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Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Re: Not Just DirectTV
Jack Rupert, PE   12/23/2011 3:16:46 PM
Rob - Better yet, a smart timed device so it can reset it when you're not there and not recording something.  It's annoying having to wait for it to get done finding whatever it is it's looking for during the reboot.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Re: Not Just DirectTV
Rob Spiegel   12/23/2011 2:53:42 PM
Yes, Jack, that kill and reboot can cure a world of ills. My DVD works great until a break in school comes and the put the cable box through a serious workout. I'm finding myself pulling the plug, waiting for 90 seconds and plugging it back in two or three times a day. So far, it's been fixing the problems. I just wish I had a remote that would kill then restore the power to the unit. Now that would be a gadget worthy of Gadget Freak.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Not Just DirectTV
Jack Rupert, PE   11/22/2011 3:32:52 PM
Unfortunately, it seems that the TV providers in general are a little short on quality.  I subscribe to a well-known cable provider.  Since I don't watch that much, I don't have the higher end packages with DVR etc.  Until earlier this year, I was able to operate with no cable box.  Then they decided to move a couple of the usual channels into the secured area (not premium channels, mind you, just the usual "cable" ones).  In six months, I'm on my 3rd box and 2nd remote.  The first box refused to work with OnDemand.  The second box just decided that it wasn't going to show certain channels.  Now, last week, the 3rd box didn't want to change channels.  I haven't had a guy out to look at that yet.  A reboot (aka, kill and restore power) fixed it.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Re: Problem probably solved by Dish Network Tech Support
Rob Spiegel   11/14/2011 11:01:23 AM
Hi Blevy,

I agree with your concerns. We need more submissions that clearly focus on design issues. We run low on those. 

So, could you send you horn button story to us? Send it to rob.spiegel@ubm.com

Also, please send along your full name.


User Rank
Re: Problem probably solved by Dish Network Tech Support
blevy   11/10/2011 7:23:00 PM


I am truly glad that your problem was fixed. I'm generally not a "blame the original poster" kind of guy, and in this case I do not place the blame on you or your setup for you problem. I'm sorry when that happens.


My concern is simply the content, given the forum. In my opinion, Dish does have some tech support issues, many of which seem to center around a lack of training and internal communication that alternates between comical and criminal.

But while you note that the posts blaming the user are inappropriate, I'd argue that your original post and its tone were inappropriate.

If you've got a problem with the way Dish does or doesn't work based on what is clearly EXPECTED behavior, then it's a design issue that makes sense being discussed here. If you've got a problem with a company's shoddy workmanship and policies which send out untested refurbished boxes, then that's not a design issue.

This isn't a matter of a horn button flying off your steering wheel when you do something as simple as use it normally (1991 Honda Civic, incidentally), you were given bad merchandise and possibly had problems with the installation, in conjunction with non-caring people working the phones.

Yes, there may be bad engineering involved, but that doesn't mean that it fits in this forum, and that the proper response is to proclaim that a company should be avoided like the plague.

To your note that the editor would have rejected this if he did not feel that it was also a design problem and appropriate for inclusion here, that's the rub. There may be "design" involved somewhere...there's design in almost everything. That doesn't mean that it makes sense in this forum, and the context of the site bears that out. He didn't decide that it wasn't appropriate, and that is where my claim comes from that it is an embarrassment to this website.

You are right sir, that the service you eventually received should have been there from the start. And I'd caution you against changing your opinion of Dish completely....they have some of the best reps I've worked with and by far some of the worst, and their equipment is among the best out there when it doesn't go bad (which it does often enough). I hope you only end up with the best reps and equipment.

But from an appropriateness standpoint, the topic doesn't fit the design of the content, and I hope the monkeys who let it through are more careful in protecting the site's value.

