New DIRECTV HD Channels Launch!

If you have an HR20 or an H20 HD DIRECTV Receiver with a 5lnb dish and B-Band converters, you will notice about 25 new HD stations available, starting today (or maybe it was late last night).

DIRECTV’s “new HD station” chart, found here is largely accurate. The stations showing in the September, 2007 column are now up and running, with the exception of a handful (Cartoon, Cinemax HD East/West, Food Network, FSN NY, HBO HD West, HGTV, MSG, MHD, National Geographic)…and some of the October 2007 stations launched early: Animal Planet HD, TLC HD and the Science Channel HD.

If you don’t have an HR20 HD DVR, you’re missing out….and now that there is so much HD content coming, there is finally a reason to upgrade that DVR!


$200 Rebate on Series3 THX-certified TiVo Starts Today!

For those who are looking for an HD TiVo (or a second or a third), you now have a compelling reasons to jump: Effective today through January 28, 2008, you can get a $200 rebate on any Series3 HD TiVo, including our upgraded Series3 DVRs.

This huge rebate brings the price of the slick Series3 THX-certified unit much closer to the new HD TiVo “Value” option. For pricing and information, see our Series 3 TiVo page here.

And if you’re not on our mailing list, sign up here for other specials, coupons and prices available only to our subscribers.


eSATA port activated on more Scientific Atlanta Boxes

More and more Scientific Atlanta HD and SD cable box models are supporting eSATA drives. The original 8300HD continues to support eSATA (SARA software only–see below). In addition, the following models support eSATA if they are running the SARA software:

8300 HD-MR

It is important that you check to confirm that your model is running the SARA software. If it is running another software version (such as PASSPORT), then you likely have an inactive eSATA port. Once you know that you are running SARA, you can find external drives here, inlcuding the QVX, which was actually specifically made and designed for the Scientific Atlanta line.

To determine whether your cable box is running the SARA software, we have a FAQ that covers this question and others here. Here also is how to check for your software version:

Does my DVR have the SARA software? Is the Maxtor Expander compatible with any DVR?
At this time, the Maxtor Expander drive only works in association with the Scientific-Atlanta Explorer 8300 and 8240 series (8240, 8240HD, 8300C, 8300 HD, 8300 MR, and 8300 HD-MR Digital Video Recorders). It works with many companies/8300HD (and 8240HD, 8300C) boxes, but not all. It depends primarily on which software is running on your box.. Cable boxes that run the SARA software are fully compatible, those that run the Passport software are not. For example all Cox cable subscribers with the 8300HD are fully compatible. To check which software is on your box:

Go into Diagnostic Mode. There are two ways to enter the Diagnostic Mode:

Press and hold the Select button on the front of the unit until the Mail light starts to flash, then press the INFO button.

Press and hold the Pause button on the remote until the Mail light starts to flash (around 10-15 seconds), then press the Page Up (-) button.

Scroll through the pages until you see SARA or PASSPORT listed. If you see SARA, then your box is compatible!


TiVoToGo and Multi-room Viewing coming to HD TiVos

TiVoPony tells us that TTG and MRV will come to the Series3 and TiVoHD units in November, via a software update.

There will be some restrictions, as always, but by and large, you’ll be able to move content between any combination of HD and SD unit that supports these features. You won’t be able to move HD to an SD box (sounds like it won’t down-rez) and you won’t be able to move copy protected content at all. But it does sound like HD content will be movable to a computer – pretty cool!


Unbelievable Deal on Humax TiVo DVRs w/DVD Recorders

We recently picked up a supply of Humax TiVo DVRs with built-in DVD recorders. We are pricing them at an insanely aggressive price: $49 after a $150 rebate from TiVo. For $100 more, you can get 350-hours.

The boxes are all eligible for product lifetime service $299, so for $348, you could get a TiVo burner with lifetime service…not bad, and if TiVo has a deal allowing lifetime transfers again, it might be a nice thing to have on hand.

All units come with a 90-day warranty. They are refurbished.

For more info, click here
For rebate information, click here.

Get ’em while they last.