Pros Provides all of the features a high tech family needs.
Cons A little pricey but worth it in functionality.
Summary This is one of those eagerly awaited products for anyone really into HDTV and using a satellite provider. The DirecTV HD DVR doesn't disappoint delivering incredible resolution, significant storage and the simple intuitive interface of Tivo. I was one of the early adopters paying $999 but have not regreted this purchase for a second. It's extremely easy to install, works as billed right out of the box. The only issues I have had have been easily remedied through a manual reboot. As prices fall on this I really believe this will become an absolute must have anyone serious about getting the most out of their home theatre.
Pros DVR with TiVo. Excellent audio and video. HDMI output produces flawless picture and sound.
Cons Unwanted channels appear in 'Channels You Receive'; To be phased out when DirecTV delivers MPEG4 update (new H20-250 receiver has no TiVo).
Summary Equipment I Have:
DirecTV HR10-250 Receiver - Purchased from WeaKnees.com
2 DirecTV R10 Receivers
Terk 3-LNB HD Satellite Dish
Sony KD-34XBR960N 34” Widescreen HDTV (HR10-250 connected)
Sony RDR HX715 DVD Recorder
Sony 27” Standard Definition TV
Sony 13” Standard Definition TV
DirecTV HR10-250 is a high-definition receiver for DirecTV customers only. It also has a DVR with TiVo. With DirecTV, the DVR/TiVo service is only $4.99 per month. If you have up to four other DVR receivers in your home, you only have to pay the $4.99 one time per month.
250GB Hard Drive
Approx. 33 hours of high-definition recording space, 225 hours of standard-definition recording space.
I tried many different receivers for DirecTV at Circuit City and Best Buy. This was the best HD receiver that I found. Best features, better picture and sound.
The menu speed has been improved in the Series 2 Tivo. I runs pretty smoothly for me.
Record one program while watching another program with dual tuners (twin incoming cables). Or you can record from two channels at the same time, while you watch something that you previously recorded. You would need three VCRs to do this with VHS.
A great feature. Save Wishlists for your favorite films, actors, or directors. Examples in my Wishlist: Stanley Kubrick, The Godfather, Stephen King, Gone with the Wind, Roots. You can have programs in your Wishlist automatically recorded.
An exclusive feature of the TiVo system (as far as I know). Since the fast forward and fast backward speeds are so fast, you may go slightly beyond the desired point in the program. The jump-back feature compensates for this by jumping either forward or back slightly. When you skip through commercials, you can usually hit the exact spot right before the program returns.
Recording a Program
When you press the Record button, the DVR does not start the recording from when you pressed the record button. It takes the entire program from the latest saved half-hour block of programming. If you change to a certain channel, then press Record before the end of a half hour, the DVR will save the entire half hour of programming to your hard drive.
When I set up an alternate ‘Favorite Channels’ list in ‘Channels You Receive’, the receiver seems to automatically include a few channels all by itself, channels that I do not want. I hope DirecTV can fix this bug sometime. It seems to include a new channel every 4 or 5 days. I find myself deselecting these channels every weekend. These channel inclusions do not occur immediately following the receiver’s call-out to upload more guide data. They just seem to occur every 4-5 days or so.
In the Spring or Summer of 2006, DirecTV will introduce the MPEG4 update. This means that every receiver will have to be MPEG4 compatible to receive all the local channels. The new upcoming DirecTV H20-250 receiver (also set for the Spring or Summer of 2006) will have a DVR, will be MPEG4 and HD compatible, but it will NOT have the TiVo system (heartbreak). It will be more along the lines of the R15 receiver, which makes me wonder what features I’ll have to give up besides TiVo. Time will tell. Perhaps other manufactures can come to the rescue (please) and come out with a great HD MPEG4 receiver just in the nick of time.
On other DirecTV receivers, you could use the guide and have the tuner change to a certain channel at a certain time. The H10 has no auto-tune. In order to go to a certain program at a certain time, you need to set it up to record the program. Then if you don’t really want to record the program you need to stop the recording.
Picture-in-Guide and Picture-in-Picture
Even the basic DirecTV receivers have a small picture of the current channel when you’re in the guide. And with dual tuners, a picture-in-picture of both channels makes sense. The H10 has neither of these features.
