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721 Tech Chat Thoughts

5078 Views 44 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Jacob S
I was going to talk about this on tonight DBSTalk Video News Update but I want to do it here as well. :) Of course my views are my own and may not reflect the views of the rest of the staff here at DBSTalk.COM

Last night was the first tech chat held since the release of the 721. The first thing out of the gate on the Tech Chat was news and information about the 721. I was surprised that there was no demo of the 721, it was almost like they expected everyone to know what the 721 is and how it works. The person who edited the 721 should be shot, I can not recall any time in the past where I have gotten dizzy watching a video.


I was very happy to hear the changes they were making to the 721 software. I found it amusing that almost all the new features we based off of my comments from my review here at DBSTalk. (If you have not seen it yet, you can view the review of the 721 at http://www.dbstalk.com/review/) It just goes to show that Echostar is listening.

Well I hope they are listening now.

Last night there was a question about the 721's internet access we were told that Internet is not available because no national DSL deal has been signed yet. To make matters worse Dan Minnick who is one of the VP's of software development said that Internet access would ONLY be available to those who subscribe to Dish Networks Internet DSL provider.

Excuse me? Only?

When the 721 was first mentioned on the Tech Chats and Charlie chats it was discussed that the 721 would be able to be hooked up to ANY broadband connection. DSL was mention, Cable Modems was mentioned and Starband was mentioned. Now they are saying Internet access will only be available if you subscribe to one of their providers.

Even if and when Dish Network does sign a national deal for DSL service, national service does not mean that the service is available everywhere in the nation. DSL has it's limitations, if you live far away from your local telephone companies CO (central office) then chances are you CAN'T get DSL.

Also what makes a broadband connection from your own DSL provider or Cable modem provider any different then the one that you will get from the DSL provider that Dish Network says you must have?

Does this mean that once you do subscribe to DSL service from the Dish Partner ISP you must call Dish Network to have your broadband features on the 721 turned on?

Here is my suggestion to Dish Network, turn on the broadband feature for EVERYONE. This is the way you originally advertised the unit. I don't mind if Dish partners with a DSL company but don't force me to change my broadband provider just so I can use a feature, which will already be in my box!

I have no problem is Dish Network gives away the keyboard and USB Ethernet connecter free to anyone who signs up for a year contract with their DSL company. I have no problem paying up to $80 for the keyboard and Ethernet adapter if I can use my own broadband provider.

My advice is that 721 owners should be mad, flood Echostar with emails to [email protected], every time your 721 hiccups call Dish Network and tie up their 800 lines (it's their dime) and for the people thinking of buying a 721 I recommend that you should hold off purchasing a 721 until this issue is resolved.

I purchased the 721 expecting to use it with my broadband provider, this is the way the unit was originally advertised (I consider the Charlie Chats and the Tech Chats hour long advertisements) there is no reason I should have to change my broadband provider, my email address and the rest of my setup just so I can use a feature which Dish Network told us would be available to everyone with a broadband connection before they released the unit.

I am mad as hell, and if you're a 721 owner or are thinking about it, you should be too.
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I noticed that detail, too. It would keep me from buying a 721. There have been a bunch of devices that were internet appliances- (a small e-mail device is one that I was interested in) and they all required you to subcribe to their isp. They are all gone now. If they could connect to anyone's router and dhcp service they might still be around.
Maybe the money is in the recurring fees.
That may explain the blue tape over "DSL-ready"... that would imply/advertise on the box that it can hook up to any DSL provider.

How can they strike a DSL deal if in the future they will be creating a new sat-based ISP service? I guess that will be worked into the deal - that this ISP will also be the provider for that, or acknowledges this is a short term situation.

More likely the latter since all of Dish's partnerships have been a failure and resulted in customers being left out in the cold.... Microsoft DishPlayer, Starband, etc...

Dish needs to focus on SAT TV and leave it at that. I dont want to pay for and wait for software that allows me to play games or surf the net on my TV - I already have other dedicated, more capable, devices for doing that. Hasn't the whole industry LEARNED after all the failed attempts that the model does not work?


I couldn't agree with your last paragraph more. I bought my UTV's to be PVRs - not Internet appliances. I have a computer for the Internet. I guess if it is your only means to get e-mail, that may be a different story, but to me Internet access on my tv as part of my PVR is a non-issue. I have probably logged two hours in year total on the MSNTV feature of my UTV, and that was to download the PVR function when I swapped hard drives. That is just my $.02 worth.

