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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The 411 on the 411.


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44 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mth

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:11 AM

First of all, here's some shots of it, if you're interested: Link.

1 & 2 are pictures of the front of the 411.

3 is a shot of the manual, because I didn't want to disconnect the thing to get a shot of the back. Mine does NOT have the ethernet port but it does have the USB port.

4 is a shot of the front with the "smart card door" open. You can see in the manual there's something called the smart card door. I'm not sure what it's for. The manual (if you can't read it) says "future slot for a smart card".

5 is my system. 30" Sony HDTV. DVD/VCR combo. AMC integrated tube amp. Sony tuner. Marantz 5-CD changer. B&W 301 bookshelf speakers. XM radio. It's an all right set-up considering the wife and the room. The speakers are at a terrible location, but they really can't go to the sides are ear level because of the doors on the entertainment center, and doors leading out of the room. We were watching Charlie Brown, and it turns out I was using the wrong ABC feed but it didn't make much of a difference.

The 411: pretty cool.

First of all, the only buggy behavior I found was one time I was watching channel 13 and used the channel changer to go down to channel 2. Then, I used the "browse" button to flip back up to 13, but when I selected it, it stayed on channel 2. Hmmm.

Other than that, it worked like a charm.

Now first of all. . .I'm glad I'm getting the OTA signals, because as far as I can tell, that's the only way to get HD programming for the networks. The local feeds I got through dish were not HD.

Now, I don't know what features the 811 had so I can't say where the 411 might have been different, but here's some observations.

I really like being able to set up your favorites lists. I have one for just HD, one for premium stations, one for locals, and one for cable stations (ESPN, MTV, CNN, etc.). That's a pretty slick way to surf.

It has the "Dish channel". From here, you can get stock quotes, sports standings, news. You can do Karaoke, bet on horses, play trivia. Some for a fee, some free. Pretty interesting. Mostly useless.

The timer is really nice. It has the ability to just remind you, OR automatically flip to that station, OR send and "IR BLAST" to the VCR to turn it on and start taping the show. (question: does anyone know the code for the DVD/VCR combo that the Dish remote uses? It's not the same codes as the remote that came with my Sony TV).

Also, let's say you're using the guide and it's noon, you can put in "8", then push the browse button, and it will skip ahead 8 hours in the guide window. That's a nice feature.

You can get a signal strength read-out for your OTA stations. You can edit their names, remove the analog ones so the box doesn't even recognize them. The edit is nice, because for instance, one of the local channels just broadcasts a local radar image so you can label this "RADR" instead of trying to remember whether 002-01 or 002-03 is the station you want. One broadcasts 24 hour local weather, and one broadcasts a network called "The Tube" that plays videos all day.

My cable guy ran the antenna/dish into a combiner, used the existing cable line through my basement, then ran a splitter at the box. I switched out the cables he used at the box with some cables I knew were RG-6 and saw an increase in signal strength. So, I don't know if he was using crappier cables coming out of the splitter, OR if I got an increase because I did that on Sunday morning, and it was just a new day. But, I don't think the cable running through the basement is an RG-6 so I might replace that one, too. The OTA strength is about 80 and pretty constant.

The installer gave me component video cables with the box.

He did not charge me the $50 upgrade fee, but I think that was because they moved back the scheduled day of installation by 4 days so he was doing me a favor.

That's about all I can say about it right now. If you have any other questions about the receiver, I'll give it a shot.

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#2 OFFLINE   saweetnesstrev

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:17 AM

Did you order this from the main office or a retailer :)

#3 OFFLINE   mth

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:25 AM

The main office.

But the installer is a local guy who isn't just Dish. I think he does every kind of install.

#4 OFFLINE   saweetnesstrev

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:41 AM

Im getting a 411 or 811 i dont know which one today,, hopefully its a 411 cause i would hate to upgrade later on and i have a HDMI port..

#5 OFFLINE   AcuraCL

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:00 AM

Nice review Mth, thanks for taking the time.

Have you tried pulling in any DC stations? I'm sure in Hampden you're getting a clear line of sight to Tv Hill, but are you seeing any of the 49% signal strength bounce where it won't lock on an OTA channel?

#6 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:05 AM

Thanks for sharing, mth.

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#7 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:56 AM

Kudos Mth.. thanks for the pictures and your thoughts. Much appreciated.
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#8 OFFLINE   mth

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:58 AM

Nice review Mth, thanks for taking the time.

Have you tried pulling in any DC stations? I'm sure in Hampden you're getting a clear line of sight to Tv Hill, but are you seeing any of the 49% signal strength bounce where it won't lock on an OTA channel?

Below I attached a list of the stations that "antennaweb.org" gives me.

