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Lifetime Achiever
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DIRECTV's HR20 - DVR Debate Rages On

The Debate
As I write this, the negative/problem posts continue to stack up on DBSTalk.com, a Web forum devoted to satellite TV and its users. Since late summer, that particular forum has been ground zero for a major "debate" of sorts, one that, in essence, separated DIRECTV defenders from detractors (though to be fair, not everyone who posts is firmly on one side or the other).

......
There is a LOT more in the article, then just that above...
So check out the rest of it at: HDTV Magazine

And let me take a moment, to thank the author (in all seriousness): Tom Starner; for authoring that article in a way that truely shows how professional of a columinst/writer... you really are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks to moonman for all posting a link to the same article.
 

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The Shadow Knows!
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Tom - kudos to you for getting some mainstream media attention on this.
 

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Godfather
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269 Posts
This article is anew sacred document for exactly what some of us have been trying to articulate. Excellent peice.

I particularly like this paragraph -- it sums it up nicely:

"There are those on DBSTalk.com who claim they have never had a single HR20 problem (and for reasons better left to a professional therapist, proceed to belittle others who have had problems for being "whiners " and/or "complainers"). Others give DIRECTV a pass because this is "bleeding edge" technology, so naturally some hiccups are to be expected. Another camp says complaining doesn't solve the problem, working to help DIRECTV fix things by reporting issues, etc., is the right-headed path. And my stance: No one buys (in this case, "leases") a $299 piece of home electronics gear that is clearly advertised as ready for prime time expecting to be a beta tester. A few minor early problems? Sure. But this mess? Not a chance."

Even better that this is coming from someone who has not been seriously plagued by the Black Screen problem, because he can't be acused of being another whiner...
 

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AllStar
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Very well written article. Great Journalism going on there.

He's got my situation down too. I can live with a RBR every week or so, but when it misses recordings.... well, you try to explain it to the wife! And essentially i am stuck because of the two year commitment!
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Removed from the heat of battle (rapid-fire pro-and-con exchanges on this forum,) Mr. Starner comes up with a balanced, thoughtful article.

My compliments!
 

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Legend
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I take from the writing style and opinions expressed that the author of the article, Tom Starner, is the same person as tstarn, a prolific poster that is listed now as a "banned user". What gives?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
spolaski said:
I take from the writing style and opinions expressed that the author of the article, Tom Starner, is the same person as tstarn, a prolific poster that is listed now as a "banned user". What gives?
We are working with tstarn to rectify that situation. It is a private issue.
And that is all that will be said about here in the public forum.

:backtotop
 

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Charter Gold Club Member
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Several comments:

As a former E* AAEP+HD sub, I survived the infamous Dishplayer debacle relatively unscathed, but others
were not so lucky. Dan Collins got so incensed with the product that he even tried to initiate a class-action
suit against EchoStar. The DP's faults were eventually resolved, but the damage had been done and many
long-time DishNetwork subs went over to D* or back to the dark side.

The question here is how long will HR20 users put up with what many have angrily termed a "POS/POC"
until they jump ship. With D*'s minimal selection of only 9 national HD channels, I would have been gone
long before the end of the year. For those of you hanging on by your fingernails, best of luck, but please
don't hold your breath waiting for D*'s promise of 100 HD channels this year -- or even in 2008, for that
matter. It ain't gonna happen.

In regard to Tom Starner's comment that "...DIRECTV defenders say similar issues are reported on TiVo
forums, and the DVRs provided by cable companies are no more reliable."
, I happen to have two of the
Scientific-Atlanta 8300HD DVRs from Adelphia (now Comcast) and as a power-user I can report that they
are absolutely rock-solid. I can easily give both of my machines a 99.999% reliability score.

What is up with satellite receivers, I don't know, but I can think of no other CE product that wouldn't already
be piled high in the returns bin as unhappy former users seek out better solutions.

