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11/14/2005 Tech Chat Recap


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#1 OFFLINE   Allen Noland

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 09:53 PM

Welcome to the tech chat with Mark and Dan.



First off is a new update for the 942. You can now use your 942 to display Jpg Pictures. All you have to do is plug your Mass Storage Device digital camera and the 942 and if it recongizes the camera, you will be prompted to import the pictures. The pictures will be converted to show on your TV. You can then show a slide show. You can also use a USB key, it will import picture. Pictures cannot be downloaded from the 942.



Pocket Dish is available. All models are in stock. Check the dish website for more details. Apple just came out with the Video I-pod. It plays low quality video where the Pocket Dish does the same quality you get from the satellite. Also, you have to pay for the content from apple, where dish doesn’t charge extra for downloading content from the DVR to Pocket Dish at the current time. The 522 and 625 will be able to download content to pocket dish in the future, but at a slower rate.



Rebates available: from November 15, 2005 to April 15, 2006

AV402E - $20.00

AV500E - $40.00

AV700E - $60.00



Giveaway – “Pocket Dish can receive software updates. What are the 2 ways it can receive updates”. 1st Caller. Win a AV500E - winner is Renda Hutchison – Either connect to the 942 or download from pocketdish.com



Mpeg 4 Information. There is a lot of talk on the Chat and Talk groups about what E* is doing about more HD proramming. E* wants to be the leader in HD programming. Mpeg 4 will get its first start. But there is more than just Mpeg4, they have 8psk-turbo, new satellites and dish 1000. Issue with mpeg4 is that they can build an mpeg4 set top box but there isn’t any encoders that can deliver the true bandwidth savings at this time. Currently they can only get 20% savings. Over time will get better. Currently think that 8psk-turbo can get them 30-40% bandwidth savings currently. Already have 10-12 million receivers that can do 8psk. Also have new satellite slot at 129 location. With dish 1000 can receive 3 orbital locations. Echo 10 will give more spot beams for HD locals. Because of all these things E* will be rolling out Mpeg4 much slower than their competitors. Also, a new receiver know as the 411/211 will be released soon. It is equivalent to the 811 today.



Question – Are current receivers upgradeable to Mpeg-4. No.



Question - Will the 921 be able to connect with Pocket Dish? Not supported via USB, but you can do real-time transfer via the composite/S-video cable. (This would be true for all dish DVR’s BTW). XDS ( extended data service) is still be investigated for the 921.





Remote Control stuff: Use 3 types of communication. First is IR. Must be in the same room. 2nd is UHF. Can send signals up to 100’, 3rd is UHF Pro which can send 200’. To improve UHF reception you can install 3-5’ lengths of RG6 between the receiver and the antenna to improve reception. You can also use an attenuator. To convert a IR system to UHF you can get an IR to UHF convert kit for $49.00. You can also get an easy remote if you need something less complicated for $19.00.



More questions:



E-mail. “Just called tech support because guide was showing info unavailable. Tech said to reboot the receiver which restored the data. Tech said the dish DVR’s must be off to receive guide data updates. I told here that that wasn’t my experience, tech said I had old information.” Answer. The receiver should go to inactivity standby which will allow it to download guide. You can also put it into manual standby.



E-mail. Has a new HD TV and 811 but can’t tell if he has HD. Make sure your hooked up to Component or DVI input on your TV. Also make sure that your on the correct resolution (1080i/720p). Check aspect ratio. Tune to an HD channel 9420-94?? or HD OTA channel. Also check the lights on the 921/811 for HD/SD Mode. 942 outputs HD all the time.



E-mail. What satellite does a dish have to point to get VOOM HD? 61.5 and 129. if your North-east of Washington DC, you will have to use 61.5.



Dual Tuner Receiver. If you have a receiver with 2 remotes with 1 green tab and 1 blue tab, you have a dual tuner receiver. These can be run in dual mode or single mode. Single mode can be hooked up to 1 (or more TV’s watching the same programming) you can have PIP. If your in Dual mode you can hook up 1 TV with the receiver and use the RF output to watch a different program on a remote TV using the UHF remote. In dual mode you can set the receiver to use “Record Plus” so it will record programs on TV2 first.



Give away another Pocket Dish, a 7” model. “What 3 satellite locations was the Dish 1000 designed to look at”. Easy – 119,110,129 – John won.



Software Updates. 625. Dish on Demand now available. Select the DVR button, Select either My Recordings or Movies & more. If you select “Movies and More”. From there you can select the movie you want to watch. You can see previews. Price ranges from 2.99 and 5.99. Can watch as many times as you want for 4 hours. Will be on other models soon.



