Problem with 508 DVR...just the drive? (1 Viewer)

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NCCaniac

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May 9, 2008
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I started having some problems with my Dish 508 DVR about a week ago (the unit is about 5-6 years old). At first it looked like the hard drive was going bad (problems with recorded events, noises from the drive like excessive seeking on the disk, etc.). Then when it reaquired the satellite signal following a storm, I could see the channel banner at the top, but screen was black...no picture on any channel. Then it seemed to get into a loop where it would reboot, try and regain the signal, reboot, etc.

After trying the typical restore procedures several times (unplugging the unit for a while, front button reboot, smart card reboot), I was able to get the channels back, but the hard drive really looked like it was having problems (missing recorded events, incorrect remaining time free space amount listed, etc.). Then I lost the signal again and have not been able to get anything back but the channel banner and the black screen.

I had read that the 50x DVRs should still operate as a receiver even if the drive dies...is that true? I own this DVR so I don't currently have the monthly DVR fee and would like to avoid that if I have to replace the unit. Searching around the web, I have found instructions on how to essentially "reset" the hard drive and that sometimes will "restore" a seemingly problematic hard drive, although after 5-6 years, I would not be surprised if the drive itself is dead.

I have worked with and built PCs for 20 years so I can handle trying some things to try and repair it, but since the unit is having trouble now even acting as a receiver minus the drive, is it likely something other than the drive and I am just going to have to bite the bullet and replace the unit? Should I just get the HPP to get it replaced, and if so, am I likely to get stuck with a leased box or the monthly DVR fee?
 
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boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
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Digital Home Protection Plan DHPP will cost you $5.99 call DISH and have your receiver replaced under it then cancel the DHPP when you have a working replacement. It will probably cost you 1 month of DHPP can't get much cheaper than that.
 

NCCaniac

Member
May 9, 2008
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0
Digital Home Protection Plan DHPP will cost you $5.99 call DISH and have your receiver replaced under it then cancel the DHPP when you have a working replacement. It will probably cost you 1 month of DHPP can't get much cheaper than that.

I agree that is pretty cheap, but are they still replacing with 508s? If they offer something newer, (A) would it still be a box I own or would I have to switch to lease, and (B) wouldn't I then be locked in to the "pay us for the privilege of recording" monthly surcharge? (With a 508, I was grandfathered in when the policy changed.)
 

navychop

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The 508 goes, so does the grandfathering. You'll start paying the DVR fee, if otherwise required.

If you get another 508, I'd expect you'll own it, and you won't have a DVR fee.

You may be put on a leased unit, esp if you try to also do an upgrade. But they might not charge the leasing fee. Some think they own the replacement receivers. If it's a 522, or 625, maybe you'll own it. If it's an HD receiver you get, I think it'll be "leased."
 

NCCaniac

Member
May 9, 2008
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The 508 goes, so does the grandfathering. You'll start paying the DVR fee, if otherwise required.

If you get another 508, I'd expect you'll own it, and you won't have a DVR fee.

You may be put on a leased unit, esp if you try to also do an upgrade. But they might not charge the leasing fee. Some think they own the replacement receivers. If it's a 522, or 625, maybe you'll own it. If it's an HD receiver you get, I think it'll be "leased."

Hmmm...ok, I was hoping to ride out this receiver until next year when I would consider moving up to HD. I guess I'll check and see what they will offer as a replacement under DHPP.
 

TheKrell

A mighty and noble race originating on Altair IV.
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Jan 4, 2007
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It sounds like both your drive and your tuner chip are dying or dead. Join the Yahoo group dishmod and look into the resources there. You might like to upgrade your 508 with the disk of the same size as a 510... Without the DRV fee since Dish still thinks it's a 508. ;) There's a guy there (afb) who also knows how to replace the tuner chip if that's dying as well.

Seems like the DHPP is the cheapest route assuming you get another owned 508.
 

NCCaniac

Member
May 9, 2008
8
0
It sounds like both your drive and your tuner chip are dying or dead. Join the Yahoo group dishmod and look into the resources there. You might like to upgrade your 508 with the disk of the same size as a 510... Without the DRV fee since Dish still thinks it's a 508. ;) There's a guy there (afb) who also knows how to replace the tuner chip if that's dying as well.

Thanks! I'll check that out.

Seems like the DHPP is the cheapest route assuming you get another owned 508.

Right. At least now it looks like I have some options.
 

NCCaniac

Member
May 9, 2008
8
0
Got a replacement 508 through DHPP

Thanks for all the suggestions. The drive was definitely gone, and either the tuner chip or power supply was also flaky. I ended up contacting Dish for an authorized replacement under DHPP and they sent out a new 508 DVR that arrived in 2 days. It sure is nice having a working DVR again. :)
 
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Anole

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 22, 2005
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follow up

Glad to hear you had such a painless experience!

Changing out the tuner chip is not for anyone but the very experienced.
And it only applies to 501's. The 508's and 510's were never affected.
Nor, did your symptoms sound like tuner chip problems.

Love my 508. For an SD receiver, it has been a real gem.
And if you read those Yahoo groups, the 501/508/510 family have other benefits as well.
 
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