Ways to knock down my Dish bill (1 Viewer)

Altitudinous

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Greetings. Have lurked occasionally and now have joined. Lots of very helpful information here.

My setup is a Hopper 3 since 2017 at home getting AT120 and a recently purchased Wally with a PlayMaker mostly for the RV, and a recently purchased 4K Joey for my home office. My understanding is this:
a. There is no financial benefit to my purchasing a Hopper 3 rather than continuing to lease one, as the $15/month fee would still apply, and if it breaks, they will come and replace it. That hard drive has been spinning for 3+ years.
b. There was no financial benefit to my purchasing a 4K Joey except that it allows me to turn it on and off (along with associated $7/month fee) as needed, and avoiding the $100 they quoted to roll a truck to hook up
the Joey. I connected the 4K Joey to the hub myself and it works great. They will charge $7/month just for actively using the 4K Joey that I purchased.
c. It looks like I can use the
1602174907406.png
button in MyDish to turn on and off the Joey or Wally (and billing) without having to call. Nice feature that I just noticed.
d. I could hook up my purchased AirTV OTA dongle (purchased originally to try with the Wally in the RV and recognized by the Wally) to my Hopper 3 and feed it with my working antenna to get OTA channels including
guide listings, and cancel the $12/month I've been paying for OTA service fed by spot beam. I'd be limited to two simultaneous OTA recordings using the AirTV. I guess my PrimeTime Anytime would either go dark or be limited to those two tuners.

I was thinking about buying another 4K Joey for another room, turned on in MyDish only when needed. I've used DishAnywhere on Fire Stick but there's nothing quite like the 30 sec forward skip/10 sec backward on the my 54.0 remotes. I know I could avoid another $7/month for a Joey by using DA.

Anything I've got incorrect and does anyone have any other ideas to save money on this? I may ask them about committing to another 2-year contract and see if they'd knock down my AT120 charge.

I've been really happy with the Dish service and love that they don't fight you on trying to skip commercials as noted above.

Thanks.
 

crodrules

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Without the $12 locals, PrimeTime Anytime would go dark, but AutoHop would continue to work for any OTA recordings from those networks. If you want more OTA tuners, you could hook up the Wally instead of that Joey, and add another AirTV OTA dongle to the Wally. The monthly fee would be the same. The drawbacks are that the Wally does not do 4K, does not have AutoHop, and the Wally does not integrate with the Hopper. To have a Wally on the same LNB as the Hopper 3, it would require replacing the Hybrid LNB with a DPP LNB, adding a DPH42 switch, and connecting the Wally directly to that switch. The Hub for the Hopper and Joey(s) would connect to the other output on the DPH42 switch.

One advantage of purchasing a Hopper 3 instead of leasing it would be that you could use that same button on mydish to turn the Hopper 3 off and on as needed. So, if there is a lull when you do not have very many shows recording, and you could get by with just the two satellite tuners (and two OTA tuners) on the Wally with an external hard drive, then you could turn off the Hopper 3 to save that $15 per month.

All of these suggestions mean more money spent up-front, of course, but they could save you money in the long run.
 
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Altitudinous

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crodrules, thanks for your reply and useful info.

Interesting about AutoHop working on OTA recordings without the $12 locals. I do like that feature. I did turn off my locals yesterday and will be seeing how I like them delivered via antenna. Sure is nice how they integrate into the Guide. Some of the subchannels don't seem to be showing program info in the Guide, but these are subchannels that I wasn't getting with the $12 package anyway. Or, maybe it takes more than a day to populate? My Roku TV is also connected to the antenna and the program info for those subchannels is fully populated. So I've got that option as well.

Re the AirTV dongle...I have seen members ask about supporting more than one of those on a Hopper 3, with the answer being no, at least by connecting one dongle to each USB port. I have an external drive on the USB 2.0 port on my Hopper, and I am now using the AirTV on the USB 3.0 port. I haven't seen anyone ask about using a powered USB hub connected to that port on the Hopper, and then connecting more than one OTA dongle to that hub. I have to believe someone has tried it. Do you know?
 

