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DocTauri
06-16-2009, 10:25 AM
Hello again all, I was just lurking and decided to post.

Back in August of 2007, I submitted this post (http://www.dealdatabase.com/forum/showpost.php?p=286012&postcount=15) detailing my experiences with the DirecTV HR20 HD-DVR receiver. I'm bored at work today, so figured I'd give a status update.

It's been nearly 2 years now since I made that post, and I will admit, the HR20 has grown on me. Actually, now there are several models, HR20/HR21/HR22, collectively known as the HR2x. I now have 7 HD-DVR units, and just turned off my last DirecTivo.

The software has come a long way. It is MUCH more stable than it was in my last post. Dual live buffers are a reality now, remote scheduling, and the biggie... MRV is finally here! Well, it's in beta, but it's coming very soon to the masses. I have to say too, I like the way MRV works on the new units better (streaming vs. syncing). Once the playlist organization gets worked out, it should be pretty impressive.

I think the only thing that I can't do with the unit (aside from extraction) is TivoWeb. It was nice to be able to web in and delete a bunch of shows, but I can actually delete entire folders now, so that works out.

There still aren't any hacks, but I haven't really needed any.

Oh, and another cool feature of the new OS is the MediaShare stuff. As I mentioned before, I bought an AppleTV (3 now) and rebuilt my media server. I'm using MediaTomb on my linux box to share out via UPnP. Every DirecTV HD DVR in my house can now see this server and play it's video content. Additionally, I have loaded PlayOn on one of my Windows boxes. This allows my HD-DVR's to play content from Amazon, Youtube, and even my Netflix account. This too is in beta, so the fast forward and rewind aren't yet functional, but again, it's in the works.

All in all, it was a little bumpy at the beginning, but I'm happy that I stuck with it. My only complaint is that the unit seems to be a little slow. I believe this is probably due to debug code in the load I'm running, so hopefully when this code goes mainstream, that will get stripped and speed the unit up.

Finally, I keep talking about beta software. They're beta program is open to anyone, all you have to do is download the software at the appropriate time and start testing.

Feel free to ask any questions.

Doc

Thinkdiff
06-16-2009, 04:40 PM
Sounds like they've made a lot of improvements. MRV would be amazing.

I'm still a DirecTiVo hold out. I'm running 2 HDVR2s, 1 SD-DVR40 and 1 DSR708. They all work great, after years of use... I really have no complaints other than I can't upgrade to 6.4 without losing MRV.

The DirecTV DVRs are very tempting (the interactive content they're doing now), but I really like being able to pop open my TiVo or login over telnet and do basically whatever I want.

DocTauri
06-16-2009, 11:24 PM
I agree, it was very nice to be able to log in and do whatever I wanted to the box, but I'll admit that, if I had to give in to something, the HD-DVR's were definately worth it and much better than any other alternative.

Doc

SteveT
06-23-2009, 03:38 PM
.....
Oh, and another cool feature of the new OS is the MediaShare stuff. As I mentioned before, I bought an AppleTV (3 now) and rebuilt my media server. I'm using MediaTomb on my linux box to share out via UPnP. Every DirecTV HD DVR in my house can now see this server and play it's video content. Additionally, I have loaded PlayOn on one of my Windows boxes. This allows my HD-DVR's to play content from Amazon, Youtube, and even my Netflix account. This too is in beta, so the fast forward and rewind aren't yet functional, but again, it's in the works......That sounds very interesting! I took a glance at the MediaShare stuff but was scared off by all the VIIV talk. I'll give it another look as soon as I get back home.

DocTauri
06-23-2009, 06:35 PM
Let me know if I can help.

Doc

donny_rules2008
07-11-2009, 02:32 AM
Excuse my ignorance, but where and when do I go to get the beta software update?

DocTauri
07-11-2009, 08:38 AM
You can download the currently available software anytime by resetting the receiver (I prefer to press the red reset button next to the card), then when the blue ring lights come back on, press 0 2 4 6 8 on the remote. Nothing more. If you did it in time, you'll get the normal first 2 screens (Please wait, and Almost there), but instead of flipping to the DirecTV screen on the 3rd blink, you'll get a software download window.

Every Friday and Saturday night, between 11pm and 2am they make the beta available in the download stream. Now, it's not always every Fri and Sat, sometimes there's not an update available, or if they have probs with it on Fri, they pull it on Sat. The best place to find out if it's going to happen, and what changes are in the release is the dbstalk dot com forum in the Cutting Edge sub-forum.

Doc

stevel
07-11-2009, 08:48 PM
Note that you have to join dbstalk as a member AND sign up for the free Cutting Edge group, by which you signify that you agree to the CE rules. Only then do you get to see the CE sections.

donny_rules2008
07-17-2009, 05:57 AM
Thank You, I will be sure to try it this Friday
-db

BAHitman
08-11-2009, 08:30 PM
I'll have to admint, I was afraid that the HDDVR's they got now would be trash... but you know what... there's alot of things I like about it better. I'm down to 2 Tivo's on my account now, and am scournig e-bay for owned units now to replace them... (nice thing about an owned unit is you can open it up and put a 2TB drive in them instead of relying on the dodgy eSata port)

I will urge caution when using ebay as alot of people are posting that they own units that they don't, and directv won't activate a reciever that is supposed to be returned to them...

