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My first two weeks with the HR20.
I will give you all both my experience and opinions on this new box. That makes this long.
I hope my experience can help clarify any issues others have had. My opinions may help others to decide to buy or stay away and hopefully assist D* with future services.

First let me say that in addition to the HR20 we upgraded to a LCD HDTV at the same time. So the picture quality is a little hard to compare this box versus any other HD boxes as I haven’t had those. Needless to say the HD picture quality is outstanding and both the TV and box show it off well. We moved a 5 year old Philips DirecTivo but I did have it on HDTV for 2 days before the HR20 arrived. The new TV did improve that picture but with limited opportunity to test my opinion is that the SD is improved with the HR20 over older base model D* boxes.

Next we were fortunate to pick up an Open Box TV at BB which included a substantial Instant Gift Card. The gift card paid for the HR20 and much more. So in one way of looking we didn’t actually pay for the box. So given some of the issues I will discuss and the much more serious issues others have gone through my frustration level is probably lower than those of others.

First my installation experience is simple. The BB store didn’t have a unit in stock (surprise). The odd thing was the staff trying to convince me that the H-10 (I think- HD no DVR) was just as good a unit. ???? We actually came to an agreement to take the H-10 temporarily until the HR-20 was in stock and then return it. I did that and this was on Oct 19th. Went home and went on-line to research HDMI cables as all of BBs were $100 or more. While on –line BB.com had HR-20 in stock. Used the gift card and the site promised it by 10/26. I got it on 10/23 never opened the HD box.. In preparation I ended up getting a 6’ Philips HDMI cable at Walmart for $27.

So as I was saying I came home form work with the box at my doorstep. My 3 year old daughter was kind enough to fall asleep leaving me the opportunity to hook up the box uninterrupted. As a D* customer for 10 years I have had dishes in two apartments, including one buried in the ground and hid by a fake rock cover. Also been at my house the last 5 years so plenty of experience hooking these up. D* has offered my the 5LNB dish and free install but couldn’t give me a date. I told them not to worry as my market doesn’t have the local HDs yet..

Opened up the box. Pretty basic and was lucky enough to trip across the access card pouch quickly. Took a quick look at the set up guide. I connected two sats in and antenna in that I had installed for the local off air HD. Plugged unit in and had it connected via HDMI to monitor. Saw DirectV logo for a minute as it started up but then lost signal to TV. Hooked up component and signal was back. Followed guided set up which was simple as no dish adjustments were necessary. I did not install the KU adapters but have them ready for future use.

Got to stage to call D* for service activation. They put me right through to advanced box CS. The rep was quite helpful and fairly knowledgeable. I asked him about why I couldn’t do antenna set up and he knew right away but was unaware of when that might be activated. The box did need a software update immediately. That went smoothly and Monday Night Countdown was on.

What does my family which had one of the first Tivos 7 years ago think?
Well most direct comparison is to the dual tuner Tivo box.
We like the Tivo style guide better, but are fine with the D* guide.
Like the single button record but not much different then the Tivo. However so far no please stand by clock graphic when picking anything to record so chalk that one up to D*.
Became quite proficient at watching two live buffer shows at the same time on the Tivo box, especially my wife. One live tuner was odd to get used to especially happening to have the channel tuned that it is recording. If I change the channel would the record stop??? OK it doesn’t and given the larger storage it is easy to just record the other show.

We would like to have suggestions for us but not a big deal.

Love disk space available info!

Back to the HDMI cable – the cheaper Philips cable seems fine and after the initial set up and software update it worked and seemingly have no problems. We did a few small tests but my wife likes the 4 x 3 to not be stretched so we have the box set to native resolution. The channel change from SD to HD and back can take 1-2 secs but this is not untolerable to us. Quicker would be better.

I have had to reset the box 3 times since in the last 18 days. It has been when switching to TNTHD or UNIHD. The channel changes and the audio does pass through but screen is black. Box then doesn’t respond to remote and have done the reset. Not sure if this has to do with res switch, the HDMI communication or other, and will keep an eye on that.

We have recorded plenty of SD and HD. No missed or blank records. I have wondered if people having blank recordings has something to do with the channel change and lock up.

Dolby appears to work as indicated.

The off air antenna wait is annoying and if my TV didn’t have its own tuner I would be much more upset. We had a few weeks of Lost and Housewives and House on the old Tivo so not being able to record the HD version from off air and not being caught up enough to watch the new ones live in HD is annoying so they really need to get that feature going.

Fast forward and rewind is a flash back to early Tivos before the auto correct. But much like riding a bike the fast forward and quick instant replay maneuver came right back. But again a better auto correct would be nice.

Would like to be able to get the delete not delete end of program option at any point during the last 5 minutes like Tivo instead of going all the Way to the end. Is this possible by a remote button I am not aware of yet?

The dash dash quick delete is almost too easy and I look forward to the first accidental delete. Also skip to ticks and bookmarks but can I skip to end and back to beginning like Tivo?

I think that covers the main issues. Overall I am pleased but do feel like the early days of Tivo in some ways. The good side of that is look where Tivo went in advances. The bad news is that was Tivo’s only goal unlike D* who I am sure have plenty of subcontractors and other corporate issues that will come up before our wants.

Quick hit minor things – the look is fine as most things have migrated to silver in the market and my cabinet. The blue lights remind me of the original Tivo “eye” – it sure makes people say “hey what is that?”
Off topic but- D* HD programming is a good start but they need more. As a TV director I can tell you more needs to be produced but D* should be leading this fight and getting us more programming for the $10.

Final word - if you are looking to move up to HD this is a great way to do it. If you can wait 6 months, well of course it will be better and cheaper by then.
 

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Cutting Edge: ECHELON '08
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4,107 Posts
dwenn said:
My first two weeks with the HR20.
Welcome to the HR20!
Well most direct comparison is to the dual tuner Tivo box.
See HR20 Tip and Tricks - Watching Two Programs at Once.
I have had to reset ...It has been when switching to TNTHD or UNIHD.
See Installation Tips and Tricks. Try turning Native OFF and use component Video instead of HDMI. This has solved problems for many people.
Would like to be able to get the delete not delete end of program option at any point during the last 5 minutes like Tivo instead of going all the Way to the end.
See Tips & Tricks. Press & hold FFW or Advance.
Is this possible by a remote button I am not aware of yet?
See Secret Buttons Section in Tips & Tricks.
The dash dash quick delete is almost too easy and I look forward to the first accidental delete.
See Tips & Tricks. Also Wishlist Thread has a lot on why this feature is not there.
Also skip to ticks and bookmarks but can I skip to end and back to beginning like Tivo?
See Secret Buttons in Tips & Tricks. Like Preggo, It's in there!
The blue lights remind me of the original Tivo "eye" - it sure makes people say "hey what is that?"
You can also turn it off or dim it. See Tips & Trick.

- Craig
 
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