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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The reasons are not what you might think. We experienced no problems or errors...Just read on.

First, we've had a simple model 3000 since 1997, what an exquisitely designed piece of function. We had a brief affair with Charter digital cable a year or so ago, liked getting analog channels on all TVs, but hated the electronic program guide -- very colorful and busy, top half of the screen is advertisements, bottom half is crammed with channel info in a font so small we had to walk up to the TV to read it, and only one hour at a time. Also, the remote had way too many buttons just for TV.

Well we bought a used 7200 that arrived yesterday. Hooked up and called E* to transfer the account. During setup you can't just type in your zip code using the number keys, you have to navigate an onscreen keyboard with the arrow keys and first backspace the existing zip code away, then pick out your numbers on the keyboard, I knew this was a bad sign.

HATE the program guide -- Top half of the screen is a tiny useless box that shows what's on the channel you were watching, bottom half of the screen is once again crammed with very difficult to read program info and the worst choice of colors for fonts and backgrounds. On the 3000, you have to wait for the guide to load as you travel out into the future on the epg, but it usually loads all the programs. With the 7200 even the current programs included about 2 out of 5 that said info not available.

The thing reeks of microsoft -- press the wrong button and it does nothing but make a stupid windowslike error tone. Not an intuitive product. While watching a show with a 3000, you can press the right arrow key to see the time, time left on this program, channel and name of the program overlayed over the screen (doesn't cause the screen to get minimized), and if you press the left arrow key again you can see what's up next. And you can use the up and down arrows to see what's on other channels. Well the 7200 just gives that idiot tone. If you want to browse, you're subjected to a tiny window to watch your program and that dreadful program guide.

Also, the 7200 uses boxes like "done" and "continue" so you have to use the arrow keys on the remote to navigate the active button then press go. There is no "exit" or "cancel" key on the remote that I could find.

Also, the model 3000 always does something when you press a button on the remote. With the 7200 a button may do one thing while watching a program but will do nothing or something different when browsing the guide.

Also, I guess because we picked it up used, the record function was crippled, clearly another bow to microsoft tactics. So when you push the record button, a new screen comes up telling you to subscribe to webtv and you have to navigate to the "done" button" then press go to get back to your program. Noticed it doesn't just give you the idiot tone on that mistaken keystroke. And that webtv logo has got to go.

And what's up with the smart card slot in the front of the unit, you can't close the door with the card in????? At least they put another slot in the back, but that's got ot be a PITA if you have to slip the card out and back in at 3 in the morning.

The wife and I discussed the thing. We figured one of us could probably sweet talk a CSR into activating the record features for free till June of next year. But we decided that the guide was a deal breaker, not the lack of record features. the same thing that caused us to cancel cable after a month.

And the guide issue isnt' just anE* problem. We've looked at new D* receivers and noticed the same thing with the guides. It looks all cool in the store with lots of colors and channel logos. But we're thinkning about getting the thing home and kicking back in his and hers easy chairs after a couple of Miller High Lifes trying to deal with all that busyness and the small fonts...We're gonna miss our venerable old 3000 when they force us to decommission it.

Finally, for all you 7200 owners, I was surprised how hot the unit was after only a couple of hours. I strongly suspect that some of the vram errors, and so forth result from overheating. I'd have rigged a fan into my entertainment center if we'd kept the unit.
 

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Founder
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Hi Lee,

I understand your frustration with the 7200. The fonts are pretty small on the program guide. It all really comes down to a matter of taste. I like the program guide on the 7200 only because it goes out for 7-days and has a search function (which is much easier to use if you have a keyboard).

You may have been getting "no information" on the program guide because the 48 hour guide may have not downloaded correctly. Also, you might want to wait until you get the 7-day guide during the 3AM download before reserving final judgment. It doesn't change the look of the guide but it makes it much more useful.

Have you used a PVR before? If not, I highly suggest giving the Dishplayer a couple weeks. Having a PVR may completely change the way you watch TV and you will wonder how you lived without it before. Just a suggestion.
 

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Banned
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As a Dishplayer owner, I will say that you will like it MUCH better once it gets its initial download. Also once a week they send out the games which are fun to play.

Use it a week and you will really like it (well except for any bugs which creap up)

Even know I have had many Dishplayer problems, no one could pry the Dishplayer remote from my hands to give me a non pvr receiver.

Try it you will like it!
 

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Native American Potentate
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The slot in the front is for a Web TV smart card. It should be empty as I believe that was never implemented. Your smart card goes in the back.


I too think you recived a bad guide download.

Also you cant recors without activating the PVR. Did you do this?


