Some PTV Questions and Answers

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource

Topic: some PTV questions
Sent: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 15:50:05 CST

What is PTV?

PTV is an extra cost service that allows you to use the hard drive in your DISHPlayer to record programs internally. It's like a tapeless VCR. Since the DISHPlayer records the incoming data stream directly, it also records Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio if present. Along with the recording capabilities are a number of other neat tricks that a PTV DISHPlayer can do.

How much does it cost?

$9.99 per month, or $4.99 per month if you're a WebTV subscriber.
If you have more than one DISHPlayer, PTV works on all of them for only one monthly fee.

EchoStar has announced a special limited time PTV promotion. See: Free PTV until June 30, 2003 for new DISHPlayer activation

Can I fast fwd/rewind a program I am watching?

Yes you can. Tap the button again to go faster.

Can I “tape” one program while watching another?

Yes, as long as the program you're watching was previously recorded. The DISHPlayer only has ONE tuner (just like every other EchoStar receiver).

If true, can I pause the program while “tapeing”?

Yes, you'll be pausing the “playback” program, not the recording one.

Can I begin watching a program before it has finished “tapeing”?

Yes, and you can “skip” any commercials when you get to them. Now its an advantage to get there late.

Can it be fast fwded and rewinded while still “tapeing”?

Yes, that's a function applied to the “playback” program.

Can you specify time intervals to skip -- 30 seconds :-), 1 minute etc.....

Yes, each press of the “skip” button advances 30 seconds.

What is the length of time that the pause feature will permit a program to be paused for?

30 minutes, for non-PTV subscribers or to the limit of free space on the hard drive if you subscribe to PTV.

What if I need more recording time?

See the Mods Page for Ben Reser's excellent Hard Drive Upgrade site.

I just got a DISHPlayer and love it. I travel in a conversion van set up with a TV, usually I put the DVD player in it for long trips. I was wondering if I record a bunch of programs to the hard disk will I still be able to play them even though the DISHPlayer will not be hooked-up the dish or the phone line?

Earlier this afternoon, I PTV recorded a half hour program from HBO family. Later, I turned off the DISHPlayer, disconnected the satellite connection, and successfully played back the PTV program without a satellite connection. Just to make sure, I unplugged the DISHPlayer and waited a half hour before repeating the experiment. Absolutely no problem whatsoever.

It appears that it is possible to take a DISHPlayer full of recordings On-The-Road, and play them back later without a satellite connection.

Whether you can do this several days later without a connection is a much longer experiment, and I'm not sure I want to give up the use of this DISHPlayer for that long.

Whether this will work at all for PPV programs is an experiment that I will leave for someone else.

I took my 7100 to work with me so I could watch about 7 episodes Whose Line is it Anyway that I had recorded on it... But it seemed that my dp lost authorization to use PTV cuz when I would start an episode it would give me a screen like “You're trying PTV” then it would stop and bug me to sign up after viewing the 1st 10min of each episode.... did NOT work for me w/o a satellite hooked up.

Hmmm.. perhaps I didn't leave mine disconnected long enough. I'll see if I can find out some more about this.