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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mentalcase

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:37 PM

So my triple play with the local cable company is up and I'm not happy with the deal they offered me. Directv on the other threw everything including the sick at me and I schedule my installation for the first week of September (of course being a Packers fan in Central NJ definitely swayed me). I have a few questions regarding the install and expectations.

1. I keep reading about rain fade during inclement weather. Are we talking about a few minutes of an outage or an all day type thing. I just want to know what to expect should the weather get bad.

2. Do you need a phone line to order PPV? I looked at the ports on the back of the hr-34 and I saw no phone jack, so I can't imagine it would require one. I just wanted to make sure.

3. I'm keeping my cable internet and my modem is running off of a 2-way splitter at the main TV. Will the installer run a new line to the TV so that I can keep my modem and router in this locations? Are new runs necessary for the other 2 tvs and is that normally included?

4. Do they provide new customers with the newest dish available or is there a specific one I should request?

5. I'm a little concerned about some obstructions (trees) on the south side of my house. I'll have to take a picture and post that later.

I've been with cable for my whole life so this process is fairly new to me. Any other advice you guys can offer is greatly appreciated as well.

Edited by mentalcase, 04 September 2012 - 01:58 PM.


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#2 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:17 PM

Welcome to DIRECTV® and DBSTalk!

Rain fade - where I live at least- is a myth the cable company advertised heavily a few years ago. It's virtually non-existent here, but I am in N. CA.

2. Phone line not needed
3. Presuming you are having other receivers installed? That could make a difference in the set up. Runs will go to other TVs with receivers, included.
4. Almost certainly you'll get the latest dish.
5. A picture of trees is worthless without direction and azimuth. At least I think that may be the fancy and right word for degrees above the horizon.
The installer will check that first thing.
"Laxguy" means a guy who loves lacrosse.

#3 OFFLINE   PrinceLH

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:22 PM

1. All DBS/Ku band systems suffer from rain fade, but it's not that bad.

2. Not necessarily, you can call and order a PPV.

3. I can't see why not. They use RG8 coaxial and some Cable companies us RG59 still, so it would be incompatible anyway.

4. To the best of my knowledge, yes. I'm not sure if they still allow new customers to have SD setups anymore. If you want HD, it's not an issue.

5. I'm sure they can find a suitable place for a dish. They won't charge you for a site survey.

I hope you enjoy your Directv system, if you do indeed get it. It's the best out there!

#4 OFFLINE   mentalcase

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 10:53 PM

Thanks for the replies! If they come for the installation and it is determined that they can not aim the dish properly am I charged for anything?

I'm having three TVs set up - One in my living room and bedroom on the main floor and one in my basement. Luckily for the installer half of my basement is unfinished and all the existing coax lines are clearly labeled. So essentially they just need to run a second jack to my main TV then just replace the coax with the proper stuff on the other two sets. After reading www. weaknees.com/pdf/SWM-with-diplexer.html is a second jack even needed?

I've been researching everything that is involved in the process and man it is completely different form cable. I can't wait to follow the installer around and figure our what all this stuff does. I'm extremely excited to get my hands on the hr34 box. I've been using Tivos to replace my cablecos crap boxes and the hr34's interface looks awesome. Can't wait to check out all the feature and of course finally be able to watch every football game!

Another question: What is the purpose of the ethernet port on the hr34? I'd really like to have my box connected to the internet so I can use the cinema features. Should I ask for this before hand? And are all the additional pieces required for installation included?

Edited by mentalcase, 18 August 2012 - 12:16 AM.


#5 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:11 AM

:welcome_s
Re: rain fade. It depends on the storm, but if it is severe enough, you will get rain fade. But it only lasts as long as the storm is between you and the satellite. Once the storm moves on, your signal comes back. Usually minutes. HD channels are impacted more than SD, so an option is to shift to the corresponding SD channel if available. OTA is another choice (Over the air, e.g. An outside antenna).

Good luck with your line of sight (LOS).

#6 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:26 AM

With an Internet connection to your receivers, there is nothing that you need a phone line connected for, other than the caller ID feature.

