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DVR/Hard Drive for Dish Network


ANG0225

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Just bought a Tailgater and got Dish Network service to our 5er. Working hard to watch the Georgia Alabama game via DVR (I have to work during the broadcast). Bought a hard drive and had Dish set our account up for a DVR but so far we have had no luck getting it set up so that we could record. We had a guy come out and tell us that what we bought would not work. Dish Network is no help at all.

 

Any suggestions?

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Just bought a Tailgater and got Dish Network service to our 5er. Working hard to watch the Georgia Alabama game via DVR (I have to work during the broadcast). Bought a hard drive and had Dish set our account up for a DVR but so far we have had no luck getting it set up so that we could record. We had a guy come out and tell us that what we bought would not work. Dish Network is no help at all.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Tell us which hard drive you bought. You almost have to use a self powered hard drive, the receiver will not power it through the usb. I say "almost" because a few people have gotten usb powered drives to work.

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A thumb drive might work, nothing risked if it doesn't aside from a few minutes to reformat the thumb drive. I see a lot of activity to my external drives so I don't know how that would work with the write limits on a thumb drive or even a SSD. Your recordings are likely going to be big so you won't fit a lot on a smaller thumb drive.

 

WD makes a nice Audio-Visual AV drive that we are fond of, very quiet and far less intrusive blinky lights than some other drives. Changing to a bigger drive is a real pain if your DVR even supports that so if you want to avoid many hours waiting for the transfer process just buy the biggest drive that your DVR supports.

 

I know the 612, 622, 722 do allow this, haven't tried any others. Really a PAIN to do.

 

Edit: Since the 211 has no internal drive this will not work on it. Might still be possible if you move the 211's external drive to one of the supported models of receivers on the same account.

 

1. Plug in the new drive and wait for it to be detected and activated.

2. Move everything on the internal drive to the new drive. Everything, stuff you don't want there you can move back later.

3. Reboot the receiver, unplug the new drive once the DVR shuts down but before it begins to boot.

4. Once it is rebooted plug in the old drive, wait until it is recognized and activated.

5. Move all that will fit to the internal drive.

6.Reboot the receiver, unplug the old drive once the DVR shuts down but before it begins to boot.

7. Do #1 - #6 again, keep at it until the old drive is empty and everything is on the new drive

8. Move anything on the new drive that you don't want there to the internal drive.

 

This is time consuming and picky, any goof and you risk dumping your collection of DVR'd shows. Some folks skip the reboots and are successful just waiting until the drive goes idle but I do not trust that method as it failed me once.

 

You can apparently have many drives of content and switch between them, again I recommend doing it with a reboot. I haven't seen multiple drives connected at one time or using a USB switch and won't risk it myself.

 

You can move a drive between receivers on the same account, I've only confirmed that with the 612, 622 and 722 boxes though. Again rebooting is safest.

 

The drive format appears to be one used by Linux but the data appears to be encrypted and split between several partitions. I didn't look at it beyond that, I really should look at trying to make a backup to recover from a drive failure but I haven't yet.

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Good steps for adding a disk to a DVR but the VIP211 is not a DVR to start. Adding the disk allows the VIP211 to be a DVR.

 

And of course the VIP211 must be activated for DVR use as well. There was a $40 one time charge for that, but I don't know if that still applies or not. The VIP211 series receivers have a single satellite tuner, which does limit the DVR/watching options. The OTA tuner (an option on the 211z, standard on the 211k) does increase those options though.

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Not all hard drives will work with a 211, either. Dish does have a list of tested drives but it is aged and they don't keep it very current. Be sure you get the drive from a place that lets you return it if it will not work with your receiver.

 

The problem with Thumb drives is mostly about write speeds. Some may just be too slow to work even if preformatted.

 

We don't watch much of anything live and don't watch commercials unless we cannot avoid it. I used a 211K for 2 1/2 years on an 18" dish.

 

Then I got a 100.4 3lnb dish (used), a Hopper (remanufactured w/sling box, wifi and local ota tuner builtin) and realized what I had long suspected: I was wasting my time without it. I did not opt for a tailgater (too fragile and too expensive) but did consider an X2 but both were seriously limiting due to having to be controlled by the single tuner receiver.

 

After diligent research, I bought all components and setting up the dish is only a 15 minute job most of the time with no special tools. After that, we just enjoy it all without thinking about it. That was 18 months ago and I have not regretted a single moment of the time or expense to make the switch and I am still on the pay as you go plan though I am seriously considering switching to a regular plan and saving a few $$$ more.l

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If the disk drive doesn't have it's own power supply, then get a Powered USB hub. That will supply power for the disk drive. The USB port of the Dish receiver doesn't put enough power out for a disk drive.

X3 Been there, done that. Purchased an inexpensive USB hub and both drives now work.

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Bought a self powered Hard Drive from Best Buy. Powered it up and connected it to our Dish receiver. After it tried to configure, it said it was not compatible. Brought it back to BB. Now looking for one that is compatible. Any suggestions?

