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11-year D* customer wants opinions/Upgrade to HD.


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#1 OFFLINE   dubz1

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:22 PM

Need advice. I'm a LONG time D* customer (11 years), I just upgraded to my first HDTV as well. I have old hardware, small round dish, and original Tivo (lifetime sub.). I pay only $55 TOTAL for 1 tivo, 1 SD PVR, 1 sd reciever. I believe I have the Choice Package. I have no contractI only pay $5 for my second PVR, and don’t pay any additional fee's due to my lifetime sub of Tivo.

I'd like to upgrade to a HD Dish, and HD DVR. I need 2 HD DVR's, and 1 normal reciever. I'm thinking of asking for the upgrade as a new customer would get. I'd like to keep my cost about the same, gain HD channels, and not loose any of my current channels. I mainly watch Spike, Fox Sports West, and local TV ( Los Angeles area). What do you guys suggest? Call and ask for the new customer deal, or just buy my own HD Slimline dish, and my own HD DVR, add the HD service, and call it a day?

I don’t really "NEED" the second HD DVR, but it would be nice in case I upgraded my bedroom TV. I'd like to keep my Tivo, maybe set that one up in my son's room, this way I still have no payments for any of my DVR services. This was explicitaly stated to me when I got my Tivo. I would NEVER be charged for DVR services. Hence the reson I don’t pay for the second DVR service. Any and all opinions wanted.

Throw darts, or advice at me. Oh, I have an old multiplexer as well 2X4 leaving me 1 output short to my current need. I'd like to be able to utilize both DVR's, and SA reciever. My cables are also old, and I'd like new cables as well.
Thanks in advance.

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#2 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:50 PM

:welcome_s to DBSTalk!

Here's what I'd do - call D* and ask for what you want. You might just get it. If not, then politely thank the CSR and hang up. Then, call back and get to the Customer Retention department by saying the word "cancel" at the IVR prompt. When you get the CSR, don't threaten to cancel - just be nice and explain your situation. Use wording such as, "I am exploring my options, with (cable, FIOS, Uverse, Dish, etc.) and want to know hat D* can offer me. Don't be afraid to ask for exactly what you want. If you don't get it, just keep asking the CSR if that's the best that can be done for you, and finally, make your decision.

#3 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:52 PM

Seems like you've put a lot of thought into it. You have some things in your favor in that you're long-term customer with 10+ years, I assume you pay your bill on-time and in full, and as I did, you made the smart choice to take Lifetime DVR service when it was made available. Maybe you've lurked here for awhile before posting, but just so you're aware, the current MPEG 4-capable HD DVRs feature in-house design and the MPEG 4-capable TiVo won't be available until sometime next year. If you feel TiVo interface, or lack thereof is a deal breaker, you might want to wait. I've found that I'm pretty happy with the HR2x series, but YMMV.

Some will dispute it, but if you're a high roller, Sports package(s), premium channels, and PPV, that adds to your value as a customer. If you're just doing base package, not so much. You can ask for the new customer deal, but you'd better have a back-up plan if they decline in so far as, what price would you be comfortable with? Is there another provider you could be happy with? If so, take their offer to the table with DIRECTV, but if you decide to play hard ball, be prepared to migrate. Since you have Lifetime DVR, I'd guess you're happy with DIRECTV, so I doubt you'd really want to switch. Just be aware that folks who have told reps, "I either get this deal or I'm gone!!!", have been shown the door and there has been a tightening down as far as deals go. I guess I'd just say try to be polite and reasonable with the rep and have an idea of what you can live with right now and what you can try for down the road. Good luck and I will say I absolutely love DIRECTV-HD.

Ceton 6 tuner eth, Cisco Tuning Adapter 1520, TWC Digital Explorer Pak and Standard Internet, TiVo HD (upgraded to 500 GB) for OTA,TC-P50U50, SONY NSZ-GT1 BD player and Google TV box, Yamaha RX-V373 A/V receiver, Squeezebox Duet music streaming device, Xbox 360 

 

 


#4 OFFLINE   dewzan

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:45 PM

well first, and this is very important, the 11 year old should, (everyone say it with me now) ask mommy and daddy for permission.

#5 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:58 PM

I think in most cases, you will come out ahead dealing with DirecTV as opposed to purchasing equipment on your own and having it installed. DirecTV will in most cases provide the new dish, and install it as well as installing any additional cable runs that are needed for your new receivers.

