OTA and the VIP622 Comments

JoeSp

JoeSp

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Oct 11, 2003
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A few comments about the OTA capabilities of the VIP622.

First, the ability to lock onto the OTA signal is very much improved over the 811. This unit will lock in the low to mid 50's with some considerable macroblocking but get that signal up to the high 60's and low 70's and the VIP622 will more likely hold that signal lock very well!

Second, recovery time is very quick if you do lose the signal. With the 811 if your signal began bouncing in and out the 811 seemed to get into a lost mode of trying to find the signal. The VIP622 seems more adept at finding and keeping the lock. This goes with the OTA tuner working much faster.

I feel that the quick recovery and find times are due to this tuner being a Digital Only receiver with no analog capabilities built in. Without having to search for analog the tuner can do its bidding much faster with less error.

Third, the audio on Digital channels that support 5.1 is definately improved. I use the optical out for sound. I have read that the HDMI will only support 2 channel sound. Someone else will have to chime in here on this one. However, there is definate improvement to the sound field on 5.1 playback from OTA Digital channels.

I think that anyone who is with Dishnetwork and wants to know if upgrading to one of the new MPEG4 recievers will improve their ability to watch local OTA HD should get this upgrade ASAP!

Now for the few downsides--there are always improvements to be made.

Some have complained about lip-syc issues. While I have not had these problems often I wonder if these problems could be related more to getting your sound from the HDMI port instead of the Optical port. Changing the channel back and forth usually works. If I am watching a recorded program I just pause and then hit the play button and that usually works everytime. After the last two software upgrades I have not noticed this problem at all.

Also, if you watch alot of OTA HD and I do I have noticed that going back to the Satellite channels I lose the picture. I am not sure what is going on here. This has happened usually after watching OTA HD for over 3 hours in a row. This has happened enough that I believe it must be a bug. Sometimes switching back and forth between OTA and Satellite will work but not often. I usually have to do a soft reboot. That always works.

Interesting sidenote on the above statement. Sometimes the only video I lose is on the VOOM HD channels. Humm?

Recording OTA HD is very easy however with just one tuner you cannot record one OTA Digital show and watch another OTA Digital show at the same time. The only thing the VIP622 really needs is a second OTA digital tuner. However, you can watch a previously recorded OTA HD show from the DVR while recording an OTA HD show at the same time. Not the same as recording and watching two differant OTA HD shows in HD in the same hour but it feels like it.

This last thing I am not total clear on but I will let you decide. I have a powered signal booster. It did absolutely nothing for the VIP622. I tried many differant adjustments but the VIP622 seems to not like it. This booster worked well the the 811. In fact, I would not have been able to lock in half of the OTA HD channels I was watching with the 811 without the booster. With the VIP622 it could not get a signal lock using the powered booster.

The VIP622 does a better job of locking and holding the OTA HD signals without the powered signal booster so I took it out. My run to the top of the mast is aproximately 85 feet. This booster is not the Channelmaster one so I do not know if the Channelmaster would change my results. However, this one has the ablility to boost the signal 40db and block out FM signals and did work well with the 811. I just believe that the OTA Digital tuner in the VIP622 is very superior to what was being used in the 811.

I hope that this will help those who are on the fench and trying to decided if the new VIP622 will improve their OTA Digital viewing. It has for me. I hope that I have covered everything and if not I am sure others will add to the above.:)
 
Last edited:
waltinvt

waltinvt

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Feb 16, 2004
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Vermont
Hey Joe
My 622 is just the opposite - not as good at picking up low signals as my 811 was and this is baffleing me because others are also reporting muych better OTA reception with the 622 than their 811 or 942. There are some like me however that are reporting worse.

What's weird is I had 3 or 4 fringe signals that the 811 would show signal activity varying from low 40s to mid 60s. Using the signal meter, I could "zero" in with my antenna rotor and sometime get the signal to briefly lock if I got the antenna just right. It was such that I was considering either raising or relocating my antenna. If I could have just improved the signals by 10%, I think I could have gotten a consistant lock. Then people starting posting better OTA signal reception with the 942 and then later even better with the 622 so I figured I'd wait until I upgraded.

Anyway, neither the 942 nor the 622 gets any signal activity for those channels. Nada, zip, not even a flicker. Also, the channels I do get are at about 10% lower signal than the 942 but I just figured that was just a difference in the meter.

The only thing I can think of (after reading your post) is that I DO have an amp on my antenna. Maybe removing that will improve the 622. Did you remove both the plug-in part and the part that's up on the mast or just the plug-in?
 
K

KenSoren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2005
421
30
Yucaipa, CA - 60 miles east of LA
I installed my 622 Wednesday and found the OTA signal levels lower than what my 921 showed. The 921 showed signal level on the best channel at 75 to 90 on really good days while the 622 shows 63 to 68. Some of the weaker channels seem to lock in better than before so that is encouraging. The weather has always affected how good the reception is and it has been overcast and raining since the install date - maybe things will be better when it warms up a bit. I do have a two part Channel Master signal booster but I am sure that is not the problem because the analog channels barely come in without it.

I also have lost the video on the HD channels after watching the one OTA channel that I use for a period of time. I have also lost the sound on the first night I used it, but a power button reboot fixed it both times.

