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UTV still in use...?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I came on the forums looking for PC recording solutions and saw the UTV forum. Hands down one of our favorite DVR solutions over the years. I still have two RCA units (only one remote) that I haven't use in a year. Nothing wrong with them...do they ave any value?
post #2 of 22
73 views and me since you posted. I'd say that classifies as the UTV have value/interest for some people.

It's survived 10 years In-Service. Not so sure it'll last another 10. But for those with Active UTVs now... they can probably do OK as long as they have backup/spare UTV parts around to "swap" out.

Surprisingly UTV still has a few features and GUI that many of us UTVers will find hard to believe is missing from newer DVRs. (For some reason PIP, 30 sec. Skip, and FAST Forward/Rewind speeds aren't "IN" at the moment)

Personally I wonder if there is a cluster of "Supreme" UltimateTV users still out there that actually have been using the "Whole Package" for the last 10 years (WebTV/PVR) and will really be disappointed when they learn there just isn't a decent "upgrade/replacement" for the UTV yet.
post #3 of 22
There are still many UTV users out there. I have looked at some of the newer units through the years and have found nothing that is an 'upgrade' unless I wanted to go to HD.
My upstairs box is controlled by remote IR and is distributed throughout the house on channel 03 along with the OTA channels. From the downstairs LR we can record 4 if needed and select the upstairs or downstairs box to watch.
I have to keep spares around because no one will replace tuners any more. I'll keep what I have until someone pulls the plug.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I've found the features on the new boxes adequate to task, although the strengths of one tend to be weak in another. I think the HD DVR/PVR units are probably closest.

I guess since there such a live community out there, I'll make my contribution by selling my two boxes and one remote. Just need to figure out their value. They both work perfectly well. Better to give them to an aficionado than keep them on my spare/old equipment shelves....

Can anyone tell me what the asking price is these days?

-JNJ
post #5 of 22
They are kind of difficult to find on eBay (Since DirecTV/eBay policy on selling "old" Receivers is it's frowned on) but this auction was for 3 RCA UTVs (all working fine, one upgraded).

Winning bid was $30 (plus $35 shipping so $65 total or less then $22 each). http://www.ebay.com/itm/Three-RCA-DW...item45fd3673d8

Personally in the past I've gotten some spare UTVs for about that cost or just actual shipping. In times past UTVs demanded (and on eBay they paid) significantly more. Say $60-$100 (or higher depending on hard drive and accessories offered) each before shipping cost but those days are past.

You might try searching this site there have been UTVs posted for sale for a lot of different prices. If you need some ideas.
post #6 of 22
I have 2 10 year old rca's that are still going. I find I have to do the reset, 12357, more often, about every 2-3 weeks or things get slow. I've had some sports events randomly drop up to 2 minutes once in a while - probably disc errors.

Checking the dtv forums, in a recent posting, they are still complaining about 30skip (vs. 30slip) and said just today that there's a way to turn that on, but it fails to work every so often. Rumors have it that it can be disabled for some shows/channels, nobody can get a straight answer from tech support either. Some techs say it's a "beta" feature at the moment so they don't support it, some users insist it's just a bug which will get fixed.

I notice they actually promote the 30slip as a way to skip forward 30 seconds and if you see something you like, you can go back. Maybe for play to play slipping in football I'd use that.

I wonder if they still have no way to "park" on the my shows channels since otherwise, if you've got a show recording, and you want to check out the guide or watch something else, you might accidentally see the live recording off one tuner. Bad if you're "buffering up" time on a game only to be presented with the live version of that same game, spoiling it.

Anyway, I'm still not impressed once again. With my 32 inch flat panel hd (over the air) vs. sd aren't all that different. To really appreciate hd, I need to wear my +1.00 reading glasses anyway, or the blur eliminates any hd advantage - though the colors are better in HD - probably 24 bit at least.

What's most annoying lately is the running ticker tape banners at the bottom of the screen that even the various zoom modes can't hide - but zoom works pretty good on letter-boxed sports, esp on Fox and now ESPN. This is the answer that a lot of channels have to FF and skipping, with running ads.

So, when watching games, I simply cover the bottom 2 inches with a piece of stiff black paper. If I were designing a tv these days, I'd have a few cropping setups with dedicated buttons and user specified areas to crop.

When I watch stuff from the network via my laptop on my TV, I can do cropping in the free VLC media player. I even wrote an app that I can use to cover any area of the screen. So, the new dvr's ability to connect to a router and view youtube videos is not something I need.
post #7 of 22
Well, it finally happened. One tuner in each of the 3 UTV's I had in service died so I replaced 2 of them with Dave's Home Media Center HD DVR. I am keeping one of the UTV's in my workshop just for old times sake. smile.gif

BTW, I'm loving the new receiver!
post #8 of 22
Currently have 4 UTVs running. (At least 2 with 2 good tuners, 1 in the Bedroom with a single tuner and cable run, 1 more which I think may or may not dual capable... I'm kind of too lazy/scared to get into the rats nest of cables back there... might create more of a problem if I pull the wrong thing.)

