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How many are still using UTV? - Page 3

post #61 of 124
This tread ran before..

I've been using UTV when they first came out +- a few months. Got a second a year later when the price wars between Tivo and UTV. I think I paid $100 for the second with a $50. rebate. The first was a tad over $400. I still have both and have gone through about three hard drives. Use ups on one not the other, they still get corrupted over time. Some times pulling the power is a good thing a I suspect the os does more testing from a cold boot rather. With ups os is always loaded but if you loose power it may not boot because I suspect it can't load the os from the drive. Just like any operating systems. I've resurrected some drives buy doing the swap forcing a format and os load via modem. But if the drive has problems it will usually fail again anyway. I've cleared the security bit and examined the drive with manufacturers diagnostics and they usually failed read or write tests.

It's probably easier and faster to just purchase a new drive. I don't keep much on my drives anymore if import enough I move them to dvd or record using Panny DVD recorder to begin with.


That's it ... not sure where will be going from here.

Enjoy
oth
post #62 of 124
My unit is one of the first one (I bought it like the week it came out). It is an RCA unit and it has been going strong since then. I did mod it up to a 120 gig harddrive, but then went and used the original hard drive in my server as the boot drive until it started to act up just a couple weeks ago (since put in a 160 gig mirrored RAID configuration to act as the boot drive). My unit originally had a Western Digital 40 gig hard drive model WD Performer 450AW "Home Entertainment Hard Drive". Manufacturer date of 26 Aug 2000 and a WebTV P/N 150-14543-021 (I have the harddrive right in front of me).

However, I am going to retire it and move onto HD. I have a brand-new HR20 "DirecTV HD Plus DVR" unit. I am awaiting install of the new dish. It actually kinda sucks as I've really did like my UltimateTV and it has served me faithfully these past 6+ years. However, it is starting to act up plus the modem recently got nuked (stupid me went and unplugged the unit, but did not think to also unplug the damn phone line when I left for Wisconsin this past month for over 2+ weeks.) I guess I better start dumping stuff I want to save onto my Pioneer DVD recorder's harddrive.

As for picture quality, the UltimateTV actually did look very good even on my big 55-inch Mitsubishi Diamond series TV. However, the TV does have a built-in digital tuner and after watching many programs on there, the HD does look friggan amazing. One of the reasons going with the HD DVR is that it will record programs off the tuner as well as the satellite, which will be nice. I hope DirecTV does come through with their promise this fall of "100+ HD channels".

It does suck that the DirecTV HR20 does not have PIP nor a "true" 30-second skip, but at the same time the damn DISH ViP622 does not have a "jumpback" feature either. Those are probably two or three features that I've used the most often, to the point that the little pictograph on those buttons on my remote are worn off! Speaking of remote, I've got a good look at the remote with the HR20 and I don't like it nearly as well as the one that came with the UTV unit. They got the "transport" controls (the play/pause/rewind/FF/skip/etc buttons) way up high on the remote that make them difficult to reach unless you hold the remote way up near the top, but that make it uncomfortable to hold it. If they switched the placement of the transport control buttons with those of the menu control buttons, it would be so much nicer. May have to go and invest in one of those "universal" remotes such as Philips Pronto, so I can program in my own button placements.

I like the idea of disconnecting/unplugging the UltimateTV before "turning it off" service-wise. I'll have to keep it hooked up in my setup, but not connected to the satellite so I at least can watch and dump off the programming that I currently have saved in it.
post #63 of 124
I have a couple of oneforall remotes.These babies are great. Since all my equipment is in another room, I use the model 9910 that has both ir and rf which lets me send signals from anywhere.

Also, I've totally re-programmed these units. There's a cable connection to the pc and freeware software for doing this. Most importantly, was I have the buttons where I want them, and can find them w/o looking. Also, I was able to clone my first one, once I got nervous as to how dependent I became on the remote. I also use a r/s video switcher to switch between 2 utv units and the oneforall is programmed to change both the video selector and change which utv setup to use (sat or aux) with one button push.

Overall, the best remote I've ever had. I got my second unit for $25 by searching the net.

So, if you really hate your new remote, I'd suggest you look into the

http://www.ofausa.com/remote.php?type=URC%209910
post #64 of 124
Put me down as having one UTV since the beginning, shipped off once to have the bigger HD and two new tuner chips put in, still running strong today. I also have one DirecTivo that I use as a backup upstairs when I need to record more than 2 programs at once. The thing I don't understand is how no one else has copied the interface of the UTV. It is more intuitive than any other interface I've seen on any DVR or HTPC solution. I've gone HD now, and I'm getting an HD DVR soon so i'm ready for the new HD channels in September, but I'm going to be sad to see the UTV go.

