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rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

You probably all know that I am a fan of Dish Network. For the past 4 days I have been calling their Tech Support to resolve a problem that they introduced with a software upgrade.

Dealing with their tech support is like talking to a bag of rocks! I am now looking for an alternative programming source, one which actually supports their customers.

I have been a Dish customer for over 10 years, I have 4 receivers and their full programming package, every time I call I get the message "I see that you are one of our top customers", I told them today to change my status to "One of our most dis-satisfied customers".

Bag of Rocks Tech Support!

They introduced a software change which breaks the ability for my TIVO to work with Dish. Their solution, switch to our DVR. If their DVR had half the functionality of a TIVO I might consider it but their DVR is brain-dead.

John, venting.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2009 12:31 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

John,
Sorry to hear that!

I've never had Tivo but love the Dish DVRs. What makes a Tivo better in your opinion?
"If their DVR had half the functionality of a TIVO"

CNet reviews have them ranked equally by CNet and the end user.
http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-6474_7-6546224.html

This from Satellite Guys US
http://www.satelliteguys.us/dish-network-forum/156205-dish-dvr-vs-tivo-hd-one-thought.html
Excerpt below
"I've been using a Dishnetwork 622 and a 722 since mid-2007, and this week I am visiting with my parents for the holiday and they have a TiVO HD. All I can say is "yuck". It's not so much that the TiVO HD is bad, per se, but that the 622/722 platform is so much better. The Dish DVR is MUCH faster than TiVO, the guide shows more, it's easier to do common things, and the cablecard-based TiVO HD seems prone to a lot of glitches, dropouts and pixilation."

This from another thread
"As a TiVo series 3 to Dish 722 convert, I can say I am pretty impressed. I was quite afraid that the 722 would suck after using TiVo.

Actually, I think Dish is a little better at conflict resolution. It took a little getting used to the "Dish" way of DVRing. I use event timers instead of DishPASS, so I might not be taking full advantage.

Most of the TiVo patented features, like the jumpback when you hit play to cover for the delay in hitting the button, and the thumbs/suggestions, I don't miss at all. I've found I prefer the 30-second skip ahead / 10 second skip back more than fast forwarding and rewinding on TiVo.

For awhile I kept my TiVo hooked up recording HD OTA broadcasts as a backup. The Dish DVR hasn't failed me, so I unhooked the TiVo, and it now sits lonely with 1.5 years left on the prepaid subscription. : "

I think you'll learn to love it once you get used to it's functionality.
Alan

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Posted : November 11, 2009 10:38 am
vacationstx
(@vacationstx)
Advanced Member

We have Dish and the recorder that allows 2 shows to be taped at once; programming is easy. Have never had a problem. when the power goes off, It starts re taping as soon as the generator kicks in.

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Posted : November 11, 2009 12:20 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

A few things that I like about TIVO.

I have multiple TIVOs. We have multiple for several reasons. A TIVO learns the kind of programs that you like. It's strategy is to keep the hard drive full, no use having empty space when it can be full of shows. These are called TIVO picks and will automatically be erased if space is needed for something that you want to record. So TIVO learns the kind of program that an individual likes and keeps the disk full of shows similar to the ones you pick. My wife and I each have our own TIVO. Hers is always full of cooking and craft shows from HGTV and DIY, mine is always full of science fiction and aviation shows, etc. Things that we picked and things similar to what we picked.

The TIVOs are all connected to the network. If a show is recorded on any TIVO you can watch it on any other TIVO. TIVO will automatically move the programs across the LAN to allow viewing on any TV. Since TIVO is connected to the Internet, not only can you order and rent or buy movies from amazon via the Internet but you can also reprogram your TIVO from anywhere via the Internet. If I am out and someone tells me about a show that I should see, I pick up my iPhone and add it to my record list anytime and anywhere.