User Rank
Problem probably solved by Dish Network Tech Support
TRCSr   11/10/2011 1:17:05 PM
Hello. I am the person who posted the problem regarding Dish Network. I would like to respond to some of the comments that have been posted regarding my article, but first I want to inform anyone interested in the outcome of this situation. If you look at the comments you will notice the second comment that was made was by a representative from Dish Network. It was a also posted very shortly after my article was published. I sent this person an e-mail telling him about further details of my problem and giving him my contact information. That was on Friday Nov. 4. On Monday Nov. S I got a telephone call from the person in charge of Customer Support. He was very concerned about my problem and very apologetic that I had problems. We discussed the problems for a few minutes and he set up an appointment for Wednesday Nov. 8 for a technician and his supervisor to come out and take care of whatever problems I was having. They arrived in the morning as scheduled and we discussed the situation and they replaced the receiver that was giving me the most problem as well as a similar receiver that I had on another TV. Since this is Thursday I have only had a few hours to test things out but so far it looks like the situation has been greatly improved. He also checked the wiring and the angle of the dish, the signal level and so on. I did record several programs last night and played one of them back this morning and everything looks fine so far. So I am backing off of my negative recommendation for dish network for the time being. If things continue to work as they have for the last 24 hours then I'm completely satisfied.

I was very surprised that dish network had observed my blog regarding my problems. I spoke to the editor of "Made by Monkeys" and he said that many companies monitor these postings and respond similarly. So the magazine is providing a real public service for people who are having problems with purchases or acquisitions such as appliances automobiles and things like that. Keep this in mind if you have something that you purchased or acquired that has a problem which seems to be a design problem. If you make a posting to the "Made by Monkeys" site the chances are you will get better customer service than if you just try to contact Customer Service on your own.

I was also surprised at some of the negative comments that were posted about this problem and I want to address some of those at this time. One poster made a comment that it was unlikely that I would get four units that had the same problem and therefore the problem was probably with the user and not with the equipment. I don't think that that was an appropriate comment. For one thing if it's not likely that there would be a series of problems with the same unit then why do automobile manufacturers recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year for some design defect. Also, someone from Dish Network told me that many customers have been having problems similar to mine with this particular unit, the DVR 612 receiver. I have a friend who lives several miles away from me who is also having similar problems with his Dish Network receiver, which is also a DVR 612. The technician replaced the two DVR 612 receivers with one DVR 722, which he said is a much better unit and has more features to it. Also the new remote control buttons are much easier to operate than the old one. Further, in response to this post are how could it be a user problem when the user is sitting 12 feet away from the TV and the receiver and not touching anything and have the receiver reboot itself on a clear warm day or evening? Or how could the user cause a problem of the TV skipping or pixelating the picture either when watching real-time or watching a recording? Also, the humidity in the house is generally between 40 and 50% during the summer and during the winter the humidifier keeps it above 30%. And still further, the electrical system is protected by a whole house surge protector which was installed by the electric company. The signal strength has always been well within what dish network regards as normal and at my latitude the angle to the satellite is 50° above the horizon which is more than enough to clear the trees in my area. The trees would have to grow another 10 feet or so to even begin to block the satellite signal. There is a ground wire on the Danish into a rod in the ground.

Thanks to those who have posted that they also had problems with their dish network system. This was not a knee-jerk reaction that I posted this, if it were going to be another knee-jerk reaction like with DirecTV I would've posted it a long time ago. I do not believe it is like one poster said, that this is an unusual problem. There have been several comments on this blog that have agreed with my experiences as well as some friends of mine who have had similar problems. I also know people, my son included, who have had Dish Network for a long time with no problems. It may depend on which batch of receivers are in the local warehouse that the technicians get their equipment from. As far as the comment about the pixelated that was just made recently, these are not small pixels that appear but large blocks that may be as large as 5% of the entire picture and sometimes accompanied by large square splotches of color which may be as large as 15 - 20% of the total picture and in a variety of solid colors, sometimes several at a time. However, for the moment I am not concerned about any of these until I see if the new receivers have the same problem or not. I also do not agree that this is an inappropriate place for posting this because I do believe it is a design problem with the DVR 612. I also believe that the editor would have rejected this if he did not feel that it was also a design problem and appropriate for inclusion here.

