Satellite N00b - Getting 522 (1 Viewer)

u4ea

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 26, 2004
28
0
South Florida
Aloha! :D

I am new here so be nice ;)

Anyway, I was just checking out this forum and WOW :eek: is it amazing. Its full of great info. Well, this week I really got sick of paying my cable bill...

$150.00 a month for crappy service, crappy picture, crappy HDTV. So I decided to Fire my cable company :smug I was up in the air about Dish Network and DirectTv, I ended up choosing Dish.

Here were my reasons:

1. No contract (or so I was told). DTV wanted a year contract. Since I never had Sat before I figured Id like a taste test and a way out if need be.

2. 100 Hr DVR - I am also a N00b dvr guy, I was very intrigued by TiVo but this supposedly has a lot more HD space to record movies.

3. 1 Box with the 522 instead of two boxes.

I signed up for the following:

1. Top 120 - Hope thats enough channels (if not Ill upgrade)
2. HB0 - Cant live without the Sopranos and Carnivale etc...
My bill should be about $58 + tax.

Sidenote: I am also switching over to Bellsouth DSL so I really can write of the Adelphia cable guys completely!! :smug

Anyway, I have read a couple of threads about the 522 and it seems a bit buggy for first generation. But as long as the picture is clearer then adelphia I really dont care much I am saving about 50 a month so I cant complain much.

A couple questions:

1. How often do they update the software?
2. Name entry dvr access might be available this summer correct?
3. Hows the picture quality in South Florida (if anyone around here Im in Jupiter... near West Palm Beach)
4. How touchy are these things with the weather rain, wind etc?
5. Can I run composite or better out to my tv from the receiver/dvr? or just s-video and coax? (I have a 50+ inch HDTV)
6. Hows the picture quality on a widescreen (my tv is only a couple months old)?

I think thats about it.... I really hope that this makes me happy. I am so sick of looking at crappy reception....

Cheers-
 

AppliedAggression

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
530
0
Connecticut
1. For the 522, about once a month right now.
2. Yes, the target seems to be summer of 04.
3. If you're referring to Dish picture quality, it'll be the same everyone, except for locals. Some locals seem to be almost the same in quality as the "normal" channels, while others seem to be quite compressed.
4. If your Dish is set up right and you have a strong signal, then you'll probably very rarely have rain fade. I haven't had it in over a year.
5. I think you mean component, not sure if the 522 offers that, but I doubt it. I'd have to guess you will have to use s-video. Coax is definitely used for TV2.
6. Don't own a widescreen tv. It really depends more on the size, unless you're talking about watching stretched tv.

Hope this helps. I'm sure it'll lead to others replying as well. Enjoy your 522, it has a lot of potential.
 

Trav

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 3, 2004
130
0
u4ea said:
1. No contract (or so I was told). DTV wanted a year contract. Since I never had Sat before I figured Id like a taste test and a way out if need be.

Although Dish itself has no contract, your dealer may have impose a fee if you cancel before 1 year. Mine did. Although this is a little misleading since Dish advertises the plan without a contract, it does make some sense because the dealer would also be the loser if you cancel and since they perform the installation, they aren't charging YOU for it... they are relying on skimpy profit margins anyway. This is my understanding anyway... Just make sure either 1) you really don't have any termination fees if you cancel before 1 year or 2) make sure you don't mind sticking it out if they do!

2. 100 Hr DVR - I am also a N00b dvr guy, I was very intrigued by TiVo but this supposedly has a lot more HD space to record movies.

The 522 is my first entry into the DVR devices as well and it's great! Though I haven't used TIVO personally, the consensus is that they offer more features than Dish's DVR's as well as more stable software. However, you are correct that the 522 has more storage space (120GB) - though I believe you can upgrade the hard drives on the TIVO's.

3. 1 Box with the 522 instead of two boxes.

