1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A Review of the R10

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by ebonovic, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Thank you to Robert at Value Electronics (OnLine Store Link)

    Robert and I had hoped this would be the “world” premier of the R10 when we first got in contact with one another. Alas, it looks as others where able to obtain them earlier then expected… None the less… Thank you Robert for this opportunity.

    This is my 4th dealing with Value Electronics, and ALL of them have been terrific.
    If you are looking for a R10, or an HD-Tivo… This is the place to go.

    My quick impression: Don’t go running out to buy one to replace your Series 2 system just yet. Series 1… Sure, it would be a good upgrade over a Series 1, not a Series 2. And if you just getting into the DirecTivo game… This is a good unit to consider, but don’t lose any sleep over getting a Series 2 unit. (Yes I have owned a Series 1 in the past).

    Now for the review.

    I will add to this review, as time goes on... Shortcuts that work and don't work, and other resources.. But I wanted to get this up tonight, as promised.

    General Facts about the R10 unit:
    Any comparison is against a standard Series 2 DirecTivo (HDVR2/DSR704)
    (unless otherwise stated)

    CPU: A newer CPU that has a 50% faster clock rate. But it has smaller on-chip cache and no floating point unit. This will result in some of speed performance, but on some more intensive workloads could actually be slower.

    Memory: Same amount as Sereis 2a and 2b SD units. 64mb. This has been show at DDB with the results comming from the meminfo. However, it is now using DDR which has a higher bandwith. Basically a bigger pipeline for the unit to work with.

    Thank you to Dan Colins and DBS Forums for hosting the images and video files.
  2. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    The R10 arrived in a standard DirecTV DVR box.
    Just like the HR10-250.. It was primarily a white box, with Orange Letter.
    So with the R10 box on top of my HR10-250 box… Nice Orange and Blue.
    (Just like the Illini… ILL )

    (Click for Larger Version

    After opening the box, nothing was out of the ordinary. Standard cable pack and peanut remote. Previous reports that we where going to see the new DirecTV remote here, but we got the Peanut… IMHO… a better choice.

    (Click for Larger Version

    However, the first sign of cost cutting was apparent. The batteries that where “included” are ultra generic “GreenCell” batteries. These are not even the knock offs that try to look like one of the name brands. You probably could have a package of 20 of them, and still weigh less then 1 single Duracell AA battery.
  3. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Well here it is… The R10:
    (Click for Larger Version

    Zoom in on Center/Right Panel: Small Image
    Large Image

    Zoom in on Left Access Door: Small Image
    Large Image

    When removing the unit from the box… You can feel how different it is made from the DSR-704. It feels more flimsy and of lower quality. The metallic face does shine, but seems to attract fingerprints.

    The access door was the first “real” sign of a change. First getting it open was a challenge. The door was “stuck” seriously. I had to use a small razor blade to pry it open. (Each time, it wasn’t a one time thing). There is no “push release” type mechanism, just a door with a clasp.

    (Click for Larger Version

    The Back Panel

    (Click for Larger Version

    Zoom in on Power and Fan
    Small Image
    Large Image

    Zoom in on Sat Inputs:
    Small Image
    Large Image

    Zoom in on Outputs and USB Small Image
    Large Image

    As you can see the layout has changed, but there have been no additions or subtractions from the Series 2 units. The addition of the “third prong” is interesting, as it adds a ground to the unit. As you will see on the inside photos, the third prong connect directly to the metal case.

    Edit: Check that, It has been pointed out that the IR blaster port has been removed.

    There are now 5 #10 screws hold the case down. But they are different, and shows another source of cost cutting.
    (Click for Larger Version

    They are black sheet metal screws (with a pointy tip), vs the normal “metal” screws that have a blunt edge. These are cheaper in quality, but will also install faster, as the pointed tip will allow it to light up a little faster. But it could also do damage, as it could “cut” a new hole in the metal if you don’t have it lined up correctly, and apply a little force.
  4. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    (Click for Larger Version

    As you can see from the picture, the mother board is a new design. Smaller and more compact, the IDE port is now in the front of the board. The white strip cables are in just as snug as they where in a Series 2. There is no single little red wire as there was in the HDVR2 soldered on the board.

    The power wire to the hard drive is not a single piece. It is 2 twisted pairs, into one connector. They solder directly to the power supply, and covered with the white sealant.
    I found that the power supply was a little “large” then it needed to be, and got in the way a little more then usually.

    The IDE cable is no longer a stub, and is more average in length. Which is a good thing if you mess up your cable during an upgrade.. They are easier to find and replace.

    You can see the ground wire connected to the case, as well as the more “hardy” fan. At least this is one thing that doesn’t appear to be less in cost.

    The hard drive is a Western Digital, Caviar 80gb hard drive. A bit bulky, but should do the job well. Link to WD website for specs on the drive

    Here are some close ups of the insides:
    Zoom in on Hard Drive In Place:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Circuit Board #1:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Circuit Board #2:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Circuit Board #3:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Circuit Board #4:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Power Supply:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Inputs/Outputs:
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Hard Drive
    Small Image
    Large Image
    Zoom in on Hard Drive Removed
    Small Image
    Large Image

    Now let’s put it all back together and hook it up.
  5. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

  6. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Well as of right now, the GUI performs a little faster. Nothing earth shattering quicker, but it does run a bit smoother. Now… I do plan to do an Update in about three weeks, after the unit fully loads up to see if things have improved or not.