Bobby

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You can use only one OTA dongle on the Dish receivers. If you have more than one Hopper you can use one on each.
 

crodrules

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crodrules, thanks for your reply and useful info.
...
Re the AirTV dongle...I have seen members ask about supporting more than one of those on a Hopper 3, with the answer being no, at least by connecting one dongle to each USB port. I have an external drive on the USB 2.0 port on my Hopper, and I am now using the AirTV on the USB 3.0 port. I haven't seen anyone ask about using a powered USB hub connected to that port on the Hopper, and then connecting more than one OTA dongle to that hub. I have to believe someone has tried it. Do you know?
That is why I recommended activating the Wally, so you could add the OTA tuners to it. There is no way to add more than two OTA tuners (using one dual-tuner OTA dongle, as even two separate single-tuner dongles would not work) with any Dish receiver. Adding the dongle to a Joey would also not work, since the OTA dongles only work with Hopper or Wally receivers.
 

Bobby

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That is why I recommended activating the Wally, so you could add the OTA tuners to it. There is no way to add more than two OTA tuners (using one dual-tuner OTA dongle, as even two separate single-tuner dongles would not work) with any Dish receiver. Adding the dongle to a Joey would also not work, since the OTA dongles only work with Hopper or Wally receivers.
Of course that would mean that you have to have an antenna at each location. If indoor antennas won’t work for you you need coax at each location.
 

Altitudinous

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Oct 6, 2020
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Northern NM
Of course that would mean that you have to have an antenna at each location. If indoor antennas won’t work for you you need coax at each location.
Yes, years ago before I got Dish I was running streaming plus one amplified outdoor antenna feeding multiple TVs and FM receivers around the house, so I've got the coax.
You can use only one OTA dongle on the Dish receivers. If you have more than one Hopper you can use one on each.
OK, thanks. More than one Hopper causes me to wonder how a multiple Hopper house works, and whether the Hoppers integrate and know about each other's stored content.
That is why I recommended activating the Wally, so you could add the OTA tuners to it. There is no way to add more than two OTA tuners (using one dual-tuner OTA dongle, as even two separate single-tuner dongles would not work) with any Dish receiver. Adding the dongle to a Joey would also not work, since the OTA dongles only work with Hopper or Wally receivers.
Thanks. Currently the Wally is activated and I will be trying a second AirTV OTA tuner on it in the RV with the Playmaker. Thanks for the info about how to add the Wally to the home setup via the DPP LNB and DPH42 switch. I do like the Joey's integration with the Hopper but yes that would allow me more tuners if I used the Wally.
 
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crodrules

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...
OK, thanks. More than one Hopper causes me to wonder how a multiple Hopper house works, and whether the Hoppers integrate and know about each other's stored content.
...
Yes, the Hoppers do usually integrate with each other. However, you can keep them separated if you would prefer not to have them be able to access each other's recordings. Be aware that as long as they share the same internet connection, they will still be aware of and show each other's On Demand rentals and purchases.

Since you have a Hopper 3, the only other Hopper that Dish would allow on your account would be another Hopper 3, and that one would have to be purchased. (As discussed earlier, Dish would also allow up to two purchased Wally receivers on the account, regardless of the number of Hoppers.) Adding the second Hopper 3 would also require the DPP LNB and DPH42 switch. In that case, the two Hopper 3's would be tying up all of the available tuners through that switch. So, adding the Wally receiver(s) would require that the DPH42 switch would have to be cascaded with another switch. The switch for the Wally(s) would not have to be another DPH42. A DPP44 switch would work for that purpose.
 
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sam_gordon

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Some of the subchannels don't seem to be showing program info in the Guide, but these are subchannels that I wasn't getting with the $12 package anyway. Or, maybe it takes more than a day to populate?
Dish does not provide program issues for many subchannels they don't carry. They don't care whether you get guide data for them or not.
 

sam_gordon

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With their move to get people to get locals OTA adding that information would make a difference
And the information is free. All Dish would need to do is program PSIP receivers/decoders into their OTA systems. And before someone says "that development costs money", if a television set can be sold for less than $200 and include it, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take Dish much to implement it.

Which is why I say Dish doesn't care whether you get guide data or not.
 
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crodrules

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And the information is free. All Dish would need to do is program PSIP receivers/decoders into their OTA systems. And before someone says "that development costs money", if a television set can be sold for less than $200 and include it, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take Dish much to implement it.

