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Welcome to the May edition of Dish Networks Tech Chat review. Tony Suarez is in his truck traveling North to Alaska so filling in this month I am Scott Greczkowski.

Tonight for the first time ever DBStalk.COM has opened up a special chat area were users could actually chat about the chat while it happened. During this recap you will see some of the actual comments from chat users that were made during parts of tonight's TV Chat.

Confused yet? Good because here we go!

Let's roll the opening video.

It's Tech Forum with Dave and Mark! Nice new opening. However, Mark has the night off, so sitting in for Mark Jackson is Scott Higgins who is the director of interactive programming for Dish Network.

Dave throws it over to Scott who is going to talk about Dish Home. They show the interactive games and the horoscope and all the rest of the Interactive features. Scott then announces the some new sections of Dish Home, which will be coming this summer, these new features include Dish sports which will give users the latest sports scores, Dish Lottery which will give you the lottery numbers for your area, Dish Customer support which will allow you to order channels and pay your bill, Reuters News Service, and Bloomberg financial quotes. It looks like the Dish Home interactive channel is taking shape

And get this Dish TV Wallet is coming soon! Soon you will be able to shop your favorite Dish Network shopping channel by using your remote. Dave tells us that all credit card information will be stored on secure Dish Network servers not on the receivers. Dave assures us that the connection will be secure.

The ask for feedback on the interactive service. The url they give is 4 lines long and is only shown on the screen for a short time, the crack folks in the DBStalk chat area we able to catch the url, which is http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/aboutus/contact_us/index.asp

Next up we see a scripted play with people yelling out all kinds of "Did you know questions in 30 second" stuff like Did you know that a 1 HDTV Channel takes up the room of 6 or 7 standard definition channels. The entire bit seems REALLY fake and everyone in the DBStalk.COM chat room groans.

Now time to talk about Echo 7, on May 1st the first spot beams have came online, Dave hopes that there has been no interruption to your service. He said most folks should not have noticed the change. He tells people who move their box around that they may not get their locals anymore as they may have gone outside the range of the spot beam

Dave then announces that locals from Grand Rapids are being added, All the channels except 3 will be added to the 119 satellite. The 3 Channels that will be going to 61.5 are WLLA(ind) WTLJ(ind) and WOTV (ABC). Grand Rapids will launch on May 22nd.

Dave now talks about the new Echostar 8 satellite, telling us it will launch towards the end of June from Russia. The satellite will go to the 110 location, Dish Network looks for a successful launch. (I bet they PREY for a successful launch!)

Scott always watched the show with Dave and Mark, so now Scott wants to give something away, the giveaway is a 721!

The crowd in the DBStalk.COM chat room all yell "Holy Sh!t" This is a great prize.

They talk about the 721, going over the basic features such as you can watch live tv while recording another show, recording 2 shows at the same time while watching a recorded show or using picture in picture. The 721 will have 90 hours of recording time, you can pause TV for up to two hours. Users in the DBStalk.COM chat room are disappointed as no actual demo is shown of the 721 at this time. In a future upgrade of the 721 will be enabled to have Internet Access and the USB ports will be turned on for Echostar approves devices such as CD-RW's and webcams.

Scott's trivia question is (its 2 parts) What is the number 1 fantasy sport in America and how many people participate.. Both Scott and Dave Autograph the 721. Dave said that in days he will find the 721 being sold on Ebay soon for thousands of dollars (and that's just because of the autographs, I'm sure!)

The DBStalk.COM chat room is going crazy trying to find the answer

Dave and Scott now go into a scripted chat about PVR's and how much time it saves them, now Scott says that instead of finding a blank video tape he can now have dinner with his wife. They talk about how much time they save with their PVR's, Scott makes a joke how much time he gains with the PVR but the bad thing is his wife gives him a bigger honey-do list. This entire thing is very poorly scripted, but they are trying to explain PVR's for those who don't know what they do

Next up on the chat is HDTV. Dave and Scott are going to tell us what is hype and what is real.

