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SWM or MS setup? (Newbie alert!)


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12 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Kevin872

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:23 PM

I know similar questions have been asked, and I've gone through various postings but since many setups vary, I figured I'd be more specific to my situation. So, here it goes:

About a year ago I upgraded to HD. They installed a Slimline (5 LNB) dish and ran one extra cable to my living room. (In hind sight, I wish I had them run a fourth cable from the dish but I digress). So my current setup is:

Slimline dish > 3 cables out
2 cables are running to my HR20-700 in living room.
1 cable is running to my HR23-700 in bedroom. When HD first installed, I only had an SD legacy tuner in the bedroom which is why only one cable. :(

The issue:
In the near future, I would like to run a second cable to the HR23 so I can utilize both tuners. BUT a little further down the road I might want to add one legacy SD tuner and one more HD DVR (or just two HD DVRs).

So this means that I may eventually need up to 8 coax cables (definitely no more... not in this house anyway). So it would seem that my requirements are:

1) I need a fourth cable coming from my dish first of all. Now, can I do this myself? Is it hard? Will it require dismantling the dish and/or re-aiming? Unfortunately it is kind of high up and in an awkward position.

2) I have concluded that I either need a WB68 multi-switch *OR* a SWM-8. It seems that SWM is probably the way to go, but I seem to have read about people having problems with SWM setups. It seems like lots of people use both but it doesn't seem necessary to me for my situation. Also, can either option support at least one legacy SD receiver?


Ideally I would like to do this myself. I have no doubt that I CAN do it myself. Really the biggest problem that I know I will have is running that last cable from the dish. I wouldn't really have a problem paying an installer to do it but I will likely be having a new roof put on my house within a year or so, which of course is going to cost me to have DirecTV remove and replace/re-aim the dish when the new roof is installed. I actually asked the installer to mount the dish on the side of the house when I upgraded to HD and he said it was too heavy. Oh well.

Any advice would be welcome! Thanks!
Happy DirecTV customer since 7-14-2003!

AU9 5LNB dish > SWM-16 > 8-way splitter

HR24-500 > HDMI to Panasonic 60" plasma & optical to Sony 5.1 DD/DTS Surround with 'Harmony One' in LR
HR21-700 > HDMI to Toshiba 37" LCD in MBR
HR20-700 > HDMI to Phillips 22" LCD in playroom
H21-200 > Component to Vulkano placeshifter in basement

MRV & Networking: DECA, connected to Internet

Gigabit LAN, Comcast Cable Internet, Lots o' computers

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#2 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 10:41 PM

Skip the legacy receiver and move to a SWM LNB.
One cable down from the dish, split to feed up to 4 HD DVRs [both tuners working].
The SWM LNB is a "drop in" replacement for the Slimline, so no alignment should be needed [if you're careful].
A.K.A VOS

#3 OFFLINE   roadrunner1782

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:10 PM

Or it won't just drop in like mine didn't and you can beat on it and watch the dish shake, all the while thinking to yourself "damn i wish i didnt just hit this dish" as i hit it again. But seriously even though i had to "finess" my lnb in, i still had A1 signals an all 5 sats. I totally agree that as long as your careful a swm lnb would be the way to go!!

#4 OFFLINE   Kevin872

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 11:24 PM

So is it supposed to be an easy swap? I.E., remove a bolt or two to remove the old LNB assembly and pop the new one in? This will in no way affect my signal or locals? Also, what kind of switch or splitter would I need to get with this?

Like Roadrunner hinted at, I don't really want to run into any major problems.

The primary reason why I wanted to retain the legacy tuner is because I still have one activated (but not connected) from when I got the HR23. My wife & I toyed with the idea of putting it in our kid's room. Since I already have it activated, this is obviously the cheapest option for now.
Happy DirecTV customer since 7-14-2003!

AU9 5LNB dish > SWM-16 > 8-way splitter

HR24-500 > HDMI to Panasonic 60" plasma & optical to Sony 5.1 DD/DTS Surround with 'Harmony One' in LR
HR21-700 > HDMI to Toshiba 37" LCD in MBR
HR20-700 > HDMI to Phillips 22" LCD in playroom
H21-200 > Component to Vulkano placeshifter in basement

MRV & Networking: DECA, connected to Internet

Gigabit LAN, Comcast Cable Internet, Lots o' computers

#5 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:30 AM

So is it supposed to be an easy swap? I.E., remove a bolt or two to remove the old LNB assembly and pop the new one in? This will in no way affect my signal or locals? Also, what kind of switch or splitter would I need to get with this?

