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Thread: Upgrading to HD should I buy HR10-250?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Upgrading to HD should I buy HR10-250?

    Hi,

    I am currently running with two standard non-HD DTivos units. I installed all of my previous equipment including the dish on my roof.

    I am want to upgrade all of my equipment including the TV to HD. I was going to get the new 5LNB dish by purchasing the dish and HD10-250 on ebay.

    I am looking for recommendations based on what I have read on the forums people are recommending not to purchase the HD10-250.

    Is itt because of the unknown future with HD programming and Direct TV and the HR20s?

    any advice would help
    ____________________________________
    Hughes SD-DVR40 - 144HRS, Tivoweb, FTP
    Hughes SD-DVR80 - 200HRS, Tivoweb, FTP

  2. #2
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    At this point I would question installing an HR10-250 even if given it free. Certainly it will not receive your local HD channels from the satellite.

    I reviewed the choices over 6 months ago in the thread 'Decisions, decisions, decisions' in this forum. If you buy an HR10-250 you will also have to buy a dish (no point in springing for a 5 LNB dish, the HR10 will ignore the extra two LNBs). You will have to install everything yourself. On the plus side you will do a better job than DirecTV's 'professional' installers and you own the HR10. On the minus side you own a receiver that might be obsolete within a month.

    If you order an HR20-700 through DirecTV they will install it for you, including the 5 LNB dish, multiswitch, etc. The latest report indicates it will cost you $20. And they will 'professionallly' install it. On the down side, you don't own it, (but the lease payment includes the 'additional receiver' charge) and of course, it will be installed by DirecTV's installers.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  3. #3
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    PlainBill,

    Slightly off topic, but I know that you recently went through the whole HR20 upgrade decision process. I'm there now and was curious to your opinion on the lack of dual live buffers (DLB) on the HR20.

    I was debating on switching to Dish and there HD-DVR just because of the lack of DLB on the HR20. Of course if I stay with Directv I can continue to use my current hacked units for SD extraction, MRV, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    Idoco

  4. #4
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    For me the lack of dual live buffers was unimportant. Also, note that it is a SOFTWARE issue, not a hardware limitation, and the software is still being updated. There is a HR20 forum at DirecTV, make your wishes known.

    Frankly, switching to Dish to get DLB interests me as much as emasculating myself so my pants are not as tight.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2004
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    FYI I just recently tried to have DirecTV do a movers connection and give me a new dish for the house I am moving to and they would not do it unless I replaced my HDVR2's with their boxes and my HR10 with and HR20 and they wanted me to pay about $400 to do this.
    1 - HDVR2 - 120GB, 6.2, HMO, MRV, TWP, telnet, ftp, TyTool
    1 - HDVR2 - 160GB, 6.2, HMO, MRV, TWP, telnet, ftp, TyTool
    1 - HDVR2 - 320GB, 6.2, HMO, MRV, TWP, telnet, ftp, TyTool
    1 - PC running TivoServer.
    1 - HR10-250 ready and waiting to be improved.

    Thanks to everyone who contributes to this board!

  6. #6
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    Plainbill,

    So from what you are saying it seems as though I have no real choice but to move to the HR20s from DirectTV. Obviously, the mod ability is lost and you can no longer take advantage of pulling down recorded shows or any other benefits that came with the tivo units, is this correct?

    Are the days of being able to maximize the tivo units pretty much coming to an end?
    ____________________________________
    Hughes SD-DVR40 - 144HRS, Tivoweb, FTP
    Hughes SD-DVR80 - 200HRS, Tivoweb, FTP

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstma View Post
    Are the days of being able to maximize the tivo units pretty much coming to an end?
    Let's talk SA Tivo HiDef for a moment.

    Cablelabs (one of the few aspects of the Cable TV industry still significantly vulnerable to regulation) will do the right thing. Once they do, there will be open-market fair use access to programming on the Tivo SA series 3 and the new Tivo SA HD and you will have the "maximization" you want from Tivo HiDef.

    If, OTOH, at some point the cable industry definitively and permanently cripples fair user access to Tivo SAs, I suspect the situation will have to be looked at by users to decide what to do. At _that_ point I suspect you'll _also_ have the maximization you want, through other means.

    As far as DTivo HiDef. The HR10-250 is still a great machine, with all the maximization you want. If you have OTA DiDef locals you have pretty much everything DirecTV currently offers (and better quality on the locals than DirecTV's doubly-compressed and downsampled mp4 versions). As far as DirecTV's pie-in-the-sky HiDef, I'd wait and see. 27 variations of Starz, etc. may not actually be totally necessary for your HiDef enjoyment.

    Obviously the HR10-250 has the fully-discussed OTA multipath reception problems. You don't need particulary strong OTA reception, but it does need to be relatively multi-path free or the HR10-250 can be difficult.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstma View Post
    Plainbill,

    So from what you are saying it seems as though I have no real choice but to move to the HR20s from DirectTV. Obviously, the mod ability is lost and you can no longer take advantage of pulling down recorded shows or any other benefits that came with the tivo units, is this correct?

