"Here is the Real Review"0.5 starson by pjdagost
Pros: It's cheap compared to TIVO
Cons: Sound drops, Constantly locks up, Terrible interface
Summary: I'm dismayed by C-Net's review of this product. I bought this product almost two months ago as part of an upgrade to new HD TV. Problems with the product have not been resolved despite constant upgrades to the software by DirecTV and a service call. Even overlooking the technical glitches, the user interface for the product is completely inadequate compared to other DVR's, AppleTV, or even Windows Media Center. Add in the technical glitches, and you are left with a completely useless piece of equipment.
1. The box locks up at least once a day. Usually this happens when you are recording a program while watching another one. It takes 9 minutes (I timed it) for the box to re-boot, so you've lost at least that much of the program that was recording.
2. Sound drops out intermittently or doesn't record at all. Sometimes the sound drops out every 20-30 seconds for a few seconds at a time. This makes it almost impossible to follow dialog in the recorded program. On a few occasions the sound was missing completely from an entire recorded program. In any case, 40%-50% of recorded programs are completely unwatchable.
3. The interface is terrible. It is too complicated to adjust recording options or re-order you program priorities.Just recording a program is an ordeal and requires navigating a maze of screens. All in all the user interface is completely inadequate.
I finally gave in an requested that DirecTV replace the box. The service technician admitted that there are an abnormal amount of requests for replacement of the box and agreed that the box that they were sending is exactly like the boxes that have been out for 6 months with no attempt to correct the obvious issues. He also noted that they are "still perfecting the product", that it "doesn't work as fluidly as it should" and that you "can not expect DirecTV to produce a product like TIVO since TIVO has been around for 15 years and this is DirecTV's first attempt" (seriously, these are direct quotes - I was typing as I was listening to this garbage).
This is by far the worst purchasing decision that I have ever made.Updated
So I paid $300 for a new HD DVR unit. It didn't work straight out of the box. Months of DirecTV saying they were working on the problem, constant software patches that don't work and they finally ship me a replacement unit. Well, its refurbished. To make matters worse, right out of the box, this one doesn't have any sound when using the composite cables. 30 minutes on the phone with tech support and the REFURBISHED REPLACEMENT box that they SWEAR was checked by their technicians has to go back as well. Now, 2 months in, I will have gone through THREE boxes. What a pain. I've been a long time customer of direcTV, but I can't see why I would continue to put myself through this type of pain for TV service.