Anyone using DirectTV's whole home DVR service?

Discussion in 'Audio/Video & Home Theater' started by lykaon78, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. lykaon78

    lykaon78 Golden Member

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    I've got Dish Network but they aren't offering local HDs in my area. So I'm looking to switch.
    Any reviews? In the past when I've looked at DirectTV the upfront fees for 2 HD DVRs and 2 SD TVs wasn't worth it. Now the whol home DVR thing has me interested.

    Any reviews?

    If the show is recorded in HD is it replayed in HD (assuming an HD tuner is connected)?

    If you hook up more than one DVR can you record 4 shows at once?
     
  2. TastesLikeChicken

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    A show recorded in HD is played back in HD. There's a slight lag, though I haven't tried it since the firmware update yesterday. However, everything else is working much better since the latest update so I would assume WH-DVR is better too (using an HR21-700 as the DVR). The new update (0x3de) finally brings some decent performance to the HR21 series. Even TV Apps is finally working properly.

    If you have two DVRs you can record 4 shows at once, and each connected TV can watch its own recorded show at the same time.

    btw. If you already have hard-wired ethernet in your house you don't need to have DirecTV setup WH-DVR (unless those costs are included in your agreement). Simply connect each DVR to your network, call them to enable it over a network, and it works fine. You don't need to spend the extra $ to have them set it up.
     
  3. Apex

    Apex Diamond Member

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    I'm using it over wifi (802.11n), about 3 rooms away. Works fine. There is lag though, and occassional pixelation.
     
  4. BigSmooth

    BigSmooth Lifer

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    I am using it over 802.11g and even then it works pretty well. I have a cheap router with DD-WRT set up as an access point for the HD-DVR in my bedroom and another similar setup in my living room. I used to have one of the DVRs hard-wired to my network and I would not get the occasional stuttering that I get now, but it still works well enough that I am happy with it and I don't have to deal with wires. Both DVRs stream just fine to each other 90% of the time. I don't get any lag during playback, although ff/rew is not as smooth as usual when watching a show from the other DVR. If I get stuttering I just reset one or more of the routers I'm using which usually solves the problem.

    As TLC mentioned, officially DTV will force you to install a DECA/SWiM network that works over coax cables because it's more reliable, but they'll charge you $100 for it. If you want to use your own network it is technically "unsupported" so you have to argue with the CSR to do it that way, and then you need to be slightly more tech savvy to make sure it's all working correctly.
     
  5. TastesLikeChicken

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    I went through 4 different CSRs, none of which could set me up properly. I even had one who absolutely insisted that it was not possible to run WH-DVR over a home network, even after I explained to her that I'd done just that for a year during the beta test.

    If you want it done properly shoot off an e-mail request to DirecTV's support group. It takes them a few hours but they will get it done.
     
  6. Apex

    Apex Diamond Member

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    The CSRs may have updated information now. When I called last week, they just confirmed I knew it was a $3 charge, and enabled it right away.
     
  7. TastesLikeChicken

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    DirecTV is a lot like Microsoft. They rarely ever get it right the first time but eventually get things fixed.
     
  8. timscarlet

    timscarlet Junior Member

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    Hello, i am interested in setting up my house for whole home networking for directv, what supplies do i need to get started and how hard is the installation? any info would be great, thanks! as I can install it myself without directv. just need somewhere to start! Tim
     
  9. lykaon78

    lykaon78 Golden Member

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    So is the DECA/SWiM switch is the best option from a performance prospective?

    My wireless router is 2 floors below my main HDTV.
     
  10. TastesLikeChicken

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    Are you planning on using a wireless or a wired network? A wired network is more desirable but it can work over a wireless setup if you have strong/clean signals between the router and receiver(s). Also, how many DVRs and HD receivers are you using?
     
  11. TastesLikeChicken

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    DECA/SWiM is allegedly better from a reliability perspective. Not sure if there is any performance benefit between that and a wired network. Plus, if anything goes wrong with a DECA/SWiM system DirecTV will fix it. When using a network, you're on your own if you run into problems. If you know how to troubleshoot network problems that shouldn't be an issue though.
     
  12. BigSmooth

    BigSmooth Lifer

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    @lykaon78 - I wouldn't think DECA/SWiM would perform any better than a wired Ethernet network, assuming your router is stable.

    @timscarlet - if you know how to set up a home network with PCs, you shouldn't have a problem. The DTV boxes allow you to set up the IP address etc. and once you have them on the network they "see" each other automatically. I had to tweak a few settings on my primary router, but overall the software side of it is pretty darn easy.

    The only thing of note IMO is that unlike a PC there's no way to install a wireless card or dongle. That's why I picked up a couple of cheap routers (around $30 if you keep an eye out) that can be flashed with dd-wrt firmware. dd-wrt allowed me to turn the routers into wireless bridges so I can just plug the DTV boxes directly into them for connectivity.
     
  13. Yourself

    Yourself Platinum Member

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    I have it on my wired gigabit network...slight delays to start the programming in a different room, but works well IMO.
     
  14. lykaon78

    lykaon78 Golden Member

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    Wired is going to be tricky as my router sits in a room that has no TV unless thats a non-issue with this set-up.

