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** HD TiVo and HD DirecTV TiVo FAQ **

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by feldon23, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TC Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Bad assumption. The Series 3, as shown at CES anyway, does not support satellite box sources. Cable and OTA only.
  2. joetoronto

    joetoronto HR10-250 Lover

    Jul 26, 2004
    maybe it's just me but i really think the way of the future is in stand alone HD recorders.

    i have a toshiba RD-XS32 HDD DVD recorder, if this thing could record in HD it would be the best thing since sliced bread.

    it records from any satellite OR cable provider, camcorders, OTA, game consoles...anything with a signal :D and it burns DVD's.

    i have it hooked up to the HR10-250. :)
  3. feldon23

    feldon23 MythBuster

    Mar 13, 2001
    Too bad it doesn't record anything in High Definition and there is no High Definition DVD format on the market yet.

    A standalone High Definition DVD recorder will probably cost $2,000.
  4. feldon23

    feldon23 MythBuster

    Mar 13, 2001
    DirecTV severed their contract with TiVo, leaving TiVo no choice but to produce a cable TiVo.

    TiVo is no longer authorized to introduce any new integrated DirecTV products and they have never been authorized to produce integrated Dish Network products. Anyway, Dish Network uses leased equipment and DirecTV is going to leased equipment in March. They want you to rent their substandard equipment instead of buying something better. Cable has been a 'rent their box' service forever but in a rare display of the Government actually having a clue, they forced the cable cos to introduce a universal CableCARD format which TiVo can create products for.

    I loved DirecTV and told everyone I could about it. But with the piss poor picture quality on some popular channels (Sci-Fi, Discovery HD, to name a few), half-implemented HD solution (local-into-local doesn't have Fox, WB/UPN, or other HD locals), and dismissal of TiVo, they have eliminated all their advantages over cable for me, and I can get cable internet, phone, AND cable TV for $99/month. I'm currently paying $170 a month for these services from different companies.

    DirecTV vs. Cable: When you can't tell the difference, why pay the difference?
  5. joetoronto

    joetoronto HR10-250 Lover

    Jul 26, 2004
    not yet, that's why i said "the way of the future", although were almost there.
  6. cancun64

    cancun64 New Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    This is the response I recieved about the MPEG-4 issue from DTV in July 2005. It looks like they give a reciever replacement.

    Thanks for asking about HD equipment. I understand your concern about how our Advanced Video Compression HD technology (MPEG-4 AVC) will affect any MPEG-2 equipment you may have. Let me reassure you that most customers will be able to use their MPEG-2 equipment for quite some time.

    At this time our current HD programming will continue to be broadcast using the MPEG-2 standard, MPEG-4 technology will be used only to provide local HD programming in select cities. (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington, D.C. are expected to launch this year, with more to be added throughout the next year.)

    Once local HD programming launches in your city, you will be eligible for an MPEG-4-compatible receiver replacement. If you want to replace your HD DVR, you may need to wait a bit longer. Our new MPEG-4-compatible DIRECTV HD DVR receiver is expected to be available in early 2006.

    Thanks again for writing. More details will be available as we get closer to launching the local HD service in your area, so watch your local TV, radio or mailbox for upcoming announcements or visit DIRECTVfor the latest news.


    DIRECTV Customer Service
  7. pvrsRgood

    pvrsRgood New Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Does anyone have a datasheet (not product brief) for the BCM7035, BCM7037, or BCM7038?
  8. mccunry

    mccunry New Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    I am in the same boat. I have been a loyal DirecTV customer for 9 years. I was a beta user of the original DirecTivo, a user of three Tivos, an early adopter of HD, and have been a 'premium' subscriber of NCAA Season Pass and NFL Sunday Ticket (since 2000). I have always really liked DirecTV (and loved Tivo). I am now beginning the process of completely cancelling the service.

    FACTOR 1:

    I have been patiently waiting for HD locals from DirecTV for the last couple of years. I don't even want to begin counting the false promises that have been made regarding HD local (and national) channels over the last couple of years. I am finally scheduled to receive HD locals in April (Seattle area) all the while Comcast has been providing HD locals for at least a year here. Once a cutting edge company, DirecTV has been horribly slow to compete with cable on HD locals.

