Learn about DISH's "Dual Tuner" Receivers, and how they benefit you
DISH leads the charge in the pay TV industry. After pioneering the multi-room dual tuner technology DISH has taken it to a new level with the Hopper and Joey Whole Home HD-DVR System. While the Dual Tuners work great for the majority of our customers, some will want the next level of service: the Hopper.
DISH Network has something that we call "Multi-Room Dual Tuner Receivers." Essentially what that means is: A receiver that operates two TVs, but you only need one box (aka, receiver).
We offer several different types of Dual Tuner receivers: HD-DVR, SlingLoaded, HD, Standard Definition DVRs, and regular Standard Definition receivers. But for the purposes of this page we're going to talk about the basics of a Dual Tuner and what that means for you.
Look at the image (right). That image is describing our most popular receiver, the ViP 722 which is a Multi-Room HD-DVR Dual Tuner. We'll be using that receiver as our example.
It works just like the picture describes. All you need is one box, and there will be a line running to each TV. The Box is physically closer to your HDTV and then connected to the secondary SDTV via a coaxial cable. If you don't know what a coaxial cable is, that's fine. It is the standard cabling being used in your home already. We'll call the primary connection, TV (A) and the secondary connection TV (B). Both TV (A) and TV (B) can be operating independently:
Watch different channels on each TV at the same time. Watching live TV requires one tuner, and since the Dual Tuner has two (one for each TV) you can be watching two different things at the same time.
Each TV can use the DVR functions at the same time, but doing different things. For instance, the person watching TV (A) could pause live TV to answer the phone and it would have no effect on the person watching a recorded movie on TV (B)
Record one thing and watch something different. If you're recording something on one TV, the other TV is still free to watch or record something totally different! The receiver has a total of two tuners, and each DVR event requires one tuner. So you can record two different things at the same time. Notice: Watching a recorded event does not require a tuner, so you can be recording two things and be watching two separate recorded events all at the same time.
Each TV gets its own remote control. Because both TVs operate independently from one receiver, each TV gets its own remote. Each remote is identical except in regards to available functions. The primary remote controls the receiver via infra-red (you have to point the control at the receiver) and the secondary control operates the receiver via Radio Frequency (aka: RF, like a walkie-talkie, or a cell phone). This is so the signal can go through walls, or up and down floors easily.
Each TV has access to VODs (Video on Demand) and PPV. The DVR receivers allow you to access VODs and PPV titles directly through your TV with your DVR's remote control. So, with the case of an HD-DVR Dual Tuner, both TVs have these options. Notice: In order to access these functions the receiver needs to be connected to a high speed internet connection or a land-based phone line.
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Do both TVs have to be watching the same thing?
No. What you're thinking about is called a "split" or a "mirror image." The Multi-Room Dual Tuner receivers allow you to watch something different in each room at the same time with your own remote control.
How are the dual tuners priced?
DISH Network charges you per receiver, not per TV. The primary receiver, which is almost always a multi-room dual tuner, is included in your programming package's monthly price. This essentially means you're getting service on the second TV for free! The following is a list of monthly prices for additional receivers beyond the primary:
HD or SD Dual Tuner: $14
HD-DVR Dual Tuner: $17
HD or SD Single Tuner: $7
HD or SD DVR Single Room Dual Tuner: $10
I have two HDTVs. Can I still use the HD Dual Tuner?
Yes and No. The Multi-Room HD Dual Tuner receivers send an HD signal to TV (A) and an SD signal to TV (B). Refer to the image at the top of this page for a visual description. So, you can use the Dual Tuner for two HDTVs, just beware the secondary TV will only output in SD. This is not typically desirable for HDTVs or aficionados, but it is the less expensive route. If you have two TVs, and they are both HD, we recommend two HD single room dual tuner receivers.
Is there any way to send an HD signal to TV (B) using the Dual Tuner?
No. The output for the second TV is Standard Definition only. But, keep in mind: If you are using the multi-room HD-DVR dual tuner you will always be able to record up to two HD programs at the same time. So, even though the secondary TV does not output in HD, it will still record in HD (because recording is done at the receiver, not the TV.)
If I record something on TV (A) can I watch it on TV (B)?
Yes! Since both TVs are running off of the same receiver they both have access to the DVR's entire list of recorded events.