My Hopper/Joey Install Experience

Discussion in 'Hopper System Support Forum' started by James Long, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. JimD

    JimD Legend

    Apr 8, 2005
    I thought about also posting the "bugs" somewhere that might get some attention - not that they are serious, as they've all been overcome for one reason or another.

    My reason for posting them here was that this is where people who are thinking about converting to hopper from something else come to read about the experience. I believe the speed bumps I hit could be most informative to others, and might prevent them from having the guy uninstall it right then and there (or replace it for no reason).

    Also - I skipped over the part of Ray's post about firmware revision and the search function. I apologize for having missed it. I should have said that the machine downloaded firmware as part of the install. This was one reason that it took *so long* to get from the point where all the cables to the first hopper were connected until we could even begin to use it. Given that it downloaded firmware and installed it as part of that process - does it make any sense that the search did not work until *another* firmware download happened that night? Or did I miss the point - is there something other than the operational firmware that downloads on the first night of a hopper's life, and is required for the search function to work? An update history page (when did the receiver have which revision installed) would be nice...
  2. thomasjk

    thomasjk Legend

    Jan 10, 2006
    It does take 24hrs for everything to download and function properly. PTAT is usually not usable until the next day for example.
  3. JimD

    JimD Legend

    Apr 8, 2005
    I just noticed that the receiver info page shows the date/time when the current firmware was installed. This is not quite a revision history, but it does suit our purposes here.

    My downstairs hopper says 7/9/2013, 6:17PM. It took a bit more than 3 hours to install the 2 hoppers and 1 joey, and most of that was waiting for downloads of this or that on both hoppers. The install started at about 3PM, so that timestamp is about right for the completion of the install, which is when I watched the firmware download happen on this hopper.

    That timestamp is a couple of hours before I began my attempts (and failures) to get the search function to work, which began that evening at around 8PM on both hoppers (downstairs first - and when it didn't work there I tried the upstairs hopper - which failed identically).

    Interestingly enough, the upstairs hopper's firmware timestamp is just after midnight on the 10th. One could presume that the nightly download of firmware is the reason why search worked the next day on the upstairs hopper - but the fact that that same firmware was already installed on the downstairs hopper while its search was failing identically belies that presumption.

    I want to again caution any of you seeking to upgrade to the hopper that these are nits we are discussing. If you upgrade to a Hopper or move to Dish and the Hopper from some other vendor - rest assured that the search function, if it does not work right away, should work the next day for whatever reason.

    I don't want to cast a negative light on this product, as I've repeatedly said it is so far the best DISH receiver I've ever used - and I have been using a LOT of different dish receivers over the 20 years or so I've been a Dish customer. My reason for posting these notes are to hopefully prevent similar experiences from freaking someone out, and to provide some detail about these little glitches that might prove useful for Dish should they happen to be paying attention to this thread.

    -edit- I just noticed that there is a milestone by which I can validate that timestamp for the firmware download. When i noticed that the guide information was not present for the local channels on the downstairs hopper - just moments after the installer departed - I tried several things first (to no avail) and then called DISH support on my cell phone to ask if they could send some sort of wakeup-call over the stream or something. The call was logged at 6:22PM for 11 minutes. My cell phone clock and the hopper clock are in reasonable agreement (less than 1 minute). The difference between the firmware timestamp and my call to Dish was only 5 minutes. That seems tight to me for having done all that preliminary troubleshooting - but there it is.
  4. JimD

    JimD Legend

    Apr 8, 2005
    I'm not sure what you meant by "usually not usable", but PTAT seemed to function right away on my downstairs hopper - I was able to turn it on, and at 8PM it started recording things while I was searching (and failing) for the non-local-net programs so as to set a series timer. Perhaps in this regard my install was unusual.
  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    E.Mdtrn Sea
    So, Jim - what FW versions on your devices ?
  6. JimD

    JimD Legend

    Apr 8, 2005
    Both say "S311 NDGB" though they downloaded it at different times.
  7. JimD

    JimD Legend

    Apr 8, 2005
    Or did you mean the IOS devices (iPads) in reference to the Explorer connection failure?
  8. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    E.Mdtrn Sea
    that's OK

    man, you just missed new S315 FW spool, it's started last night and your boxes out of box should took if you would activate them starting last night; now it's too late ...
  9. FilmMixer

    FilmMixer AllStar

    Aug 29, 2006
    Ordered via chat on Sunday night 07/21... was on chat for over an hour due to my indecision... agent was very nice..

