Posts tagged: DirecTV

DirecTV: HD Tivo vs Plus HD DVR

author | June 6, 2008

Well, I’ve finally given up the HD Tivo integrated DirecTV receiver (HR10-250) to move on to DirecTV’s ‘Plus HD DVR’ receiver (HR21-700) so I can get all those HD channels they’ve been bragging about.  Why did I have to give up the Tivo to get them?  Well, two reasons:

  1. The new HD channels are MPEG4 encoded.  The Tivo-based receiver supports MPEG2 only and it can’t be upgraded to support the MPEG4 compression.
  2. DirecTV and Tivo aren’t really friends anymore.  I wish they were, because I’m a fan of the Tivo interface – and the rest of the family sure likes it too.  But, waiting for them to kiss and make up could take… well, long enough that television technology will most likely change a few more times at least!

So to get the latest technology and the latest HD channels from DirecTV, I have had to say goodbye to Tivo.  Did I want to?  Nope.  But here’s to making the best of the situation.  So now that I’ve switched and been up and running on the new box for a week, how does the DirecTV DVR compare to the Tivo-based service?  Well, here’s my take:

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DirecTV Tuner for Windows Media Center coming soon?

author | April 17, 2008

So this is old news – but hey, it may be great news, so why not bring it up.

If you have yet to be initiated to the Windows Media Center experience, then you’re missing out.  Why?  Well, for TV programming it’s a lot like Tivo – but with more features overall.  Since there’s a whole friggin’ computer behind it, it’s capable of all sorts of things (playing DVD, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DivX video, games, etc.).

“Yeah” you say, “but what about my DirecTV?”.  Ah hah – well, there’s the catch.  Apparently there’s no easy way to get anything but ATSC or NTSC TV programming (Over the Air broadcast digital or analog TV).  Of course you can try and get encrypted digital cable going – but for that you have to buy a whole new PC just so it’s got a special chip to allow the playback.  And you can’t build your own for that – those special motherboards are only available to system builders.  Grrrr…

But on the horizon, life just may get a bit better…

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