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DirecTV and TiVo Users: What to do?

DirecTV and TiVo: The Update

At WeaKnees, we constantly have DirecTV and TiVo users calling to ask what to do, given the existing hardware, current channel lineups, and future products. The landscape has changed a few times over the last year, so we’re writing to update readers on hardware plans, channel lineups, and our recommendations for what to do in various situations.

To start, a history (skip down further for our current recommendations): DirecTV and TiVo partnered together almost ten years ago to make some of the first DVRs. Along with hardware companies, they produced many models, most branded by those third-party hardware companies.

In April of 2004, DirecTV released the first HD TiVo – the HR10-250. This was DirecTV branded, and only worked with DirecTV and OTA (over the air antenna) programming. This was a landmark unit, being the first mainstream HD DVR. That unit is the only model of HD TiVo for DirecTV produced to date. The HR10-250 could read all of the standard definition and HD signals that DirecTV then broadcast, from every satellite that DirecTV used for transmissions.

DirecTV and TiVo stopped working together to produce new hardware after the final unit – the DirecTV branded, standard definition R10. At this point, when there was no new DirecTV and TiVo hardware on the horizon, we recommended that TiVo lovers who valued TiVo more than DirecTV, switch to cable and get an HD TiVo for cable. This is still a great option – especially because these units use CableCARDs which make the experience seamless.

But, to be clear, DirecTV and TiVo had agreed to continue to support the software on the existing hardware. So, even without producing new hardware, all of the millions of TiVo/DirecTV DVRs in use would continue (and do continue) to get software updates with new features, bug fixes, and other changes (like those needed to properly support daylight saving time).

After DirecTV and TiVo parted ways on the hardware front, DirecTV went on to produce their own DVRs. These units were the R15, R16, and R22 for standard definition, and the HR20, HR21, HR21 Pro, and HR22 for high definition. The numbering system confuses many customers since they assumed they could “upgrade” from an R10 to an R15 or from an HR10 to an HR20 and gain features, only to find they received a completely different unit with a completely different interface.

On the standard definition front, the new non-TiVo units really didn’t add features or capabilities beyond a bit of interactivity. (For more details on these units, see the WeaKnees R10 – R15 DirecTV DVR comparison.)

The new HD DVRs from DirecTV, however, added an important feature: the ability to decode and record MPEG4 signals. DirecTV had begun a transition to MPEG4 from MPEG2 for HD broadcasts, and the HR10-250 – the HD TiVo – is not able to see these signals at all. So that left the HR10-250 stuck with its current lineup of HD channels. At the time, DirecTV hadn’t yet started broadcasting HD in MPEG4. But after DirecTV launched new satellites, they started rolling out local HD channels for more and more cities in MPEG4 format, leaving HR10-250 users without the ability to view and record those channels. The HR10-250 can, however, record OTA HD channels, so in many cases, HR10-250 owners weren’t missing any HD broadcasting.

Over time, though, DirecTV began to release new HD channels in MPEG4 format. These were national HD feeds of channels like CNN, A&E, FX, and STARZ. At this point, customers with HR10-250s started having to choose between keeping their equipment, and getting access to the newer channels.

The next step in the transition to MPEG4 has been to decommission the MPEG2 stations that older hardware relied on for HD. DirecTV started this process earlier in 2008, beginning with the West Coast HD feeds of local stations. At this point, once HR10-250 users began to actually lose access to programming they had already been receiving, the push to move forward was on. So this left customers with a big decision: leave DirecTV and get TiVoHD units for cable, or stick with DirecTV, and use their generic DVRs instead of TiVo. The choice was largely a decision of whether the DVR interface was more important, or the specific programming channels offered by DirecTV or a customer’s local cable company.

But a few months ago, TiVo and DirecTV amazed us all, and announced that after years of hiatus, they would, in fact, produce new hardware together, specifically, a new HD DVR that would support MPEG4 signals. So this really changes the possibilities again. And we hope, but we don’t know for sure, that the new hardware will support services that the non-DirecTV HD TiVos now support like Amazon Unbox, streaming Netflix, and all of the other networking features that make current HD TiVos for cable much more than just DVRs.

