HD Tivo With Direct TV

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Dick Boneske, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't seen posts lately about this. Dish Network (SBC) called today and made a good offer for HD Tivo with 132 channels plus local channels. They said all local channels would be available in HD. This was for a one-time charge of $250 and monthly fee of about $53.

    I called Direct TV, which I now subscribe to with Total Choice Plus with HD package. None of the Direct TV local stations are in HD off the satellite, so I use the antenna input with excellent HD results (six FREE channels of HD). When I described the Dish offer, they countered with $149 one-time charge for HD Tive, a $5.00 reduction monthly in the Direct TV HD package, and free HBO, etc. for six months. I signed up for it and they will install the Tivo on Friday of this week. I can keep their HD receiver and use it for OTA HD broadcasts in another room.

    Anyone know about this?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    The retention line? Yes. It's common knowledge on the Tivo and other DBS boards. I got my HR10-250 for $350, got $200 in programming credits, free HD for 6 months and $5 off HBO for 6 months. The freebies vary by customer and how nice the CSR is.

    -Robert
     
  3. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    Dish Network did not use the Tivo name. They called it an HD DVR. Direct TV did not call it a Tivo, either. They called it a DVR. They both lead me to believe, however, that HD local channels were off the satellite, not OTA. I believe you are correct on this for both companies. I already have OTA HD local channels with my Hughes HTL-HD receiver.

    It doesn't seem likely that Direct TV will tweak HD receivers so they don't funtion OTA. How do these stories get started? Direct TV suggested over the phone that I retain the Hughes receiver for another room using an antenna for HD or regular SDTV. The $4.00 per month charge would be applicable only if I wish to have satellite service in that other room.

    Thank you for your input.
     
  4. Chad A Wright

    Chad A Wright Supporting Actor

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    I wasn't aware that Dish Network did local HD channels over the satellite. DirecTV just started in our area (Dallas). In fact, I'm having the new satellite/reciever installed later this week.
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Scott G. over at Satelliteguys.us. He has some contacts at D* and a proven track record when posting information like this.

    Update: Looks like this will just apply to the H20 and HR20 receivers. It won't change OTA reception on older models.

    -Robert
     
  6. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    Direct TV installed the HD Tivo unit Friday. Picture quality looks as good as the Hughes HTL box did. Recorded quality in HD looks and sounds as good as live. I continue to use my attic antenna for local HD OTA (50 mies to Green Bay, WI)

    I have never put a component in my system that has features so awesome it makes one wonder why everyone hasn't caught on to this technology. It's time to sell my JVC DVHS recorder--even with its flawless picture quality, it can't compare with HD Tivo. Being able to record two HD programs simultaneously over satellite and antenna, ease of use, no media to buy, easy access to programs recorded via the "Play List", AND a one-time cost of $149.95, is a hard bargain to beat!!

    Direct TV gave me the unit for the above one-time cost, Total Choice Plus, HBO for $2.00/month for six months, HD package free for six months, for a total package price of $51.99/month. Dish or Charter were considerably higher and neither offered HD local channels.
     
  7. Phil.G

    Phil.G Auditioning

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    Be careful, as D* is rolling out the new MPEG-4 format soon, and your HD DVR will not be compatible. They have some vague plans to upgrade existing customers, but it's hard to pin them down about it. They also will only say that MPEG-4 DVR's will be out in "2006."

    I'm holding off for now.
     
  8. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    If you can still get the deal at $149, and I am not sure you could, why wouldn't you take it? Isn't that worth it for a year of HD recording?

    Not to mention the downside isn't bad. When they do convert to MPEG4, there is no indication that the current HD channels will convert anytime soon. So you will still be able to get ESPN, HBO, etc with your HD tivo. Not to mention you'll still be able to get your HD locals OTA. Most of the new MPEG4 channels will initially be your locals. And when D* does offer something you want or need that is only in MPEG4 (next year's NFL package comes to mind), they have a history of providing the required upgraded equipment (dish, box, install) for a nominal charge.

