Suggestion for Dish Network

Scott Greczkowski

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Sep 7, 2003
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Often it is said, "if it's not broke, then don't try to fix it."

Dish Network should have followed that advice when they designed the new Dish 811 HDTV receiver.

Origionally when the 811 was announced it was just supposed to be a upgraded Dish 6000 with more memory that could do OpenTV. However some rocket scientist at Dish had a better idea and that idea was to build a new HD receiver from the ground up.

Since coming out the 811 has been reported having nothing but problems, from dark pictures to wierd aspect ratios, losing the guide information, or if you in OTA too long and try watching Satellite you get a blank screen requiring a reboot, it has popping sounds in the audio etc...

While the 6000 had its share of problems, the 6000 has always been a solid and done as it was supposed to, the only things missing on the 6000 was OpenTV and the ability to decode PSIP guide information.

Why Dish choose to make the 811 from the ground up? Why did Dish not try to emulate the 6000 in regards to its features such as aspect radios, full screen and stretch modes?

Yes Dish did add DVI and and a better tuner to its unit, and the Dish 811 can also do HDTV Closed Captioning, why couldnt those features have been added to the existing 6000 line? Wouldn't it have been easier to add on then reinvent the wheel all over again? Imagine the second generation 6000, it could be called the 6050.

And one of the main upgrades advertised for the 811 was the ability to have DIsh Home Interactive isn't it funny that Dish Home is not even available on the 811 yet?

Earlier in the week I heard and reported that the 811 would be getting a software upgrade this week, now I am hearing the software release has been scrapped for now because of new problems found in the software. I even heard from one contact that they wished the 811 project would be scrapped altogether.

Guys its not too late, upgrade the 6000 and make a new second generation unit.

That's my two cents.
 

Gordon Small

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 4, 2004
28
0
Scott, it's too bad Dish can't get their act together. What a disaster! So, I guess the customers will be screwed? And, I bet their dealers aren't real happy at this point either.
 

sirlurkalot

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 24, 2004
86
0
Corona, CA
I can sympathise with the design guys....

In my industry (COTS military electonics) we are at the mercy of silicon vendors (Intel, AMD, Micron etc etc) and they regularly obsolete components at the drop of a hat. It's not an easy thing to deal with. One week is good, and another week can be the end of a good product... :river

Anyway, the redesign thing isn't such a bad way to go (*IF* it's managed right). Just think for a moment how many different cellphones you may have had in the last few years! Probably more than a few as they add new "features" reduce the size, improve quality etc etc... Same in the DBS world I'm sure...

So, I'm guessing the 6000 is a bi*ch to assemble and test, but the 811 is probably a much simpler design (from the H/W perspective). Use of the new Broadcom chips makes the 811/921/322/522 designs almost an excerise in putting together a LEGO (tm) model. :D

The key here, though, is PROPER S/W MANAGEMENT... I've heard that some of the new designs of receiver are designed here, "productized" there, S/W developed somewhere else and then SURPRISE they find flaws after the fact.

If the 811 is going to get scrapped, there's a good clear solution we should look at.... Dish is spending all their effort on the 921... let us all get free ones of those... same features (with a few additions :lick ). That, I'm sure, we'd all settle for!

As the 811/921 designs use the same fundamental chips inside, I can't see why they are having a hard time figuring fixes out for one, that work in the other. :confused: The 811 is just a "slimmed down" 921 anyway.

To sum up... IF the 811 gets scrapped, then let's start the campaign for new 921's as replacements...

P.S. I'm top of the list... who's next? :smug
 

rad

Supporting Founder
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Lifetime Supporter
Sep 7, 2003
10,562
4,162
Dripping Springs, TX
Scott, it's because of the 811 that E* lost a customer with an over $120 per month bill. I should have known better when I ordered the 811 to replace my 6K that it would have bugs, but I wasn't ready for the amount of problems that this box had. I talked to one of the engineers of the box (trust me, he was an engineer and not a CSR) and he said that they really wanted more time to fix problems with it but management said that it had to hit the streets by date X and they had no choice.

Now E* is playing their same old games, yep we'll fix that in a future software release but when it comes close to releasing that code it get's delayed. I pity all the folks that we're waiting since Wednesday for the new code that was supposed to fix some of their problems to now have to wait for who knows how long for the next rumor of a code release.