    I originally inquired about 2 Hoppers + 1 Joey... I asked what I would not be able to do without both Hoppers having Sling.. she said adding a second HWS would increase the number of devices I could connect at once..

    I decided to pass on the second HWS, so I placed an order for 2 Hoppers (one HWS) and 1 Joey. Gave all information, including email, etc.

    Went smoothly.. did some more research that night and found out I would only be able to transfer form the one HWS (and that was the difference...) Install set up for today, 07/23

    In the morning, on Monday, I went on chat again and asked to update to 2 HWS + 1 Joey... no issues, paid the difference. I also asked why I still hadn't gotten an email conversation... as I was on chat, I checked my profile and saw my email as noemail at dish dot com... I gave the chat CSR my email again, and asked for an order confirmation.. I was told that since they already sent it (to the default no email address) they could not resend the order confirmation... they said the order was fine, and I could confirm with the installer... but they insisted not to worry...

    i got my email install appointment note later on Monday night, with the time setup of Tues 8a-12p.

    Got the call at 7:30 from Dish this morning saying window was 8-9:30.... got another email at 9am pushing back to 9-10:30.

    He got here at 9:50... nice, wearing shorts, a little scruffy..

    As he came in he confirmed my order was for 2 HWS and 2 Joeys.. I explained that I had only ordered one Joey... he said I would have to take it or he couldn't finish the install, and I would have to call dish myself and return the unwanted Joey..

    I said fine..

    My house has been wired for Directv for years, and I have ethernet run to all rooms from my home office router... so it was a simple install as the RG6 was already in place in all rooms.. the receivers were plug and go, and I told him he could use the mast from the DTV dish..

    He first went up to the roof and got to work.... not a big deal, but he was smoking while installing the dish, which sits on the roof right above my office, so the smell wasn't appreciated.

    He then plugged in the HWS's and started them up to download the software...

    He never confirmed the signal strength via the STB's.. (I'll get into that in a bit...)

    Rest of it went smoothly, about 2 hours total... I was curious how he knew which of the legs in my attic was for the Joey, as they weren't labeled... It's all working, but curious because he only accessed the coax in my theater for the Joey after he plugged the Joey in...

    After the Joey activated, he said he was able to take care of the "extra" Joey and he didn't have to leave it with me to take care of.

    Again, very pleasant, and he was only here around 90 minutes.. just a couple of nit picks (appearance, smoking)

    I had thoroughly researched the system, so I sent him off without any of the regular show me around presentation.

    My only concern about the install is my signal level... I live in the foothills of LA, on a hill with no obstructions whatsoever, with clear LOS to the south horizon of Southern California.

    My Directv numbers were routinely in the 90's...

    I checked the dish pointing screen..

    129 Tran 23: 52
    129 Tran 29: 49
    119 Tran 01: 92
    119 Tran 10: 59
    119 Tran 09: 63
    119 Tran 21: 72
    110 Tran 01: 61
    110 Tran 10: 63
    110 Tran 21: 69

    Don't know if I need another tech to tweak the alignment..


    Just a couple of quick observations coming from DirecTV (and we had U-Verse for 3 months so I have a good basis for comparison of picture quality..)

    Dish HD is really good... color reproduction seems spot on. The are a little more compression artifacts on some programming (clay face, etc) and it could easily be the source...

    I immediately noticed on NBC some of the same kind of detail loss in backgrounds, jaggies on text, etc. that I saw with U-Verse vs. DTV.. however, it is much less apparent with Dish, and motion seems smooth, with no real worries from me about it...

    Dish is definitely a hair softer from normal viewing distance. but it won't diminish my viewing enjoyment.

    I got a couple of emails after the install, and then inexplicably got an email saying my email had been changed back to the "noemail at dish dot com" address.. logged into My DIsh, changed it back again to my proper address, and logged out... we will see if this is a trend.

    A couple of nit picks (and I knew about most of these going in..)

