What to do... (1 Viewer)

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rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
OK guys, how about a little help? First the background:

I was a first generation DirecTV subscriber (before DISH, and during the time that you had to subscribe to USSB to get premiums). Then I went to DISH, and was a happy camper for a number of years, until they kept "upgrading" my PVR 721 firmware, making my units buggier and less user friendly as time went along. The last straw was when E* went back on their promise to bring name based recording to the 721. I went to Comcast.

I've been on Comcast for almost 3 years now, and while the Motorola boxes are somewhat buggy, and I have a couple of HDMI/HDCP annoyances, I like the idea of having two HD DVRs without having to shell out $600. What I don't like is the fact that Comcast moves as slow as a snail when it comes to implementing bug fixes. I also don't like the fact that their "techs" know less about my HT system than I do. On top of that, I think (but I'm not sure) I can do better on price, comparing apples to apples. I'm also concerned about the limitations of bandwidth for cable TV, and what that means for my HD channels moving down the road.

My girlfriend has DirecTV at her apartment. While her boxes are not the latest and greatest HD, or even DVRs, I absolutely hate the D* interface. It's far worse than the E* interface that I remember, and even worse than Comcast, IMO. Put that on top of the fact that they've entered into an exclusivity contract with her building, and the fact that I still have a bad taste in my mouth over their monopoly pricing before DISH came onto the scene, and I really don't want to give D* any of my own money.

E* has a promo running right now that will give me up to 4 rooms of TV (I only need 2 now, and more later) and up to three of those will be HD. They have some 6 month and 3 month intro offers that I really don't factor into this much, because I could probably get similar pricing from Comcast if I called and complained. My main concern is the hardware. I want HD DVR capability in at least two rooms, and DISH won't give that to me without my purchasing a second 722 (see $600 comment above).

I can go on with more detail, but let me just start by throwing out some general questions.

How do you guys who have experience with it feel about the 722/622? Does it work nicely in two rooms? Software seem to work OK? Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Also, wondering what you guys are hearing/feeling about the continued rollout of HD channels. I know I can get nearly 40 on DISH, and D* is promising 8,000,000 at some as yet undetermined time (sarcastic tone intended). Comcast is only broadcasting about 12 right now, and only a little over half of those are worth watching. Plus, I have to share my regional Fox sports HD broadcasts with MOJO, and I get about one out of every three Rockies games on HD. Frustrating to say the least. But who do you guys think is going to offer the best moving forward over the next 12-18 months? If I am getting the best, or near the best HD package for the money from DISH for the next 12 or so months I don't mind giving them a try, and committing for 18 months.
 
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KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
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Fishers, IN
I believe it will be a game of leap frog for the next year or so. Right now, Dish is the leader. At some point, Direct probably will be, then Dish will catch up or exceed. At the end of the game, I predict the playing field will be even. As for Dish now, you will get free receivers. Direct's lesser DVR will cost around $200.00 up front. Remember, in 12 months, you probably would qualify for another dual tuner. So, If I were you , I would get all I could for free. One 722 and at least one 211, if you think you'll be getting another HDTV in the near future.. Keep in mind that if all goes according to plan, the 211's will become DVR's via external Hard Drives in December/January. And yes, the 622/722's are GREAT machines.
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
Thanks for the reply. Another question just came to mind. Assuming I go with DISH, and I get a 722 dual room tuner. Let's say I record an HD program on the DVR. Can I then watch that program in my SD room? Also, I haven't been keeping up much with satellite launches, etc. since I left DISH. Do we think E* is going to have the bandwidth to continue to bring the full spectrum of available channels?
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
3,949
Fishers, IN
Thanks for the reply. Another question just came to mind. Assuming I go with DISH, and I get a 722 dual room tuner. Let's say I record an HD program on the DVR. Can I then watch that program in my SD room? Also, I haven't been keeping up much with satellite launches, etc. since I left DISH. Do we think E* is going to have the bandwidth to continue to bring the full spectrum of available channels?
In order, No...not at this time, and Yes. Two new birds by the end of the year
 
Last edited:

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,690
3,295
Sheboygan, WI
Tough set of questions.

First, in order to get to 40, you need to subscribe to all the premiums and AT250. It also includes HDPPV. In reality, I am getting more like 30, including locals. You didn't indicate where you lived, so check carefully and see if locals are listed for your area. Note that HD locals will only be for the 4 majors and will NOT include CW. I assume you live in the Denver DMA, given the Rockies comment. I am up near Ft Collins, and the tower situation has meant that the only way I can get HD locals is through a sat. I must admit that the Rockies games are very nice quality and a pleasure to watch. I don't think that game only content is much aof a problem. I think it is a good bandwidth compromise for now. The question for us is whether the rumored Altitude HD feed materializes this fall. As for the future, DISH has followed through on matching any new DTV HD offering channel for channel so far. It looks like there will be a few DTV "exclusives" that will be locked out of DISH for awhile, but these are balanced by other DISH only selections. Figure on a lot of repeats, especially on the VOOM channels, but I still manage to find a good variety. Naturally, we would all like to see more: USA, SciFi, TNT, etc. I am confident they will happen, and that DISH will continue to add channels to remain competitive.

Personally, I use my 622 in single mode. I like the flexibility of having 2 feeds to record 2 shows at once. I use that extensively. Generally, the TV2 feed is standard definition. You can feed 2 TVs, one from the component and one from HDMI, but they will both be showing the same program. There are some pretty good current discussions in the HD forum on this topic.

The 622 has been relatively trouble free for me. There is a problem with bad HDMI connectors, but there are workarounds in the early 622s and it has been fixed for the 722 that you are likely to get.

