HELP! DirecTV HD DVR Decision - buy or not?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by annenoe, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. annenoe

    annenoe He's a Smooth Fox

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    Oct 19, 2003
    Mountain...
    The story is long and sad but suffice it to say we invested in DirecTV HD solution before we realized that we couldn't use our Series 2 **at all**. For whatever reason, my husband thought we'd be able to watch HD and SD thru the tivo, just not record in HD. OK - stop laughing - we blew it - but now we need to make some decisions going forward. Our current setup is to watch either HD live (no Tivo interface, no theatre sound) or our old Tivo set up with all the tivo benefits and 7 channel surround by switching sources (we use two DirecTv receivers, the old one and the new HD one). It's a kluge but we're stuck with it. I refuse to give up my tivo and my husband really likes the HD for sports. So, what to do now....

    I was willing to invest the $400 to get the DirecTV HD DVR (and we'd both be happy) but now wondering how long it would be viable. After reading everything I could here, is it my imagination or is there a 100% chance that if we purchase the DirecTV HD DVR (w/ Tivo), that it **will** become obsolete when DirecTV starts broadcasting in a different format?

    Is that what all you DirecTV HD DVR owners are assuming? And do you have a backup plan? What are you planning to do when HD signals are no longer readable with the DirecTV HD DVR? Or am I missing something here?

    And can anyone give me a good idea how long you think it'll work? Are we talking fall 2006? In other words, before I throw that $400 away, I might be willing to risk it for a year's worth of HD tivo - but not if it'll be obsolete next month. Just need some numbers to figure out what to do.

    I really need simple mathmatics. It would be like "renting" a car - I'll 'rent' HD tivo but how many months do you think I'll get for $400? 2 months is way too expensive, but 12 months.... Might be worth it.

    any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. jdk

    jdk New Member

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    Mar 15, 2001
    San Jose, CA
    I expect to be using my HR10-250 to pick up the same programming I'm getting today (assuming I still subscribe to DirecTV) at least until 2008, and wouldn't be surprised to be able to keep watching that programming beyond that.

    I don't expect to be able to get any new HD channels on the HR10-250 that I don't get today at all.
     
  3. bpratt

    bpratt New Member

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    Nov 20, 2004
    Salt Lake...
    I agree with JDK, however since 90% of what I record in HD is from an Off Air Antenna, other than HBOHD and SHOWHD, I don't care about the local channels D* will be offering in the next couple of years.
    Since I can receive HD from an antenna, I know there will be a few new HD channels this year.
     
  4. annenoe

    annenoe He's a Smooth Fox

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    Oct 19, 2003
    Mountain...
    Am answering my own thread - I'm such a spaz.

    jdk - thanks - I see you're in San Jose, I'm in Mountain view. I was disappointed to see we lost our "locals" (9, 54, 22, etc.). We did not install an off-air - installer told us range was not that good. Can you tell me what Bay Area locals you're getting (assuming you are and are using an antenna?)

    After more research, some seemingly more objective than others, it looks like it may be a reasonable risk to purchase the HR10-250 from DirecTV right now with two possible outcomes: 1) it will remain viable for longer than just a few months and 2) seems to be a good chance (tho' not a done deal) that DirecTV will replace it.

    And yes, I understand that means that it would not be Tivo. I don't have much choice here. We just invested in HD and signed a two year contract. We've invested a lot of money in our new Samsung and HD equipment - I'm not willing to give that up to switch to Comcast. I don't think I have any choice but to stick with DirecTV for the next 2 years.

    I will not abandon tivo - I am a very loyal customer. I already have one Series 2 in the bedroom and we are planning to buy a smaller LCD (without HD) for our family room and we'll move our 2nd Series 2 into that room. So, we'll have 3 setups - 2 tivos with SD and one DirecTV for HD with their DVR.

    I'm still highly annoyed with DirecTV and would drop it tomorrow if not for the current investment.
     
  5. HogarthNH

    HogarthNH DirecTV Addict

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    Dec 28, 2001
    Somewhere, OK
    1) Definitely will, especially if you CAN get OTA. If you can't, trying to use the HR10-250 at all will frustrate the heck out of you.
    2) Better than 95%. There may be a nominal fee, but you certainly won't have to pay a fortune.

    ... and the two year commitment is prorated monthly and waived completely if you send your hardware back. So don't let that stop you from switching. It's designed to deter customer churn -- but if you're peeved, vote with your wallet.

    Who knows -- if you call them and tell them how peeved you are, they might cut you a great deal. (Ask for Customer Retention)

    H
     
  6. sotapoppy

    sotapoppy Member

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    Feb 7, 2004
    Minnesota

    If you can get your locals in HD OTA, then I'd be inclined to go for it. I agree with jdk, in that we probably have at least a couple years of DTV programming. Beyond that, as long as DTV provides guide info, I'll be okay with just OTA for HD on the HR10. If the HR10 can continue to receive DTV standard programming at that point in time, I'll be even happier.
     