Current Options

For HR10-250 or just TiVo-loving DirecTV customers in general, we currently recommend one of these three paths:

  1. Wait it out. If you don’t have HD yet, wait it out until late 2009 when the new DirecTV TiVo should be out. You’ll get DirecTV, HD, and hopefully more options via networking (see above). If you have an HR10-250 already, just wait and potentially lose access to some HD in the interim time before the new unit ships.
  2. Get an HR22 temporarily. If you want HD, or more HD, and you don’t want to wait, you can get anΒ HR22 for as little as $199. $200 might seem like a lot to pay for an HD DVR for a year, but after the new HD TiVo comes out, you could move this unit to a bedroom or other TV and use it there.
  3. Go to cable. While this option made the most sense at one point for big TiVo fans, there’s now some light at the end of the tunnel with DirecTV. So switching to cable is now just an option to consider. To find out if this is right for you, consider if either provider (cable or DirecTV) broadcasts the channels you watch. Check the full, monthly pricing you’ll pay either way (don’t forget that with TiVos for cable, you’ll need to pay TiVo for the subscriptions, but you also won’t need to rent a DVR from your cable company – just the CableCARDs). For purposes of comparison, we expect DVR service from DirecTV to cover these new units at no additional charge, and our guess is that this new hardware will cost roughly the same as current TiVo HD hardware.

66 replies on “DirecTV and TiVo Users: What to do?”

This was a fabulous write up. I recently decommissioned my first DirecTivo unit to get HD (I bought an HR-23). I regret it every single time I do anything with it.

I can’t even begin to enumerate what the differences are. I still can’t get some shows to record repeatedly…

I would offer the choice I made for anyone that can get OTA reception. With my new HD tv, I determined that my old antenna setup worked for OTA HD (Chicago suburbs) and since I am a Tivo bigot and cable disliker, I decided to both wait for DirecTV HD Tivo and still be able to use Tivo for HD.

I am keeping my current DirecTV SD Tivo for “cable channels” and have bought a Tivo HD for OTA “network” shows. Not the best solution since I have to switch back and forth, but since a lot of what I view regularly is on the networks (CSI, Survivor, 30 Rock, The Office, etc.) , this will definitely hold me until the new systems come out and I’ll always be able to record 4 shows at once, if I ever need it.

HD quality OTA is fantastic and I’m glad I didn’t consider stepping down to cable.

Option 1: Too late for me, right after I got my two HR21Pro’s the announcement that Directv and tivo were sleeping together again came out…. But actually they’ve been working just fine after all the software updates. The only thing I miss about my Tivos’ is the dual buffer….

Option 2: Read Option 1…..

Option 3: Can you say “The Sticks of Montana”…..I knew you could…..

I am glad DirecTv saw the light. It probably had more to with the possibility of a suit that would be filed by TiVo give their win over DISH. The DirecTv DVR is inferior to TiVo, hands down. I’ve always said that DirecTv should stick to content and distribution, and leave the consumer interface to a 3rd party: TiVo.

The only reason TiVo was dumped was over Murdoch’s greed to push his NDS unit; he didn’t care about customer satisfaction. It reminded me of the Terry Gilliam movie, “Brazil” and all the terrible technology forced on the public.

The move back to TiVo, for which I am so happy, is again over corporate greed: TiVo would probably sue and win, and DirecTv would lose a lot of customers to TiVo w/cable had DirecTv turned off the lights.

Rather than saying, “We had a hiatus period, a separation, so to speak,” TiVo CEO Tom Rogers stated in USA Today, I wish Rodgers had said, “We lost sight of the importance of great customer service our subscribers deserve. We have decided to renew our commitment with TiVo to bring back The Best in Breed DVR: TiVo in glorious MPEG-4 HD. We are sorry for any inconvenience we have caused our loyal customers. Existing TiVo customers that have stood by us through these times will be offered a special discount on a hardware upgrade, and will maintain the current monthly service fee as a way to say thank you for your loyalty to DirecTv and TiVo.”

