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how many 921's r out there? is it stable??


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20 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mattyro

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:41 PM

I am curious about the 921-- How many are in service at trhis time? 500? 10,000? 50,000?? I ask to determine if this unit is basically stable. If there are indeed 10,000 units out there and we arent hearing of any widespread fatal or near fatal bugs,, can we assume this unit is ready for prime0-time? I dont think the OTA prblm is grounds for not buying the unuit. Then again, if there are only 2,000-3,000 units in service we may still not have a representative sample to base opinions. I want the unit. I will give Dish $300 and my 508 and 6000. (obviously I wont have a 921 until a 922 is released for $599!!!
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#2 OFFLINE   peterd

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 12:57 PM

Well, this question should really be posted in the Dish DVR section (I'm sure Mark will move it).

The answer is probably in the dozens not in the hundreds or thousands. Until at least one or two more software downloads, I'd say it is not ready for prime time. Check this thread for more.
Peter
(New to this forum, but far from a newbie!) :)

921 Info (so I don't forget it in bug reports) :grin:
SW: L188HECD-N
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HR10-250 Info (no bug reports) :D
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SW64, DISH 300 @148 & DISH 500 w. duals.
119 split off DISH 500, combined with 110 Sat-C LNB on 24" dish and 101 from GainMaster (D* 101 + BEV 91 & 82)

#3 OFFLINE   928gt

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 01:20 PM

Had my 921 2 weeks as of today and not a single reboot !! Unit is used daily and so far so good.

Of course I have no use for OTA so I don't mess with that.

Every timer has recorded perfectly, no major issues as far as a SD/HD Sat receiver/DVR.

Nit Picks:

Caller ID is Non Fuctional

Stretch mode for SD is a joke (not usable)

PIG is unstable in most menus (except main Guide)

Unit is always on, fans humming and warm to the touch (maybe Dish will subsidize my electrical bill)

White Pixel Dot in upper left (fixed by using screen adjust)

1 min. (before) and 3 min. (after) defaults for timers

All in all very happy and feel comfortable most of my "nit pick" issues will be addressed with next software, or next, or next , or........

Dave

#4 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 22 January 2004 - 05:28 PM

A few suggestions 928gt....

I agree about OTA.... Avoid this for now and avoid most of the problems.

Caller ID is functional on mine, but it seems to be an intermittent bug (some get it, some don't.... I don't know WHAT the common thread is for those with problems)

Stretch mode IS off for 16:9 TVs in SD. I switch it to 4:3 #2 and it works well. Switch it back to 16:9 when watching HD.

PIG (Picture in Guide) is off (does not fit in upper right corner usually... I'm sure this will be a quick fix in the next release)

Unit is always on? Hm. It does seem to wake itself up and leave itself on a lot. It doesn't seem to shut down after recording (then again it could be my kids forgetting to turn it off, so I'll abstain from this one)

White Pixel Dot? Haven't seen this one.

Timer padding is still flaky. Sometimes it pads fine, othertimes it won't take the change.

Even so, watching HD Net recorded is a joy. What's Kewl at Cedia 2003 is a good one for us geeks if you want to search for it on your guide (I've been searching 9 days out for each HD channel LOOKING for stuff to record. There are some gems I would miss without the PVR.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)

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#5 OFFLINE   Stosh

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 10:37 AM

I agree about OTA.... Avoid this for now and avoid most of the problems.


I have to say I'm very disappointed to hear that suggestion. I've been waiting patiently (or not) for the 921 for over a year now, and hope to get one Real Soon Now. But I get 6 HD channels over the air (I don't count FOX as HD), so OTA HD viewing and recording capability is very important to me. I can't see spending a grand on a unit that won't handle OTA properly.

This unit needs to handle OTA as well as it does satellite signals, in my opinion. Being told to avoid it, or wait even longer to get a 921 because of the OTA problems, is beyond disappointing to me. I'm probably overreacting, but I have to question if these problems ever will be resolved. I think they should have been before the unit was released, and certainly should have been by now. Do I have to rethink even getting a 921?

