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DVR 501 alternative

Discussion in 'Standard Definition Receiver Support Forum' started by Jamus, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Jamus

    Jamus New Member

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    Dec 9, 2004
    Hello! long time listener, first time caller...

    I have an aging Dish 501 DVR. It has lasted me well and I have been fine with its limited features. However, the internal drive is getting closer and closer to failure. I recognize the tell tale "click! click!" sound of a failing hard drive and do not know how much longer it will last. It has been this way for close to a year slowly getting worse and worse resulting in more and more glitches while viewing tv.

    Last year when it first started acting this way I looked into replacing the drive (like so many of my coworkers have done in their Tivos), but was very disappointed to find that it was near impossible to swap out the hard drive of a 501 and have been living with the glitches ever since. Now that is has slowly gotten worse and worse, I know I will have to do some solution soon.

    When it first started up, I called Dish and asked how much it would be for me to be sent a replacement drive I could swap out. They said they could not do that, but would offer me a free upgrade to a new DVR. The reason I have stuck with the 501 is the lack of fees for this and fees for that. I do not see the point of a new DVR if I will not get any features I use (although dual tuners would be nice) and have to pay monthly fees. :nono:

    Do any of you have suggestions for a Dish DVR to replace the 501 that would have as few fees as possible? Or can you suggest a way to replace the dying drive with a new one? Right now, it seems my best bet is to cross my fingers and get a 501 off eBay and use my smart card in it.

    Thank you.
     
  2. puckwithahalo

    puckwithahalo Hall Of Fame

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    Sep 2, 2007
    Call in and trouble-shoot with a tech, when they can't fix it, they'll replace the 501 with another 501 or a 508. If you don't want to pay for replacement, add DHPP to your account and it will be replaced free of charge under the protection plan (the plan is $5.99 a month by the way)
     
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    Puck has the correct answer, and just so you know, you can't put your access card in a different receiver and have it work. Dish has a process for this, so make use of it. Or, realize how much nicer a modern DVR is and that it's worth the extra few bucks a month... :)
     
  4. Jamus

    Jamus New Member

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    Dec 9, 2004
    So I wonder then if I should call and place DHPP on the account BEFORE I call and speak with a tech or otherwise they might call it a "pre existing" condition and not fix/replace it. Hmmmmmm.
     
  5. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    They'll replace it without DHPP; it'll just cost you more.
     
  6. jkane

    jkane Icon

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    Oct 12, 2007
    DHPP still costs you to repair. But it's a fixed cost. Like $25 or $50, I forget how much. Sometimes they will let you turn it on after something breaks, but that a risk you'd take if you did wait.
     
  7. robert koerner

    robert koerner Icon

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    Aug 20, 2005
    Its not that I don't trust Dish, but I'd verify they have another 501 before I agreed to pay them anything.

    In the past Dish has made up a lot of silly answers to my questions while I was having consistent problems with my 510. One of my favorites was my fat fingers caused the 510 to malfunction.

    Best from Tucson
    Bob
     
  8. Jamus

    Jamus New Member

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    Dec 9, 2004
    Exactly! I chatted with the online reps and they have repeatedly said that they cannot replace my 501. Now they may have been telling the truth since it is so old, but i can't help but think Dish would much rather me have a DVR that I have to pay them a montly fee instead. Maybe if I could talk to a repair tech instead of a general customer service rep they might be able to do something different.
     
  9. puckwithahalo

    puckwithahalo Hall Of Fame

    1,286
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    Sep 2, 2007
    I don't know who told you it can't be replaced, but it definitely can be. And it doesn't matter if a problem is pre-existing or not, you can add dhpp and then replace the receiver under it on the same phone call or chat. In fact its encouraged.
     
  10. Blowgun

    Blowgun DHMO User

    1,082
    39
    May 23, 2008
    Western Arc
    As a general rule I try not to talk with a CSR, always Tech Support or ATS. As to the hard drive, yes, it can be replaced. No, it's not near impossible. I've not done it myself, but have looked into what is required. If the contents on the hard drive is not important, then it's much easier to let DISH replace your 501 with another 501 or 508 for free.
     
  11. Jamus

    Jamus New Member

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    Dec 9, 2004
    Thanks for the additional info. I will try to set aside some time this week and call in and request a tech. I had been avoiding doing that because of how long it took in the past to actually get through to one, but will try to arrange an hour or so to get in.
     
  12. DanPFW

    DanPFW Cool Member

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    Sep 12, 2005
    I just had my 501 RMAd last week. 14.95 for shipping (both ways) + 19.95 for the replacement, which turned out to be a 508.

    This was probably the 3rd or 4th time I've had to get a 501 replaced in the last 6-7 years due to bad drives. It sucks that the consumer can't replace the drive, but as long as dish will send out replacements, I guess I can live with it.

    Dan
     
  13. fredinva

    fredinva Legend

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    May 10, 2006
    Funny, I hooked up my old 501 a couple days ago, and it was having major problems. Called tech support twice and a refurbed unit is on the way. "Because of the non-availability of 501s" I was told I'd get a 508 or a 510.
    No DHPP here, and it was never mentioned. Replacement is coming free along with RA to return shot 501.
    Since I've already got a 622, I'm not paying another dvr fee if I get a 510. I'll return it and ask for a 311, unless they put a permanent waiver on the second dvr fee.

    fred
     
  14. AKDishuser

    AKDishuser Mentor

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    Oct 18, 2006
    Check eBay and craigslist. Make sure the unit comes with an updated smartcard that has no unpaid fees associated with it. If you want to keep any of the content on your existing unit, check out the Yahoo group DVRExplorer to see if you can transfer it to your PC (no hacking required) using the freeware on the site and an IDE-USB cable. Unfortunately, playback won't work for newer content due to new encryption but there are folks working on that.
     
  15. fredinva

    fredinva Legend

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    May 10, 2006
    Well, a CSR was again wrong.
    Replaced receiver WAS a 501, fine with me!!!
     
  16. TSR

    TSR Legend

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    Feb 7, 2009


    Puck is right. Call in and request Tech Support, troubleshoot and they will send you out a new one free of charge if you have the extended warranty plan (Dish Home Protection Plan).

    I would not recommend purchasing one from anywhere as they are no longer produced and any one you could purchase would, sooner or later (more than likely sooner) have the same HDD clicking or other problems you are experiencing already, unfortunately.
     
  17. Jamus

    Jamus New Member

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    Dec 9, 2004
    So, if I give them a call, do I require the "Dish Home Protection Plan" to get a replacement? Or can I still get a replacement without it, but I will have to pay a small fee?
     
  18. TSR

    TSR Legend

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    Feb 7, 2009
    You don't have to have DHPP to get a replacement, but if the receiver is out of the 1 year warranty period, you would typically pay $49 for the receiver, $14.95 for S&H (UPS Blue 2nd Day, there within 3-5 busi days) and tax.

    With DHPP it's free and you can add and take it off whenever you want, without any kind of commitment or penalty, it also takes effect immediately.
     

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