    FACTOR 2:

    The NFL SuperFan. This year DirecTV felt they were justified in charging an additional $99 to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers to watch games in HD ($49 for existing subscribers). What once was a standard service to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers was inexplicably upcharged. Horrible way to nickel and dime loyal customers. To make matters worse, they claimed that the $99 premium was justified because the customer was receiving both HD and interactive features. At the time, DirecTV did not sell a receiver capable of both HD and interactive. I had to bitch, moan, and complain to get that fee waived and was told that it would be a one time waiver. Total crap.

    FACTOR 3:

    A good friend of mine recently cancelled DirecTV. To help him get rid of his equipment I bought his old HR10-250. I called DirecTV to activate the box and was repeatedly told by multiple levels of management that I would have to commit to a 2 year contract in order to activate the recevier. I found this to be completely unacceptable. I went through multiple levels of mgmt and they wouldn't budge. DirecTV expects me to make a blind commitment to them when they have repeatedly failed to keep commitments to its most loyal customers. This was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    Bottom Line: I can call Comcast today, get multiple HD receivers, get HD DVR, get HD locals, require no crazy wiring, and have a long term plan where my beloved Tivo will likely re-emerge into my life. I can do all of this at a price point comparable to DirecTV.


    I can stick with DirecTV, have to undergo an annoying hardware migration from MPEG2 to MPEG4, have no defininitve HD strategy, have no definitive HD DVR, require another series of re-wiring, and lose Tivo.

    I have sold both of my HD receivers on EBay, am currently 'exporting' the rest of my Tivo saved programs to my computer's video capture card, and will soon be decommisioning my SD Tivos. Upon completion, I will get cable hooked up (currently using them for cable internet so it should be quick and easy) and will then cancel. I predict that DirecTV customer retention will go out of their way to try and keep me which is absolutely laughable because their horrible service greatly hastened my departure.

    What a disappointment.
  9. Marty M

    Marty M New Member

    Sep 21, 2003
    "DirecTV vs. Cable: When you can't tell the difference, why pay the difference?"

    The fact that Feldon23, who wrote the FAQ for this site, is now asking if there is difference between DirecTV and cable, is an early indicator of the response that DirecTV will receive for abandoning their tens of thousands of TiVo customers. I will be moving in the next six months, and also agree with Mccunry that I can get similar results with cable and avoid the hassle of having to set up an antenna and dish after I move.

    However, I have several questions and haven't been able to easily/quickly obtain answers.

    I GREATLY appreciate any responses to these questions:

    (1) The new non-HD DirecTV DVR. It should be a precedent for the future, and will tell us what type of software will be included in the HD version. The DirecTV web site says that you can select a show and it will record it even if the time or day changes. So it is more than a simple recorder with a clock.

    But how good is the software compared to the functionality of TiVO?

    Does it allow you to prioritize the shows, in terms of what is recorded first in the event of a time conflict?

    Does it have a To Do list that shows you what it did or didn't record in the past, and what will be recorded in the future?

    Does it download the schedule so that you can schedule two weeks in advance like TiVo?

    (2) This thread reports that DirecTV has terminated its contract with TiVo. At the present time those of us with TiVo pay for that service through DirecTV. How long will that continue, and how long will TiVo continue to provide programming data through DirecTV?

    When will these services terminate -- not only for HD TiVo but for all DirecTV customers with TiVo?

    I also don't understand how DirecTV could have TERMINATED the contract, yet it is still selling the same Hughes HD DirecTV TiVo model that many of purchased in the last two years. DirecTV is still selling a TiVo model, and is thus still selling the service. That doesn't sound like a termination to me.

    (3) What is DirecTV offering their current base of non-HD customers who own TiVo units?

    (4) I assume we can't set our Hughes HD DirecTV TiVo to download the programming info from TiVo and pay TiVo for that service instead? And even if we could, it is only a matter of time before our current MPEG signal for HD is cut off by DirecTV?