Which is why I say Dish doesn't care whether you get guide data or not.
As an alternative, I know what solution bluegras would like: Dish should just add a TV Guide app. (It wouldn't have to be the TV Guide brand-name, any reliable guide data app would do.) That way, all you would have to do is go to the app, and then select the subchannel in the app's guide to tune to it if you actually have that OTA channel scanned into your receiver. Even better, the app could show guide data for all available subchannels in your area, whether you actually have them scanned in yet or not. If Dish could provide a brand-name TV Guide app (for satellite-delivered channels) on ViP receivers many years ago, then it should not be that much harder to add such an app for this purpose (OTA guide data) to the Hoppers now.
 

sam_gordon

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As an alternative, I know what solution bluegras would like: Dish should just add a TV Guide app. (It wouldn't have to be the TV Guide brand-name, any reliable guide data app would do.) That way, all you would have to do is go to the app, and then select the subchannel in the app's guide to tune to it if you actually have that OTA channel scanned into your receiver. Even better, the app could show guide data for all available subchannels in your area, whether you actually have them scanned in yet or not. If Dish could provide a brand-name TV Guide app (for satellite-delivered channels) on ViP receivers many years ago, then it should not be that much harder to add such an app for this purpose (OTA guide data) to the Hoppers now.
Ah, but presumably Dish would have to pay for the app, probably on a monthly basis, PLUS pay to code it to include in the receivers. PSIP data has been standardized for over a decade, getting close to two now. Once it's coded, that's it, $0.
 
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crodrules

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Ah, but presumably Dish would have to pay for the app, probably on a monthly basis, PLUS pay to code it to include in the receivers. PSIP data has been standardized for over a decade, getting close to two now. Once it's coded, that's it, $0.
Yes, but then there is really no excuse for not also doing this for the ViP receivers, which also integrate OTA channels into the guide. Of course, that would require Dish to come up with new software to add this feature to receivers that are now really old, and which Dish is actively trying to phase out. So of course, that is not going to happen. However, if Dish starts utilizing PSIP on the Hoppers only, and leaves out the ViP's, I could see a huge outcry from ViP users with OTA, "Why not us?!" Doing it as an app would be easier to justify for Hoppers only. Certainly by now, ViP users are quite used to hearing about plenty of other apps that are only available on Hoppers. So, this would be no different from that.
 

sam_gordon

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Yes, but then there is really no excuse for not also doing this for the ViP receivers, which also integrate OTA channels into the guide. Of course, that would require Dish to come up with new software to add this feature to receivers that are now really old, and which Dish is actively trying to phase out. So of course, that is not going to happen. However, if Dish starts utilizing PSIP on the Hoppers only, and leaves out the ViP's, I could see a huge outcry from ViP users with OTA, "Why not us?!" Doing it as an app would be easier to justify for Hoppers only. Certainly by now, ViP users are quite used to hearing about plenty of other apps that are only available on Hoppers. So, this would be no different from that.
They can do it how they want to. Using PSIP would be the cheapest (someone always brings up the cost of implementing PSIP). The fact that they don't tells me they don't care about whether users can see/use the guide data or not. That's all I'm saying.
 

Bobby

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They can do it how they want to. Using PSIP would be the cheapest (someone always brings up the cost of implementing PSIP). The fact that they don't tells me they don't care about whether users can see/use the guide data or not. That's all I'm saying.
PSIP has come up many times over the years. One of the reasons it isn't used is that PSIP doesn't go out 2 weeks, more like 3 days if you're lucky. That doesn't work so well when setting up advance recordings.
 

sam_gordon

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PSIP has come up many times over the years. One of the reasons it isn't used is that PSIP doesn't go out 2 weeks, more like 3 days if you're lucky. That doesn't work so well when setting up advance recordings.
So it makes more sense to have zero days than three days (or two, or even 24 hours)? Do I have that right? Can you explain that argument to me?

And while I'm at it, let's say there's a show I want to record that I know right now is airing on November 1. I can't set up the recording because the data doesn't go that far out. So we shouldn't have any guide data at all?

So the main arguments against using PSIP are:
* It costs too much money (despite the fact cheap TVs have been able to use it for over a decade)
* It doesn't give enough data (so it's preferable to have none)
* You can't set up recordings in advance (but there's a fixed amount of time you can set up recordings with the current data).

