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DirecTV - how do they install it?


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I'm moving into my new house at the end of the month, and I'll be switching from cable to DirecTV.

 

How does the installation work? I mean, how do they get the feed from the satellite to my receivers? Do they use my existing coax cables in the house? I paid extra to have the builder install an OnQ distribution center in my basement - can DirecTV utilize it?

 

I'm getting the feeling that the installer is just going to drop cables willy-nilly in the rooms where I have DirecTV receivers. Bah!

 

Anyone with any experience having DirecTV installed?

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OnQ distribution center in my basement

That just so happens to be the company I work for Chris. :)

 

If you have a distribution center in the basement, they will more than likely feed the coax (existing if you had that put in) from the Satellite LNB's (depending on what kind of dish, this could be dual LNB/Quad LNB etc.) into a distribution hub in your enclosure. You may have the 5X8 multi-switch or the 4 way DBS module. One of them should have a part number starting with a "36". Let me know which you have if you can find it. From the enclosure that coax will then run to your recievers (at any location you want them at).

 

OnQ distribution center in my basement - can DirecTV utilize it?

If you already have coax distribution run throughout your home Chris, they sure can.

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The installer will take any shortcuts he can to make it all work out well. Just be sure you know where you want the dish to be located because sometimes it needs maintenance(removing snow off etc). He will likely tap into your distrubution area to ease the pain.

 

Should be a breeze.

 

An x factor is if you want DVR service in any room. They require 2 feeds from the switch. The HD version will require a 3rd feed from an antennae if you want OTA as well. So it's possible he will have to do some wall drops if that is the case. IT will depend on how your distribution center works.

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Don't let the installer be lazy when pointing the dish! I've visited lots of friends after the installer left and on clear days they are only getting 70-80's on the signal strength. I pointed my dish myself and have 99's.

 

Of course, this has no effect at all on picture quality, but it can help reduce "rain fade". I never get rain fade until a serious storm is directly south of me, and it has to be some pretty heavy rain.

 

Carlos.

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All the replies are very helpful.

It's likely that I'll be blowing the dust off this thread in about a month, and I'll have some good feedback.

 

You may have the 5X8 multi-switch or the 4 way DBS module. One of them should have a part number starting with a "36". Let me know which you have if you can find it.

 

I don't know for sure (and I'm a total Noob to all this stuff), but I'm on weaknees.com's website and I put together my "dream" package (2 DirecTV HD DVR's), 1 standard, and they said I'd be getting the following dish / switch:

DirecTV Triple-LNB Dish

(ships with required 5x8 multiswitch)

 

I'm still in decision-making phase here, but I know for certain I want HDTV with an HD-DVR, and the cable company out here doesn't offer it in that part of the county, so it looks like DirecTV or Dish Network are my only options.

 

Oh, and any of you pull in local stations with an indoor HD antenna? How's that work?

 

Thanks again for all the good info.

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I'm still in decision-making phase here' date=' but I know for certain I want HDTV with an HD-DVR, and the cable company out here doesn't offer it in that part of the county, so it looks like DirecTV or Dish Network are my only options.

 

Oh, and any of you pull in local stations with an indoor HD antenna? How's that work?

 

Thanks again for all the good info.[/quote']

 

I've read that DirecTV will be changing to a different compression scheme for HDTV soon and that could render current HD hardware obsolete. I would think / hope they'll cover some overlap time, but this could be problematic if you're about to drop $700 on an HD-DVR.

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I don't know for sure (and I'm a total Noob to all this stuff), but I'm on weaknees.com's website and I put together my "dream" package (2 DirecTV HD DVR's), 1 standard, and they said I'd be getting the following dish / switch:

Ok well I presume you will have 3 TV's then. Then in each room you will need 2 drops per box. You can feasibly get away with 1 outlet but you will still need 2 wall drops per box and a 3rd wall drop for an antennae if you decide to pull in OTA HD.