    (5) Mccunry mentioned HD DVRs for comcast. Who makes those? Does Comcase provide such units? I assume they are little more than DVRs with a clock that have to be set like an old VCR?
  10. feldon23

    feldon23 MythBuster

    Mar 13, 2001
    The DirecTV R10 (non-TiVo DVR) has been out for nearly 6 months and reviews have been posted at the DirecTV with TiVo forum here at TiVoCommunity.com as well as many other forums. I'd check them out.

    DirecTV is still letting UltimateTV DVRs connect and view DirecTV channels (4?) years after they were discontinued. You can still use 10 year old DirecTV receivers with the service. It doesn't cost anything for DirecTV to continue to keep the TiVo-based DVRs going. It's certainly less expensive than swapping out 1 million of them for the DirecTV models at a cost of $300 per. Even Rupert Murdoch who wants to "keep it all in the family" would have a hard time justifying to the stockholders a $300 million swapout that generates only negative responses and would probably piss off a lot of vocal customers.

    The HD TiVo has a different problem. It does not record or play back MPEG-4 programming. The unit cannot even see the Ka band satellites that DirecTV is presently offering HD locals on. When DirecTV adds and/or moves HD programming to MPEG-4 format, the DirecTV HD TiVo will become less and less useful.

    They have ceased any further development of products and TiVo is not allowed to create any new hardware that works with DirecTV. DirecTV isn't going to sit around for 6 months without an HD DVR while the R20 (the non-TiVo replacement for the HR10-250) is being completed and tested. So they are continuing to sell the DirecTV HD TiVo (albiet with much less advertising compared to 2005) until the non-TiVo R20 is ready.

    Since October 2005 they've been offering them the R10.

    If DirecTV wants to stop supporting TiVo, all they have to do is send a signal rendering every TiVo-based DirecTV receiver invalid. Then there ain't nothing you'd be able to do to get it to work. The receiver itself would no longer be authorized to get DirecTV programming.

    In 2003 (or was it 2004?), DirecTV pushed out a significant upgrade to the DirecTV with TiVo software which speeds up the interface, allows all programming and software updates to happen through the satellite with no phone call required, etc.
    I recommend you do some Google searches. Most cable companies have been making non-TiVo DVRs available for about 3 years now. Dish Network makes them available to their customers too. They're designed by a plethora of companies including Motorola and Scientific Atlanta.

    None of these devices are a "VCR with a hard drive". They can all pause live TV, get Season Passes, etc. Some of them even have Wishlists. All the major DVR players out there are producing boxes that provide at least 50-75% TiVo functionality and most people (non TiVo devotees) can't tell the difference.

    I'm not saying they're great. They have some major user interface nightmares (Especially the Motorola boxes, which obfuscate the difference between recorded and to-be-recorded shows in a single unfilterable list -- talk about maddening!!) and they also can crash, taking all your shows down (the Dish Network boxes tend to do this without warning).

    Charter Cable has an exclusive contract with a company called Moxi which produces a very advanced DVR which actually looks a lot BETTER and certainly sexier than the TiVo. Several people quit TiVo and joined Moxi, and it shows. The interface is much more advanced, quicker, and cooler. But there are some idiosyncracies that might drive you crazy. If you are in an area with Charter Cable, the Moxi DVR, which costs a whole lot less up front and per month than an HD TiVo, might be a good option. I used one for a week when I was in Michigan, and I would find myself quite satisfied with one given the price ($7/mo, no upfront).

    This fall, TiVo intends to release the TiVo Series III which will be compatible with all cable systems as per federal law requiring cable companies to provide customers with a universal CableCard if they so request it. I'm working on a FAQ for it -- for now, I've put a stub with some of the details at the beginning of this thread.
  11. slinden

    slinden New Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    What is Directv going to do for me after the encouraged me to spend $1,000 for an HD Tivo box and now will make it imcompatable with all new HD programming. Are they going to replace it with a new box for me or are they going to just make me pay another $1,000 for a new box. This is no way to treat a customer, let alone one who has been with them since 1995.
  12. tivoupgrade

    tivoupgrade Sponsor

    Sep 27, 2000

    I purchased mine for that much almost two years ago. As far as I know DirecTV has no way to make the HR10-250 into anything that it wasn't when it was first released.

    What DirecTV IS doing is bringing new channels online using the MPEG4 standard. It should be obvious (especially if you've been reading this thread) that 2+ year old hardware designed to recieve MPEG2 broadcasts, is not going to work with newer MPEG4 broadcasts.