    1. A unified DVR list would be great... why I can't see all the recordings at once... (I do like that i can delete from either Hopper.) But having to train the family that if they want to watch PTAT downstairs they have to manually change DVR's from the list... DTV has a unified list (I had three DVR's, so it was nice to have each list be the same..)

    And why isn't it persistent.... do I need to switch every time I go into the DVR menu?

    2. I would like to have a preference to record "New Only" or "New and Old" in the Timer Defaults... buffers and how many to keep is great, but why do I have to change every series to "New Only?"

    3. The Search is hard to use... when searching for NEWSROOM, the Icon Tiles were useless.. I couldn't figure out which one was the premiere showing on Sunday nights, which ones were on demand, etc... Same in VOD... the tiles limit you to 9 shows.. a list option would be helpful.

    4. Why do we have to lose the live buffer during DVR playback? And if you pause the live buffer and watch a DVR/On Demand show, the buffer should resume (to the limit of 60 minutes) where you left off... and why only 60 minute buffer (Dish boasts about hard drive space, but all the DTV DVR's are 90 minute buffers, and there are 2 of them!!!!).

    5. I think all of the above feature request are fairly straight forward... this one is a bigger one.. I know I can't pause my tv in one room on a HWS and then pick it up on the other, but I can from a Joey... still not sure why that kind of "dumb" Joey tuner/buffer share can't be extended to another Hopper...

    6. We have a brand new 60" Panasonic plasma... I NEED A SCREEN SAVER.. while I don't worry too much about burn in, 60 minutes of my daughters pausing a show always makes me nervous... after 3 minutes on DTV, you get a black screen with a floating/moving DTV logo...

    7, If PTAT is off, why do I have to see a logo for it every time I go into the DVR screen on my second HWS where it is disabled... I can turn it back on in the Settings menu...

    I love the speed.

    The navigation is fantastic, the menus are nice to look at.. the guide is growing on me..

    Like all the options, display info, etc.. really slick, well designed...

    I'm happy I made the switch.. I still have some tuner conflict anxiety (I had 9 tuners with Directv.... conflicts ere seldom and issue...)

    I was really apprehensive about the picture quality too.... It's going to be fine for me (I have one 42", one 60" plasma and a 110" projection system...) The difference is minor enough for me...
  10. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 7, 2004
    Your signal strengths are well within the acceptable parameters, 60s are normal.
  11. revolg_98

    revolg_98 New Member

    Sep 19, 2013
    I just had 2 hoppers and 2 joeys installed today. The hoppers are working fine but the joeys, one per hopper, freeze and drop out. I can't even watch a recorded program from the joey.
  12. Ferguson

    Ferguson Cool Member

    Jul 25, 2006
    I am astounded.

    I started a chat session today maybe 12:30pm. I got what I wanted to order two Hoppers with Sling, two Joey's.

    The rep said install "tomorrow" in the afternoon, and said 9/24. I noticed "tomorrow".

    Before I'm off the chat, I get a call from Dish "we will be there between 1 and 5 today, I do a double take, and check the chat log, and he said 9/24 which is indeed today. It's now 1:20pm. I say "really, if you can do it that's fine".

    Rep arrived about 2:30 or so, it's now 4:30pm and I have two hoppers installed, two joey's, and everything's working. Except I never really got the time to move my recordings over, which is a different topic.

    So about 4 hours from ordering on line to installed and running. Now that's service!

    PS. All free, guess I'm a good customer. Just they wouldn't do an OTA, I assume I can buy and add one.
  13. gdunn

    gdunn New Member

    Oct 5, 2013
    I had Dish about 3 years ago when I lived in NC. When my job took me to Mississippi it was discovered that the apartment we had wouldn't allow us to have Dish anymore (not a issue of the Dish, but the reception wasn't there). So in 3 years I had Comcast and U-Verse. Hated Comcast and loved U-Verse.

    I got word about a month ago I was going to have to move again. I found my wife and I a house in a small town in Missouri, and thought I'd get lucky enough to keep U-Verse. Wrong. So we discussed basic cable, Direct TV, and Dish. It was cheaper to go with satellite than the plain Jane cable. Yea the cable package is only $58/month, but I would've had to rent a HD-DVR box, plus do a separate subscription for HD services, plus would've had to pick internet with them. Then the issue was renting that equipment. Even a month out they were saying it'd be a month before I could get service.

