So I know Dish has a promotion until the end of this month, where it
costs $100 and they lease you a 522 receiver for $5 a month and the DVR
costs another $5. I'm also considering buying a 721 outright. This costs
more up front, but there's no lease or DVR fee, so my monthly charge
So I've gone over and over the brochures, and the only real
difference I can see is that the 522 allows operation on two
televisions, and the 721 doesn't. This doesn't matter to me, I've only
got one TV.
Are there any bugs or problems that I should know about, I'm leaning
strongly towards the 721 because of the savings in monthly fees, but I
want to make sure I've made the correct decision.
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It is significant that the 721 doesn't have (and won't get) Name Based
Recording. The 522 does have it and your 501 is SUPPOSED to be upgraded to have
it, sometime. The 522 wouldn't cost you an extra $10 if you only have a single
receiver, there isn't a "$5 lease fee". That only applies to "additional
receivers". The $5 DVR fee changes to $5.98 on Feb 1st as well, so you are
looking at $6 extra for the 522. Even if you are replacing a 3rd receiver with
a 522, the $4.99 you currently pay will increase a penny to $5 on Feb 1st and
will exactly match the $5 lease fee for the 522.
NBR is probably worth $6/month. You pick your show in the Guide, select All,
New, ... episodes and it will record them for you. If a show changes days or is
gone for a month, it just starts recording when it resumes or has special night
broadcasts. Divide whatever price you find for a 721 by $6 to see when they
breakeven. Only you can decide what is best for you.
> Hi, I'm trying to decide how to upgrade my system, and would
> appreciate advice and opinions. Right now we have a 501, which we've
> been fairly happy with. But the one thing we'd like to be able to do is
> watch one show while recording another, or record two at once. It seems
> the networks keep putting my favorite shows in the same time slot. :-) A
> bigger hard drive would also be nice as well, to hold all the new stuff.
> So I know Dish has a promotion until the end of this month, where it
> costs $100 and they lease you a 522 receiver for $5 a month and the DVR
> costs another $5. I'm also considering buying a 721 outright. This costs
> more up front, but there's no lease or DVR fee, so my monthly charge
> wouldn't change.
> So I've gone over and over the brochures, and the only real
> difference I can see is that the 522 allows operation on two
> televisions, and the 721 doesn't. This doesn't matter to me, I've only
> got one TV.
> Are there any bugs or problems that I should know about, I'm leaning
> strongly towards the 721 because of the savings in monthly fees, but I
> want to make sure I've made the correct decision.
The cost shouldn't be the only factor in your decision.
The 522 has several advantages over the 721.
1) The 522 has Name Based Recording, this means a scheduled recording
will move if the show's Time slot or air date changes, or is expanded.
2) The 522 has access to the Dish Home as well.
3) The 522 also has the ability to record only new episodes.
> It is significant that the 721 doesn't have (and won't get) Name Based
> Recording. The 522 does have it and your 501 is SUPPOSED to be
> upgraded to have it, sometime. The 522 wouldn't cost you an extra
> $10 if you only have a single receiver, there isn't a "$5 lease fee".
> That only applies to "additional receivers". The $5 DVR fee changes
> to $5.98 on Feb 1st as well, so you are looking at $6 extra for the
> 522. Even if you are replacing a 3rd receiver with a 522, the $4.99
> you currently pay will increase a penny to $5 on Feb 1st and will
> exactly match the $5 lease fee for the 522.
> NBR is probably worth $6/month. You pick your show in the Guide,
> select All, New, ... episodes and it will record them for you. If a
> show changes days or is gone for a month, it just starts recording
> when it resumes or has special night broadcasts. Divide whatever
> price you find for a 721 by $6 to see when they breakeven. Only you
> can decide what is best for you.
Well, I'll check further, but the agreement for the Dish'n It Up
promotion specifically states that there is a $5.00 "Equipment Rental
Fee" for each receiver "added to your account (or exchanged for a
receiver you owned) under this promotion." I erred in calling it a lease
fee, I guess, but they're not going to just lease me a new receiver for
free, right? (The $100 is stated as an installation fee.) The additional
outlet fee and the DVR fee are both discussed separately. The fee for
extra receiver is waived if I keep the thing continuously attached to a
phone, which isn't really a problem.
The NBR sounds interesting. The 7100 I used to have did something
similar, I miss that feature... No sure it's worth the extra $$$ per
month, I'll have to mull it over...
There are many other newgroups participants that have taken up the 522 lease and
if one of them has it as their Primary or ONLY from an Upgrade, they should
speak up with what really happens. I dunno.
