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Guest Message by DevFuse

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so what's the deal with hard drives?


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#1 OFFLINE   blarg

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 12:13 PM

allright, I'm new to this forum, but I've had dish for many years and I can't figure out a few things about the 622.

First of all, I noticed a distinct lack of posts about people upgrading their own hard drives on these things. I'm assuming that this is impossible? My current setup is a 311 connected to a series 2 TiVo, but I replaced the hard drive for some 300+ hours. I get HD through cable (I get my internet from the cable company, and they provide local HD channels for free).

So the dilemma is pretty obvious. In order to be able to record HD channels it looks like have to go from 300 hours of recording to about 30. I tried to do a search for bigger hard drives on the Vip 622 in the forum and Google, but all I found was posts lamenting that no larger hard drives were available or coming any time soon.

I've also seen rumors that the new 722, despite its bigger hard drive, will not offer more recording capacity and all the extra space will be reserved for VOD, which I couldn't care less about.

So...what's a guy to do? Is there REALLY no way to install a bigger hard drive in a 622? I mean, it would be nice to be able to record shows in HD, but it would be even nicer to get to see them before they get recorded over.

As an auto racing fan, I usually burn about 12 hours a week for the Busch and Nextel race, so this 30 hours of HD recording sucks, and if the "new and improved" DVR doesn't address this, I'll be very disappointed.

I read that the alleged USB hard drive add-on feature (which at this point is only vaporware anyway) won't even address this problem as the external drive will be for archiving recorded shows, not for expanding your recording capacity. Considering that you have to TELL the DVR to move the show, the time it would take to transfer an HD program over a 400mbit USB connection, and the fact that you can't watch the program from the USB drive, the feature is pretty pointless.

I wonder how long Verizon is going to drag their ass and NOT install FIOS in L.A....I mean, its ONLY the second largest market in the U.S....what's the rush, right?

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#2 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 12:23 PM

:welcome_s blarg

Who said you can't watch the program of the usb dirve? based on the reports from CES, you can watch a program recorded on the USB drive. Does it seem as good a drive expansion. Nope, but from the shots for the CES show it will serve a lot of peoples needs.

As for what is a guy to do.. I would say.. if you want to stick with the 622 and Dish your and you need more storage the external USB drive support will be your friend... Otherwise, you will have too look at the alternatives and see if the benefits outweight the downside. I am sure you will be making tradeoffs in any decision that you make.
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#3 OFFLINE   INHUMANITY

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:06 PM

I didn't want to start a new thread about this, but I had a semi-related question.

Is there anyway to see how much space/storage each recorded show uses on the 622's hard drive?

Just curious to see how large the shows are. On my buddies Xbox 360, episodes of CSI in 720p are about 2GB'ish.
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#4 OFFLINE   blarg

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 01:44 PM

:welcome_s blarg

Who said you can't watch the program of the usb dirve? based on the reports from CES, you can watch a program recorded on the USB drive. Does it seem as good a drive expansion. Nope, but from the shots for the CES show it will serve a lot of peoples needs.

As for what is a guy to do.. I would say.. if you want to stick with the 622 and Dish your and you need more storage the external USB drive support will be your friend... Otherwise, you will have too look at the alternatives and see if the benefits outweight the downside. I am sure you will be making tradeoffs in any decision that you make.


well that's a little different that what I've been reading so I hope you're right....of course this is all ASSUMING that USB hard drive support is enabled at all. I was under the impression that the external drive would just work like a storage device were you would move recordings to the external drive, and have to move them back to the 622 to watch them.

I was going to wait for the 722, which was rumored to have more space, but it appears that there's really no point in waiting for it. Netflix>VOD.

I saw a comparison on CNET between the D* E* and Tivo S3 DVR's and I was VERY surprised that the 622 rated higher than Tivo, especially since Tivo lets you play media from a file server on your local network and is able to use an internet connection for updates instead of the phone. Still, I'm not particularly gung-ho about spending $800 for a tivo which would then require me to spend another $300 on a hard drive.

