So I got a message on my home answering machine that said that I needed to call DirecTV (my current TV service provider) about an “upgrade” that I’m eligible for. So I called DirecTV today to discuss this.
A little background first. For the past 3 years or so I’ve been using the HR10-250 TiVo DirecTV receiver. I’ve loved this receiver. It has 4 tuners in it (two HD and two standard def), it has a 250GB hard drive in it so it can record up to 30 hours of HDTV programming or 200 hours of standard definition TV. But most of all it’s a TiVo. And I LOVE TiVo. TiVo’s intuitive interface is easy to use and never has problems. So overall I’ve been pretty happy with this unit.
But now DirecTV wants me to “upgrade” to a new DirecTV HR20. The thing is though that this is not a TiVo.
Now when I bought my HR10-250 I paid $1,300 for it. Granted I’m a bleeding edge tech sort of guy. But now DirecTV wants me to “upgrade” to a unit that sells for $299.99. By the way this unit scored a 7.4 out of 10 rating from CNET’s editors but actual users on CNET gave it a 4.3 out of 10 “mediocre” score.
CNET listed the “bottom line” on this unit as “The DirecTV HR20 is easy to use and offers plenty of features, but its operational bugs make use more of a headache than other DVRs.”
You see, that’s the thing. TiVo is simple. DirecTV’s HR20 unit is described as a “headache.”
My bottom line is that it sucks that DirecTV dropped TiVo as a provider of set top boxes and now is trying to trick me into “upgrading” to a worse box than the one that I already have. Of course they are claiming that I can get more HDTV programming with this new unit, but frankly, between what I already get on HDTV and Netflix I have more than enough stuff to watch.
And are you ready for the real kicker? This new “upgrade” only requires me to sign on for another 2 year contract with DirecTV. WTF? You’re going to give me an inferior box AND make me sign a 2 year contract? Certainly there are some idiots that will take DirecTV up on their “generous” upgrade offer, but I won’t be one of them.
In fact I have half a mind to just bolt from DirecTV and move over to digital cable anyways. This way I can either get a Series 3 TiVo or one of the new Media Center CableCARD PCs plus a bunch of new HD channels and truly get a better product.
By the way, do you know what I paid DirecTV for content last month? $91.96. And that’s what I’ve been paying them a month for the past few years. You’d think they’d treat me a little better than this.