Dish Network

cowboyindMay 25, 2005

I'm new to Dish Network, having just gotten it installed a couple of weeks ago. I'm looking for a few tips from more experienced satellite TV users.

I got the single receiver that serves 2 TVs. I think they call this the "322" model. Due to the phone line location, it could not be installed near the TV I have that has S-video inputs (a Sony WEGA). Instead it's near an older Sony set that does have RCA jacks, but no S-video. So right now I'm stuck using the RF feed to the WEGA. I don't like that. It's an okay picture, no worse than cable, but probably no better either. On the contrary, the picture to the old Sony set is fantastic, even without S-video.

Obviously I need to move the satellite receiver to the location of the WEGA, which I'll do as soon as I move the phone line into that room. But then if I upgrade the older TV to a newer one with S-video, the inferior RF feed has to go to that one.

What's the answer here? Do I just need to get two satellite receivers rather than this 322 model that serves 2 TVs off of the same receiver? How much better is the S-video going to be? I know with DVDs it looks great.

Just curious as to how other people with satellite services handle this situation.

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Pooh Bear

I have Dish Network.
I have a single reciever Dish DVR.
And then I have another plain reciever box.
Neither of these has ever been hooked up to a phone line.
When they were installed there was no phone service.
I was here when they installed them.
I have no problems from not using a phone line.

Coax cable is horrible. When I upgraded to RCA Mono cables
I couldn't believe the difference in picture quality.

Unless you use pay per view,
I would move the box to where you want it.
Then run cables back to the other tv.

I wouldn't worry about the phone line connection.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 2:52AM
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When I had Dish network they told me I had to have the phone connected, otherwise I'd get an additional $5 charge each month. The receiver even tells you to connect if the phone is unplugged, reminding you there would be a charge. I had the 522 DVR dual tuner model.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 3:36AM
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I have DISH an I do not have it conntected to a phone service, in fact I have no phone service to my house as I have stand alone DSL and a cell phone. I order ppv movies via online and have changed packages a couple times easily.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 10:37AM
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I'm with Javern and Pooh, forget about the phone line. I just deal with the warning message and move on.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 10:52AM
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I ended up forgetting about the whole deal. Moved on to HD programming which is more cost effective from my local cable company.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 12:29PM
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You're lucky, my cable company only offers 3 HD channels.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 1:57PM
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Thanks for the tips everybody.

They tell me the box I have does need the phone line connection, or else I'll have to pay $5 extra a month.

But this 322 box is substandard compared to a separate box for each TV because of the need to use the RF to feed TV #2. So for the privilege of having a worse setup, you also have to keep it hooked to a phone line or else be charged $5 more. I don't use pay-per-view. I think they want the phone line connection so the box can call them every day and tell them what you've been watching so they can be sure to direct all of your personal info to the appropriate marketers.

I'm going to call them and see about getting a separate box for each TV which does not require the phone line connection. One of the advantages of the satellite services that they use to sell you on them is picture quality. Yet with this setup you really don't have that except on a single TV.

Then here's another interesting thing: Why do they make you feed the RF signal to set #2 on such a high channel number? The lowest ones it will operate on are Air 21 or Cable 73. Isn't there a lot more signal loss along coax cable at those high frequencies? The installer laughed at me and said, "Oh, no, not at all," but that's not what I've always thought.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 6:12PM
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I have Direct TV and have never hooked up the phone line and have seen no warning messages. Special offers are made ever so often. They would be along the lines of 'You can see a movie on this channel free' My guess is that having the phone line hooked up allows the vendor (Dish or Direct) to send out software upgrades or, as in the example above, allow you to see a free movie or access a channel for some specific time period. Heck, the sat dish is MUCH better than the 1 and a half channels we were getting before.

Wife and I just sit and enjoy what we can.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 4:43PM
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Yes, all in all I like the satellite dish very much. This is just one irritation I'd like to solve. Direct TV is a different service than Dish Network, and they apparently do not require the phone line. Dish network does, or they charge $5 extra a month.

If it's any help to others considering this service, the problem lies with the type of installation they do. The vendor who installed my system did it with the model 322 box that serves two TVs, and at the time I did not think about the issue of the RF signal to the remote TV. If you have the single set box (I believe it's the 311 model), it does not require a phone line, and you have a separate box for each TV.

