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What's the point of the sports pack?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Shady12, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Shady12

    Shady12 Cool Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    Yeah, AM21. Hopefully the person knew what they were talking about and my local ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox are on that list. If not, and they don't let me get out of market channels, I'll be cancelling. Only reason I didn't have DirecTV a long time ago was because of those limitations.
     
  2. ohpuckhead

    ohpuckhead Godfather

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    I agree that you have to see it like HBO or another premium movie package.

    I'm a big hockey fan and I get it for two reasons. One is that we are in the
    Columbus Blue Jackets' TV area though we are closer to Cleveland. If one of the CBJ games conflicts with a Cleveland Cavaliers' game on Fox Sports Ohio we get it on 661/-1, Fox Sports Cincy because 660/-1 has the Cavs. Even though I have NHLCI, we don't get the game without sports pack. I've called and written the Jackets, FSN and DTV but since the debut of the team 13 years ago that's been the story.

    The other even bigger reason I like it is for College hockey. During Jan. and Feb. this year Friday nights were like "College Hockey Night." FCS, BTN, FSN Det., NESN, FSN North and RTRM all had live and delayed college hockey. NBCSN isn't part of sports pack but they also have Friday games. It's less consistent during the post-season but it's usually possible to watch the entire NCAA Tournament with Sports Pack.

    Right now I'm watching Alaska-Anchorage vs. U-Minnesota on 668 in HD in a packed Mariucci Arena.

    Also, although it is a local item for me, those around the country with the sports package are able to see the Ohio High School Hockey Final Four on Sports Time Ohio 662 right now. Chicago, Michigan and Minnesota HS tourneys are usually televised.
     
  3. Shady12

    Shady12 Cool Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    I didn't think about college hockey..would love to be able to watch more. Right now I can only watch it on NBCSN on Fridays. Just hope I can indeed get the networks where I live.. Otherwise I'll have to go with Dish which does have our locals.
     
  4. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    What the AM21 does is provides you with an ASTC (digital TV) tuner and integrates your over-the-air local guide data into the DirecTV guide and allows you to switch to your local channels as if they were coming from DirecTV; however, you do need to have an antenna connected to the AM21, because you are receiving the locals over the air through the AM21, and not from the satellite.

    If you live in an area that has local stations over the air, but they are not carried by DirecTV, then DirecTV cannot provide out of market locals (CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox) unless your local station gives you a waiver.
     
  5. Shady12

    Shady12 Cool Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    Thanks, I guess the sales lady was full of BS. Does DirecTV provide an antenna? Is it just something that you can put on top of the TV? If so are they fairly cheap? I'll need to call to make sure the installer has the AM21 etc. with him and if all of this is viable where I live. Will be a bummer if I have to cancel.
     
  6. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    The AM21 works really well. I have DTV locals but am right on the edge of the DMA (2 towns east gets totally different locals). With an antenna, I am able to get the other DMA's locals actually better than "my" locals so the AM21 lets me add both to the guide. Personally, I could never have TV that didn't include NESN. Even if there are few-to-no games (most Spring Training Red Sox games and Bruins-in-2 repeats are NOT blacked out). MSG has some good programming, too. Like others have said, depending on where you live, you might other teams that a non-sports pack sub includes. MOST college and non-big 4 sports are not blacked out, either. Since Universal Sports is not OTA anymore, it's nice to have that, too.
     
  7. fireponcoal

    fireponcoal Icon

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    Glad to see someone bring up college hockey.. I wholeheartedly agree.. There are also a few AHL games scattered about as well as WHL games starting in January(through Root sports).. The sports pack is wonderful only if one knows how to tailor it to ones individual sport tastes. I remember having it as a D* gift years ago and not really knowing how to use it.. For the first couple of months of I wasn't sure what to look for and everything seemed to be blacked out... The light bulb finally went on and I figured out that I should be searching for what I wanted.. I just have one of those slow minds and I should have realized that sooner then I did. :)
     
  8. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

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    I find that the sports pack is a lot less overwhelming if you make it more user friendly with a favorites list. Keep all the "main channels" and many of the "Plus" channels but dont keep the PT out-of-market channels. FS Kansas City, for example, is 99% Royals games and "to be announced" so, unless you can get those games, hide it. Sometimes, you'll see another game on one of the PT O-O-M channels, but I've never NOT seen the same game on another channel. If you know a "less popular" sport is often on an alt-channel, keep that. The Sports Pack is wonderful - it takes getting used to, though. And, you get the SEC Network Nationwide on MSG :)
     
  9. lacubs

    lacubs Godfather

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    i have always wondered why Root sports don't show OHL games instead of WHL games because Pennsylvania has a OHL team.
     
  10. celticpride

    celticpride Icon

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    I used to have the sports pack when i had directv,I had it mainly so i could watch the pre and post game shows and boston area sports news(i live in so.cal.),plus it was easier to record the nba league pass games of the celtics,because i would just set my tivo to record channel 630 comcast sports new england every time the celtics played ,that way i didnt have to search the guide to see what league pass channel the game was on.
     
  11. fleckrj

    fleckrj Icon

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    Cary, NC
    Whether an indoor antenna will work depends on where you live, how far you are from the transmitter towers, and what sort of obsticles are in the way. Go to Antenna Web and enter you address. That will tell you how far and in which direction your local stations are. It will also tell you what the actual broadcast channel is. Since the switch to digital TV, the low VHF band is no longer used, and the channel number does not always agree with the actual frequency on which the channel is broadcast (for example, in my area, channel 4 is now broadcast on UHF 25, channel 5 is broadcast on UHF 48, and channel 50 is broadcast on UHF 49).

