DISHnetwork *is* an option for me - a few questions...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by RAF, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I just found out today that I can get a clear line of sight to both the 110-119 and the 61.5 birds if I mount the two dishes on a pole on my property about 50 feet from my house (in a traffic controlled area so I don't have to worry about errant footballs, etc. hitting the dishes).
    I had just about given up on Dish as an HDTV option (I own a Sony VW10HT HDTV projector) and was concentrating on OTA programming alone. (I might still opt for the OTA module on a DISH 6000 if DISH doesn't win its argument to provide local DTV access to its customers but that's another subject for another time.)
    A few questions to the group (I think this is a better place to post this than in the HDTV section where I've been carrying on another dialogue).
    [*] Do any of you have a Dish installation on a pole in the ground rather than on your roof? I'm thinking if I create a stable set-up (14' pole sunk 4 feet into the ground with tripod support and underground cables conduit to the house - about 50' away) it shouldn't be a problem. Any pitfalls or experiences to share?
    I'm going with a 4 set installation (all switches and distribution amps inside to minimize what's on the outside pole) I'm aware of the switching and distribution requirements for the four receivers and am trying to decide on which receivers to get. Obviously, one receiver will be the 6000, but I was looking to get a PVR as a second receiver and two fairly basic receivers for the other two sets. The only requirements for the "basic" receivers would be CD music track information (my better half fell in love with the music channels while at a friend's house and she wants to see the track information on the audio channels). The related questions here are:
    [*] How do those who use the DISH PVR receiver like it? Is it worth it or should I be considering a more basic receiver with a TiVo or Replay unit attached?
    [*] Assuming that the 6000 and the PVR are two of my receivers, which of the multitude of "basic" receivers would you recommend? I want the CD info option, but is there something else I should be sure to get with these relatively inexpensive 3rd and 4th receivers to assure their usefulness in the foreseeable future? Which models should I be focusing on?
    [*] The pricing structure and special promos from DISH run all over the place. It appears to me that if I'm in this for the long haul I'm best served by purchasing the equipment and then contracting for the services I want rather than going with one of these "no equipment cost" deals that look enticing until you realize that "free" equipment can cost $20 a month more in perpetuity. What do you recommend?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
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    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  2. David Baird

    David Baird Extra

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    Robert:
    I have had my Dish 500 antenna mounted on the side of my ham radio tower for nearly three years with no problems. The tower is 56-feet tall (Dish antenna at about 30 feet) and is set in four feet of concrete. Very stable as I'm sure your 14-foot pole would be.
    As for the distance from your antenna to your house, shouldn't be a problem at all. I like your idea to make the cable runs underground through pvc or some such.
    I have two DishPlayers which have given me no problems at all. Don't know anything about Tivo, Dish's 501, et all, so can't comment on those. Whichever PVR you select, it will alter the way you watch TV and you'll wonder how you've lived without it!!
    Good luck, enjoy and best wishes.
    David
     
  3. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Robert,
    Since you obviously want a quality picture, the stand alone Tivo is not an option. The PVR501 records the data stream straight from the satellite and you get an exact copy during play back. I'm lucky to have a relatively bug free Dishplayer and it is great.
    Are you going to put your receivers at each television or install them together in an equipment closet. If they are together, you may have problems with the remotes on the basic models. They are IR only and not adressable. The PVR and 6000 are UHF/IR with 15 addresses, so there will not be and interference between the two.
    Make sure your conduit is large enough to handle six coax cables.
    -Robert
     