    As for GUI changes… There are only two changes in the GUI outside performance. (that I have found). 1: Folders (more on that next post). 2: DirecTV Guide is now called “Grid Guide”, Tivo Guide is now called List Guide.

    Here are the SysInfo Pages:
    SysInfo #1
    SysInfo #2
    SysInfo #3
    SysInfo #4
    SysInfo #5
    SysInfo #6
    SysInfo #7
    Bad Image for Screen #8, I will re-generate later
  7. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Folders aka Grouping was a feature TiVo added to the Stand Alones in Version 4 of their software. It is now here (officially) on the DirecTV software.

    Folders when activated, will combine all common titled shows into one folder.
    Once you enter that folder you will see a listing (by title) of those shows. Keeps your Now Playing, a little more organized.

    These folders look and act 100% the same as the v4 folders (minus the listing for “other Tivos on your network)

    There are 4 total options:
    No Folders: Sort by Airing Date
    No Folders: Sort Alphabetically
    Folders: Sort by Airing Date (Folders are inline)
    Folders: Sort Alphabetically (Folder names on the bottom)
    Image Inside Folder (Folder names are inline)

    Here is a video of the folders in action.
    Windows Media File
    MPG File
  8. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Well the guide is functioning faster. But… I am reserving judgment and a review of the guide, scheduling performance, and Season Pass maintenance for about a week, so the unit can get some more recordings in it.
  9. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Well as of right now there is no “true” networking features with the unit.
    However the USB device does initialize, get an IP address, and communicate to Tivo Publisher that is there on the network.

    But it doesn’t do anything for you.. No replacement for the phone call, or HMO features.
    But it is hope:

    (Click for Larger Version

    DHCP Request
    TiVo Publisher
  10. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Short Cut Tricks Tested Out:

    It is documented and on the screen but, in Now Playing.
    Hit "1" to toggle sort by alpha or date
    Hit "2" to toggle between grouping or not grouping

    Rumored FF and REV usage in lists (jump to top and bottom)
    Didn't work Out of the Box... don't know if a backdoor turns them on yet.

    Wishlist now lists: Keywords / Attributes (aka: Charlie Brown and Age Appropriate/Children

    In Now Playing hit: SORT
    (S)Low 0 (R)ecord (T)humb Down
    Get a screen saying DVR Transfers are Disabled... Purchase HMO at Tivo.com
    Click for Screen Shot Image

    30 Second Skip Works

    New 6.1 Software Feature... Program Information Details
    See this thread for more details:
  11. drew2k

    drew2k Drew != Drawn

    Jun 9, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks for the pics and information.

    I see you censored the s/n, RID #, etc. in the system info pics, but you may want to also censor out those same numbers in the pics of the back panel.
  12. Rcrew

    Rcrew New Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Hey Earl, sincere thankll s for all the work! Did you get your football game in too?

    Your comment about it being worth an upgrade from a series 1, but not necessarliy a series 2 is a huge help to me.
  13. dtivofan23

    dtivofan23 TiVo addict

    Nov 3, 2004
    great review earl you should work for cnet lol
  14. mike1977

    mike1977 New Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Auburn, Alabama
    I'm just going to try to add a second hard drive to my 35 hour unit.
  15. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    Thank you for pointing out the numbers.
    Updated them... now just need the hosting site to flush it's buffers... :)

    As for the football game....
    TiVoed it (had a wake to go to this afternoon).... And it was a waste of hard drive space... Gosh those Bears are heart brakers...

    At least my Illini are #1 still...
  16. slacker9876

    slacker9876 New Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    Colorful Colorado
    Good Job Earl! I don't blame you for waiting on this, but I'll say I DIRECTLY attribute this to the fact that the unit has more RAM. This was my 9th S2 unit, and while I thought it was slower to boot, I immediately noticed the speed in the GUI, which I have not seen in any other units.

    First GOOD pics too I might add!
  17. jlib

    jlib Lean Forward

    Is the mfgr warranty still listed as 90 days?
  18. ebonovic

    ebonovic has gone his way...

    According to the manual, 90 Day Warranty....
  19. bwash

    bwash New Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Diamond Bar CA
    Great Review!!

    Could you comment on Fan and HardDrive noise I am planning on an R10 for the bedroom.

    Thanks again for all your effort.

  20. MattDing

    MattDing New Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Thanks a lot Earl. You Da Man!!

    I don't know if you saw my post in the other thread (probably not since you were more than likely working on your awesome review), but if you remeber the beta tester over the summer said there were a few minor interface upgrades. The one I remember is the FF and REV buttons took him to the top and bottom of lists. I also thought he mentioned some changes to the Wishlists. I just wondered if you noticed any of those "little things" while using the R10.

    Thanks again,

    I just remembered what he said about Wishlists: They were sorted by input first, and then by category. EX: "CHARLIE BROWN" and Age Appropriate/Children instead of Age Appropriate/Children and "CHARLIE BROWN".

Share This Page