Personally, I like how the NBR works, I am happy with the user interface in general, but I have been a DISH customer since 1997, so I am pretty used to their interfaces. I like and use the aspect control from DISH all the time. It is especially useful for zooming in on letterboxed material on SD channels. I use the PIP occassionally as well since my set doesn't have PIP.

A small frustration is that closed captioning is not passed on through HDMI outputs, so you have to use the 622's CC feature instead of the TV's. Unfortunately this is a jaunt through the menus and not the one button solution that many TVs provide.
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
3,949
Fishers, IN
Thanks for the reply. Another question just came to mind. Assuming I go with DISH, and I get a 722 dual room tuner. Let's say I record an HD program on the DVR. Can I then watch that program in my SD room? Also, I haven't been keeping up much with satellite launches, etc. since I left DISH. Do we think E* is going to have the bandwidth to continue to bring the full spectrum of available channels?
My comment was in error. I thought you were talking about the External HD support, which you were not. YES, what you record on the 622/722 directly can be viewed on TV2 in SD. We are all so External HD minded around here lately. Sorry.
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
Thanks for the answers and the clarification. This conversion of the 211 to an ext HD DVR is rather intriguing to me. Can you direct me to any helpful literature/intelligence on the subject? Also, any intelligence on the possibility of these devices becoming ethernet/LAN enabled in the near future?
 

diajohn2

Member
Jul 10, 2007
9
0
I am like you and find that Dish has some good hardware/software features. The Rockies games are not all broadcast in HD and thats why Comcast doesn't carry them. Nor does Dish if they are only in SD like the latest swing through Southern California.

My wife loves the 622 compared to the HD-PVR we had from Comcast. The problem the past few weeks is losing signal from the HD satellite (129) from Dish with a good install and no obstructions. I know the early evenings have been rainy but we rarely lost signal before from Dish. I only hope they use one of the new satellites to replace 129.

I am upgrading my 222 to a 622 for the upstairs HD. The price is $149 to do it with the 'dish up" offer.

I want Dish to work and hope they solve the issue with 129 that is reported across the country. So far the jury is still out for me but the picture quality is great on Dish and was flakey on SD channels for Comcast.
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
Thanks. I understand about not all of the games being in HD. I guess one of my biggest complaints about the shared MOJO channel thing with the Rockies games is that far too often Comcast forgets to make the switch until about 15 or 20 minutes into the game. And I've experienced a time or two when the game has gone into extra innings and they'll take it off before it's over. Seems cheesy and low rent to me.

BTW: thanks for the indulgence on my follow questions guys. I just want to make sure I make a sound decision here. While the 4 rooms for free offer is nice, DISH is not offering a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on this deal, so I'm committed for 18 months if I pull the trigger.
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
Another follow-up question about the 622/722. Does anyone know if it has discrete on/off codes?
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
3,949
Fishers, IN
Another follow-up question about the 622/722. Does anyone know if it has discrete on/off codes?
What's that. I'm getting the feeling you are an engineer type...always over thinking. Am I right???
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
Also, if you don't mind, tell me about the SD upconverting I read about on DISH. I have a Panasonic 50" professional display plasma, and the picture on HD channels is absolutely stunning. Good enough to make me watch soccer (Well, almost).

But the SD channels on Comcast are just disgusting. Do they upconvert better on the DISH box?
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
Discrete on/off codes. For universal remotes. One code turns the box on. Another turns it off. Makes macros run "wife proof" on universal remotes.
 

KAB

SatelliteGuys Master
Pub Member / Supporter
Lifetime Supporter
Sep 20, 2005
20,608
3,949
Fishers, IN
Also, if you don't mind, tell me about the SD upconverting I read about on DISH. I have a Panasonic 50" professional display plasma, and the picture on HD channels is absolutely stunning. Good enough to make me watch soccer (Well, almost).

But the SD channels on Comcast are just disgusting. Do they upconvert better on the DISH box?
I'm done. Good luck!
 

jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,690
3,295
Sheboygan, WI
Another follow-up question about the 622/722. Does anyone know if it has discrete on/off codes?

I don't know if the 622 has a discrete on and off code. Some previous models did. However, it is easy to build a synchronizing sequence to guarantee state.

Hitting the select button will turn on a unit that is off. Has little effect if the unit is already on, except to display the top banner for 5 seconds (assuming you aren't in guide or the PVR screens). Thus "select" is on and "select" then "power" is off.
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
I don't know if the 622 has a discrete on and off code. Some previous models did. However, it is easy to build a synchronizing sequence to guarantee state.

Hitting the select button will turn on a unit that is off. Has little effect if the unit is already on, except to display the top banner for 5 seconds (assuming you aren't in guide or the PVR screens). Thus "select" is on and "select" then "power" is off.

Very helpful. Thanks. I looked at the code database for my URC MX900 last night, and it has codes for the 622, and there are discretes. Won't be able to tell for sure until Guess I'd be no worse off if there weren't than I am now with the Comcast box. It has none, so I leave it on all of the time.

Still interested in opinions about the SD upconverting for the DISH boxes.

Even though there'd be some tradeoffs to go from Comcast to DISH, the increase in HD channels, and what seems like some exciting upgrades coming soon on E* might make it worth it. If the upconverted SD channels look "DVD quality" on my HD TV that would just be a bonus.
 

rdlink

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 18, 2004
60
0
The problem is that the last question is kind of flame bait. It is a religious issue and asks for an opinion that can't be backed up with facts.

Actually, I was soliciting only opinion. I quit looking for "facts" a long time ago when it comes to subjective things like picture quality. Figured out that when you ask the question you'll get a wide range of answers that will help you to make a little more educated guess.
 
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