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Dish Gets A Reprieve (For a while)


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#1 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:25 AM

My biggest gripe with Dish recently has been the addition of various fees and elimination of ongoing credits that effectively cancelled those fees out.  I adamantly oppose DVR fees.  Period.  Once I buy something, I should not have to pay a monthly fee to use it.  Programming fees are a separate part of the service, unrelated to the hardware.

 

This is one of the main reasons I never got TiVo or any other device that requires a monthly service fee to use the hardware I bought.

 

Because the previous credits were coming to an end in the next month or so, I had planned on dropping Dish when the current year's annual subscription ended.  There was just no way I could afford the combined increase of the DVR fee and the end of Annual Billing.  It would have meant an increase of close to $200/yr over what I had been paying for no change in service or features.

 

Well, now I get a postcard in the mail saying they are extending the DVR fee credits for another two years.  With the forced month to month billing now, I'll be able to keep the service for a while until I see how the costs play out without being locked in for a full year.  I seem to remember that they stated they will be issuing some credits to compensate for the loss of Annual Billing, but I'll have to review the account and see how those are or were applied.

 

I just know Chuckie is ecstatic to hear I'll be staying for a while longer.  :hurah: :rolling: :sure:

 

 


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#2 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:53 AM

The Devil's Advocate says that DVR fees go towards ongoing development of software for the DVR that may not otherwise get any enhancements.

 

That's why they call it "DVR Service".

 

 

Do you suppose there is a provider that doesn't charge such fees (one way or another) yet still updates their older equipment for free?

 

The only beef I have about DVR Service (and some of the other per-account fees) is that it may not be fair to those with only one DVR who seemingly subsidize those who have multiple DVRs.  I guess it comes down to how much DVR Service costs per subscription (support) versus per unit.


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#3 OFFLINE   tampa8

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:32 AM

Glad you got some credits! As I see it, the problem with your premise is the receiver/DVR functions only work because DISH provides the software, updates it, has it tied to the guide etc... All that costs DISH money. In fact it's that very fact of why DISH and TIVO had their dispute and following suit.

 

The scenario you describe may be possible to an extent. You could pay much more for the receiver, and perhaps not pay a DVR fee. Problem might be would you then be entitled to all updates too or just some? Brings up other questions also about problems with the receiver, which there are answers for but are they answers you like?


Edited by tampa8, 11 August 2013 - 10:39 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:39 AM

Do you suppose there is a provider that doesn't charge such fees (one way or another) yet still updates their older equipment for free?


Sure. It has been a while since I paid attention to what firmware was on the 501/508 models ... but before the DVR fee was added and then refunded through the credit program DISH continued to do updates. There are limits based on the age and power of the hardware (so don't expect Prime Time AnyTime to come to a 501) but DISH did add pushed VOD to the 501/508 ... they added name based recording to the 501/508. They did not abandon it when the 510 and other DVRs with a fee came along.
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#5 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:13 AM

On updates ......  MS and many other software companies push in-version updates without charge.  You only pay if you change versions.  I'd be fine with that on hardware.  In fact, that's what happens with most hardware like computers and peripherals.  The company still does the R&D and adds features to new units while providing some updates to older models for drivers and minor features without charge.


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#6 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:32 AM

On updates ......  MS and many other software companies push in-version updates without charge.

You paid a pretty tidy sum for the Windows software and it comes with an expectation of about eight years of support. After that, support shrinks fast and it typically doesn't involve many feature additions (outside of auxiliary products like IE an runtime libraries).

I have a ViP622, so I have to pay the DVR Service fee anyway, but I'm still getting my 508 for the standard receiver lease fee. When (if) that ends, I'll probably look into a ViP211k

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#7 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:43 AM

On updates ......  MS and many other software companies push in-version updates without charge.  You only pay if you change versions.  I'd be fine with that on hardware.  In fact, that's what happens with most hardware like computers and peripherals.  The company still does the R&D and adds features to new units while providing some updates to older models for drivers and minor features without charge.


There is still an end of life. Sometimes it gets extended but at some point the time spent patching old software is not worth the trouble - especially with better new software available.
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#8 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:48 AM

Sure there is.  But then, you just don't get the update.  You can still use it though without fees.  I still have a Win98 machine and an XP machine running.  And the hardware still runs without a monthly fee.  My two Win 7 machines have DVR type functions without monthly fees.  And they include Guide updates.  And HDMI outputs.


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#9 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 01:35 PM

Some software companies are moving towards the pay as you go model too, though...

 

Adobe is moving (or may have moved already) their Creative Suite to a monthly-payment-to-use plan...  pay by the month or you can't use the software... no more buying it outright anymore.  I think Microsoft has wanted to do with with Office as well.

 

Lots of companies have wanted to go with a subscriber model to get more monthly revenue.


