Tech Forum Summary, 2/11/08

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource

Hosts for the February 2008 Tech Forum are Mark Jackson, President of EchoStar Technologies and Dan Minnick, VP of Engineering.


1-888-621-2078 or e-mail

CES Awards for EchoStar

Dan Landreth, VP of Engineering, presents a video of CES highlights.


c|net Best of CES Award in the Home Video category

Sling Media


CES Innovations 2008 Awards Honoree for the conversion to DVR (coming Summer 2008, connect a USB 2.0 external drive, all trick features, household upgrade fee applies).

This seems like a good time to name-drop the previous award-winning ViP622 and current top-of-the-line ViP722.  ViP stands for “Video IP.”  Movies can be downloaded from Dish Online, with more features to be added.


Check for pricing, availability and eligibility.

Guest: Dan Landreth and Dave Goodfriend, VP of Government Affairs

Effective February 17, 2009, all full-power U.S. TV stations will no longer broadcast an analog signal.

DTV is a better quality picture and allows freeing up some spectrum for other services.  That spectrum is being auctioned off.  DTV allows having an on-screen guide, and sub-channels from the same broadcaster.  Current Dish Network customers won't be affected.  For TVs not connected to Dish, make sure it has a digital tuner.  Older TVs will need a converter box expected to cost $40-70.  A government program allows each household to get 2 $40 coupons.  More information on the transition can be found at and antenna help is at

DTV means “digital television” and HDTV means “high-definition TV.”  Not all DTV is HDTV.  HDTV requires an HD-capable display, a receiver, and content from your local station or pay provider.

Digital Broadcast Solutions:

  1. Subscribe to DISH Network
  2. Digital-to-Analog Converter box, or Dish receiver with DTV tuner

Help your friends and family by getting them to subscribe via ClubDISH.  Call 1-888-920-GIFT (4438) or check

You get

They get

Option 1, regular DHA

Option 2, DHA 24 (24-month commitment)


Prize: ViP612
Question: In the US, what channel between 2-83 has never been assigned?

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

Q & A

Gerald: How does the TR-50 stack up to the 622 and 722?
Dan: It's scaled down because it can't get any of the satellite channels and the guide may not be as robust. In the future it can connect to the IPTV service.

Dee: Bought a 1080p TV, locals are watchable but a bit disorienting from the standard DVR.  Would an HD receiver help?
Dan L: Yes, Dish carries many local markets in HD, also you can connect an off-air antenna and they'll look a lot better.

Marty: Will grouping by folders be added to the external hard drive?
Dan M: Hope to have that out this spring, so the EHD will show up as another folder.

Jerry: Largest EHD that can be used with the 722?
Dan M: Capped at 750GB because the software couldn't work with EHDs that actually had 2 drives in the box.  Are going to lift that limit in an update this spring.

Stewart: Has a new TV with PiP but can't get it to work.
Jennifer: Dish has several receivers that do PiP internally, or you could get a second video source to connect to the TV's input.

Michael: Would like you to PERMANENTLY turn off message 908, it is very annoying.
Dan M: This is the message that tells you how to put your remote back to Sat mode after controlling another device. A lot of people didn't realize, then made calls to customer service.  There will be a menu option to shut it off.  (Thank you!! ed.)

Dennis: Just got a 211 in place of the 811.  Seems like a downgrade with the loss of local guide data.
Dan L: 211 requires LIL subscription. Mark adds that people were getting an 811 as an OTA decoder but not subscribing to Dish.

Dean: Receiver turns off at 3a.m. and I awake to static.  Is there a way to stop this?
Dan M: This is when it updates the guide and checks for other updates.  No way to turn it totally off but you can change the time, maybe also use the sleep timer on your TV if it has one.

Daryl: What format is the EHD in? Why can't I use it for myself?
Dan M: We chose a format we thought best for use with video.  You can use the drive on your PC but it will have to be reformatted with each Dish-PC move.  There is a clear warning when configuring for use as a Dish EHD.  Video from Dish can not be viewed on a PC.

Josh: Looking for a 2-room 2-HDTV DVR
Mark: Thinking about it, can't use existing coax.  May have to build a thin client and deliver over electrical(?) wiring.  Not prepared to give the method, and not a date cause that will just get it started.  We are working on it.

Tom: When will you broadcast in 1080p?
Mark: Full 1080p60 takes about 3x bandwidth.  Movies can be converted with special machines but cameras aren't widely available. Great marketing for TV panels that are inherently progressive, not so easy for the broadcast industry to deliver. (No mention of 1080p24 for movies.)

Randy: TR-50 has HDMI output, will it output HD?
Mark: Thinks yes, not sure.  Leslie says yes which Dan M says you can take to the bank.


ViP612 winner: Bill Avant from Memphis, TN.  Channel 37 was reserved for radio astronomy use.

Prize: another ViP612
Question: With analog broadcast the picture degrades to static as you move away from the source.  With digital you have a picture or you don't.  What is this effect called?

Archos Portable Media Players

The Archos 605 and 705 are shipping, available at retailers and by order through Dish dealers.  Compatible with the 612, 622 and 722 receivers.  Go to, select United States to set the language for the site, then Generation 5 Plug-ins.  It is free for Dish subscribers by entering your receiver ID which can be found on the Sys Info screen.  An hour of SD takes about 5 minutes to transfer.

iTV Update

2 new election programs.  A quiz will help you determine which candidate you identify with.  Read about candidates' positions, participate in polls.

Q & A

Robert: Can I get an HD receiver before the HDTV set?
Jan: The boxes also have SD outputs, composite and S-video.  Mark adds that if you don't subscribe to an HD package there is an added $7 fee.

Bob: Has a Dish 1000, what is good signal strength?
David: Varies by market.  On the new meter signal loss occurs around 10, you want 20 or above on 110 and 119.

Charles: Can I connect my laptop to my 625 DVR?
Dan M: Yes but it won't do anything.  Programmers don't like to allow transfer of content from STB to PC.

Robert: Why can't I download HD recordings to my PocketDISH?
Dan L: The PD is SD resolution, the necessary transcoder chip is too big and power-hungry for a portable device.  Record the SD channel for portable viewing.

Carl: Are Dish customers going to need to upgrade equipment or buy new TVs for the DTV conversion in 2009?
Dan L: Dish customers don't have to worry if you subscribe to LIL.

Carl: Has a 750GB EHD with his 722.  Can I edit or sort programs?
Dan M: The EHD will show up as a folder with the other folders in the DVR list then use the other sort options.  Coming in the spring release.

Tim: Will EHD support be added to older DVRs (721, 625)?
Mark: No current plans, would hope you would want to upgrade to a newer box with added features.  Those boxes have USB 1.1, so transfers would be roughly real time and not allow for playback off the EHD.

Craig: Ballpark price for the TR-50?
Mark: Considering the size of the hard drive (leaning toward smaller, give us some input) and the demographic.  Has USB 2.0 port for future EHD and upgrade fee. (No figure given)

Why are local channels 2-68 duplicated on 8220-up?
Bill Moran: We have to have a unique channel number in the 7000-8000 range to be able to map down to channel  in multiple markets.


ViP612 winner: Bob Peridot.  The cliff effect, aka waterfall effect, where the picture will disappear.

The show will be rebroadcast throughout February.

Next Charlie Chat: Monday March 10, 2008, 9pm ET, channel 101

This summary from different authors