What I don't understand is why someone hasn't taken E* to court over this box. Not for all the bugs in the box but for advertisied features that are not there. As Scott mentioned OpenTV is missing, the two day guide is not there. If you looked at the 811's manual from the Dish site it says that you have '...an unlimted number of facorite channels...' but the limit like in the 6K is still there. Heck, people sue because they get hot coffee why no action on the 811? Maybe Echostar needs to be taken to court for a change vs. taking others.

Am I being over critical of the bugs in the 811, I don't think so. I have a Hughes E86 HD receiver now that I'm on D* and it's not perfect but in the three weeks that I've had D* it's needed to be rebooted ONCE, not multiple times a day like the 811 needed. It tunes in every ATSC/DTV channels that my 6000+8VSB did, not like the 811 which wouldn't. Maybe Charlie should take some of his billions and hire some more engineers that can get their boxes out the door and not have the number of threasd the 811 and 921 have caused in internet forums such as this.
 

WeeJavaDude

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 25, 2003
766
0
SoCal
Scott Greczkowski said:
Often it is said, "if it's not broke, then don't try to fix it."

Dish Network should have followed that advice when they designed the new Dish 811 HDTV receiver.

Origionally when the 811 was announced it was just supposed to be a upgraded Dish 6000 with more memory that could do OpenTV. However some rocket scientist at Dish had a better idea and that idea was to build a new HD receiver from the ground up.

Since coming out the 811 has been reported having nothing but problems, from dark pictures to wierd aspect ratios, losing the guide information, or if you in OTA too long and try watching Satellite you get a blank screen requiring a reboot, it has popping sounds in the audio etc...

While the 6000 had its share of problems, the 6000 has always been a solid and done as it was supposed to, the only things missing on the 6000 was OpenTV and the ability to decode PSIP guide information.

Why Dish choose to make the 811 from the ground up? Why did Dish not try to emulate the 6000 in regards to its features such as aspect radios, full screen and stretch modes?

Yes Dish did add DVI and and a better tuner to its unit, and the Dish 811 can also do HDTV Closed Captioning, why couldnt those features have been added to the existing 6000 line? Wouldn't it have been easier to add on then reinvent the wheel all over again? Imagine the second generation 6000, it could be called the 6050.

And one of the main upgrades advertised for the 811 was the ability to have DIsh Home Interactive isn't it funny that Dish Home is not even available on the 811 yet?

Earlier in the week I heard and reported that the 811 would be getting a software upgrade this week, now I am hearing the software release has been scrapped for now because of new problems found in the software. I even heard from one contact that they wished the 811 project would be scrapped altogether.

Guys its not too late, upgrade the 6000 and make a new second generation unit.

That's my two cents.

I have had both the 6000 and the 811 and from my perspective I doubt they could have done the 811 features in the 6000. Maybe I have been lucky, but my 811 is working just as good as the 6000. Also, I would take the posts about the 811 software and the rumors with a grain of salt. Maybe they are true maybe they are not, but unless you are on the development managment team you do not know what is going on for certain.

Yes some people are having problems with the 811, that is obvious but like the 721 and the 6000 I am not sure what % is having show stopper like issues and what % are running into what are called annoyance issues. So I am not sure at this point making the assertion that they should have just updated the 6000 is a good one. Here is why...

The 6000 seemed to be out of horse power.. The guides were slow, navigation was slow and it had problems reading all IR codes. This is not the case with the 811 and my guess is because of the additional processing power the 811 provides. Also the memory constraints.. It is obvious that the 811 was a port of the 6000 code to some extent. Both have the aquiring signal bug for example.

Whose to say if they just update the 6000 that they would not introduce more bugs than the 811 has. Trying to shoe horn something usually ends up with flaky software. Moving up to a more modern platform usually results in the end of having a better product. Yes it takes time to mature, but in the end you will have a better product.

I don't thing they could of done the picture in guide with the 6000 due to processing limitations. I remember when then did the picture in guide on the 4900s.... what a joke.

My take as being a 6000 user is that the 811 has more promise and the 6000 was at the end of is life cycle. I think it had ran out of processing power. Maybe they could have done some minimal changes to the 6000 to increase the processing power, but since I am not on the development team I would not know that answer.