Yes, this is certainly a big advantage and is also why i went with the 522. Though I do need to keep it hooked to a phone line, the extra $5 for having 2 tuners is waived when using this unit. And the 2 tuners work great, though right now it only works in DUAL mode where you hook each output to two different TV's. Somewhere down the line, they will implement the SINGLE mode which allows you to use both tuners from one TV/remote. The newest software for the 522 does allow you to set one tuner as the "preferred" tuner for recording though, and this does help.

1. Top 120 - Hope thats enough channels (if not Ill upgrade)

That's what I started with as well... but just upgrade to Top 180 after a week or so. Decided that I wanted the extra movie channels and the extra Discovery channels and Hallmark. Upgraded online and instantly gained access to the new channels. So far, I'm glad I upgraded though the $5 for downgrading isn't a big deal should I decide otherwise...

Anyway, I have read a couple of threads about the 522 and it seems a bit buggy for first generation. But as long as the picture is clearer then adelphia I really dont care much I am saving about 50 a month so I cant complain much.

There are a few bugs... but overall this is a great unit and I've been using it extensively. Sometimes I am recording shows on both tuners AND watching another show that I had previously recorded all at the same time. Once in a while, though, there will be an audio/video glitch here or there which usually occurs when I am doing the above. So far, all of my timers have worked flawlessly with the exception of one which I can't really explain what happened (just recorded 1 second and then ended). Picture quality on the recordings seems identical to the original broadcast and I have recorded some of them to my PC with my ATI capture card.

1. How often do they update the software?

The 522 is one of their top tuners, so you can except the software to be updated somewhat frequently. You can view a list of receivers with software versions with the link below and it shows the 522 was updated in Dec, Jan, and again this March. Here's the link: http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/customerCare/technical/software_versions/index.asp

2. Name entry dvr access might be available this summer correct?

That's the most recent news I've heard... some time this summer. But I'm just going by what I've read here.

4. How touchy are these things with the weather rain, wind etc?

I haven't had any weather-related problems yet. I've encountered a variety of conditions from sunny to a mild thunderstorm. So far, no signal loss or problems with picture quality because of weather (though I do have a complaint about picture quality in generel - see below). Others have reported that only certain types of weather (fog or dust storms, for example) cause problems. I've encountered a few very windy and rainy days without event.

5. Can I run composite or better out to my tv from the receiver/dvr or just s-video and coax? (I have a 50+ inch HDTV)

How come you chose to go with the 522 if you have HDTV? Why wouldn't you want to go with one of the HD receivers (money related?). At any rate, Tuner 1 has S-Video, composite, or Coax while Tuner 2 only has Composite or Coax (no S-Video). I am using S-Video on Tuner 1 to my Sony 32" Trinitron TV and Tuner 2 is hooked up to my PC tuner card via Coax (which is in stereo, by the way). But yes, you can use Composite on either tuner.

6. Hows the picture quality on a widescreen (my tv is only a couple months old)?

Okay, here's my remarks about picture quality. I can't comment on the picture quality of HD on Dish, but the standard broadcast picture quality is pretty decent on my 32" TV. However, I my local channels have VERY heavy compression which results in pixellation and blotchiness and I am disappointed in the picture quality on them. The rest of the channels are pretty good, though there seems to be varying amounts of compression that is sometimes a bit distracting (you'll notice some jaggedness or blotchiness at times). This is on my 32" TV, so I'm guessing this will be more noticeable on your larger TV since you won't be using the HD broadcast. Others may be more help in this area, though...

Hope that helps!
Travis
 

boba

SatelliteGuys Master
Dec 12, 2003
11,351
1,033
Dorchester, TX.
U4ea I hope you are still euphoric after your first month with DISH. You may not be happy with the picture quality on your HDTV the built in line doubler is going to make their digital signal look twice as bad as it would look on a standard definition TV. About the only things you can do is get your HDTV precision tuned or get a HDTV receiver so you will have at least a half dozen sharp pictures. Expect daily loss of signals in Florida when your afternoon thunder storms pass through(if it dosen't happen you will be happy). Rains that your windshield wipers can't keep up with will cause rain fade 5-20 min. outages, usually you can live with this.