#6 OFFLINE   Throwbot

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Posted 24 January 2004 - 11:58 AM

I have to say I'm very disappointed to hear that suggestion. I've been waiting patiently (or not) for the 921 for over a year now, and hope to get one Real Soon Now. But I get 6 HD channels over the air (I don't count FOX as HD), so OTA HD viewing and recording capability is very important to me. I can't see spending a grand on a unit that won't handle OTA properly.

This unit needs to handle OTA as well as it does satellite signals, in my opinion. Being told to avoid it, or wait even longer to get a 921 because of the OTA problems, is beyond disappointing to me. I'm probably overreacting, but I have to question if these problems ever will be resolved. I think they should have been before the unit was released, and certainly should have been by now. Do I have to rethink even getting a 921?


I am in exactly the same boat. OTA is a BIG thing for me.
But always looking for the thread that is what I want to hear instead of the thread I don't want to hear, I have read reports of no OTA problems at all ( save for the guide) Which by the way I was planning on solving by using a harmony 768 remote that comes with "zap2it " basically a TV guide in the remote that I was hoping would give me the OTA recording info in the palm of my hand. (any comments....)
So anyway, could 921 owners who record / view OTA just fine post here to make myself and the thread starter feel better? :rant:

#7 OFFLINE   dreamer

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 11:15 AM

Don't you guys know that the 921 owners are just a bunch of "lab rats" for the 921 ?

We are just the "test market" to see how Dish could compete with this type of SD/HD reciever. Unfortuantely bugs come with the program and we are here to find/report them.

Why do you guys think that Dish Network IS NOT selling 921 directly yet ? It's because they know that most of them are jacked up and that the programmers need to fix a hella lotta bugs before they will sell them outright.

I have a 921 on order myself and am unfortunately expecting the worst when it arrives. You better beleive that I will be keeping my 501 and 508 for backup until my 921 works flawlessly (if it ever does).

#8 OFFLINE   dreamer

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 12:16 PM

"Scott
(Banned from DBSTalk for Trying to help users with 921 problems)"

lol....Is that really true ?

Well I only plan on using my 921 for SD programming/viewing/recording and HD programming/viewing/recording...I don't even know what OTA is or do I care about it at this time.

So maybe the 921 will work out good for me after all...Time will tell.

#9 OFFLINE   kstevens

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 12:21 PM

"Scott
(Banned from DBSTalk for Trying to help users with 921 problems)"

lol....Is that really true ?

Well I only plan on using my 921 for SD programming/viewing/recording and HD programming/viewing/recording...I don't even know what OTA is or do I care about it at this time.

So maybe the 921 will work out good for me after all...Time will tell.


OTA are broadcasts over the air waves (can you say antenna.. :-) You can add all of your local broadcasts to your receiver's program guide and tune into them from there. It accepts both analog (ntsc) and digital channels. With the 921 you can record your local digital broadcasts.

Ken

#10 OFFLINE   dreamer

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 01:15 PM

But aren't there a sh*t load of OTA bugs with the 921 ? It seems that most of the bugs I have read about relate to this OTA stuff, not the regular SD/HD programming/recording.

#11 OFFLINE   guruka

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 01:41 PM

But aren't there a sh*t load of OTA bugs with the 921 ? It seems that most of the bugs I have read about relate to this OTA stuff, not the regular SD/HD programming/recording.


I just want to calm everyone down a bit about OTA on the 921. I've had my 921 for a couple of weeks now and since the L1.45 software download, OTA reception and recording works fine. I get 10 digital off-air channels and I'm 60 miles away from the transmitters. The signal strengths are only okay (between 62 and 93 on the 921's meter) and I get a lock on all channels and can set timers on OTA channels and record or view them just fine. This, in combination with 2 sat tuners, the best SD PQ I've ever seen from a sat receiver (and I've had satellite since 1989 - 12' Paraclipse dish) and jaw-dropping HD quality makes the 921 unquestionably great. Don't get overly concerned about the bug reports. They are not ubiquitous.

Feed your HDTV something good. :)

.....G


#12 OFFLINE   dreamer

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 01:47 PM

Guruka..I am very glad to hear of your positive experiences with the 921. That means there is still hope yet.

Maybe by the time I get mine there will be yet more fixes completed.

