Sunday, August 29, 2004

I've been a Dish Network customer for years, and before that I was a DirecTV customer. These days I have standard-definition Dish Network equipment with a TiVo DVR box, and in another room I have one of Dish Network's standard-def DVR receivers, as well.

I'll be honest: I don't like Dish's DVR receiver at all. I don't even use the DVR capability. It's annoying - it doesn't even download the programming guide on it's own - It makes me do it when I try to access the guide and it suddenly realizes there's nothing in memory to display. I have no idea who designed Dish Network's receiver software, but I can almost guarantee you it's been the same person(s) since day-one. All their equipment has this unusable "engineer" flavor. Instead I use my TiVo all the time, every day, with the TiVo remote and IR blaster controlling the satellite receiver.

But what I want is High Definition TV all-around. I have a nice high-def projector and I want to do more than playing Counter-Strike and Halo in HD.

Dish Network has a $1000 HD DVR available, but I can't bring myself to risk spending the money on it - every Dish Network receiver I have ever owned (and that's several) has been lacking in the usability department. Maybe they got it right on their new one, but there is no way for me to know. No one I know has one of these units. I can see the potential in it, but past experience scares me too much to pony up that much money. Now, if Dish Network wanted to send me one to try out, they could do that - I'd even review it (objectively) here. But no up-front money any more, not unless I can see it in action. Sorry, Charlie.

So, I have been looking at options to the Dish Network lineup. Probably the most obvious is DirecTV, my long-ago former satellite television service provider. They also have a HD receiver, and this one is a DirecTiVo model, which certainly catches my attention. TiVo's product is solid and ranks high in my one-man usability survey. If I try hard enough, I can probably find a place somewhere in this city to demo the DirecTV product. I will probably try to do that, since I doubt DirecTV will be willing to loan me one to evaluate, either. But if they want to, I'll gladly take them up on the offer.

But there's another company that's got my eye, as well. I have been watching a third company, VOOM, for the past several months. I like VOOM and their web site- they even show you on their site what you see on the screen, what the equipment is like, pretty much anything you want to know. Why don't all the companies do that? They also have something that just caught my eye, and which I might even be willing to wait around for - They're prepping a HD-DVR and their "Whole House Solution." This is looking very interesting. Accessing your PC - does this integrate with Windows XP Media Center Edition by chance? Maybe not, and that's a whole different post topic for another day - The only thing that's really missing from XP MCE -- in my not-so-humble opinion -- is high-def support. Anyone know? Hey VOOM - you need a market tester??? :-)

Ripped unabashedly and directly from the VOOMTM web site and their future-stuff page:

HD-DVR
With the introduction of our HD-DVR, you'll be able to watch and record any channel, whenever you want, in both standard and high definition. Every recording is a perfect digital version of the original. The VOOM DVR has multiple tuners, enabling you to record two shows while you’re watching a third! And you can expand the DVR’s usefulness even further with our Whole House Solution.

Whole House Solution
Our upcoming Whole House Solution extends the power of our DVR throughout your home. With a single click, you can pause live TV and HDTV, then go to another room and pick up where you left off. It also connects your TV and PC entertainment like never before. You can access your PC and enjoy digital music and photos on any TV in the house. That's VOOMing!

Obviously, this looks like it has some potential. I've been considering moving to a PC/network-based digital media solution, and Satellite TV in HD is the only way I can take advantage of the video equipment that is presently leveraged only by my X-BOX and DVD home theater systems. I'll be buying something eventually, I just don't know what.

If anyone has any personal experience with any of this new technology. please share your thoughts - We'd like to know!



Add/Read: Comments [4]
Random Stuff
Saturday, August 28, 2004 11:22:51 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
Sunday, August 29, 2004 6:40:28 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Man, looks like you have been working out Greg! Keep up the good work! But I have to admit, I was indeed a bit ShOcKeD when I saw you had shaved your head???? Now your starting to worry me a bit!!!!
Chris
Friday, August 04, 2006 4:41:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
اريد معلومات عن كيفية دخول شان الهوت ميل العمومى
samer210
Tuesday, November 21, 2006 2:43:54 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
plz help me
the ocean dark
Saturday, December 23, 2006 12:29:05 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
مرحبا انا هشام من العراق احب التعرف
hisham
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