DTVPal DVR

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#1
The Dish Networ DTVPal DVR has a dual HDTV tuner which allows you to record one OTA channel while you watch another. It's also packaged with an 8-Day EPG TVGOS. The DTVPal DVR has the following outputs:

Video
RF
composite (RCA)
component
HDMI video outputs
RF

Audio
analog stereo
optical (TOSLINK)


Current pricing for the DTVPal DVR is $249 at solidsignal.com and is not elgible for purchase with a $40 DTV Coupon.

Link to Dish Network's DTVPal DVR Product information Page

Note: One thing that I do find disturbing about Dish Network's FAQ page is that they list the following misinformation,

You may be eligible for up to two $40 coupons, provided by the government, to help pay for the digital-to-analog converter boxes. Visit www.dtv2009.gov for more information. Coupons cannot be combined towards a single purchase and expire 90 days from the date of issue. You can apply your $40 government coupon towards the purchase of approved converter boxes such as the DTVPal Plus and DTVPal DVR by DISH Network.
The DTVPal DVR is not a CECB. :confused:
 
#2
oh great, another one to drool over that i can't afford :(

I couldn't even afford the one they offered with Dish Network (and if i could've, it was supposed to be free with signing up but they never honored their agreement)
 

Aversion

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#3
Doesn't seem worth $250. Why not go with cable and rent a DVR box from the cable company? 100+ channels and a DVR for like $30/month seems like a much better than being able to record OTA?
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#4
Doesn't seem worth $250. Why not go with cable and rent a DVR box from the cable company? 100+ channels and a DVR for like $30/month seems like a much better than being able to record OTA?
It receives an uncompressed OTA DTV signal. The signal received from the cable company doesn't compare in quality. There are no monthly subscription fees. With the included dual tuners you can record 2 HD DTV OTA signals and watch another at the same time. There are currently over 25 channels available to OTA viewers with numerous subchannels in the near future. Currently a person can time shift from all the current OTA program choices making it well worth the $249.00 price tag. The Dish Network DTVPal DVR has an ethernet connection to the internet for future streaming of HD movies from Dish Network to the DVR.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#5
Doesn't seem worth $250. Why not go with cable and rent a DVR box from the cable company?
Cable plus a DVR is a minimum of $57 per month, here (they will not offer a DVR unless you have digital service), so the DTVPal DVR would pay for itself in less than five months.

Even at your mythical $30 per month number, the DTVPal DVR pays for itself within nine months.
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Doesn't seem worth $250. Why not go with cable and rent a DVR box from the cable company? 100+ channels and a DVR for like $30/month seems like a much better than being able to record OTA?
Cable plus a DVR is a minimum of $57 per month, here (they will not offer a DVR unless you have digital service), so the DTVPal DVR would pay for itself in less than five months.

Even at your mythical $30 per month number, the DTVPal DVR pays for itself within nine months.
Basic cable service out here in Phoenix metro, AZ is $57/month without a DVR, No HD. :thumb:
 
#7
Cable (digital) would be my solution, but for those like me who live in the woods it's not like a cable has been run. around here it's either crappy satellite or sorta-crappy OTA depending on how much TV you watch. i'm lucky to be home long enough to catch Two and a Half Men or Frasier, so i don't need 250+ channels and i guess a VCR works fine save for the lack of pausing live TV and skipping those annoying commercials. with a VCR i would have to record one channel and with a DVR i could record many. plus the advantage of one box for two TVs.
 

98clru

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#8
Cost vs value

Doesn't seem worth $250. Why not go with cable and rent a DVR box from the cable company? 100+ channels and a DVR for like $30/month seems like a much better than being able to record OTA?
Buy a cheap shirt for $10 that lasts 20 washings before it looses buttons, frays at hems, has dye washed out. Buy a well made shirt $20 out of good materials that doesn't fade or fray or pill up for 100 washings. Which has the lower cost? Which is a better value?

I don't like monopolies, unfortunately I have no choice where I live, it's either cable, satellite or over the air. Cable for an HD DVR here in central florida (Brighthouse) is $78/mo. Dish network HD DVR with fewer stations but the ones I really want to watch is about $40/mo if averaged over the 2 year contract. Haven't really priced DTV but know they start at over $40 for the same dvr type set up. I used to sell Dish, I really like it and the fact it's a David vs Goliath.

I used to have dish and loved it and their dvr but when I sent emails to 5 different "contact us" email points asking at what wind speed should I take my dishes down (hurricanes, remember, Florida) and got no reply 2x decided I couldn't afford to take the risk of having my roof removed by the "sail" that dish provided (the installer did a lousy job, when I climbed up on the roof to remove and return the LNB it turns out he installed in the plywood not the joist as he assured me he would, most homes of the same age don't even have plywood they have particle board).

