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DirecTV's New HD-DVR 80

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the lots-of-pics dept.
Earl Bonovich writes to tell us that he recently had a chance to take a look at DirecTV's new HD-DVR, the HR20-700. His results are posted over at DBSTalk including several pictures and videos. Some of the features include high definition output, dual SAT tuners, dual ATSC tuners, wired RJ-45 ethernet port, external SATA connection, and a 300GB SATA internal hard drive that can hold 30 hours of MPEG-2 HD, 50 hours of MPEG-4 HD, or 200 hours of standard definition video.
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DirecTV's New HD-DVR

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  • Or Tivo will Smack you down! look at what happened to Dish Network yesterday...
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday August 19, 2006 @01:14PM (#15941257) Journal

    It's a good start to get a peek at this new DVR. Unfortunately, if consumers were to base their choice on listed features, capacities, and pictures of the unit (they already barely do that, the DirectTV would be another DVR with really beefy meaty specs... and would be a top candidate for a great addition to the Home Entertainment Center. But, this isn't really the review I'm looking for.

    I want to know (after using TiVo now for almost ten years, happily ever after):

    • how responsive is the interface?
    • how ergonomic? (TiVo's a hard act to follow on this one)
    • how often does the machine crash and burn, or just plain lock up? (any comcast DVR users out there?)
    • how well does it handle season passes with options of first showing, multiple channel, etc. (once again, TiVo is a hard act to follow on this one)
    • how well does it do video? any mosaics?, dropped frames?
    • are there things like "wish lists"? (TiVo does this wonderfully)
    • and, since we're talking about TiVo here too (apparently by my post), are there any impending lawsuits and injunctions against DirectTV for infringment upon TiVo's patents?

    This is just a partial list... but virtually none of which are really covered by the review in enough depth... too much to ask of one reviewer. I've been burned by the "wow" factor of a Comcast box (from a review), and now would wait for more concensus.

    And, as an aside, does anyone else find it really annoying technology is going the way of PVR's becoming the providers' commodities rather than manufacturers? Assuming this new PVR is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it still wouldn't be enough of a draw to switch providers -- it's more than a little annoying to find that if you like x, y, or z about some PVR, you have to switch to that provider? WTF?

    Interoperability with EVERYTHING (including over the air (OTA)) broadcast has been and continues to be one of the biggest draws for me with TiVo, though there's many indications of providers trying to shut TiVo out. Sigh.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by phorest (877315) *

      I have the HR15 recorder and like it a lot. Never had TiVo so I can't answer your questions. The reviewer does give some encouragement about the UI and the lag-time improvement and some of the other UI features/improvements.

      There's no reason to be overly critical of new hardware like... TiVo is the best... Myth TV is DaBomb, etc. I'll admit it's my first DVR but what that thing can do is outstanding. I'll never watch broadcsat TV the same again! Put me down in the I like what it does category PERIOD.

      I w

    • I believe part of the deal DirecTV and Tivo recently struck to continue supporting the DirecTivo units included a patent sharing agreement.

      However I haven't heard of one person that had a DirecTivo that "upgraded" to the new DirecTV DVRs that was happy with it, and I've heard of more then a few that dropped DirecTV altogether because of it.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by phorest (877315) *

      how responsive is the interface?
      A little slow.

      how ergonomic? (TiVo's a hard act to follow on this one)
      Fine by my standards.

      how often does the machine crash and burn, or just plain lock up? (any comcast DVR users out there?)
      Never locked up yet (almost a year now).

      how well does it handle season passes with options of first showing, multiple channel, etc. (once again, TiVo is a hard act to follow on this one)
      Don't know.

      how well does it do video? any mosaics?, dropped frames?
      Almost as cle

      • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @02:27PM (#15941497)
        how well does it handle season passes with options of first showing, multiple channel, etc. (once again, TiVo is a hard act to follow on this one)
        Don't know.

        Are there things like "wish lists"? (TiVo does this wonderfully)
        Whatever those are?