A stop button on the remote would be nice.
A delete button on the remote would also be nice, since all deletions are verified before they’re executed.
A 10-second advance button would be good. Sometimes it would be nice to skip ahead by 8 or 10 seconds without having to use the forward button. An advance button that skips ahead 30 seconds would not be needed. I wouldn’t use it to skip through commercials, unless there was only one commercial. I use the forward button on the 3rd speed to skip commercials.
Back and Forward
Skipping back or forward through a program that is being temporarily recorded is pretty fast. When you are watching something that you previously recorded, or watching something that you are currently recording, you can use the forward and back buttons with the advance button and instantly go to the tick marks (the small white lines) in the status bar. You cannot do this while temporarily recording though. An even faster way to go back and forth would be great.
The ‘Mix Channels’ feature is about the only feature on the DirecTV R15 that is really worthwhile, and would have been great on the H10. I would like to see an expanded version of this feature. Imagine having a mix channel feature to view all of your ‘Channels You Receive’ and/or your ‘Favorite Channels’. Hopefully other manufacturers will take a cue and include a feature like this in their future receivers for DirecTV.
Get rid of the Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down buttons. There is really no such thing as a “similar type of program” for most programs. In most cases a Tivo suggestion for a certain program is really nothing like the program that was given a Thumbs Up. For example, what similar program can you compare The West Wing to?
Skip Through Commercials
For those who did not realize this after using the DVR on the first day: Instead of watching a live TV program from the very beginning, start watching it 10 or 15 minutes after it begins. Make sure you’re set to the correct channel for the program that you want to temporarily save. Since the DVR is temporarily recording the program for you, just use the back button in the 3rd speed to scan back to the beginning of the program. Then when the commercials come along, you can use the forward button to skip through them. Eventually you may catch up to the live broadcast (depending on the length of the program), but usually you may be able to see the entire program without any commercials.
TiVo Menu Sound
I was a little tired of the TiVo sound effects after the first few hours of using the receiver. It wasn’t until the next day when I found the volume setting for the sound effects. DirecTV Button -- Messages & Setup -- Settings -- Audio -- Sound Effects Volume. You can select Off, Low, Medium, or Loud.
Watch Two Channels with a Single Tuner
Even with a single tuner, you can stay on the current channel while the DVR records from another channel. When the message comes up asking you if you want to change channels to record from another channel, just say yes, or don’t select anything. While you’re still on the original channel, use the back button to go back a few minutes. The DVR will start recording from the other channel on time, but it will not change channels. It will also continue to temporarily record on the current channel. If you want to change channels to the new channel that is being recorded, press the List button and select the program from the list.
If you don’t want to use the guide and set up the DVR to record the same program every day or every week, use the Season Pass feature. Set a Season Pass for a program and the DVR will record it every time it’s on for up to 28 days. You can even specify the DVR to record First Run episodes and Repeats, or only First Runs.
Pros Tivo! HD! Tivo and HD is unbelievable.
Cons DirecTV refuses to roll out software Tivo has developed over the last 3 years leaving Directv Tivo users stuck in the Windows 98 era. No HMO! No multi room viewing! No connecting to your home network you must use a phone line. Get a freakin' clue Dire
Pros Easy to use, local HD broadcasts are now part of the satellite feed in my area
Cons Expensive, HD DVR doesn't support local HD broadcasts
Summary I just found out that local channel HD broadcasting is now available as part of the satellite feed in my area and so I don't need an off-air antenna, in theory. However, the current HD DVR only supports MPEG-2 and not MPEG-4 and therefore I still need an off-air antenna. A new HD DVR with MPEG-4 is supposed to be coming out in the next few months.
Pros All types of A/V connections,great picture
Cons Not interactive with Directv services,No folders for saved programs
Summary I love this unit, but it does have a couple of minor flaws.
It is not interactive with any directv programs like Sports or newsmix,NFL sunday ticket superfan multigame channel.
My lower grade Directv tivo groups the same shows that are recorded and saved into folders that contain the show but different episodes.This is great because it keeps you from having to scroll through 10-12 pages to find that one show you want instead of opening the one folder.
Otherwise it is great and would highly recomend it to anyone with an HD TV and Directv.