DirecTV DVR vs. DirecTivo - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-06-2008, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Another example of how crappy the DTV HDDVR is:

I see a promo for Ted Koppel's series on China on the Discovery Channel. I do a search with the DTV DVR. Search by title. Nothing. Search by "Koppel", nothing. So I check Discover Channel and find out it's a four part series beginning on Wednesday at 7pm. I manually use the guide to go to the program, click on it and record series, both first run and repeats. Then I check to see if it grabs Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows. Nope. So I have to manually select those to be recorded as well.

Now I go over to my old Hughes DirecTivo. Search for by Title. There it is. Search by "Koppel", there it is. It shows me all upcoming shows, first run and repeat. I ask it to record (first run only this time) and it finds all four first run shows and records them. Like a good DVR is supposed to do.

No, there were no conflicts or priority issues. Or space remaining issues. I called DTV tech support and the guy didn't have a clue as to why this might happen. He suggested we could troubleshoot and reset the receiver. Hell no. I've done that before and lost recording data. Heck, one time after a software upgrade my entire hard drive was cleaned out.

I'm totally sick and tired of DirecTV's piece of crap DVRs. I'm really tempted to drop HD, buy myself another used DirecTivo. No it won't be HD but if you miss a recording it's not High Definition, it's ND, No Definition. Or maybe just switch to cable where I can use an HD Tivo.

Thoughts, explanations, anyone?

Peter
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-09-2008, 07:57 PM
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I'm done with them. I've sent two units back. The third unit I have consistently hangs and has to be 'reset.' The technicians know less about their units than I do. Sending this third one back and getting U-Verse. I long for the halcyon days of my TiVo again.

Sony KDS-R60XBR1
Dreadful Direct TV HD DVR
XBOX 360, PS3, Wii
Yamaha RX-Z9 Receiver
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-11-2008, 06:41 AM
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hey guys does the hd dvr from direct tv need a phone line to dl the schedules...cause i don't have one where i want to place.....

thanks for the help
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-17-2008, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvethammer View Post

hey guys does the hd dvr from direct tv need a phone line to dl the schedules...cause i don't have one where i want to place.....

thanks for the help

No, the schedule comes through with the regular satellite signal. I have no land phone line at home and it works as it is supposed to, but the schedule is only two or three days in advance, unlike the two weeks' worth I was used to when I used a box I owned.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-19-2008, 03:29 PM
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I've seen this on Scientific-Atlanta DVRs too -- the 8300 and similar models used by cable companies.

I think the problem is they only look at a show's Title to determine is it's a new or repeated showing. There's more information available to determine this, and Tivo and ReplayTV use it wisely -- but not the simplistic recorders from the DBS and cable companies. I think they literally don't understand how TV stations operate...

The typical show schedule has a variety of data that could be used:
Show/Series name
Episode name
Episode description
Episode number
Episode start/stop/length
Flags for new/rerun, CC, letterbox, color/bw, HD, and others.

But, does a particular OPG have all of this info, and even if it does, does a particular recorder use all of this info?

I see the problem frequently when there's a multi-part series. Every showing has the same Show name, but where it blows up is if every Episode has the same name too, differing only in the description.

For example, the PBS series "American Experience" (Show/Series name) might have a two-part presentation called "The Cowboys" (Episode name). The first part might have description "How Cowboys got started" and the second "Cowboys of the future", but to the brain-dead recorder, it's simply two showings of the same Show+Episode, therefore only one gets recorded.

Along with DirecTV's recorder, my SA8300HD won't record seeminly identical episodes, but my ReplayTV will. I learned this long ago and now when using the SA recorder I must locate the future episodes and mark them to record -- if I can, made difficult because the recorder only gives me the next 6 days of schedule. I can't even set it to record a show one week from today, unless I wait until tomorrow. But that might not work because it routinely skips the schedule of one random day a week and never downloads it. And of course there's no way to record by searching for anything. What a joke! So, I also set the same show to record on the ReplayTV, knowing I'll get it for sure and will just a have lesser quality picture rather than nothing.

However, the reverse problem can hit Tivo and ReplayTV units. While the proper listing format is to use the same Show name every time, and vary only the Episode name, if the TV station instead messes with the Show name, ANY recorder gets confused. The "record all episodes" mode doesn't work because they don't see the episodes as of the same show. Example: My wife liked Hallmark Channel's McBride series of movies and asked me to record them. But instead of each one being Show: McBride, Episode: Whatever, Hallmark changed the Show name each time. Now they were being brain-dead, not considering that this practice made recording very difficult. I had to use ReplayTV's ability to search for a keyword within a title or description -- but at least I had that tool. There was no way to record series on my SA8300 because it can only do an exact match on Show name but Hallmark gave each a one-of name.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-12-2008, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawktv View Post

I've seen this on Scientific-Atlanta DVRs too -- the 8300 and similar models used by cable companies.
Along with DirecTV's recorder, my SA8300HD won't record seeminly identical episodes, but my ReplayTV will.

i miss my SA8300 horribly bad, brighthouse in orlando, fl had an amazing setup. simply the best i've ever used. maybe it is the provider who has a large influence on series issues, but i never encountered the problem you are talking about where i had to seek and manually record new episodes.

now i'm stuck with DTV and would rather shoot myself than have to use it another day. i literally have stopped watching television from my cable box and strictly use my htpc. i would cancel but it will cost me nearly $400 in early contract cancellation fees.

hoping something comes out soon so i can resume normal cable tv viewing.
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