Thursday, July 21, 2005

It's All... Gone

All of it is gone.

We decided that we like DishNetwork so much, and I've seen such an improvement in their customer service, that we would stick with them. Oh, and the fact that we became irrevocably addicted to pausing and rewinding "live" TV. If anything is the "killer app" of the last 10 years, that would have to be it. It's the ultimate melding of computer and media to create a product that is truly useful to people who watch TV either a little or a lot.

That is, until something goes wrong. Terribly, horribly, teeth-gnashingly wrong.

The guy from DishNetwork showed up at our house this morning, my wife and child present, and proceeded to install a dish and the necessary wires to feed our existing DishNetwork 522 DVR receiver a signal. It had served us well in Missouri, so we figured it would do the same in Texas.

I had hooked up the unit last night to make sure it hadn't got bumped too hard in the move, and I was able to pull up the DVR menu and watch a few minutes of a program. Fine. Everything looked good.

After several short phone conversations with the installer today, I was confident things were turning out just great. I would arrive home in our new house to find digital bliss awaiting me. I would play with Ben a while, have dinner, put Ben to bed, and then maybe find something to watch. If I was watching something while sprinkling the lawn, I would just pause it and go move the sprinkler, then come back and start watching again. Then, I could skip commercials for a while. What a wonderful TV-watching world it is, when one can view programs without the intrusive, edge-of-your-seat commercials leaping off the screen into the living room.

Then came the conversation that brought that to a halt, and yanked me into a chain-choked wheelie like a yard dog that tried to chase after an annoying kid. The receiver was bad, the man told me, and he had one to replace it. I explained that I had many pay-per-view movies on there that I had not watched yet, and some great stuff that could not be had on rental. Even if I could, I had paid a monthly fee for that programming already.

My frantic call to DishNetwork didn't help a thing. They just said that the installer had to leave there with either the working receiver or the non-working receiver, and I could have it replace under warranty later if I wanted to keep the bad one. I asked the installer, who told me that the received wasn't even functional enough to play DVR stuff. I'm pretty sure he did something that fried it, because I was using it fine last night. Oh well. Gotta run.

DishNetwork needs a way to back up their DVR units. I know in the grand scheme it's only TV, but it's a kick in the gut nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

My heart bleeds. We have TiVo with DirectTV. I keep trying to rewind on the boat, where the DirectTV is itself remarkable, without there being a digital recorder.

Alvis said...
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