Like Roadrunner hinted at, I don't really want to run into any major problems.

The primary reason why I wanted to retain the legacy tuner is because I still have one activated (but not connected) from when I got the HR23. My wife & I toyed with the idea of putting it in our kid's room. Since I already have it activated, this is obviously the cheapest option for now.

Two screws hold the LNB to the arm on the dish. If you lose your balance and grab the dish [to save your fall] all bets are off. Short of something like that, it's "drop in" with no alingment needed.
The SWM LNB only needs one coax. A Skywalker 4-way splitter is what I use.
"Option 2", run four cables off the dish to a SWM8, use the same Skywalker splitter, and have three legacy ports for older receivers.

The LNB is here: http://www.solidsign...sp?PROD=SL5-SWM

The SWM8 here: http://www.solidsign....asp?PROD=SWM-8

The Skywalker here: http://www.a1compone....aspx?item=4350

"Any advice would be welcome!"
My first reply would be the way I'd go.
A.K.A VOS

#6 OFFLINE   Kevin872

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 01:40 AM

Sounds like SWM is the way to go. So I guess it's down to whether I implement this at the LNB or via a SWM-8. I'd really like to keep legacy support (for the reason stated above).

I was looking at the pictures of the SWM-8 and I think I can see where the 4 sat cables plug into, and the legacy ports seem pretty obvious, but which output on the SWM-8 would go to the splitter? Then I assume the splitter would provide 4 single coax lines to 4 DVRs (using SWM).

I'm not making any final decisions... just looking at my options. My daughter really doesn't need a DVR (she's only 4) and the only reason we are considering putting a tuner in her room in the first place is to free up our HD TV in the living room. :) Eventually I want more DVRs but not yet. This is why I figured I'd hook up my old legacy tuner. It's already activated so all I need is to provide the right connection (and get the second tuner working in the HR23 while I'm at it).
Happy DirecTV customer since 7-14-2003!

AU9 5LNB dish > SWM-16 > 8-way splitter

HR24-500 > HDMI to Panasonic 60" plasma & optical to Sony 5.1 DD/DTS Surround with 'Harmony One' in LR
HR21-700 > HDMI to Toshiba 37" LCD in MBR
HR20-700 > HDMI to Phillips 22" LCD in playroom
H21-200 > Component to Vulkano placeshifter in basement

MRV & Networking: DECA, connected to Internet

Gigabit LAN, Comcast Cable Internet, Lots o' computers

#7 OFFLINE   mobandit

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 07:11 AM

On the SWM-8 there are two "SWM" ports, that are capable of feeding your HR-series DVR's. Each of these outputs can be split to feed separate DVR's, with one cable. I have two HD-DVR's, so I just ran a cable from each SWM port on the SWM-8 to each DVR, thus no need for splitters, at all. I have two legacy receivers so I connected each one of them to a legacy port. Works like a charm, no real problems with the device whatsoever.

ETCM (SS/SW), USN (RET)
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#8 OFFLINE   jpitlick

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 07:51 AM

It is also important to mention that only the SWM1 port can accept the required power inserter with the SWM-8 implementation.

HR20-700 attached via HDMI to an Onkyo TX-SR605S connected via HDMI to a Sony KDF-42WE655 42" Grand Vega Rear Projection LCD
H21-100 attached via HDMI to Sceptre X246W-1080P 24" LCD and attached via S-Video to Windows 7 PC w/Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600
HR22-100 attached via HDMI to a ProScan 32LB30Q 32" LCD
SWM-8/STS-4
SlimLine Dish w/SL5 LNB
All receviers connected to gigabit switches and 25/25 Mbps FiOS

#9 OFFLINE   randyk47

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 07:56 AM

Because of the location of my dish, some 35 feet up on a 45 degree pitched roof, I decided to go with the SWM-8. Installing the SWM-8, PI, and 4-way splitter was simple, maybe took me 15 minutes. I connected through the SWM1 port to the splitter and hid the PI behind the AV stack for the theater room to power the whole setup. What took the longest was going from receiver to receiver to bring them back on line. Only had one that gave me a problem but that was my fault in that I forgot that one of my HR's was set to single tuner in one of the menus. Took me awhile, and several reboots, to discover my mistake but reset to dual tuner and everything came together. No quite a week of use but I'm very pleased with the whole setup and the signal and picture quality are great.
Elite 70" HD LED/HR44/AM21/Denon AVR/Harmony 900
Samsung 52" HD LCD/HR21/Yamaha HTR/Harmony One
Samsung 40" HD LED/HR23/AM21/Pioneer HTR/Harmony 900
Samsung 32" HD LCD/OTA
Slimline Dish
SWM16
MRV
Attic Mounted HD OTA
U-verse Internet/Phone

#10 ONLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:22 AM

Sounds like SWM is the way to go. So I guess it's down to whether I implement this at the LNB or via a SWM-8. I'd really like to keep legacy support (for the reason stated above).

