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Upgrade mixed system to HD

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by jerryk1234, May 14, 2009.

  1. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    Hello,

    My name is Jerry Kaidor. I've been a dish network subscriber for a long time. Before that, I had C band. Installed my own dishes, both for C band and DBS. Got my ham license when I was 13, used to be a bench tech etc etc.

    At the moment, I have a 311 receiver up in the living room, and an old 4900 feeding the wall TV in the bedroom. I'm fond of the 4900 because it has a UHF remote. It's physically located in a closet behind the wall. So the wall TV installation is very clean - nothing visible but the TV up there on the wall, a hole behind it for signal and power, and everything plugged in, inside the closet. RG6 and Ethernet cables go from the closet to the outside world through 8 feet of wall ( gotta love those six-foot Greenlee drill bits! ).


    I own both of the receivers. They are operating off a single DISHpro 500 antenna which is bolted to the rail of our east-facing deck.

    In the living room, we recently acquired a monster 70" Sony TV, so now we have some interest in HD. My wife asks "Why does the local TV look so much better than your satellite?"

    So I guess I'd like to upgrade.

    My first thoughts were to get a new receiver - say, a VIP211 - for the living room, and hook up one of my spare DISH 500 antennas to get the 129 satellite. But now I hear that my second receiver will die when I get the HD subscription from DISH?

    Alternatively, I could get a dual receiver in the living room and run a long cable out to the TV in the bedroom( which already has an RG6 going to the outside world ). For this to work, the dual receiver would have to support one UHF remote with a range of about 40 feet.

    Also, for the first time, I might consider leasing - so far I have insisted on owning all my equipment. The DISH website says that there is a leasing fee for all HD DVRs beyond the first one. Does that mean that they lease you the first one for free? Doesn't seem likely, but what do I know?

    - Jerry Kaidor
     
  2. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Jan 18, 2007
    Northern...
    :welcome_s

    You do want to upgrade. I got there in late 2007 after waiting for a black ViP722 DVR (the 622 was silver and my whole setup was black). I had two 508 PVR's at the time. This is a good time to upgrade, particularly since you can do off-the-air.

    I'm going to assume you have a standard definition 4:3 TV in the bedroom and you do not have any plans to upgrade it. I'm also going to assume you aren't making any major changes in your life that would alter your viewing habits significantly.

    In your situation, with your background, it seems like your best option is to get a ViP722k with the dual OTA tuner module which in addition to serving both TV's would allow you record simultaneously up to 4 HD streams - 2 off the satellite and 2 off the air. As you get used to the advantages of a DVR, you'll appreciate the power of the 722k.

    The other option would be to get two ViP211k's which would be "replacements" and can become DVR's with the addition of an external hard drives. EDIT: I'm not sure you would have to repace your 311, perhaps just move it to the bedroom.

    Assuming you have no impossible line-of-sight problems to 129°, the second Dish will work fine. IR/UHF remote capabilities are standard.

    Spend some time looking around here. While you'll find almost every problem discussed in great detail by complainers like me, in fact I'm a happy camper with my 722 and 612. (I'd be happier if I were able to get OTA, but I'm not going to move for that reason.)
     
  3. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    WRT replacing both receivers with the 722K -
    The bedroom is about 40 feet away from the living room. If I feed video from the living room to the bedroom, it will have to be ( at a minimum ) RF, I think. You know, channel 3. Yuck.

    Or I could put a slingbox in the living room, and gin up some kind of computer in the bedroom equipment closet to receive the video. Double yuck.

    So it seems to me that the most practical plan would be to stay with the two receivers. I might wind up with a 211k in each room and a remote extender serving the bedroom equipment closet.

    Ultimately, the bedroom TV will be upgraded to something bigger - it's just a 20inch LCD, our eyes aren't getting any better, and we already can barely read the menus and descriptions. And that "something bigger" will no doubt be HD, because that's what they sell nowadays.


    - Jerry Kaidor
     
  4. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 29, 2007
    You could get by with the pair of 211K, but you'll need an IR-UHF conversion kit for the bedroom. The change you'd see on your bill is $2 more for the second HD receiver to be active instead of the additional SD receiver and the HD programming package of $10. Also, the 'lease' fee mentioned is the additional receiver fee you pay now for the second receiver to share your programming, just a different name.

    Upgrade costs, the first 211K will probably be free, the second may cost $50-$100, and Dish will put in a 1000.2 dish for no additional charge for the HD with the upgrade.
     
  5. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    Based on these comments, the 211k choice seems perfect for you. My daughter who lives in San Francisco has one in her bedroom as well as a 622 in the living room. She seems happy with the 211k. But maybe someone else will have other suggestions.
     
