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Dish Network newbie to be - comments welcome


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#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Glen C

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Posted October 29 2001 - 06:27 AM

I have been considering canning my local cable company and switching to Dish Network. It could be cheaper or the same price, with much better picture (important on a large front projection system) at least.

I want LOCAL NYC channels and MSG (Yankees, Hockey) and FoxSports NY (Devils). I don't care about NFL packages (the DirecTV selling point). Dish Network seems to allow this. PayPer View not that important as i buy alot of DVDs.

Can anyone point out some pitfalls or talk me out of it :->

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   JerryLA

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Posted October 29 2001 - 12:18 PM

Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with Dish. I've been a customer since the early days of Dish and really have nothing bad to say about them. This last summer I added a HD receiver and have been quite pleased with that also. My only complaint is the same as everyone else...not enough HD programming. I've only read about the other choice,Direct TV, but according to most of the people on this forum I think Dish gets the thumbs up... hands down! Good luck.

Jerry

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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Leo A. Chimo

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Posted October 30 2001 - 02:22 AM

I am currently with Dish, and used to have Directv. I think Dish's service is great, and the have the best programming options. A few comments:

1. I understand they currently don't have the best sports options. Since I don't watch sports, I don't know, but you might want to check on this.

2. If your not yet concerned with HD signal, get their "PVR 501" receiver. I LOVE this unit. Like Tivo, but no additional monthly cost. My wife even loves this receiver, and she hates the whole HT world. Whatever you do, do not get sucked into "Dishplayer", if it's still available.

3. For me, Dish is not cheaper then cable, but it is a better value. Money well spent.

Chimo


#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Adrian_N

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Posted October 30 2001 - 03:13 AM

Leo, I'm about to move to a new house and am thinking of taking this opportunity to upgrade to Dish PVR. One thing my wife and I have a problem with is recording one channel and watching another at the same time. Does the Dish PVR allow that? I can't find that info on their web site. If it does, I think I'm sold on that.

Too bad I can't afford HD though.


#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Les_D

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Posted October 30 2001 - 03:50 AM

After the firs of the year Dish will release the PVR72x series of receivers.

They will have two tuners so you can watch something else while your recording.

Also they are slated to have 100gig drives and broadband access through DSL if you have it.
Les

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#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Leo A. Chimo

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Posted October 30 2001 - 05:04 AM

Adrian_N-

Les_D is correct; I originally was waiting for the PVR721 for the 2 tuner feature, but when Dish did the $200 promo offer for existing customers (which I think ends tomorrow), I jumped the gun. I may get the 721 anyway when it comes out next year, and use my 501 as my 2nd receiver.

One ability that doesn't get talked about much is that you can watch an already recorded event, while you are recording another. I find this handy to record one of my wife's shows when she not home, but not have to watch it. (I can then view one of my shows from the previous night).

Another plus is it will record DD5.1 - unlike vcrs. A major plus for re-watching "Band of Brothers" on HBO.

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Adrian_N

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Posted October 30 2001 - 05:52 AM

Thanks for the info. Now I suspect the new two tuner models will be too pricey for me. A real bummer since two programs of interest currently air at the same time.


#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Ken Stuart

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Posted October 30 2001 - 06:04 AM

One way to deal with the "two programs at the same time" issue is to simply get two receivers.

The advantage of the coming 721 unit described above will be that - although not yet official - it seems likely that it will not have the $4.99 per month "additional receiver" charge that you encounter with two separate receivers.

However, the advantage of two 501s is that two different people can view programs at the same time on two different TVs, while the 721 only outputs one video signal.

Another consideration is that on Dish Network, the same program is often shown at different times. Channels like HBO and Disney have both East and West Coast feeds included, so you can record the same show 3 hours earlier or later. If your address qualifies for "Distant Nets", the same applies for Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS.

Or if you watch syndicated shows like "Andromeda", the superstation package includes several channels that show them at various different times.

You can research this by using the online web programming guide for Dish Network at:
http://204.95.170.116/dishsite/



#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Jeff O.

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Posted October 30 2001 - 07:12 AM

Another option is that, according to the instructions (I haven't tried it yet), you can watch a pre-recorded show while you record another on the 501. This would mean that you would have to pre-record one show and watch that one while the other one is playing. It might be a little more complicated, but it should allow you to see two programs that are going on at the same time.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted October 30 2001 - 07:40 AM

Quote:
It might be a little more complicated, but it should allow you to see two programs that are going on at the same time.

You still only watch one show at a time. The 501 has one tuner and one decoder. The tuner receives the signal from the dish and passes it to the decoder or hard drive. The decoder takes the signal from the dish or hard drive and converts it to video/audio. The 721 will have two tuners but only one decoder.

