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Newbie Satellite Dilemma


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38 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   pws442

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 07:49 AM

Hi, I don't know where to start, and after looking at the Michael D'Angelo setup, I have many, many questions. But, I know I am tired of giving the cable company $200 per month for 3 dual-tuner HD-DVRs (Motorola DCT-6416s), and their whopping 27 HD channels including the 4 premiums (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax) they offer. I have non-HD TVs in 5 other rooms. Many splitters are in the attic. I truly thought that you disconnect the cable feed from the outside of the house, and plug in the Satellite Dish cable. Please hold the laughter.

I figure I need a satellite dish mounted on the Southwest of the house. I can snake as many cables as I need through a hole I'd cut in the soffit to a central point in the attic where my splitters, power supply, and network hub reside. The hub connects to a switch in another room where my ADSL modem, DLNA NAS, and XP Pro/SP3 PCs reside. Then, the magic happens to feed my 3 HDTVs, one that will go to a Denon 3808CI (it is fed from the network hub as well as the 6416) first. I plan on co-existing with basic cable to all the TVs/outlets for the forseeable future.

So, what do I need? I think DirectTV suits me more than Dish. But Dual-tuner HD-DVRs are a must. I am hoping e-SATA or the network can be used to augment the on-board storage. Making them talk to each other would be a nice touch. I can run any cable I need. I'm still small enough to crawl around in the attic!

I will stop now and eagerly await some responses.

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#2 OFFLINE   Michael D'Angelo

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:04 AM

Hi, I don't know where to start, and after looking at the Michael D'Angelo setup, I have many, many questions.


:lol: :)

Welcome to DBSTalk

First question is you say you have splitters in the attic, from there does every room have a separate cable room or do you have other splitters in different parts of the house?

We need to know this before we can tell you anything.

BTW if you do have other splitters in the house can you get to them?

#3 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:24 AM

Sounds like you need to start with a SWM8 [which is a single wire multiswitch].
New splitters that work at the higher SAT frequencies.
The dish would have four cables to you "center", where you'd place the SWM8.
Then single coax [split as needed] to feed your HD receivers/DVRs.
With only one SWM8, you're limited to four [dual tuner] DVRs, but you can add a second SWM8 for more as needed.
network cabling for each would be good for "future" transferring between DVRs
A.K.A VOS

#4 OFFLINE   pws442

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 08:58 AM

:lol: :)
First question is you say you have splitters in the attic, from there does every room have a separate cable room or do you have other splitters in different parts of the house?


The LR/MBR is a single run with a splitter between the plates. I can get to them, and all others.

I assume to co-exist with cable, I will be running entirely different sets from the dish.

#5 OFFLINE   pws442

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:03 AM

Sounds like you need to start with a SWM8 [which is a single wire multiswitch].
New splitters that work at the higher SAT frequencies.
The dish would have four cables to you "center", where you'd place the SWM8.
Then single coax [split as needed] to feed your HD receivers/DVRs.
With only one SWM8, you're limited to four [dual tuner] DVRs, but you can add a second SWM8 for more as needed.
network cabling for each would be good for "future" transferring between DVRs


I am confused about the single wire multi-switch. My buddy was going to go Direct last weekend, but the installer told him he needed to run two cables to each of his three locations (I don't know if the HR20 or 21 was going to be usedfor the dual-tuner HD DVRs). That was not feasible for his townhome layout.

I think you are saying the 4 cables go from the dish to the switch, and then a single cable to each of my 3/4 locations. And these would each feed a dual-tuner HD-DVR? So, I could view/record 8 different HD channels at once?

I know I will have to lose my DCTs, and get something from Direct. I also seek that advice here.

Thanks for your patience!

#6 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:24 AM

I am hoping e-SATA or the network can be used to augment the on-board storage.

No, eSATA replaces the on-board storage. Network storage of DIRECTV delivered content is not supported. Network connections are currently for downloading of "demand" content and sending information about you to DIRECTV via the Internet as well as accessing carefully configured media servers (not including NAS) in your home. At some point, it apears that the DVR may be employed as a media server via the LAN.

Making them talk to each other would be a nice touch.

This isn't happening yet.

#7 OFFLINE   pws442

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:32 AM

But, you can hook up an e-SATA to the back of one of these (which ones), and the 500GB or so drive will replace the 120-160GB drive inside the box, right?

On-demand is via the Internet? From cable, it is over the cable box. So, all three of the HD-DVRs would need to be networked in order to do On Demand? (Hopefully in HD, as my podunk cable company only offers SD)

I take it Media server is a Vista thing, and my XP-Pro/SP3 is not an option here.

#8 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:36 AM

I am confused about the single wire multi-switch.

The SWM is relatively new technology and typically hasn't found its way to residential installs. They can be purchased for a rather hefty price and used to support CATV style wiring configurations. Note that the SWM will not coexist in any way with CATV.

I think you are saying the 4 cables go from the dish to the switch, and then a single cable to each of my 3/4 locations. And these would each feed a dual-tuner HD-DVR? So, I could view/record 8 different HD channels at once?

Actually, you don't need a direct run to each receiver with SWM. You can use broadband splitters.

I know I will have to lose my DCTs, and get something from Direct. I also seek that advice here.

Here you don't get any choices. You get as many HR21 receivers as you can afford to lease. Usually, the lease entry price is $99 for the first and $199 for each successive HD DVR. If you want three, it will likely cost you $497 to get into the leases. If you find that you need access to Over-The-Air channels, you'll also need an OTA tuner module (AM21) at each receiver with this requirement.