Also TIVO provides FREE something called TIVO Desktop. A program which runs on your laptop or desktop computer. This program allows me to use my laptop to view TV shows and movies. My laptop or desktop computer also extends the storage of my TIVO. If I am going on a trip I can download a few movies from my TIVO to my laptop or iPhone and take them with me to watch in the car or plane. Basically my laptop and iPhone becomes an extension of my TIVO system and I can move shows freely between my TIVO units and all of my computers either direction via my wireless LAN.

One of our TIVOs has a built in DVD burner, so if we decide we want to keep a show we just pop in a blank DVD and dump the show to DVD. Then you can watch it on any regular DVD player.

Then there are the search and auto record features. You can search or auto record based on any combination of keywords in the title or description, genre of show, actor, director, etc. For instance I can auto record or search for any John Wayne western directed by John Ford. Many complex searches are possible.

I'm sure I can come up with a few more things if I think about it.

John

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2009 1:46 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

How did they break Tivo Support? Which receiver did you have?

Not sure you have any other options here though...frustrating.

Sean

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Posted : November 11, 2009 1:51 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Dish decided last week that they were going to require all receivers to check for upgrades every night. In the past you were allowed to configure your receiver to not upgrade without your permission. This might not sound so bad but they decided that after they check for an update they will put the receiver into Standby mode. This occurs whether or not an update occurs. When in Standby mode the receiver does not respond to the remote control until you press a button on the Dish remote which wakes the receiver up.

TIVO depends on mimicking the remote control. It depends on the receiver being in Active mode not Standby mode. Up until last week I could program my receiver to stay Active all of the time and never g into Standby mode. Now it goes into Standby mode every night and TIVO records nothing but the Dish standby screen saver until I press the Select button on the remote to wake up the receiver.

I don't understand why they couldn't have simply put the receiver back into the same state it was in prior to the update. Instead they always put it into Standby. If I am away from home for several days it means that after the first day I have no TIVO recordings only the standby screensaver.

I have been playing with setting a bogus timer in the receiver to wake the receiver up after the update but this appears to be unreliable. The problem is that if you program the receiver to do the update at 3:30, it doesn't actually happen at 3:30, it might be delayed. So setting a timer for 4:00 works sometime and not others. As you move the timer out to make sure that there is time for the update you make a bigger window where TIVO recording cannot occur.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2009 2:23 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Interesting!

Most Dish receivers can be told not to go into standby by disabling it in Preferences. Unless that changed since yesterday.
The Dish 922 DVR has a terrabit of storage and a built in Slingbox. All the HD receivers now have an ethernet port for networking and downloading VOD over the internet They also have a USB port for hooking up an external harddrive for more storage. They can also be manipulated over the internet.

The 211K is an HD receiver that doesn't have a hard drive but can be made into a DVR by installing an external hard drive and downloading the software from Dish.

I for one don't think I want my DVR recording stuff it thinks I'll like. It gets full enough with my selections:-)

With a Dish DVR even in standby the receiver will come on and record when it's scheduled.

Hope you can work this out to your satisfaction.

Alan

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Posted : November 11, 2009 6:47 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

I have a couple of VIP211s, until last week I could configure them not to go into standby. Dish deleted that option last week when it updated my receiver even though I had it programmed not to update without my permission. They ignored my preference!

Now you can still disable inactivity timeout standby but the receiver does an update check every day and goes into standby afterwards. No way to make it not go into standby.

So, are you saying that if I have two Dish DVRs and both are connected to the network then I can watch shows recorded on one DVR on the other one via the network?

As far as recording stuff that it thinks that you might want to watch, what is the down side of doing this? All it means is that when you want to watch something you have more choices. It will never erase stuff that you have asked to be recorded to record stuff it thinks you might want and it will always use it's stuff as scratch space when it needs room to record what you ask for. So why would it be an advantage to have empty disk space sitting around with nothing on it? The empty space might as well have something that you might want to watch. I frequently learn about new shows that I end up liking in this fashion.

