Is DirecTV's HD DVR Superior to the UTV? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-20-2007, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 3 UTVs still going strong, but it kills me that I can watch/record HD programming. Played around with a DirecTV HD DVR and it seemed fine.

Is this really the case? Can I get anything for my UTV's? I'd rather switch altogether to Verizon FIOS, but their DVR is that crappy MOTOROLA box the cable companies use.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-20-2007, 07:42 PM
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Well I assume by "played around" you mean some kind of "2-minute store demo"?

If this is Best Buy or something... I'd make a check list of things you want to be able to do with the DTV HD DVR... Hog the remote, and try and do all those things and see how quick it response, how easy it is to get around, how comfortable you are with all the features and things... you'll be the one to decide if the HD DVR is "ready for prime time" or not. UTV can't do HD so your DTV DVR options are limited to what DTV itself can offer... No more brand competition on DTV receivers. So while UTV still has features that you will not find on current DTV models... you can't directly compare the two units.

I've "played around" with a DTV HD DVR and I'd agree on first impression it does seem fine... Compared to my one Hughes HDVR2 Tivo... it seems to have a much nicer interface and smoother transitions... but I'd have to spend a bit more time with it before deciding to buy. It may be my only standalone DTV HD DVR option... but I'd rather wait then spend money on something that will get improved/replaced by the next generation. (UTV2? Come on MS give UTV another try, make it standalone or something.)

Your UTVs aren't worthless... just need to find the right buyer. Probably get the best price if both tuners are strong and the hard drive has been upgraded 120/160GB....
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-21-2007, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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The tuners are fine, but I didn't upgrade the drives.

I was at the local Costco, so I did play around with them for a bit. Have never found a CC or BB that had one you could demo. Anyways, it worked fine for me.

Amazing how the UTV interface is still the best/most intuitive.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-21-2007, 08:06 AM
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Quote:


Is DirecTV's HD DVR Superior to the UTV?

It is HD! Enough said.

Okay ... if you want to compare SD features then there is a good overview of the HR20 (DTV's HD DVR) in the thread titled, "Please say it ain't so".
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-11-2007, 02:48 PM
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Other then supporting HD it is inferior to the HR20 in mosts respects. It is slowly catching up though. Once DirecTV dumped the TiVo UI they have appear to be going towards a more UTV like UI.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-11-2007, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael_tus_sez View Post

Other then supporting HD it is inferior to the HR20 in mosts respects. It is slowly catching up though. Once DirecTV dumped the TiVo UI they have appear to be going towards a more UTV like UI.

Not sure you meant to say the UTV is inferior to the HR20. Probably the other way around.

If the UTV supported HD and was updated with a little faster processor it would be FAR superior than the HR20. Both need dual live buffers, but neither will probably ever see them.

The HR20 has major search problems. It can't determine what channels you actually receive so most searches are worthless.

The HR20 has no 30 second skip, the fast forward is painfully slow, and no picture-in-picture. The guide data is skimpy compared to UTV (no credits, first aired dates, and usually doesn't even tell you if it's a repeat).

The HR20 is designed by DirecTV to satisfy their advertisers, not their customers. If it weren't the only real HD-DVR that DirecTV offered (MPEG4) it would be discarded as a piece of junk.

-Joe
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-11-2007, 06:43 PM
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Considering that the UTV interface, even with the 3.8 update, is pretty much 2003 technology, it's amazing how well it works - explaining it's loyal user base.

It's a shame, because given what they have, they could have made it even better with a few more simple additions. For example, a repeating manual record would likely have been simple and adding more narrowing options, like more than just 4 time ranges, or letting you select the channels to include or exclude. An option to select recordings based on a regular expression match against the guide data would have satisfied a lot of geek types (but would probably mystify the average user).

But overall, it's really nice and I have no desire for HD. At least not w/o a really bullet proof record function (I have auto-records setup that have been going for 3 years or so).

The utv is the most reliable complex hardware/software combo I own. And I got lots and lots of toys. It just works!
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-12-2007, 04:48 PM
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I'm with Rocket.

Before the UTV I was in the "MS is worthless" crowd. While they made/make products that "everyone" uses... I didn't hold that quality "bug free" performance was in MS's grasp.

Even after 5 years of ownership... My UTVs have performed very well...
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-13-2007, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

I'm with Rocket.

Before the UTV I was in the "MS is worthless" crowd. While they made/make products that "everyone" uses... I didn't hold that quality "bug free" performance was in MS's grasp.

Even after 5 years of ownership... My UTVs have performed very well...

The irony is, the UTV software is based on Windows CE - which was once the most unreliable and crash-worthy OS MS had ever produced. It ran terrible on any other piece of hardware it was on. Then UTV came along and changed that. Now, on other devices, it's morphed into Windows Mobile and is actually pretty good. However, the base code still runs better on the UTV.

I'm in the boat of wanting to step up to HD. It's got to be a DVR because I refuse to watch live TV if I can avoid it. I want to keep my UTV going, though. There's plenty of SD programming I can still record.

I'm curious as to how much D* would try to sucker me into paying to upgrade, though. Of course, now I can't use the excuse that support for UTV has been abandoned since we just got an upgrade. Hmmm. I sense a conspiracy....
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-14-2007, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Of course, now I can't use the excuse that support for UTV has been abandoned since we just got an upgrade. Hmmm. I sense a conspiracy....

I was worried that those who predicted the demise of the UTV because of some mpeg4 changover might have been right. I kept expecting a letter in the mail telling me I had x options after such and such a date.

But with this update, I think DTV realizes that its UTV base is quite loyal. For everyone who has one to get rid of, it seems there are always some ready to snap them up. But I'd sure like to know how many subscribers are left.

Also, at the utv website, they say that although you can't buy one at retail, they hint you can still get them and provide instructions for getting the 3.8 update after it leaves the stream.
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