First off, thanks so much to Earl for the in-depth review of the R15 and comparison to existing TiVo capabilities. I have one of the original TiVo receivers (Philips) with 30 hours of record time and was running out of room. The cost of upgrading that box coupled with uncertainty about how long TiVo navigation will be available for DirecTV led me to get an R15. Since the latest offer makes the hardware essentially free, it seemed like a low-risk alternatative. My logic is that if my wife and I just hate the R15, we'll deactivate it and use the TiVo box exlusively.. maybe see what advances DTV comes out with next year.
My first impression of the R15 is that it's more like a Windows PC vs. Mac.. more power and function but you pay a price on ease-of use. My wife has been a trooper on this test so far but she's being honest when she says she hates the DirecTV remote and navigation. In some respects, I have to agree with her -but- the test is not over and I will reserve final judgement until we've used it more.
One thing I wanted to ask you folks about is programming the remote. My needs a pretty simple - control a Mitsubishi TV and a Yamaha A/V receiver. After more work than I am used to for this sort of thing, I got the TV programmed and the functions I need (on/off, volume, input) are working. What I am totally frustrated with is the AV programming. I have a mainstream Yamamha receiver (RXV800 about 2-3 years old) that I can only get partially working with the codes they supply. When I slide the top slider switch to AV1, I have it working to control volume and channel changing (the latter being something I would never do with a TV remote), but I can't get the power on/off or receiver input to work. Before I stand there for 30 minutes pressing the channel up button to help the remote "find" my code, I wonder if anybody has a tip on doing something different. I don't mind doing it if that's what it takes but, so far, I am not convinced it will work even when I go through that process. My concern is that these may be functions the remote won't control regardless. What's funny is that my Yamamha remote is a learning remote and I can program it to control the R15.. problem is that it's not really laid out that well for DTV navigation. If it helps, my remote says R23 on the upper-left and is the one that is white on top and grey on bottom.