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Old 04-14-2013, 09:24 PM   #1
EvilMidniteBombr
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TiVo HD vs DirecTV Genie

Sorry for the length of this post but I have a bunch of questions.

I'm seriously considering switching from Comcast to DirecTV, mostly to reduce my monthly bills. I currently have 3 TiVo's in my home. The primary TiVo is a TiVo HD with a 2 TB internal drive. Secondary unit is a stock Premiere. The 3rd is a Toshiba RS-TX20 that is not on a TiVo service plan. They are all connected to Comcast tv. The HD is also connected to an OTA antenna. I currently have internet and HD TV with Comcast +2 TiVo subsription fees. If I switch to Direct TV, my bill compared to what I'm paying now will mostly be a wash. The significant difference will probably be not having to have the monthly cost of the 2 TiVo units. So I have some questions from those of you that have used a TiVo HD and the Genie DVR. (Please don't compare the Genie with the Premiere 4 or any TiVo other than the HD w/a 2 TB hard drive.)

Will I be able to record OTA signals on the Genie DVR?

Does Genie have a TiVo Wish List equivilent?

In some of my reading I saw that there is a limit on season passes on the Genie DVR, some say 50, others say 100. What is the limit?

Am I correct that Direct TV has video on demand with the Genie DVR?

Does the on demand content include commercials? If so, can they be skipped/FFWD?

I watch several video podcasts on my TiVo, is there an easy way to watch internet tv content on Genie?

If I have recordings on the Genie that I want to keep indefinitely, how easy/difficult is it to do so?

Can recordings be pulled from the DVR and stored on a desktop PC like TiVo Desktop? (DRM issues?)

For those of you that have used both the TiVo HD and the Genie, what are your pros/cons of each device?

Over all, aside from drive size, how does the Genie DVR compare to TiVo HD w/2 TB drive on cable?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:56 AM   #2
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The Genie is a closed system. You cannot place video on it or transfer from it. No interface for PC access at all. You get what DTV sends to it and view it there only.

While it has some interesting whole home features, its not a TiVo. Not by a long shot.
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:56 AM   #3
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While I don't have either a Genie or a TiVo HD, I can answer some of your questions. jcthorne's reply is incorrect in nearly every way.

Will I be able to record OTA signals on the Genie DVR? Yes, if you get the optional AM-21 OTA tuner.

Does Genie have a TiVo Wish List equivilent? Yes, it has very powerful keyword searches that serve the purpose of wish lists, with autorecord as an option. More flexible than TiVo WishLists in my opinion.

In some of my reading I saw that there is a limit on season passes on the Genie DVR, some say 50, others say 100. What is the limit? It is 100 on the Genie.

Am I correct that Direct TV has video on demand with the Genie DVR? Yes.

Does the on demand content include commercials? If so, can they be skipped/FFWD? It depends on the channel. Sometimes there is an ad upfront, but not in the middle of the program.

I watch several video podcasts on my TiVo, is there an easy way to watch internet tv content on Genie? Are these from YouTube? If so, then yes.

If I have recordings on the Genie that I want to keep indefinitely, how easy/difficult is it to do so? Just as easy as on the TiVo. [Edit: PPV recordings have a time limit that is typically 48 hours after you start viewing, and may also have a hard end date several weeks out. You are not billed until you start watching.]

Can recordings be pulled from the DVR and stored on a desktop PC like TiVo Desktop? (DRM issues?) Sort of. You would need to buy an add-on device called the DirecTV Nomad, but you are limited to 30 days. There is no option to save to DVD. You can also stream content to a PC or, in some cases, a tablet.

