721 bugs & Problems pre 10/1/03 software release

Sean Mota

SatelliteGuys Master
Original poster
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
New York City
I had the 721 since the beginning. I have been quite happy with it. I am quite a power user with this pc. I record about 50 hrs/wk and probably delete the same amount per week. So my 721 has between 10hrs to 20 hrs left daily. I am constantly doing searches and changing timers. In spite of it all, I have been a happy customer with the 721.

In light of the new release coming no later than 10/1/03, I like to compile a list of bugs and problems. Please be aware that bugs are systematic problems that can be duplicated by a few steps. Problems can be anything that happens any given day and it depends on a lot of factors. If there is such a thread already, forget this one.

Here are problems that I have encountered:

(1) Reboots itself: For whatever reason the 721, reboots by itself a few times.

(2) There have been times when I have been able to schedule 3 different events and they all conflicted. Strange as it may look, the outcome was that only one event recorded out of the three. I have not been able to replicate this behavior.

(3) Games on the 721 are too unstable. After playing for a few minutes, the screen gets frozen and one needs to reboot.

There is one bug that I have encountered which is very common to everyone. I will try to look for my posting.
I have seen other people post about having an issue with te 721 rebooting due to having too many timers (I believe it was beyond 50 timers) and was not warned by the receiver that there were too many timers and did not stop at the limit that it had.

My 721 has rebooted several times by itself over a period of two or three days but has worked flawlessly after having some buggy issues with it.
1) Occasional black screens when changing channels.
2) Momentary slow down/pauses when fast fowarding/rewinding/using slow motion during playback of a recorded program. Momentary pauses or slowdown when watching live tv on occasion.
3) Random audio dropouts.
4) Recorded events unable to be played back without a forced reboot of the receiver. An event will display its correct recorded duration time in the dvr menu, but won't engage when you attempt to play it back. When you hit play you'll see a recorded time of 0 minutes up in the top banner instead of what is shown correctly in your dvr menu and it simply wont play one second of the recording. I've had one occasion where a recorded show like this was totally playable after a power button reboot of the 721 was done and one incident where nothing could be done to remedy a similar recording.
5) Switch check unable to detect 3 satellite configuration with 2 SW21 switches, 2 dish 500's, and legacy dish lnb's (one dual and one single). Check switch will take 15-20+ minutes to complete itself and will invariably only see 2 of the 3 satellite locations despite all of them being correctly aimed with great signal strength. In my case, the current check switch routine will find 61.5 no problem along with 110 at the expense of finding 119. Crazy thing is this exact configuration works perfectly with two 501's and it used to work fine when I first received the 721. Switches are fine, lnb's are fine. receivers are fine, signal strength and aiming of all 3 sats are fine, but this current software rev really doesn't like this setup at all anymore for whatever reasons.
Here is the bug I reported before. Scott, was this bug resolved in the new update. What's the new update version?

1 - Star recording any program by pushing the "record" button on the remote control. At this point you will get the "Start Recording Options" window.

2 - Select "Manual user stop" and click "Done". The program will start recording.

3 - Now, push the "PVR" button on the remote control. This will take you to the "PVR Record Event" window.

4 - Select any previously recorded program and select "Start Over".

5 - At this point you will get a window called Error 312. it states the following: "Your request can only be carried out in live mode. Stop recording and switch to live mode now?" The only options are "Yes", "Cancel" or "No".

This is a bug because you should be able to watch a pre-recorded event even if both turners are being used for recording.

Solution: to get rid of the bug, you need to stop your manually recorded event or cancel the pre-recorded event.
Thats a pretty bad bug. They have even advertised how you can record two shows at once while watching a third one (that was prerecorded of course) then the feature does not work? I would say most do not come across the bug in that most do not watch a third show while recording two shows one of them being a manual record start and stop.

