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DirecTV HD DVR - HR2*/ HR34 Master Topic: one thread for all - Page 62

post #1831 of 2014
I just recently converted from cable to DTV. I have Genie (HR34) and two receivers (C31).

The receivers have been working great. I can customize the resolutions, tv ratio, and formats just fine.
However, on the HR34, I am having troubles changing resolutions, tv ratio, and formats.

I believe it is changing from 480 to 720 to 1080. I will have to check again to confirm.
But the info banner that pops up after changning a channel (that has messages, info, cc, format, parental, PIP, etc) is oversized and it does not fit on the screen. Basically Messages is cut off on the left and PIP is not even shown as it cuts parental off on the right.

I have tried changing the format to original to scretch to crop but nothing happens.

I am stuck and need help please!
post #1832 of 2014
My guess is that you have your TV set to some sort of stretch mode.
post #1833 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbrit View Post

My guess is that you have your TV set to some sort of stretch mode.

i thought of that as well but the tv says it is in full mode and it had no problems with cable before.

the thing that is odd is I can change the formats (crop, stretch, original, etc.) on the two receivers (c31) and you can see the difference as in you see the picture being stretched, or cropped, etc.

however on the genie (hr34) you dont see these changes at all. It is like it is stuck in stretch mode but wont let me change the formatting.
post #1834 of 2014
Continuing on from post #1826:

Someone sent me this partially-related link:

http://www.uchobby.com/index.php/2009/01/25/scrounging-an-old-directv-receiver/

So, it seems the PSU on these things is in the form of a card (as seen on laptops), rather than the hunk of metal you would find in even a small cube PC. Has anyone peeked inside their HR2x, and happens to know an exact ID for this board ? Can it be sourced anywhere (electronics supply house), as a new, discrete part ? Or would you just have to cannibalize another HR2x box ? If this board happens to be soldered into place, that might not be something I'd care to mess with . . . .
post #1835 of 2014
Your TV should be in 16:9 mode.
post #1836 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasbrit View Post

Your TV should be in 16:9 mode.

it is, as far as i know.

the 4:3 formatting is turned off
post #1837 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtown017 View Post

it is, as far as i know.

the 4:3 formatting is turned off
As I mentioned over on your thread at DBSTalk, this may be an over scan problem.
post #1838 of 2014
MY DVR just failed and I now have the Genie HR34 (0x05FD). However, this thing is either faulty or really glitchy. I am seeing 3 things happen.
  1. The thing seem like it has rebooted too often. Twice the first two days (one day each). It then rebooted twice today. Once this morning and again tonight.
  2. Next it seems like the accuracy of the fast forward and rewind is the most inaccurate I have ever seen out of any of my DVR's. It goes way past the intended stop points.
  3. Last but not least, it's recording re-runs. I have double checked and all the Series are on First run.

I don't know what to make of all this. Should I get them to replace my unit?
post #1839 of 2014
I've had a HR34 for many months as part of the field testing program. While it's sometimes normal for the box to do a reboot shortly after a new software download doing it twice a day is not normal. Since it's a new installation of it I'd call DIRECTV and have them resolve it.

Can't really comment on the FF/REW issue, I use the skip forward/backwards function.

The box recording repeats when you say new is probably because it's doing all these reboots. I've seen that the first time the box sees a program in a SL come up after a reboot it records it no matter if its new or a repeat. So if you can get the box to stop rebooting then this problem should be solve for the most part.
post #1840 of 2014
Recording repeats when you first set up the series links is quite normal. All the DirecTV DVRs will record the first program in the series (the one you use to set up the series link) even if it is a repeat. The DVR uses it as a sort of "base" for the series link.
But you should only see one repeat recorded in each series, unless there's an issue with the guide data.

The FF behavior on the HR34 is poor, it is a bug. When you hit "play" from FF, the DVR should jump "back" but it often jumps forward instead. Hopefully DirecTV will fix this at some stage.

Don't know about the reboot issue. I know it's not unusual to get a couple of reboots in the first day or so, and then you will get a reboot when there is a new software download, and there has been one of these recently. Hopefully this will settle down.