I can't guarantee DISH'n it up follows their standard T & C (for NEW subs or
former subs that qualify), but read through
and you will find Monthly Fees and Payments:
Equipment Rental Fee: A $5.00 equipment rental fee for the first receiver
activated is included in the promotional base programming package price. An
additional equipment rental fee of $5.00 per month will be charged to your
account for each receiver activated beyond the first;
I was under the impression existing customer lease deals fell under the same
terms. The online Equipment Upgrades: Lease Offers doesn't link to that page
(or any other) for detailed terms. The 1st (or only) receiver doesn't have a
$5/mo fee for new subs (lease or purchase) and it would be hard to charge it for
specific existing subs that lease under specific upgrade offers.
>Also if you go with the 522 and later down the road you decide to get a
>2nd tv you will not need to get another box since the 2nd tuner is
>built into the 522.
The 721 also has a 2nd tuner. What it doesn't have is an independent
TV2 /output/ so both TVs would have to see the same thing. In 522
terminology the 721 can only operate in Single User Mode.
> The 522 also has the PIP function.
They both do, the 522's is available only in Single Mode.
> However you will need to
> have a phone line connected to the 522 where as with the
> 721 you do not need to have it connected.
This is true, to avoid the additional outlet (aka "no phone") fee.
Those with multiple receivers will need to keep them all connected to
the same phone number in order to avoid audit calls.
Visit the Echostar Knowledge Base
Sorry for bumping in here, but I've been wondering something about
NBR for quite a while.
What does the DVR consider a "new" show?
1) One that does not already appear on the hard drive?
2) One that has already been recorded, viewed, and deleted?
In other words, does the DVR keep a record of ALL prior shows? This
would require some kind of masterfile containing a historical record
of all prior shows. I find this unlikely.
Up until a month or two ago (I forget), DISH used the year originally
aired matching the current year. Didn't work very well at all.
Whenever it was that they fixed it, they now use a non-displayed field
in the 9 day guide data for New (for this channel). It isn't whether
the description contains "new" somewhere - that isn't present on a lot
of shows that are new. If it didn't record the original "new" show and
it repeats, it will qualify a repeat as "new". My wife likes Monk that
had a premiere episode but I hadn't entered anything in the 942 for Monk
since I bought it. I'd missed the 1st show but selected the duplicate
several hours after it and it qualified as new. I THINK that will only
work if the real "new" episode is still present in the current EPG and
the short term (a few days, not sure of length/size) list of recent
recordings (or skips, ...) doesn't have an entry. It also remembers
something that should have been recorded as new but was skipped due to
conflicts and will pick up a Saturday repeat of a Wed show. I don't
remember the details - just that it didn't reject the Saturday repeat
for one of its various reasons (present in DVR, another timer entered
sooner / higher priority for the same episode on another channel beats
you, not a new episode, ...). Presently, it really does a fine job
selecting New. It does well if you pick a time slot and request daily,
weekly, ... and if that named show isn't active when the timer fires, it
skips because it isn't the right show. Daily Show as a M-F at a fixed
time slot (instead of "new") would be an example. On Friday when
something else is in the slot, it skips it. DISH pass is separate, when
you aren't chosing which channel to record a given show on (and would
take even more typing).
I don't know what would happen if you tried to watch an east coast new,
deleted it, then tried to record the west coast version that would also
be flagged as new. It would likely find the reference to it in the
recent recordings lists, even though it wasn't in the list of viewable
recordings any longer. I can't give you the exact HOW, but I can say it
works damn well. Well enough that I haven't experimented to determine
Thanks for the comprehensive response. I think I've been mistaken
in my understanding of NBR. It's much less than I had hoped.
If you set a NBR timer for "Saturday Night Live", would you expect
it to record ONLY the SNL broadcast on Saturday night and NOT
record the myriad of repeats splattered over the various other
As an example I record "Understanding" on the Science channel every
day. Most of the times it's a repeat (to me). So I delete it.
I'd like the DVR to remember which show I've recorded, viewed,
deleted, compare them to the present show, and NOT record them if
I've already viewed them [As I think about this - this is a VERY
VERY TALL order.]
A friend of mine has a TIVO. She tapes all episodes of MythBusters
with a season pass. The TIVO will not record broadcast if it's
already recorded and STILL ON THE DRIVE. However, once she watches
and DELETES it, the TIVO will re-record it. When she told me this
the TIVO seemed a LOT less attractive.
If Dish's NBR is similar, I can't see paying additional money for
it. Perhaps I missing something.
Dish has recently begun getting some new data in the EPG's program
description, namely each shows original air date. If that date is the
same as today's date then that show is a "NEW" show. If that date is a
date earlier than todays date it is NOT a "NEW" show.