  6. grog

    grog Godfather

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    Jul 2, 2007
    If you want to do a 40 foot run for the HD signal you can.
    I have 40 foot of HDMI cable from one of my VIP622's in the basement to a LCD upstairs. I use can also access the same VIP622 in the basement using component. I also feed that same VIP622 to other sets in the house using RF. So one VIP622 is feeding two HD set and several SD sets.

    All the outputs on the VIP series are available at the same time 'hot'.

    I also have a second VIP622 which is located in the same physical location in the basement. The second VIP622 is normally just used in the basement and is connected to a 47" LCD over HDMI.

     
  7. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    First, you need to decide on the equipment. I would recommend retiring the 4900. It's obsolete at this point; not enough memory for the guide, and is probably getting worn out and might not be reliable on a DishPro/DishProPlus system (we find that legacy receivers often don't work well on them).

    Dish's "Duo" (i.e., 2-TV) HD receivers are HD-output-capable for the TV1, but only SD for the TV2. That matches your current needs just fine, and the TV2 remote is UHF Pro, so no problems there.

    The non-DVR would be the ViP222 or 222k, while the DVR would be the ViP722/722k. Nearly all of us would recommend the DVR (FAR more features, and totally changes the way you watch TV), but it does cost more, so we'll leave that to another discussion.

    There's no problem using a pair of Dish 500s, but you'll want to get a DP Plus Twin and a DP Dual LNB for them.

    [​IMG]
    (Change 148 to 129 and you have the idea. Only one line needs to be run to the receiver, where it will go into the included DPP Separator to feed both tuners.)

    [​IMG]

    But you'll save a lot of money by leasing the receiver and letting Dish come out and upgrade the dish for you (they'll likely install the Dish 1000.2, a single-dish solution). The trade-off is a 2-year commitment, but as long as you've been a customer, that probably isn't a problem. If you buy the receiver and do the work yourself, you'll probably spend an extra $300 or so (but no commitment).

    Right now you are paying for 2 TVs; the first receiver on your account has its fee built in to your base programming package, and there's a mirroring fee ($5) for the second receiver. The Duo receivers are billed like 2 separate receivers, EXCEPT that you can waive the fee for the TV2 if you connect the receiver to a phone line or Internet connection (Internet connection is available on ViP receivers only). If you are on the DVR Advantage plan, the first receiver's TV2 fee is waived even without a connection.

    Programming fees are identical between owned and leased receivers; owning the receiver doesn't save you anything on your monthly bill, it just waives any programming commitment.
     
  8. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    I called DISH, and ordered a 211 for the big TV. The 211K is not part of the current promotion - they couldn't even order me one, they said they'd have to send me to the retail store for that.

    I waffled a bit between the 612 and the 211 - at first I ordered the 612, because the DVR is all there and set up. But the more I thought about it, the less I liked the six-dollar a month fee for the DVR feature. And I went up and measured my rack, and - as it turns out - the decision was made for me. Not enough height for the 612. So the 211 it is. I'll pay Dish the $39.95 and stick on a USB drive.

    Since it was included, I told them to send out their installers. Let THEM climb the roof... I have a couple of
    pressure treated 4x4 sleepers bolted to the garage roof. Used to be a C-band dish up there. A little dish can be put up easy as pie.

    - Jerry Kaidor
     
  9. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    *** How long can the cable run be between the legacy receiver and the DishPro antenna? It's probably about
    150 feet up to the garage roof.

    - Jerry Kaidor

    p.s. The Dish fee structure confuses me no end...
     
  10. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    It confuses us all.

    Presumably you'll be adding HD to whatever package you have for $10/mo. Since you are an SD subscriber, even if you were replacing both receivers with HD receivers you probably would not want to move down to a TurboHD package unless you are sure everyone in the household will not be upset about not having the channels - SD and HD - not available in the Turbo packages.*

    Beyond that, someone with non-DVR receivers needs to chime in about lease charges.

    Except, I will add that if you don't have Cinemax and are willing to do ebill/autopay, you may be able to get the "Cinemax for a Penny" deal. It is 1¢ for a year.

    *In order to deal with the differences between TurboHD and Classic with HD, I created by own list here from the TurboHD channel lists and the Classic channel lists on the Dish website as well as cross-checking with the EKB site.
     
  11. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 29, 2007
    There is no 'lease' fee, for the equipment. There is an 'additional receiver' fee of $5 for SD and $7 for HD receivers to share the programming package, whether leased or owned.
     
  12. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    Well, the Dish installers were here today. Two brothers from
    Mongolia. Despite what the telephone people had said, they brought a VIP211K with them.

