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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure that you have not had a chance to read my 721 review and even had a chance to watch the video I made. As you can see my review was done based on my opinion.

721 are starting to really hit the street now and many of our DBStalk.COM members are now receiving their 721's!

What I would like is for our members to write their own review on the 721m tell everyone your honest thoughts and opinions on this new piece of Hardware.

I feel that many opinions are better then my one opinion! So post your reviews here in this thread for the world to see!
 
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Don't have time for a review but here are some quick ideas to improve the 721. First, like Scott has said, they MUST include some folders and sub folders in the PVR lists. Without this it is going to be almost impossible to keep track. Second, we need to be able to delete individual programs from the history folder of PVR searches, what good is this list if you have to erase all or nothing. Third, they need to add the channel names with the channel number in those areas that do not include them (theme & search) Most people including myself can't remember all of the channel numbers. Forth, they MUST limit searches to sub channels only, I don't care what is on the other channels and it gets to be a pain in the butt when you think you have found your show only to discover you can't get it. Fifth, I would ask that they fine tune the main guide, the single line description is a little hard to understand when they include only one or two words. I have been seeing "the" alot, forcing me to high-lite that program for a partial discription (note, I said partial since the program description on top of the EPG is shortened from the full discription in INFO).
 

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Does anybody have an estimate on the number of 721's sold thusfar?? Scott, when Chuck(Charlie Ergen) said on the customer chat that $549 is LESS than it costs to manufacture the 721, was he including the design costs that have already incured or is the $549 truely less than it now costs to manufacture a 721 receiver at this point? I'm just curious because it's the former then eventually the price could come down after the hard core early takers help pay off the design costs. However, it would have to come down a ton before I would even think of advertising it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would say that the cost of making the 721 is indeed more then what they are selling it for, almost all satellite receivers are subsidized in some way.

In all honesty while I think the price of the 721 is high we must remember that there is no monthly or lifetime fee you need to pay to use the PVR functions. And once Internet access is made available on the 721 I think that the 721 will be a bargain.

No idea how many people have 721's now, but I hope people will post their reviews here, I want the world to have more opinions then just mine. :D
 

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It's more now, but you're looking at a device that uses a lot of off the shelf components. With in a year that HD is going to cost 50% less. Memory is going down as well. Also, the device so far has been made in very limited quanities. So while what Charlie says right now is most likely true, there is a pretty good chance in a year they'll actually be making some cash on the Hardware.

My Review: Worked find until I got the SW update, then no audio. After an hour on the phone with advanced support they told me to RMA it. Anyone else see an issue like this? Perfect video, then bam, no audio?
 

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Originally posted by Scott Greczkowski
I am sure that you have not had a chance to read my 721 review and even had a chance to watch the video I made. As you can see my review was done based on my opinion.

721 are starting to really hit the street now and many of our DBStalk.COM members are now receiving their 721's!

What I would like is for our members to write their own review on the 721m tell everyone your honest thoughts and opinions on this new piece of Hardware.

I feel that many opinions are better then my one opinion! So post your reviews here in this thread for the world to see!
I've only had my 721 for about 7 hours now, but I can give you my initial impression:

Good:

* Very stable - I purchased both my 501 and my 721 on the first day that they were available. The 501 was almost unusable for the first couple of months. The 721 seems to be rock solid right out of the box

* Hard drive very quiet - The 501 hard drives were very noisy. If you got one with a Maxtor, the constant motor sound was very loud. If you got one with a Seagate, the drive heads made a constant loud clicking noise. The 721 hard drive is much more quiet than either of the 501 drives.

* Guide screen with embedded program info - The 501 allowed you to watch live TV while you browsed the guide, but the program info was a separate "pop up" which had to be canceled before you could continue browsing. The 721 has a 3-section guide (TV window, guide window, and info window). As you browse through the guide, you can watch live TV while you read info about the show that you are pointing to in the guide.

* Caller ID history - Nice addition to the basic Caller ID!

* Watch live TV while browsing PVR files - On the 501, there was no live TV window once you pressed the "PVR" button. The 721 allows you to continue watching TV while you are browsing through the recorded files. With this feature, you can do PVR maintenance (erase files, view program info) while watching live TV.

* Stays "locked" on favorites list - On previous receivers, if you used a favorites list and entered an invalid channel number, the receiver automatically switched from your favorites list back to "all subscribed". This used to drive me nuts because I like to punch in an "approximate" channel number to get to the right area of the guide. For example, I know that my local channels are in the 8xxx range, but I don't have the exact channel numbers memorized. Therefore, I would punch in 8000 to get me close to the locals section in my guide. This worked great except I had keep switching my receiver from "All Channels" back to my favorites list. When I do this on the 721 it takes me to the closest channel (what I wanted it to do) and keeps me in my favorites list. Thanks for finally fixing this one Echostar!

* Can auto-protect a re-occurring timer - On the 501, you could auto-protect a 1-time timer, but you couldn't auto-protect a re-occurring timer. This is fixed on the 721.

Needs to be fixed:

* PVR (recorded file list) is cluttered - It appears that when you press the PVR button on the 721, it lists both the recorded files and the timers on the same screen. This makes the listing very cluttered.

* When setting up favorites lists, the "unsubscribed" channels aren't marked in red so the user is unable to tell if they are adding an invalid channel to their favorites list.

