Old DVR died - at a crossroad. (1 Viewer)

Hoosier-Daddy

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Aug 13, 2007
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I am in a position where I need to fix my current configuration, upgrade my hardware (but with no commitment) OR pull the plug completely and just use OTA and Amazon or Netflix.

I was one of the first 522 customers. When its HD died, Dish sent a replacement 522 but I didn't like the turnaround time so bought 3 larger compatible HDs and plugged one of those in place of the internal drive. The plan was to just replace those as they wore out instead of the entire unit, plus the larger size (effectively making it a 625) was a plus. In addition, I use PVRExplorerPRO to archive some programs to a PC and having the drive external to the DVR made that easier. When one drive would start acting up I'd hook up the 522's drive to make sure it was still working and then switch to the next of the 3 drives I bought. Many, many years have passed and the 522 just reported the last of my drives had died (the 522 had been freezing/rebooting occasionally). So I switched to the internal drive while I decided the next move. But the DVR says its dead too. Hmmm. I swapped the ribbon and power cables to the internal drive just in case and no change. I am HIGHLY skeptical about the two drives failing simultaneously so suspect its really something else wrong with the DVR.

So... for option (a) fixing the damn thing - Any known glitches with these symptoms that an owner can fix? I noticed recent reports (not in 522s) of DVRs saying HDs were bad after a recent firmware update, any chance its a firmware issue? I did reset the receiver to default settings and went thru an update cycle but still no HD. The 522 offered to reformat my HD which had no effect. But it does not offer to reformat the internal drive and the only procedure I found on the net to force that apparently doesn't work, I assume due to subsequent firmware updates. I would like to try that if anyone knows a way to force a reformat. And FWIW, when the DVR starts up it does the HD test but reboots a while after the second jump of the progress bar.

For option (b) replacing the DVR - I need one I can buy outright with no commitment to Dish since there is a good chance I will pull the plug in the next few years. I only need a single (HDMI) output for a large 1080 flatscreen in case that is a decision factor. I want HD although these old eyes won't get the full benefit. And I must have continued access to non protected programming via PVRExplorerPro for MPG2 and other means for MPG4. I know 722s fit that bill but don't know about the 922s. And I can't tell the advantages between the 722 and 922 other than features which seem identical for just watching Dish programming. I also want to be able to program via the internet.

If I do decide to get a new DVR can I get it activated (hopefully for free) to replace my 522 without going back on contract after all these years off contract? That would be a deal breaker.

How can I find out if my dish and LNBs need to be replaced with a new DVR? I believe its a 500 dish. I have no idea about LNBs but it/they will be whatever Dish used with 522s when they first came out. I'm in the south west and would also like to avoid having to buy new ones again when/if Dish goes all MPG4.

Thanks for any advice. I've tried to talk to some on-line Dish providers but as soon as they hear I'm not a NEW Dish customer they lose interest.
 

navychop

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1. Your DVR is almost certainly toast.

2. All non-ViP receivers are not long for this world, IMHO.

3. Upgrading thru Dish will require a two year commitment. But it will be free or nearly so, and THEY will determine if you need a new LNB or dish or coax or whatever, and replace it on their dime.

4. Your cheapest buy-it-yourself option would be to purchase a ViP211 series (I recommend the K over the Z as it has a built in OTA tuner). For a one time fee of $40 you can turn it into a DVR.

5. Need to know what LNB you have today to determine if you need to replace it. A picture would be nice.

6. DO NOT BUY A ViP922! Too many problems in the past, it is essentially orphaned and you don't know how long it will be supported.

7. If you have just the one TV and are happy with one tuner, go with the ViP211. If you want two tuners, go with a ViP722K model and buy the OTA module if you want it. But the ViP722 will incur a monthly DVR fee and cost more.


We are here to help you and will gladly do so!

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boba

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Dec 12, 2003
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Dorchester, TX.
I am in a position where I need to fix my current configuration, upgrade my hardware (but with no commitment) OR pull the plug completely and just use OTA and Amazon or Netflix.