Work on making the PVR functions rock, and not worry about the Internet access....
More likely the latter since all of Dish's partnerships have been a failure and resulted in customers being left out in the cold.... Microsoft DishPlayer, Starband, etc...
Starband customers are being serviced on a direct basis by Starband now and have not been left out in the cold (yet). Posted using Starband.
Is the proposed internet connection only for broadband? Last night they only mentioned the connection as ISP and did not describe it as broadband. I live in the country and will never have access to either DSL or cable (and I certainly cannot afford Starband).
Did you notice that the Tech Forum did not show 721's in the list of units being upgraded with Dish Home? We buy the latest product and they do not contain the latest features already installed, let alone not even listed for the upgrades. What gives here?? Am I the only person PO'd about this?

Note: I transferred this from another forum thread. Sorry.
I with Doug E, I can't get either type broadband connection at the moment. :mad:

I would like to have Dish Home on my 721 as well!!!!
So John, lets say you get Starband for your broadband provider because its the only broadband you can get.

You paid all this money because you wanted Starband, and because you heard it on a Tech Chat or Charlie chat that your 721 would work with Starband.

Now the 721 is released and they announce that the 721 will only work with their specific DSL provider only. Since that DSL company does not service your area now the 721 you were expecting to do all with is now just a dual tuner PVR.

Wouldn't you be aggravated?
The ones with the top of the line receivers used to be the ones that got the upgrades FIRST, not LAST. Also they mentioned in the past having a receiver such as this one in which would be compatible with Starband.

I also think that we should be able to choose our own isp that we currently use now to use the internet from the receiver. Why pay for another isp just to be limited browsing from a tv when we cannot download songs, etc. Dont they think that we have paid enough already? They went from trying to profit from the pvr fuctions to want to profit from the internet applications.

When I listened to the chat and heard the statement about the 721 Internet connection only being available through a partnered ISP I was angry and I knew you would be also. I know we have been told not to buy E* products for the promised future upgrades but the ability to connect to a broadband Internet connection was one of the unique features that was talked about from the beginning. That was part of the reason I was willing to pay more for the 721. You have been a great supporter of the 721 and I hope they will at least give you some kind of explanation because I think they would have sold a lot fewer 721s without your endorsement.
I don't think that Echostar owes me an explanation, they owe everyone who purchased a 721 one.

If it was not for the promise of using the broadband connection I would probably have a DirecTivo by now.

BTW for the first time last night my 721 missed 2 recordings. :(
Isn't the 721 the unit they co-designed with Bell Canada? This would all make sense if it were originally intended to work with BCE's DSL network.
The thing that I miss the most is slow mo and frame by frame. I only heard them mention the 508. Is the 721 going to be done and when?

I have cable internet access currently. What is the benifit of linking / browsing on my TV vs my computer? Are there thing that would be better than a PC?

I have just cancelled my 721 order with Dish Depot. Scott, I was mostly motivated to cancel my order because of your clear swing in attitude regarding the 721. From being the paragon of stability to now starting to miss recordings, it must have been difficult for you to have to write those words. You clearly want(ed) this to be a successful, robust, stable product, and now even you are dubious of it's capabilities. To top this, then you find out that only E*-based broadband will be utilized, once that feature is fired up. I get so tired of E*. I am going to now wait for the Ser. 2 DirecTiVo's and probably buy two of them. Let's see, 2 @ $199 vs. one 721 @ $549 ($151 savings). I'll get their top-flight package, similar to what I have now with E*, and I'll have no monthly PVR fee, just a mirroring fee. I've been with E* for 5 years, but have a long history of hardware problems. Why did I think it would get better just because "Charlie's had one in his family room for months now and thinks it's really neat!" The other side of the fence is looking pretty good right now. Sorry, Scott. Let's see what happens with the 721 over the next couple of months; if it gets better, I'll stay. If not, adios.
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No the 721 is not available in Canada (Only the 501 is)


Internet access will allow you to check mail from your TV, because you have an always on connection with Broadband your 721 will light a light on the front alerting you that you have a new message.

Also you can have instant messaging so you can send a note to the kids from the office to get off the phone because your trying to call.

Plus from your EZ Chair you can check out your favorite DBS site. DBSTalk.COM :D
I purchased the 721 mainly for it's dual tuner PVR. I was also very intrigued by the idea of using my ISP (as mentioned this was said in previous tech forums and chats) to access email or surf the internet (mainly to check out sites of the show I am currently watching). My PC is in another room, and rather then go in the other room fire it up I thought this would be great. So the internet and UHF remote were big reasons not to switch to Dtivo's (I was close because they had YES net and Dish didn't)
So I will be emailing [email protected] to voice my complaint as well.
Folks it's not that the 721 is a bad product. (I must admit I love mine) but when certain features are announced so you buy the product expecting those features, and then after you own the product and then later find out that the features will be there but you need to change to subscribe to other services that were not mentioned before is where I have a problem.

I should not have to change my ISP to use the Internet features of my 721, this is the way the product was introduced and this is the way the product should operate.

I am hoping that Dish is reading this thread and realize what kind of mistake they made by misleading us on to believing any ISP would work.
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