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Old 12-12-2004, 09:03 PM   #1
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A Review of the R10

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.

Edit:
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.
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:04 PM   #2
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Packaging

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.
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:05 PM   #3
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The Case

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.
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:07 PM   #4
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The Inside


(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.
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:11 PM   #5
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Startup and Setup

Three familiar yet different screens

(Click for Larger Version

(Click for Larger Version

(Click for Larger Version

After these three screens…. Setup is 100% identical to a Series 2 unit. So I don’t want to bore you with the details. There is no check for the 72.5 Sat.
Subsequent boot ups… It took almost 6 minutes to go from power on, to first TV Picture.
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:12 PM   #6
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GUI

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
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:15 PM   #7
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Folders: Grouping

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
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:16 PM   #8
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The Guide

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.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:17 PM   #9
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Networking

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
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-16-2004 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 09:18 PM   #10
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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:
http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...hreadid=212298
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Last edited by ebonovic : 12-19-2004 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:17 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:29 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:44 PM   #13
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great review earl you should work for cnet lol
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:44 PM   #14
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I'm just going to try to add a second hard drive to my 35 hour unit.
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:45 PM   #15
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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...
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Old 12-12-2004, 10:46 PM   #16
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Re: The Guide

Quote:
Originally posted by ebonovic
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.
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!
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Old 12-12-2004, 11:35 PM   #17
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Is the mfgr warranty still listed as 90 days?
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Old 12-13-2004, 12:23 AM   #18
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According to the manual, 90 Day Warranty....
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Old 12-13-2004, 02:50 PM   #19
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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.

Bww
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Old 12-13-2004, 03:30 PM   #20
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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,
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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".
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Old 12-13-2004, 03:58 PM   #21
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Re: Networking

Quote:
Originally posted by ebonovic
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
OUT OF THE BOX it does that?

i actually find that promising- maybe there's some codes to get daily calls, or other network type stuff. There's really no reason that D* should tell tivo to not put that in. If its isnt supported or an official feature why would they care? But alas i'm not a D* bigwig so i am not too confident.

I cant wait till some one pulls the drive and hexedits the backdoor code to see what they get. You up for it ebonovic?
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:24 PM   #22
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Noise of fan and (stock) harddrive are not a problem. The R10 is more quiet than my HDVR2.
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:31 PM   #23
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Re: Re: The Guide

Quote:
Originally posted by slacker9876
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!
I have found some posts on DDB, that definitively show that this unit has no more memory then a DirecTivo Series 2a and 2b unit. So all the speed improvements we are seeing are from the higher clock speed in the CPU, improved coding, and maybe the new layout of the motherboard has reduced delays.

So far it is running quicker, but like I said... Time will tell.
Thanks for the comments.

As for the other posts: I will check on the Fan, Hard Drive Noise, and the new "trick' features of the remote. But IIRC the Fan and Hard Drive are VERY quiet.
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Old 12-13-2004, 04:40 PM   #24
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Re: Re: Networking

Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelK
OUT OF THE BOX it does that?
....
I cant wait till some one pulls the drive and hexedits the backdoor code to see what they get. You up for it ebonovic?
Yes out of the box it does that... no special trick or anything.

As for hexediting the backdoor code... not just yet, maybe in a few weeks... The wife approval level is dropping, as I have spent the last month with multiple Tivo's cracked open and all over the place.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:10 PM   #25
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I would consider replacing my T-60 with an R10 (or another new box), when somebody with 50 season passes, and 20 pages of Now Playing still says it's speedy.

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Old 12-13-2004, 07:20 PM   #26
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So the R10's are 80 hours or 70 hours?
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:41 PM   #27
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70 hours, with an 80 GB hard drive.
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:50 PM   #28
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Smak,

I agree with you, only time will tell if the R10 is actually any better (or worse) than the existing series 2 units. Until this baby is loaded up, of course, it's speedy. Except the awful boot time!

The only reason I have one is because the installer brought this instead of something else. For the moment, I'm happy. When it comes time to mod, I may be saying something else.

Either way, an 80GB unit for $49 is a steal IMO.
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Old 12-13-2004, 09:43 PM   #29
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Okay... Checked on some things:

Fan and hard drive. From about 5 feet away you can't hear a thing in a modest sounding room. In dead silence... sure you can hear it. Right next to it, I almost have to put my ear on the unit to hear anything of substance.


Quote:
Originally posted by MattDing
The one I remember is the FF and REV buttons took him to the top and bottom of lists.

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".
FF and REV do NOTHING in any of the list modes.

Wishlist now lists: Keywords / Attributes (aka: Charlie Brown and Age Appropriate/Children
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Old 12-13-2004, 10:16 PM   #30
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Our R10 is in the bedroom. It's in a modest cabinet with a glass front. I can't hear it at all from a few feet away even in the middle of the night. I could definitely hear the HDVR2 (which has been relegated to the family room).
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