The DP is hardly trouble free but i think you are bit hasty in your appraisal.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, actually I think you guys are missing the point entirely. The deal breaker for my wife and me was the program guide. Whether it goes out seven days or has a search feature is of no value if you get a headache trying to read the screen. We didn't even get to the record features and so forth.

And we're worried because all the new recivers seem to have these cluttered program guides. That's the point. My wife, who is the queen of epgs, about had a cow right in the den (not a pretty sight) when she saw the guide.
 

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AllStar
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Why don't you just grab a 301?? It's ten times faster than a 3000. The remote is basically the same as your old one. You can get rid of the PIP in the guide so that you have a similar EPG as the 3000.

Why did you replace the 3000 with the Dishplayer??
 

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Founder
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Actually I understood your point completely which is why my post to you said "The fonts are pretty small on the program guide. It all really comes down to a matter of taste."

I can't speak for everyone here but the goal of my post was to try to pursuade you to possibly look past the EPG layout and see what other great PVR features you could be missing.

BUT, the EPG seems to be a BIG issue with you and I understand your points. I guess you might want to keep your 3000.
 

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AllStar
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86 Posts
lee635,

From what you posted, I think that you would be much happier with a 501 receiver. The 501's program guide is very similar to the older units and is quite readable. You also get added benifits: a 9 day guide, instantaneous access to the program guide info (since it is stored on the built in hard drive), and a digital VCR.
 

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Cool Member
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>>See, I don't have any problem reading the 7200 guide, it's really a matter of how good your TV is I think more than anything.

I have to second that. I'm rather nearsighted, and even across the room I have no problem- but the Sony XBR450 sure helps make it clearer. I'd probably not be able to read it on a 25" SDTV, I'm guessing.

I also thought the remote and the user interface was weird at first, but it's become second nature now.

And as far as the heat thing, yeah that bothers me. I may put a fan in my entertainment center also (I usually leave the door open when using it).
 

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Godfather/Supporter
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342 Posts
I have no problem reading my dishplayer guide on my 57" widescreen. I didn't notice if you put down your screen size but the 32" that I use to have the Dishplayer on is about as small of a TV that I would want to have used it on.
 

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God Bless America!
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2,538 Posts
TiVo has the BEST guide Harry, have you seen it's guide? BTW, my DISHPlayer guide is perfectly fine on a 27" and I'm very nearsighted (though my BCVA is 20/20 with glasses and a little better than 20/20 with contacts, though I can handle wearing contacts.)
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK OK. I was too hasty.

And if we had never seen the guide on the 3000, we probably wouldn't be so hung up on it. But I can be on the sofa about 8 feet from our 27" Hitachi and the spousal unit can be in the kitchen 18 feet away and we can both see the guide and read the movie info and so forth. Which allows us to both fix dinner and negotiate the night's TV viewing. And you simply can't do that with this "improved" guide. I believe my wife sensed a potential power shift if she had to rely on me to filter information for her in the kitchen. :)))

Talked the wife into giving the "playa" another try as a second receiver in the wreck room alongside the BUD . We'll try it there since we do lots of recording in the wreck room that is then watched on the tv in the den. But she absolutely refuses to give up the 3000 in the den. Also, note that the wreck room is more of "my domain" while she, shall we say, holds onto the remote in the den. :rolleyes:
 

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I have several Dish units and we love the DP guide screen. I really hate the fact the 501 does not allow you to watch the program that is on when you are doing other things (setting up a record, surfing, checking the recordings, etc...) We find the color scheme for the DP screens are much easier to view. The 501 colors seem harsh, the silver is to much. Also LOVE the fact the DP gives you the show info on the same screen as you surf, with the 501 you have to go to an info screen and then back, move the cursor over, check the info screen, etc...
 

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Originally posted by Randy_B
I have several Dish units and we love the DP guide screen. I really hate the fact the 501 does not allow you to watch the program that is on when you are doing other things (setting up a record, surfing, checking the recordings, etc...) We find the color scheme for the DP screens are much easier to view. The 501 colors seem harsh, the silver is to much. Also LOVE the fact the DP gives you the show info on the same screen as you surf, with the 501 you have to go to an info screen and then back, move the cursor over, check the info screen, etc...
I agree. What a shame, it could have done a lot to boost E* up the ladder. After it is all said and done, that is what really amazes me is their (E*) "we don't give s***" attitude about the DP from the start.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Not necessarily true, Mark... The idea was/is great, but the corporate relationship soured, hence the lack of support from MS. Do you have a DP?
 

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God Bless America!
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Yes Neil, I do have a DP. But I don't subscribe to the PVR functions. I had them for free for awhile, and with all the problems, they weren't worth keeping. I honestly believe they should be free now, since they are for 501 owners! Anyways, you're correct - the IDEA was great. The PRODUCT was doomed from the beginning because it's Microsoft.
 
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