DirecTV's Junk DVR's

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BobMurdoch

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Sep 12, 2003
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OK then, except for Tivo's offerings, who DOES make decent DVR software?

Even Tivo doesn't impress me that much..... the guides are WAAAAAYYYYY too slow. The E* guides seem to be the only ones that can keep up with my hyper channel surfing habits.....
 

CPanther95

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Mar 25, 2004
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Why do we need an "other than Tivo" option? Stick with the best and don't look back, buy the damn company if you want control.
 

herdfan

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Nov 22, 2004
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BobMurdoch said:
OK then, except for Tivo's offerings, who DOES make decent DVR software?.
As a general rule, TiVo, Replay and Ultimate TV (Microsoft) make/made very reliable DVR's that would record what you wanted. They were all different and each had its quirks, but all in all they are all very good DVR's.
 

jdk

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Apr 17, 2004
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I've owned and extensively used all three (Tivo, Replay, UltimateTV), and would definitely rate the UltimateTV as the easiest to use and best quality DVR made so far. The Tivo is a close second, with the Replay ever closer to (maybe tying) the Tivo in 3rd. They were all good DVRs, though.

(sorry Tivo worshipers out there - there was a better, more stable DVR out there at one point)

But of course, Tivo is the only of the three that's still alive. So they're currently the best option available today. But by the fact that someone has shipped a good DVR out there, I hold hope that one of the big players - D*, E*, Motorola, Moxi, Microsoft - will do it again.

* Before someone chimes in with "the UTV never had HMO or Tivo2Go or...", I'm talking from a pure DVR standpoint. DVR function to DVR function, I much preferred the UTV to Tivo and Replay...
 
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hongcho

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May 25, 2004
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jdk, it would be interesting to list what you liked about UTV compared to, say, TiVo and then we can discuss about if other competitors could do the same or no. Also, it would be interesting to discuss why only TiVo survived out of three.

Hong.
 

KenSoren

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Aug 21, 2005
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Yucaipa, CA - 60 miles east of LA
joedekock said:
I was shocked when learned that as well. Even on the E* side its not much different. I was able to talk my grandparents into getting a DVR through E*... (I could not get them to go with D* after much persuasion). Anyway, I talked to them this weekend after they have had it for the better part of three months now, and they said they don't hardly use it! I guess a lot of the older baby boomers and people older than that don't see the use in it. And if they make up the majority of the population in the USA, then that most likely means they make up the majority of Satellite subscribers as well. Heck, I know a lot of people that are 45-60 years old that don't have a DVR or see the use for it.
I think its the best invention in years! I rank it higher than HD! :)
I just got to respond to this. I am one of the boomers pushing 60 - like next April - and I agree that the DVR is the best thing to happen to TV since sliced bread!
I have a dish 921 DVR that holds 24 hours HD or 180 hours SD and I almost filled it up with all the SD network programming that we couldn't watch at the start of the season. Both I and my wife, who is 55, use the recording feature almost nightly. She also records all her Dr. Phils and spends Saturday afternoon watching what she wants - even fast forwards through the commercials!.
I have a hard time believing that only 15% of all DVR owners use the feature, but then I am probably the exception:) .
 

jdk

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 17, 2004
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Oh no - don't get me started... I'll try to keep this short...

First off, I'll say that all three - Replay, UltimateTV and Tivo are all good PVRs... They all recorded the programs I wanted, when I wanted. You might call me a "basic PVR" user, as all I ever want my PVR to do is record the series and shows I watch - maybe with a few options for number to save or first run/repeat...

So all the "extra" features like Wishlists (Tivo), Web access (UTV), Remote viewing (Replay) are cool and all - but I found I never use them. My TV's there to watch, and my PVR makes my time in front of it more efficient and enjoyable. That's all I need it to do...


Anyway, in comparing them (or really any electronic gadget comparison), I have one basic thing I do:

- I try very hard to disregard the "Its different, so its bad" bias. Everyone, when comparing something familiar with something new and unfamiliar will have some bias towards what they're used to. I try to disregard this impulse as best I can.

Along those lines, one of my main criterias is "ease of use" - compared completely in a "new eyes" manner for each box. How many clicks to do something? How inherent or clear is it what I want to do? Could I get my mother to use this easily?

The UTV wins in a several areas. The big one - speed and UI access. Never once did I have a "please wait" sign appear - much less force me to wait _minutes_ for me to gain access to my box, like the Tivo does.

Many things were also easier and more logical to do. Say you wanted to record a show that night... You'd find it in the guide (like you'd do before you owned a PVR), and hit the record button. "Bing" it was going to be recorded, and a red dot would appear immediately. What about recording the series? Hit record again, and "bing" three red dots appear next to it, meaning the series is being recorded...

This is something simple and logical to grasp - something I could show my mom and she'd pick up immediately. Sure, the Tivo isn't much harder to set up a recording, but it requires navigation through a separate page, and then through the dreaded "please wait".

What else was big... oh automatic soft padding.. The UTV would automatically record two minutes before and two minutes after the hour, if a tuner was available. This was great, as that it caught 90% of the network timing problems that Tivo just leaves you with a cut-off end of program. "But Tivo has forced padding", you might say (UTV had it too)... I tried it on the Tivo, but then I had conflicts with other programs in the next hour that I had to clear up, erase other programs that weren't as important... Remember, my PVR is supposed to make my TV watching more efficient - not take more time. I don't have time to bother with that...

Finally - some minor but nice improvements the UTV had:
300X Fast forward. A simple way to get to a part of the program. Tivo has its "jump to click" feature, but that requires a finding a diffferent button on the remote, and then you still end up fast forwarding (slowly) to where you want to really be. Again - my ease of use criteria goes to UTV with its one button, self-evident solution.

Picture in guide (and menu). I know its anathema to "Real PVR users" to think you might actually want to peruse the guide while watching TV, but I found it very nice to have the program still playing in the corner, when, from time to time, I might want to check out the guide or play around in the menus (to check my conflicts, for example)

Anway, I've already typed too much. But I do want to end with a clear statement: I like my Tivo very much. As I started this message: Its a good PVR. I just believe the UTV was a better PVR overall. I don't want to revive the old vitriolic arguments of "Tivo vs UTV" of Y2K. Its really a moot point anyway, as UTVs only live in a handful of households that fortunately still have working tuners.
 
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shugo77

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jdk said:
I've owned and extensively used all three (Tivo, Replay, UltimateTV), and would definitely rate the UltimateTV as the easiest to use and best quality DVR made so far. The Tivo is a close second, with the Replay ever closer to (maybe tying) the Tivo in 3rd. They were all good DVRs, though.
(sorry Tivo worshipers out there - there was a better, more stable DVR out there at one point)
But of course, Tivo is the only of the three that's still alive.

HUH? I am pretty sure Replay is still alive.
They are changing, but still alive and supporting existing customers as well as developing new products for PCs
 
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