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>>> What should a new customer do <<<

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randell is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 01:06 AM
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randell
New Member

Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6

What should a new customer do

Right now I have an old school tivo with my comcast cable. But I want to switch to directivo. Trouble is there are so many confusing offers and devices out there. I looked at the FAQ and tried to find a thread with good info, but the search wasn't very fruitful...
So here is the situation.
I have one tv. I want to get a series 2 tivo, with a good sized drive, that can record two channels at a time. It should have at least the 80 GB hard drive, maybe the bigger one. Seems simple. But there are lots of confusing things...
Like driect tv won't sell me a good enough dtivo. So i have to get it form like circuit city or best buy. But if I get it form them, I have to pay for the dish to get the free install. If I get the free install, and dish from direct tv. I think I have to hook up their reciever for at least a month. Though I can do that, I am not sure that meets the requirements of their contract for free install. And the real problem, I can't seem to find out what software is on most of the dtivo's I see advertised. They don't say, and when I asked the sales guy at best buy who had claimed to have one, it became obvious he had lied about having one, cause he didn't even understand what I was talking about.

By the way, I love me Tivo, but the IR blasting is jsut too inconsistent, and the drive is too small, and I want to be able to record two things at once...

Also, the owner of the place I rent, wants me to mount the dish on a fence... It's sturdy and all, but not all that wide. Do you think they can do it...

Thanks all for your help.

Randell

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gsslug is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 01:42 AM
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gsslug
Member

Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 64

Re: What should a new customer do

quote:
Originally posted by randell
I have one tv. I want to get a series 2 tivo, with a good sized drive, that can record two channels at a time. It should have at least the 80 GB hard drive, maybe the bigger one. Seems simple. But there are lots of confusing things...
Like driect tv won't sell me a good enough dtivo. So i have to get it form like circuit city or best buy. But if I get it form them, I have to pay for the dish to get the free install.


You may have to pay more to get a unit with a larger hard drive. Watch your local newspaper for ads. I see them all the time but I don't pay attention to the details because I'm not in the market. I have seen that you can get a complete setup w/DTivo for as little as $49 but it most likely has only a 40GB dirve. There are also several online vendors that will set you up. So do some Googling. Like with most things we buy as soon as we get it home we see it advertised for a better price somewhere else. Places like Good Guys have a 30 day price guarantee so if you get it from them or some other dealer that offers the 30 day price guarantee you should be OK. I paid $199 for mine so the bottom line is you have to look for the best deal at the time and jump in. Otherwise you'll never get one.
quote:
If I get the free install, and dish from direct tv. I think I have to hook up their reciever for at least a month. Though I can do that, I am not sure that meets the requirements of their contract for free install.

I had to sign up for a year which I think is standard. However you only have to use the service. DTV doesn't care what receiver you are using so hooking up a DTivo satisfies their requirements.
quote:
And the real problem, I can't seem to find out what software is on most of the dtivo's I see advertised. They don't say, and when I asked the sales guy at best buy who had claimed to have one, it became obvious he had lied about having one, cause he didn't even understand what I was talking about.

As far as software goes the software that comes on the unit may not be the latest but it will be updated automatically once you have it hooked up to a phone line. So don't worry about what software is on it.

quote:
By the way, I love me Tivo, but the IR blasting is jsut too inconsistent, and the drive is too small, and I want to be able to record two things at once...

Well getting a DTivo with a large hard drive will solve your problems.
quote:
Also, the owner of the place I rent, wants me to mount the dish on a fence... It's sturdy and all, but not all that wide. Do you think they can do it...

Just remember that if the fence rocks in the wind you may not get a good signal on windy days. It might be worth it to invest in a steel pole and sink it in concrete. You can always dig it up and take it with you when you leave.

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bodosom is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 02:14 AM
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bodosom
Just another tivotee

Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Niagara frontier
Posts: 19

I got a DTivo on-line for $39. After shipping etc. it wound up being about $75 and included installation. It was slightly cheaper in my case because I got the 18" for free (it's necessary to get my locals) so I didn't have to buy a switch to support the dual tuners. You need to read the installation offer carefully. I understand quite a few folks have gotten unpleasant surprises after failing to read the fine print. At the very least they need to be willing to pull both cables to the DTivo.

I've seen dishes installed in a sorts of places. You just want to be sure the platform is stable under wind load (which can be noticeable) and that it's out of harms way (you don't want someone to be able to stand in front of the dish).

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Gomer Pyle is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 04:26 AM
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Gomer Pyle
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Registered: Feb 2001
Location: indianapolis
Posts: 393

Solidsignal has an awesome deal going on right now. Check it out here. The larger drive TiVo's are a lot more than the 40 hr, though. Do you have any computer experience? Changing out the original drive for a 160 GB (that you can get for ~$80) is a 30 minute job...

