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Thinking about switching to DTV - need advice

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by GARE, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. GARE

    GARE New Member

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    Jun 24, 2010
    I've got a couple of noob questions for the experts:

    1) We primarily watch tv in 2 rooms, but occasionally watch tv in 3 other rooms. Is there a way to do this with only 2 receivers? I'm trying to avoid paying for receivers (+ monthly fee) I will barely use.

    2) I'm trying to figure out if I want 2 DVRs for Whole Home or just 1. If I have 2 DVRs, can I watch programs recorded on either DVR on any tv w/ a receiver?

    3) Continuing on #2, is the "record 2 programs while watching 2 recorded programs" a limit per DVR or per household regardless of how many DVRs you have? I'm trying to figure out how many live programs I can watch across all tvs (those with a receiver) when each DVR is recording 2 programs.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    #1, yes its possible, if you aren't planning on watching different programs on both TV's. If its not to far away some have accomplished it with a long HDMI or Component cable. For a longer run, I have a setup using cat5e and some other components, so I can use 1 DVR for 2 HD flat screens.

    #2 Two DVR's give you twice the recording capability. Also, the ability to pause live programming. Since you only pay one DVR fee, I suggest you get 2 DVR's. The difference is really in the upfront cost, a DVR costs $100 more then an HD receiver.

    #3 You can only watch 1 live program from each receiver. So how many live shows you can watch, depends on how many receivers you buy. If you are recording on both tuners of the DVR, you can't watch a third program. You can only watch one of the 2 programs that are recording.
     
  3. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    1) Yes. As long as you don't mind watching the same thing in the shared locations. I do this over the same wire as my sat signal with a cheap RF modulator and diplexers. I currently share one box among 4 rarely used TVs and have RF remotes in each room for controlling the box.

    2) Yes, you can watch any recording from any other receiver or DVR. My family of 4 keeps one DVR about 50% full. So one is plenty for me. Other's on this board keep have several DVRs and many terabytes of recordings. You'll just have to judge for yourself how much recording you think you'll do and whether you want to keep your recordings forever as some do. I record/watch/delete, so mine don't really pile up. Anything I want to keep forever, I transfer to DVD.

    3) That's per DVR, not per household. Each DVR is independent as far as making recordings. You can't watch any "live" tv on a box that's recording 2 programs unless you watch what's being recorded. A DVR has 2 tuners. If both are busy recording, they can't be used for something else. You can however watch a third recording while recording two other programs, whether it's from the local box or a remote one.
     
  4. GARE

    GARE New Member

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Thanks!

    I'm still a bit confused on #3. Let's say I am recording 2 programs on my DVR. On how many other tvs w/ a receiver (or DVR) could I watch live programs during that time?
     
  5. Shaqdan

    Shaqdan Legend

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    Jan 23, 2009
    On all of the other boxes, you could be watching live TV. You aren't limited a number of 'feeds' per house, it's just per box.
     
  6. paragon

    paragon Godfather

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    You can not watch a live program on a DVR that is recording two things. You can watch a live program on every other receiver or DVR in your house, regardless of what the first DVR (or any other receiver or DVR) is doing.
     
  7. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Seattle, WA
    Each receiver (non-DVR) can always watch live no matter what other receivers or DVRs are doing. Each DVR can watch live so long as it is not recording, or is only recording one program.

    One other possibility for your other rooms would be to have the rooms wired so that you can move a receiver into them when desired (unlike cable, satellite normally does not wire all the outlets in a house, only those specifically being connected).
     
  8. GARE

    GARE New Member

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Ok, got it. I thought I remembered a limitation per satellite dish when I had DTV many years ago.

    One final question. Do I need to be concerned with signal degredation by having too many receivers?
     
  9. mobandit

    mobandit Hall Of Fame

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    Theoretically, yes. That number, however, is way more than most residential homes would ever approach. There are members here who are running setups with as many as 10 Receivers/DVR's.
     
  10. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    No, that's not a problem anymore. Using their SWiM technology a single SWiM16 module can handle up to 16 tuners, need more you can cascade one or more SWiM modules together to handle the number of tuners you need. And no, you don't need to worry about signal degradation, the SWiM's have AGC functions that will take care of any loss.
     
