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DISHPRO DISH PVR (DISH DVR) 501, 508, 510, 522, 721, 921 and 942 Video On Demand (VOD) FEATURE IDEAS

Tech Chat Recap 02-10-2003

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Tech Forum Summary 2-10-03

Technical Forum
Feb 10, 2003

Hosts are Mark Jackson, Sr VP E* Technology Corp and Dave Kummer, VP Engineering.

AGENDA

  • PVR501/508, 721 Features
  • DISH Interactive
  • HD Programming
  • Enhanced HD (8PSK)
  • Plasma Screens
  • Giveaway
  • Q&A
Phone: 1-888-621-2078. E-mail: Techforum@Dishnetwork.com.
Technical questions only, please.

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PVR501/508 Features
  • Slow-Motion
  • Frame Advance
  • Sort timers by name or time
  • Record options pop-up for Record to End, Record past End, Record Weekly, Record until manual stop
PVR721 Features
  • Slow-Motion
  • Frame Advance
  • Front A/V jacks on Ch 0
  • Change channel while recording without having to use PIP
  • Sort recorded events
  • Sort timers
New 721 features coming in March
  • Weather
  • New option on the record pop-up to record whole program without having to rewind
The receiver has to be in stand-by mode to get updates. The New Features video will only be received if your receiver is in stand-by, has at least 30 minutes free space, and has no conflicting timers.

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The EZ Remote is available only through dealers, MSRP ~$19.

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DISH Home

Gateway to entertainment and information such as customer service, weather, sports, horoscope and lottery results.
Games are $4.99/month for all, rotated weekly, 1 game always free.
Movie listings available in cities with locals.
Access to Dish Home is via channel 100 or the dish button on some remotes.
The 721's weather feature will be a Linux application, not OpenTV.

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CES, PVR921, TU-PVR9000

Short video showing the Echostar booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas including glimpses of the Echostar PVR921 and JVC TU-PVR9000.

The PVR921 will be available this spring, no price set yet but, if you have to ask ...

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Q&A

Roger: Huntsville locals?
A: Hopefully in March. Our 2nd city in AL, will share the Birmingham spot beam.

Joe: Has an SW64, planning to add a 921.
A: Split each LNB output to feed a 2nd SW64. The "B" ports on the 2nd SW64 will also each need a load feed. Or could convert to DishPro and chain 2 DP34s if all receivers are DishPro models.

Many: Caller ID problems
A: Must subscribe, connect the phone line, enable Caller ID on the setup menu, ground receiver. The distinctive ring problem is being looked into with the modem manufacturer.

Chris: Any 6000 to 921 upgrade offer?
A: Working on something for very old equipment like the 2000.

Jack: Has 4000, program info is so slow it's useless
A: Have been working on the problem 4-6 months, have re-ordered the way we get the guide data. The compressed guide caused a problem on one receiver model and was taken down. Will be relaunched on Wednesday (2/12), uses 2:1 compression. The 508 is getting a forced upgrade this week for it. The guide got large because of must carry stations as well as adding more cities. Working on a few more tricks that may work only on some receivers, should be ready by summer. The idea to split the guide into national and local channels is being looked at for farther down the road.

Bob: Discrete power codes for 721?
A: Coming in the March upgrade.

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Giveaway
Prize: Model 6000 with 8VSB and 8PSK modules.
Question: Where is the name Linux derived from?

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HD Programming

Currently have Discovery HD, PPV, Showtime, HBO, Demo, CBS-East, CBS-West.
Must qualify for CBS. Available in markets with a CBS-owned affiliate: Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Green Bay.

Will be changing the modulation scheme to 8PSK to be able to send more HD channels across each transponder.

Enhanced HD module
  • Video walks through installing the module
  • Blooper: video uses stock footage of a Dish500 with Twin for adding 61.5 or 148
  • $99 + S&H
  • Call 1-(800)-220-DISH to order the 8PSK module and Discovery HD
  • The 6000 must have software P775 or newer to utilize the module
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Plasma screen TV, guest Bob Luly

Starts off with a series of slides explaining image digitization, bandwidth requirements, and how a picture is created.

Advantages
  • Flat, thin, lightweight (portable?)
  • High resolution with high contrast ratio
  • High color accuracy and high brightness
  • No scan lines or flicker
  • Uniform high screen brightness
  • Wide viewing angle with reduced glare
  • 16x9 widescreen
  • Slim, space-saving design
  • Universal display for NTSC, PAL, SECAM, composite, RGB, etc
  • Best choice for videoconferencing
  • Built-in line-doubling electronics
  • Really fast turn on and off of pixels
  • Immunity from magnetic fields (don't need shielded speakers)
  • Easy to install - wall, ceiling, cabinet or table. Can be motorized or hidden.
  • High resolution - up to 1366X768p
  • High quality scaling circuits provide all common TV and computer resolutions like 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, etc
  • No convergence required
Disadvantages
  • Relative high cost
  • High power consumption, around 500 Watts (most TVs are under 200)
  • Requires a fan to remove heat
  • As with others, minimum viewing distance depends on program material
  • 16x9 doesn't match 4x3 format requiring some sort of conversion
  • Relatively large dot-pitch requiring expensive, large screen size to fit enough pixels for high resolution
  • Altitude sensitive (above 7-8000 feet the power supply gets noisy and the gas expands)
  • Shorter life than a direct view set but longer than front projectors
Shows some slides explaining how a plasma screen works. 50" and larger screens have enough square pixels (1366X768p) to cross convert the HDTV 1920X1080i signals.

Bottom line
  • Since pictures come in many sizes and formats, it will be necessary to buy the TV with the highest resolution and the best picture processor, not just the highest resolution number.
  • A high-quality signal like HDTV can look GREAT on 2 TVs side-by-side. But a low-quality source, like a poor VHS tape, can look terrible on one set and be acceptable on the other due to noise improvement circuits.
  • Viewing a wide range of content (satellite, HDTV, DVD, off-air, low-quality VHS, etc) on different TVs, before buying, is a MUST!
Who makes what?
There are currently only 4 screen manufacturers. Other brands buy their screens from these 4 but use their own electronics.
  • NEC, Panasonic, Pioneer make their own screens
  • Fujitsu and Hitachi joint manufacture theirs
  • Sony and Phillips use Fujitsu/Hitachi
  • RCA/Thompson, Marantz use NEC
  • Toshiba uses Pioneer
  • Viewsonic uses Pioneer and Hitachi
  • Runco uses Pioneer and NEC
  • Sharp uses Pioneer
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Giveaway
Winner: David Scheck. Answer: UNIX type operation system from Linus Torvalls.

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Q&A

John: DISH Home on the 6000?
A: No plans to add OpenTV.

Many: Software issues on the 7100/7200 DISHPlayer
A (Dan Minnick, VP Software): Dependent on Microsoft, release in March to fix audio and video lockups and add the Echostar 9-day guide.

E-mail: Is Utah on a spot beam? How about New Orleans?
A (Eric Sahl, Dir Programming): SLC locals are on a spot, mostly covers the state except possibly the southern corners. There are 6 markets available on CONUS beams with the RV exemption. We were in discussions with New Orleans 2 years ago and couldn't reach a retransmission agreement so we moved on.

John: 721 is awesome. Will search be able to work by date and time like on the DP?
A (Dan Minnick): No plans to add that.

Jeffrey: Does the 921 have Firewire, Ethernet, DVI?
A: Will have DVI HDCP. Also will have 1394 likely for the D-VHS deck but they may come up with another name for it so people won't think they can hook up just any 1394-capable device such as external drives and camcorders.

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