Just to check that you do not have the HR34 connected to one of these so-called "smart" power strips. These can often cut the power to the HR34 when the TV power is off, and of course then will then be a reboot when the power comes back on.
post #1841 of 2014
That really is not a great option as the download takes a long period of time, granted I do not have a lot of details on the Hopper, I travel a lot and would love this option of Sling type device built in, this is by far, the cleanest solution, Any idea if the pressure of the Hopper will cause Directv to follow suit, been with Directv for as least 16 years and really do not want to move off.
post #1842 of 2014
Are you responding to something terps?

What is not a great option? Follow suit with what?
post #1843 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by terps125 View Post

That really is not a great option as the download takes a long period of time, granted I do not have a lot of details on the Hopper, I travel a lot and would love this option of Sling type device built in, this is by far, the cleanest solution, Any idea if the pressure of the Hopper will cause Directv to follow suit, been with Directv for as least 16 years and really do not want to move off.

What download takes a long period of time? AFAIK both nomad and the Dish Hopper with Sling take the same amount of time to transcode a recording, 1 hour recording take 1 hour to transcode. Once that's done then the actual transfer to the mobile device goes fairly quickly, less then five minutes for a 1 hour recording.

Can you expand on your 'cleanest solution' statement? Yes with Dish it's built onto the Hopper and DIRECTV it's an external device, what else makes it cleaner?
post #1844 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by rad View Post

What download takes a long period of time? AFAIK both nomad and the Dish Hopper with Sling take the same amount of time to transcode a recording, 1 hour recording take 1 hour to transcode. Once that's done then the actual transfer to the mobile device goes fairly quickly, less then five minutes for a 1 hour recording.

Can you expand on your 'cleanest solution' statement? Yes with Dish it's built onto the Hopper and DIRECTV it's an external device, what else makes it cleaner?

Well less to configure and less cabling. In my house that is important, assume the communication being internal would also be quicker and easier to setup. I could be wrong just making some assumptions. I was also under the impression that the Hopper you could watch live TV. It appears to say that on their site. If that is accurate, then I do not understand the transcoding statement. I am clearly over my head but trying to learn and find a solution. Thanks for any information and sorry about the first post and not including the post I was responding to.
post #1845 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by terps125 View Post

Well less to configure and less cabling. In my house that is important, assume the communication being internal would also be quicker and easier to setup. I could be wrong just making some assumptions. I was also under the impression that the Hopper you could watch live TV. It appears to say that on their site. If that is accurate, then I do not understand the transcoding statement. I am clearly over my head but trying to learn and find a solution. Thanks for any information and sorry about the first post and not including the post I was responding to.

There's really not much to configure on nomad. Just set up all your HD DVR's to allow for external access and then plug in nomad to a router port. Then on your PC download the nomad client and sign into your DIRECTV account, that's it. You will now see all the recordings on your HD DVR's and select which recordings you want to have transcoded on nomad so you can transfer the to a moble device.

Transcoding is where nomad takes the original recording and 'shrinks' it to a smaller file to allow you to copy it to a moble device. This allows for more programs to fit on something like a 16GB iPhone or iPad then if it was an original recording. Nomad has 16GB of internal storage for keeping these transoced recordings, if you want mode capacity just plug in a USB drive, either thumb drive or an actual hard drive.

Once the program has been transcoded you then use a nomad client (currently for iPhone, iPad, PC or MAC) and on your home WiFi network copy the transcode program to your moble device. This allows you to view these recordings anywhere you want since it doesn't require that you have a network connection, and even if you do it doesn't eat into your carriers data limit.

The Dish Hopper with Sling has the same capacity to do the transcoding and copy of a recording to an iPad, that's the only device supported for that at the moment. It also has a limit that nomad doesn't have in that only one copy of a recording can be out at a time. Also if the recording is from a premium movie channel it prevents that recording from being watched on the DVR until it's 'transferred' back. But it also does have the built in live streaming capability which nomad doesn't have, and that is supported on more devices then just the iPad.

Hope that helps a bit.
post #1846 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by nabsltd View Post

It should re-format it.

