A few days ago I had a DirecTV HR23 box go belly-up. I awoke one morning to the smell of melted plastic. I didn’t open the box, so I don’t know what went wrong, but it was obviously something bad. Despite having no LED lights on the front panel there was still power – although it wouldn’t even try to boot up. But, as long as the power cord was plugged in, the smell and a chirping sound (which probably was from the hard drive) continued.
DirecTV has always had excellent customer service, at least in my experiences. This was no exception – they were ready to send me a new HR23 via priority shipping. The box arrived in two days, along with a paid label to send back the old DVR.
Setup is simple – just plug in the old connections that are already in place. Of course, you need to call DirecTV to activale the box, but that isn’t a big deal either. It’s after that step that you see where DirecTV, and every other DVR (as far as I know), are lacking.
What do these cable and satellite companies need to add? Backing up all of your recorded shows would be nice, but we have seen how difficult a netwrked DVR has been for Cablevision. What I noticed when re-setting-up my HR23 was a glaring lack for backup of personal settings. I had to, once again, add all of my season passes, set my video preferences, re-enable my network settings, etc.
Is it too much to ask that all of these personal settings be backed up by the provider? Or at east that they provide a path for backing them up locally to a networked PC? After all, the HR23 has ethernet and shows up on our home network. It seems like a simple update to add backup of personal settings. More importnantly to the providers, it doesn’t seem like anything that would cause them to end up in court.
This seems like a minor addition to the software package of any TV provider. Still, it doestn’t seem to be mentioned by anyone as an update that is on the roadmap. I know that I would seriously consider moving to one that decides to add it.