Should I buy a HD DirectTivo?

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Should I buy a HD DirectTivo?

The price keeps dropping on them and I keep putting off buying one. I own two "regular" DirectTivos and I love them, and I've been itching for an HD Tivo. So here's my question: I know people who are getting DVRs from DirecTV now and they're not Tivo anymore. They hate them. Are the HD DirecTV DVRs Tivo or something else and inferior? And if they are Tivo, are they guaranteed to stay that way for long? I ask because the main reason I'm holding off is waiting for local HD channel availability through DirecTV, which I'm told is Real Soon Now for Chicago.

Anyone have the scoop?

right NOW the HD DVR from DTV

right NOW the HD DVR from DTV is a TiVo. Sometime in the next year or so, DTV will be converting ALL of their HD content to Mpeg4 compression. This means your HDTivo will need to be replaced to view HD content. Supposedly there is a replacement plan in place for folks who own the HDTivo but it will be based on the same crummy interface the new inferior (IMHO) DTV R-15.

Yeah, I forgot about that. I

Yeah, I forgot about that. I seem to recall hearing that when HD local channels become available in my area, they would be in MPEG-4, so I'd need the new unit then anyway. So it seems that I can't win...

Maybe I'm missing something..

Maybe I'm missing something... Its one thing for DirecTV to beginning offering all content in MPEG4 as they move forward. I can see why this would happen, and I can understand why that might force adoption of new hardware so that new channels (eg local channels only delivered in MPEG4) can be received. But what I can't see is a time that existing content, offered in MPEG2, will NOT be offered. Its more than just DVR's - its every receiver out there; that's a lot of set-top boxes to swap! If DirecTV is really planning on shutting of MPEG2, I would think that they would give people several years' notice on that...

The other thing that I can't get my mind around is what "local" stations (ie MPEG4 stations) would really have any content in HD that would be compelling enough to drive me to get an HD MPEG4 DVR and give up all that TiVo goodness...

Its just been pointed out to

Its just been pointed out to me by a co-worker that I am missing something. Because I am eligible for HDTV network "distant feeds" (In my case, East Coast Markets) I truly have no need for local HD channels because my networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX) all come from the East Coast market. I used to get West Coast, as well - but they were recently taken away.

Apparently, the plan for DirecTV is to bring all local markets up on HD (MPEG4) and eventually take away HD distant feeds. That will, in a sense, "force" many people to consider MPEG4 DVR's as a way to get HD locals. But in another sense, if you have an HR10-250, you are not really being forced - you can use your OTA functionality in combination with relatively inexpensive VHF antenna to receive uncompressed HD locals, anyway.

So, I'm sticking with my HR10-250 for as long as I can...

That's what I was going to

That's what I was going to say, Lou - right now I'd be forced to use OTA to get locals - which I can do - I have an article about it here. But it's annoying, to be honest. I'd rather just have the single solution, though. So yeah, to get the major networks via DirecTV, I guess I'll see what happens when they show up in Mpeg4 and see what everyone says...

Ross Johnson said:That's what

Ross Johnson said:

That's what I was going to say, Lou - right now I'd be forced to use OTA to get locals - which I can do - I have an article about it here. But it's annoying, to be honest. I'd rather just have the single solution, though. So yeah, to get the major networks via DirecTV, I guess I'll see what happens when they show up in Mpeg4 and see what everyone says...



I agree; I would rather get all the channels from one source, rather than string up another antenna.

What I can tell you for sure is that the MPEG4 DVR's from DIRECTV really stink compared to the TiVo counterparts. You can't put larger drives in them, and you definitely can't connect them to your home network through the USB adapter, which means you also can't install a web server, archive video and other neat things) so as a result, if I had to choose between getting MPEG4 locals by getting a new DVR vs using an analog antenna, I would still heavily lobby for the latter if you have any interest in doing the 'cool stuff.'

I'm certainly enjoying my

I'm certainly enjoying my HR10-250 right now. I am totally on the fence though about how to move foward. I am heavily invested in DirecTV (3 DirecTV TiVos) right now, and there are no real satesfactory HD cable alternatives (IE CableCard TiVo) I'm happy with what I have.

I would like some of the features of the standalone TiVos, but it certainly isn't worth buying a standalone TiVo in my DirecTv system.

It will be interesting to see how the DirecTV PVRs come along, and what TiVo will do to compete in the HD marketplace. I'm curious to see how the MPEG-4 upgrade shakes out.

Lou Jacob (PTVupgrade) said:

Lou Jacob (PTVupgrade) said:
Its just been pointed out to me by a co-worker that I am missing
something. Because I am eligible for HDTV network "distant feeds" (In
my case, East Coast Markets) I truly have no need for local HD channels
because my networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX) all come from the East Coast
market. I used to get West Coast, as well - but they were recently
taken away.
Apparently, the plan for DirecTV is to bring all local markets up on HD
(MPEG4) and eventually take away HD distant feeds. That will, in a
sense, "force" many people to consider MPEG4 DVR's as a way to get HD
locals. But in another sense, if you have an HR10-250, you are not
really being forced - you can use your OTA functionality in combination
with relatively inexpensive VHF antenna to receive uncompressed HD
locals, anyway.
So, I'm sticking with my HR10-250 for as long as I can...

How
do you go about getting distant feeds? When I bought my HR10-250, the
CSR said there's no way to get networks programming until the mpeg-4
dvr comes out "next month" (this was back in Feb.). I get great OTA
with my UHF, but so far CBS (VHF) has eluded me out in Aurora.
  

Things have changed a bit

Things have changed a bit because of the local MPEG4's out now, but being around Chicago, you call them up and ask for the dept that handles the HD distant feeds.  They'll submit the waivers for you for the NY HD locals.  Takes about a week, at least that's how long it took for mine back in Oct.  It shouldn't be too much of a challenge as being on 3-1, it's a known issue with getting that channel so at the very least you should be able to get CBS.