Advertisements I've participated in a lot of threads on this Tivo forum recently over DirecTV's replacement for the HR10-250 and decided to list my reasons for holding tight with Tivo to see what comes down the pike in the next few months. I've done a lot of research including looking at other forums (such as dbstalk.com) to know that I wouldn't be happy with DirecTV's replacement box as it currently sits. My conclusions to that decision: 1. DirecTV decided to replace their current DTivo product line with boxes programmed by NDS. That turned out to be a major disaster, so they decided to come out with their own box for HD and even are currently in the process of replacing the NDS SD box with one of their own (H21). 2. Because of upcoming HD locals that are only available with mpeg4 receivers, DirecTV was forced to hurry the development of the box when the NDS box didn't work and ended up with a box that was not ready for release, but had to be anyway. 3. While the reliability of the replacement has gotten a lot better, I've seen some estimates that 1 in 5 new boxes have to be shipped back to DirecTV because they don't work. 4. One of the great things about the Tivo is it's user interface (UI). A lot of Tivo users love how easy it is to control the box. We feel it is intuitive and easy to understand. In fact many of us liked the box so much that we brought family and friends to DirecTV. But, we don't read those glowing endorsements of the new box. Instead, it seems to be more of a luke-warm attitude where most folks say they got used to it, but they would prefer a Tivo. 5. I wanted to try out the new box under a trial program so that if I didn't like the box, I could return it to DirecTV within a specified time. But, I was told by DirecTV that I was locked in for the 2-year commitment. That tells me that DirecTV realizes that this is not a quality box. 6. DirecTV's approval ratings have dropped the farthest of all the major satellite and cable companies. Again, a major part of that has to be due to things like their current dvrs. I believe that DirecTV is anxious to lock us in to a two-year commitment in the hopes that they will have something that compares to the Tivo in terms of being accepted by their customers by the end of the time frame. What are the options? 1. The obvious option is to go ahead, bite the bullet, put up with the misery, and get the HR20. Of course, that is the only option available for someone who feels they need mpeg4 right now for locals (remember you don't necessarily get all locals showing in HD) and the upcoming nationals. 2. Wait a few months and see if there are any signs of change from the new owners once they get in place. This is the option I'm planning on taking. I think the next few months are crucial for those of us who love Tivo but would prefer to stay with DirecTV if possible. DirecTV is hoping that all of the excitement of the new HD channels will get the rest of us that are reluctant to hop on board their bandwagon. They want to turn off the mpeg2 HD channels asap and so every DTivo household they get to mpeg4 in the next few weeks/months means they are that much closer to shutting down one of our features in the HR10-250. (Yes, we'll still have the locals and mpeg2 SD so that means the HR10-250 will be functional.) But the opposite of that is true. If there are a lot of us HR10-250 users that don't make the switch in the near term, DirecTV's new owners may look at their options including a DTivo mpeg4 unit which I think the majority of us HR10-250 owners would prefer. I think it's important to get DirecTV's attention and one way of doing that is with what we buy - and in this case don't buy that will get them reviewing their options, especially with new management looking with fresh eyes. 3. Leave DirecTV. There is a lot going on with switched HD video and this offers some opportunities for the cable companies to be able to offer more HD. Here again, the next few months are equally important to the cable companies and so one more reason I don't want to be locked in for 2 years. I think once this new technology gets in place, we'll be able to determine what our Tivo options will be. A lot of people don't understand all the fuss about dvrs. That's fine and I'm sure they'll enjoy what DirecTV is offering today. But I think the time is crucial for those of us who would prefer to have a DTivo mpeg4 option. And it seems to me the best option we have at the moment is to stand firm by not getting the replacement boxes and to let DirecTV know that. Who knows, if enough of us wait, DirecTV may actually offer us something we want and will enjoy and will gladly sign up for another 2 years.