Newbie Questions about DISH Receiver Capabilities

voranis

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Feb 8, 2014
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North Carolina, USA
Hi,

I am considering switching to DISH network. I am interested in HD receivers, because I prefer to record programs in the complete and correct aspect ratio, but do not want DVR receivers because I have my own standalone DVRs that I prefer to use because of their DVD burning capabilities. I would connect these DVRs to the composite outputs of the receiver so I understand that I should be able to record from those outputs as HDCP is enabled only on the HDMI output.

I have many questions, but I will start with these:

(1) Because my standalone DVRs do not record in HD, programs recorded from an HD channel that are in widescreen show up as letter-boxed on my DVRs. This is fine with me. However, old programs filmed in the 4:3 aspect ratio (e.g., classic TV shows), when recorded from an HD channel, show up as window-boxed, which I do not like. Therefore I prefer to record these shows from an SD feed of a channel rather than an HD feed. For channels that are broadcast in both HD and SD on DISH, can I set an autotune timer to tune to the SD version of the channel when creating a manual autotune timer event?

(2) I am interested in the receivers that allow the output of an OTA antenna to be connected to the receiver, because we have several local digital subchannels that carry classic TV networks like MeTV and Antenna TV that are not available nationally on DISH or DirecTV. If I get a DISH receiver that accepts an OTA antenna input--will I be able to specify the OTA channel as the channel to tune to when creating a manual autotune timer event?

Thanks,

Robbie
 

TheKrell

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Because my standalone DVRs do not record in HD, programs recorded from an HD channel that are in widescreen show up as letter-boxed on my DVRs.
Good grief! Don't do it that way. Record the widescreen HD program in anamorphic widescreen mode. There is a setting on Dish HD receivers that do this (for HD channels). I have done this with my Hava Platinum, which records DVD quality SD programs. Result is just like a widescreen DVD movie; it fills the HDTV screen and looks pretty darn good. I don't recall recording an SD program, though, so I'm not sure what the outputs would do in this case. But I think the SD channel will have black bars on the side, to preserve the correct aspect ration.

I am interested in the receivers that allow the output of an OTA antenna to be connected to the receiver, because we have several local digital subchannels that carry classic TV networks like MeTV and Antenna TV that are not available nationally on DISH or DirecTV. If I get a DISH receiver that accepts an OTA antenna input--will I be able to specify the OTA channel as the channel to tune to when creating a manual autotune timer event?
Yup. Only issue there is whether Dish provides guide data for your local subchannel. Some of mine do, but some do not. Speaking of the guide, Dish non-DVR receivers only have a 2 day guide. Dish DVR receivers have a 9-day guide.

It would be much easier for your recording purposes if you picked a VIP211-series receiver. You can use it with your DVD recorder, but you also have another great option. For a one-time per account $40 fee, you can add your own external disk and convert it into a DVR, 9-day program guide and all. There is no monthly fee for this receiver, if it's the only one on your account.
 
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KAB

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+1 on 211 plus EHD.
 

dare2be

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I do a lot of offloading of content to DVDs as well (using a DVD recorder with a hard drive), but even still, I use Dish's DVR because of the multiple tuners, aspect ratio format options (on HD channels), and the Seek and Record (Dish Pass) search functionality, and the aforementioned integrated OTA search/recording as well. It can get clunky and aggravating to set up and coordinate the schedules between the Dish receiver and the external DVR.
 