In regards to the cost, while you might be able to get one HD-DVR for free, I think it may be a long shot to get 2 HD-DVR's and a HD receiver as well for free. Also, regarding your monthly cost, you should be able to keep your current package and add on HD service ($10/month). If you keep your Tivo activated, then you won't need to pay the DVR fee, however, if you get these 3 new receivers and then also keep the Tivo, you'd be paying an additional $5/month for the extra receiver. Deactivating the Tivo, would mean you wouldn't pay the $5/month, but would then have the $6/month DVR fee.

Just some things to keep in mind. Also, if you end up swapping out receivers, be very careful if you deactivate your primary receiver. When that happens, the CSR needs to manually re-add all of your grandfathered services back onto to replacement receiver. If done incorrectly, you will lose your grandfathered status and/or your lifetime DVR. It is something that can be corrected, but just keep an eye out for it.

- Merg

Today's problems don't worry me, I haven't solved yesterday's yet.

SlimLine-3 Dish w/ SWM16 (HD Service / WHDVR) / Full Setup
HR34-700 / Panasonic TC-P50G25 HDTV / HDMI / Networked - DECA / Family Room
HR44-700 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom

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#6 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:01 PM

Deactivating the Tivo, would mean you wouldn't pay the $5/month, but would then have the $6/month DVR fee.


The Lifetime DVR service is linked to the account, not any equipment. I have no TiVos active with DIRECTV, but I still have Lifetime DVR Service.

Ceton 6 tuner eth, Cisco Tuning Adapter 1520, TWC Digital Explorer Pak and Standard Internet, TiVo HD (upgraded to 500 GB) for OTA,TC-P50U50, SONY NSZ-GT1 BD player and Google TV box, Yamaha RX-V373 A/V receiver, Squeezebox Duet music streaming device, Xbox 360 

 

 


#7 OFFLINE   dubz1

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:33 PM

Great info folks. Thanks for the welcome, and info. I too find being polite usually works in one's favor. Yes, It is/was my understanding that lifetime was on the unit itself, however its mentioned above that its on the account? That's great news, definatally don’t want to lose that! So, If I call, be polite, ask for the upgrade dish, HD DVR, and maybe buy 1 HD DVR for like 99 bucks, keep my current Tivo (if service has to stay on to get lifetime)(go to son's room), ask for the HD program upgrade, all in all it should only add like ten bucks to my bill. HOPEFULLY I wont be on a contract, but that wont be a deal breaker..

THEN, maybe when the new Tivo comes out, I can jump on that, and not bug them for another 11 years.
I have read up "some" here and there, technology changes SO much, I've no clue what MPEG-4 is, or if its in my current market.

Just to verify, the DVR LIFETIME service is linked to the account, NOT the Reciever? Just want to make sure, in case the day comes the old trusty Tivo has to be sent to Electronics graveyard.
My other DVR has the D* software, we dont use it as much, but I'm sure we can get used to the interface. But yeah, Tivo has be very easy for us to use.
What current HD DVR should I be looking at? I want HDMI, DD, and 1080P, and any other new technology (not sure why, I don’t even know how to use most of it) to drive my new plasma PDP. :D

I agree with playing hardball, I wont go there yet, but I WOULD like the New Customer deal, they are getting 3 HD recievers, 2 of which are DVR's! That’s insane! Not to mention 20 something bucks off service for a year! WOW! I wanted to gather more info prior to calling, I like to enter into a conversation knowing what I'm talking about. Any other tips, or tricks, or what I should be asking for? What's SWM? What "dish" should I ask for? Sorry…too many Q's at once..

#8 OFFLINE   cariera

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:43 PM

I WOULD like the New Customer deal, they are getting 3 HD recievers, 2 of which are DVR's!


I have not seen this deal, where did you get this information?:)

#9 OFFLINE   ThomasM

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 07:45 PM

If you've been with DirecTV for 11 years and haven't made many changes to your account in recent years, you may have a "grandfathered" programming package. It has been documented here that making major account changes like you are looking to do often switches you to one of the current package offerings.

Before you agree to ANYTHING with DirecTV, go to their website and see what the REGULAR prices are for the current packages. Remember, each additional receiver (any type) is an additional $5/month. I don't know how your "lifetime" DVR deal will affect your upgrade, but again I have seen posters on this system complain that a major upgrade DROPS the lifetime DVR agreement and it's not easy getting it reinstated.

Your chance of getting the "new customer offer" is pretty slim. As far as DirecTV is concerned, "you are a new customer only once". That is why a lot of people have canceled and had their wife/girlfriend/family member sign up as a "new" subscriber to get all the deals that are offered when they wanted to upgrade to HD or more receivers.

