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Bell 9500 (and 7500) Receiver Discussions

195608 Views 275 Replies 73 Participants Last post by  phylipblizzard
Had a Bell Tech at the house today to replace my legacy SW44/SW44A switch combo with a DPP Quad. Pretty good service, I called in a problem yesterday (Sunday) and they were at my house the next morning and on a holiday! They waived the $75 service call fee too.

He mentioned there was a 9500 receiver showing up in their system. It wasn't available to anyone and he had little information other than "built in Wi-Fi". Just wondered if anyone had heard of a new receiver - I assume a PVR?


Edit by 57 - Installation instructions by @Dr.Dave in the following post:

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Sounds like an incremental update to the 9400. I don't expect to see too much in the way of new features. It may gain a few and lose a few compared to the 9400 as has happened in the past. Since it has just shown up, I expect it's still being tested by internal staff. I wouldn't get excited until they make a major revision update such as a 10000 series or X000 series.
Ridiculously small for HDTV. It must be a 2.5" drive since modern 3.5" drives start at 1TB. There is virtually no difference in retail prices between new 160Gb and 1TB 2.5" drives. Bell must have picked these from Dish's garbage to save a few dollars.
That's not unusual. Bell has a history of keeping new receivers secret until they are officially available. They either don't let their own employees know or tell them to keep it quiet.
The Hopper Hopper Duo is probably a lot cheaper to make than earlier models so it's not surprising it would eventually be adopted by Bell. The Dish Hopper Duo has "the ability to store up to 125 hours of HD recordings" which indicates a 500GB drive for MPEG4 HD. Like previous Bell receivers, the new 9500 may be a stripped down, feature reduced version of a Dish receiver. If Bell decides to adopt a receiver configuration similar to Dish's Hopper/Joey receivers it might even make Bell satellite competitive again. It's long overdue but it may never happen.
four tuners with whole home capabilities
That's if they enable whole home. We don't know if that will happen.
That's if Bell supports whole home with the 9500. It could have whole home and other features disabled even if it is the same hardware as the Dish Hopper. Bell is still advertising the 9400 on the web site so it's not even clear that the 9500 is available to customers yet.
A new DPP LNB can be purchased from Bell, a satellite retailer or eBay. The dish itself can usually be reused. The wiring may need to be reconfigured and all legacy equipment such as switches removed. If requested, Bell will send out a tech to install a DPP LNB and make sure it is working but that's often the most expensive option. See the Bell satellite installation threads for info on the differences between LNBs and how to install them. The 6400 and most newer 6000 series receivers should work with DPP.
The DISH Network Dish Pro Plus Quad might be a better buy since it will feed up to 4 receivers without requiring a DPP switch. It's only slightly more expensive on eBay.
You need a DPP quad LNB and remove all the legacy equipment starting with the SW44. The coax cables need to run directly from the DPP LNB to each receiver. Use barrel connectors to join the cables where the SW44 is removed.

the 9500 does not support the legacy equipment. What do I need to do to make this work?
Already asked and answered. Please reread the last 2 pages of posts starting at #115. Please also see Bell Satellite TV Hardware Installation Forum.
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Maybe they need to launch another satellite in orbit,...
Bell has another satellite. They have for years. All the transponders are being used by Dish in exchange for "other considerations" such as technology updates, receivers or, maybe, cash. It's a Canadian satellite using airwaves that belong to Canadians and Bell has essentially sold it to Dish for profit. In my opinion, that's just wrong and IC should take the slot back for other uses. As far as I can tell, Bell is using technology and hardware no longer wanted by Dish. They probably waited until Dish ran out the old model they were using for refurbs before adopting the newer Hopper based platform. Don't know what Bell pays for their receivers but it's probably next to nothing after the satellite scam is factored in.

