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ExpressVu 9200/9220 Review

January 5th, 2006

Bell Dish, dual LNB, SW44

After just over two weeks, its time for my mini review of the Bell ExpressVu 9200 / 9220 Dual HDTV Tuner PVR. First we have to get past how great HD looks! I didn’t think I’d get in the habit of checking to see if a show is on in HD before I watched it in standard definition.

There were a couple of minor hiccups, the first was the installer being two and a half hours late for the install, ie: showing up at 2:30 when the appointment was between 8am and noon. I can’t blame this on ExpressVu since they contracted the install out to dishlink.

The PVR is amazing, and with the dual tuners it makes watching TV enjoyable again. The 30 second fast forward button is perfectly suited for fast forwarding past a commercial or two, or three, or four. :) and if you go too fast, there is always the 10 second jump back/instant replay. In addition to recording two shows simultaneously, you can also watch a third from the hard disk. When you are not recording, you can pause live TV, or rewind up to an hour (assuming you were on the current channel for that long). On the rare occasions I have encountered timer conflicts, it was easy enough to find the same program on in a different time zone, thanks to the included time shifting channels that ExpressVu offers.

9200 / 9220 Bell ExpressVu  HD PVR

Having two tuners also has other benefits, such as Picture in Picture (pip), or you can set the receiver into dual mode where two separate rooms can watch TV independently of each other, using the supplied UHF remote. If the second tuner is not in use, the first TV can still reschedule recordings using the second tuner.

Whats in the box:

  • 2 LNBF’s, dish, mounting arm, SW44 multi switch, power insterter for SW44
  • 9200/9220 PVR
  • IR Remote Control
  • UHF Remote Control
  • HDMI to DVI cable, with DVI to HDMI adapter to make a straight HDMI Cable
  • Component Cables
  • Left and Right RCA Audio Cables
  • RF Coaxial Cable
  • Composite Video Cable with Left and Right Audio (RCA)
  • Telephone Cable.
  • Besides the two and half hour late install, the only gripe I had was that the installer did not ground the dish, its an easy fix to do myself, but since he was already up on the roof, it wouldn’t have been too much effort. Good thing I am renting their gear! :)

    There are only a few things that could be improved upon, such as the sluggish (sometimes) performance of the IR remote control. The PVR could do with some better ventilation, it gets very hot to the touch even when off. An option to also reconfigure or hide some of the guide would be nice, such as hiding the Descriptive video (Dv) channels, and the French channels would speed up my guide surfing. Also being able to group channels in a custom order such as: NBC-W, NBC-E, NBCW-HD, NBCE-HD would give a nice comparison, rather than having to move from the 200’s to the 800’s to see if the same show is on in HD.

    All said I am very impressed with this unit, and it has changed my TV watching forever.

    articles, expressvu, HDTV, reviews

    1. Bobby
      | #1

      Are there any solutions to a sluggish IR Remote other than moving it closer to the receiver? Other than installation problems this PVR receiver is awesome.

    2. Jim
      | #2

      Must say i have been mainly happy with the rpoducts so far, but I have a 6200(at work and cant remember model) it is the plain HD one without pvr and it consistently has to download the guide every time you turn it on. I have done the unplug let sit, unplug satelitte feed then replug, run switch test and reboot to reload things without resolve. That is a pain.

      the big one is my 9242 that has all of a sudden stared to reboot itself radomly. Can go for 2 hours fine and then reboots and then reboots 2 minutes later. I can really see it when I record long shows and you see it recorded 6 ties as it keeps rebooting adn recording again. Once again I have tried the reboot, switch test and then reload with no luck.
      Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    3. Heather
      | #3

      I am having the same problem as Jim started May 10. Will start rebooting constantly unless I unplug everything wait awhile then start again and have tv for anywhere from ten minutes to several hours, then will begin again. Have been in touch with Tech and they have been no help.

    4. Heather
      | #4

      I once again called tech and they have now agreed to replace the receiver. I am still under warranty. I think I would consider the extended warranty with this machine because this could happen again a week after the waranty runs out.

    5. David
      | #5

      Good Idea to get the extended warranty. Expressvu will not repair these units after the warranty has run out. They currently charge $6.00 per month for this warranty but you must sign up before your warranty runs out. After that you are on your own.