Finally, perhaps disgruntled D* subs should take a serious look at that great offer from DishNetwork for new
HD subscribers -- not only a FREE HD DVR that actually works as advertised, but 30 already existing
national HD channels awaiting your HD viewing pleasure.
 

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I am Iron Man!
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Awesome article which 100% reflects my experience with the unit. He said the same thing I have stated. Which is when the HR20 works it is awesome. But whether you have problems or not, the number of firmware downloads to point to something...

Anyway I would definately have potential HR20 users read that article first before they decide if they want it. He also correctly mentioned that the HR20 was the best option out there. For me it certainly is. So I sit tight and hope it gets fixed.
 

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DBSTalk Club Member
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367 Posts
Good article. My unit has been pretty good for the first 3 months but only for light recording (only about 10 or so season passes). Its not my primary DVR. Ever since Santa and Elvis, its a hit or miss as to when its going to lock up and require the RBR. I dont really have issues with Scheduling or recording but that is dependent on the black screen or lockup. Despite some issues with HD Tivo, I've had one since Day 1 and its been a reliable DVR workhorse. I trust it completely. Its the girl you marry and have kids with and retire together.

The HR20, its like a beatiful new girlfriend that you dont know that well. On the surface, what a knock out. The sex is great. But in truth, she is cheating on you with your best friend, stealing money from your wallet and is puke bag away from being committed to a hospital for anorexia. But the sex, its too damn good so you overlook the other things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
brewer4 said:
The HR20, its like a beatiful new girlfriend that you dont know that well. On the surface, what a knock out. The sex is great. But in truth, she is cheating on you with your best friend, stealing money from your wallet and is puke bag away from being committed to a hospital for anorexia. But the sex, its too damn good so you overlook the other things.
I really need to go home now, and spend some time with my TWO HR20s.... :)
 

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Icon
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Is this HDTV site a big enough fish that D* will provide a writen response?

I wonder if enough people at a high level within D* realy understand the dilema the HR20 has put them in. I know engineering is working on the problems, but is the company as a whole moving on?
 

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LI-SVT said:
Is this HDTV site a big enough fish that D* will provide a writen response?
----------------
According to the article, D* already has responded...Quote:
Company spokesman Robert Mercer would only say DIRECTV is continuing to listen to customer feedback and improve the product via software downloads. "This is our workhorse set-top going forward, so we are committed to maximizing its performance," Mercer added via email. He did not respond a request for specific statistical data on problem HR20s, nor to questions about reliability, specific issues, etc.Unquote
 

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The Shadow Knows!
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moonman said:
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According to the article, D* already has responded...Quote:
Company spokesman Robert Mercer would only say DIRECTV is continuing to listen to customer feedback and improve the product via software downloads. "This is our workhorse set-top going forward, so we are committed to maximizing its performance," Mercer added via email. He did not respond a request for specific statistical data on problem HR20s, nor to questions about reliability, specific issues, etc.Unquote
Of course I'd love something that had more "truthiness" but this is consistent with what's been said over and over - everyone who matters understands how important this product is.
 

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Godfather
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This is going to make all of the "POS" folks very happy. It's my opinion that this still does not accurately address the issue of what the real percentage is of units that are having problems.

I am disappointed in the article purely because the author is making pretty big assumptions about scope.

If all of the "noise" that's being created helps to motivate D* to address the problems that some users are having, then I suppose it's worth the assumptions that people are making.
 

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LI-SVT said:
I wonder if enough people at a high level within D* realy understand the dilema the HR20 has put them in. ....... but is the company as a whole moving on?
The HR20 didn't put them in the dilema, Rupert Murdoch did. The HR20 is just the result.

As for moving on, RM called D* a Turd Bird and traded it to John Malone So the one person that is repsonsible for this mess has done an "Elvis" and has left the building.
 

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brittonx said:
It still does not accurately address the issue of what the real percentage is of units that are having problems.
Only D* would have a real handle on that based on tech support reports and that could be sketchy as well.

We may not know the number, but D* thinks it is a significant enough number of subs who are having issues to release as many updates as they have.
 
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