Was a customer of Direct TV for over ten years...when I moved four years ago, decided to go with the DVR to record programs, watch when I want, record to DVD those I would like to see again, and it's nice to pause a movie,,rewind like your watching a DVD.
What was good with minimal problems became a nightmare with the DVR equipment... MANY equipment returns (Direct TV blamed certain units, except they sent the same refurbished problem units, some of replacements were ugly and didn't work coming out of the box).. Had two units in return for credit at one point. Direct TV said the HD equipment was better,,had just purchased a Sony HD 1080p TV.. so I went with Direct TV HD equipment.
Installation was horrible.. bedroom tv no longer worked,,took two trips before it was working..lasted four days.. next technician said he needed to use vcr or buy fm modulator to make the bedroom tv work (since it was not HD)....bedroom tv worked for two weeks, then it quit again...two more service trucks.. bedroom tv still didn't work. I quit calling as I had lost all confidence they could fix unless the redid the entire installation (already had one extra hole in floor and cable run than needed- it was so bad their repair techs who came out had trouble figuring out what the original installer had done. I stayed with Direct TV for next year to honor contract, then sent written notice unless fixed (still having problems with programs not recorded,, worse recording all but last 15 minutes or so); if not fixed Direct TV should terminate service the following month. Direct TV sent no one out nor contacted me regarding the problems. The next month- I quit, terminated the credit card payments.
They sent a pick up box (you only lease equipment, it is no longer your equipment as it was a few years ago).. equipment was returned within three days of getting the box. Direct TV turned me over to collection agency for retail price of box,,plus termination fees.. I sent a letter providing copy of the return info and tracking, showing they had their equipment back. Now the collection notices, are for 'termination fee'; which is nonsense as I was past the year and half minimum time, forgetting the fact the bedroom tv did not work for the last year.
PS: Correspondence in the last year, equipment return,, obtaining service was done through Direct TV's 'Office of the President in Colorado'..... Have referred friends to Dish Network who have had no problems..and one is a lady who has NO technical skills and is lucky to push the correct button on the remote control where the fewer buttons is better. Go with Dish Network
Local channels instead of $5-6/month would buy a usb TV tuner or an Express Card slot... just an opinion from someone who made the road trip as stated above..
I am going to use the express card tv tuner,, which allows for DVR recording of programs, and will install an outside digital antennae for reception.. if you don't have option of outside ant.. look into a Terk powered interior can pull up the exact model # from Amazon.