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post #16 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-09-11, 08:36 AM
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TR-50 Update

I received an email response form the B2B sales at Echostar yesterday. This email is a form letter as several other people have received the exact same response.
My query:
Quote:
Hello,

I'm wondering if you could give me any information about when the Echostar TR-50 might be available to consumers, and about what price.

As well, has Echostar determined whether the TR-50 will be distributed in Canada as well as the US, and if so have retailers been determined.
Response:
Quote:
Hello,

Just recently announced, the TR50 will be sold as the DTVPal DVR, and will be available around Thanksgiving for a price of $299. It will be available online through DISH Network. At this time we do not have any information on whether the product will be available through retail outlets. An online information site is planned for the near future. Please check back with us as we get closer to the product launch date.

Thank you for contacting EchoStar.

Regards,

EchoStar Sales Team
My concern for Canadians is availability. Their response "It will be available online through DISH Network. At this time we do not have any information on whether the product will be available through retail outlets.", makes me fear they are only planning to sell it in areas where they could potentially upsale the consumer to their DBS services - and that is in the United States only. This could pose problems not only for getting the physical unit, which is no different than any other STB at this point, but as well for firmware updates and guide data compatability. We have already seen the lengths Canadians had to take to get guide data to work with Tivo (until about 1 year ago) and how Microsoft has left out Canadians who updated to TV Pack 2008 for Vista (Fiji). Obviously Canadians aren't on the RADAR.

Last edited by 99gecko; 2008-09-11 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Added thoughts
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post #17 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 04:05 PM
 
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TR50 Update

The TR50 will be a dual tuner ATSC unit. No NTSC that I know of, because NTSC is dead in the US (for the most part) in February. There will be NO FEE to use it.

I for one plan to get this unit as soon as they arrive in buffalo!

Last edited by stampeder; 2008-11-06 at 04:53 PM. Reason: title added :)
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post #18 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenstu
The TR50 will be a dual tuner ATSC unit. No NTSC that I know of
Did you hear this from an official source? I recently heard this from one of the Beta testers, but anything could change from Beta to released product. If this is true, it will be nearly useless for me as only 3 of the 15 local stations are broadcasting digitally here in Ottawa so far (although we should have 2 more next summer). As a result, I have started looking again at doing some sort of HTPC.

Quote:
because NTSC is dead in the US (for the most part) in February.
I wouldn't go that far as only about 1/3 of the broadcasters in the US will be digital only in the US, but the remaining 2/3 serve very small markets.

Quote:
I for one plan to get this unit as soon as they arrive in buffalo!
Could be easier said than done. Rumor has it that it will only be available directly from Dish Networks. Hopefully this rumor will not come true though.
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post #19 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 04:42 PM
 
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I heard it from two beta testers - so nothing "official". I have to say though, that it is HIGHLY doubtful there would be a hardware change THAT significant prior to release. In fact, if they are still on track for a Thanksgiving or Dec 1 release, the hardware is cooked already and either en-route or sitting around in distribution holds. Most beta testing is of course, software related.

I am going to have one shipped from them to a Buffalo service if that is the case. Either way, I am covered!
With regard to NTSC, I put the caveat in there specifically because of the low power stations that will remain. However, the VAST majority of consumers are not served by these low power stations. Folks who are served would be unlikely buyers of the TR50 anyway, as they are not affected by the transition at this time and likely set up well with electronics.
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post #20 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 05:05 PM
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tenstu, You are probably right. I guess it is just wishful thinking on my part.

Looking forward to hearing your review.
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post #21 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 05:34 PM
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Apparently Echostar is notorious for not handing out detailed specs prior to the release.

The original CES release indicated the TR-50 would have NTSC tuner capability. A beta tester (whom I suspect is the one Roger1818 is referring to), has reported to my direct question that the units do not have NTSC tuners. This disappoints me as well as Echostar stated at CES 2008 that it would have a NTSC tuner.

However based on info from yesterday it looks like it might just have analog pass-through (the DTVPal DVR = TR-50 in this release):
http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/st...4919006&EDATE=
Quote:
Low-power stations
will not be required to make the switch until a later, undetermined date;
however, consumers with analog TV sets who wish to continue watching both
digital high-power stations and analog low-power stations must either
subscribe to a pay-TV service or purchase a converter box that has analog
pass-through. DISH Network's converter boxes -- the TR-40 CRA, DTVPal,
DTVPal Plus and the DTVPal DVR, which is available in late November -- are
some of only a few boxes on the market that include this unique feature,
which allows a box to accept both analog and digital signals.
My personal opinion is that we need to wait another few weeks until the units are released, but I'm not holding my breath.

What concerns me more however is what source the TR-50 will use for guide data.
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post #22 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99gecko
The original CES release indicated the TR-50 would have NTSC tuner capability. A beta tester (whom I suspect is the one Roger1818 is referring to), has reported to my direct question that the units do not have NTSC tuners. This disappoints me as well as Echostar stated at CES 2008 that it would have a NTSC tuner.
To record from 2 NTSC tuners would require 2 MPEG encoders. My guess is this would add about $50 to the final cost of this unit. As a result the NTSC tuner was likely removed to keep the cost of the unit down since most of their market won't need NTSC tuners.

Quote:
What concerns me more however is what source the TR-50 will use for guide data.
According to a beta tester it uses TVGOS if available, otherwise it used PSIP data.
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post #23 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-06, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
According to a beta tester it uses TVGOS if available, otherwise it used PSIP data.
This is exactly the concern. I've posted in the TVGOS thread about the short to mid term issues with the digital TVGOS in the Buffalo / GTA market. I doubt that the TR-50 would be able to use analog TVGOS if it is maintained in Canada after Feb., which is not a certainty either. And most stations on both sides of th border, are having problems implementing PSIP guide data, or possibly choosing not to.
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post #24 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-07, 03:59 PM
 
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I guess in my case the usefulness of a NSTC tuner in a recording device will depend on what the cable companies do.