        These are the things that TiVo users have a very hard time giving up, simply because they work so beautifully. "Season Passes" allow you to set the device to record any showing of a show (or specific ones if you want), with control over whether it records first airings and/or reruns and how it deals with shows that air on multiple channels. "Wish Lists" are search/record filters that you can set based on title, actor, director, genre, etc. So you can say "Record any Kubrick movie" simply by adding a director wishlist for Kubrick. On top of this, many users (though not all) also enjoy the "Suggestions" feature, whereby the TiVo autorecords shows and movies that it thinks you'd enjoy based on your previous recording/rating history. Of course, these recordings are the lowest priority and roll off the savelist in case it needs the space for something you've specifically requested it record. This feature is great on DirecTiVos because of the dual-tuner feature--it can almost always go off and record something else, even when you're watching something on the first tuner.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by phorest (877315) *

          From your description the HR15 has "season passes" down.

          For instance, I am able to record any show I choose either first-run or even repeats. I can have it "Keep till I delete" or set it so it overwrites the oldest item in the list. I don't typically use it for repeat shows, but I have used it for series like "24" and "House" where I just want the first run showings. Though one time I did something stupid and chose to record "Seinfeld" (any showings) as a test and my recorder was filled up in about 2 weeks

          • by buysse (5473) *
            There's one other aspect to season passes. Say I want it to record BSG. I also have something else set to record at the same time one week. If I override it, and don't let it record because I'm watching something else (or I tell it to record something else), it will pick up that episode of BSG when it repeats for the second time Tuesday, at 1AM. You queue things based on priority, but it's smart enough to not record something of a high priority that will repeat in three hours so it can pick up a low-prio
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by MBCook (132727)

      Let's see if I can answer your points

      • how responsive is the interface? - Pretty good
      • how ergonomic? (TiVo's a hard act to follow on this one) - Fantastic
      • how often does the machine crash and burn, or just plain lock up? (any comcast DVR users out there?) - Never
      • how well does it handle season passes with options of first showing, multiple channel, etc. (once again, TiVo is a hard act to follow on this one) - Excellent
      • how well does it do video? any mosaics?, dropped frames? - Perfect quality, just like my
      • Of course, I have a DirecTiVo... which they no longer sell.

        Not true. Three days ago my new HR10-250 DirecTiVo was installed. It is just as much of a Tivo as my old SD DirecTivo (an HDVR2).

        • The problem with this is that it's already an obsolete device. DirecTV started moving their HD broadcasts to MPEG4 last year (everything, including HD was MPEG2 previously). My understanding is that any new HD local channels (and possibly any new HD channels period) that get added will be MPEG4, which the HR10-250 doesn't receive. So you have a handful of HD channels that the HR10 currently receives, and those are likely to be the only HD channels it ever receives.
          • by hawkbug (94280)
            You're right - I have a H20 DirecTV receiver right now, which made my H10 obsolete since I need a device which can pick up the new mpeg4 broadcasts. I will say the DirecTV broadcasts in mpeg4 look like garbage on any TV larger than 26 inches. HD was supposed to look better, not worse. My OTA signal here in Denver is crystal clear - but I can't get a few channels here without installing an external antenna on my roof, and I don't want to do that yet. I really want a Tivo series 3 and be able to use it wi
      • So, just to clarify: All of your answers above are based on your use of a DirecTiVo and have nothing to do with the specific device yagu was asking about? Correct?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by frusengladje (990955)
        One thing that's mentioned in the review that I found annoying was the lack of dual buffers for the live tuners. This feature on the DirecTivo's allows you to have a 30 minute buffer of what's currently on each of the tuners (assuming you haven't changed the channel recently). Comes in quite handy, especially during football season, or other times when 2 sports events are on at the same time.
      • by loraksus (171574)
        Direct TV's retention department is laughably bad. You'd think they would want to keep customers, but what they offer is a joke.
      • Don't sweat it ... I have a brand new DirecTiVo now because my old one died last week. When I went through customer service they noticed I'm a TiVo customer and offered me another one. It only works if you already have TiVo though.

