OK, CES is Over, Where’s the 811 Fixes- Venting Time

hemway

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
293
2
Arizona
OK, the 811 has been out for almost a month and a half and E* has done very little to correct some of the major annoying problems. I know there are a few people here who work at E*, know people who work at E*, or know people who know people who work at E*. Tell them to get with the program.

CES is over, although that was a poor excuse to use for not working on the problems, unless you only have one person doing the programming and as a reward for their EXCELLENT work so far, gave them a trip to Vegas for a job well done. I know that on this forum, and on other forums, people have been listing all of the items that need fixing in the 811. I know that I for one, have emailed my problems to E* and received the old standard response that they know of the problems and are working on it, unfortunately that was almost a month ago. Sure there are a ton of problems we would all like to see fixed, but fixing the ones that are the biggest annoyances to most of us or are items that the 811 fails to deliver as documented in the product description, would be first good step and would make some of us happy because it would show us that they are at least trying to work on the fixes.

Come on E*, give us the EPG (2 days), partial guide with video, and most important to me, fix that annoying message you get when you try to bring up the guide after watching OTA signals for a while. Once you get those done and downloaded to us, then you can work on the fixing the local OTA DTV & ATV mapping issues, program guide so it works like the STB based units, and all the other items that have been reported.

Am I crazy to want these fixes? E*, please show me something as my wife is driving me crazy with her “this HD stuff is really great” comments when we try to flip to the guide and have to wait for about a minute before we get the guide.

Sorry, I needed to vent because my wife is harping on me for buying a box that I promoted as something that will enhance our TV viewing, but has only created tensions when we sit down to watch TV.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
hemway said:
CES is over, although that was a poor excuse to use for not working on the problems, unless you only have one person doing the programming and as a reward for their EXCELLENT work so far, gave them a trip to Vegas for a job well done. I know that on this forum, and on other forums, people have been listing all of the items that need fixing in the 811. I know that I for one, have emailed my problems to E* and received the old standard response that they know of the problems and are working on it, unfortunately that was almost a month ago. Sure there are a ton of problems we would all like to see fixed, but fixing the ones that are the biggest annoyances to most of us or are items that the 811 fails to deliver as documented in the product description, would be first good step and would make some of us happy because it would show us that they are at least trying to work on the fixes.

Come on E*, give us the EPG (2 days), partial guide with video, and most important to me, fix that annoying message you get when you try to bring up the guide after watching OTA signals for a while. Once you get those done and downloaded to us, then you can work on the fixing the local OTA DTV & ATV mapping issues, program guide so it works like the STB based units, and all the other items that have been reported.

Am I crazy to want these fixes? E*, please show me something as my wife is driving me crazy with her “this HD stuff is really great” comments when we try to flip to the guide and have to wait for about a minute before we get the guide.

Sorry, I needed to vent because my wife is harping on me for buying a box that I promoted as something that will enhance our TV viewing, but
has only created tensions when we sit down to watch TV.

Might need to upgrade the wife... :p <<<Joke>>>>

I am getting my 811 hopefully Saturday so I might feel the same pain. HOwever here are few comments.

The 811 had two quick software releases after initial release. Software fixes are not quick thing and they take some time. I am sure Echostar is working on them. My 6000 has some mapping issues of its own and it is much more software mature.

The "Acquiring Signal" bug is also in the 6000 and has yet to be fixed there. I was hoping the 811 would not have it. I am not sure what is the root cause, but I hope that they do find and fix it. It is the most annoying thing about the 6000.

Well all I can offer is to have patience because you will drive yourself and your wife nuts if you don't. These things take time and if you let it get to you then you will just create a lot of pain. If it bugs you that much, sell the 811 on Ebay and switch.

If you moved from SD to HD there is nothing better than watching HBO HD movie or HDNet or discovery in HD. Coming from a 6000, I see this move as a stop gap until the 921 becomes viable.

I am sure the features will come, but if you expect them in weeks and not months, I would hate to be in your house. ;)
 

video62

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
385
0
WeeJavaDude said:
....Software fixes are not quick thing and they take some time...
I used to feel this way back when I was a hardcore E* supporter (no more though), but hey, how can other companies ship products without serious defects as outlined in the original post?

...I am sure the features will come, but if you expect them in weeks and not months, I would hate to be in your house.
He's asking for it to work right from what I can see, not feature enhancements.

A real beta test would have found these issues and a company serious about quality would not ship a product with these kinds of outstanding problems and ask their customers to be the beta test guinea pigs. E* software development must be seriously understaffed (read: underfunded), poorly managed or both.

Scrimping on product development is a false economy- you can always justify it on the books but in reality is has a large impact on customer satisfaction. Some CEOs just figure it doesn't matter (because customers are just sheep anyway) and they feel "additional marketing" can make up for shoddy products.