The problem is that the recordings on the drive are effectively encrypted using a key that is based on a combination of the receiver ID and the access card, which means you need both of those to decrypt them. The exact method is unknown, but there is some suspicion that the drive has essentially a "encryption ID" written to it, and when a drive is place in (or connected to the eSATA) of a receiver, the receiver checks to see if this ID matches the one for the current receiver/card. If so, it assumes the drive is formatted and tries to use it. If ID doesn't match or reading the drive using the current decryption key fails, then the drive gets re-formatted.

So, yes, that content is completely gone.

I'm continuing with this because there are updated details, those "lost" contents are quite important to me, and I'm not someone who gives up easily.

I obtained some usable replacement parts that could be harvested, from identical HR23-700 receivers. The bad news -- from the first of my own two now-dead receivers -- is that it does not appear to simply be a dead PSU board, as I had hoped and surmised. I swapped in a replacement PSU board, which I have reason to believe is good. The fan spins intermittently, as it did since the receiver went down, but the box itself does not come on, and I continue to smell that smell I have previously associated with a burned out PSU, at least in computers. In contrast, I know that when a working receiver powers up, the blue light in front lights up and circles, and you hear the box coming to life, so there is little doubt that it has powered up, even if it is not connected to a tv. I'm also noticing that burnt smell again. So, it is likely that either the HDD is gone (in which case it is absolutely GAME OVER), or else the main board is shot.

That main board is connected to the Access Card via a ribbon cable. Now here's my question, and I hope one of you may know the answer. I do happen to have a replacement main board that I know is working. If the HDD is still viable, would replacing the main board be sufficient ? I had thought that the access card essentially WAS the receiver ID . . . and that is not going to change. Neither would the HDD. But, it there was also (definitely) some EEPROM or something like that on the main board, also containing the ID, then this would probably have no chance of working.
post #1847 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post

I do happen to have a replacement main board that I know is working. If the HDD is still viable, would replacing the main board be sufficient ?
The receiver ID is almost certainly on the main board. If so, replacing it means that you will lose your recordings.

What you could do to be sure is to disconnect the hard drive that you don't want touched and connect a different hard drive (either via eSATA or directly in place of the internal drive). If the receiver boots and you can see the channels on your subscription, then the receiver ID has not changed and you should be fine connecting the old hard drive.
post #1848 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by nabsltd View Post

The receiver ID is almost certainly on the main board. If so, replacing it means that you will lose your recordings.

What you could do to be sure is to disconnect the hard drive that you don't want touched and connect a different hard drive (either via eSATA or directly in place of the internal drive). If the receiver boots and you can see the channels on your subscription, then the receiver ID has not changed and you should be fine connecting the old hard drive.

Thanks for that suggestion. I think the first order of business will be to provide outside power to that HDD (without yet removing it) to see if it still spins up. If not, there won't be any point in venturing further -- at least on that receiver.

Does anyone know at what point D* considers these leased boxes to be paid off ? Three years ? More than that ? I've been told of instances where D* did not even want some dead boxes returned, but said to dispose of them. However, that info was from several years ago.

In regard to the other receiver, I'm not sure if it is likely to be the same type of failure, or something else. Based on what I have observed with a number of computers, I had thought that the PSU was almost certainly the weak link. But the HDDs in these things must be due to fail at some point also. Probably a greater chance for that, if you don't choose the Power Saver option, which I never did because I wanted to be able to have use of that last-90-minutes buffer. Perhaps the main boards on these boxes go out, as well. It's just that if we have to go through this every three years (losing everything that was on the HDD, having to replace equipment with little or no option about restarting a 2-year service commitment) that could definitely influence my decision as to whether it is worth continuing with this provider. Right now, I could switch to anything on the market. If there was something better, cost would not be that much of a factor. (Unfortunately, V* FIOS is not one of the currently available choices in this locale.)
post #1849 of 2014
The main board has the receiver ID, which is part of the encoding of the recordings.
Only the HR20 has passed its return life status.
If you have a leased receiver fail, it will be replaced without restarting the program commitment. With the PP it will be free and without it you pay shipping [$20].