        Isn't the fantastic interface a TiVo thing and not DirecTV?
    • by Cutriss (262920) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @01:38PM (#15941335) Homepage
      how ergonomic? (TiVo's a hard act to follow on this one)

      I guess you haven't gotten the TiVo KidZone update yet. I have a branded Series 2 unit that got updated like a week ago. Response time has been thoroughly shot to hell after this update. It has taken as long as five seconds to pull up the program guide. Sometimes hitting the TiVo button with hang the unit for about 30 seconds before I'll finally get a "action could not be completed" error. At least the TV pass-through still works, so it's not like it freezes up the display. I've also had two spontaneous reboots since the update.

      I've also noticed a variety of small bugs. For example, if a show has been previously unrated, the first Thumbs Up works, but instead of the normal Thumbs Up sound, it sounds a "Not Allowed" sound.

      I'm just hoping they roll out fixes soon.
      • by mjensen (118105)
        Ditto, but I noticed a lot of lag even before the Kidzone update. I press buttons fast though. While a screen is loading I know what it will say, and press the next button I need. This isn't allowed though, until the screen completely loads. Bummer.

        Once a month or so, my Tivo locks up for about half an hour. The LED flash shows its getting the signal, just not doing anything with it. After the half-hour or so, everything returns.
    • by DittoBox (978894)

      You said:

      Interoperability with EVERYTHING (including over the air (OTA)) broadcast has been and continues to be one of the biggest draws for me with TiVo, though there's many indications of providers trying to shut TiVo out. Sigh.

      Well, from the article:

      dual ATSC tuners

      Looks to me like you might not have any problem getting at least local HD, OTA broadcasts if you live in America, Canada, Mexico, Taiwan or South Korea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATSC [wikipedia.org]

    • by ebonovic (996524) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @02:10PM (#15941436)
      I will try to answer your questions...
      • how responsive is the interface?
        So far the interface is just as responsive, if not better in some areas, then any of my DTivo units
      • how ergonomic? (TiVo's a hard act to follow on this one)
        If you are comming from a long time experience with the TiVo interface, it is going to take some time to get used to. It took me about a month to get used to the new GUI (on the R15 which is the same core GUI)... now that I am used to it.... If find both's systems interface very easy to use.
      • how often does the machine crash and burn, or just plain lock up? (any comcast DVR users out there?)
        Several weeks into it now... have not had a sigle crash, burn, or lockup... I have yet to have to reset the unit for any "negative" reasons.
      • how well does it handle season passes with options of first showing, multiple channel, etc. (once again, TiVo is a hard act to follow on this one)
        So far... so good.... I have only had one repeat record and that was an episode of Stargate yesterday... which just happened to be the 100th episode, which was the foundation for the 200th episode... so I am not sure if Sci-Fi tweaked with the data a bit, and the HR20 simply identified it as a first run. I have several of the popular shows that are on all over teh place... Stargate, CSI, Law&Order... so everything has been exactly as I have expected it to be.
      • how well does it do video? any mosaics?, dropped frames?
        I am not seeing any mosaics, drop frames, or anything wrong with the HD video... granted I haven't been counting the frames or anything like that.
      • are there things like "wish lists"? (TiVo does this wonderfully)
        Yes and No... there are keyword searchs available.. but they are definently not as powerfull or the same as wishlists.
      • and, since we're talking about TiVo here too (apparently by my post), are there any impending lawsuits and injunctions against DirectTV for infringment upon TiVo's patents?
        As a few others have noted, they re-upped the contract for a few more years, that specifically included patent discussion.

        For some more discussion and answers to your questions... come on down to www.dbstalk.com that is where I have been living for the last few days....
    • by mehu (92260)

      and, since we're talking about TiVo here too (apparently by my post), are there any impending lawsuits and injunctions against DirectTV for infringment upon TiVo's patents?

      I think the more important question here is, are there any impending lawsuits from DirecTV against their own customers (or just anyone, actually) who happen to own something that DirecTV considers to be "pirate access devices"?

      Hell, an HD-PVR with an ethernet jack could ITSELF be considered a piracy device. Better watch for the MPAA

    • by BSonline (989394)

      (any comcast DVR users out there?)

