Recording problem with the 811

The Big Wood

SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Dec 21, 2003
NE Georgia
I tried to record a show last night on my 811 because we were going to be gone during a show we wanted to watch. I set my VCR and made a timer event on the 811, left the house, and then we got back half way through the show. My wife turns the TV on and there is no sound and a black screen on the TV. I push the channel up key and I get the next channel's picture and sound. Then I go back to the channel I'm recording from, and it is now working. :confused:

So during a commercial, I rewind the tape a bit and start playing the tape. Blank screen, no audio. I rewind all the way to the beginning and see where the 811 started the VCR's record function and the banner at the top of the screen with the show's name listed. Of course, there is no picture and audio. The banner disappears and nothing but black for 30 minutes.

Has anyone else seen this? I have had it happen to me in the past when I wasn't home, but I always assumed the VCR was to blame.

I haven't tried starting a record timer when the 811 is already powered on, nor an auto tune with the 811 powered off. Is there a problem with the unit turning itself on with an event timer?
I reported this problem to E* soon after I got my 811. I was told that they were aware of the problem and would have it fixed in the next software update. They would not say when that update was expected. The next one would be 264. The work around is to use your 811 timer to auto tune to the correct station and then separately program your vcr to record at the appropriate times. This does work, but is a pain. I am surprised that we don't here more complaints about this, but I suppose that most HD fans do not record much on vcrs. I still use the vcrs a lot and will be glad when the fix is posted.

Ed R
I only record my wife's shows. :D My butt is planted in the chair when something I want to see comes on, I make sure of that!

Interestingly, though. I played a tape in the VCR for some unknown reason, must have been one of my daughter's old Disney videos, and the picture quality looked better than my Atlanta locals off of Dish. Now that sucks! :no
I reported this to Dish as well and got the same 'We're working on it" answer. Let's hope they are. The other bugs are bad enough but we can't even record anything when we're not home.
I received my 811 (replacing a 301) 4 days ago and got the latest software download as part of the installation process. The event timer on my 811 does not work when the unit is turned off - even in auto-tune mode. It displays the top banner for a second or so upon turn-on and then there is a black screen and no audio until I press guide or info - then the program comes on. The workaround for me is to leave the unit on - it will then change channels as programmed. The Dish "advanced technical" guy who answered my call said he had not heard of any problem with the event timer on the 811 and wanted full details so he could fill out a report. Otherwise, zero help. He said the next software upgrade sometime in March "might" fix my problem. I had the impression of a deceptive, don't care attitude. BTW: HD picture is fantastic using DVI on my Sony 42" plasma, but SD is slightly worse in sharpness than the 301 using either DVI or S-video. The program guide is a joke - can't look ahead more than an hour or so - reminds me of my old 4700. The fact that E* can sell a piece of hardware with so many known flaws (and I'm sure they know exactly what the problems are) indicates their disdain for their customers - much like Microsoft. I've been with them almost since their beginning and now think that they have gotten too big - too big to really care about their customers.
What were you taping? What it the Oscars and where you taping OTA? OTA on ABC in SoCal is messed up bigtime. NOt sure what the reason is but the channel is black and no picture. You can find the thread on AVSForums. Are you in SoCal?
WeeJavaDude said:
What were you taping? What it the Oscars and where you taping OTA? OTA on ABC in SoCal is messed up bigtime. NOt sure what the reason is but the channel is black and no picture. You can find the thread on AVSForums. Are you in SoCal?

Hi! I live in Monterey, CA - you ? It was just a movie on sat channel 132 (TCM). I tried the timer later and watched as it came on to display just the banner then go black without sound. Touching the info key causes the program to display OK. Dish had to know about this before selling it (all they had to do was try their own product). The technical rep claimed he had never heard of this problem. I feel ripped off as it seems do many other 811 owners.

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