Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Yonkers, NY
HR10-250 Hands on Demo @ Value Electronics!
What a pleasant afternoon I had.....
Robert and his staff were so accommodating and gracious to allow me to play with the HR10-250 and infuse the community here with more information about this new gadget we are soon to have in our homes.
Doug has been a godsend and has created some pages to view the pictures (and video clips!). You can get to it here:
Now for the good stuff...... Using the HR10-250!
- Seems nice and solid, just like existing Series 2 DirecTivo's
"Tivo" Functionality - 30 min. buffer and controlling programs:
- I was VERY happy to see that the HR10-250 handled pausing, rewinding and fast forwarding HD material just as well & smoothly as existing SD Tivo's
- Same wonderful Tivo interface. With the exception of some new menu options, the rest is the same. No learning curve to master!
- Very nice speed navigating the menus - even when unit is recording 2 shows (1 SD and 1 HD in my testing). As fast/faster than my series 1 DirecTivo.
- Guide was a little sluggish - but was only a couple of hours old. I'm optimistic that it will be at least as fast as existing DirecTivos
- Guide NOT optimized for HD or widescreen... looks/feels the same as existing Tivo's
- Guide nicely integrates the OTA channels and info
Dual Tuner Functionality:
Dual recording capability in this unit is directly tied to how many satellite inputs you are using -- or at least you have "set up" in the guided setup process. Even though you have an OTA antenna feed plugged in which is split internally into 2 feeds.
+ When specifying 1 satellite input in guided setup along with an OTA input:
You can only record 1 channel at a time. If you attempt to switch to another SAT or OTA channel you are prompted to either abort the recording and change channels, or continue watching & recording the current channel. This seems to indicate that "code" in the HR10-250 that controls the dual SAT recording capability also governs the OTA recording functionaly as well.
+ When specifying 2 satellite inputs (with only 1 SAT cable actually plugged in) in guided setup along with an OTA input:
Guided setup will tell you it is having problems with the second SAT input. But if you select "Ignore and fix later" you can finish the guided setup with only 1 SAT cable plugged in. Interestingly, this DOES ALTER your ability in terms of recording. You will get a message at the bottom of the screen indicating a problem exists with the SAT 2 input - but I was able to get it to go away by switching to an OTA channel and the going back to a SAT channel.
In this scenario, you CAN record 2 things at once.....
- Record 2 OTA channels at the same time
- Record 1 OTA and 1 SAT channels at the same time
* You CANNOT watch a second OTA channel (or SAT for that matter) even though you would think you could since the OTA input is split in 2 internally. You CAN watch a previously recorded program however. This is exatly how it works with existing DirecTivo's
+ When specifying 2 satellite inputs (with 2 SAT cables plugged in) in guided setup along with an OTA input:
Unit works just as above, but you can also record 2 SAT channels at the same time.
I was generally pleased with the quality of the upconverted SD material by the HR10-250.... although I was quite close to the 60" plasma screen used for the demo. Is it better than you're TV? That is a personal decision you must make. I definately think it looked better than my SD Tivo's picture upconverted by my 60" Sony Grand Wega II - I will be a happy camper.
HD Downconversion to S-Video:
In this scenario, the TV then took a 480i image and upconverted it. HD material looked pretty decent -- widescreen and all -- like FOX OTA Digital Widescreen. SD content output as 480i was passable -- but no where near as good as SD upconverted by the Tivo and output as a digital signal via the HDMI output. This is also subjective and could be a factor of the Zenith's built-in scaler.
I would suspect most people will watch SD and HD over the HDMI or Component outputs scaled up to the native rate of their display... I know this is what I will be doing.
*** UPDATE 4-17-04 ***
30 Second Skip --- CONFIRMED working
Rain Fade Test:
I unplugged both SAT cables and confirmed that I was able to switch back and forth (dual-tuner) between 2 over-the-air digital channels.... the buffers for each tuner were operational (independant). Didn't test recording but I'm sure 2 can be recorded.
The message about the SAT signal being lost stayed on for a little while -- but after changing OTA channels, it eventually went away.
Post your questions and items for me to cover when I demo the HR10-250 at Roberts store tomorrow, April 14. I hope to get there about 11:30 am and will bring my laptop and digital camera with me.
Items to cover for demo:
- I'd like to see a screen shot of a Season Pass being setup. Specifically I'd like see a show that exists both OTA and on DTV's locals. Just kind of curious how easy it is to distinguish.
- OTA antenna hooked up or not. If he does can you test the signal strength?
- Take photos of inside of unit (if possible) especially around HD area (with ruler) for possible placement of second HD (bring spare HD for measurement)
- Please look for any HDTV-specific recording functionality. Is HDTV-specific support integrated into Wishlists or Season passes? Can you choose to record only HDTV versions of content?
- Is the program guide still slow on the HDTV DirecTivo?
- How responsive is the unit when recording two HD sources and viewing a third? Slow-motion viewing the third?
- How about pictures of the System Information screen complete with version numbers.
- Tune to an OTA channel. Simulate rain fade (disconnect the satellite inputs). Is the OTA signal still viewable without any problem such as overlayed error messages, etc.? Can you change channels to other OTA channels? Is the unit in any way dysfunctional for OTA use when no satellite signal exists?
- some evaluation of picture quality on SD material (480i) scaled to HD (1080i) by the HD TiVo
- Do the HD and SD versions of the same program have the same episode ID? I assume they do but would like confirmation
Last edited by aaron.s on 04-18-2004 at 01:14 AM
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