    Are the days of being able to maximize the tivo units pretty much coming to an end?
    Depending on the source, DirecTV will discontinue using MPEG2 compression on HD channels as early as August and as late as several years from now. Listening to the various arguments, I'd say the HR10-250 will be able to receive DirecTV HD programming for at least 6 months and less than 18 months, with the likely cutoff being in one year. One 'expert' believes neither DirecTV nor Dish will be using MPEG2 in two years. The appeal of the greater compression with mpeg4 is irresistable. If I am wrong I will give you a coupon which will allow you to get a cup of coffee at Starbucks for only $5.00

    In roughly the next month DirecTV will be going live with new programming on a new satellite. The programming will be compressed using the MPEG4 algorithm. The HR10-250 can't 'see' the satellite, and can't handle the datastream.

    It becomes a matter of relative costs. If you can get an HR10-250 with dish for $20, it might be a good option, particularly if DirecTV wants in excess of $200 for the HR20-700. The first thing to try would be to contact DirecTV and see how much it would cost you to get an HR20.

    One thing that escapes many people is the HR20 already has many of the features only available on a hacked HR10. Caller ID - standard. 'Gas Gauge' - standard. Larger hard drive - standard. HMO - standard (although the ability to view videos is still pending). Extraction is not possible, and will be possible only if the HR20 is hacked.

    Also, the HR20 is going to be much more difficult to hack. The HR10 had both software and programming stored on the hard drive. According to reports I have read, the software for the HR20 is stored elsewhere - probably on a flash drive. This is ging to make hacking it MUCH more difficult. Make no mistake about it - DirecTV (and their programming suppliers) does NOT want anyone extracting any programming from the system, and they have the experience to make that difficult.

    So if you are asking "In five years will I be able to extract movies from my HD DriecTiVo or DirecTV HD DVR and burn them to HD DVDs?", I'd say the odds are very much against it.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill View Post
    So if you are asking "In five years will I be able to extract movies from my HD DriecTiVo or DirecTV HD DVR and burn them to HD DVDs?", I'd say the odds are very much against it.
    And I would give considerable weight to your considered answer.

    My answer would be that even in five years he will almost certainly be able to extract OTA HiDef from a DTivo HR10-250 exactly as he can today, as well as any surviving mpeg-2. The OTA content we can be pretty sure will still be there, the mpeg-2 we simply don't know. I'd personally be inclined to figure much or all of it of it will still there in two years, three I'm doubtful, five I'd be surprised. Even two years is long time ahead to predict anything in this business.

    Also maybe it should be noted (a very fine point and probably though not necessarily irrelevant): Any HiDef content which somehow becomes resident on an HR10-250 _will_ be able to be extracted by standard existing methods years from now. Irrelevant, perhaps, because how could new HiDef files get onto the HR10-250 in the first place other than via OTA, surviving satellite mpeg2 or from new files the user already has access to by other means? Personally I don't plan on my HR10-250 being a major fixture in my entertainment center more than two years or so out, but I will definitely be keeping a couple around.

  10. #10
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    Valid points but unfortunately it is all speculative. There is no way to know for sure. I have also heard of all the talk in a few years that will force everyone to move to HD and standard TV would not be available.

    Overall, I tend to think that DirectTV would risk losing a lot of customers if they render the DTIVO HDs useless. I think I will call DirectTV to see what they have to offer.

    Thanks for the support!
    ____________________________________
    Hughes SD-DVR40 - 144HRS, Tivoweb, FTP
    Hughes SD-DVR80 - 200HRS, Tivoweb, FTP

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernstma View Post
    Valid points but unfortunately it is all speculative. There is no way to know for sure. I have also heard of all the talk in a few years that will force everyone to move to HD and standard TV would not be available.
    You misinterpreted what you heard. The standard analog television broadcasts will be discontinued in early 2009, and the VHF frequencies assigned to other uses. The UHF frequencies will only carry digital signals, which will allow up to 6 data streams, each equivalent to a standard analog broadcast. Each broadcaster can decide how they want to use their bandwidth. Locally, most are broadcasting an HD datastream, a digital datastream of their SD broadcast, and one additional SD channel, usually weather. One of the 'Christian' channels is using their digital signal to carry 6 SD channels.

    For those of us who have DirecTV (or Dish), nothing has to change. For those who have cable, nothing has to change. For those who depend on rabbit ears, converter boxes may be available.

    Quote Originally Posted by bernstma View Post
    Overall, I tend to think that DirectTV would risk losing a lot of customers if they render the DTIVO HDs useless. I think I will call DirectTV to see what they have to offer.

    Thanks for the support!
    Where are they going to go? Dish and get a non-TiVo dvr? Get an HR-20 and hook it up to a TiVo (if there is one with HDMI)? Build a Myth TV?

    In a couple of months the new satellite will be carrying additional HD channels, and DirecTV will be advertising them heavily. When someone with an HR10 calls DirecTV and wants to get they extra channels, they will be told that they must get an HR20; it will cost them (I'm guessing) $120, and they will receive the additional channels (normally $20 per month) free for six months AND the new hardware will be installed free. By the time they have seen Disney, National Geographic, Lifetime Movie Network, or Hustler in HD, they won't even care about the lack of dual buffer. Heck, just watching Princess Leia as Jabba the Hutt's slave in HD was almost worth the cost of the upgrade alone.