    I've just tested my laptop wireless and I get a full signal in the basement. So maybe it will work okay.

    I'm probably going to do 2 DVRs.
     
  15. TastesLikeChicken

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    There are delays on a wired network as well. There are probably delays on a DECA/SWiM setup too. Likely some initial caching is going on to help prevent stutttering no matter how it's done so pick your poison.
     
  16. lupi

    lupi Lifer

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    How is Dtvs pricing now? Minus my internet cost, my cable bill is something like 85 with 5 tvs connected, and 1 dvr box with digital/expandrd cable but no premium channels.
     
  17. timscarlet

    timscarlet Junior Member

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    Hello, thank you for your replies, i have 1 hd dvr, 1 sd dvr and 3 hd receivers, and most likely use a wireless connection. would each receiver need its own router? is this what i need to understand? but i can do the wired connection easily thru the crawlspace under house. thanks, Tim
     
  18. Apex

    Apex Diamond Member

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    You need a wireless bridge for each receiver, unless the receivers are close enough to share a bridge with multiple connections.

    If you can do wired easily, go that route.
     
  19. dwarden2

    dwarden2 Junior Member

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    I just got the Whole Home installed last week. It is nothing like you think. All networking is done wired using a special device that allows for satellite and network data to travel on a single coax line. No wireless is needed and their on demand is much faster using the wired connection.

    The ability to watch anything from anywhere is great. I have 4 DVR and never have to worry about running out of space again.

    This is a DirecTV technician install item that you must have installed. Self-service is not an option.
     
  20. rfogarasi

    rfogarasi Junior Member

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    Just had the Whole Home DVR installed, The technician put in a bad SWM switch and left my Netgear wireless adapters hooked up to the DVR's claiming that I still need those for on demand (that is how I used to get it before the install). Doesn't this whole home thing do that anyways?
    Right after he left the receivers stopped communicating and my in home network went down. I went to the store and bought a new router thinking that might be the problem and amazingly still didn't work. Disconnected all receivers from my home network and everything with my home network is fine however the receivers are still not talking to each other. Now I have to wait for someone to come back to get me a new SWM to make it work. THIS WAS A PAIN.... They need to get their crap together. Again, do I need the in house network for on-demand or is it all done through their equipment?
     
  21. TastesLikeChicken

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    DirecTV is not bi-directional (receivers can't transmit back to the satellite) so, yes, you need your home network (with Internet service) or a phone line connected to the DTV receivers for on-demand.
     
  22. Doppel

    Doppel Lifer

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    Yes I use it. For any issues it may have, which are minor, it is fvcking superb. I evangelize it to anybody when I get the chance. I love it.
     
  23. Doppel

    Doppel Lifer

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    Use a referral to benefit you and the referred. Then you can get for first year about 50 a month with an hd DVR, another had receiver, and a standard (but don't as standard is crap). Ten after first year a bump to maybe around what u are paying new I think. A big bonus to me was I hated my cable hardware with a passion and dtv is better ii and faster.
     
  24. jhansman

    jhansman Platinum Member

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    I was told a few weeks back that the only way Whole Home would work was via a hard-wired network. The salesperson also went on to say that if I couldn't run ethernet cable throughout the house to every room that we wanted on the system, we'd have to opt for a solution like powerline. I passed, but by letting them know I was ready to defect to Comcast, they gave me HD in the bedroom for free (and a 2 yr. re-up).
     
  25. Doppel

    Doppel Lifer

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    Ah F me, damn shameful to read this because it's so wrong and a real sin to come from a sales rep!

    I got my DirecTV service in Jan/10, so that's the approximate age of my equipment.

    I have this setup:
    Family room: HD DVR
    Bedroom: HD Receiver
    Basement: HD receiver

    Everything is recorded to the HD DVR and it has the most menu options. For example, if you want to order a movie it has to be done from the HD DVR unit. Also you have to be at that unit to manage recording series.

    However, from the other HD receivers you can hit record and it will record an individual show OR you can watch anything recorded from the HD DVR on either of those units, including pause, resume and what not.

    The ONLY WIRING throughout the house to these two HD receivers is coaxial, the stuff that was around years back when the house was built.

    I just last night moved one of the receivers and the only wires going into that HD receiver are its power cable, HDMI, and coaxial.

    The fact is that absolutely NONE of the HD units--including the HD DVR--need a hardwired or any other kind of internet connection at all.

    There is one coaxial into the house hooked up to the sat dish, and a little power unit hooked into a receptacle transmits power back on this coaxial to the sat dish.

    There is a splitter to supply signal to the HD DVR and all other HD receivers. There is also one additional unit that hooks into this entire setup with coaxial and it, and it alone, also has a hard wired connection to my router. My router is in an unfinished area of the house along with all this other jazz. Everything functions through existing coaxials alone.

    All this said, there is an ethernet jack on my HD receivers. I don't know what they do. I assume if you have a simple setup you could have ethernet running to them and do stuff like ordering movies and what not, but in my case all that is done via the extra little device in the unfinished area that is going to my network.