CRAP! No DirectTV - opinions on Time Warner Digital Cable DVR?

Crap crap crap. In the new house, boxes everywhere, expected to have my new free DirectTV HD DVRs and dish installed today. The installer investigates, and basically points out why it would be pretty much impossible for him to be able to run two lines to the den (the DVR requires two lines, for the two tuners in the receiver, so you can watch one channel while you record another.) In short, because of the way the roofs are on the new house, with no real attic access for the den, and the bi-level way houses are here in KC, there’s just no way short of having some pro come in and do some major cutting and drilling. Since the whole point of how we use the DVR in the den is watching one show and recording another so we don’t have to pick one over another, etc. we sent him away (along with my beautiful new 5 LNB dish and two free new HR-20 DVRs. sniff.)

So - my other option appears to be the local cable, Time Warner.

What is their hd-dvr like, re: functionality? Also, can anyone compare the programming options vs. DTV?

??? They can run lines in a window from the outside of the house if they need to.

Is the problem that there’s no clear line of sight to the south?

Nope. We actually figured out a spot for the dish first, a neighbor’s tall tree was a problem, so that took some time. He could run lines in the wall to the basement, and the 2nd floor bedroom, but there wasn’t a good way to get the lines to the wall with the TV in the den.

If you’re going to go cable, I’d recommend the $300 Tivo HD DVR. The Time Warner one is pretty crappy UI wise. It gets the job done, but it’s not pretty.

We have Time Warner up the road here in Nebraska too, and they are atrocious. Our city council actually had to threaten them with penalties this year to get them to fix the worst problems with their DVRs. Time Warner likes to use the midwest to beta test new revisions of their DVR software so the things are never stable around here.

I think YMMV depending upon region, but I have Time Warner in San Diego and they use the Scientific-Atlanta 8300 HD as their HD DVR here. A Google search on that model should link you to all sorts of reviews. Personally, I’m happy with the unit, the UI isn’t very friendly and it has some shortcomings but it has nice core features and I haven’t had any major problems with it.

Well, DirectTV decided they didn’t want to just let me walk away so they sent out a couple of other installers, who were extremely good. They looked everything over, and to cut to the chase they did a very nice install and even did things like make sure the HD-DVR remote was set up for the TV also, etc. The first guy seemed like he knew his stuff, and had me convinced it couldn’t be done, but in retrospect he was a real amateur compared to these guys.

As an aside, DTV gave me a good deal. When I called and told them I was moving and looking at Time Warner cable, they gave me a free install, 2 free HR-20 HD-DVRs, and a year of the HD package for free.

Whoa. How long of a commitment do you have now?

One year. Which I would do anyway.

Time Warner still uses the old Motorolla boxes they’ve had for years here and they’re really bad. I’d love to get rid of mine and get DirecTV, but TW is our only choice for internet at the moment so it’s the cheapest route.