I "faked" a HR20 failure with a tech and got it replaced with a HR24 and didn't restart the commitment.
I had two HR20s that worked fine for 5 years, and were returned just before they changed their policy for returning HR20s.
post #1850 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

The main board has the receiver ID, which is part of the encoding of the recordings.
Only the HR20 has passed its return life status.
If you have a leased receiver fail, it will be replaced without restarting the program commitment. With the PP it will be free and without it you pay shipping [$20].

I "faked" a HR20 failure with a tech and got it replaced with a HR24 and didn't restart the commitment.
I had two HR20s that worked fine for 5 years, and were returned just before they changed their policy for returning HR20s.

Thanks for the info. A tech -- no longer affiliated with DirecTV -- told me there was some (fairly recent ?) policy change, by which the HR23 is now considered "out of warranty." (I did have the PP.) Therefore, even with the PP, D* are free to replace the dead receiver with any "equivalent" receiver of their choosing, most likely a refurb. Also, that any replacement equipment under this scenario -- whether owned or leased -- is going to start a new 2-year service commitment for me. If either of those things are correct, it could be a dealbreaker. I knew I was going to have to talk to 'Customer Retention' anyway, but I want to be free to walk, if I don't get results that are to my liking. Along those lines, I was strongly leaning towards going for owned receivers the next time around, IF I decide to stay with this provider. (Owned / Used, rather than vendor-purchased, if that still avoids the 2-year contract. If it does not avoid the new contract, this is all up for grabs, and I'm not sure right now what I'll decide. But I would surely investigate all the alternatives, with other providers prominently included.)

Anyway, with regards to "HR23 #1", any further efforts are moot. I applied external power to the HDD -- without even having to remove it -- to see if it would spin up. Instead, there were faint wisps of smoke, never a good sign. So I think the main board's status is irrelevant on this one, and that I've almost certainly now identified the source of the burning smell. Not sure what I might find in the case of "HR23" #2, or if I will pursue that. Maybe the HDDs in these things are a more prevalent point of failure ?
post #1851 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post

Thanks for the info. A tech -- no longer affiliated with DirecTV -- told me there was some (fairly recent ?) policy change, by which the HR23 is now considered "out of warranty." (I did have the PP.) Therefore, even with the PP, D* are free to replace the dead receiver with any "equivalent" receiver of their choosing, most likely a refurb. Also, that any replacement equipment under this scenario -- whether owned or leased -- is going to start a new 2-year service commitment for me. If either of those things are correct, it could be a dealbreaker. I knew I was going to have to talk to 'Customer Retention' anyway, but I want to be free to walk, if I don't get results that are to my liking. Along those lines, I was strongly leaning towards going for owned receivers the next time around, IF I decide to stay with this provider. (Owned / Used, rather than vendor-purchased, if that still avoids the 2-year contract. If it does not avoid the new contract, this is all up for grabs, and I'm not sure right now what I'll decide. But I would surely investigate all the alternatives, with other providers prominently included.)

Anyway, with regards to "HR23 #1", any further efforts are moot. I applied external power to the HDD -- without even having to remove it -- to see if it would spin up. Instead, there were faint wisps of smoke, never a good sign. So I think the main board's status is irrelevant on this one, and that I've almost certainly now identified the source of the burning smell. Not sure what I might find in the case of "HR23" #2, or if I will pursue that. Maybe the HDDs in these things are a more prevalent point of failure ?

Adding equipment or upgrading equipment will trigger a new start to the two year commitment but replacing defective equipment does not.
post #1852 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by joed32 View Post

Adding equipment or upgrading equipment will trigger a new start to the two year commitment but replacing defective equipment does not.

I have a suspicion that replacing dead HR23's with anything else -- even previously owned HR24's -- is going to constitute an upgrade, in their view. But we'll see very shortly.
post #1853 of 2014
Sorry but it's a fact, replacing bad receivers does not trigger an extension, adding a receiver does.
post #1854 of 2014
Directv update this morning in the Dallas market.
post #1855 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post

I have a suspicion that replacing dead HR23's with anything else -- even previously owned HR24's -- is going to constitute an upgrade, in their view. But we'll see very shortly.

As long as it is a like for like replacement it will not be considered an upgrade.

