DirecTV H20 (non-DVR) Official Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6205 Old 11-02-2005, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Just installed a Directv H20 STB.

I don't see a thread dedicated to the quirks of this STB so...


Right off, after activation, a software down load to version 000A occurred. Prior was 0160.

The Guide seems to not have any configuration option for style/color/transparency etc.

The Guide alway starts with a filter option rather than showing the guide. I couldn't figure away to stop that so to get to the guide it's alway two key presses. I hope I've just missed something major here.

The System test does not work. It says testing and goes to 99% then starts over again and never shows any results.

I don't see any easy way to change favorite/custom channel list directly from guide (or remote) so every time it's more clicks into the menu.

Also the channel info banner seems to stay after I switch to the channel, even though I have it set to 2 second dismissal.


I hope I've missed something major in the user interface interaction setup...

Regards,
Steve
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post #2 of 6205 Old 11-02-2005, 10:00 PM
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I just hooked up an H20 I got from CC online this evening. I see those quirks, except I haven't tried the system test other than setup, and have some others to note.
When setting up a custom channel list, there are points while scrolling through local OTA channels to add/subtract where the list of available channels just disappears. I found I have to manually enter a channel number to get the list back. Until I did that, I would press several buttons trying to get somwhere else and the box would lockup and then reboot.
I wonder if it is related to another quirk, in which the analog locals from Houston on D* show as being unavailable when tuned to. They show up in the guide with program info, but won't come in. What's really confusing is some programs even have the HD tag next to them, even though they can't be HD on the current satellite channels. I haven't called D* yet to see if that can be fixed.
I also set the banner time to 2 seconds, and it seems to go with that if you change channels using the channel up/down button. It may be if you use the guide, or tune directly to go to a channel the banner stays longer. I'll have to play with it some more to see just when that's the case.
Otherwise the H20 seems to be a pretty decent receiver so far. The OTA tuner seems to be pretty sensitive, picking up several channels reliably that the HD-Tivo seems to have issue with.
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post #3 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 05:27 AM
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I installed 2 H-20s yesterday and, so far, all seems ok. I have not, as yet, went into menu very far. But the image on the screen seems very nice. When there is an image in foreground it begins to stand out from background, more so, if the background is blurred. this gives a very pleasing dementional image on the screen. Sensitively (compared with Zenith HD520) seems about the same to, maybe, a little better. Again, only 1 day with receiver, and that is not enough to get a total feeling about receiver. Summing up, I would say this H-20 seems 'very good' with a few 'excellent' points. I will discover a few flaws soon, I expect. But, main thing is image on the screen., and that is very pleasing, good color, contrast, and resolution.
Bottom line, so far, so good!
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post #4 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labmansid View Post

I also set the banner time to 2 seconds, and it seems to go with that if you change channels using the channel up/down button. It may be if you use the guide, or tune directly to go to a channel the banner stays longer. .

Seems to be related to how the channel is tuned.
If I tune from the guide and the "more info" is hilighted the banner does not dismiss. If the "more info" is not displayed the banner dismisses in the time I have set (2 seconds). If I retune to the same channel the "more info" does not seem to be there, but if I go to a different channel if shows up.

I've had at least six different models of directv STBs and this has the least user friendly guide of any of them.



How about some guide options like:

- Option for no channel banner when changing channels:

- Showing the guide when I press the guide button not some filter selection.

- More custom favorite lists than just 2.

- Ability to select favorite list from the guide and actually having the guide change to reflect the list.
(because the way it is now you have to drill down several "QUICK" menu selctions and then when you get back the guide doesnt reflect the new list.

- Guide Style options...

- Ability to change font size of guide and have it dynamically resize base on screen resolution. IOW 1080 guide should have more rows and columns than 480


Currently one of the main reasons I stick with Directv is because the guide is (was) so much better than what cable offers, in one swoop Directv has almost leveled the playing field for cable.

