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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Seeking HD Receiver without 2 year extension; WHO SELLS THEM?


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41 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Drivingrain

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 05:36 AM

Long story...
but I was misinformed by Directv customer retention that I could get non-DVR HD receiver with a one year extension.

So I've accepted their retention offer under false pretenses and am now paying for the consequences of their misinformation as it turns out that after I accepted the offer DTV website now wont even let me buy a receiver and if I call they insist on a 2 year extension. The misinformation really has me steamed...but that's besides the point. I need an HD receiver and I do not want to extend 2 years.

Bottomline:
Is there a listing anywhere of the preferred sources for good, used HD receivers? My quick scan over the last 12 hours suggests Directv has managed to lock the market down tight enough to create a fairly pricey black market.

The results so far in terms of non-direct sources of HD receivers:
1. This forum, though I apparently dont have enough posts to try to post there so that's a dead-end unless I annoy all of you with phantom posts
2. Craigslist: seems risky
3. Solidsignal? But every HD receiver they sell seems to say that a 2 yer extension is required???
4. Where else? I need some help here.

Thanks much
DR

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#2 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:01 AM

Good luck in your quest, Drivingrain, but you are tilting at windmills.

Virtually all DVRs and receivers since the mid 2000s are really owned by DirecTV and leased to the end user. It doesn't make any difference if you get them from DirecTV, Solid Signal, Craigslist or from your brother-in-law. You don't own them.

DirecTV employees can buy a receiver outright but these units are very rare. You occasionally see them passing through this forum. I have heard here that this policy is ending. They may become rarer still.

In either case, whether owned or leased, adding an additional receiver or a DVR to your service will extend the terms of your contract, period. I know of no exceptions. I hope for your sake somebody corrects me.

I hear you are frustrated. I get you don't like DirecTV's policies. But it is the way they operate. To try and come up with a way to get around their system is to insist you want to drive down the left hand side of the road and not get a ticket, or worse, in an accident. You are bound to fail.

I wish I had better news for you.

For your peace of mind, it may be better for you to buy out your contract. Pay the early termination fee and be done with DirecTV. Life isn't worth this level of frustration.
hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#3 OFFLINE   Drivingrain

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:11 AM

adding to post count...sigh...

#4 OFFLINE   Drivingrain

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:12 AM

Good luck in your quest, Drivingrain, but you are tilting at windmills.

Virtually all DVRs and receivers since the mid 2000s are really owned by DirecTV and leased to the end user. It doesn't make any difference if you get them from DirecTV, Solid Signal, Craigslist or from your brother-in-law. You don't own them.

DirecTV employees can buy a receiver outright but these units are very rare. You occasionally see them passing through this forum. I have heard here that this policy is ending. They may become rarer still.

In either case, whether owned or leased, adding an additional receiver or a DVR to your service will extend the terms of your contract, period. I know of no exceptions. I hope for your sake somebody corrects me.

I hear you are frustrated. I get you don't like DirecTV's policies. But it is the way they operate. To try and come up with a way to get around their system is to insist you want to drive down the left hand side of the road and not get a ticket, or worse, in an accident. You are bound to fail.

I wish I had better news for you.

For your peace of mind, it may be better for you to buy out your contract. Pay the early termination fee and be done with DirecTV. Life isn't worth this level of frustration.


Wow, that's really dreadful. One day when they dont have me cornered with the Ticket as much as they do now...Im outta here b/c of this issue alone. Not a good way to keep a customer.

#5 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:25 AM

The basic problem is that it costs the provider (DirecTV, Dish, Comcast, Verizon, whoever) a good deal more money to provide a set top box than you and I pay for it. I am quite sure that DirecTV loses money on receivers...and so they seek to make it up in programming fees. Therefore, adding a receiver (which, no matter how you acquired it, costs them money) commits you to a mimimum level of service payments over the next 12 to 24 months.

This is not unique to DirecTV...most providers have similar policies.

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#6 OFFLINE   dettxw

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:27 AM

You've gotta be careful when "buying" a DVR/receiver as almost anything from DirecTV or from a retail place like Solid Signal will come with what is really an upfront lease fee. I've heard of a Pro model DVR that was available for purchase but it cost big bucks.
To get an DVR/receiver that you can own you need to buy it from someone who owns it, and of course you first need to check with DirecTV to make sure that a particular receiver ID can be activated, especially true for a Craigslist item. Lots of folks out there don't know the difference between a leased and owned box, incorrectly thinking that that upfront lease fee means that they own it. IIRC DirecTV is limiting employee sales of their used equipment.
Once in a while you'll find real owned equipment for sale from DBSTalk members.
I gave a kiddo an owned H24-100 last Christmas that he never used, got an R22 from DirecTV instead. I'll have to ask him if he is interested in selling it.

