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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Gents,

I've been mucking about with Shaw Direct for years, but let my usefulness with Bell falter, as my only Buddy with it rarely needed any help for the last 4 or 5 years. Some time ago I installed a system for him which is off the grid on an island off BC's Sunshine Coast. Obviously there's no installers anywhere nearby and I've never heard of one coming by boat. :surprise But now he's run into some grief, and I need to get it current quickly with what's available today.

He's had to replace a few Receivers over the years (He says he never gets more than 2 years from them.) and he's currently got what he thinks is a 9400 there.

The hardware has changed over the years. It seems Bell has followed the cable industry somewhat and has a 3 tuner PVR (watch 2 channels and record one simultaneously? ) they call a Whole Home PVR; and a Whole Home receiver which can connect via RG6 Cabling and the user can watch anything on each Box /TV (typically in different rooms). If more TVs are desired you can't simply add another Whole Home receiver, but need to build up in pairs with another Whole Home PVR first. Seems weird - do I have this correct?


I cannot find a current installation manual. Do you know where I can find one?

I assume the Dish is the same but the LNB can be quite different than before. Bell Quad Plus LNB or Dish Pro Plus (DPP) Twin LNB seem to be the standards as you can send all the signals via a single RG6 cable (3 or 4 outputs respectively) which can connect 3 or 4 PVRs. I hear the Twins are / were having reliability problems so most installers just use the Quad. Switches don't seem to be used unless you want more receivers, or only have 2 RG6 lines from the dish into a house and want more than 2 receivers. The supported Switches are now typically Bell Dish Pro PlusVideoPath DPP44 DPP 44 Switch and Power Inserters.

Anytime a single cable needs to be connected to a multi-tuner receiver, a DP Plus Separator is needed just before the receiver to feed both Sat1 and Sat2 iinputs.

How long will a typical LNB last? 5 years? 10? Should his LNB be replaced each 5 years rather than wait until the 11th hour when its overtime in the Stanley Cup game 7 final, and the TV goes black!

You prompt input would be appreciated.
 

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I can help a bit...the new Bell receiver is the 9500, which is a dual tuner PVR and no longer needs a splitter as it's built into the receiver.

An LNB should be good for 10 years or so and I would think the dish should last longer or maybe forever if they don't change anything.

It may just be an issue considering your friend is in a place where the salt air affects everything metal.

I think we're still at the DPP Quad for the LNB and I think there is a limit of two 9500's per house (not sure why).

Perhaps the installers here can shed some more light on your plight.
 

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I had bell satellite for MORE than 5 years, with a DPP Twin LNB and it Never EVER gave me problems, the LNB never broke and its still looks new. The 9400 receiver is actually dual tuner not triple tuner, so you can watch one show while recording anohter or record 2 shows and you get the point, both lasted me well over 5 years, theyre very rhobust, reliable, and durable, even with 2 crazy kids in my household who cause a lot of damage to their toys and my furnature, surprisingly my tv equiptment has never been damaged and has been rock solid and durable and has survived. i highly recommend bell equiptment and say its build very durable and reliable.
 

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Current bell setup

Current installation assuming you will do "whole home pvr" is the following:
same dish 500 as it was before;
same dpp quad/twin (bell stopped supplying quads recently, only used junk twins in really bad shape now) as before;
dpp44 only if install includes some older models (9500 often misbehave when connected to dpp44);
9500 ie hopper duo one/two of them linked with duo hub (Dish Pro Hybrid Duo Hub);
7500 ie 4k joey (with the 4k disabled of course) connected to the aforementioned solo/duo hub.
possible the following: two 9500s - duo hub - splitter - pack of 7500s.
this setup has some disadvantages such as limit of tuners, only two tuners per 9500, therefore if you have two 9500 and 4 7500 then you can only watch 4 tvs at once, the remaining will be watching some prerecorded stuff or on demand. for some bizzare reason bell deceded to go with hopper duo instead of hopper 3, moreover the limit of two 9500s per account. having hard time to comprehend the logic, but i am afraid that is what bell offers so far.
7500 can watch a regular channel, on demand, recordings, but netflix not yet, the last one only available on 9500. hopefully will be rersolved soon as well as the other apps they mentioned year ago.
so there is no instruction for bell in particular available, however you can reffer to Dish's hopper-joey installation bulletin, in which you have to imagine dish 1000.2 as dish 500, dish pro hybrid western arc lnb as dish pro plus twin, hubs remain the same, tap not available since dish doesnt have analogue of super joey, so ignore that part, then dish's hopper duo is 9500 and 4k joey or any joey for that matter as 7500. any questions post to this forum.
oh and yeah the 7500 has same ruwido slim remote as 9500 and as fibe non bluetooth remote (not interchangable with fibe receivers of course)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gents,

Thanks for all the info so far. Bell seems to have gone strange with their Whole House concept. If I were to scope it out with MoCA, it would be like Shaw Cable's Gateway system with one PVR Box with all the Tuners on the same network, and then 6 Set Top Box slaves grabbing whatever, all using a single RG6 Cable infrastructure. To me the Whole House PVR should do just that - the whole house with no need for a second PVR Box. Of course have 6 tuners would also be must so all Set Top Boxes can watch something different simultaneously. It would be great to have 8 tuners so they could all be watching something different and you could still record 2 more channels. Or any combination of same. That would be great flexibility.