BTW, has anyone else had some weird glitches lately with resolving conflicts? I don't recall ever having a problem like this before a month ago, but twice in the past month, I've gone into the Upcoming Recordings screen to clear up a conflict, but when the time of the conflict came around, it recorded the wrong shows. When it happened once, I just assumed I messed up, but now that it's happened twice, I'm nervous that either the box is sick or D* is starting to pull support.
post #65 of 124
check history to see why it chose its action.
post #66 of 124
I haven't heard of this problem before. Hopefully Rocket's suggests gives you some clues as to the problem.

All of my UTVs (5 of them) are recording away nicely without issue.

So for the screwed up Conflicts problem. Could you clarify/detail it a bit more for us? You have say ABC/NBC/CBS Nightly News setup to record. You have a Conflict on 1 of the channels and you decide you want the "Conflict" (Will Not Record) program instead of one of the other two programs.

After the conflict is "resolved" the Upcoming Recordings should report an updated listing of which shows will/will not record.

Personally I prefer deleting Conflicts instead of using the Resolve Conflict interface since it doesn't give me a choice of all the conflicting shows (just two).
post #67 of 124
I have one that works, and another that doesn't (it's in the closet somewhere). A couple of weeks ago, I got HD and the DTV HR-20 unit. It has replaced the UTV in the living room. The HR-20 is OK... i can tolerate the 30 sec slip. Selecting items to record seems a bit awkward and convoluted compared to the UTV. I don't think the HR-20 knows that you have already recorded a certain episode of a program. So unlike the UTV, it clutters up the drive with the 5 recordings of the same episode that ran five different times in the last few days. I'm new to this device, to be sure, so maybe I just have yet to figure out how to prevent that.

My first UTV unit was bought in January 2002. During a storm in 9/02, it got fried. I sent it back to DTV to repair, and they sent back a broke one. I sent that back. Not sure how, but I still have the one I originally sent back. I don't remember how that got back to me.

Then in 12/02 or thereabouts, I walk into Circuit City and see for sale a brand new UTV all by itself for about 80 bucks. I grabbed it, bought it, and it is the one that I just switched out for the HR-20. It has never given me a problem. I had it stacked on some infant formula bottle caps for ventilation. (The infant is now 6 years old) I am putting it in the basement to go with a TV down there.

The one in the closet ( the first one I bought) has a couple of prized sporting events on it (eg IU's upset of #1 Duke in the '02 NCAA tourney). I'm not a techie, so if there is a way to get those events from that Hard drive to a DVD easily, I don't know it. I can always plug it in and watch it if I want to. For now, I consider it stored in "cryogenics" (lol) waiting for technology to offer an easy and very user friendly way to get those programs off the drive.

Or maybe I'll just sell it some day.
post #68 of 124
BayernFan,

Just buy one of those cheap stand-alone DVD recorders and copy your UltimateTV programs using the S-Video output. It is very easy and the results look great.
post #69 of 124
It also sounds like the UTV in "cryogenics" still has an Active Access Card (probably because it has been "offline" and hasn't gotten a "Deactivate" signal from DTV.

I was going to post that if the UTV needed temporary use of an "active" Access Card there is an easy way to "Swap" Access Cards between DTV Receivers by "Refreshing Services" via DTV's Online Troubleshooting Site. I tested that option a few days ago... and it took only a few seconds to have a "good" access Card marry itself to a "spare" UTV and allow me to check it's systems for issues/problems.
post #70 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

It also sounds like the UTV in "cryogenics" still has an Active Access Card (probably because it has been "offline" and hasn't gotten a "Deactivate" signal from DTV.

I was going to post that if the UTV needed temporary use of an "active" Access Card there is an easy way to "Swap" Access Cards between DTV Receivers by "Refreshing Services" via DTV's Online Troubleshooting Site. I tested that option a few days ago... and it took only a few seconds to have a "good" access Card marry itself to a "spare" UTV and allow me to check it's systems for issues/problems.

I wish D* would allow you to activate/de-activate receivers on their website like they used to.
post #71 of 124
I assume they still have an "activate" option... but I'd assume they'd HATE offering a "de-activate" option...

Also since DTV no longer offers a "buy to own" option... I assume they are taking more control of the activate/deactivate process.
post #72 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

I assume they still have an "activate" option... but I'd assume they'd HATE offering a "de-activate" option...

Also since DTV no longer offers a "buy to own" option... I assume they are taking more control of the activate/deactivate process.

No, they don't have either option now. Well actually, I know that they use to have and activate option, not so sure about deactivation. I don't see why at they can't do both.
post #73 of 124
No buy to own? You mean all these new dvrs are loaners only? Do they charge more for these with monthly charges? Or are you just supposed to return them if you leave dtv?

What about those old d-tivos, are they loaners too? Are they trying to phase them out as well? They were the only other 30-sec skip option as I understand it.
post #74 of 124
I'm "old school" so I may be totally wrong but NEW customers "Lease" their hardware (right?).

