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HD Upgrade Through Costco


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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 10:40 AM

I am a current DirecTV customer with three, active Series 2 DirecTivo's. I have the old style dish with a single LNB and two outputs. There are two cables going from the dish to the multiplexer in the living room. It feeds the three DirecTiVo's in the living room.

Yesterday, I bought a new HR-22-100 from Costco. It was no different from buying a can of peanuts. Just went through the line and home we went. I was not given any instructions as to what to do with it. What now? Do I just call DirecTV to set up an installation? Or does Costco somehow get involved in this? Don't want to break the seal on the box until I'm sure I know what is going on.

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#2 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 10:44 AM

You're going to need a new dish and a new multiswitch - you should probably call Directv and explain that you've gotten a new receiver but need an HD upgrade of your dish and switch, unless you're willing to buy those components from Ebay or someplace like Solid Signal and do it all yourself. Don't break the seal on the box until you're sure about what you're going to do next (e.g., call Directv or get the dish/switch yourself).

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#3 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:35 AM

You're going to need a new dish and a new multiswitch - you should probably call Directv and explain that you've gotten a new receiver but need an HD upgrade of your dish and switch, unless you're willing to buy those components from Ebay or someplace like Solid Signal and do it all yourself. Don't break the seal on the box until you're sure about what you're going to do next (e.g., call Directv or get the dish/switch yourself).

Your setup boggles the mind! :) How much is DirecTV obligated to do when you purchase a lease unit from one of their authorized dealers? Is the fact that I want to retain legacy TiVo's going to add to my cost? Will they include the SWM-8 module, or will I have to buy that myself? It was a lot simpler before HD came along.

Regarding the SWM-8 switch. I understand there are two legacy ports. Can those ports feed a multiswitch which can then feed more than one legacy receiver?

#4 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:56 AM

First, I'd take back that receiver to Costco immediately. Costco/Best Buy/Circuit City receivers are designed for people who are willing/able to do their own installations, including dish and switch purchases and installations if necessary. That doesn't sound like you, so you'll get a better deal doing the upgrade directly with DirecTV.

Second, DirecTV does NOT install or supply SWM-8 modules for residential installs, PERIOD. The only SWM equipment they use for residential installs are SWM LNBs, and those have no legacy support, so you won't get one. What you'll get is a Slimline dish and a WB68 multiswitch that supports 8 tuners, and requires a direct line to each tuner just like your current switch.

Once this is all set up, if you were to decide to replace one of your TiVos with an HR2x, THEN Costco would be a good deal, because you'd already have everything you need for it in place, including the cable runs. But, for now, call DirecTV and they'll take care of the entire upgrade at the best price.

#5 OFFLINE   LameLefty

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:38 PM

My setup is a bit of an odd case - like a lot of the sat TV geeks around here, sometimes I do things just because I can, not because it's the easiest way to do it. :lol:

In my case I had to add a second switch of some kind in order to make use of all ten tuners. I previously had just the WB68 but when I added additional DVRs over time I ran out of lines. And one of my TV locations is in a room over my garage pre-wired with only one run of RG6. So when I got another switch, I got an SWM so I could run both tuners on that DVR with just a single line, plus gain additional ports to run a second line to the other DVR that had only a single line before. Now I have lots of future upgrade/rearrangement options.

But back to your situation, I see IIP agrees with me: call Directv and see what they say. :)

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#6 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:12 PM

First, I'd take back that receiver to Costco immediately. Costco/Best Buy/Circuit City receivers are designed for people who are willing/able to do their own installations, including dish and switch purchases and installations if necessary. That doesn't sound like you, so you'll get a better deal doing the upgrade directly with DirecTV.

Second, DirecTV does NOT install or supply SWM-8 modules for residential installs, PERIOD. The only SWM equipment they use for residential installs are SWM LNBs, and those have no legacy support, so you won't get one. What you'll get is a Slimline dish and a WB68 multiswitch that supports 8 tuners, and requires a direct line to each tuner just like your current switch.

