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HD digital modulation for sport bars?


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#1 OFFLINE   sporter

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:00 PM

HD digital modulation for sport bars?

any know of some good hardware for this that is not very high cost?

Is it best to fit it into a old SD / analog / coax system that is in place.

replacing the old SD / analog system with digital QAM seems to cheaper then installing a switcher system and running lots of new cable to each tv.

HD tv's are in place.

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#2 ONLINE   cypherx

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:03 PM

I'd like to hear people's solutions as well. Last I checked, a QAM modulator is like $1000 and they only take ASI inputs. So you need to somehow get the HD signal in ASI format from an MPEG groomer. Usually carrier grade receivers can put the stuff out via ASI to a groomer which does the statistical multiplexing, then that goes to the QAM modulator. In a modern day cable system, the carrier grade receivers actually put everything out on an IP network, and they use mpeg processing equipment and QAM all on their backend IP networks. Then they use something called cherry pickers to pull streams and organize a multiplex, and they can send that out via ASI or multicast IP via ethernet.

So I don't think QAM would be cost effective or simple by any means... but if someone knows a better way, I'm curious!

#3 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 05:51 PM

I'd like to hear people's solutions as well. Last I checked, a QAM modulator is like $1000 and they only take ASI inputs. So you need to somehow get the HD signal in ASI format from an MPEG groomer. Usually carrier grade receivers can put the stuff out via ASI to a groomer which does the statistical multiplexing, then that goes to the QAM modulator. In a modern day cable system, the carrier grade receivers actually put everything out on an IP network, and they use mpeg processing equipment and QAM all on their backend IP networks. Then they use something called cherry pickers to pull streams and organize a multiplex, and they can send that out via ASI or multicast IP via ethernet.

So I don't think QAM would be cost effective or simple by any means... but if someone knows a better way, I'm curious!


this seems to work with component in but how good is it? Is it for cable based systems?

http://www.zeevee.com/

Some of the manuals there seem to show it muxing in to a cable line but will they work in a sat mini head end like most sports bars seem to have?

I think you can get away with a lot more with analog then you can with digital.

The directv side is likely the easy part just You just need to get a HD dish, boxes and maybe a new multiswitch.

Now some of switcher systems are cool but are likely high cost and needs lots of cable run as well. There is a sports bar near me that has one but they are a high cost place $2.00 for a coke with no free refills?

I have been to other places with a analog based coax system with lots cable splitters and some time you see snow / poor pq on some of tv's.

So even useing a old analog system may not work with digital anyways.
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#4 OFFLINE   wall-e

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 03:35 AM

For what it is worth, when I went to Best Buy in California during the fall of 2010, their tv wall was connected via a 75 ohm coax cable to all tv's. None of the sales people where able to answer my question on how the HD signal for their internal HD demo was distributed.

Walmart uses a component distribution system made by a company called CE Labs. But that would require running component cable to all tv's.

I would also be interested in hearing about a reasonable cost HD distribution system. my current setup is just a R22(w/HD)-->VCR-->CH4 to several tv's. At some point i will upgrade to all HD, but it is a crime to watch SD on a HD tv. :-)

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#5 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 02:33 PM

Last I knew, Best Buy used Sencore equipment that costs a fortune.

I know of several commercial operators who are presently satisfied with the zeevee product. It takes component output and MPEG encodes it before QAM modulating. I expect to be trying out my first one either Friday or Monday.

#6 OFFLINE   cabletech

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 08:09 PM

Most Best buy's that I have seen, all show the same program and they have a 'master in'
either from the local cable company or D* then they go to a 'master' HDMI to RF cable combiner then run RG6 to all tv's.

Sporter--how many tv's and how many channels are you looking at in this location?

Do you want the recievers at the TV or in a back room?

If in a back room, a small 'headend' system is the way to go.

Call Pace International (800-444-7223) and ask about they full size (19' rack) mod's (about $60ea) and there mini DIg mod (about $330ea). The differance is the full size is channel spec. and the mini can be set to any channel. Then you go off the mods to a combiner and feed with RG6 to the tv. This gives you the choice of a differant program and any tv. IF you go 10 channel with the mini mod you can do the whole thing for the price of just 6 of the VeeZee's. Give them a call-what the hay-you will learn some thing new. They will even help design the system. They used to be a BIG prime distrub. for D* and for some reason they went Dish, but they sell master system equipment for both.