My TIVO would always record what I wanted before Dish broke it. Please explain the advantage of going into Standby mode? I see no advantage at all. The receiver does not power off, it simply goes into standby. Why should dish put my receiver into standby mode without my permission? They could just as easily have put into the same mode it was in before the forced update.

What about TIVO Desktop. Can you load programs from the Dish DVR into your PC to watch when you travel? Can you point the Dish DVR to a server on your LAN which you use to store movies and watch them from any DVR on your LAN? I have a home server with two terabytes of storage. Any movie that I want to keep long term I simply copy from TIVO to this home server and all of my TIVOs can see it and play a movie from it. TIVO has had this feature for at least 3 years.

As I said TIVO also lets you link your TIVO account to your Amazon.com account, you can then rent movies or buy movies from amazon.com using just your TIVO remote control.

I hope that I can work it out also because I resent Dish network for breaking my audio/video setup. I think that their unwillingness to resolve the problem is due in part to the fact that they are being sued by TIVO for patent infringement. DirecTV licensed the technology from TIVO, Dish simply copied much of it. I don't really care who wins but I resent Dish punishing their customers because of this lawsuit.

This is the equivilent of Microsoft deciding to update my PC by force, even though I had it configured not to update without my permission. And installing an update which not only no longer gave me control over whether my PC was automatically updated in the future but also broke my favorite application program. Can you imagine how upset users would be.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2009 7:31 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

In terms of watching on other boxes, the 722's have 2 outputs that can be "matrixed" so that has been a satisfactory way of doing things for us. The second output though is coax/composite so its not capable of delivering an HD signal. Our bedroom TV isn't HD so not a problem yet, but they do need a dual HD output receiver soon to stay competitive with FIOS and other options in the states. When paired with a slingbox/sling catcher there are some creative ways to do video over IP too, not great ways but they work in a pinch.

For computer access, there are a lot of slick things you can now do at dish.sling.com with the 722's with a slingbox or the 922's (are they out yet?). The web interface is pretty fantastic and the way it integrates the sling/receiver into a rather cohesive experience is pretty nice. Programming/searching the guides and your DVR is pretty seamless as well.

Where the unit doesn't do well is in pulling content off to remote devices for offline viewing. It is limited to the PocketDish/Archos players. I have one, it was great but it cannot deal with HD content and since we now get so much in HD here it is less useful than before. If they come out with an HD upgrade I will buy it and once again be happy with this approach.

The downside to Tivo recording things automatically? I believe there was a popular sitcom episode a few years back where a theme was "my Tivo thinks I'm gay." Pretty funny, the main character's Tivo kept recording fashion shows and stuff that is stereotypically "gay." I guess not all of us want our DVR "labeling" us 🙂 Personally, I do think its a cool feature the way Tivo has implemented it.

I would be surprised if you were the only one who had a problem with this and I would be surprised if they didn't come up with a fix of some sort. If not, Tivo can come up with a fix, likely involving sending the "select" command before every other command.

In all I'm happy with my Dish DVR but I was never a "Tivo Guy" having had Replay TV, then Comcast boxes in the past. Personally I think the picture quality is not as good on Tivo as it has to recompress the signal vs storing the raw datastream the way a native STB can. Most people I know who have had Tivo LOVE it though and wouldn't part with it for the world, sounds like you're in that boat 🙂 The Dish box is the best DVR I've had so far, its far better than the Motorola junk that most cable companies are using (stateside is still bad, Innovative is a joke).

In the long run maybe Tivo and Dish will settle their lawsuits and Dish will allow Tivo to begin selling STB's that work on their platform...one can dream I guess.

Sean

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Posted : November 11, 2009 8:39 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I understand your grief!
I wish I had the solution.:S

You're explaining an interface and features I wasn't aware of with Tivo.

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Posted : November 11, 2009 8:43 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

The downside to Tivo recording things automatically? I believe there was a popular sitcom episode a few years back where a theme was "my Tivo thinks I'm gay." Pretty funny, the main character's Tivo kept recording fashion shows and stuff that is stereotypically "gay." I guess not all of us want our DVR "labeling" us 🙂 Personally, I do think its a cool feature the way Tivo has implemented it.

