Info on new HD DirecTV/TiVo units?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by CorySeaman, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. CorySeaman

    CorySeaman Auditioning

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    I believe it was at CES 2003 (exactly a year ago) that DirecTV and TiVo jointly announced the upcoming availability of HD-capable PVR units. I've contacted both DirecTV and TiVo, and both claim that specs & whitepapers have been made available to manufacturers, and now it's up to them to develop and release the hardware...yet despite their press release's year-end availability claims, neither now seems to know when the units might actually hit shelves.

    Has anyone got the inside scoop on upcoming High-Def DirecTV/TiVo hardware? I would assume the standard batch of manufacturers would be interested in such a device: Samsung, Philips, Hughes, RCA...
     
  2. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Those are the current sellers of DirecTivos but they are all built in the same factory by Solectron. Internally they are identical.

    -Robert
     
  3. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    CES '04 has an LG HD-DTV/Tivo unit on display. I've been told it currently has a price of $999 and has 120 MB space. I know nothing else - if it's been approved by DTV, if it has a release date, etc.
     
  4. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    The LG unit is neither DirecTV nor Tivo. (I am of strong opinion that one should spell out DirecTV in order to avoid confusion with the more generic "DTV").

    The LG is a DVR that records digital OTA, and unscrambled QAM off cable, as well as analog NTSC sources. It runs its own software, not Tivo, and has at least one killer drawback - you can't play back old recordings while making a new recording. Since I actually consider that just about the most valuable feature on a DVR, I won't even consider this model.
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    With 120MB of storage, you could record about 5 minutes of HD material. Assuming you meant GB, it's still small. The Hughes model specs have a 250GB drive and even then that's just 30 hours of HD. That's small compared to some of these hacked SD DirecTivos with 200+ hours of recording time.

    -Robert
     
  6. MikeMcNertney

    MikeMcNertney Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow are you serious? Talk about a good way to make the thing a piece of junk. I presume that means no pause/rewind of live tv as well
     
  7. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Actually, the LG 3410A (and its predecessor, the Zenith HDR230) can pause/rewind live TV, if you hit the appropriate button. (Doesn't do it automatically like other PVRs). Makes that inability to do independent playback of a different show even more flabbergasting, as evidently the hardware is quite capable of it.

    More specifics have come out on the HD-DirecTivo:
    250GB, quad tuner/dual recording, component video, HDMI, standard NTSC outputs (but no simultaneous HD/NTSC out). Inputs are 2 sat + 1 OTA, OTA internally split. For digital audio, only optical out & on the HDMI, no RCA coax digital out. MSRP $999, available in March.

    I'm disappointed in the price; it will likely cause me to stick with cable DVR (if Comcast ever gets it out!) until they can offer some attractive deal for new DirecTV subscribers.
     
  8. Anthony Moore

    Anthony Moore Supporting Actor

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    i have comcast and thier dvr..in Longobat Key, FL (near sarasota)
     
  9. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    Cool, which model is it? High-def model? How does it compare to any other DVRs you've tried, if you have previous experience with one?

    I'm in the SF bay area, it (Motorola 6208 around here) was originally supposed to be out in this region this month, but latest word is further delays as issues are addressed.
     
  10. CorySeaman

    CorySeaman Auditioning

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    Back to the original topic...

    If the single OTA tuner is "internally split", I assume that means that it's still able to function essentially as two individual tuners--with the capability to tune two OTA stations at once for maximum TiVo goodness--correct?

    Any inside word on street pricing/availability, or upcoming promos on the unit and programming packages? I know that the $99 standard DirecTiVo units are flying off the shelves (the magic consumer price point, apparently), and I got mine when it was $50 after rebate @ Circuit City...but how can they expect to stay competitive if they charge about $900 for a unit similar to the one that my neighbor will be able to lease for $10/mo. from Comcast (including HD service)?
     
  11. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    That I don't know. I don't think I will buy at $900. Comcast's initial offering in my area will be kind of lame, 80GB only and single tuner, also they are still missing a lot of the available channels (though making progress, finally added CBS a week ago). So I'd be willing to shell out maybe $500-$600 for the bigger drive, dual recording, more channels, better software, and lower monthly rate. But much more than that I will balk, since Comcast will add channels and release upgraded models eventually, and not charge me much if anything to trade up.
     
  12. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    funny...I agree and am right there with ya, particularly the price point...for me, about $500-$600 is about what I would pay, and its gotta include the local HDs. I dont want to go OTA for those. I dont even know how well they would come in. I love my DirecTivo unit. I dont think I'll switch to comcast to get HDTV (i know...blasphemy) unless its the same as what I got now.
     
  13. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    I don't think you should be so against OTA. Local HD over sat is still some years away, except for some major markets with Fox & CBS O&O stations. OTA should come in great for you, since you are not too far from Sacramento & have no terrain to impede the signal. Might not even have to go with an outdoor antenna! With OTA you don't have to wait for the affiliate to reach agreements with the cable or sat provider.
     
  14. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    You're correct...KOVR-DT is not carried by Comcast (yet).

    I've been toying with the idea of puting an antenna in the attic for OTA HD reception. I am close (relatively) to the signal towers in/near walnut grove and its totally flat all the way in, still I'd have to fork down a small bundle for a receiver. hmmm...I could see a battle between wanting the instant replay of my DVR competing with the crispness of HDTV.

    I wonder how good it would look on my 65" Mits....

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ChrisChap

    ChrisChap Stunt Coordinator

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    There is column re: new tech products in the new Playboy (or so I heard [​IMG])and one of the items pictured is a Hughes HD DVR DirecTV receiver. It says it costs $99.99 and refers you to Directv.com for purchase, but it gives no release date and although I have not checked I would bet there is no such product for sale on directv.com and certainly not at that price. But I thought it was worth mentioning.
     
  16. Stephen Tu

    Stephen Tu Screenwriter

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    The $99.99 model is a Hughes "HDVR??", the old 2nd generation SD-DirecTivo. Stands for "Hughes digital video recorder", not "high definition DVR" (note only 1 'D').

    Looks like they finally realized that this had the potential to cause confusion and have now changed the names to "HD-DVR250" for the new HD-DirecTivo, and "SD-DVR???" for the standard models.
     
  17. ChrisChap

    ChrisChap Stunt Coordinator

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    There was a picture of the unit I am referring to and it said "HD-DVR" on the faceplate. As I said, I am sure the price is a mistake, but I thought it was interesting and may indicate that we are closer to seeing these units available for sale.
     
  18. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    Seems to me either there is a D that should be deleted, or 9 that should be added somewhere in there.

    [​IMG]
     

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