If you have never used TIVO, you are missing out.
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Ditto Drrdiamond, Tivo is life changing!!!
The best DirecTV receiver I have ever bought (been through at least 10 in my satellite TV life time including 3 HD models) is the current Hughes HR10-250. Its a HD DirecTV receiver with HD TIVO. Best price is from ebay. What is even better about this unit is that you can easily add a 2nd hard drive for virtually unlimited TIVO storage. Check out: http://www.weakknees.com/ .
I've tried many HD receivers, and the Sony SAT-HD300 is by far the best. Sadly, it's no longer available, and used units command a premium price. The HD DVR "TIVO" from DirecTV is slow and clunky and the reliability is questionable. I agree that the DVR function is wonderful! I wish that Sony would manufacture an HD DVR unit. However, I doubt it will happen, because is seems that DirecTV wants to control the manufacture and distribution of all the hardware that their system uses.
Too bad about Sony. I have a 9 year old Sony SAT-A1 that I bought new. It has an optical digital out, very rare for the time, but it doesnt do Dolby Digital. But it really has great sound quality, which is why I bought it. I really do want to upgrade to a Tivo unit, but have not been floored by the available options out there. Plus HD is in my future. Arrrgggghhhh.
Phil, If you have a high enough monthly plan with Directv, the Tivo service is free. However, you technically do not have to ever "use" tivo. But I guarantee that you will. At minimum, you will have it record your favorite few shows. But the other great thing is being able to pause and rewind live TV.
BTW, I also have the Sony HD-200 (1 model before the 300), which is an excellent unit and was almost $800 when new 4 years ago. It has faster menus and a much better channel layout guide than the HR10-250, but no TIVO or DVR service. If money is a concern and you really dont want TVIO, I am sure you could find one of these off ebay for cheap.
I did buy a 2nd hard drive from weekknees. They are a very reliable company and the kits they sell are 100% perfect. They also on their site talk about the DirecTV branded DVR service and discuss the pros and cons. Right now, DirecTV TIVO is the way to go but in the next 2 years, DirecTV will stop selling TIVO and only offer their inhouse DVR Service.
Hey guys I have the HD10-250 up and running.
1) the sound is quite a bit better than my old ($34) Phillips receiver, which is a given but pretty good anyway.
2) Tivo is cool, I am watching it right now...
3) The remote and interface is very clunky.
Does anyone know how to access more information when looking at program info? On other receivers you can go into another level of info such as directors, actors etc.
I now have to get my HD antenna purchased and hooked up.
Overall I am very happy with the purchase. Not so happy with Beachaudio who sold it to me as they have not given me the receipt yet and only want to send one by email. The up side is I bought it for $345 new shipped.
thanks to eveyone
I've used Sony HD-100 and 200 receivers with separate Sony TiVo units. The Sony TiVo units do not record HDTV. We found that given the choice of TiVo or HDTV, we opted for TiVo, and rarely used the HDTV feature of the receiver. Now we have the HR10-250. The picture quality and sound are superb -- just watch a Miami CSI production for dazzling HDTV and surround sound. The flexibility the HR10-250 to watch and record in either STV or HDTV is what we had hoped for. Our TiVo service with the HR10-250 is included by DirectTV; IIRC we paid $10 a month when we used the Sony TiVo units.
I do think setting up recording and manipulation of season passes were quicker with the Sonys than with HR10-250, but I keep something to read by my chair, so the time spent crunching doesn't bother me.
Bottom line: From what I've seen, the HR10-250 is the best DirectTV receiver, but understand we place great value on TiVo.
again thanks to everyone for your help.
I have another issue:
I bought the Hughes HR10-250 Tivo Direct TV receiver and can not make it go into the 720 resolution mode with my Panasonic Tao HD TV thru a component hookup. 480i and 480p and 1020 work fine and I can get HD OTA but can not get the 720.
I was hoping to get 720 and maybe it would be a bigger picture than the 1080 which is very small with the bars on top and sides (sometimes) when viewing the networks and yes I have played with the ratio button on my remote to change this.
Anyway, does anyone have experience or advice to help me get the 720 to work?
any info appreciated,