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Novice 501 User question(s)

Discussion in 'Standard Definition Receiver Support Forum' started by Batman66, Jun 17, 2004.

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  1. Batman66

    Batman66 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2004
    I have been a Dish Network subscriber for less than a year (Adelphia REALLY ticked me off), and for the most part, I like it. My main receiver is a 501 DVR, and I was unfortunate enough to have had 60+ hrs of programming lost when the HD decided to burp. DN's customer support weren't very supportive. Their response to my dilemma? 'Hmm'. That's it... 'Hmmm'. The guy proceeded to tell me that he had never dealt with that problem, but had heard it rumored. By posts on here, i'd say it's an all-too-common occurance. My Question is this: Is it really worth all of the hassle, hacking, voiding of warranties, etc., to back up the HD on a PC?? Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper (in the long run) to get a DVD Burner and record directly from the signal, or am i not understanding something??
     
  2. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    PVR software didn't build for support DVD burner; you have only two options - use VCR or, as Yahoo dishrip group ppl described: temporary connect the disk to PC ( no removing required ) and backup your recordings.
     
  3. Batman66

    Batman66 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2004
    How would I temporarily connect the disk to my PC without removing it?? There are no external connections, except S-video... I'm trying NOT to be stupid here...I'm an IT professional, but I just don't quite get it... :eek:)
     
  4. ypsiguy

    ypsiguy Icon

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    Jan 28, 2004
    I would guess it involves removing the cover, jumpering the PVR drive to be a "slave" and plugging in the second connection of a two drive IDE cable already connected to the computer's "master" IDE drive. But I am only theorizing at this point. Removal of the cover may also void the unit's warranty, so I would not recommend it.
     
  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    As IT pro I wouldn't ask ;) ; well, using long IDE cable and power cable from your PC instead of original , make sure master is available at your PC IDE channel.
     
  6. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Icon

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    Apr 22, 2002
    How is that possible? The 501 has a maximum storage capacity of 36 hours. Are you sure you didn't have a 508?
     
  7. Batman66

    Batman66 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2004
    :D ahh...could be...my mistake...It can record 100 hrs (give or take) so it must be the 508. See?? Novice..... Thanks for the correction tho!
     
  8. Batman66

    Batman66 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2004

    I should have said a 'Law-abiding' IT Pro :slowgrin:

    I just didn't want to do anything to void the warranty...anad opening the case almost certainly will. I thought (hoped) that there was an external way to access...but they couldn't make it THAT easy, now could they??
     
  9. Jordan420

    Jordan420 Legend

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    Nov 11, 2003
    It's not aginst the law to void your waranty
     
  10. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    You also have the option to offload your recordings to a standalone DVD recorder, which I do all of the time. Of course this is in real time and invokes a D to A to D conversion, but as primitive as that might sound, it works remarkably well and couldn't be easier or cheaper to do.

    DISH PVR's do have reports of wiped hard drives, but most of that relates to the legendarily notorious infancy of the 501 OS software, when such horrors were common. These days it's pretty rare, and probably rare enough to not really be significant, unless of course it's your hard drive we're talking about. Every other vendor's PVR's are even less likely to have this problem, though.

    There are some ways to greatly minimize the possibility of these problems. First, never let your hard drive get more than 90% full. You might be amazed at how much difference that makes, but it is important. Delete shows when you are done with them rather than letting the PVR delete them for space. Finally, leave the damned thing alone while it is recording. Asking it to do other tasks at the same time like watching or deleting other shows or editing favorites or setting up pending recordings only increases the chances for problems down the road. Yes, you should be able to tempt fate in this way, and you can, but you run a risk.
     
  11. beejaycee

    beejaycee Legend

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    Nov 1, 2003
    It's probably a 510 that you have (vs. a 501 or a 508). The 501 is a 35-hour doohickey and the 508 is a 70-hour dingus, but neither have the $5/month thingie-fee. The 510 whatsis records 100 hours but does have the $5/month thingie-fee.