New Episodes DVR option upgraded. Guide now data now has date first aired available. If it is there, it will use that to determine if it is a new episode. If not available, the dvr will still record based on year of show just to be safe.



All Episodes DVR options record every episode.



Dish pass lets you input search criteria to record programming. There is also a feature to limit the number of events can be on HDD.



DVR history is on 522/625 has a clear history option.

You can Edit the name of a recorded event.



E-mail. Screen saver on DVR? Takes several hours to burn in a set. Pause buffer is only an hour on most receivers, 2 on some. No problems.



E-mail. Has a 501, only 30 hours. Can he upgrade the HDD. No. Have to upgrade the receiver. Hardware restrictions 942 WILL BE GETTING EXTERNAL USB HDD SOON. IN BETA NOW???? (I’m excited about this one).



E-mail. Dish 1000 getting 3 satellites? How does it work when you have 2 tuner rceivers and 2 receivers in another room. Dish 1000 uses Dish Pro Plus and hook up dual tuner receivers using a separator. Also can get a DPP44.



E-mail. Name based recording for 501/508/510. Complicated upgrade, is in alpha testing now. Should be out early next year, maybe in January.



Caller: Can I delete recording history on 942. Should be out in 942 in January. On 522/625 now.



E-mail. E-10. When is it going up. Scheduled to launch 1st quarter. Available in June. Going to the 110 location.



Out of time.
Allen

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#2 OFFLINE   logray

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 10:34 PM

...E-mail. “Just called tech support because guide was showing info unavailable. Tech said to reboot the receiver which restored the data. Tech said the dish DVR’s must be off to receive guide data updates. I told her that that wasn’t my experience, tech said I had old information.” Answer. The receiver should go to inactivity standby which will allow it to download guide. You can also put it into manual standby...


They conveniently failed to mention if this is an 811 they probably ran into the "No Info" bug... probably because the 811 will soon be replaced by a new model! :nono2:

#3 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:00 PM

They conveniently failed to mention if this is an 811 they probably ran into the "No Info" bug... probably because the 811 will soon be replaced by a new model! :nono2:

The 811 isn't a DVR, so they were not referring to an 811. :D

JL

#4 OFFLINE   bavaria72

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:04 PM

OK, so they have really muddled the whole MPEG4 thing with this 8psk-turbo crap (which where in the hell did this come from?). What the heck is going on? So is the 411 going to be a dual tuner 8psk-turbo/MPEG4 capable box? Or do we buy a 942 and say to hell with it?
I'm back! Needed more than 1 HD feed.

#5 OFFLINE   Gary Murrell

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:15 PM

After this Chat I finally realize how far off the impact of Mpeg4 is going to be, Great!!

-Gary
Dish Setup:

129/110/119/61.5/148 -Sats
3 X DP34/3 X DP21 -Switching
942/6000/522/322/510 -Receivers
Everything Pak/NHL CI/Voom/HD Pak/CBS-HD/Locals -Programming

#6 OFFLINE   BFG

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:17 PM

They already use turbo 8psk for their HD channels, they must've been talking about it as a plan to move their SD channels to it and get more bandwidth that way.

Either way it was nice to actually have some tech chat on tonight's tech chat

#7 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:38 PM

BFG,

This is not my understanding BFG, but I could be wrong. Actually if they are trying to squeeze more bandwidth from SD to give it to HD using Turbo 8psk that would not make a lot of sense. That would leave out the 508 users and 721 users out in the cold if I am not mistaken. Why would you do that if you are planning on upgrading the 508 for NBR. I think they plan on having the 50X around for a while so I don't think they would be converting the SD channels to something that the 50X and 721 series is using.
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#8 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:46 PM

They already use turbo 8psk for their HD channels, they must've been talking about it as a plan to move their SD channels to it and get more bandwidth that way.

Either way it was nice to actually have some tech chat on tonight's tech chat


I think the point they were trying to make was that MPEG4 encoders currently would only gain them 20% bandwidth over the MPEG2 compression... whereas they already get 30%+ by using 8PSK... so while they plan on moving the MPEG4 in the future, it doesn't immediately give them all the bandwidth they hoped it would, so in the meantime they will use 8PSK more as they gradually phase in MPEG4.

I assumed this was regarding new HD channels... since I don't believe any of the non-HD receivers use 8PSK currently, and I don't believe this would be a software upgrade either... and it would require swapping set-top boxes just as MPEG4 would...

#9 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:46 AM

assumed this was regarding new HD channels... since I don't believe any of the non-HD receivers use 8PSK currently, and I don't believe this would be a software upgrade either... and it would require swapping set-top boxes just as MPEG4 would...