I was one of the first 522 customers. When its HD died, Dish sent a replacement 522 but I didn't like the turnaround time so bought 3 larger compatible HDs and plugged one of those in place of the internal drive. The plan was to just replace those as they wore out instead of the entire unit, plus the larger size (effectively making it a 625) was a plus. In addition, I use PVRExplorerPRO to archive some programs to a PC and having the drive external to the DVR made that easier. When one drive would start acting up I'd hook up the 522's drive to make sure it was still working and then switch to the next of the 3 drives I bought. Many, many years have passed and the 522 just reported the last of my drives had died (the 522 had been freezing/rebooting occasionally). So I switched to the internal drive while I decided the next move. But the DVR says its dead too. Hmmm. I swapped the ribbon and power cables to the internal drive just in case and no change. I am HIGHLY skeptical about the two drives failing simultaneously so suspect its really something else wrong with the DVR.

So... for option (a) fixing the damn thing - Any known glitches with these symptoms that an owner can fix? I noticed recent reports (not in 522s) of DVRs saying HDs were bad after a recent firmware update, any chance its a firmware issue? I did reset the receiver to default settings and went thru an update cycle but still no HD. The 522 offered to reformat my HD which had no effect. But it does not offer to reformat the internal drive and the only procedure I found on the net to force that apparently doesn't work, I assume due to subsequent firmware updates. I would like to try that if anyone knows a way to force a reformat. And FWIW, when the DVR starts up it does the HD test but reboots a while after the second jump of the progress bar.

For option (b) replacing the DVR - I need one I can buy outright with no commitment to Dish since there is a good chance I will pull the plug in the next few years. I only need a single (HDMI) output for a large 1080 flatscreen in case that is a decision factor. I want HD although these old eyes won't get the full benefit. And I must have continued access to non protected programming via PVRExplorerPro for MPG2 and other means for MPG4. I know 722s fit that bill but don't know about the 922s. And I can't tell the advantages between the 722 and 922 other than features which seem identical for just watching Dish programming. I also want to be able to program via the internet.

If I do decide to get a new DVR can I get it activated (hopefully for free) to replace my 522 without going back on contract after all these years off contract? That would be a deal breaker.

How can I find out if my dish and LNBs need to be replaced with a new DVR? I believe its a 500 dish. I have no idea about LNBs but it/they will be whatever Dish used with 522s when they first came out. I'm in the south west and would also like to avoid having to buy new ones again when/if Dish goes all MPG4.

Thanks for any advice. I've tried to talk to some on-line Dish providers but as soon as they hear I'm not a NEW Dish customer they lose interest.
To go to HD you will need to replace the dish with either a 1000.2 or a 1000.4 depending on where you are located "southwest" will probably be a Western Arc setup but without exact location it could also be Eastern Arc. You say you only need a single HDMI does that mean the 522 was only attached to one TV?

For receivers a VIP612 would be the bottom end if you only need 1 output it has 2 tuners like the 522 but it can use a power USB hard drive for external storage.

722K would be the next best receiver has dual tuners and can use external hard drive.

And last would be the Hopper with sling the latest DISH product, if you lived through the 522 bugs the Hopper will be a piece of cake.

To eliminate the 24 mo. contract you will have to buy and install your own equipment
 
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ChadT41

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From what you posted, you want to buy the reciever outright to avoid the commitment. Go to dish depot.com. You also want sling technology it sounds like. That way you can watch on phone or computer or tablet. So ultimately, 722(k) reciever, with additional sling adapter. If your LNB has just two lnbs on it, then upgrade it. What is the city and state you are in. If west of Texas, automatically western arc. Get a 1000.2 WA dish and LNB. If you purchase all your equipment, third party, and the. Just call to activate it, it will not add a commitment. Lastly, I will tell you now, do not get the 922. Dish won't even sell it to you. They no longer sale it or lease that reciever. They only support ones already on the account, or purchased from third party, and there is a reason for that. It's a pos. It does have sling in it already, and a new GUI, but it has more faults(hardware and software) that any other reciever out. It was supposed to be dish's flagship reciever a few years ago, but no one could make it work right. So they finally scrapped it for the third time. It's likely they rip it off the market completely in a couple years. So 1000.2 wa dish. VIP 722 reciever with an external sling adapter. Ps you can also use an external hard drive with that.
 
