Dec 20 2007

Two DVR Family

Published by at 10:00 pm under Fall and Winter 2007

Dayna woke us at 8 am to tell us Chris had been in an accident in McKinney. He was not hurt but the car was totaled. We have been driving the pickup and he was driving their old Cavalier which they were saving for Deidra. A lady in an SUV pulled out in front of him on a major highway with a 60 mph speed limit. He could not stop and broadsided her at about 40 mph. She was not hurt either since his car basically dove beneath her SUV. Air bags and seat belts work.

Tuesday I ordered an upgrade to a high definition DVR from DirecTV. I managed to get it for $99 instead of the $299 regular price by talking to their customer retention department and threatening to change over to Dish. The installer was scheduled for today and I have spent the past two days getting ready. I decided to run all new cables since I need two inputs for the Hughes Tivo DVR which we will move to the bedroom and two cables for the new DirecTV high-def DVR. This will also make it much easier to use the rooftop antenna and cable TV in RV parks when we are only stopping overnight and do not want to set up the dish.

So, this morning I moved the Hughes Tivo from the living room to the bedroom. I was able to get rid of a lot of extra cables and it works fine. The Tivo has to sit on its side, but that should not be a problem since the only thing in it that moves is a disk drive which does not care which way is up.

The installer arrived about 10:30 and we set about installing the equipment. He had never done an RV before and basically did what I told him. He installed the dish on the mount I made and it worked great. In fact, I think I can reduce its size a little.

Then he made me a couple 50’ cables to do the hookups, and we hooked up the new DVR. It did not work. It did not even power up properly. So he brought out another unit and we set it up. It did not work on one line and after some investigating we discovered that one of the 10 foot cables I had purchased from WalMart was defective. I could see where it was shorted out because the end had not been put on properly. He replaced the end and everything worked.

I had to call DirecTV to get the network Distant Network Service hi-def channels (east and west coast network feeds) turned on, but otherwise it was all there. I do not think this DVR is as user friendly as the Tivo because it does not record things based on likes and dislikes. You have to set up searches with keywords or create season passes.

But, and it is a big but, the hi-def is incredible! I spent the rest of the day setting up my favorite channels, season passes and wish lists and trying to get familiar with it and the new remote. I think I have it all set, but only time will tell.

Dianna on the other hand is not real happy with having a DVR of her own. I thought she would be thrilled. She misses the fact that her old RCA receiver told her the original broadcast date of any rerun. The Tivo DVR only tells her the year it was first broadcast. That is her biggest complaint! I hope she gets used to it. She thinks she will continue to watch most TV live and only watch Tivo’ed stuff that was recorded when she was not home or when more than one thing was being broadcast that she wanted to watch. I bet she will soon discover the joy of not watching commercials. We’ll see.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Two DVR Family”

  1. Donon 20 Dec 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Which model are they using now? The website looks like it’s the same one I have. I also like the Tivo interface better but you get used to it.

  2. Richardon 21 Dec 2007 at 7:00 am

    The first one he tried was an HR20. The one that worked is an HR21-700.

  3. Momon 21 Dec 2007 at 9:11 am

    I seldom watch live TV any more, because the darned Tivo is always recording something, but I usually find that it does a better job of selecting programs than I would.

  4. Darylon 21 Dec 2007 at 2:51 pm

    The Dish DVR is definitely not as good as the Tivo in terms of user interface and features. However, it not only can record three programs at the same time, it will also feed two televisions at the same time with different recorded programs. The latest HD Tivo has two tuners, but only one output.

    So all in all I’ll stick with the Dish for now, unless and until Tivo catches up.

    Oh, and the Dish DVR is only $5/month, while the Tivo was $10 or $12 the last I heard.

  5. Donnaon 21 Dec 2007 at 8:35 pm

    So sorry to hear about Chris. I’m really glad he’s okay. Didn’t he just have another accident in the last couple years that wasn’t his fault?

    You can see the original air date of any show (at least network shows) on a Tivo. It’s in the info page of the show. Either pick “Now Showing”, select the show, and hit the “info” button on the remote (scroll down a couple pages and it will tell you the original air date), or search for and find programs, and on the screen where you can select record or view upcoming episodes, again click on “info” and you’ll find the original air date. I use it quite a bit.

    Some day I’ll get into the HD era, but for now I don’t have the moolah for it. I’m still saving for my new car, then I’ll start saving for an HDTV. It’ll be a few years.

  6. Richardon 22 Dec 2007 at 8:58 am

    Donna, yes, he was hit by a hit and run driver on the freeway when they first moved here. There was only a little damage that time. I sure wish the DirecTivo DVR worked the same as a regular Tivo, but like I said, ours only shows the original broadcast year instead of the date. The old RCA receiver worked like you are describing and it was not even a Tivo. Wonder why Hughes left it out of the DVR?

  7. Diannaon 22 Dec 2007 at 9:05 am

    The first night Chris didn’t have any complaints but they caught up with him yesterday. The front end was pushed into the car so far the dash came forward & hit his left knee hard, one of his thumbs was wrenched and he has general aches and pains. Deidra is in shock that her car is gone. It just doesn’t seem fair (and I know life isn’t fair) that they will now have to have another car payment when their finances were finally getting in good shape.

  8. Darylon 22 Dec 2007 at 11:10 am

    Did insurance cover the loss?

  9. Richardon 22 Dec 2007 at 11:38 am

    Yes. Both he and the woman at fault are insured. The problem is that they will only get what the car was worth. That value is not going to be enough to purchase another car they would want to own. They purchased the Cavalier new and knew how it had been maintained. The rental car they now have, as well as any medical expenses will also be covered. What will not be covered, without getting an attorney (yuck!) involved, is all the time, hassle, pain, etc. that always results from these events.

  10. Donnaon 22 Dec 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I thought the Tivo software was downloaded from Tivo, not dependent on the brand. Hmmm, well, sorry my suggestion wasn’t helpful.

  11. Bettyon 22 Dec 2007 at 3:07 pm

    I hope Chris feels better soon. Sorry to hear about the car.

    Good thing he didn’t leave you with the HR20. That one will not adapt/upgrade to the new DirecTV “B Band”. That is what they will use to send their own HiDef signal starting next year. They said if I do not upgrade my HR20, I would eventually not get HiDef.

    I asked DirecTV why they didn’t continue to have Tivo. One very honest person told me it was because they wanted all the Tivo customers and their money.

  12. Donon 22 Dec 2007 at 4:15 pm

    Betty was mistaken. I have the HR20-700 and it works fine with the B Band thingys. She has I an HR-10 250 which will not work.

  13. Richardon 22 Dec 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Don, that was my understanding too, so thanks for confirming it. I believe the HR21 is a cheaper version of the HR20. It is essentially the same except it does not support an off air antenna.

  14. Donon 22 Dec 2007 at 8:02 pm

    I have the ability to use the off air antenna but with all the local channels available over the sat there’s really no need for it.

  15. Heatheron 25 Dec 2007 at 9:16 am

    Merry Christmas!!

  16. Bettyon 25 Dec 2007 at 10:13 am

    I wish you were able to be in AZ when we go, but I guess we will see you when you come back this way. Happy and Merry Christmas.