#7 OFFLINE   n3vino

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:28 AM

Don't cancel you cable tv until your sat is up and running.

Sometimes I get rain fade, but only when it's a strong rain and it only lasts a few minutes.

I assume that all new installations include being connected to the internet, but you might want to verify that. Some are hardwired, depending where your modem is in relation to your H34, and some could be wireless. In my case, they didn't bring a wireless CCK so the installer needed to run a cable to my modem which was going to be a charge of $50.00 since it needed to go from the attic to an inside wall in another room. I declined since I don't order PPV. I'm doing fine without it.

But if you want to be connected to the internet, be sure and show the installer what your set up is and where your splitters are.

Normally they use the same cables that are already in your house, but they change out the connectors. But if you require any new lines, which you might since your modem will be connected to cable box and your tv needs to be connected to the dish, and you need the cable to be fished through an inside wall, you might want to inquire if there will be a charge for that. That might be considered a special install. I say that because you don't need any surprises. You might want to research or inquire about that.

Also, if you are getting whole home DVR, be sure you are getting all HD boxes, even if all your tvs are not HD, because Whole home won't work with SD boxes. HD boxes can be set up to work with your analog sets.

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#8 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:17 AM

HD boxes can be set up to work with your analog sets.

And analog TVs look fantastic in HD.

#9 OFFLINE   banditt76

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:34 AM

And analog TVs look fantastic in HD.


I think you mean displaying a downconverted HD feed they look great. Your post makes no sense to those that don't realize what you meant, like I did.

It could be misconstrued that an analog TV can display a true HD signal, which obviously is impossible.

#10 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:07 AM

And analog TVs look fantastic in HD.


I think you mean displaying a downconverted HD feed they look great. Your post makes no sense to those that don't realize what you meant, like I did.

It could be misconstrued that an analog TV can display a true HD signal, which obviously is impossible.

Might want to define this better.

An old SD TV will still look better with the HD channel downconverted.

There are still some "analog" TVs that are HD ready, and look great in HD.
A.K.A VOS

#11 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:22 AM

Might want to define this better.

An old SD TV will still look better with the HD channel downconverted.

There are still some "analog" TVs that are HD ready, and look great in HD.


Oh, yeah. I have a LaCie CRT which I used in photography which has something in excess of 2400 pixels IRRC.
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#12 OFFLINE   banditt76

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:26 AM

Might want to define this better.

An old SD TV will still look better with the HD channel downconverted.

There are still some "analog" TVs that are HD ready, and look great in HD.


Totally agreed. My parents had an HD receiver on their old analog TV and it did look much better with the extra bandwidth available using said feed.

#13 OFFLINE   RACJ2

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 10:33 AM

We do get rain fade every so often here in the DFW area. It seems to be caused more by the overcast skies, then the actual rain. And it usually only last 5 to 15 minutes. The HD channels are more susceptible then SD to rain fade. So if there is an SD equivalent for the channel, you can switch to that and usually continue watching your program.

To the OP, I was with cable my whole life as well. And after switching to DIRECTV over 3 years ago, I've never even considered going back. For a displaced fan like you and me, you can't beat having the sports packages (NFL ST, NHL CI, etc) with almost all games in HD. When I switched, I had some fears as well, but they quickly subsided. Mine were mainly about the rain fade, paying for service calls and the DVRs performance.

On your question asking for advice, I would say, prepare yourself for this. One thing you have to get used to is that channel surfing is more cumbersome. So you tend to scroll through the guide instead and then select a program you want to watch.

With cable you are probably used to the channel locking in as soon as you press channel up or down. With DIRECTV, it takes a couple seconds to lock in, especially if you have the option called native "on". Then every time you change channels to a station that has a different resolution, the receiver has to switch to that resolution. For example going from a channel that uses 1080i to a channel using 720P will do that. Its a bit annoying, but the benefits over cable far out way it.
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#14 OFFLINE   mentalcase

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 02:03 PM

I read up some more about the HR34 and it's capabilities. If I read correctly then the HR34 acts as an CCK and since my modem is going to be not even 2 ft away no additional hardware should be needed.