If E* gear worked well when first shipped I'd still be an E* customer from 1996, but I got tired of waiting for the 522 and switched to D*/DirecTivo. When it rolled out partially crippled it confirmed my choice of switching.

Might need to upgrade the wife...
Good luck finding one that's comapatable with E*'s unreliable-when-new products.
 

bubba04

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 20, 2003
51
0
If the 6000 and the 721 have the same issues as the 811 after all this time, can we really hold out any hope for our issues being corrected anytime soon, if ever? I DID finally get my 811 and have been enjoying the heck out of it. But, the bugs and missing features that were advertised to us can be frustrating to deal with. I get a hopeful feeling every time I turn on my 811. I check the EPG and then I check the sysinfo for any upgrades. It's like waking up every Xmas morning to see if Santa has left me anything only to be disappointed once again.
Bubba04
 

hemway

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
293
2
Arizona
WeeJavaDude,

One of the major reasons the 811 is having most of the same problems as the 6000 has is because E* is using the same software, with just a few changes, in the 811. Go into some of the help screens and in there they talk about the '6000' not the 811.

As for some quick fixes early in the game, I didn't have my 811 when the first fix came out that fixed the sizing problem, but did have it when the second fix came out and it didn't fix anything on my box. Tonight after the box hung up on my wife when she went to change OTA channels, causing me to do a reset on it, I had to take the remote away from her because she looked like she was getting ready to throw it at the Sony.

E* needs to hire some people to fix their boxes.
 

frog

Member
Jan 10, 2004
10
0
I find it amazing that a company would ship a product with known defects. How many of us would buy something from the local circuit city if the salesmen said "it only has about 10-20 problems".

I had ordered a 811, after learning of all the issues I contacted their "Tech Support" at first they denied any problems, upon being pressed they did say there were some software issues.

This was the last straw dealing with dish, I canceled the 811 and will switch to direct.
 

rad

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 7, 2003
10,562
4,162
Dripping Springs, TX
A problem I've seen with E* software is that they roll out a upgrade to fix some items then break something else. When they rolled out the 262 level it did fix the format control but it make my 8VSB OTA reception much worst.
 

volfan615

Pub Member / Supporter
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 3, 2003
89
0
WeeJavaDude said:
I am sure the features will come, but if you expect them in weeks and not months, I would hate to be in your house. ;)

I just don't understand the logic with some of you guys. Tell me you wouldn't be upset if you purchased a car that had problems. That at least once a day it just quit while your driving down the highway. Ir your radio quits working and you have to turn the car on and off to make it start again.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
volfan615 said:
WeeJavaDude said:
I am sure the features will come, but if you expect them in weeks and not months, I would hate to be in your house. ;)

I just don't understand the logic with some of you guys. Tell me you wouldn't be upset if you purchased a car that had problems. That at least once a day it just quit while your driving down the highway. Ir your radio quits working and you have to turn the car on and off to make it start again.

Let me see if I can explain the logic a bit more detailed.

In my opinion, It is not about expectations. It is about the fact that ever software release has some risk involved and depending on your customer base and the type of software you are releasing dictates how quickly you can push a new release out. Any with ever release you do bugs will be introduced and bugs fixed. The goals is to minimize the bugs introduced and maximize the bugs fixed. If you have different expectations than this then I would say your expectations are too high. Maybe we are arguing in the grey areas of what is acceptable.

As for the analogy of a car vs. a HD receiver I think this is a bit on the apple and oranges side of analogies. I have had a number of consumer products that did not leave up to their expectations including a Sony Digital Camera, Linksys router, Video Editing Card, Video Editing software, OS software, DVD editing software, etc... These all included a considerable amount of pain as a consumer to me. Yes I did on ocassion get upset about it, but each one of these products has a certain user expectation level.

As far as the TV receiver goes, Nobody wants one that keeps locking up, loosing channels, etc... My 6000 loose OTA channels from time to time and occassionally locks up. They also introduced an IR bug about 6 months back that cause TIVO people to go nuts and caused me some pain as a user with my remote. It was fixed in about 3 wks time and was the quickest I ever saw E* fix an issue.

The point I tried to make is that eventually they will be fixed. (Hopefully) and we will see the feature set that was promised. However there are three main points I see

1) 811 is a new product with ported 6000 software so bugs should be expected upon release. We can argue that there is too many but there will be some.
2) We know E* does not have a good track record on releasing software that is not buggy at first release. Takes a while to stabilize. 721 & 508 are good examples.
3) E* does not always put in everything they intended to add.

Based on these three points, purchasing an 811 out the gate has it risks and I don't see the logic in not expecting this as a possibility. Not saying it is right, just saying at this moment it seems to be the case. So setting ones expectation of a bug free experience given E* history and the product is not realistic. However for $149 bucks it is a risk I am willing to take.

