Tech Forum Summary for Feb 13, 2006

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The Dish Network User's Resource

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Hosts for the February 2006 Tech Forum are Mark Jackson, President of EchoStar Technologies and Dan Minnick, VP of Engineering.


1-888-621-2078 or e-mail

Echo X

Show video of satellite being mated to rocket on the Sea Launch ship. Is currently about 1200 miles south of Easter Island on the equator. The closer you are to the equator the more the earth's rotation helps you to launch which allows you to use a smaller rocket to carry a heavier payload which costs less. Ocean currents were too strong to allow the launch which has been rescheduled for Wed Feb 15.

ViP HD Receivers


single tuner, digital OTA tuner. MPEG-4 DISH Home. IR remote, 2-day guide
Outputs: HDMI, component, S-Video, 1 RCA, optical audio, RF ch 3/4
Ethernet and USB 2.0 for future features


First MPEG-4 DVR, dual tuner, one digital OTA tuner, supports 2 independent TVs, 9-day guide with 3-hour viewing option. DISH on Demand (screen shot shows price of $2.99)
Outputs: TV1 - HDMI, component, S-Video, composite; TV2 - Composite, single RF stereo output for TV1 and TV2 on different channels.


Prize: ViP622
Question: What is the throughput in megabytes, of USB 2.0?

HD Programming

Steve Smith, VP Product Marketing
Many customers still don't have HD programming for their HD set. No national provider offers more than DishHD. Added 7 new channels to the HD Pack. Family Room, World Sport, Treasure HD, Game Play, Kung Fu. ESPN2-HD and Universal HD. Total of 23 channels offering 250 hours of programming each day. By category, it is 5 sports channels, 5 movie channels, 7 entertainment channels, and 6 news and lifestyle channels. Most of it is commercial free.

DishHD - Prices & Packages
w/o Localsw/Locals
DishHD Bronze$49.99$54.99
DishHD Silver$59.99$64.99
DishHD Gold$69.99$74.99
DishHD Platinum$99.99$104.99

The icing on the cake is that Locals includes SD and, if available, HD at no extra charge.

HD LIL in NY and LA have been launched. Over the rest of 1Q06 they plan to launch Chicago Denver, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston and Philadelphia.

HD Upgrade Offers

LeeAnna Sultan, VP Customer Relations

Will need to upgrade receiver to ViP line, new dish antenna (if applicable), professional installation.

Upgrade Offer:Lease ViP211Lease ViP622
Lease Upgrade:$49$299
Installed with Dish:$49
(if needed)
(no opt-out)
Total:$49 or $98$299

If you have a 921 or 942, you can upgrade to the ViP622 today for $299. However, “Good things come to those who wait,” so if you order April 1 or later you will get a $200 rebate. The on-screen slate shows “swapping” your receiver to get the rebate.

PocketDISH Updates

PocketDISH is a portable DVR with a 4", 7", or 2.2" screen, the larger models hold 30 and 40 hours.

Record Link uses XDS. Connect to receiver such as a 311 or 301 using RCA cables. The STB controls the PocketDISH through the connection, signals the PocketDISH to start recording just like a built-in DVR. Just got rolled out to the majority of the boxes.

Fast transfer over USB 2.0 from the 942 and ViP622. A 1-hour show takes about 5 minutes. The 522/625 has USB 1.1 so a 1-hour show takes about 30 minutes. The 522/625 will get this upgrade the first week of March.

Can buy PocketDISH through a retailer or direct from Dish.

Q & A

Martin: Will you meet the FCC deadline to put all locals on one dish?
Bill Moran: FCC deadline is 1st of June and they will meet that.

Martin: If I wait to upgrade to the ViP622 can the dish upgrade be done at the same time?
(Unanswered, but the price appears to be the same.)

Jodi: Why does 510 record differently than the 942?
Dan Minnick: Name-based recording vs time-based. 510 will get NBR “soon, early this spring.” “That difference will go away when we roll out name-based a little bit later in the spring.”

Jason: Status of broadband from Dish?
Mark: Working hard on a new next-generation national solution, but it's too early to talk about it.

