Upgrading from DishPlayer 7200 to 721?


New Member
Original poster
Jun 5, 2004
Mountain View, CA

I've been a Dish subscriber for over 4 years now - I got
my 7200 in February of 2000 and now I've decided it's
time to upgrade to the 721 with the $249 special offer.
How involved should I expect the installation be? Am I
just going to be swapping out the 7200 receiver for the
721, or is it more complicated than that? does anything
need to be done to the satellite dish itself?

Also, I'm curious to hear the experience of others who
have gone from the 7200 to the 721 - other than more
hard drive space, PiP, and the ability to record from two
channels, what other improvements are there? Is
the UI better? is it more reliable? Is there anything that
is actually better about the 7200?


The one BIG thing about the 721 is that you MUST have two cable runs from the dish. So If you only have one now at the 7200, then you need to think about what that means for the installer and you. After that, the installer should be able to take care of the details, like the switches,lnb changes etc (if any are needed)...

7200 vs 721 - I've had both

You will love the extra space.
You will Miss Named Based Recording BIG TIME.
You will like the UI. Similar and works fairly well.
You will like the responsiveness. Pretty Fast most of the time.
Different bugs, Different Receiver.
You will absolutely love the two tuner freedom!

Bottom Line you will pretty much love your 721 ... until you miss many shows due to scheduling changes. Then you will do like me and begin to consider switching over to the dark side. d+t=happy?
Name-Based recording is due late summer/early fall.

I also had 2 7100's that I upgraded to 501's, and then added the 721.

I *LOVE* my 721.

Yes, name-based recording would be wonderful, and I'm waiting with baited breath for it, but the 2-tuners, and the UI are wonderful.

As to the install, uponthemountain is correct. You absolutely *NEED* 2 runs from the dishes/switches. You don't say what your current setup is, so I can't tell you exactly what you need.

I originally used a professional installer and it was a long time ago so I'm not sure of a lot of the details of my setup. I only see one cable going from outside the house in. I know that I have a SW21 switch and Dish 500 pointing at 110/119 (I get local channels). I was also given an extra SW21 switch at install time which I've never used.

The satellite is mounted on the roof, which is too tall to use a normal ladder to get to, and I think an installer would need special equipment to get up there (Dish Network is paying for the install but I don't think they cover this situation). So I'm wondering if there's any way to upgrade to the 721 without having to have the installers go up there.

thanks in advance for any help,

No, it sounds like there isn't any way to avoid having the installer go up top unless there's 2 unused cables hanging down somewhere within reach.
Even the DPP44 with the separator won't help because you have Legacy equipment (inferred by the SW21 as opposed to DP21).

You probably have a pair of Legacy Dual LNBs (inferred by using one SW21 and having a leftover one).

SO, if they've got to go up there, you might think about having the LNBs replaced with current equipment. OR, leave the old one up there, and install an entirely new setup on the side of the house.

Either way, it sounds like you're going to be paying some extra money to get the job done. It would be a good idea to discuss your options with the installation company, preferably the manager (although you never know what you're gonna get for installation expertise). Also, even in doing that, expect the installer to not be able to complete the job on the first trip, just because communications aren't perfect.

I guess a real important question is whether you're keeping the 7200. If so, and it were me as customer or installer, I'd leave that dish alone - just running some cable to whereever the 7200's new room would be (if any). Then I'd install a new DishPro 500.

Consider future expansion needs as part of this, too. If you're maybe going to get another 2 tuners (eg. 921, 322, 522) someday while still keeping the 7200, the easiest thing to do again, is leave the old installation alone. The new one would become a Quad.
The user interface, second tuner to record two shows at the same time, and much much more record time than the 7x00 receiver along with the UHF remote are all major benefits. I do not think the hardware is as reliable but the software seems to be better (for most anyways) most of the time. I have had a lot of software issues with the 721 in the past day but it was working great until then for the past year and I do not see others having the same issues as me as of yet so it may not be a widespread problem.
Also considering the 721

I'm happy to see the responses so far, because I'm also considering replacing my 7200 (though I just dropped in a 120 GB drive) with the 721 and was wondering about the experience.

It looks like the only thing holding me back is having the installer out again. When I moved with the Dishmover program, the installer was worse than doing it myself (which I did at the first location). I had to step him through the process, which he never completed. The other folks I know (including family) who have had Dish installed have universally complained about the installers in this area, to Dish and the local dealers. We just get a shrug and the "what can we do?" look. :no

Maybe I'll just wait till I go HiDef before going through the pain and suffering.
Your story about bad installers is repeated all across the country. It's ridiculous.

EDIT To clarify: The quality of installers is what's ridiculous, not your story.
The 721 takes more skill to install than what the other single tuner receivers do, especially considering the Linux software that the installer has to deal with.
No they do not need to get into the OS. It takes a while for the software to download, then the receiver can be buggier during the first day of operation, and it requires two cables to be installed instead of one. Each cable has to be installed into the right input corresponding to the input on the lnbf in order for it to work correctly. I remember at one time where they required an installer to install the 721 if I recall correctly.
GaryPen said:
Do they need to get into the OS? That seems odd.
Yeah - <insert sarcastic comment here>.

Point Dish is Point Dish.
Check Switch is Check Switch.
Have coffee while waiting for software download is ...
Well not to the extent that you were thinking. It depends on how technically inclined some are. They are getting away from Linux in the newer DVR receivers.
My 721 should be here anyday. Then I have to call for install (which is included).
How long will it take them to rewire my current Dish for the 721?
rsebolt said:
My 721 should be here anyday. Then I have to call for install (which is included).
How long will it take them to rewire my current Dish for the 721?
There's no way to answer that question without knowing the specifics of your location and existing equipment, and even then it would only be a guess, because there's always something.

Count on at least a couple of hours, tho.
thanks for all the replies everyone! Now I'm really looking forward to getting the 721.

SimpleSimon, your hardware related advice was especially helpful. I wanted to clarify a couple of things:

I only have one tv in the house now, and I'm fairly happy with that, but I can see wanting to hook up a second tv at some point in the not too distant future. For now I will have the new 721 hooked up to my tv and I plan to keep the 7200 around so I can connect it to a second tv in a few months. Beyond that I'm not concerned with more expansion capability, I won't need more than two tv's and I'm not likely to get HDTV.

One other issue is that having a second dish on the side of the house is not a good option for me because of my HOA.

Given that, would you still recommend that I keep my old legacy dish hooked up just for the 7200 and get a second, more current Dish for the 721? If I replace the old dish with more current equipment, will I be able to hook up both the 721 and the 7200 to it, or is there some incompatibility between the 7200 and the newer dish?

thanks again for the advice. I will be sure to talk to the installation company before they come out so I can find out what my options are and what the costs are... I'm glad this forum is here because it's really helpful to know ahead of time what to expect.


Remember, you've only got one satellite feed right now, and the 721 requires two. If the installer can't get to the original dish, there is no other option than a new, second dish. Your HOA has NO say in this matter - you are protected by federal law in this regard.

Sorry, I don't remember if the 7200 requires a DishPro adapter or not - but you've still got the old dish way up there - for as long as it survives.
I do not even think the 7200 will work with a DishPro adaptor, but you will not need it if you use a Legacy dish with legacy switches. Legacy dishes will work with Legacy or DishPro receivers but DishPro dishes must be used with DishPro receivers.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 0, Members: 0, Guests: 0)

Who Read This Thread (Total Members: 1)