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Watching shows from out of the country

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Goattee, May 27, 2008.

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  1. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    I have been a DirecTV customer, and I live most of the time in Asia these days. My friends who have been keeping the Slingbox and DVR in California are switching over to Dish Network in the next couple weeks. I will be joining them on their account and will have at least one DVR.

    I have been watching TV content a couple ways with the DirecTV:

    • Over the internet using the Slingplayer- this is fine but it's hard to get adequate international bandwidth at certain peak times over here
    • By saving MPG files to an external hard drive (preferable) I go to California periodically and bring the USB drive home with me. I modified the DirecTiVO to turn on the USB port and to network the box.

    I need help understanding my options. I already plan to hook up the Slingbox to the new Echostar DVR. But the bandwidth issues still will plague me. So this is not a reliable solution for many times of day.

    There is the Dish EHD program. So my questions revolve around the most practical ways to use that:

    QUESTIONS:
    • What if I were to buy a 622 or 722 and have the USB port activated in the US and then take it back with me to Asia? Could I transport the EHD back and forth. Would I be able to record off the DVR in the US and then play back content on the other DVR in Asia?
    • I know shows are encrypted and that the DVR's use a Linux filesystem. Is there a way for me to setup a Linux-based PC in Asia to view the content on the hard drive?

    One more question: what kind of dish will my friends need to support 2 or 3 HD DVR's?

    Thanks for your patience with me-- I hope you can provide some helpful ideas so I can contact my friends in California to give them some guidance.
     
  2. garys

    garys Hall Of Fame

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    No, first off the Dish dvr programs are encrypted and second the programs transfered to an external hard drive can only be played through the receiver.
     
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    In California, the most likely dish for HD content will be the 1000.2 dish, which supports up to 3 receivers (including up to 3 dual-tuner receivers).
     
  4. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Thanks for the info!
     
  5. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007

    That leads me to the first question I asked in the original message:

    • What if I were to buy a 622 or 722 and have the USB port activated in the US and then take it back with me to Asia? Could I transport the EHD back and forth?

      Would I be able to record off the DVR in the US and then play back content on the other DVR in Asia using the same external hard drive?
     
  6. garys

    garys Hall Of Fame

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    If you are askings as far as HD, no. The external hard drive will only play the recording back through the receiver and no other. If you use a slingbox or PocketDish, you don't need to spend the money on a 622 as these will work with lesser receivers (so you don't have to spend the money) and you won't need the receiver for the playback, but you cannot record HD content on them.
     
  7. Mr-Rick

    Mr-Rick Legend

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    Nov 30, 2004
    Get a pocketdish. The unit will not do HD, but is a portable DVR. You can take it with you, it's very small has its own LCD screen and will store many hours of SD programming. Get the DISH Network service and a dual tuner DVR. Record your shows on the DVR. Transfer them to the Pocketdish by USB. On a 622/722 it takes about 5 minutes for a 1 hr show to transfer. You can store music files and other data on the same pocketdish with your DISH content. Delete the stuff you no longer watch to make room for new. Works with all NTSC TV's. I doubt it will work overseas on a PAL TV. THe pocketdish also serves as a standalone DVR as well. Directv doesnt have anything like this.
     
  8. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    It does not have to be HD necessarily-- but I would enjoy it if I had it-- I do have a 46" NTSC-capable 1080p display over here.

    I think you're saying that the hard disk becomes "married" to the first DVR it gets attached to. I could swear while I was doing my web surfing that I found someone who claimed he brought the EHD to his summer home. He claimed that there was an on-screen prompt telling him to marry the drive to the second DVR. He said it worked just fine after that-- and that no content was lost.

    International Internet bandwidth here is not always reliable/adequate for video streaming. You need at least 200K throughput to get a barely acceptable compressed SD signal. At 400k the image is decent. There are times when it plunges down to 30K. And for most evenings shows break up constantly and even require restarting the Slingplayer.

    As for the PocketDish, I read the reviews on C|net and user reviews on Amazon. The screen gets poor reviews. And there's very little enthusiasm for the other features too. If I can hook the device up to a decent TV display I would prefer that.
     
  9. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    I will look at the reviews again and give it a fair consideration. If the PocketDish has video out it might justify the investment.
     
  10. garys

    garys Hall Of Fame

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    The external Hard Drive uses software designed just for it. It is not really grouped with any other EHD. Slingboxes and PocketDishes can be used on their own or hooked into another tv. An External Hard Drive cannot, also be aware, their is an additional fee to active the software for the external Hard Drive and not for the other EHD's.
     
  11. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Wow! You have to pay separately to activate each USB drive? I could swear that the Dish Network FAQ said that there is a one time fee per subscriber account to support the EHD service.
     
  12. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

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    NO!!

    There is one activation fee per account.
     
  13. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    Scenario:
    Activate two DVR's in the US that have the USB option available.
    Purchase two large capacity external hard drives.
    Take one DVR with you out of the country.
    Record and transfer recordings to the EHD in the US.
    Take the EHD with you and play it back on the other DVR while the second EHD is recording additional programming.
    Then, just keep swapping once you've viewed the programming on the first EHD.

    Would that work for you?

    Now, that would place one DVR outside the residence where it was activated. But, since you wouldn't be using it to receive satellite signals, it may not be in violation of your agreement.
     
  14. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    At last someone grasps the scenario I was trying to explain (feebly I suppose)!

    Now maybe the guys suggesting getting the Archos 605 or 705 are right about the practicality of those very portable devices. But if I am willing/able to spend the money for the additional DVR and carry it trans-Pacific, I could retain the option of recording some HD content and also have more capacity.

    QUESTION:

    Does anyone here have experience moving an external drive from one DVR to another? Will the drive reliably mate with a DVR other than the one the video was originally transferred from?
     
  15. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    There is a Household key that is assigned to the DVR's on the account. If that key is the same on each DVR, then you can swap the EHD between the DVR's with no problem.
     
  16. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    Thanks. It's a pleasure to get clear answers! Now I know I have two options. And neither negates the other:

    • The two DVR/two EHD scenario (when initialized with an EHD subscription)
    • Using Archos 605 or 705 to transfer files from a base-station DVR
     
  17. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    Feb 23, 2004
    With regards to the Household Key, I'm not sure if the DVR not receiving a satellite signal for long periods of time will result in the resetting of that key. I know that after a while the EPG is no longer available, but I'm not sure about the key. Maybe someone here can clear that up. That's about the only caveat I can think of.
     
  18. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

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    You might also ask around the forums to see if a receiver not connected to a satellite that sees a DN dish will play EHD recordings.
     
  19. Goattee

    Goattee Cool Member

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    Aug 27, 2007
    I will definitely be checking on that angle. I've also asked my friends back in California to ask Dish Network about this-- I am not trying to do anything to steal content or the service. My concern is whether my friends will reach someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

    Old joke recycled:

    Q: What's the difference between a cable service representative and a used car salesman?

    A: The used car salesman knows he's lying.
     
  20. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    That should be fairly easy to check. Disconnect the sat feeds; run a check switch and see what happens.
     
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