    I apologize for the highly technical terms. :lol:
     
  12. Batman66

    Batman66 New Member

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    Jun 16, 2004
    I like terms that i understand... Like I said...i'm a novice and this just proves it. I think there is a 'sticker-greeter' job at Wal-Mart waiting for me. thank you all for your help and suggestions... i think i'll end up getting a standalone recorder - which is what i sort of figured from the start that I should do. I'm also leery as to whether to put in the refurb unit that they sent, or stick with my new one (even tho the drive seems to have wiped itself clean, i've since recorded on it again, and so far so good). I just have this 'thing' with why do I want something that has already been to the repair shop?? But then...mine seems destined for there too. decisions, decisions...

    Anyway, thank you all again1
     
  13. finniganps

    finniganps Hall Of Fame

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    I disagree with this statement. I returned my 508 a month after I got it because the DVR couldn't record and allow me to watch a previously recorded item. This isn't a risk, as you put it, it's an ADVERTISED feature that the DVR's have, otherwise why have it at all, you get almost the same thing from a VCR (just slower). If E* agreed with your statement, they wouldn't have allowed me to return it and get another under the warranty. Leaving it alone while it's recording as you put it is another way of saying don't use one of the best features and a reason why a lot of us bought the DVR's. I didn't buy the DVR to "leave it alone" and only use some of the features at my own risk....
     
  14. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Icon

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    Apr 22, 2002
    For the record, with the exception of the disk space warnings, I find TomCat's suggestions to be overly paranoid. I've had a 501 for nearly three years now. The only time it ever gets flaky is when there's less than 3 hours of space left. But I have no trouble watching, pausing, etc. a recording while another is being made, nor do I have issues with watching a recording time-delayed while it is still recording.
     
  15. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    Aug 31, 2002
    Well, ferchrissakes, do whatever you want. All I'm saying is that there are ways to minimize the potential for problems, and these are some of them. You can leave your seat belt off, too if it pleases you. :)

    I disagree with YOUR statement. And your comprehension seems a little below the norm on mine. I agree that PVR vendors can state how things should work. If you want to call it an advertised feature, no problem. I agree with that. But that doesn't mean it always works as advertised. If we could hold manufacturer's to blanket generic statements about how their products are supposed to work Bill Gates would be raking leaves at the state hospital instead of jetting off to Maui with the cash we've layed out for MicroSuck products.

    What is a risk, "as I put it", is operator behavior that increases the chances for problems, and nothing else. I don't like walking on eggshells with my PVR's any more than anyone else would, but I like losing my recordings even worse, just like I would like to abuse my car and not take care of it but I like breaking down on the freeway even worse.

    I never said don't use the features, so please don't try to put words in my mouth. It's not "another way of saying" anything, it's only the way I chose to say what I said, and its up to me to make that choice...hopefully without unsolicited explanations of what I probably meant to say from anyone else. If you want to watch and record at the same time, then vaya con Dios, good buddy. I do it on occasion, just like I drink too many sodas on occasion, even though I know it also carries a risk.

    Just realize (or don't) that certain operator behaviors increase the risk of problems with E* PVR's in the same way that using the internet to download movies can interfere with that CD you are trying to burn at the same time, especially if you're playing Doom simultaneously. Unfortunately, that's the world that E* PVR owners live in. Tivo and Replay seem to not require quite as much TLC, but that's their happy (and exclusive) circumstance. The 90% rule applies to all PVR's and even all professional hard disk video recorders, too, but the operating systems in Tivo and Replay and the pro units have a level of robustness that makes it less of an issue that it is on a 508 or 721.

    And basing reality on what E* did once upon a time responding to a single incident proves absolutely nothing. Every time I call them I get a completely different story about what I can do and what the problem is and what they are willing to do, because while they seem very nice and I'm sure they're kind to their mothers, they are basically all ignorant, untrained ciphers working for an uncaring, unorganized, arrogant corporation.

    If you don't like the way things are or don't think things should be that way, then I sympathize, because I feel exactly the same way, but that does nothing to change reality. But if you feel that my advice just doesn't apply to you, then simply don't take it, and move on. I'm moving on right about...now.
     
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