Interested in DirecTivo -- where do I start?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    I am already a DirecTV subscriber, paying about $55 per month for the sports package, extra receiver, and local channels. I have a Sony and an RCA receiver, neither of which gets DD 5.1. I would like to get a TIVO recorder, and it would seem my best bet would be to get a DirecTivo unit with everything in one box (I don't necessarily need one for the bedroom, so I would be looking at getting only one). My questions are:

    1. Obviously I will have to pay for the new receiver/TIVO unit, but will I also have to pay a monthly TIVO fee? If so, how much is it and can they just add it to my DirecTV bill?

    2. Will the new unit use my existing access card or does it come with a new one?

    3. Which TIVO software version is the most current? Can the receivers be upgraded to new versions?

    4. Which receiver is best? As I mentioned, I currently have a Sony and RCA receiver, and while I trust Sony a little more than RCA, RCA's interface is much nicer, as least on my older units. Have Sony's interfaces improved in the last couple of years?

    5. Are the new DirecTivo receivers compatible with HDTV? I don't have current plans to get the elliptical dish, but would it make sense to get it now or can the dish be easily changed later on (without having to get a new receiver)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. RandyRush

    RandyRush Stunt Coordinator

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    You will have to pay a $9.95/mo tivo fee or a $250 lifetime subscription fee---both will be included on your DTV bill;all new dtivos come with their own card;I have the Philips DSR6000, but many think the Sony is also very good (though considerably more expensive);
    The most current Dtivo software is 2.5; this is downloaded automatically by tivo; you should have a phone line connected permanently to your dtivo (but you don't have to);
    You don't have to have the elip dish; as long as you don't want to receive HD;For more info, you can go to the Tivo forum: http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Randy answered most but here's some more info.

    1. The $10/month or lifetime covers all of the DirecTivos on your account. That's why a lot of people are buying multiple receivers. Stand-alone models require monthly or lifetime for each box.

    2. answered

    3. 2.5 is current. If you box comes with 2.0, it will download the upgrade on the third phone call to Tivo.

    4. Inside the box they are all the same. They are assebled in the same factory in Mexico by Hughes Network Systems. Some Philips have a bad remote that will be replace for free if you call about it. Sony's have a different style remote and they will automatically control Sony VCR's when dumping shows to them.

    5. DirecTivos are SD only. If you decide to upgrade and add an HD DirecTV receiver, it is an easy swap for most people (or just add a second dish, the signal strength is better that way).

    Some things not covered:

    To activate the dual tuner functionality, you need two runs of coax from the dish (or switch) to the receiver. If you want to keep your existing receiver, you need to add a multi-switch with at least four outputs.

    The DirecTivo calls in to Tivo every day to upload your viewing habits. If it is not plugged in to a phone line, it will start nagging you after 14 days and stop working after 30 days.

    -Robert
     
  4. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Thanks guys.

    Robert,

    When you say they are all the same inside, that means all the interfaces are the same, right?

    As far as the phone line goes, I currently don't have it connected continously. If that is a requirement -- and it sounds as though it is -- can I use a splitter to connect my existing phone in addition to the DTivo receiver? Is it true that DirecTV will only call at an odd time during the night?

    What would be a good price for two DTivo receivers? It sounds like I would go with the cheapest model if the innards/specs are all the same (and I use a universal remote). Would my old receivers have any value on eBay?
     
  5. RandyRush

    RandyRush Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently sold several older Dtv and Dish receivers on Ebay; problem is there are a lot of them out there. Don't expect to make a lot of money selling them.
     
  6. Lee Bombard

    Lee Bombard Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Lee,

    So you can force when the call is made? I wouldn't mind it if I could force it once every few weeks at 11:00 p.m.
     
  8. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Once it starts to nag you, plug it up and force a call by going through the menus. The calls only last a couple of minutes with the exception of software upgrades. Going from 2.0 to 2.5 will take about an hour. If you are lucky, there will be a local Tivo number. If not, they have a 1-800#. All of the phone numbers are assigned during the initial setup.
     
  9. Nestor_Ramos

    Nestor_Ramos Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    You can make surprisingly good money ($100-$150) selling old receivers on ebay -- the catch is that you have to sell the old access cards, which are in demand because hackers want them for illicit (well, illegal) activities. The downside is that selling the access cards is semi-legal at best (the vagaries of the law as it applies to this sort of thing are beyond my grasp, or, at least, beneath my interest). You could theoretically be charged $350 by DirecTV if they request the old access card back and you can't produce it. I've never heard of DirecTV ever doing this, but there you have it. I'm sure there's something in the fine print of your DirecTV service contract, if you want to know more. I'll leave discussion of any ethical implications (HA!) to those more virtuous than I.

    I got my DSR6000 for $109 shipped from American Satellite, which you can access through Yahoo Shopping. A good deal, and good service. The order will be processed a lot faster if you call them instead of ordering online.

    Nestor
     
  10. Lee Bombard

    Lee Bombard Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Well, I think I'm going to go with the Philips DSR6000. It's black color will match the rest of my components, the defective remote issue is moot because I use a universal remote, the actual electronics seem to be no different than the Hughes and Sony units, and it seems to cost the least.

    One problem -- are they sold in stores? I get the impression that all three brands are sold out and now only sold via the internet (AmericanSatellite.com, etc. and eBay). Why would this be? Are there newer models coming out?
     
  12. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    DirecTV and Tivo have announced the new DirecTivo II. No features, price or release date have been announced.

    -Robert
     
  13. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    DirecTivo II won't be available until the fall of 2002. The reason why everyone is sold out is because the plant in Mexico is still re-ramping up from the holiday season. I was on the phone with Phillips today and they expect new units to be in stores in 2-6 weeks,depending on your area.
     

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