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New to Directv - Whole Home DVR install

nomad

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19 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:03 PM

I am switching to Directv from Dish. The feature that got my attention was the whole home DVR. I ordered directly through directv.com and then found this site. I have been reading around here for a couple of days now. Will I get a decent install having gone straight to D*? I see other threads with people looking for install references and such which made me nervous. What do I need to watch out for? Will they need to do any additional drilling on the side of my house, or should they be able to use existing mounts and cable holes? I am getting 2 HD DVR's and 1 HD Receiver. From what I have read, they should be able to link into my internet in my living room where I have 1 coax and an open port on a switch on my network. Will they need an additional coax or can one DVR and the DECA be on the same line from the coax switch? I realize the installer will take care of whatever needs to be done, I'm just trying to figure out what is best so I know what to watch for during the install.

Thanks for any help. I'm excited to see how the new system works!

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#2 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:04 PM

I can't say exactly what will happen for you "but" if you've have a coax to everywhere you want a receiver, then these should be used [if they're good].
If you have a run near your router, then the BB DECA will use it.
There are no "switches" in this system, but instead splitters like CATV, which can make things easier.
Also remember all of those that had a GREAT install mostly don't post here and those that didn't and need help have.
A.K.A VOS

#3 OFFLINE   awblackmon

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:29 PM

I am an installer. Your installer will let you know when he arrives if he will be able to use your existing cable. SOME regions have a shop that insists that the installer has to run new cable. You can only know when the day comes and the installer is standing in front of you. Should he tell you that he has to run new cable, you then decide to let him or not. I live in an area where local management wanted new cable run. Most customers didn't like it, but allowed it thinking it was the only choice they had. It isn't. You can insist, and see if the installer will back down. If not you can then cancel the job and call a local retail shop that will do a install using your existing cable. I always look to see if existing is in good shape. If not then I will convince a customer new cable is needed. That does not happen very often.

The latest line of receivers it the HR24 and H24. If the installer does not come with those you have to decide if you want to accept the older line. They work, but the 24 series works better. Our retail shop only installs the 24 series.

You will love the MRV. That technology has left Dish in the dust as far as I am concerned. It is like a DVR in every room. MRV has some shortcomings, but the list of them is not long at all. The benefits are a much longer list. Enjoy.

#4 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:42 PM

Thanks for the replies. I ordered my Dish service direct through their web page and the install went fine. They threw the support struts in my garbage and I didn't notice. About 3 months later I called and they sent someone else out because I was losing signal on windy days. They installed support struts to the house and the signal has been great ever since.

My house is only 4 years old, so I'm sure the cabling it is fine. The Dish guys did install a new cable (I think it's 2 actually) from where the dish is to where the main splitter is (the other end of the house) They used the rest of the pre-existing wiring. I'll see if they want to replace it or not and decide how to handle that.

I do have a coax near my router, but I'd rather not plug in ANOTHER box in the office. I already have my ATT DSL modem, an Apple router (since my computer didn't agree with the 2Wire router), a Linksys Vonage router, then a switch (since the Apple router only has 3 ports) I go straight from the router to a switch in the living room, which is where I would like to plug in the DECA. The DECA won't be able to plug directly into the router anyway, since there isn't an open port on it.

I will definitely be disappointed if they don't show up with 24's. From what I've read they work much better so I'd rather not start with hardware that is old and be "stuck" with it for 2 years.

Thanks so much for the replies. I'm sitting here still debating if I should be switching or not. I haven't made the call to Dish yet to break the news. I dread the fight they'll put up.

#5 OFFLINE   CincyJen

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:08 PM

Hi Randy,

My first post here but have been lurking since making my decision to switch from Time Warner to D*. What an awesome forum!! My install happened at the end of December and I couldn't be happier. Since I went from cable to D*, I'm not sure how much of my experience will be relevant to you, but here it is anyway!

Had to find a new ISP since I was dumping TW entirely, so my local phone company was out here installing the same time the D* installer was. My installer was able to go through my existing coax for all the different rooms; TW had installed those coax lines six years ago when I bought the house, so I was happy no new lines needed to be run. I also ordered two HD-DVR's, but also two SD receivers. First thing I asked him when he showed up was, "So, what kind of DVR's did you bring me?" and he said "You're a new install, HR-24's" which ended up being HR-24 100's. Wonder if the 24's are standard on new installations? I just didn't want to get stuck in a two-year contract with older tech, so I was more than pleased. The HR-24's completely kick butt compared to my TW DVR's, which were ancient, plodding, and relatively featureless.

I'm also really happy with the CinemaPlus connection. He hooked it up to my existing router in no time, and it downloads VOD an awful lot faster than I was expecting; not having access to instant VOD was the main thing that was keeping me from switching to D* from TW in the first place, and I'm happy to say I have no regrets. (I will say that NHL Network going to a separate paid sports tier on TW was about the last straw for me, though!)

