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DirecTV Whole Home DVR Install

Started by Tom Snyder, Sunday Oct 24, 2010, 10:18:25 am

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Tom Snyder

I had DirecTV come out and do a whole-home DVR install yesterday. Install went without a hitch. Tech guy got here at the beginning of the promised window, and took 1hr and 45 minutes (exactly as DirecTV said it would).  I have 2 DVRS and it's pretty cool now to be able record 4 channels at the same, viewable on any of the 3 boxes in the house.

They had to swap out the non-dvr box downstairs in the home theatre with a newer model. Navigating the menu on that box is smoking fast... but the navigation on the other old DVRs is noticeably slower. With several series previously being recorded on both boxes now only needing to be recorded on one, I have a lot more space now.

Process required replacing the switch with a new one, and adding a new inline adapters. I did have to disconnect my wireless internet connection on my living room DVR (he could have kept it, but would have had to do a convoluted set up to accomplish it, and I use on-demand so infrequently that it wasn't worth the hassle).

Service call was $150 (although loyal longterm DTV customers may be able to get $99 of that waived).
Tom Snyder
Administrator and Webmaster for milwaukeehdtv.org
tsnyder@milwaukeehdtv.org

Bigdog

I'm curious as to how (where) those whole house DVRs save the shows to. Is there one unit acting as a server where the drive(s) are located and the other units are more of a client or terminal?  If so, can you add external storage to that central unit?

Thanks

Steve Mann

The recordings save to the DVR where they are set to record. There is no central server. At least in my setup. I think that's a good thing. There is a small delay when selecting shows, using trick plays etc., when accessing recordings that are on a remote DVR. If they ALL where on a central server, that delay might be there for all of them.

Yes, you can add eSata drives to DVRs to increase space. I have a terabyte eSata drive on my main DVR in the theater.
Steve M. Mann
Panasonic AX200U Projector
Carada 126" 16:9 Fixed Screen
1 - HR20-100 DirecTV HD PVR
1 - HR24-500 DirecTV HD PVR
My Theater
Theater Construction Album

ArgMeMatey

Quote from: Steve Mann;56490Yes, you can add eSata drives to DVRs to increase space. I have a terabyte eSata drive on my main DVR in the theater.

Can an add-on drive be moved from one DVR to another?  If so, can you specify for everything to be recorded on that drive?

Why I am asking:  I know at least two people who have had DVRs die with months of stored recordings rendered unwatchable, because drives could not be swapped from a faulty unit to a replacement.

Steve Mann

Unfortunately, I don't think you can move them from on DVR to another. I think they get married to them in the setup process when you first add them. What happens is the internal drive is disabled and the operating system software is copied to the eSata drive. The DVR now uses that drive as it's only drive. I don't think it will work if you then plug it into another drive. I think the second DVR would want to format and setup that drive again, thus erasing all the stored data (shows).

I don't know if this would work or not, but maybe a full back up of the eSata drive to another eSata drive or NAS on your home network could be restored if the original drive were to fail. You'd have to do some research on the D* boards on that though.
Steve M. Mann
Panasonic AX200U Projector
Carada 126" 16:9 Fixed Screen
1 - HR20-100 DirecTV HD PVR
1 - HR24-500 DirecTV HD PVR
My Theater
Theater Construction Album

Tom Snyder

I have 2 DVR's. The saved contents of each are displayed in a single list on both machines, as well as the non DVR unit in the basement.
Tom Snyder
Administrator and Webmaster for milwaukeehdtv.org
tsnyder@milwaukeehdtv.org

Steve Mann

Quote from: Tom Snyder;56496I have 2 DVR's. The saved contents of each are displayed in a single list on both machines, as well as the non DVR unit in the basement.

Right, same here. ALL recordings show in the now playing on all DVRs, no matter where they were recorded or are actually saved at. That's the cool thing about the whole home feature. As you said earlier, it effectively gives you a 4 tuner DVR with additional storage space.

But, even though they all show on all now playing lists, the recordings actually live on the DVR where you set it to record.
Steve M. Mann
Panasonic AX200U Projector
Carada 126" 16:9 Fixed Screen
1 - HR20-100 DirecTV HD PVR
1 - HR24-500 DirecTV HD PVR
My Theater
Theater Construction Album

Bigdog

Thanks for the info on their whole house DVR, too bad they don't use a central "server" to hold the data as that would make it easier to add to it..

Tom Snyder

Other thing I just noticed is that they replaced the triple lnb with a single lnb unit.
Tom Snyder
Administrator and Webmaster for milwaukeehdtv.org
tsnyder@milwaukeehdtv.org