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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How does the Dish 6000 handle OTA channels? Are the integrated with the Dish Channels or do you have to switch "Ant" inputs like you do with the RCA DTC-100? Do you have OTA Program information?


Also, is there an easy way to view the OTA Signal Stength of each channel? With the DTC-100, I had to go like 3 menus deep to tune in OTA channels.


What is the overall impression of the interface? From what I understand, it uses an older interface. Any Comments on that? Do you think they will update the current interface via Firmware?


When you view the Program information, is it translucent? When you view the guide?


Does sound still play on the current channel even if you are viewing the guide or info?


Are there any things I should keep in mind or look out for?


Any pictures would be great, but that might be asking too much. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


All comments on the 6000 are welcome, positive or negitive.


Thanks,

Bill
 

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You must have the 8VSB adapter to receive OTA. You have to set the analog and digital channel up in the system menu, but once you have done that the channels are integrated into the channel menu.


As far as signal strength is shows up every time you tune to that channel or hit the info button.


When you browse the channels it is translucent and the audio continues in the background. But when you go to the menu guide the audio does not continue.


I have had my unit about 9 months and the OTA adapter since December and I really enjoy it.


------------------

Tosh TW56X81, Onkyo TXDS777, DISH 6000 w/ota, Tosh sd3900
 

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Quote:
What is the overall impression of the interface? From what I understand, it uses an older interface. Any Comments on that? Do you think they will update the current interface via Firmware?
Awful. Absolutely awful. I went to the Dish 6000 from a newer RCA receiver and it was like trading in a Corvette for a horse and buggy. The menus are blocky and ugly. Completely utilitarian. Access for everything is slow. There are no options for the guide - it is opaque and mutes the volume (the RCA has a surf guide which is translucent and allows you to keep watching the current program). The guide only shows an hour and a half at a time (two for RCA) and usually does not have program info available much farther in advance. You are limited to only 120 custom channels among four groups. Invariably you have to wait for program information to be loaded. The VCR recording feature sucks - relies on bouncing IR signals instead of a direct interface using an external emitter. And you can only activate recording for a future program - not one that is currently on. While recording you are forced into SD mode, so unless you have a digital VCR you can't watch a show in HD and record it at the same time. While not an interface problem, and a general issue common to many manufacturers and many devices, the switch between SD/HD output is only a toggle which makes macro commands difficult - discrete access would be welcome.


I know audio and video quality are the most important performance aspects, but all of these HD receivers are good in this regard. I also understand that Dish still offers the most comprehensive HD offering. But this doesn't absolve a manufacturer of the responsibility to create a functional interface. I dream that an upgrade will be available to bring this antiquated system into the new millenium but I am not optimistic. What I can't understand is that the three reviews I've read in industry publications do not take EchoStar to task for this.


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When you view the Program information, is it translucent? When you view the guide?
The first time you access the info screen it's translucent. If you press INFO again it becomes opaque. Unfortunately there is usually a delay until the program information is loaded. The guide is always opaque and silent - very frustrating.

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Does sound still play on the current channel even if you are viewing the guide or info?
Yes for info, no for guide.

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Are there any things I should keep in mind or look out for?
All of the above. If HD is your priority than unfortunately this is the best game in town. You gain Showtime over DirecTV, and PPV movies are always running (although it can't really count as a full channel as the same show runs for at least a couple of weeks straight). There's the ubiquitous demo channel (recently revised and is quite good). And of course HBO. Rumour has it that Discovery is coming later this year.


If you can live with just HBO HD, a demo loop, and off-hour PPV-HD but demand a fast, elegant interface than look to DirecTV and a receiver from RCA or another manufacturer. Since EchoStar is the only company that makes receivers for Dish Network there is little incentive for them to upgrade the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. That was the kind of information I was needing. I was really hoping for better news though. Stinks about the sound getting muted when you go into the guide. That seems really crummy. Why would the build it that way?


I am really wanting HDTV now, but it seems every STB has some major flaw with it. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif At least with the Dish 6000 I would take the smallest hit since it seems to be the cheapest route right now.


Bill
 

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Great review Jay!


I'm sure a successor to the 6000 will come along at some point which will address some of the inherent problems. In the meantime, software updates will have to do.


Another way to view it, we still have the opportunity to own a STB that does not have the firewire/5c issue built into it. Six months from now, we might wish they were still available. I haven't heard of the existing model becoming obsolete (not working due to no firewire/5c) so I would jump on it knowing does a good job and has the potential to improve due to software updates.


I can also vouch for Dish supporting their product. My 6000 recently died and after verifying the problem, they fed-ex'd a refurb within a couple of days at no cost to me.


Now if they would just release the next software update to allow scanning for OTA channels...
 
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