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  1.    #1  
    Well, I've asked a few DirecTV questions in here and have gotten some good advice. I have one more!

    I'm finally going to get the system. Blockbuster has a pretty good deal where you get a DualLNB and one receiver free with one year's worth of movie rentals.

    Doesn't seem like a bad deal.

    My question is that I'd like to eventually get another receiver. Do I NEED to get two right away, of does the fact that I will have a DualLNB dish and one receiver mean that I only need to add a second receiver down the road?

    Also, what are 'good' receivers going for? If I get the second receiver now, I pay an extra $99. Can I get a better receiver for $99-$200 later on? If so, I won't bother with it now.

    Finally, what if I want to add a 3rd receiver? What are my options? I wouldn't necessarily need all 3 receivers on at once. For instance, I'd only use the one in the bedroom at night and the one in the excersize room in the morning, so if there is a clever way to share this one receiver between two room, that'd be cool.

    And, of course, if anyone knows of any other great deals going on at the moment for DTV or DishNetwork, feel free to share... ;o)
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by homer
    [...] My question is that I'd like to eventually get another receiver. Do I NEED to get two right away, of does the fact that I will have a DualLNB dish and one receiver mean that I only need to add a second receiver down the road?
    Yep, there's no requirement to add a second receiver at the time of sale.
    Also, what are 'good' receivers going for? If I get the second receiver now, I pay an extra $99. Can I get a better receiver for $99-$200 later on? If so, I won't bother with it now.
    The higher end Sony receivers (not HD, though) retail for $250, so I'm sure you could find even that level for $200 or less later on.
    Finally, what if I want to add a 3rd receiver? What are my options? I wouldn't necessarily need all 3 receivers on at once. For instance, I'd only use the one in the bedroom at night and the one in the excersize room in the morning, so if there is a clever way to share this one receiver between two room, that'd be cool. [...]
    Well, that's the main use of the higher end Sony (the SAT-Axx line). You can distribute the signal from it just like cable (although all TVs connected to it see the same channel). The difference with the A line from the B line that makes it right for this is that the A line has an RF remote instead of IR, so it can go through walls and be tuned from different rooms. I would think that RCA or the other DirectTV vendors would have something similar, but I've only experience with the Sonys.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  3. nmarrion's Avatar
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    #3  
    I recently went through transforming my house from an AT&T cable house to DirecTV. The added complication I had in my set up was that I have been using a dish as part of a Satellite Internet connection. (Classic DirecDuo). That is I already had a dish with a dual LNB on the house.

    The two cables from the dual LNB need to connect to a Multi-switch. Multi-switches come in either 4 or 8 way configurations. That is for either 4 or 8 separate receivers. A cable for each receiver has to go to the Multi-switch.

    I bought 4 identical DirecTV receivers (RCA 430) for the 4 TV's in my house. I got two as part of a $49 special for new DirecTV customers from Best Buy (including a new dish that I didn't use). A 3rd I bought at an online retailer for $69 and the 4th was an "open box special" at Circuit City for $40.

    I chose 4 identical receivers so that we would not have to figure our different remote controls in every room,

    The only thing I might consider is having a DirecTV receiver including Tivo in the future. However, a Tivo receiver needs two connections so would have to exchange the 4 way Multi-switch for an 8 way one to handle the 5 connections in that scenario.

    DirecTV say that all receivers have to have a permanent phone connection to the same phone line in their literature, in order to just pay $5 each for the 2nd, 3rd & 4th receivers. However, if you call them they will acknowledge that only one has to have a phone connection. Indeed they can be pushed to accept no phone connection at all but you will either lose the included Fox Sports channel or have to subscribe to their Sports pack for an additional $12/month.

    Although the set-up meant spending more money and time I have not regretted it as frankly the picture quality is so much better than the mediocre AT&T I had been watching for many years.

    Hope this helps!

    Nigel
  4.    #4  
    Nigel:

    Could you explain that a bit more for me? It sounds like you have 4 receivers hooked up to one dish. Is that correct? Do they all get their own set of channels?

    The phone-connection thing really weirded me out. It seems like the only way they can know, for sure, that you have additional receivers. If I get a second (or 3rd or 4th) receiver down the line, do I NEED to pay the extra $5 a month for each, or only if I connect it to the phone line?

    The phone line issue is actually a problem in our case. I don't have phone lines where I want the two TVs, so if I can get aroung this clause, that would be good.

    As for Tivo (something I might want to upgrade to when I get the second receiver) are you saying that I need two cable lines going to it from the multi-switch? Is that multi-switch a DirecTV thing, or is that just a splitter?

