Tech Forum Summary, 5/14/07

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource

Hosts for the May 2007 Tech Forum are Mark Jackson, President of EchoStar Technologies and Dan Minnick, VP of Engineering.


1-888-621-2078 or e-mail

HD Programming Updates

Cinemax HD

Regional Sports Networks

RSNs require AT100+ or higher, the DishHD package, an MPEG4 HD receiver, and you must reside in a qualifying area.

Call Dish for information on upgrade offers.

Interactive TV

Scott Higgins, Director of Sales. Trying to make life easier for subscribers.  View statements, make secure payments, add programming, subscribe to Dish Entertainment Magazine, troubleshooting and error code messages.

Some of Dish Home will be available at a complementary DISHonline web site.  You can play some of the games from Dish Home, also buy music, movies and games and get rewards points.  Dish games subscribers will soon have downloadable content available.  Special promotion with Papa John's Pizza.

At Team Summit they demonstrated being able to set a timer on your DVR from the DISHonline site.

Q & A

Syd (via snail mail): Do any of the Sirius channels have 5.1 surround or is it coming?
Dan: No, they deliver it in regular stereo.  No plans.

Bob: Which channels are broadcast in surround sound?
Jan: Most are interested in Dolby Digital 5.1.  All HD channels are in DD but that can be 5.1 or 2.0 stereo depending on what the provider sends.  Other sources include many of the PPV channels and premiums.

John: Folders for the 622 DVR list?
Dan: Will be rolled out in 2 phases.  First phase will just be an accordion collapse (10 episodes of King of Queens will take only 1 line until you select it).  The second phase will be custom folders, with timers directing events to “Dan's folder.”  First phase planned for this summer, second phase for a less confident “much later this year.”

Tom: Phone line needed for satellite TV or local channels?
Jan: Not required to be a subscriber, but does offer benefits such as ordering PPV, interactive Customer Service application, waiver of $5 fee on dual-room receivers.

David: What channel does my VCR need to be on to record from TV2?
Jan: VCR needs to be tuned to the same channel as the TV2 output.  Mark suggests a manual event be created on the VCR, Jan says that could be a problem if you don't want to record that time slot every week.  (Mark is right -Ed.)


Prize: ViP622, installed
Question: What does S/PDIF stand for, and what is it used for in receiver?

Employees of Dish, those who have won in the past year, and (new rule) family members of recent winners are not eligible.

HD Mapdown

HBO on ch 9456 now also shows up in the easier to remember 300HD.  Both numbers are in the guide because of a few channels like Discovery HD where the schedules are different.  They talk a bit about the default Favorites lists (All Chan, All HD) and how to press the guide button to cycle through them.

When you create a DISH Pass, you can go to Options to set a preference to record only on an HD channel, only SD, or either.

Mapdown can be turned on or off through Menu > 6 (System Setup) > 9 (Local Channels) > Channel Display

Channels without an SD equivalent, such as the VOOM line, will remain only in the 9400 range.

RaySat Guest: Kevin Bruestle

RaySat's premier mobile antenna is the SpeedRay 1000 for use in moving vehicles.  It has a low profile design (<6" tall), fully automated, quick and easy installation.

SR1000 components:


The SR1000 works only for CONUS (48 contiguous states, no AK, HI or PR).  MSRP $2400, estimated installation $300-500.  Receives MobileDISH 100/200 channel lineups.  Local channels may become available at a later date.  Locate installers and dealers at or call 1-800-561-9280

Next antenna is the T5

  T5 SR1000
Size: 22"L x 24"W x 7"H 45"L x 35"W x 6"H
Weight: 18 lbs 65 lbs
Power: 20W 60W
Elevation: 15°-80° 20°-70°
Tracking: 360°@30°/sec 360°@60°/sec
Coverage: Eastern US CONUS
Cost: $995 $2400

Subscription information


Prizes: 6 scale-model RaySat racing truck models
Question: How many orbital slots can the RaySat antenna see at any one time?

Q & A

Rob: When will the ViP222 be available, and what antenna will be needed?
Mark: Coming in June or July.  Like the 322, but TV1 is high-def.  Marketing program is not set yet.

Randy: Has heard will be able to connect a hard drive to a 211 to make it a DVR.
Mark: It's true, will operate similar to a 510.  Showed it at Team Summit, got good feedback.  Coming towards the end of the year.  There will be an enabling fee to activate it.  The goal is to allow you to use any off-the-shelf USB 2.0 hard drive up to 750GB.  Will also be added to some other products.

Adolph: PQ seems to have declined, less color saturation, even on HD channels
Mark, Dan, Jan: Fall all over themselves to say they're not seeing it, haven't heard of it, could be a setting or your TV.  Send us an e-mail, we'll help you figure it out.

e-mail, pt 1: Will I be able to copy shows to my computer?
Mark: No, unfortunately.  Content partners and Dish both do not want the content out on the internet because that is their source of revenue.  Don't want to become like the music industry.

e-mail, pt 2: Would like to be able to control which tuner is used for recording
Dan: In Dual mode, can use Record Plus to set a preference.  In Single mode, the idle tuner is always used.

Gene: When will you enable ethernet on the 622?  Will it be like the HomeZone, or will the HZ be available to current subscribers?
Dan: Will be able to set timers via DISHonline.  Will talk more on another show about the innovative ways to hook up the internet.  Will augment Dish content with additional VOD offerings delivered through the ethernet.  Coming in the fall.  First use will be setting timers, coming in the next couple months.  Will be different from HZ.  No answer on getting HZ as it's more of a marketing issue.

Leo: When will I be able to get HD through the RaySat?
Gallery: Looking at the RV/yacht market to determine how many HD users are out there.  Planning to upgrade the 211 sometime next year.  Very interested in serving that market.  Mark says Dish has been pushing RaySat to get that done and suggests sending e-mail requests to RaySat.

Bob: Is there a receiver coming that will send HD for more than 1 set?
Mark: Decided against it during the design stage 3-4 years ago because it “makes the hard drive fail faster.”  They are working on something special involving putting 2 622s together but don't want to tip their hand too much yet.

WildBlue Update with Steve Shute, Product Marketing Mgr

Last year they sold out some of their spot-beam capacity.  A second satellite came on-line in March.  Fast up- and down-loads is perfect for those in rural areas with no other high-speed option.  Up to 30x faster than dial-up, with an always-on connection that doesn't require a phone line.

Feature Silver Gold Platinum
Download speed Up to 512 Kbps Up to 1.0 Mbps Up to 1.5 Mbps
Upload speed Up to 128 kbps Up to 200 Kbps Up to 256 Kbps
E-mail addresses
(25MB capacity each)
5 5 10
Anti-Virus Software 18 Months FREE

They also offer free web hosting space, 24/7 tech support, check e-mail via web, compatible with PC and Mac so those 2 guys on TV don't have to argue about this.

Customer Offer

No service available in the Pacific NW until late June.


622 Winner: Sean O'Donnel, Fargo, ND.  Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format, the digital audio output for Dolby Digital and PCM.

RaySat truck model winners: Jeff Shafer, Mike Scott, Mark Blanchard, Jimmy Battenfield.  One.  It can see 119 and 110, but only tracks one at a time.

The show will be rebroadcast throughout May.

Next Charlie Chat: Monday June 11, 2007, 9pm ET, channel 101

This summary from different authors