I'm going to HD: Which service should I go for?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by ManOfSteele, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. ManOfSteele

    ManOfSteele Member

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    Jul 23, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    So, I'm about to buy a 1080p panel and make the jump to HD television. The question is, what service should I go with and what DVR?

    I current have DirecTV and a pair of SD DTiVos upgraded with 160GB drives each, both hooked to the same TV. Whatever I get I plan to upgrade to have equivalent HD capacity as I currently SD capacity on my DTiVos. Yeah, I know that's a lot of gigabytes but I really like all the capacity I have now (e.g., I have 70 episodes of Stargate recorded, not to mention tons of other stuff).

    I had been leaning to Comcast but a friend just recently got DirecTV and an HR20 and said DirecTVs HD content is very good and is going to be even better by the end of the year. I've heard mixed reviews about the HR20 but this guy tells me it's fine, and can be upgraded with additional capacity via external storage. I know that TiVo's latest unit can be upgraded as well, and supports cable cards, so going that route would let me stick with a TiVo solution (I assume the HR20, as good as it is, still isn't a TiVo).

    So, what's the popular opinion these days?
     
  2. ManOfSteele

    ManOfSteele Member

    405
    0
    Jul 23, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    A quick follow-up:

    As I understand the current state of things, these are my options:

    - HR20 from DirecTV
    - Comcast HD with their DVR
    - A TiVo HD with a cable card (and Comcast)

    With regards to option 2, I understand that Comcast is supposed to be offering a "TiVo service for cable" sometime. Does anyone know when that is set to be available in San Jose? Also, can the HD DVR from Comcast support additional storage?
     
  3. trausch

    trausch New Member

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    Jan 8, 2004
    Pittsburgh
    I am in a similar situation. I have 3 Direct TV TIVOs with one being an hr10-250. Here is where I am at


    1) Update to a free HR20-700 and keep the other TIVOs.

    2) Switch to dish and get the VIP722(free) which has multiroom viewing.

    3) Switch to comcast and either buy the Series 3 or wait for the Tivo software on the 6412. unfortunately I am looking at the additional TIVO monthly fee of $14 a month/receiver for three TIVOs in addition to the extra cable card charges.
     
  4. jbernardis

    jbernardis Active Member

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    Oct 21, 2003
    Princeton NJ
    The second and third tivos will only cost 6.95 if you commit to 3 years.
     
  5. hybucket

    hybucket Member

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    18
    Nov 26, 2004
    I am also seriously thinking of moving on, and the question is whether to stay with DirecTV and get the HR20, go to Comcast with their Moto, or get a series 3/TiVOHD with Comcast. A couple of questions on the HR20, which have probably been answered elsewhere, but ...
    Does the HR20 support OTA?
    What Guide does the HR20 use?
    How long in advance does the HR20 guide go? (I have Comcast Moto in a weekend home, and their guide goes barely a week)
    How does the HR20 do with season passes?
    WHen the power goes out, even briefly, do you lose the guide as you do with the Moto box?
    Is there any where to check to see just how DirecTV will be handling local HD channels? Right now, it appears they are only doing NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX affiliates on a local basis, no CW or PBS, or any independents.
    How is the rain-fade issue with the 5-LNB dish? I currently have three LNB's, and the signal on the HD satellite really sucks even in moderate rain. I've had it checked and re-aligned several times to no avail, with the strongest signal in the low 80s.
     
  6. trausch

    trausch New Member

    667
    0
    Jan 8, 2004
    Pittsburgh

    Yeah....I new about this. Actually its $299 for a three year commitment on the first box and then $250 for all additional boxes. So to switch my 3 TIVO Direct TV boxes to Comcast I need to pay 3x$300 for the equipment and an additional $800 for the service for the next three years. On top of that I will need to pay Comcast for 6 cable cards and then finally I can may for the service. Hey TIVO....this is why you don't make money!!!!

    I have basically two option. Dish or Direct TV. Neither extort you the way TIVO does.

    PS Anyone know how much the charge for TIVO software on the Comcast Motorolla box will be?
     
  7. tds4182

    tds4182 Member

    73
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    Dec 15, 2003
    Kingwood, Tx

    I have an HR20-700 and an H20 so I'll try to answer your questions in the order you posed them:

    1.OTA--Yes it supports OTA via a dedicated line from your antenna and integrates the info in the guide.

    2.What Guide--The HR20 has a different guide than the Tivo units, but it's pretty user friendly and is somewhat customizeable.

    3. Guide Length--app. 2 weeks into the future.

    4. Season Passes--The HR20 doesn't handle season passes as well as the Tivo units. Mine has problems differentiating first runs from repeats, so I set most of my season passes manually. The HR20, when set manually, is as good as the Tivo unit.

    5. When the power goes out you do lose the guide but it repopulates itself pretty quickly. Mine is on a small UPS to mitigate the problem.

    6. DTV Locals--If you go to D*'s website and type in your zip, it'll tell you which locals you can get in HD.

    7. Rain Fade--We haven't had any really bad rain since I switched from my old 3LNB dish to the 5LNB Slimline so I can't really comment on rain fade. We have some pretty hard rains here in Houston and you do lose the signal when the thunderstorms are between you and the satellite, but not for too long.

    When I had cable, rain would knock them out also.

    Good luck in deciding.

    All in all, the HR20 is a pretty good unit, mine's been pretty rock solid. For "die hard" Tivo fans it takes some getting used to, but it does the trick for me.
     
  8. hybucket

    hybucket Member

    638
    18
    Nov 26, 2004
    Thanks - appreciate the comments.
    How do you "set a season pass manually"? If you set it manually, it's not really a "season pass," and you have to set it every week. Or am I not understanding you correctly.
    On the guide thing, I assume the Guide comes from the satellite, and not from the phone connection (or, as in the Motorola case, the cable), so that a power outage shouldn't really affect it

    Why would cable go out in a rainstorm? Is that common? If it happens with cable, how can they advertise that it, unlike satellite, does not? Rhetorical question there, btw.
     
  9. tds4182

    tds4182 Member

    73
    0
    Dec 15, 2003
    Kingwood, Tx

    When I say set a "season pass" manually I mean that, if you know a show you want to watch comes on for 1 hour at 9:00 PM on Saturday night,you set the DVR to record that channel for 1 hour from 9-10 PM. When the reruns start you cancel the manual recording. That way you don't get duplicates. The Tivo units do a much, much better job of setting real "season passes" without recording duplicates than does the HR20.

    The guide does come from the satellite.

    Most cable companies get their signals from huge dishes that, while not as susceptible to rain fade as the smaller dishes, can still go out in really heavy wide-spread rains. Most of the time around here, it was either due to rain fade or a power outage at the CC headquarters.

    Hope this answers your questions.
     

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