    Oh...and Toby, thanks for the info on the Sony device...that sounds like what I need.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  5. nmarrion's Avatar
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    #5  
    Yes, with the set up I have all 4 receivers can independently watch the channels we are signed up for.

    All 4 are connected to a single dish, with dual LNB via the 4 way multi switch I described.

    DirecTV have to activate all receivers, so they have to know what you have, so yes you will have to pay $5 for each of the 2nd & 3rd receivers per month.

    A Tivo system can only record one thing while you watch another when it is connected as two separate receivers. So if the total number of receivers is greater than 2, you need a multi switch.

    The phone thing is a challenge. In my case it is connected to a phone line that is used with a computer, so it is busy most of the time.
  6.    #6  
    I wonder why they insist on the extra $5 a month per receiver? Right now, that is the only reason to stick with Cable. You'd think they'd drop that and there really wouldn't be any reason to stick with Cable unless you were on a cable modem.

    It'd be interesting to get to Sony receivers and stick them in the basement, then run two seperate 'TV lines' to as many TVs as you want. The catch would be that you would have to watch only two different channels at once I suppose...

    I guess it sounds like Toby's solution with the Sony receiver may be a better idea, as we'll never be running 3 TVs at once.

    So, what, exactly, is the phone connection for? Is it just to set it up? Do I NEED to keep it connected to a phone line just to watch TV?
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  7. nmarrion's Avatar
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    #7  
    As far as I can work out the phone line is there to:
    1. Somehow confirm location and for some reason provide the appropriate Fox Sports channel.
    2. Enable you to use/access value added stuff like pay per view movies.

    It is not used to set-up or provision the service.


    In my case, AT&T cable increased their prices to just under $40/month. I have always had a mediocre picture and frequent ourages. I now pay more, but get more ($32+$5+$5+$5+$6 for local channels), including the stuff which was on digital cable. But I get far better picture & sound quality and most of all...Goodby AT&T!
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by homer
    I wonder why they insist on the extra $5 a month per receiver?
    For people that want to watch more than one channel on more than one TV at one time, I think it's a bargain when you factor in signal quality and channel selection.
    Right now, that is the only reason to stick with Cable. You'd think they'd drop that and there really wouldn't be any reason to stick with Cable unless you were on a cable modem.
    Are cable companies with digital cable receivers giving people multiple receivers at no additional cost? Cable can afford to give standard cable at no extra cost because they're simply providing a single feed. You pay for the multiple receptions in other ways (having to either suffer with a degraded signal for multiple TVs or buying some sort of signal booster/splitter). With satellite, you get the same quality on each additional TV with a reciever. Somehow I can't believe that digital cable providers are giving away multiple receivers for no additional cost.
    It'd be interesting to get to Sony receivers and stick them in the basement, then run two seperate 'TV lines' to as many TVs as you want. The catch would be that you would have to watch only two different channels at once I suppose...
    I'm actually considering doing something like that in the near future. Considering that we only have three people in the household, it's highly unlikely that we'd ever need more than two different feeds.
    I guess it sounds like Toby's solution with the Sony receiver may be a better idea, as we'll never be running 3 TVs at once.
    For your case, I think it would, but nmarrion seems to have the need/desire for the extra mile.
    So, what, exactly, is the phone connection for? Is it just to set it up? Do I NEED to keep it connected to a phone line just to watch TV?
    From their FAQ:
    Q: What is the purpose of connecting my receiver to my telephone line?
    A: We ask customers to connect the receiver to a land-based phone line for billing and pay per view ordering purposes. This connection sends purchase information from the receiver to our computer system. You cannot connect a cellular phone to your receiver; it must be a land-based phone line.

    With this phone connection, DIRECTV customers are authorized to order pay per view movies and events with their remote control, get popular sports subscriptions like NFL SUNDAY TICKET", and have the programming subscription on their main receiver "mirrored" to other receivers that are connected to the same phone line.

    Customers who don't have a continuous telephone connection are not authorized to receive certain sports programming, must call us to order pay per view, and must pay a separate subscription price for each receiver. To cover the costs of handling phone requests, we apply a $5 service charge on phone orders for pay per view movies and events.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  9.    #9  
    Yea...I still think DirectTV is a better deal. We're paying $54 a month for ATT cable on two TVs. The advantage with cable, however, is that I can hook as many TVs up as I want and not have to pay extra.

