"One day it may be great, but as of now -- it sucks!"0.5 starson by rqs_007
Pros: Excellent potential features and capabilities.
Cons: Glitches, glitches, glitches. Flat-out doesn't work.
Summary: DirecTV really dropped the ball on this one. I'm not sure why they released the product, but it appears they did so way too soon.
I received my 1st R15 on 8/2/06.
I was impressed on the size of the item being it was so much smaller than my DirecTV TiVo. Very lightweight and easily moved from room-to-room. It has neat lighting displays on the front as well. The lights are in a circle and will spin forward if you're skipping ahead and backwards when rewinding. Nice visual effect.
The Search feature works well and seems to pull your requested information quickly.
Also, it has a meter that lets you know what percentage of space you have left on your hard drive. A very simple, yet important feature. Basically, an hour represents one percent.
Whenever you're in the Menu, you'll always have Live TV or a recorded show in a small window in the upper right hand corner, so you never have to be without your shows even when setting up Series Links (or Season Passes for you TiVo fans).
The interactive TV is pretty nice. Being able to go to the Active Channel and view local weather, horoscopes, lottery numbers, etc. are just a sign of good things to come. They also have previews of certain must-see shows.
Hmmm, where do I start? Uh, it doesn't work? The first R15 I received seemed to perform well for the first few hours. After that, it froze on a music station. The music still played, but I couldn't change the channel or even go back to the menu.
I noticed a red Reset button on the right side of the console. Little did I know that I would use that button probably (and I kid you not) around 25 to 30 times before sending the receiver back to DirecTV on 8/25.
I hit Reset and it took about five to eight minutes, but the system started back up again good as new.
My second problem was the receiver powering off whenever it felt like it. It would not only turn itself off, it would not allow me to turn it back on without unplugging the device. And of course, it doesn't record anything when it powers down on its own.
Third problem, say you have something scheduled in the To Do List for 8 PM. You come home and realize your R15 has powered down and you unplug it and plug it back up at 810 PM.
Guess what? Your show will not start recording in progress. Once the start time passes, you can hang that program up. It'll never record.
Fourth problem is there are going to be times when you record a show, start watching it and the video will disappear. You'll have audio, but not video.
Fifth problem is when you Autorecord a show, you run into a problem. Example, I set my R15 to Autorecord all NFL Preseason games. The problem I ran into is that it tried to record games on channels that I didn't have. How stupid is that?
The result is me going into a program and getting a blank screen. Regardless if you set up all of your receivable channels in Setup, your R15 will try to record/search for channels in which do not even subscribe. Even after setting preferences.
Problem number six: the remote control is the biggest remote I've ever seen in my life. You should be able to control traffic with that thing it's so big. It's not user friendly and requires both hands to perform a lot of tasks.
Number seven is sometimes when you try to change the channel, the channel banner will change, but the actual channel will not.
Hmmmm, what's next? Oh, the DirecTV customer service will drive you crazy telling you that they've sent an update for your receiver to download and that it will fix all of your problems. Well, I've been told that by at least 10 different representatives and it hasn't happened yet. They always want me to wait for tomorrow and "give it a chance". Three weeks is way too long to me.
But, I gave in, sent that one back and received R15 number two. As soon as I went through the setup, the video went out on it and the screen started flickering. It was pathetic. I knew I had a piece of junk when I tried to hook up my audio input cables and the hole I tried to put it into wasn't even big enough to fit.
Are you kidding me? The plug isn't even a standard size for me to hook up audio cables. Did a baby make this product?
Needless to say, it was only out of the box five minutes before I packed it back up and called DirecTV to let them know I was shipping it back.
Now, for those who just think I'm a disgruntled, non-electronic saavy customer, don't be mistakened. I've dealt with DVR's since the days of UltimateTV. I've been with DirecTV since 1994 and I love their service. I really think the R15 has potential to be a very powerful machine, but I'm very disappointed that they released this device so soon.
A representative told me that the device was tested thoroughly, but "unfortunately, they can't find every error".
That may be true, but if you missed any of the simple things I listed in "The Bad" section, then you're falling asleep during testing.
There are some other things I'm sure I'm forgetting, but you have the gist of it now.
This, one day, could be a superior product, but for now, stick with the TiVo!
I realize the rating is as low as it can get, but believe me, this device is 60% complete at best. It never should've been released and the problems they are having are probably the same issues that have kept the HD R20 from being released.
It was due out this summer and now appears to be hard-pressed to be out before Thanksgiving.
Again, this product can be great one day, but as of now, I only give it a one because I can't go any lower. Why rate something higher than a one if it flat-out doesn't work?