      I have the dual tuner motorola HD box provided by Comcast. S'posedly, it's the best they have to offer. I had the cable guy out a few times with the following complaints, and he gave me these answers: 1) Occasionally, I'll turn the machine on and there will be no sound or picture. The menus will still work and come on screen, but nothing else. Answer: Activate a prerecorded video and then exit. Sometimes the tuner locks up, and you have to do this. Actually, to me, it

      • by BSonline (989394)
        Sorry about the huge paragraph. I keep forgetting to use the "br" tags.
        • by popeye44 (929152)
          http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_to_use_a_Motorola _DVR [wikibooks.org] I've had a motorola dvr for almost 2 years with comcast and I've had HDTV for 7 months. So far I'm pleased with all of it. However my first box did crash, Second box had HDMI but it wasn't setup correctly and I had no indicaction or manuals of how to make it work right. I took that box back and got a new one. The tech at comcast's office showed me how to access the more "pro/advanced" features and since then the new box has been excellent. When I firs
    • Right now I have Time-Warner Cable TV (note: TWC is being taken over by Comcast). Used to have DirecTV in New Jersey, moved to Houston, TX, and decided to try TWC since they had their new DVR functionality.

      In a word, TWC DVR's suck big time, especially compared to Tivo. The first units (we have two, both made by Scientific Atlantic) crashed frequently. When they weren't crashing, the sound would be frequently out of sync with the picture of a records show. After two weeks of that, we took the units ba
    • A friend has a comcast (I have 2 DTivos). He regularly complains of things (shows being recorded that he did not ask for, shows not being recorded that he did ask for). He's one of the smartest people I know, so I doubt it's user error. He called customer support one evening. They said they'd look into it. What they did was remotely reset his box. Problem was, he already did it before and he was in the middle of recording some programs.
    • by annakin (994045)
      Interoperability with EVERYTHING (including over the air (OTA)) broadcast has been and continues to be one of the biggest draws for me with TiVo, though there's many indications of providers trying to shut TiVo out. Sigh.

      Maybe TiVo is shutting themselves out?

      The first thing I noticed when using TiVo in late 2001 was that it needed dual-tuners. That only took 5 years.

      Meanwhile, I first saw an HD DirecTivo over 2 years ago. Can you get an HD Tivo right now? Nope. Not out yet.

      And when the series3 does come
  • TiVo'ed? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZPWeeks (990417)
    This isn't EchoStar, but could they nab DirecTV, too? It'd be a shame to launch something just to have it shot down. (that said, the EchoStar case *did* take EONS before a ruling.... and it's already been temporarily suspended...)
    • by guyjr (180613)
      Nope... DTV and TiVo have a reciprocal agreement not to sue each other over patents. DTV still supports the older DTiVo boxes by not deactivating the service, while TiVo doesn't sue DTV. That's my understanding at any rate... get more info at www.tivocommunity.org
  • IIRC, the terms of Directv's contract with Tivo is that they don't have to worry about being sued by Tivo for DVR tech.
  • It doesn't say in the article, but I wonder if any of the outputs actually work. On my DVR (a Motorola), there is an ethernet jack, SATA port, USB ports and Firewire ports. The only one that works is one of the (two) Firewire ports.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ebonovic (996524)
      All of the VIDEO/AUDIO outputs are enabled at all times. The eSATA is not enabled at this time The Ethernet is "powered" and initilized, but there is no communication on the network from the device. The USB ports are also not enabled. There are disucssions going on how to use the eSATA port to it's fullest. The Ethernet is going to be in part for the future use with BroadBand VOD The USB Ports are at least slated to be used with the future DirecTV2Go product (no eta on that though)
  • As an owner of both a DirecTV Tivo unit and a DirecTV Plus DVR, I can attest to the fact that the Tivo's interface is miles ahead of DirecTV's homegrown option in terms of usability and features. My hope is this will improve over time.
  • This will be a nice DVR once they get all the features active and working. After that I may just have to reconsider getting the service with HD...At least until this HD-/BD-DVD drama plays out.
  • Tivo or DirecTV (Score:2, Interesting)

    by turb (5673)
    Now that this box is out is seems that many a DirecTV customer (including myself) is weighing their options and it seems to be coming down to two things:

    1) Switch to cable and *HAVE* a choice of series 3 Tivo / build a Myth, etc....

    or

    2) Stick with DirecTV on hardware that's dictated to the customer, offered by a company with a less than stellar reputation for customer satisfaction.