The first is 1080i better then 720p? Dave says, No they are both good, 1080i gives you 1080 lines of interlaced video are shown, its perfect for movies (which are only 24 frames per second. 720p is good for sporting events; there are 720 lines of resolutions, which are shown every time the screen is rescanned.

The next myth is … The new digital broadcast standard adopted by the US is HDTV , Dave says this is incorrect. There are 18 standards for Digital broadcasting only 2 of them are HD formats. TV Stations have to be Digital, but they don't have to broadcast in HDTV.

Another question for Dave here's another HDTV question for you, will DVI and 1394 offer a better picture then analog connections of component or RGB. Dave says this is correct as Digital connections eliminate the noise that an analog connection can add to an HDTV signal.

Dave is then asked "Can I enjoy HDTV on my current TV now? Dave replies that no on your regular TV you will need to down covert the signal to a standard def signal, your current TV will work fine but it will only be SDTV. He mentioned that a downconverted HDTV signal would be the best picture quality you would probably see on a standard definition TV.

Next question is, what is the audio format for HDTV, the answer is Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 which is surround sound. Dave knows the .1 is for the subwoofer. Dave's wife like hates the subwoofer. (Hey so does mine!)

When the HDTV PVR boxes come out last year how much space will a HDTV show take? Dave says it will take 5 or 6 times more room then a standard def program., Dave says that next year Dish will have a HD PVR on the market (This means the 921 will be out next year.) Dish Network has no plans to make analog connections obsolete.

Dave says he has a HDTV however he watches his PVR more. Dave tells people to research before buying a HDTV. They give the following sites as places to research HDTV

www.pbs.org/hdtv
www.atsc.org
www.howstuffworks.com/hdtv.htm
www.ce.org
www.fcc.gov/mb/policy/dtv
www.dbstalk.com (Ok so I added that one myself)

Scott says HDTV is great technology. Dave Agrees, its like watching Wally and the Beaver.

Dave asks if they have a winner for the 721 he says the winner will be a lucky beta tester for the 721! The Winner is Rod Frazier who answered football with 30 million folks who play.

Now its time to open the phone lines!

Andrew is on the phone with a Dishplayer call (the chat goes nuts) who asks if the Dishplayer will do the OpenTV stuff, Dave says no. (The Chat room quiets down when they figure out the question is not a good Dishplayer question)

Ellen is on the phone she says that she just got a PVR 501 and wants to know about the Interactive services and when they will come to the 501. Scott says the applications will be rolling out entertainment stuff and sports. Also they are looking to offering the PPV option (which is a menu which shows you a good description and a photo of the PPV movies which are currently showing). They are looking to add these features to all OpenTV receivers. (the 3800, 3900, 4700, 4900, 301 and 501)

A note from Frank Andrews who has a question on the 721 he wants to know if you can use a line splitter for the 721 to give it two satellite inputs (why do I get the feeling many folks are going to try this), the answer is no you need two connections from your switch. You will need two connections for Picture in Picture or two recordings at once. So you will need two lines coming in your house. (As Charlie announced on the Retailer Chat the 721 requires both inputs to be hooked up or the 721 does not function)

Dave then says he has been given permission to let people know what the cost of the 721 is. DRUMROLL PLEASE
The cost of the 721 is $549!!!

Here's some reaction to the price announced from the DBStalk.COM chat.
{garydw} $549 for a 721
{Chris_Blount} Too much!!!!
{JohnnyW} about what I expected
{Geronimo} I had heard 499
{BruceHull} I hope there's an upgrade.
{TBarclay} How much with a 7200 trade in???

(I think Dish Network needs to work on the last comment!)

John is on the phone from Virginia who has a HD question, he cannot see the 61.5 satellite will he be able to get HD from DirecTV if and when the merger goes through. The answer is not immediately, he is kind of stuck for awhile.

Note from Peter, want to know when the 721 will be out and where is the 508?

Dave says between now and June, it is a dual tuner, it will have 120 gig hard drive which will give you 90 hours. The 508 is the same as a 501 but it has a 80 gig hard drive in it, it should be available in the June or July time frame. Peter also wanted to ask if there would be a HD upgrade for the 501, Dave says unfortunately "no". Dave says you need to upgrade for the latest and greatest.