Hope this clears my logic a bit. I have been a software engineer for 15 years and have worked in various environments building realtime products. From what I can see E* could use some fixing in the process area for sure. Looks like they may be going through some growing pains.

I am not saying as a customer experiencing an 811 that you should not be unhappy with its reliability and performance. What I said was that given the fact that there are issues, expecting them to be fixed immediately is not realistic.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
frog said:
I find it amazing that a company would ship a product with known defects. How many of us would buy something from the local circuit city if the salesmen said "it only has about 10-20 problems".

I had ordered a 811, after learning of all the issues I contacted their "Tech Support" at first they denied any problems, upon being pressed they did say there were some software issues.

This was the last straw dealing with dish, I canceled the 811 and will switch to direct.

Frog,

Did you buy a PC recently. It is not defect free by any means.? Infact my GE refrigerator that is in my kitchen has a known defect in it that cost me close to $1000 dollers in repairs over the years.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
hemway said:
WeeJavaDude,

One of the major reasons the 811 is having most of the same problems as the 6000 has is because E* is using the same software, with just a few changes, in the 811. Go into some of the help screens and in there they talk about the '6000' not the 811.

As for some quick fixes early in the game, I didn't have my 811 when the first fix came out that fixed the sizing problem, but did have it when the second fix came out and it didn't fix anything on my box. Tonight after the box hung up on my wife when she went to change OTA channels, causing me to do a reset on it, I had to take the remote away from her because she looked like she was getting ready to throw it at the Sony.

E* needs to hire some people to fix their boxes.

I hope it is not a Sony GWIII...

How often are you having to reset the 811? I am starting to wonder if a lot of the issues the 811 is having is because of added software error handling OTA code that did not get enough burn time. OTA has its own issues with multipathing and signal fluctuation that could explain why some are not having issues while others are having nothing but issues.
 

hancox

Pub Member / UConnaholic
Supporting Founder
Nov 23, 2003
3,585
61
Monroe, CT
While I see the point of both sides here, it's still all perspective.

My primary TV source used to be Cablevision, and their SA 4200HD box. I can tell you for a fact the the 811 is LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than the POS 4200HD. It's not even close. You want lockups? Imagine not being able to change the aspect ratio maybe more than 3 times before the receiver locks up! How about an easy 50% signal degredation between Component outs on SD, and S-video on SD.


That 4200HD is much more mature in terms of software, and it still blows chunks next to my 811.


I will wait patiently for the 811 bug fixes, but not with the foaming mouths that some are developing here...
 

hemway

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
293
2
Arizona
WeeJavaDude,

If you're a software engineer, I hope it isn't with a bank. If it is, let me know which one because if I have an account in that bank, I'm moving to another back.

As an old mainframe systems programmer, if we ever let operating system software go into production that required us to re-boot (IPL, see, I am an old system programmer) the system each time the system tried to process a different program, management would have had our butts. That's why we tested, and tested, and tested again. If I told management that my software would make the system jump up and bark like a dog, it had better been able to jump up and bark like a dog or management would, again, have my butt.

As an old system programmer, I find it hard to believe that you are defending E* and its software short comings. If it was something small, I'm sure I wouldn't be complaining. But the items that I and the others are complaining about are big items. E* does little testing on their hardware. Remember, E* has been talking about the 811 and 921 for a long time, so it isn't like they just decided to build the box in November and release it in December.

I think that once you get your 811 and start experiencing all the fine qualities it has to offer like resetting it once or twice a day, the dark picture quality, the OTA channel programming problems, the lack of the EPG as promised, just to name a few, and you’ll be barking like this old dog.

Once again, E*, fix the software and make it work and do the things you advertise it can do.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
hemway said:
WeeJavaDude,

If you're a software engineer, I hope it isn't with a bank. If it is, let me know which one because if I have an account in that bank, I'm moving to another back.

As an old mainframe systems programmer, if we ever let operating system software go into production that required us to re-boot (IPL, see, I am an old system programmer) the system each time the system tried to process a different program, management would have had our butts. That's why we tested, and tested, and tested again. If I told management that my software would make the system jump up and bark like a dog, it had better been able to jump up and bark like a dog or management would, again, have my butt.

As an old system programmer, I find it hard to believe that you are defending E* and its software short comings. If it was something small, I'm sure I wouldn't be complaining. But the items that I and the others are complaining about are big items. E* does little testing on their hardware. Remember, E* has been talking about the 811 and 921 for a long time, so it isn't like they just decided to build the box in November and release it in December.