If you set Saturday Night Live to record as one event for just NBC then
yes you will only get each new show of Saturday Night Live from NBC, if
NEW only if that is your selection when you setup the event. If you
select a Dish Pass event then the receiver will look for Saturday Night
Live on each and every Channel on Dish's service.
The receiver is not going to remember which shows you recorded
and which you didn't, but it will search your previously recorded shows
still on your Hard Drive for a duplicate event (By program description)
if present the show will NOT be recorded.
It goes by *exact* date, or within a *range*? If by exact date, that will
cause issues as syndicated shows don't always air on the exact Original Air
Date (OAD). Sometimes the affiliates show the program a few days after the
OAD. On a TiVo, the criteria for NEW is within a week or so of OAD.
Unless DiSH is going to manually update the OAD for each entry to conform
with that particular affiliates actual OAD, using the provided OAD will
cause some people to miss there shows.
I'm not sure I'm just going by what I have heard, its possible that
there is a couple day window in the software.
Bottomline is that if the EPG Data is not correct then your DVR could
miss a "New" show here and there.
I can't speak for DiSH's implemetnation of NBR as I haven't seen it, but
seeing as you mention TiVo, I can describe how it handles it. In your
example above, setting a Season Pass for "NEW" would only get the Saturday
Night episode, not the repeats.
> As an example I record "Understanding" on the Science channel every
> day. Most of the times it's a repeat (to me). So I delete it.
> I'd like the DVR to remember which show I've recorded, viewed,
> deleted, compare them to the present show, and NOT record them if
> I've already viewed them [As I think about this - this is a VERY
> VERY TALL order.]
Yes, cause the database of what's already been recorded would grow to be
> A friend of mine has a TIVO. She tapes all episodes of MythBusters
> with a season pass. The TIVO will not record broadcast if it's
> already recorded and STILL ON THE DRIVE. However, once she watches
> and DELETES it, the TIVO will re-record it. When she told me this
> the TIVO seemed a LOT less attractive.
The TiVo will keep the info about things already recorded (and deleted) for
28 days. Unless you override the setting, and it records an episode on
1-30-2006 and you delete it the same day, that episode won't be eligible for
re-recording till 2-27-2006. If the SP is set to "NEW", when that episode
is on again and the OAD (Original Air Date) is outside the 1 week (or so)
windows, it won't be re-recorded. If you have your SP set to "Furst Run and
Repeats", it will be recorded (once the 28 day rule has expired). There is
also a setting for "All Episodes" which ignores the 28 day rule.
> If Dish's NBR is similar, I can't see paying additional money for
> it. Perhaps I missing something.
If their implementation is anything like TiVos it should be quite good. As
long as the guide data as a fairly accurate OAD included for the recorder to
key off of, it should work out for most people as expected.
It will be interesting to see how they go about doing it. Also interesting
to see if it causes any additions to the variuos "Everybody vs. Everybody"
world of lawsuits regarding what "feature" is owned by whom. I wonder if
that is part of why it's taking so long.
> Bottomline is that if the EPG Data is not correct then your DVR could miss
> a "New" show here and there.
Absolutely. It will also cause some "not-new" shows to be recorded over and
over again. An example is "The Daily Show". Comedy Central is notorious
for NOT providing proper guide data. Just the "default" description. As a
result, TiVos, err on the side of caution and record ALL episodes (better to
record too many rather than too few).
Another downside to using the OAD is when it is wrong (or mis applied). An
example of that is Stargate:Atlantis. The episodes on now were first aired
in Canada in November. When the guide data was sent over to SciFi/US they
included that OAD instead of the US:OAD. As a result, SP set for "new" are
skipping those episodes as the OAD is over 2 months ago.
That's why over at www.tivocommunity.com (a subset of www.avsforum.com)
there is a message board specifically for Season Pass Alerts. If the DiSH
NBR works anything like the TiVo NBR, I would suggest people bookmark that
If I could have any one thing from a dish receiver, in general, it would be
the ability to quickly change channels up/down. That sluggishness is
inherent in all dish receivers, DTV receivers and some digital cable boxes.
Anyway - Go for the 721 IMO.
Name based recording could be nice but I guess I do not know what I'm
missing. What I would want out of NBR, and I'm not sure it delivers, is the
ability to extend a recording is its normal time is pre-empted.
> "Homer.Simpson" <Homer....@SpringfieldBB.com.INVALID> wrote
>> As an example I record "Understanding" on the Science channel
>> every day. Most of the times it's a repeat (to me). So I delete
>> it. I'd like the DVR to remember which show I've recorded,
>> viewed, deleted, compare them to the present show, and NOT record
>> them if I've already viewed them [As I think about this - this
>> is a VERY VERY TALL order.]
> Yes, cause the database of what's already been recorded would grow
> to be huge.
