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UTV, etc... need some advice???

1940 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Snopple
This is a little long. Please excuse me as I am new to posting and wish to explain all my concerns and situation. Thank you!!!

Hi. I am trying to decide on a few things and could use some help and advice. At the moment I have E* with the top 100, superstations, hbo/showtime, and pbs/nbc east and west/fox east and west. I just have one old reciever (2700 I think) which has worked well for years. Here's the thing:

I VERY much want to get a pvr to use to record shows as my vcr is dying and I am tired of tapes.

I do NOT want the 501 or 508 and the 721 is WAY too expensive. Anyway eliminating those I am left with standalone tivo or switch to D*. I am really not sure about the tivo. I want dual tuners and I really do not like the idea of different quality recordings. I want the pvr recordings to look like the tv when I watch the satellite.

Ultimatetv. I went in to circuit city and spoke to someone about it. They had an rca model out to demo. They did not have the other brand (sony?). That was it for pvr's (was told they were getting rid of their tivos). I was told I could get the utv box and satellite for $99 and could get a rebate to send in for $50. I could also get the keyboard for $30. I was told that's all I needed to get hooked up and ready to go (those prices include installation). I did notice something that concerns me though:

I asked about the program guide (being with E* all I get is info not available A LOT). I asked if it has a 7 day guide and he really didn't know and tried to advance the guide an hour at a time. When it hit 2 days the info on the channels started going blank. What is the guide like? Do you get more than 2 days and is it accurate (no info not available?)?

Also wondering if this is all I need to make it work and is this a good price (I need to buy from a store rather than online)? Do I need a regular reciever or is the utv box good enough by itself? Is this really better than tivo?

Directv. I do not live in a place where locals are available (#97 dma). Program wise if I switch to D* I am concerned about losing nbc and the wb. Losing the others would not be bad but I REALLY want to keep getting those two as there are several shows I watch and would want to record off them. The whole reason I switched to E* several years ago is because they turned off my distants and with E* I could get nbc/fox/superstations (which I still have). It has been awhile though. What do you think?

Basically I am wondering about the ultimatetv from circuit city and about the guide and channel problem. I know I would love some of the channels I could get from D* like national geographic (jerks at E* put it in the 150 package so I can not get it darn it). I am just not sure what to do about this as I really want a pvr but really want to keep wb and nbc AT LEAST if not the others.

What do you think about all of this and what would you do if in a similar position? Any help and advice would be great. Again sorry about the long post.

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I can give you info about UTV. You would need to call D* about distant nets for your nbc, cbs, abc, etc. I don't know much about that as I get my locals via DBS.

Ultimatetv for $99 including installation with a $50 rebate is a great deal.

It is an integrated PVR meaning you don't need a separate receveiver. It is a great receiver on its own.

The guide is 15 days. If the unit is unplugged for any reason, the guide has to reset itself and load the information, and that can take a full day, so the one at CC may have been moved, or might have been in a demo mode that doesn't have the full guide. The guide is very accurate and generally has full descriptions.

Whether it is better than a Directivo is very, very subjective. I think most will generally agree that an integrated dual-tuner PVR is better than the stand-alone Tivo.

Something that you may want to consider is that the UTV and Directivo (and the E* PVRs) will not record cable or OTA stations, only satellite feeds. If you want a PVR that will record OTA, cable, and satellite, you would need to get a stand-alone unit.

I have two of the RCA units and they have both worked flawlessly. I bought a keyboard off EBay for $17 and use it quite often.

You also need to remember that UTV and Directivo have a monthly fee (Tivo also has a one-time lifetime fee) of $9.95. So if you get Total Choice Plus for $35.99, you need to add $9.95 for the PVR fee. To me it is money well spent.

If you get one, you'll love it. Hope that helps.
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Hello Gtc,

If you switch to Directv, you will have to reapply for your waivers to get the distant nets. That may be an easy process, or an incredibly difficult one resulting in you losing the channels.
I have the Sony UTV... the W60. I love mine as well. Functionally, it is no different from ther RCA box. I'm pretty sure the guts are similar as well.

Both the Tivo and the UTV allow you to upgrade (and add in Tivo's case) the hard disk... this has been the deciding factor for many folks in their PVR choice. I know Karl just upgraded his RCA UTV with a 120gb hdd... gives him around 105 hours of recording. With that ability and dual tuners, you can't miss.