AlphaWolf
08-11-2009, 10:31 PM
Is there ultimately anything you can do with a hacked tivo that you can't do with these? Conversely is there anything you can do with these that you can't do with a hacked tivo? And why can't you put your own hard disk in a leased unit (and remove it when they want it back?)

jwciv
08-12-2009, 09:19 AM
you can certainly replaced the internal hard drive, you just void the warranty (I'm sure close to 100% of the people on this board have voided their warranty and never blinked an eye, never looked back!)
I do miss having a couple unsubbed MRV terminals that feed off a subbed unit.
I'm pretty sure PlainBill will weigh in here too...

SteveT
08-12-2009, 09:58 AM
Is there ultimately anything you can do with a hacked tivo that you can't do with these? Conversely is there anything you can do with these that you can't do with a hacked tivo? And why can't you put your own hard disk in a leased unit (and remove it when they want it back?)After having an HR22 for 6 months or so, here's my take:

Things I can't do at all with the HR22:
1) Control the NoReRecord list
2) View/manage NPL and ToDo list remotely
3) Extract video to my PC/kids' iPods for travel
4) Watch shows sitting on my Tivo's (MRV)

Things I can do, but not nearly as well:
5) View/manage NPL and ToDo list (I also use HiGuide for this)
6) Watch shows sitting on my PC (does not support skip or fast-forward)
7) Manage the channel list and remove D*s weekly additions

The only thing I can do with the HR22 that I can't with my hacked Tivo's is watch all of the HD channels. Of course, this is a biggie. :)

There are of course lots of minor differences, but these are the ones I actively bump into.

PlainBill
08-12-2009, 01:43 PM
Is there ultimately anything you can do with a hacked tivo that you can't do with these? Conversely is there anything you can do with these that you can't do with a hacked tivo? And why can't you put your own hard disk in a leased unit (and remove it when they want it back?)
From my point of view, there is little that cannot be done with the HR2x units that I want to do. TVersity allows listening to mp3s and viewing video and picture files on the big screen TV. DirecTV2PC allows viewing shows recorded on the HR2x on my computer. Caller ID is already available. MRV is in beta; I tried it through the DirecTV cutting edge program andit worked very well. (Only fiscal prudence prevented the purchase of several more HDTVs and HR2x :eek: ). Recordings can be scheduled remotely.

Some features others would like don't really interest me. In 5+ years with an HDVR2 I extracted 1 show and inserted 1. My son, the software whiz assures me that with DirecTV2PC as a working base, extraction would be possible. Insertion is another matter; it should be possible if someone comes up with software that emulates an AM21. Manipulating the 'now playing list' - why?

On the issue on adding a larger drive, I opted for copying the existing recordings to a new 1 Tbyte drive and replacing the original drive. The original drive is in a resealed and labeled box in a 'secure location'.

PlainBill

BAHitman
08-12-2009, 08:58 PM
if you break the seal on a leased unit, when you return it, I'm told they will charge you $499. it's much worse than voiding the warranty...

I guess if you can get the warranty sticker off without exposing the VOID across it you would be OK replacing the drive w/o issues... it ain't easy though... real pain in the rear...

PlainBill
08-12-2009, 10:02 PM
if you break the seal on a leased unit, when you return it, I'm told they will charge you $499. it's much worse than voiding the warranty...

I guess if you can get the warranty sticker off without exposing the VOID across it you would be OK replacing the drive w/o issues... it ain't easy though... real pain in the rear...

Getting the sticker off is relatively easy. Agreed, violating the warranty is no big deal - it's only a 90 day warranty according to the CSR I spoke to. Likewise, returning the unit is a non-issue in most cases. I is my understanding the service commitment is only 2 years. At that point, they have no power to compel you to return the DVR. Note, if you sell it, the purchaser cannot activate it.

Even if you have the $5.00 per month equipment warranty, DirecTV still has only two options if the warranty sticker is missing (unless the DVR is obviously damaged deliberately). Replace it under warranty, or risk loosing a customer. In the course of a year, even the cheapest account generates more revenue for DirecTV than their cost of a HD-DVR.

PlainBill

BAHitman
08-13-2009, 11:19 AM
well, as far as the customer agreement goes... it does not matter how long you have the reciever, when you close your account, you have to return it if it is a lease. a CSR told me that they would not let you activate a previously leased reciever because they had to make sure it was in working order and had not been modified so that I would not be responsible for the $499 fee if it were damaged. you could take that as they are looking out for you, or you can take is as BS... given the reported history of the csr's you never really know for sure...

that's not to say that they would even pursue you if you don't return it... but if they do, I'm sure your credit would suffer if you dont pay them...

for me, it's not worth it--not that I ever intend to cancel, but you never know...

