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AllStar
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A recent article in Sound and Vision Magazine tells of two theaters built by HT installation pioneer Theo Kalomirakis for novelists Jonathan and Faye Kellerman. I read it anxiously and was awed by the pictures of Theo's work. The equipment wasn't as gaudy as I would have expected for theaters in homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills and the Kellermans seemed thrilled with everything until I read the last paragraph.

For the Kellermans, the theater is perfect. "I think there's more electrical wiring in that one room than in my entire house," Jonathan said. "But it works well. I haven't had a problem with any of the equipment, except for the DirecTV receivers. They used to have TiVo, which was great. Then some genius decided, 'We don't need TiVo; we'll put our own boxes in.' But they're not reliable. I can't tell you how many we've changed out.

I just don't think that paragraph added anything to the article, and it's placement felt calculated as I read it.

Here's the whole article.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/installations/2982/a-tale-of-two-theaters.html
 

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All the media likes to rag on the new Directv Receivers. I honestly dont get how EVERY media outlet always gets bad units considering all the units I have used have almost been perfect and had no major issues (I have had one blank recording in 8 months, and one bout of crazy resets required and it was all because of a buggy CE).

But alas every article I find on the new HD-DVRs complains at how buggy they are when I sit happily at home with my HR21 that is wonderful. Most of the supposed "experts" recommend the Dish DVRs which I absolutely hate (I had some at my office).
 

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There wouldn't be so many digs if it weren't true. Unfortunately, the HR2x series are disappointing when compared to the DirecTiVos. They are improving, but at way to slow a pace to not be stomped when the next DirecTiVo units are released. I hope DirecTV proves me wrong, but it doesn't look like it.
 

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Juppers said:
There wouldn't be so many digs if it weren't true. Unfortunately, the HR2x series are disappointing when compared to the DirecTiVos. They are improving, but at way to slow a pace to not be stomped when the next DirecTiVo units are released. I hope DirecTV proves me wrong, but it doesn't look like it.
The HR2x has not been a disappointment to me.
 

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AreBee said:
I just don't think that paragraph added anything to the article, and it's placement felt calculated as I read it.
:lol:

So now when anyone complains about the HR2x it's a vast conspiracy theory?

Then you should remove the 'blank recording' thread that Earl had to start.
I'm sure that's just part of the 'conspiracy' too. :rolleyes:

It would be a shame to remove it though, since it's your most popular thread.
 

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FWIW I've had series 1 and series 2 Directivos for about as long as they have existed. Occasionally a software release has been buggy and they have missed recordings for a time.
My HR21 has a lot of nice features, I particularly like being able to play music from my computer through it, but if I really want to see a show I always schedule it on both the HR21 and my Directivo because too often the HR21 pretends to record a show, but when I try to play it, it isn't there.
I think most people who defend the HR series didn't live with TiVo. The current Directivos don't have the features the HRs have, but that is more a Directv choice than a TiVo limitation. my standalone old series 2 TiVo can do pretty much anything the HR series can do.

I am not unhappy with the HR21-700. It is really the only game in town for HD right now and it usually records what I ask it to record. I find the 30 second skip isn't as responsive as the DirecTivos and I miss suggestions and dual live buffers as do many others, but it does perform the really key task of allowing me to time shift my recordings.
 

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Grentz said:
All the media likes to rag on the new Directv Receivers. I honestly dont get how EVERY media outlet always gets bad units considering all the units I have used have almost been perfect and had no major issues (I have had one blank recording in 8 months, and one bout of crazy resets required and it was all because of a buggy CE).
So do you think they (the media) are making it up? Do you think its some grand conspiracy by Charlie to pump his receivers?

I think its more likely that other sites judge the D* receivers in a much more objective manner and, since those media outlets don't have any vested interest like there is here, they don't approach the subject with the same blinders that many here do.

9 times out of 10, perception is reality.
 

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I dont have blinders and I dont have any major issues with my HR2x.

Like I said, I have had one bad run which was related to a CE (so general public should not have had those issues) and nothing else. My HR21 has been rock solid as far as recordings and DVR functions.

I know not everyone is as lucky, but I am confused on how the few HR2x units I have used all work perfectly most of the time and yet somehow the media outlets get one for a week and have every issue they could find on the forums...seems a bit odd IMO.