Probably should just bite the bullet and check into their current HD/DVR options. Probably could get rid of that clutter of cables once and for all.

Kazak should you need additional parts I've got a good number of spare UTVs that are in various states of disuse if you'd like to Frankenstein something. smile.gif
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

...Kazak should you need additional parts I've got a good number of spare UTVs that are in various states of disuse if you'd like to Frankenstein something. smile.gif

Thanks!! I appreciate that. I dumped all my spare UTV stuff 2 years ago and decided to let them die a natural death. I can't believe how long these thing lasted.

Still diggin the new receiver. Record 5 things at the same time, watch from other receivers in the system. Sweet!!
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazak View Post

Thanks!! I appreciate that. I dumped all my spare UTV stuff 2 years ago and decided to let them die a natural death. I can't believe how long these thing lasted.
Still diggin the new receiver. Record 5 things at the same time, watch from other receivers in the system. Sweet!!

About your new HD DVR might have to pick your brain on the specs, etc. sometime. Been dragging my feet. Kind of liking the idea of cutting down on recording conflicts and "sharing" recordings were I am. (Does it "stream" or download between receivers or is it one-way from the central unit?

(Any particular "drawbacks"/features you wish the system still needs? (Any glaring things for those coming from UTV? Other then I suppose PIP and a "slid" 30 sec skip? That I might miss/wish for? My existing DTV DVRs have a bit slower/cluttered GUI but I'd hope the HD DVRs would have improved on that...)
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

About your new HD DVR might have to pick your brain on the specs, etc. sometime. Been dragging my feet. Kind of liking the idea of cutting down on recording conflicts and "sharing" recordings were I am. (Does it "stream" or download between receivers or is it one-way from the central unit?
(Any particular "drawbacks"/features you wish the system still needs? (Any glaring things for those coming from UTV? Other then I suppose PIP and a "slid" 30 sec skip? That I might miss/wish for? My existing DTV DVRs have a bit slower/cluttered GUI but I'd hope the HD DVRs would have improved on that...)

I have only had it for a week but so far no big complaints. It streams to the other receivers. Also, you can set up recordings from the other receivers.
The 30 sec skip forward is actually a "slip" in that it takes about 2 or 3 secs to slide forward. There is a way to make it do an instant 30 sec skip forward but Mrs. K is liking it the way it is so...

The UI is pretty and functional. No big issues there either. Another cool thing is that there is only 1 coax feed to the receiver! I had 4 lines run to the 2 UTV's.

It has an ESATA port and the installer claims that you can plug in a big external drive, reboot the machine, and it will start recording to that drive. He claimed that you can then remove the drive and plug it into a computer to watch the recordings. I'm not sure I believe that but you can bet I'll be testing it. biggrin.gif
post #12 of 22
Sounds like what Radio Shack told me about the UTV's input jacks on the front and back of the unit. It could do almost everything. Record directly to the hard drive... Nope.

With any luck the Installer was actually refering the the specs... (and not some "future use" wishful thinking.)
post #13 of 22
Well, congrats, Kazak. I have been looking at the 5 channel HD dvr as well.

Please keep us up to date on your experience with the new unit. It would be great to hear from someone with UTV experience review this new high powered receiver setup.

How did the monthly fee make out, do you pay more or less than with 3 utvs ($10 for utv, plus $12 for the extra receivers).

How many receivers all told do you have now, and how do you wire them? Did they just replace your old dish?

And, did they give an old UTV user any special deal? I would think they're happy to get old receivers retired finally.
post #14 of 22
As a DIY DTV user since 1997... I'm a little curious about the wiring requirements too. Having a Standard "Plus" dish with a single dual LNB using 2 regular RG6 runs between 10-15 years old. I'm fearing I'll need a complete rewire job (Made more difficult by a recent remodel) not to mention someone will be creating a real mess tearing off and installing a new Dish. (Wil the siding look the same after a new Dish and it's differing footprint? I can only hope.)

Since my original system "piggybacks" TV/SAT on ALL Receiver runs. ( Diplexers let me pull Digital/Analog TV or Source feed from elsewhere in the house)... Suppose if I only need one run for the new system the "spare" lines could become traditional TV runs. Yet it's my single Bedroom run that I'm most curious about. Cool that I could record multiple shows without conflict... but I'd hate losing the option of OTA or alternate sources elsewhere in the home... if the system isn't "backward" compatible..

Suppose they'll probably upgrade/replace a couple Mufti-Switches or I suppose throw them both out and replace it with just one... Wonder what Copper prices are now. I'll have a lot of RG-6 needing a new use/home smile.gif
post #15 of 22
I found a site where you can download manuals, here not bad as manuals go.

Also, there's a page with some "tips" like how to enable 30 second skip or slip (enabled by performing a special search) here

I've been studying the HR-34 5 tuner manual. I can't find out how much it costs; I thought they didn't sell these anymore only leased them. But there's an add to cart on the website.