Is this problem seen in the beta version being tested now?
I also notice occasional glitches when I hit either "swap" or "recall" on the 721's remote control. A single button press can sporadically cause a double execution where you wind up precisely at the same place you started at before getting curious as to what was on the other tuner or previously watched channel. Ultimately the remote seems to register it as two button presses instead of one. :?:
My 8 yr old encountered a variation of this bug last night. Only one show was recording and she stopped a previously recorded PVR event and tried to go a live show from the guide. It wouldn't let her. She got the same error motjes2 quoted.

She was upset because she thought she had done something wrong.

Something wrong when technology can make small children cry. I thought we might get past this when we dumped our DPs.
I've not had too many problems with my 721, but here are some that I've seen:

1) Gradual slowdown of just about all operations; channel changing, guide display, info display, etc. I have to reboot about every other week to correct this problem. The reboot speeds things way up, but then they gradually slow down until the next reboot. This is an issue I've not seen with computers in many, many years. Both the Linux OS and E*'s applications should be smart enough to manage resources better than that.

2) Sound dropout (and occasionally picture dropout) while playing back recorded events. I usually record at night and this happens even when the weather conditions are clear and calm. Very frustrating.

3) Some other minor problems, but they are nits. Let's get the big issues taken care of first.

Features I'd like to see added:

1) Discrete power on/off codes. Supposedly this is already in the next release.

2) Discrete codes for all the "Favorite" on-screen guides. If you use a programmable remote this makes life much easier. The problem is that pushing the "Guide" button takes you to the last viewed favorite guide so you don't have a consistent starting point for programming. On my 501 it always defaulted to the "All Programs" guide, so at least you could work with it. I want to set up my remote so a single button push takes you to the specific favorites guide and channel from which you start your search.

Perhaps what someone had said about a leak in the software where it causes it to slow down and be more and more buggy until it gets a reboot is true.
Bug expert reporting in:(

For the record if you have DISHPRO system and get intermittent pixeling or black screens on PIP, skips in audio or video playback, self reboots, guide slowdowns, and a myriad of other troublesome problems it might be the dishpro setup.

My dishpro twin with a 3 to 4 switch ran the coax outs used for my 721 tested my 508s perfectly and my signal sterngth n the 721 was 98% on a scale of a 100 on most non spotbeams.

But my 721 acted flakey and developed intermittemnt lost tuner 2 messages along with all these other wiredos.

I finally in desperation bought another twin dishpro and connected it to my 721. ALL these wierd problems GONE!

So if in doubt try changing the LNB and switch!

I put this here as a service to others who may have the same problem. I would of never suspected a 508 would run fine while a 721 not work on the same coax coinnections
I think I had to do something like this a while back myself due to some signal issues and it resolved them. Are people not having such issues with legacy lnbf's that they are having with the DishPro lnbf's?
Stargazer said:
I think I had to do something like this a while back myself due to some signal issues and it resolved them. Are people not having such issues with legacy lnbf's that they are having with the DishPro lnbf's?

I am wondering the same thing. People might be blaming the box when its really the LNB or switch.

Saturday I will swap out the switch and try to determine if its the switch or LNB that causes the problem

The fact the 508 runs fine really floors me.
I also think if Dish should fix the problem for those that had the 721 on a legacy lnbf and want to revert back to the legacy lnbf. The 721 will not do a check switch without having a signal.
Stargazer said:
I think I had to do something like this a while back myself due to some signal issues and it resolved them. Are people not having such issues with legacy lnbf's that they are having with the DishPro lnbf's?

Everything I've noted above occurs with legacy switches and lnb's.
This morning was the first time in a long time that I had to re-boot my 721. It skipped all the overnight timers. Update! Update! Where are you? Yes, 7 more days to download...
So I had a new bug pop up sunday. ESPN was on, and not blacked out.. Then the hour rolled around and the new program was blocked out. The blocked out message popped up, I tried to change the channel, and the 721 rebooted. When it finally came back up, I switched away from the blacked out programming, and after a few seconds the dish software crashed and I was left staring at the X screen.. Forcing a reboot finally got me back to normal.

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