Tech Forum Summary, 11/10/08

Echostar Knowledge Base
The Dish Network User's Resource

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


1-888-621-2078 or e-mail

DVR Conversion

In about a week the 211 and 211k will get software to enable them to be turned in DVR receivers. All normal DVR functions such as pausing TV, record to and playback from the hard drive, record an OTA program while watching a satellite program. The drive must be USB 2.0, capacity 50GB to 750GB, and have an external power supply. There is a one-time $39.99 activation fee that will apply to all 211/211k receivers on your account; this is separate from the fee for the 622/722/612. Stay away from the multiple drive enclosures.  The ones about 2" thick should be OK.


Available in December.  A big difference is that the OTA tuner is now an optional add-on module that actually has 2 tuners (watch 1, record another, accessible from TV2).  Also ships with the 2-way remote.  MSRP $499 with OTA, $470 w/o.  The MT2 OTA module by itself is $29.99.


Non-DVR version of the 722k.  Full 2-way remote functionality will be added about a month after release.  MSRP $299 w/OTA, $269 w/o.

2-way Remote

Search has its own key instead of #, 4 color buttons for future ITV use. 2-way features allow settings from the remote and the set-top box to be saved on the other.  If your STB has to be replaced, the timers can be restored from the remote.  Available in December with the 722k and 222k, also available to existing customers.  It can acquire new codes for other devices as Dish adds them, and can also learn IR commands from another remote.  MSRP for 21.0 replacement remote $19.99.

dtv pal DVR

Won Best of Show at CES in the AV category.  Available for pre-order in November.  Like the TR40 but with a hard drive (size not stated) so it has the regular DVR features to record HD.  Has a USB 2.0 port and Ethernet for downloading future features.  MSRP $299.99 less $50 rebate.  Pre-order after Nov 19, 2008 on

EHD Update

“USB Storage” has been changed to “My Media” in the menus.  The 622/722 will get folders with the Nov 20 software update and the 612 after the first of the year.

Get a quality drive.  The drive will eventually break.  Dish has been testing drives in their labs and has some favorites (but don't give a list).  Some Western Digital drives will have a red “Dish Network compatible” sticker on the box.


Prize: WD My DVR Expander 500GB
Question: What type of rechargeable batteries does the EchoStar 11 satellite use?

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

Tip and Tricks

...with Glenn Harvey, Gen Mgr - Training & Development.  When in the guide, instead of arrowing repeatedly, press the number of hours you want to move then press the R-arrow (or L-arrow to go back).  DVRs can jump a day at a time using the Skip buttons.

Pictures can be viewed on your TV from a USB thumb drive.  If an EHD is connected, unplug it first as only 1 USB port can be used at a time.  Follow the menu prompts.  The user guide has more details, and can be found at if you have lost yours.

Cheyenne Uplink Tour

EchoStar owns and operates 10 uplink centers to send signals to about a dozen satellites.  The biggest is in Cheyenne, WY.  Guide is Steve Gottsegen, a Dish Network Senior Producer. There is a big wall in a 180° arc with 1000 monitors to help spot quality problems.

The center loses power a couple times a year.  To deal with that they have a bank of 300 batteries that can provide power for 20 minutes but they also have 2 generator rooms and tens of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel.

The Space Operations Center is a highly secured area.  The staff monitors the status of all the satellites and sends control commands.

Master Control handles the signals for all the Dish-produced broadcasts, PPV and special events.

Most of the equipment is on racks downstairs, connected by enough cabling to wrap the Earth 6 times.

The antenna field of at least 22 large dishes has a pair for every satellite, all equipped with heaters.

Between heating and cooling needs, the facility uses the equivalent of 230 households of electricity and 170 households of water.

