Originally Posted by badlands7
After 21 years with Time Warner, I finally decided to jump ship to DirecTV. My TWC division is actually decent (the same one as Jack) and I hate to give up my Cisco 8742, but that box had its own set of problems (I had to have it set at 720P because of interlacing issues). I've only had the DirecTV set up for a day, but I've spent quite a bit of time putting it through its paces (with both my Cisco and SA 8240HDC in the same room for comparison). Believe it or not, there are some areas where I prefer the Navigator software and TWC boxes/remotes over the DirecTV Genie and mini-Genie. (Just a quick primer on DirecTV: each system has one "Genie," which does all the recording and then "mini-Genies" at each TV, which do most of the functions of the Genie, including DVR functions. The Genie is about the size of the SA boxes, while the mini-Genies are only about 6" x 4"). It should be noted that there is a new Genie that was just released, but isn't yet available in my area. It's supposed to be much faster and now I kind of wished I had waited for it. Unlike with TWC, you have no chance of getting free upgraded equipment until your two year contract is over (and yes, you have to have a contract to get the cheap pricing).
*The DirecTV guide is in glorious full-screen HD. However, scrolling is significantly slower than my Cisco and about the same speed as my SA. However, when scrolling for quite a few hours, the SA stops scrolling when I let up on the button. The DirecTV Genie apparently accepts the button pushes faster than it scrolls and continues for a few hours past where I want to go, which is really annoying. The Genie does have buttons for 12 hours forward and back, which is similar to the 1 day with the TWC boxes and newer remotes.
*Whereas Navigator's guide has an "N" for new shows, DirecTV doesn't have any indicator to show if it's new or a rerun. You have to go through the extra step of hitting the info button and looking at the original air date (and I've already seen two shows with the incorrect air date). That's a big inconvenience.
*There is no "live" button on the Genie, which I used quite often with TWC and I miss it already. You have to either forward through the gap or use a combination of buttons to jump to the next 15 minute increment.
*While the Picture-In-Picture on the Genie is superior to TWC (in the actual corners of the screen plus the option of split-screen), there is no PIP at all on the mini-Genies. This probably isn't a big thing for most people, but I used PIP fairly often in a room with a mini-Genie.
*No clock on the Genie! Not really a huge deal, but I'm so used to looking at the clock in one of the rooms, that I might have to buy a digital clock to put on top.
*The TWC remote seems better designed and more intuitive, but maybe I just need to get used to the DirecTV remote.
On the other hand:
*The search function on the Genie is light years better than Navigator. You can search by title, person, channel or category. Even with it searching for a lot more than just a title, it's quite a bit faster than Navigator. It doesn't seem like I can search just for channels I get though, which would make it a lot nicer.
*The five tuners are really nice to have, as is the 1 TB hard drive (compared to 500mb on the Cisco and 160mb on the SA).
*The DirecTV boxes are said to have a lot fewer issues with missed recordings and other glitches. It's obviously far too early for me to say one way or the other on that.
*The local stations are their actual channel numbers (4, 6, 12, etc.) and all the HD and SD channels are the same number (ESPN HD and ESPN standard are both 206). If you have HD, it will automatically tune it in HD. If not, it will tune it in SD. The channels are all grouped well (2-69 local, 100s PPV, 200s Education & Entertainment, 300 Culture & News, etc.). I actually think the local TWC has channels grouped pretty well, other than the fact that all HD content is on 4 digit channels.
*A few minor improvements are a 90 minute buffer (like TWC used to have), viewing guide and recording 2 weeks in advance, 30 second skip button, slightly better recording management.
*The Genie software has a lot of other extras, such as TV apps (weather forecasts, sports scores, etc.), media sharing with a computer, YouTube capability, etc. with varying degrees of functionality and usefulness.