I think that once you get your 811 and start experiencing all the fine qualities it has to offer like resetting it once or twice a day, the dark picture quality, the OTA channel programming problems, the lack of the EPG as promised, just to name a few, and you’ll be barking like this old dog.

Once again, E*, fix the software and make it work and do the things you advertise it can do.

Well I actually do distributed system managment software and have done embedded software for a major networking company so I know a little about five 9's and full software life cycle managment.

If I gave the impression I was divending poor software practive, I am not. Right now I work for a company where due to managment software practices are poor at best. E* is not the only defender. As for bank software, it is a different beast and a differnt level of expectations. I am sure you would agree. E* does not to improve in this area, the only point I was making is that this is not out of the norm and to expect a fix quickly might be unrealistic. Does not make it right.

I will be getting my 811 tomorrow so It will be interesting to see how things go. Like I said, reports on the 811 have been all over the map which is an indication that these are edge conditions. As to your comment on E* testing practices.. Is this something you know for fact or just something you feel based on the product your received. Unlike internal corporate software configurations, consumer products like this have a much wider range of uncontrolled variables that make it impossible to test ever configuration. Unless you know for fact that then test there boxes little you might want to preference it as opinion.

Well I have been in a similar discussion having to do with the IR remote issue on the 6000 and this goes down fast. I save any further comments for when I get my 811 and give it a few days.

Hope things get more solid for all of us because it does suck when your receiver locks up.
 

hemway

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
293
2
Arizona
WeeJavaDude,

I think both you and I are one the same page. Unfortunately for you, you are working in an environment much like that of E*. I'm not blaming the programmer, although they do need to put a little more pride in their work (maybe because so many of our software jobs have gone off shore, there isn't much of that left) and try to do a better job despite the lack of oversight by management. You're right, if you don't have management support, you're not going to have a good product.

Maybe I hit the nail on the head. Maybe all of the programming is done off shore in India or China. Problem is, E* isn't doing the required testing needed to put a solid product out to their customers.
 

BOYCOTT26

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 2, 2003
64
0
hemway,off subject,I know you're from the Phoenix area from previous posts.
Your old main-frame programmer remark caught my attention.Did you happen
to work for Honeywell in the good old days up at T-bird and the Black Canyon
freeway,if you did it's a very small world after all. :D
 

hemway

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
293
2
Arizona
Sorry Boycott26, but I didn't. I moved out here in '88 and worked for the State and County govenments for about 10 years before going back into the private sector.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
Hemway,

As far as I know, the software is developed in the states and not oversee. Being one that might be impacted by Oversea development in the near future, I am one that is not looking forward to that prospect, however, I also don't buy into that we will only do archetecture here and that all development will be done overseas. In my opinion, the sky is not falling for Software Developers in the states.

As for testing, I do get the feeling that E* testing program needs a major overhall, but I also understand that the variable set of external factors makes testing rather difficult. I got my 811 Saturday.. You can see it here:

http://www.dbstalk.com/showpost.php?p=187466&postcount=336

There were a lot of defects that with someone sitting in a room for 8 hours should have been caught. As for the missing features, that is a time to market decision and based on the demand/pricepoint it seems that they made a good one.

One last point, E* and D* have different deployment models that entry into software stability issues as I see it. D* has retailers and therefor cannot push software out to the boxes like E* can. Since E* is like Apple in a this sense, they do have the luxury of pushing something that is a little less stable to the market with the thought of fixing the remaining problems. This is by all means a double edge sword. We get the product sooner than we would, but it comes out with more bugs. I know the 811 and 921 were late, but that is another story and discussion along the lines of Microsoft vs. IBMs approach to future releases. D* and E* have some parallels there too.
 

hemway

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
293
2
Arizona
WeeJavaDude,

Welcome to the club. once you start having to do the reset or even worse, remove power from the 811, to get you sound back or unfreeze your picture, I think you'll think the problems you have with your 6000 were nothing.

My 811 hung up againg today on my wife and she wans me to remove it. I guess when I'm not home, I'll just set it up so she has the 501 and hide the other remotes.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
Do you have the video on picture guide enabled? I suspect this might be the cause of some of the issues. I turned mine off real quickly. Like you said, my opinion may change over time. I will report back in a week. ;)

If stability is the issue the course I tend to go is if possible limit the new features that are enabled (Remove the on program guide video) if possible and try to figure out what might be causing the problems so it can be feed back to dish.

I have tended to allow the OTA stations to stay where they seem to be happy and not try and manual add them. There seems to be some issues there too.

Once I stopped playing around with it, things have remaind stable over the weekend.

Hemway.. How often are your having to do a reset? Does your wife do a lot of channel surfing? Jump channels alot?

I have only gotten the Aquiring signal once so far and that is better than my 6000 for sure. What is your OTA signal strength on most channels? Does it fluctuate a lot?
 

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