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TV4RV SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
Vol. 6 - No.9

TECHNOLOGY - ONE GIANT STEP BACK!

Last month I indicated that we are Dish Network satellite subscribers.  I would like to share a story that some might find interesting.

Several years ago we upgraded our DishNet system to high definition and Dish supplied a new receiver - the VIP612.  It has a DVR that can record two shows at a time.  Over the past several years Dish has replaced the receiver no less than three times as it has a habit of freezing up from time to time.  Right in the middle of a show, either live TV or DVR playback - it would just STOP.  The picture would often be an odd color and no buttons would respond.   This would happen several times a month, often during one of our favorite shows.   The service techs have told me this is a common problem with this receiver.

After discussing the latest round of failures with the DishNet technical support department I decided it might be time to upgrade to the Hopper.  Dish was very prompt, and the service tech was at my door the next day with the new receiver.  It took about an hour to make the change over as he need to go onto the roof, near the dish to add another component for the Hopper to work correctly.  He also changed one of my cable connections, which might have caused some of the freezing problems.

Later that evening we sat down to watch TV and had a problem reading the program guide.  The new guide displayed more hours of programming for each station, which made the print size smaller.  With our previous receiver we could change the format of the guide so the display would show fewer hours ahead, but larger print size.  Not so with the new Hopper.  A quick call to Dish tech support confirmed this to be true.  A search of the Dish forums also confirmed that we were not alone with this issue.

We also found that when we recorded shows on the DVR they were displayed with icons and small print that was also hard to read.   We found navigating around the new page formats to be less than user-friendly.   While we are not night-owls who watch TV at 1 am, we learned that the new receiver would shut down each night at 1:30 am to download updates - even if we were watching or recording a show.  There was no way around this shutdown.

After a few days of fighting the guide issue, I called Dish and asked for my old receiver back.  They were very understanding and the next day another Dish tech was at the door with another VIP612.   This one looked like a newer edition than my old one, so maybe it will function better.  At least we can read the channel guide.

NEW ADDITIONS TO OUR WEBSITE:

BUILD YOUR OWN TRIPOD - Here you can buy just the components of our basic tripod package that you want.  If you don't need the Ground Screw Stake or Bungee Cord you don't have to buy it.  Just select the items you need and save some money at the same time.

BUILD YOUR OWN DIRECTV HD SLIMLINE DISH - Here you can purchase just the components of the DirecTV Slimline Dish that you need for your DirecTV HD system  We have both SWM and non-SWM SL3 and SL5 LNB's, P-21 Power Inserters, Slimline Dish with folding LNB arm, and Azimuth / Elevation back assembly with T Knob adjustments.  Just select the parts you need.