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SWM & SWMline general discussion

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Doug Brott, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Sep 8, 2009 #781 of 1305
    bixler

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    Any min distance between swm8 switch and pi? What might be the consequences if the current distance is under the min?
     
  2. Sep 8, 2009 #782 of 1305
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    min = 15'
    "consequences" are flaky performance. The SWM8 has a automatic gain control [AGC] which "doesn't like" the DC block in the PI to be "too close".
     
  3. Sep 9, 2009 #783 of 1305
    bixler

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    I noticed that my SWM8 has a specific software and firmware version. Does this get updated somehow and if so how?
     
  4. Sep 9, 2009 #784 of 1305
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    This has been asked since the first SWM came out.
    "It seems" the answer is "no".
     
  5. Sep 9, 2009 #785 of 1305
    bixler

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    Thanks VOS!
     
  6. Sep 12, 2009 #786 of 1305
    opfreak

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    nob question:

    if i just order 2 hd-dvrs, what are my odds of get a swm dish?

    (new cosumter)
     
  7. Sep 12, 2009 #787 of 1305
    gdfein

    gdfein New Member

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    Hi friends. Long time lurker here hoping to get some advice and sorry in advance for length of post. My current setup is not SWM and consists of;

    1-HR21-700 w. dual feeds and B-Bands (LivingRm),
    1-R15-500 w. dual feeds (Master BRm), and
    1-D12-300 (GuestRm)

    In order to get the best advice, I should indicate what I'm looking to accomplish is as follows:

    Priority A - Upgrading the TV in Master BRm to an HDTV and want to get an HD-DVR. However the new HDTV will be wall mounted on an interior wall versus the exterior wall the current dual feeds enter Master. Wife wants to retain the ability to relocate back to the current location when her furniture tastes change. So my thought is remove just one of the dual lines from the exterior wall and retain the other for future use. An installer I spoke to very briefly thought running the interior feed from my attic/crawl to my second floor Master would be no big deal.

    Priority B - Relocate the current R15-500 to GuestBrm and retain dual tuner DVR functionality. For now this room will stay SDTV, and I'd rather not install a second line just to retain dual tuner, so this is where I think SWM comes into play.

    Priority C - My Winter 09/10 project is to complete our finished basement which will have a recreation area / home office and will be putting in an HDTV w/ HD DVR. This presently has no feed and would need a feed.

    Priority D - Right now my child is young and we don't want television in her bedroom nor in bedroom 4, but I can see this being a reality someday. And if I'm having someone go into the attic/crawl to do an interior wall line for Master (noted above), this seems like a time to kill multiple birds so to speak.


    At this time I only intend to take on 1 new HD DVR for the master and relocate the current SD DVR. I think my current system can support this (in single tuner mode on SD DVR) or by adding a second feed to GuestBRm retain dual tuner. This is what my D* vendor has proposed and they can reconfigure 6 months from now when I add the basement, etc. My thought is should I push for the system to be switched over to SWM now?

    I can see possibly within 2-3 years from now wanting HD DVR capability at as many 5 locations in the house.

    Looking for some thoughts if your kind enough to have spent the time reading these ramblings and have a moment to contribute.

    Any insight is appreciated.

    Greg
     
  8. Sep 12, 2009 #788 of 1305
    dsw2112

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    It looks like you're thinking toward future scenarios which is always a good thing. SWM is definitely the way of the future, BUT you are caught in a bit of a catch 22 if you upgrade now:

    Currently D* no longer offers the custom option for current customers to upgrade to a SWMLnb. This option is for new customers only (who meet certain criteria) right now. The R15 you have is also not SWM compatible, so a SWMLnb would not work anyway...

    Your second current option is to purchase a SWM8. This would satisfy your SWM requirements and has legacy ports to allow use of older boxes (i.e. R15.) BTW - this will not help your R15 dual tuner issue as even with a SWM8 two cables need to be run for legacy DVR's. This SWM8 option is also not supported in a residential situation by D* and you put yourself in a DIY bind.

    As I said SWM WILL be the way of the future for D* and there are new technologies on the horizon that will hopefully provide those in your situations with a few easier options than you now face. The reality currently is that you will either have to fish new lines to the locations you require or go with a SWM8 until the future SWM options are available/supported.

    I hope that helps a bit...
     
  9. Sep 15, 2009 #789 of 1305
    mhudson78660

    mhudson78660 Cool Member

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    So I am just now looking into this. I have two lines in my den and only one to the bedroom. I have newer boxes for both TV's. Do I just call DirecTV and ask for the new SWM?
     