Are they going to distribute analog in Canada after 2011? What are they going to do with the US stations as of Feb. 2009?

If they swing to full ASTC format in 2011 does that mean the end to charging extra for digital? HD? Are they considering QUM only?

I'm really curious as to what "basic" cable will be after 2011when most of what they want to charge extra for now, will be free OTA?

Hard to buy a new recorder or for that matter a tv, with so many unanswered questions!

Larry
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post #25 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-07, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowarth
I guess in my case the usefulness of a NSTC tuner in a recording device will depend on what the cable companies do.
With respect to the TR-50, (or "DTVPal DVR" as it is now called) the speculation is that it is intended for OTA use only and is not cable compatible, so I guess it is irrelevant for your.

Quote:
Are they going to distribute analog in Canada after 2011? What are they going to do with the US stations as of Feb. 2009?
Neither analog shutdown should have any affect on cable users (unless they use the confusion about the 2011 shutdown to "blame" government for their own shutdown). The cable companies will take the digital signal received from the stations and convert it to analog for their customers.

Quote:
If they swing to full ASTC format in 2011 does that mean the end to charging extra for digital? HD? Are they considering QUM only?
The 2011 shutdown has nothing to do with the cable companies. The CRTC has set separate rules for how the cable companies can to switch to digital only if they want to, but they are not forcing them to do so.

The reality is analog service gives the cable services a competative advantage over the DTH services as people do not need digital boxes for secondary and tertiary TVs. As a result I believe (and this is my own personal opinion) that cable companies will continue to provide basic analog service for many years to come. Having said that, they may drop the 2nd tier channels (Discovery Channel, TLC, CNN, etc.) from analog service in the near future.

Quote:
I'm really curious as to what "basic" cable will be after 2011when most of what they want to charge extra for now, will be free OTA?
The proposal for cable companies to pay to carry broadcast stations is completely independent of the analog shutdown and it is still unknown if it will happen.

Quote:
Hard to buy a new recorder or for that matter a tv, with so many unanswered questions!
Very true, and the cable companies aren't doing much to help clarify things as they want you to buy their PVR.
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post #26 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-07, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowarth View Post
I guess in my case the usefulness of a NSTC tuner in a recording device will depend on what the cable companies do.

Are they going to distribute analog in Canada after 2011? What are they going to do with the US stations as of Feb. 2009?
I am pretty sure that what Canadians see on cable will be completely unchanged after next Feb. US stations will still be available on analog cable, just as in the US, with the possible exception of the SD US network channels being letterboxed 16x9.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowarth View Post
I'm really curious as to what "basic" cable will be after 2011when most of what they want to charge extra for now, will be free OTA?
Don't forget that the original rationale for having cable in Canada was to get OTA channels, particularly American channels, with much better reception. Cable started in Canada in the 50s, until 1983 all that you got on cable was OTA channels as "cable only" channels did not exist in Canada until then. And even on basic cable you get channels like TSN, RSN, Treehouse, YTV and CBC newsworld that are very important to many viewers.

Although digital OTA transmission has a much better range and no "snow" issues it still has considerable drawbacks. I know that many here (in the OTA forum) will get ticked off at me for saying so, but I believe that most Canadians have no interest in going back to OTA. More and more of the "good" content has shifted from OTA channels to cable channels. There is no CFL on OTA TV, only Saturday night hockey, and many, if not most, of the "must-see" series (Sopranos, Mad Men, Entourage, etc) are on cable only.
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post #27 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-07, 05:32 PM
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We'll have to wait and see regarding all of your points, guys. Let's not cover the broader issues in this thread, just the specific stuff about certain machines that fit the topic. Here are a couple of threads that would better suit the issues you're discussing:

Canadian OTA DTV Transition Happening Too Slowly!

Pros and Cons of Going OTA


cheers
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post #28 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-11, 08:43 AM
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DTV Pal DVR (TR-50) pre-orders start Nov. 19th in US

I think I'll wait for the reviews before I grab one.
From DBStalk.com:
Quote:
DTV Pal DVR
OTA *ONLY* DVR in High Def w/USB 2.0 and Ethernet for upgrade/future
Pre-order November 19th at http://www.dtvpal.com/
(JL: NOT GOVERNMENT COUPON)
The site listed currently only shows the CECB converter boxes.

I hope that for us Canadians, you do not have to have US mailing address (or a relative/friend in the US), to get one of these.... but I suspect we will. Currently to order a CECB box from DISH you also need a CC with a US billing address.

Last edited by stampeder; 2008-11-11 at 12:51 PM. Reason: pricing removed as per rules of the forum
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post #29 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-11, 09:09 PM
 
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DTV Pal DVR

From what I can see this unit uses TVGOS digital source. In the setup this requires entry of a US ZIP code. Is there a ZIP code that will give Canadian channels as well as Buffalo? It doesn't look like it can use any other source of guide or broadcast EPG. Preliminary manual on Satelliteguys.us.
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post #30 of 953 (permalink) Old 2008-11-11, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyHD View Post
From what I can see this unit uses TVGOS digital source. In the setup this requires entry of a US ZIP code. Is there a ZIP code that will give Canadian channels as well as Buffalo?
Try Youngstown NY 14072 and see the previous page of this thread.
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