DISH Network™ DISH Player-DVR 942 Review, page 4 By Mark Lamutt, DBSTalk Administrator All text and images ©2005 DBSTalk.Com and Mark Lamutt No other use is allowed without prior written permission from www.DBSTalk.Com and Mark Lamutt Permission is not granted to distribute, republish or post this review’s text or images in part or in entirety at any other internet site or location, other than www.DBSTalk.Com 2.3 DVR-942 Options and Features Setup Once you have your DVR-942 activated, it’s now time to go through the rest of the setup and preference settings. First, let’s take a look at the main menu: Most of the options that we’ll be looking at in this section are located in menu option #6 – System Setup, menu option #8 – Preferences and menu option #5 - Locks. 2.3.1 Menu-6 System Setup The System Setup menu is shown below: Menu-6-1: Installation Let’s start out at the top of this menu, with option #1 – Installation. The Installation menu: Menu-6-1-1: The Point Dish screen is very similar to all other Dish receivers. This is where you will check each satellite tuner’s signal strength for each satellite you are seeing. The Point Dish screen is shown below: If you need to check the aiming of your dish, enter your zip code where indicated, your type of dish installed and the azimuth, elevation and skew (if applicable) for your location will be displayed. A difference here between the DVR-942 Point Dish screen and the DVR-921 Point Dish screen – the Point Dish screen here does not allow you to check the signal strength of your local OTA digital channels. But, as we’ll see a little later on, you won’t miss it at all. This screen is also where you’ll come to run a Check Switch when necessary. Menu-6-1-2: The Caller ID option is where you enable or disable the caller ID function of the DVR-942. The setup screen is as follows: Menu-6-1-3: The System Info screen is shown below: You’ll notice that both remotes are listed here, and that they both have different remote addresses. Menu-6-1-4: The Phone System option is where you define any outside dialing prefix necessary to dial out on your phone line, and what type of phone you have: Menu-6-1-5: The Modulator Setup is where you define on which channel to modulate the TV2 RF output. Gone are the days where you had to choose between channel 3 and 4, with mono audio coming out of your RF output! You have two options for output modulation – either using normal off-air frequencies for channels 21-69 or using cable channel frequencies for channels 73-125. If you have the other standard definition televisions in your home set up using normal off-air channel frequencies, choose Air here, and choose a channel you don’t receive over the air in your area. If your other televisions are connected to a cable system, choose Cable here, and choose a channel you don’t receive on your local cable. Now, back to the System Setup menu options: Menu-6-2: Shared View: When you are in Single User mode, shared view allows you to output the same programming you are watching on your primary TV1 display to the TV2 output connections. If the programming you are watching on TV1 is high definition, it will be downconverted to standard definition and then output to the other televisions to which you are connected. Shared view is enabled by default. Menu-6-7: Dolby Digital: Defines the output stream type for the TV1 digital optical output. Options available are Dolby Digital and PCM, Dolby Digital only and PCM only, with Line Mode compression or RF Mode compression. Note: The Dolby Digital incompatibility problems that have been plaguing the 921, 811, and 5xx series receivers have been fixed for the DVR-942, at least on a few of the reported “problem” A/V receivers and pre-amps. Menu-6-8: HDTV Setup: This is the option to use to define what type of HDTV to which you have your TV1 outputs connected. You also use this option to define what you have connected to the 8VSB input. For Analog Type, you have an Off-Air option, and several Cable channel options. This setting tells the DVR-942 what frequency range to use for each analog channel number. If you have an off-air antenna connected to your 8VSB input, then choose Off-Air for this option. If you have a cable line connected, choose the correct cable option for your local cable system. The TV Type option defines TV1’s output resolution. In other words, the resolution you choose will output to your HDTV through the HDMI cable and the component cables. Your choices are 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Note that the DVR-942 will output a 480i signal via HDMI and component video. The Aspect Ratio option defines the aspect ratio of your HDTV. If you have a 16x9 screen television, Select the 16x9 option. If you have a 4x3 HDTV that vertically compresses a high definition signal, Select the 4x3#1 option. If you have a 4x3 HDTV that does not vertically