Anyone own the Hughes HR10-250 Hi-Def DTV Tivo?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I have been a Replay TV owner for years,
    so I am well aware of the benefits of owning
    a unit similar to Tivo.

    Problem is, I haven't been able to record
    High-Definition off my DirecTV satellite box.

    Well, I just ordered the Hughes HR10-250 Tivo.
    Got it at an amazing $639 SHIPPED at TVAUTHORITY.COM
    (normally they go for $699).

    Some questions....

    1. Are you happy with this unit?

    2. Tivo offers a lifetime subscription for
    $300. Should I get this or opt for the $4-$5
    per month charge that DTV offers? Do I have
    to pay the DTV charge even if I go with the
    lifetime subscription?

    3. Does this unit have Internet download
    capability for updating schedules and so
    forth, or is it just dial-up?

    4. How does the High-Def recording look?
    Is there any digital pixelation caused by
    the hard drive recording?

    Finally....

    5. I read that perhaps these Tivo models
    will be made obsolete by new MPEG4 coding
    that DirecTV will be using. Not sure if
    I got the information right, but is DirecTV
    going to change the way they code/compress
    their programming that could eventually render
    the current Hi-Def Tivos useless?


    Thanks in advance for your responses
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Ronbo,
    I've own two units for about a year now and have been very happy with my units. I wouldn't buy a lifetime subscription because it's only good for as long as you have that particular unit. I have never experienced any digital pixelation during recording. When DirecTV rolls out MPEG4, it's been rumored that DirecTV will replace the 250 units at their cost. Again, that's a rumor that I haven't heard been confirmed by DirecTV.
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    2. Yes, Tivo offers a lifetime subscription for their boxes but these are DirecTV DVR's. Not officially a Tivo. DirecTV had a lifetime option but it was removed about 3 years ago. You either pay the $5/month DVR fee or you subscribe to the premium package and your DVR fee is waived.

    3. Guide updates come via satellite. The dial-up is two parts. The first is calls to DirecTV to upload PPV purchases and confirm things for sports subscriptions. There are people who don't have a phone line and still get NFLST or NHLCI. The other call is a call to Tivo confirm your subscription and upload viewing data. Only the first call is required to confirm your subscription. I haven't had my standard def DirecTivo connected to a phone in 788 days. It get a daily nag screen asking me to call in. If there is a new software release, it will come down via the satellite but a call to Tivo is required to activate it.

    4. The recordings are identical to live.

    5. Useless is a strong word. They are first going to put the local HD channels in MPEG4 format which the HR10-250 will NOT decode. If you get your local HD via antenna and you don't subscribe to local HD via satellite, then your DirecTivo will still work just fine. After all of the local HD is up (3+ years), they will start to move national HD channels over to MPEG4. They will probably run dual streams until they can get everyone upgraded. This upgrade may take another couple of years. DirecTV has NEVER forced someone to buy new equipment when they upgraded a satellite or transmission stream. They will probably replace your DirecTivo with their current HD DVR which will probably not be a Tivo. The specs on their new MPEG4 HD DVR are impressive but it will take a lot to beat a Tivo.

    -Robert
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Okay more questions...

    6. Okay, so basically I am doing
    the right thing by buying this
    Tivo unit right now instead of
    waiting. Yes?

    Also....

    7. Since there is no DVD recorder
    built into this unit (which is
    understandable since we are talking
    Hi-Def)can I hook up a separate
    standalone DVD recorder and burn
    programs off of this Tivo?

    Please answer above in terms of
    both STANDARD and HIGH DEFINITION.

    8. I would imagine I could in standard.
    How about Hi-Def? I understand the
    image to DVD will not be Hi-Def but
    will the signal be downconverted so
    I can transfer a HI-DEF program to
    standard definition DVD (and get a
    standard definition picture)?


    I have this month's issue of
    CNET DIGITAL LIVING in front of me.
    They reviewed this model and stated
    that once DirecTV goes MPEG-4 that
    the company is RUMORED to be offering
    a patch to current HR10-250 owners


    Thanks for all your help. Look
    forward to these answers.
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    6. Only you can justify the buying decision. Some people say it still costs too much. Especially when there is a encoding change that may limit its recording capabilities. Others are extremely happy to have purchased it back when it cost $1,000.

    7. Yes you can.

    8. You will have to switch the output to 480i mode and connect to the DVD-R via s-video. The HD programs should record in anamorphic format.

    If that patch means someone coming to your house to unsolder the MPEG2 decoding circuitry and then putting in MPEG4 decoding circuits, then go ahead and believe it. Upgrading these via a software patch is impossible. In fact, it will take a complete mobo redesign and a faster processor to handle the new data stream.

    -Robert
     
  6. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I'm thinking of buying this same unit from Best Buy. I currently have the SD DirecTiVo. I'm just trying to work out the best deal I can from DirecTV..


    Ron, do you already have a triple LNB oval dish? I am curious if the TV Authority deal included installation of one.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Just got this today. All hooked up!

    First off, I simply ordered this unit via
    TVAUTHORITY.