I would be surprised if you were the only one who had a problem with this and I would be surprised if they didn't come up with a fix of some sort. If not, Tivo can come up with a fix, likely involving sending the "select" command before every other command.

Sean

That's funny! The way TIVO handles this is that the TIVO remote has a green thumbs up button and a red thumbs down button. You give TIVO hints by grading its picks with either a thumbs up or down. TIVO will quickly learn and stop recording shows that you don't like or start recording more of the type of shows that you do like. You have a lot of input. The down side is that a TIVO quickly becomes a very personal STB. We very soon had to get his and hers TIVOs. That is why the ability to watch shows recorded on any TIVO on any other TIVO is so important.

I am working the problem through TIVO as well so I am sure that a fix will be forthcoming. This is not the first time this has happened. About 2-3 years ago Dish upgraded my model 6000 receiver in such a way that it not only broke my TIVO but also broke all of the aftermarket programmable remote controls. There was such an outcry that they eventually fixed the problem. It took 6 weeks. I cannot believe they have done it again. They must have terrible beta testing. Last time it came out that all of their beta testers used only dish equipment.

I also have two sling boxes connected to the two TIVOs. So I have the same capability as your box, I have simply gone the component route instead of the all in one receiver. I think the customer should have the option to pick the equipment which has the feature set that they prefer. Apparently Dish disagrees.

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Topic starter Posted : November 11, 2009 9:12 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Sean and Rotor,
Sounds to me that between the two of you the answer to this dilema is right around the corner.

Sean,
I believe I can order the 922 if you'd like one. They were in Beta testing last time I checked. What I would suggest is calling Dish and see if they would consider an upgrade for you. You would be a perfect candidate to be a tester.

Alan

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Posted : November 12, 2009 9:56 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

This is why Dish Network broke interoperability between my Dish Receiver and my TIVO. I have already written a letter to the Dept of Justice complaining. I think that they should grant the injunction that an earlier judge awarded and force Dish to stop selling DVRs in the U.S. unless they properly license the technology like DirecTV did.

http://www.reuters.com/article/technology-media-telco-SP/idUSN2350278120091023

http://www.gadgetteaser.com/tag/tivo-lawsuit/

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Topic starter Posted : November 13, 2009 4:35 pm
CarlHartmann
(@CarlHartmann)
Advanced Member

Due to a penchant for all things DVR, we have the Dish (dual tuner), TIVO and Replay. I do this because each has good and bad points.

Here's a workaround that might do it for you. The cheap Radio Shack 8-in-1 (or is it now 10-in-1) remote control can learn any remote. It has the ability to execute any series of commands at a particular time. Just have it wake up your units or execute commands at various times. A bit clunky, but I have always found them to be reliable -- and you can issue a command several times over a period to make sure it works.

Just a thought....good luck!

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Posted : November 14, 2009 1:00 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Thanks Carl,

That is essentially the work around that I am using but it is not great. The Dish receiver has timers that can wake up the receiver also.

The solution that Dish offered me was to set an autotune timer after the nightly update to wake the receiver up. I originally tried setting it for 30 minutes after the update but this was only about 50% successful. It turns out that when you tell the Dish receiver to do the nightly update at 3:30 it is only a hint. The update can actually occur up to 30 minutes after this. So I had to change the timer to go off an hour after the update. This works ok, except it means that for one hour every day my Dish receiver is not available to record from. Dish receivers do not have this limitation and my TIVO did not until Dish broke it last week.

I think this is vindictive behavior on Dishes part. They have had to pay TIVO almost $400 million so far for patent infringements on their DVRs, and the supreme court just declined to hear their final appeal. They are currently operating on a temporary stay of a judges order to shut off their DVRs. Their only hope is that they have convinced the patent office to re-examine TIVOs patents, for the third time. The previous re-examinations were both in TIVOs favor. They are eventually going to be forced to pay licensing fees to TIVO and they don't like that.

