How do I get into HD Dish?


    If you are seeing this you are on our new server WELCOME HOME!

    While the new server is online Scott is still working on the backend including the cachine. But the site is usable while the work is being completes!

    Thank you for your patience and again WELCOME HOME!



Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Sep 9, 2005

I've been a lurker and now I need to find out how to get into HD. Currently I am leasing a 625 and am feeding it to 2 tvs. Late last year I bought a LCD which is HD ready. I would like to take advantage of the possibility of using the HD capabilities of this TV and maybe eventually getting a new one for the other. Anyway my question is now that I've just paid for another year of Dish and I'm locked in what can I do? Do I call Dish and tell them I would like to go HD, what is the best receiver and what is the lease rate versus buying it outright? As you can see I'm a bit confused as to what is the best deal with this. Can I get locals in HD? I live in State College, PA which works out to be Johnstown, Altoona market. I know our local cable can get HD on several of those networks. If they are not available to me via Dish can I get other locals that are HD or not? What price range should I expect per month? Okay enough questions, I'll see what you can offer me for information before I ask any more.

Love the site,

VIP 622 is available for lease, giving you 3 tuners for the DVR portion (2 sat, 1 off air). You'll likely need a rooftop antenna to get HD signals off air. You can check Dish's web site for your address to determine if HD locals are available via satellite. The costs are $299 lease upgrade fee, $5 / month lease fee, $6 / month DVR fee, and $6 / month HD fee. The HD fee is waived, if you subscribe to one of the HD packages. The HD Packages cost $20 more than the comparable SD package (AT 60, 120, etc).

Purchase price of the VIP 622 is ~$699.
Yeah just send them a E-mail let them know you like to to a upgrade to one of the new HD Plans like the Sliver or Gold. Whichever one fits you the best and I would think you could get some kind of deal..
NickDowns - Welcome! I live in your same neck of the woods! So I do have some more definitive info for you.

The DVR you want is definitely the 622. If E* won't upgrade you now due to an existing commitment, then you can buy outright as I did ($500 from DishStore - you might do better on eBay, etc. but I recommend DishStore for their prompt service and because they are a site sponsor!) E* might upgrade you anyway since they'll immediately get more $$ out of you. The lease is $6 per month (waived?) plus the $5.98 DVR fee and another $5 "additional receiver fee" if you don't/can't connect a phone line to the 622 (same as the 625?). You'll need to add another dish pointed to 61.5 and probably make a swap of the LNB on your 110/119 dish. From there a single downlead to the 622 will serve both sat. tuner inputs with the separator. If you upgrade through E* then the installation of that extra equipment should be part of the deal. Or you can buy it and DIY.

I have the 622 (owned) and an 811 and 301 (both leased). I get HDBronze plus locals, 2 "ala carte" channels, and I have the DHPP, all for about $80 per month.

Our HD locals are a real crapshoot, and I'm struggling with that myself. There is no HD LiL (local-into-local) available through E* yet and not for the forecasted future, SD only. I am receiving WPSU (PBS) very well over the air. They have one HD subchannel 15.1 and two SD subs (15.2 and 15.3). 15.2 is the same as the SD program E* is carrying. I can also receive ABC (WATM Altoona) on 24.1 and 24.2 (HD and SD respectively) and FOX (WWCP Altoona) on 24.3 SD only. (They are sharing a digital channel as they are owned by the same parent.) For CBS, I have yet to receive WTAJ reliably, tho' I have been receiving their ch 10 analog signal well for many years. Their digital is on 32.2, SD only. I expect they will b'cast their HD version on 32.1 in the future.

All of the channels I mentioned except WPSU are co-located on Wopsononick Mountain near Altoona, about 30 miles from State College on a bearing of about 240 deg. depending on your exact location. You'll definitely need a quality outdoor antenna for all of those. WPSU is located on Philipsburg mountain (correct name?) at about 40 miles and a bearing of 330 deg. But they are high and powerful and easier to receive, at least for me. I'm using a Channel Master CM4228 UHF antenna with a CM7777 preamp pointed to Wopsy to get all these channels. (WPSU comes in great even tho' it's off-axis.)

For WJAC Johnstown, they're HD and SD on 34.1 with a weather channel on 34.2. I cannot receive those channels at all. Coincidentally they are on almost exactly the same bearing for me (247 deg. true) as the Altoona channels, but at 55 miles they are probably out of reach for me. If you are high enough with virtually no obstructions to your west you might have different luck.

That's about it for "our" digital OTA locals. I'm going to add a rotator to my system so I can swing it to the SE in hopes of maybe getting something out of Harrisburg, but I don't really expect any luck with that. (The rotator is more in hopes of fine-tuning my westward direction to receive CBS and perhaps NBC eventually.)

I have been working on HD locals for our area for almost a year now. Let me know if you're interested in pursuing this further.

You'll love the 622 if you go that direction...!
Last edited:
Thanks so much for the replies guys...especially you bhelms. I had a feeling we were still on the outs for HD locals at this point also. I wonder if the move to HD is that critical at this point if the HD locals are not available for our area. I got out of the C-band thing about 8 years ago with the thought that Dish would be adequate and now I'm back to this situation again where it takes a major and minor in electronics and geography to get what others can easily get on cable!!! I would love to see E* get on the ball and get quicker service but I remember how long it took just to get locals in the first place so I don't expect miracles on HD anytime soon either. It makes me pine for cable so I can actually watch some of my favorite shows in HD!!!

I guess then bhelms what can I watch or rather what channels do you watch in HD that are coming from E*? I was hoping that if I lease the 622 I might be able to get away with not having to pay the $299 since I've been leasing the 625 which has been a champ for me so far and love that dual DVR' great! Thanks so much for all the information it gives me a lot better idea of what direction I"m heading in.


Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 1)