Once this is all set up, if you were to decide to replace one of your TiVos with an HR2x, THEN Costco would be a good deal, because you'd already have everything you need for it in place, including the cable runs. But, for now, call DirecTV and they'll take care of the entire upgrade at the best price.

I have no problem doing my own installations as I have always done even going back to the BUD days with hand cranks for azimuth and elevation. I am also computer savy. What I was really asking is what do I get for the cost paid for the HR-22? Am I really expected to now go out and buy my own dish and switches? I thought installation was part of the deal.

#7 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:12 PM

I am a current DirecTV customer with three, active Series 2 DirecTivo's. I have the old style dish with a single LNB and two outputs. There are two cables going from the dish to the multiplexer in the living room. It feeds the three DirecTiVo's in the living room.


One addition to what the others have posted. You want the non-SWM 5-LNB Slimline dish, and from that you will need to run four coax from dish to your multiswitch location. Put the WB68 (specifically) multiswitch at that location, then wire your DVR's just as they are now, two coax to each DVR for dual tuner operation.

The key item I've noted is the requirement for four coax from dish to multiswitch, as you currently only have two.

I can think of no way whatsoever that you can continue to support multiple legacy tuners, and the new DVR, with only two coax. SWM would let you run dual tuner on the new DVR, but that would only leave you one coax to support the other units, which isn't sufficient to even feed your legacy multiswitch. As an absolute minimum you are going to need one more coax, but if you have to pull one you are better off pulling two.

#8 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:15 PM

What I was really asking is what do I get for the cost paid for the HR-22? Am I really expected to now go out and buy my own dish and switches? I thought installation was part of the deal.


I think DirecTV's current policy regarding receivers or DVRs purchased from retail outlets is that the individual is responsible for the installation. If you order the DVR from DirecTV, then I think the upgrade installation is included.

#9 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 02:40 PM

I think DirecTV's current policy regarding receivers or DVRs purchased from retail outlets is that the individual is responsible for the installation. If you order the DVR from DirecTV, then I think the upgrade installation is included.

OK. I will give them a call next week and see if I can get a knowledgeable CSR. If I am responsible for the entire installation, then for sure it would be better to just get everything from DirecTV. I will also talk to Costco tomorrow to see what their understanding is of the current policy. Costco often has special deals with vendors that other retailers do not.

#10 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:07 PM

I think DirecTV's current policy regarding receivers or DVRs purchased from retail outlets is that the individual is responsible for the installation. If you order the DVR from DirecTV, then I think the upgrade installation is included.


Correct, which means you can still get DirecTV to do the installation, but you have to pay for it ($99 IIRC). Thus, it's cheaper to do the whole thing through DirecTV.

#11 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:23 PM

Correct, which means you can still get DirecTV to do the installation, but you have to pay for it ($99 IIRC). Thus, it's cheaper to do the whole thing through DirecTV.

Good to know. I guess the only downside would be that you aren't sure which receiver you will get. Their ads states that models vary. And I have the HR22-100 right here on my table. Of course I don't know if it is any better than an HR21, but at least I know it's brand new.

#12 OFFLINE   calljd

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:28 PM

As a loyal customer you should be able to get an hddvr for no more than $99 and free installation including the new dish and switch. I would not settle for anything less. If you can’t get a deal you like from the csr hang up and call back say “cancel” at the prompt. This will get you connected to the retention department. Retention will almost always give you a better deal. I have even seen what you want installed for free.

#13 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 06:27 PM

Correct, which means you can still get DirecTV to do the installation, but you have to pay for it ($99 IIRC). Thus, it's cheaper to do the whole thing through DirecTV.

I have not called DirecTV yet, but I did talk to the DirecTV guy at Costco. He showed me the special number used for Costco customers, and the key code to use. He assured me that the entire installation would be taken care of with no extra cost to me.

Now I need to talk to the regular DirecTV number to see what kind of deal they might make a customer that has been with them since June 1995. The DVR cost $170 at Costco. If D will give me a free HD DVR that would be a better deal. I have never received any kind of deal or installation from DirecTV in the 13-1/2 years I have been with them. It's probably my turn.

