Switching to Dish - have some questions (1 Viewer)

amirbd

Thread Starter
New Member
Apr 28, 2004
2
0
Hi all,

I'm going to become a Dish customer mainly because Dish is the only one that carry a particular international feed which I'm interested in. I'm thinking to use this opportunity to switch from cable to Dish on the American Channels as well, and wonder what are my best options.

My current displays are:
HD1 - a high definition front projector (marantz, 720p, components, S-vid)
with dcdi upconvertion. Currently used 99% to watch dvds, 1% for
analog cable. What is amazing is that some of the local cables actually
look decent on the big screen. There is no comparison with the HD
feed I had from the cable (for few month), but it is definitely
watchable.
TV1 (family room) - 27'', has s-video connection - this is the "main" TV for
the family.
TV2 (master bedroom) - 27''
TV3 (guestroom) - 27'' [Mainly used for the X-Box.
PC1 - has radeon 7500 capture card.

What is absolutely necessary is to be able to see, control receivers and record in TV1 and TV2, and HD1. Preferably to the same harddrive.

It is not absolutely necessary to have TV on the PC, and not even nectary to have TV signal on TV3 (but it would be nice :). Also it is not critical for me, due to the limited programming, to get HD content from DISH.

What I'm thinking of getting (receiver-wise), is one of the following options

1. 522 + 811
2. 522 + 522
3. 522 +322
4. 522

In all options, the first 522 will be hooked using S-vid to TV1, and using coax to TV2.
Under option 1, the 811 serve HD1 and (using the SD output), will also serve
TV3 and PC1. The downside is the extra 10$/HD which I don't want to pay now.
Under option 2, 522 will feed HD1 (using S-video), and TV3 though the coax
Under option 3, 322 will do the same instead (no DVR).
Under option 4, I will modulate TV2 (using an AVCAST system which I have installed), to HD1, TV3 and PC1. The down side is the AVCAST modulate in Mono, but that is what you pay for being cheap :)

My questions -

1. Anything trivial I'm missing out
2. Is it worth to get the 811 (and pay an extra 15$ a month) just for the HD connection and the digital audio connections (ignore the HD feeds).
2. Will I suffer using the 533 (or 322) on a 100'' screen ?
3. Does the 522/322 have digital audio out ?

Thanks,

Amir
 

ChrisCoop

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 13, 2004
98
0
I'm not into HD (YET!!!) so I can't help you with any of that stuff, sorry. What I can tell you is:

A. They won't allow two 522s under one roof, so you can eliminate that from your list of possible configurations, sorry.

B. The 522 does have digital audio out. But just for TV1 though, and just an optical connection. The 322 does not have a digital audio out, sorry.

I'm a fairly new Dish customer with a 522 and a 322 on the 120 package with the HBO/Cinemax packages and 27 inch TVs and I've been real happy so far. An occasional "hiccup" here and there with the hardware and also with the "acquiring signal," but for the most part everything's been real nice. Good value and good service. I will say this though, some channels/shows/movies look really incredible...I mean just like I was watching a DVD. And some, occasionally, look a little crappy. If you know your stuff (and from your hardware it sounds like you do) you're definitely going to notice the artifacting from time to time. I don't mean to scare you off, I just want to be honest and prepare you. If at all possible, find someone in your area with Dish (neighbor, friend, etc.) and go see it for yourself. It's really not bad at all, but I can see why some aficionados might bitch and moan. Good luck.
 

amirbd

Thread Starter
New Member
Apr 28, 2004
2
0
GaryPen - of course if I have components out (811), this is what I use for the HDTV (No DVI on the projector). The S-vid option is for the 322 or 522 connection.

ChrisCoop - thanks for the information about the two 522. I find it odd, though, why wouldn't they let me have two of those ? Regrading digital audio for non-HD content - how many programs have it ? how many have 5.1 audio ?

beast37799 - What 811 bugs (not trying to start a war here, just looking to get an overview of the most critical problems). If I decide now to skip the 811, will I later need to replace the dish I'm getting now (to get HD).

Thanks

Amir
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
amirbd said:
GaryPen - of course if I have components out (811), this is what I use for the HDTV (No DVI on the projector). The S-vid option is for the 322 or 522 connection.