At least with DISH'S "no commitment" you can cancel if you aren't happy. I still haven't figured out how they can say no DISH Network commitment when they require you to sign a contract with them.
 

u4ea

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 26, 2004
28
0
South Florida
I didnt buy the HDTV box because the lack of channels plus I wanted to lease my box not buy it...

My cable company only had three channels of hdtv - they look great. A lot of the digtial cable channels look pretty good, but its the non digital channels that stink.

+ I am pretty sick of the cable folks

Most of my local channels now look crappy I hope they dont look worse with satellite. Maybe I wont cancle my cable for a month... just in case I think the satellite stinks.

The main channels my wife and I watch are:

nbc
abc
fox
wgn
cnn
msnbc
weather channel
WB
hgtv
food network
discovery
tech tv
vh1 occasionally
e
history channel
a&e

So if I can get good reception on those Ill be pretty darn happy.

Will the HD Box get better reception on all the channels, even the ones that arent HD?

Anybody here use Voom before? Maybe I could sign up with those guys if dish doesnt work out.
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,194
Germantown OH
u4ea said:
The main channels my wife and I watch are:

weather channel
Forget The Weather Channel when you're with satellite. You do not get local weather information like you do with cable TV. And Dish's "Interactive Weather" leaves a bit to be desired... ;)
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,194
Germantown OH
Trav said:
Although Dish itself has no contract, your dealer may have impose a fee if you cancel before 1 year. Mine did. Although this is a little misleading since Dish advertises the plan without a contract
I'm curious about this now that you mention it. I ordered directly through Dish but a contractor installed it. They don't "sell" Dish in my area that I know of, they only have a warehouse and installers here locally. I did sign, well, my wife signed it, paperwork when they did the installation. At least one of them was their paperwork, I think, and not Dish's.

Regardless of what that might say, Dish clearly says "no committment" and they'll be held to that.
 

Trav

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 3, 2004
130
0
hall said:
I'm curious about this now that you mention it. I ordered directly through Dish but a contractor installed it. They don't "sell" Dish in my area that I know of, they only have a warehouse and installers here locally. I did sign, well, my wife signed it, paperwork when they did the installation. At least one of them was their paperwork, I think, and not Dish's.

Regardless of what that might say, Dish clearly says "no committment" and they'll be held to that.

You might want to check your paperwork just to make sure. My contract has one sheet for the dealer that clearly stated a $500 fee if I cancel before 1 year is up. This probably varies from dealer to dealer, so don't freak out until you check! I already had decided I would keep it a year no matter what, so this wasn't really an issue for me. And while Dish says no committment, they are technically right. If your dealer charges you a fee for cancelling, it is to recoup installation charges that were done by *them*, not Dish. And of course, if your paperwork is clear on a fee for the dealer, there's probably not much you can do. However, if there's nothing in your paperwork about a fee for canceling from the dealer, then you're probably safe since Dish doesn't charge a fee for cancelling...

Travis
 

derralict

Member
Mar 19, 2004
10
0
Buffalo,NY
Bye-Bye Adelphia!!!!

I had them too, and just switched to Dish Network. Adelphia has to be the most overpriced entertainment service out there! Good move getting rid of those money hungry thieves. Ever notice that if you go to their website, they only post the "deals" for services? Try looking for some actual prices on their "Advantage Packs". I could not find them anywhere. I wonder why that is? When you go to Dish Network's or even DirecTV's site, they offer the prices right there for you to see (and compare....). They are not hiding anything. Sorry, I just had to rant about how bad Adelphia rapes their customers. I can not stand these people.