#13 OFFLINE   Throwbot

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Posted 25 January 2004 - 06:15 PM

I just want to calm everyone down a bit about OTA on the 921. I've had my 921 for a couple of weeks now and since the L1.45 software download, OTA reception and recording works fine. I get 10 digital off-air channels and I'm 60 miles away from the transmitters. The signal strengths are only okay (between 62 and 93 on the 921's meter) and I get a lock on all channels and can set timers on OTA channels and record or view them just fine. This, in combination with 2 sat tuners, the best SD PQ I've ever seen from a sat receiver (and I've had satellite since 1989 - 12' Paraclipse dish) and jaw-dropping HD quality makes the 921 unquestionably great. Don't get overly concerned about the bug reports. They are not ubiquitous.

Feed your HDTV something good. :)

.....G

Guruka,
Thanks , I've printed your response and pasted on my receiver!
Not gonna read any more trash talk about 921 OTA, nope not gonna do it...
Guruka:-The hidden transcendental dimensions of Indian sadhus? What's that all about?, no wonder you get great OTA reception, Just Kidding!!!

#14 OFFLINE   Stosh

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 12:30 AM

I have read reports of no OTA problems at all ( save for the guide)


I don't consider that a serious bug at all. I get my local channels from Dish, mostly for my bedroom TV where my 301 receiver can't receive OTA channels anyway. So if I want to know what is on a given OTA channel in my home theater (living room!), I just look at the Program Guide for the equivalent Dish channel on my Dish 6000 receiver. I know for many people pushing a few buttons on their remote is too taxing, but it doesn't bother me.

But I'm more concerned about the other OTA problems I've heard about. Lost channels requiring reboots and such things are far more serious.

#15 OFFLINE   kstevens

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 04:51 AM

I don't consider that a serious bug at all. I get my local channels from Dish, mostly for my bedroom TV where my 301 receiver can't receive OTA channels anyway. So if I want to know what is on a given OTA channel in my home theater (living room!), I just look at the Program Guide for the equivalent Dish channel on my Dish 6000 receiver. I know for many people pushing a few buttons on their remote is too taxing, but it doesn't bother me.

But I'm more concerned about the other OTA problems I've heard about. Lost channels requiring reboots and such things are far more serious.


And for the most part, those problems where corrected with the latest software.


Ken

#16 OFFLINE   fjerina

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 09:21 AM

I also am very pleased with my 921. With the L145 software upgrade my OTA issues have mostly been eliminated. I can now record any satellite or OTA program with the timers. The picture quality is superb. I love being able to play back HD programs at my convenience. I only with Dish would fix the over-scan problem. I feel they over-scan even more than what they were doing with the 6000. Anyone else feel the same why about the over-scan?

#17 OFFLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 09:46 AM

The 921 is 90% ready for prime time. My PIP is working fine so far, PQ is great, no sound anomalies, and the "meat and potatoes" part of the receiver (viewing and recording shows) works great. The features that are still being dealt with:

1. Aspect Ratios still all ka-flooey (16:9 and normal works perfectly BUT if you want to stretch 4:3 SD content you have to get creative as the 16:9 stretch and zoom modes are off badly. Iswitch to 4:3 #2 which works really well, but the novices who use my TV (babysitters, in laws, wife and kids) have no clue how to do it).

2. Spontaneus reboots may still be an issue (although I have seen only one since L1.45 dropped... And I had a LOT of dual recordings last night Alias, Sex and the City, Arrested Development, World Poker Tour (the midnight reshowing if you are wondering how I managed three from the same time slot.) so this is an encouraging sign). The one reboot happened while recording ER Thursday and I tried to watch a recorded American Idol.... I was jumping through AI when it locked up and needed a reboot)

3. The 921, like the 721, still has guide data issues as any shows which start recording at Midnight show the 11:59 program data when stating that a timer is about to fire.

4. I can't answer to the OTA situation as I am 45-60 miles from New York and Philly and don't have an antenna hooked up yet (will be doing it this spring). Just as well as the OTA seems to be the biggest challenge.

5. No DVHS archiving yet.

6. Better bootup screens needed as you have no idea whether the machine is booting up or has locked up (just the silver dollar logo pops up, then a blank screen, then a booting up.... please wait square that stays there for 3 minutes. Having a progress bar or some kind of visual display that progress is being made will cure a lot of problems as impatients types will keep pulling smart cards as they think nothing is happening.....

