The low cost, high quality Wally for the 21st Century

Discussion in 'DISH™ High Definition Discussion' started by phrelin, Jun 23, 2017.

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  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    When it came to the time I thought I was going to make a complete switch to internet streaming, I discovered there were no really good reliable streaming options for basic cable channels. That's when I discovered the Wally and decided to take a leap of faith with Dish. (Disclosure, I've been an Echostar-then-Dish-Network-device customer since 1988.)

    About the Wally

    The Wally is Dish's high tech, small profile single receiver HD receiver in the Hopper family which when you attach your own external hard drive becomes a DVR with many of the bells and whistles and all the menu flash of a Hopper.

    There is no DVR Service monthly line item for the Wally but you have to buy the Wally for $50 and pay a one-time $40 External DVR Service fee. That makes it $90, which compares to the $89.99 for the Amazon Fire TV box to $150± for Apple TV and upper end Roku boxes.

    It is important to emphasize that the Wally is in the Hopper family because when I created the thread Dish Music App Now Available I could say I tried the App even though the news release said "Now available on Hopper 2, Hopper 3 and connected Joey clients at no additional cost." And when I drilled down in original post in the thread DISH Debuts Hands-Free TV on Hopper DVR with Amazon Alexa I discovered "Users with an internet-connected Hopper (any generation) or Wally can ask Alexa to navigate, play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and search content based on channel, title, actor or genre."

    Like the Hopper the Wally offers a number Apps including Netflix and channel on-demand streaming as well the original Pay-Per-View. Now through the Dish Music App you can access Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Napster, Pandora, SiriusXM and TIDAL plus will also play from personal libraries on mobile devices and is compatible with DLNA media servers.

    And for your other devices you get access to DISH Anywhere™.

    In a streaming world the Wally is a device in your home that provides an affordable way into the Basic Cable world, plus premiums and even your local broadcast stations. And, of course, it serves the targeted world of motor homes, travel trailers and tailgaters.

    Additional Thoughts

    Sure the Wally can only record one show at a time. But I'm only recording Basic Cable Channel shows and they usually repeat enough to work around time conflicts.

    Further, if something fails to record properly, I can stream on the internet a Basic Cable Channel show, albeit with whatever commercials they require, since I have the channels through Dish. In many cases I can stream through the Wally and the others can be streamed through my Roku(s). As of today this streaming alternative is pretty much what you get with the internet streaming packages when you want to watch a show on FX like "Fargo."

    But so far I've had nothing go wrong. The menus and remotes work fine. Sure I'd design the menus differently, as I would have for every Echostar/Dish box I've had since 1988. For nearly 30 years I've always known better than "them" how to do it. [​IMG]

    Anyway, finally, Dish's programming options are remarkably affordable, beginning with the $34.99 Flex Pack which gives a pretty good collection of Basic Cable Channels.

    Right now I'm getting "deals" through Dish on Premium Cable Channels that I can get nowhere else. The thing is I don't record programming from those channels as I can stream the programming on my Roku or Wally at no additional cost. (On the Roku it is streamed through HBO GO, Showtime Anytime, and Starz after activation through Dish and that gives me access to extensive libraries of old shows.)

    I can remember when I relied upon the 508 DVR - a single receiver SD DVR. The last post here I can find that I made here regarding it was a mention in 2009. Perhaps it is because I remember my 508's I'm comfortable with my Wally. Most certainly in the era of streaming I don't need more than one since even if it were to fail for some reason, I can access programming through my Roku albeit with unskippable commercials.

    I don't know why, but there are only 9 threads here with "Wally" in the title and those involve specific subscription or technical questions. It's a box that deserves at least one basic thread.
    crodrules likes this.
  2. RBA

    RBA Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2013
    The Wally I bought didn't last a week before I traded back to a 211K. Too many optional add ons to make it a satisfactory receiver. Oh until recently the OTA adaptor wasn't even available.
  3. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    When comparing to a 211K I'm not really sure what add-ons you're talking about except for OTA. They do sell for the Wally a Bluetooth Adapter to pair with speakers and the like. I didn't need either.

    I'm looking at the Wally as a "device" integrated into our home electronics system providing access to various data streams carrying video and music. It is unique in our 21st Century household in that it provides from satellite data streams access to basic cable TV channels so that we can skip commercials while watching some recorded content. Our Flex Pack subscription also gives us the ability to watch missed episodes via the internet not only on the Wally but on our Roku, computers, phones, and tablets using channel Apps that require a traditional TV provider login like the FXNow App and the AMC App, albeit with commercials. It's weird but I already have to remind myself that the Wally is in the cable/satellite provider market rather than like everything else that is connected solely to the internet.

    I would be concerned that new integration features advertised for the Hopper line that are useful to me such as the Music App and the Alexa interface will not be available for the ViP receivers. But I don't know.
  4. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

    Jul 25, 2002
    E.Mdtrn Sea
    I would wait for similar "essay" AFTER a couple months of using

    so far, the thread didn't reveal anything new
  5. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    That's true. While I've had pretty good luck with Echostart/Dish boxes for almost 30 years, their products aren't perfect.

    My purpose was to provide a thread here for people to learn about the existence of the Wally, particularly as a recording/commercial skipping alternative to an online package of basic cable channels.

    I had a difficult time pinning down exactly what a Wally was in the context of the Hopper line vs. the ViP line. IMHO it is a "device" with uses complimentary to a similarly priced Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, etc., as it provides access to channels from a satellite data stream and to channel content via the internet. I can't explain it, but there just was no way I could think about my Hopper that way. When I dumped my locals, one of the primary technology advantages of the Hopper that justified the $12 a month disappeared.

    The fact that it provides the Dish Music App and the Amazon Echo interface makes it a good "device" at this point in time.
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