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At what point in time do we just give up on the 921?

Discussion in 'Other HD Receiver Support Forum (811, 921, 942)' started by Ronald K, Apr 4, 2005.

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  1. Apr 4, 2005 #1 of 40
    Ronald K

    Ronald K AllStar

    Jan 11, 2004
    I am there.

    I have had the 921 now for 15 months.

    During this time my 921 will:

    Never be able to archive using the firewire output although it was advertised to do this.

    It will not do NBR although it was also advertised to do this.

    It has 4 to 8 second ramdom audio drop outs while watching live programing.

    Although my local HD stations are only 20 to 25 miles away and I have a professionally installed antenna with rotor, the OTA tuner in the 921 can not go 10 minutes without losing the signal. I had an RCA DTC-100 Directv HD receiver hooked to the same antenna for years before the 921 and the DTC-100 not only picked up my local stations but also picked up Cleveland with no problems.

    About 50% of my timers give me an error when they fire. It will not record because it says I am not subscribed to the channel (I am subscribed). I have to pull the plug on the unit and reboot. At that point I have already missed the first 10 minutes so I don't record what I wanted.

    In virtually every instance when I attempt to record a show that is currently on (no timer needed), I can not stop the recording. It is necessary to reboot the 921 to stop the recording. Once rebooted the show that was being recorded is lost.

    When I go to play a program that a timer recorded, about 1/4 of them are not there. They show zero seconds recorded.

    Every download that I have received over the past year has screwed something up that was working and there is no reason to believe that the programers are suddenly going to learn how to program the 921.

    Mark - When is enough enough?

    I can not take this anymore. The 921 just does not work and never will. Mark, you have been a Saint through this whole thing and I know you are not to blame.

    Why hasn't Dish said what their plans are for us? I have about $1500 in the two dishes, the switch and the 921.

    It is time for Dish to do the right thing by us. They will likely listen to someone who represents the many unhappy 921 owners.

    My I nominate you?
  2. Apr 4, 2005 #2 of 40

    tahoerob Godfather

    Mar 22, 2003
    Well, I have started the separation process!!!

    It first began when I added Adelphia cable modem & for fun added their HD channels including Starz HD, InHD, InHD2 as well as local NBC HD which I can never seem to get OTA.
    They gave me the SA 8000 HD DVR ($7.95/month). It turns out to be a dual tuner DVR!! NEVER CRASHED. Works well with NAME BASED RECORDING, so all my timers worked EVERY TIME. The interface is OK & Adelphia just added Video On Demand. Very nice & good PQ. The only draw back is no 30sec commercial skip (just FF).

    So now I have added HBO & Showtime (both with HD channels) to cable (only extra $4/month), DOWNGRADED Dish from AEP to Top 60 w/ locals & HD pak. The only 2 channels that Adelphia does not offer in HD yet here are Disc HD, TNT HD, & local PBS HD. However, other Adelphia locales have Disc HD. If they add that here, then I will drop Dish & sell 921 on Ebay. With top 60, we stilll get the core channels as back up & still kept 501 in treadmill room.

    Then I can wait a year for Dish & Directv to hash out MPEG 4 & more HD channels.

    So now I get:

    704 WRC HD (NBC)
    705 WTTG HD (FOX)
    707 WJLA HD (ABC)
    709 WUSA HD (CBS)
    750 HD HBO
    752 HD STARZ
    770 HD NET
    771 HDN MOVIES
    772 ESPN HD
    774 INHD1
    775 INHD2

    I cut my Dish bill in HALF. MY cable bill now is basically the SAME as it was for Dish AEP/HD & INCLUDES MORE HD as well as CABLE MODEM and Video On Demand for all the movie channels as and some "free" content!!!
  3. Apr 5, 2005 #3 of 40
    JM Anthony

    JM Anthony Child of the 60's DBSTalk Gold Club

    Nov 16, 2003
    Here's the deal. Quit your whining and watch TV. Seriously when you got your 921 didn't you think you'd be rolling the dice?? Getting the 1.0 release in anything is almost a guaranteed throw away. Look how long MSFT has been working to get Windows right.