Anyway, it is what it is for Bell I guess.

For my Friend, I forget exactly what Hardware I used but it could be a Quad Plus LNB, or less likely 2 DBS LNBF with Dual Outputs into a SW21. Back in 2015 I think I did the change to the former. I installed an 6131 Receiver but in the intervening years since my friend somehow moved to a 9400 so he can record. I don't think he's ever got it to work right.

By the way is HD & SD divided to Sat 82 and Sat 91 respectively still? (Shaw Direct has their's all mixed up but is dropping SD big time.)

Again, thanks for the input.
 

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Yeah bell's system will work with single pvr too, but you only get two tuners, so having 6 tvs and 2 tuners for them wont do any good. HD/SD still divided, you may refer to lyngsat
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll check out lyngsat (If I can find Bell's Birds again) to sort out what's HD and SD and where. Thankfully he only wants on TV at the Cabin so far.
 

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He's had to replace a few Receivers over the years (He says he never gets more than 2 years from them.)
The two most likely causes of receiver failure are improper grounding and power surges. A grounding block should be installed between the dish and the receiver where the cables enter the house. I suggest he invest $75-$100 in a UPS to protect each receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the posts gents. My Buddy brought home the 9400 from his Cabin, and I decided to plug it into his home system. I couldn't get too close to the LNB on the Dish, but I'm pretty certain it was a DPP Quad LNB as I think it had DP Plus on the back in black script. Two line from it directly fed a fully functioning 9400, so it was a simple cable for cable swap.

After tinkering with it for a while, all was good and it's fully operational. Then I saw he had another 9400 stacked on top of a 9242. What was happening was when one box would fail to work for him he'd just go buy another one. When the 9242 failed he got a Bell Tech in who said it was broken, so my Buddy bought the first 9400. After a couple years it had an issue so he got another.

He doesn't remember what happened to the 6131 Receiver, but I'm betting he wanted a PVR like at home and he just bought a new 9400 and parked the 6131 Receiver in a drawer; or somewhere else at his Cabin.

Anyway, the 3rd 9400 seems to be fine except the Hard Drive has died. You get error messages if you try to record, or access a past recording. I brought it home and opened it up. It's got a 1TB Seagate ST31000424C8 Pipeline HD. Do you know the process for replacing one of these? I've done a couple of Shaw Cable Boxes over the years; and it's quite routine once the process is known. Most of the time you can go bigger if the firmware supports it. Any ideas on that whole process will be appreciated.

The 4th Box, the 9242 has a similar story except we called Bell after we got a "no Smartcard" error. After about a hour on the phone the support person finally said it didn't require a smartcard. It just need to be synchronized to the system and the firmware updated. I'm betting this one hasn't been on line in 5 or 6 years! It too has a PVR issue and I'm hoping it's just a dead hard drive. When you try to record a channel and it's chugging merrily along doing so, and you try to switch channels, it won't do so and gives you an error message. But if you stop the recording, it will let you swap channels at will. On both Birds... What Gives? If it's not a Hard Drive, do you know what it is? Quite a puzzle that one.

As always you comments and suggestions are appreciated.
 

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Then I saw he had another 9400 stacked on top of a 9242.
Overheating due to poor ventilation is a common cause of electronics component failure. They should be on separate shelves or have at least 2-3 inches of space between. I've operated Bell PVR receivers on their side where there was insufficient space but would never stack them with other components.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks 57, I read those threads last night. There is also some posts elsewhere on Capacitor Failures in the 9242 which lead me to believe the problem there could be more extensive. This is an "old" receiver and I'm doubting the worth of doing in depth repairs on it. But we'll see.

ExDilbert, sorry if I misled you. These units were not powered and operating, but rather disconnected and stacked up on a counter nearby for storage, awaiting disposal / recycling. My Buddy thought they were done.

I dismantled the 9400 last night at home, and inside it looks pristine. We've just ordered a Seagate 1 TB Video HDD Sata 5900 RPM 64 MB 3.5-Inch ST1000VM002 Hard Drive for the 9400 along with some DPP Separators from Amazon as I could not find either locally here in Vancouver. Once I get that box fixed, I'll go over to my Buddy's and take a look inside the 9242, and see what we are up against. Based on the posts I read, and the fact you can get it to record the show you are watching, but won't let you shift off that channel, I suspect a Board issue and possibly capacitors. Hopefully someone who's dealt with a similar issue will chime in with their experience.

Thanks for the assist.
 

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There is a thread on replacing hard drives in Bell satellite receivers. The thread may be archived by now. Unless things have changed, the firmware checks for certain hard drives and won't work with most consumer hard drives. I guess that's to stop people from doing their own repairs or upgrades. (Hate companies that do that.) You may find that the new drive doesn't work. It may also be very difficult to find a drive that will.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I read both Threads on Replacing Hard Drives last night before ordering.. That's where I got positive feedback the firmware for the 9400 has the Seagate 1 TB Video HDD Sata 5900 RPM 64 MB 3.5-Inch ST1000VM002 Hard Drive listed. One or two folks put it in with no issues. So I'm hoping it's a straightforward swap.
 
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