Adding external hard drive to Dish Vip 211 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-12-2009, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I just became aware that there is some option of adding an external hard drive to the Vip 211 to provide a DVR function. Has anyone done this?
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-13-2009, 08:48 AM
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YES

I added a 640GB external HD to my 211 about a month ago and it's GREAT

Highly recommend it. You can pause live TV and chase the program from behind.

You can record from 1 satellite channel and watch live OTA
You can record live OTA and watch 1 satellite channel
You can record 1 OTA channel + record 1 satellite channel + watch a prerecorded event from the HD

At the same time
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-13-2009, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess I better get an external HD ordered.
Thanks for the the information.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-13-2009, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobarino View Post

YES

I added a 640GB external HD to my 211 about a month ago and it's GREAT

Highly recommend it. You can pause live TV and chase the program from behind.

You can record from 1 satellite channel and watch live OTA
You can record live OTA and watch 1 satellite channel
You can record 1 OTA channel + record 1 satellite channel + watch a prerecorded event from the HD

At the same time

I read that you have to register your hard drive with Dish for like $40 to get DVR capabilities. Is there any truth to that?
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-13-2009, 12:31 PM
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I have a 6141 from Bell, which I think is the same as the Dish 211, but I'm not familiar with it to know for sure.

So anyways, for those of us north of the border, Bell just sent a software update to the 6141 receivers to enable the USB port. I plugged in a 160gb drive and after it prompted me to format the drive and restart, the receiver now functions as a single tuner HD PVR.

There was no need to call Bell so I assume there is no extra charge.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-13-2009, 12:39 PM
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Thanks for the reply, va3dxv.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-13-2009, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Bulldog View Post

I read that you have to register your hard drive with Dish for like $40 to get DVR capabilities. Is there any truth to that?

Yes, there is a 1 time $40 fee to enable the feature for your account, no monthly charges though

When you plug in the EHD it will prompt you to call an automated line to enable it but that doesn't work for most people.
Most people, including me, have to call tech support and talk to a real live person in order to get it enabled and then the 211 reboots and formats the drive.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-19-2009, 12:05 PM
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I, too, am enjoying the VIP211 DVR with a 750GB drive. Although all name brand drives are supposed to work, I initially installed a new Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus by Seagate, called Tech Support for activation, then waited for the reformat/restart/reload program guide sequence to complete. However, this never did complete successfully. After 4 long calls to Tech Support, three of which were not satisfactory for various reasons, I then realized I had a faulty hard drive. The final technician was actually quite competent and decided on his own to waive the $40 activation fee.

I then returned the drive to Costco and picked up a Maxtor OneTouch4. This drive has only USB2.0, whereas the OneTouch4 Plus has firewire and USB2.0. The drive installed successfully, but I'm not sure why the previous one did not.

Anyway, the VIP211 DVR seems to work almost exactly like the VIP722 (less one SAT tuner), allowing me to now record two OTA programs simultaneously in different rooms. I know I cannot plug this drive into the 722 without reformating (the VIP722 EHD is for archiving, whereas the VIP211 EHD is a true DVR), but no worries. This was a smart move by DISH.

Bob
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrabob View Post

This was a smart move by DISH.

Bob

Precisely SierraBob.

Now they not only have more satisfied customers, but those customers have recorded content on their disk drives that they would lose if they jumped ship to DirecTV or cable.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-30-2009, 10:20 AM
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Hey Gang,

I have just recently added a 500G WD Drive to my 6141 and it is working great!! Just plugged in the USB and away she went!!

Only issue I am having is that when you turn off the 6141 you get the Moving Logo screen and it doesn't power off completey.

Is there ANYWAY to disable this feature because as long as this remains active the External HD remains on.



DMP
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-31-2009, 09:52 PM
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We currently have a VIP722 with 500 gig HD attached. It works fine, if a little slow when moving programming between it and the main receiver. We tried connecting it to the VIP211 and it could not be seen. The tech we talked to said that the drives on a 211 are formatted differently than the 722. Hate to buy another Hard Drive. Is there any way to move programming between the two receivers, or to get it on a single hard drive readable on both receivers? We take one receiver/tv combo with us when we travel in our RV. Not being able to merge the programming onto one drive would be a pain.
Regards
Bill
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-31-2009, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billr2 View Post

We currently have a VIP722 with 500 gig HD attached. It works fine, if a little slow when moving programming between it and the main receiver. We tried connecting it to the VIP211 and it could not be seen. The tech we talked to said that the drives on a 211 are formatted differently than the 722. Hate to buy another Hard Drive. Is there any way to move programming between the two receivers, or to get it on a single hard drive readable on both receivers? We take one receiver/tv combo with us when we travel in our RV. Not being able to merge the programming onto one drive would be a pain.
Regards
Bill

No, the ViP 622/722 DVRs are different than the 211s since the ViPs are already DVRs. The 211 needs the HD to become a DVR so you cannot swap drives between those receivers. Now if you had multiple 622/722 (like I do) you can move drives between boxes with no issues.
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-01-2009, 05:18 PM
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got an external hooked up to my 211, as of now i enjoy it but i cant seem to record anything unless i am watching it.

i can set it to record when the tv is off, but if i want to record something for my wife, unless its on that channel it wont record. if i try and turn the channel it asks are you sure you want to stop recording....

is this right.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-02-2009, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

got an external hooked up to my 211, as of now i enjoy it but i cant seem to record anything unless i am watching it.

i can set it to record when the tv is off, but if i want to record something for my wife, unless its on that channel it wont record. if i try and turn the channel it asks are you sure you want to stop recording....

is this right.

There is only one satellite tuner in the 211. You can set it to record while it is off and it does not matter what channel it is tuned to before hand, it will record the channel selected. If you are watching another channel when it is set to record, since there is only one satellite tuner you can either record or watch but not both.

There is one OTA tuner and one satellite tuner in the 211. Therefore the solution is to connect an antenna, that way if one of the shows is OTA you can record one show while watching the other.

Rick R
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-04-2009, 02:09 PM
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With the 211, it has two tuners, one SAT one OTA.

If you are recording a SAT channel you CAN watch an OTA channel.

Matter of fact you can record OTA AND SAT at the same time on the 211.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-16-2010, 06:22 AM
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I'm having some trouble recording OTA programs. The external/DVR on my 211 keeps skipping the programs that I try to record off the antenna. I keep the satellite box off when I'm not using it. Does the 211 have to stay powered on to record OTA programs?
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-18-2010, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallet Boy View Post

I'm having some trouble recording OTA programs. The external/DVR on my 211 keeps skipping the programs that I try to record off the antenna. I keep the satellite box off when I'm not using it. Does the 211 have to stay powered on to record OTA programs?

When you turn the 211 "off" it simply blanks the outputs. It is still on. As long as you do not unplug the 211 it should record fine. I record both satellite and OTA daily on mine when it is "off". Never has skipped a recording.

Rick R
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