Tell Me What to Buy Please

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by frankcastle, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. frankcastle

    frankcastle New Member

    Aug 1, 2006


    Let me start off by saying that I love my DTV service, and I love my TiVo service. I currently have a SD DTiVo receiver. I am guessing it is the R10 version from what I have been reading here. I want to make the switch to HD. I am not interested in any sort of hacks, and I want 1 box that handles both TiVo and DTV. Should I get the HR-250 off eBay? Is there a better place to buy them? Is there a better version to buy? Will this box be obsolete the minute I buy it? Is there a certain brand I should stay away from? Thank you for your help!
  2. litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

    Oct 18, 2002
    Mill Creek,...
    Welcome to Tivo Community!

    If you truly want Tivo and DirecTV HDTV together, then the HR10-250 HD Tivo is your only option. But they're no longer manufactured, so you'll have to find a used one somewhere. And, within the next several months they will no longer receive DirecTV's HDTV channels as those are transitioned to new MPEG4 satellites. The HR10-250 will still be able to receive/record your local HDTV channels using an off-air antenna.

    If you want to receive DirecTV's new HDTV channels from their new satellites, some of which go live this next week, you need an HR20 HD DVR. It doesn't use Tivo software, but does have several features that the HR10-250 doesn't have. Here's a short comparison ....

    Summary of HR20 vs. HR10-250

    HR20 Advantages:
    * MPEG4 (Ka-band) HiDef channels: Receive all of the newest HiDef channels from the 99 & 103-deg Ka-band satellites with a 5-LNB dish
    * 90-min buffer
    * Faster Program Guide interface
    * Faster reprioritization of Series Link settings
    * Remaining disk space guage
    * Single button record scheduling
    * Network connectivity: Share music and photo files with your Media Center PC
    * Easy storage capacity upgrade: Just add large capacity external SATA drive, replacing internal drive
    * Caller ID displayed on screen
    * Native RF Remote control support using DirecTV's RF Remote
    * Same channel overlap: Pad recording times on the same channel without requiring the second tuner
    * Video stays "live" when using menus
    * Video on Demand (VOD): Coming soon
    * "Active channel" content and interactive features
    * Slightly better over-the-air (ATSC) tuner hardware (but not by much)
    * Simultaneous video outputs over HDMI, component, SVideo and composite video
    * Single Wire Multiswith (SWM) support

    HR10-250 Advantages:
    * Tivo user interface (Wishlists, Tivo Suggestions)
    * Live dual tuner 30-min buffers
    * Instant 30-sec skip: Enabled using Select-Play-Select-3-0-Select "backdoor" code
    * Smoother FF/REW modes
    * Easier "skip to next/previous tick" with dedicated remote buttons
    * "Channels I Receive" feature works properly
    * More than 50 Season Passes/Series Links
    * Slightly more reliable and robust software
  3. John T Smith

    John T Smith New Member

    Jun 17, 2004
    Vancouver WA
  4. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

    Jan 28, 2002
    Xbox Live:...
    Note of caution about purchasing HR10-250 units used - there have been a few horror stories from people that bought units that could not be activated because they (the units) were still owned by DirecTV having been *leased* to the original customers, rather than sold to and owned by those customers. There have also been plenty of instances where someone that had a used DirecTV receiver (of any type) sold the unit with a large outstanding balance against the unit.

    If you are buying a used unit, just be sure to check with the seller to make sure that the unit is free and clear (that they owned the unit and were not leasing it), and that they'll refund your money if you can't activate it on your account and/or that the seller agrees to cover any outstanding balances on the unit.

    You can confirm some information in advance if you get the receiver ID number (RID or serial number, etc.) and/or the smart card number and contact DirecTV to check to see if you could add that unit to your account without problems.

    Potential buyers might find units sold by Weaknees or other reputable vendors, and if so, there'd be less chance of having issues with units that aren't going to be able to be activated.

    Comments above suggest other options and places to discuss both options more thoroughly if you'd like more information. It is well worth thoroughly researching so you make an informed purchase no matter what you decide on. :up:
  5. milominderbinder

    milominderbinder New Member

    Dec 18, 2006


    One other consideration is that you might be able to still get and HR20 for $19 or less when you factor in free programming options.

