One day with the DirecTV HR34 - Get this gadget!


There's been quite a bit of chatter about the HR34's growing pains. Sluggish menus, old SD interface, missed recordings. Many of those issues have been addressed and fixed throughout 2012. I was still a bit nervous as our tech left after yesterday's install.

Well, consider me impressed. This is, without a doubt, the best set-top box I have ever used. It's a leap forward, in the way that the TiVo Series 3 was a leap forward in its day. It can record 5 HD channels while playing a sixth - with no limitations.

Whole home DVR. Beautiful on-screen GUI, with snappy scrolling. Massive (expandable?) storage. It has YouTube, Pandora, and a slew of DirecTV-centric presentation goodies (All MLB games + a scoreboard? Sure. Weather? Twitter? No problem.)

For $99, this is money very well spent. For DirecTV, this is an all-too-rare move by a market leader to not only stay ahead of the competition, but to exponentially outpace them.

(UPDATE: And now, the HR34 "Genie" is free to new customers. Seriously, get one immediately.)

Not that everything went completely smoothly - the HR34's on-screen graphics were frustratingly rough for the first 24 hours... I scoured the internet to figure out what was going on, to no avail. Upstairs, the HD GUI was 1080 lines - while the HR34 was stuck in 480i.

The solution: you have to touch the "RES" button on the front of the HR34 - not on the remote - until 1080i is illuminated on the front of the box.

And just like that - the HR34 was essentially perfect.

I'm not saying this set-top box has no flaws. I am saying that after 24 hours using the device, I have found no flaws.

Next post - Controlling the HR34 with DirecTV's incredible iPad app.

1 comment :

  1. Yea, I've heard good things about the HR34, and was wondering if they had done anything to fix the limited iPad app. I knew they were trying to do "TV Everywhere", but ran into a ton of bad reviews. I am a Dish guy, and am very happy with my Hopper. I have never had things like FB, Twitter, Pandora and Texas Hold 'Em on my receiver before, so this is a nice change! A Dish coworker and I live together, and when we got the Hopper we were finally able to record everything we wanted without having to worry about scheduling conflicts. 2,000 hours of recording space is the way to do "DVR" right!