I also think it is funny how these places all compare to past Directivos and Dish DVRs...cause they are the only ones that could possibly be a bit better. So many cable DVRs are horrible machines and so confusing to use/work. Yet you never hear them being ragged on like the Directv DVRs which are FAR above and beyond those pieces of crap. In our town the HD cable box DVRs have ads that take up half the screen on most menu pages including the guide and they work horribly slowly, not to mention the confusing menus. My point is that it has become a fad to rag on the Directv DVRs even though in reality right now they have improved by far from the beginning and are one of the best DVR platforms out there.
 

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Grentz said:
I dont have blinders and I dont have any major issues with my HR2x.

Like I said, I have had one bad run which was related to a CE (so general public should not have had those issues) and nothing else. My HR21 has been rock solid as far as recordings and DVR functions.
I wasn't speaking of you specifically regarding the blinders, I'm talking about what this site has become in general. However, were you one of the roughly two percent of the nation that didn't have their boxes bricked when they woke up last week?

Grentz said:
Like I said, I have had one My point is that it has become a fad to rag on the Directv DVRs even though in reality right now they have improved by far from the beginning and are one of the best DVR platforms out there.
Its not a fad. Again, its the perception of media outlets who aren't getting free equipment, aren't getting CEs and don't have inside contacts feeding them information - they have a far less inherent bias in their reports, reviews and opinions.

While I agree, the HRs have improved, but, go back in time when they were first released and look at some of the posts back then defending the HR20s - when, anyone with an objective bone in their body, knows they were absolutley awful at worst and unreliable at best.
 

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Grentz said:
I dont have blinders and I dont have any major issues with my HR2x.

Like I said, I have had one bad run which was related to a CE (so general public should not have had those issues) and nothing else. My HR21 has been rock solid as far as recordings and DVR functions.

I know not everyone is as lucky, but I am confused on how the few HR2x units I have used all work perfectly most of the time and yet somehow the media outlets get one for a week and have every issue they could find on the forums...seems a bit odd IMO.

I also think it is funny how these places all compare to past Directivos and Dish DVRs...cause they are the only ones that could possibly be a bit better. So many cable DVRs are horrible machines and so confusing to use/work. Yet you never hear them being ragged on like the Directv DVRs which are FAR above and beyond those pieces of crap. In our town the HD cable box DVRs have ads that take up half the screen on most menu pages including the guide and they work horribly slowly, not to mention the confusing menus. My point is that it has become a fad to rag on the Directv DVRs even though in reality right now they have improved by far from the beginning and are one of the best DVR platforms out there.
I think (and I am purely speculating) that the key to reliable HR2x operation is in a robust installation. How many times has the forum had an irate new poster who either went from an HR10 or a Series 2 DirecTiVo to an HR2x only to have it fail and then, after a week of troubleshooting, have it narrowed down to a faulty cable or barrel fitting? It seems to happen pretty frequently, again, just from a quick overview.

I was about a week away from dumping my DVR-40s and moving to the HR2x platform when the new TiVo deal was announced. Now I'm waiting for that before I go to HD, but in the run-up to the announcement I had purchased a lot of the equipment and wiring for what I thought was going to be the HR2x DVRs. I duplicated all cable runs with Belden quad-shield RG-6. I bought approved compression fittings (water-tight and otherwise), splitters, and a SWM-8. I even swapped the existing barrel fittings in the wallplates with 3GHz ones. I made sure to take in things like the bend rate of the cable when I planned the new wiring layout. I went out of my way to avoid electrical lines and potential other sources of interference. I was ready to find out if the install would make the reliability difference, but alas, now it just waits. Either way, I'm willing to bet that most of the people with reliability issues didn't take on the elaborate steps (and the expense associated with such) when they made the move to the HR2x. I'm equally willing to bet that the installer didn't do much of that either.

I'm not passing a judgment on whether the HR2x series should be more forgiving of cut corners in the install because whatever you think, it is what it is. The fact that it works for some (and well) means that it can do its job under at least some set of conditions. However I think even the most die-hard HR2x fan must admit that when so many seem to have issues, especially when it's someone like in the Sound and Vision review who should have an idea what they're doing, there must exist a set of conditions under which the HR2x series function less than optimally.