This would be great corporate appreciation to their loyal TiVo customers.

My solution was to keep my HR10-250 but add a preamp that could switch between four different HDMI and four different component video sources and then add an HR22. The HR22 is a homeless man’s DVR, and I try as hard as possible to just use it for recording shows, as its lack of dual buffers and counterintuitive design make it maddeningly frustrating to use. What’s more, I’m resetting the thing at least once a month because of what must either be software or hardware issues inherent in the line. I cannot wait for the day when I can get my MPEG-4 Tivos and say goodbye to struggling with the wonky p.o.s. that I now have to put up with. Directv’s timing just saved them from losing another customer to cable.

My family and I are big fans of both TiVo and DirecTV (my oldest could navigate the menus and find her shows by the network icons before she could read!) and are thrilled that TiVo will be back on new DirecTV units. We specifically haven’t gotten newer units because of the lack of TiVo. We’re still using our original two Sony SAT-T60s, one in the family room for everyone, along with an R10 in the spare bedroom and an HR10-250 as my primary DVR. All four have upgraded hard drives. There is enough HD content on HBO I watch to keep the upgraded 100 HD hour HR10-250 drive half full of HD most of the time. One of the other benefits of the HR10-250 is that I receive local channel network broadcasts on that unit from DirecTV in standard definition but in the correct HD aspect ratio (though shrunken slightly, so it’s “window-boxed” on all four sides).

As soon as Weaknees offers preordering of the new DirecTV/TiVo HD units, we’ll be there! Thanks, guys, for keeping us informed with your excellent article and for your continued excellent business. I’m one of your happy customers!

I hate the DTV DVR. After years of being stuck with it I still remember and wish I could have my old TiVo unit. This is great news but it can’t come soon enough. (Thanks for the great write-up Weaknees).

DirectTV and TIVO HD working together again to produce a professional HD unit is the best news yet. I’ve been looking for a suitable HD upgrade path for quite a while and DirectTVs DVRs were not in the running due to really poor experiences with the user inteface and lack of Dual buffers on these 2nd rate units. (I was fortunate that DirectTV exchanged the pathetic R15 for another R10) However, when I wanted to upgrade to HD things were looking really bleak and was considering dropping Direct TV. I hope the wait is worthwhle and that the new DirectTV/TIVO HD will provide us with the same (or better) exceptional user experience we have enjoyed with our 2 R10s.
Thanks for another great article and keeping us up to date.

No way I Ieave TiVo, and no way I leave DirecTV (NFL)… so HD is odd man out.

When/IF they get married again I will be there credit card in hand to buy the “golden child”.

Juice me up baby!

we have direct tv w their new dvr..i hate it..i loved the old one with the wishlist and suggestions and it was so easy to program and just wait ..this one you can only program 2 weeks in advance..so if i dont know when madmen starts up again i could lose it right?? i just got this one today so not proficient..i am also not familiar with the nos that people are using re:r 15 vs r 10..i was just looking around to buy a separate tivo unit and on this site i find that tivo is not compatible with direct tv..not until the end of 09..guess i will have to wait….if i am wrong and i can buy my tivo separately for direct tv let me know…

I’ve owned my DirecTV Tivo boxes for many years and a few of the HD DirecTV DVRs for the past year. As most have stated here and in many other places, there’s no comparison. The Tivo interface, features, and reliability are superior. There are A Lot of very unhappy DirecTV / Tivo customers who’ve had to suffer through a lot of problems lately. Customers don’t want cable for various reasons (as an example, I want DirecTV primarily because of NFL Sunday Ticket – not offered via cable). Customers also didn’t want to have inferior DVRs forced upon them. I Hope this rekindled relationship between DirecTV and Tivo restores the damage caused by the mess of the last few years. I will be taking all of my DirecTV HD DVR paperweights, tossing them in the trash where they belong, and replacing them with these new DirecTivo HD units once available. Thanks to WeaKnees for keeping us in the loop!!

