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Am I missing something? - DTV installing OTA antenna

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by iainleaver, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. iainleaver

    iainleaver Cool Member

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    Mar 15, 2010
    I was scheduled for an install of an OTA antenna by DTV today (we do not get HD locals from DTV in my area).

    The installer did not have one with him & will need to order one - install is rescheduled for next week

    He mentioned that he has never done one before - this has made me curious, how are others in my area getting their HD locals.

    I looked in the yellow pages and no one looks like they are offering OTA antenna installation. I have tried an indoor antenna & it will work sometimes but the signal is in the 50%s/60%s at best & less than 50% for FOX.

    Is there some other way the DirecTV customers in my area are getting HD locals?

    Iain
     
  2. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    It is actually very, very rare for DirecTV to install an OTA antenna. And what you will get is a 2-bow-tie panel UHF antenna mounted on a DirecTV mast/foot. Depending on what your local OTA situation is, that may be fine, or may be completely inadequate.

    The first thing you should do is go to http://www.tvfool.com, put in your address and elevation of 15', and get a plot of your local stations. If you post that plot here, we can give you some real information.
     
  3. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Check out the "Local HDTV Reception Forum" at http://www.avsforum.com. Find the thread for your local city. There you'll find off-air experts that can steer you to a knowledgeable local antenna installer.
     
  4. prestone683

    prestone683 Legend

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    Aug 16, 2010
    Antennaweb.org

    I used to carry two on my van at all times, and H/R20's all the time as well. Pretty common for us. On the bright side, fully installed, grounded, and the works... $50 EXTRA PER 20 SERIES BOX! Even though I had them on my truck, by the ten's...

    97% of Americans get their locals from Directv. WE DID NOT. Until November AND NOW WE LOST FOX 6 WEEKS LATER BECAUSE OF THAT WHOLE NORTHWEST BULL****! THEY LOST THE CONTRACT 6 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING IT!?
     
  5. ndole

    ndole Problem Solver

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    Aug 26, 2009
    There are very few/almost no H20's in supply chain anymore. Everything will have to be AM21 from now on in those markets. Having an AM21 on every IRD not a very practical setup IMHO.
     
  6. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    7,058
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    Jul 19, 2005
    Jackson
    You dont even know its there after you set it up...
     
  7. prestone683

    prestone683 Legend

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    Aug 16, 2010
    Our HSP warehouse did not even have AM21's. I never had to touch one, use one, set one up, anything. If we *techs* did it, it was a H/R20 installed with an off-air antenna. Otherwise, it wasn't supported.

    In fact, when I set up my HSP account, it was 3 HR20s, and 1 H20. Dual cable to all rooms, SWiM3 to each room, and off-air antenna to each room.

    Believe it or not, I installed my antenna on a porch roof, (and you can see the towers from my house, right out the window) most of my stations were 60-70%. So I had to take it ALL the way up, about 30+ feet (on the scariest roof, I've ever had to walk) and now they are all quite high. (AND OF COURSE, LOCALS SHOW UP A FEW MONTHS LATER!)

    But using my connections at my HSP, when I quit, I called on my supervisor to upgrade my H20, and one of the HR20's to H24/HR24 respectively. (I love my friends... :))

    Small FYI, even until when I left in June, we continuously got TRUCKLOADS of pallets of receivers, and because we weren't a DMA with locals, they were 50/50 split of *others* and 20 series. They exist is great numbers. In areas that need them.
     
  8. ndole

    ndole Problem Solver

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    Aug 26, 2009
    Sorry, I meant more from an installation/inventory standpoint. I wasn't very clear there.
     
  9. CATCRAW

    CATCRAW Legend

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    Mar 27, 2008
    Directv does not offer local channels in my area and NBC is the only one that would not agree to signing my form for DNS. OTA is the only alternative and the indoor antenna was spotty at best. Directv came out and installed the OTA antenna - no charge - and it has worked great for us and we get about 11 OTA channels with very good quality picture all HD.
     
  10. mcbeevee

    mcbeevee 97% Complete

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    Sep 18, 2006
    I checked antennaweb.org with a Richland zip (99352), and it showed the major networks are all UHF and about 13 miles away in the same general direction. At that distance, you might be able to pickup the networks with a small indoor antenna like the Terk HDTVi Indoor.

    :)
     
  11. iainleaver

    iainleaver Cool Member

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    0
    Mar 15, 2010
    Thanks for the help

    I checked antennaweb and it says i need an a medium multi-directional antenna at most - this would be for FOX (this is the most important one to me as DirecTV and the local fox affiliate are in dispute and the Daytona 500 is not that far off!)

    We have a 2 storey house and I am hoping that the combination of the height and outdoor antenna will work better than an indoor antenna

    Iain
     
  12. prestone683

    prestone683 Legend

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    Aug 16, 2010
    Biggest questions for you;

    Can you get all the way to the top of that 2 story, in the current weather (snow can I assume?) Steepness of roof...

    How many boxes are they hooking up to? Usually its $50.00 per box, and the AM-21's need to be shipped (usually) from D*, whereas the antenna is getting shipped to the HSP apparently..

    I installed off-air antennas in this area on a fairly regular stint and believe me, they were a piece of **** and harder than hell to get a good signal.

    *To edit my previous post, when I said I used to carry two, I was referring to antennas, not AM-21s, I never worked on one of those before. They were always drop-shipped straight to the customer's house... And when we requested receivers, we got whatever came in, and then a couple of 20 series, just to have on the truck, and even then throughout the week, we would constantly trade in the field*

    If you used antennaweb, do yourself a favor.. When the tech comes out *if he hasn't done it already* print off the antennaweb paperwork for the bearing to the towers. If those pan antennas aren't perfectly aligned signals drop flat off...

    If we knew we had an antenna job, we printed that paperwork before we went... Again, without it, you were guessing, and guessing = write up...

    AND MAKE SURE IT GETS GROUNDED.

    This is what you should expect to get.

    http://www.summitsource.com/directv...tie-aerial-red-zone-part-dtv2buhf-p-6754.html

    They typically charge $150 for it. $100 for the antenna and the work, and then $50 for the 20 series box (that I always carried on my truck anyways.) ****, some customers have them, just cause that was the only HD box I had that day...

    So if I pulled up to do a 'standard install' HD or not. Installs were typically free... But I had to explain locals didn't exist in the area...

    If that was a sticking point, I explained *if around town* that an antenna would probably work for them, and we'd have to call in for the work order change. D* would then proceed to tell the customer it would cost an additional $150, paid up front, for what took me a whole 20 minutes outside of my scope of work to do.

    Screw the mast down, run wire down, ground block, route, screw clip, wire in, done..

    'Oh, the 20 series (I conveniently 'don't leave the shop without') is special and therefore costs money. Truth is, its refurbished Mister So and So, and therefore the hard drive will crap out quicker....

    But sat installs are free cause they have programming commitments with those, and if you get your locals on an antenna, you don't pay the extra $6 for getting them over the satellite...

    $8 antenna (bulk HSP account purchase pricing) plus a box I already had on my truck, a little bit of coax, a $.50 ground block. Pretty good... If you ask me.

    And antennas work even if you kill your sat subscription. You can always tie into a digital tv, or digital converter box. Directv doesn't like it when you can get free tv, from the expense of them doing an install...
     
  13. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

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    Jun 29, 2006
    Bainbridge...
    I suspect that Directv isn't shipping H20-600s because of the power supply overheating problems (even though it has a great tuner).

    They may be discontinuing HR20s. When I deactivated mine the CSR said it had been changed from leased to owned on my account and I could keep it.
     

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