    Antennas are labeled with a color code. Antenna Web will tell you which color code you need for your location. Many new antennas are designed for channels 7 through 69, since those are the only ones still in use. If you live more than about 20 miles from your broadcast tower or if there are hills or trees in the way, exepect to spend between $60 and $100 for a good outdoor (or attic mounted) antenna. If you live in the right loction, though, a $10 set top antenna might be just fine.

    I have an outdoor antenna mounted in my attic, and it works well for the stations in my DMA plus a couple of stations from a neighboring DMA. On the advice of one of the engineers at one of my local stations, I am considering upgrading to this antenna. According to the local expert, it will work well for the one VHF (11) channel that is in our DMA as well as all of the UHF channels. What is best for you, though, depends on where you live.
     
  12. Shady12

    Shady12 Cool Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    Did that and said for one of the stations I need red, a couple green, one yellow. So I guess I'd need red to get them all. The one that said red is two miles away, is it strange that that would need the strongest antenna? Ground is flat in a two mile radius. Also one of the local stations, and that station is probably about two miles away or less from my house, says their antenna is about 40 miles away in the middle of nowhere..is that normal? Shouldn't it be at their broadcast stations?
     
  13. hasan

    hasan Well-Known Member

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    The station and the antenna are rarely co-located. The amount of land, and the HAAT (height above average terrain) considerations for a TV tower make it unlikely that the antenna farm will be in a location that is suitable for the broadcast equipment (other than the power amps). The control and editing equipment will be at the "station site", while all the RF gear will be at the remote antenna site.

    On your other question: the 2 mile signal may be very weak from a low power station.
     
  14. de_runner

    de_runner Mentor

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    DirecTV does not provide the antenna. The AM21 has an input for the antenna but you must provide the antenna and the lead into the AM21. IF you live close to the broadcast towers for your locals then you may be able to receive their signals with an indoor antenna, i.e., "rabbit ears". For many situations like myself an outdoor antenna is required to get the signals. Check antennaweb.org for more info.
     
  15. Shady12

    Shady12 Cool Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    I'm actually within a mile or two of some of them, yet the closest one says I need the strongest antenna. I think that's ABC which we don't have an affiliate, we get it from the next closest market. So I don't know if it's a low powered repeater or something. Really don't know anything about this OTA stuff in terms of the technical/tower type stuff. According to antennaweb though I'd need a powerful antenna. Not even sure I can pick up the ABC station. It's quite possible I have no way of getting the four major networks where I live. Yet I'm also pretty sure waivers usually aren't approved by my local stations. Might have to "move."
     
  16. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Here is the deal on waivers, yes a lot of affiliates will not grant waivers easily but it can be done. You can call and speak with the GM's to let them know where you are located and that it is unlikely you will get their signal unless its a massive antenna, you can submit your own waivers on DirecTV's webpage or you can put up an antenna. If you do the waivers yourself you can check on them daily and reapply for them as soon as they are denied if that were to happen. The law states that each affiliate has 30 days to respond. If they do not then the waiver is considered granted. DirecTV will not grant you a waiver even if the affiliate has not approved after 60 days. Also DNS feeds are not as cheap as you would think. If you plan to have HD and you want both coasts then its $3.50 per network for both SD and HD feeds for both coasts. I have all DNS feeds for both coasts and I think I pay $20. Thats a lot for local channels but it comes in handy as well. If you have an issue with tuners available to record you can record off the west coast to assist, you get more sports games from different regions pro and college that are not blacked out, you can still get OTA and keep your DNS feeds, once your market launches you can still keep the DNS feeds.

    To each their own. It depends on how hard you want to work to get waivers for DNS feeds approved and if you mind paying a premium for them. They dont come cheap but they are worth it to a lot of people. I noticed that the NY and LA feeds do not cut in on shows that often either. Definately not when you are having bad weather. Having the west coast is very valuable. Depending on where you live you may not be able to get both coasts. I would use that tvfool chart to call the local affiliates and say I cant get your signal would you be willing to approve a waiver. Also, any affiliate your market is missing should be easy to get approved. 3-4 years ago when I started with DirecTV I didnt have a CW affiliate in my market (still dont) and I applied for the waiver. The DNS feed was activated within 20 minutes I believe. I am happy to assist any way I can. Let me know what you are thinking on this and how you would like to proceed.
     
  17. Shady12

    Shady12 Cool Member

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    Mar 9, 2012
    I'd do OTA but am not confident of my ability to mount a roof antenna. Plus ABC I doubt I could get and if I got a waiver for it, not having regional network football games is a problem. For example if a Texas football game is on ABC, it's usually a regional broadcast that won't be aired in NYC or LA.
     
  18. joshjr

    joshjr Hall Of Fame

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    Not always. If its a big game then they cover them from time to time. Where are you located and what college are you wanting to watch? Keep in mind it works great for pro teams. More MLB game options on Saturday and more NFL games to choose from. You can do OTA and DNS both. There are alot of times I get 3 different games at the same time.
     
  19. loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    I get the sports package and enjoy watching some of the locally produced golf and fishing shows. I do subscribe to a couple of pro packages also.
     
  20. fireponcoal

    fireponcoal Icon

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    Much love to the Erie Otters! I graduated from Edinboro.. I believe that the WHL teams that are covered are both pretty big draws while the Otters are not.
     

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