Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dish Network DVRs

The first DVR that Dish Network installed for me failed within a month.  They replaced it for no charge. This copy of the same model was noisier, but otherwise ran without problem for a few months.  Then it revealed itself to have been created by the Microsoft school of programming.  The DVR started rebooting itself at 10:47 PM every evening.

The DVR apparently downloads the program guide and other information once every twenty four hours.  The time when it does this is supposedly settable from a preferences menu, and is nominally set for 3:00 AM.  From what I can gather from the web, the DVR reboots itself at the time when it downloads the program guide. Presumably its operating system has a memory leak or some other problem so that it will eventually crash unless it is periodically rebooted.   Resetting the "download program guide" time from the preferences menu did not do anything about the daily 10:47 PM reboot.

Anyway, Dish Network's technician's answer to this problem is
1. Pull out the plug and leave the DVR unpowered for a while.
2. If the problem doesn't go away the DVR has to be replaced.
3. They want to charge a shipping fee and a replacement fee for their stupid DVR.  I protested, and the Dish representative on the phone grudgingly waived the charge.

So, along comes copy 3 of the DVR.  Sure enough, within a week, it starts rebooting at an odd time, at 9:47 PM (I guess they shipped me a refurbished copy from one time zone to the west?).

At this point I'm fed up.  So, as soon as my contract with them is over, I'm abandoning Dish, once and for all.

(BTW, the standard "fix" to most problems with Dish seems to be to power-cycle the equipment.)