HUGHES SDDVR40 TV Receivers and DVRs

HUGHES SDDVR40 TV Receivers and DVRs 


Hughes DIRECTV Satellite Receiver With TiVo Series2 - SDDVR40/ Up To 35 Hours Of Digital Recording/ Dolby Digital Output/ S-Video Output/ TiVo & DirecTV Programming Guides/ Universal Remote Control.


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[Oct 29, 2004]
Audio Enthusiast


- Intuitive, easy to use - Nice graphics, well laid out - Reliable - Price


- Noise - Power control - they need a sleep mode like PCs have

Another excellent product from Hughes. At this price point, every DirecTV subscriber should have one! This is my third DirecTV DVR from Hughes. I already had two Hughes GXCEBOT DVRs. User Interface: Excellent integration of DirecTV and Tivo. So good that you really don't know the difference. The difference between SDDVR and orignal GXCEBOT are minimal... I have only noticed a color difference on the recordings page, and some settings options are different. Very easy to find channels, surf, find content, record, and watch recorded shows. Performance: Pretty good. The SDDVR is faster than the original GXCEBOT. Rumor has it that the SDDVR has more memory so that page changes are still relatively fast even when the DVR is full of shows. If you do not upgrade the unit and stay with 40gb... you may not notice a performance change as the unit fills up. I upgraded to 120gb, and there is a lag when loading the recordings page when the machine is full, so there is still room for improvement. Upgrades: This machine is very easy to upgrade the hard drive if you are technically inclined. Tools out now will even save any shows that you already have. Reliability: I leave my units on 24x7. I keep them well ventilated, and I have had no issues. Never had a lock-up. I have had my GXCEBOT units running for 3 years now I think, and they are going strong. The cheap internal fan will probably go out before the disks do. Noise: Since this is basically a computer, there is the ever present noise of the drive and the fan. Why do the drives never shut down? Not sure, they spin 24x7. Why isn't the fan temperature sensitive so it is not always on? Not sure, it spins 24x7. I have my units behind glass in a cabinet so they don't bother me, but I would not want one of these units out during normal TV watching. I have heard that changing the channel to a music channel will reduce the noise level of the drive heads, since no video caching happens... I will have to try that. The biggest thing I have done to reduce drive noise was pull the stock hard drives, replace them with larger Maxtor 120gb 5400 rpm quiet drives, and set the AMSET Maxtor Acoustic Management to QUIET instead of the stock setting of FAST. The Maxtor drives with the Quiet Drive feature fit the bill and have decibel readings below 3.6 bel during reads. I believe that some Seagate drives have similar technology. This made a huge difference. Shut Down: These units stay on 24x7... basically so they can update the listings as they change from the networks, and record the shows that you specify. You can turn them off only by unplugging the unit or turning off power to the unit through a power center or power strip. There is a stand-by option available only from the onscreen menus. All this does is turn off the display, the unit keeps going. Stand by is not available from the remote as a button for some reason.

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