#14 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 12:42 PM

One addition to what the others have posted. You want the non-SWM 5-LNB Slimline dish, and from that you will need to run four coax from dish to your multiswitch location. Put the WB68 (specifically) multiswitch at that location, then wire your DVR's just as they are now, two coax to each DVR for dual tuner operation.

The key item I've noted is the requirement for four coax from dish to multiswitch, as you currently only have two.

I can think of no way whatsoever that you can continue to support multiple legacy tuners, and the new DVR, with only two coax. SWM would let you run dual tuner on the new DVR, but that would only leave you one coax to support the other units, which isn't sufficient to even feed your legacy multiswitch. As an absolute minimum you are going to need one more coax, but if you have to pull one you are better off pulling two.

Apparently, when I added a third DirecTiVo to the mix, I made a good decision in buying a Zimwell WB68 multi-switch, which seems to be exactly what I now need for HD. Looks like all I need from the installer is a new slim-line dish and a new, 4-coax run to the Zimwell. Things are looking up!

#15 OFFLINE   clb4g9

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:53 PM

I have not called DirecTV yet, but I did talk to the DirecTV guy at Costco. He showed me the special number used for Costco customers, and the key code to use. He assured me that the entire installation would be taken care of with no extra cost to me.

Now I need to talk to the regular DirecTV number to see what kind of deal they might make a customer that has been with them since June 1995. The DVR cost $170 at Costco. If D will give me a free HD DVR that would be a better deal. I have never received any kind of deal or installation from DirecTV in the 13-1/2 years I have been with them. It's probably my turn.


I would be shocked if you couldn't get a better deal from D* by just calling them. For the past year and a half, I have gotten upgrades every 6 months (2 HD-DVRs and 2 SD-DVRs) just by calling and requesting them. Be prepared to extend your service commitment by 2 years though, but it sounds like that won't be a problem for a customer since 1995! For all of these upgrades, I have only had to pay $20 out of pocket (shipping fee).....they have all charged me something like $99 for the receiver and then given me programming credits to offset them. Don't hesitate to try to work something creative out with them, especially if they're limited with what they can do for you.


As far as doing it yourself; I'm that guy as well. But I just bought a new slimline dish for the in-laws on ebay last week, and the cheapest one I could get was $55 shipped. So even if D* wants $99 for an HD-DVR plus installation of the new dish, you're still way ahead if you are spending $55 for the dish and $170 for the receiver. Oh, and one more thing....if D* does schedule an upgrade installation for you, that does include the multiswitch. So put yours in the closet and don't mention it. You never know when you'll need an extra!

#16 OFFLINE   MIKE0616

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 12:55 PM

I have not called DirecTV yet, but I did talk to the DirecTV guy at Costco. He showed me the special number used for Costco customers, and the key code to use. He assured me that the entire installation would be taken care of with no extra cost to me.

Now I need to talk to the regular DirecTV number to see what kind of deal they might make a customer that has been with them since June 1995. The DVR cost $170 at Costco. If D will give me a free HD DVR that would be a better deal. I have never received any kind of deal or installation from DirecTV in the 13-1/2 years I have been with them. It's probably my turn.



Also, be aware that the units you buy at Costco are warranted FOREVER by Costco so there is no need to get any warranty coverage from D* to cover those units. The sign that they have added at Costco has all the fine print on it re: terms and conditions and states that Costco is responsible for support and / or replacement of the units in case of failure.

THAT is the reason that I have bought my units from Costco, the LNB's failing or dish getting out of alignment, I will deal with myself, if the need should ever arise. If you are comfortable with this, as I am, which it sounds like you are, save the money on the "protection plan" from D* as its a waste, IMO.

#17 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 01:56 PM

Also, be aware that the units you buy at Costco are warranted FOREVER by Costco so there is no need to get any warranty coverage from D* to cover those units. The sign that they have added at Costco has all the fine print on it re: terms and conditions and states that Costco is responsible for support and / or replacement of the units in case of failure.

THAT is the reason that I have bought my units from Costco, the LNB's failing or dish getting out of alignment, I will deal with myself, if the need should ever arise. If you are comfortable with this, as I am, which it sounds like you are, save the money on the "protection plan" from D* as its a waste, IMO.


