I had hoped to cover the workings of the Motorola 6416 HD DVR as my next installment, but since it has taken me a while to get back to it, Verizon has released the new interactive media guide. It appears that it replaced the software for not only the guide, but the DVR itself. The guide itself is much improved, but alas the DVR has gotten substantially worse.
The new IMG itself is very nice. They’ve made huge improvements to the interface. It’s prettier. It requires fewer clicks of the remote to get around. The wait time for the interface is reduced, and very few places leave you wondering if the box received your command. The down side is that the interface is still inconsistent. There are places where you can press stop to leave an operation and other places you need exit. Some times left arrow backs you out of one tab in their interface, and in other places it will return you to video. There are still places thover that take 5 seconds to respond. But it’s a huge improvement over the old guide.
The quality of the guide data hasn’t improved. There are still way to many generic entries. You can’t rely on new/repeat flats. etc.
But the really killer is that HD-DVR software itself has now gone south. The 1080i signal on one of my flat panel displays now has a bright green line down the side. There also seems to be a problem where the DVR fails to record shows in some cases. The entry is created saying a show was recorded, but if you look at the length of the recording it is 0 seconds.
The bottom line is that now I can’t rely on the guide data or the recorder itself. This is completely unacceptable. To add insult to injury, this article the price of the HD-DVR is going up from $12.99 to $15.99. I don’t know if that only applies to new subscribers or will be applied to existing ones, but either way that’s a problem.
Over 3 years, my two HD-DVR’s cost $1151. Two HD-Tivo’s cost $560. Two 3 year subscriptions (one with multi Tivo discount) cost
$382. (oops can’t use the multi-year discount with the multi-tivo discount) $549. Renting two cable cards from Verizon $252. Total $1234 $1361 and I own the Tivos, I get multi room viewing, and it actually works. It seems like a much better solution. Most of the cost is up front, but I’m also insured that the rates don’t increase. Since you can’t use the multiyear discount it’s less money up front. That seems like a much better deal.