    With DirecTV, I think I'll end up paying $32 + 6$ for local, and, eventually, another $5 for a second receiver. So, we're looking at $43 a month, which is still less than ATT and I get more channels (well, except PAX and the WB...but who watches those anyways?)
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  10.    #10  
    For people that want to watch more than one channel on more than one TV at one time, I think it's a bargain when you factor in signal quality and channel selection.
    Well, yes, I realize they need the extra $5 to make more money. My point is that it doesn't cost them anything to allow for multiple receivers...it's just pure profit for them. A lot of cable companies don't require this extra fee.

    Anyone with more than 2 TVs really has to think twice about getting the Sateelite system from a cost standpoint. If they just got rid of that extra $ charge, I think they'd sell a lot more of these.

    Are cable companies with digital cable receivers giving people multiple receivers at no additional cost?
    I'm not complaining about the receiver's cost...I'm complaining about the $5 extra a month to use said receiver. I've never been with a cable company that charged extra for the service of using an additional box. They WOULD charge you if you wanted to rent a box, but you could also purchase your own box.

    I would have considered sticking with Cable for one reason and that is I could have merged all of my services (phone, cable, internet) with one company. Unfortunately, we can't get phone in our particular area, and cable modems aren't ideal for hosting servers.

    From their FAQ:
    I can't use DirecTV or Dishnetwork's web sites. They are horrendous and they never quite work in a Mac browser. ;o)

    Anyways, thanks for posting it. It sounds like I don't need to worry about the phone line unless I use PPV. No biggie there.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by homer
    Yea...I still think DirectTV is a better deal. We're paying $54 a month for ATT cable on two TVs. The advantage with cable, however, is that I can hook as many TVs up as I want and not have to pay extra.
    Was it digital cable? I'm still curious about the multiple receiver thing for that.
    With DirecTV, I think I'll end up paying $32 + 6$ for local, and, eventually, another $5 for a second receiver. So, we're looking at $43 a month, which is still less than ATT and I get more channels (well, except PAX and the WB...but who watches those anyways?)
    For an extra $4 you can get 'Total Choice Plus' which adds a bunch of family-oriented channels including PAX (I don't remember if there's a WB affiliate, though - WGN is either WB or UPN). That's what we have (plus the HBO pack with all 7 HBO channels). Our total bill for two receivers is $52.98. If we'd have stayed with Time Warner, we'd be paying between $70-80 for the same thing.

    edit: PAX is part of the standard Total Choice, so you wouldn't even need Plus if you wanted to watch it. WGN is also the WB network, so they're both covered even though nobody watches them.
    Last edited by Toby; 02/21/2002 at 03:39 PM.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  12. #12  
    Homer, one comment about the phone thing. I bought a phone jack at radio shack (you can also get them at WalMart). Its a two piece device.

    The first part plugs into an outlet near a phone jack so it can plug into both. The second part plugs into the outlet near your satellite receiver and has a built in phone jack.

    Essentially it uses your house's electrical system as a phone line. Put a phone jack anywhere in the house.
    No more rhymes...and this time I mean it!
  13. #13  
    We have digital cable here. We get advanced-cable on all TVs connected to the cable--that's about 60 channels--and we get all the digital channels with the digital boxes. An extra box is $10/month--you're leasing the digital boxes--you can't buy them. It's around $70/month.
    -Vincent
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by Vinny
    [...] An extra box is $10/month--you're leasing the digital boxes--you can't buy them. [...]
    Ouch...makes $4.99 for an additional receiver sound not so bad after all.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  15.    #15  
    $10 a month? Wow. DirecTV is a steal then.

    FYI to anyone else following this thread: I just checked out the dishnetwork's site (which was recently re-done for the better, btw) and they now offer 0ne-dish and access for four TVs for the same price as DirecTV's dish and access to one TV. If you're thinking of using more than 2 TVs, this may be something to consider.

    Going through the channels, they have nearly the same selection as DirecTV.

    Great. Now I can't make up my mind again...
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  16.    #16  
    Hold on...I stand corrected on my above post.

    You DO need to pay an extra $5 a month for each additional connection, so that's the same as DirecTV. The advantage of the Dish system is that you can have a total of 4 TVs hooked up to one dish. If you choose to do that, you can 'borrow' the equipment from them, meaning you don't own it, but you don't pay a monthly rental fee for it, either.

    They also have something called PVR, which is 'their' Tivo. They don't charge a monthly fee for it and they claim that the newer model will allow you to record up to 2 different channels than the one you are watching without needing the extra line-ins.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne

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