Happy Days To Come! Sign me up for the pre-order, I want two!

I knew that if we waited long enough, the clouds would part and the choir would sing. Being DirecTiVo zealots, we resigned ourselves to standard definition and would only give up the peanut remote when it could no longer do its job.

How many of you got home to find your precious DirecTiVo laying on the floor on its top, power supply split in two, having been knocked off the set by the rambunctious cats, only to go right back out the door to go buy a new one? How many of those did so after only having it the first week? Yup, over the edge, we are. πŸ™‚

Oh, not to be negative or anything, but real TiVo people take serious offense to anyone (WeaKnees, specifically Michael, are you listenin’?) referring to the HR DirectDVR boxes as “TiVo”. Michael, re-read (and edit if you can) your third paragraph please, and I’ll promise to be good. πŸ˜‰

Am I not a real TiVo person? I’m pretty sure I rank up there. I still have my HR10-250 and I haven’t gotten a DirecTV DVR for my house that doesn’t have TiVo.

Maybe you aren’t clear on the models? Or am I not understanding?

The HR10-250 is 100% TiVo. Yes, it has an “HR” in the model, but it’s all TiVo, all the time.

The HR20 and higher units are not TiVos. But the HR10 most definitely is.

Am I missing the point?

Monty, I’m with Michael on this one; the HR10-250 is, indeed a Tivo, and I’ve refused DirecTV’s offer of a “free” replacement to one of THEIR units (free of initial cost, not monthly rent).
I DO have a couple of issues – its rebooting from time to time in the middle of recording something I really want to watch (but I’m usually recording it on my standard definition Tivo at the same timeJ); and, oddly, sometimes a season pass loses it’s “connection” to the series it’s supposed to record (last week, I didn’t get Wednesday night’s “Law & Order”; after I realized that didn’t record, I looked at the season pass, which said “no episodes scheduled”, so had to set up a new one). Still, though, Tivo is superior to anything else I’ve found. I ALMOST switched to Dish, but fortunately found a display unit at Radio Shack with which I played for 20 minutes – and HATED (whew – saved by “hands-on” testing).
The ONLY negatives I have for Tivo: the menu frame which, I learned too late, can burn into the tv screen. And, forgive me, Weaknees, but Tivo should supply maximum-capacity factory-built units.

willbhome –

TiVo DID come out with the TiVo HD XL, with a huge drive. So we think they agree with you, and that really validates what we’ve been doing all along.

As far as the problems with your unit, it does seem like some season passes needed resetting recently. We think the guide data may have changed just slightly enough to through things off a bit.

Finally, the rebooting generally means a failing hard drive, and usually only gets worse. We have “replace” kits for that model (and all TiVo models) that should fix that.

A couple of years ago DirecTv replaced my ailing SAT-T60 for free with an R15. It was the most horrible thing I have ever seen. The user interface was so poorly designed and it ran so slowly I considered it unacceptable. I returned it to DirecTv saysing “thanks, but no thanks.” I got the T60 fixed and upgraded the hard disk.

I’ve been waiting to see if I’m going to have to switch to cable for HD. This article answered my concerns so thanks to the weaKnees guys for writing it so clearly.

I’ve also heard that for cable, instead of getting a separate tivo that you can get a comcast DVR with tivo software. Anyone know anything about that?

Good news indeed!
I tried a DTV DVR at a friends. What a disappointment! The lack of dual buffers was bad enough, but the interface was abysmal.
I have been nursing along a couple of DTV TiVos (Philips 708) for years now.
I wished I could enjoy HD, but was not willing to give up my TiVo to do it.

Now I will wait (im)patiently for a true HD Tivo that I can use with DTV.

This is great news. For some of us, (think rural US), we don’t have access to OTA and we don’t have access to cable. Our only choice is DirecTV or Dish. We chose DTV for programming. Will just hold on ’til the new DTV Tivo machines are ready. We’ve been using a SAT-T60 now for 8 years with two replacement hard drives.