OR
* Dish doesn't care
 
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dweber

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It would probably be hard for the Hopper to determine whether to use PSIP data for the Guide, which is only 1-3 days depending on the station, or the normal Dish Guide data which is for 2 weeks.
On my old Sony TV which used TV Guide (which no longer is supported) you had the choice of either selecting TV Guide or Broadcaster for the Program Information Source. You could not have both selected.
In the Columbus and Dayton Ohio markets several independent stations have no PSIP program data and most only have a max of 3 days of program data.

Since Dish has added many of the diginet channels, what would be a better solution is for Dish to add the Guide data to the OTA subchannels that match what they already carry.


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sam_gordon

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It would probably be hard for the Hopper to determine whether to use PSIP data for the Guide, which is only 1-3 days depending on the station, or the normal Dish Guide data which is for 2 weeks.
It's been a long time since I took a computer programming class, but a simple IF/ELSE statement should suffice...
IF there is Dish guide data, use that.
ELSE use PSIP.

On my old Sony TV which used TV Guide (which no longer is supported) you had the choice of either selecting TV Guide or Broadcaster for the Program Information Source. You could not have both selected.
In the Columbus and Dayton Ohio markets several independent stations have no PSIP program data and most only have a max of 3 days of program data.
I thought PSIP was required. Maybe not for low power?

And again, you'd prefer to have no data than three days? Please, someone explain that logic to me.

Since Dish has added many of the diginet channels, what would be a better solution is for Dish to add the Guide data to the OTA subchannels that match what they already carry.
I'm willing to wager there are MANY more diginet channels than those Dish carries. I'm pretty sure Dish only carries one subchannel in my market. I think there are over a dozen available OTA.
 

crodrules

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So it makes more sense to have zero days than three days (or two, or even 24 hours)? Do I have that right? Can you explain that argument to me?...
A two-day guide would work well for non-DVR receivers, since that is as far out as the Dish-delivered guide data goes anyway. So, it would be seamless to the user, who would not care what the source of the guide data was. When you get to DVR receivers with extended guides though (by the way, which model(s) have a two-week guide, since my Dish guide only goes out one week?) then Dish would likely get a lot of complaints about those channels with PSIP data, since the guide would not go out all the way. Since this is a problem that Dish could do absolutely nothing to solve (but they would get the complaint calls anyway) they probably feel that it is better not to provide the guide data in the first place. At least that way, it is consistent: either full guide data, or no guide data, for each channel.

It's been a long time since I took a computer programming class, but a simple IF/ELSE statement should suffice...
IF there is Dish guide data, use that.
ELSE use PSIP. ...
That still would not solve the problem where Dish is mapping the wrong guide data to certain OTA channels though. Perhaps if it were a user-selectable choice which guide data source to use, and if you could switch back and forth between them, then that might be a workable solution. Of course, they would have to somehow make sure that timers set while using one set of guide data would continue to record, even after the user chooses to display the other set of guide data. This is assuming the guide data source choice would apply to all OTA channels. If the user could manually customize which guide data source to use for each individual channel, then that would be even better.

I still like my suggestion of an app, though. This way, all available OTA channels could be listed in the app's guide, even if you have not scanned them in. So, if a new subchannel appears in the app, and you cannot actually tune to it, then that would alert you that you need to re-scan your OTA channels. If an entire station (not just an individual subchannel) appears in the app's guide, that you cannot receive, then that would let you know that you need to do one of the following in order to receive it:
  • Re-scan your OTA channels
  • Re-aim your antenna, and/or raise it higher to get better reception
  • Get a better antenna
  • Add a second antenna aimed toward that station
Even better, this would provide full guide data, and allow you to set timers (for the channels that you actually have scanned in) directly from the app.

...
I'm willing to wager there are MANY more diginet channels than those Dish carries. I'm pretty sure Dish only carries one subchannel in my market. I think there are over a dozen available OTA.
I think dweber meant mapping down the guide data from the national feeds that Dish carries, to appear in the guide on the local subchannels. Even if there are slight variations on the local affiliates, where they do not carry that network's full schedule (for instance, to insert some locally-produced program once per week) any guide data would be better than none, as I am sure you would agree. :)
 
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