When did D* start to suck?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by JaserLet, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. JaserLet

    JaserLet New Member

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    Dec 13, 2005
    Midwest

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    When I bought my first D* receiver (an old slow RCA) about ten years ago the dealer sold me an installation kit and wished me luck. I was so happy with all of the new channels that I didn't care it took me 3 hours to install!

    When I bought my DVR39 two years ago at Best Buy it cost less than I was expecting, came with a free dish and second non-DVR receiver. I was planning on installing it myself, but was surprised when a D* installer called me up the next day (!!!) and asked when he should stop by to install it, free of charge. That customer service, and the nifty new DTivo, had me soooo impressed with D*!!

    When I bought my HR10-250 a few months ago I was not expecting the 2-year commitment, nor was I expecting D* to charge for installation. The lame HD package, older version of the TiVo software (my DVR39 runs 6.2), and slow rebate process has me wishing there were better alternatives. :(

    When did D* start to suck? I am still happy with my setup, it's way nicer than I would have ever dreamed of 10 years ago. But when did D* start to suck?
     
  2. herdfan

    herdfan New Member

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    circa 1997 when they started adding every shopping channel in existence and over-compressing everything else.
     
  3. Stanley Rohner

    Stanley Rohner New Member

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    If you're so unhapppy switch to cabletv.
     
  4. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

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    Binghamton, NY
    When they got forced into trying to provide every local station in the country and now the HD versions. IMO, it is just stupid. Especially, when you consider the resources they have had to spend to do this instead of providing national HD channels.
     
  5. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

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    Long...

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    Still it's not like there's all that many national HD channels DirecTV doesn't carry that actually offer a majority of their schedule in real HD.
     
  6. herdfan

    herdfan New Member

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    Hurricane, WV
    In hindsight, D* and E* should have come to an agreement to dual broadcast locals. There is no reason every local channel needs to be up there twice.
     
  7. herdfan

    herdfan New Member

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    Hurricane, WV
    Cable's worse. My cable company is on its 3rd, soon to be 4th owner in 12 years. No HD, just got DVR's etc. Only good thing is fast and stable internet. Probably because they lagged behind DSL for 1.5 years and don't have large base sucking up bandwidth.
     
  8. JaserLet

    JaserLet New Member

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    Dec 13, 2005
    Midwest
    I'm still happy overall with D*, just not as happy as I once was. I live in the boonies, so cable is not an option. I've played with the Dish Network gear at RadioShack, but haven't been impressed enough to make the switch. Maybe I could learn some foreign languages and go with an oldschool big dish! :)

    Being a DirecTV customer today is kind of like being a Mac user in the early 1990s, it's just not as great as it once was, almost as though the company has fallen asleep at the wheel, they're still moving forward but it doesn't seem like the best direction. Oh, well, hopefully they'll wow us again in the future.
     
  9. ADent

    ADent Active Member

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    Denver, CO
    When Rupert bought the place.
     
  10. Jabberer

    Jabberer New Member

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    Oct 4, 2000
    Cincinnati,...
    I agree with ADent - when Murdock bought 'em is the day they started really going down hill. When I originally subscribed, they were the technology leader - better picture than cable, more variety than cable, more innovation in services *and* cheaper than cable. Over the last few years, nearly every advantage they had has been erroded away - including, with this latest rumored price increase, price. I still see no specific reason to actually switch away, but now, when someone asks why they should select DTV over cable, I just don't have much to say...
     
  11. morgantown

    morgantown DTV + Tvio = ;-)

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    Things have certainly eroded, but not bad enough to go to cable. Let's hope Rupert's deep pockets can add something to DirecTV versus us just adding to his deep pockets.
     
  12. apollo8fan

    apollo8fan New Member

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    Oct 23, 2003
    Southern...
    Amen to that!
     
  13. apollo8fan

    apollo8fan New Member

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    Oct 23, 2003
    Southern...
    Yep, I agree with your analogy. But, Rupert knows what his competition is. He's going to push us to the edge of tolerance, knowing that he needs to stay just short of the line where we will all start switching to E* or cable.

    I've seen SD E* channels on an HDTV; still worse than D*, but D* is closing the gap for sure!
     