    I went with a different internet provider and then was trying to choose between Direct TV and Dish. The pros and cons were there for both. I could get the NFL ticket for free with Direct but I could get an iPad with Dish (I have a tablet and my wife has currently taken control over it and I want it back). After reviewing the packages it came down to customer service. The customer service I had with Dish 3 years ago was the determining factor. I'd rather pay out the nose for something and have excellent customer service than to pay for something cheap and have someone on the other end of the phone be complete jerks. My parents have Direct and it's like pulling teeth to get a tech to their place when they have an issue, where with Dish they tell you they can come on this date and when they leave it's done (or that's been my experience).

    We moved in our new place on Monday and on Tuesday the Dish guys arrived and hooked up our service. They even sold my wife on a surround sound system, which I'll admit is pretty nice. The install went great and they'll be back this week to tie up a couple of loose ends because they didn't have everything. The install was clean on the inside and they walked my wife on how to set up recordings, PTAT, etc. All in all, the customer service I remembered from 3 years ago is there.

    We only have 1 TV so all we have is the Hopper. We didn't have any Joeys because we only have the 1 TV, any other TV would be in a bedroom and we rarely watch TV there and I don't have a man cave or hobbys room.

    All in all, I'd have to give these guys like a 10, so far.
    1 person likes this.
  14. DishTV

    DishTV Cool Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Tomorrow is my Hopper installation. It will replace a Bad 722. I have one dish 1000 supplying separate signals to the 722 and another 722k DVR's.

    My question - Can I keep my 722k in my shop/studio and just replace the 722 in my house with Hopper?

    If I have to replace the 722k with a Joey, does the Joey have to communicate with the Hopper? and if so does it have to be through the internet? My two locations for the DVR's are separated by at least 175' of coax, with the Dish in between and 50 cable feet from Hopper location.
  15. TheGrove

    TheGrove AllStar

    Jan 9, 2007
    My understanding is that you will have to replace the 722k with a Joey. The Joey will communicate with the Hopper via a coax run between the 2.
  16. some guy

    some guy Godfather

    Oct 26, 2012
    To keep the 722 you would need a 2nd account. You would replace the 722 with a Joey and it connects to the Node with coax.
  17. david_jr

    david_jr Godfather

    Dec 10, 2006
    The OP might be better served with two Hoppers instead of 1H/1J considering his current setup. That said both machines must connect through the node, a slo for 1H/1J, or a duo node for 2H setup. The line from node to Hopper must be 3 Ghz RG6. I am not sure the limitation of distance between the node and any TV location, but I would think if it works with 2 722's it will work with Hopper system.
  18. DishTV

    DishTV Cool Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    The Install started well with the Hopper in my house replacing the bad 722 DVR - Good news. I have to have the Joey at 175 cable feet from the Solo Node. It all looked like it was going well until we tried to link Joey and Hopper.

    MoCA four bars of green - good so far. Waited for about 4 minutes - they linked!! Then about 60 seconds later they unlinked and the MoCA went gray. The installer tried a new node and replaced a few coax ends. Nothing changed the results. The Hopper and Joey continued to link every four to five minutes then after 60 or so seconds later unlinked.

    The Installer discussed with his office and other installers today. Others were seeing the same thing. They believe it was a fault in last night's software update. I have to wait until some one decides this is a real problem. So here I have a working Hopper and a non working Joey.

    If by Monday it is not fixed by another software update, I'm not sure if they can put a (hopefully working) Hopper where the Joey is located. The Installer didn't like that idea. But what else can I do if the Joey wont stay linked?

    Any one else experiencing problems with the Joeys staying linked?
  19. Grandude

    Grandude RichardParker II

    Oct 21, 2004
    I just checked my Joey connected to the Hopper with the latest software and it stayed linked for over two minutes. It is in the garage at 45 degrees so didn't want to stay and watch it any longer............brrrrrr
  20. Jan 4, 2014 #480 of 492

    Ramer84015 Mentor

    Sep 24, 2006
    I'm getting a Hopper w/Sling delivered on Tuesday to replace my dying Hopper and have a few questions that I hope someone can help with.

    1. I've backed up to the remote but will I be able to restore without problems to the HWS?

    2. Do I need to do anything special with my one Joey? Does it have to be unplugged during the initial setup?

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