Steve: What is the HD priority for local channel map-downs on the ViP211?
Dan: If you select mapdowns and have HD LIL, channel 9 will be from Dish.

Status of ch 100 on the 921?
Mark: “Is there an issue there?” Dan: Have to answer later, not sure when. Both: Get a ViP622 instead.

John: When will locals on 121° be moved to 119°?
Bill Moran: Many locals come from 121° and 105°. Echo X will provide a lot of spot beam capacity at 110°. Those cities will be migrated to 110° around June 1.

Candy: Just got a Dish1000 in Pittsburgh, why is 129° signal 80 but 119° and 110° are 100? Installer put up a 2nd dish “because the look angle is low.”
Paul: Installer may have seen some obstructions. Also 80 is not a bad signal.

Interactive TV

Scott Higgins, Director of Sales, Interactive TV

NBC Showcase 6-channel mosaic on DishHome. Schedules (in local time), athlete bios, and up to the minute medal count.


Tim from FL had the correct answer of 480Mbits/sec.

DISH on Demand

Enjoy movies and programming at any time you want. Available on the ViP622 and DVR625. In early March will roll it out on the 510 and 508 models, and early April on the DVR522.

The DVR button will bring up a new DISH on Demand menu. “My Recordings” is the old DVR list, “Movies & More” is the DISH on Demand content. Simply press DVR a second time to go to My Recordings.


Prize: PocketDISH AV500E
Question: Which 2 PocketDISH models can use the Record Link feature? (hint: answer was given earlier if you were paying attention)

Off-air Antenna

Bob Howell, Director of OTA, Winegard

Some markets will not initially have HD LIL from Dish so an antenna will be required to get broadcast HD local stations.

Most markets have broadcast towers in different directions. You need to know whether to get an omni-directional, bi-directional or directional antenna, and if you need VHF (ch 2-13) in addition to UHF (ch 14-69).

See for antenna selection and for local program schedule.

Check with your local retailer to find out what works in your area.


Winner: Ryan from RI, knew that the AV500E and AV700E support Record Link.

Q & A

Tim: Has an Archos model that looks like a PocketDISH, will it work?
Mark: not in high-speed mode because of encryption. Some models may or may not have an encoder.

Tom: Will I have to turn in my 921 for the $200 rebate? Can I pay $299 and keep the 921?
LeeAnna: The rebate does require returning the 921, you do not have to return it if you pay $299 but you have to consider that it won't get the new HD channels.

Tom: Does leasing include replacement if there are any issues?
LeeAnna: Leasing is a way to get an expensive receiver for a low up-front cost. All receivers have a 1-year warranty whether leased or owned. You can enroll in a warranty program such as Dish Home Protection Plan for the following year. DHPP is $5.99/mo, covers a reduced price service visit, free DishMover, and reduced price shipping.

Tom: Will current switches be usable with the ViP622?
Mark: If your 921 can use it the ViP622 should have no problem

AB8GL: Does the ViP622 have a monthly fee for the recording feature?
Steve: Yes, it's a fully featured DVR. $5.98/mo.

AB8GL: Do you still need 2 dishes for HD and SD with the ViP622?
Steve: it depends on where you're located, not on the receiver. Some areas will require 2 dishes.

AB8GL: Getting Chicago SD channels as distant network service
Doesn't automatically qualify you for HD DNS, different delivery patterns. Give us a call, we'll work through the qualifications. Chicago HD locals will be up this week from 129° on Dish1000.

Lonnie: Wants to upgrade to dual-tuner ViP622 but has a single coax
Dan: Upgrade includes a new dish which has a DishPro Plus Twin and the receiver comes with a DPP Separator which will “split” the coax.
Dan goes on to suggest that the 811 can be turned in for the $200 rebate but LeeAnna sets him straight. If you have a 921 or 942 you would be eligible for the rebate. Anyone else can pay the $299 upgrade, “which is a great price,” just like a new customer would. Decide now which receiver would be best for you because the rules of the upgrade program limit how often you can upgrade.

This summary from different authors

The show will be rebroadcast throughout February.

Next Charlie Chat: Monday March 13, 2006, 9pm ET, channel 101