Tony

And a side note: I think it's pretty telling too that they compare the HR2x to the older DirecTiVos and Dish DVRs. You're right that the cable company DVRs are laughably awful. It's a testament that DirecTVs DVRs are so well-designed. I just think that a lot of outside reviewers remember how rock solid the Series 2 SD DirecTiVos were (post 3.1 software, obviously), and even the HR10 (though if you look through the old posts at the Tivocommunity, you'll see that they were always considered to be a bit flaky compared to their contemporaries). I would like to see a comparison of the "typical user experience" between the HR2x and the TiVoHD. Both seem to suffer from wildly fluctuating install experiences, odd unintended behaviors, and a general difficulty to get working well on their respective systems, not to mention out-and-out bugs. I think a lot of the spiteful comments toward the HR2x can be attributed to the fact that when it was all round dishes and SD, you got a DirecTiVo and it just worked, whereas now no matter what you're dealing with whether it be Ka/Ku dishes and SWM setups and old wiring or CableCards and cable providers' reluctance to open their systems and SDV, there's just so much hassle to getting the DVR experience to just work. That's not even touching on HDMI handshake issues, MPEG2 vs. MPEG4 encoding, all the formatting issues and competing/differing display technologies, and the audio sync issues that are intrinsic to just watching HD content.
 

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kiljoy said:
I think (and I am purely speculating) that the key to reliable HR2x operation is in a robust installation. How many times has the forum had an irate new poster who either went from an HR10 or a Series 2 DirecTiVo to an HR2x only to have it fail and then, after a week of troubleshooting, have it narrowed down to a faulty cable or barrel fitting? It seems to happen pretty frequently, again, just from a quick overview.

I was about a week away from dumping my DVR-40s and moving to the HR2x platform when the new TiVo deal was announced. Now I'm waiting for that before I go to HD, but in the run-up to the announcement I had purchased a lot of the equipment and wiring for what I thought was going to be the HR2x DVRs. I duplicated all cable runs with Belden quad-shield RG-6. I bought approved compression fittings (water-tight and otherwise), splitters, and a SWM-8. I even swapped the existing barrel fittings in the wallplates with 3GHz ones. I made sure to take in things like the bend rate of the cable when I planned the new wiring layout. I went out of my way to avoid electrical lines and potential other sources of interference. I was ready to find out if the install would make the reliability difference, but alas, now it just waits. Either way, I'm willing to bet that most of the people with reliability issues didn't take on the elaborate steps (and the expense associated with such) when they made the move to the HR2x. I'm equally willing to bet that the installer didn't do much of that either.

I'm not passing a judgment on whether the HR2x series should be more forgiving of cut corners in the install because whatever you think, it is what is. The fact that it works for some (and well) means that it can do its job under at least some set of conditions. However I think even the most die-hard HR2x fan must admit that when so many seem to have issues, especially when it's someone like in the Sound and Vision review who should have an idea what they're doing, there must exist a set of conditions under which the HR2x series function less than optimally.

Tony
You make a good point. Myself, like Grentz, have had very, very little reliability issues with the HR2x series. I have 4 and have only needed one replacement. The one needing replacement was due to a bad Mpeg4 decoding on national channels. My oldest is a HR20 and has been my workhorse and CE slave since day one. It's now just over two years old.

Anyway, like you did, I completely rewired my house. All SCC, compression fittings, etc.

So I do think that having a "spec" installation important. BUT, it shouldn't be that important. The hardware and software should not have such a narrow operating window, in that, it requires a whole house to be rewired top to bottom. In an ideal perfect world thats great, but here in the land of reality, it's just not possible. An installer would be lucky to get one install done a day if he had to re-wire a customers house. The system needs to have more flexibility on it's tolerances.
 

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raott said:
I wasn't speaking of you specifically regarding the blinders, I'm talking about what this site has become in general. However, were you one of the roughly two percent of the nation that didn't have their boxes bricked when they woke up last week?
I dont consider that an issue with the HR2x, it was an issue with the stream transmission sent by Directv that they acknowledged was the issue after they had tried something and it did not work out how they wanted it to.

I know what you are saying, and I know in the beginning the HR2x had a lot of flaws. But the same can be said about Tivo...the early Tivo software releases were HORRIBLY slow and bears to work with. People gave them bad press and then finally people realized Tivo fixed many of the issues. The same way Directv is working to fix many of the issues with the HR2x boxes.

I also agree with Kiljoy in that many of the "problems and issues" around here turn out to be totally unrelated to the HR2x and more to the actual install. These HD installs are MUCH pickier than in the past and require good connections, equipment, aiming, and more. The only receivers to be affected by this are the new HR2x and H2x (the HD-Tivos did not use the new Ka satellites).
 

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My point was, a thread on this site complaining about an anti-HR2x bias in the "media" (a media with no ax to grind and one that doesn't have the vested interest which is inherent on dbstalk) strikes me as a pretty inconsistent position to take.
 

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raott said:
So do you think they (the media) are making it up? Do you think its some grand conspiracy by Charlie to pump his receivers?

I think its more likely that other sites judge the D* receivers in a much more objective manner and, since those media outlets don't have any vested interest like there is here, they don't approach the subject with the same blinders that many here do.