I gave up on the HR10-250 a year ago when the newer HD channels could not be received and Directv wanted $ to upgrade to the new HD DVR so I went to dish and their 721 HD DVR. But compared to TIVO’s interface that DVR is just plain junk. If you want to watch just comedy movies for instance their is no way to program it. Only the top actors are selectable and then either on or off or limited to one channel selection. I tried recording Christmas shows only to have the DVR plug up on shopping shows. 6 more months and my contracts up, either I’m going cable (rural limited channels) and TIVO or I’ll come back to Directv if they produce a capable DTIVO unit again.

Thanks for a great article. We recently bought HD (since it is all going that way). Prior, we had an older Huges model that was a DirectTV Tivo (we love the interface). DirectTV sent a replacement and I sent it back. We fixed the old Huges with a new HD from Weaknees (thanks guys!).

We have been using it since. I just thought I would check here to see options for HD on Tivo for DirectTV. Glad you have your finger on the pulse of the industry.

I’ll wait. My peanut controller in hand….. in anticipation for excellence.

Thanks again.

DTV has been harassing me for months to “upgrade” my HR 10-250 that has time shifted HD content reliably for 4 years. I knew nothing about the HR2x series DVRs let alone the SWIM-8. After reading the WK sticky I think I can plan my HT setup more effectively. I was going to accept one of the HR 2xs keeping the HR10-250 but now I think I’ll wait for the contemplated new DTiVo dvr. I’ll survive the demise of Mpeg2 because I also have Cox cable with Series 2 & 3 TiVos. Cox gave me one of their Scientific Atlanta STBs when I first signed on. That was my first and last encounter with a non TiVo DVR. After two weeks I bought a Series 3 TiVo with 2 cable cards. The setup meshes very well with the standalone Series 2.

Thanks for the info . Keep us posted. You know how to reach me.

It’s not just firmware – it’s really new hardware that would be needed. The decompression happens on a chip-level – not on a software level.

I have both cable and DirecTV Tivos, low def. As you advise, I will wait to get the new DirecTV Tivo HD, and then get rid of cable. The cable Tivo’s schedule is inferior to DirecTV Tivo’s. For instance, cable might say NCAA tournament, 2nd round, while DirecTV Tivo will give the names of the teams playing.

Having had (COX) cable, Dish, AND DirecTV at one time or another along with a TIVO or two for each, my opinion is that the ONLY reason to have DirecTV is for the NFL Channel… their channel interface is really confusing and hard to navigate. That said, I suspend my DirecTV subscription outside of the NFL season entirely and rely on cable and OTA signals. I have gone thru two Cox HD Scientific Atlanta HD boxes and am now on my 3rd. (“Yeah,” … said the tech… “we have alot of problems with those…”). I have used my Tivo HD box on the second TV in the Man Cave Den for a couple of years with zero problems.

Too late. Had to make the jump to satanic Comcast. DirecTV left me out in the cold for far too long. They lost a very loyal customer. Maybe when my cable Tivo dies I’ll switch back, but even then it will be with a great deal of anger towards DirecTV.

Just great. Be loyal to DirecTv, applaud the (right) decision to keep TiVo, announce it’ll be available in late 2009, and now they push the new TiVo unit to 2010. What a sham. Everyone who has DirecTv and is loyal to TiVo should seriously consider jumping ship, if they can, and moving to cable. I am stuck with DirecTv as I don’t have cable as we live in a rural area and I really like TiVo; DirecTv is just the delivery mechanism and TiVo is the interface. If I could, I’d switch to cable in a blink of an eye.

DIRECTV, IF YOU READ THIS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO USE TIVO. YOU’VE DONE IT BEFORE. YOU AREN’T INVENTING A YET TO BE DISCOVERED ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE LIKE COLD FUSION. Get this thing to market. Maybe you’ll find new customers who are upset with cable and are willing to move to DirecTv if they had TiVo.