* When setting up favorites lists, you have to use the arrow keys to move between channels. On previous receivers, when you added a channel it auto-advanced to the next channel on the assumption that you may add the next channel too. This worked great when you were adding a "block" of channels. On the 721 I have to press the arrow key between each channel.

* When setting up favorites lists, the routine times out too fast. It takes a while to enter all of the data and if you wait too long between keystrokes, it aborts the routine and dumps all of your data. (very frustrating).

* Arrow keys on the on-screen keyboard aren't yet functional.

* After you change an option in the menus, the 721 completely exits the menu routine. If you are trying to change multiple options, you have to re-navigate the entire menu tree for each option. On previous receivers, it just backed up one level in the menu after you set an option.

* When you set up a PVR timer, the 721 uses a default of "start 1 minute early" and "end 3 minutes late". Both of these settings should default to "zero"

* The games are too hard to play with the UHF remote. The UHF "lag" makes the games more difficult. When the IR keyboard becomes available, make sure to allow the keyboard to work as the game controller.

* Need to get the email/browser feature up and running!

That's all I have so far. I'll add to this post as I learn more. So far, I like what I see!!!
 

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I setup the 721 last night. I stayed up until 2:30am just browsing and looking at the features. This morning I turned the receiver and I got a black screen on the TV. I had to take the smartcard out and reset it (this takes a little long). Well, after I got the signal back, I started setting my device codes to use with the 721 remote control. To my surprise, the manual does not have the device codes for JVC Tv's and Sony's Turner. I used the one from the 501 manual and they worked.

I find that the search result window only gives you the channel number. The 501 gives you the channel number plus the description of the channel on the result window.

Another problem I encounter is that while checking the games, after finishing and exiting the game my remote froze. I could not use the guide or any key on the remote. I tried to use the buttons on the front panel but it was frozen in on channel. I had to take the smartcard out again (it takes long to reset). It came back to again function.

Everything else seems to work fine. One thing I do not like is the background. The 501 background was better.
 

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Someone help me out if I'm missing the trick here... my biggest gripe so far is displaying remaining time when playing a recorded show. I can hit pause, and it will show how much time is left, but I can't seem to figure out how to display this info "on the fly" without pausing playback. On my 501, I can hit the cancel button during playback and it will show remaining time in the banner, but on the 721, it always shows 00 minutes remaining when I try this.
 

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Originally posted by FrankD1
Someone help me out if I'm missing the trick here... my biggest gripe so far is displaying remaining time when playing a recorded show. I can hit pause, and it will show how much time is left, but I can't seem to figure out how to display this info "on the fly" without pausing playback. On my 501, I can hit the cancel button during playback and it will show remaining time in the banner, but on the 721, it always shows 00 minutes remaining when I try this.
Good find! I have the same problem on my 721. Looks like the time remaining feature is currently broken. Also, I set up a timer from 1am-2am last night and the 721 locked up. When I woke up this morning it was still recording and was unresponsive. Had to do a re-boot to bring it back.
 

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Originally posted by Scott Greczkowski
larry I have had the recording at night and still recording in the morning hapen to me before, with a reboot though I found my show recorded corectly.
Recordings during the day seem to be working ok. I wonder if this bug occurs when your timer event conflicts with the AM guide update/software download from Dish?
 

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Originally posted by LarryH


Recordings during the day seem to be working ok. I wonder if this bug occurs when your timer event conflicts with the AM guide update/software download from Dish?


I'm thinking maybe the guide got bunged up last night cuz I recorded The Guardian on my 501 from 9:00 to 10:00 (recurring timer) and went to bed at 9:30. Woke up this morning and it was still recording same channel.
1st time it's EVER happened to me after 15 months and timer all over the map
 

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well, my 721 arrived yesterday.. the normal hiccups during installation.. slowness during upgrade process... receiver didn't activate itself for about 30 minutes.. about 10 minutes after upgrade reboot..

then I set it up to record two music channels at the same time to queue up music for poker night.. then it was supposed to record two things at 7pm on the network channels.. well, it started recording NBC, and that was it.. it was hung recording NBC.. the other timer didn't fire off.. both music channels recorded properly and ended at 7pm as programmed. So, NBC was recording for a good 90 minutes before I checked on things, and sure enough, just about every function was broken or really slow at this point. I had to hold the power button on the unit to reboot it.. it saved what it had recorded, but it didn't record my second network channel (ABC)..

So, it looks like when one timer screws up, it screws up the other tuner, too.. ;(

On a brighter note, the defaults of recording "1 minute before" and "3 minutes after" don't seem to bother me. I did some testing while setting up my 721 to record all of my shows. It automatically compensates for any overlapping caused by the extended timers. It's actually pretty sweet. So just try it on yours.. leave the defaults alone and see if it gives you a head ache..

Cheers! -Kyoo
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From what I understand the main 721 software is in some way "wrapped" so that you can't get into it. I have been told that if someone did take the hard drive out of a 721 and tried to mount it, the most you would be able to change is the HTML which is used for some of the pages.
 

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I got my 721 today!! :righton:
Everything to this point for me has been flawless. I've just set my first timer and its recording.

Scott was right, it takes about an hour to download, I rebooted it a couple times after download and getting the guide.

No problems yet. :righton:
 
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