9 times out of 10, perception is reality.
raott said:
My point was, a thread on this site complaining about an anti-HR2x bias in the "media" (a media with no ax to grind and one that doesn't have the vested interest which is inherent on dbstalk) strikes me as a pretty inconsistent position to take.
Regardless, the Sound and Vision article is a sample size of one .. not statistically significant.

Did you notice the equipment list included this:

Hughes DirecTV HR21 satellite receiver/DVR

Hughes hasn't made receivers for DIRECTV in years. The receiver is either a Thomson (RCA), Samsung or Pace .. If it was truly the pro model, then the receiver is a Samsung model.
 

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Doug Brott said:
Regardless, the Sound and Vision article is a sample size of one .. not statistically significant.

Did you notice the equipment list included this:

Hughes DirecTV HR21 satellite receiver/DVR

Hughes hasn't made receivers for DIRECTV in years. The receiver is either a Thomson (RCA), Samsung or Pace .. If it was truly the pro model, then the receiver is a Samsung model.
None of which has anything to do with the point I was making - which was the irony of a thread on this site complaining of "bias" among other media outlets.
 

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Kiljoywrote: I think (and I am purely speculating) that the key to reliable HR2x operation is in a robust installation.

I completly agree with this observation. In my experience all of my problems have been from problems before the receivers. My first HR20 was replaced and I am fairly sure it was a prob at my home not the recvr. After that replacment and reading this forum I needed tweaks I fixed myself, such as bad lines, barrels, badground ext. My biggest problems come from dish alignment and have gottin very good at realignment myself. This fixes 90% of my problems. I know people have had probs just not me thankfully.
I do like my directv but am not in these forums to blow there horn.
Just mho.
 

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raott said:
None of which has anything to do with the point I was making - which was the irony of a thread on this site complaining of "bias" among other media outlets.
Oh, so you just want to take a dig at DBSTalk.com .. I get it now. Yet throughout our "bias" you've still been able to read comments from folks that have been having problems. Our "bias" has helped drive improvements that even you have acknowledged.
 

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Doug Brott said:
Oh, so you just want to take a dig at DBSTalk.com .. I get it now. Yet throughout our "bias" you've still been able to read comments from folks that have been having problems. Our "bias" has helped drive improvements that even you have acknowledged.
It isn't a dig to say that DBSTalk is biased, of course it's biased, that's the point.

I'm a frequent visitor to the forums over at Miata.net, they have a wealth of knowledge about the car, they love their car more than other roadster, and Bob Hall, the father of the Miata, posts there. And above all, they are completely biased toward the Miata over any other alternative. That's why I go there. But let's be frank, the automotive media likes the Miata too, but there's the occasional flaw they'll point out or maybe they'll mention a worthy competitor. When they do, there's going to be a fanboy element that will defend the Miata despite any objective shortcomings. They'll even claim that the media is biased against Mazda or the Miata specifically.

That's raott's point is that there is irony in an inherently biased site screaming "MEDIA BIAS!" whenever a criticism of the subject at hand comes up. It's not helpful to visitors to claim it, and there's a great deal more benefit to be had by simply addressing the concerns of whatever spurred the claim to begin with. (To your credit, Doug, that is something that the mods and admins here do a very good job in doing.)

Has anyone tried to talk to the subject in the article about what his issues are with his setup and invite him to troubleshoot?

Tony
 

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I find it bizarre that anyone would take issue with a magazine reporting that they've had trouble with HR's. One thing that everybody-in-general has come to expect over the last few decades is that, when you buy electronics, you just plug them in and they reliably work. With rare exception, electronics have become bulletproof, idiot-proof appliances. Thus, when people experience trouble, it's something that sticks out like a sore thumb. That's just how it is.

I'm not upset about HR21's. Based on stuff I read, I was dreading giving up my HD-TIVO's for HR21's. However, much to pleasant surprise, they've been fine, my own habits adapted very quickly, and there are various things I really like about them. In fact, except for the unfathomable lack of dual-live-buffers, everything else seems as good or better to me, which is not at all what I was expecting. So, I'm certainly not bashing the HR's.

But the very idea that it's somehow odd for people to express displeasure when they get electronics that don't work is IMO downright goofy.
Especially around here, which was my primary source of info that scared me about giving up TIVO's for HR's.

Face it: In today's world, when you get electronics that don't work, it's very odd indeed. In general, quality-control is just too high.
When it happens multiple times, it's like getting struck by lightning: it's so weird that of course people mention it.
 
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