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ASK DBSTALK: When is 921 Version L1.44 (L1.45?) coming?


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57 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 09:37 AM

As someone in the tech industry, I'm unfortunately familiar with the push to get product out the door before all of the kinks have been worked out. At least the software on the Dish receivers gets upgraded more or less automatically; many embedded devices do not have this luxury (and thus their end users permenately suffer the results of rushing to get the products shipped by a certain date).

BobMurdoch, which "satellite delivered HD channels" do you enjoy watching, and what content on those channels? Assuming that one has no interest in sports and thus no interest in ESPNHD, is there much worth watching?

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#27 OFFLINE   Rodney

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 09:50 AM

To bad Dish does not offer an option, like many computer software companies, to download a beta version of their software, with no Technical Support, until that software migrates to a final version. You could always reinstall the last official release if the beta version is unsuitable. Considering the limited number of 921 receivers in consumers hands why not let those of us willing to accept the risk test the new software. It would give Dish a broader base from which to ascertain the effectiveness of the fixes contained in this beta release.

Beta testing is no great feat. I have done hardware and software beta work for Microsoft, DCA Communications, Symantec, Adaptec and Adobe.

#28 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 09:58 AM

Even with this partially finished 921 I now get....

1. HD Net. Mark Cuban started this channel and it is obvious he is an HD enthusiast. ONLY HD programming on it with no upconverting that I can tell (other than a few old shows like Hogan's Heroes), and Dolby Digital sound on most programs. Along with Discovery HD, they have "found religion" and are really pushing the quality of the format's offerings higher.

2. HD Movies. OK, this one is mostly filled with older movies, but in fairness there are a lot of older movies that have not seen the other Pay TV nets in years.

3. DiscoveryHD. THIS is the reason you need one. I have never been a big PBS guy, but a lot of these shows demonstrate the appeal of HDTV. Even Trading Spaces gets an upgrade with Dolby Digital sound, crystal clear pictures (you can actually see fabric textures, fine patterns, and other details normally lost). Crocodile Hunter, NASA documentaries, and various other Science based content that will get you excited about that subject again.

4. HBO HD/SHO HD. I watched Spiderman on HBO HD and it looked BETTER than it did on my DVD. Crisp colors, no artifacts, pixellation, or edge enhancement I could detect. It looked better than my local movie theatre. Haven't watched much SHO HD yet but I expect the same. Yes, there is some upconverted content here, but even then there is hardly any compression when compared with the SD equivalent channels.

5. CBS HD. Watch football on this channel and you'll know why you got HDTV. Nuff said. CBS's entire prime time schedule is shot in HD.

6. HDTV Demo channel. OK, this gets old quick, but it is a good channel when friends and family want to come over and you want to show off. Or if you have an unhealthy fascination with Laurie Farkas.

7. ESPN HD is great when it has HD content, awful when it is upconverted and stretched.

8. There is an HD PPV channel that has a lot of IMAX films which also show off the format. Most of Brian MacGillivray's films (He does a lot of good IMAX films) get put here.

And that is without OTA channels. Getting all of the ABC, Fox, NBC, PBS, WB, and UPN shows will just be icing on the cake (assuming I can pull them in from New York at 45 miles or Philly at 60 miles).
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)

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#29 OFFLINE   Jerry G

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:18 AM

BobMurdoch, which "satellite delivered HD channels" do you enjoy watching, and what content on those channels? Assuming that one has no interest in sports and thus no interest in ESPNHD, is there much worth watching?


"Is there much worth watching?" Ummm, yup. And a lot of it's on at times I wouldn't be able to see it if I couldn't record it with the 921. There are some interesting shows on HDNet. There are movies on HDNet Movies, HBO, and Showtime. There are great shows on Discovery HD Theater. There are some network series I really enjoy. Is there enough worth watching if sports isn't a big deal? Oh, I'd say there's more than enough to watch than I even have time for. And being able to time shift with the 921 allows me to see shows I would otherwise miss.

#30 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:23 AM

Agreed Jerry - that's what I'm currently using my 921 for as well because I have other options for recording OTA HD channels.
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#31 OFFLINE   DonLandis

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 01:09 PM

"The new software is just now entering the beta process now. It'll be a couple of weeks at least before everyone sees it.

This isn't a mistake either - the software needs to be tested before you get it. I've seen beta software in the past that introduces worse problems than what it fixes. And this software fixes a lot of things. The mistake was to release the 921 to the public before this software was ready...

So, it's coming...but not today."



Mark- I was told by 2 different people at E* booth that the L1.43 would be out today. I wonder if now they meant to their beta testers only. I assumed they both meant to the public.

