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Old 05-29-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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Watching Dish Network DVR out away from home

SOOoooo, no directly available over-the-air TV available where we usually camp, and I really don't want to mess with the satellite dish and Dish blessing to use it, so we're trying a different way!

All we really want, is the ability to record lots of Dish DVR programming at home, then take it with us in the RV to play back recorded programs as we wish.

I bought an outboard 2 TBYT hard drive to attach to our in-home 722K Dish DVR, figuring to come up with a way to play back recorded stuff to either my Gateway laptop with the 17 inch display - or else to the 22 inch flat panel Samsung TV we have in the RV - I figured there were programs either already available, or soon to come to decode the Dish DVR format - or else a "black box" to do the same thing.

Found out, not as easy as all that at the present time, or foreseeable future - so took a different route.

I found quite a few very reasonably priced Dish 722K DVR receivers available on Ebay - and have bought one for $75, complete in apparently good condition, and with 2 remote controls. Seems many of these cheaper 722K Ebay DVR's are units abandoned by their owner/lease parties, and have back payments for programming due if attempts are made to actually install them for satellite TV use - but since all we are after is the ability to play back pre-recorded programming from our home 722K DVR, activating the RV unit is a non-issue.

Theoretically, all we will need to do is install the RV DVR, and then simply transfer the outboard hard drive between the in-home 722K and the one in the RV - lots easier than moving the in-home DVR back and forth from home to RV.

We already have about 200 HD movies recorded to the 2 TBYT outboard HD, and it's not quite half full so far. I think that will keep us well entertained when wanted out in the woods - and the $75 for the RV 722K was easy to take.

Wonder if anyone else does this?
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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We use Dish Network at home and also in MH. I do have one question about your approach though. It is my understanding that the DVR's have to have a program upgrade downloaded in them to use an external hard drive, that being the case, how are you going to get that upgrade in the 722 you bought off ebay?
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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That is my understanding as well. There is a one time charge associated with getting the external hard drive activated. It may work as you indicated if the previous owner of the 722 activated the external drive.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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The $40 one time charge to use an external hard drive applies to all receivers on your account. Once you activate the receiver, it should be able to record and transfer recordings to the external drive.

Another option is the Monsoon Vulkano with its own external hard drive. The Dish recordings are in a proprietary format, so you can't just connect the external drive to a computer and watch them. The Vulkano records in MP4 format so anything it records can be watched on another device.
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Old 05-30-2011, 01:14 AM   #5
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I hate to be the one to rain on the parade here, but it is not as simple as that. You can record programs on the DVR's hard disk and play them back without a satellite connection for a few days (maybe as many as 30 days) at best. If the receiver doesn't see a sat signal for that preset length of time it will turn off completely.

And it gets worse. Playing back pre-recorded content from an external drive requires a sat signal to be present. No sat = no programs. To use the external drive you must have the feature turned on by Dish. They no longer charge extra for this feature unless you have a model 2xx receiver. All the VIP dvrs are activated free (it used to be $40.00). All receivers on the account will be activated, but you must be currently receiving a sat signal for the feature to work.

If you are willing to carry around a single lnb antenna, you can aim it at any one of the six main Dish satellites and receive the "keep alive" signal the receiver requires. Aiming at only one bird is much simpler than trying to align a dish for regular programming.


Sorry...
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:34 AM   #6
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I wish I understood all this.
I have a DVR and was told The USB plug doesn't go anywhere and an external HD would be useless.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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I suggest you talk to the "experts" at SatelliteGuys.US.
You will get good advice from those who have done/or tried to do
what you are wanting to do.

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Old 05-30-2011, 01:00 PM   #8
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The standard DISH DVR, if used without an antenna (Dish) will take it's own sweet time figuring out "no sat on line" but once it does.. You can watch what you have recorded.

Or you can do what I do.. I use external Stand alone DVR's (Of course I use them for over the air, not satellite, but they work with Dish or DirecTV receivers) they do not care if anything is attached or not,, they just flat work.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
The standard DISH DVR, if used without an antenna (Dish) will take it's own sweet time figuring out "no sat on line" but once it does.. You can watch what you have recorded.

Or you can do what I do.. I use external Stand alone DVR's (Of course I use them for over the air, not satellite, but they work with Dish or DirecTV receivers) they do not care if anything is attached or not,, they just flat work.
WELL, I have taken our in-home DVR camping, and it worked just fine WITHOUT any satellite input present, but is a nuisance to have to do all the disconnects at home to take it with us, and then reconnect it all again back home in the hard to get to space we have ours installed - that's why the separate playback only unit seems like a good idea.

As stated further above, there's no longer a "startup fee" to use the outboard HD, or special Dish downloaded authorization with the 722K DVR, so no Dish unit activation or charge problem there - dunno if there any sort of "timeout" for the outboard HD to work or not, will wait and see. Meanwhile, I provided Dish with the R0 number of the RV DVR, and found there is NO back contract payments listed, so a simple $6 startup and monthly fee is all that's required to fully activate it, if needed.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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Or you can do what I do.. I use external Stand alone DVR's (Of course I use them for over the air, not satellite, but they work with Dish or DirecTV receivers) they do not care if anything is attached or not,, they just flat work.
wa8zym, I've been looking for a 'stand alone' DVR for a couple of years now. You got a 'brand' and 'model' number for us?
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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The Monsoon Vulkano acts as an external DVR and does streaming to smart phones or remotely.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:43 PM   #12
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I have a 211k with an external hard drive. For a $40 fee it, it becomes a single tuner DVR. If you have a 211 in your RV, you can connect an external drive to that for the same $40 fee (you only pay it once). When you go out, you can switch drives and record on one and playback on the other. I haven't been out long enough to be able to speak about the 30 day limit, but I have had no trouble watching TV without a satellite signal.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:08 AM   #13
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I don't think the Monsoon Vulkano is exactly what I'm looking for.
What I'm looking for is a "digital VCR",... solid state. (or a Hard Drive)
I'm the kinda guy who's cell phone is one that you 'make telephone call' on,... THAT'S ALL!
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:50 AM   #14
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The Vulkano is a DVR, with the 500 GB external hard drive included with the Vulkano Deluxe Pro ($228). It also does streaming video over wifi or the internet to a computer or smart phone. It includes it's own guide for your service. Just click on a program in the future and set it to record.

TiVo is another option, though their site says it does not work with satellite. The 150 hour HD DVR runs $300 plus $20/month for the service.

Cnet has reviews on other DVRs.
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