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Some advice, please


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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   twiecek

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:13 AM

I've decided to finally bite the bullet and enter the 21st century by going to HD (satellite). I've been with DTV forever, and I really don't see the need to switch. What should I get in terms of DVR, etc. Any advice will be appreciated.

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#2 OFFLINE   rahlquist

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:16 AM

Basically you call and ask for a HD DVR and they will send you whatever they have. You can try to request a HR22 or HR23 (higher capacity) but there is no way to guarantee you will get one. If you have been a long time customer ask nicely and negotiate (especially if you have no commitment, just ask) and you should be able to get it fairly cheap if not free.

#3 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 11:25 AM

I'd ask that they throw in a AM21 for free, which add over the air HD tuner support to the HR21/22/23 HD DVR's. Hit them up with you need that since D* doesn't carry a number of you HD locals yet, like WTTW, WCIU etc.

Also make sure that you have an ethernet network connect where you're going to be putting the DVR since they use that for the DirecTV on Demand feature and Media share which allows you to view pictures and videos from your PC and play MP3's also.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#4 OFFLINE   Spanky_Partain

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 10:51 AM

I'd ask that they throw in a AM21 for free, which add over the air HD tuner support to the HR21/22/23 HD DVR's. Hit them up with you need that since D* doesn't carry a number of you HD locals yet, like WTTW, WCIU etc.

Also make sure that you have an ethernet network connect where you're going to be putting the DVR since they use that for the DirecTV on Demand feature and Media share which allows you to view pictures and videos from your PC and play MP3's also.


Follow the above advice from RAD and you will be set. Don't forget to get some free HBO stuff to so you can check out some more HD.

You may want to also include the Choice Xtra + HD Package. This will give you natianal geographic, smithsonian, hdnet, and hdnet movies plus some more.

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#5 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:37 PM

You may want to also include the Choice Xtra + HD Package. This will give you natianal geographic, smithsonian, hdnet, and hdnet movies plus some more.


That is called the HD Extra Pack.

#6 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 01:13 PM

For your primary TV location, by all means get a DVR. The current models are:
HR20
HR21
HR22
HR23
These will appear with dash numbers after them, e.g., HR20-700, HR21-200, etc. The dash number indicates the manufacturer, and for the most part is of no concern.

The HR20 (only) includes built in off-air tuners. The others require an add-on tuner device called the AM21 (if you are interested in ota reception).

The HR22 and HR23 have larger hard drives (about twice the recording capacity), but you can add an external esata drive to any of the models to increase storage, so that isn't a critical factor, just a nice one.

If you have mulitple TV locations, you might consider getting HD receivers or DVRs for all of them, even if they are only SD TV's. The reasons are (1) you will be paying the HD fee regardless (once per account), and (2) you will have access to HD only channels (such as Smithsonian) that are not available on an SD receiver.

#7 OFFLINE   twiecek

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 11:00 PM

Thanks for all your input. I called D* to order the receiver, etc and was told thay couldn't gurantee me an HR22. (I didn;t even know that there is a HR23). They would send me whatever they had on hand. This really pi$$ed me off, esp since I've been with them over 12 years. She even told me to go to Best Buy and buy what I want. So I found one on ebay that I hope will be fine. I asked about the AM21, and she told I had to wait till I'm up and running (don't know why). When I call back I'll see what other freebies I can get.

#8 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 09:35 AM

Thanks for all your input. I called D* to order the receiver, etc and was told thay couldn't gurantee me an HR22. (I didn;t even know that there is a HR23). They would send me whatever they had on hand. This really pi$$ed me off, esp since I've been with them over 12 years. She even told me to go to Best Buy and buy what I want. So I found one on ebay that I hope will be fine. I asked about the AM21, and she told I had to wait till I'm up and running (don't know why). When I call back I'll see what other freebies I can get.


Make sure if you buy on eBay that it is from an authorized D* dealer. Receivers from individuals can be a crapshoot because the seller might not understand D*'s leasing model. If you "buy" someone else's leased receiver, D* won't activate it. And yes, it seems the D* computer system won't allow them to order an Am21 - free or not - until there is a compatible receiver activated on the account.

#9 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:06 PM

It's so easy even a CAVEMAN can do it!!!

