DirecTV question

OK, I am a longtime DirecTV customer. Today, I upgraded my DVR to the newer RC15 (something like that). It’s made by DTV, while my old DVR (now on a second TV) was made by Philips. On the old one, I could watch two channels at once, keeping one paused while I watched the other and then go back and forth, skipping commercials and watching two things at once.

I can’t figure out how to do that on this new device. In fact, I can’t figure out how to switch to the alt channel at all. I can record one thing and watch another, so I know both channels are hooked up and on. But I can’t find a button on the remote that allows me to switch back and forth between them. Anyone know anything about these newer DTV systems?

Not sure if this will help of if you have looked but :

might have some advice.

It is the tivo forum but there is one just for DTV customers and they have some threads about your receive.

DirecTV’s DVR doesn’t live buffer two channels at once.

Yep, I know that sucks.

If I were you I’d return that p.o.s. and get a DirecTivo while you still can and wait for DirecTV to improve their crappy DVR.

So what’s the word on Directv/DVR these days? I have the Directv service and am waiting for a new tv to trade up to some sort of DVR. They seem to offer a lot of that fancy “record two shows and watch a third” type stuff, but I’m more concerned about the UI.

Also, when people talk about Directivo they are referring to slapping a Tivo subscription + box on top of their regular equipment + subscription, right, not some convenient package deal?

I’ve heard DirecTV’s DVR is way better these days after numerous patches and such. I friend of mine has the HD DVR and has no problems with it.

DirecTV will be launching a lot of new HD networks (not all of them that great but still) and they will require MPEG 4, which only their new DVR can do…not the old DirecTivo.

If you haggle with a CSR, you can get a pretty good deal to get their DVR. Like programming credits and such.

I’m sticking with conventional channels for the long run, I think. I don’t watch much sports, and I netflix for movies anyhow.

The previous owner of my condo got a mailing from directv and Tivo saying that even more super duper unspecified Tivo functions would be added at the beginning of 08 (hooray?), which I imagine is what you are referring to. It suggests they are in cahoots to some degree already, so I might as well go with the native version.

If you haggle with a CSR, you can get a pretty good deal to get their DVR. Like programming credits and such.

I will do my best. I hate arguing with them, but fuck it. Sometimes it’s gotta be done. Also, programming credits?

The directivo must be referring to the HR10-250 - the tivo-branded DVR/Satellite receiver. This is the only way to go to record two simultaneous HD programs. There’s a standard-definition model but I do not recall the number.

They have been phased out by Directv over the last year or so - They will never be able to support the Mpeg4 standard for the new HD channels.

Their own branded HR20/HR15 were introduced to remove Tivo out of the loop - then they turned around recently and announced they’d have some sort of firmware update next year from Tivo. One of my HR10’s has a dying hard drive so I am debating on replacing/reimaging the hard drive or just getting one of the HR20’s.

The directivo is very primitive compared to even a 5 year-old replaytv or the new series3 - You cannot program it over the web, nor stream (legally) to another tv or directivo in your household. You can however record two simultaneous programs. This not possible with a standalone satellite box and a standard tivo, because you’d have to tune the satbox to one channel while the tivo records (assuming the IR blaster deal)

I’ve been using an HR-20 since last October, and it’s improved greatly through streamed software updates. They’ve even tweaked the “stop from FF” issue it had early on. It runs hot, be sure to ventilate.

It ain’t Tivo, and you’ll only get what you choose to records. Very rarely are there issues with dropped shows on season passes, and these appear to be related to inadequate show descriptions on channels like BBC America.

Only one channel gets a cache, but you can record the alt channel for the same effect.

Yeah, my HD DVR is MUCH better than the crap I had that started this thread. It’s great. I get a lockup from time to time, but it’s pretty rare. As Rick says, it doesn’t have channel switching, but it DOES have two channels, so you can record multiple shows…well, 2…at the same time. You get used to that pretty quickly.

The big thing is the size. It’s pretty massive space, especially compared to the Comcast boxes I have had (non-HD). It holds 100 hours, I guess of SD?

By the end of this year, the crappy DirecTV HR20 will have 100+ HD channels available, and the DirecTivo HR10-250 will have about 30 or so. So it’s pretty much a no-brainer.

I just switched from the HR10 to the HR20, and it’s definitely a mixed bag.

HR20 Pros:
100+ HD channels by the end of the year
You can plug in an external ESATA drive to expand recording capacity
HR20 Cons:
Horrible user interface
Abysmal remote design; a Harmony remote is a must to make the thing less painful to use
Only supports 50 season passes
External ESATA’s not officially supported, so no tech support if you have an issue. And it disables the internal drive, wasting 300GB of recording space
Software remains somewhat buggy
Tivo Guide lets you see the next 8 or so programs coming up on a channel; DirecTV Guide only shows a two or three hour window

Overall, the HD content makes the HR20 the choice in the end. But if you used Tivo before, you’ll hate the machine. (People who think its okay must have never used Tivo, or even Windows Media Center.)

The whole “used car” negotiation aspect of hardware upgrades is a pain, too. I knew people were getting upgrades from the HD Tivo to the HR20 for $20. So I call the sales reps and get told $99 initially, then a bitchy supervisor tells me “but for you, since you asked for a discount, $299.” At that point I ended the call and called back up to cancel service. Once I did that, I got the upgrade for $20.

DirecTV is a great service, but the equipment side of the company is really annoying. If cable wasn’t so bad in my neighborhood, they’d have lost me as a customer with the DVR upgrade debacle.

Lizard, programming credits meaning “I’ll give you the HD package for free for 1 year”.