It seems the two sat IN coax are not identical.

  1. SATELLITE IN 1 – Connect one line from your satellite dish here. A Single Wire Multi-Switch (SWM) connection, if applicable, is made to this satellite in port.
  2. SATELLITE IN 2 – Connect the second line from your satellite dish here.

I see a couple of things that I don't like. First, I often skip ahead (instead of FF) by holding down the 30 sec skip. Unlike using FF, UTV stops skipping when I release the key - which for me solves the never fixed FF runaway problem. Likewise with replay (to go back I hold down that key). In these new receivers, holding down these keys take you to either "live" or "start over". In their forums, some complained that their "programmable" remotes messed this up and that sometimes they ended up live or at the end and it was difficult to go back to where they were. If you hit stop while watching a recorded show, it puts a live feed in a pip window. I never want live to come up unless I choose it. Perhaps going to a channel that is not viewable, or perhaps an info channel would prevent an accidental spoiler.

Features I like are, keyword search has qualifiers, NNOT, AALL etc. I always wanted to record only shows that have "live" in the description (baseball games). There are settings for only recording first run, which might also handle this. Manual record can be repeated weekly. With 5 tuners, not as important, but a priority can be set on upcoming shows if there's conflicts. They have folders and using play on a folder will play all in order from oldest to newest. This would be handy for capturing (assuming that esata trick mentioned by Kazak doesn't really work). The progress bar is better as it shows you how much you have buffered (though I still use the UTV hack that added that into the info popup). The 4 color context buttons are nice, sort of like the right-click context menu in windows. One can skip to 15 minute tickmarks while FF or REW. Using the number keys like a phone lets you enter letters easily (for seach).

Overall, I'd say probably an improvement, though it's amazing how well UTV has stood up to new technology. And of course HD is very tempting.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket View Post

Well, congrats, Kazak. I have been looking at the 5 channel HD dvr as well.
Please keep us up to date on your experience with the new unit. It would be great to hear from someone with UTV experience review this new high powered receiver setup.
How did the monthly fee make out, do you pay more or less than with 3 utvs ($10 for utv, plus $12 for the extra receivers).
How many receivers all told do you have now, and how do you wire them? Did they just replace your old dish?
And, did they give an old UTV user any special deal? I would think they're happy to get old receivers retired finally.


Well, it was going swimmingly until last Fri. night. It started acting very flaky. Lots of freezing and slow or no response to commands. By midnight it died with an error message that means the drive crapped out. frown.gif

Called Dave Sat morning and new unit is in the way. I made a mistake when talking to the rep. At one point he asked me if I had an OTA antenna connnected and I said no. I'm pretty sure they have a model with an OTA tuner and I probably could have had that one. Oh well...smile.gif

I have a total of 4 receivers. One is the HR-34 and the rest are standard HD receivers. The Slimline dish has one coax run to a SWM8 module and then one run to each receiver including the HR-34. The power supply is inside and fed back to the SWM through the coax.

All of my old hardware is still in place. He just added a new dish.

I got free HD for a year and I'm confused about my latest bill. It looks to me like I got the HR-34 for free. The bill is much less than I was told it would be but I haven't had time to look into it.

At this point I'm willing to give them a pass on the bad unit. Let's see how the new one plays out...
post #17 of 22
DirecTV really knows how to p*** a customer off. A package came today and it contained a standard HD receiver. mad.gif

After being on the phone for 30 min. or so and transfered to FIVE different departments I was told that they will not ship out an HR-34. A technician must come and "install" it.rolleyes.gif

So now I get to take a day off of work tomorrow and wait from Noon till 4PM for a tech.

Very, very unhappy customer.
post #18 of 22
The only people at DirecTV that have any idea what customer service is are the 2 installers I've seen. Thanks Jason and Frank!!!

Got a call this morning from the tech guy and he came out early and brought a new HR-34. So far so good. Keep your fingers crossed...
post #19 of 22
If anyone is interested I have a brand new remote for one of these boxes. Had one and loved it but screwed it up years ago trying to upgrade it. Remote has been sitting around new in the box for years.
post #20 of 22
Know what you mean about DTV's need to send out a Tech. When my most recent UTV died... I figured they'd just send out a replacement DVR as they've done a couple times before... Instead I had to wait for a Tech to come out and check everything out.

Suppose since I have the Protection Plan... I can't complain about him replacing/upgrading two of my Multi-Switches (which I was Cascading off the main Powered Switch). Improved overall Signal Strength to many of my DVRs... but didn't "revive" the Dead UTV. Would have preferred DTV "trusting" me as a Customer.
post #21 of 22
Wow.. you guys are still here eek.gif

Kazak if you still want to play I can dig you up a new tuner chip (I forget what they are called)
post #22 of 22
It would be nice to find a reliable "Repair" option for the UTV... since it's hard finding a trustworthy repair service in 2012.

Got a good number of "spare part" UTVs that I wouldn't mind getting back to life if it isn't too difficult to find the right parts and experienced hands.
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