Experience moving from TIVO HR10-250 to the HR20-100s.

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by MikeNorman, May 28, 2007.

  1. MikeNorman

    MikeNorman New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    Okla City,...


    I love my HR10-250 TIVO and had many scaring thoughts about getting a HR20-100s to be able to receive the coming MPEG4 DIRECT high definition channels. I do not utilize the TIVO pick similar shows which is one of the main advantages of TIVO.
    I found the HR20-100 operation to be easy to learn and similar to TIVO. Six months ago, I acquired the H20 high definition MPEG4 receiver and the 5 LNB Slimline with Zinwell WB68 multi switch free of charge from DIRECTV for being a longtime customer (January 1996). DIRECTV allows you a free or nearly free receiver each six months. I called the retention department on Wednesday and asked what they could lease an HR20-100 for. I told them that in the past the price was either $99.99 or $199.99 for someone on the "A" list. The person asked me if I was setting down for the Price was $19.99 for a new program had just started. I ordered the receiver and it was delivered and installed Thursday less then 24 hours after ordering in the Oklahoma City area. Plus the installer moved the H20 for me to another room and hooked it up to the MPEG4 multi switch and fine tuned the dish. My only cost was a total of $19.99 DIRECTV charged to my credit card. I kept the HR10-250 for I will still record OTA high definition, DIRECTV high definition in MPEG2 and DIRECTV standard definition programs.

    I found the operation of the HR20-100s to be very similar to the HR10-250 and to the H20 receiver. I only needed to learn the record and play features which are outline in the quick setup sheet that comes with the unit. I would like to discuss my experience in using the HR20-100s and maybe put to rest the many discussions I have read about it:

    1. When I bought my first DIRECTV DVR a Sony SAT-60 I bought the lifetime TIVO membership which DIRECTV transferred to each DVR I have added since then including the HR10-250 TIVO. This membership is for DIRECTV DVR’s not just TIVO. It also transferred to the HR20-100s DVR when I activated it. Just do not deactivate your current DVR before activating additional or new DVR’s then the lifetime DVR service will stay active. Your only expense is the normal $4.99 per month for each additional receiver. I have five DVRs on the same lifetime membership.

    2. Picture quality is as good or better on the HR20-100s DVR then what is on the HR10-250. Plus all outputs, HDMI, Component, S-Video are active at the same time.

    3. If you set the output to be 1080i with (native) turn off standard definition is upgraded to 1080i improving the standard definition picture quality.

    4. The HR20-100s allows you to hook up via the E-SATA port (on the back of the receiver) a large E-SATA external disk drive. I bought the Seagate 750 E-SATA gigabyte drive and the HR20-100s utilize the Seagate drive instead using the internal 300 gigabyte drive. Unfortunately the software to date does not use both drives at the same time. Not being an electronic expert I always since off my TIVO units for expansion or ordered additional TIVO formatted drives for my TIVO DVR’s. Today the Seagate 750 gigabyte drive is $199. Price a TIVO formatted additional drive and you will see the savings. HR20-100s must be unplugged from electricity when you connect the external E-SATA disk drive cable. When the HR20-100s comes up it recognize the external drive instead of recognizing the internal drive. If you unplug and unhook the external E-SATA drive it will go back to the internal drive when you plug the HR20-100s back in to electricity. All shows previously on the internal drive are still there for your use. Soon terabyte E-SATA drives will be available at a reasonable price. The HR20 uses around 100 gigabytes for the operating system leaving 650 gigabytes for program storage. At 6.1 gigabytes per hour for High Definition you get around 100 hours of high definition programming on the external 750 gigabyte Seagate drive.

    5. So far the HR20-100s has been very stable with the latest software which downloads when you do the initial start up. The latest version has many fixes and many new features. People on the DBSForum are stating that the software is very stable compared to much early versions. Remember the early software on the HR10-250 had many flaws.

    6. Guides are very easy to navigate to and from and it is very easy to record single shows or complete series by highlighting the shows and either single click the (orange button with an R) record button or double clicking to record the series.