He installed support struts without me asking, and the dish looks fine on the side of the house, low, where I wanted it so I could reach it in case I needed to ever clean snow or ice off of it. Thing is about as solid as imaginable

I was so over-the-moon about my excellent, professional, seamless installation that I called D* to tell them how terrific my installer was, and said the very same in the e-mail survey I received a few days later. Don't know if my comments will ever reach him, but hope they do, as he deserves recognition for his fine work. To sum up the entire experience, I'd say, "What took me so long to make this decision?"

Wish I had more to tell you. Hope everything goes well and keep us updated!

Edited to add: Oh, forgot to mention that I didn't opt for Whole Home DVR so unfortunately can't share my experiences with that.

Edited by CincyJen, 20 January 2011 - 08:23 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   awblackmon

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 08:17 PM

Me, the installer again. If I was doing your install I would use the cable you have from the dish to the splitter. This is assuming that the dish was put on the other side of the house due to line of sight being better on the other side of the house, then the lines were ran over to a cable box to access lines going into the rooms you wanted service. With SWM you will only need one of the cables. You will get a new dish. I would hook up to existing cables running around house. Place SWM switch where service goes into house, done. You might consider getting the Decca hooked up. having access to the VOD is pretty nice. (Video on demand) Oh, I am not a in house installer, so I have to pay for my service. NO discount for me.

As to hoping the receivers are 24 series, you can reschedule the install if you find that he does not have them on the truck that day, and hope they show up the next time a tech comes out. Customers wanting 24 series have done this when a earlier series is on the techs truck that day. Hopefully if you are getting MRV they will send 24's. I adapted my older series to MRV and it did impact the speed of how fast the guide comes up and such. There are external devices hooked up to the receivers now to get the MRV to work, and I really enjoy the service. It just made things a bit slower than they were before. 24's are just faster at what they do.

#7 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:49 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's nice to hear about the good installs. My dish is also low on the house. I think it makes the most sense, as you say sometimes you need to clear snow off of it (I think I have done that 2 times in 2 years.)

My dish is located on the south side of the house, and the rest of the utilities come in on the north side of the house, which was the reason for the long run to get to the splitter.

One question about the HD specifically. On my current Dish HD, color banding is probably the most frequent problem, and sometimes colors seem a bit off. Do you notice this with HD from Directv?

The only thing I'm really bummed about losing is the channel lists that Dish has. My wife was really disappointed and said that could be a deal breaker for her. I convinced her the MRV was worth the trade off.

#8 OFFLINE   Matman

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:54 AM

Randy

I moved recently from a condo to a newer house, built about the same time as yours from what I can tell from your posts. I took advantage of the moving program and also upgraded to the whole home DVR. Couldn't be happier, don't know how we got along without the system all this time! Couple of thoughts on the install:

• Installer was able to use the existing cable in my home
• Previous owner had Dish Network, installer was able to install in same spot using the existing hole into the house
• My house has the Dish mounted down low as well, a MUST if possible anywhere the white stuff flies.
• The dish is mounted on the West side of the house while the network interfaces are all on the east, installer did a great job of running the a new cable from the dish across the ceiling in the basement, where he interfaced with the existing cable lines in the house

I think the biggest thing to do is when the installer gets there, show him your thoughts on how you would like things setup and be willing to do a little give and take to get the job done. But, at the same time, make sure you are going to be happy with the end product and if not, don’t let the guy start drilling holes! My installer and I spent about 15 min where I showed him my thoughts of how I wanted it done and he had a couple ideas for improvements, and at the end of the day I was very happy. Installer left the house with a 6 pack of his choice that day. (It was a Friday afternoon). I can honestly say he treated my house like it was his, I sent a email to D* letting them know as well.

As for the pic quality, I am pretty demanding and have been very happy with the image. You may need to adjust your TV’s settings a little bit as it will be attached to a different box then it is now, but in my opinion the Pic quality is the best out there hands down. Of course, perception is unique to each person looking at the TV so your mileage may vary, but I’ve never had any complaints!

Good Luck, you are going to love the system!
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
~Leonardo da Vinci

#9 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:32 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience. It's nice to hear about the good installs. My dish is also low on the house. I think it makes the most sense, as you say sometimes you need to clear snow off of it (I think I have done that 2 times in 2 years.)

My dish is located on the south side of the house, and the rest of the utilities come in on the north side of the house, which was the reason for the long run to get to the splitter.

One question about the HD specifically. On my current Dish HD, color banding is probably the most frequent problem, and sometimes colors seem a bit off. Do you notice this with HD from Directv?

The only thing I'm really bummed about losing is the channel lists that Dish has. My wife was really disappointed and said that could be a deal breaker for her. I convinced her the MRV was worth the trade off.


