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Cool Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an earlier thread I described problems with my Dish Model 4900 Receiver. In summary, the guide-screen video inset is chancy, requiring some 3 minutes to activate whereupon it may work ok for several hours but then going black later in the evening and entailing another 3-minute delay

An inquiry to Dish was of no avail as they do not respond to email but instead require you to contact their tech-help line which however was of no help either as they had never encountered this complaint and didn't know what to do about it. Yet the satellite signal coming into our dish is perfectly normal as the inset video in my wife's Model 510 receiver comes on instantly, working perfectly and never going black

DBS participants' consensus was that owing to its early vintage the 4900 receiver simply doesn't have adequate memory to expeditiously serve both the programming schedule and the inset video. So I decided to live with the inconvenience as in other respects the receiver was vastly superior to the Model 4000 it replaced; whereupon I became somewhat dependent upon the inset in spite of its intermittent behavior

But lately the difficulty is escalating. At first, the inset became entirely unavailable on weekend afternoons, while lately this annoyance is extending into the early-evening hours of weekdays also; while after going black it often cannot be restored until much later in the evening. No doubt these anomalies owe to expanded programming of the guide screen at the expense of the inset but I for one am becoming increasingly frustrated. My No. 1 Son, an expert in matters digital, advises me to switch from Dish to DirecTV but I am reluctant since I understand the two are thinking of merging, whereupon my plight might become even more intolerable

Among the millions of Dish subscribers, it's hard to believe I'm the only one using a Model 4900 and so I appeal to anyone else who might have acquired one in the meantime, to advise
 

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Cool Member
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FYI- I had a 4900 until this Spring. The SmartCard would fail and need to be reset almost daily. It took me 3 weeks of hassle with Dish and then finally a call to the CEO to get a replacement 311 Rcvr, which works fine. My signal strength is about 75.
I am not sure of your tech problems but check Dish alignment if signals are low. A receiver upgrade is probably worth while. The 311 works fine and the on screen guide is an improvement. Had I know it would take 3 weeks to get a 311, I would have tried to buy one at Radio Shack.
THe new DISH 1000.4 HD technology sounds interesting. I shall wait and see what it does and think about an upgrade in the future. The comments that people provide in this form have been very helpful to me. I hope they get you going in the right direction.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Dish will upgrade that ancient box to a new 311 for about $50. The processor inside is much faster, so the box reacts MUCH faster, and it has enough memory to hold several days worth of guide, which makes guide browsing much faster and easier.

More than half of the service calls we go on with legacy receivers these days end up with those receivers being replaced. They are old and worn out, not to mention obsolete due to memory and processor limitations, and just not very reliable anymore.

Why live with the frustration? Is it worth saving $50?
 

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Godfather
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562 Posts
The problem with the 4900 is the guide video doesn't work until it has completed a guide download, and the RAM in the 4900 is so tight you don't get much more than a few hours' guide information at a time.

BTW, if anyone wants one, PM me as I no longer have any use for it…
 

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New Member
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Greetings. You are not alone, I have a 4900 as well, but the behavior you mentioned is pretty typical. Before I got a new receiver, I subscribed to the printed guide as the old legacy receivers just can't deal very well with the guide due to the memory constraints. Also, I was having to do many smart card resets in a week to keep it happy and working. It's still alive, in the spare room as a secondary receiver, but I don't use the guide, just the current and next program info.