Replacing any HD-DVR with another HD-DVR is a like for like replacement. It could be an HR21 getting replaced by an HR23, an HR20 replaced by an HR24, or even an HR24 being replaced by an HR22. DirecTV considers them all the same thing.

The same is true for the other stuff. If you replace an HD receiver with an HD receiver, an SD-DVR with an SD-DVR, and SD-receiver with an SD receiver, etc. that is all considered a like for like replacement and will not cause a new commitment.

And upgrade for them is all about receiver type. Any time you change the type of a receiver it is considered an upgrade, even if it is a move most of us would consider a downgrade. For example if you replace an SD-DVR with an HD receiver or HD-DVR that is an upgrade. SD receiver to HD receiver, or HD DVR that too is an upgrade. Anything to a Home Media Center (now called the Genie) and that is an upgrade. However they also consider doing stuff like replacing an HD-DVR with an HD receiver, or HD receiver with an SD reciever, an upgrade and it comes with a new commitment.
post #1856 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beerstalker View Post

As long as it is a like for like replacement it will not be considered an upgrade.

Replacing any HD-DVR with another HD-DVR is a like for like replacement. It could be an HR21 getting replaced by an HR23, an HR20 replaced by an HR24, or even an HR24 being replaced by an HR22. DirecTV considers them all the same thing.

The same is true for the other stuff. If you replace an HD receiver with an HD receiver, an SD-DVR with an SD-DVR, and SD-receiver with an SD receiver, etc. that is all considered a like for like replacement and will not cause a new commitment.

And upgrade for them is all about receiver type. Any time you change the type of a receiver it is considered an upgrade, even if it is a move most of us would consider a downgrade. For example if you replace an SD-DVR with an HD receiver or HD-DVR that is an upgrade. SD receiver to HD receiver, or HD DVR that too is an upgrade. Anything to a Home Media Center (now called the Genie) and that is an upgrade. However they also consider doing stuff like replacing an HD-DVR with an HD receiver, or HD receiver with an SD reciever, an upgrade and it comes with a new commitment.

I had an interesting and informative conversation with the relevant dept. at D*. If I understood correctly and took good notes, it seems there are a lot more options & categories (once you're beyond the contract period) than most customers are probably aware of:

"Lease Without Agreement"
"Owned Without a Lease"
"Owned Without an Agreement"

Each with their own relative Pros & Cons. But you need the exact, correct description, may need to dig down fairly deep through their system with the right CSR to locate it, and need to clarify the details that are important for your circumstances.

In general, there was a confirmation of what you were saying about the "like for like" vs. what would be deemed an "upgrade."

I would now be inclined to see if I can reach a solution that allows me to stay with D*.
Now I need to brush up on the differences between the different HR24 models, which I think is the way I'd want to go. I used to have a bookmarked chart that showed this in some detail, down to who manufactured which, but can't seem to find it at the moment.

Getting a specific model from D* -- whether purchased or leased -- appears to be problematical, since they don't seem able or willing to guarantee exactly what will be shipped to you from their warehouse. By the same token, getting the hardware from an outside vendor is problematical, because they may promise you the model you wanted and even deliver on it, but through lax procedures or poor follow-through inadvertently place you in the wrong category, re-initiating a 2-year contract with D*, though that was not necessary. So, I'm wondering which vendors are really good, and also sticklers for such details.
post #1857 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post


Getting a specific model from D* -- whether purchased or leased -- appears to be problematical, since they don't seem able or willing to guarantee exactly what will be shipped to you from their warehouse. By the same token, getting the hardware from an outside vendor is problematical, because they may promise you the model you wanted and even deliver on it, but through lax procedures or poor follow-through inadvertently place you in the wrong category, re-initiating a 2-year contract with D*, though that was not necessary. So, I'm wondering which vendors are really good, and also sticklers for such details.

Unless you're paying a premium from an outside vendor for a truly owned reciever (IIRC a HD DVR purchase price is in the $400 to $500 range last I heard), you're getting a leased receiver and any leased receiver will start a new two year commitment. There is also the alternative of finding a used receiver that is in 'owned' status via E*Bay or Craigslist, you just need to verify that the RID is actually an owned box and not one that was a leased box and never returned.