Caller on the phone with an accent who does not state his name. He wants to know if there is a frame-by-frame slow motion option coming to the 501?

Dave says "yes" he has seen slow motion in the shop, he hopes it will be released sometime this year. But the 501 will be upgraded to Dish Home first. He says there is a problem with the user interface, in which the logistics need to be worked out. Dave asks Wendell Blackman when it will come out. Wendell shrugs that he don't know. (Poor Wendell, this guy always gets the short end of the stick, remember him introducing the Dish DVD? This guy is like the Dish Network version of Kenny from South Park.)

Now a note from Paul Guyer, who is looking for an HDTV, what inputs should he get? The Dish 6000 supports both component (yr pr pb) connections and RGB. However the connections on new TV's may be digital connections. Dish Network is working on new receivers with Digital connections, however for now they only have the 6000.

Jeff is on the phone with the question of the year; Jeff has had nothing but trouble with the Dish Network PVR's. (You can see Dave turn green as the customer tells all his Dishplayer horror stories.) The caller goes on for almost 2 minutes complaining about the Dishplayer. He even says he is sick of the "Deer in the headlights" replies that they usually give Dishplayer questions. (Hey Jeff if you ever come to Connecticut let me buy you a beer!)

Dave finally stops the caller by interrupting him, (Guess he heard enough) again like normal Dave points the blame on Microsoft. He mentions that Echostar now has people from WebTV working on the product again. Dave says it is Unfortunate that Dish Network does not own the code to the Dishplayer. They are excited about having a team working on the Dishplayer again, Dave said they are excited by the lack of bug reports in the forums (hey that's us!) Dave says that there was software spooled last week that was a fix for the power not shutting off on the Dishplayer after it downloaded its nightly guide, Dave says that the team is still involved, other things are coming for that product. Dave then makes what I consider a major announcement in that the guide on the Dishplayer will soon be the same guide that Dish Network is using for all its other products (No the guide will look the same, only in the future Dish will get its guide data from only one company.) Dish Network is not happy with their Dishplayer product and they say their sorry but they have a team working on it. (I say they should not be charging folks for the PVR functions on the Dishplayer because of all the problems, after all it's the customer who suffered) Dave says that the 501 / 721 software are all done in the house. Again Dave mentions the forums. (Thanks Dave!)

Gary Knox wanted to know if the 721 records the mpeg stream directly from satellite to the disk or is it uncompressed then recompressed. Dave days the origional Mpeg stream is recorded to the disk. The video will look the same as the first time you watched it live off satellite. Save then says that this is something Tivo or Replay cannot do. The 721 will not need an additional receiver fee for the second tuner.

Users in the DBStalk.COM Chat comment saying that they think Dave and Scott need to regroup after the hardball Dishplayer question. (I didn't think it was possible for a human to turn that shade of green)

Another caller on the line, its Chuck on the phone about HDTV he has a 6000 and wants to know about copy protection standards. He wants to know if there will be a module for the 6000 that will give it copy protection. Also is PQ going to improve as the quality is bad now?

Dave answers the second question first, due to the fact of Must carry they had to compress the channels more. When Echo 8 comes out PQ will improve even more for the top 100 programming channels. Dave says that People who have HD sets tend to notice to compression more then folks with standard definition set. As far as the first part of the question Dish is working with the studios, many studios won't give them HD movies to offer in HD on Pay Per View. Dave says that some programs may be "downresed" half the vertical and half the horizontal, Dave says he would rather have the content and a better picture then true HDTV. When the Digital connection comes out you will be able to see the full resolution programs. Many folks are concerned about not being able to record, however they are working on new receivers that will allow you to record. He note that the 921 will not have outputs to record HD on HD recorders, because it is a HD recorder they don't want people making HD copies of shows.. Dave hopes he answers the question well enough, he says that there is a lot of debating going on behind the scenes.

Dave is wondering if he bored some folks with the answer to that question.