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This what Dish says:

 

COMPATIBLE HARD DRIVES

While most major manufacturers' external hard drives are compatible, keep in mind the following guidelines when purchasing an external hard drive:

  • When using an external hard drive with a ViP 612, 622, 722, 722k, 922, or Hopper, the drive should be no smaller than 50 GB and no larger than 2 TB
  • When using an external hard drive with a ViP 211, 211k, 211z or DISH 411, the drive should be no smaller than 50 GB and no larger than 2 TB
  • The external hard drive must have its own power supply
  • The external hard drive must support USB 2.0
  • The external hard drive must not use flash memory and should only be a single-hard disk drive

Was you hard drive in those categories?

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You can fight trying to find a drive that will work, I did and mad some real problems for myself. I ended up with a Seagate that the receiver was happy to format and load data to but after sitting for a couple hours idle it would no longer work. A couple other tries to reuse older hard drives and a USB converter also failed. A long talk with a Dish support tech and I just gave up and started using WD drives, switching to larger capacity ones as Dish bumped the size limits.

 

My recommendation is but a WD Western Digital My Book 2 TB drive. I have three of these working wiht my 612, 622 and 722 boxes.

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Book-External-Drive-Storage-Backup/dp/B0041OSQBG/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1444252585&sr=8-18&keywords=wd+my+book

 

Slightly cheaper and might work too but I haven't tried them:

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Book-USB-Hard-Drive-Backup/dp/B00E3RH5W2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1444252556&sr=8-3&keywords=wd+my+book

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Essential-Desktop-External/dp/B002JN554C/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1444252585&sr=8-23&keywords=wd+my+book

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Coming full circle, since Tailgater will not work with DVR. Does anyone know of a satellite system for RVs that will work with DVR?

 

You are so lost. Let's start from the beginning.

 

What receiver do you have with your Tailgater? The VIP211 receivers normally are used with the Tailgater. The VIP211 RECEIVERS CAN DEFINITELY BE USED AS A DVR. No, they are not a dvr receiver per se. I have been using a Tailgater with a VIP211K receiver with full dvr capabilities for several years now.

 

You must pay a one time fee of $40 to Dish Network and they will turn on the dvr capability of the VIP211. At that point, you must buy an external hard drive which is compatible with the VIP211 (it sounds like you have already bought one). What is the make and model of the hard drive you bought?

 

If you will give people the information they have asked, they will be glad to help you get your system up and going.

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Lets describe the issue with a Tailgater and a DVR. Dish uses three satellites. When doing the initial Switch Check, the DVR sends signals to the dish to lock onto the various transponders on the three satellites. Since the Tailgater has only one LNBF (receiver button), the Tailgater is moving the LNBF back and forth to the satellite requests. This is hard on the Tailgater.

 

Now most DVRs have two, or more, tuners and those positioning command come from all the tuners at the same time. It is hard, more like near impossible, to a single LNBF to get thru a Switch Check. Note, the X2 is a single LNBF unit too.

 

Now a VIP211 is a single tuner receiver so it can deal with Tailgate, only one initiater. Likewise, the VIP211 does one thing at a time, record or view, not what you expect from a DVR.

 

For a two or more tuner DVR, you need a multiple LNBF headed dish. That can be a DPP 1000.2 on a tripod. Or for automatic operation, a Winegard Trav'ler SK1000 mounted on you roof.

 

The tripod can appear imitating but for the price of the Tailgater and less than a X2, you can buy a DPP1000.2, a TV4RV.com tripod, and some excellent tools that make setting up the dish a task of a few minutes.

 

The Trav'ler is the best option but has a much bigger entry cost.

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Why would the DVR function be any harder on a Tailgater than a user causing sat switches as they change channels? The VIP211 is also a bit more flexible than choosing just to record or view. With OTA capability, the options are:

 

Watch and/or record a sat program while recording an OTA program.

 

Watch and/or record an OTA program while recording a sat program.

 

Record a sat program and an OTA program while watching a previously recorded program.

 

It's certainly not as flexible as a multi-tuner receiver of course, but is more flexible than it might appear at first.

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Why would the DVR function be any harder on a Tailgater than a user causing sat switches as they change channels? The VIP211 is also a bit more flexible than choosing just to record or view. With OTA capability, the options are:

 

Watch and/or record a sat program while recording an OTA program.

 

Watch and/or record an OTA program while recording a sat program.

 

Record a sat program and an OTA program while watching a previously recorded program.

 

It's certainly not as flexible as a multi-tuner receiver of course, but is more flexible than it might appear at first.

 

I agree.

 

The Tailgater and VIP211 are more than adequate to do what the OP said they wanted to do, record a ball game and watch it later. If the OP would share what receiver and what hard drive they have, I believe someone here could help them get it set up.

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Yes this is a VIP 211z. I have tried two hard drives so far. The first one was a MYFI, which required WIFI and it was incompatible. The second one was a Toshiba, it had 3 TB storage, which I now realize did not meet specs. Is there a hard drive that someone can recommend that might work?

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