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October 28, 2004

Review: Hughes DirecTV HDTV Tivo (ExtremeTech)

Extremetech has review of the new DirecTV HDTV Tivo from Hughes, and the results were mixed. In particular, they had this problem:

The TiVo automatically senses when an HDMI cable is plugged in, and disables the component output. But I ran into a major problem when I tried to connect from the HDMI port to the DVI input on my Panasonic plasma. Nothing came out. I swapped cables, then connections, and even tried it with my DVI-enabled LCD desktop monitor. Nothing.

DirecTV's fine technical support had the answer—but it wasn't good. I had apparently won the home game of HDMI roulette: Somewhere between 10% and 15% of all HD DVRs made by Hughes ship with a bad HDMI port. Lucky me. After briefly trying to convince me to use component, DirecTV offered to send me a replacement. One small problem though. They still haven't figured out how to fix the HDMI port problem, which means another turn of the wheel. As of this writing I haven't received the replacement yet, but I've got a 15% chance of it being bad too. Isn't it great when you can replace your QA department with your customers? Thanks Hughes and DirecTV!

Even if you do get a good HDMI port, early returns on web discussion boards are not positive. The port seems fragile, with many users reporting color loss and other problems.

The review had some positive things to say, but if I needed to connect via HDMI, I'd probably wait a little to get it all sorted out.

Additional Info:

TVHarmony Product Tracker: Hughes HR10-250 HDTV

Posted on October 28, 2004

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