The 522 has a 120-GB hard drive. Assuming it would store, say, 1000
bytes per show in order to tell if it's been recorded before, even
100,000 shows would only be 100 MB, or 0.1% of the drive's capacity.
So it's not impractical from a storage space point of view.
(remove the Xs to reply)
But the indexing and processing of that database could/would be impractical.
The DVR boxes all have small amounts of memory and slow processors. They're
not the big beefy P4s with gobs of ram like we have on our desktops, but low
power single minded appliances.
I can't speak for what's in a 522 cause I haven't cracked one open nor seen
spec sheets, but a TiVo S2 box is a MIPS proc at 75mhz with 32mb RAM.
When's the last time you did any DB work on something like that? While
playing back a program and recording another program?
Thanks to John and Seth for the followups.
I'll have to give this NBR some more thought.
I'm a News, Discovery, Science, TLC, and Hist Channel junky.
I don't think NBR is very useful for the News.
Discovery, Science, TLC, History Channel:
These are usually a hodgepodge of new & old shows which are often
"new to me" months after their virgin broadcasts. However, once
I've seen them once I don't care to view them again.... and they
are re-broadcasted ad-nauseam.
I propose NBR is most useful to someone who watches weekly sitcoms
which move about the dial frequently. Greys Anatomy (which I NEVER
miss! ;-D ) is an ideal candidate. Modern Marvels (History
channel) is less..... as is Understanding (Science).
In any event, if Dish ever (finally) drops NBR on my 508 I'll be
happy to give it a whirl. I didn't fully comprehend the benefits
of a DVR until I purchased one. Now, I'd sooner part with my
fridge or stove than my DVR. Maybe NBR will be similar?
>Name based recording could be nice but I guess I do not know what I'm
>missing. What I would want out of NBR, and I'm not sure it delivers, is the
>ability to extend a recording is its normal time is pre-empted.
Dish NBR will:
- adjust the start and/or stop times of an event *IF* those times are
in the schedule
- automatically extend the duration of a sports event by one hour
NBR will not:
- adjust for a program delayed by a preceding show running past its
scheduled end time. AFAIK this includes those immediately following a
I noticed when recording from my 508 to a Sony DVD recorder, most of the
time the Sony knows what the name of the show is after recording an puts
this name into the title of the directory on the DVD. Since I am
recording in analog (s-video), I assume this was the information
contained in the vertical blanking, so it is available to the DVR.
Since I have non-NBR 508s, I just add extra time to known problem shows
or shows I learn are a problem. For example, if I want a show/movie on
CBS on Sunday night, I know I better add extra time because the football
games always run long. For Lost on Wednesdays, I just record 3 hours
from 7:59 to 11:01 (I also watch Invasion). For SciFi channel movies on
Saturday night, I always add an extra 10 minutes, since half the time
they run over by 5 minutes. Etc.
> "Ray Heindl" <vortre...@yaxhoo.com> wrote
>> The 522 has a 120-GB hard drive. Assuming it would store, say,
>> 1000 bytes per show in order to tell if it's been recorded
>> before, even 100,000 shows would only be 100 MB, or 0.1% of the
>> drive's capacity. So it's not impractical from a storage space
>> point of view.
> But the indexing and processing of that database could/would be
> impractical. The DVR boxes all have small amounts of memory and
> slow processors. They're not the big beefy P4s with gobs of ram
> like we have on our desktops, but low power single minded
> I can't speak for what's in a 522 cause I haven't cracked one open
> nor seen spec sheets, but a TiVo S2 box is a MIPS proc at 75mhz
> with 32mb RAM. When's the last time you did any DB work on
> something like that? While playing back a program and recording
> another program?
I also don't know what's in a 522. But I can't imagine the job being
*that* hard. There probably wouldn't be more than a few thousand
records to look through. It wouldn't have to do the processing while
busy playing or recording, but could do it when not otherwise occupied.
In a pinch, records could be deleted after a few years, since a show
that was last seen that long ago probably wouldn't be remembered.
The first database program I ever used ran quite nicely on an Apple IIe
with a whopping 128k of RAM ;)
But while playing/recording other stuff is also precisely when it would need
to check the previously recorded database as you might be on the "other"
tuner setting up a new Season Pass (or whatever DiSH is gonna call the
equivalent). That's just an example of when you can't put it off till later
Who sets the cut off of when it will or won't remember anymore? TiVo
figured 28days is enough cause trying to process a database any larger than
that, on the fly, would have required too many system resources. 2 years
would be at least 24 times that much data, possibly more on an exponential
> The first database program I ever used ran quite nicely on an Apple IIe
> with a whopping 128k of RAM ;)
I'm going to guess it wasn't processing TV quality data at the same time...