I will also note that DirecTV has a "DirecTV Everywhere" feature that lets you stream programming from many channels to a PC/tablet no matter where you are. These are not shows recorded on your DVR, but a large library DirecTV maintains.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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If I switch to Direct TV, my bill compared to what I'm paying now will mostly be a wash.
if you're counting the new customer offer promotion pricing in your calculations, remember the discounts only last a year, but the contract is for two years. some promotions that comptete with fios or uverse offer a small discount the second year of the contract, but that's rare. there is more than one new customer offer with directv, so make sure you shop around.

if you don't like it, you're stuck, and there is no grace period to get out of your contract - once it's installed and the tech leaves, you better like it. if you haven't tried out the service, see if you have a friend or relative with directv and give it a try, first. some don't mind the differences, others are devoted to one or the other.

when the two year contract with directv is up, you might leverage an offer from comcast to switch back. sometimes comcast is willing to pay your cancellation fee if you come back, so keep an eye on the mailers.

good luck!
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:39 PM   #5
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Will I be able to record OTA signals on the Genie DVR? Yes, if you get the optional AM-21 OTA tuner.
From what I've seen, (after I started this thread) this is a $50 additional cost. I wonder if I could talk them into throwing that in at no extra charge at sign up?

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Does Genie have a TiVo Wish List equivilent? Yes, it has very powerful keyword searches that serve the purpose of wish lists, with autorecord as an option. More flexible than TiVo WishLists in my opinion.
I'm assuming these count towards the "season past" limit.

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I watch several video podcasts on my TiVo, is there an easy way to watch internet tv content on Genie? Are these from YouTube? If so, then yes.
Most of them are available on Youtube, but these are delivered straight to my Now Playing List by TiVo. Pretty much like a Season Pass.

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If I have recordings on the Genie that I want to keep indefinitely, how easy/difficult is it to do so? Just as easy as on the TiVo. [Edit: PPV recordings have a time limit that is typically 48 hours after you start viewing, and may also have a hard end date several weeks out. You are not billed until you start watching.]
This one was really part of the next question, I just placed it out of order. I meant store them off the Genie. I'm told that I can connect an external drive to the Genie. That would be an option for archiving.

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Can recordings be pulled from the DVR and stored on a desktop PC like TiVo Desktop? (DRM issues?) Sort of. You would need to buy an add-on device called the DirecTV Nomad, but you are limited to 30 days. There is no option to save to DVD. You can also stream content to a PC or, in some cases, a tablet.
Sounds like I'll have to use the analog outputs if I want to keep any shows (mostly sports) permanently.

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if you're counting the new customer offer promotion pricing in your calculations, remember the discounts only last a year, but the contract is for two years. some promotions that comptete with fios or uverse offer a small discount the second year of the contract, but that's rare. there is more than one new customer offer with directv, so make sure you shop around.
The first year would be about $50 savings from my cable right now. Not including the increased internet charge and cancelling TiVo subscriptions. The second year is when it basically evens out. The third year is when it really gets expensive. But I hope to be able to talk my way into getting back on the new customer rate after my contract is up.

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when the two year contract with directv is up, you might leverage an offer from comcast to switch back. sometimes comcast is willing to pay your cancellation fee if you come back, so keep an eye on the mailers.
I might be able to leverage Comcast into a cheaper rate without having to switch at all. If so, I might just stay with them.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:22 PM   #6
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Yes, the regular price of the AM-21 is $50. Many people report convincing DirecTV to give it to them for free if their current solution has OTA.

You can't archive with the external disk, really. You could connect the external disk, which would replace the internal one and require you to re-add your preferences and season passes, record shows and then disconnect it. Then operation reverts to the internal disk. Yeah, you could connect it back later to watch. If there was some particular show you knew you wanted to keep around separately, you could do that, but otherwise it seems a lot of effort. It's not like TiVo Desktop where you can make an independent copy of a program.

I don't think keyword searches (wishlist equivalent) count as season passes (or Series Link as DirecTV calls them), but I don't know for sure.

There is no feature to automatically record web videos.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:43 PM   #7
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You cannot place video on it or transfer from it. No interface for PC access at all.
This is what I've wondered. Do *any* of the other CableCard (or satellite) devices let you do this?

I guess the Ceton ones do, though they're based on Windows Media Center, and presumably have the same kinds of content restrictions as Tivo.. So that means it's at best as good as Tivo in this respect.

