Okay, so my DirecTiVo could only store 35 hours worth of programming and my new DirecTV DVR will hold about 100 hours. You know what? It was still a better DVR.
Oh, I’ll tell you.
- I could skip to the end of a recorded program with the press of a button, and to the beginning with another button press. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you’ve got a handful of episodes of your kid’s favorite shows, it would be nice not to have to fast-forward or rewind 10 or 20 minutes to start watching them from the beginning the next time. It’s a DVR, not a VCR; I shouldn’t have to rewind to get to the beginning, regardless of where I stopped watching. Oh, and if I accidentally fast-forward too far at the end of Top Gear and miss that last little bit of the show, I’ve got to start over at the beginning and fast-forward through 58 minutes I’ve already watched just to catch the last two minutes. Once the “Do you want to delete this program?” message appears on-screen, I can’t rewind anymore, and that’s just plain frustrating.
- The DirecTiVo was more responsive in general. The delay between when I push a button on the remote and when I see the desired result on the DirecTV DVR is sometimes measurable in seconds. Ridiculous.
- Speaking of the remote, the one that came with the DirecTiVo was a thing of beauty. It properly handled my television (including switching inputs) and surround sound system, all without having to switch back and forth between “DirecTV”, “AV1”, “AV2” and “TV” modes. Yes, I can control my DVD player in AV2 mode, something I couldn’t do with the old remote, but it’s a feature I’d gladly sacrifice for the ability to turn off the television and the surround sound with a single button.
- Still speaking of the remote, Laura hates the new one. Period. I can see why: the layout just isn’t as simple as the old one, even the DVR controls are counter-intuitive.
- Anytime I was dealing with a list of channels on the DirecTiVo, I could always jump to the channel I wanted by simply entering it on the number pad. Not so on the DirecTV DVR. When I’m setting up a manual recording and the list of channels pops up, if I press 2-4-9 for Comedy Central, I first get channel 25, then channel 43, then channel 9 thousand-something. Ludicrous! And speaking of manual recording…
- Daylight Saving Time. I’ve got a one-hour manual record set up for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report Monday through Thursday at 11:00pm. The fact that I have to do this if I don’t want the DVR to record both shows three times in a single day is a testament to the crappiness of the online guide for Comedy Central, but the fact that the DVR decided to start recording at 12:00am instead of 11:00pm after the time change on Sunday (despite the fact that the clock on the damn thing changed and the manual recording entries still show an 11:00pm start time) is just plain stupid. I just had to delete and recreate all four manual entries and I’m still not confident that it’s going to work properly.
Extra recording space be damned. I miss my DirecTiVo.