    Getting a Good Deal on an HR20

    - Craig
  6. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    Oct 19, 2004
    It is speculation as to how soon that transition will occur. Some have said in the past that it would already have happened by now; others say it could be years. But no question that _new_ HiDef channels offered by DirecTV will not be available to the Tivo/DirecTV HR10-250.

    If Tivo is important for your HiDef, you have two choices:

    1. The Tivo/DirecTV HR10-250. OTA HiDef probably forever (and OTA is the only way to get your HiDef locals outside of NY or LA), existing DirecTV HiDef channels - nobody knows how long. No new HiDef channels.

    2. The new Tivo s3 or HD. No DirecTV. OTA plus Cable or FIOS (or I guess the new AT&T thing though I haven't looked at that yet).

    If DirecTV is your primary criteria, and you don't want Tivo:

    The DirecTV HR20. It's as good as most of the Cable company supplied DVRs and better than some.
  7. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    Oct 19, 2004
    You are certainly correct in your second warning. Anybody considering buying a used subscription-based device like this should call the company and make sure there's no balance due that would impact a new subscriber.

    Could you provide some sources for your first warning? My understanding is that it is not correct, in fact I am aware of numerous people who have subscribed previously -leased units, so I would like to get the additional information you apparently have. Thanks.
  8. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

    Jan 28, 2002
    Xbox Live:...
    Recent thread in Happy Hour from someone that is a member of these forums that sold a unit that they were told 'they could do with as they pleased' which was actually a leased unit.

    Individual sold that unit to a buyer on eBay. Buyer on eBay got the unit and seemed happy with the sale. Feedback was left, both sides were reportedly happy.

    Over 90 days pass, seller comes into Happy Hour sub-forum here and wants to know what they need to do now since PayPal and eBay are processing a complaint from the buyer. The buyer reportedly contacted DirecTV and was told the unit couldn't be activated because it was not owned by the seller and instead was owned by DirecTV. DirecTV refused to activate it. Buyer claimed to PayPal that he had contacted seller, seller says that wasn't the case.

    Big mess.

    In anycase, be cautious. DirecTV may or may not activate formerly leased equipment that is transferred to someone else. Supposedly the official answer is no, but as many would say here with anecdotal evidence, if you play a little CSR roulette and/or can make it to an intelligent supervisor within DirecTV, you may get what you want and/or need to happen. Or, you might not and then you've learned an expensive lesson.

    There are plenty of people (perhaps yourself, RS4, and others) that have complained enough that DirecTV is doing everything possible and basically have been conspiring to keep from activating TiVo based units for customers as they push their own products and try to keep from putting TiVo based products back online. I've not personally found that to be the case, and certainly it is to DirecTV's advantage to keep their customer happy by taking the mirroring fee for the TiVo based unit and the DVR fee (if the customer didn't already have a DVR on their account) on top of that. Again though, user experience in calling CSRs varies wildly from person to person, time of day, phase of the moon, etc.

    Persistent customers can probably get what they want, but they may have to work hard to get it.
  9. Redux

    Redux No intent to annoy

    Oct 19, 2004
    There is one "eBay" story, and it's a typical eBay mess and we have no first hand account of the interaction between the new subscriber and DirecTV.

    Could you source the others (of the "few horror stories" you cite). Thanks.
  10. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

    Jan 28, 2002
    Xbox Live:...

    No because I am not going to waste time on providing sources for every friendly reminder that ever gets posted just to make some overly picky individuals happy.


    No because people can use the search function to find a host of other similar stories here, at, at, at and other sites.

    Sorry, as much as I don't want to type in the words search for.... I don't want to spend time providing legal documented facts for events that are documented well enough to raise concerns for individuals that are thinking about buying leased units and putting them to use.

    There have been more than just the one case documented above discussed RIGHT HERE in the main TiVo forums of this site (TCF). Enough that you could stumble into such a horror story yourself fairly quickly if you were really that interested in finding the information.

    So, again, NO.
  11. terpfan1980

    terpfan1980 It's Just TV TCF Club

    Jan 28, 2002
    Xbox Live:...
    Even though I said NO above, I did run a quick search and came up with this: older post as a suggestion of where things are heading...

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