I am a *relative* newcomer to actually using the Tivo download ability, but nowadays I do it a lot (mostly to expand recording size since we're now past the installable hard drive size for cheap drives).
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #8
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No interface for PC access at all.
there is software available to allow you to watch recordings on a pc or another device, even while the dvr is in use, called directv2pc.
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:25 AM   #9
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The OPs question was around moving content FROM the dvr TO a pc environment where he can archive and have available for playback both on the pc and the dvr at a later date.

Despite all the fanboy rhetoric, the answer remains NO the genie is a closed system that does not allow the user access to its files nor to place content on it.

Tivo is the only mainstream dvr platform that has these capabilities. (perhaps the ceton does but its far from mainstream)
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #10
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The OPs question was around moving content FROM the dvr TO a pc environment where he can archive and have available for playback both on the pc and the dvr at a later date.

Despite all the fanboy rhetoric, the answer remains NO the genie is a closed system that does not allow the user access to its files nor to place content on it.

Tivo is the only mainstream dvr platform that has these capabilities. (perhaps the ceton does but its far from mainstream)
Wong, I can from DirecTV while I did not have genie I did have two HDR 2x (HDR21 and HDR23). DirecTV has a NOMAD device that is simalar th the Stream in that it allows you to copy programs off the DVR to your computer and transcode to portable devices or store them even burn them to disk. The DirecTV HD DVR's are DLNA compliant.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:22 PM   #11
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I am not aware that the Nomad permits burn -to-disc.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:21 PM   #12
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DirecTV is NOT cheaper than Comcast when you factor in losing the bundle discount, paying another $15 to Comcast for not having TV with your internet, and all the extra box fees that you mostly avoid with Comcast owning your own equipment. The cost differential is something like $20-$40 a month MORE for DirecTV than Comcast when all that is factored in. If you want DirecTV because it is the best service out there (the DVR is very much up for debate compared to TiVo), then get it, but if you're looking to save money, DirecTV is the WRONG place to go.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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It all depends on your market and what offers are available. For me, DirecTV is cheaper for the same service, all costs considered. If you are doing "triple-play" deals, then yes, Comcast can end up being cheaper.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:55 PM   #14
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It all depends on your market and what offers are available. For me, DirecTV is cheaper for the same service, all costs considered. If you are doing "triple-play" deals, then yes, Comcast can end up being cheaper.
Even with Double Play, Comcast is ALWAYS cheaper, excluding the intro deals on DirecTV. It's sometimes worth jumping around to get the cheap deals, but it doesn't work on DirecTV, as you only get them for a year, and you're locked in for two.

The Double Play discount is like $10 or something, and then you add the anti-competition $15 fee you have to pay extra for internet if you don't have TV with them, and then you add the extra cost for boxes (even including the amortized cost of a Premiere XL4 and TiVo Mini's, you still end up paying more on DirecTV), and then the actual cost of the service, and DirecTV is more.

If you want DirecTV for whatever channel, package, picture quality, equipment or whatever, get DirecTV. Just know that it is more expensive than Comcast.

If you have FIOS in your area, you could get them for internet, but then you'd want them for TV too, so DirecTV is irrelevant.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:59 PM   #15
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The Double Play discount is like $10 or something,
The Double Play rate I seem to see (I suspect this is common across the country) averages out to about $75/month over 2 years. It's $59.99/month for the first year, then jumps up for the 2nd year of the contract.

I'm still likely to do this one, but it's annoying. You can ALSO do $69.99/month with no contract, but it talks about only 6 months.. that's the guaranteed time I guess. Though I guess taking that for 6 months, then trying to renegotiate IF the price goes up, might be useful.. Hmm...

I'm willing to try to play games (switch from DSL to cable for the internet part), but that doesn't actually seem to save MUCH.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:55 AM   #16
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The peace of mind for not dealing with Comcast is easily worth $30 or more to me. Just for TV service, Comcast is more expensive for comparable packages here. And then there's the added cost of a TiVo and TiVo service if one doesn't want to use Comcast's DVR.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #17
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The peace of mind for not dealing with Comcast is easily worth $30 or more to me.

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Old 04-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #18
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The Double Play rate I seem to see (I suspect this is common across the country) averages out to about $75/month over 2 years. It's $59.99/month for the first year, then jumps up for the 2nd year of the contract.

