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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm finaly breaking down and getting an r15, and aside from the troubleshooting I'm provided with and playing with one during my tech training. I really don't know that much about the actual unit. Is it really as bad as people make it sound? Or is that just people who have had problems?
 

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Mentor
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Dalek1963 said:
Hi,
I'm finaly breaking down and getting an r15, and aside from the troubleshooting I'm provided with and playing with one during my tech training. I really don't know that much about the actual unit. Is it really as bad as people make it sound? Or is that just people who have had problems?
It depends on who you ask. Some people seem to love them, while others think they are crap. I used mine for less then a month and went back to a couple of used UTV's.

I had three main reasons for going back.

First, I hate the 30-second slip. I probably could get used to it if I was more patient, but I just hated it.

Second, it was not dependable. How can you possibly use a DVR that you are not sure is going to record what is scheduled. I don't have time to baby-sit a DVR to make sure it does what it is supposed to. The last straw was when I started having problems trying to watch the shows that it did manage to record.

Third, there is a generable "unusability" with the R15. Nothing seems to quite work right. The first run/repeat settings don't work at all, the jump back button is semi-useless, and using the trick play features is random at best.

Just my experience, so take it for what it's worth
 

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Hall Of Fame
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I've had my R15 for about 6 months. It is the first DVR I've owned. It is better than no DVR ... but it is not reliable enough.

Although it mostly records what I expect it to record, it screws up just often enough to be frustrating. Screw ups come in different varieties: fail to record, partial record, or freeze up on replay.

Most of the time, I ignore the screw ups because I just watch something else instead of the show I want to watch. But occassionally (maybe 1 percent of the time), the screw-ups are for something I don't want to miss or can't watch a repeat (usually with sporting events), that it gets me very frustrated.

Even if there are work-arounds, they are not suitable. Last week I set the Giants-Eagles game to record, since I knew I would not be able to start watching it until about 1.5 hours after kick-off. Midway through watching the recording, the picture freezes and goes black. I know the work-around for this is to skip to the end and rewind to the freeze point. Unfortunately skipping to the end meant skipping to where the game was live and rewinding. This also meant that I saw the 4th quarter score, and all the plays in reverse, essentially ruining the game.

During the freeze up, my wife suggested that "we get rid of this piece of junk and switch to cable."
 

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Hall Of Fame
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I agree that it all depends on who you ask. I had a DTivo DVR for a few year, and I really liked it. But overall I like the R15 better. I prefer the functionality - the integration between live tv and the DVR functionality, e.g. I got my first R15 back in June, and a second one about 2 months later. I've hit some quirks. Some really annoying (first run/repeat issue the biggest of them - which apparently will be fixed in the new s/w release), and some that minor (the progress bar sticking from time to time). Some functionality is well thought-out, but there are some items that make me scratch my head. Again, at least DTV is looking and addressing some of them (e.g. I was always baffled why there was no Series Link manager - but one apparently is included in the next release, and why are new series, by default, given a higher priority over older series? That just makes no sense to me). And one item that the Tivo excelled at, but the R15 requires some work on - consistency of functionality. For example, why can I do a "mark and delete" (very nice functionality, btw) on stuff that's recorded, but not on my to do list? Ditto for the dash-dash to delete?

But then again, there were things on my tivo that made me scratch my head. For example, why in the world can't I do "maintenance" (e.g. getting rid of recorded showings, setting up new season passes...) while watching something? Why no screen saver? That one I NEVER understood - why would you create a box that can pause something on your tv for an indefinite amount of time without offering a screen saver?

Are there issues with the R15? Without a doubt. Has it gotten better over time? Again, no question. It's got issues, but on balance, I wouldn't trade my R15s for a new Tivo unit (I know, that would be considered heresy by many on this forum, but I try to be honest). I just flat out like the functionality better. Has it missed recordings? I think it missed one or two on me over the last 6 months, but I had similar issues with my Tivo. That's not to discount the problems that many have had. Some are serious problems. I've hit none of those. I'm not a power user, but I'm not an occasional user either. I have no problem putting my DVRs through their paces.
 

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Legend
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Dalek1963 said:
Hi,
Or is that just people who have had problems?
I have had several tivos (and still use one for my main system) and I would say the R15 is okay but I would not use it for my living room unit unless I had no choice. I have not lost (unable to play back) recordings on my tivo but that has happened several times on the R15 (recording was all black).

Yes the R15 is better than it was a year ago when I bought mine but if you can easily get a tivo you will be happier.
 

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Cool Member
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Upstream said:
I've had my R15 for about 6 months. It is the first DVR I've owned. It is better than no DVR ... but it is not reliable enough.

Although it mostly records what I expect it to record, it screws up just often enough to be frustrating. Screw ups come in different varieties: fail to record, partial record, or freeze up on replay.

Most of the time, I ignore the screw ups because I just watch something else instead of the show I want to watch. But occassionally (maybe 1 percent of the time), the screw-ups are for something I don't want to miss or can't watch a repeat (usually with sporting events), that it gets me very frustrated.

Even if there are work-arounds, they are not suitable. Last week I set the Giants-Eagles game to record, since I knew I would not be able to start watching it until about 1.5 hours after kick-off. Midway through watching the recording, the picture freezes and goes black. I know the work-around for this is to skip to the end and rewind to the freeze point. Unfortunately skipping to the end meant skipping to where the game was live and rewinding. This also meant that I saw the 4th quarter score, and all the plays in reverse, essentially ruining the game.

During the freeze up, my wife suggested that "we get rid of this piece of junk and switch to cable."
Upstream, You don't have to skip to the end of the recording when the screen goes blank while watching a recording. I've had it happen several times. What I do is just hit the stop button and wait until myvod reappears and press play again and it resumes where you were at when the screen went blank.
 

