Friday, November 11, 2005

DirecTV Plus R15 Review - General Usage

First impressions.....
This is not your mother's TiVo... It is VERY different, from a GUI point of view...

Over all GUI
The "Cartoony" interface that people gave TiVo a bad rap for, is gone.There is a VERY faint "dong" when you do something wrong in the GUI. Other than that, there is no audio feedback.You just here the program that is playing on the active tuner.

The GUI is very "textual" in it's look... It is White on Blue, and I have not found a menu option to change it.

The Guide
See Scheduler for Screen shots and some more details. I will eventually post a video file.

Well... you want to know... It is faster, kinda.

If you want scroll up and down amongst the channels, it is definently faster...
But left to right... (changing the time window), it is not all that fast, and very similar to the R10.

One thing to note: When you push the GUIDE Button, you are taken first to a Filter Selection Screen
First Screen after Guide Button Click
Then after you select your filter, you go to the Guide.

There are some modes in the Guide, that I haven't screen shotted yet... but it will return lists of programs in a vertical column.

Guide does have a Red and Green button option to jump + or - 12 hours

Menu and GUI Hangups
The GUI does HANG a bit...
not as much as the DTivos do, but they do hang...
(I mean hang, but doesn't look like it is responding to the remote)

For a screen shot, see the latest DTV-DVR commercial

I will provide some in the next few days with a video file as well.....

There are 4 RW/FF increments, 4X seems to be nearly a 3 minute jump every second it is activated.Have figured out the others yet. There is a slight auto-rollback like the TiVos, but I haven't pinpointed it exact increment yet.

In general, the RW/FF motion is not as smooth as the DTivos. For now, I am going reserve final judgement till after the unit has been on for a few days.

While in RW/FF mode, the "Center Eye" of the front panel, rotates in the direction you are going... CounterClockwise for RW and Clockwise for FF. And it's rotation speed changes based on what X speed you are going at.

OFF Buttons
There is an OFF button... Both on the Remote and the face of the unit.It appears to be identical to the old STANDBY button.Recordings continue, and so does the LIVE buffer.

Channels you recieve
You have three options:
All Channels (which you can't adjust),
Custom 1
Custom 2

In Custom 1 & 2, you can select your channels that you want to see in your guide...

MIX Channels
Kid MIX Channel
The newer MIX channels work as advertised....
Kinda intresting, but good to know that they work.

Record 2 and Play A Previously Recorded
Yes.. It does work


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