I've no idea how DTV's hardware is tracked/returned/etc. but I'd suspect it's better then how our own government tracks small arms in Iraq. Since each unit/contract has a price tag attached for early termination of agreement. Which I think at the moment is 12 months right?

Guess we need a DTV Newbie that just happens to read the UTV forum to clue us all in.
post #75 of 124
Thread Starter 
All new equipment is leased now. If you leave D*, you have to return the boxes, if you don't, you get charged full price for them, not sure what full price is. If you activate a new receiver, new customer or not, you will be committed to a new 2 year contract.
post #76 of 124
Holy Cow! Two Year Contract for adding a "new" receiver!? Particularly if it's an "additional" receiver that sounds crazy.

How about adding "old" receivers? No need to cover the "lease" of a receiver for two years. It's already bought and paid for...

Might have to give DTV a call on this.
post #77 of 124
Thread Starter 
Well its a sad day here in my house, I finally retired my UTV in favor of the HD HR20. With the new HD channels coming online I just couldn't justifying paying for both DVR services.

I will miss you UTV, farewell..........

Bring on the HD!
post #78 of 124
The UTV was an exceptional DVR. Many that have switched to the HR20 have realized how good the UTV was. Things like the 30 second skip, auto-padding, actually recording what it's supposed to, and many other features are sorely missed.

Did you know that the UTV lives on in a new DVR? Yes, there is a UTV-HD in a way. The AT&T U-verse HD DVR is based off the old UTV! In reality not much is the same other than the core concept, but you can see the UTV roots in the U-verse HD DVR.

DirecTV has created a huge fiasco with the HR20, but the word is that DirecTV want's out of the DVR business and may be outsourcing the project. Hope that's true and we'll see some real progress on the unit. I think the hardware is OK, but the software still has a lot of problems.
post #79 of 124
RE: Adding "old" receivers.

Got a couple more UTVs in service on Monday. (total 6 UTVs, 1 DTivo) Ready for FALL 07!

No contract extension... but they were sticklers for paying the $20 access card fees (Being USED Receivers and all). But I did get them to "credit" it back as DTV Service Credit so I'm happy with that. It will pay back the card fees AND then some over the next 6 months.
post #80 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by csgo View Post

The UTV was an exceptional DVR. Many that have switched to the HR20 have realized how good the UTV was. Things like the 30 second skip, auto-padding, actually recording what it's supposed to, and many other features are sorely missed.

Did you know that the UTV lives on in a new DVR? Yes, there is a UTV-HD in a way. The AT&T U-verse HD DVR is based off the old UTV! In reality not much is the same other than the core concept, but you can see the UTV roots in the U-verse HD DVR.

DirecTV has created a huge fiasco with the HR20, but the word is that DirecTV want's out of the DVR business and may be outsourcing the project. Hope that's true and we'll see some real progress on the unit. I think the hardware is OK, but the software still has a lot of problems.

I use two HR20-700's and I am not having any problems with the software. I certainly welcome improvements, but I have very few missed recordings and no greater problems than I have had with TiVo or ReplayTV. I don't like the software as well as I like the TiVo software, but I can make it work well enough to be complaint free.

Chris
post #81 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

RE: Adding "old" receivers.

Got a couple more UTVs in service on Monday. (total 6 UTVs, 1 DTivo) Ready for FALL 07!

No contract extension... but they were sticklers for paying the $20 access card fees (Being USED Receivers and all). But I did get them to "credit" it back as DTV Service Credit so I'm happy with that. It will pay back the card fees AND then some over the next 6 months.

I guess you don't have an HDTV yet?
post #82 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by csgo View Post

DirecTV has created a huge fiasco with the HR20, but the word is that DirecTV want's out of the DVR business and may be outsourcing the project. Hope that's true and we'll see some real progress on the unit. I think the hardware is OK, but the software still has a lot of problems.

Think they may go back with Tivo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gerhard View Post

I use two HR20-700's and I am not having any problems with the software. I certainly welcome improvements, but I have very few missed recordings and no greater problems than I have had with TiVo or ReplayTV. I don't like the software as well as I like the TiVo software, but I can make it work well enough to be complaint free.

Chris

I've only had the HR20 for a week, but I can say overall I do like it. It has come a long way since it first started a year ago, and thats one of the reasons I waited so long to get one, to let it get more stable.

I've never had Tivo, only UTV, so I can't comment either way on that.

But I do like the HR20.
post #83 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by theratpatrol View Post

I guess you don't have an HDTV yet?

I do have an HDTV in the Living Room... I'm sure DTV will make it harder and harder for me to ignore it's increasing HD Channel selections... But "ignorance" is bliss as they say.