Regards,
Steve
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post #5 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 06:28 AM
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OK, this morning the "old" local Houston channels are showing up and working. The others, which were the only ones showing up last night, must be the new upcoming HD locals which don't work as yet. Soon, however, hopefully they will!
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post #6 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 07:54 AM
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Question on H-20. I have 2 new H-20s. On the Music Choice channels (soon to be XM Radio channels) a banner (giving info on music being played) is displayed when you first tune to a channel. This goes away after a few minutes and a blue saver screen appears. How to you keep the information flowing on screen for each new selection? I have glanced thru the instruction booklet by the way.
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post #7 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 07:59 AM
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Directv should have come up with a 'favorites' such as Zenith. You can set it with the station symbols such as a nice big CBS (in colors) and you can select, as favorites, quite a number of channels. One click brings up 'favorites', 1 more click gives you a favorite station/channel. This favorites is not easy for my wife while the Zenith favoirites was great for her. A design should always be made as simple as possible, meaning quick and easy.
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post #8 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 11:57 AM
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i think the hughes boxes had a similar feature called turbo guide or something like that.
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post #9 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 12:05 PM
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What kind of timers are included so that you can have the box change channels to record programs unattended? I assume they are similar to the H10 but can not find an Owner's Manual on-line yet...
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post #10 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 12:31 PM
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I haven't really played with that feature yet (that's what Tivos are for ), but the H20 has what they call "Autotune". Looks like you can either do a search for a program using the guide or keyword search, or set up a manual tune by time/channel like a VCR.
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post #11 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 03:01 PM
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DanHuff: There is a program timer on the H-20. But, it seems to me, the 'favorites' is not close to the ease other receivers have given us in past. Why would anyone step back in time on this important feature?
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post #12 of 6205 Old 11-03-2005, 03:33 PM
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If you use a pronto-like remote you could program the guide button to send the signal in duplicate which will jump to the pre-selected guide. I know they should have made it where it goes directly to the guide, but two quick presses of the guide button will get you there.
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post #13 of 6205 Old 11-04-2005, 05:18 AM
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A question if you please. On my H-20 I bring up Quick Menu, then go to Custom 1. I click on Custom 1 to bring up Custom 1's favorites list..and nothing happens...How do you bring up Custom 1 (or other chosen lists)? Is my receiver defective here. It is not a good favorite setup at best on this receiver but I seem to come to a dead end here. Any suggestions?
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post #14 of 6205 Old 11-04-2005, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard korsgren View Post

A question if you please. On my H-20 I bring up Quick Menu, then go to Custom 1. I click on Custom 1 to bring up Custom 1's favorites list..and nothing happens..

I think that just sets the favorite. You then heve to select Guide and if you were already in the guide you have to dismiss it and then reselect it to get the new favorites choice. A very bad design to say the least.

Regards,
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post #15 of 6205 Old 11-04-2005, 07:21 AM
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Steve: I have come to this conclusion. My Zenith is so much better. You load your favorites ( 20 or so) on a big square page that comes up with the channels showing in color with their symbol such as CBS and NBC, etc. You can get to a given channnel in 3-4 or less. So easy for a woman to do. I may return my Zenith to our living room for one of our tvs. I certainly am glad I did not surrender it in getting H-20. Also, by the way, top of H-20 gets warmer than Zenith did.
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post #16 of 6205 Old 11-04-2005, 07:31 AM
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Another question, if you will: ..Music Choice channels. I go a channel and it brings up current song, artist, etc. but, then, after this one song is finished playing, how do you keep this information flowing for each song as it begins? After first song, info goes and does not return on next selection that is played.
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post #17 of 6205 Old 11-05-2005, 12:56 PM
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No mention of how horribly slow the guide is on the H20

I bought and returned an H20 last weekthe guide was waaaay to slow for me.

I am currently using a Sammy 360
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post #18 of 6205 Old 11-05-2005, 04:07 PM
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coda305:..Altho the video and audio are both very good on the H-20, it is slpw thru the menus and the 'favorites' setup is not very good. Boxes like the Zenith HD520 are so much better in most everything except the video and audio. Here, the H-20 holds its' own. I think I shall have to replace one of the H-20s' with the Zenith for the pleasure of my wife. Directv could have thought some aspects out better and came up with a much better unit. (My opinion). I bet they had no women on the design team.
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post #19 of 6205 Old 11-05-2005, 04:23 PM
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Topics merged.

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post #20 of 6205 Old 11-05-2005, 07:30 PM
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I've had 2 HD boxes for some time now (Toshiba DST-3000 and Hughes E-86). My Toshiba box lost its satellite receiving ability several months ago and I've been waiting on MPEG-4 to replace it. So, when I saw that CC here in Atlanta had the H-20 in stock, I decided to buy one. CC did not have the boxes on display but did have 2 in stock.

I got the unit home and activated it. I told the D* CSR I thought the box should be eligible for the $200 rebate. He did some checking and said the system was telling him that the rebate was only valid for Detroit. I guess I'll have to wait until I get ready to replace my Hughes box to get my rebate.