  10. Sep 15, 2009 #790 of 1305
    mangusta1969

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    Mhudson,

    Based on my experiences from December 2008 through April 2009, you don't have much of a chance in getting a SWM upgrade from DTV for your setup.

    Even though my complicated 6 receiver/2 DVR setup with long cable runs had stopped working reliably after previously working fine for the previous 10 months, DTV sent clueless tech after clueless tech out to troubleshoot my installation. From reading this forum, I had determined that switching over to a SWM8 might solve my ongoing problems. Although some senior DTV technical guys (on the tech. escalation desk) agreed to try this solution, after the third local tech visit came and went without a SWM8 on the truck, I just purchased and installed my own SWM8, which completely solved my system's reliability problems.

    Since my system had not been working correctly for a long time and the tech. escalation desk at DTV knew this, I was able to get some programming and equipment credits from DTV for my SWM8 expenses and months of performance headaches.

    With all that said, it would not hurt to call DTV and ask for an upgrade to a SWM8 because of your internal cabling problem (be sure to tell them that the wall cannot be fished with another cable and that you can't use both tuners on one of your DVRs). Who knows, you might get lucky and it doesn't cost you anything to try. Be certain to let us know what happens. Good luck!
     
  11. Sep 15, 2009 #791 of 1305
    BattleZone

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    SWM8's are considered COMMERCIAL equipment, and are NOT used, supplied, or supported in residential installs by DirecTV. The use of a SWM8 in your system can (and has) resulted in your system being unsupported by DirecTV's HSP system.

    I *strongly* recommend against anyone setting another customer's expectation that DirecTV is going to provide a SWM8 in any scenario, as the chances of that happening, especially with recent enforcement measures against techs, is just about zero.
     
  12. Sep 15, 2009 #792 of 1305
    mangusta1969

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    All I can do is report my direct experience, none of which is based on hearsay.

    If you have a large number of tuners (which I did), and/or some long cable runs (which I did), and some non-changeable RG-59 cabling (which I did), then the standard DTV multiswitch solutions are either marginal (mine worked for almost a year after a number of visits to get it working in the first place) or non-functional and DTV will actually work with you to get a viable installation.

    DTV's only alternative was to send me packing over to Dish Network which has been using SWM-like solutions and single cables to dual tuner receivers for many years. In my case, DTV supported a SWM8 retrofit, both financially and technically with some new SWM-compatible receivers and DVRs. As I briefly outlined in my previous email, getting there was both non-trivial and painful at times due to the number of required phone calls and trouble-shooting visits, mis-information from some senior field techs and even occasional mis-information from the DTV advanced support tech guys.
     
  13. Sep 15, 2009 #793 of 1305
    NYCEGUY01

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    Untill 10-12-09..........
     
  14. Sep 15, 2009 #794 of 1305
    dsw2112

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    I think Battlezone was commenting more on your advice to a fellow poster who was not having the same issues as yourself. Your situation was obviously unique, and kudos on standing your ground until the problem was remedied. The problem is that you made a few assumptions that may or may not be true of the other poster's situation, including giving incorrect advice that they can upgrade him to a SWM8.

    What you need to know is that D* installers are split into two groups HSP's (Home Service Providers) and commercial installers. SWM8 is a commercial product plain and simple. HSP guys have usually never seen one, don't know what they are, and do not carry them on their trucks -- ever. If you want one you need to purchase it yourself (as you found out.) Again your situation was extremely unique and they reimbursed you for your costs.

    What you might not be aware of is that once a SWM8 is installed on a residential setup then a D* tech may refuse to service any future problems that occur on that system. You may even find this true in your situation after going through all that you did. The reason is that D* has a QC process and a tech can be fined or fired for using unauthorized equipment or processes on a system. By working on a system that tech has taken responsibility for everything there.

    I'm sure that you weren't aware of this info (which is always subject to change) and were just trying to give some advice to a fellow poster -- that's cool. Battlezone was just trying to give you some sage advice as well...

    P.S. Is there any reason you asked them for a SWM8 instead of a SWMLnb? The SWMLnb is approved for residential install and would have probably been much easier logistically.
     
  15. Sep 16, 2009 #795 of 1305
    mangusta1969

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    "Based on my experiences from December 2008 through April 2009, you don't have much of a chance in getting a SWM upgrade from DTV for your setup."