The only digital stations that are listed are all from Baltimore. The *'s indicate the digital stations.

What you'll notice is that all of the "TV Hill" stations are at 282º. These, I'm getting. I suspect my antenna is too directional even though my installer said I had a multidirectional up there.

I also get the WB-DT that is listed at 287º. I'm not sure if that is also on TV Hill, or just nearby. There is a smaller antenna there.

I don't get the ones at 257º which is WB analog, and UPN (analog & digital).

PBS is at 188º and I don't get that. So, I'm only getting UPN & PBS through the dish locals.

Now, it looks like all the DC stations are right in the same range, 233º - 236º. Antennaweb indicates I'd need a large directional with pre-amp for them, but none of them are even digital. I could see the benefit of getting them, but really I doubt it's worth the effort.

Anyway, I don't think I'm getting what you describe. When I tell the dish to search for the locals it returns a list of 11 stations. The 9 you see below at 282-287 and a third WMAR station that is just radar, and a third WB station.

yellow - uhf WNUV    54   WB  BALTIMORE MD  257° 7.8 54 
yellow - uhf WNUV-DT 54.1 WB  BALTIMORE MD  287° 1.2 40 *
yellow - vhf WJZ     13   CBS BALTIMORE MD  282° 1.3 13 
yellow - uhf WJZ-DT  13.1 CBS BALTIMORE MD  282° 1.3 38 *
yellow - vhf WMAR    2    ABC BALTIMORE MD  282° 1.2 2 
yellow - uhf WMAR-DT 2.1  ABC BALTIMORE MD  282° 1.3 52 *
yellow - uhf WMPT-DT 22.1 PBS ANNAPOLIS MD  188° 22.4 42 * 
yellow - vhf WBAL    11   NBC BALTIMORE MD  282° 1.3 11 
yellow - uhf WBAL-DT 11.1 NBC BALTIMORE MD  282° 1.3 59 *
yellow - uhf WBFF    45   FOX BALTIMORE MD  287° 1.2 45 
yellow - uhf WBFF-DT 45.1 FOX BALTIMORE MD  287° 1.2 46 *
green  - uhf WMPT    22   PBS ANNAPOLIS MD  188° 22.4 22 
green  - uhf WUTB    24   UPN BALTIMORE  MD  257° 7.8 24 
lgreen - uhf WUTB-DT 24.1 UPN BALTIMORE MD  257° 7.8 41 *
blue   - uhf WMPB    67   PBS BALTIMORE MD  325° 11.3 67 
violet - vhf WUSA    9    CBS WASHINGTON DC  233° 35.9 9 
violet - uhf WMJFLP  16   A1  TOWSON  MD  24° 4.3 16 
violet - vhf WGAL    8    NBC LANCASTER PA  11° 48.3 8 
violet - uhf WETA    26   PBS WASHINGTON DC  236° 36.2 26 
violet - vhf WJLA    7    ABC WASHINGTON DC  233° 35.9 7 
violet - uhf WDCA    20   UPN WASHINGTON DC  236° 36.2 20 
violet - uhf WPMT    43   FOX YORK  PA  13° 47.9 43 
violet - uhf WFDC    14   TFA ARLINGTON VA  233° 36.5 14 
violet - vhf WTTG    5    FOX WASHINGTON  DC  234° 35.7 5 
violet - vhf WRC     4    NBC WASHINGTON DC  233° 36.5 4 
violet - uhf WHUT    32   PBS WASHINGTON DC  236° 36.2 32 
violet - uhf WNVC    56   IND FAIRFAX VA  236° 45.0 56 
violet - uhf WBDC    50   WB  WASHINGTON  DC  231° 33.4 50 


#9 OFFLINE   saweetnesstrev

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:41 PM

The 411 you still need an extra atennae to get local hd?

#10 OFFLINE   mth

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:00 PM

The 411 you still need an extra atennae to get local hd?

As far as I can tell.

I have HD service, and local service, and I'm not getting HD locals.

I think that's what some people's beef seems to be. . .like they need to get a waiver from a local CBS station to get CBD-HD from Dish.

And, CBS-HD is the only network HD they are currently listing.

I gotta tell you, it surprised me. I didn't know it was like that. All the people I know who have HD must have Comcast. I just figured that I'd get OTA and Dish HD for locals, but that's doesn't seem to be the case.

#11 OFFLINE   invaliduser88

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:03 PM

I would say yes, since Dish isn't providing HD locals yet....

#12 OFFLINE   AcuraCL

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:17 PM

...The only digital stations that are listed are all from Baltimore. The *'s indicate the digital stations....
Now, it looks like all the DC stations are right in the same range, 233º - 236º. Antennaweb indicates I'd need a large directional with pre-amp for them, but none of them are even digital. I could see the benefit of getting them, but really I doubt it's worth the effort.