When the H-20 scanned for locals, it could not find the main digital channels 2-1, 5-1, 11-1, etc. All it could find were the sub-channels 2-2, 5-2, 11-2, etc. After I did 2 or 3 channel scans, the unit informed me that it was downloading a software update. The update took about 15 minutes. After that, the scan found the main digital channels. Whew!

The unit brings in the local digitals significantly better than either of my other HD receivers. Specifically, I could not receive 14-1 (PAX digital) with my other receivers but I get about a 70 signal strength on 14-1 now with a steady picture.

I do miss the turbo tune function of hitting the select button and being able to get to my 9 most favorite channels....

Jeff Burleson
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post #21 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 05:06 AM
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another flaw in H-20; on music choice channels it gives the information for selections played up to a certain point (maybe 10-15 minutes) and, then, no more information. My wife complains about the 'favorities' on this unit so I think I shall return the Zenith HD520 to service.. The Zenith is better in just about everything except audio and video and, there, it is very close; actually. too close to call. The H-20 is very warm to the touch as well, maybe too warm.
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post #22 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 05:40 AM
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something else: I try to load channels into Custom One. I start with 'all channels I get" but, then, when I start clicking the list, the list shuts off with something like 47-1 (a local OTA station). The list of channels I receive does not go on to show full list! I have had a problem with my other H-20. The installer placed the component cables in the right connections..blue, green, red. But we got a green picture. The S-Vid works OK. He said, probably, the wire was wrong inside the H-20..the leads were reversed. So, that H-20 will be replaced. So, others out there have their favorities lists set up OK, yes?
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post #23 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 06:33 AM
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Well, after 2 restarts, and playing around with H-20, I presume I have the favorites lists set up as best a person can. Bottom line, it is a poor and slow way to bring up your favorites. More clicking than is reasonable. Just about as quick to bring up wanted program by clicking on the numbers pad. In fact, it may be quicker.
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post #24 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 10:28 AM
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I liked the menu operation on my Sony HD200, but it died and the DTV-supplied (warranty) Samsung with aftermart remote suffers in comparison. Someday it is likely I will own an H-20 and it appears I may not be happy about that menu either. Is it technically possible for DTV or others to download an upgraded menu program to the H-20? Or is that all hardwired in? I presume other companies could offer competitive boxes, or do the new transmission standards preclude that in some way?

It seems like there would be a big market for software upgrades if the boxes were set up to receive them. DTV could make money selling upgrades in the way ringtones are sold now and I think the advertising buzz over this would benefit DTV. And if a company like, say, Apple got involved, then those many potential DTV customers who think the whole HD thing is way too technical might also be attracted.
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post #25 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlgo View Post

Is it technically possible for DTV or others to download an upgraded menu program to the H-20?

It might be possible, but it will not happen.

What is much more likely, is that D* will download upgrades to the existing software, to correct any bugs and improve performance, if possible.

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post #26 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 02:40 PM
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I have had receivers for years with a fast menu. Now, we have a slow menu from Directv. This is difficult for me to understand.
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post #27 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard korsgren View Post

I have had receivers for years with a fast menu. Now, we have a slow menu from Directv. This is difficult for me to understand.

The other receivers you've used had software designed by the respective manufacturers. The H20 has DirecTV designed software, and the requirement of 2 new sat locations to poll for guide info.

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post #28 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 03:17 PM
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...Ken:...That could be a problem down the road with HD receivers designed from one team instead of different manufacturers. Competition is always good and now it is pretty much gone. Directv has sort of eliminated this. Now and in the future, when Directv gives receivers away, they will be built cheaply. There is only a 90 day warranty on the H-20 but I suspect Directv will exchange a new unit for a defective unit thru the months/years. The guide, itself, is alright on the H-20 but the 'favorites' is very slow and not quick at all. My wife is complaining already. She, already wants me to put the Zenith back in service. But, hey, the H-20 is free. And we will get used to it until something new happens along.
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post #29 of 6205 Old 11-06-2005, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard korsgren View Post

That could be a problem down the road with HD receivers designed from one team instead of different manufacturers. Competition is always good and now it is pretty much gone. Directv has sort of eliminated this.

Agreed.

I believe this was one of the reasons why D* was popular with many consumers, choice of receivers.

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post #30 of 6205 Old 11-07-2005, 04:04 AM
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How come after setting stretch and gray bars, I still get a 4x3 picture with black bars on all sd channels?
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