Question: General receiver issue


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SatelliteGuys Guru
Original poster
Mar 3, 2004
I have the 522 receiver hooked up to my living room TV and my PC via the ATI All-In-Wonder tuner card. I use the PC to archive video that I want to keep permanently and/or burn to DVD.

So, in order to record Live TV, the TV2 tuner has to be powered on and tuned to the right channel and then I set a recording on the PC to record the live footage. This works like a charm, except for one small issue. If I want to record the show to the 522 DVR as well as record it live with the PC, I have to leave the receiver powered on (because if I just set a DVR recording on the receiver, it will record the show with the power off and won't output to my PC).

The question I have is simple: does it hurt anything to leave the receiver on all the time (so that the show is outputted to the TV/PC even when it is recording to the DVR)? I know that the receiver always records that 1 hour of buffer even when you are just watching TV, so I assume if I leave the reciever on all the time, it will be constantly writing to the hard drive day and night. Will this hurt anything? As with all hard drives, I assume leaving the receiver on will wear down the drive much faster. But I am also concerned about fragmentation - do these drives ever get defragged???

Obviously, I can always just set the receiver to Auto Tune to the channel in order to record to the PC (since it will turn on the receiver and start outputting the right channel). And I could always record it first to the DVR and then re-record to the PC later on by playing it back. But this is a question directed for when I want to record to both the DVR and the PC simultaneously... and there doesn't appear to be a way to make the tuner turn on and start outputting if you just set a DVR timer.

Thanks (sorry for rambling on),
I don't think you can actually turn the receiver "off" short of unplugging it from the wall. Turn both *tuners* off once and you'll still hear the receiver running.
^^ Not true. After a while, the receiver does power down. If you leave your receiver on all the time, your hard drive will likely wear out faster. A good alternative would be to set timers to "auto-tune" on the 522, and also have a timer on your PC. After the show is over that the 522 auto-tuned to is over, the receiver should power down, if no keys were pressed.
Not a 522 owner, but on the 501/508/510, in the settings there was a way to enable a standby function. What happened was if the box didn't see any activity for a couple of hours, aka no channel changes, not hitting pause, it would spin down the harddrive. The box would still be 'on' but it would save ware and tear on the drive. You migth want to see if the 522 has a similar setting.
How do you define "power down" ?? I've left it off overnight and the only activity would be the program guide downloading at 3am. At 7am, I can turn on TV1 and have a picture within seconds. I don't think it can boot up that quickly.... Turning off TV1 and TV2 does little, IMO, other than turn off the "tuners". As I said, the box is still doing something as I can hear the drive and/or fan turning. After some period of time, it gets quiet though. I imagine the drives have "spun down" just like 'rad' mentioned. I've seen no "standby" function anywhere in the menus either. I suspect it's built-in.
AppliedAggression said:
The hard drive DOES turn off when you turn the receiver "off".

(still scratching head) But thanks for the input everyone.

I guess I just wish there was an option to set a DVR timer and have it also turn on/off the tuner for the duration of the show. A combo DVR + Auto Tune timer, if you will. In that way, I can ensure that the program will be recorded to the receiver's hard drive, but also to my PC because the tuner will turn on and output the program.

It's not a huge issue - I'll just have to remember to leave the receiver on when there is a program that I wish to record to both places (receiver and PC). Most of the time, I imagine, it will be just one or the other so the issue is moot.

Thanks again.
I hear the hard drive spin constantly when the receiver is off (721 that I have now, 501 that I had in the past).
The rcvrs are never eally off ever.Unless you unplug it from the wall.All dishnetwork rcvrs should always be turned off when not in use...pvrs that are not turned off will eventually do a systems upgrade right while you are watching a program!You will also start to see more error messages on the screen.
AppliedAggression said:
^^^ If you just set a program to record, the receiver will turn on in the middle of the night, and when it's done recording, it'll turn off.

Yes, the *receiver* will turn on and record the program to the receiver's hard drive, but the *tuner* does not turn on for a DVR timer record, so the program is not outputted to my PC card.

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