    Savvy buyers would have waited a while and then seeing the problems reported, reconsidered their purchase.

    Why do you think Mark should be asked to carry the water for the rest of us? And why do you think E* cares?? It's not like we're a huge part of their installed base. Who's going to win between Joe 6-Pack and Mr. 921??? Right. My guess is that the 921 has not been a huge financial success for E* for that matter.
  4. Apr 5, 2005 #4 of 40

    jsanders Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Are you suggesting that Eldon has done a good job with 921 development?

    Microsoft is not a good example for product development. However, there are some differences to note. Mainly that with the 921, the wheel was already invented, it wasn't a new frontier. Dish is in the business selling PVRs. With all of that experience, don't you think they could get it right when it shipped? Why do you think that shouldn't be the case?? Apparently they got the 942 out the door working, according to Mark and Scott, "the way the 921 should have been"! DirecTV got their HR10-250 out the door working as advertised. It isn't unreasonable to expect that level of integrity from a consumer product.

    The 921 was, unfortunately, a badly mismanaged product. I don't know the team, or where the exact weak links are (and I don't need to). It shouldn't have shipped when it did, and it should work the way the 942 does now.
  5. Apr 5, 2005 #5 of 40

    kmcnamara Icon

    Jan 30, 2004
    I don't understand your comment about "1.0". Nearly all of the problems associated with the 921 are software related and fixable. They are now on build 213. The real problem seems to be that they are unable to truly fix their software. Unlike many consumer electronic devices, they have the advantage of being able to update the software in the field. I think they used that as a crutch when they first released the 921 but then were unable to make it work.
  6. Apr 5, 2005 #6 of 40

    invaliduser88 Welcome to Torchwood DBSTalk Gold Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    I plan to do nothing until mpeg4 hw is available and either Dish or Directv have a good (doesn't cost an arm and a leg) plan for existing customer to transition. Until then, I will continue to use my 921.

    Let's see how much effort they take in fixing the current bugs, because there are some significant ones that need to be addressed.
  7. Apr 5, 2005 #7 of 40

    lapplegate Legend

    Jan 17, 2003
    To some degree, I see your point. The problem I have is that the DBS Talk people are just a fraction of the 921 consumers. There are quite a few here that had an idea of what they were getting into and that there would be some trial and error ( the cost of being on the "cutting edge"?).

    But E* did not release this thing with a warning. They knowingly put a MAJOR ($1000) purchase item on the market with no public announcement as to what it would take to actually try to use it. As a matter of fact, as stated above, it will not do some of the things it was advertised to do.

    What about the 921 consumers that don't know about the forums and can't get this thing to do what it is supposed to do?

    There are very few companies that can get away with unleashing a beta version on an uninformed, unwarned public. If you made a major purchase of another appliance and it did not work, you would be upset. E* does address this, they will replace your defective unit. But it will be with another defective unit, as that is all they have.

    Do not get me wrong, I have no room to complain. I would love to see this thing work out, but I have my doubts. However, I am involved with this and other forums and knew it would be a rocky road.

    Overall, I would do it again. I use my 921 mainly for time shifting of OTA HD and it does a decent job. I have my unit on a timer so it does a daily boot and that helps a lot. I do not, however, depend on it. I use a 721 or 508 as a backup for the "must have" shows. Is that typical of a high end receiver?

    I don't keep a 2nd HDTV around to see my shows or a 2nd Audio system to hear them.

    I am not trying to bash E*, I do think they are trying, just maybe they bit off more than they can chew, or released too soon.

    Either way, it is those "unknowing" souls I feel for. They sunk a great deal of money into an ongoing project, without the proper warning that I had.