    6. George
      | #6

      Skimmed all the comments; didn’t find my problem which ExpreesVu says is inherent in all 9200. I purchased my 9200 in June of 2007. Everything works fine except the fast forward. My 9200 will only fast forward on a recorded program at 15x if I try any speed faster it stops and reverts to live programing. I’ve called ExpressVu shortly after I purchased it, again a few months later. Their answer is, “it’s a software problem, we’re working on it and will fix it as soon as possible.” There is much apoligizing but now action up until today.
      I’m going to switch to cable, any comments on cable PVRs

    7. Shawn
      | #7

      My 9200 “claims” it lost the signal. Error 015. Reboots.. does the 1 of 5, 2 of 5 scan.. image comes back for 10 seconds & all over again. Had a bell tech over for $75 and dish/connections are perfect. Its the 9200 which is @ fault. 2 months past warrantee im on my own and now have toi shell out $599 + + for the new 9242. I’m sure its a simple/easy repair.. But who touches/fixes these machines ?

    8. | #8

      Shawn: I don’t know who will fix the 9200 for you, but if you find somebody, be sure to let the rest of us know!

      Thanks, and good luck!

    9. poo
      | #9

      does anyone know what the usb port in is suppose to do and when.

    10. larry
      | #10

      any comments about the 9200 series I am getting sound delays or interruptions when I watch tv

    11. Ole Damsgaard
      | #11

      Did anyone fine a fix for 9200 receiver constantly rebooting, is this a hard drive fault or software.

    12. Mia
      | #12

      Hi, I have Bell 9200 PVR HD PLUS Receiver & I noticed that if I am recording a show but watching another one – a little timer appears on the left hand corner as a count down to the show I am about to record and then it switches the channel to the show I want to record. When I try to go back to what I was watching, it tells me ” switching the channel will cause show to stop recording, do you wish to stop recording”?? Any ideas as to why?? If the model allows me to record two shows while watching one then why would it be doing this?? Thanks!


    13. Art
      | #13

      hi Mia,

      I believe that you can only do 2 things with live TV. By this I mean you can watch one live event and record another live event, or you can record 2 live events at once. If you are recording 2 events and want to watch a 3rd one, the 3rd one has to be something already recorded onto your PVR. If you try to watch a 3rd event live, it will (correctly) warn you doing so will cancel one of the recordings.

      Hope this helps.


    14. Terry
      | #14

      Does anyone have a repair depot for the 9200? Anywhere?

      • | #15

        Hi Terry –

        I’d try a satellite shop to see if they can fix it (if thats what you are looking for). Otherwise, I’d try some electronics and TV repair shops. Have you called Bell?

    15. frank
      | #16

      I have a 9200 Bell Expressvu dual tuner receiver. Bought it in 2006, never had any problems with it at all!

      I do have a question, since there is a USB port, can I add an external hard drive, to record more shows? I know that with the new models, you can…but was told that for this older model, the USB will not allow it?

      Any advice?


      • | #17

        Hi Frank –

        Thanks for the comment. I don’t think the 9200 will accept an external drive like the 9242,9241 etc. I don’t have a 9200 anymore, but Bell may have enabled this in a recent firmware update so I would give it a try and see how it goes. If it works, please report back to us, we’d love to hear about it.


    16. Art
      | #18

      HDTV PVR from Bell Express Vu is JUNK! I’ve had 3 HDTV PVR since the end of January 2011. Is anyone else, experiencing the same problem?

      • | #19

        Hi Art –

        What model of Bell HD PVR do you have? I have heard that some of the newer boxes are not as reliable, but I don’t have any first hand experience. I’d be interested to hear if others are having issues, and what model of HD PVR’s they are using, and what the specific problems with them are.

    17. frank
      | #20

      It doesn’t recognize the external hard drive. Just bought one, plugged it in the USB port, received message saying “unknown device”, was not able to access hard drive.
      Thanks anyways for your suggestion.

    18. Kojaq
      | #21

      It sounds like the your harddrive is starting to go bad. Mine did the same thing and eventually died. I had to scramble to find one on the Web and if you do replace the hardrive make sure you buy one that is E
      XACTLY like the one you have. Any deviation from the model number and you can use it for a anchor. Good Luck

    19. Kojaq
      | #22

      @Kojaq Bell does not support the external USB port on the rear of your receiver. Its there only because the manufacturer thought that Bell would use it.

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