Now they want to charge me $5 a month to change over to two 311 boxes instead of the one 322. I may go ahead and do that, but the whole issue could have been avoided if I had thought to ask for two 311 boxes when they did the install. At the time you sign up, you have leverage to get what you want, and they'll work out deals to get you as a customer. Once you're signed up, you have fewer options.

As you say, it's a good service, and I'm pretty happy with it. But I'd just be a little happier if I had the superior quality picture on both sets.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2005 at 7:44PM
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I was told from Dish Network the phone line is to keep track of your pay per view programs you order. The actual software upgrades and prgramming guides are downloaded via satellite, not the phone line.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 3:49AM
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Not to hijack, but, I've got three dish network rec. I called dish to get a forth. What a surprise! First I found out that I own the three boxes(?). Next, dish wants $150.00 to install the forth box and I would be leasing it forever(?).
Can anyone offer a good place to buy a box, new or referb? So far Radio Shack seems to be the leader at $79.00 for a referb.
Anything special about hookup? Do I just find the splitter and add cable? Suggestions on cable to use?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 8:22PM
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According to the vendor that put in my system, I will own the receiver box after one year. That is probably why you own your existing boxes.

The Dish Network tech support people told me that you can use a splitter between the dish and the receiver, but that they recommend running another RG6 coax cable from the dish to the additional receiver. I don't know how many jacks there are on the dish itself for cables. If you were going to have to use a splitter, it would make sense to put it as close to the dish as possible.

So I'm puzzled about something. If you go and buy your additional receiver for $79 at Radio Shack, you still have to call Dish Network to have it activated so that it gets service, right? Couldn't they then still charge you for an additional TV since they know you have the additional box?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 12:46AM
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Cowboy, oh yeah, they charge you. My confusion is in the pricing. If I BUY and install it will cost me another $5.00 a month. If I LET DISH install, I pay $150.00 up front and $5.00 a month BUT I'm leasing the rec forever(?)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 8:01AM
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You can't just use a splitter between the dish and the receiver. It is a special switch. You require two coax from the dish to the switch.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:18AM
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You will be assimilated....resistance is futile

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 9:58AM
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Dish will charge you $5 for each additional receiver no matter where you get it. The phone line connection really is to prevent "stacking" which is regestering multiple receivers on one account and then lending them out to other people for free. When the receiver dials in each month Dish checks the phone number that the receiver calls in on against the one registered with the account. They don't really inforce the phone line issue too much right now. If you have 6 receivers on an acount, the most you can have on a residential account, they may start checking. They can also ask you for the location ID from all your receivers that shows up on the system info screen.

I would check with or for purchasing additional receivers. Both are very reputable. I have had good luck on ebay. Make sure that the units on ebay are sold as brand new or factory refurbished. Ask for the recievers S00 and R00 numbers so you can call dish to make sure that the units don't have a balance and can be activated. Also check the sellers feed back. You also might want to consider a DVR, it will change the way you watch television.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 10:38AM
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Does your Sony TV have COMPONENT cable connections? If so, you may want to use them, as they give a better quality picture than the S-video.

I have 3 receivers from dish. One of the receivers controls 2 TVs but I just added a third TV to this reciever with the understanding that I can only watch what the original receiver/tv has the channel set to. This third TV is in my basement. I just ran a line down there with a splitter from the (2 TV)receiver making me not need an additional receiver for the basement.

Your situation may vary but I will not be watching the same TV's at one time, so it works for me. Bottom line... I have 3 TVs on one receiver.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 9:56PM
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Pooh Bear

I have two TVs on one reciever.
The reciever is in my son's room with that TV.
Then a coax cable runs from there into the living room.
And I got a RF IR Repeater to use the remote in the LR.
Works great for us.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 1:49AM
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But dont you have to watch the same channel Poohbear?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 12:03AM
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Pooh Bear

Yes, those two tvs have to watch the same channel.
But that hasn't been a problem so far.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 11:11AM
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I just switched to Dish Network from Direct-TV, and I love it. Programming and equipment are both better. When I cancelled Direct-TV, they told me that the dish, the three boxes and the remotes are all mine. I don't want to send them to the landfill. Do hobbyists (or anyone else) have a use for this type of thing?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2005 at 4:03PM
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Do any of you who are set up correctly get the "Attention 588" warnings? Something to the affect that you must be connected to the phone at all times or -- something bad will happen.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 2:17PM
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I was going to post a thread, but, if you donÂt mind, IÂll just latch onto this one since this may affect some of you.