KC9TIK

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Oct 23, 2012
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I would connect these DVRs to the composite outputs of the receiver so I understand that I should be able to record from those outputs as HDCP is enabled only on the HDMI output.
The HDCP on HDMI is easily disabled by connecting a device that doesn't support it. I use the Hauppauge Colossus for my HD recording from a 222k. From what I heard, it doesn't work on premium movie/PPV channels.
 

voranis

Thread Starter
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Feb 8, 2014
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North Carolina, USA
Good grief! Don't do it that way. Record the widescreen HD program in anamorphic widescreen mode. There is a setting on Dish HD receivers that do this (for HD channels). I have done this with my Hava Platinum, which records DVD quality SD programs. Result is just like a widescreen DVD movie; it fills the HDTV screen and looks pretty darn good. I don't recall recording an SD program, though, so I'm not sure what the outputs would do in this case. But I think the SD channel will have black bars on the side, to preserve the correct aspect ration.
Which is why I still need to know if the SD channels are available, because for classic TV shows in the 4:3 ratio I want them recorded full-screen (without pillar-boxing). I've heard with DirecTV HD receivers you can highlight an HD channel in the program guide, then go one up or down to get the corresponding SD channel (if one is available). Is this the case with DISH HD receivers as well? (I don't want to have to keep changing the aspect ratio of the receiver back and forth as that is a manual process and I want to be able to specify the HD or SD channel when setting an autotune timer so I can schedule multiple recordings without having to manually intervene.)

Good to know about the anamorphic widescreen, I will keep that in mind when I get the receivers.

. Only issue there is whether Dish provides guide data for your local subchannel. Some of mine do, but some do not. Speaking of the guide, Dish non-DVR receivers only have a 2 day guide. Dish DVR receivers have a 9-day guide.

It would be much easier for your recording purposes if you picked a VIP211-series receiver. You can use it with your DVD recorder, but you also have another great option. For a one-time per account $40 fee, you can add your own external disk and convert it into a DVR, 9-day program guide and all. There is no monthly fee for this receiver, if it's the only one on your account.
I am planning to get VIP222k receivers, one for each of four rooms, because they have dual tuners. I can connect the composite outputs for each tuner (TV1 and TV2) to separate standalone DVRs that I already own. I have eight of these standalone DVRs.

Thanks for the heads-up about the guide data. I was hoping the non-DVR receivers would have more than 2 days' worth, but I can live with it.

So I still need to know if the SD channels can be accessed, and if they can be specified when setting an autotune timer. Does anyone know?

Thanks!
 
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voranis

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Feb 8, 2014
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North Carolina, USA
I do a lot of offloading of content to DVDs as well (using a DVD recorder with a hard drive), but even still, I use Dish's DVR because of the multiple tuners, aspect ratio format options (on HD channels), and the Seek and Record (Dish Pass) search functionality, and the aforementioned integrated OTA search/recording as well. It can get clunky and aggravating to set up and coordinate the schedules between the Dish receiver and the external DVR.
I prefer to use my standalone DVRs to do the recording from the live output of the receiver. I had a cable DVR and having to select programs from the DVR to play and then starting the standalone DVR to record is too klunky for me. Plus the time stamp on the standalone DVR recording is then inaccurate.

I prefer setting autotune timers and letting the standalone DVR record the live stream. The standalone DVR recording then has the correct time stamp which helps me manage the recordings.

I am planning to have four VIP222k receivers, each in a separate room. These have dual tuners and I'm sure they have aspect ratio options. I'm not interesting the Seek and Record capability. The cable DVR had that and I never used it.

I already own eight standalone DVRs, two in each of four rooms, so I can already record more simultaneously than even the six-tuner Hopper receiver. Trying to record everything on one DVR receiver and then transferring everything from that receiver to a single standalone DVR would create a logjam in my offloading capability.

Robbie
 

slick1ru2

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I thought you don't have to pay to activate the USB anymore. It would be nice if they updated the vip211 software too, so you DL Blockbuster@Home content to the external DD.
 

dare2be

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I thought you don't have to pay to activate the USB anymore. It would be nice if they updated the vip211 software too, so you DL Blockbuster@Home content to the external DD.
As additional storage on existing DVRs like the 612/622/722/Hopper, you don't. But to turn a 211 into a DVR (making the external HDD the primary recording device), you do have the pay a one-time account level $40 fee.
 

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