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JM42

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For option (b) replacing the DVR - I need one I can buy outright with no commitment to Dish since there is a good chance I will pull the plug in the next few years.
If your window is anywhere near years, a contract is probably the better deal.

The termination fee for an upgrade is only $10/month for the remaining months in the 24 month term. Cancelling the day after install would be $240. Odds are you won't cancel anywhere near that soon. Stick around for a year and it would be $120.

Purchasing a receiver + Dish/LNB would be $150 or so minimum. It doesn't take long for the ETF to be the better deal (if you cancel at all). Not to mention the convenience of just placing the order and letting the tech do whatever is needed to make it work.
 

navychop

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Good suggestion, but I think the ETF is now $20/month.


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JM42

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Good suggestion, but I think the ETF is now $20/month.
For an upgrade? Then it has changed in the past couple of months or so. I guess when they made the protection plan changes?

Edit: Dish site still shows $240 ($10/Month):
upload_2014-7-5_14-1-20.png
 
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Hoosier-Daddy

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Aug 13, 2007
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First, thanks for all the great information and advice.

I'm sorry for not getting back sooner. I thought I subscribed to the thread but didn't get any notice.

Okay, strike the 922. Big bullet dodged.

I think I'll pass on the 211 too since I understand it only has an external drive which I KNOW doesn't work with PVRExplorer.

And I don't see a benefit for me with a Hopper. I just have one TV and only wanted to record more than two things at once maybe twice in the years (decades?) I've had a DVR.

So a 722 sounds like the one.

I hadn't considered starting a new contract and bailing on it later because I assumed it would be costly. I still need to figure the break even point considering I won't have a used DVR (722) to sell when I cancel the contract. I really don't care about cash flow just total costs. On the surface, it still might be cheaper to buy a 722 and sell it when I move off satellite entirely.

One factor that might drive that choice (buy 722 vs.new contract) is if there are cost savings on the dish/LNBs if I upgrade and go with a new contract. At the very least I get the impression DISH or one of their installers will NOT install my new dish/LNBs if I buy my own 722 so I might inadvertently end up hiring some less than competent/honest installer. I assume if I upgrade DISH will provide and install. Will they do that for free? And if not, how does their price compared to aftermarket?

Lastly, if I go that route (new contract cancellable for $10 per remaining month) are there magic words to say or not say to get DISH to trade my 522 for a 722 for the same monthly rate and no other charges? I assume that's doable based on all the hype about HiDef being "free" for life.

Thanks again to everyone and I am looking forward to input on LNB/dish [purchase/install costs between new DISH contract and buying my own 722; and also on best way to do the upgrade thru DISH if I go that route.

_____________________________________________________________________

And to answer questions other posed:

I wasn't planning on sling capability but would be a plus. I kind of assumed since I use a state of the art smart phone (WP 8.1), DISH may not have had time to release an app yet. [/sarcasm about lagging WP apps]

Yes, I only use one TV which is hooked up to an HTPC and DISH box. The HTPC is running Media Browser which DOES have a WP app.
 

ChadT41

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Without hd programming, the cost is exactly the same. If you lease, the current promotion is hd free for 24 months. If you purchase the equipment, I think you have to go with the $10 fee. If you buy the equipment, you'll have to also buy a new dish and LNB on your own. If you lease through dish, they will install it for the cost if a regular tech. Depending in your status as a customer, 9 times out of ten if you have the protection plan, it will be free. If not, then it's $95, or you can "complain" and they may choose to waive it(to be honest, when I was a supervisor there, if the customer pushed that hard for it, I made him give me one legit reason why I should waive for them, and not everyone else, and if they could, I would. If they couldn't then I just spelled it out the cost benefit of the protection plan. Not everyone does it this way.). The break even point I would say, if you have plans to be with thhem over a year, then I would guess you would be saving more than you'd be spending or making off selling it. Especially given the fact that it is being faded out(to an extent), and dish "wants" everyone to go the route of the hopper, it may not be of value a year or two down the road. Not enough to "make money back" atleast.
 