7. 1/4 screen picture in Program Guide is off (it looks like 1/2 screen BEHIND the guide)

Overall, I'm surprised with how stable it IS given that it is version 1.0 of a new type of product like this.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." Henry David Thoreau Walden (1854)

:ramblinon


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#18 OFFLINE   Slordak

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 03:10 PM

I still feel that 921 stability is an issue, even with L145; this receiver is still many months away from approaching the reliability, ease of use, and overall polish of a solid Dish Network PVR like the 508.

My chief areas of concern, to mirror BobMurdoch's:

1) Aspect ratios and SD/HD handling. True HDTVs are 16:9; the 921 needs to work completely flawlessly when hooked up to a 16:9 television and told that it is hooked to such. SD (4:3) content should be able to be seen normally, stretched, zoomed, or whatever the user preference is, without having to go into the setup menu and lie about the type of television hooked up. The viewing settings for SD and HD should be saved separately and should never change without user intervention (i.e. there is an issue when you first turn the unit on and the image is stretched for a few seconds and then it reverts to your saved setting; this is extremely irritating).

2) Lock-ups. The unit should never lock-up; whether this requires some sort of watchdog timer or other monitoring task, or simply more robust coding, a $1000 piece of home electronics should not be as flakey as a home PC. Users expect more from it, and it should deliver. Even with L145 software, lockups are still sometimes seen, sometimes when working with OTA setup (e.g. Adding a DTV channel or checking DTV signal strength), and sometimes simply when flipping between channels. These are rare, but they do happen.

3) Channel Switching. Channel switching needs to be fast and responsive, regardless of which tuner is being used. If this means the receiver needs to be pre-caching or pre-tuning certain stations with an unused tuner (anticipating user behavior), then so be it, but scrolling up and down between channels now feels very slow and sluggish (i.e. much slower than a 508).

4) OTA Setup. Setup of OTA channels needs to be painless and needs to support a "clear all" functionality which erases all OTA database information, including any corrupted information. Channels should be supported even if PSIP information is unusual or missing. The current OTA setup still has numerous problems, including getting duplicate channels, channels which cannot be removed once added, and channels which cannot be hidden in the program guide (i.e. regardless of favorites settings, all OTA channels always appear in the guide).

5) PVR Tweaks and Bugs. The behavior when viewing previously recorded material needs a lot of work on the UI and general usability. What does the green bar represent when viewing a recorded PVR event? Time left or time remaining? Why does it disappear completely when pause is pressed?? Why, if one sets the list of recorded material to be displayed in order by name, is this setting not retained when one returns to the PVR menu later? Why is the list of recorded programs so cluttered with non-essential information (the essential information being the program name, program length, and whether it is SD or HD)?

6) Digital Optical Output. The digital optical output needs to be enabled quickly, so that there is not a lag in time between seeing the video and being able to hear the audio (either when pausing/playing recorded content, or switching channels). When switching between DD and non-DD (PCM) audio, the 921 needs to be more graceful about how it does this, so as to avoid causing noise on the optical line (which can cause the receiver to send white noise to the speakers or completely stop listening on the optical input).

7) Screen Centering and Position. The screen image should be centered or otherwise appear in the correct location. In the program guide, the small window displayed should either match the size of the television (16:9) or the size of the content (4:3, if watching an SD channel). The program material should fit within this window and should not bleed out, be cut-off, or overlap the text. When booting up the receiver, the "Dish Network HD" logo should be centered when using a DVI connection.

Just my thoughts. Feel free to disagree :)

#19 OFFLINE   dreamer

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 04:49 PM

That all sounds like great feedback for the Dish Network "bug solving team" to me.

But who am I to say...I don't even have a 921 YET...Yet I say..that is a BIG YET ! I will get one..Sometime.....I hope...whenever it comes in...someday....maybe...if I am patient long enough...hopefully !

#20 OFFLINE   psb1013

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Posted 26 January 2004 - 08:03 PM

I had my 921 hooked up and running 2 days now......so far everything works great! I have 12 OTA digital channels and can record without any problems. So far so good! :lol:




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