In conclusion, I have cautiously change my opinion of dish network and of customer service at this time. However, this is the kind of service that one should expect at the very beginning instead of  having to publish the problem in a public forum before getting a satisfactory response. Thanks to the people at Dish Network for their attention to my problem and their sincere attempts to solve it.

User Rank
Re: This is embarrassing.
hazydave   11/10/2011 12:24:20 PM
I have both the Dish ViP-622 and two ViP-612s. It's pretty obvious that the repeated crashing is a bug of some kind on the ViP-622... it happens every couple of days, possibly more. It is unrelated to disc activity... I've heard it happen even when the unit is not recording or even being used (you hear it -- once it starts, maybe into a reset cycle or whatever, the fans go on full power).

On the other hand, I have never had any problem with the remotes. The button presses are what I'd expect to be normal pressure, the layout is very logical, etc. I'll bet it's different than DirecTV -- that's doen't make it necessarily wrong.

Random "pixelization"... I guess that depends on what you mean. Dish Network devices use MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/AVC video encoding. Both of these are based on the discrete cosine transform, and they're both based on encoding that works on blocks of pixels.

There are things that can happen to essentially expose the boundaries between blocks. Each block is compressed by filtering out high frequency information.  If there's too much compression, so much is tossed out of neighboring blocks that they don't line up anymore exactly... your brain sees this as a line between the blocks, which makes them look "pixelized". This isn't really a bug, it's just what happens when there's too much compression for the video being compressed. This more typical on high motion video than anywhere else.

Of course, reception errors can give the same result. If your signal isn't strong on a regular basis, weather changes can push you into a zone where you're dropping bits of each MPEG packet received. This is often reported as "pixelization" for MPEG-2.. for MPEG-4/AVC in HD, it usually looks more like things are melting in weird ways.

User Rank
Dish Network DVR
sam15a   11/5/2011 11:54:07 PM
For what that is worth, I have been a subscriber of Dish Networks for several years and have the same model of DVR/receiver shown on the post. My experience has been entirely satisfactory and have not seen any of the symptoms or deficiencies you have listed. My suspicion is that the cabling to the dish, including the relay box, may be at fault and/or the signal level is insufficient.  

(I am not an employee of Dish Networks and my relationship with this firm is simply that of a subscriber.)

User Rank
I think the problem is with the user.
D_E_H0987   11/5/2011 10:19:18 PM

First off did you even think about this for a minute, you got four units with exactly the same problem, I don't think so!
What will probably fix the problem is one of two things.
First put in a ground pass threw connector on your satelight's cable and a ground wire down to a 6' copper ground rod hammered into the ground the full 6'. This is also a safety issue, as lightning can hit the dish and damage the receiver and other electrical and electronics in your home or even jump over and injure people.
If this does not fix the problem.
Then put a humidifier in your home.
I'm sure these receiver problems are caused by static and its either coming threw the cable from the dish or from the dry air in your home, static is generated from carpeting, curtains, etc. etc. etc. in your home.
It is very very very very unlikely to have four of any electronic product with the same problems in them.

And there is no way that a satelight receiver ware millions of people use them to have a design flaw like this.

And all the other problems you mention could be caused by noise in the signal, which the ground wire will also help.



William K.
User Rank
Dish TV problems
William K.   11/5/2011 6:31:32 PM
It does seem like the real problem in this story is the poor attitude of the customer service people, which is certainly not unique to Dish TV. In addition it seems like there is a problem with the signal strength, which could be due to a poorly aimed dish, or poor condition of the cable someplace in the system. Of course, there could also be a failure in the box inside, which certainly does happen on quite a few instances. The problem that arises with equipment failures is that some customer service employees assume that the problem is operator error, and they operate in a defrensive mode from then on. So the very first step would be to inspect the cables from the dish antenna to the box and see if there is a problem. Adjusting the aim of the antenna is quite a bit more complex, since one needs to read the signal strength to do that correctly. There are devices sold for that purpose, but you may be better off if you can get a dish technical person to do it. The solution for a bad box is replacement, which the way to assure that your present box has an obvious failure would be to run it on 240 volts for a while. Then you can exchange it for a working unit.

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