Originally Posted by cratch
Can someone tell me how the UVerse DVR compares to the SA8300HDC? I know about the total home DVR, but how does it compare with TWC's features? Is there a delay in changing channels or navigating the program guide?
I'm not sure about the SA8300 since I only have an SA8000 SD DVR. However, I would rate the U-verse DVR as quite responsive and much faster than the SA8000. It takes under 1 second to open the guide. Scrolling through the guide is almost instantaineous. Manually changing channels is also virtually instantaineous. I would say it's faster than an analog tuner. It's even more impressive when you consider that as you scroll through the guide you also get a small inset picture of what's currently on that channel. Rather than providing a PIP of the currently tuned channel, the guide is semi transparent so you can see the original channel through it. It's all sort of a blue tone somewhat like the transparent windows on Windows Vista. However, you can still tell what's going on pretty easily.
As far as features, you can record up to 4 programs at one time. However, it does not have the PIP swap feature of the TW DVR. It does not have PIP at all.
PIP swap was one of my favorite features of the SA8000. However when TW switched to Navigator, the DVR would no longer stay in pause when you swap to the alternate channel so PIP swap became almost useless.
You can simulate this with the U-verse DVR by putting multiple channels into record and switching between. It's pretty easy to do but more key strokes than PIP swap.
I suppose that the major issue for the maxed out household is the fact that you can only watch or record a maximum of 4 channels at any one time. In addition, only 2 can be HD. So, if you record 4 channels at the same time, you can only watch one of those 4 channels while recording. I have read that they will be up-grading to more channels some time next year.
Basically it's a limitation of the connection to the neighborhood switch or VRAD. Each customer has a 25Mbs link down from the VRAD. When you change a channel, you are actually requesting that the VRAD place that video stream on the line. It does happen quite fast. I should qualify this since I don't know what the limitation actually is. I'm just pointing out that the system is switched and anything you watch or record needs to be placed on the line.
The guide navigation seems quite nice. I would rate it as far better. I never used the TW search much since I could never find anything. You can search by name which is quite useful. It does take a bit of time to provide the results but I am not too surprised. It seems to have a lot more content in it's database. For example, if you type in judge you get all the judge shows. LOL
One feature that I like which is OT from the DVR question is that you can watch the HD channels on an SD TV if you like. This expands the SD offerings to include all of the HD channels.