I was looking at the pictures of the SWM-8 and I think I can see where the 4 sat cables plug into, and the legacy ports seem pretty obvious, but which output on the SWM-8 would go to the splitter? Then I assume the splitter would provide 4 single coax lines to 4 DVRs (using SWM).

I'm not making any final decisions... just looking at my options. My daughter really doesn't need a DVR (she's only 4) and the only reason we are considering putting a tuner in her room in the first place is to free up our HD TV in the living room. :) Eventually I want more DVRs but not yet. This is why I figured I'd hook up my old legacy tuner. It's already activated so all I need is to provide the right connection (and get the second tuner working in the HR23 while I'm at it).

Here is something to read on both: http://forums.direct...uleTraining.pdf
A.K.A VOS

#11 OFFLINE   clb4g9

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:39 AM

So is it supposed to be an easy swap? I.E., remove a bolt or two to remove the old LNB assembly and pop the new one in? This will in no way affect my signal or locals? Also, what kind of switch or splitter would I need to get with this?

Like Roadrunner hinted at, I don't really want to run into any major problems.

The primary reason why I wanted to retain the legacy tuner is because I still have one activated (but not connected) from when I got the HR23. My wife & I toyed with the idea of putting it in our kid's room. Since I already have it activated, this is obviously the cheapest option for now.


I think your best option is still the SWM-LNB. If you are looking at solidsignal or ebay to purchase the SWM-LNB, they are going to be quite a bit cheaper. You're looking at $100 for a SWM-8 switch (cheapest on ebay) as opposed to $45-ish (cheapest on ebay) for the SWM-LNB. The SWM-Lnb is going to require less work in that you won't have to run any new cabling from the dish.

For the $55 extra you're saving, you can buy a D12 SD Receiver (or come pretty close) that is compatible with SWM technology. And if you call D* and explain your situation, and that you are purchasing a SWM-LNB to install and need to upgrade your legacy receiver, I'm betting they'll upgrade you at either a discounted price or for free (in exchange for a year commitment of course).

#12 OFFLINE   randyk47

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:43 AM

The training manual in VeryOldSchool's posting is great. I studied it pretty thoroughly before ordering my SWM-8 and used the diagram on page 30 for my setup.
Elite 70" HD LED/HR44/AM21/Denon AVR/Harmony 900
Samsung 52" HD LCD/HR21/Yamaha HTR/Harmony One
Samsung 40" HD LED/HR23/AM21/Pioneer HTR/Harmony 900
Samsung 32" HD LCD/OTA
Slimline Dish
SWM16
MRV
Attic Mounted HD OTA
U-verse Internet/Phone

#13 OFFLINE   Kevin872

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 11:45 PM

Thanks all for your input, and yes, the training guide is very good! Pretty much took care of any remaining questions or concerns. I'll decide one way or another on how I want to do this. I'll have to wait for the weather to improve anyway. :grin: I like to plan ahead on stuff so I wanted to get an idea of what I am up against and what my options are.

It's a shame that they apparently don't do free wiring upgrades anymore. I'd be happy to add another $5 tuner fee to my bill if I thought they'd do the wiring changes for free. Regardless of what I do (SWM LNB or add SWM-8), my biggest issue is the location of the dish (which happens to be right near the power lines coming into my house).

Edited by Kevin872, 30 December 2008 - 11:50 PM.

Happy DirecTV customer since 7-14-2003!

AU9 5LNB dish > SWM-16 > 8-way splitter

HR24-500 > HDMI to Panasonic 60" plasma & optical to Sony 5.1 DD/DTS Surround with 'Harmony One' in LR
HR21-700 > HDMI to Toshiba 37" LCD in MBR
HR20-700 > HDMI to Phillips 22" LCD in playroom
H21-200 > Component to Vulkano placeshifter in basement

MRV & Networking: DECA, connected to Internet

Gigabit LAN, Comcast Cable Internet, Lots o' computers




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