DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

We kid about Professional TV watchers, because if there were such things they would use this rack-mounted two-tuner HD monster. We laid our hands on this baby, liking most of it and loathing some.

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

DirecTV HR21 Pro Series, For Professional TV Watchers Only

It has twice the capacity of the TiVo-less HR20, bringing 100 hours of HD and 400 hours of SD video to the festivities. We liked the pretty black design of the HR21, and the touchwheel-shaped control wheel up front looked nice but felt a bit cheap.

Although there's still no TiVo on board despite the renewed agreement between the two companies, we were impressed with the snappy response of its user interface. But it's ugly like most other b-grade non-TiVo DVR interfaces. Meh. And look at that tacky remote, looking more like a kid's toy from Fisher Price than a pro-installed remote control.

Another pro-install innovation is the optical HDMI, where you plug an HDMI cable into an black box that turns those signals into optical impulses, transmitting them over fiber optic cable to another black box that turns them back into HDMI signals. Neat. And hey, it still does HD!