#9 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:36 AM

I am confused about the single wire multi-switch. My buddy was going to go Direct last weekend, but the installer told him he needed to run two cables to each of his three locations (I don't know if the HR20 or 21 was going to be usedfor the dual-tuner HD DVRs). That was not feasible for his townhome layout.

I think you are saying the 4 cables go from the dish to the switch, and then a single cable to each of my 3/4 locations. And these would each feed a dual-tuner HD-DVR? So, I could view/record 8 different HD channels at once?

I know I will have to lose my DCTs, and get something from Direct. I also seek that advice here.

Thanks for your patience!

The SWM is "just" coming out from DirecTV, but has been out in test groups for over six months.
A SWM8 is about $300 and you can get one from Dave29 [here] maybe cheaper.
Yes, EIGHT separate channels can record at the same time, with one coax to each receiver [which can be split from the SWM output].
A.K.A VOS

#10 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:39 AM

Note that the SWM will not coexist in any way with CATV.

"in any way?" :confused:
Couldn't it diplex in the same as OTA?
While it isn't supported by DirecTV [duh] isn't there a likely chance that it would work?
A.K.A VOS

#11 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:50 AM

But, you can hook up an e-SATA to the back of one of these (which ones), and the 500GB or so drive will replace the 120-160GB drive inside the box, right?

The built-in drive is around 270GB usable (there is a set-aside for housekeeping and satellite delivered demand programming).

On-demand is via the Internet? From cable, it is over the cable box.

Satellite's version of "demand" requires that the programming be downloaded somehow before it can be viewed. This either happens via satellite (not supported by DIRECTV yet?) or the Internet. CATV's version is capable of consistently serving it up in real time and that's an important distinction.

So, all three of the HD-DVRs would need to be networked in order to do On Demand? (Hopefully in HD, as my podunk cable company only offers SD)

Any receiver needing to offer demand will need to be connected to the Internet so that it can download the programming in linear fashion.

I take it Media server is a Vista thing, and my XP-Pro/SP3 is not an option here.

Vista is not required for playing of media on the receiver (although it may be required for playing of receiver content on Pee Cees if and when that becomes available). Many are using third party alternatives under Windows and Linux or WMP11.

#12 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:54 AM

"in any way?" :confused:
Couldn't it diplex in the same as OTA?
While it isn't supported by DirecTV [duh] isn't there a likely chance that it would work?

SWM and broadband cable occupy the same frequency bands.

#13 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:57 AM

SWM and broadband cable occupy the same frequency bands.

SWM [2.3 MHz control] starts at 974 MHz and goes up. The CATV that I worked on/with from Harmonic & another company never went above 900 MHz.
Also the SWM8 has an OTA input.
A.K.A VOS

#14 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:02 AM

I should also note that HD demand content is decidedly limited at this time.

#15 OFFLINE   pws442

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:13 AM

SWM and broadband cable occupy the same frequency bands.


Getting a little confused about what I can push through the SWM8. Obviously the Sat signal, seems like the OTA as well. It just needs an AM21 between the cable and the box. But, if the CATV is lower in frequency than the Sat signal, can it run through as well.

And, by co-existing, I meant I would leave the existing cable wires alone, and run new ones for the Sat, and perhaps OTA.

#16 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:18 AM

SWM [2.3 MHz control] starts at 974 MHz and goes up. The CATV that I worked on/with from Harmonic & another company never went above 900 MHz.
Also the SWM8 has an OTA input.

Broadband cable has the potential for frequencies well above old school CATV. OTA will soon be capped at 700MHz. If DIRECTV doesn't recommend OTA, they certainly can't recommend CATV.

#17 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:23 AM

CATV and OTA are in the same band [for the most part]. Broadband internet service is below OTA and "should be" above the SWM 2.3 MHz control signal. Mine was at 20 MHz.
So with a SWM8, the SAT signals to the receivers are above the band and your can diplex out the OTA to an AM21 for OTA.
Or you "should be able to" connect your broadband cable instead and not have OTA.
A.K.A VOS

#18 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:29 AM

Broadband cable has the potential for frequencies well above old school CATV. OTA will soon be capped at 700MHz. If DIRECTV doesn't recommend OTA, they certainly can't recommend CATV.

Let's see...
I have a SWM8 and the DirecTV SWM training pdf.
While some cable "may" now go above 900 MHz, some still doesn't.
I agree DirecTV doesn't "recommend" CATV [duh], but it doesn't mean it can't be done with "some" CATV systems, and [again] the SWM8 was/is made with an OTA input, where the SWMline dish doesn't have one [I also have one of them].
A.K.A VOS

#19 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:33 AM

Obviously the Sat signal, seems like the OTA as well. It just needs an AM21 between the cable and the box. But, if the CATV is lower in frequency than the Sat signal, can it run through as well.

Understand that SWM is not a simple scheme. It delivers relatively small bands for each tuner by partitioning the bandwidth nine ways (one small band for control).

In a legacy setup like your acquaintance was talking about, a home run was required for each tuner is getting a look at half of the available content (which comes down from the satellite in the 12-20GHz range) and the pipe was full from 900MHz to 2+GHz. The new 5LNB satellites delved below 900MHz and band converted those ranges back up to the GHz range with a Base Band Converter (BBC) knowing that the cable couldn't handle the very high frequencies for great distances.

#20 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:44 AM

While some cable "may" now go above 900 MHz, some still doesn't.

It is likely that the OTA input on the SWM has some sort of low-pass filter on it. It stands to reason that this filter may go down to 700MHz as that's where we'll be with OTA in a little over eight months. Wise engineers always filter out what they're not prepared to deal with.




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