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Everything Ok with Ultimate TV?????

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Noticed a price decline and number of units being listed for sale. Anybody hear anything I don't know about???
post #2 of 32
It might be normal supply/demand. Keep us posted on new details.

DTV has continued to chip away at the UTV user base by getting customers to "upgrade". Regardless if the UTV needed repair/replacement or not.

In my experience... MOST receiver issues (UTV or not) can be fixed without DTV sending out new access cards or replacing a unit. The CRs are simply following a check list and if they don't know what to do they simply offer to do XY and Z to try and resolve it. Even if it's a total waste of time.
post #3 of 32
I think the demand is waning because HDTV is taking off. Plus, a lot of people are not willing to pay $10 a month on top of the $5.99 for their HD DVR's. This was my exact reason for dropping the excellent UTV's.
post #4 of 32
You can call monthly and tell them you are not willing to pay for Tivo and UTV service. They'll refund $5.95 a month. I gave up and just accept the $6 fee for one my single Tivo unit. I won;t give up the UTV yet.

post #5 of 32

An interesting idea. I wouldn't mind shaving a few bucks off my Bill. Since I have both Tivo and UTV services... I wouldn't mind a $6 refund per month. Only thing is DTV could say "OK well no Tivo DVR then... hope you like the new door stop."

But given my total monthly bill I think I have some pull here...
post #6 of 32
i have total choice premier which means i dont pay for the tivo service on my dsr7000. I also have 2 utvs that i pay 9.95 a month for. What should i do? Should i try to get them to waive or reduce the utv monthly fee?

post #7 of 32
A word to the wise. If you need to upgrade the software on your UTV don't start downloading until you have notified normal callers not to dial your home line for a period of about 4-5 hours. While attempting to complete the download every incoming call cancels the download and you must shutdown the UTV and start the process again from part 1. I know this because people who next called the cell phone wondered why the phone had been busy for a while. Some people have mentioned it may be best to download after 4 PM EST, but I'm not sure it makes any difference what time you attempt the upgrade.

The first UTV needed a larger HD and it works perfectly following the software upgrade. The second UTV had green, yellow and red flashing lights before and after swapping the hard drive from the first machine. Sometime during the night the green light went steady on the second UTV and when I viewed it's input, the WebTv screen saver was bouncing around. I started the download and everything is fine even with the original HD from the first UTV that was upgraded to an 80 Gig HD.

I have one other UTV that is watched 12 hours a day and is seldom used for recording. This UTV has never had a problem or attempted to acquire the software upgrade on its own. I will attempt to upgrade it's software next while the software feed is still available. It may not always be there, so take advantage of it before your machine goes on the fritz.
post #8 of 32

Good idea. You might also manually (or set the UTV) disable Call Waiting (*70 for most?).

I've done this by picking up a phone extension just before connecting the UTV and dialing *70. Then I let the UTV dial out. I then hang up the phone extension. For that connection Call Waiting shouldn't interrupt the call.

"The second UTV had green, yellow and red flashing lights before and after swapping the hard drive from the first machine." That is all normal since the UTV was just reformatting the Hard Drive. (A new unformatted drive will not go though this process)

Going solid green (with screen saver) after a good download is OK too.

All excellent info. for anyone considering doing the upgrade. Anyone thinking of "upgrading" to a 120 or 160GB drive for the new year (they are getting ever cheaper)... should use your post and the info. in the FAQ to get acquainted with the process.

post #9 of 32
You don't need to manually disable Call Waiting before upgrading. Before the download do the following: Settings ==> Phone options ==> Call Waiting ==> Select "Block Calls" and enter *70 in the prefix field.
post #10 of 32
Thanks for the details on setting the UTV to do that automatically.
post #11 of 32
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post


All excellent info. for anyone considering doing the upgrade. Anyone thinking of "upgrading" to a 120 or 160GB drive for the new year (they are getting ever cheaper)... should use your post and the info. in the FAQ to get acquainted with the process.



Where are the best deals for ide utv drives now? I'd like to pick up a few spares before sata takes over completely.

post #12 of 32

Glad you brought that up. I regularly check http://www.hotdealsclub.com/ and I've noticed in the last week or so that SATA Drives have become VERY Common recently. No IDE deals mentioned.

A review of the archieve shows that a tested SATA-IDE adapter (with a 250GB SATA Drive) wasn't compatible with UTV... So UTVs and IDE Drives (up to 137GB useable limit) are our only option at the moment.