  8. Apr 5, 2005 #8 of 40

    BobMurdoch Hall Of Fame

    Apr 24, 2002
    A fun night deep in the heart of NJ last night as well for me, another 921 crash dummy.

    This time, I was watching a recording of last week's That 70's show, with 24 recording off of FOX-E last night. Watched the end of the show and was commerciall skipping to see if it caught the last minute which has some funny bits when the credits are rolling. It must have hit the end of the recording, but instead of the OVER screen popping up, it just froze. Remote was then unresponsive. I tried hitting MENU and after 30 seconds the menu screen came up like molasses, I tried hitting the guide listing to try and bring up another channel and it froze on a green screen whch stated it was "loading data.... please wait". I waited and nothing happened. Finally gave up and yanked the plug from the power strip.

    Waited the 5 minutes to reboot (WHY does this take so long?). I've lost 5 minutes of my 24 recording as well now. I go to FOX-W (Thank God for waivers), and try to set up a timer for two hours later to record the show again.

    But OOPs, the EPG now says "NO INFORMATION AVAILABLE". OK, you POS, I've got your number, and I go and set a manual timer for midnight. It records the show but once again has the wrong label on it as all timers which start at Midnight aren't smart enough to know what show they are recording.

    The only good thing I can say is that Daylight Savings time didn't cause any timers to fail (but I knew enough not to create any last week - I feel sorry for the poor souls who don't know what we know and are watching shows that fired 60 minutes in the wrong direction )
  9. Apr 5, 2005 #9 of 40
    Mike D-CO5

    Mike D-CO5 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 11, 2003
    I have decided to quit worrying about the 921 . In fact I am next in line for my 942 from Mark at DishDepot.com.

    He will let me trade in my 921 toward the 942 and receive $250.00 in credit . I also sold both of my 721s on E-bay and got $450.00 for them . With the trade in of $250.00 and the $450.00 I got from the 2 721s, I will have recouped some of the $1000.00 I paid on the 921 last year in May. This will allow me to pay for my new 942 at $699.00. No tax since I don't live in Florida. Got to love that!

    Now I will have to start worrying about the problems with the 942/522 dvrs , since I have a new 522 as well. But at least they have name based recording and seem to work better than the 721/921 class of dvrs.

    The 921 is dead, long live the 942.:p
  10. mwgiii

    mwgiii Gaming Guru and Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jul 19, 2002
    I have been pretty lucky.

    I have had minimal problems with my 921. I get the "stretch" bug about once a week, but I have had almost no ZSRs.

    I am with the 921 until the MPEG4 DVRs come out. At which time I will become a beta-test dummy all over again.;)
  11. jsanders

    jsanders Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Good point Larry! The 921 ain't a pack of cigarettes! Those have warnings, the 921 doesn't!

    Technically speaking, the 921 doesn't fit the definition of beta software! Usually, to be qualified as beta software, it is supposed to be "feature complete", although bugs are still expected. The 921 still, after all this time, doesn't have a complete OTA EPG, regardless of your position on other things, it isn't feature complete. It is technically still in the alpha stage.

    Neither do most of us, that is because we can't afford money on such things, and the ones we have work as advertised. Very good point!
  12. lazaruspup

    lazaruspup Godfather

    Mar 18, 2005
    Not instigating anything, but DirecTV did put out the HDTivo without any major snags. Yes, it is a little slow, but it works and works well. As for the 921, I originally pondered the purchase when the 921 first hit the warehouses and I am so glad I didn't. I depend on a DVR to record and record right. If it can't do that, then I have to look to other providers to do it.
  13. boylehome

    boylehome Hall Of Fame/Supporter

    Jul 16, 2004
    At this point the best time for a 921 owner to give up on it is when it dies and can't be repaired. Currently, and according to E* CSR, they have no speedy plans to lease the 942 (and it is too soon to tell how it will work), or provide for some type of upgrade process. I just hope that E* will add a few more HD channels before their MPEG4 conversion. Once MPEG4 is mainstream then it will be time to give up on the 921. Looking at it from another angle, with the way the 921 has treated some of us, if I did get another DVR/HD type receiver that works normally without flaw, I'll be quite nervous just waiting for something to go wrong. Now I can say, "look honey it did it again" or, "What in the heck did it do this time?" I have plenty of ammunition to come to DBSTalk 921 discussion. :lol:
  14. JM Anthony