Last night I had started recording NUMBERS. I was also watching it, and when I tried to go back in the program a couple of seconds the system froze up on me. I cancelled until I got some hyroglyphics in a message and had to cancel the recording. Has anybody else seen this - I never had this problem with my 921
 
DucTape

DucTape

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Jan 20, 2005
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South Eastern PA.
It has been a huge improvement over my 921 for reception and I think a big part of the signal level the 921 was reporting was bogas.
This unit picked up 12 more digital channels than the 921 did and even gets PBS at 58 to 62 which the 921 couldn't locate at all. I have a channel master 7700 series pre-amp on mine and it helps considerably for my situation. WB used to macro block at 68 to 70 on 921 and be unwatchable, this unit locks at 72 to 76 and never macroblocks.
 
K

KenSoren

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2005
421
30
Yucaipa, CA - 60 miles east of LA
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that the 921 did a better job of OTA reception, just that the signal levels shown were higher in the 921 than the 622.
I think the 622 signal is more stable because the 921 signal levels would jump around and the 622 seems to remain stable.
 
JoeSp

JoeSp

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I removed just the power amp. I left the unpowered amp up by the antenna. BTW I use a ChannelMaster 4228 antenna.
 
Last edited:
waltinvt

waltinvt

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Feb 16, 2004
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Thanks Joe. I'm going to try that later. There's got to be some reason for the wide inconsistancy in reports for OTA reception on the 622.
 
S

sal1

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Mar 12, 2006
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Stow, MA
I have had a great improvement in reception since i got the 622. I got the 6000 back when the OTA 8VSB tuner was just released. I lived (at that time) about 15 miles from Boston and even though all the channels were being broadcasted from pretty much the same tower, I could never get all of them to lock. One would always cause problems depending on the angle. After I moved, the problem persisted. Some channels would lock, others would not. With the 622 I get all the channels locking with signal strenghts above 85 and mostly above 95. The only exception being our fox channel which is on low power from what i hear. I am now about 25-30 miles from the towers. Even fox locks in fine at signal stength of 75.

Sal
 
waltinvt

waltinvt

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Feb 16, 2004
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Vermont
Ok, I just spent about an hour fooling around with OTA on my 622.

I took the plug-in part of the amp out (not the pre-amp on the mast) and sent coax direct to 622. Signal dropped by at least 20 on both of my solid stations (from low 80s to low 60s on one and low 50s with no lock on other) and it did nothing for picking up the fringe stations that I used to get some signal activity on with my 811.

There is also another station I used to lock with both the 811 and 942 but can't even get a flicker of signal with the 622. Granted, I had to have the antenna turned in just the righ location but I used to get mid 70s with the 811 and mid 60s with the 942.

So this tells me that at least MY 622 is not as good an OTA tuner as either MY 811 or 942 was.

Obviously some of you think your getting better results with the 622 than you did with your previous HD OTA tuner and only you know if your doing an apples to apples comparision. Also obviouse is that at least some 622s are NOT as good at OTA, which is a real mystery.
 
J

JohnC

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Jul 14, 2004
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Rome, GA
sal1 said:
I have had a great improvement in reception since i got the 622. I got the 6000 back when the OTA 8VSB tuner was just released. I lived (at that time) about 15 miles from Boston and even though all the channels were being broadcasted from pretty much the same tower, I could never get all of them to lock. One would always cause problems depending on the angle. After I moved, the problem persisted. Some channels would lock, others would not. With the 622 I get all the channels locking with signal strenghts above 85 and mostly above 95. The only exception being our fox channel which is on low power from what i hear. I am now about 25-30 miles from the towers. Even fox locks in fine at signal stength of 75.

Sal

I purchased my 6000 during the closeout sale just before the 811 was introduced. I am 62 +- 2 miles from the Atlanta Digital towers and reveived all of the Atlanta HD stations (except for the low powered PBS station which I occasionallly receive) with signal strengths in the 65 to 75 range. With a signal strength of 48 or higher, I received a perfect picture on the 6000. About 6 months ago I started having multipath problems with NBC DT-10. With the 622 the signal strengths are in the same range, but I need a signal strength of about 63 or higher to receive a picture without macroblocking. Several times the signal strength has dropped to this level on the 622 and I have experienced macroblocking. The multipath problems are the same with the NBC DT-10. However, we receive the the Atlanta HD locals from the satellite now and not being able to receive NBC OTA is not a problem. I do have a very good Chanel Master 777 pre-amp that maybe the 622 does not like for some reason.

However, I am very happy with my 622 that was installed on March 2 along with a DPP44 and Dish 1000 and DP LNB's for my Dish 300 aimed at 61.5. I initially had some video dropouts that were fixed with the first software update and audio dropouts that were fixed with the last update. I have recorded 3 programs at a time on several occassions without any problems.

Although it is not as good at OTA as my 6000, we really like the 622 and with the latest software release it has been very stable. I have not had to reboot (or had it reboot) in the past 3 weeks.
 
DucTape

DucTape

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Jan 20, 2005
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South Eastern PA.
I cannot comment on the other various receivers but from what I have always read the 921 ota tuner was and remains terrible. My observations going from 921 to the 622 tuner are good but this could be the only reason why.
 
JoeSp

JoeSp

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Oct 11, 2003
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Waltinvt, I think your VIP622 OTA tuner must be having technical difficulties. Even though my signals are down around the low to mid 70's from the Mid 80's on the 811 with the power amp the VIP622 will hold a lock on the digital station with a 68 or higher signal with no macroblocking. I can turn my antenna by hand and change the signal strength and have noticed that the 622 does alot better job with weaker signals. I would call Dish and ask for an exchanged based on the poor performance of your unit. The VIP622 really does do a better job of pulling in digital signals then the 811. Good Luck!
 

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