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I am new to the whole satellite TV arena and was wondering what the difference was between DirecTV receivers from Sony, RCA, Hughes, Philips and anyone else? Aside from hardware differences, do they have different menu systems, program guides and other software differences? Also, is there any consensus on which is better than another? Finally, does this apply to the new TiVo and Ultimate TV boxes, or do they use common software from TiVo and Ultimate TV?


Im sorry if this topic has been covered extensively before, but I appreciate any comments or links to previous discussions.


Thanks,

Gil
 

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I would expect there are some differences among the brands. I known Cnet (cnet.com) reviewed the DirectTV/Tivo and UltimateTV receivers from Sony and Philips, and saw differences. Their main complaint with some receivers was slow response time of the interface, remotes (some were too big) and high prices for some. Frankly, I have the inexpensive RCA DirectTV receiver (it came with the DirectTV dish and costs $50) and I haven't had any complaint with it other than the remote being a little big. I also have the cheapest DirectTV/TIVO receiver (Hughes) that they advertise now for $80 (new subscribers) and $140 (existing subscribers) and I am VERY pleased with that.


I don't believe that the different brand affect the picture quality.
 

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I have three different receivers with my DirecTV system. I have a Mitsubishi SR-SD1 receiver w/Dual LNB dish, a RCA DRD420 receiver, and a RCA UltimateTV receiver.


All have their pros and cons, and each has a quirk or two. I love my UltimateTV service. It is like Tivo but different - there are forums for both elsewhere. The Mitsubishi has an IR remote, which I really like - especially when playing MusicChoice through the stereo. It has multiple outputs, which is a plus when integrating into a home theater system. The cheap RCA DRD420 works well for a den, or kids playroom. It doesn't have Dolby Digital output, and only has one set of output RCA jacks, so it is limited, but still works well for what it is.


I also have a Sony multi-switch that works fine.


The menus are different for each receiver, and each has a different remote. The picture quality is the same for all three.


Hope that helps.


Karl
 
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