So what's the big deal about swapping hard drives? You can't just throw the drive into a LINUX box and clone it to a larger drive? I mean...what's the big deal? It's not like you're stealing service...or even trying to view the recordings on another device.

#5 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:56 PM

So what's the big deal about swapping hard drives? You can't just throw the drive into a LINUX box and clone it to a larger drive? I mean...what's the big deal? It's not like you're stealing service...or even trying to view the recordings on another device.


Firstly, you could only do this if you owned the receiver. Better not take apart and try to modify one that you lease from Dish.

Secondly, it may no work given the nature of the software design that quite possibly is only designed to access the original expected size hard drive... so you may go through all that work and not accomplish anything.

Thirdly, even if it appears to work... no guarantees it will be reliable and you would pretty much lose any ability to call Dish for service at that point because there would be no way of telling for sure how much of the problem was related to a hard drive swap.

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#6 OFFLINE   blarg

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:35 PM

Firstly, you could only do this if you owned the receiver. Better not take apart and try to modify one that you lease from Dish.

Secondly, it may no work given the nature of the software design that quite possibly is only designed to access the original expected size hard drive... so you may go through all that work and not accomplish anything.

Thirdly, even if it appears to work... no guarantees it will be reliable and you would pretty much lose any ability to call Dish for service at that point because there would be no way of telling for sure how much of the problem was related to a hard drive swap.


of course I understand all those things, if I knew I could swap drives I'd buy a 622. Like I said, I currently have a Tivo that I put a bigger drive in, so I'm no stranger to the procedure, but while Tivo's position is "do whatever you want....just don't steal service", E* seems to be very paranoid. I haven't seen a single post anywhere talking about how someone has so much as tried it. Heck, there are 2 companies out there that do nothing but sell larger Tivo hard drives - and they're legitimate 100% legal companies.

#7 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 03:49 PM

We have seen a couple reports from people who tried ...
IIRC The OS locks in the HD size ... so regardless of what you try you still get 30HD/200SD.

Tivo doesn't have to do deals with program providers. E* does.
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#8 OFFLINE   blarg

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:13 PM

We have seen a couple reports from people who tried ...
IIRC The OS locks in the HD size ... so regardless of what you try you still get 30HD/200SD.

Tivo doesn't have to do deals with program providers. E* does.


poop :(

#9 OFFLINE   blarg

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:31 PM

well I just figured out a temporary workaround. Its not perfect, but hey, its no worse than I got now.

I just set up a laptop as an HTPC with Vista Ultimate. So...I can just use the 622...and if I start running out of space, I can either re-record to the HTPC using analog out (sure, it won't be HD, but I don't have HD now...so its not like it'll be any worse than it already is). I can also schedule SD content to record directly to the HTPC if necessary. Not perfect, but it'll do. I've been playing with Vista Media Center all day, and I actually like it more than TiVo...especially the part where you don't have to pay a monthly fee :) In theory, I could even get an HD tuner for the HTPC (since I get local channels over cable) and record some of the HD shows too if I was so inclined...like sports, which take up massive space.

Does anyone know if Dish uses MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 for local channels? I heard if you're recording MPEG-4 streams, they take up less space and you can actually fit more than 30 hours. Is there a list somewhere of what compression is used on what channel?

#10 OFFLINE   Ron Barry

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 07:07 PM

There is some info here in terms of what channels are MPEG-2 and what ones are MPEG-4.

http://ekb.dbstalk.com/dishlist.htm
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#11 OFFLINE   BobaBird

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 06:41 PM

All of the Dish HD locals are now MPEG-4. The national Dish HD channels are still a mix.
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#12 OFFLINE   INHUMANITY

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:06 PM

Thanks Ron & BobaBird. :icon_bb:
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#13 OFFLINE   blarg

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 09:54 PM

Thanks Ron & BobaBird. :icon_bb:


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