Let me start by saying that I've been a loyal DirecTV customer for 4 years. The earlier DirecTivo units were great, and the picture quality was wonderful. However, the HR20 is driving me nuts. I'm afraid it's time for me to leave DirecTV.
I've had the HR20 for 3 months and I just can't take it anymore. I run into a bug with this unit at least once a day, and I'm not willing to wait for fixes any longer. It's the worst piece of consumer electronics that I have ever owned.
Back in October and November I had these bugs:
1) The receiver frequently locks up, and we have to reset it every few days.
2) It frequently won't play back recorded programs. It gets stuck at the beginning.
3) It doesn't work with Pay Per View. We ordered about $20 worth of PPV programs, and it records them. However, it can't play them.
4) Sometimes the video and audio get out of sync.
5) Sometimes the screen goes black, and we have to reset the unit.
6) Sometimes it gets stuck playing a program, and you have to fast forward a couple of minutes before you can watch again.
7) Sometimes it asks to delete a program while I'm in the middle of watching it, and nowhere near the end of the program.
8) Sometimes it gets into a mode where both channels are in use, and it displays a warning that says you can't switch channels. It won't let you exit this mode by pressing Exit or Guide, or any other button. A reset is required.
DirecTV fixed many of these bugs through software updates, so there was a glimmer of hope. However, many of the bugs remained and I contacted customer service. They suggested that I completely reformat the drive and start over. I did that, and then reprogrammed all of my Series Links. (Oh that was fun!) However, many of the bugs still remain. I won't list all of them here.
However, these are the bugs that I encountered within THE LAST 8 HOURS:
1) Changing channels takes a LONG time. (About 6 seconds.) I had to restart to fix this.
2) When I pause live TV and press play again, it won't start playback. I have to switch channels to fix it. This causes everything in the buffer to get thrown out. I had to restart to fix this.
3) There was a power failure today right while I was in the middle of recording a PPV program. It had recorded 4/5th of the program. The HR20 rebooted and the program was gone. The whole recording was deleted.
4) I was switching between PPV channels. It kept asking if I wanted to pay for the current show. This got annoying, so I switched to local channels (channel 2). Then each time I switched local channels it asked if I wanted to pay for the PPV program that I was on a while back. It got stuck in this mode for a long time. I almost had to reset.
5) It got stuck in a mode where it says two programs are recording and can't be tuned to the channel that I want. There is no way to get out of this mode. Pressing Exit, Guide, or any of the onscreen buttons won't help.
6) Tonight the DVR recorded a re-run of Mythbusters even though the series link is set to record first run episodes only.
7) I was watching the local news tonight on a local MPEG4 channel. The audio kept pausing, probably 9 or 10 times throughout the program.
In short, my HR20 fails it's most basic task: It does not reliably record and playback programs. If it can't do that, then I have to give it up. I'm sorry DirecTV, but it's time for me to leave.