Welcome to the 21ST CENTURY!!!
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#10 OFFLINE   twiecek

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 02:30 PM

Make sure if you buy on eBay that it is from an authorized D* dealer. Receivers from individuals can be a crapshoot because the seller might not understand D*'s leasing model. If you "buy" someone else's leased receiver, D* won't activate it. And yes, it seems the D* computer system won't allow them to order an Am21 - free or not - until there is a compatible receiver activated on the account.


They installer just left. All seems to be good. He said the AM21 that someone said I needed is built into the receiver now. If true, kewl!!

#11 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 04:43 PM

The HR20 has built in ATSC OTA tuners. Newer models (HR21, HR22, HR23) do not have built in tuners. That is in effect what the AM21 does is provides the tuners for the newer model DVRs.

If your DVR does indeed have built in tuners, then it must be an HR20.

#12 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:00 PM

They installer just left. All seems to be good. He said the AM21 that someone said I needed is built into the receiver now. If true, kewl!!

Actually, the AM21 is the tuner that they removed from the HR21 and newer models. So, you must have the HR20.
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#13 OFFLINE   twiecek

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:42 PM

I checked and double-checked. I do have a HR22 with the AM21 built in. I'm getting all the local channels. And when I called them back, I got 3 months of HD Extra and $10 credit per month for 6 months.

#14 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:29 PM

I checked and double-checked. I do have a HR22 with the AM21 built in. I'm getting all the local channels. And when I called them back, I got 3 months of HD Extra and $10 credit per month for 6 months.



What do you mean you have a HR22 with a built in AM21, AFAIK there is no such box.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#15 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 09:01 PM

You are not getting OTA local channels!!!

Do they have -1 after them like 2-1 or 5-1???

You are getting Local Channels supplied by Directv in MPEG-4 Format not OTA channels.
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#16 OFFLINE   twiecek

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:34 AM

The technician that did the install said that the AM21 is built in. But, I'm not getting channels with the -1, so I'll look into this.

#17 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 10:39 AM

To get the OTA channels you have to input your cable from your OTA Antenna which I assume you have. Then you will get your local channels via you OTA Antenna as -1 channel numbers such as I get which is 2-1, 5-1, 11-1, etc.

When I get rain fade I can usually switch over to the OTA channels and still receive and view them.
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#18 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:09 AM

The technician that did the install said that the AM21 is built in. But, I'm not getting channels with the -1, so I'll look into this.


The technician was mistaken. There are no receivers with AM21s "built in".

The HR20 has built-in OTA tuners, but hasn't been made in 18 months at least, and are only available as refurbs. This box is SILVER.

Posted Image
HR20

The HR21/22/23 have no OTA tuners built-in, and need an AM21 external tuner module in order to tune in OTA signals. All of these units are black.

Posted Image
HR22

Posted Image
AM21 sitting on top of HR22

The most likely reason the installer was mistaken is because installers never see AM21s. AM21s are not given to installers to install; they must be ordered directly from DirecTV (or from a couple of authorized retailers), and DirecTV will only sell you one AFTER you have a compatible HD-DVR installed. AM21s are not even stocked at the local warehouse where the installers get their equipment, and most have never seen one.

#19 OFFLINE   ArcinGuy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:09 AM

twiecek, it is completely impossible for any directv csr (or anyone else you will get on the phone there) to specify which model of receiver will be provided during an upgrade, replacement, or new install, the warehouse makes the decision based upon supply. You can however pick freely at best buy or any other local directv retailer. Also, asking for free things tends to discourage the agents from giving you anything as they hear people beg for compensation over minor events all the time.

Rudeney, It is risky to purchase from 3rd party due to lease/owned issues, but it is perfectly fine to obtain the card number and rid from the seller and call directv to check on the lease/own status, just tell them the truth its not top secret info.

#20 OFFLINE   Richierich

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 06:07 AM

Or you can call Directv and get the number of your local installer and then call them and tell them what you want and they will tell you if they have that unit in stock. If they do then you can call Directv back and request that unit and then get the order # to give to the installer and then call the installer back and give him that info and tell him that you want an HR22 or whatever.

That is how I get what I want. I did buy an HR23 on Ebay from an authorized dealer and Directv verified that the card was legit so now I have an HR23.
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