    "With all that said, it would not hurt to call DTV and ask for an upgrade to a SWM8 because of your internal cabling problem (be sure to tell them that the wall cannot be fished with another cable and that you can't use both tuners on one of your DVRs). Who knows, you might get lucky and it doesn't cost you anything to try. Be certain to let us know what happens. Good luck!"

    Above are two quotations from what I actually stated in an earlier post. That is pretty far from giving another DTV subscriber questionable advice that DTV will do a SWM8 upgrade.

    Although you imply that it is not possible for a residential installation to be officially scheduled for a SWM8 installation, I was scheduled for just that in writing several times by the DTV troubleshooting escalation desk. Only the notoriously poor communications between DTV HQs and the local installers caused multiple trucks to roll out to my residence without having a DTV-approved SWM8 on board for their residential installers to wire up.

    To answer your question about why not use a SWM LNB antenna assembly, that unit did not exist at the time of my original installation (10/07) and an antenna changeout would have required upgrading 4 of my 6 existing receivers to SWM-capable receivers, which DTV apparently did not want to do. Besides I now have 10 tuners (4 dual tuner DVRs and two SD receivers) active in my installation, which the SWM LNB cannot even support. While DTV was willing to fully re-imburse my purchase costs for the SWM8 because of all the mis-communications between them and their installers, I chose to have 2 of my 6 receivers upgraded (from single tuner SD receivers to dual tuner DVRs).

    You are certainly correct about one thing, I did have to stand my ground throughout a firestorm of mis-information about SWM8 technical capabilities and what cable lengths and cable types would work with that unit and work or not work with the standard WB68 multiswitch. Trust me, because of reduced video bandwidth requirements, the SWM8 is much more forgiving than the WB68 of long cable lengths (between the antenna and the multiswitch) and can support some reasonable lengths of RG59 cabling as part of its cable runs.
     
  16. Sep 16, 2009 #796 of 1305
    dsw2112

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    While it never "hurts" to try most things mhudson didn't detail specifics on his situation. The questionable advice also entails telling him to tell D* his wall cannot be fished and that he can't use both tuners on his DVR. Neither of which the poster mentioned or confirmed to be true. We also need some additional info to help; what type of dish he has, whether his receivers are SWM compatible, what type of receivers he has, or what his goal for a SWM system is. All of which are necessary to give correct advice in the situation.

    As any D* installer here can confirm a SWM8 is not a line item on a workorder and is not carried in the truck. If it's not on the workorder it can't be installed... Many CSR's and even the escalation desk get this and many other issues wrong time and again... On a related note I've always been an advocate of D* supporting the SWM8 in a residence if it makes a difference to you (it certainly doesn't to D* I'm afraid!)

    Once again kudos that you fought the good fight. I think you did the right thing in "your" situation. Everyone's situation is a bit different though. I do this forum for fun (as morbid as that seems) but try to always make sure folks have the correct info. If I get into a battle of wits I'll likely lose as I'm losing brain cells daily :D What I can say is that the above info on the SWM8 is currently correct. There's rumored to be a big SWM push in the near future so that could always change... With that I'll wish you the best and see you around the board!
     
  17. Sep 16, 2009 #797 of 1305
    veryoldschool

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    Yeah, the future will be more towards SWM installs for several reasons that will show up. "Most likely" they won't be using SWM8s though as the SWMLNB & the new SWM16 will be covering the needs.
     
  18. Sep 18, 2009 #798 of 1305
    kcgriffin70

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    Before I remove my SWM8 I'll see if anyone has any ideas first. I've got it hooked up with all 4 lines from the slimline 5 to the SWM8. No OTA hooked up and port 2 is capped. Port 1 goes to the PI which then goes to a SWS4 splitter. Those 4 lines go directly to two HR20-700, a HR21-200 and a R22-100. Both HR20-700 get great signals from all satellites (90+) on both tuners. Both the R22-100 & HR21-200 get great signals (90+) on everything but 99c. 99c will get up to around 70 for parts of the day but the rest of the time will be 0.

    Any ideas on what to check or try?

    Thanks!
     
  19. Sep 18, 2009 #799 of 1305
    veryoldschool

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    I'd try to use one of the four cables to the dish, to feed one of the "bad" receivers and see if [with a BBC] 99 is any different.
     
  20. Sep 18, 2009 #800 of 1305
    kcgriffin70

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    Sorry - forgot to mention that. I did hook up the R22 to the sattelite and the signals were 90+.
     

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