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Topic starter Posted : November 14, 2009 4:18 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

One hour a day of not having a TIVO record sounds like a reasonable work around. I hadn't thought about the auto-tune feature. Good thinking!!
Is there a real problem with not being able to capture one show at 4am??
Can you feed more than one receiver into the TIVO? If so maybe have them reset at different times. Can it record 2 shows at once? Or does it conflict?
The Dish DVRs have dual tuners so that you can record 2 shows at a time.

The remote control idea sounds like it could help as well.

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Posted : November 14, 2009 5:02 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

One hour a day of not having a TIVO record sounds like a reasonable work around. I hadn't thought about the auto-tune feature. Good thinking!!
Is there a real problem with not being able to capture one show at 4am??
Can you feed more than one receiver into the TIVO? If so maybe have them reset at different times. Can it record 2 shows at once? Or does it conflict?
The Dish DVRs have dual tuners so that you can record 2 shows at a time.

The remote control idea sounds like it could help as well.

This only sounds reasonable to you because you are not affected. Think about how you would feel if as a result of settling this DVR lawsuit TIVO came back to Dish and said, OK you can use our DVR technology but only for 23 hours out of every day. Would Dish customers like that?

You first have to realize that this behavior was only introduced last week. It is completely unnecessary on Dish's part. The way I look at it is that I pay Dish for programming, for 24 hours a day of programming. They have just taken one hour of every day away from me and didn't reduce my monthly bill at all.

I'm not sure how Dish DVRs work but I can program my TIVO to pick up my favorite shows or type of show whenever they come on no matter which channel or when. That means that since I like Star Trek TNG I can tell TIVO to record any episode of TNG on any channel at anytime. This might very well be on Spike in the middle of the night. When I get ready to watch my show I play it back and what do I see? At 3:30 Dish checks to see if there is an update, 95% of the time there will not be, and then they shut my receiver down for an hour.
How is that reasonable?

I can also tell TIVO that I want to record any science fiction movie with flying saucers. I can't predict in advance when these shows will come on. In the past I did not need to, I had my receiver for all 24 hours. Now I only get 23 hours a day.

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Topic starter Posted : November 14, 2009 5:56 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Sorry!:-(

I'll stay out of this now.

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Posted : November 14, 2009 6:22 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

No problem Alan. I did not mean to snap at you. 😀 I just think that there is no excuse for this kind of childish behavior from Dish. They are mad at TIVO for enforcing their patents in court. Dish is loosing in the courts so they take it out on TIVO customers, THEIR OWN CUSTOMERS, who are using TIVO recorders.

They converted me from a happy customer to one who is ashamed to be doing business with them.
I hope the courts slap them with even more contempt damages. The last $100 million they had to pay was for contempt.

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Topic starter Posted : November 14, 2009 8:19 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

OK
One more post:D
Once again,....I feel your pain, and hope you find a work around. Dirty pool in the courts is business. The way I see it is Dish is by far the best option here. I don't want to see them slapped with more fines for the obvious reasons. Providers fighting in court costs all of the end users, and I don't want to be paying these fines with an increase in my monthly bill. Why would you want your provider levied with more fines? We will end up paying those in the long run. As you and I know, for full programming packages DirecTV Latin America can't deliver what Dish offers. And Innovative??? Hah!

I love my VIP722 HD DVRS!! No problems!

Here's one for ya. My 84 year old mom has a Tivo with a lifetime subscription back in the states and uses it with her cable co. She bundles Ph./internet/cable on one bill. After the Digital transition her favorite channels wouldn't Tivo. 4 or 5 trips by the cable co. and hrs on the Ph with Tivo and she can't Tivo certain channels. (Brother in law going again on monday to sort it out). Everyone says...."It should be working" But it's not. She LOVES her Tivo. But getting VERY frustrated.
She's considering going Dish but likes the bundled deal and paid lifetime subscription. (Best present ever)

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Posted : November 15, 2009 4:44 am
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