AlphaWolf
08-15-2009, 06:04 AM
That's one of the biggest reasons I think I'll never go back to directv. One reason I liked directv is you could own your own equipment, whereas with the cable company you HAD to lease theirs and pay up the ass for equipment rental (like $15 a month for a box, what a joke.)

Now the tables have turned a complete 180.

Cablecards are cheaper per month than even the directv lease fees (which are cheaper than what cable used to be.) And I really can't stand the idea of signing a 2 year commitment every time you change just one little thing about your service, that used to annoy me so much. Worse is with directv you essentially had to buy the unit, then pay a lease fee for it, sign up for a 2 year commitment, and then they can ask to have it back anytime they want it. The very principle of it is just absurd.

PlainBill
08-15-2009, 02:45 PM
That's one of the biggest reasons I think I'll never go back to directv. One reason I liked directv is you could own your own equipment, whereas with the cable company you HAD to lease theirs and pay up the ass for equipment rental (like $15 a month for a box, what a joke.)

Now the tables have turned a complete 180.

Cablecards are cheaper per month than even the directv lease fees (which are cheaper than what cable used to be.) And I really can't stand the idea of signing a 2 year commitment every time you change just one little thing about your service, that used to annoy me so much. Worse is with directv you essentially had to buy the unit, then pay a lease fee for it, sign up for a 2 year commitment, and then they can ask to have it back anytime they want it. The very principle of it is just absurd.

With all due respect to someone who has been active here AND contributed more than I have, this logic is bullshit.

First, the primary consideration should be "Will the service deliver what I want?" The second should be "Which service will deliver it most economically?"

Millions of people are content with no television, or OTA television only. I would not attempt to persuade them that they are missing something vital.

Now let's look at your arguments. First of all, the rental for a cable card is a factor only if cable provides the programming you want. Frankly, I could live the rest of my life happily without shopping channels, LMN, CMT, or MTV. Others feel differently, and I encourage them to do so. I would not be happy if I was unable to watch my (former) home NFL team play, and I'm willing to pay for the entertainment. That pretty much ties me to DirecTV.

The 'rent vrs lease' issue is also misrepresented. When I owned the DSR704 in my living room I paid a $5.00 per month 'additional receiver' fee. When It was replace with a HR20-700 (at a cost of $100, including the new dish, multiswitches and installation by an incompetent bunch of yahoos) the $5.00 a month fee became a 'lease' fee. Again, others can have their own opinion, but it doesn't matter a whit to me if it's called a 'lease fee', 'additional receiver fee', or 'convenience fee'.

The two year commitment is also misrepresented. The information I got from the CSR is that if I discontinued service within two years I could either return the receiver to DirecTV or pay a $500 penalty. Furthermore I have spoken to a number of people who are selling a leased receiver on Craigslist after having discontinued service. Some of them had 'purchased' the receiver from Best Buy less than a year ago. They were unaware the receiver was actually leased, and had never been charged the $500. Now, this might be due to DirecTV's legendary inefficiency.

PlainBill

AlphaWolf
08-18-2009, 07:21 PM
With all due respect to someone who has been active here AND contributed more than I have, this logic is bullshit.

First, the primary consideration should be "Will the service deliver what I want?" The second should be "Which service will deliver it most economically?"

Millions of people are content with no television, or OTA television only. I would not attempt to persuade them that they are missing something vital.

Now let's look at your arguments. First of all, the rental for a cable card is a factor only if cable provides the programming you want. Frankly, I could live the rest of my life happily without shopping channels, LMN, CMT, or MTV. Others feel differently, and I encourage them to do so. I would not be happy if I was unable to watch my (former) home NFL team play, and I'm willing to pay for the entertainment. That pretty much ties me to DirecTV.

The 'rent vrs lease' issue is also misrepresented. When I owned the DSR704 in my living room I paid a $5.00 per month 'additional receiver' fee. When It was replace with a HR20-700 (at a cost of $100, including the new dish, multiswitches and installation by an incompetent bunch of yahoos) the $5.00 a month fee became a 'lease' fee. Again, others can have their own opinion, but it doesn't matter a whit to me if it's called a 'lease fee', 'additional receiver fee', or 'convenience fee'.

The two year commitment is also misrepresented. The information I got from the CSR is that if I discontinued service within two years I could either return the receiver to DirecTV or pay a $500 penalty. Furthermore I have spoken to a number of people who are selling a leased receiver on Craigslist after having discontinued service. Some of them had 'purchased' the receiver from Best Buy less than a year ago. They were unaware the receiver was actually leased, and had never been charged the $500. Now, this might be due to DirecTV's legendary inefficiency.

PlainBill

Honestly the source of the content doesn't really mean anything to me. It ultimately comes down to the cost for what I am getting, so long as it has everything I want. Cable is doing a better job of that right now. Used to be the lease fee killed it, but this is no longer true.

And as far as commitments go, its the whole principle of the thing that bothers the **** out of me. I like to be able to come and go as I choose. If satellite offered a better deal tomorrow, I can always go to them any time I'd like. Going satellite to cable? Better hope your commitment has run out. Same thing with cell phone providers, I really hate them right now.