And can you expand on the "Owned without a lease" status, confused on what that would mean.
post #1858 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by rad View Post

Unless you're paying a premium from an outside vendor for a truly owned reciever (IIRC a HD DVR purchase price is in the $400 to $500 range last I heard), you're getting a leased receiver and any leased receiver will start a new two year commitment. There is also the alternative of finding a used receiver that is in 'owned' status via E*Bay or Craigslist, you just need to verify that the RID is actually an owned box and not one that was a leased box and never returned.

And can you expand on the "Owned without a lease" status, confused on what that would mean.

I was just quoting from the notes that I took, and I evidently did not write down enough of the details I was getting. Guess I'll have to revisit that later with them. They were very clear that there were options to avoid a new 2-year contract, though, if you had an existing account and were past your original (or last) contract. This would seem to contradict what you said. The "lease" is simply the regular monthly subscription / service fees that you have on your account, whatever they may be.

I took care to generate a Ticket # on the conversation, and the agent said she was taking full notes. She definitely mentioned a lease with no contract, I'm certain about that. A downside of one of the "owned" options -- perhaps the one you asked about -- was that the customer assumed all responsibility on the hardware, and no warranty or Protection Plan was offered there by D*.
post #1859 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post

I was just quoting from the notes that I took, and I evidently did not write down enough of the details I was getting. Guess I'll have to revisit that later with them. They were very clear that there were options to avoid a new 2-year contract, though, if you had an existing account and were past your original (or last) contract. This would seem to contradict what you said. The "lease" is simply the regular monthly subscription / service fees that you have on your account, whatever they may be.

I took care to generate a Ticket # on the conversation, and the agent said she was taking full notes. She definitely mentioned a lease with no contract, I'm certain about that. A downside of one of the "owned" options -- perhaps the one you asked about -- was that the customer assumed all responsibility on the hardware, and no warranty or Protection Plan was offered there by D*.
You might want to recheck this.

"Leased with Agreement" is standard.

"Lease Without Agreement" doesn't make much sense.

"Owned Without a Lease" also doesn't make sense as Owned means not leased.

"Owned Without an Agreement" isn't common but is an option. I've added several owned receivers without a program commitment/extension.
Quote:
The "lease" is simply the regular monthly subscription / service fees that you have on your account, whatever they may be.
The regular monthly subscription / service fees are the same for a leased or owned receiver.

Maybe the best/worse example of this is if you have a RVU TV and want to use it as a Genie Client. Even though you aren't using a receiver, you pay the additional monthly fee for the service.
Edited by veryoldschool - 4/5/13 at 9:45am
post #1860 of 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by veryoldschool View Post

You might want to recheck this..

Yes, I would have wanted to, anyway. My notes on that conversation were clearly not sufficient.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "veryoldschool 
"Leased with Agreement" is standard.

"Lease Without Agreement" doesn't make much sense.

"Owned Without a Lease" also doesn't make sense as Owned means not leased.

'Agreement' must = Contract. That's the only thing that makes sense. 'Lease' must include whatever equipment charges appear on your monthly statement. I will definitely need to nail all this down better, but I clearly recall the Retention CSR saying that there was more than one class of ownership. In one class you "owned" the receivers, but -- if / when service was discontinued -- you still had to return the boxes (and pay any residual value on them ??). In my view, I don't see how that could be called "ownership." More like paying twice for something, and still not having possession of it at the end. That makes no sense to me. The CSR definitely stated that there was also a possibility of total ownership of the hardware up front, from Day 1, with no need to return anything and no residual-value payment due.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "veryoldschool 
"Owned Without an Agreement" isn't common but is an option. I've added several owned receivers without a program commitment/extension.
The regular monthly subscription / service fees are the same for a leased or owned receiver..

I think Rad is off on his price range. I see these owned receivers going on eBay (with stated RID #s) for as little as $175., though around $300. is more common. It should be easy enough to check the seller's f/b record, and those RID #s. The thing is, you can't really be sure of the receiver's condition. I'm still looking into vendor options and pricing on brand new ones that could be owned, but I don't think it will run as high as $500.
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