I may have to keep an eye out for new IDE Hard Drive deals... Just think there may be a market someday for all the OLD IDE Drives I have sitting in my basement.
post #13 of 32
I've got a bunch of old IDE drives in a box too. I was thinking of using them for target practice. I need to teach my young son how to shoot our new HMR 17 rifle. It's a good starter gun for a young lad. Rounds are not cheap though compared to 22 rounds.
post #14 of 32
Don't have any metal cans around the house?

Not sure how safe it is putting holes in something with so many small and possibly sharp or toxic items in it...

While cutting Grass I hate going over stones or wood pieces that some how get in the way... A hunk of Hard Disc platter might be as bad or worse when hit by a mower blade.

As Jon Stewart said last night "Just Sayin',".
post #15 of 32
Just reviewed a few of the older posts in this thread.

I'm fairly certain that the 137GB IDE Barrier will remain on the UTV... but has anyone recently attempted any SATA/IDE conversions on their UTV (or spare UTV)? Was just looking at http://www.hotdealsclub.com/ today and noticed the Solid State SATA drives available (120GB for $190).

While it is to expensive today... Might be interesting to see if there is a workable SATA/IDE Compatible Converter and Drive(s) on the market to see what options will be available for UTV in say 2011. The improved air flow inside the UTV should be rather impressive if we can remove the HUGE IDE drive... Always wondered about installing a HD cooler inside a UTV but I've never found the room. With a Solid State drive there should be all kinds of space in a UTV for extra cooling fans...
post #16 of 32
We always pick up the mess after we are done blowing up or shooting things to pieces. You are right, things like that could be bad for a mower blade to propel.

I got bored and changed the forum settings to show all threads from the beginning and this was the oldest thread it found. The rest must have been purged to free space. It's been really DEAD in here lately.

Now there is an interesting concept. A solid state drive would reduce the heat under the hood of the UTV by leaps and bounds. Just did a quick Google search and the top result is shown here: http://www.cooldrives.com/satoidecofor.html There is such a SATA / IDE converter. Nice and compact too.There is a short install video on this site, just scroll down a bit.

Now we need a 120GB drive for under a $100 to hit the streets.
post #17 of 32
When I get time I'll have to experiment with one of my "backup" UTVs.

I'll have to look up HAL's old (137GB Barrier Buster) thread(s) that "claimed" use of a SATA/IDE Converter somehow worked around it AND was useable on a UTV... Peer Testing at that time were a no go on the barrier and as I recall it was a no go on allowing a SATA (of any size?) to work on UTV.

Again with IDEs still getting harder to find on shelves, I should probably get at least one or two of these converters for backward compatibility for my older PCs (and friends).

post #18 of 32
I also understood the SATA to IDE to be problematic across the board as well. No direct experience, just how I read the previous posts on it. I picked up a new 80Gb IDE on eBay for about $30 earlier this year to resurrect my UTV with Kazak's help.

Flash drive technology would certainly be interesting. I recently picked up a Class 4 8Gb MicroSD for my phone for $17. Not sure how those chips are speed rated, but we are closing in fast on that 120Gb flash drive price point.
post #19 of 32
It's 2010. Coming up on 8 years I've owned UTVs. Still have any of the "cold dead hands" crowd here?

There had been another thread asking about if DTV was still activating/reactivating UTVs. Anyone with recent "official" activation/reactivation news?

Being able to "swap" cards and refreshing service (via phone or internet) is quick and easy for those of us with a spare UTV but I'm wondering how many ,if any, existing DTV customers are being turned away from activating their UTVs.

Last I recall you did need to be an existing DTV customer to activate an "old" Receiver.

Also been noticing the local OfficeMax doesn't seem to be stocking IDE drives at the moment. (Or at least the "slips" don't say SATA/EIDE/etc.)

Don't see a short supply of IDE drives in the near future but the "buy/plug/play" options seem less likely in my market area.

Happy 2010 and many more.

post #20 of 32
I'm still here and running just the single 80Gb UTV. No recent experience with DirecTV on units. That is entirely in thanks to this forum for directing me on how to swap around my own units as needed! I'm going to fool around with an aerial ant. this summer and see what I can get through my old DTC-100s.

Let's hope 2010 is better for all of us than 2009.
post #21 of 32
Still running 3 but I'm really itching to go HD since I bought a new TV during the summer. I'll probably pull the trigger soon.

post #22 of 32
I'm still running two UTVs, one each of RCA & Sony. I'm also using a HR21 HD-DVR.