compress an HD signal, Select the 4x3#2 option. Note: in Single User mode, this aspect ratio also controls the aspect ratio of the standard definition outputs of TV2, so if you are watching a 16x9 HD program, the TV2 standard definition output will be horizontally squished (tall skinny people syndrome). Because there is no longer a SD/HD button on the remote, this screen is the only way to change output resolution and aspect ratio. I have already requested a discrete remote input key sequence to change between the output resolutions and aspect ratios. I have also already requested a direct resolution passthrough mode, where the DVR-942 would output 1080i for 1080i broadcast channels and 720p for 720p broadcast channels. However, neither one of these features is currently available. Menu-6-9: Local Channels is the option to use to define your local digital and analog channels if you have an antenna or cable line attached to your 8VSB input. When you first Select this option, you will be presented with the following screen, with the box on the left side of the screen empty: Please note that if you connect a cable line from your local cable system to your 8VSB input, you will not be able to add any local digital channels from your area, even if your cable system has them available. The DVR-942 does not have a cable-compatible QAM tuner so it cannot receive digital cable or high definition cable channels. It can only receive analog cable channels. To watch local digital channels, you must connect an off-air antenna to your 8VSB input port. To add your local channels to the list in the box, you have two options – have the DVR-942 scan them in or manually add them in yourself. At the time of the DVR-942 release, support for OTA analog channels has not yet been added. OTA analog channels are a planned feature that will be added in a future software release. Let’s take a look at the Scan option first. When you Select the Scan locals option from this screen, you will be taken to a screen giving you the option to scan digital channels, analog channels or both. You will see the following screen while the scan is taking place. For this scan, I selected to scan for only digital channels. The scan took place from channel 2 to channel 69. After the scan completes, the screen will tell you how many channels were found, and give you an OK option to Select. You will then be taken back to the Local Channels screen, and any channels found will be listed in the box on the left side of the screen. Now, let’s take a look at the Add Locals option. On this screen, use the Arrow Up/Down buttons on your remote to scroll through the channels, or directly enter the channel number with your remote keypad. Please note that you must enter the actual broadcast channel number here, NOT the PSIP remapped channel number of your local station. The channel in the screenshot is my Denver local ABC station. They broadcast on channel 17, but show up as channel 7-1 in the channel list. Channel 7-1 is their PSIP remapped channel. If I had entered channel 7 in the Transmit Number box, I would have seen 0 signal strength because I have no digital channels in my area that broadcast on channel 7. Once you enter a valid channel number, the signal strength of that channel will display. If the bar is green, with the “Locked” message, the channel has been found, and you have sufficient signal strength to lock onto the signal. If the bar is red, that means that you don’t have sufficient signal strength to get a lock on that channel. This may be due to your antenna not receiving a powerful enough signal, it may be due to multipath issues, or it may be due to a problem at the local station. Once you see the green bar and the “Locked” message, press the Done button, and that channel will be saved to your channel list. Now, take a look at the Local Channels screen again. You’ll recall earlier in this review when we were looking at the Point Dish screen, I said that you could not test signal strength for your off-air tuner as you can on the DVR-921 from this screen, but that you wouldn’t miss it. On the Local Channels screen, you can highlight a channel in your channel list, and you will see the signal strength for that channel. One more option to take a look at on this screen – the Sat Locals option. This is where you can define if you want your satellite locals package mapped down to your broadcast channel numbers, or if you want them left in the 8000 channel range. For example, in Denver, my ABC station is channel 8200 on DISH Network™, but broadcasts over the air on channel 7. With this option enabled, my ABC station will show up in the guide and be tunable as channel 7. With this option disabled, my ABC station will show up in the guide and be tunable as channel 8200. DISH Network™ trademarks are property of EchoStar Satellite L.L.C., and are used with permission.