#7 OFFLINE   sporter

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 09:47 PM

it's for a friend of a friend and I should be able to get more info next week just trying to get some ideas. I think they have like 8 sd boxes and like 15+ Tv's so I think a box at each tv + SWIM is out. also I think they have a sound system hooked in to the back room box as well.

#8 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:07 PM

A couple of issues here:

1. HD is NOT SD. By that, I mean there are many additional laws and restrictions on HD content, which is only distributed digitally, and is protected therefore under the DMCA, then there were with SDTV, which was nearly unrestricted, at least from a technology point of view.

2. A sportsbar is going to be inspected sooner or later. The fines for breaking the rules are HUGE.

3. The DMCA makes it a violation of federal law to take encrypted digital TV signals and break the encryption. Other laws require HDTV content that is delivered from content providers to remain encrypted into the TV if the signal remains in digital format.

4. The only *legal* way to distribute digital HD signals (other than ATSC broadcasts) over RF (coax) is with equipment using the Pro:Idiom system. DirecTV and Dish both make Pro:Idiom-compatible head-end equipment (figure about $1200/channel, with most systems being 12 or 24 HD channels), but you must also be using Pro:Idiom-compatible TVs. LG, Samsung, and a few other manufacturers make several of their TVs in a commercial/hospitality version that incorporate the Pro:Idiom hardware needed to decode the encrypted HD signals via coax.

So, the real answer to your question is: No, there aren't any inexpensive ways to modulate and distribute HD signals, and there aren't likely to be, given the protection digital signals have under current US laws.

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#9 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 11:05 PM

Why not put a receiver at each TV? With some exceptions it would run on the existing coax. I see lots of restaurants and bars that do this...
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#10 OFFLINE   Jodean

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 12:08 AM

I see about half and half in the bars here. Half have receivers on the tvs, other half are using hmdi over ethernet.

They make a great RF remote as well for a whole system solution. Cant remember the name but had a 4"x4" lcd screen and the bartender could control all 25 tvs from it using RF with a rack system back in the back room. All the tvs were numbered and corresponded to numbers on the lcd display. Seemed pretty simple and even the blonde waitresses figured out how to use it!

#11 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 07:41 AM

Yes, sports bars often use matrix switches. 8 x 16 switches are common; 8 HD receivers providing feeds, any of which can be sent to any of 16 TVs, usually via HDMI over CAT5. Such systems usually run about $15-20,000, plus installation (2 CAT5 per TV), and are pretty easy to use.

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#12 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:18 AM

I see about half and half in the bars here. Half have receivers on the tvs, other half are using hmdi over ethernet.

They make a great RF remote as well for a whole system solution. Cant remember the name but had a 4"x4" lcd screen and the bartender could control all 25 tvs from it using RF with a rack system back in the back room. All the tvs were numbered and corresponded to numbers on the lcd display. Seemed pretty simple and even the blonde waitresses figured out how to use it!


There is a place that has something like that in a rack but it's not touch screen they have to go to the rack with the D* boxes and use a number pad for the tv's seems to be component feed.

The rack is not in the back and is on the floor.
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#13 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 08:24 AM

A couple of issues here:

1. HD is NOT SD. By that, I mean there are many additional laws and restrictions on HD content, which is only distributed digitally, and is protected therefore under the DMCA, then there were with SDTV, which was nearly unrestricted, at least from a technology point of view.

2. A sportsbar is going to be inspected sooner or later. The fines for breaking the rules are HUGE.

3. The DMCA makes it a violation of federal law to take encrypted digital TV signals and break the encryption. Other laws require HDTV content that is delivered from content providers to remain encrypted into the TV if the signal remains in digital format.

4. The only *legal* way to distribute digital HD signals (other than ATSC broadcasts) over RF (coax) is with equipment using the Pro:Idiom system. DirecTV and Dish both make Pro:Idiom-compatible head-end equipment (figure about $1200/channel, with most systems being 12 or 24 HD channels), but you must also be using Pro:Idiom-compatible TVs. LG, Samsung, and a few other manufacturers make several of their TVs in a commercial/hospitality version that incorporate the Pro:Idiom hardware needed to decode the encrypted HD signals via coax.