Newer receivers can do 8PSK: 311/322/522/625 plus all HD boxes

And now, as promised for the August Tech Chat :D - All about MPEG4:

Mark: Echostar absolutely wants to to be a leader in high definition programming. Thats where MPEG4 is going to get it's first start, because it just helps us a little bit. So we are going to be doing a lot of other things besides MPEG4.

We have another technology called 8PSK Turbo. We've got a new satellite dish and orbital locations with Dish1000. We've got some new satellites coming up like Echostar 10. And of course the MPEG4 technology. That's kind what you have to look forward to. So let's talk about MPEG4 and 8PSK.

The falicy of MPEG4 is there has been a lot of hype in the press and in the marketplace about MPEG4. The issue is, is that while we can build a set top box that works great with MPEG4, the encoders aren't there yet to really support some of the press that you see that you'll get 50 to 100% more efficiency in the allocated bandwidth. The encoders aren't there yet. Today they are promising 20% with over time they will be getting better and better and better - every year they will get a little bit better. Right now they are only looking like 20%.

So what we have done is that we've deployed a technology for many years called 8PSK Turbo Code. And what that allows us to do - we can take our existing capacity and get 30-40% efficiency improvement. The same thing that MPEG4 will give us for the next two years, we believe. And guess what? Most of you guys out there already have this technology in your set top box - because - what Dan, we've been shipping it for how many years?

Dan: About three years, 10 million plus receivers.
Mark: Easily over 10 million receivers.
Dan: At least ten.

Mark: So, a lot of you are already seeing the advantages to this with our existing HD programming. We hope to use that in other program slots to give us more bandwidth. Doing more with HD or to mine bandwidth for HD programming.

The other thing that we are doing is that we've got a new satellite slot at the 129 degree location. So we've got a new dish called Dish 1000, basically that adds a third DBS orbital location. The dish is actually right here beside me - it is about the same size as a Dish 500 you see today. It actually just a little bit bigger. It is very small, easy to install, and it provides us with a solution for much of the continental United States to give people more programming especially for high def locals.

The other thing that is coming out is that we have Echo 10, that's going to be launching in the first half of this year. Echo 10 is a much more powerful bird, state of the art bird, I was just seeing some pictures of it today where it is at at the manufacturer - they are doing their shake and roll testing right now. And Echo 10 will give us more spotbeam capacity and with spots, again, we can give you a lot more high definition locals. Because in high def, locals seem to be a big deal for everybody to get their local ABC, NBC, FOX and so forth in high definition.

Because of all of these different things we are going to roll out MPEG4 a lot slower than probably some of our competitors. Because we don't have to. The first things we will be rolling MPEG4 out is in high definition programming.

Our first receiver is rolling out in the next week or two, it was - for some of those who follow the chat rooms and have seen it at some of our trade shows it was called the 411 and some 411's are going out the door here very quickly. But over time we are coming out with a new series and it is going to be called the 211.

The 211 and 411 are basically replacements for our existing 811 and have basically the same feature set - maybe a little bit upgraded on the connectors, but fundamentally (Dan) a replacement for the 811. So that's kinda the story on MPEG4.

(to Dan) Anything else to add on MPEG4?

Dan: We will be making some announcements on existing customer programs in the very near future. I'd tune in to the Charlie Chats for that. And also some announcements on additional HD programming.

BTW: This was four minutes of the show - Edited to remove odd drop in words.

James Long

#10 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:59 AM

JL thanks for the recap on the MPEG4. I missed the show and forgot to set to record on my DVR. I am still confused at those statements especially with such a large 50X base.. You cant start converting SD channels an lock out those guys. Can you?
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#11 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 01:18 AM

No ... but you can start with selected channels to minimize the upgrade impact and do swaps like 311s for 301s (or a 322 for two 301s) and 522s for 50x/510s in the marketplaces/nitches that they want to convert first. The 311/322/522 have been out long enough that they are "cheap" compared to 211's and the yet to be announced new breeds.

I do expect it to be minimal markets at first - either by geography or nitch - and as they note, they have 10 million receivers already in the field that are already upgraded, so that helps.

I just hope the forum folk have the patience to wait their turn. :D I suspect it will be a lot like the announced plan for D1000 ... free only in defined situations. One will just have to wait until they fit the definition. Patience!

JL

#12 OFFLINE   BillJ

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:21 AM

So I guess I have to wait to get an HD DVR? If I'm going to plunk down $600-$700, it has be be useful for at least 5 years and allow me to receive all new HD programming, including locals via E* when available. The 5 year requirement seems to rule out a 942, although that's what I'd like. Or will they release an MPEG4 version of the 942 which could be used now and still be ready for MPEG4 later? They really need to get their act together and give us some specific guidance.

