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508 vs. 721 - Must make decision now!

2991 Views 22 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  lordgarth

As you all know, getting the 721 is totally a waiting game. I have been on a waiting list for 3 weeks. The new season premiers are starting in 2 weeks and it's going to take a week to ship it once it is even in stock. I am currently on rabbit ears (VERY FUZZY PICTURE - almost so that you can't see it and it cuts in and out). I am going to be a new Dish subscriber so I can get the 508 for $118 or the 721 for $389. I want to get the 721, but I don't want to miss season premiers. The whole thing is that I am gone many times in the evenings and so I need to be able to record while I'm gone.

SOOO.... The big question.... for those of you who own these machines....

Is it worth it to wait for the 721 and record any season premiers super fuzzy on my VCR, or is the 508 a good enough machine that I should just get it and be ready?

I have read all the material and charts on comparing the two, but I would rather here true details from y'all. Like is the 508 significantly slower then the 721 - on guides, changing channels, etc.

I would LOVE to have the dual tuners to record, and the future expansion possibilities of the 721, but they aren't critical. And I really have no need for the future internet connectability. BUT I want to make sure that I'm not settling and that the 508 is still an excellent machine that is just as good as the 721, just w/o the dual tuners.

What are your thoughts? I really ought to decide in the next 2 days. So any help is appreciated.

I read the boards every few days and I haven't seen this exact topic, but if it has been here, please direct me to it and accept my apologies for duping!

Lark in Texas
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If you get locals via satellite then go for a 721. If you only get your locals off the air, neither a 721 or 508 will help you out.

I find that use the dual tuner feature quite a lot. :D
I will get my locals from satellite
Definitely wait for the 721. You'll be glad you did. Dual tuners is a must have as far, as I'm concerned. And you'll only miss a week or two of shows which will be rerun later in the season anyway.
Lark, the 721 is worth the wait, 2 tuner system goes from a luxury to a necessity after a short time.

I agree with the others. The 721 is definitely worth the wait! Plus the 721 is faster and is cutting edge technology as far as PVRs go.
I think all of us with 721's will agree... what would we do without our dual tuners? I would wait just for that reason.
Where are you ordering from that it is taking so long, maybe you should look elsewhere. I know Dish depot just sent an email saying they had more coming in..
I really appreciate the help so far!

I'm getting it from AllSat. They are hoping to get them in soon, but who knows when. The problem with Dish Depot is that I can't get free installation because I'm in Texas. That's a $150 difference.
Lark - I assume going to D* is out of the question???
You can get dual-tuner UTV PVR's NOW for a song as a new sub.
(Not to mention UTV doesn't have those pesky bugs like all E* PVR's are famous for)
Also, the new series II Tivo's are supposed to come out in the next couple months, but I know that don't help you now...
I must say from day 1, I loved my PVR, I have a 501.
I must say from day 2, I knew when it became available I wanted a dual tuner. There were just to many times when I wanted to record something I didn't want to sit there and watch what I was recording.

Good Luck with your choice.
I say get the 721.
Why not do the Home plan with a PVR upgrade and then replace a 301 with a 508 you buy outright for 270 to 290 dollars (maybe someone knows a cheaper price somewhere). I have a 3 receiver home plan with two 508s on my main tv and two 301s in secondary rooms. I pay an extra $5 for the extra 508. But one of my 508s is output to a nearby bedroom and I bought an extra remote for 50 bucks. Since it is UHF I can control the 508 from the secondary room so it is like having a 5 receiver system. You don't need the second remote, it is just a nice option.

The cost of my system was $290 for 508, $50 upgrade for 2nd 508 to home plan, $50 for extra remote (which includes free installation of an extra room- a 40 dollar value) plus the monthly cost of a 4 receiver home plan. The extra 508 means I use pic-in-pic, can watch one show while recording another, and I have 120 hours of recording for 390 bucks. I could have saved $20 by buying a 508 at costco and another $50 by not having a third remote, bringing the cost down to $320 for dual tuner and mega recording space.

But I cannot watch what I want on the second 508 if someone in the secondary room is using it and I am using the primary 508 to record at the same time. That is a rare occassion and well worth the savings. By running a secondary room with the extra 508 I don't feel the pinch of the extra $5 it costs to have two 508s on one TV just for pic-in-pic or dual tuner capability.

Just a thought. And I don't know if it is true but my installer told me there are still lots of bugs in the 721.

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I got an Email from AllSat yesterday say the 721's would be in today. I called and they said mine would ship today or tomorrow. Give them a call and see where you are on the list.
Honestly, it's been very painful switching from my old TiVo system to the 721. There are a lot of quirks and bugs with the 721, but the biggest problem is the lack of the "season pass" feature. The utility of the 721 is halved (at least) by not having this particular feature. (basically the ability to record shows based on name or keyword instead of a fixed date - time). The PIP / dual tuner on the 721 makes up for it a little, but I've found that since I got my 721 I now spend more time in the bedroom (where my 301 / Tivo setup are) than I do with the 721.
If I had it to do over, I would wait for the DirecTV Tivo 2 system (due out this month)....

Maybe sometime in the future Echostar will send an upgrade with season pass functionality, but I'm not holding my breath. I e-mailed tech support and they told me they have no plans for ever adding this feature.
I ordered 721 on Friday and received it on Tuesday from http://www.digitechsatellite.com/Pricing.htm
(937-773-0998). It cost me $499.00

By the way I've used TIVO (80 hours), and Dish Player before PVR 721. Dual tuner makes a PVR complete. Without it PVR is only half as good, because half the time what you want to record there is a conflict of some sorts (either between programs or members of the family).
Also, more recording hours never hurts. I'd say that 721 is worth all the wait.
The 721 is the way to go. Dual tuners and *big* harddrive are worth it.
Originally posted by Wadood Chaudhary
By the way I've used TIVO (80 hours), and Dish Player before PVR 721. Dual tuner makes a PVR complete. Without it PVR is only half as good, because half the time what you want to record there is a conflict of some sorts (either between programs or members of the family).
DirecTV TiVo has 2 tuners.
But a much smaller HD.

Originally posted by zimm0who0net

DirecTV TiVo has 2 tuners.
Well, I assumed that original poster has decided on DIsh Network. For a Dish Netwok subscriber 721 is the best option. It is better than DirecTV TIVO but the new versions of DirecTV Tivo will have bigger hard drive.
Also, ultimate TV from Microsoft could be an option if you are a DirecTV subscriber. In general TIVO has lot more functionality than 721 PVR, but programming options with DirecTV maybe severly limited for some customers.
Two 508s have 120 hours of total recording and two total tuners.
Thanks all for your help. I couldn't go with D* because we have already been subscribers and cancelled. Monthly service was getting too expensive (we started at Select $19.99) and I wanted a digital recorder, but did NOT want to pay monthly fees. I called AllSat yesterday morning and they said that it would be shipped today, but I haven't heard anything yet. I'll keep watching my e-mail, they have been very pleasant to deal with. I was gone the rest of the day and the boards were closed due to 9/11, so I'm only just now getting a chance to respond. You guys have all helped me to hang in there, and it's wonderful that the 721's came in and I didn't have to wait too long. You helped me to realize that it was worth the time and money to get the 721.

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