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· Founder
17,247 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This summary is courtesy of BobaBird from the Echostar newsgroup. Nice summary BobaB and thanks!

Technical Forum
Aug 12, 2002

Hosts are Mark Jackson, Sr VP E* Technology Corp and Dave Kummer, VP Engineering.

- PVR721
- PVR501/508 Features
- PVR - How it Works
- Easy Remote
- iTV - What's New and What's Coming
- HD & PVR
- Q&A

Phone: 1-888-621-2078. E-mail: [email protected].
[Don't call now - the show's over!]


Interview with 721 design engineer Dan Rudolph, Manager of the Industrial Design Group

The team was told to think outside the box which freed them to explore different shapes and use plastics instead of metal. They noticed the market trend is toward a silver/platinum color, so that will be used on high-end Dish receivers. Front connectors detract from a product's appearance so they were placed behind a smoked lens panel. They went to the homes of DISHPlayer owners to see how the keyboard was used, saw that people were using the remote simultaneously because the keys and commands were different, and decided to put the remote's buttons on the keyboard.


PVR721 software upgrade coming in September

- PVR events sorted by date, name, or theme
- Timers sorted by name, frequency, type, or recording sequence
- Change channels while recording without having to go through PIP


PVR501/508 software

- Will send another SERF (Stealth Event Record Feature) video
- Timer and recording management. Can edit a timer by pressing Select from EPG.
- Manage events in PVR list, sort by name or date
- Saving viewed programming
- "Go to live" warning when trying to change channels while viewing the pause buffer
- Can rewind from Playback Over
- Local channels mapped to the OTA channel number
- Video to be sent this Tues night. Receiver must be in stand-by (aka OFF), have at least 1/2 hour of free space, and have no timers set for that unspecified time. The video has the lowest recording priority. Once recorded it can viewed, deleted or saved like any other event.


Local channel re-mapping

- Available on all OpenTV models
- Makes locals easier to find
- Channel can be selected using the OTA number, 700/800 range or 8000 range
- Channels are not duplicated on the satellite and do not take extra bandwidth that could be used by other channels. It just provides more ways to select the channel.

They talk about the 501/508 Search feature but don't say what's new (punctuation is ignored so looking for SG1 will match on SG-1.)


What is PVR?

Personal Video Recording. A hard drive is added to the receiver to give it VCR features plus more. Can Play/Stop, Pause, Watch, Rewind, Skip Back, Skip Ahead, Fast Forward, Fast Reverse. Pause your TV show then come back without missing anything. Automatically records to allow rewinding up to 1 hour on the same channel. Existing customers can upgrade for $199 and a 1-year commitment to AT150. It will change how you watch TV and is a great way to get extra value from your Dish subscription.


Prize: PVR721.
Question: What is the distance, within 100 miles, from Denver to Baikonour Cosmodrome?



DBSTalk: Status of HDTV upgrade from Model 5000?
A: With a pre-paid annual subscription to DiscoveryHD, exchange of your HD modulator (you keep the 5000 itself) and $249 you get a Model 6000 with Enhanced HD module.

George: When will the 721 keyboard and internet access be available?
A: Don't have a nationwide ISP lined up, don't really need the keyboard without the internet. They are in talks with Earthlink.

e-mail: Is DishPro switch compatible with standard 22Khz switches?
A: No. Both use DiSEqC but DishPro is designed to handle the stacked output from DishPro LNBs.

Alex: Will DiscoveryHD be at 148? Still have the offer for the Enhanced HD module?
A: Yes, 2 weeks ago. Offer good until Aug 15, get the module free with DiscoveryHD pre-paid for 1 year or 1/2 off if paid monthly.

Jim: 5C copy protection? 8VSB not seeing sub-channels or giving the wrong audio.
A: Second part first, will look into the 8VSB problem. As for 5C, watch for 1394 announcement later in the show.

Dennis: Salesman said buying an HDTV would require also buying a $600 Model 6000.
A: Most HD sets sold are HDTV-ready meaning they need an external tuner to display digital channels. The 6000 will get all the HD channels offered by Dish and can get OTA with an optional module.


Easy Remote

- Available this Fall.
- Has larger buttons.
- 2 new buttons for selecting Antenna or Dish viewing, only works when using RF hookup. After being set-up, the Antenna button will tune your favorite OTA channel and the Dish button will tune to Ch 3 or 4.


Interactive TV

- 4900 has Dish Home
- 3900 has Dish Home, gets Customer Support this week
- 501 has Dish Home, has Customer Support, gets Zap2it and Horoscope soon
- 301 gets upgrade in September

Several exciting features already here or coming.

- Sports: Soccer introduced 6/19, baseball on 7/2. Both provide scores and headlines.
- Games: Rotated monthly, $5/mo subscription. Current free game is Solitaire. Paid games are Chess, Golf, 3-Pointer, The Wall. Coming Aug 14: Race, Extra Ball (pinball), Strike (bowling). Free game will be BlackJack. Future games are Johnny Megatone and Talisman.
- Dish Lottery: added 7/31. Results and jackpots for several states. Can't buy tickets through Dish.
- My Scores: Personalized sports scores, track your favorite teams.
- Customer Support: Access your account, pay or view bill, add programming. Unsubscribed channels will show as green instead of red on the EPG; pressing Select will take you to the Add Programming screen.