On to email and a note from Greg Bird. How do I add a 3rd receiver to my Dish 500 system? Also if he re-peaks his Dish will it effect his Starband reception?

Dave says DON'T TOUCH the Starband dish. If he tries re-pointing the Starband dish it could cause problems. Dave tells the viewer he will need a SW64 switch (which he calls switch 6 to 4)

Another caller, here is Don who has 2 receivers and wants to upgrade to a 721. He wants to know which switch he needs, again the Sw64 or maybe one of the new DishPro switches. Dave gets a sign telling him he forgot to mention the quad lnb that will give you 4 outputs instead of 2.

Thanks everyone for your questions. That all the time we have, Dave puts on an Avalanche had, so Scott puts on a Fins hat, which gets a wave or paper balls thrown at him. Again Scott comments on how the Fins rule which gets more stuff thrown at him.

Next chat is the Charlie Chat on June 10th.

The folks in the DBStalk.COM Chat seemed to be happy with this chat, they didn't answer softball questions, this was a real tech chat, not a marketing tech chat as we have seen before. Besides the bad scripting (and acting) it was quite a chat to watch. Thanks to the over 40 people who joined us in the DBStalk.COM chat tonight, because I was doing this recap I didn't get to chat with you guys as much as I would liked to.

This recap was typed in real-time some errors may be here but tried my best to type and listen at the same time. If I omitted something please forgive me. Thanks for reading! Next month TNG Tony will again take the reigns for the next Charlie chat. My fingers thank him in advance.
 

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Good recap Scott!
When Jeff asked his question my wife said...'Look how nervous they are getting'. (their body language)
I thought it was funny that they never referred to the PVR as the Dishplayer but only as "The Product..."
Who is Jeff...Will you please step forward.
Good one!
 

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Great recap Scott, kudos to Jeff and Chuck for their awsome questions!
 

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Thank you so much for the recap......as usual I miss the chats. :mad: I did record it, I might have to watch it now just to hear the caller Jeff regarding the PVR's and Dishplayers.
 

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Excellent recap Scott! Thanks! Having the chat going here at the same time made it quite fun. We had the answer to the trivia question in the chat room seconds after the question was read, it was only a matter of guessing the second part (how many millions participate in fantasy fooball). A couple of people in the chat room were correct but just didn't get their entry in on time.
 

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I didn't participate, but I did notice in your recap that E* places a lot of blame for problems in the lap of others, for example the Displayer problems are all Microsoft problems. The compression is the government's fault.

What the heck is the deal with the $549 price for the 721? After they sell to the techno-geeks, nobody will buy one.
 

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Great recap.

Not many companies would subject themselves to this type of show, and for that I thank Dishnetwork. It is again obvious that Dish pays attention to the forums.

Without sounding like a cheerleader, there are certainly things some or all do not like about Dishnetwork, however if they continue to listen to (or read) us, I think this is a good company if there is indeed to be a merger. It seems the products coming out or at least talked about coming out are what we are looking for.
 

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Scott, no one ever said anything about WLLA being on satellite? Can you see what the complete list was on the Tech Forum, because they must are going to have 8 stations rather then 7.
 

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An afterthought. OK, I admit it. I'm slow.

The topic of this thread, "Tech Chat Recap", was obviously misspelled. I'm suer you meant to say "Tech Chat Recrap"

Just kidding! ;)

Dave's response to the dreaded DP question was a lot like a man trying to explain to his macho buddies why his son turned out gay. The only reasonable explanation is that the kid's not his, therefor, years ago, his wife must have had an affair with another man.

Hmmm, come to think of it... the analogy seems to fit.

The Nickster :smoking:
 

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Great recap! :goodjob: Good job Scott.

Can you imagine how buggy that unit would be? They are still testing it. ;)

Originally posted by Scott Greczkowski

Dave asks if they have a winner for the 721 he says the winner will be a lucky beta tester for the 721! The Winner is Rod Frazier who answered football with 30 million folks who play.
 

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That statement renders me nervious about the 721.
 
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