If you don’t like the deal one CSR gives you, hang up and call back.

I don’t know what the first part of this means. You can look at programs upcoming for the next two weeks or so with the DirecTV guide. I suppose it only shows a few at a time, without having to scroll right. Is that what you mean? That seems nitpicky.

I’ve actually had TiVo, and I do prefer many of it’s features. However, my TiVo did not have the instant replay button or the skip forward 30 seconds function, both of which I love. There are a few other features I really like with the DirecTV setup also. But I DO miss the reaction time of the TiVo and the two channel thing (which Comcast actually copied, even on non-TiVo systems…not sure why DTV didn’t).

Well, seeing as how I’ve never had either service, it sounds like I’ll be perfectly content with the DTV DVR setup. Like I said, I’m in no hurry to go HD because I don’t give a rat’s ass about TV quality beyond basics.

I just want to be able to conveniently manage my viewing schedule without having to stay up until midnight for the daily show.

Bob, thanks for the tip. It always amazes me the success other people have with csr negotiations.

Robert, from what I understand the DTVDVR allows you to record a show while watching another. Did you mean the two show record + one more?

DirecTV is bullshit. Had to buy (not rent) their HD DVR a few years ago. Then a year later they added 12 new HD channels, but you had to upgrade your HD DVR to the newest HD DVR.

Needless to say, fuck that, it’s not worth paying them again, next time the idiots won’t require you to upgrade your DVR to get more channels.

Now I’m happy with Comcast.

The one bit that is faster is setting programs to record - it seems that much snappier on the new HR15’s and HR20’s. Adjusting season passes is also instantaneous - It seems smart enough to reprioritize the stuff in the background.

Hardly nitpicky. As you’re scrolling through a movie channel list to see what movies are coming up over the next few days, you can scroll through 24 hours in three or four keypresses. It’s about 12 on the HR20.

However, my TiVo did not have the instant replay button or the skip forward 30 seconds function, both of which I love.

Instant replay? You mean the “hit a button and back up 5 seconds” thing the HR20 does? Tivo does that too.

As for 30-second skip, you must have never read about your Tivo on the Intarweb. That’s been an “Easter Egg” feature from Day 1. Just hit select-play-select-3-0-select and you now have a 30-second skip on the ->| button. Sticks around until a power failure or OS upgrade, so you might have to reenable it once every few months. Better than the DirecTV version, because it actually just jumps 30 seconds – you don’t have to watch the fast-motion commercials.

Biggest gripe is the 50 season pass limit. I haven’t hit that yet, but I can se it being a problem as we had 60+ on the HD Tivo. We don’t watch that many programs regularly – way less than most families – but something like “record Ben 10 for my kid any time it’s one one of these three channels” can use up 3 slots, since the HR20 doesn’t have a “record this on any channel.” (One of the few features that Media Center does better than Tivo or DTV.)

I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks legit for dealing with DTV CSRs. I’m upgrading from my DirectTivo to the HD20 this weekend, so i may call back and cancel my order OTOH i may just be too fucking lazy to deal with it so YMMV.

I originally found this on Anantech http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=40&threadid=2092654&enterthread=y

Which led me to DBStalk (i havent been through the 100 page thread yet) http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?p=1077919#post1077919

Notes:
[I]You should be able to keep your old receiver and get an HR20 for no more than $199. Many are getting their new HR20’s for just the shipping cost of $19.

The deal you will get depends on your your “Hearts” rating that factors in payment history, automatic payments, protection plan, tenure, current hardware, when your commitment renews, sports packages, etc. There is no such thing as an “A List,” just 1, 3, or 5 Hearts. If you are 5 Hearts, you have the winning hand.[/I]

Upgrading to the HR20:

  1. Check out the competition. Print out the offers from Comcast, DISH, etc.
  2. Call DIRECTV at 800-531-5000. At the voice prompt say “Cancel” to go directly to Retention.
  3. Be polite. Tell them you want to stay with DIRECTV. Repeat their name & write it down. Ask them how many “Hearts” you are.
  4. Ask if you can upgrade to the HR20 for the $19 shipping? Tell the competing offers if needed.
  5. See if you can get any months of free HD and Showtime. You may have to call more than once.
  6. Make sure you get a morning installation for timeliness and to have extra equipment on hand.
  7. Before you hang up, confirm that your work order is for:
    DIRECTV HD DVR (Expanded HD Prog. Capable)
    Standard Professional Install that will include:
  • New RG6 cabling and connectors (up to 125’ x 4 as needed)
  • Zinwell 6x8 Multiswitch (if needed)
    DIRECTV 5-LNB Multi-Satellite Dish (if dish upgrade needed)
    Your date and price
  • Craig

Wow. I feel like I’m playing a JRPG with my money. I am really not looking forward to asking another grownup how many “hearts” I have. Thanks for the tip, though, it can’t hurt to try.

Ok, just got off the phone with Dtv. I said ‘cancel’ at the selection menu and went right to a retention specialist. Huge difference from the boneheads in sales. I told him i just found out that the DVR i ordered wasn’t DirectTivo and that i was considering going to another provider so i could keep Tivo.

Without going into the details (back and forth, him asking me to say, me staying on the fence), he wiped ALL the charges off my order (so i get the H20 for free) and i can relocate and rewire my existing DTivo for free as well. I also asked for programming credits and got 6 months free of HBO. In retrospect i should have asked for more programming, but he was kind of laughing at me towards the end, so i didn’t push it :)

That is awesome. I can’t wait to embark on this exciting dating simulator we call customer service!