  14. Mark W

    Mark W Member

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    CT, USA
    Years ago, DirecTV had a big lead over the cable companies, in product quality, service, and picture quality. In their products, they got complacent and stagnated. The cable company has just about caught up. Service wise again, DirecTV stagnated, and the cable companies for the most part got a lot better. Easy for them to do, considering how nightmarishly bad they used to be. With picture quality, DirecTV actually got much worse. They crammed more channels in, and are seemingly oblivious to the fact that the average screen size has gone up dramatically in the past five years. What looks fantastic on a 27" screen can look really bad on a 42" screen.

    HD has been a bad thing for them too. They have had to spend billions just to try and catch up with cable there. I agree with most here, DirecTV doesn't suck, but the huge gap between them and the cable companies is about gone.
     
  15. newsposter

    newsposter Poster of News

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    SE PA
    It sucks when an uneducated population buys in the mpeg4 thing and then when it's all hooked up they realize no WB and UPN and PBS! Let's be serious, who reads the fine print in the literature besides us tivo-heads? :) All most people probably see is 'locals in hi def!!!"

    It sucks when there's no new HDtivo on the horizon.

    Other than that, I'm directvs biggest advocate but these 2 things made me stop bragging to friends recently. They sure have better offerings on cable.
     
  16. apollo8fan

    apollo8fan New Member

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    Southern...
    I have to explain over and over and over again that DIGITAL does not necessarily equate to QUALITY. I try to explain bandwidth to my friends, but to no avail. If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, "but it's digital..."; usually when talking about digital cable.
     
  17. jamesbobo

    jamesbobo with a grain of salt

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    NJ
    I got Direct TV three years ago just for the two tuner TiVo. For 2 1/2 years before that I had a standalone TiVo and Comcast. Every year since then Direct has raised their rates, and this year seems no exception.
    At the time I bought the Directivo I didn't know that Direct would abandon TiVo and not give it the same upgrades the standalone unit recieved. When I upgraded to HDTV about a year ago I did not know that Direct would use new satellites and an MPEG4 signal to require me to get new equipment to get any new HD channels. I am wondering if my move to Direct was a good idea.
     
  18. Billy Bob Boy

    Billy Bob Boy What Me Worry???????

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    Here
    D* is the only way to go in s fla for 2 reasons 1. They should rename Florida from "The Sunshine State" To "The Construction State" Constant roads being torn up leave endless interuptions in cable. Unless you happen to live next door to the cable co. 2. storms that knock out cable systems due to downed lines and up rooted trees. Even after power is restored It can be weeks to get cable back. During hurricain wilma I never lost D*. My dish is super anchored and hurricains rarely cause rain fade. Besides even with rain fade it only lasts a few minutes. I may have lost 3 or 4 shows over the last 5 years due to rain fade, but I lost my cable days in a row because of construction fade. several neighbors came to my home after wilma to get their daily dose of tv. :)
     
  19. JaserLet

    JaserLet New Member

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    Dec 13, 2005
    Midwest
    The increased compression means my 40 hour DVR is now a 55 hour DVR! Yay!!!

    But seriously, I remember the first time I noticed the increased compression. I had a brand new 32 inch TV and was really impressed with the D* picture quality... until about the time D* took over the Viacom channels from USSB and added MSNBC. Somewhere around that time there was an evening where I started noticing the compression artifacts and it has only gotten worse over time.

    Last night I noticed some TV commercial which showed a blue sky in the background, the entire sky "gradient" was made up of two shades of blue with an obvious zigzagging seam splitting the two. Compression artifacting at its best.

    Although, I have to wonder if the prevalence of compression has something to do with this. When D* was new, most video people were using BetacamSP (analog component video). Now DV25 (MiniDV, DVCAM, DVCPro) is the norm. Think about it, video is now shot used a compressed format (DV), then edited and put back to tape (DV) or burnt to DVD (MPEG2). This is transmitted to D* using who knows what codec, and then broadcast back to us using either another pass of MEPG2 or in some cases MPEG4. Compressed compressed artifacts of artifacts. And for the really lucky, high definition compression artifacts! Hehe!
     
  20. JimSpence

    JimSpence Just hangin'

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    Sep 19, 2001
    Binghamton, NY
    Don't get me wrong, I won't go the cable route since TWC in my area is nowhere near DirecTV's offerings. Not entirely their fault, only PBS and ABC are OTA HD. But I'm keeping an eye on developments.

    But, to reiterate what I've asked many times here. Why the hell doesn't DirecTV offer a DNS version of WB or UPN? At least a regional version for those of us that have yet to receive the stupid locals? Right now I pay Dish Network for their Superstation pack.
     

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