I'm still likely to do this one, but it's annoying. You can ALSO do $69.99/month with no contract, but it talks about only 6 months.. that's the guaranteed time I guess. Though I guess taking that for 6 months, then trying to renegotiate IF the price goes up, might be useful.. Hmm...

I'm willing to try to play games (switch from DSL to cable for the internet part), but that doesn't actually seem to save MUCH.
In most places DSL is WAY too slow. Actually, I don't know of any DSL in the US that isn't either sort of slow, really slow, really, really slow, or worse than that.

And the $10/mo less is after the 2-year promotional, plus the $15 internet fee, plus the extra boxes, yeah, it adds up fast. Even with the cost of the hardware factored in, it's tough to get the cost increase of DirecTV down to $30-$40/mo, usually it's a lot higher.

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The peace of mind for not dealing with Comcast is easily worth $30 or more to me. Just for TV service, Comcast is more expensive for comparable packages here. And then there's the added cost of a TiVo and TiVo service if one doesn't want to use Comcast's DVR.
If Comcast is the incumbent, and you want TiVo, you have to get Comcast, unless you have FIOS or an overbuilder.

Also, in most places, Comcast is the only ISP, or the only decent ISP, like here where AT&T can only do a puny 3mbps.

TiVo is about the same cost or cheaper over 48 months because you don't pay the $17 DVR fee and $10 for each additional, you just pay once at $900 for the DVR and $250 for each additional.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:32 PM   #19
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In most places DSL is WAY too slow...Also, in most places, Comcast is the only ISP, or the only decent ISP, like here where AT&T can only do a puny 3mbps.
our market is slowly changing - comcast vs att u-verse (adsl2+), u-verse offers twice the speed for the same bucks as comcast on the lower packages (reg price), and att consistently has the best new customer offer for speed vs cost.

att is dumping as many dsl customers as they can, converting existing dsl customers (6mbps max) to u-verse.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #20
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our market is slowly changing - comcast vs att u-verse (adsl2+), u-verse offers twice the speed for the same bucks as comcast on the lower packages (reg price), and att consistently has the best new customer offer for speed vs cost.

att is dumping as many dsl customers as they can, converting existing dsl customers (6mbps max) to u-verse.
AT&T's fastest U-Verse package is 24mbps if you happen to live right near the VRAD. Comcast offers 50mbps to an entire system, and delivers 62mbps. The 50mbps upgrades are rolling out market by market.

The lowest normal package on Comcast is 20mbps down, 4 mbps up. AT&T's typical U-Verse packages are like 12mbps or 18mbps, and even their fastest package only does 3mbps up. And Comcast isn't done yet. DOCSIS 3.1 is coming.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #21
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The lowest normal package on Comcast is 20mbps down
in our market, the lowest is 6mbps down. comcast will soon double their lowest pkg to 12mbps down, but that will only match u-verse pricing here, for the same regular price, and a worse new customer offer.

as will most providers, they charge what the market will bear.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:36 PM   #22
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in our market, the lowest is 6mbps down. comcast will soon double their lowest pkg to 12mbps down, but that will only match u-verse pricing here, for the same regular price, and a worse new customer offer.

as will most providers, they charge what the market will bear.
They are upgrading all markets to 20/4 for ~$45 and 50/10 for ~$55, it will just take time to get all the upgrades out, as Comcast is slow as molasses at upgrading, partly because of how fragmented their systems are.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:21 AM   #23
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Will I be able to record OTA signals on the Genie DVR?
Yes, you need an AM-21.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilMidniteBombr View Post
Does Genie have a TiVo Wish List equivilent?
Yes. (And it is NOT auto-record searches.)

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In some of my reading I saw that there is a limit on season passes on the Genie DVR, some say 50, others say 100. What is the limit?
100.

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Am I correct that Direct TV has video on demand with the Genie DVR?
Yes, it requires internet access.

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Does the on demand content include commercials? If so, can they be skipped/FFWD?
I've never seen any commercials.