So bottom line here is that I know a lot of us are waiting for the update, me included. But, by no means is this product a rotten egg. Yes there are problems... Yes there is a level of customer pain along with short supply.... but by no means do I feel that an updated 6000 would have been a better solution. Then again.. depends what an updated 6000 would have looked like...
 

bsic

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 6, 2004
113
0
Texas
I agree the 811 is buggy, and doesnt have *yet* the advertised features.

But a reboot several times a day? Huh? Had mine a month and not ONE reboot. Not one. And the "bugs" are very tolerable. So yes RAD, I do think you are being overly critical. But its your right to jump from provider to provider as you do. Personally, I dont find anything with the 811 that is so bad it warrants me switching providers (except maybe to VOOM for content). Some folks will always have gripes about something i guess.
 

marko

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
122
0
The 6000 was a piece of crap. It worked, but man, slow and painful to operate (not to mention the noise!!!).

The 811 is a troublesome machine, but you know what, I bought it realizing that that would probably be the case. Too many people know that dish puts out buggy new receivers, and yet are still first in line to buy them, and first in line to complain about them. The receiver should not be shipped that way no doubt, but at the same time we shouldn't be too surprised at the result given E*s record.

Now if a year from now they still don't have the dark SD picture fixed, then I am sure I will be switching providers. It is very unacceptable for them to ship something like that, and then not fix it. (In fact, how the hell did it ship with such an obvious problem?). But I think they will fix it, just have to be patient.
 

Kevinw

Just a regular guy
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 2, 2003
2,992
13
Jacksonville, FL
If had known it would be this much trouble I would have waited. I was sucked in by the price and wanting to see HDnet,Dsicover HD and ESPNHD. MY OTA tuner worked well but I wanted to consolidate to 1 tuner instead of a 508 and an OTA HD tuner.
I have never had a problem with DISH regarding service or PQ. But having seen my neighbors DIRECT setup with a Panasonic and the new Hughes boxes I may have switched.
My 508 kept me thinking about not switching. No issues with the Hughes, as we have, but then again 150 for a tuner vs 600 can make a difference in tolerance.
If did not have a 301 hooked up in conjuction I would be very upset with the 811. The PQ from the 811 on stadard fare is just not accepatable with its black crush.
 

rad

Supporting Founder
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Sep 7, 2003
10,562
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Dripping Springs, TX
bsic said:
But a reboot several times a day? Huh? Had mine a month and not ONE reboot. Not one. And the "bugs" are very tolerable.

Then consider yourself one of the lucky ones that is happy with their 811. If you look at all the posts there are many others that have their 811 hang up all the time.
and

marco said:
The 811 is a troublesome machine, but you know what, I bought it realizing that that would probably be the case.

Why should customers of E* have to make statments like this? Aren't we talking about the fourth or fifth largest distribibutor of programming? If a cable company sent out hardware like this boy folks would be jumping all over them. But let Charlie and company send out another substandard product and people bend over backwards to give them the benefit of the doubt.
 

rad

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Kevinw said:
No issues with the Hughes, as we have, but then again 150 for a tuner vs 600 can make a difference.
.

Check out http://www.valueelectronics.com/hdtv.htm you can get the older E86 with the phase 3 dish and installation for $350 plus shipping. It's not the new Hughes but it has an RF remote and caller ID that the new box doesn't have. I'm happy with the one that I picked up and the Tivo's are much better then the 5XX's.
 

bsic

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 6, 2004
113
0
Texas
Not that we give them the benefit of the doubt. We just dont care as much as you. If my guide doesnt go past 2 hours- so what. I never use it past 2 hours anyways. Im not going to start posting messages on boards over the earth and build my blood pressure screaming about this stuff. And Im certainly not going to waste my time switching providers as Im happy with my service, price, etc.

Dish screwed up, it doesnt bother me, and they will fix it in time. Like I said, you are entitled to your opinion. And Im entitled to be an understanding, patient customer.
 

Kevinw

Just a regular guy
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 2, 2003
2,992
13
Jacksonville, FL
rad said:
Check out http://www.valueelectronics.com/hdtv.htm you can get the older E86 with the phase 3 dish and installation for $350 plus shipping. It's not the new Hughes but it has an RF remote and caller ID that the new box doesn't have. I'm happy with the one that I picked up and the Tivo's are much better then the 5XX's.
Thanks Rick.
I plan on the move at th end of my new contract for the HD pack and the 811.
Unless someone starts a class action lawsuit because DISH has a poor box and a contract to hold onto us.
 