They include a dish for $20, a multiswitch if you need it for free, and free installation.

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randell is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 08:03 AM
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randell
New Member

Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6

hmm, I looked into the cheaper directtv tivo things... They are really cheap, and have very small hard drives. Also, someone told me they were series 1. I am looking for a bigger hard drive, and series 2.
So far the only thing I have found that I like is the smasung sirs4120R. It is $300 at circuit city. That is a very big difference from the cheap ones I see all over the place with small hard drives. So is the only difference the bigger hard drive and the series 1 vs series 2?

Also, I keep hearing people talking about some kind of switch... What si the switch for?

Randell

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Thespis is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 10:44 AM
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Thespis
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Registered: Apr 2003
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Posts: 257

Any DirecTivo you can buy retail currently is a series 2. Series 1's are hard to come by and desired for their hackability. (Is that a word?)
The switch everyone is talking about is a multiswitch. It's used when you want to use a multi-satellite dish or multiple receivers on one dish.

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beanpoppa is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 06:42 PM
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beanpoppa
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 99

Don't worry about the size of the drive in the DTivo. The 40hr DTivo will hold about 30-40hours of video at the best (and only) quality. Unlike a Stand Alone (old school) 40 hour Tivo, which only holds about 15 hours of video at best quality, the DTivo's record the satellite feed directly, which is compressed by high-end equipment on DTV's end. I upgraded my first DTivo to 120 hours right after I got it, but didn't bother with the other 2 because 40 hours is enough. They hold more shows than my old SA 80 hour Tivo did.

If you do decide that you want more space, weeknees has some nice drop-in upgrade options that are still cheaper than buying a bigger drive DTivo. If you can turn a screwdriver, you can upgrade your Tivo. If you are more adventurous, you could buy your own HD and do it yourself to save even more.

All DTivo's available now are Series 2 hardware. However, DTV has not enabled any of the Series 2 features (USB ports, HMO, folders, etc) so they are functionally the same as Series 1's. That may change in the future, but is looking less and less likely as time goes on.

__________________
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-- Samsung SIR-4040R
-- ReplayTV 5040 w/lifetime

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gsslug is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 08:37 PM
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gsslug
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Registered: Jan 2003
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 64

quote:
Originally posted by beanpoppa
However, DTV has not enabled any of the Series 2 features (USB ports, HMO, folders, etc) so they are functionally the same as Series 1's. That may change in the future, but is looking less and less likely as time goes on.


I don't know about that. Competition with Dish and cable and the fact that everyday more and more people are abandonding their land lines in favor of cell phones will put pressure on DTV to have an alternative to landline phone hookup.

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randell is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 09:01 PM
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randell
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6

So even the dtivo boxes sold by hughes and samsung, don't have the USB's enabled... I would have thought that at least the usb would be independent of dtv. Why does dtv get to make the call on that, how are they even invovled...

Randell

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Gomer Pyle is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 09:56 PM
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Gomer Pyle
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Registered: Feb 2001
Location: indianapolis
Posts: 393

quote:
Originally posted by randell
So far the only thing I have found that I like is the smasung sirs4120R. It is $300 at circuit city.


Did you even bother to look at my post above? They have your SIRS4120R for $204. Also, a multiswitch is included if you need one, and the dish is $19.99.

The boxes only work for DirecTV, and they dictate the functionality. If it were up to TiVo, the USB ports would be active, and HMO would work on DTV boxes - but it is not up to them.

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randell is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 10:45 PM
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randell
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Registered: Jun 2004
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Sorry, yeah I did look at your post. I was still trying to figure out what the major difference between the expensive and the inexpensive tivo's is. I was just quoting a price I remembered off the top of my head at the time. Even at ~$200, that is at least $100 or $150 more then what is seen in lots of places. If that extra money is only for a bigger hard drive, that would be crazy. But in this world we live in, I guess it is possible.
I was looking forward to the usb for the tivo connection, and the folders. The HMO I could live without. but now with what I am hearing, I may have to rethink dtv as my provider.
They also, want me to pay $100 to get a whole season pass so I can watch the one or two football games my college (Purdue) plays that end up on pay per view. Comcast lets me buy those one or two games by themsleves, for like $12 a pop. That is a big difference. It is starting to sound like dtv is not really all that concerned about it's customers. Which was also the impression I got when I called them for info. Rather disturbing.

Randell

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jcd0312 is offline Old Post 06-28-2004 11:10 PM
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jcd0312
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 131

quote:
Originally posted by randell
If that extra money is only for a bigger hard drive, that would be crazy. But in this world we live in, I guess it is possible.

If you want the bigger HD, you're going to have to pay for it. You could always do what was suggested above and get the 35 hour unit and upgrade the HD yourself. It's really pretty easy.
quote:
They also, want me to pay $100 to get a whole season pass so I can watch the one or two football games my college (Purdue) plays that end up on pay per view. Comcast lets me buy those one or two games by themsleves, for like $12 a pop.

