Racking my brain trying to decide...

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by eversio11, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. eversio11

    eversio11 New Member

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    Jan 3, 2006

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    With all my Christmas money, I've decided to finally make the purchase I've been waiting for: a DVR. But between Best Buy, TiVo, and DirecTV, I feel I'm not getting all the answers I want. One place says one thing, another place says another, all the information is just meshing together.

    Basically, here's my situation. We have DirecTV service in the living room and one of the bedrooms. This is the standard one LNB sat. dish. Now, if I order the DirecTV DVR 70 hour, can I record one show and watch one live show, or just record one and not watch another? Because DirecTV keeps telling me I need a dual LNB to record two shows at once and watch one recorded, but I don't know if that means I can record one show and watch one live. I really don't want to have to install a whole new dish just to be able to watch and record at the same time.

    Now, with our cable internet we receive free basic cable for the other two TVs in the house. The DVR is going in one of these rooms without the DirecTV receivers. So I was going to purchase another receiver for $50 and the DVR for $150 with $100 rebate, so the total would only be $100 for receiver and DVR. But again, I don't know what I can do with only one LNB.

    Or, I can go with a Tivo brand DVR and using my cable TV I know there's a trick with the RF and composite inputs that I can record and watch one live show at the same time. This would cost me $150 for the 80 hour box and $150 for a year subscription.

    I also read somewhere that you can connect both a cable source and DirecTV source to the same standalone Tivo and get both programming at the same time. Does this enable me to record more or watch more because I have seperate sources?

    Now, another feature I like with Tivo brand is the TivoToGo / USB functionality. I really like the idea of recording shows and then burning them to DVD on my computer, saving the cost of having to buy seasons of shows when I can just record and burn them myself. I really haven't seen any testimonials, is it a good quality? I know the DirecTV DVR doesn't have the exact TivoToGo feature, but does it have something similar?

    I know this is a lot of newbie type questions, but I've been going back and forth between brands and companies, and I just can't get a straight answer. I appreciate any help offered.
     
  2. rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

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    Dec 20, 2000
    Southaven, MS
    You have a dual LNB. A dual LNB refers to the number of outputs on the LNB and not the number of LNBs on the dish.

    You can only use one tuner if you replace on of your existing receivers. You must add a multi-switch and run more coax if you want to use both tuners.

    That is for people who don't get locals via DirecTV. With some creative wiring, you can watch one show while recording another. There will be limitions and it won't be user friendly.

    If you want to hack it, then it has something similar. If you don't, then just add an external DVD recorder.

    -Robert
     
  3. SeattleCarl

    SeattleCarl New Member

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    Nov 10, 2005
    Also be very aware that the new/current DirecTV dvr is not a tivo unit. The recent previous model, the R10, is tivo based. The curent model, the R15, is not.
    -
    The R15 is not a bad dvr, but if you have actual tivo experience, it is different and you may not care for it. If you have not been using actual tivo equipment, then you may find the R15 very acceptable.
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    The R10 is very difficult to modify for networking (requires replacing a soldered in PROM). The R15 cannot be modified at all. So do not look at either of those units to be capable of doing that. If that is a very important criteria, look at a stand alone tivo, but you will only have one input so won't be able to watch and record different programs at the same time.
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    As for hooking everything up, as rlj5242 noted you will as a minimum have to add a device called a multiswitch. You would need a 2x8 or 3x8 (2 or 3 inputs, 8 outputs). Run both cables from your dish into the multiswitch, then run cables from the outputs to each DirecTV tuner/receiver. You also need to run some additional coax lines over what you have now. Do not use a regular splitter, they do not work with satellite tv systems. If you use a 3x8, the third input is where you could connect your cable, then at each receiver you use a diplexer to split the satellite and cable signals apart again. That saves you an extra coax run.
    -
    Carl
     
  4. eversio11

    eversio11 New Member

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    Jan 3, 2006
    Wow, that's a lot of new information for me. I'm leaning more towards the new DirecTV DVRs because of a few things, 1) dual tuners 2) cheaper monthly price 3) cheaper unit with more storage. The one thing I am a little upset with is the fact that I'll need to purchase a stand alone DVD recorder, but the prices of those have been going down and in the next year they shouldn't be too bad.

