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· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for information about time to tune on the 508 and 721 models.

I have heard that tuning could take as long as 3 to 5 seconds. This sounds pretty unbearable. Any truth to this?
 

· AllStar
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52 Posts
Originally posted by thomasmaly
On my 721, usually about 5 seconds, fortunately I have the patience of a Saint!!!!
FIVE SECONDS!!!???!!! How do you POSSIBLY put up with that kind of delay????

:rolleyes:

Why won't my 501 make my coffee in the morning and make travel reservations for me?

Sarcastically upset!!!!

:eek:
 

· Legend
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200 Posts
Its awful but just something you have to live with. I *wish* Dish could make a fast tuning PVR. One that flys through the channels as fast as you hit the button. If you settle on a channel, then let it figure out how to create the live buffer. (i know...its already playing from it)

I guess my point is that they could solve this problem if the customers let them know it was important. I've been in the SW industry for long enough to know that if this were made a priority, someone would come out with a fast tuning solution for PVRs.

Barry, the one consolation is that you can use the "Browse" feature to scroll quickly through the guide listings while staying tuned to your current channel. Its no substitute to channel surfing with a picture...let's face it, when you have HUNDREDS of channels, that 2 - 5+ second delay is a big deal and it'd take you a long time to get through all the channels if you were just surfing.

okay, i'll get off my soapbox now. :)

haven't been able to channel surf the way it was meant in a long time though... :(
 
G

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My 508 tunes in time in The Twink of an Eye. It's probably because I'm Santa. Everthing I do is in The Twink of an Eye.
 

· Legend
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112 Posts
I have both a 501 and 721. The 501 definitely tunes faster than the 721. (About 2 seconds on the 501, and 4-5 seconds on the 721, approximately.)

The preview guide with a picture comes up quicker on the 721, however. And with the 721's guide showing a partial info as you scroll around, I find "surfing" through the guide with the 721 my prefered way of looking for something new. And with the 721, being able to select a new channel while staying in the guide is very nice.

I think the real problem with true channel surfing with the 721 is that it feels a little sluggish when you change a channel. On the 501, you press 'up' and it immediately goes to black and shows you the new channels info bar at the top. 2 seconds or so later, the new picture shows up. On the 721, you press 'up' and the channel bar immediately changes, but the old channel's picture continues on for a second or so, then it then goes black, then 2-4 seconds later the new picture kicks in.

But in any case, all these delays become pretty much unnoticeable after a little use.

Heck, with my 721 it isn't all that often that I watch live TV anymore. I'll spend a couple minutes at the beginning of the day picking programs that interest me, and when I have time, I watch previously recorded items that have queued up.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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1,637 Posts
Digital never tunes fast. My 6000 tuning in an OTA digital channel takes a couple of seconds. Even my old 3000 used to take a couple of seconds. Who has digital cable to compare?
 

· Hall Of Fame/Supporter
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On a 6000 it takes about 1-2 seconds for the channel to change. I think that this is too slow. You can see it working away, it first generates the channel info overlay, then it gets the picture behind it. It depends on how often an I-Frame (I-Frame is a complete picture frame not just differences) comes down. On DVDs it has to be no more than 18 frames away from the last I-Frame. It looks like Dish is running one I-Frame every second. It would be 100x better if the 6000 put up the picture first then the info guide.

You can really tell what is going on when you flip analog stations. It pops the guide info up in about a half second, then the picture pops up. Even though I have analog stations, it still puts the right guide info up because, believe it or not, dish must be transmitting the guide info. I have the call signs of the stations in there properly and it will do the guide info for them (NBC & ABC).
 

· AllStar
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I've never seen or used a PVR, but got a 721 yesterday. After reading about the long tune times, I was a bit worried that it would bother me. But it seems pretty quick to me.. plus, with the ability to continue to watch your show while in the guide, I find I don't need to flip channels like I used to.
 

· Icon/Supporter
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1,227 Posts
Originally posted by LadyTalia
I have digital cable- it takes about 2-3 seconds on the digital channels- when they work at all.
:p
Huh? Do my ears deceive me? You work for E* now? Don't they at least give you a discount.

Of course, if you're cable co is providing HD locals....

PS: thanks for all the help you've been providing people here. It's nice to have an insider.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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believe it or not, dish must be transmitting the guide info.
This is true only for ABC, CBS & NBC and only during Primetime programming and only if you have setup your Analog stations with an affiliate associated. Does not yet work on the Digital channels because Dish won't get off their Arse and enable the PSIP data info for local channels.
 

· Broadcast Engineer
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4,146 Posts
Originally posted by Mike123abc
...It depends on how often an I-Frame (I-Frame is a complete picture frame not just differences) comes down. On DVDs it has to be no more than 18 frames away from the last I-Frame. It looks like Dish is running one I-Frame every second...
About the longest GOP structure ever used professionally is 17-18 frames. I've not heard of anything longer. If DISH is using a 30 frame GOP that is pretty unusual.

That being said, the fact that we are always waiting for I frames can only make about a half second to a second of difference. There is buffering, too, but its surprising as to how long a 721 takes to change channels.

But its really not an issue. Things change. Folks who live with PVR's very long don't generally surf anymore, because there's no longer any reason to. That's the whole point of owning a PVR, is to make surfing pointless. Any program that we might possibly want to see is easily set to record ahead of time, anyway, which was not practical (or easy) using videotape. Now it is.
 

· Legend
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Originally posted by TomCat

But its really not an issue. Things change. Folks who live with PVR's very long don't generally surf anymore, because there's no longer any reason to. That's the whole point of owning a PVR, is to make surfing pointless. Any program that we might possibly want to see is easily set to record ahead of time, anyway, which was not practical (or easy) using videotape. Now it is.
Good point. Understood, but this is just one way of using a PVR. Sure, I have a lot of programs recorded ahead of time. But the Dish PVR is also my tuner.

I should not have to plan all my viewing ahead of time just because I own a PVR (and it is sounding like non-PVR receivers have the same problem). PVRs are great. However, we should also be able to kick back and SURF for something that LOOKs interesting.

In any event, I didn't realize the digital delivery format is one of the things that makes this impossible. That's too bad.
 

· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, I get it. With a guide (and especially when watching pre-recorded content on a PVR), "surfing" as we once knew it no longer makes sense.

Revised questions: From within the guide, for live content on the 721 or 508:
1. Does the 3-5 second delay described above apply to the picture in the guide? and
2. When you actually select OK (I want to watch this), what is the delay?
 

· AllStar
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62 Posts
On the 721, the guide shows the program you were watching when you hit "Guide", so the delay is not relevant.

When you select ok, the response time ranges from 3 to 5 seconds in my experience. There's nothing special about selecting it in the guide vs. channel up/down.
 

· Mentor
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I would say the delay on the 721 is closer to about 2 seconds. If it were 5 seconds I believe the unit would be unusable for surfing. It is certainly not instantaneous but once you get used to it, it is no big deal. 5 seconds would be a big deal.
 
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