Directv users have wanted multi-room ability to watch their recorded shows from their dvr on other hd receivers. Well, now it’s possible. The Multi-Room DVR beta is probably already on your HD-DVR receiver. Go to your setup menu and look for “multi-room”.
Before I get to how multi-room performs, I *think* the multi-room beta is only available on the black colored receivers (HD and HD-DVR). If your regular HD receiver is beige, chances are you don’t even have an ethernet port. If I am wrong, post in the comments to correct me.
The setup process is incredibly easy. Your HD-DVR and regular HD receiver need to be connected to your router. (If you are out of router ports, I highly suggest buying a 100/1000 8port Dlink switch. )
Next up, go to the multi-room menu on your HD DVR and opt in for the beta. It will take a minute or so to begin sharing. You have the option to name your receiver so you can easily identify it. On your regular HD receiver, click opt in for multi-room.
That’s all there is to it. Easy enough, right?
When selecting “List” for your hd receiver, you’ll notice a bit of a delay (especially the first time). It’s nothing too serious. When navigating the listing of recorded shows, you’ll also notice a bit more lag than normal. The most noticable lag happens when you start to play a show. I’d say it pauses for about 3 to 5 seconds. However, once the show begins to play, it’s a different story and there is no performance issues at all during my testing.
I was expecting some major lag, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too bad at all. There is SOME lag, it doesn’t fast forward as fast as being on the actual DVR box. I tried the 30 second skip 5x and the 4X fastforward and it had noticeable lag from both pressing the button and fastforwarding. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone and it is manageable.
Bottom line: Overall Directv has done a pretty good job at sharing over your LAN to multiple receivers.
Pricing starts at $3 a month. Some things to keep in mind however. I suggest using a router with AT LEAST 100mbit speeds. My particular linksys router is gigabit, but I do not believe the Directv receivers support gigabit connections. Someone else will have to double check that.
Have you joined the beta as well? Reply in the comments about your experience.