Plan wisely and agree to NOTHING unless you ask about ALL the little details that are often missing from the conversation with the CSR....

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#10 OFFLINE   dcowboy7

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:04 PM

well first, and this is very important, the 11 year old should, (everyone say it with me now) ask mommy and daddy for permission.


:lol:

yea i thought u had to be 18.

Edited by dcowboy7, 15 December 2009 - 08:16 PM.


#11 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 08:56 PM

The Lifetime DVR service is linked to the account, not any equipment. I have no TiVos active with DIRECTV, but I still have Lifetime DVR Service.


That's my bad... I knew that, but completely brain farted there. Thanks for correcting me.

The big issue is that when making additions/changes to your account to make sure that they do no remove the service and add on the monthly DVR service.

- Merg

Today's problems don't worry me, I haven't solved yesterday's yet.

SlimLine-3 Dish w/ SWM16 (HD Service / WHDVR) / Full Setup
HR34-700 / Panasonic TC-P50G25 HDTV / HDMI / Networked - DECA / Family Room
HR44-700 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom

HR24-100 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom


#12 OFFLINE   dubz1

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 11:27 PM

I have not seen this deal, where did you get this information?:)


I "thought" i had seen it on a local mail flyer..I'll keep an eye out for it. I looked on D*.com, and saw nothing to the fact.

If you've been with DirecTV for 11 years and haven't made many changes to your account in recent years, you may have a "grandfathered" programming package. It has been documented here that making major account changes like you are looking to do often switches you to one of the current package offerings.

Before you agree to ANYTHING with DirecTV, go to their website and see what the REGULAR prices are for the current packages. Remember, each additional receiver (any type) is an additional $5/month. I don't know how your "lifetime" DVR deal will affect your upgrade, but again I have seen posters on this system complain that a major upgrade DROPS the lifetime DVR agreement and it's not easy getting it reinstated.

Your chance of getting the "new customer offer" is pretty slim. As far as DirecTV is concerned, "you are a new customer only once". That is why a lot of people have canceled and had their wife/girlfriend/family member sign up as a "new" subscriber to get all the deals that are offered when they wanted to upgrade to HD or more receivers.

Plan wisely and agree to NOTHING unless you ask about ALL the little details that are often missing from the conversation with the CSR....


I've looked at the current packages, looks like I will HAVE to upgrade to the premier package to get my local Fox Sports west! DAYUMMM! Thats double what I currently pay.. I think I'm getting a better feel for what I want. Maybe I'll just ask for the equipment upgrade HD DVR, & Dish. Keep the rest of what I have, add HD service.

That's my bad... I knew that, but completely brain farted there. Thanks for correcting me.

The big issue is that when making additions/changes to your account to make sure that they do no remove the service and add on the monthly DVR service.

- Merg



Yeah. Detalils is one reason I'm asking. Gotta research before I make any moves. Details such as keeping my Tivo so that my lifetime does not accidentally get removed. 15 bucks a month is 15 bucks a month..Every bit helps these days.

#13 OFFLINE   Daggett

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 02:51 AM

We were customers for 10 years and upgraded to HD earlier this year (May). We still had the exact same equipment from when DirecTV bought out Primestar. I went straight to the retention department. The first time I called they would not give me any deals at all, and quoted me the full price. The CSR guy suggested I call back in 1 week, after the first of the next month, and I might get a deal. I called back and they gave me a better price, but it was still quite high. I waited another week and called back and had to push them a bit, finally they agreed to give me 1 HD DVR at half price with lease, free installation (dish and cable work), waived DVR fee for 6 months and Showtime for 3 months (don't really care about that). I didn't want any more DVRs (only have 1 HD TV), but they would have cost full lease price each (I think it was about $350). We also got to keep the old equipment to use on an old TV downstairs. Your mileage may vary.

#14 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 09:21 AM

That's my bad... I knew that, but completely brain farted there. Thanks for correcting me.


No prob, I understand how tough it is to keep stuff straight. Hope I didn't come across harsh.

I've no clue what MPEG-4 is, or if its in my current market.



MPEG-4 is the compression standard that DIRECTV uses for it's HD signal now, so it's definitely in your market. Very little, if any, MPEG-2 HD left.

Just to verify, the DVR LIFETIME service is linked to the account, NOT the Reciever?


Well, what does it say on your bill or online statement? If it says something other than "Lifetime DVR Service" you need to call and get that straightened out.