    JM Anthony Child of the 60's DBSTalk Gold Club

    Nov 16, 2003
    I've got a bunch of Win 95 Beta CDs rolling around the house. I'll try to find what the last build was before they went RTM. I think it was something like 390 or 590, I can't remember which, and that was a few years ago. And after the production version shipped, there were service packs. This for a product that was serving millions of end users.

    I'm not defending E* in any way. I'm just saying that if you're smart enough to find this site, you're smart enough (or at least you should be) to know something about this marketplace and what you're buying. At least after the 921 had been out in the market for a while. It's not like this product was met with rave reviews (except those that E* paid to get produced :lol: ).
  15. JM Anthony

    JM Anthony Child of the 60's DBSTalk Gold Club

    Nov 16, 2003

    I understand where you're coming from. I seriously doubt that the majority of E*'s installed base are interested in the 921 (or even the 942 for that matter). At a minimum, with it's initial release, it was a niche product. And if $1K is a major expense, then I'd expect the consumers to be informed shoppers and not just buy it blindly.

    One of the things I like about the 921 is that it does a really good job of handling OTA HDTV chores, much better than the plain vanilla Sammy STB it replaced. That for me is worth a lot and it will keep me with the 921 until I make the decision about my future migration strategy. Which given the state of HDTV programming lately is likely to be with a home theater PC I've just recently installed that has knock your sox off video and audio capabilities, not to mention the fact that it's easy to upgrade.
  16. TowJumper

    TowJumper AllStar

    Sep 19, 2003
    Cable is going in tomarrow, if it sucks I will try DTV.

    Good Luck guys.
  17. paulrus

    paulrus AllStar

    Sep 1, 2004
    Just to let you guys know - I spoke to E*'s executive office last night about my 921 problems and this is what they basically told me: SCR3W Y0U

    I was told the 921 is a completely functional, bug free device. They said the only thing they could do for me is give me another 921 if mine wasn't working properly.

    When I listed all of the problems I've had and the fact that the dealer misrepresented the 921 as a NBR device (along with the Dish website) she told me that wasn't E*'s problem and that they've corrected the error on the website.

    I told her that didn't really help me, since I based my decision on the dealer and the website. Her response was "that's too bad, but there's nothing we can do." - I was then told I should do more research the next time..... nice...

    Anyway, I just wanted to give you guys a heads up on what the executive office thinks about 921 owners.

  18. jsanders

    jsanders Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Now that is funny. Corrected the error on their website, ha ha ha ha ha ha. Why not leave the website the way it was and correct the error in their 921 instead! :lol:
  19. kmcnamara

    kmcnamara Icon

    Jan 30, 2004
    The 921 is bug free? I can't wait to get home tonight and check that out. I hadn't heard that a new build had been released. :rolleyes:
  20. Jon Spackman

    Jon Spackman Icon

    Feb 7, 2005
    Mark, is the 921 really still being worked on? should we really expect the team (i realize you assist only to a point (your not a programmer right?) to fix this thing and make it as reliable as say the 510 was before 3.00? Are we wasting time hoping for something that is never gonna come? I can return mine to costco but then i still have to pay extra for a 942 and still ahve to replace it when mpeg-4 gets going. So what would you do mark? wait for software updates that make 921 stable or dump it and get a 942 and pay the extra? Can you really record 3 hd feeds and watch another previously recorded HD show at the same time reliably? I tried one on my dad's 522 to record two and use the search feature and it crashed and had to reboot it. is 942 really that good?

    PS if you want to email me that would be fine. Fueler1@hotmail.com

    thanks Jon
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