The RCA DWD490RE is one of the most complete Satellite receivers I have seen. This receiver has two tuners built-in so you can use your picture-in-picture feature on your TV to watch two different channels from the satellite. The receiver can also record one channel from the satellite while you are watching another channel. This receiver has a hard drive built-in for you to record up to 35 hours of digital quality recordings provided you sign up with UltimateTV.
Recommend this product?
Even if you dont sign up with UltimateTV you can record one channel while watching another to your VCR. The good part is the RCA DWD490RE will do it for you. Also available with this unit is WebTV, now you can surf using your DSS receiver.
The receiver comes with a dish and a dual LNB so that you can hookup two different incoming video sources. The good part about this is you dont have to pay an extra fee because you only have one receiver.
This unit offers two ways to record from one channel while you are watching another. No matter which way you record it, now it is easy as ever. When you bring up details on what is on the channel it gives you an option of more details, when you click on that it gives youre a choice to record. When you decide to record it asks you UltimateTV or your VCR and that is all to it.
UltimateTV is a service provided by Microsoft, for $9.95 a month they give you access to record your programs onto your RCA DWD490RE receiver to get true digital quality. You also get Interactive TV on some of the channels and 3 hours of WebTV a month.
For an additional $5.00 per month you can use your current Internet provider and view them on your TV. For $29.95 a month you get the UltimateTV service plus unlimited WebTV.
I personally havent tried the UltimateTV service because we dont record much and it wouldnt pay for us to use it.
(2) Your VCR
The RCA DWD490RE comes with a VCR Control Cable that plugs into the back of the receiver and a piece that goes over your remote sensor. What happens is the RCA DWD490RE takes over control of your VCR so you do not have to program it to record a program for you off the Satellite dish. It comes down to just telling your DSS receiver to record the program you picked out and the receiver will automatically turn on your VCR, record the program and turn it off when done without any VCR programming at all.
I have a Magnavox VCR and it had 11 different codes to use, the first one that worked the VCR didnt work right when it came down to recording automatically, so I found another code from the 11 codes and it works perfectly now.
The remote is a good-looking remote that is programmable to most other devices. Now I do have an RCA DVD player so it worked perfectly with it. My VCR programmed in perfectly and works great. My Kenwood 5.1 Audio receiver would not program in with it.
Now this is the first remote that I have that finally programmed in my Hitachi 60 TV were the input functions work, the only thing that doesnt work on my TV is the Picture-in-Picture feature.
Overall it is a nice remote that works functions that other programmable remote dont.
In front there are RCA inputs for Video & Audio plus a Microphone input
In the rear there are two satellite Inputs
Two S-video outputs
Two RCA video & audio outputs
One RCA video & audio input
Digital Audio Output (Fiber Optic)
What sold me on it!
I have had a RCA DSS system for about 4 and ½ years now and saw this one listing for 199 with a $100 mail in rebate. The only problem was the rebate had ended and the store forgot to take it down, so the took off $100 and let me have it for $99.
The price wasnt the only thing since my old one still works perfectly. My old RCA receiver is not Dolby digital 5.1 ready and the RCA DWD490RE is and that was a selling point for me.
The menu system looks completely different from my old one, basically nicer and easier to use. This receiver is upgradeable from DSS so if the menus change in the future I can keep up to date with it.
An yes the automatic and easy recording to my VCR with the dual tuners built in.
Installation is free for a new subscriber, since I was already subscribe it didnt apply.
The new dish that came with it was identical in size and shape as my old one, so all I had to do it take off the old LNB and place in the Dual LNB. I also had to run another coaxial wire from the dish to the receiver.
My Final Words
The new system is nice, the Dolby 5.1 sound really enhanced the movies we rent off the dish. The remote is very pleasing and now we are using one remote instead of three.
The new menu system has a search on it similar to a search engine on the Internet, it can bring you up a keyboard on the screen for your letters but it is slow. You can put in something like NASCAR and it will show you every program that has something with NASCAR in it. You can put in your favorite movie star and it will look for everything that they are in. Nice and Simple and will search for up to 14 days in advance.
Well to go with the search engine and WebTV they offer a wireless keyboard for $49, I got lucky and got a display model for only $19. The keyboard also turns on and off my TV, changes the channels, sound and more. The keyboard is made for the receiver and WebTV.
There are still a few things for me to learn with the system but overall it is a winner for me, excellent picture with excellent Dolby 5.1 sound.
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Amount Paid (US$): 99