By Mike Steffanos
Because my cable system in Connecticut is one of those who doesn't carry SNY, I switched to DirecTV. Other than losing signal for a few minutes here and there when it rains hard, and the fact that the installer drilled through my phone line while setting up the satellite and never showed up to fix it, I haven't had complaints with the service. I did do one thing I regret, however.
I took them up on the offer to get a free DVR unit for a 2-year commitment to the service. A friend of mine had the DVR and loved it. Unfortunately, what I didn't know was that the unit he had, which utilizes the TIVO service, was replaced by a new unit, the DVR-R15. I'm 48 years old, and have always embraced technology, but I will state unequivocally that this DVR unit is the worst piece of technology I ever owned. The first one had to be replaced after 2 months use, and now I have been experiencing almost identical problems with the replacement. Basically, it started screwing up everything I tried to record until it finally stopped working completely. I've talked to other people who've had the same problems, and found more in on-line forums. It tends to affect people that use the DVR to record many programs more than those who use it occasionally, but I have this funny thing where I actually like to use something that I pay my good money for.
The Tech Support guy was helpful, and we got it going again -- but only after having to wipe out all of the programs I had saved. Meanwhile, my brother has a Panasonic DVR that hasn't given him an ounce of trouble. I wanted the one from DirecTV because I like the ability to record 2 programs at the same time. However, if I had it to do all over again, I would have bought two units such as my brother has and put one on each TV. Whatever you do, unless you're someone who will only use the thing occasionally, don't sign up for the DVR from DirecTV. They will work out most of the kinks eventually, but it will take a while. Basically, the company is using paying customers to beta test a product that was not ready for prime time. Consider yourself warned.
Because my unit failed to record this afternoon's game, a friend of mine who taped the game is going to let me borrow the tape later tonight so I can write about it. 1970s technology has succeeded where DirecTV's has failed. Look for the game recap later tonight.
Metropolitans: Oliver Perez
If you missed it, Mike has a terrific breakdown of Perez' Mets debut.
Take the "7" Train: More Perez
Kevin also discusses Perez' debut. (Thanks to Ed for the link.)