So, the real answer to your question is: No, there aren't any inexpensive ways to modulate and distribute HD signals, and there aren't likely to be, given the protection digital signals have under current US laws.

IS that right Pro:Idiom seems to be for hotels and some of the boxes have stuff like D* tuners on a card and fixed channle numbers set on the box (not for a sports bar)

I have seen lots of sportsbars with compent based systems.

the http://www.zeevee.com/ system seems to be used by some big places so they are braking the law?
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#14 OFFLINE   sporter

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:48 AM

I see about half and half in the bars here. Half have receivers on the tvs, other half are using hmdi over ethernet.

They make a great RF remote as well for a whole system solution. Cant remember the name but had a 4"x4" lcd screen and the bartender could control all 25 tvs from it using RF with a rack system back in the back room. All the tvs were numbered and corresponded to numbers on the lcd display. Seemed pretty simple and even the blonde waitresses figured out how to use it!


this seem like a good system
tap.tv/bars_pilot.php

but amientertainment owns them and there is very little info on the new site and they seem to sell it as a AD MANAGER / rotating channels featuring hundreds of hours of entertainment video. also don't want ads on the screen next to sports. and there web site has no info on how it wired as well. Does any one have more info on them?

also seems use hd over component and someone is this thread said that I can't even use that under the law and running lots of component will that cost more then HDMI over cat 5?

#15 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 11:23 AM

this seem like a good system
tap.tv/bars_pilot.php

but amientertainment owns them and there is very little info on the new site and they seem to sell it as a AD MANAGER / rotating channels featuring hundreds of hours of entertainment video. also don't want ads on the screen next to sports. and there web site has no info on how it wired as well. Does any one have more info on them?

also seems use hd over component and someone is this thread said that I can't even use that under the law and running lots of component will that cost more then HDMI over cat 5?

That's just wording by someone who can't provide a reference to THE LAW - it can't be accepted in such form as legal advise or disclosure.

#16 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 11:35 AM

Buffalo Wild Wings has all their TVs connected via component at the one here.
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#17 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 01:03 PM

A couple of issues here:

1. HD is NOT SD. By that, I mean there are many additional laws and restrictions on HD content, which is only distributed digitally, and is protected therefore under the DMCA, then there were with SDTV, which was nearly unrestricted, at least from a technology point of view.


But the protection afforded to the authorized programming distributor is exercised or enforced at his own discretion. As far as I know, DirecTV has allowed clear QAM distribution for certain classes of commercial customer, but presently does not allow it for residential and so-called "hospitality" classes of customer. The HDTV distribution in most major league arenas is unencrypted QAM, and I have been told by a local DirecTV dealer that he is distributing zeevee, reconstituted QAM in a hospital with DirecTV's full knowledge.

2. A sportsbar is going to be inspected sooner or later. The fines for breaking the rules are HUGE.

3. The DMCA makes it a violation of federal law to take encrypted digital TV signals and break the encryption.


Have you tried to get DirecTV to activate an HD receiver with analog, HDTV component outputs in a sportsbar? I'm sure such activation is routine. I haven't seen anything in their commercial public viewing contract that explicitely precludes MPEG encoding and QAM modulating that content.

...Other laws require HDTV content that is delivered from content providers to remain encrypted into the TV if the signal remains in digital format.


I'm not aware of any such laws, though the contract between the program provider and the customer could surely require that, but I also scrutinized the current edition of some DISH Network contracts and they explicitely authorize HDTV distribution of programming for hospitality (hotel/motel) bulk distribution yet do not mention a Pro:Idiom requirement for it. On the other hand, they do mandate some HD "per drop" fees without explaining how that charge is enforced.

DISH Network, unlike DirecTV, encourages the use of its low end HDTV receiver, model 211, which has an analog, component HDTV output, in contemporary headend installations, however it is possible that they don't load the HDTV channel number into their limited guides unless the account as explicitely subscribed to an HDTV viewing option. FWIW, it is also theoretically possible that DISH and DirecTV have the means to disable or "downres" the composite, HDTV outputs on boxes in accounts where it does not want those signals available.

