Review: DirecTV Multi-Room Viewing



DirecTV announced multi-room viewing a little over a month ago. I finally got around to setting it up and putting it through it’s paces. Like I said before the service is only in beta. DirecTV is not supporting the service right now so don’t call about it if you have trouble. The service is also free right now but they plan on charging later on, probably once it leaves beta.

What you need:
You need to have more than one HD-DVR. You also need them connected to your home network.

Setup:
Setup of multi-room viewing is fairly simple, as long as you already have it wired into the network. I’m going to assume you already have network connections. To get multi-room viewing going you need to “Menu” and navigate down to “Parental, Fav’s & Setup”. When the next set of options come up go to “System Setup”. You will now see “Multi-Room” on the left side menu. You will now see “Name Location” and “Beta”. You need to go into “Beta” and opt-in to the service. It explains that the service is free right now. After that you can name the DVR. You need to do this on both DVRs. After that the DVRs should be able to connect to each other.

Usage:
When you go to your recording list all recording from both DVRs show up in one big list. There isn’t an option to share just certain shows or really any way to organize them by DVR. One option that you do have in the setup is to say weather you want to allow deletion on remote DVR. Allowing for remote deletion is nice but it needs to tell you how much storage you have left on each location. For instance, if I’m in the living room looking at recordings from both locations, it only gives me remaining storage on that DVR. I would have to walk down to the basement to see how much storage that DVR has. I know it’s only in beta so features like that could be added.

Playback from the remote DVR is flawless even in HD. There is a slight delay when starting a remote recording but that is normal while it queues up from the network, only a few seconds. I tried a few different scenarios to try make things not work. I tried recording a HD show on the remote DVR in the basement while streaming to the upstairs DVR. I didn’t have issues no matter what I tried. My DVRs are hard wired into a gig switch so if you are using wireless your results may vary.

Pros:
* Easy to setup
* Easy to use
* Delete recordings on remote side
* Playback in HD is great

Cons:
* Service will cost at a later date
* Doesn’t show free space on remote DVR

Conclusion:
Multi-room viewing is on the wanted list for anyone that has multiple DVRs. Even with the DirecTVs multi-room viewing in beta, it works well and was easy to setup. DirecTV wanting to charge for this service is the biggest problem. They raised fees for equipment, HD and DVR service it is hard to justify another charge that you have to opt into. But the time for DirecTV to charge isn’t here yet and they might change their mind. If you have multiple DirecTV HD-DVRs I would recommend setting this up.



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Comments

[…] HD DVRs in your house it can pull those recordings. You can read my review on multi-room viewing here. The receiver also has DECA built-in. DECA allows you to send internet over the coax line to the […]

[…] reviewed the DirecTV multi-room DVR service back in February. I like the service then and I have been […]

This service is crap…….It never connect again once its set up my a technician. IF there is a power surge or your main DVR gets un-pluged you cant ever get it to come back on.. and because its so new the over the phone techs dont know how to help you. I hate this service.

William,

When I originally tested it for DirecTV I didn’t have any problems. But I do agree with you about how they are handling it. I tried to purchase the service and DirecTV wanted to charge me $200 for misc. charges and equipment upgrades. I spent way too much time over 3 phone calls explaining to them that I beta tested it for them, it was working and I just want it enabled for $3 a month. They wouldn’t do it. I’m not paying a BS charge of $200 to activate it and I’m actually thinking about canceling in a couple weeks when my contract is up.

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