I don't think that's correct. I assume you're talking about ESPN Gameplan? I'm pretty sure that you can buy single Saturdays a-la-carte without havig to buy the whole season just like you can with your comcast.

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randell is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 12:16 AM
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randell
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Northern California
Posts: 6

If espn gameplan could be a la carte, that would really help. The dtv people I talked to on the phone, basically didn't know, but assumed that it wasn't. Anyone out there know for sure?

and yeah, I am thinking of getting the cheap one and upgrading... I had assumed that there was some differences other then disk space between the cheap and the more expensive dtivos.

Randell

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paulfife is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 01:17 AM
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paulfife
Senior Member

Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 362

quote:
Originally posted by randell
and yeah, I am thinking of getting the cheap one and upgrading... I had assumed that there was some differences other then disk space between the cheap and the more expensive dtivos.


Nope, no difference at all, other than the bigger drive.

Although as others have said the DirecTiVos are much more efficient with disk space than the SAs. I'm amazed that I haven't really seen much need to upgrade my 40Gig drive yet.

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jcd0312 is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 02:36 AM
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jcd0312
Member

Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 131

quote:
Originally posted by randell
If espn gameplan could be a la carte, that would really help.

I'm about 99.9% sure. I rarely order it since my team is usually on without it if they are at all and I usually go to a bar to watch the game anyway. I believe it was $14.99 per day last year, but we're too far out from the season yet so there's nothing specific posted on their webite (DTV).

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Gomer Pyle is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 04:04 AM
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Gomer Pyle
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Registered: Feb 2001
Location: indianapolis
Posts: 393

quote:
Originally posted by paulfife
Nope, no difference at all, other than the bigger drive.



Even the different brands have the same guts, just different boxes. All are made in the same plant, side by side. There are basically three units: Stand Alone, DTiVo, and HDTiVo. They just come in different marketing flavors (excluding Series 1 units, which you can't get new any more).

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randell is offline Old Post 06-29-2004 08:55 PM
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randell
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Okay, I finally got someone at directv who knew the gameplan story. I just sent them an e-mail, and they responded. They said in the past, a-la-carte wasn't offered, but that last year it was. So that is finally answered... I had sent them an e-mail before I had gottena ny responses here...

Now on to some final details. The dish... If I understand it right, the triple lnb dish isn't needed unless you want HD channels. Most places will give me the single lnb dish for free, and charge about $20 for the triple. Since I don't have an HD tv, and don't intend to get an HD tivo, as far as I can tell, I only need the single lnb dish. But how many outputs does that dish have... since the Tivo needs two...

Thanks for all the help so far... I got further here in a few days then I did in all the other sources I tried for the past month. I think I am almost ready to make the order... Which is very exciting. I can't wait to tape two shows at once...

Randell

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cktb2793 is offline Old Post 06-30-2004 08:37 AM
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cktb2793
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Registered: Jun 2004
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quote:
Originally posted by randell
hmm, I looked into the cheaper directtv tivo things... They are really cheap, and have very small hard drives. Also, someone told me they were series 1. I am looking for a bigger hard drive, and series 2.
So far the only thing I have found that I like is the smasung sirs4120R. It is $300 at circuit city. That is a very big difference from the cheap ones I see all over the place with small hard drives. So is the only difference the bigger hard drive and the series 1 vs series 2?

Also, I keep hearing people talking about some kind of switch... What si the switch for?

Randell



I just got 2 of the 100 hour Samsung's today at my local Sound Advice (Tweeters) for $199 each, a third receiver free, and free installation by installers that actually work directly for Sound Advice.

Last edited by cktb2793 on 06-30-2004 at 08:48 AM

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cktb2793 is offline Old Post 06-30-2004 08:38 AM
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cktb2793
Member

Registered: Jun 2004
Location:
Posts: 134

quote:
Originally posted by Gomer Pyle
Solidsignal has an awesome deal going on right now. Check it out here. The larger drive TiVo's are a lot more than the 40 hr, though. Do you have any computer experience? Changing out the original drive for a 160 GB (that you can get for ~$80) is a 30 minute job...

They include a dish for $20, a multiswitch if you need it for free, and free installation.



Stay away from solidsignal.com find out why in this thread:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-v...threadid=182419

and this one:

http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-v...threadid=146280

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innocentfreak is offline Old Post 06-30-2004 08:45 AM
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innocentfreak
Senior Member

Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Tampa, FL, USA
Posts: 313

As I also posted in one of those threads I had a similar experience with valueelectronics.com so it appears not to be just solid signal. I am not sure but right now it seems a lot of people are dropping the ball. I do have an open order with solidsignal and hopefully everything will go smoothly.

__________________
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