    Click Here

    At $639 they were $60 cheaper than Best Buy or
    Circuit City with FREE SHIPPING and NO TAX for
    my state.

    They are also a sponsor of HTF.

    They just sent the unit. No installation.

    I have a 3 LNB oval dish. Fortunately I had the
    installer run 2 separate lines off that dish as
    the HR10-250 has 2 inputs (2 built-in) receivers
    that allow you to record one program while watching
    another.

    Thus far the unit is quite impressive. It was
    a breeze to set up. In fact, from box to set up
    took under 30 minutes. The longest part is calling
    DirecTV and setting up your account.

    One word of caution....

    Because this Tivo unit has 2 receivers built
    in, DirecTV will charge you for the price of
    2 additional receivers ($5 each) + the $5 monthly
    PVR subscription.

    I'm a little worried that with MPEG-4 coding
    on the way, this unit could be obsolete quite
    fast. Still, I read two reports today that swear
    DirecTV will take care of the owners of this unit
    when that time comes.....

    ...we shall see
     
  8. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    Best Buy here is offering a $50 rebate to bring the cost down to $649. Of couse I'd have to pay tax.

    The customer retention person I spoke with at DirecTV said if I bought it they would include the dish and installation of said dish, I'm going to hold them to that... (I currently only have the older round dish).

    The MPEG-4 issue worries me a bit as well, but it doesn't look like it will matter for me at least until the end of the year or early next year, Phoenix will probably be in the 2nd wave of HD locals provided based on market size, and I am expecting them to make good to current subscribers since they apparantly want to move all HDTV to MPEG-4 eventually.

    Getting charged for the extra receiver doesn't sound right to me, I have the dual tuner SD Tivo now and I'm pretty sure I only get charged the $5 PVR fee.

    Edit:

    Well it looks like the $50 rebate is for new subs only. Maybe I'll try TVAuthority.
     
  9. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Did you ask for your $250 programming credit? They have been giving them to very good customers.

    -Robert
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Robert, I'm tellin' yuh --- this was
    what the representative told me.

    I even gave him a high pitched "what?!"
    when he told me that.

    This Tivo unit was replacing a former
    HD receiver. He told me I would be charged
    for the Tivo receiver that was replacing
    my old box + an additional receiver because
    the PVR has 2 tuners. He told me I would
    be thankful for it later because of all the
    cool things I would be able to do with two
    receivers.

    I'll call DirecTV today and verify this
    with someone else if you are certain I was
    given a load of baloney.
     
  11. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Besides hanging out here at HTF, I frequent the Tivo Community (DirecTV section), DBS Forums and Satellite Guys. There are two common themes - 1. Dual tuner DirecTV boxes are treated as a single unit. Everyone one these forums has confirmed it. 2. DirecTV Tier 1 support knows absolutely nothing more than what is printed on the script in front of them. They range from barely adequate support to total idiots. You will get better support from members of your own forum.

    -Robert
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Robert,

    I'm not calling you a liar here or even
    suggesting you have been misinformed.

    In fact, I'm hoping you are correct.

    I'll tell you what...

    I'm going to call DirecTV later today
    and talk to someone else and get further
    clarification on this.

    Thanks
     
  13. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    I have to go along with Robert here - I double checked and the only extra charge I get for my dual tuner SD DirecTivo is the $5 PVR fee.
     
  14. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Ditto for me Ron. I pay one fee for both of my dual tuner DirectTivos. So that's one $5 PVR fee for four tuners. You just spoke to someone who doesn't know what they are talking about.

    Sadly, it may happen again. Hopefully your bill will be correct.

    Happy Tivoing. Did you get that Sony DVD Recorder yet? I want to hear a review.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  15. Robert Spalding

    Robert Spalding Second Unit

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    Yep, Ron the rep was smokin crack. I and three of my friends all have this exact HD Tivo and NONE of us get charged anymore than 1 receiver charge.
     
  16. Ed Stanisz

    Ed Stanisz Auditioning

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    Ron,

    Did you ever get the double charge straightened out with DirecTV.

    How does it look?

    I have an older 4:3 Sony HS 61" and tried PVR/DVR cable box about 6 months ago and the picture was terrible. Not sure if it is the Sony or just the way cable is. I have a very old Sony DirecTV box now that I use with a Dual LNB dish.

    Anyone else have an older Sony 4:3 or other model TV that this thing looks bad on?

    Thanks...Ed Stanisz
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Seems the rep was indeed smoking crack.

    I called DirecTV back and was told 1 tuner
    charge for the Tivo unit.

    As for how it looks? The PVR adds a bit of
    softness to the picture that I am not too
    thrilled about.

    Still, it does what it's supposed to do and
    I am quite happy with it.
     
  18. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    It plays back the recorded program bit for bit. Which HD box are you comparing it to?

    -Robert
     
  19. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I previously owned one of the first Panasonic HD boxes.
     
  20. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Ron,

    Did you buy a dvd recorder, have you dumped a HD program on to dvd (in SD of course), and was the 16x9 flag set properly upon playback?

    I bought this today and dumped a program off of Discovery HD and it won't play back in 16x9.

    Peace,

    DM
     

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