    If you want to receive those MPEG4 broadcasts, whenever they become available, you'd need to update your hardware, whenever it becomes available.

    I'm typically not in a position of defending vendors like DirecTV, especially if they are truly encouraging you to make an uneducated decision when making a purchase of a unit, however there is a difference between being actively misled, and just not realizing when you made the decision.

    My approach when looking at a purchase such as this (btw, the HR10-250 is no longer $1000 - you can get them for < $500) is to look at it like any technology purchase and consider its "useful life" relative to the cost.

    When you purchase a PC, is there an expectation that you'll be able to use it forever and that the vendor is going to supply free upgrades to it as the technology changes and evolves? I don't expect my PC from two years ago to run Windows Vista on it very well when it ultimately becomes available.

    The analogy might not be 100% accurate there, because most pc's are binary compatible (although 286 PC's can't run code compiled for a 386 and benefit from those enhancements) and in the DirecTV world, we are talking about a shift in encoding standards, but realistically, the MPEG2 standard isn't going away any time soon, which means there is no reason that two years from now, your HR10-250 won't be able to do the same thing it does today.

    Lastly, DirecTV, having moved to a leasing model, has in effect, created a bit of a 'technology assurance' to folks by doing so - just like with cell phones, the cost of upgrading and updating is cheaper to the end-user, as long as you stay in the contract with DirecTV.

    For those of you who think I'm defending DirecTV here - I'm not - personally, I am skeptical of the direction they are headed - they've essentially dropped TiVo, are moving in a much more proprietary directoin, their support has become terrible, and it seems the cable providers are poised to eclipse them with lots of new functionality (at a price, however).

    BUT, having been a customer for 10 years, I know what my responsibilies are when making an acquisition of something like an HR10-250. and I feel very strongly that it is still a very viable product, as long as you are OK to use OTA for local affiliates in HD (if that is important to you) and want to enjoy the benefits of owning an upgradable TiVo vs a proprietary (and non-existent) DVR.

  13. feldon23

    feldon23 MythBuster

    Mar 13, 2001
    Give you a DirecTV HD DVR R20 when it becomes available this summer.


    I would be on board with you if DirecTV hadn't treated TiVo with open disdain for the last 2 years.
  14. mpbishop22

    mpbishop22 New Member

    Sep 19, 2005
    Any updates on the release date of the series 3... I cant stand my DVR from Cox, and does anyone have any cost information?
  15. Iwanthd

    Iwanthd New Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Is there any way to determine how much room is left on the hard drive of the HR10-250?
  16. joetoronto

    joetoronto HR10-250 Lover

    Jul 26, 2004

    i wish, that would be nice.
  17. Budget_HT

    Budget_HT Heavy User (of TiVo)

    Jan 2, 2001
    I let the number of suggestions tell me how much more room is available. You do have to pay attention to HD vs. SD recordings because their file sizes vary so much.

    Granted, this is a very indirect method, but all we have to work with.
  18. joetoronto

    joetoronto HR10-250 Lover

    Jul 26, 2004

    could you elaborate please, Budget_HT?

    how many pages of suggestions do you have when the drive is getting full?

    Iwanthd: i don't know about you but i use my main HR10 for recording pretty much only HD movies. they say it holds 30 hours of HD programming so that works out to roughly 15 movies in HD.

    i don't let it get past 12 movies, just in case.
  19. Budget_HT

    Budget_HT Heavy User (of TiVo)

    Jan 2, 2001

    If you turn on suggestions, they will fill up the remainder of the hard drive. They are listed at the end of the now playing list. The system will delete suggestions first if space is needed to record more programs that you have specified.

    So, you can monitor the quantity of suggestions to get a rough idea of how much usable recording space is left. But you also must consider what programs are already committed to record in the to do list.

    Obviously this is not an exact method, but at least it gives you a way to estimate where you stand.
  20. joetoronto

    joetoronto HR10-250 Lover

    Jul 26, 2004
    i see, i've always kept my suggestions off, thinking i'd be saving space but your right, thanks for the tip, Budget_HT. :up:

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