    PlainBill
    There's a difference between needing help, and just being plain ole' lazy.

    "You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him find it for himself." Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

    HR20-700 with 2 TB, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR22-100, HR23-100 all running 0x5cd and networked.

  12. #12
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    Great information. Thanks guys, Exactly what I've been wondering about recently. (I've been off this board for the past 2 years)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlainBill View Post
    You misinterpreted what you heard. The standard analog television broadcasts will be discontinued in early 2009, and the VHF frequencies assigned to other uses. The UHF frequencies will only carry digital signals, which will allow up to 6 data streams, each equivalent to a standard analog broadcast. Each broadcaster can decide how they want to use their bandwidth. Locally, most are broadcasting an HD datastream, a digital datastream of their SD broadcast, and one additional SD channel, usually weather. One of the 'Christian' channels is using their digital signal to carry 6 SD channels.
    Just to clarify: most of the digital OTA broadcasts may currently be on UHF, but after analog shutdown in 2009, the majority are moving back to VHF. It's the UHF frequencies that will, for the most part, end up being re-allocated. So if you're getting great reception OTA now, check your antenna type, because you may need to make some changes in a year and a half.

    By-Tor

  14. #14
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    more info / speculation on DirecTV HD and what not....

    by the end of the year ( supposedly... ) networks like USA, FX, SCI-FI, etc.
    will be available via the MPEG4 sat that was recently launched. These won't
    be available to HR10-250 owners because of the MPEG4 stuff. I watch a lot
    of stuff on those networks, so that's an important issue to me.

    DishNetwork should also be able to provide those new HD network streams
    on their equipment, but I don't think that they have made any official
    announcements....

    I'm holding off on 'leasing' a HD DVR from DirecTV for $200 till the
    new HD Network streams actually start streaming and see if DishNetwork
    offers the same networks.

    jack

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    I went through this same dilemna shortly before Christmas. I finally decided that my HR10-250 was quickly being made obsolete by DirecTV. I sold it on eBay and picked up my first HR20.

    I got it at Best Buy when I bought my plasma. DirecTV had an offer where, if you bought a plasma and upgraded to HD service (I cancelled a week before, knowing this plan was out), they'd give you $250 (of course, after signing up for a year's service). At the time the HR20 was $300, so that effectively made it $50.

    The first few months were hell, as much my fault as DirecTV's. Me because I was a Tivo biggot. The remote wasn't what I was familiar with (and lets be honest, I fought the peanut coming from my Sony S1 DTivo); no DLB; 30 sec. jump forward is really just a 30 sec. FF; and worst of all, in my book, no MRV (God, that still hurts). I kept a SD Tivo attached to my plasma, just so I could reach back to the rest of the house, and my Tivoserver with 2TB of recordings. DirecTV's fault because the unit was buggier than hell, certainly released before it was ready for primetime. Turn it on and the screen would be black, have to reset it to bring it back; it would lock up in the middle of watching a show (live or recorded), reset again. I made it a habit of calling and bitching every time the thing hiccupped, hoping that maybe someone, somewhere was keeping tabs, and eventually might just say, "aw f*ck it, let's go back to the Tivo". No dice. In 4 months, they replaced my unit 4 times, and my dish twice. All because of crappy software (and we both knew it, so the swapouts were just to appease).

    So now I'm about 8 months into it. It grows on you. It seems that, in many cases, they looked at why we were hacking the Tivo, and tried to accomodate us (where it made sense). CallerID is built in; There's an eSata port for drive expansion (though I don't think that's fully functional yet); Built in ethernet; HMO; etc. There are some things that are really nice, that Tivo doesn't have. Disk utilization meter (God why didn't Tivo do that?!); Season pass setup is a snap, push a button 2 times and it's done. Then, there are some that suck; season pass management. BUT, the thing is getting software updates on nearly a weekly basis, so I have faith that, eventually (through their updates, and my giving in), that these things will be resolved.

    I called DTV a few weeks back and told them I wanted to cancel my service. They immediately sent me to customer retention. When asked why, I said because I just got a note in the mail that my local cable company was going to give me two free HD DVR's and buy back my dish. To keep me, they gave me another HR20 for just the cost of shipping ($20), and took $10 off my bill for the next year.

    So the only thing I'm really missing then is MRV, I used that a lot. But to be honest, I don't think it's going to be too long before we see the broadcast flag in use, and expiring recordings (on Tivo too).

    Until this point though, Tivo hacking had been my favorite hobby. I was sad to lose it, but have since exchanged that for AppleTV hacking. I took all of my existing Tivoserver content and converted it to standard mpeg2 (surprisingly, it only took 24 hours for 800 shows), then remotely mounted that on the hacked AppleTV. Works great, of course, it's only SD, but with the power of torrent, and handbrake, I'm slowly replacing my saved content with DVD and HD versions. I won't do PPV due to the extraction/mrv/eventual broadcast flag issues already noted, so have gone back to renting video and storing them on the ATV as well.

    Doc

    There's no place like ~

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