Archive for the ‘DirecTV’ Category

DIRECTV Genie HR44 DVR

Posted on May 3rd, 2013, by Michael

We have preliminary information about the second generation DIRECTV Genie – the HR44. It’s not out yet, but it does sound like a nice evolution of the Genie server.

Here’s the front of the unit:

directv-hr44-500

 

And here’s the back:

directv-hr44-back-500

Here are the main differences:

  • Significantly smaller
  • Built in Wifi adapter
  • External power adapter – fewer unit failures this way, and the power supply alone can be replaced if that’s the only problem
  • Ships with the new RC71 remote
  • Faster processor
  • Digital audio out via Toslink and Coax ports

We hope to have them in stock the day they ship!

DIRECTV’s Newest Remote: the RC71

Posted on April 29th, 2013, by Michael

Last week at a DIRECTV conference, we were able to see several new and upcoming products, and the new DIRECTV RC71 remote was one of the best.

For many, the current line of DIRECTV remotes (see top three remotes here) leaves a little to be desired. This is especially true for many of our customers who’ve had TiVo DVRs in the past, with their excellent peanut-shaped remotes.

This new remote has an entirely new shape, and it’s a shape meant to fit in the user’s hand. It may not be as defined as the TiVo remotes, but it’s curvy, and it really had a nice feel to it.

directv-rc71-100

In addition, this new remote reduces the number of buttons, removes the slider switch, and generally reduces the complexity of the remote. It’s like DIRECTV started from the ground up asking “what do users need?” instead of “how much can we cram in here?”

This one model, the RC71, has both IR and RF. But it’s important to note that the RF uses a new protocol called RF4CE. Unfortunately, that protocol is not compatible with older DIRECTV receivers. So this remote will only operate in IR mode with older receivers.

Initially, this remote will ship with three units: the upcoming HR44 Genie, the new version of the Genie Client called a C41, and the C41W which is a wireless Genie client coming sometime this year. The RC71 will work with any of these in RF or IR mode. And when it’s in RF mode, it’ll produce faster and more accurate channel changes due to two-way technology that confirms between the receiver and the remote when a button has been pressed. It’s really responsive.

We don’t yet have firm pricing on the new remote. But more info, pictures, and a manual can be found on our DIRECTV RC71 Remote page.

Rebooting DIRECTV TiVo DVR Roundup – What to do?

Posted on November 20th, 2012, by Michael

For probably over a week now, there has been an extreme upsurge in the number of reports, phone calls, emails, chat sessions, forum postings, and blog postings, about rebooting DIRECTV TiVo DVRs – all models except the THR22, a TiVo built on DIRECTV’s hardware.

We first realized the true extent of the problem a few days later, and initially posted about it here, on our blog, on November 15. Since then, we’ve posted a few more times. Once was when we heard from an internal DIRECTV source who acknowledged the issue. And then next was when DIRECTV seemed to go public with recognition of the problem via their Twitter stream.

So here we are, a week and a half later, and rather than being able to say that the problem has been resolved, we have to start looking ahead in case the problem won’t get solved. Without any concrete data about DIRECTV’s intentions and plans, and with at least ten days of rebooting units around the country, we are laying out the alternate solutions that we see. But, just to be clear, we really do think DIRECTV will resolve the problem. We just don’t know what the timeline is.

Here are some options:

  1. Go to cable – There is definitely a very vocal group who expressed feelings that DIRECTV is purposely trying to disable these units in order to stop having to pay TiVo their monthly fees. These customers are responding with loyalty to TiVo, egged on by their assumption of nefarious tactics by DIRECTV. We have to say, we have NO evidence at all that this was an intentionally caused situation, and we do think DIRECTV would like to resolve it. That said, for TiVo partisans who are considering cable, the current TiVo DVRs for cable are fantastic machines and have many, many more capabilities than DIRECTV’s DVRs and TiVos do.
  2. Make the jump to HD – For another group of our customers, this is just the push they need to get over the hump and move to HD. Now that there is the DIRECTV TiVo DVR THR22 out, these TiVo lovers can move up to HD and still keep their TiVo interface and remote. The downsides to this option are that the monthly fees will likely increase – there’s the HD fee ($10/month) and possibly the TiVo fee ($5/month) in addition to the DVR fee ($7/month) that customers are likely already paying. If, on the other hand, a customer has a DIRECTV TiVo with lifetime service on it, then, as far as we know, the latter two fees ($5 and $7) are covered by that program, and the only change would be the HD fee (customers should confirm with DIRECTV regarding their account). Further, if a customer already has an HD unit on their account, they are already paying that fee, so there is no increase in monthly fees, just the upfront cost of the hardware.
  3. Consider that you may not have this problem – Whenever a problem of this magnitude arises, everyone just assumes they have this problem, but not everyone does, and they don’t realize that until the problem subsides and they’re left with a problematic DVR. Rebooting is generally the sign of a bad hard drive. If you had significant rebooting in, say, October, you likely do have a bad hard drive. See our TiVo hard drive replacement kits. There are also tuner problems (generally pixellization) and power supply problems and plenty of other things that happen.
  4. Pull your SAT cables and watch recorded shows only – Since the problem seems to be due to the signal DIRECTV is sending down, you can pull your SAT cable(s) and just watch pre-recorded content without fearing the reboot. Many people have reported that this works fine – further fueling the fire that DIRECTV’s signal is causing this. Of course, you can’t record anything or watch live TV without the SAT cables connected, but you could watch a movie in peace.
  5. Sit tight and wait it out – This is definitely a tougher option for anyone who watches even a modest amount of television, but if, for example, you’re going out of town for Thanksgiving, that gives DIRECTV a few days to figure out what’s up and potentially resolve the issue. And, again, we do believe they are working on it.

On a personal note, I must say that I was struck when I got a phone call last night at home. I predicted on the first ring that it was my in-laws, then answered assuming that they had a question about a big trip they are taking today. I was ready to answer about passports and foreign exchange and SIM cards, but the urgent question they posed was “Why is our DIRECTV TiVo rebooting?”

Finally, some further evidence that DIRECTV is earnestly on the case:

DIRECTV is Aware of the Rebooting

Posted on November 19th, 2012, by Michael

If you’ve been following our blog posts about the issues with DIRECTV TiVos rebooting, you’ve seen that we got some internal confirmation that DIRECTV knows about the problem.

They’re now making that information public:

As far as we know, this applies to units beyond just the R10. You can read DIRECTV’s Twitter feed on the subject here.

DirecTV TiVos are Rebooting, Everywhere . . .

Posted on November 15th, 2012, by Michael

Since this past weekend, we’ve been getting flooded with emails and phone calls about DirecTV TiVos rebooting. Reports include basically all units except for the new THR22 HD TiVo. So this DOES include the older HR 10-250 HD TiVo, and all SD TiVos for DirecTV.

While we don’t know the cause of the situation, considering that it clearly affects Series1 and Series2 models all over the country, the source of the problem must be the satellite signal. Many affected units are not plugged into phone lines. And we’ve had no similar wave of reports about either non-DirecTV units, or about DirecTV DVRs that don’t run TiVo.

We do have some queries in to various contacts. But we have no information as of yet.

There’s a thread over on TiVoCommunity that covers the issue. It’s mostly just a list of people saying “yeah, me too” at this point, but if you have this problem, it’s worth keeping an eye on the thread.

We’ll be sure to update everyone if we learn more. Hopefully, the problem will disappear just as mysteriously as it arose.