Satellite TV as we know it is going to be obsolete in 5-10 years anyway. A US company is launching a constellation of broadband satellites that will provide worldwide internet at gigabit speeds. All areas will have access to high speed internet, OTT streaming and IPTV when that happens. The first satellites are being launched this year. Let the chord cutting begin. ;)
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It may be possible to copy the files from the 94xx drive to a newly formatted 95xx drive and watch them. Haven't tried it but that's how I recovered programming from a messed up 92xx external drive once. It involves hooking the drives up to a Linux PC and copying the files between them.

I've got to laugh at how Bell once boasted that you could "record forever" with their PVRs and external drives. Nowhere did it say that you could watch forever. New technology often makes old data obsolete.
Try doing a search for Wireless IR Repeater or Remote Control Extender. A Logitech Harmony Hub is another option. It works with a companion Harmony Remote, smartphone app, Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
There are two IR frequency bands commonly used for IR remotes. Some third party IR equipment and remotes do not support the band Dish/Bell equipment uses. IR repeaters and remotes should specify what frequencies or equipment they support. If they don't, assume Dish/Bell equipment isn't supported.
It might be possible by copying the program files from the existing drive to a new drive formatted on the 9500. This procedure requires a Linux PC or live Linux distro to access the raw partitions. It works for 9200 series PVRs. Haven't tried it on 9400 or 9500 receivers.
It could just be a simple replacement. It depends on what dish equipment is installed, what TV and other devices are being connected to the receiver and how they are connected. I would let Bell upgrade the dish, if required. It can turn out to be cheaper in some cases. In any event, negotiate a flat rate installation rate ahead of time. There is no simple explanation due to every setup being different. I would try just a straight receiver replacement first.
I believe Bell needs to enable the remote PVR function for it to work.
The main issue is the 9500 has only two tuners. Don't know how I would cope with that. I've had two PVRs with 8 tuners each for years. It's not so much that I use those tuners all the time but it's not unusual for more than two shows to be on at the same time. I've even maxed out the 8 tuner limit on occasion during prime time. As long as stations and networks keep piling their most popular shows into the same popular prime time slots with no reruns then it will remain an issue. These days, I go most of the week with almost no prime time recordings but a couple of days have half a dozen or so recordings all in the same two hour time slot.
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I would prefer to run the remote TVs on wifi, so as to get HD pictures,
One solution would be an HDMI extender, aka transmitter/receiver. There are two commonly available types that use CAT6 and RF. An RF model may be a better bet since some are available with more than one receiver, though 5 TVs might be more than what is available for one transmitter. If the TV is not too far away high quality HDMI cable may work. An HDMI splitter may be required. Be aware that there are distance limitations for all of these methods and distance varies with products and methods.

the 9500 seems to only have an IR remote.
An IR extender works by receiving the IR signal and sending it to an IR transmitter in another room. I've seen models that work over coax and RF.
Another solution would be a third party remote control that uses wifi or RF to send commands to a base station near the 9500. One of the best, the Harmony Hub (with Companion remote) is no longer made and is difficult to find. I've seen others but don't know what is currently available. At one time, Bell had an RF remote that used a base unit to control IR receivers remotely. Don't know if this is still available or if it would work with a 9500.
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I don't recommend using extenders or long cabling but offered it as a possibility. On second thought, it was a bad suggestion for Bell TV and the 9500.

The Bell TV smartphone app should be able to control some functions of the 9500 using wifi.

A better HD solution might be a streaming device that supports the Crave TV app. I believe the Amazon Fire Stick, Chromecast with Google TV and several others are supported by Bell TV. The Bell 7500 receiver is also an option for HD on the other TVs.
The 7500 is basically a dedicated media player that only supports the 9500 and whatever else Bell provides. The 9500 does all the work like receiving the signals and recording. There are other media players that will provide much of the same functionality as the 7500 and are usually much cheaper and more versatile. They include the Amazon Fire Stick and the Chromecast With Google TV. There are other supported devices listed on the Bell web site and they must support the Bell app. The 7500 would likely be the simplest solution to install and use but the cost for 5 TVs would really add up.
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