Echostar 8 (E-VIII)

Launch was delayed due to a broken command module. It is set to be launched from Pad 23 at Baikonour, 6500 miles away, on Tues Aug 20. Will go to the 110 orbital slot. Has Ku-band and spot beams, additional service for AK and HI. Launch to be broadcast on Ch 101 at 12:30am (time zone not given).


721 winner is Michael Aparovich (sp?) of Atlanta, GA (that's 2 in a row for GA).
Answer is 6479. His response was e-mailed before Dave slipped the answer.


Sneak preview of the JVC TU-PVR9000

- Collaboration between Dish and JVC. Built on the same chassis as the PVR721.
- 120GB hard drive records 120 hours of standard or 18 hours HDTV.
- 1394 interface (iLINK) with DTCP for connection to new JVC D-VHS VCR which can record from the 9000 or play D-Theater tapes.

Shares a lot with the 721
- CallerID with History
- 2 tuners with PIP
- PVR functions also work on HDTV channels
- Optical digital audio output
- 7-day EPG
- More! Available in late Fall



They have gotten many complaints about the latency of the guide. The guide has gotten much larger with the addition of local channels. It now takes longer for the guide to loop around to the day/time you are looking for. They hope to find a way to improve performance on receivers not equipped with a hard drive. On the 301 and 4900, the PIP disappears when navigating the EPG because the guide information is streamed from a different satellite transponder than the one the viewed channel comes from. When the guide is updated the receiver tunes back to the channel and the PIP returns.

Steve: Internet on the 721 like WebTV or is it open? Which browser? A from Dan Minnick, VP Software: Must use the ISP they partner with. Uses Device Mosaic from OpenTV. They will not attempt nearly as much morphing as WebTV to get a page to fit on the TV screen which should leave sites more readable but the user will have to scroll across more.

David: Will 6000 get DVI upgrade? Can the 9000 record HDTV?
A: No, the expansion slots which had been somewhat secret are now both occupied. Yes, to the hard drive or JVC's new D-VHS VCR.

Robert: How many HD channels? Reason for the Enhanced HD module?
A: Showtime, HBO, PPV, DiscoveryHD, Demo (61.5 only). Don't forget CBS if you qualify. The module allows them to use a new compression format so they can put more HD channels on a transponder. New HD channels will be in the Enhanced format.

David: Are DirecTV receivers compatible with Dish?
A: The merger should be supported. Which technology the merged company will use has not been decided. New Dish receivers should work either way, DirecTV is starting to design in this flexibility.

Scott: Has a 75" HDTV, wants to clear up the fuzzy picture. Price on 9000?
A: It is because standard programming is being blown up on a large screen capable of showing fine detail. 9000 price has not been announced.

John: Slow motion for the 501?
A: It's on the list, probably an early October release with frame advance and reverse.

John: Any change in service to AK, more signal strength from 110?
A: E-VIII has a spot beam for AK locals, don't know how general programming will be affected.


Next Charlie Chat is Mon Sep 9, 9:00pm Eastern

· Hall Of Fame/Supporter
1,068 Posts
Surprised the issue of using names in the PVR timers (rather than date, time, channel) and the Guide blurbs while surfing it was not discussed. Were these addressed in earlier chats?

· God Bless America!
2,534 Posts
Too bad. Having to use their ISP with the 721 kills it for me (even though I wasn't thinking about it seriously at that insane price). No national ISPs (including Earthlink, AOL, etc...) have local dial-up numbers where I live.

· Cool Member
15 Posts
We thought this was an incredibly informative tech chat. With the 721 and the new receivers planned for release, is it any wonder Dish Network is the leader in the dbs field. (Yes, I know DTV has more subscribers but quantity does not necessarily make a leader!)

With the merger and the plans for the future, Dish is well positioned to become a much bigger threat to cable and it is about time the "EVIL (cable) EMPIRE" met its match.

This was an excellent tech chat, full of information and hope for the future success of Dish and dbs.

· Legend in my own mind
552 Posts
Having the Open Chat Room during the Techforum was 'interactive TV' at it's best.:)
That was a lot of fun. More of you guys should participate next time.
THANKS!!!>> To those that made it possible.:goodjob:

· EKB Editor
4,022 Posts
Originally posted by Chris Blount
This summary is courtesy of BobaBird from the Echostar newsgroup. Nice summary BobaB and thanks!
You're welcome. I would have posted it myself or given permission but figured Scott would have one here. Then my internet access got hosed and I couldn't even see if there was one yet. Looks like I'm back in business now.

· Hall Of Fame
7,657 Posts
That really irates me too how they are going to MAKE you take their isp just to use the receiver. Reminds me of this 'play dvd so many times and cant play it anymore' issue.

What about those that do not have those available in their area? Are they going to give a discount for using your own isp or a service charge for doing so (to make up for the profits they would lose doing so not using their isp?)

Also is there anything illegal about doing this?

· Native American Potentate
8,308 Posts
I am not sure we can answer you Jake. But my asumption is that you use their ISP or you don't go on the net with the 721.
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