  4. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    RAF,
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the comments and kind words. They are a great help and very much appreciated.
    quote: Are you going to put your receivers at each television or install them together in an equipment closet. If they are together, you may have problems with the remotes on the basic models. They are IR only and not adressable. The PVR and 6000 are UHF/IR with 15 addresses, so there will not be and interference between the two.
    [/quote]
    Robert_J,
    All receivers will be at their respective television sets so this is not a problem, and the only two units that will probably be side by side are the 6000 (which will feed the HDTV VW10HT projector in the HT) and the PVR (which will feed my Pioneer Elite RPM in the same room) and, as you've already explained, can co-exist because of programmable addresses, etc.
    quote: Make sure your conduit is large enough to handle six coax cables.[/quote]
    I'm planning on using 2" conduit so this should be fine. Also, for a number of reasons I intend to place all the distribution units and switches inside my house on a panel so wouldn't there only be three cables coming from the dual dishes on the outside stand? (2 for the 500 and 1 for the 61.5 HDTV dish) Or am I missing something here?
    quote: The CD channels are displayed on the 301. The info is at the Echostar Knowledge Base under the 301 Advance Info.http://www.echostaruser.org/ekb/1.htm
    Thanks again, all.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  7. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    It will take six coax cables. The 500 has two dual LNB's and the 300 has one dual LNB. All six cables will feed an SW64 switch pictured herehttp://www.dishdepot.com/Cart/images/SW64Switch.jpg and the four outputs go to each receiver. The smaller box pictured is the power injector.
    When searching for Dishnetwork info, the last place to look is their site. www.dbsforums.com has a ton of info including a section on PVR sat receivers.
    -Robert
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Robert,
    Thanks for the clarification on the number of cables going through the conduit. I assume that a 2" diameter conduit will do the job (fitted with an LB opening at each end.) The man who will be doing the actual installation (I'll probably install the conduit for some sweat equity) requested a 2" conduit and he knows it's a two dish (500 & 300) installation.
    And, yes, I now realize that the Official DISH site leaves a lot to be desired in the area of current "information." Thanks for the links.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  9. Patrick Bennett

    Patrick Bennett Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't forget you'll need a 7th cable for your OTA access. I found a guy locally who installs antennas for HDTV reception in attics. He did an excellent job and I typically have 90-98 signal strength on all my OTA feeds into my Dish 6000.
    As for the PVR501. It's a nice unit, and having the raw bitstream recorded is wonderful for the video & audio quality. It makes a huge difference on a big screen.
    Still, it's scheduling and usability is about a 3 compared to my Replay's 9. It's nothing more than a glorified VCR. You can set once, daily, weekly, M-F scheduled 'timers' of things to record. Granted, you can browse through the channel guide (still not as good as Replay's - and it only goes 42 hours in advance and NOTHING in the past) and pick something to record, but it just creates the 'timer' for you.
    If the show changes times, or is on a different channel you're out of luck. Heck, you can't even view the channel guide (possibly to pick other shows to record) while it's recording something. It's got its share of 'quirks,' but overall, it's still a darn nice recorder.
    I've got a Dish 6000, a 4900, and a PVR501. My ReplayTV's modem got fried by a lightning blast two weeks ago so it's basically a paper-weight now (it can't dial out to get its channel guide). I got the PVR501 as a replacement of sorts, but I'll still probably pay to have the Replay fixed (and have an additional recorder for conflicts).
    One thing to point out... The dish6000 is horribly slow and has an ancient interface compared to the 4900/501. I use it for watching HDTV, nothing more. You'll probably find yourself doing the same.
    ------------------
    The Bennett Home Theater: http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Album...654&a=12500765
     
  10. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Patrick,
    Thanks for the additional information. I'm aware that I will need an additional cable if I want OTA HDTV (I'll wait a bit to see how the "promised" Dish/CBS-HD works out and also for the results of Dish's attempt to get all DTV local broadcast access rights.) Of course, this 7th cable will not be any concern for my underground conduit since it would be coming from a roof-mounted OTA antenna and not from the pole where the dishes will reside.
    And thanks, too, for the information on the 501 and the 6000. Yes, I assume I will use the 6000 primarily for HDTV (both DISH delivered and, probably, OTA a bit later - no pun intended.) The 501 seems to have a slew of features that will make it the box I will use for "regular" TV surfing.
    As it now stands, I'm going to be getting a 6000 (which I'll purchase) and link up with the 501 Digital offer which will provide me with a 501 and two 301 boxes at a fair price. By renting rather than buying the 501 as a new subscriber it will not only give me equipment peace of mind, but will possibly allow an upgrade path to the 721 if that becomes a viable option.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  11. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Second Unit

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    PS The 501 will be upgraded in the near future as follows:
    - Guide will be able to be accessed while recording.
    - Guide will be expanded (from current 44 hours) to 7 days, and then later to 9 days.
    - Search function will be added to guide.
    and this is not a complete list.
    Also note that the 501 and 301 have faster processors than previous models, so the menu, guide and other functions respond faster to commands from the remote.
    And, current models (501, 301, 4900, 3900) have OpenTV capability, which is interactive TV that will get more applications downloaded in 2002.
     

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