Anyway, considering you have claimed to be an official beta tester, are you at liberty to say whether you have received L1.43 or not? Not asking for a performance report but I was just trying to place the accuracy of the information I got at CES. In addition, there was one more piece of information one of the two who told me about the L1.43 too but considering I could not get confirmation on it from one more source, I refrained from posting what I heard. I have two rules, I post what I hear when I hear it from two sources or I post what I hear when I have permission to quote the person by name

#32 OFFLINE   Eagles

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 09:37 PM

"The new software is just now entering the beta process now. It'll be a couple of weeks at least before everyone sees it.

This isn't a mistake either - the software needs to be tested before you get it. I've seen beta software in the past that introduces worse problems than what it fixes. And this software fixes a lot of things. The mistake was to release the 921 to the public before this software was ready...

So, it's coming...but not today."



Mark- I was told by 2 different people at E* booth that the L1.43 would be out today. I wonder if now they meant to their beta testers only. I assumed they both meant to the public.

Anyway, considering you have claimed to be an official beta tester, are you at liberty to say whether you have received L1.43 or not? Not asking for a performance report but I was just trying to place the accuracy of the information I got at CES. In addition, there was one more piece of information one of the two who told me about the L1.43 too but considering I could not get confirmation on it from one more source, I refrained from posting what I heard. I have two rules, I post what I hear when I hear it from two sources or I post what I hear when I have permission to quote the person by name




DonLandis-Was this a good piece of unconfirmed info or bad? !pride

#33 OFFLINE   tnsprin

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 10:39 PM

... The mistake was to release the 921 to the public before this software was ready...

The mistake was not releasing the 921 for a more public beta. The small number of internal users they had never began to locate bugs.

Now that at least some of you have it (on waiting list that Charlie claims will be sastified by end of the month but I doubt that) they are beginning to hear some of the bugs.

#34 OFFLINE   DonLandis

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 03:13 AM

I believe the OTA bug was known before the first units were released for public sale but they had the fix done in the next version of the software that has not been released due to upload issues. I believe Mark stated this in December. My prediction was that due to Holiday and CES excuses that release and upload fix would not happen until a week after CES when most people would be back to work and under routine. That would be next week. BUT, at CES two people told me they expected the next release to be on 1/14 but so far we have not heard, that I have read any users getting the new release. Since I don't have a 921, I can't say whether it was good info or not.
In the overall scheme of things, what does it matter. To those that have a 921 it means they will have to just wait for OTA fix. To those who don't have the 921 and want it, we wait also. To those who understand the current bugs and insist on doing what is know to cause it to fail and posting their failure, well, sorry you are so unhappy.

Heck, I spent 2 hours playing with a JVC921 and a DN921 and both performed flawlessly with the L1.42 on the sat channels. It was fun to the extreme! But then I'm one of those unique DBS subscribers who actually subscribes to DBS for DBS programming. I don't subscribe to DBS and buy a DBS receiving device to get my local channels. If DBS stopped doing local channels and dumped the OTA features off the 921, I wouldn't miss it one bit. But that is just me.

#35 OFFLINE   Richard Chalk

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 07:25 AM

Don, if DN would provide Local-into-Local in HD, I would also be less interested in OTA, but until that day comes, the only choice for network HD is OTA. Being able to time-shift, pause, etc. is a major plus for me, and it will be nice to have the feature. As for reporting Bugs, remember that this forum was set up primarily to communicate with DN, to report bugs and feature requests. There are other forums for general DN PVR discussions which are more appropriate for general discussion, and using those would reduce the amount of clutter that the DN guys have to sift through to get to the meat of the subject at hand..
My 2-cents...

Richard

#36 OFFLINE   BarryO

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:32 AM

To those who understand the current bugs and insist on doing what is know to cause it to fail and posting their failure, well, sorry you are so unhappy.

What is the worst is those who understand the current bugs and insist on doing what is known to cause it to fail, and then call Dish Tech Support to complain about them.

From posts on various forums, some folks are doing that. I don't understand why; there's nothing that the Tech Support people can do about it. Dish already knows about these bugs; the only thing this does is give Dish incentive to not release additional 921's.

#37 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:47 AM

Some people feel a need to complain as often as possible. Even when they know the answer, they feel some compulsion to get a CSR to tell them what they already know (or try to trip them up so when they give the wrong answer they can rail against the idiot/crook as well.)

Let's call it the Circle of Strife.........
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)

:ramblinon


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#38 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:50 AM

As this thread is drifting off topic, I'm now moving it to the Dish DVR forum. Please feel free to continue the discussion there. :)
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#39 OFFLINE   sleepy hollow

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 02:53 PM

I am curious, are the HDNet movies, even older ones shown in HD? By that I mean are they equivalent to sitting in a theatre and watching the movie on film through an HD lens? Does this make sense?