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#10 OFFLINE   Orion9

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:08 PM

Well they can have a DVR fee, a higher DVR base price, or they can hide it in the programming fee. One way or another, they need to be profitable. Pick whatever service provides the best stuff for the lowest price for your situation.

Back in 1982 I paid $3600 in today's inflation-adjusted dollars for a high-end VCR (the first of several, actually) and who knows how much per month for tapes. I thought I would get time to watch all that stuff when I was retired. But now I'm retired and have little time and those tapes just look AWFUL on modern screens. DVRs seem so dirt cheap and wonderful in comparison.

#11 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:18 PM

We had a very early VCR... back in the late 1970s... and I think it cost $700-$800 or so back then...  I haven't done the math to figure out what inflation would extrapolate that to in today's dollars...  so you have a very valid point there.  The modern DVR is capable of a lot more and a lot cheaper... plus we don't have to keep buying blank tapes!


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#12 OFFLINE   SayWhat?

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 05:27 PM

I think a more accurate comparison is the HTPC with Windows Media Center (or other similar software like Hauppage) and a large hard drive.  Up front costs comparable to certain Dish units, but no recurring fees.


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#13 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:25 PM

I think a more accurate comparison is the HTPC with Windows Media Center (or other similar software like Hauppage) and a large hard drive.  Up front costs comparable to certain Dish units, but no recurring fees.

True, no recurring fees... but you are responsible for everything... and when something goes bad on your HTPC you have to fix it... and the fix might be buying a new HTPC.


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#14 OFFLINE   Curtis0620

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 12:30 PM

My biggest gripe with Dish recently has been the addition of various fees and elimination of ongoing credits that effectively cancelled those fees out.  I adamantly oppose DVR fees.  Period.  Once I buy something, I should not have to pay a monthly fee to use it.  Programming fees are a separate part of the service, unrelated to the hardware.

 

This is one of the main reasons I never got TiVo or any other device that requires a monthly service fee to use the hardware I bought.

 

Because the previous credits were coming to an end in the next month or so, I had planned on dropping Dish when the current year's annual subscription ended.  There was just no way I could afford the combined increase of the DVR fee and the end of Annual Billing.  It would have meant an increase of close to $200/yr over what I had been paying for no change in service or features.

 

Well, now I get a postcard in the mail saying they are extending the DVR fee credits for another two years.  With the forced month to month billing now, I'll be able to keep the service for a while until I see how the costs play out without being locked in for a full year.  I seem to remember that they stated they will be issuing some credits to compensate for the loss of Annual Billing, but I'll have to review the account and see how those are or were applied.

 

I just know Chuckie is ecstatic to hear I'll be staying for a while longer.  :hurah: :rolling: :sure:

Does any provider not charge DVR fees?


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#15 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:32 PM

When it comes to DVR's they cost more to produce and maintain so that cost gets passed on to the consumer of course. So they can either just charge more for programming for everyone or they can charge the people who use the DVR's more. Seems fairer to me charge the people who are actually using the DVR's.




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#16 OFFLINE   SDWC

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:28 PM

 

Well, now I get a postcard in the mail saying they are extending the DVR fee credits for another two years.  With the forced month to month billing now, I'll be able to keep the service for a while until I see how the costs play out without being locked in for a full year.  I seem to remember that they stated they will be issuing some credits to compensate for the loss of Annual Billing, but I'll have to review the account and see how those are or were applied.

 

 

 

I received the same postcard today, telling me that I was going to get an additional 24 months credit for DVR fees for my legacy receiver.  Only problem is that my 508 has been sitting in my closet inactive since April, when I upgraded to Hopper w/Sling and 2 Joeys.  So I contacted DISH via chat and thanked them for their offer but I really can't take advantage of it.  The CSR transferred me to another rep, and they offered me a $10 credit on my bill for the next 10 months, which I accepted.  I thought it was a nice gesture on their part.



#17 OFFLINE   Grandude

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:03 AM

I got the same card with my bill this time.  I too, do not have a legacy DVR on my account so am confused about it.  I'll just sit on it and see if the $10 credit continues  for another two years.

 

I do have a VIP211k on my account along with the Hopper/Joeys but the 211 can't be considered a DVR but I did pay a one time fee to have an EHD attached.  Maybe that makes it a DVR. :sure:


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#18 OFFLINE   FTA Michael

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:53 AM

Folks, there is no reason for a business to base its prices solely on its costs. You think that a $4 McAngus costs four times as much to make as a $1 McDouble?

 

The cost to procure and broadcast accurate TV listings is not zero, and neither is the cost to develop and maintain DVR receivers. But the entire company-wide cost for those activities cannot be anywhere near $10 x (# of active DVRs) per month. Dish exists to make a profit, and this is one of the ways it accomplishes that goal. If you think Dish is making too much profit, do what I did and buy Dish stock.  :grin:


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