    Hmm is it any surprise that #1 seems to be the popular choice?

    Looking at it deeper, when customers of DirecTV who have Tivo syst
    • TFA shows (between the lines) how poor the programming is in the current DTV-+ box compared with the old DirecTivo. DirecTV's proprietary unit became our only choice after the DirecTivo died - and that meant:
      • Having to reboot at least once a week because of system freezes
      • Losing the ability to select between first run, re-run, or all episodes of a series
      • A lagging and unresponsive playback interface
      • No ability to see the title of a series episode unless you have more than one recorded
      • Frequently being told
    • by carlivar (119811)
      When it comes down to it, one can get the same programming as DirecTV over cable.

      No you can't. Not if you want to follow your favorite out-of-market NFL team. DirecTV has the exclusive NFL license. To watch my Chicago Bears I am stuck with DirecTV. They know this and it is why they pay oodles of money for the license.

  • Ethernet port? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tji (74570) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @02:40PM (#15941547)
    An ethernet port gives all sorts of interesting possibilities.. I wonder what they have planned for this?

    How about:

    - Content sharing to other DirecTV devices. My primary TV is downstairs, I would like a small satellite HD playback unit that can access content on the main DVR (don't the Moxi DVRs do this?).
    - PC integration, access music and photos from my PC for display/playback through my HDTV+Stereo.
    - Basic internet access via unit, WWW browser for display on HDTV.. sometimes this could be handy.
    - Access guide data, firmware updates, PPV requests, and other DirecTV content via the Internet. This could eliminate the need for a phone connection to the unit.
    - Additional storage on network (NFS, SMB) drives. Store content encrypted.

    Somehow, I doubt they will be as aggressive as I'm hoping.
    • by ebonovic (996524)
      FYI: The Guide Data and the Software Updates are all done via the SAT connection... no phone connection needed for those.
      PPV via remote still needs the phone, but you can also purbahse via the website. (and if you do that you can watch the PPV on any of your receivers)
      • by coop247 (974899)
        Ok, so you're saying the only need for the phone line is when ordering movies, no other time (my phone line isn't close to the TV)? Can the ethernet port be used as an alternative to the phone line? Does the ethernet work, or have any purpose?

        I realize DTv claims weather has no effect on the signal, but in Cleveland we can get some pretty good snow storms, have you ever had any problems?

        Good review, I started looking at DTv when Adelphia got bought out and they took away my NFL network. Thanks for
        • by nmos (25822)
          I realize DTv claims weather has no effect on the signal, but in Cleveland we can get some pretty good snow storms, have you ever had any problems?

          Snow build up on the dish can be a problem, especially wet snow. Personally, I keep a spare ice scraper around in the winter although I'm sure you can buy a heater or rig something up with heat tape if you want.

           
        • by ebonovic (996524)
          Right now, no the Ethernet can't be used to completely replace the phone line (regarding PPVs).

          The phone is used by DirecTV to validate location of the box (making sure it is on the phone line as your main box, for mirroring requirements... however as far as I know... it has been a LONG time since they have regularly done that).

          Weather does have an issue... but in "general" non-freakish storms should little to no effect on your signal.
          In Chicago during the winter we occasionally get that "wet slush" snow, t
          • Weather should not be an issue at all with your satellite reception, provided the installation was done correctly. Here in Texas, we call some of our storms "Texas Turd Floaters", since some downpours will pretty much float your car down the street to the nearest gutter drain. I have to wear my shades at night while watching TV sometimes as the lightning flashes around the uncovered window edges. And I've never lost my sat reception.

