DishHD HD Stand Alone Pak?

CochiseGuy

CochiseGuy

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 6, 2006
921
1
Cochise County, Arizona
I had a Dish 500 with 811 HD receiver installed Dec. 05 when I moved out to a property I owned in rural SE AZ, about 60 miles from Tucson. I went with the Top 60, locals, and the old $9.99 per month HD package, with the HD package free for 6 months. I have a Sony 57" RP HDTV. I was appalled at the PQ of E*'s SD programing, especially the compressed SD quality of network ("locals") channels. Although assured by antennaweb.org & neighbors that I was too far out to get Tucson locals OTA, I researched and tried a Winegard HD9095P UHF only antenna paired with a Winegard Channel Master 7777 preamp. It worked! I get all the Tucson HD / digital channels about 95% of the time.

Now that my 6 months free E* HD has ended, I keep debating whether to cancel the service because I use it so little. 90% of my viewing time is on OTA or movies on DVD / HD DVD. 8% is spent on E*'s HD channels - TNT & HD Movienet. 2% is spent on the SD "Top 60" I'm paying $30 / mo. for. Not a good return on money spent.

One alternative to cancelling completely was to go with E*'s $29.99 / mo. HD Stand Alone Pak. I called Dish today to find about. After much wrangling with a CSR in India I could barely understand she told me I would have to upgrade to a 211 for the $49 fee. While not wild about paying $49 to upgrade a dish & receiver that is only 6 mos. old, I knew from reading the threads here that an 18 month committment was required. I asked the CSR about this, and after a few minutes' search, she confirmed it. I told her that I paid the $50 activation fee in December to avoid any contract committment. Would that be refunded if they were now requiring a new 18 month comittment? After a much longer wait she came back and said No!

The HD Stand Alone Pak does have several more HD channels than I have now, and would eliminate the cost of the SD Top 60 I rarely watch. My questions are:

- Is it absolutely necessary to have the new 211 receiver and new dish to get the add'l HD channels? (I thought Mpeg4 isn't implemented yet, so my mpeg2 811 receiver should be adequate for now)

- There's no way around that new 18 month committment to upgrade to the 211, even though I paid the activation fee to avaoid any contract committments?

If the answer to question 2 is "yes", they're history. Another alternative I'm looking into is getting a Canadian satellite service. I have a brother who lives in Vancouver who I can use for a service activation address. They seem alot more reasonable for selecting a basic programing package and then selectively adding a few channels at a time at for $1- $2. Unlike E*'s bundling scam. With Top 60 I get CNN & CNN Headline News. OH? You want to watch Fox News? That's another $10 for the Top 120, with 59 more channels I never watch.

In anticipation of flames, yes - I have been accused of being cheap before. :p

I prefer to think of as insisting on value for the amount spent. :)
 
teachsac

teachsac

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Staff member
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Nov 3, 2005
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Elk Grove, CA
The answer is yes you must have an MPEG4 receiver (211,411,622) in order to receive the additional HD channels. If you do the upgrade to a 211 for $49 then there is an 18 month commitment.

The option is to purchase the 211 at dishstore for $234 and then there is no commitment. The SD quality on the 211/411/622 is much better than the 811.

Scott
 
CochiseGuy

CochiseGuy

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 6, 2006
921
1
Cochise County, Arizona
teachsac said:
The answer is yes you must have an MPEG4 receiver (211,411,622) in order to receive the additional HD channels. If you do the upgrade to a 211 for $49 then there is an 18 month commitment.

The option is to purchase the 211 at dishstore for $234 and then there is no commitment. The SD quality on the 211/411/622 is much better than the 811.

Scott

Hmmm. Thanks, I had forgot about the option of buying equipment. But, is a different dish required? A Dish 500 was installed with the 811 receiver.

Edit: Was looking at the DishStore listing for the 211. "The SD quality on the 211/411/622 is much better than the 811". Is that only by using the HDMI>DVI output? My Sony HDTV has only 1 DVI input, and that's reserved for my Tosh XA1 HD DVD.
 
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teachsac

teachsac

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Staff member
HERE TO HELP YOU!
Nov 3, 2005
15,120
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Elk Grove, CA
CochiseGuy said:
Hmmm. Thanks, I had forgot about the option of buying equipment. But, is a different dish required? A Dish 500 was installed with the 811 receiver.

Edit: Was looking at the DishStore listing for the 211. "The SD quality on the 211/411/622 is much better than the 811". Is that only by using the HDMI>DVI output? My Sony HDTV has only 1 DVI input, and that's reserved for my Tosh XA1 HD DVD.

You will need a dish pointed at 61.5 or 129 for the additional HD channels. It looks way better even using an S-Video cable. I had an 811 and was not the least bit thrilled with the SD quality. With my 411 and 622, they are not only watchable but very good quality.

Parasound is coming out with a switch box that will input all HD format cables and output them to 1 source. I'm lookiung into that, too.

Good luck with whatever decision you make.

Scott
 
F

Fredinva

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2005
434
0
CochiseGuy said:
yes - I have been accused of being cheap before. :pQUOTE]

Apparently, you're not Tooooo cheap, you've got a Tosh XA1 HD DVD.
But my question is, What do you use it for?? Is Blockbuster rentin' HD DVD movies niow?

For one of the metallic packages you will need another dish, either for 61.5 or 129 - where all the Voom channels are. One may be included in your upgrade to a 211 or 622 and the HD programming. Get it all spelled out.

fred
(oh, and try Component for your Tosh and dvi for your receiver upgrade, or vice-versa)
 
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CochiseGuy

CochiseGuy

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 6, 2006
921
1
Cochise County, Arizona
Fredinva said:
CochiseGuy said:
yes - I have been accused of being cheap before. :pQUOTE]

Apparently, you're not Tooooo cheap, you've got a Tosh XA1 HD DVD.
But my question is, What do you use it for?? Is Blockbuster rentin' HD DVD movies niow?

For one of the metallic packages you will need another dish, either for 61.5 or 129 - where all the Voom channels are. One may be included in your upgrade to a 211 or 622 and the HD programming. Get it all spelled out.

fred
(oh, and try Component for your Tosh and dvi for your receiver upgrade, or vice-versa)

Well, I said ACCUSED of being cheap, but I prefer to think of it value returned fopr money spent. For me, the XA1 is the most 'bang for buck' I've spent on home entertainment equipment in a long time. Thye HD DVD display is absolutely the best display I've ever seen on my Sony 57' Rp HDTV. I've bought 9 HD DVD titles with Constantine & Perfect Storm on their way after their release next Tues. I've rented 4-5 HD DVD's thru Netflix. The XA1's upconversion quality (on HDMI>DVI only) is amazing. I've had a Denon 1910 for several years & thought its upconversion rivaled some of Dish's HD broadcasts. The XA1 is measurably better at upconverting. Unconversion is allowed only on HDCP protected outputs (HDMI or DVI), so it's staying on my TV's single DVI input. When I can find a DVD switch box for well under $200, I'll go for one.

My Dish 811 sez it's on satellites 110 & 129, so if the add'l HD channels are on 129 I may be in luck. $234 to purchase doesn't seem too bad when you subtract Dish's $49 upgrade fee the net is $185 with no committment. As someone who has been married & divorced twice & is happily single, you might say I have a thing against long term committments. :D

As I said, I'm also considering going with the Canadian StarChoice serviceas an alternative. But that looks like $250 Canadian upfront for equipment. Decisions, decisions! Thanks for the feed back.
 
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