Dish PVR

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dennis_H, Aug 24, 2001.

  1. Dennis_H

    Dennis_H Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 5, 2001
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    Now that Dish network is offering a $9/mo special (at least in my area) for a year, I'm thinking of doing the dish thing. One of the equip choices is the Dish PVR 501 system. Any comments on this unit. I know it records digitally off the satellite, so quality should be good. How is its ease of use and is the HD upgradeable?
  2. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

    Jul 3, 1997
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    I just installed a DISH Network (a 6000, a 501PVR and two 301 receivers) with full HD capability (2 dishes) and am very pleased with the quality of the signal and the equipment. While my main focus was on acquiring HDTV for my Sony VW10HT projector, I also subscribed to the "Digital DVR" plan since it allowed me to use the equipment (other than the 6000 which I purchased) without having to purchase it. This also provides the opportunity to upgrade the equipment as new units become available. (For example, there will be a new unit out in a few months, the 721, which will provide additional features, greater HD capacity, and offer Watch & Record, etc.)
    Let me say that my initial reaction to PVR is very positive. I find the recorded signal to be excellent (it records exactly what the dish picks up) and the interface to be intuitive. It was a very pleasant surprise to me as part of my entire Dish package. And there is, of course, no additional monthly charge for accessing the menus, etc. etc. I had looked a little into Tivo and Replay but never took the plunge as I tried to figure out which system was better for me. I'm sure there are some features of both these units that some people prefer over Dish PVR, but as a "newbie" in this area I find the whole package fits my current needs to a T.
    Incidentally, the "$9 Plan," is really not as cheap as it appears (but still a good deal compared to cable.) You need to put $200 upfront for equipment (usually it's free) and then they "reduce" the monthly ~$31 fee to ~$9 for ONE YEAR by applying a monthly ~$22 credit. In essense, you are paying the fee up front and then they give most of it back to you. And the $9 plan does not, I don't believe, include the 501PVR box but the regular receiver. I would imagine the 501 costs more. The "Digital PVR" plan, on the other hand, includes the 501 and some other stuff packaged in with it (local stations if available, in-house servicing, etc.) and is a good way to get into both Dish and PVR's.
    My 2 cents.
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
  3. Danny R

    Danny R Supporting Actor

    May 23, 2000
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    The 501 is finally becoming a good tuner. The latest software release fixed a number of problems that were annoying and required the unit to be periodically unplugged and rebooted. Thus you picked a good time to look into it.
    This unit has all the basic recording functions that are generally advertised. You can pause, and rewind live television, as well as record. The interface is simple to use as well. Simple go to the guide, browse till you find a future show, and select it. It will then ask you if you want to record that show, and automatically tells you about timer conflicts. However the 501 only has 1 tuner, so you can only tune in or record one show at a time. However you can watch a previously recorded show while taping something else.
    The guide is only 44 hours, and the unit does not offer any search capabilities like the Tivo (find out when the next Buffy: TVS is playing). However these features are supposedly going to be installed in an upcoming software release. I don't know if the software will every be advanced enough to allow Tivo-like searches on actors, etc though, although I don't see any reason why it someday couldn't be.
    You mentioned the hard drive as well. Currently no known hacks for this have been published, so you are stuck with the current hard drive's limitations.

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