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OK folks, just found this forum. I have a RCA UTV unit (stock), but I hate paying DTV $10 per month for the service. I don't use any of the web features, just the recorder.


I see DTV/Tivo combo units on eBay that claim to have a lifetime subscription included. No monthly charge.


What is the advantage to me to stay with UTV?


Is there any way to get around the $10 monthly charge?


Anybody know how the Tivo unit compares to UTV?


Thanks,

Joe
 

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I searched ebay and found two DTiVos, one RCA and one Sony. Both claim that no phone line is required. This is a clear sign that these units have been hacked, and DirecTV/TiVo have not been paid for the lifetime service.


Even ignoring ethics, it's likely that when the new software is downloaded, the "lifetime service" will end. Or perhaps the hacker has disabled upgrading somehow, so you'll be stuck with the old software.


If you want a TiVo, I'd say buy one for $199 and pay $5 per month for the TiVo service. The RCA on ebay is currently at $311, and the reserve has not been met. Even if it were sold for $311, the $199 receiver would cost about the same with service if you kept the receiver for about two years.
 

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As for free Tivo charges best you go to their forum and discuss it... I think $5 a month seems like its more likely if you don't subscribe to premium services. You will also need a phone line and charges may apply as well?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by wrb
As for free Tivo charges best you go to their forum and discuss it... I think $5 a month seems like its more likely if you don't subscribe to premium services. You will also need a phone line and charges may apply as well?
DTiVo pricing:
http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/imagine/TIVOPricing.jsp


There is supposed to be an 800 number for DTiVo, so no long distance charges should apply.
 

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DirecTivo fee: $5 or free. It's free if you're a Total Choice Premier customer. Covers all DirecTivos on the same account.


And with the latest software update, a phone call is not actually required anymore. But apparently it'll bug the hell out of you until you do make a call if it's been more than 30 days! :) (It pops up a message 3 times a day requesting that you make a call).
 

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csgo,

I'm both a UTV and DirecTiVo user. I recently jumped on the offer that DirecTV has for a Sony T60 DirecTiVo unit. $199 plus tax and shipping, includes free professional installation. ( http://www.directv.com/dvroffer )


Each platform has it's benefits and it's pitfalls. Frankly I feel UTV has the better interface (way better actually) but TiVo's suggestions are usefull at times. You should try to find somebody with a DirecTiVo and compare the two systems and see if the cost is enough in the end to change.
 

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Keep in mind that unless you really want the Total Choice Premiere pack, upgrading to it to save the $5 TiVo charge is not financially viable. I have total choice plus w/locals and all the movie channels ala carte so the only difference between my service and the premiere package is the sports channels (Sports Pack) and Wam! music channel. I figured out it would cost me $7 extra a month (including tax) to upgrade to the Premiere package from what I have now, so it wouldn't be cost effective for me to upgrade to get channels I don't want.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by NetworkTV
Keep in mind that unless you really want the Total Choice Premiere pack, upgrading to it to save the $5 TiVo charge is not financially viable.
If you can sell an UltimateTV for a few hundred bucks on ebay, it is financially viable.
 

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csgo,


SpankNix is right. You should compare the 2 units. My suggestion is to wait a few weeks, until the new DTV series 2 boxes are in CC and BB and go to the store and play with the units. Before you go, write down all the features you like and use on the UTV. Then try to see if they have them on the DTV series 2 box.


I myself pre-ordered 2 of the DTV series 2 at Circuit City on 10/14. I have been going back and forth as to if I should switch or not. Last Friday, I called and canceled my pre-order. I'm sticking with UTV. The trade off was not worth it to me.


Good luck deciding. It is not easy!
 

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I canceled my preorder at cc a well :(


After finding out it still requires phone line (even one call a month :( ) and they are using maxtor drives I was a little disappointed. Will see how they shakeout. If however one of my utv croaks I would consider another pvr, most likely a Tivo.. I would prefer not to get locked into directv or cable too specific..
 

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I have both, and I while the UTV interface is better it only takes a week to get used to the Tivo one. The new 3.1 software allows you to setup two missing and critical features on your tivo - different sorting options for saved shows and 30 sec skip for commercials.


The Tivo system offers some nifty searching, which I use rarely. But the one downside to the Tivo is the soft padding that it does around recording - the UTV does a MUCH better job extending the end of a recording to catch show endings. (there are many discussions on the AVSforum Tivo site for those interested in the nitty gritty). But since last month when I moved the Thursday night schedule (Friends & Survivor & ER) to the Tivo I have missed more starts and finishes of shows than in over a year on UTV. I'm sure I will get better at correctlymanually padding the recording times in the future, but MAN what a annoying thing.


In the end, the Tivo box is more affordable to own, and once I'm settled in to it I may eBay the UTV for some spending money.