    So what rlj is saying that even though I only have one LNB on the dish, I have 2 outputs. That makes sense, because I can watch two different programs on each DTV receiver. Now, what does this multiswitch do? Does it enable me to have more LNB outputs, allowing me to watch more seperate programming on each receiver? Because I contacted DTV and they said it would be 5.99/month for the DVR service, and 4.99/month for seperate programming in each room/receiver. Does a multiswitch bypass that 4.99/month? Basically what I'm asking is if using my dual LNB I have now, I can purchase a multiswitch that will allow me to view seperate programming in all 3 rooms, including utilizing both tuners in my DVR? Or can I only watch two seperate programming in two rooms, and the other receivers have to watch what another receiver is watching?

    Again, I appreciate all the help, although I don't quite understand you're making it very simple and providing very real world answers.

    I just read through the very useful LNB and multiswitch FAQ and I think I understand a little better. However, if I use a multiswitch, say 4 outputs (1 living room receiver, one bedroom receiver, 2 for my DVR) I can watch 4 seperate programs while still only using a single dual LNB? Do I have to pay DTV the extra room cost per month, or is the multiswitch a sort of 'hack' or 'bypass' for that? I don't think I'm going to plug my standard cable into the multiswitch, because I receive all those channels on DTV so I wouldn't be adding any extra programming.
     
  5. rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

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    Dec 20, 2000
    Southaven, MS

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    Thank you for reading the FAQ first. Most people don't.

    Yes. With an 8 output switch and 8 tuners, you can watch 8 different programs. There are people here with 8 DirecTivos (16 tuners/16 different programs recording at the same time).

    Yes. You are paying a mirror fee for an additional receiver. They don't care how it is connected to the system.

    -Robert
     
  6. eversio11

    eversio11 New Member

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    Jan 3, 2006
    Alright, two last questions. That fee is per tuner, not per receiver, right? So it would be $10/month for the dual tuner plus the $5.99/month. Also, there shouldn't be a conflict with how many inputs I get for the multiswitch should there? I'll only have the two cables going in, but it doesn't matter if I get 3 or 5 inputs in a multiswitch and some of them are unused?

    I think I'll be getting 2 R15 DVRs from DTV, one new and one as a replacement. So I would have one receiver, and two DVRs both running dual tuners, so it would be 5 outputs altogether. I don't think I've ever seen a 2x5 multiswitch, or any 2x anything multiswitch, and the most common I've seen is 3x8.
     
  7. dtremain

    dtremain New Member

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    Jan 4, 2004
    New Jersey
    No. It's five dollars per receiver. It will only be $4.99 for the receiver, just as it was for the one you are replacing. Plus, the $5.99 for the DVR service (regardless of the number of DVRs).

    I don't have the technical savvy to answer your multiswitch question. I've paid for all my installs and just happily watch tv. :)
     
  8. rlj5242

    rlj5242 Active Member

    2,381
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    Dec 20, 2000
    Southaven, MS
    Wrong. It's per access card. The DirecTivos have 1 access card, therefore 1 mirror fee.

    If you get a 4, 5 or 6 input swich just make sure you use the SAT A inputs only.

    The 3rd input is for antenna. Ignore it.

    After all of this work at a Tivo forum and you are going with the non-Tivo solution. Please look at the R10s.

    -Robert
     
  9. john-duncan-yoyo

    john-duncan-yoyo New Member

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    Oct 13, 2004
    NoVa near DC
    Make sure you read <http://www.dbstalk.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&daysprune=&f=65> to see what R15 users have to say about them.
     

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