    7. Shows already recorded are very easy to get to by hitting a single button (List) on the remote. The remote has a button for skipping 30 seconds at a time and a button for backing up 8 seconds at a push. HR10-250 (underground “select, select, play, select, 30, select”) feature. Each push takes 1.5 seconds to skip and you see a fast forward of the picture skipping which is different then the HR10-250. If you press quickly a number of times you will see the number of skips on the screen while it is skipping. Plus you see the picture while it is backing up 8 seconds at a time very fast. I could do without seeing the picture.

    8. Your current MPEG2 TIVO DVR’s and DIRECTV receivers work on the new dish. However, you cannot diplex over the air on the same line like you could do with the old multi switch. I kept the old dish and power multi switch to diplex at least one line to each location for over the air. In the future you will be able to use one line for the two DIRECTV inputs on the back of the HR20-100 DVR.

    9. Disadvantage is the HR20-100s only record over the air digital channels. It does not have a NTSC tuner like the HR10-250. The ATSC tuner is better and picks up weaker stations then the HR10-250.

    As stated previously I love my HR10-250 TIVO DVR and dreaded the prospect of switching to receive MPEG4 channels. I found DIRECTV to be very supporting providing dish, multi switch, HR20-100 MPEG DVR and installation for $19.99 a very cheap upgrade. You will have a two year commitment with each additional receiver. I plan on calling DIRECTV every six months for another MPEG4 high definition DVR until I replace all my old non high definition TIVO DVR’s. I have had several disk drives failure in the past on my age equipment and figure it is cheaper to upgrade each six months instead of having to have my old DVRs fixed. DO NOT fool around with normal customer service instead asked to be connected to the retention department for they can provide you the best deals. Remember you own the HR10-250 and you can keep it to record over the air, MPEG2 high definition and standard definition channels for a long time to come. Take this time to get ready for the MPEG4 high definition channels DIRECTV is planning for this fall.
    Good luck

    My DIRECTV equipment:
    DIRECTV customer since Jan 1996
    Dish: 5 LNB Slimline with Zinwell WB68 MS
    3 LNB small dish with Terk 5X8 power MS
    Attic: RS Medium range outdoor OTA antenna connected to the Terk 5x8 powered MS
    HR20-100s DVR with external 750G Seagate E-SATA drive
    HR10-250 DVR high def
    H20 high def receiver
    R10 DVR standard
    Phillips 6000 DVR with one 120G drives
    Sony SAT-60 DVR with two 120G drives
    RCA DIRECTV standard receiver
  2. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
  3. Todd

    Todd Gee thanks Jeremy...

    Oct 7, 1999
    The HR10-250 doesn't have an NTSC OTA tuner either.
  4. jeff125va

    jeff125va New Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    Ashburn, VA USA
    I've been wondering about the eSATA drives for these. So let me get this straight - it only uses one or the other (the internal or the external)? So is it essentially like having two separate units? Refresh my memory - what size drive comes standard with the HR-20? I'd have a hard time buying an external drive knowing that there was all that wasted capacity not being used on the internal one. It would just bug me - I'd have to get a really really large drive to make it worth it.
  5. bpratt

    bpratt New Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...


    250 Gig
  6. MikeNorman

    MikeNorman New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    Okla City,...
    At this time it use either the external if attached or if not attached the internal drive. I think the internal drive is 300 gigabytes. I have read on the DBSForum that there may be a future enhancement to allow both to be use. There are far more important enhancements planned before this complicated software programming is done. It is not simple programming to utilize both drives.
  7. RunnerFL

    RunnerFL New Member

    May 10, 2005

    Wrong, 320gb in the HR20.
  8. devans

    devans New Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    I have been trying to help a friend that owns an HR20-100. We was able to install an external esata drive that seems to work fine. Can one take this external drive and hook up to a computer to edit/burn DVD's? I tried using usb port on winXP and again on a linux computer with no luck. The drive was not recognized by either. Any hints....
  9. madbeachcat

    madbeachcat Content is King

    Jan 31, 2002
    Dyersburg, TN

    Sorry, I don't think it can be done. You can not even use the drive between other HR20's.
  10. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

    Aug 18, 2002
    SE PA
    as correctly stated above, the drive is married to the box. I wish it was as ez as just hooking up to a pc :)

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