|How does the standalone DirecTivo get hooked up?
The DirecTivo is a separate receiver -- it's like two standard DirecTV receivers in the same box with a hard drive and Tivo software that was specially written for DirecTV. It requires two lines from dish switch, which is why you'll want to order it from DirecTV. When you order it from DirecTV for $49-$99, they run all the necessary lines and install any new equipment that may be needed (like a new switch) at no extra cost.
Like the HDTV DirecTivo, it records the original digital bitstream off satellite, so all recordings are 100% identical to the original live broadcast. DirecTV offers two models of the SD DirecTivo -- one with 30hours and one with 80hours of storage, so you may want to inquire as to the cost difference. Online instructions
are also available from Weaknees to expand capacity further using a hard drive of your choice.
|Do I have to pay a charge to Tivo for activation?
There is no payment to Tivo. DirecTV handles everything. DirecTV basically paid Tivo to develop software for their satellite DVRs.
DirecTV does charge a $5/month fee for the DVR service. The DVR fee is a flat $5/mo regardless of how many DirecTivos you have in your home; you could order four DirecTivos and you'd still only pay $5/mo for the DVR fee. They waive this fee entirely if you subscribe to their top programming package (Total Choice Premiere).
|Or do I have to use that cable into the PVR and then another cable from the PVR (what type cable?) to the RPTV?
Unless the Samsung has a s-video input (I don't believe it does), then you'd run it directly to your RPTV with s-video. You'd watch the Samsung for live HD broadcasts, and the DirecTivo for everything else.