So, what's the holdup? 811/921


SatelliteGuys Guru
Original poster
Supporting Founder
Oct 1, 2003
Before yesterday the word on the street was the 811 was ready to ship any day and the 921 was shortly behind it with no major issues.

Now why both in (late?) December? I thought the 811 was good to go? Surely its not a very complex receiver. Functionally its the same as the 6000. Only real issue I see is trying to populate the programming guide stream with every -DT station in the country!! I find that feature hard to believe...

As for the 921, what are the big bugs holding it up? I thought they decided to cut out PIP and firewire for now so they could get it out. As a sw developer I know it can be harder to REMOVE buggy features than it is to just finish fixing them. You can add a lot more NEW bugs by having the feature missing!

Or are the problems with delays from manufacturing?

NEW YORK, Nov 11 (Reuters) - EchoStar Communications Corp. (DISH) shares fell to a five-month low on Tuesday, a day after the No. 2 satellite broadcaster posted slower-than- expected subscriber growth at its Dish Network service.

The company, facing pressure from new services at cable companies and from archrival DirecTV, said delays in deliveries of high definition television products would mean it misses out on the holiday season boost in consumer spending.

"We clearly missed all of September and I think for the most part we're going to miss the holiday season," said Chief Executive Charlie Ergen, who blamed himself for the short fall during an analysts on a telephone conference.

"Even if you get the product out in the next three weeks ... you get a little bit of it, but I don't think we're going to get too much bang there," Ergen said, adding that EchoStar was distracted by its failed efforts last month to buy bankrupt satellite maker and operator Loral Space & Communications Ltd. (LRLSQ)
The 811 depends on the price. Is it $299, $399, or $499. I will buy it for $299, but not higher. I will stick with my 6000 until it fails.
I need to qualify my 921 vote, if this drags out to the point that the DirecTV HD Tivo is available I'm out of here and Charlie can keep his 921.
I am seriously considering waiting for the HDTivo now..not sure Dish has the right people making the decisions, and if they can't change that, things will not improve.
In the "old days" of mainframe computers, we used to say there are three data records you need to test your programs - the first, the last, and all the others. I think these are called "corner cases" nowadays. Dave K mentioned the reason the 921 needed to have both tuners connected to dishes was related to testing corner cases. Who knows, there may be dozens or scores of corner cases in this thing.:shock:

The mind boggles when you consider the time-dependent data flying around inside the 921. Even though the basic code is probably based on the 721, the 921 may be much more timing dependent due to the larger data streams. Buffer retransmits and the like may be OK on "regular" data, but would probably create stutter or somesuch with video data.

This doesn't excuse bad project management, of course. However, I'm always amazed these things work at all, considering what they have to do.

Maybe somebody who has written complex real time programming can provide some "accurate speculation"? 8)
I am torn. The advantage of the 811 is that it will output HD and SD at the same time. (It may even have closed captioning which is useful for following dialog in "South Park"<G>)
The 921 will record. We have gotten used to timeshifting almost all our TV watching. However, like our 6000, it won't output both HD and SD concurrently.

I still may get the 921. What I would prefer is an 811 and some method to feed that to a VCR type recording device that can record HDTV.

Since we have service via BEV (Canadian system) - i assume there will be a much longer wait than those waiting here in the U.S.


P.S. I haven't converted our 7 y.o. D* system to HDTV - waiting until a method comes out to record that. I had hoped that Comcast was going to come out w. lots of HDTV - but only have HBO, SHO and a few of the networks - not CBS. Looks like we def. will keep BEV for much of our HDTV.
Going to wait

I wholeheartedly wanted to give DISH my $999 for the 921, but after repeated delays, you know that it has some serious problems. With such pent-up demand and a lucrative holiday season coming up, why would they NOT release it? At first I was sure that DISH had the knowledge and capacity to be the HD leader. Now, with the news of much more bandwidth coming to Direct TV and their own HD TIVO coming out, I'm not so sure. Last night's lack of chat convinced me to hold on to my money until next fall and see who REALLY has the best bug free DVR. Unless Charlie comes up with some REAL, (I MEAN REAL) hardware and $$$ incentive to stay, my dollars take a more DIRECT TV turn to HD.
I have to agree with Maddog here. I was very much on board with Dish, convinced they were positioned to really pull ahead of DirecTV. With this latest news of their market performance and the constant delays, I will call DirecTV in the coming months unless the receivers are released soon because I know I can get a great deal there, along with real technology, not just promises.

I am just especially p'od that they did give very specific dates for the release of the 811/921 and did a whole chat that was very much focused on these new products, but the next month when the dates are missed, they don't give new dates or reasons for the delay. I am more willing to accept delays if at least I am given the courtesy of being told why and when the next projected date is.

But here Charlie just completely glossed over it and gave a very vague statement and no explanations. At least if it was manufacturing issues, distribution issues, etc. he could blame someone else. I would have to presume the problem is software and only has himself and the tech dept to blame. I guess he has hung them out so much already its getting to be sounding like a broken record and he just doesnt want to deal with it...

"dammit customers, they will be out when they are out!"
I, too, agree with Maddogg.

At this point, the only way I'll consider buying a 921 is if the initial comments about it (from people that actually buy it and use it) are nothing short of incredible. Other than that I simply see E* as fumbling along with their software, hardware, and decision-making in general. They give me NO reason to spend thousands of $$ on their product (multiple receivers and programming). I feel my 7 years with E* is about to come to an end.
The 921 will go the way of the 721 and 5000 ... an isolated 1st gen product that had expandability but was never leveraged and hence discontinued. I think there will be a slimmer more efficient 922 product later (dual tuner, dual OTA, dual output)
My thougts exactly. The 921 is a huge learning curve for E*.

I am glad I waited 6 mos after the 721 was introduced before biting. If I had any sense I would do the same for the 921 (but probably won't).
After waiting and salivating for all these months, E*'s delays have finally caused me to wake up and smell the coffee. Unless the 921 gets rave reviews after it's eventual release, and unless any future hd programming is added to 110 or the wing sats (for those of us in the "non-superdish area"), the HD Tivo and D* is looking better and better.
I too have been with E* from almost the start. But like others I am concerned about the delays in both equipment (and cost increases) and new channels. Also the Super Dish size and possible mounting problems. I like the TiVo "season pass" so a HD TiVo is something I would really like.

I was going to go full speed ahead with E* (S D & 921) but now I am going to wait until summer 2004 and check out D*, Voom vs. E* at that time.

Perhaps E* will bounce back as it has in the past as I really want to stay with them BUT .......
I think I'll take a wait-and-see approach. I'm interested in the 921, but from what I understand presently, the SuperDish does not work in a number of large, populous parts of the country, including all of Florida and parts of California. My view is that it is unlikely Dish will add new HD channels until the problems with SuperDish are resolved. And it does not look like they will add new channels at the 65.1 or 110 locations because of bandwidth limitiations. It's hard to justify paying 1k to record the few existing HD channels on Dish.

Dish really needs to clarify what they will do with the SuperDish. First they announced it as the new system you will need to receive HD in the future. Now they are saying it doesn't work in many areas. I'm curious how many of you believe that the SuperDish may ultimately be scrapped, or limited in it's usage. I frankly think Dish has made a mistake in trying to spread programming across these additional orbital locations.

Is tonight NBA-TV HD game going to be on E*?

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