I am looking into getting a PVR for D*, which do you recomend, TIVO or UTV and which is cheapest. What are some of the advantages of having a PVR, disadvantages? What does TIVO have that UTV doesnt and vice versa?
If you need it right this minute, UTV is the way to go. They are cheap and available, even to an existing sub. The monthly fee is $9.95, and the units can be easily upgraded by replacing the stock hard drive with a larger one (you cannot just add a second drive to the first). The basic UTV comes with a 40 gig drive and 35 hours max recording capacity. Using a 120 gig drive for upgrading will come out to about 106 hours max.
If you can wait a month or two, new Series II DirecTiVos are on the way. They have a MSRP of $199 (cheaper at retail likely) for new and existing subs alike. The monthly TiVo fee was cut in half by Directv from $9.95 to $4.99, and they can be upgraded by the usual TiVo methods (not difficult, but a little more work than UTV). You can also leave the existing drive in place and add a second drive for mucho storage enhancement. Series 1 & II DTiVos have the same 40 gig/35 hr capacity. Using 2 120 gig drives for upgrading will get you over 210 hours max recording capacity.
Both units require 2 dedicated lines into the unit, either from the dish or a multiswitch (no splitters) for dual-tuner recording. Both do a good job finding and storing your shows. The UTV interface resembles the Dishplayer, while the DirecTiVo uses one much like the SA TiVo and adds Directv's grid guide as an option.
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