    Anyway, HD tivo is back up to $400 after rebate for most folks, but at $170 which is what I paid back in August, it was a no brainer.
     
  9. Phil.G

    Phil.G Auditioning

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    True, if it's that cheap it's worth it. D* did tell me, as you said, that these older receivers will still work for "a long time."

    I'm going to call them and see what kind of price I can get, but I don't think it's worth it for full-price. I get OTA HD locals already, and I'm not impressed by the D* HD offerings, so it would really just be so I can Tivo high-def locals. Not sure if that's worth $400.
     
  10. Charlie Campisi

    Charlie Campisi Screenwriter

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    For me, it's worth it. I pay for HBO, so I'll still get HBO HD. Once the NFL season is over and my $5 monthly credit on the HD pack expires in March, I probably will cancel that. $11 a month for Discovery, HD Net and the ESPNs isn't worth it to me after the NFL season. But, the ability to time-shift my local HD is well worth it. 24, Lost, etc are tremendous in HD and with young kids or outside events, I just don't get to watch tv when it's scheduled.

    Last tv season I tried watching HD live and tivo'ed programs in SD since we had no tivo on the HD set. I'll not go back. [​IMG] $400 is expensive. I should know. I didn't buy till they dropped it to $200 after rebate and then gave me programming credits.
     
  11. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Disconnect it from the dish ASAP. D* is sending software updates to disable OTA reception without a D* subscription.

    Details Robert (if available).
    Software update rev#?
    Is it too late to block this?
    Is it possible to block the software updating, without disconnecting the unit from sat. feed?

    It does not appear that D* could get away with this, without a class action lawsuit being filed (and won) by purchasing consumers.
     
  12. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Details - I posted everything that I knew at the time. It came from the owner of Value Electronics via the Tivo Community site.

    Does the manual say you can get OTA without subscription? I've been involved in the ONLY satellite receiver class action lawsuit. It did not benefit me in the least bit. I got a letter saying that I was eligible for a free Dish DVR since I owned a Dish Player 7100. It really doesn't help me since I'll never be a dish subscriber again.

    -Robert
     
  13. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    From the manual, “if you choose “OFF-Air antenna only” as your program source, the HD DVR won’t have any recording capability. You will only be able to watch off-air channels and control live TV.”

    From this I assumed (when demoing unit during my 30-day refund period) the box has “limited” functionality without a D* or D* DVR service subscription. But still could be used as a standalone OTA decoder as my old D* RCA HD DTC100 is used currently.

    If this is not the case. D* did not disclose this change in prior policy, otherwise I would have NEVER purchased the unit.

    If D* attempts to pull this; rendering a 2 tuner OTA decoder useless, so that I cannot move it to do light duty in other rooms as a simple OTA unit. I don’t care what programming they have in their future plans. I will never do business with them again.

    ….Thanks for the reply Robert I will go to the TIVO forum and try to find the relevant thread
     
  14. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    You are talking about the HR10-250. I edited my post on 12/14 stating that it only applies to the H20 and HR20 receivers. Those are the new MPEG4 capable receivers.

    -Robert
     
  15. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    breaths deeply...sigh of relief...calms down. :}
    ...thank you Robert.
     
  16. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Stunt Coordinator

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    I've had the TIVO HD DVR for almost a month now. It is truly a remarkable component! Picture quality of the recorded picture in HD is not degraded from live viewing. Access to any part of the program is faster than with a DVD. Access to the Direct TV menu for info on the program you're viewing is very nice--not available in other recording formats. It's too bad Direct TV is not going to continue using TIVO--I've read about problems with their new non-TIVO DVR's.

    The change to MPEG4 will be done over the next few years, beginning in 2006. The existing HD TIVO units will function for "at least several years" after which Direct TV will upgrade at no cost to the user. I don't see a problem with that. Technology a few years up the road will likely make this unit I like so much today not so desireable. Kind of like my JVC DVHS recorder. They are going to go by the wayside very soon. Hackers already have ways to make HD recordings off the TIVO hard drive to your computer for viewing later. With HD DVD's it's only a matter of time before these will be made from hard drive HD content.
     

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