-Robert

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   John_Bonner

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Posted October 30 2001 - 08:32 AM

Glen,

Hello from another NJ Devils fan!
I have Dish's America's Top 100 package and NYC locals.
The Top 100 package includes MSG and FoxSports so you'll get plenty of Devils and Yankees.

The downsides:
- Locals: (ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS) don't seen to come in as good as some other channels (CNN & FoxNews look incredible!).

- Football: For some reason the playing field in football games looks very pixellated. I've seen a couple of posts about this. Not much you can do about it.

The upsides:
- Lots of Devils hockey!

- Digital music channels (about 30 or so, lots of different styles.

- Price. Cheaper than cable (In my area anyway).

- Picture quality. Yes some channels are not great but overall if you use an S-Video connection most channels blow away cable.

- Information. Great "Program Guide" for seeing what's on. I also love the "Browse" feature that shows you what's on other channels while you're watching the current channel.

If you do decide on Dish, spend a little more and get a model with Dolby Digital 5.1 (assuming you have a DD receiver) there's more 5.1 programming as time goes on.


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JB

My baloney has a first name it's H-O-M-E-R my baloney has a second name it's H-O-M-E-R

JB

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Richard Burzynski

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Posted October 30 2001 - 09:25 AM

Glen:

I've decided on getting Dish and it will be installed in a few weeks. I want to get FSW and RAI and only Dish offers both. PQ should be good, I have a buddy that lives in Edison - he gets a clean picture and he's very happy. I know a Pizzeria owner in Fairfield and he likes his Dish set up as well.

As for which receivers to get, I would be careful about getting a 501. Yes, the PVR functions are very nice, but this is Dish's first implementation of PVR stuff and the 501 has received alot of bad comments/posts.

I'm getting two 301 receivers. No DD output, but they tend to be considered reliable as they are a more basic design w/ no PVR functions.

Lots of DBS info over at www.DBSForums.com.

Good Luck.

Rich B.

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Jeff O.

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Posted October 30 2001 - 09:45 AM

Robert,
I agree, you can still only "watch one show at a time". But the question was "can I record one channel and watch the other at the same time". The method that I suggested would allow you to do this (although you are watching a pre-recorded show at the same time as taping, so it is not in real time). With the deal that Dish is offering on the 501, it would just be a more economical solution than waiting for the 721.
Jeff

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Glen C

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Posted October 30 2001 - 05:07 PM

THANKS everyone. I'll read these replies on break at work later today Posted Image

#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Ken Stuart

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Posted October 31 2001 - 09:04 AM

quote:
As for which receivers to get, I would be careful about getting a 501. Yes, the PVR functions are very nice, but this is Dish's first implementation of PVR stuff and the 501 has received a lot of bad comments/posts.[/quote]

Actually, 99+% of people find that the 501 works fine 99+% of the time.

They had some problems initially, but have been working on them, and the software upgrade coming this week should take care of the last reliability problems.

For $199, the 501 is a very good deal. Any problems that there have been have all been in the PVR functions, and if you want, you can simply not use those, and still get a receiver that works 100% in terms of all the normal satellite receiver functions, plus it has Dolby Digital output and UHF remote. And, if you only use the "TV Pause", it's worth the $199 the first time you don't miss any of a show you are watching when the doorbell rings...

PS The people at DBS Forums tend to be rather antagonistic to Dish Network - note that they are actually sueing Dish Network over an issue involving the DishPlayer - which makes them not a very good source for objective comments.

[Edited last by Ken Stuart on October 31, 2001 at 04:06 PM]

#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Richard Burzynski

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Posted November 01 2001 - 05:59 AM

Ken:

Just a few points.

* DBSForums. Yes, there are a good # of people who are not fans of dish over at dbsforums, but the same can be said of directv. Iif you read thru a good # of posts, one should be able to figure out if someone is having genuine problems with certain gear or if someone has "an agenda." If anything, I consider DBSForums to be the more "politically correct" dbs forum. The folks over at dbstalk are the ones that really let it fly. There is also good info available over at AVSForums.com (they have both a Dish forum as well as a non-hd DBS Forum). One thing is for sure, reading thru all these forums (including this one here at HTF) should help one's decision-making process.

* The 501. I am not basing my comments just from what I have read on these forums, but I have spoken to a couple of local installers that verify the bugs of the 501.

* The lawsuit. CAL talk started end of September. it popped up on all these boards. It was regarding how unhappy these guys are regarding their Dishplayer units (predecessor to 501). A month later, on 10-25-01, Echostar (DISH) files a "breach of conract" lawsuit against Microsoft/WebTV regarding these very same units (Dishplayer). This tells me that the CAL talk wasn't started by a group of "Dish haters," but was surrounding a legitimate gripe/issue.

Rich B.