I got tivo when it first came out… life time service.. I tried one of the direct tv recorders and it went in the box back to them in less than 12 hours.. I will never give up tivo ever! so please hurry. I have a 16×9 hd tv… and 4×3 standard video.. I don’t care, i will not give up direct tv or tivo… so i’m in line for the new box… and I have never broken my peanut… guess I got a good one!
thanks for putting tivo and direct tv back together!

Interesting that the new units are being pushed back to 2010. I made up my mind about a year ago to drop DTV (I don’t watch sports, so NFL is irrelevant to me). I am, however, in my notice period, having been laid off in February, so I’m not going to spend any $ on new S3 TiVos at this time.

My plan is to buy 2, try OTA, and if it doesn’t work, go to Astound or Comcast, both of whom operate in our neighborhood. I’ll walk the area and see who has the best picture quality, sound, channels, etc.

Anyone in Walnut Creek, CA, using OTA, Astound or Comcast? I’d like to know your feelings.

I have had my Directv Tivo SD forever! I actually thought about cable when I bought an HD TV but I am trying to hang in there (as long as the hard drive on my TIVO does) until the new HD TIVO for Directv is here. Please hurry!! I will not get the Directv HD DVR, I have heard it’s terrible!

I am an early TIVO fan. I am credited with many converts and I preach anoyingly to anyone who will listen about the benefits of TIVO.

Like others have said, TIVO first, last and always. So, I have DirecTV and standard TIVO. I bought the HD ready big screen in preparation to switch to HD, but it was not worth giving up TIVO for HD.

Soooo, this is great news. I have waited this long, so I can wait a little longer.

Keep us posted!

I have been exploring all the options and I am not willing to renew for 2 more years with their own brand of DVR. I will have to wait and see if they actually come out with another directv TIVO.

I have a SAT T60, two HR10s and two HR21s. Once you get to know the HR21, there isn’t much difference from the TiVo. Right now you get all kinds of HD on the HR21.
For the dual buffers, if you record on the two channels, it works close to TiVo and the single channel buffer is 90 minutes, I’ve caught allot of full shows TiVo would have clipped. You can also record one and search freely on one. There is a wishlist-like function now in the record menu that allows for key words. One of the things I sorely missed was the 15 minute skip, that”s in the HR21 now as well. I’m betting TiVo let DTV use some of these since the agreement was made. My HR21s haven’t had any issues. I hope the new TiVo units have the single line/dual tuner option, I’m excited about removing a couple miles of cabling (the HR21s support that now). The only real complaint I had about the HR21 is the option to record first run-only just showed up and it does not appear to work. Recording the exact same same NFL total Access all day is annoying.

This waiting for Directv/tivo HD units is starting to hit home …..My kitchen TV has just died so I guess I will have to make the plunge and get an HD TV……the pictures on my tivo powered Directv TV’s are beautiful….I really am not interested in seeing blemishes on movie stars faces……I guess I can go DVRless for a few months in the kitchen.
Please tell me we will be able to buy the new hd tivo/directv units ……renting stinks

Tivo is far more important to me than Direct TV’s service. I am tired of waiting for Direct TV to offer the new mpeg-4 Tivo. My patience is nearly exhausted. Direct TV will lose this 10 year customer do to their complete mishandling of Tivo and their low regard for their customers who HATE using any other user interface than Tivo. I am mad as hell and don’t mind Direct TV knowing. RELEASE THE MPEG-4 TIVO NOW!!! The clock is ticking.

Where can we get an update on the production and release dates? There must be some sub-contractors, vendors, etc. reporting this work in their revenue numbers, etc. This can’t be a garage shop type deal, it must be mainstream. If there is no numbers, then it is a hoax, trying to stem off a drop in their share price, etc. This is going to have significant ramifications if this continues to slide. Many folks are relying on the delivery of this product. Not switching to a competitor is a consumer choice driven by false statements regarding product development and release and the competition will be waiting with open arms. Sorry to sound offensive but enough, do it or walk away and deal with the outcome.

I’d have to agree that there seems to be a total blackout on info about this product. But considering what Apple is able to do with products that require much more specialized hardware, and orders of magnitude more people and companies, I’m not too surprised. In this economy, losing a contract for a reason as extraneous as leaked info is especially painful.