Thanks

Amir

I'm sorry. Your setup description said, "Under option 1, the 811 serve HD1 and (using the SD output), will also serve TV3 and PC1.". Hence, my confusion. I see now that you meant that SD would serve TV3 and PC1. I think the position of the comma is what threw me off.
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
amirbd said:
What I'm thinking of getting (receiver-wise), is one of the following options

1. 522 + 811
2. 522 + 522
3. 522 +322
4. 522

In all options, the first 522 will be hooked using S-vid to TV1, and using coax to TV2.
Under option 1, the 811 serve HD1 and (using the SD output), will also serve
TV3 and PC1. The downside is the extra 10$/HD which I don't want to pay now.
Under option 2, 522 will feed HD1 (using S-video), and TV3 though the coax
Under option 3, 322 will do the same instead (no DVR).
Under option 4, I will modulate TV2 (using an AVCAST system which I have installed), to HD1, TV3 and PC1. The down side is the AVCAST modulate in Mono, but that is what you pay for being cheap :)

My questions -

1. Anything trivial I'm missing out
2. Is it worth to get the 811 (and pay an extra 15$ a month) just for the HD connection and the digital audio connections (ignore the HD feeds).
2. Will I suffer using the 533 (or 322) on a 100'' screen ?
3. Does the 522/322 have digital audio out ?

Thanks,

Amir
I have a 921 - even money bet on whether you get a decent one or not. It can NOT do HD & SD out at the same time, so take it from there.

The User Manuals for these boxes are here: http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/products/userguides_manuals/index.shtml

One note - I seem to remember that the 522 puts out MTS stereo on it's RF output even though the book says no. I might be remembering that all wrong :shocked :eek: :shocked so please check other threads for the correct answer.
 

ChrisCoop

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 13, 2004
98
0
amirbd said:
ChrisCoop - thanks for the information about the two 522. I find it odd, though, why wouldn't they let me have two of those ? Regrading digital audio for non-HD content - how many programs have it ? how many have 5.1 audio ?

There really is no "good" reason why they won't let people have two. I mean, you'd be paying the extra $5 a month for the 2nd box AND the extra $5 a month for the second DVR. The best that it's been explained to me is that the 522 costs them a pretty penny and they give you one just to lure you into joining Dish, but if they let you have as many as you want then that would start really cutting into their profit margin. Oddly enough though, they will let you have one 522 and as many 501s as you want. The 501 is a single tuner DVR. But then it means an extra $5 DVR fee per 501 per month.

Regarding digital audio, to be honest with you I still haven't hooked up the digital audio out to my receiver. I never owned any optical/TOSlink cables and I just haven't gotten around to heading over to the store for one. I can tell you that a lot of stuff on the movie channels is listed as "DD," but since I haven't hooked up to the receiver, I can't say for sure if that's a full 5.1 mix or not. I've rented plenty of DVDs without looking too closely at the box after seeing the DD symbol, only to get home and play the disk and find out it's 5.0 (omitting the sub) or some other lame combination that technically is digital and is Dolby but is not something that uses the speakers to their full potential. Maybe someone else could help you with this, sorry.
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Feb 29, 2004
5,692
3
Florissant, CO
ChrisCoop said:
There really is no "good" reason why they won't let people have two. I mean, you'd be paying the extra $5 a month for the 2nd box AND the extra $5 a month for the second DVR. The best that it's been explained to me is that the 522 costs them a pretty penny and they give you one just to lure you into joining Dish, but if they let you have as many as you want then that would start really cutting into their profit margin. Oddly enough though, they will let you have one 522 and as many 501s as you want. The 501 is a single tuner DVR. But then it means an extra $5 DVR fee per 501 per month.
Yeah, a 522 costs more than a 322, but is comparable to a 501. I think the difference is you gotta buy a 501 - and there's no DVR fee for it. Maybe you're thinking of the 510? But don't you still have to buy that?
ChrisCoop said:
Regarding digital audio, to be honest with you I still haven't hooked up the digital audio out to my receiver. I never owned any optical/TOSlink cables and I just haven't gotten around to heading over to the store for one. I can tell you that a lot of stuff on the movie channels is listed as "DD," but since I haven't hooked up to the receiver, I can't say for sure if that's a full 5.1 mix or not. I've rented plenty of DVDs without looking too closely at the box after seeing the DD symbol, only to get home and play the disk and find out it's 5.0 (omitting the sub) or some other lame combination that technically is digital and is Dolby but is not something that uses the speakers to their full potential. Maybe someone else could help you with this, sorry.
Even with "real" 5.1, a lot of the content is crap - I think the audio guys in the studio simply don't spend any time on it. There's lots of cases where I've been better off down-rezzing :rolleyes: the audio and letting my receiver fake the surround for me.
 