  11. patg25

    patg25 AllStar

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    mdavej - can you please post your setup. I am getting D* installed tomorrow :hurah: and also would like to control 3 SD TVs from the basement where all the wires are. What type of RF setup do you have? I thought that I could just split the output of the receiver (I didn't think I needed Diplexers) but I guess that alone does not work?

    Thanks!
     
  12. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

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    You can just split it. You only need diplexers if you're overlaying the RF on the sat wire. If your coax to your other TVs is isolated from the sat system, then you just need to get an RF modulator and connected it to the coax to your other TVs.

    HERE's my diplexed system. I've had mine running a few years now on a non-SWM system, so I'm not sure if it works on the newer SWM systems or with HR24s.

    Don't attempt to do any of this until the installer leaves since it's not supported.
     
  13. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Dripping...
    You can get away with diplexing OTA with a SWiM setup but DirecTV recommends against it. And if you're going with the Connected Home/DECA networking you CAN'T diplex OTA since a good chuck of the UHF band is also used by the DECA network.
     
  14. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    I'm guessing that you were planning on splitting a coax output from the DVR. The problem is that there is no coax output on the HR series of DVRs. So if you want to use RG6 coax, you have to use the composite output of the DVR and an RF modulator [link] that changes composite to coax. Then you can connect the coax cable to your SD TV's. And you will have to set your remote to RF, so you can control your DVR from the basement.
     
  15. patg25

    patg25 AllStar

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    Nov 12, 2006
    Actually I am planning on splitting the output of the SD Receiver to drive 3 TVs that are all over the house. Does anyone know a good RF setup? The only drawback with the SD receivers, as I understand it, is that RF is not build in.
     
  16. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    Wylie, Texas
    THIS is what I use to control my DVR's from any room in the house.
     
  17. patg25

    patg25 AllStar

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    Yup, I have seen that one before. How well does it work? Does it reach from one corner of the house to the other one?
     
  18. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone DBSTalk Club

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    Works very well.

    My DVRs are in the living room and I can control them from anywhere in the house (it's a 4200 square foot house), including upstairs.
     
  19. GARE

    GARE New Member

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    Jun 24, 2010
    I'm sad to report apparently not much has changed in the 10 years I was away from DTV. I ordered service on 6/24 and received a 7/7 install date. Received an email on Monday from DTV reminding me of the appointment.

    This morning, installation day, I get a phone call from the installer. They do not have the new receivers and are waiting on more from DTV. They need to reschedule. The guy calls back and recommends I call DTV directly so I can get higher priority for the reschedule date. I call DTV and they recommend I call back after noon so I can get the $50 credit for missing the appt time. In the meantime, the install dispatcher calls to set up a reschedule time - he suggests Friday or Monday or Tuesday. I told him what the installation super suggested insofar as rescheduling with DTV to get priority as well as the $50 credit. I then called DTV after lunch to reschedule the install and was told 7/16 (what happened to Fri/Mon/Tue?) was the earliest they were seeing, but would push the priority info down to the installer who would then call me to schedule. Shortly thereafter, the installation dispatcher calls and tells me 7/16 is the earliest. I begged, pleaded, etc to no avail - told them I would be calling DTV to cancel installation. Hung up, called DTV, explained the situation, got no offer to make things right and cancelled.

    Mastech, the installer, told me they had been out of HR24s since last week. Why did the wait to tell me until the day of installation? It would have saved me a couple of hours last night in preparation. I also took the morning off from work to oversee things - a complete waste of time that was totally avoidable.

    I decided I would call up another local satellite installer. Turns out they also handle DTV, can match every deal I had and can get me installed by Saturday. It was 2 weeks to get an installation date when ordering direct from DTV, but I can get an appointment within 2 days by going direct to an installer (they would have been able to do it Friday if I had called by 2pm)???

    Unbelievable. I'm having flashbacks to my other experience with DTV 10 years ago. Someone please tell me I'm not making a huge mistake and walking into another customer service nightmare again.
     

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