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Discussion Starter #1
This should work in Canada too. My TV guide on my old DVD recorder displayed Canadian TV station content, so this machine should too.

From C-Net:

EchoStar TR-50: An HD DVR for those without cable or satellite
(Credit: EchoStar)

If you think everybody has cable or satellite, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact, if you live in an area that's well-served by digital broadcasters, now's a better time than ever to get your TV over the air (or "OTA," as the cool kids say): yeah, you get only a handful of channels, but they're in crystal-clear digital quality--DVD quality at "worst," uncompressed high-definition at best. The problem--as we're reminded by many an e-mailer--is that there just isn't a good DVR solution for the rabbit-ears crowd, especially if you prefer high-def. (You can opt for a TiVo HD, but you'd still have to pay a monthly fee for their programming guide.) But that may finally be changing, thanks to the EchoStar TR-50. For all intents and purposes, the TR-50 takes many of the features found on Dish Networks' excellent satellite DVRs (such as the ViP622 and 722) and brings them to antenna-based TV viewers.

The unit offers ATSC and NTSC tuners, so it can view and record over-the-air HD digital, standard digital, and analog channels. Dual tuner action means you can watch (and record) one live channel while simultaneously recording a second--or record two channels while playing back a previously recorded show. There's also full control over live TV, including rewind, pause, slow motion, 10-second "instant replay," and--for recordings--30-second skip. The TR-50 also sports a 7-day electronic program guide (using over-the-air metadata on the digital band), which should eliminate the pesky VCR-style manual "timer recordings" (you remember: "8:00-9:00 p.m. / Thursdays / channel 4"). The box also has a full range of outputs, including component and HDMI (480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i resolutions supported), as well as standard-def composite and RF outputs for older TVs. Dish hasn't yet specified the internal hard drive size, but the USB 2.0 connector will ensure expandable storage. Perhaps most interestingly, the TR-50 includes an Ethernet port and the ability to decode MPEG-4 video, and EchoStar touts its ability to "access premium Internet-based TV programming via broadband Internet," as well as "DVR management and timer creation via Internet"--though the timeframe for such features wasn't disclosed. Likewise, the exact release date and pricing information remain a mystery. But if it's affordable--and lacks TiVo's monthly fee--the TR-50 may be the perfect fit for TV viewers without satellite or cable who still want to enjoy HD programming on their own schedule.

Separately, EchoStar also announced the TR-40. That model is merely a digital set-top box (no DVR). It will let analog TV owners (or those with HD monitors that lack a tuner) receive digital and high-def signals over the air--a necessity after the scheduled February 2009 analog TV shutdown.
 

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This looks awesome, I have Panasonic DMR E37...Great unit but no guide, I get guide off old RCA(poc) DVDR...analog only...I wonder what else will pop up this summer now? Competition should be interesting....I'll hold off for another year I think.
Dual tuner being ATSC/NTSC, record one (ATSC) while watching NTSC?
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dual tuner being ATSC/NTSC, record one (ATSC) while watching NTSC?
I wondered about that myself. Why even put an NTSC tuner in? To satisfy the cable crowd? I guess that would expand the market and hopefully help keep the price down.
 

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Does it "honour the broadcast flag"? If so fuggedaboutit. If not, it's very interesting.
 

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Since it appears to be ATSC(OTA only), there is tecnically no such thing as a "Broadcast flag" since broadcasters in the USA aren't permitted to use it anyways. That is my thinking anyways.
 

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Which doesn't mean Canadian broadcasters couldn't put it on everything they show since there are no regulations for these flags in Canada.
 

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This should work in Canada too. My TV guide on my old DVD recorder displayed Canadian TV station content, so this machine should too.

From C-Net:
As pointed out elsewhere on the web, it appears that Dish is rebranding the as-of-yet unreleased TR-50 as the "DTVPal DVR".
http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/about_us/company_profile/our_history/index.shtml
EchoStar Corporation Announces New Digital-to-Analog Converter Boxes, DTVPal™ and DTVPal DVR™
The last word was this unit is to be released in September, however the original release date has come and gone.

They appear to be aligning the branding with their coupon eligible (CECB) digital-to-analogue converter box the DTVPal (formerly the TR-40). Lets hope its not vapourware.
 

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Echostar TR-50

I've abandoned cable in favour of HD OTA and AppleTV with the US/Canada iTunes accounts.

Keep an eye out for the Echostar TR-50 OTA HD PVR, rumoured to be coming soon. Also, If you use a PS3 as a Blu-Ray player, there is chatter from Sony that they will bring out a movie download service and HD tuner/PVR addon of their own.
 

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Echostar TR-50 rumoured to be coming soon

I've abandoned cable in favour of HD OTA and AppleTV with the US/Canada iTunes accounts.

Keep an eye out for the Echostar TR-50 OTA HD PVR, rumoured to be coming soon. Also, If you use a PS3 as a Blu-Ray player, there is chatter from Sony that they will bring out a movie download service and HD tuner/PVR addon of their own.
 

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The TR-50 looks like a winner to me. Credit card at the ready....

Stu
 

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TR-50

Echostar may be releasing their TR-50 PVR sometime soon. It looks promising, but until it may just be vaporware.
 

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I emailed Echostar asking when the TR-50 would be available and roughly the cost. Here is their reply.
Thank you for your email. We appreciate your interest in this product. The TR-50 is an advanced award winning digital-to-analog converter box that has HD and DVR capabilities. The Tr-50 will not be coupon eligible. Pricing and availability information has not been finalized. More information will be available in the fall of 2008. Unfortunately, at this time we have no further information.
Once the TR-50 is available they can count on me picking one up right away!
 

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That Echostar TR-50 will be a dream come true for OTA users so I hope it becomes a reality soon. See Post #93 for the first mention of it - not much concrete info since then it seems.
 

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Regarding the TR-50 (speculated to also be marketed via Sling as the DTVPal DVR), there is some indication that this product might be available in November.

Taken from a regular web segment with Dish Network's CEO Charlie Ergan known as "Charlie Chat" (Dish is a subsidiary of Echostar) :
Question:
TR-50? June or July?... <snip non-related question>
Charlie Ergan's repsonse:
TR-50 is a DVR version of their off air receiver. Engineers promise more than they can deliver. Available in November. $299?...<snip response to non-related question>
I would speculate that the release date would target the US Thanksgiving holiday. I would also speculate that these will fly off the shelves if they ever do make it to market.
Lots of speculation flying around about this unit, especially how the user interface/guide info software will function, and where it will actually get data from. The fear is that it will function similarily to the CECB non-recording DTVPal which has had some sour reviews.
 

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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:
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:
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.
 

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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!
 

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tenstu said:
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.

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.

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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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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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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