I think you'll be pleased with DIRECTV's HD quality. I don't see banding at all. As far as channel lists, I'm not sure what you mean. You can filter the guide in several different ways, and set up two custom channel lists any way you want.
Opinions expressed by me are my own and do not necessarily reflect
those of DBSTalk.com, DIRECTV, DISH, The Signal Group, or any other company.

#10 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:40 PM

Thanks for the posts. And thanks for telling me there are channel lists. It sounds like what we are used to. You can view All channels, all subscribed, All HD and then you can set up 4 or 5 custom lists. I had a list and my wife had a list. The guide and flipping channels will only access channels on the active list.

I'm getting more and more excited for my install. Unfortunately I have plans tomorrow and couldn't do it this weekend so I have to wait until next Saturday. I could have had it done during the week when my wife or babysitter are there, but I'd rather wait until I will be home.

Thanks again! This site has been very helpful!

#11 OFFLINE   VLaslow

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:45 PM

Don't forget to tell us how the install went.

#12 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:05 PM

Don't forget to tell us how the install went.


Will do. Like I said, it's set for this Saturday.

I just called and canceled Dish, so I hope they show up with HR24's so I don't have to call and change my drop date with Dish. Dish offered me $10 off for free HD and another $10 off for 12 months for being a loyal customer (for the exact duration of my 2 year obligation ironically) While $20 off would be nice, the total home DVR will be worth more. I'll still be about $10-20 less for the first year with D.

#13 OFFLINE   Matman

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:15 AM

Definitely let us know how the install goes for you!
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
~Leonardo da Vinci

#14 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:37 AM

Tomorrow is the day! I sure hope they show up with HR24's or I think I'm going to turn them away and reschedule. I don't want to have a 2 year contract with "old" equipment. From what I have read, the HR24's are worth holding out for. Is this true?

I did have another question. I doubt this would work, but if I plug a device into the ethernet port on the HR24, would that device find its way back to my router and my network? If it will, would it's connection be faster and/or more reliable than a wireless connection? I have an Apple TV in my bedroom that works but has problems with the wireless periodically. The ATV in the living room is wired and never has any problems.

Thanks! I'll be back tomorrow afternoon/evening to report out on the install.

#15 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:40 AM

I did have another question. I doubt this would work, but if I plug a device into the ethernet port on the HR24, would that device find its way back to my router and my network?

Nope, and in fact, this will disconnect the 24 from the coax network.
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#16 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:44 AM

Tomorrow is the day! I sure hope they show up with HR24's or I think I'm going to turn them away and reschedule.


If that's the case, when the installer calls to give you the estimate when they'll be there mention that you want HR24's and ask if they have them. If not cancel the install then, at least the installer doesn't waste their time coming to your house and then finding out it's a no install.

See post My Setup for configuration info.


#17 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:51 AM

If that's the case, when the installer calls to give you the estimate when they'll be there mention that you want HR24's and ask if they have them. If not cancel the install then, at least the installer doesn't waste their time coming to your house and then finding out it's a no install.


I will do that if they call. I got a confirmation call from D* yesterday. It was just automated.

Is the HR24 worth holding out for? I am actually getting 2 DVR's and 1 HD receiver. From what I have read here, a whole home such as mine will most likely get 24's anyway.

#18 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 09:52 AM

Nope, and in fact, this will disconnect the 24 from the coax network.


Thanks. One less thing to wonder about.

#19 OFFLINE   randy98mtu

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 07:05 AM

Well my install went great! The installer showed up at around 1:30 and was there for probably close to 3 hours. He brought (2) HR24-100's and (1) H24. The satellite mount was slightly different so he had to make new holes but put the dish in the same place as my Dish was. The SWM is where my old cable splitter was. He took that down for me and cleaned up the pile of spaghetti I had in that area. He re-terminated all my connections before he even started on anything else. I was completely satisfied with the quality of work.

Then I turned on Book of Eli on HBO. My initial impression is that the HD picture quality is much better. I do think the DVR's are slightly slower responding than the VIP boxes I had, but not so much it will bother me. I really like the single list of recordings being the same on all 3 TV's. The only thing I don't like, and I'm sure it will just take an adjustment period, is the list of channels is overwhelming. I made one custom list for myself but I still need to go through with my wife and make one for her. I got all my series recordings set up on each DVR and I'm excited to see the list start populating this week. It will be so nice being able to watch everything on either TV.

Thanks for all the tips and advice in this thread and in others. I will definitely be sticking around this site to get the most from my new service!

#20 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 07:36 AM

The 24s are the fastest boxes, but see if this helps remote response any.

Press and hold mute first, then select at the same time until the green light on the remote flashes twice.

Next, enter 9 6 3 and the green light should flash twice again.

Finally, press the "Chan Down" button and the green light should flash twice again.

That can help remote response a bit.





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