I put the Rotunda's address into Antenna web just 'cause I know it's somewhat close to you, it gave me these back:

* blue - uhf WUSA-DT 9.1 CBS WASHINGTON DC 233° 35.9 34
* blue - uhf WJLA-DT 7.1 ABC WASHINGTON DC 233° 35.9 39
* blue - uhf WBDC-DT 50.1 WB WASHINGTON DC 230° 33.4 51
* violet - uhf WRC-DT 4.1 NBC WASHINGTON DC 232° 36.5 48
* violet - uhf WTTG-DT 5.1 FOX WASHINGTON DC 234° 35.8 36
No

Sometimes it's nice to have a second set of networks as a backup. Actually I get Washington stations flawlessly from Owings Mills with a medium semi-directional antenna (CM 3021) plus preamp, but can't usually get Baltimore (not much ability to point mine in different directions).

#13 OFFLINE   DCWillia

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 01:18 PM

Hello and once again thanks for the review. I have the 811 and it will do most of what you report. However, I am really curious about the picture quality you get from Standard Definition stations. I have been really disappointed with the SD quality I get here in Southern Cal. I have a 65" Mistibushi TV and this issue is important to me.

#14 OFFLINE   mth

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 02:00 PM

AcuraCl, that's funny. I just put in an address about a mile down the street, and I got all of those too. Well, we'll see. Maybe I'll look into mounting another one up there one day.

DCWillia. I have nothing to compare it too. The SD digital on my TV looks pretty nice. The SD analog looks kind of sketchy.

Before Dish, I had analog cable, and that looked mostly crappy.

But, I don't think that the receiver has much to do with that. How far do you sit from that 65" screen?

edit: coding.

#15 OFFLINE   Ken Howe

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 03:21 PM

its silver, nice... ^_^
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#16 OFFLINE   hammerdown

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 03:28 PM

How will the 411 get and display the OTA guide info? Is it using the actual OTA PSIP, or downloading it from some E* guide database via Sat?

My 6000 has NO guide data at all, just says "Local Progamming" 24/7. Not sure what the 811 has?

Hammer

#17 OFFLINE   jsanders

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:29 PM

Have you watched an MPEG-4 broadcast yet?

Let us know when you do and then let us know how buggy that is.

We are not going to know how stable this thing is until there is an MPEG-4 broadcast to receive.

#18 OFFLINE   Bill R

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:02 PM

How will the 411 get and display the OTA guide info? Is it using the actual OTA PSIP, or downloading it from some E* guide database via Sat?

Hammer


That is a good question for next month's DISH's HD chat.

Using PSIP would be the best bet provided that the station is providing it in a reliable manner. Many stations in my area have a lot of problems with it. In the last few weeks I have had to complain to three local digital stations because their PSIP data was missing, or they were providing very limited (two hours) of guide information. There is one PBS station that has trouble with their clock. It gains a few minutes and, if I don't call to have it corrected every week, it makes the EPG wrong by more than one show (last week it was off by 40 minutes).
Bill R

#19 OFFLINE   jsanders

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 08:58 PM

How will the 411 get and display the OTA guide info? Is it using the actual OTA PSIP, or downloading it from some E* guide database via Sat?

My 6000 has NO guide data at all, just says "Local Progamming" 24/7. Not sure what the 811 has?



This is quite a point of contention with 921/942 owners. The 811 downloads the guide data from the satellite, two days worth if I am not mistaken, and it is free of charge. It isn't free of charge for the 921/942! You have to subscribe to those compressed, SD locals to get the data. If they want to drop it down to a couple of days and make it free, or 9 days with the subscription, that might seem more fair. Or, if the customer didn't want to subscribe to locals, they could always let him have the free PSIP data and give the extended data to subscribers of SD locals. They don't do that, they block the free, incoming PSIP stream! In essence, they are charging us for something that we should get for free, at least in some form!

It will be interesting to see what the 411 does. Do you subscribe to locals?

#20 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:07 PM

That is a good question for next month's DISH's HD chat.

Using PSIP would be the best bet provided that the station is providing it in a reliable manner. Many stations in my area have a lot of problems with it. In the last few weeks I have had to complain to three local digital stations because their PSIP data was missing, or they were providing very limited (two hours) of guide information. There is one PBS station that has trouble with their clock. It gains a few minutes and, if I don't call to have it corrected every week, it makes the EPG wrong by more than one show (last week it was off by 40 minutes).


Bill I think you are given a very good argument and the reason I think Dish is shying away for using PSIP provided guide. I doubt the 411/211 is using the PSIP suplied guide information.

and for the record it is up to 44 hours for the 811 EPG.
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