ChrisCoop

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 13, 2004
98
0
SimpleSimon said:
Yeah, a 522 costs more than a 322, but is comparable to a 501. I think the difference is you gotta buy a 501 - and there's no DVR fee for it. Maybe you're thinking of the 510? But don't you still have to buy that?

Yes, Simon, that's what I meant to say, the 510. Sorry, I had a brain cramp! And actually, it's my understanding that they will "give" you a 510 (or more than one) for "free" if you sign up under the DHA plan. Of course, you still pay the $5 PER box rental AND $5 PER box DVR. But if you call them up and say, "I'd like to sign up, and I want DVR on 4 TVs," they will give you one 522 and two 510s. I don't think they even offer the 501 anymore (but I think you can still get them used on eBay). And if I remember correctly the 501 is basically same as the 510 except that the 501 has a smaller hard drive (40 gig?) and does NOT have the $5 a month DVR fee, as you pointed out.

SimpleSimon said:
Even with "real" 5.1, a lot of the content is crap - I think the audio guys in the studio simply don't spend any time on it. There's lots of cases where I've been better off down-rezzing :rolleyes: the audio and letting my receiver fake the surround for me.

:haha I thought I was the only one who had to do that! It's nice to know I'm not alone. :)
 

JohnDoe#2

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 11, 2004
189
0
The Armpit of America
Simple answer: Sign up for DHA, get a DISH 811 and a DVR522.

The 811 is not quite "finished," does require an occasional reboot, but works adequately well 95% of the time when you get used to it & some of the WAs.

The DVR 522 can be located in the family room, connected via S-Video and analog or digital audio as desired on TV1.

The TV2 output of the DVR522 can feed your master bedroom & guest room.

Yes, the TV2 RF output is MTS stereo. You can feed it to the PC as well or use the addtional A/V or RF output (CH 3 or 4) from TV1 - whichever is easier.

This arrangement works well for my high-tech/high-end customers with the minimum in addt'l box & VOD fees.
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
JohnDoe#2 said:
Simple answer: Sign up for DHA, get a DISH 811 and a DVR522.

The 811 is not quite "finished," does require an occasional reboot, but works adequately well 95% of the time when you get used to it & some of the WAs.

"Not quite finished" is a gross understatement. If by "occasional" you mean "daily", then you are correct.
 

Urinale de Pissoir

New Member
May 1, 2004
2
0
Northern CA
ChrisCoop said:
Yes, Simon, that's what I meant to say, the 510. Sorry, I had a brain cramp! And actually, it's my understanding that they will "give" you a 510 (or more than one) for "free" if you sign up under the DHA plan. Of course, you still pay the $5 PER box rental AND $5 PER box DVR. But if you call them up and say, "I'd like to sign up, and I want DVR on 4 TVs," they will give you one 522 and two 510s. I don't think they even offer the 501 anymore (but I think you can still get them used on eBay). And if I remember correctly the 501 is basically same as the 510 except that the 501 has a smaller hard drive (40 gig?) and does NOT have the $5 a month DVR fee, as you pointed out.



:haha I thought I was the only one who had to do that! It's nice to know I'm not alone. :)
It's my understanding that the 508 is identical to the 501 but with larger disc drive. Both are fee-free, unlike the ripoff 510. Yes, you have to buy the 501 & 508. I got mine from DishStore.net. It's a refurb. Echostar no longer sells it although I understand it's identical (or pretty much so) to both the 501 and 508, but with, yet again, a larger HD.
 

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