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


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#1 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 02 2005 - 12:47 AM

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

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 59 Robert Crawford

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Posted June 02 2005 - 01:15 AM

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.

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#3 of 59 Robert_J

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Posted June 02 2005 - 01:56 AM

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 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 02 2005 - 04:13 AM

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.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#5 of 59 Robert_J

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Posted June 02 2005 - 05:45 AM

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.

Quote:
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
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 of 59 Greg Kettell

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Posted June 02 2005 - 10:39 AM

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 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 02 2005 - 10:58 AM

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

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#8 of 59 Greg Kettell

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Posted June 02 2005 - 11:59 AM

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 of 59 Robert_J

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Posted June 03 2005 - 12:34 AM

Quote:
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.
No they don't. You are charged for 1 receiver (whether it is your primary or a mirror) and 1 PVR fee. The nice thing about the PVR fee is that it covers ALL of your DirecTV DVR's on the account. That's why a lot of people upgrade all of their receivers.

Quote:
The customer retention person I spoke with at DirecTV
Did you ask for your $250 programming credit? They have been giving them to very good customers.

-Robert

#10 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 03 2005 - 12:42 AM

Quote:
No they don't. You are charged for 1 receiver (whether it is your primary or a mirror) and 1 PVR fee. The nice thing about the PVR fee is that it covers ALL of your DirecTV DVR's on the account. That's why a lot of people upgrade all of their receivers.

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.

Ronald J Epstein
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#11 of 59 Robert_J

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Posted June 03 2005 - 03:37 AM

Quote:
Robert, I'm tellin' yuh --- this was
what the representative told me.
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 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 03 2005 - 04:07 AM

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

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#13 of 59 Greg Kettell

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Posted June 03 2005 - 04:35 AM

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 of 59 Dave Miller

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Posted June 04 2005 - 09:46 PM

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
"We all end up dead, the question is how and why."

#15 of 59 Robert Spalding

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Posted June 05 2005 - 02:29 PM

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 of 59 Ed Stanisz

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Posted June 21 2005 - 06:36 AM

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 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 21 2005 - 07:15 AM

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.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#18 of 59 Robert_J

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Posted June 22 2005 - 02:38 AM

Quote:
The PVR adds a bit of
softness to the picture that I am not too
thrilled about.
It plays back the recorded program bit for bit. Which HD box are you comparing it to?

-Robert

#19 of 59 Ronald Epstein

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Posted June 22 2005 - 03:29 AM

I previously owned one of the first Panasonic HD boxes.

Ronald J Epstein
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#20 of 59 Dave Miller

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Posted June 24 2005 - 12:23 PM

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
"We all end up dead, the question is how and why."


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