            More than likely, your dish was never peaked properly to the number

      • by coop247 (974899)
        One more question. I didn't see this mentioned in the article, but can you record two shows at the same time and/or record one show while watching another? Specifically can you do this when both shows are in HD? My cable HDDVR can do this and it's very nice.

        Thanks.
        • by ebonovic (996524)
          Most definently.. You can record 2 HD, record 1 HD and 1 SD, recod 2 SD.... all at the same time as watching something that already has been recorded. You can also record 1 HD or 1 SD, and watch an HD or SD live at the same time
    • Re:Ethernet port? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PoitNarf (160194) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @04:53PM (#15941949)
      From what I have been reading in the forums, they are planning on doing some interesting stuff with the ethernet connectivity.

      * VOD via Internet (handy since it's pretty hard to implement through Sats)
      * There is PC integration planned with Windows Media Center and Vista
      * There is a content sharing schema in the works. It's called the HMC (Home Media Center). It will consist of a server device which is connected to the phone line. All of the receiver nodes will communicate with the server to access stored content. All the receivers will also only need 1 coax connection to the server.
  • The feature set does not sound any different than the HDTivo that I've had for years. It does sound like the user interface has been upgraded, but nothing that would make me or anyone else that has an HDTivo upgrade. Even the capacity is the same. How is this news?
    • by NSIM (953498)
      What's different is that this device supports the new MPEG4 sattelites which is how DirecTV will deliver new HD content and give you access to local stations HD feeds without requiring OTA. The TIVO based DVR only supports the older DTV sattelites and cannot be upgraded because of the change from MPEG2 to MPEG4 encoding with the new sattelites. I'm going to wait and see whether DTV offers new HD channels that I actually care about before I make any change as I can get all my locals in HD already and the HD
  • It looks like this will be the only option to record the MPEG4 HD shows on Directv. Looking at the back of the Tivo Series 3 - http://www.zatznotfunny.com/PSN/Series3-back-3.JPG [zatznotfunny.com] - there is no way to bring in an existing high definition signal. Directv is moving to MPEG4, and are slowly squeezing Tivo out of existence with them. If I were Tivo, I would make sure that my Tivo Series 3 box can have a HD input (HDMI input?) so all the Tivo diehards (which I am one - I have 3 Tivos in my house all networked
    • Hahaha. I just looked at that jpeg of the series 3. The only input is coax?! Not even yellow RCA? They must have done that on purpose.
    • by syates21 (78378)
      The short answer to how do you do "HD-in" is that you don't. I'm not aware of any consumer-grade offering that can take a raw, uncompressed HD signal like you get with component video, DVI, or HDMI going to you TV and do anything useful with it. All the existing boxes I've ever seen worked with compressed signals. I think the data-rate on raw DVI video is still prohibitive.
  • by FatherOfONe (515801) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @03:31PM (#15941699)
    I just moved and was evaluating between the big three and I was a DirectTV customer for 8 years and a DirectTV (low def) Tivo customer for 3 years.

    I would LOVE to have stayed with DirectTV, but the fact that they severed their deal with TIVO and will NEVER upgrade their current HD/TIVO box killed the deal. I honestly don't care what this guys says in his review, the difference is significant and it is like comparing a Honda to a BMW. Yes they both have similar features, but you are either a Honda guy or not. The Honda guys will say all day long that their car is feature for feature as good, but they don't own a BMW.

    So that left me with Cable and their DVR; in hopes that the Series 3 will be out soon. After working with this giant piece of crap for a month now, I can say that I am counting the days until the new Tivo series 3 comes out.