Kevinw

Just a regular guy
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 2, 2003
2,992
13
Jacksonville, FL
bsic said:
Not that we give them the benefit of the doubt. We just dont care as much as you. If my guide doesnt go past 2 hours- so what. I never use it past 2 hours anyways. Im not going to start posting messages on boards over the earth and build my blood pressure screaming about this stuff. And Im certainly not going to waste my time switching providers as Im happy with my service, price, etc.

Dish screwed up, it doesnt bother me, and they will fix it in time. Like I said, you are entitled to your opinion. And Im entitled to be an understanding, patient customer.

I am not as bothered by the underperformance of the 811 as RAD is but a majority of these issues are important. You may not need more than a 2 hour guide but if the guide can not referesh as it goes then its a problem. The audio popping is an issue. ths dark sd picture is an issue. The difficulty of the receiver to decipher which signal is the correct one resluting in the 49% error with OTA is an issue. I am patient becuase I have alternatives with a 301 hooked up for SD programming. If I had no alternative AND paid full price I would be really PO'd.
Not being able to just use the box with out waiting for the looking for satelite, refreshing guide or loss of audio is annoying. I really don't like the idea of having to get the 811 set up before watching a show in HD.
Just my opinion the 811 is sub par and DSIH makes no apolgies for it.
I want it to work when I want it to not when it's ready to.
 

thebradybunch

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 20, 2003
47
0
Just ask yourself this. If you walked in Circuit City and bought this like you would a dvd player or stereo receiver and it had the problems the 811 has how long would it take you to return it and demand your money back???????????????????
 

awax

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 9, 2003
102
0
Fayetteville, Arkansas
bsic said:
Dish screwed up, it doesnt bother me, and they will fix it in time. Like I said, you are entitled to your opinion. And Im entitled to be an understanding, patient customer.

If its the first or second time then yeah its a mistake but in Dish's case its called standard procedure. Look at their history with equipment.


Move along E* sheep. You'd think with over 9 billion in the bank shepherd Charlie could sink a little more into R&D.
 

bubba04

SatelliteGuys Family
Nov 20, 2003
51
0
People simply want the products that they buy to do what they're advertised/promised to do. Most of us knew the 811 would be buggy from the start. And now after a few months of use, we are seeing brand new bugs! (losing 148 satellite for instance) But as early adopters, we know that things are not going to go well for us. I just wish that Dish wouldn't keep us in the dark all the time. We took a chance on this product, and Dish KNOWS we took a chance. All we want is for E* to acknowledge our problems, and keep us abreast as to the progress they have in place to fix the problems. That's ALL we want. We shouldn't have to rely on secret contacts about an upcoming software patch. That information should be on their website in the support section. We only want to treated with the respect that loyal/paying customers deserve.
Bubba04
 

bsic

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 6, 2004
113
0
Texas
awax said:
If its the first or second time then yeah its a mistake but in Dish's case its called standard procedure. Look at their history with equipment.


Move along E* sheep. You'd think with over 9 billion in the bank shepherd Charlie could sink a little more into R&D.

HA!!! Thanks for making my point. I just posted today over on dbstalk that within hours of the post regarding Charlies net worth, there would be little people coming out saying "If he has so much damn money, why doesnt my 811 work." :haha

And I guess I just have rose colored glasses on ... Ive had a 301/501(508) for years and have never had a single complaint AT ALL. But coming to these forums it makes it sound like if you plug in your 811 you house will blow up.

Sure the 811 aint perfect. The difference between you and I is that I wish it were perfect, but Im not ready to start a picket line over its faults and sue the friggin company.
 

marko

SatelliteGuys Guru
Sep 7, 2003
122
0
rad said:
Why should customers of E* have to make statments like this? Aren't we talking about the fourth or fifth largest distribibutor of programming? If a cable company sent out hardware like this boy folks would be jumping all over them. But let Charlie and company send out another substandard product and people bend over backwards to give them the benefit of the doubt.

What can I do though? They got me for a 1 year commitment, switching providers is not an option, and even if I got it for $150, the problems are not enough to warrant me switching. Again though, if they do not fix the dark SD problem on the machine when my year is up, I will be switching. I can deal with that for now, since I will watching most of my tv through component, but I do take stuff through Media Center on the svideo out, and I do want that fixed at some point.
 

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