Ceton 6 tuner eth, Cisco Tuning Adapter 1520, TWC Digital Explorer Pak and Standard Internet, TiVo HD (upgraded to 500 GB) for OTA,TC-P50U50, SONY NSZ-GT1 BD player and Google TV box, Yamaha RX-V373 A/V receiver, Squeezebox Duet music streaming device, Xbox 360 

 

 


#15 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:41 AM

I've looked at the current packages, looks like I will HAVE to upgrade to the premier package to get my local Fox Sports west! DAYUMMM! Thats double what I currently pay.

Your "local" Regional Sports Netwrok should be included at no additional charge with your other locals with whatever package you get. If Fox Sports West isn't actually your local RSN, you can subscribe to the Regional Sports package for something like $13 a month and that will give you access to all of the RSN's (subject to blackout, of course). You shouldn't have to subscribe to the Premier Package to get what you're looking for.

And I kind of lost track of how many receivers you have now and/or will have if you get everything you want, but one (primary) receiver is included on your account with your programming package. All others besides that first one carry a $5 per month program mirroring charge. Just to make that clear.


OOPS! I forgot the most important thing......

WELCOME TO DBSTalk!!! :welcome_s

#16 OFFLINE   dubz1

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 04:15 PM

I need for now only 1 HD DVR, and 1 HD Dish. I am fine keeping my bedroom SD DVR, and putting my Tivo into my son's room, and get rid of his SD reciever. Looks like I've figured out what I want!

Thanks Guys!

I'm hoping my PQ greatly improves, because the SD programing on my TV looks pretty cruddy! Anyone know what the current wait time is from when you place a call, till delivery? Average, as I know parts of the country vary.

#17 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 06:40 PM

The one thing that will hold up your order is that you need to have a physical installation performed. In most cases, the lead time for that to happen is about a week, but it can be more or less depending on demand and other work going on in the area.

- Merg

Today's problems don't worry me, I haven't solved yesterday's yet.

SlimLine-3 Dish w/ SWM16 (HD Service / WHDVR) / Full Setup
HR34-700 / Panasonic TC-P50G25 HDTV / HDMI / Networked - DECA / Family Room
HR44-700 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom

HR24-100 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom


#18 OFFLINE   kbxm

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 10:04 AM

Dubz, the upgrade is worth it just for the PQ alone, but as was mentioned here, be sure to speak to someone there to find out what your final cost will be and get it in writing via email first.

I did pretty much what you're asking and it's been an on-and-off billing mess for years because they pretty much treated me as a new customer and not someone from the USSB days.

As a result, I'm getting hit with charges for DVR fees, HD fees and new package fees, all of which were to have been grandfathered in according to D* and my bill had gone up significantly because of it. In my case from $109 to $145 in just a few months.

I got the number for the VP of customer service from one of the folks here and after a nice conversation (she/her staff actually ARE very helpful) we email on a regular basis when my billing changes to something not agreed upon.

It's been worth it, but still....

#19 OFFLINE   dubz1

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 12:35 AM

finally made the call today, I found out that I DO have a contract. Guess it was news to me. Anyways, I pretty much asked for what I wanted, which was a new HD DVR, Dish, Instal, and nothing out of my pocket. THey abliged. I also got 3 months of a few movie channels. The lady also put a note for the next person whom I called, to giv me a year free HD service. So all is good IMO. Sure I'll have a 2 year cocntract, but I've upgraded for zero out of pocket. Install is on Sunday.

Anything else I should have the installer do while he is here? Or just slap up the new dish, and get the reciever hooked up and leave? Oh, I asked what model HD DVR i would be getting, she nad no clue.

#20 OFFLINE   joshjr

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 01:24 AM

finally made the call today, I found out that I DO have a contract. Guess it was news to me. Anyways, I pretty much asked for what I wanted, which was a new HD DVR, Dish, Instal, and nothing out of my pocket. THey abliged. I also got 3 months of a few movie channels. The lady also put a note for the next person whom I called, to giv me a year free HD service. So all is good IMO. Sure I'll have a 2 year cocntract, but I've upgraded for zero out of pocket. Install is on Sunday.

Anything else I should have the installer do while he is here? Or just slap up the new dish, and get the reciever hooked up and leave? Oh, I asked what model HD DVR i would be getting, she nad no clue.

They wont be able to tell you. Ask the installer when they arrive what HD reciever you are getting. If you need OTA then you may want a HR20 as it has the ATSC tuners in it. If not then you should hope for a HR22 or a HR23 since they have the larger hard drive.




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