    They removed my dish from the back deck and threw it away. They talked me into letting them mount a 1000.2 dish on the chimney. It was quite a bit
    closer than the garage roof.

    They wanted to remove my 4900 receiver, but I talked them into leaving it because it has a UHF remote, and I can control it through the wall.

    Unfortunately, the 4900 is not working well with the DishPro antenna system. It keeps going back into it's "testing the switch" sequence. Looks like I need to upgrade it to something newer. I have a spare owned 311 receiver - but it has only IR.

    So I guess I need to gin up some kind of IR extender gizmo. The cheap ones in the stores are all RF - I see no reason to let more RF loose in the house to move a signal two feet through the wall ( which already has a hole in it ). But the direct-wire IR extender gizmos or systems I see on the net are all expensive.

    A google search for "IR Extender schematic" got me a few simple ones: basically, a photodiode feeding a gain stage that feeds an IR LED. Somebody used a darlington pair; somebody else used a CD4049; somebody else used an opamp.

    Radio Shack has a detector-emitter pair for a few bucks. One key to making something like this work would be to use a good IR filter in front of the detector. I could scrounge one out of an old remote - or out of the 4900!
    Probably can't scrounge the detector out of it alas. Most manufactured equipment uses detectors that are encapsulated with 38kHz demodulators to strip out the carrier. I need that carrier, unless I want to do circuitry to put it back in.

    Sure would be cool if I could just get some sort of light pipe to pipe IR from
    the bedroom, through the hole in the wall into the closet, and then shoot it
    right into the receiver...

    - Jerry Kaidor
     
  13. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    We run into this about 50% of the time. Those old legacy receivers didn't output very much power (and had tiny, weak power supplies), and after 5+ years of use and degradation, they just can't put out enough power to switch the switch in the DishPro/DishProPlus LNBs, despite it working "in theory". Your 311 will be MUCH more reliable, and much faster to navigate.

    The light pipe is a neat idea, but honestly, I'd just go with some cheap RF extenders. They're pretty harmless, and are quite commonly used. The wired systems are really designed for big, complex systems and are pretty overkill (and expensive!) for a single, simple receiver.
     
  14. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    An ebay search turned up a wired remote extender "for cars" for $30 with free shipping. It's supposed to work for either 40kHz or 50kHz. I figured
    it was worth a try for $30, and ordered one. All I have to come up with is a 12V supply for it.

    If it doesn't pull to much juice, I can steal its power from the WRT54G wireless hub that's in the same closet - I'm pretty sure those use 12V.

    Wireless technology has come a ways since the last time I messed with it - they now have complete IR receivers that look like a transistor with a total of three pins - power, ground, and logic-pulses-out. And cost a buck.

    - Jerry Kaidor
     
  15. scoobyxj

    scoobyxj Godfather

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    Apr 15, 2008
    E* does have a UHF/PRO to IR kit. IIRC it's around $40. It includes a UHF/Pro remote, and the base unit. It's been quite a while sense I've seen one, but I was thinking there is a little emmitter that attaches to the front of the reciever.
     
  16. grog

    grog Godfather

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    Jul 2, 2007
    http://www.dishnetwork.com/support/accessories/default.aspx

    IR-to-UHF Pro Upgrade Kit

    Allows convenient remote-controlled operation of an infrared-capable DISH Network satellite receiver from anywhere in the home.

    Only $39.99 - To order call 1-888-686-2388

     
  17. jerryk1234

    jerryk1234 New Member

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    May 14, 2009
    I have the IR repeater in hand. The ebay guy shipped very fast. I hooked it up to a 12V supply, and hit it with the DISH remote from the other side of the room - it seems to work fine, although I haven't tried shooting its output into the dish receiver yet. Just watched the blinking led on the box. It has a short 22-inch cord to the IR sensor, and a longer one with a mini phone plug going to the emitter. The box itself is pretty small - about an inch and a half wide by two inches long.

    I can steal some 12V for it from a wireless router that lives in the same closet.

    The unit is made by an outfit called "pac-audio.com" in L.A. Their website has dire warnings against buying their stuff on Ebay :). They have another model of the remote extender for home use, but as far as I can tell, the only difference is - that one comes with a wall wart.

    Using mighty Google I was able to find out that Dish network remotes use a carrier frequency of 56.7 kHz. The repeater gizmo has a brown wire - if you ground the brown wire, it sets it to 56kHz. Which is about 1% away from 56.7, so it should work fine.

    The UHF converter would have been a good solution too, but I think the IR repeater is even better - if I upgrade to a newer DISH receiver, whatever remote I wind up with will work. It might even work with other equipment in the closet, although the 56kHz probably limits that somewhat.

    - Jerry Kaidor
     

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