Dish Network PVR-721 anyone got one yet?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MarkRoberts, Oct 21, 2002.

  1. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been researching the pvr's from dish for awhile heard the 501's had some trouble. Was looking at the 721 has killer features like recording 2 channels at the same time.Anyway looking for some user feedback.
     
  2. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    Mark,

    I've had a PVR-721 for about two weeks now and I've generally been very pleased with it.

    The picture quality is excellent, as is the remote, and there are plenty of output options. I have mine connected to my VCR and TV through the regular coaxial cable, as well as with S-video and optical digital audio, both running through an Onkyo 595 receiver.

    The actual installation was problematic, largely I think because my installer wasn't familiar with the 721 and was in a hurry to get out of here before the software was finished downloading (which takes 45 minutes when you first install it). Once those issues were worked out, I was quite happy. The 721 has better menus and onscreen guide than the plain 301 receiver, and setting up recordings, etc., is very easy.

    The owner's manual is a whopping 176 pages, and is very pretty, with an embossed cover and glittery blue ink. Beyond that, it's fairly useless. They tell you three or four times how to do the obvious things, but there's very little help with the more advanced stuff that we HT fans are interested in.

    There is also no MPEG encoder, so you can't record cable or over-the-air broadcasts to the PVR --- you're limited to recording satellite broadcasts only.

    On the downside, I will say I get audio dropouts on HBO Dolby Digital broadcasts, but that apparently is an HBO issue, not a problem with the 721 itself. I have no problems with stereo or Dolby Pro-Logic signals at all, nor do I have problems with Dolby Digital from other sources.

    There are a few glitches still with timer recordings that I haven't had time to iron out yet. Sometimes it records shows I haven't told it to record, and other times it won't record something even though the timer has been set correctly. I'll be calling tech support tomorrow to work out these issues and will let you know how it goes. If it's a software problem, I expect the next update will take care of it. If it's hardware, I expect they'll send me a new receiver.

    Dish Network's customer support has been very good, but I will say if you ever need to call them with regards to the 721, just ask for advanced technical support right off the bat. The regular tech support people know very little about the 721.
     
  3. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input Ken. Have you tried recording 2 channels at the same time? That is the main reason I want it too many tv shows I like and tapes wear out before the end of the season. Oh and I loath commercials.The timer issues you are having would be a major concern of mine.Can you hook two vcrs up to it one to each tuner for a backup?Very interested to hear what you find out. I already ordered a quad lnb to hook up a 721 and my existing 4900. It has a optical out as well never had many drop outs but some shows say they are DD then when they start just pro-logic.You wouldn't happen to have a pvr-508 also? Any experience with it? Thanks again for your input.
     
  4. MarkRoberts

    MarkRoberts Stunt Coordinator

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    I just read some pretty discouraging things at the dbstalk.com forum regarding the pvr's. Such as the pvr randomly deleting 30+ hrs of recorded shows.Not recording the shows it was supposed to, I mean recording a completely different channel than it was programmed to! Anyone with a 501/508 out there with some long term use?Have the software updates improved the performance of the older pvrs?
     
  5. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    Mark,

    I haven't had any trouble with the PVR randomly deleting shows yet, and I've been recording about 12 hours of programming per week for three weeks now.

    I record from both tuners at the same time fairly regularly, such as Tuesdays when I record Gilmore Girls and Smallville off of WB at the same time I'm recording Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Haunted from UPN. I've never had a hitch there, and if you forget you're recording with both tuners and try to change the channel, the PVR does a pretty good job of warning you.

    You can't hook two VCRs up at the same time. Well, you can technically --- one to the coax output and one to the A/V outputs --- but they'll both be feeding off the same signal. You can't output two different programs at the same time, as far as I can tell.

    I don't have any experience with the PVR-508, so I can't help you there.
     
  6. Gary Thomas

    Gary Thomas Second Unit

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    I've had the 501 for about a year or so. I've never had a problem with random program erasing or recording errors. The only problem with the 501 is that when you hit the record button, it will record until you physically hit the stop button. I had a baby sitter hit the record button & it recorded for about 20 hours straight...deleting unprotected shows that had previously been recorded.

    This problem is not an issue when recording a program in the future...only a live show.

    Maybe this has been fixed on the 508 or 721...

    I'm passing on the 721 & waiting for the 921. (It may be a long wait!)
     
  7. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

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    OK, I found out some additional information at DBSTalk.com about the recording problems I've been having. It seems this is a known glitch when timers have been set for "weekly" or "monday-Friday" and should be corrected by the next software upgrade. There's a software upgrade due as early as today and another sometime soon, so that should take care of the problem.
     

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