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· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all
I was looking for a dvr that I could use as a stand alone player, analagous to my vcr, which I am still using.

I went to best buy and aske dthe clerk if I purchased the Hughes model, if there would be any additional monthly charge, to which they said no, because I would be buying the unit. I went through the hookup procedure and then to activate, when the Directv rep said there is a monthly $5.99 charge, upon which I deactivated the unit.

Is a plain old dvr available that I can use to record shows, similar to a vcr? I just want it to turn on, record a show, I don't need fancy menus or tivo like features.

thanks
 

· Super Moderator
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Any DVR which includes a DirecTV tuner/receiver in it will require a monthly fee. There are some products out there that are exactly what you describe, a DVR and only a DVR. You will need to feed it programming from some source for it to work.

Note that the DVR fee is once per account (not per DVR), so having an integrated receiver/DVR is very convenient, let's you use the guide and set individual and series recordings, etc.

Carl
 

· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
spartanstew said:
I take it you already have Directv?

And you're using a standard receiver?

Why not just replace it with a DVR?

Is it just the DVR fee that's preventing that?
Hi yes, I have Directv, and bought the DVR receiver at Best Buy. The Directv rep said I would still need to pay $4.99 monthly for the receiver, and on top of that, $5.99 for the DVR feature. I don't understand how they justify 4.99 receiver charge, as I bought the unit. I could see the 5.99 cahrge for DVR access. If it were only a net $1 difference, I would ahve done that. When he said I had to pay both fees, I was pretty pissed off, and almost canceled DTV.

As mentioned in original note, I want to use a recorder just like I'm using my vcr, I will set time and date, and just have the unit record. I don't see why Directv has to know anything about the recorder device, it's analog signal going to the TV with a recorder in between. I'm tired of monthly charges for everything.

thanks for the help.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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The 4.99 is a mirror or lease fee depending on if it's an owned or leased receiver. It's charged for all receivers hooked up past the first. The first receiver is covered by your basic package.

The only way to get a dvr with out paying for the DVR fee would be to hook up something like and old tivo to an existing receiver via composite or svideo cables. Of course you wouldn't be able to watch something different while it was recording something using that receiver.
 

· RF Engineer
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rugger said:
I don't see why Directv has to know anything about the recorder device, it's analog signal going to the TV with a recorder in between. I'm tired of monthly charges for everything.

thanks for the help.
Hi, Rugger and welcome to DBSTALK.COM!! :welcome_s

You probably have been a DirecTV customer for several years but haven't kept up with their policy changes. In the old days, you could go to Best Buy and actually PURCHASE your receivers, dish, etc. But around 2006 DirecTV shifted gears and decided to only LEASE receivers. They also decided to avoid confusion by having manufacturers brand their equipment "DirecTV" and follow a strict list of specifications so all the menus and user interface would look the same.

In addition, they came up with a "programming commitment" similar to the contract cell phone companies have. Upgrading or adding a receiver "extends" your commitment. If you cancel early, you must pay a pro-rated fee. In addition, the leased receivers must be returned if you cancel their service. (DirecTV supplies a pre-paid shipping box)

Now as for your new DVR, you don't own it. DirecTV does. You paid Best Buy a LEASE ACTIVATION FEE. That's why it was so cheap, probably $100 or so. This should have all been explained on the document Best Buy made you sign but like many folks you probably just signed without reading it. You now have a 2 year programming commitment with DirecTV. If you cancel early, you are subject to a $480 fee pro-rated depending on much is left on your commitment.

As for the DVR fee, it helps offset the initial cost of the DVR and it also helps pay if the unit breaks down. Despite the seemingly all negative changes, the one good change is that since all new equipment is LEASED, if it breaks down DirecTV will send out a replacement unit and only charge you $20 for shipping & handling. The catch is if this happens and they replace a receiver, it RESETS your 2 YEAR COMMITMENT. The only way to avoid this is to pay for their "protection plan" for $5.99/month but you don't like being nickel & dimed so you probably won't like this option.
 

· Dry as a bone
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rugger said:
Hi yes, I have Directv, and bought the DVR receiver at Best Buy. The Directv rep said I would still need to pay $4.99 monthly for the receiver, and on top of that, $5.99 for the DVR feature. I don't understand how they justify 4.99 receiver charge, as I bought the unit. I could see the 5.99 cahrge for DVR access. If it were only a net $1 difference, I would ahve done that. When he said I had to pay both fees, I was pretty pissed off, and almost canceled DTV.
If you're replacing your existing receiver, then there is no additional $4.99 charge. That charge only comes into play if you're adding the DVR to the account. If you already have a standard receiver and want to ADD DVR functionality only, just replace your current receiver with it. Your cost will only go up the DVR fee.
 

· Godfather
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I thought that D* had a new policy of charging the $5.99/month per DVR. Is this just hearsay??
 

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kw2957 said:
I thought that D* had a new policy of charging the $5.99/month per DVR. Is this just hearsay??
That's wishful thinking of Dish DVR owners cause that's what Dish subscribers pay a DVR fee for EACH DVR.DirecTV only charges their subscribers 1 DVR fee per house no matter how many DVRs are in that house.:)
 

· Legend
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rugger said:
Hi all
I was looking for a dvr that I could use as a stand alone player, analagous to my vcr, which I am still using.

I went to best buy and aske dthe clerk if I purchased the Hughes model, if there would be any additional monthly charge, to which they said no, because I would be buying the unit. I went through the hookup procedure and then to activate, when the Directv rep said there is a monthly $5.99 charge, upon which I deactivated the unit.

Is a plain old dvr available that I can use to record shows, similar to a vcr? I just want it to turn on, record a show, I don't need fancy menus or tivo like features.

thanks
I'm not certain but I think you can use some Series 1 Tivos to do what you want. The TivoCommunity board would know that.

I seem to remember there was a series 1 Tivo that would work without activation but wouldn't pull down guide data; it could only be used in manual mode much like a vcr.

Don't hold me to this but it's worth a check.
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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36,634 Posts
I'm going to move this to the Broadcast/HDTV forum and see if the fine folks there can help you. I do believe Echostar is still planning on coming out with the TR-50 which is a standalone ATSC DVR. I don't know much more about that as it's been kind of quiet since CES.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Back to the original question: Given that you already have a DirecTV receiver, you could get a TiVo to drive it. If you can find one with the "lifetime" (of the receiver, not you) service plan, then that becomes a $0/month system.

Dunno about your DirecTV receiver, but some pay-TV receivers have an option to work with VCRs. With one of those, you could program the DirecTV receiver to change channels when you want to record, then get a PC-based DVR to save the show for you.
 

· Godfather
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Jhon69 said:
That's wishful thinking of Dish DVR owners cause that's what Dish subscribers pay a DVR fee for EACH DVR.DirecTV only charges their subscribers 1 DVR fee per house no matter how many DVRs are in that house.:)
Great! I'm thinking of adding another HD DVR in the future then. ;)
 

· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes Narrod, that is what I was looking for. Same as the old VCRs, where I set time, and channel to record (although usually cahnnel 3, I set receiver to change channel), except it would be digital to a hard drive.

I never had a problem setting my vcr manually to record shows I want, except once or twice when daylight savings time screwed me up. :)
 
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