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old timer thinking of switching

939 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  robbyD
I have a first generation tivo, and although I have an ED plasma TV and I've read about improvements in later model tivos, nothing really made me feel like switching the old girl out.

Till now. Now that DirectTV will be broadcasting SPEED in HD, I think I'm ready to make the switch and leave the goodness of tivo behind and go with the HR-20.

I'm hoping someone can help me figure out a couple details. Firstly, will the HR-20 have an output resolution that will work will work well on my 842 by 420 panasonic ED TV?

Also, if I can get Direct TV to give me 2 HR-20s, will I have any problem plugging them both into the same TV? I'm thinking this could be an inexpensive way of adding harddrive space (as well as letting the wife had her own, separate harddrive)?

Thanks in advance. Sorry to be leaving tivo, but who knows, maybe DTV and Tivo will make up and get together again.
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Hi robbyD - great question on whether or not the HR20 will support the Panny EDTV. I do know it supports 480i and 480p, but not sure how that will look on your plasma.

You might have to work a bit to get DirecTV to give you a deal on 2 HR20s. Since you're an old-timer, I'd guess your chances are pretty good that they'll offer you the HR20 and 5-LNB dish for free and you just pay for shipping, but not sure on the second one. They'll probably want to charge you $99 for the second one. You should call DirecTV, say "cancel service" when the voice response system asks you (which should forward you directly to their Retention department), and see what they'll offer you.

Having said that, though, if you're main goal for getting two receivers is for additional diskspace, you can actually plug any eSATA drive to the eSATA port on the back of the receiver, and it should use it just fine. Just remember that it cannot use both the internal and the external drive, but rather just the external drive if you have one plugged into the back. You can get a 750GB drive for pretty cheap these days.

If, on the other hand, your goal for getting two receivers is to get four total tuners, then you're right, getting two HR20s is your only option.

Also, since you're asking specifically about the HR20, you should visit http://dbstalk.com. There is an HR20 forum over there where you can ask this question.

Good luck!
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robbyD said:
...will the HR-20 have an output resolution that will work will work well on my 842 by 420 panasonic ED TV?...
Unless your TV has non-square pixels (none do as a requirement of ATSC reception) that resolution is not 16x9. Could it be 853x480? I think to be an ED set, you have to have at least 480 lines of resolution, meaning that it will not display HD at a resolution any higher than that of SD (480i). There may be a 480p output that would work, but that is really the same resolution, so would not really give you any improvement over SD resolution. Bottom line, without upgrading to an HD display, the difference between SPEED in SD compared to receiving it in HD and displaying it on that set will probably disappoint you. It will likely be marginally better, at best.

If you are not ready for a trip to BB for a new display, you might think about foregoing the hassle of switching to a HD DVR for now. The better strategy would be to make the move at the same time you upgrade your display. By then, who knows--things could be better and cheaper, and the switch could be less of a hassle.
Thanks for the perspective. Since I got the HR20 and a year of HD service for free, I decided to just get it and see how it looks. If nothing else, the picture won't have to be stretched to fit the screen, so that should be an improvement.
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