I'm going to call monday and ask about running new lines and if they are included or not. If they are not included i'm going to buy a spool of solid copper core rg6 and run the jack my self.

If they show up for installation and determine that I do not have the proper line of sight is there still a charge? I guess I'll ask that on Monday, too.

Besides the rain fade con and channel lock in lag, the only con I can see if having my family and friends mooch off of my Sunday Ticket every week to watch their out of market teams. Greenbay gets preference though!

#15 OFFLINE   banditt76

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 02:19 PM

I read up some more about the HR34 and it's capabilities. If I read correctly then the HR34 acts as an CCK and since my modem is going to be not even 2 ft away no additional hardware should be needed.

I'm going to call monday and ask about running new lines and if they are included or not. If they are not included i'm going to buy a spool of solid copper core rg6 and run the jack my self.

If they show up for installation and determine that I do not have the proper line of sight is there still a charge? I guess I'll ask that on Monday, too.

Besides the rain fade con and channel lock in lag, the only con I can see if having my family and friends mooch off of my Sunday Ticket every week to watch their out of market teams. Greenbay gets preference though!


Charge Sunday Ticket admission at the door. Tell them there are free drinks and snacks though ;) They should not charge you anything if they can't get line of site, other than maybe the shipping cost for the receiver if they charge you for that.

(Just realized yesterday was my 1st month anniversary here and I'm already a legend. :P )

#16 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 06:32 PM

Charge Sunday Ticket admission at the door. Tell them there are free drinks and snacks though ;) They should not charge you anything if they can't get line of site, other than maybe the shipping cost for the receiver if they charge you for that.

(Just realized yesterday was my 1st month anniversary here and I'm already a legend. :P )


Mr. Legend: :)-

A better plan is to stay within the TOS and not charge admission, but @ $10.00 a bag of chips and $12.00 beer, you'll do fine. Not too far off ball parks, anyway..... (yes, I saw the smiley)

And the site needs line of sight. Never seen a cite of them charging for lack thereof.
:sure:
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#17 OFFLINE   trh

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:47 PM

I'm going to call monday and ask about running new lines and if they are included or not. If they are not included i'm going to buy a spool of solid copper core rg6 and run the jack my self.

If they show up for installation and determine that I do not have the proper line of sight is there still a charge? I guess I'll ask that on Monday, too.

Besides the rain fade con and channel lock in lag, the only con I can see if having my family and friends mooch off of my Sunday Ticket every week to watch their out of market teams. Greenbay gets preference though!


  • They run wire (I think I read a standard installation is 125' per receiver), but they might not run it the way you want them to. They don't fish any walls in a standard installation.
  • If they show up and determine you don't have LOS, to the best of my knowledge, you don't have to pay anything and since you haven't activated your equipment, you haven't incurred a two-year commitment.
  • Once you get your family/friends hooked, don't forget about DirecTV's referral program -- $10 off per month for one year for you and who ever you get to subscribe to DirecTV. They must have your account number and have to call a special number to qualify for the program.


#18 OFFLINE   Earguy

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:05 PM

I live in Southern New Jersey and get rain fade OFTEN. Basically it lasts as long as the storm, and the storm only needs to be mild to lose the signal. I have found it to be a different kind of unreliability compared to Comcast's break-ups. I have not had DTV for the winter yet. The installer told me to coat the dish with cooking spray to help keep snow off of it. :rolleyes:

#19 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:07 PM

I live in Southern New Jersey and get rain fade OFTEN. Basically it lasts as long as the storm, and the storm only needs to be mild to lose the signal. I have found it to be a different kind of unreliability compared to Comcast's break-ups. I have not had DTV for the winter yet. The installer told me to coat the dish with cooking spray to help keep snow off of it. :rolleyes:

While you will have more rainfade than I do, it sounds like you have a bit more than others in your area. That idea of cooking spray doesn't work either.
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#20 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

Earguy, what are your signal levels, perhaps you've posted them in another thread?




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