    Now as far a cable VS sat goes, I can say that even Digital cable isn't near the quality of signal that my DirectTV signal was. The cable "fans" seem to disagree saying that "digital is digital" but that isn't the case for me. In my opinion, and I am willing to show just about anyone this; the quality kind of breaks down like this. (10 being the best).
    1080P signal with BluRay input = 10
    1080i or 720p signal input = 7
    HD station on cable in standard format, normal DirectTV signal or good DVD (LOTR) = 6
    Digital Cable = 4
    Standard Cable = 3

    Again, this is my opinion, but EVERYONE I have had over to look at this tends to agree. I still have my old TIVO and some stuff on it to compare so it makes it somewhat easy to compare the signals. What would have made me happy and I would have paid far more money for it would have been if DirectTV would not have killed their deal with TIVO. Also, it would have been great if they would have started to offer more HD content. But for some reason they decided to partner with Microsoft... I hope that works out for them as well as it has for every other company that has partnered with Microsoft...

    Lastly, I don't want to hear how this "new" device is "just like or better" than a TIVO. That is your opinion, and if so then that is great for you. DirectTV just lost me as a customer for it, and everyone I can influence will never use them for service again.
    • by tgibbs (83782)

      I would LOVE to have stayed with DirectTV, but the fact that they severed their deal with TIVO and will NEVER upgrade their current HD/TIVO box killed the deal. I honestly don't care what this guys says in his review, the difference is significant and it is like comparing a Honda to a BMW. Yes they both have similar features, but you are either a Honda guy or not. The Honda guys will say all day long that their car is feature for feature as good, but they don't own a BMW.

      Yes, I'd have to hear raves from rea

    • Well each cable company many do something different with regards to how it handles digital, but with Comcast Digital Cable in my area, the quality of the standard def digital stations is just as good as Directv or better; blocking and artifacts are evident on both (usually dependant on the channel as some channels are better than others on both systems. When it comes to HD content, Directv and its not so hi-def signals are left way behind with what I can get OTA and via cable. If it were not for NFLST, th
  • That is 5C-enabled firewire ports to allow archiving contents off the DVR.
    What good is a 500? or whatever GB box when the only way to add new content to it is delete old recordings.
    What if you want to save a show, the only choice is analog (SD) output, what a waste.
  • I would think this most basic feature of my old TIVO would be "cloned" on the HR20. I like to just type in the name of my favorite sports team and have the box collect all the specials, games, and news I want. I also like typing in Robert DeNiro and have it go out and find all his movies, then also capture all shows that review cars. Huge let down it doesn't have this. Minor let down is they STILL haven't included Picture in a Picture like the Ultimate TV boxes had years ago.
    • by dspyder (563303)
      I thought I would miss PIP from the UTV a lot more than I actually have. I'd gladly lose that to gain HMO, TivoToGo, etc. What I was watching in the PIP I can just record and skip through it when I want.

      Best thing I like about Tivo is being able to get at the data I'm recording. Not to sound like an open source zealot (it pains me to agree with them), but a closed system will just make me feel locked in and limited.

      I would like multiple outputs like some of the DishPVRs have. Although if HMO is quic
  • When I called DirecTV, they told me that this unit was currently only available in Los Angeles, and sometime "soon" elsewhere, though they did not have a date.
  • To me, one of the most important factors in a DVR is if I can expand the capacity. I've done it with my Tivo and my DirectTivo. What are the chances of being able to install a larger SATA drive in this unit? Also, having a single 'live' buffer would probably be a deal killer for me; dual live buffers are an essential feature in my DirecTivo.

  • I know MythTV (http:llwww.mythtv.org) isn't for everyone, but nowadays just about any linux n00b can get one running perfectly without all too much effort. Take a look at KnoppMyth (http://www.mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html). For me it ran/installed straight off the CD and gave me a working ASTC MythTV box in a couple of hours. I've never paid for cable or sattelite, I just use a rooftop antenna and get all my local channels in HD. I like the complete lack of DRM with MythTV. I can burn anything in full qua
    • by tgd (2822)
      Its also a useless MythTV post... as MythTV (as it will forever be) doesn't compare to this box, since it neither does DirecTV SD, MPEG2 or MPEG4 programming.

      Its comparing apples to... um... a loaf of bread. Both might be food, but not even close to the same thing.

      Its just like everyone who mentions MythTV when Tivo S3 comes up -- not applicable. MythTV is great if you live in a city, have limited channels you watch or don't own an HD set. But its pretty much worthless if you need digital cable, satellite o

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