  7. smoking_rubber

    smoking_rubber New Member

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    Dec 21, 2005
    But they're going to be rolling out new channels soon (TNT & MTV I hope) and it would suck to not be able to receive them. I'm also wanting to get a new DVR but but I don't want to purchase something that will be obsolete in 30 days. I'm planning on purchasing mine at costo since they have one of the best return policies. If the new DVR hits the shelves in the next six month I'm going to race back to costo for the new model. I hope it works. Now if they would just get me that waiver in time for the super bowl . . .
     
  8. jdk

    jdk New Member

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    Mar 15, 2001
    San Jose, CA
    I get basically "everything" available through digital OTA - 19 digital stations in total.
    But it took a rather large Channel Master 4228 antenna and pre-amp to pull them all in reliably.

    That is one big reason I'm in no rush to jump to a new provider or different DVR. Through OTA and HR10-250, I'm able to watch & record ~70% of my TV watching, and will continue to do so for the lifetime of the HR10-250 - all in as full bitrate as the local channels send. If I were to move to Comcast and ditch the HR10-250, I'd actually lose all that fine HD programming on channels like the WB and UPN!

    Mountain View shouldn't be a problem with the right antenna - assuming there's no large hills, mountains or buildings between you and Sutro.


    And to further clarify my original statement: I expect the HR10-250 to receive and work with OTA and DirecTV SD programming through 2010 at least. DirecTV may eventually move its HD programming entirely to MPEG4 - but that's at least two years away - and they will not change their SD programming format.

    So, I expect DirecTV to continue to support deployed Tivo boxes, of any form, for the forseable future. Look at the UltimateTV - which was "dropped" by DirecTV in 2001, and there's still many chugging away hapily out there.
     
  9. annenoe

    annenoe He's a Smooth Fox

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    Oct 19, 2003
    Mountain...
    hmm - this is not good news. I *can't* put up a large antenna - I live in a HOA and my neighbor has already complained about my dish (he had to accept it b/c of fed regs, but is a total jerk - he will scream bloody murder if I put up an antenna - the board will not approve a big honking antenna (like the one jdk mentioned)).

    But I think I now understand what you guys are all talking about.

    Is the following logic correct?
    If you can receive local broadcast over OTA, the HR10-250 will continue to be able to receive and record HD since those broadcasts would not be affected by the DirecTV format change.

    Doesn't help me. I am pretty much stuck with DirecTV broadcast, so will have to rely on it being viable for a couple of years.
     
  10. BeanMeScot

    BeanMeScot Sci-Fi Junkie

    37,640
    1,916
    Apr 17, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    You have another option. Starting 3/1/06, you can rent the HD Tivo. And, as has been pointed out, you can return the DVR and then you will no longer have a 2 yr committment. BTW, Comcast already has HD TNT.
     
  11. michad

    michad CamParDad He's Baaaaaack now with Buddhism.

    1,126
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    Sep 9, 2002
    West Texas
    I'm lost and I may be smeeking here, isnt there an mpg4 upgrade announced for later this year that will facilitate my receiving hd-locals through Directv?

    btw I had a hr10-250 installed Saturday and couldnt be happier. Obviously I just get HD on those channels in the HD Package.

    My R10 is in the bedroom, Sony t-60 and other R10 in the closet awaiting disposal.
     
  12. Budget_HT

    Budget_HT Heavy User (of TiVo)

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    Jan 2, 2001
    Renton, WA
    As you have probably already read here, the same FCC reg's allow you to place whatever TV antenna you need for local reception, and that supersedes any local laws or HOA rules.

    Certainly you can do whatever possible to minimize what is visible, but your neighbor and HOA really have no say in this matter.
     
  13. annenoe

    annenoe He's a Smooth Fox

    430
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    Oct 19, 2003
    Mountain...
    How I would love to put the biggest, nastiest antenna possible - but I digress. I didn't realize they had to allow an antenna. Thanks for the info. I'm going to try the Terk indoor and see if that works.

    Not willing to jump to Comcast just yet. We *just* installed the new HD dish on Friday. It would just be too defeating to have to pull it all out for cable.

    BeanMeScot: thanks for info on renting. I'll throw that in the mix.

    <sigh> This is so frustrating.
     
  14. HogarthNH

    HogarthNH DirecTV Addict

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    Dec 28, 2001
    Somewhere, OK
    There's no formal upgrade package announced, but you can bet your patootie that it will happen. (If you're willing to settle for the non-TiVo HR20-250.)

    H
     

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