When I installed the HDTV I tried using some "Rabbit Ears" to get some local broadcast HD channels... Got a taste of CBS-HD,PBS-HD, and others. I did like PBS's feed. I could certainly "SEE" the difference. A friend with HDTV, didn't need any "special" HD Antenna... just used an set of "Rabbit Ears"... That approach doesn't work for me (constant tuning needed)... so I might look into ramping it up a bit.

Next opportunity for an upgrade I'll be sure to have DTV send me an HD DVR. Until then I'll pay for a decent pair of "Rabbit Ears" and save the ($9.99 a month?) HD Channels fee.
post #84 of 124
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

I do have an HDTV in the Living Room... I'm sure DTV will make it harder and harder for me to ignore it's increasing HD Channel selections... But "ignorance" is bliss as they say.

When I installed the HDTV I tried using some "Rabbit Ears" to get some local broadcast HD channels... Got a taste of CBS-HD,PBS-HD, and others. I did like PBS's feed. I could certainly "SEE" the difference. A friend with HDTV, didn't need any "special" HD Antenna... just used an set of "Rabbit Ears"... That approach doesn't work for me (constant tuning needed)... so I might look into ramping it up a bit.

Next opportunity for an upgrade I'll be sure to have DTV send me an HD DVR. Until then I'll pay for a decent pair of "Rabbit Ears" and save the ($9.99 a month?) HD Channels fee.

Just curious, have you thought about putting up an outside rooftop antenna? That would really help you get the local channels in HD.

D* will be adding a whole bunch of HD channels this month, it'll be interesting to see how that goes.
post #85 of 124
After 5 years I am finally switching to Verizon FIOS TV so I can get HDTV. I have a tree issue getting to the HD sat and I have finally decided to make the switch. The cost of the new HD Tivo put me over the top. At $299 (and less if you look hard enough) it wa a no brainer. I've also been losing my D* signal almost every time it rains which never happened before and I believe I make have a new line of sight issue due to neighbor's trees.

I will be retiring 3 UTVs, all of which have been upgraded with bigger hard drives and one that is still in use (the other two had some issues and I replaced them with Direct Tivos).

Over 5 years later and the UTV interface is still the best out there. What a great product. It's a shame Microsoft didn't have the foresight to stay with this product. I think had they gotten to market before Tivo that they would have had a much larger market share and possibly would still be in production today.

Anyone interested in 3 UTVs??
post #86 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by theratpatrol View Post

Just curious, have you thought about putting up an outside rooftop antenna? That would really help you get the local channels in HD.

Check. One "Roof" antenna in the attic space (with Rotor)... But after 10 years of DTV... Some rewiring (UTVs are wired for "Whole house" access) and moving some insulation (to allow full 360 movement) is in order.

The Antenna (although old) should work... but "sharing" the runs with DTV (via Multi-Switch) I think may be degrading the HD feed... along with various wiring issues and it's aim. So maybe an exclusive run direct from the antenna might be a good option.

The "Rabbit Ears" option seems good to me only in simplicity... A bit of work and I should get "FULL" Broadcast HD.
post #87 of 124
just another history note... until spring 2005 DTV had refurbished units to provide through the warranty plan (5.99/month) ... when they ran out, I ran over to Dish which had a big tech lead IMHO which DTV has finally caught up with so now I'm back to DTV... Does that make me a whore?
post #88 of 124
My two RCA DWD490RE UTVs were repaired/upgraded by CCS earlier this year. Now both have Maxtor 160GB drives in them.

I mainly sent them out for the bigger drives, the only repair issue was the modems in both units had been fried due to electrical storms in my area. Due to frequent pop-up storm activity where I live (near Atlanta, GA) I no longer leave them connected to the phone line, rather I plug them in periodically overnight when I think of it, and there are no storms forecast, so they "phone home".

A tech at DTV told me unless I ordered Pay-Per-View programming, this would never be an issue anyway. I never order PPV stuff. I do have MLB Extra Innings but I've never had an issue with that package even if the units had not called home in many months, so I think the "sports subscription requires a phone line connected all the times" is pure BS. (DTV sort of admitted it was).

I will stick with the UTVs for as long as they can be maintained/repaired and DirecTV supports the service.
post #89 of 124
As for the "maintained/repaired" aspect...

As long as CCS and others are available (along with parts) with the knowledge to repair the common UTV problems (and future wear and tear issues). UTV can live on...

It's just a matter if DTV will offer the updates and service over say the next 10 years or so to keep them Active. There are probably a lot of early generation DTV/USSB DSS Receivers out there that are still trucking on... when those are phased out UTV's active life is probably over.
post #90 of 124
Am still a UTV user. Just checked in to find out about my v.28230 upgrade recieved on 9/11. Any of you guys also happen to be "Ham Radio" operators?
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