Here's a few online sources for you...


I bought my UTV's from orbitsat... had a good experience with them. The CC deal doesn't sound bad either.

FYI... I had a 3-reciever E* set-up with all channels until they announced the price for the 721, which I wanted badly. Not only was I able to get 2 dual-tuner UTV's for next to nothing (rebates), I was able to sell my E* equipment for darn close to what I paid for it, so I made money on the switch. Dual tuners rock!
I've got UTV and love it. Guide is 15 days. It doesn't scroll as fast or easy as my old E* boxes, but what you do is go into the search mode and enter the date and time you want to move ahead to. It's quick and easy and works well. Definitely no 'Info not available' crap which absolutely DROVE ME NUTS too!

As for the locals, do you have any friends or relatives who live in regions that get locals? If nothing else worked, I'd sign up and give my address as one of my friends' address or my parents' address, and then sign up for credit card autopay. Sneaky, but it works! :)

Hi. Thanks for the replies and advice. I am still trying to figure it out but I have definately decided that the ultimatetv is the pvr for me. It sounds good and reliable. Back when I originally switched to E* (just before) I tried to get waivers and ran straight into a brick wall. At that time I could not get a waiver from anyone to save my life. It has been awhile though so I will check into it again. Personally I like the distants BETTER but oh well.

I know the networks are a problem but how come D* does not add some upn/the wb kindof like the superstation package E* has? Is there any upn/wb at all on D*? Will there be in the NEAR future (kindof looking forward to "birds of prey" this fall)?

The 10 dollars a month sounds like a factor for some others but it does not bother me. My bill is so high now I would just try to compensate in some other way. Cut down somewhere else to cover more there.

Karl. I would want to break it in when I first get it but I like the idea of upgrading the hard drive at some point in the future. Everything go ok with it? What type of drive did you put in, western digital? I know I don't have it yet but was wondering.

As for the locals I don't mind being sneaky but I will need something else to do as credit card autopay is not an option for me. For one thing the credit card thing is the main reason I will have to get utv from a place like circuit city rather than online.

Thinking of the distants does anyone know how the rv thing works? I have a relative who has an rv and was just curious about it.

Anyway thanks again for the great advice!!!
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I upgraded mine using a WD1200AB (120GB 5400RPM) drive, and it was easy. I'd have to research the site that I downloaded the instructions from. I paid $123 for my drive off EBay.

I just found out today that I have been given Distance Nets for Fox east and west. I was denied ABC, NBC, and CBS. Why Fox would approve while the others denied, I don't know. We actually have a very good Fox station here in Salt Lake. I figured it didn't hurt to ask for distance nets and I was granted one of four. Better than nothing.

You can pay Directv using your checking account for auto deduction. I'm not sure how it works, but you could call D* and find out. They hype it on their Customer News station (channel 201). Here is a link to that portion of the Directv website:

For me the $10 per month for UTV is money well spent, and I think most others will agree with that.

Don't know anything about the rv package. You can go to their site http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/learn/dns_vehicles.jsp to get some more information.
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Tanya Memme is on Ch 201. Reason enough to switch!

I have both a UTV and a DirectTivo. While both have duel tuners and both have performed flawlessly, I think the UTV is a vastly superior product. (Although I'm sure some will disagree). $99 including installation is an excellent price.

The UTV right out of the box is all you need. Just be sure that the dish it comes with it has a duel LNB. Something that is necessary if you want to take advantage of UTV's duel tuners. If you want to add another receiver in the future, you'll need to purchase a multi switch for around $80.

Only problem might be is your lack of a credit card. When I purchased my UTV last September, I'm not sure why any more, but Best Buy required that I pay for at least part of it with a credit card. If that's still the case, open a checking account that offers a debit card. A debit card, with a Mastercard or Visa logo on it, works just like a credit card. Except you must have the money in your account for it to go through.

As for your distant nets, that could be tough. You'll probably have to reapply for your waivers. I don't think anyone really understands how the process works. A couple friends of mine called E* and were given the east coast feed of NBC by just asking for it. A coworker called D*, told them he had waiver requests pending, and was sold the entire package. I guess a lot depends on what csr answers the phone when you call. But the whole question of distant nets might become moot in the not too distant future. Both Direct TV and Dish say that if the merger is approved, they'll be able to offer the local channels in all 210 DMA's.
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