Been wanting a DirecTV capable HD TiVo for a while. Almost switched to Comcast when TiVo was offering the free transfer of lifetime subscription over to the Series3/HD hardware, but stuck with std def and DirecTV.

Still bumming. My TiVo Series2 with (an upgraded 750GB drive) finally gave out, again. This time may be the main board and not just a drive like the last time around.

On the verge of buying a new LCD as well. What to do…?! This total blackout is annoying because I can’t plan on the purchase of the new tv, blu-ray, av receiver, etc.

The slippage from 2nd half of 2009 to 2010 can’t bode well for either TiVo (not gaining new subscribers) and DirecTV (subscribers on the verge of bailing).

I am going to hate to change from DT sat to cable but am tired of wating for your TIVO unit . 10 yr. customer ! Your lack of understanding a tivo lover’s mingset is tragic or just plain Stupid ! You are soon to lose a major share of your client base !

…And the exclusion of the “low speed data” on DirecTV receiver (to allow for TiVo to make channel changes) on recent DTV receivers is more than just annoying.

Having the serial cable allows for faster/more accurate channel changes (vs. the IR blaster). And allows for the receiver box to be tucked away out of view. That is definitely an attraction towards a Cable Card/TiVo solution.

These guys better pick it up or else I am bailing shortly. Been experiencing my receiver losing program guide info that requires hard resets of the DTV receiver. 2-3 minutes a day of reboot is definitely adding up…

We should start a new twitter/facebook campaign to turn up the heat!

I have a humax DVD player burner I’ve had since 2005. I love it. Recently Direct TV has replaced my satellite in order to receive local channels. I now can’t get the 2 systems together. Cable is out of the question. I live in the country. I haven’t even begun to think about HD. I just want to get back to being able to record and burn DVD’s with my unit. Neither Direct TV or Tivo customer support could help me program my new set up. Should I just sell this unit and go with direct TV? or is there any waty to get them to work together? HELP!

Direct-TV is doing a upgrade in the San Jose area. They are removing certin HD channel groups and adding new ones. They say this requires a new TiVo receivers. Which one of your dual reveivers is a replacement for the standard equipment supplied by Direct-TV.

Two questions… (1) Does anyone have any idea when new TIVO/DirectV is actually going to come out? (2) I live in the out in the country and cable is not a option, but I’ve been told that that DISH TV works with TIVO but I see that TIVO has recently won some patent infringement suits against DISH TV. Does anyone know if DISH TV would work TIVO HD products and what the potential downside might be?

1 – Nope. Latest info is just “2010.”

2 – For standard definition, a TiVo can control a DISH receiver. But for HD, TiVo can’t work with DISH.

I would urge all to stick with DirecTV. I made the move last year simply because Dish provides my locals. I live way out also. No cable and broadcast is not very reliable. So I switched to Dish. I have 3 DVR’s. A ViP722 – 2 room machine and 2 ViP612 units. If you have ever had Tivo you will be greatly disappointed with the Dish DVR’s. I have no experience with DirecTV DVR’s but I can tell you I have replaced both the 612’s twice. I have had nothing but trouble with these machines. I know they advertise their equipment as award winning state of the art but my experience is far from that. One machine actually starts to record without instruction and unless I happen to notice the machine is recording it will continue to record forever! Also I have the NBA League Pass. I have not been able to set a recording timer to record only the game. It will always record the 6 hour pre-game slate announcing the game will be on. Dish has the games and other stations on so many different channels that in order to cancel a recording you must perform the cancellation about 4 to 6 times just to remove a scheduled timer. It is a nightmare and I will return to DirecTV the instant the new Tivo is available. I do like getting all the locals in HD – well except PBS which is not in HD – Do not understand why and oh yes no CBS because the local CBS station is “out of market” their broadcast tower is 16 miles from my house in my state but is considered in the market area of Dothan Alabama some 40 miles north of me and cannot be included in my locals even though it is the only CBS station between Tallahassee and Pensacola – go figure!

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