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· Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These were asked in the "721 Review" thread but not answered. Maybe I'll have better luck with my own thread? :)

I originally purchased a Dish 501, but quickly found out that it did not have enough hard disk for me, nor did it have the capability to record 2 shows at the same time. The 501 is now on eBay and I have a new 721 with a Dish twin lbnf, which was purchased from AllSat and delivered last week. Since getting the 721 I've spent all my spare time studying the manual cover-to-cover, and I've read all of the "721 Oddities" and "721 Review" threads in this forum. What's more I've very nearly killed my first set of batteries from doing so much button pushing. :)

My overall impression is that I made the right decision going with the 721. The receiver is faster, there is a tremendous amount of space for storing movies (that's all I ever watch on the tube), and the dual tuners work as advertised. OTOH, even though I have software version L102, I feel the software still needs a lot of tweaking before I will feel comfortable with it.

I have a few questions - any input would be appreciated:

1. The Guide does not fit my widescreen TV. There's another thread about this so I won't rehash what's already been discussed. But I remember that my 501 had a Widescreen / 4:3 selection item in the menu, and that I never had a problem with menus with the 501. Why did Dish drop this selection item for the 721?

2. There was an option with the 501 to eliminate the PIP when viewing the Guide so that more lines of program information could be viewed. I like the extra lines very much, what's more the audio from the PIP is distracting, so I usually mute the sound when viewing the guide. Why did Dish drop this useful selection from the 721 menu?

3. The timer defaults should not be locked to the Dish's idea of what they think the consumer wants! Watching movies, I find that I ALWAYS protect the program, record 1 extra minute at the beginning and 15 minutes at the end. I have to change settings every time I record a movie, which is a minor annoyance, but I know enough about programming to know that Dish could have saved the previous settings without much effort. Why isn't this done?

BTW - if anyone thinks I'm wasting disk by adding 15 minutes to the end of each movie, you might be interested to know that I've already had 2 movies in the last 7 days run past the end of the time shown in the Guide. I've learned from long experience taping with my VCR that 1 extra minute at the start and 15 minutes added to the end is the only smart way to tape movies.

4. I had a minor glitch . . . at least I think it was a glitch. Saturday night I had 2 movies programmed, with the 2nd starting exactly 1 hour after the first. The next morning I found that the 1st movie recorded fine, but the second was showing "0 seconds" in the PVR menu. I tried to play it back but was told by the 721 that the recording was bad and that I should delete it. I did, then did a reboot "just in case". This has not happened again but I was wondering if anyone has seen anything like this?

5. #4 could probably be part of a category called "software bugs". As well as the 0-length movie, I've had a couple of black screens, and at times the menus don't behave as they should (selections are ignored). Reboots solve these problems, but this is a PITA. So I guess I'm asking if anyone knows when a software upgrade will be released that will resolve some of these bugs?

6. This was answered (Thanks TerryC) in my original post, but I'm asking again to see if anyone has any further information: There is nothing about the screen saver in the manual, but I know there's one because I've seen it once. Since I have a RPTV, burn-in is a serious issue and a screen saver could be a nice feature. Does anyone have more information about the screen saver (how long until it shows, if it won't show in particular modes, is there a hot-key combination on the remote I can use to start it, etc.)?

I'm like a lot of people in that I tend to stress the problems and mostly ignore the good stuff with their techie toys. So let me add that the 501 was very nice, but the 721 is light years better and I wouldn't go back for all the tea in China! :D

TIA, Bill
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