Personally, I am amazed that DISH is still able to support the legacy boxes along with all the new HD and VIP receivers in the same stream, to be honest. I know you don't want to hear that and don't want to hear "upgrade" but I think you might be happier in the long run if you do upgrade to a 311 as others have mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all you guys for your helpful inputs. Finally I accessed the Contact Us link in the dish Web Site asking how to proceed and appending a link to this thread. Alas they did not respond
 

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dalehileman said:
Thanks to all you guys for your helpful inputs. Finally I accessed the Contact Us link in the dish Web Site asking how to proceed and appending a link to this thread. Alas they did not respond
Is your phone out of order? 800-333-3474 tech support.:) :) :)
 

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AllStar
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I play games on the interactive. The 4900 is much faster than my 2 622s. Is the 311 like the 622s or the 4900 in game response speed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
boba thank you. If all else were to fail. in my heart of hearts I secretly hoped someone might save me the trouble of looking up the number although the last several times I contacted Dish Tech Support they were completely oblivious of the problem, alas leading me through a long, tedious series of tests that went nowhere and getting me a another brand-new set which also didn't work

scooper: So you gave in and procured the DVR model as did my wife Laverne. Of course she is now perfectly happy and won't even consider switching to DirecTV. But I refuse to capitulate 'cause I'm stubborn if not pigheaded

I keep hoping that my excellent No. 1 Son, an aerospace IT, can find some way to trick my Model 4900 into restoring the inset video without that dreary 3-minute wait
 

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The 4700/4900 receiver was excellent when it came out, but when the local-in-locals started and the guide got so huge, it (as well as the other Legacy receivers) started showing their age and lack of EPG memory. I'm not sure if Dish can do anything about that, even if they wanted to. Personally - I was as frustrated as you trying to use the Video inset on the guide and went back to the old style guide without it and I was much happier. Upgrading to a newer receiver or DVR would make your viewing experiance much better IMO and experiance.
 

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Legend
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IIP said:
Dish will upgrade that ancient box to a new 311 for about $50. The processor inside is much faster, so the box reacts MUCH faster, and it has enough memory to hold several days worth of guide, which makes guide browsing much faster and easier.

More than half of the service calls we go on with legacy receivers these days end up with those receivers being replaced. They are old and worn out, not to mention obsolete due to memory and processor limitations, and just not very reliable anymore.

Why live with the frustration? Is it worth saving $50?
Do you really want to pay $50 for a 311 when it will no longer work when they upgrade the system MPEG4 from MPEG2. I would go with a new DVR or the non DVR 211.
 

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wolfjc said:
Do you really want to pay $50 for a 311 when it will no longer work when they upgrade the system MPEG4 from MPEG2. I would go with a new DVR or the non DVR 211.
The OP doesn't want to spend the money, so I suggested the lowest-cost option. If the time comes when Dish moves his programming to MPEG4, they will upgrade his receivers to MPEG4 equivalents at no charge, so that's irrelevant.

I personally only have DVRs and wouldn't want a non-DVR receiver, but I'm not the OP.
 

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my 4900 will also do the same. Getting guide info on it is frustrating. At least when you 1st go into the guide, it does have SOME guide info, u hafta keep scrolling thru the channels for the video inset to finally appear. But once you move ahead in time, it will take quite a bit of time to d'l the info you seek. And sometimes, mine won't even get that far, it'll time out after about 10 mins.

I signed up for DHPP just to GET the 4900 (not by choice). my 3800 was having wayyyy too much trouble reading the smartcard so the CSR told me if I signed up for DHPP I could get a free receiver and the 4900 was what they sent. It works just fine for normal TV viewing, but using the guide is pain-staking. Perhaps if you sign up for the DHPP, you too can get a free replacement. But since your 4900 is technically functioning normal, they might make you pay $$.


Does anyone know when this mpeg4 switch will happen? Just so we have an idea of when we will all need new recvrs?
 

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shadough said:
Does anyone know when this mpeg4 switch will happen? Just so we have an idea of when we will all need new recvrs?
The MPEG4-only "Eastern Arc" was just announced, but it is for NEW customers only. Obviously, some years from now, most east-coast folks will be moved over, but you're looking at 3-5 years from now. Dish is going to want the majority of their installed base to self-upgrade (i.e., PAY) their equipment to MPEG4/HD, which, of course, you have to do if you want HD service. Once enough of the installed base has upgraded themselves, Dish will announce the forced, free conversion of the remaining customers, and start swapping out receivers. Again, that's at least several years away.
 
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