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Hoosier-Daddy

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Aug 13, 2007
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Without hd programming, the cost is exactly the same. If you lease, the current promotion is hd free for 24 months. If you purchase the equipment, I think you have to go with the $10 fee. If you buy the equipment, you'll have to also buy a new dish and LNB on your own. If you lease through dish, they will install it for the cost if a regular tech. Depending in your status as a customer, 9 times out of ten if you have the protection plan, it will be free. If not, then it's $95, or you can "complain" and they may choose to waive it(to be honest, when I was a supervisor there, if the customer pushed that hard for it, I made him give me one legit reason why I should waive for them, and not everyone else, and if they could, I would. If they couldn't then I just spelled it out the cost benefit of the protection plan. Not everyone does it this way.). The break even point I would say, if you have plans to be with thhem over a year, then I would guess you would be saving more than you'd be spending or making off selling it. Especially given the fact that it is being faded out(to an extent), and dish "wants" everyone to go the route of the hopper, it may not be of value a year or two down the road. Not enough to "make money back" atleast.
Thanks.

I would be surprised if I was on Satellite or Cable in two years so new contract upgrade with free HD for 2 years is same as free HD for life. LoL

You talked about the cost to install the DISH/LNBs but I couldn't tell from your post if the dish/LNBs themselves would be free (i.e. included in the upgrade/2 year rental contract) from DISH with an upgrade. It was so long ago I can't swear but since DISH initially installed the system for free I assume the dish and LNBs still belong to DISH just like the 522 does and the same would be true with the replacements.

I don't have the protection plan so saved probably close to a $1000 there over the years. If I get hit with a $95 install I'll chalk it up to not being a smooth talker. LoL
 

Hoosier-Daddy

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Aug 13, 2007
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Check eBay for 722k's,that's where I bought both of mine for reasonable prices. Also,you own them & are not under contract.
Will do if I don't go the upgrade path which looks likely if it saves me the purchase of LNBs and dish. Thanks.
 

Hoosier-Daddy

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Aug 13, 2007
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The dish and LNB is free with the upgrade. Hdmi cable as well. Just a small small advantage.
Okay. So unless a dish and LNBs would cost me virtually nothing to buy or 3rd parties install for less than $95 (minus my smooth talking ability), it sounds like I should upgrade.

Does an upgrade from DISH have any warranty period that is the equivalent of the Protection plan? Basically, what happens if a leased DVR craps out even on the first day if you DON'T have a protection plan? I would guess at some point (hopefully after a warranty period) I would have to either pay for a replacement out of pocket (not necessarily from DISH) or pay the early termination and ship the dead box back. If so, it still sounds like I don't want the Protection Plan based on past experience. I like to self insure. Even posted a bond in lieu of auto liability insurance a long long time ago when they allowed that.

Hmmm. I assume DISH won't be coming after me because the 522 I'm trading in has a problem.
 

Bodo Fenrirsson

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If you are going to go the upgrade(& contract) route,you might as well get a Hopper too from Dish. I think you can get a Hopper by itself,& you'll have the extra tuner for extra recording.
 

boba

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Protection plan costs you $8/mo. and you must keep it for 6mo. to avoid an early termination fee (6x$8=$48) installation is less than the $95. DISH doesn't own your dish and LNB just the leased receiver.
 

navychop

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Actually, Dish asks for the LNB back if you drop service but doesn't make a big deal of it if you don't send it back.


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ChadT41

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Good point. They really don't care if they get it back or not. I just picked up a DTV Slimline and a dish 1000.2 today just from helping my friend move. I took their 1000.2 at original address and the slimline at the new address that the previous tenants had just used.
 

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