#13 OFFLINE   booger

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:40 AM

I don't understand why the 625 has the slower USB hardware? With it being new, you would think they would have included the faster USB connector. Then I could have added a hard drive and faster transfers for the PocketDish. I can't see how cost would be a concern when USB 2.0 (pro) is the standard on most electronics.

Bummer.

#14 OFFLINE   M Sparks

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:46 AM

So to sum up- this was a good-news/bad-news kind of chat. In a way, it's more good in the short term- 921 & 942 users should see SOME increase in HD programming without getting screwed on a hardware upgrade.

BTW...someone said early in the thread that the 3900 on up was software upgradeable to 8PSK. Is this not true? If it is, it seems like they should just swap out the few ancient receivers left and convert everything. It's the only way to get substantial bandwidth out of this. Moving small LIL markets to 8PSK only makes small amounts of room, and on the spotbeams.

(Crossing fingers that they can at least to HD-LIL to the top 15 DMAs :) )

#15 OFFLINE   M Sparks

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 07:57 AM

One thing that was glossed over is that 30% is still a lot when it comes to HD. And HD is already in 8PSK, so there's no savings possible there.

Converting HD to MPEG-4 would allow them to add at least 6 channels to the current HD transponders (if you include the current Voom transponders). They've also freed up almost 2 whole transponders at 110, so that's 6-8 more.

Because of all of these different things we are going to roll out MPEG4 a lot slower than probably some of our competitors. Because we don't have to. The first things we will be rolling MPEG4 out is in high definition programming


So I take back what I said...I still think HD receivers are going to get swapped in 06.

#16 OFFLINE   dave1234

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:04 AM

The big advantage for current owners of HD 8psk hardware will occur if the launch of Echostar 10 goes as planned. That is where the savings are.

#17 OFFLINE   David_Levin

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:07 AM

I'd consider it bad news for the 921. The receiver is in desperate need of a swapout, and that isn't going to happen till it's forced by mpeg 4. But, yes, so much for Charlies repeated comments of new more HD till mpeg 4.

Just hope they don't do a "DirectTV" and give us HD-Lite.

Did you all listen carefully to the description of the 942 external hard drive support?

It was described as an archival drive. To me this means it'll be up to the user to move content to the drive. All initial recording would still be to the internal hard drive.

This doesn't surprise me, I don't think USB2 can support 5 HD streams. As an archival drive it only needs to support 1 stream. (the Scientific Atlantic box is using S-ATA for it's external drive, the latest Motorola has an S-ATA port as well). This is fine.

Reducing the bandwidth to 1 sream should allow use of just about any external USB box one might pick up (there's lot's of cheep ones a www.geeks.com).

P.S. I still think the Pocket Dish is a yawner. Already travel with a laptop with a 15.4" screen. Give me a way to copy content to that.
Bye Bye 921
Now playing with 2x 622s.

#18 OFFLINE   M Sparks

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 08:13 AM

The big advantage for current owners of HD 8psk hardware will occur if the launch of Echostar 10 goes as planned. That is where the savings are.


Why is there savings possible...All HD is already 8PSK.

UNLESS this "8PSK-Turbo" is actually something new and allows a 30% increase over 8PSK. But several have said it's already in use.

Now it's true E*10 will offer a lot of new bandwidth. But it has nothing to do with 8PSK.

Smoke & Mirrors, I say. They need to switch a substantial amount of SD programming to 8PSK to make it worthwhile. BUT, that is certainly more possible that switching a lot of SD to MPEG-4.

No matter what they do, it will be a boon to HD viewers. But I think people are misinturpreting all this.

#19 OFFLINE   MikeW

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:26 AM

So to sum up- this was a good-news/bad-news kind of chat. In a way, it's more good in the short term- 921 & 942 users should see SOME increase in HD programming without getting screwed on a hardware upgrade.

BTW...someone said early in the thread that the 3900 on up was software upgradeable to 8PSK. Is this not true? If it is, it seems like they should just swap out the few ancient receivers left and convert everything. It's the only way to get substantial bandwidth out of this. Moving small LIL markets to 8PSK only makes small amounts of room, and on the spotbeams.

(Crossing fingers that they can at least to HD-LIL to the top 15 DMAs :) )

8PSK is not software, it is a hardware upgrade.

#20 OFFLINE   olgeezer

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 09:41 AM

Am I missing something? I thought MPEG4 was more difficult to process and that encoding was not an issue.

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