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AllStar
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In my opinion, it's that bad. Totally unreliable, poor support, and bugs up the wha-zoo. And I don't think Dtv has a clue about the magnitude of the problem. Anybody I talk to just gets used to RBR and pulling the power plug. If Dtv had an idea of how many times the R15 dumps on it's users maybe they would reconsider partnering with someone who really knows how to design and build a DVR.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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My 3 R15s each require about one RBR per month.

No real issues.
 

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I both love and hate the R-15 really. Its hit or miss as some work great (1 of mine), some have a few problems (my 2nd one) and some have all kinds of problems.

That why I am giving my parents an R-10 today for Christmas as I cant take the risk they get one that has many problems. I know its limitations and the workarounds to avoid potentional problems and what not. I cant see me giving them an R-15 and having to explain the black screens, freezing progress bar, useless history, slow responses, etc....

My biggest gripe with it is like someone else said, lack of support, lack of quick bug fixes, lack of so many things that really should have been there since day one.

I said this months ago and I still bet the R-15 will be replaced sometime in early 2007. Either move everyone to the HR20 once its fixed (what a mess), release an R20, something....
 

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Cool Member
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Man o Man.
I wish I would have found this forum before I went out and bought this yesterday for our livingroom. Replacing a standard receiver.
I can tell you ONE thing. I WANT THE AUTOTUNE BACK!!!!!! :(

I am sure you all will be hearing from me as I am just diving into this.
Thanks all for comments,help and support.
Don
 

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Cool Member
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27 Posts
Since summer I got two free R-15’s from *D. One went in my daughters room. The other replaced my trusty Philips DirecTV DVR with Tivo that died after almost five years of faithful service.

Aside from having to reformat my daughters R-15 after a month of service, they seemed to be performing flawlessly. Although not as easy to use the the Tivo based models, once we learned the new interface, I really started to like the things.

Until last night. After returning home from Christmas Eve festives at my mom’s house, I was all set to watch my favorite NFL highlight show “Football Night in America” on NBC.

But to my surprise, the machine indicated it only recorded 12 minutes of an hour show. But I couldn’t even watch those 12 minutes. Because it was noting but a blank screen. The only way to get out of it was to turn off the unit. Then turn it on again,

So I decided to watch the highlights on the NFL Network’s “Gameday”. After a little while the picture froze. The only way to un-freeze it was to reset the stupid thing using the red button.

Then I decided I’d better record those highlights for my son. After a few minutes, I noticed the light indicating that a recording was in progress was not on. So I brought up the list. “Gameday” was listed. But again it recorded nothing but a blank screen.

Right now, I’m ticked. After only a few months of use, this sort of thing should not be happening. I don’t know what *D was thinking. Abandoning a platform that worked so well for something as problematic as the R-15.
 

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jtfinsfan1 said:
Upstream, You don't have to skip to the end of the recording when the screen goes blank while watching a recording. I've had it happen several times. What I do is just hit the stop button and wait until myvod reappears and press play again and it resumes where you were at when the screen went blank.
Yeah that works sometimes.

Here is what else works for me.

1) Sometimes you can hit pause and then hit play again (60% of the time).
2) Sometimes rewinding and playing through it again works (50% of the time that #1 does not work .
3) Sometimes hit stop, play it again, have it lock up again, hit play again quickly skip to the end the rewind to just after the "bad" spot and play it from there (about 30% of the time #1 does not work.
4) If all that fails sometimes you can turn the thing off and back on again (works about 5% of the time.
5) Sometimes you have to reboot the thing which always works however sometimes I have to wait until whatever is recording is done. Which has been over 2 hours in some cases.
 

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Cool Member
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paulman182 said:
My 3 R15s each require about one RBR per month.

No real issues.
In my opinion you have the right idea here. If I had 2 or more R15's my priority list and todo lists and my HD space available would all be larger thus improving reliability. In other words I think if you had only 1 R15 you would hate the thing too.
 

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Cool Member
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I could not agree with you more. I bought an R10 for my sister in law and family and they (for some reason that is beyond me) leave the thing turned on 24x7 so forget about rebooting they don't even turn thing off.

The locking up thing drives me nuts it happens 5 or 6 times a month on average. And it has gotten worse not better in the last year. Now my understanding is that my priority list of 45 - 50 items and my HD always full and the todo list with 90 plus items is a big part of the problem.

But IMNSHO this is what the thing is designed to do so it should not matter. But when I have cleared out the priority list (and thus the todo list) it works far better.

Snopple said:
Since summer I got two free R-15's from *D. One went in my daughters room. The other replaced my trusty Philips DirecTV DVR with Tivo that died after almost five years of faithful service.

Aside from having to reformat my daughters R-15 after a month of service, they seemed to be performing flawlessly. Although not as easy to use the the Tivo based models, once we learned the new interface, I really started to like the things.

Until last night. After returning home from Christmas Eve festives at my mom's house, I was all set to watch my favorite NFL highlight show "Football Night in America" on NBC.

But to my surprise, the machine indicated it only recorded 12 minutes of an hour show. But I couldn't even watch those 12 minutes. Because it was noting but a blank screen. The only way to get out of it was to turn off the unit. Then turn it on again,

So I decided to watch the highlights on the NFL Network's "Gameday". After a little while the picture froze. The only way to un-freeze it was to reset the stupid thing using the red button.

Then I decided I'd better record those highlights for my son. After a few minutes, I noticed the light indicating that a recording was in progress was not on. So I brought up the list. "Gameday" was listed. But again it recorded nothing but a blank screen.

Right now, I'm ticked. After only a few months of use, this sort of thing should not be happening. I don't know what *D was thinking. Abandoning a platform that worked so well for something as problematic as the R-15.
 
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