As for the Dish, it is real nice so far. I get 120 channels and DVR with my 522 box for about $46 a month (compared to BASIC Adelphia 60 channels, no guide, no digital picture for $50 a month!). You will love to have the DVR....it is sweet! It records whatever channel you happen to be watching without having to press the record button! When you change the channel, it erases whatever you were just watching on the other channel, and starts to record the new channel. This is nice in case you missed what that guy just said, or that play in the endzone that you thought was a penalty, or if you need to visit the bathroom, etc,etc. You can pause, rewind, fast forward, and NEVER miss anything again! You can use the DVR to record two things at once as well. Set the timer and again, you will not miss your shows. If you are a sports fan, this thing rocks! Even if you HAVE to keep this for a year, I can't see that you would want to cancell anyway. I know it will be in my home for a long time. It was the best move I have made in a long time. MORE for LESS, and you really can't beat that!

Say good bye to Adelphia ( or you could say $#%^@#!) FOREVER!!!!

P.S.
I had Powerlink ( Adelphia's Cable Broadband Internet ) and it rocked, but was way over priced. Even when it was packaged with those %$!@%# Advantage Packs. If you choose to get DSL, never fear. I got it so I could completely cut ties with Adelphia, and it is a pretty good service. Not quite as fast as Adelphia, but not much slower. Definitely worth the price drop though. I like to download stuff, and have no problem with the speed DSL offers. I got my DSL through Verizon, but I am not sure if they offer it in your area. If you have phone service with them, the price is $29.99 a month. Without their phone service it is $34.99 a month. Check into any DSL offered in your area to see what is available. Refuse to give Adelphia any more of your hard earned cash. They do not deserve it!
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,194
Germantown OH
Trav said:
If your dealer charges you a fee for cancelling, it is to recoup installation charges that were done by *them*, not Dish. And of course, if your paperwork is clear on a fee for the dealer, there's probably not much you can do. However, if there's nothing in your paperwork about a fee for canceling from the dealer, then you're probably safe since Dish doesn't charge a fee for cancelling...
My point was, I made *no* arrangements with any dealer. I ordered directly from Dish and "someone" showed up one day to install it. My only relationship with this "someone" was that they were hooking it up. I know one piece of paperwork was clearly just a work order stating they installed things to my satisfaction and so on. I'd forgotten about this last night when I posted. Hopefully I remember to check the paperwork here in a few minutes....
 

Hall

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 14, 2004
18,409
3,194
Germantown OH
Okay, I checked the paperwork and it's all Dish paperwork, no dealer forms. The one does have "Digital Dish" and their address printed on it, but you can tell it was added on. Nonetheless, there's nothing about any dealer-related cancellation fees. I don't think "Digital Dish" is a dealer either, just an installer.
 

u4ea

Thread Starter
Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Mar 26, 2004
28
0
South Florida
thanks guys...

I cant wait to have it installed tomorrow. Ill report back on how the install went and how the picture is. I should be getting dsl setup today so I will be testing it to see how it compares to the cable.
 

Sky King49

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 14, 2004
70
0
I never signed any contract. I went through SBC DISH. Its great because it gives the customer more clout IMHO. If they refuse me anything I just tell them I will cancel
and switch to Direct TV.
 

ignition

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 2, 2004
32
0
Sky King49 said:
I never signed any contract. I went through SBC DISH. Its great because it gives the customer more clout IMHO. If they refuse me anything I just tell them I will cancel
and switch to Direct TV.

I have to add my 2 cents here. My SBC/Dish 522 install was prompt, efficient and expertly done. I did experience a problem which was cleared up thanks to the great help in this forum...but my problem was due to my not letting my SBC/Dish installers do their job. I didn't want SBC/Dish to hookup TV2 because I wanted to put TV2 in on my main Computer TV tuner card instead.

IMHO anyone serviced by SBC might want to consider SBC/Dish plans as well as the other Dishnet service providers. No installation, activation or upfront receiver charges. The only downside sofar was that I was only able to get genuine expertise (probably from SBC's competitor Dish installers) at this forum because my SBC customer service call was routed to India.
 

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