Oh, and any of you pull in local stations with an indoor HD antenna? How's that work?

Hook the antennae up to your box and it will search for the available stations. Depending on terrain you may get squat. Attic Antennaes are better but not much better. The best of course is a roof top antennae. Once the antennae is aimed(depends on directions to the towers and what type of antennae you buy) you will hook it up via coax to your sat receivers to pull in OTA stations. Take a look around antennaeweb and it should tell you want kind/size to buy and how to aim it.

 

An alternative is if Directv offers your locals in HD which is possible. I'm not sure where you live so you would have to check.

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I've read that DirecTV will be changing to a different compression scheme for HDTV soon and that could render current HD hardware obsolete. I would think / hope they'll cover some overlap time, but this could be problematic if you're about to drop $700 on an HD-DVR.

 

I've read the same thing, and asked the folks at weaknees.com, and they say that their equipment is compatible with the latest compression scheme.

 

I will make double-sure of that first, though. Good point.

 

I'm shopping there because they are an authorized dealer that installs HDD upgrades (with cooling kits). I'm probably going to get their 83-hour (83 hrs of HD) model.

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From what I've read, they do offer them here but you still need an off-air antenna to pull them in.

Chris,

That is a contradiction then. If they offer them then you don't need an Antennae.

I've read the same thing, and asked the folks at weaknees.com, and they say that their equipment is compatible with the latest compression scheme.

I didn't know they made Mpeg4 equipment. Better check. That is the newest compression scheme coming. Otherwise your hacked tivo units will be dead weight very soon and it's highly unlikely D* will replace a hacked unit with a new one. If it was unhacked, then you are safer.

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From what I've read, they do offer them here but you still need an off-air antenna to pull them in.

 

Here's my source

hd_localchannels_top.gif

Watch your favorite prime-time shows in High-Definition with your DIRECTV? HD Receiver, an HD Television Set and an off-air antenna*.

 

Otherwise your hacked tivo units will be dead weight very soon and it's highly unlikely D* will replace a hacked unit with a new one. If it was unhacked, then you are safer.

 

Like I said, I asked them this question in an email:

"I've read some things about DirecTV changing how they broadcast Hi-Def signals, and that people who owned older models may have to get new ones. Does your site offer the latest available technology?"

Their response:

"Yes".

 

Of course, some double-checking is in order, and as I look at the way I asked the question, it might not have been asked properly. But according to their website, they are "the only authorized DirecTV reseller offering upgrades and warranties on DirecTV DVRs in-house. Shop with confidence; check out our warranty on all upgraded TiVo DVRs."

 

I really appreciate the dialog here. The last thing I wanna do is go into this transaction without understanding what I'm getting in to.

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Watch your favorite prime-time shows in High-Definition with your DIRECTV? HD Receiver, an HD Television Set and an off-air antenna*.

Obviously they are not providing them then. They are providing the equipment to receive it but not the channels. If they were providing them, then you would get them off satellite which is going to be Mpeg4. Depending on whether or not you live in a certain area, it is possible that when their new bird goes live, you will be able to get your locals w/o an antennae. There is a list at AVS that describes which cities will get local HD first.

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Yeah there is alot of crap to read thru but the meat is there.

 

They are moving to Mpeg4 and there isn't a current box being sold capable of doing that. If you are going to get a Tivo, make sure it isn't modded. I wouldn't trust they would swap you out a new Mpeg4 version with the same size drive or bigger or swap you at all.

 

Buying a $700 D* HD Tivo is a big crapshoot. Partly the reason I switched to cable until they get their stuff together.

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There's a coupon from BestBuy that's floating around that will get you 50% off any Tivo hardware - people have reported getting the HD-DVR for $350 with it. Some BB's have caught on, and some people are already hawking the coupons on eBay.

 

Just an FYI if you want to give it a shot. I thought about it but, given my tentative situation (read my other thread), I'm gonna wait it out.

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