and may experience problems.
 

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Marcia_Brady said:
I hear sirens.

"Calling all mods....clean-up on aisle 7."
LOL
 

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tstarn said:
If Directv is a content company, why did it choose to make it own DVRs (or at least its own software to run those DVRs)? Can you explain it for me? They did have success with early Tivos (I own them) and the HR10, based on the comments I read on DBS Talk by people who own them. Both of those DVRs required software, I believe.
Well I don't work for D*, but the reason I believe they make their own DVRs(software for it) as does Dish is control and possible cost. Simple as that. There might be other business reasons, but my guess is those would be the two main ones. As for success with early Tivo units, yeap DirecTV at that point decided to license rather than build their own.

Let me clarify what I meant by content company. DirecTV and Dish are content companies in my opinion. Not hardware or software companies though they provide both. They sell content and to sell content they need delivery mechanisms like receivers and DVRs that require software. That was my point...
 

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Clint Lamor said:
If you need to know the whole story he was hit by lightning and wanted them to replace the computer for free. He stated their product should be able to deal with problem like this since it is a consumer product.

I have seen many very good products that have darn near as many bad reviews as good ones.
I'd love to hear about those good products that have as many bad reviews as good. I'd be very interested in the specifics.
 

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tstarn said:
Motherboards? I thought we were talking about consumer electronics products for general purpose use. Anyway, you missed my point: Simply stated, generally speaking, a majority of negative reviews usually reflect a poorly performing product (or one not meeting customer expectations). A majority of positive reviews represent a good product, one people like.

In the case of the HR20s, the majority of reviews at CNET and Circuit City are negative. I think it says something other than there are saboteurs out there poisoning the consensus. Sorry you didn't get the point. I thought you were saying that online reviews were mostly negative, but I do not agree.

One last time, if a product works well, the majority of reviews will be positive. If not, they will be negative. And not only negative experiences are communicated via online review opportunities.

Enough with the circular logic already. Bottom line, if a product gets good word of mouth, it generally will succeed.

The fact that Panasonic plasma TVs get a majority of positive reviews is based on many factors, personal taste being one of them, of course. But it's not because that opinion is 50-50 bad vs. good. It's because it's 90-10 or something like that towards the positive. So far, the reviews of the HR20 online are not even close to that number. It means something, and not just that only the complainers bother to post reviews.
Last I check motherboars where consumer electronics. If you are meaning things like the DVR, well I have read many good and bad reviews for SlingBox, some say it doesn't do what it's supposed to some love it. Heck much like many people here with the HR20 I waited a while before I picked up my slingbox. When I first got it I loved it, then an upgrade happened and I had nothing but problems, then yet another upgrade for it and most of the new problems went away and other things got even better.

My XBox360, has had multiple updates and I have read many horrible reviews on it some by people who are Sony fans and hate anything but Sony Consoles. My X360 has had some issues and those have been addresses. Heck I read the other day that MS released an update for the 360 that caused many of them to become bricks.

Like I said I feel your pain I know some glowing reviews and some bad reviews are out there for almost all products. I read plenty of them both bad and good before I bought my new cellphone but decided to take the chance anyway. I suffer for taking that chance sometimes and other times it's great.
 

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Ron Barry said:
Well I don't work for D*, but the reason I believe they make their own DVRs(software for it) as does Dish is control and possible cost. Simple as that. There might be other business reasons, but my guess is those would be the two main ones. As for success with early Tivo units, yeap DirecTV at that point decided to license rather than build their own.

Let me clarify what I meant by content company. DirecTV and Dish are content companies in my opinion. Not hardware or software companies though they provide both. They sell content and to sell content they need delivery mechanisms like receivers and DVRs that require software. That was my point...
I understood that point. But being content companies who depend on hardware, you'd think the latter would have as high a priority relative to customer satisfaction as the former. Its part and parcel of their business model, unlike say, movie studios or TV productions companies, who are pure content providers.
 

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tstarn said:
I'd love to hear about those good products that have as many bad reviews as good. I'd be very interested in the specifics.
Then go look them up. I know my mother in-laws sewing machine which is both consumer and electronic (computer controlled) Brother SE270D had more bad then good on some sites, had more good then bad on some sites and has worked perfectly for her for some time now.
 

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Clint Lamor said:
Last I check motherboars where consumer electronics. If you are meaning things like the DVR, well I have read many good and bad reviews for SlingBox, some say it doesn't do what it's supposed to some love it. Heck much like many people here with the HR20 I waited a while before I picked up my slingbox. When I first got it I loved it, then an upgrade happened and I had nothing but problems, then yet another upgrade for it and most of the new problems went away and other things got even better.

My XBox360, has had multiple updates and I have read many horrible reviews on it some by people who are Sony fans and hate anything but Sony Consoles. My X360 has had some issues and those have been addresses. Heck I read the other day that MS released an update for the 360 that caused many of them to become bricks.

Like I said I feel your pain I know some glowing reviews and some bad reviews are out there for almost all products. I read plenty of them both bad and good before I bought my new cellphone but decided to take the chance anyway. I suffer for taking that chance sometimes and other times it's great.
I just wanted to know which good products were rated 50-50 bad vs. good. To me, if a product is in the 50-50 zone, on balance, it's not a good product. Call me naive.
 
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