Both of my UTVs are used with Sony PVM-2530 CRT TVs. These TVs are circa 1991 and have never needed repair of any sort. I've taken 4 LCD TVs out to the dumpster during this time. The PVM-2530 provides outstanding SD performance via the S-Video input.

Directv's HR* HD-DVRs are a respectable effort, but they still pale in comparison to UTV. The HR21 has a sluggish interface and insane boot time. It is still a pain to use, while my UTVs have been a transparent experience since day one.

Once I give up on UTV, I will likely ditch Directv and subscription TV altogether. Over-the-air HD and the internet already provide more than I have time to consume.
post #23 of 32
I'd have to say that the GUI on the HR23 units are twice as fast as a freshly installed 3.8 UTV OS. I went 100% HD a couple of months ago and am enjoying it. All of the functions on the HR23 are damn near identical to the UTV. Meaning if you want to record a show, tap record once to get one show, twice to get the series and three times to clear. That kind of stuff is the same. Made for an easy transition to the latest DTV equipment.

Last night while reviewing my last DTV bill online, I noticed they did not remove the $9.95 UTV Service Fee and still had one DWD490RE showing as in use for $5 a month. I called and spoke to a rep who had no idea what that UTV Service Fee was. He had to call his supervisor before removing it from my account. I could not remove it online either. They credited my account and gave me Stars free for 3 months for my troubles. I just had a 5 month free run of Showtime for being a loyal customer. DTV is ok in my book.
post #24 of 32
I'm still running my UTV as a backup and supplement to my HR21 DVR. It allows me two extra tuners if I need them. Also, because it allows me to easily set up to record shows months in advance of them showing up in the guide, I never have to worry about missing season premieres. With the 21, I can't set up title-based automatic recordings until the shows appear in the guide.

It's nice to have a backup of important shows like Lost. I simply set the UTV to roll of the episodes after only one or two recordings since I'll watch the stuff in HD if all went well with the recording.
post #25 of 32
That is surprising that the HR21 hasn't "upgraded" to provide such a simple feature.

Does it at least offer a manual function? (Like a VCR would have?) Date or Day/Channel/Time
post #26 of 32
I'm not sure what you mean NetworkTV. I have not seen the GUI on the HR21 personally, but I did just see the GUI on the HR22 and it's identical to the HR23 in every way. There are some built in signal filters in the HR23 over the HR22. That's it between the two. I assume the HR 21 is the same too GUI wise. The only difference is the HD size and added port options. I believe they use the same OS so to speak.

Have you tried going to "Menu/Search For Shows/Keyword" while searching for a show that has yet to hit the guide? This will search and record the show even if it doesn't hit the guide for a year or more. The search will be there until until it's found and recorded.

Just like a manual UTV search. Not sure if this is the same thing you are speaking of... Not to bash UTV in any way. It still rocks and paved the way to where the current batch of HD-DVR's reside. Long live the SD UTV!!!!!
post #27 of 32
Hi guys - another long time UTV user here. I love my UTV, but now that I got a new wide-screen TV (I am finally retiring my old Toshiba 4x3 rear-projection to the basement), it is a little harder to watch all of those SD channels. I am assuming that none of the HD receivers have PIP, but I did notice in reading the HR23 manual that they at least have the 30 second skip... I may just have to bite the bullet and do the upgrade, but the main reason I have DTV is for Sunday Ticket, and I almost always have 2 games going in PIP - I don't know if I can live without it!
post #28 of 32
Regarding the 30sec skip, the HR21 has it - but I had to enter some button sequence on the remote in order to get a direct 30-sec skip. The default was to do a 30 sec fast-forward with the video moving on the screen.

I don't know what the default is on the HR23, but if it is the same as the HR21 - and you want a UTV style skip, then look for the code.
post #29 of 32
I have another question for everyone - I know that I'll need a satellite dish upgrade (I have an old dual lnb dish) and the new receiver, what would this upgrade cost me? Will I get offered a free upgrade if I push for it? How many LNB's are on the new dish? Thanks!
post #30 of 32
JSap, I recently upgraded. I was no longer under contract with DTV, (13 Year customer though) I called them, they came out and installed a new 5LNB oval dish and ran 2 more coax runs for the total cost of Zip, Zero Zilch.

Where they will get you is on the HD-DVR equipment. See if you can get a buy one get one free type of deal. There are a few different ways they will try and hook you, be persistent and wait for the best equipment deal you can get.
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