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I watch several video podcasts on my TiVo, is there an easy way to watch internet tv content on Genie?
I believe it supports pandora and youtube.

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If I have recordings on the Genie that I want to keep indefinitely, how easy/difficult is it to do so?
You can keep them indefinitely on the genie.

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Can recordings be pulled from the DVR and stored on a desktop PC like TiVo Desktop? (DRM issues?)
No.

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For those of you that have used both the TiVo HD and the Genie, what are your pros/cons of each device?
Genie records 5 shows, it is more efficient with disk space, streaming MRV is superior to TiVo's implementation. Genie a little buggier, TiVo has more 3rd party support (netflix, hulu, etc.)

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Over all, aside from drive size, how does the Genie DVR compare to TiVo HD w/2 TB drive on cable?
I think the Genie is a little better due to its MRV and 5 tuners.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:25 AM   #24
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...streaming MRV is superior to TiVo's implementation...
Can you elaborate on that?
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #25
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Can you elaborate on that?
All DVRs and even non-DVRs participate in the same list, content is streamed (no downloading or waiting), compression is higher with MPEG4 so it works more efficiently, no network set up require (it is done over the coax).
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Adam1115 View Post
All DVRs and even non-DVRs participate in the same list, content is streamed (no downloading or waiting), compression is higher with MPEG4 so it works more efficiently, no network set up require (it is done over the coax).
OK, no biggies then. MRS for series 4 units is also streaming (no downloading or waiting) and you can use MoCA to avoid ethernet for networking if desired.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:35 AM   #27
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They are upgrading all markets to 20/4 for ~$45 and 50/10 for ~$55, it will just take time to get all the upgrades out, as Comcast is slow as molasses at upgrading, partly because of how fragmented their systems are.
Its only $45 as part of a bundle. IE if you subscribe to TV services or telephone too. Its $60 for minimum speed service as stand alone and that is twice what I pay ATT.

$60 a month for home internet service is more than I wish to pay, especially with a 300GB a month cap. Unlimited is Comcast business class and it starts at $80 a month.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:06 AM   #28
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Its only $45 as part of a bundle. IE if you subscribe to TV services or telephone too. Its $60 for minimum speed service as stand alone and that is twice what I pay ATT.

$60 a month for home internet service is more than I wish to pay, especially with a 300GB a month cap. Unlimited is Comcast business class and it starts at $80 a month.
Correct. They charge $15 more if you don't have Comcast TV, which is why DirecTV is never cheaper than Comcast. It's anti-competitive on Comcast's part, and I think it should be illegal, but unfortunately, it's not.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Adam1115 View Post
All DVRs and even non-DVRs participate in the same list, content is streamed (no downloading or waiting), compression is higher with MPEG4 so it works more efficiently, no network set up require (it is done over the coax).
Actually Dish STB's (ViP's and Hoppers) do download and can be viewed during download or watched later and remain on the HDD for a limited number of days, sometimes a full month, before it is automatically removed due to content owners agreements. However, one is free to download the content again, even FREE content. It is not a streaming experience and I for one prefer downloads to streaming.

Also, for the OP: Dish has the same type of DirecTV features such as moving your content to you Apple mobile device and Sling technology that allow you to watch live TV or all recordings from your DVR streamed to your PC, laptop, or mobile device. Essentially, you have all virtually all the features as if you were home.

Both DircTV and Dish whole home DVR's have very competitive technology and features compared with TiVo. It really boils down to which one of the systems fit one's particular needs.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #30
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Am I correct that Direct TV has video on demand with the Genie DVR?
yes, but there are very few titles, and you better be self sufficient. dtv's networking from the dvr to the router is not so solid, tech support is clueless about any feature except broadcast/satellite, and the forums are a bad joke, so you're on your own.

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Does the on demand content include commercials? If so, can they be skipped/FFWD?
no commercials, and no selection either. dtv offers a small fraction of the titles comcast offers, and the app isn't consistently stable. and, once again, basically no support.

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I watch several video podcasts on my TiVo, is there an easy way to watch internet tv content on Genie?
no podcasts available when i had dtv, and their youtube app was worse than tivo's, believe it or not.
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