I went back to Brighthouse, which gave me a good deal for a year to come back to cable (nothing for loyalty once established) and they are raising prices by $2-3/month three or 4 times a year. What was $65/mo a year ago is now $78. I couldn't wait for the DTVpal dvr. I have a DTVpal converter box and it does the conversion better than any other from what I can find in research. My understanding is with the DTVpal dvr the program guide goes out for a week at a time but still to review the schedule you can't watch programming at the same time, just like my DTVpal converter. Don't know if you can cache and watch after reviewing the guide (my guess is you can) but when you get spoiled by better DVR's it would be a step down.

Something I never considered until this week is where I've gone. Tivo hd with 2 over the air HD tuners is $300 (I got one on clearance in box for $148). Lifetime program guide that blows the cable dvr's out of the water =$400 and is better than my dishnet dvr (granted Dishnet dvr tech is now at least 4 years old but wasn't hd either).

That's a total of $700, less than 9 months of cable, for the lifetime of the unit. If anything goes on a tivo it's usually the hard drive and you can replace them cheaply with a free hack if you know anything about tech and should not void the lifetime subscription. I can get all the major networks and some locals not available on basic cable with a jensen amplified set of rabbit ears (hurricane prep), stream netflix for $9/month (only 12,000 choices available) which brings the the total of $820. For as long as the unit lasts.

If I don't like the tivo I get 30 days to get a full refund of subscription and hardware. Why is it Dishnet won't stand behind satisfaction with their unit? Tivo has a 1 year parts, 90 day labor warrantee. If you make a quality product returns for satisfaction and providing a warantee is not much of a cost, especially when considered against potential buyers who may shy away if you don't offer these options.

Then there are lots of free things via tivo to watch directly on your tv- amazon, youtube and in the near future other sources I'm sure. Let's see, someday dish may offer pay/view....

You can watch via tivo broadcast programming on a computer in your home network or you can even transfer to a computer on your network and burn a dvd of most broadcast programs (for now) and archive it or even transfer to an ipod or similar device.

A $10 15ft DVI cable to reach from my desktop to my hdtv will allow hulu and many network programs to be streamed to my tv. Picture quality will not be great but it's free.

To those considering a dtvpal dvr, satellite and cable which is cost ($250+), which is value ($700)?

I hope the ceo's of the cable companies, satellite companies and the manufacturer of the DTVpal (Charley Ergen) read this and make me regret my one time investment, but doubt they will in less than 9 months. That's when I break even compared to my current cable expenses.
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#9
If I don't like the tivo I get 30 days to get a full refund of subscription and hardware. Why is it Dishnet won't stand behind satisfaction with their unit? Tivo has a 1 year parts, 90 day labor warrantee. If you make a quality product returns for satisfaction and providing a warantee is not much of a cost, especially when considered against potential buyers who may shy away if you don't offer these options.
With the market being smaller for the DTVPal DVR, there's probably not as much room for profit and even less for warranty. Just a guess though, but 90 days for DTVPal DVR is pretty anemic.

Things that excite me about this box?

150 hours record time
Pause live TV for up to 60 minutes
Skip recorded commercials with exclusive 30-second skip button
Instant Replay
and of course the dual tuner...

I'm going to have to think about getting one for review here. :playball:
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#10
I don't like monopolies, unfortunately I have no choice where I live, it's either cable, satellite or over the air.
So, there is no monopoly, and you have three choices, not "no" choices.
Your decision to eliminate some of the choices from contention, itself, is you making choices. It is very important to not delude ourselves into thinking that things are any different than they really are. There are reasons to go with the DTVPal DVR; there are reasons to go with Dish Network or DirecTV, and there are reasons to go with the cable company and perhaps its DVR. There is no one right answer.
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#11
With the market being smaller for the DTVPal DVR, there's probably not as much room for profit and even less for warranty. Just a guess though, but 90 days for DTVPal DVR is pretty anemic.

Things that excite me about this box?

150 hours record time
Pause live TV for up to 60 minutes
Skip recorded commercials with exclusive 30-second skip button
Instant Replay
and of course the dual tuner...

I'm going to have to think about getting one for review here. :playball:
Most if not all CECBs come with a 90 day warranty. Most electronics with a manufacturer defect will fail within the first 90 days. I believe all Credit Card company's double the Manufacturers warranty and some even extend it for 1 year.
Here's more to excite you. With the addition of a 1T HDD you increase the storage capacity to over
542 hours SD record time
142 hours HD record time
And don't forget if you were busy and missed the beginning of your program you can go into the menu and start from the beginning( up to 90 minutes earlier).

My understanding is with the DTVpal dvr the program guide goes out for a week at a time but still to review the schedule you can't watch programming at the same time, just like my DTVpal converter. Don't know if you can cache and watch after reviewing the guide (my guess is you can) but when you get spoiled by better DVR's it would be a step down.

Something I never considered until this week is where I've gone. Tivo hd with 2 over the air HD tuners is $300 (I got one on clearance in box for $148). Lifetime program guide that blows the cable dvr's out of the water =$400 and is better than my dishnet dvr (granted Dishnet dvr tech is now at least 4 years old but wasn't hd either).
Most people don't start scanning the program guide for something to watch while they are watching a show they're already interested in, but if they did it's as simple as hitting the back button and watching what ever it was they had missed while the guide was viewed.