4. The only *legal* way to distribute digital HD signals (other than ATSC broadcasts) over RF (coax) is with equipment using the Pro:Idiom system. DirecTV and Dish both make Pro:Idiom-compatible head-end equipment.


When I got "certified" for Pro:Idiom installation by NACE about a year ago, there was no mention of any DISH Network, Pro:Idiom hardware, though its development certainly seemed inevitable. Can you find me a link to any dealer information on such products? I am in regular contact with a number of DISH Network commercial dealers and none of them are yet aware of any such hardware.

So, the real answer to your question is: No, there aren't any inexpensive ways to modulate and distribute HD signals, and there aren't likely to be, given the protection digital signals have under current US laws.


I don't know how much the price on MPEG encoders might drop. I think the cheapest zeevee product is about $750 at present, but I don't agree that the HD programmers are not likely to give permission to decode and distribute their standard definition signals, but they allow their SD programming to be similarly processed now, even though they have the same rights to restrict the use of that digital, encrypted data.

Whether and when they ultimately extend the privilege or distributing digital signals in commercial properties will be an economic decision based on hiow much that they think they might lose by facilitating the production of bootleg copies, versus how much more money they think they might make by facilitating the distribution of it in commercial establishment.

#18 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 01:41 PM

I've just done a little calling around, and apparently, there is a company called Video Propulsion - or something like that - that has a licensed, DISH Network compatible, Pro:Idiom system available, but the preliminary description of it I received makes it seem even more awkward and costly that DirecTV's implementation of that technology.

#19 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:39 PM

That's correct:

http://www.videoprop...ish-network-new

It is very, very similar to DirecTV/PDI's "Com1000" system, except that it uses ViP222 receivers, connected to the head-end via Ethernet, instead of the nice, rack-mount dual-tuner cards that the Com1000 system uses.

Obviously, you can do whatever you want to analog, including Component HD, because there is no encyption on analog, nor can there be. But I strongly caution anyone against adopting an analog solution, since analog is on the way out.

As of 1/1/2011, no new consumer HD video equipment can be designed and FCC approved with HD-capable analog outputs. Pre-existing models may continue to be manufactured until 1/1/2013, at which time even those will no longer be able to be manufactured. 1.8 years may seem like a long time in the future today, but that time will come and go quickly, and to invest a sizable amount of cash into an analog-based system, when the availability of analog HD equipment will be questionable at best in the long term, doesn't seem like a wise decision to me.

*Digital* distribution, fed from digital sources, requires encryption, which is why there aren't any non-encypted solutions for all-digital distribution.

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#20 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 09:56 PM

How those ViP222 output via Ethernet [RJ-45] ? Are they special ViP222i ?

#21 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 10:43 PM

....you can do whatever you want to analog, including Component HD, because there is no encyption on analog, nor can there be....


Except that the signal provider can preclude receivers from accessing the HDTV version of the channel, just like DirecTV SMATV SD headend receivers can only tune a very small gropup of channels. If you have a DirecTV SMATV headend, for example, each ESPN receiver is only authorized to tune channels in the ESPN suite, whereas in a DISH Network SMATV headend (last time I checked), any headend receiver can tune any channel that the customer subscribes to.


But I strongly caution anyone against adopting an analog solution, since analog is on the way out.

As of 1/1/2011, no new consumer HD video equipment can be designed and FCC approved with HD-capable analog outputs. Pre-existing models may continue to be manufactured until 1/1/2013, at which time even those will no longer be able to be manufactured. 1.8 years may seem like a long time in the future today, but that time will come and go quickly, and to invest a sizable amount of cash into an analog-based system, when the availability of analog HD equipment will be questionable at best in the long term, doesn't seem like a wise decision to me.


That sounds like the public pronouncement that Sony made regarding the licensed manufacture of Blue Ray equipment. It is a choice made by one hardware licenser who also has a huge financial stake in programming that other hardware manufacturer's do not have, or, to date, have not chosen to make.

*Digital* distribution, fed from digital sources, requires encryption, which is why there aren't any non-encypted solutions for all-digital distribution.


