811 - do I have to replace it? (1 Viewer)

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bunkerbob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 11, 2003
25
0
I'm confused after two conversations with DISH CSR's about whether my 811 receiver HAS to be replaced due to the MPEG4 transition, or if I can keep using it as an SDTV-only receiver.

context: my 811 (owned, not leased) was demoted to the guest room a couple of years ago when I got a vip622 DVR. It is hooked up to an SDTV, so I don't use it for HDTV programming. The main reason I use it, instead of a 301 which I also have, is that the UHF remote allows me to locate the 811 in a CLOSET. So I don't want to switch to an IR-only receiver like the vip211. The 811 also doesn't seem to object to the fact that it is not connected to a phone line, unlike my vip622 (and I assume the vip211). So bottom line is my best case is to just continue with the 811 in the closet as an SDTV receiver.

First call with DISH was a couple of months ago when they wanted to replace my owned 811 with a leased vip211. I told them about the need for UHF and the lack of need for HDTV. The guy said in that case, no problem, the 811 would continue to function as an SDTV receiver indefinitely. Case closed, I thought.

Then I turned on the 811 yesterday, for first time in 3 months (guest room!), and got a "smart card not authorized" message on every channel except the DISH information channels. So I called DISH and reached an ill-trained CSR who sounded like a broken record repeating something like "the 811 has been discontinued, can I send you a vip211?" about ten times rather than trying to figure out what was actually going on. I quizzed her about whether MPEG2 transmissions had been stopped, and told her how the previous DISH rep had said my 811 would continue to work indefinitely, just without HDTV. She didn't seem to understand my questions. Then I asked her if the 301 had also been discontinued. She said no. So I pointed out the apparent contradiction that if the 301 could still receive SDTV on MPEG2, then my 811 should be able to as well. Again, it seemed she just wasn't understanding what I was talking about.

Finally, she said she would check for more info with someone else; she came back with the first new piece of info that made some sense: she said that they were in process of swapping out all smartcards with new versions, and that the 811 would not be part of the replacement program, so that by the end of 2008 no 811's would be allowed on the DISH network. (btw... my 811 has a smartcard slot, but currently there is no physical smartcard... not sure if that is relevant or not)

So finally my questions:
1) is it true that there will be no way to continue to use my 811 on DISH after Dec 2008?
2) if yes, then what would be the best option to replace the 811? Is there a UHF equivalent to the vip211? Or will dish still support an old 322?

btw.... after hanging up with DISH last night, I googled the "smartcard not authorized" message and found some info suggesting I try a 10 second power button reset... that started about a 20 minute process of rebooting, and then downloading new software and rebooting again, after which all my programming came back! So as of this moment, my 811 is working just the way I want it to!
 
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JohnL

Pub Member / Supporter
Sep 23, 2003
1,415
94
Spencerport, NY
I'm confused after two conversations with DISH CSR's about whether my 811 receiver HAS to be replaced due to the MPEG4 transition, or if I can keep using it as an SDTV-only receiver.

Bunkerbob,

Over the next week or two, Dish is going to migrate all the MPEG2 HD to MPEG4. This means your 811 will no longer be able to receive Satellite Delivered HD. Your 811 will still be able to receive OTA HD if you have it configured to do so.

Previously Dish receivers on an account but not connected to the satellite stream could be reconnected and used right away. This was a problem to Dish, in some cases it allowed receivers to be used to receive program without paying for service. Dish has modified most receivers firmware to self deactivate if not connected to the satellite stream for a specified period of time. When this happens and you reconnect, it will require said receivers to be reauthorized via a satellite Stream hit. This hit might come without calling in to Dish or not, but your receiver will not be able to reauthorized if its firmware is out of date. This means it could take time and several reboots before it can reactivated.

I know of no Dish program that exempts owners or leases of 811's from being able to receive the new Smart Cards, to my knowledge all subscribers will be receiving Smart cards for all receivers that either do not have smart cards in their slots or older smart cards that use the older Conditional access system.

Currently, there is no Non HD-DVR that comes with a UHF remote, but I believe there is a UHF kit that would allow a VIP211 to use a UHF remote.

Lastly, if you do not wish to receive HD programing on your 811 it will continue to function and you will be able enjoy any and all SD programing you subscribe too.

John
 

bunkerbob

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Dec 11, 2003
25
0
Thanks for the info John... that certainly explains why I got the initial "smartcard not authorized" message. Do you know if I can avoid that deactivation by just leaving that receiver powered on? Usually I completely power it off at the surge protector when not in use, just to save standby power consumption and to prevent stray voltage spikes.

EDIT ----ooops sorry, you answered the following already!
Any thoughts about the whole smartcard upgrade issue? Was CSR correct saying that the new purple smartcards won't be issued for 811's?
 
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