Uses for Dish DVR Without Service

By Rick Carlton

In the event that you find yourself without connectivity to one of the Dish Network satellites, or if you have lost active programming for any other reason, there are a couple of things you can do to continue to enjoy your Dish Digital Video Recorder (DVR) internally, in addition to a rather unconventional broadcasting work-around. Although the Dish Network is typically programmed on a daily basis to keep the channel guide up to date and validate its network subscription authority, these units offer two internal capabilities that have nothing to do with the satellite network itself; the storage media inside the unit, and the tuner itself.

Watch Previously Recorded Programming

The whole point of the DVR is to record a program and watch it after the fact. This means that each unit has a hard drive inside that receives video information and stores it for later activation. In the case of loss of connectivity, all you have to do is open your program menu and select "9," then "1" on the menu. This sequence will open the previously recorded list. Then simply select what was previously recorded and the system will display accordingly.

Integrate a PocketDish System

If you have a PocketDish player, here's another pre-recorded capability. PocketDish is an optional mobile video player able to store previously recorded programming from Dish's DVR hard drive. If you look at the back of the receiver you will see an external USB port. Originally this slot was not active, however, in 2007 Dish activated the port capability with the release of the player. All you have to do is integrate the player with the DVR via a USB cable, and the system will download what was previously recorded up the limit of its internal storage capability. All of the driver information is self-contained so the whole evolution takes only a few minutes.

Integrate Your DVR With an On-Air Antenna

If you have a roof antenna capable of receiving digital programming "on-air," meaning that your house has can pick up digital transmissions through the air, you can also use this little work-around. All you have to do is connect the roof antenna to the back of the receiver, and you should be able to receive a signal from any local transmitter. This is because all signals broadcast in the United States were converted from analog signals to digital to comply with part of the Bush Administration's 2005 Public Safety Act (the "DTV Act"), and the law was subsequently executed in June of 2009. Since satellite and cable receivers also receive in digital, one of today's antennas can also "see" these signals.