Q & A

Pat from CA: 722 doesn't output 1080p to my 1080p set
Jennifer Adair, Product Communications Mgr: 622/722/612 will do a test when you order 1080p content.  Mark's rule of thumb is that TVs built before Dec 2007 have issues and struggles with 1080p despite what was advertised.  Check the manufacturer's web site for possible firmware updates.  If your TV doesn't support it, the receiver will convert the program to a format that will work.  A lot of magazines have given great reviews and they're working on getting more titles.

Ken: When will remaining MPEG2 HD channels be converted to MPEG4?
Bill Moran, VP Dish Network Engineering: Will shut them off for good Dec 1.  If you have a 6000, 811, 921 or 942, call for an upgrade.  This does not affect SD receivers.

Marvin: TR40 remote controls the 301
A: They use the same remote.  Change the address in the 301 to something other than “1”.  They show a picture of the dtv pal and 301 along with their different remotes.  Mark suggests a 3.2 replacement remote.  (The unstated/unanswered problem is the dtv pal uses the 2700's remote which always sends address “0” which will control almost all Dish receivers regardless of the receiver's address setting.)

Ken: Wants to use broadband cellular card to replace phone line connection
Dan: Possible if the cellular device can be used to drive a home network


WD HDD winner: Steve Austin from Alto, NM.  E*11 uses lithium-ion batteries.

Sling Media Update

Ted Malone, VP Product Marketing from Sling HQ in northern California.  Check for TV episodes, video clips, and support forum.

Slingbox Pro HD - first HD box.  Access HD wirelessly inside the house, or elsewhere over broadband.  The player software brings up an image of the Dish remote.

Slingbox Solo - similar without HD

Cell phone software for BlackBerry Gold and Treo Pro, and most other models - view your TV on your smart phone

Sling Catcher - won Best of Show at CES, universal media player

Sling Projector - send the video window of a web page to Sling Catcher for display on a TV

No iTunes necessary, don't pay for content twice.


Prize: SlingCatcher
Question: In what month and year did Sling introduce the first Slingbox?

Broadband Connection

Use to replace a telephone line.  Access to Dish Online service which has 3000+ titles.  (Video shows how to hook up) If the ViP receiver is in the same room at the router, run a cable directly from the router to the receiver.  If they are in different rooms, get a HomePlug to Ethernet adapter to connect to the router.  Plug the adapter into a wall power outlet near the router, and the ViP receiver directly into a wall outlet (it has HomePlug built in) or surge protect with a HomePlug approved outlet.  Avoid GFI outlets.  If your router is out of ports, unplug one of the devices and add an Ethernet switch.  On the receiver, go to Network Setup (Menu-6-1-9-1).  Press Reset Connection to get IP addresses.  For more help, go to and search for “home networking”.  If you need a HomePlug adapter, make sure it is 1.0 or Turbo, and not AV.  Turbo will be able to handle higher speeds.

iTV Update

DVR Timer Trigger.  “Record this Show” icon on screen will take you to the create a timer screen so you don't have to find the show in the guide.

Richard and Mike: Can you use a 1TB hard drive with the 622/722?
Dan: It can be over a TB.  As long as it's about 2" thick it won't be a multiple drive model and can be used.  Over time they will fix that issue.  Can only connect one drive at a time but they're working on that too.

Bill: Has a Seagate Free Agent connected to a 622.  Has to unplug it every time before using it.
Jennifer: Go to Seagate's web site to get the utility to keep the drive from powering down.  The issue will be addressed in the next receiver software.

Mike: Why does guide say “Digital Service” for all OTA channels but the TV shows the titles?
A: Guide data is available if you subscribe to local channels.

Gary: When will I get channel 501 and 1080p?
Dan: Available now on 622/722/612.  Make sure receiver is turned off overnight.  Timers taking both tuners or IP downloads will affect getting ch 501 content.


Sling Catcher winner: Artie McDonald from Melbourne, FL.  First Slingbox sold in June 2005.

The show will be rebroadcast throughout November.

Next Charlie Chat: Monday December 8, 2008, 9pm ET, channel 101

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