Originally Posted by lgodave
Now I'll have DVR (SD) for my Directv and (SD/HD) DVR for OTA. Might even help reduce some of the conflict/load on my UTV.
That's similar to what I have. I'm using my Panny EH75V with Dish network SD, and a TiVo HD (w/lifetime fee - got the TiVo for $150.00) for OTA HD (was using a Sony DHG-HDD500 before that).
The way the Panny works with Dish is neat, though. You initially set things up through the recorder's TVGOS menu for "Dish Network". Then, you use the Dish guide to schedule recordings through (the TVGOS grid on the recorder remains blank, and is never needed to be brought up for any reason, anyway). The recorder "senses" an on/off signal from the tuner, and records the shows precisely everytime. No IR blaster needed to change the channels, because the tuner does that on it's own. The recordings are also titled. (You can "pad" the recordings in the Dish guide, or even still just set them manually if you'd prefer - they'll still be titled. It is "name-based", though, just like the Pal DVR, so if the title's wrong, it's wrong.)
It's almost exactly like actually using a DTVPal DVR (only SD, of course), especially since the guide software on my older Dish tuner (the 322) is remarkably close to the Pal's. Actually, the setup's been 100% reliable - which is more than I can say for the Pal DVR itself (the Panny EH75V is one of the most highly-regarded HDD/DVD recorders ever made - and for good reason. It's "brother", the EH55, works the same way with Dish. I have a brand new one of those stashed away, too).
By the way - it is $100.00 more
for the Channel Master version - meaning $400.00. But you do get a 1-year warranty as opposed to the Pal's 90 days. Still, the 2-year extended warranty from Kmart is only 25 or 30 dollars, so it's much cheaper to go with that if you want added protection (and with the Pal, I usually recommend it - your decision, though. If you guys are EE's, I can see you not wanting it). There shouldn't be any differences otherwise between the two models, though, and Echostar stopped issuing new software updates for it awhile ago - so I wouldn't expect anything new with the CM version in that regard.