(NOTE My T-60 Tivo is a series 1 box, not series 2. I got it for $99 direct from DTV Customer Retention (Not $199, but $99) because I had a modem failure on my UTV and they were not able to do an advance swap on the UTV box - they asked me to be without it for 2 weeks - thus the discounted Tivo came by FedEx to ease my pain).
 

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scopeman:


The padding issue is at the top of our list of features we like on the UTV. A big reason we are staying.


I didn't know that 3.1 added a 30 sec. skip. Another high ranked feature for us. It seems like many of the cool things you could do with Tivo via a backdoor get stomped on the 3.1 version. You have to wait for someone to find the hack before you can add all those back. That seemed painful.


Are you on the DTV maintenance plan? Is that why you were able to get the T-60 for $99?
 

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Be VERY careful buying receivers off of eBay with lifetime service! Many (damn near all actually) are actually boxes illegally hacked to make the box think it has a lifetime subscription. These receivers do not have lifetime, and they will never receive software updates.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by markf57
I didn't know that 3.1 added a 30 sec. skip. Another high ranked feature for us. It seems like many of the cool things you could do with Tivo via a backdoor get stomped on the 3.1 version.
I thought that the 30 second skip was always there, it's just that you had to enter a code to enable it? Is it that the 30 sec skip is turned on by default now?
 

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I have both UTV and TIVO.


The reason I give tivo a slight edge is because you can toggle between the two tuners much more easily. On UTV I found it annoying that you lost the buffer unless you kept PIP active.


I also believe TIVO has a big edge in searching for shows using keywords. Also I like TIVO because you can search using "all channels you receive". On UTV it seems it won't find shows during a search on channels that you receive but don't have on your custom channel lists. I find that non intuitive. Utv can't AUTORECORD PPV.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by markf57
scopeman:


The padding issue is at the top of our list of features we like on the UTV. A big reason we are staying.


I didn't know that 3.1 added a 30 sec. skip. Another high ranked feature for us. It seems like many of the cool things you could do with Tivo via a backdoor get stomped on the 3.1 version. You have to wait for someone to find the hack before you can add all those back. That seemed painful.


Are you on the DTV maintenance plan? Is that why you were able to get the T-60 for $99?
The padding is annoying but you learn to adjust.


The 30sec skip is a hidden feature - takes all of 2 seconds to enabled with 5 remote button pushes, requires no hacking/backdoor. Works as good as the UTV function after that. The 3.1 version doesn't stomp it. If you pull power from the Tivo, it requires you to spend 2 seconds re-enabling it, not a big deal.


Yes, I was on the DTV maintenance plan - my UTV modem frizzed, I could not order PPVs. Thay wanted my UTV for 2 weeks (no advance swap) and I barfed on the CSR for such a bad suggestion, she sent me to "customer retention", they discounted a Sony T60 to $99.


I figure I'll try then both one for size next to each other and eBay the spare when I'm done. Currently I'm sitting 50/50.


If I hadn't gotten the T60 at $99 I would NEVER have moved from UTV, the UTV is great, no failings at all - but the $99 Tivo and $5/month (plus eBaying the UTV for $275) means I get paid to switch if I can handle the change over.
 

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Gonna stick w/ my Sony UTV until death do us part (hopefully the UTV's and not mine!) Love the EPG and I can turn it off. Can you turn off DirecTivo's?

(my wife refuses to use the satellite recv so she watches regular cable - which passes through when you turn the UTV off)


Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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You can put Tivos into 'Standby' mode, which passes through any coax signal (like analog cable).
 

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Quote from scrim67

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I also believe TIVO has a big edge in searching for shows using keywords. Also I like TIVO because you can search using "all channels you receive". On UTV it seems it won't find shows during a search on channels that you receive but don't have on your custom channel lists. I find that non intuitive. Utv can't AUTORECORD PPV.

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I actually like the fact that UTV only includes shows on your custom channel list because it eliminates shows on channels I have no desire to watch. I can see how that might sometimes be limiting, though, and I wish I had the option to activate a feature like you meantioned. I really wish there was a way to be more exact with key word searches without having to use exact title search. For example, I like watching shows about making movies and wanted to have them auto-record. I typed in "The Making of" into the keyword search and got "Making the Band," Making a Baby," "Making Love" and "Making it into Space" along with "The Making of (insert movie title here)." If I could tell it to not look for derivatives of the words and phrases, I would be happy to let it search all it wants. I also don't like the fact I can't choose or ignore individual channels when searching or tell it to ignore certain shows when programming an auto-record.


However, I like just about everything else about UTV, especially the keyboard. Anyone know whether the USB ports on the new DirecTiVos will support keyboards? I've gotten too used to having it (for typing in keywords and such) and it would kill me to give it up. I plan to keep my UTV until either the service ends or the unit dies or TiVos get some features I just can't live without.
 
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