Just wanna vent here...
I've had a DirecTV Tivo since late 2002, and have loved it ever since! My Mom watches a lot of TV, and she had this whole system of using 3 VCRs to time shift everything. It looked like a real hassle, so for her 70th birthday I switched her to DirecTV and got her DTV Tivos. She says its a blessing - it has made her life so simple...
About a month ago, one of her Tivos was acting real sluggish. She described the problem to me (the tivo would hang for very long periods between screens, like when going to the Now Playing menu, etc). I told her that it might be a case of the hard drive dying.
She called DirecTV and they replaced her Tivos with three non-Tivo DTV DVRs. She previously had only 2 Tivos, but felt she could use a third unit, so they installed a 3rd machine in her computer room.
Getting around the new navigation layout was not that big a deal for her, but the damn things just didn't work right. She could easily tell what was working properly and what wasn't, since she could compare features between the 3 machines (each machine would have its own peculiar hangups).
So she's having all these problems. One machine refuses to record two programs at the same time; another machine will just not record shows randomly; one machine had two shows to record at the same time - so it recorded the first 15 minutes of one and the last 15 minutes of the other; the time bar on one of the machines doesn't move during the show (so you don't know how much time is left when viewing or fast-forwarding).
At first the only problem she noticed was that one of the DVRs had a very very noisy fan, which seemed to stay in overdrive 24/7. DTV replaced this DVR for her. But now she's having all these other problems.
She called DTV and listed all the various problems. She got a sympathetic CR person and was told they'd send a supervisor or top tech guy out to her house to check everything out and see if they can find a problem (to see if it was something other than just a series of bad machines), and just in case, the supervisor would have two new units with him (in case it was determined to be bad machines, and not a wiring problem).
This was yesterday that the supervisor was supposed to come. Instead, they just sent the two guys who installed her third DVR the previous month. I'm not trying to put these guys down, but we could barely communicate with them the first time, and we just didn't have a lot of faith in their work. Not only were they not told what the problems were - they didn't have new DVRs with them.
So my Mom told them what the machines were doing - just as I listed above. The guy responded with "so you need a 2nd line going into this DVR?" That had nothing to do with anything - the DVR that wouldn't record 2 shows at once already had two lines coming into it, and the Tivo that was there previously had no problem recording two shows. Plus the DVR's info screen showed that both tuners were active.
So my Mom explains to these guys that she was promised a supervisor or lead tech guy would be the one coming out. These guys didn't know anything about that, so they called their supervisor and they set up an appointment for this morning, promising to send a supervisor and 2 new units (just in case).
I don't know if they've arrived yet - I'm sure I'll hear about it right after they leave...
I keep telling my Mom to tell DTV to shove their new DVRs, and go back to using a Tivo - perhaps just getting a new hard drive from Weaknees or something. She still has her old Tivos in the garage. That's our backup plan. She says she's going to give these new DVRs one more chance (she really likes the on-screen call-waiting feature), but if they start messing up, that's what she wants to do - go back to using Tivos.
So part of this is just venting, but I'm also interested in hearing from others what they would do in this situation. If she does go back to using Tivos, she wants to buy one "new" (or reconditioned) unit. For this new unit, should she get an R10 model? Are those reliable? Or should she just stick with the series 2 Hughes model, like the ones she had before?
I'm sure there are people who are happy with these new DTV DVRs - but how weird is it that she gets 3 lemons right in a row?
Anyways, thanks for listening...