One question I had may have been answered above. My service went out, and the diagnostics said one or more "switches" may be out, which was confirmed by a Dish technician (over the phone) as a probable cause. I have to have a service guy come out to repair the problem.

When told there would be a $30 service charge, I questioned whether I had to pay if the fault was in the equipment, and was told I would. I assume now that is because, as stated above, that I now own the equipment. Correct?

Also, I was getting free a protection plan, but cancelled it when the free period expired. And now I realize I am also paying for "Digital Home Advantage". Under "Terms and Conditions", it states this service is optional.

Yet it also implies that the service is necessary in order to maintain the system I have, which is one receiver for 2 TVs. I was hoping to get some input on this before I call and question Dish on the matter so I donÂt get the runaround.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 9:20AM
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The Dish contracting is obviously very tedious and complicated. I was charged for the protection plan and upon inquiry as to 'what is this' I could get no answer several times. Then it was discovered that the spouse had contracted through a third party who solicits and writes contracts so Dish, for some reason, decided to give it to me free for the duration of the contract.

The only insight I might offer to olphart is to call and ask again. I got several things for free on the second and third call for a portion of the contract. It was the fourth call when I got the protection plan for free.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 2:06PM
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Thanks, Albert. I'm just trying to gather as much information as I can before I call to "renegotiate".

If I now own the equipment, that means I have been paying for it all along. So, now that it's mine, I shouldn't have to keep paying for it, and I should get a lower rate. Key word there was "should".

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 3:04PM
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I just had Dish installed on 7/24, that night the DVR 625 stopped working. I received a new one on 7/26 however the hard drive was bad. Finally received a third one on 7/30 and had the Tech come and install it yesterday. This one seems to be working ok. Now I find that since I do not have the dish hooked to a phone line there is an extra $5.00 month charge. Called the Tech support today and spoke to a supervisor she is sending me a wireless phone jack at no charge (normally $39.95). Hope Dish is worth all the problems I have had this week.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:51PM
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At the link below one can sometimes get some hints and answers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some Dish forums

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:19PM
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Oh, BTW, ncraig, since you have a new installation I am just curious; are you pestered by an invitation in a small gray rectangle to click on select for enhanced CNN?

Do you, or anyone, know what enhanced CNN is?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:29PM
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I was expecting two credits, one for a service call and one for being down ten day. I got neither and phoned billing service.

They insisted they could not credit my service call even though the problem was their installation flaw.

I negotiated the credit for ten days without service, thanked the person profusely an took down their ID number -- then I brought up the service call credit again -- and they quickly complied.

As noted above in this thread it seems one must often have to ask for something several times.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 12:33PM
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Albert, re. enhanced CNN, check the link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Enhanced CNN

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:17PM
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maybe i missed it posted somewhere in this thread i thought i would bring up what i did, maybe it will work for you too, once you move your receiver to the newer sony tv you want it at for the s-video hook up run a set of rca cables back to your other tv, they may cost you a little bit, but will still get good picture out of it. you could also leave it where it is and run the rca cable the other way to the newer tv if it also has the rca hook-ups

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:49PM
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Albert I have not watched much CNN but when I have I did not have any thing on the screen about Enhanced CNN. I did get the remote phone jack and since then the message on my second tv stating that it had to be hooked to a phone to avoid further charges have stopped. So far this week I have not had any more problem with Dish hope it stays that way.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 8:50AM
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I'm kind of picky it's probably my I already have coaxil cables going to each room in my house where I have t.v. sets. I don't really won't the service man going all up under my house, through the closets and such. Can he simply install my Dish and run the cable to my junction in my basement and hook up the receivers to the cables that are already in the rooms where I have my t.v.'s or will he have to run all new coaxil cables to every room in my house. I would rather him not. Just don't won't to have a big mess in my basement. I have 3 t.v.s I want hooked up to dish network.

Also, will I have a box for each t.v.? How does the installation of the boxes work?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 1:24AM
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