No, digital distribution, fed from a single source, requires digital encoding, not encryption. At present, unencrypted MPEG re-encoding is not a violation of any law or regulation that I am aware of, but it is presently practical for the signal distributors (DirecTV, DISH, COmcast, etc.) to restrict the availability of analog HDTV to customers whom it does not want to re-encode it if they so choose.

Edited by AntAltMike, 09 April 2011 - 08:02 AM.


#22 OFFLINE   JoeTheDragon

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 09:42 AM

Except that the signal provider can preclude receivers from accessing the HDTV version of the channel, just like DirecTV SMATV SD headend receivers can only tune a very small gropup of channels. If you have a DirecTV SMATV headend, for example, each ESPN receiver is only authorized to tune channels in the ESPN suite, whereas in a DISH Network SMATV headend (last time I checked), any headend receiver can tune any channel that the customer subscribes to.


But that is for hotel with fixed channels numbers and not sports bars that may have like 8-10 boxes and they change channels to what games are on.


also how will HDCP work with having 2+ TV's tuned to 1 HDMI out put? in a Matrix Switch system?
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#23 OFFLINE   bigglebowski

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 12:17 PM

How those ViP222 output via Ethernet [RJ-45] ? Are they special ViP222i ?


Not sure what a 222i is but yes, your vip222 (the silver one) all connect with cat5 patch cables to an unmanaged network switch, the GIG-E connection from that switch goes to a server like BT's EdgeQAM. The edgeqam process the streams and output them as QAM with Pro:Idiom encryption. The provider for the hotel can log into the edgeqam and tune the receivers as needed even look at signal levels and such. So when I the installer drops in 10 VIP222 and hook them up I dont really know what box is providing what channels. As long as the admin does his job of configuring the edgeqam we dont have to do more than setting up sat configuration, authorize with dishnet, enable dual mode so both tuners are available and they do the rest. Regarding discussion in this thread about content protection when the Edgeqam is streaming to the TVs all outputs (rf, composite) on the VIP222 go dark, you cant even hook up a test TV to verify operation. You disconnect the network line which stops streaming and then you can hookup a test tv.

http://www.blonderto...e/ip/ip-to-qam/

There is also a unit called a floodgate that does about the same thing. I know they admin guys prefer working with the edgeqam over the floodgate fwiw. On the hotel side there isnt much difference, the receivers hook up the same way.

As to the OP question. I would have to say that using HDMI extenders to pull x2 cat5 lines to each display is the way to go. Unless there is a real problem pulling cable because of some kind of exotic construction this will certainly be cheaper. The extenders and cabling will be less than $200 (cost) per set. All the components are cheap and easily replaced if broken.

We have done some of these and used a bundled cable solution that had x3 cat5 and one coax all in one jacket. 2 Cat5s carry the HDMI, the coax "extends" the RF remote (like dishnets little remote that hooks to an F connector on receiver) and you have the last cat5 as a spare. You can use the last one to carry another video source or use it to carry IR signals for TVs etc... You obviously have a coax there already, just pointing out to others thinking about similar installs (there are also IR solutions that use coax). Plus its easier to install a prebundled cable rather than single strands.

#24 OFFLINE   P Smith

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 01:04 PM

Thanks bigglebowski for the tidbits; would be another point of check for curious ppl - what SW version those 222 running ? Special, like X236 instead L236 ? What is distinguish it as commercial type.

#25 OFFLINE   bigglebowski

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 05:32 PM

Thanks bigglebowski for the tidbits; would be another point of check for curious ppl - what SW version those 222 running ? Special, like X236 instead L236 ? What is distinguish it as commercial type.


One I saw last week was L503. Ive never paid any attention to the rest of the SW to see if there was a special designation. Years ago I remember there was a letter in the SW version that would tell you residential or commercial. I know when we receive one from the supplier that is to be used as a replacement or even an new install come in a box that only has the 1:2 sat splitter with short jumpers for 2 tuners and thats it. No remote or paperwork and they are often in a plastic wrap so at a minimum they are refurbs by Dish. So they must be designated ahead of time from Dish as commercial units. The SD (311 model sw:P439) receivers that come from them are that way too, nothing in the box but the receiver. The boxes do have dish logos though.




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