Costco is very good about swapping out merchandise. I don't doubt that if you take a bad D* receiver to them, they'll just swap it for a new one off the shelf.

The problem is, when you take it home to activate it, D* will see its RID as a "leased at retail" unit and they will extend your commitment. On top of that, when you deactivate the defective receiver, D* will trigger shipment of a recovery kit. Since Costco has your old defective unit, you won't be able to return it to D* and they will charge you a non-return fee.

Now, it's possible Costco has some special arrangement with D*, but I don't know about that. Given that D* often has problems internally with extending commitments and charging customers S&H even though they have the PP, I can't imagine this would be an easy process. And as for the PP being a waste, it also covers wiring, multiswitches, and the dish and LNB.

#18 OFFLINE   MIKE0616

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 04:57 AM

Costco is very good about swapping out merchandise. I don't doubt that if you take a bad D* receiver to them, they'll just swap it for a new one off the shelf.

The problem is, when you take it home to activate it, D* will see its RID as a "leased at retail" unit and they will extend your commitment. On top of that, when you deactivate the defective receiver, D* will trigger shipment of a recovery kit. Since Costco has your old defective unit, you won't be able to return it to D* and they will charge you a non-return fee.

Now, it's possible Costco has some special arrangement with D*, but I don't know about that. Given that D* often has problems internally with extending commitments and charging customers S&H even though they have the PP, I can't imagine this would be an easy process. And as for the PP being a waste, it also covers wiring, multiswitches, and the dish and LNB.


When I called the number that Costco gave me re: D* units (before buying), they indeed DO have a special deal with D* so the usual rules are off, thus you do not even have to visit their store to get a replacement unit, just call the Costco 800 number.

Why would D* deal with Costco in this manner, you ask yourself? Costco caters to the other end of the spectrum from Wally-World, so am reasonably sure that the average monthly per household revenue from Costco is quite a bit higher than the average, which would increase the profits / account for D*. Also, with the people at Costco answering questions, if you choose to call them, the support costs to D* should be lower for that group as well.

BTW, Costco used to sell E* hardware in their stores, so am sure that D* gave them a reasonably decent deal to get them to sell their units / subscriptions in their stores.

#19 OFFLINE   DeweySat

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 07:29 AM

When I called the number that Costco gave me re: D* units (before buying), they indeed DO have a special deal with D* so the usual rules are off, thus you do not even have to visit their store to get a replacement unit, just call the Costco 800 number.

Why would D* deal with Costco in this manner, you ask yourself? Costco caters to the other end of the spectrum from Wally-World, so am reasonably sure that the average monthly per household revenue from Costco is quite a bit higher than the average, which would increase the profits / account for D*. Also, with the people at Costco answering questions, if you choose to call them, the support costs to D* should be lower for that group as well.

BTW, Costco used to sell E* hardware in their stores, so am sure that D* gave them a reasonably decent deal to get them to sell their units / subscriptions in their stores.

When I called the special Costco number, and gave the CSR the code number, he told me that the deal through Costco was for new customers only! We went round and round on that point, but he wouldn't budge. I ended up with a free dish and install for the receiver I bought at Costco. I went back to Costco yesterday and read the sign at the DirecTV display. It definitely said for existing customers. The guy I talked to about the special number wasn't there, so I didn't have a chance to talk to him, but I think he was the kiosk manager. The CSR suggested that I talk to the installer when he comes to see what kind of programming deal he can get for me. I may have to talk to Costco Corporate before this fiasco is over. As has been said, Costco is very customer oriented.

#20 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 10:17 AM

When I called the number that Costco gave me re: D* units (before buying), they indeed DO have a special deal with D* so the usual rules are off, thus you do not even have to visit their store to get a replacement unit, just call the Costco 800 number.


That's good to know, but I certainly hope for the customer's sake that Costco has a good system in place to prevent my scenario from happening. I've been a Costco member for years and they are very good at customer service. I can see how they might be "too good" and hand a walk-in customer a replacement receiver without thinking twice. Then again, I know their computer system is fairly sophisticated, so hopefully they have it programmed to not allow this.




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