There's currently only 1 other option for a DVR and I don't see how going with a Dish Network DVR would be a step down? For $700.00 you can purchase almost 3 of the Dish Network DTVPal DVRs for the price of 1 TiVo with Lifetime service. Even if you use the closeout price of $550.00 you could purchase 2 Dish Network DVRPal DVRs. It is very unlikely you would ever have 3 DVRs fail or even 2, therefore you're beyond the 1 year warranty you would get with a TiVo. I have much I could say about TiVo, but I don't want to high jack a good thread on the Dish Network DTVPal DVR from Solid Signal.:bolt:
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#12
There's currently only 1 other option for a DVR and I don't see how going with a Dish Network DVR would be a step down? For $700.00 you can purchase almost 3 of the Dish Network DTVPal DVRs for the price of 1 TiVo with Lifetime service.
I don't even understand why anyone would buy a TiVo HD when they aren't cable customers. It just doesn't make sense: So much of the cost of the TiVo is wrapped up in the cost to support CableCARD, that using the TiVo without CableCARD (and I know that there are some people who do) just doesn't make much sense to me.

The TiVo is in the same market as the $800 Moxi HD DVR, not the DTVPal DVR.
 
#14
Hows the EPG on this box? Does it have all the artwork and all those other goodies??
Click here for a picture of the EPG. It's TVGOS, but I don't think it has artwork/pictures like some of the cable and satellite DVRs.

What about a season pass type recording if I like a certain show? Since the program guide only extends out one week, is it possible to record a whole season? Or do you have to setup a schedule every week yourself? That's a huge plus for me with my current setup.

Actually, what would be even better (and this is just wishful thinking), is being able to setup a record schedule online or over my cell phone.
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#15
Click here for a picture of the EPG. It's TVGOS, but I don't think it has artwork/pictures like some of the cable and satellite DVRs.

What about a season pass type recording if I like a certain show? Since the program guide only extends out one week, is it possible to record a whole season? Or do you have to setup a schedule every week yourself? That's a huge plus for me with my current setup.

Actually, what would be even better (and this is just wishful thinking), is being able to setup a record schedule online or over my cell phone.
You can set it to record the same day/time every week, but if the network changes the normal time slot of your program you would miss it. If you hear of a time slot change you just change your recording schedule accordingly. It shouldn't be a big issue for most.
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#16
Hows the EPG on this box? Does it have all the artwork and all those other goodies??
Here is a fully functional TVGOS picture from ilovehdtv on photobucket


This following is actually a picture of PSIP guide without the full function you would get with TVGOS.
 
Last edited:
#17
if over the air tv gets popular enough they may make new boxes that have the artwork and interactive features like watching movie trailers or hooking it up to a PC to hack it and stuff ehhhhhhhh.....

nice to speculate! lol
 

98clru

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#18
moxi is cable only

I don't even understand why anyone would buy a TiVo HD when they aren't cable customers. It just doesn't make sense: So much of the cost of the TiVo is wrapped up in the cost to support CableCARD, that using the TiVo without CableCARD (and I know that there are some people who do) just doesn't make much sense to me.

The TiVo is in the same market as the $800 Moxi HD DVR, not the DTVPal DVR.
Cable card costs are probably not as much of the cost of the Tivo as the cost of stripping the satellite tuners to make the DTVpal was. The current Dish DVR does have dual atsc tuners available for purchase and installation.

If all you want is to pause live TV the DTVPal will be great. Other than that for a few $ / week I don't see where you can campare the two. The life expectancy for the box should be 10 years plus for both units, if the hard drive fails (no reason to believe either is more likely to have that happen but that is all that is likely to happen after warrantee) both are easily and reasonably replaced.

I thought this was a DTV forum as in over the air, Moxi is cable only. Another point for Tivo is that it has both NTSC and ATSC tuners so if you live in an area with a low power translator that is NOT going ATSC it will work for that too.

So not to hijack the thread I started one for the Tivo HD, any further comments will be welcome there. dual-tuner-tivo-hd-less-than-you-may-think\

Thanks for a great post Jay!
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#19
I thought this was a DTV forum as in over the air, Moxi is cable only. Another point for Tivo is that it has both NTSC and ATSC tuners so if you live in an area with a low power translator that is NOT going ATSC it will work for that too.
OTA/Cable/Satellite...we chat about everything. I think bicker was comparing the Moxi because of the cost.
 

1inxs

DTVUSA Member
#20
Has anyone else purchased the Dish Network DTVPal DVR? It sure makes watching OTA broadcasts nice. We don't have to switch back and forth between two shows at the same time. We can watch one and let the DVR record the other to watch in its entirety when we get time later. Sure wish I could figure out the problem with TVGOS. That's the only thing I still haven't got working.
 

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