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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


You do not want to be away from your computer this weekend! As this weekend DBStalk.COM will present our Exclussive DBStalk.COM Review of the New Dish Network PVR-721 receiver!

We will put the 721 through its paces for you and let you know all our likes and dislikes. We will also allert you to any problems we might encounter.

Besides normal screen shots and text our review will also feature actual video from the 721 so that you can actually see the 721 in action! We should warn you in advance to see the video you will need the latest version of RealNetworks RealPlayer. If you do not have the latest RealPlayer you can CLICK HERE to download a free version of the RealPlayer. (Click on the Words "FREE REALONE PLAYER")

We hope you enjoy our review!

Special Thanks to DishDepot.COM for helping us obtain our 721 unit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Bill, I can answer the question about the 1 tuner operation. No the 721 will not function unless both tuners are plugged in.

An interesting note is the 721 does not seem to work if it is not placed on a flat level surface! (Actually this is a good idea, when the hard drive is level it will get the best performance and least amount of wear and tear)

I wont be able to test in a cabinet as my setup all the A/V equipment is on a AV Rack shelf system. But I will get you the measurements as soon as I can. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes it has been confirmed by a few a few dealers who have them, that in order for the 721 to work both tuners must be connected.

My 721 has made it from Florida and in Kentucky, it will be here tommrow, yippie! :) (I get a feeling I will be visitng UPS a lot tonight. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Look what just arrived at my Desk.



If you will notice on the lower right there is writing, below that there is some blue tape covering some writing, if you peel it off it says "DSL READY"
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Just again to verify what I said earlier about having to have both tuners hooked up...

From the PVR 721 Read Me First letter

"On the back of the receiver are two ports marked Satellite In 1 and Satellite In 2. For the receiver to work properly, you must connect these two ports to the same device - either to the same LNBF on your satellite dish or to the same multi-dish switch"

The manual is a nice 176 page book, there is no mention of Internet access or the USB ports that I could find in breifly glancing over the manual. The only thing it mentions about the USB port is "There is a USB Port on the back panel. It is reserved for future use by EchoStar-approved USB devices."

A funny thing about the manual is that all the pictures they show which they have to show video they show pictures from Channel 101 the Remote Control Help channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Just an update.

Plugged everything in and turned it on, after the extrodinary SLOW check switch test I was good to go!

A very cool thing I like about the 721 is that it downloads the new software in the backround! This means I can watch TV while its downloading its software.

I should note that while I can do channel up and down I can not yet access the guide or the PVR functions, when I try to access them I get the following message. This Feature is being aquired from the satellite. Please stand by or check back in a few minutes. which basicly means my receiver has no software and is downloading it now.

I can go into the System Setup option and select Software upgrade and actually see the software being downloaded.

I called Dish Network and activated the unit (although I have not got my hit as of yet.) But I am watching Marnie and Pete on Channel 101 as I wait.

More later!

(PS while I post some updates here please don't consider this my review, what I am posting here are some random thoughts from my big fat head) :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
My 2 lines are coming directly of my SW 64. No other switches are involved.

I have been playing with the 721 for over an hour now and I must say that I am liking what I am seeing, although there are a few things that could use a little help. At the moment I am impressed with the unit!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
When you press the guide button and press the page up and down keys the pages change almost instantly.

I will take some realvideo of the guide to show you how fast it is. The channel changing does take some time, but this is not a 721 problem, its because its always recording so that you can pause live tv, so it has to build a buffer everytime you change channels. All PVR's have this problem unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
cnsf, I am SUPRISED to report that I can not hear the hard drive on the 721 (or for that matter the fan the unit has) Although I must admit that the room I have it in I can hear other Hard drive noise from the Dishplayer that is also in the room.

Startup time is a bear (from a cold boot) it takes over 75 seconds for it to go through a full boot. From a warm boot its only a couple of seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
1) Yes it does have a screensaver, I had it tuned to a PPV movie channel (but I didnt order a PPV) after a few minutes of sitting on the Would you like to order screen a Dish Network logo screen saver popped up

2) I would say about the same as the Dishplayer (5 seconds) this is because its always recording so it needs to make a buffer when it records. Although button pushes bring up the banner or guide alsmost instantly.

3) I just check it is 5:10PM on Friday June 28th and my guide went out to 7 AM Sunday July 9th thats more then 9 days :D

No interactive logos. That was a Microsoft thing not a Dish Network thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I hope they can speed it up quicker than 5 minutes.
Its 5 seconds not minutes. :)

Can you press down on the channel up button and it go quickly through the channels like the 301 and some legacy receivers can?
No its a PVR which means it must buffer the signal to a hard drie thus there is a delay. ALL PVR's are like that. :D

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Time to answer some more questions

What do the music channel screens look like?
They almost look like they do on the 6000, except the song names seem to "float" instead of bounce around. I haven't kept the music on long enough yet to see if a screen saver kicks it.

But I feel that the floating of the titles is a good enough screen saver. :)

It says it's until July 9. Scott, can you please verify that ?
Yes I messed up (sorry) It goes til Sunday July 7th. Thats what get for typing 3 things at once. :D

Does the 721 respond to IR signals from a Learning IR remote?
I would assume so. I can control everything but the PVR functions using the remote from my 3900 reveiver (and that remote is IR only)

Still working. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Any bugs? If yes, please right the most annoying bug.
With the new spot patch that was released today I am happy to report that the freezing and rebooting problem that others were reporting are now gone.

To be perfectly honest I have spent a good amount of time TRYING to make the 721 crash, but so far I have not been able too.

My hats off to the folks at Echostar for quickly releasing this patch!

Jim there will be a review thread tommorow. :) Look for the review to go online sometime around 3 pm eastern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
the 721 run ok if one of the inputs is from your cable company, or do both have to be satellite?
Both connections need to be from your Dish or Multi Dish Switch. You can not have your Dish on 1 input and cable TV on the other input. The 721 like all other Dish Network receiviers are MPEG receivers not NTSC receivers. :)
 
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