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November 17th 2009 2:59 am

How would you connect 2 HDTV's to 1 DVR?

We're thinking of potentially switching to Dish Network (from Comcast). We have two HDTV's in our apartment and are looking to set each of them up, connected to the same DVR. This way, we don't have duplicate content, shows, etc on multiple DVR's.

I notice that Dish Network's top of the line DVR, the VIP 722, supports two televisions, however it looks like only one television can be hooked up via HD while the second television must be hooked up via SD.

Is there any way to get an HD signal output to two HDTVs from one DVR box?

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14 replies

Distributed HD is actually a big problem with Dish. Asusming Dish did allow HD out on the second tuner, how would you get the signal there? 50 ft HDMI? Mini Component? Way too expensive and those cords would look horrible!

If it must be Dish, I would go with Cool Guy - If you don't mind watching the same thing on both sets all the time, Split the HD out on Tuner 1, convert it to Cat 5, and convert it back on the second TV.

Sling is fine if you have PLENTY of bandwidth on your internet connection - you would be going out HD back to your ISP and HD back. So you're using double the bandwidth. I'm Slinging to an IPad in the kitchen so we could aviod running wires and still get HD anywhere in the house. Be warned, there's a delay so skipping through commercials isn't an exact science.

Easier solution? UVerse, FiOs or DirecTV.

Here's the link for the whole home DirecTV HD DVR:

Disclaimer: Whole Home DVR is $3 /month more but I think it's what you're looking for!

Give me a call if you need more info: 800-204-0646 x7014 (We offfer Dish, DTV, etc. etc. Nationwide) Good luck!
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Dish Network sucks pretty bad. Do you get DirecTV in your area? Go with them.
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Slingbox PRO-HD!!!! add in slingcatcher and you have a very easy way to share a DVR....

you realize you would have to watch the same program on both TVs like this though...

the only way I can think of is a HDMI or component splitter/amplifier and either long cables or a cable to ethernet and ethernet to cable solution to transmit the signal to the other TV in another room...

very interesting question though...
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Honestly, as much as Crapcast stinks, I'd go with setting up a Windows Media Center box + Xbox 360 if you can afford it. $500 for the PC, $200 for the ATI digital cable tuner off eBay, and you probably already have a 360, so it's a $700 investment that'll pay itself in the long run by saving yourself from DVR fees and the realization that Windows Media Center is Microsoft's gift to the home theater junkie.

Plus, think about all the benfits:
1) No limits on the amount of TV shows you can store
2) Files are easily convertable for your portable device
3) 30-sec skip when using an Xbox 360 as a Media Center Extender (cable company DVRs will probably never do this).
4) Add a Blu-ray drive and My Movies 3 to make a true media center worth drooling over.

And I'm sure there are plenty of other reasons too. Just think about it. Plus, should Dish Network or DirecTV ever get off their collective asses and release those Media Center compatible tuners, it'll be an easy switch from cable to satellite without loosing your recordings!
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I agree with the concept you laid out in theory, but in reality it's a huge pain in the ass to deal with.

Also, Dish Network has 30 sec skip forward/backward right out of the box. It works great when watching football as that lines up perfectly with the play clock. Play is whistled dead, hit 30 sec skip once, your right at the start of the next play.
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Dave did you sign a contract with them? Dish has a 400+ dollar cancellation fee. but you are within the return window so i guess you're alright. but they have been known to charge huge amounts to people's accounts without authorization. Comcast is leaps and bounds better than dish in my opinion. My mother still owes them the cancellation fee.
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I would call, sounds like they showed up with two receiver which would give you HD on both but not the DVR in both rooms and than set you up with one receiver which there operator told you would give HD to two sets. He should have explained that before he went through the work of installing. If Comcast can't give you that and Dish can't can Direct?
If not you are suffering from something Patty and I have all are life. Your living ahead of the curve. Cancel Dish stay with Comcast wait a year or so for the world to catch up. I think HD is here to stay.
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WOW. Never ever ever ever trust a sales rep from your local cable or satellite provider / monopoly.

DISH Network are apparently full of a bunch of liars. Hey, whatever works to cheat customers out of their cash.

We called them up and explained the above situation to them. The sales rep on the phone was basically frothing at the mouth with the anticipation of landing a new customer. He immediately begins processing our order and we explain to him our concerns about the VIP722 and how one TV will have to be standard def. He mentions that's correct. So we decide to cancel our order because that's not what we want.

"Wait, wait, wait, wait! I can actually get that to work out for you." Oh really? How exactly, by magic?

He explains they can use some sort of "three-tv setup but not really." But assures us that we can still access our content from the original DVR onto the second HDTV. I know it's possible (1 HD, 1 SD), but I asked to make sure, "both HD?"


Okay! Bring on the installer.

So the installer shows up with two packages. A VIP722 DVR for the front room and a VIP211 for the other room. Wait, why do we need two receivers? I explain to the installer the situation that we require, and he thinks to himself, "hmm, okay, I think that should be possible." And thinks out loud about the situation.

So I watch him do his thing, running two cables from the satellite and thinking that's odd.

Anyway, an hour goes by, everything is setup and he's showing me how to use everything and access my content from the DVR from the second TV. I immediately notice something wrong. "Ummm, the stuff from the DVR isn't in HD."

The installer looked at me with a knowing glance and said, "Oh! No, not at all. There's no way to do that because you're hooking this up to the coaxial cable running off the receiver."

Excuse me?! I just explained that 3 times. And we still don't have HD on the second TV. Is that really such a strange request?

I'm thinking of calling DISH Network tomorrow and telling them to come back and take all their shit back. And put a hold on our credit card because they clearly lied to us when they sold us the service.

Shame on you guys, DISH.
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Ignoring my deep hate for dish network, I must say that on the boxes I've seen the signal for the 2nd TV goes over a coax line so in theory they can both be HD. but sadly I've not seen any that do send an HD signal.
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Starting to see why people vehemently hate DISH Network. They make Comcast customer service look good.
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I guess I'm in the minority here that has had great service with DISH Network. We have 2 tuners (one HD, one dual SD) in the house. The Comcast service in this (and your) neighborhood, from what I've experienced and from what I hear from neighbors, is atrocious with low signal quality, ghosting, dropouts, etc. Comcast also compresses the HD signal -- all the artifacting was especially infuriating in high def.

The sales support you received from DISH sounds exceptionally horrendous and I hope they sort that out for you real quick, because otherwise the video service is quite good.
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DISH rocks!
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That's the thing though. Would you rather have 3 times as many HD channels or better customer service? I think the answer's easy: Go with the one are you using for hours each day.
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I am with you Liz, i had great customer service with dish, as did all of my family, had nothing but problems with DirectTV and Comcast. We have also been avid Dish users since the mid 90's though, but i do hope they help you out.
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