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· AllStar
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to be an E* subscriber for years, but switched to D* two years back. Just to avoid any flame wars, I have no problem recommending either provider. At the time, I switched to D* because E* did not have my HD locals, and I was tired of constantly tweaking my OTA antenna because the local transmitters were far enough apart radially from my house where I couldn't find a "sweet spot" that would get me all the local HD signals consistently and reliably.

That being my background, both my folks and my in-laws still have E*. My inlaws are Chinese, so in addition to the usual weakness with technology for that generation, language can be a barrier when they're trying to discuss technical or complicated issues. When we switched to D*, I gave them our 942. So their setup is the 942, connected to the traditional 500 dish (110/119). They don't have an HD TV, so the only features of the 942 that they actually use are DVR and dual tuner/dual output. They live in SoCal. Since I switched to D*, I haven't kept up with all the E* nuts and bolts (birds, receivers, switches, etc).

OK, now here's the meat of the issue. Evidently, E* cold called my inlaws a few weeks back, saying they needed to come out and swap out equipment, or risk losing some of their channels. My inlaws didn't bother mentioning this until the tech actually arrived and completed most of the work. As best as I could understand (I'm in the Bay area now, so everything is over the phone) from my inlaws and the tech, they swapped out the dish and the receiver (I think the tech said the new one was a 722). I was very concerned (and might have overreacted, but did the best I could with limited info) that my inlaws were losing a receiver that was owned outright, and being forced to take a lease receiver. I also assumed that by taking the new lease receiver, they'd be entering into a new contract commitment, which I wanted to avoid for their particular situation. Lastly, I assumed all of this hub-bub was to allow for E*'s HD expansion (new birds and MPEG4), which is a moot issue for the inlaws.

The tech was cool, and put everything back to the way it was. The only residual mess is that the inlaws (they subscribe to the top 250 plan) cannot tune to channel 411 (I believe it's one of the FSNs, Prime Ticket or something like that). The message they get when they try to tune is a switch error. I try to talk them through a check switch, and it appears there's a problem seeing the 110 bird. But I had them tune a half dozen other channels that are on the 110 bird, and can see them with no problem. Calling E*, they insist "this is why we wanted to swap out your equipment... it's just going to get worse (lose channels) unless you let us swap out". I think the tech just screwed something up when he was putting everything back to the original state, but E* won't send anyone out without charging a service call fee.

So...... please correct any of my assumptions, and help me understand 1) Do my inlaws need the swapout (given their needs), and 2) the problem tuning to ch 411. Thanks in advance for any and all info that might help sort everything out.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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26,991 Posts
FrankD1 said:
So...... please correct any of my assumptions, and help me understand 1) Do my inlaws need the swapout (given their needs), and 2) the problem tuning to ch 411. Thanks in advance for any and all info that might help sort everything out.
That was truly a long-winded oration all to get to the final paragraph.

If the in-laws don't subscribe to HD, the 942 is just fine. As it is a fee laden DVR, you might as well go for the 722 if they're giving it away. A 942 is not particularly valuable any more among those who have done their homework as it can only be activated as an SD receiver and depending on how the TiVo lawsuit goes, it may eventually be disabled entirely.

Chances are this offer won't come around again.
 

· AllStar
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
harsh said:
That was truly a long-winded oration all to get to the final paragraph.
I couldn't agree more. It's just that I've been on these boards long enough to see too many Flames or irrelevant tangents, so I just wanted to put everything out there.

Any idea about the contract extension and/or problems with channel 411?
 

· Hall Of Fame
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3,193 Posts
Were they able to get 411 before the tech touched their setup?

Doing a check on other 110 channels may not always show the problem. They may be missing just the one transponder on 110 that carries 411, not the whole bird. The error message usually tells you which transponder it can't see on 110.

If you know which transponder 411 is on, go to the set-up menu/point dish. Look at that transponder and check the signal strength. You many have to tweak the dish while looking at that transponder. It's probably weaker than the other transponders, so by tweaking you should not lose anything else in the process.

BTW: I had a similar problem with the HD feed of my RSN. It's on a weaker transponder on 61.5 than where my local stations are. Tweaking on this weak transponder actually helped all the other transponders as well.
 

· AllStar
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Michael P said:
Were they able to get 411 before the tech touched their setup?
They claim they were, but I tend to be skeptical of their claims on issues like this (as I am with my own folks), because of senioritis number transposition (in addition to the language issues).

It'll be next to impossible to talk them through checking individual transponders over the phone, so depending on feedback here, I might have them go through with the swapout, and unload a problem I really don't want to deal with right now.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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8,968 Posts
Honestly, trading a 942 (directly subject to TiVo lawsuit AND MPEG2 AND with restricted activation policy at Dish) with a free 622/722 is one of the best deals going. Even if they don't have HD today, what if their existing TV breaks in 6 months? It's not like they'll buy an SDTV to replace it.

HD is the future, at least for those who don't have it already. 942s are obsolete, and this will be their last chance to avoid a costly upgrade. Unless there's a good likelyhood of them discontinuing service from Dish in the next 2 years, I'd go for it.
 

· AllStar
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93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
IIP said:
Honestly, trading a 942 (directly subject to TiVo lawsuit AND MPEG2 AND with restricted activation policy at Dish) with a free 622/722 is one of the best deals going. Even if they don't have HD today, what if their existing TV breaks in 6 months? It's not like they'll buy an SDTV to replace it.

HD is the future, at least for those who don't have it already. 942s are obsolete, and this will be their last chance to avoid a costly upgrade. Unless there's a good likelyhood of them discontinuing service from Dish in the next 2 years, I'd go for it.
Two follow up questions (if you know):

-Based on your post, taking the deal will entail a 2 year commitment? Any idea of what the ETF would be? (the inlaws are trying to sell their home... with the current market, who knows how long it will take, and if/when they're successful, I don't want the ETF fee to be too painful if E* is not the best deal/solution for their new place).
-Any idea how comparable the UIs are between the 942 and 722? We got a steady stream of phone calls for weeks when we set them up with the 942. It was a pain, but at least we were familiar with the 942, as we gave it to them. It will be tough to talk them through the 722 if the UI is significantly different, as I've never used a 722.

Thanks!
Frank
 

· EKB Editor
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4,022 Posts
The MPEG4 upgrade receiver (as opposed to voluntary Dish'n It Up upgrade) should have the same own/lease status as the old one, with no additional commitment.

The UI is the same, with a few additions. The Guide button now opens a pop-up list of the available Favorites, or can be set, via options on that pop-up, to cycle through them the old way. Pushing a device button at the top of the remote now leads to a pop-up message telling how to get back to satellite control (can be disabled via Preferences).
 
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