Some of the old musicals, for example, would be just great to watch in HD, I would think. The old silver nitrate color processing is candy for the eyes on AMC, Fox, and TCM in SD. But to be able to see those movies in a format closer to actual film would be great. Is that how the HDNet movies are presented?

#40 OFFLINE   Mark Lamutt

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 02:55 PM

Yup. Everyone that I've seen anyways.
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#41 OFFLINE   rudolpht

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 04:04 PM

To bad Dish does not offer an option, like many computer software companies, to download a beta version of their software, with no Technical Support


What's different than what we have other than the bug discovery is more consistent???
:confused:

#42 OFFLINE   tnsprin

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 09:53 PM

I am curious, are the HDNet movies, even older ones shown in HD? By that I mean are they equivalent to sitting in a theatre and watching the movie on film through an HD lens? Does this make sense?

All HDNET movies are High def. Also all shows such as Hogans Heros and Charlie's Angels. They have the pictures rescaned for the file in Highdef. For the movies they are in orignal aspect ratio. For the old TV shows they remat them to 16x9 if necessary.

#43 OFFLINE   tm22721

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 05:46 AM

If DBS stopped doing local channels and dumped the OTA features off the 921, I wouldn't miss it one bit. But that is just me.


Amen. Local channels have destroyed Dish quality and pushed many to watching HD only. If Dish ever starts watering down HD quality then I am permanently gone from the satellite scene.

#44 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 10:38 AM

Some off topic posts in this thread have been moved here.

#45 OFFLINE   Rodney

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 01:22 PM

If the beta release is experiencing any problems, and assuming the OTA fix did not create those problems, it sure would be nice if Dish would expeditiously release the OTA fix and resolve the other problems in a later update.

#46 OFFLINE   DonLandis

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 03:44 AM

The way things are going, I predict that the incompetant software developers (working on this for over a year) will remain in constant conflict with the beta testers. This will keep the distribution of 921's down to a tiny trickle until DirecTV releases the HDTIVO end of March (D*'s announced release). At that time Charlie will blow his stack at the developers and put the release of full current inventory for sale, then begin to fire and hire until they get the system working on the fundamental operations. He has to lock in the DVR potential customers or lose them to D*.

I suspect that the only salvation for the 921 will be if E* can do a mass release a minimum of 30 days prior to the HDTIVO. If they wait until after the fact, then only two things will rectify their blunder on software incompetance. It will be either a drastically reduced price as compared to the HDTIVO or if E* adds a whole new lineup of new HD channels.

Compared to the HDTIVO-
To be released enmass on March 31st, off the shelf at all D* dealers.
To be full beta proven version, ie no consumer beta program for several months.
(This is what the reps at DirecTV stated consistently all 4 days of the CES show)


A gut feeling on my part- Considering the confidence level of the direcTV people on the ready status of the HDTIVO I would not be surprised if they release the HDTIVO a month early just to smack E* in the face by surprise. That move would be devastating to E* 921 sales and subscribers.

#47 OFFLINE   peterd

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 08:39 AM

E* has to turn on DishWire. This is their only positive differentiator from HDTiVo (only one OTA tuner is a negative differentiator, as are the bugs).
Peter
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#48 OFFLINE   TheDarkFalcon

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 08:48 AM

E* has to turn on DishWire. This is their only positive differentiator from HDTiVo (only one OTA tuner is a negative differentiator, as are the bugs).


Peter,

I think from another thread I am following that E* is close to turing on the Firewire for DVHS us only very soon. Stay tuned for more info soon...
- Andreu

#49 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 08:54 AM

Well I don't know if they will be fixing the problems in time. Look at all the screwed up new receivers and problems since last quarter. Nothing they have released in the new line has worked well. The 811 has to dark an image on the output. The 921 has ota tuner problems, among other things. The new 522 doesn't work like it was suppossed to with the single mode pip. None of the hd receivers have been released in good quantities in time for the X-mas season and now not in time for the Super Bowl . Something is definately going wrong with this batch of receivers. You would think they could have these receivers all working like advertised since they have been talking about them since last CES show in 03. Charlie is definately screwing up any advantage he had over Directv and Rupert.

#50 OFFLINE   Mike123abc

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 11:37 AM

You also have to take into account that the 921 is really new technology. Yes they have had some practice on the 721 with dual tuners, but now they have gone to 3 tuners (OTA+2DBS). You can expect problems here.

Where I see the main screw up of Dish is with the 811. This should be a simple box, a small upgrade from the 6000. The problems could be the result of cost cutting gone wild, i.e. they tried to cut the cost of the 6000 down to the point that they could practically give them away. Cheap components giving them manufacturing problems and quality control issues, making some of them give a really dark picture, and not getting the needed yield to meet demand.




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