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#7 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:28 AM

Wow, that's really dreadful. One day when they dont have me cornered with the Ticket as much as they do now...Im outta here b/c of this issue alone. Not a good way to keep a customer.

Some of us like the policy.

Please look at my recent thread. By playing DirecTV's game using their rules, I got a bunch of free stuff recently. My system took a serious positive jump up in quality because I used the two year commitment to my advantage.

I also like not owning my gear. I sold stereo electronics for 30 years. I understand better than most that it will break. Not can break but will break. With the lease program, when it does, DirecTV gives me a replacement piece for the price of shipping. If I had the Protection plan, I wouldn't even have to pay for the shipping. I have a DVR that's 5 years old and still going strong but that won't last. When it dies, DirecTV will provide me a replacement for $19. But if I owned that HR20-700, I'd have to spend hundred of dollars a new one.

And then there is the sunken cost in electronics. This spring I took some old, owned DirecTV electronics to my local recycler, including a $400 Sony SAT-A4, the first receiver with a digital output. Boy, was it cool in its day! As a dealer, it only cost me around $300 back in the 1990s, but it still cost me $300. Ask the folks around here who paid $1,000 for DirecTV Tivo HR10-250 DVRs that are now boat anchors. Talk about sunken costs.

I go back to my driving analogy. I'm cruising through traffic on the right hand side of the road, passing slower cars, with the top down and the radio up, enjoying the ride. A customer can make DirecTV's system work for them.

Edited by Carl Spock, 31 August 2012 - 06:43 AM.

hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#8 OFFLINE   Drivingrain

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 06:54 AM

Some of us like the policy.

Please look at my recent thread. By playing DirecTV's game using their rules, I got a bunch of free stuff recently. My system took a serious positive jump up in quality because I used the two year commitment to my advantage.

I also like not owning my gear. I sold stereo electronics for 30 years. I understand better than most that it will break. Not can break but will break. With the lease program, when it does, DirecTV gives me a replacement piece for the price of shipping. If I had the Protection plan, I wouldn't even have to pay for the shipping. I have a DVR that's 5 years old and still going strong but that won't last. When it dies, DirecTV will provide me a replacement for $19. But if I owned that HR20-700, I'd have to spend hundred of dollars a new one.

And then there is the sunken cost in electronics. This spring I took some old, owned DirecTV electronics to my local recycler, including a $400 Sony SAT-A4, the first receiver with a digital output. Boy, was it cool in its day! As a dealer, it only cost me around $300 back in the 1990s, but it still cost me $300. Ask the folks around here who paid $1,000 for DirecTV Tivo HR10-250 DVRs that are now boat anchors. Talk about sunken costs.

I go back to my driving analogy. I'm cruising through traffic on the right hand side of the road, passing slower cars, with the top down and the radio up, enjoying the ride. A customer can make DirecTV's system work for them.


I understand...though the market didnt seem to play out this way before DTV reigned in the hardware availability.

Back then I could go to Best Buy and get an open box receiver for peanuts. So hardware breakage risk was minimal as the replacement cost was so low.

#9 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:00 AM

Keep an eye on the Buy/Sell/Trade Forum here. Just make sure to take the proper steps to ensure that the receiver is in fact owned without a balance.

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#10 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:38 AM

I understand...though the market didnt seem to play out this way before DTV reigned in the hardware availability.

Back then I could go to Best Buy and get an open box receiver for peanuts. So hardware breakage risk was minimal as the replacement cost was so low.

Certain pieces, yes, you used to be able get from Best Buy for cheap. I bought basic Hughes receivers in sealed boxes for customers from Best Buy for $49. I'm sure open box pieces were less. But the lowest price I could find on a Samsung HD receiver, which was the best model around a dozen years ago, was $279 if my memory serves me. Retail was closer to $400. The initial wholesale cost on the HR10-250 HD DVR was about $920. It later went down to a little over $700. The retail price for a HD receiver from DirecTV right now is $99. It's $199 for a HD DVR. You never could touch those prices back in the old days.

Drivingrain, I have to think you are making this deliberately hard on yourself. Admittedly, I play the two year commitment game better than most but since I first moved from owned to leased equipment in 2007, I have aquired three DVRs, one being the new HR34, plus all the hardware to make them work. I've had two different dishes and three different house wiring schemes. My total out of pocket cost? About $150 in labor to have the installer of my choice do the initial installation in back in 2007. I didn't like the installers DirecTV had for my area at that time and wanted another guy to do the job. Otherwise, even that part would have been free. I have done all the internal wiring in my house since 2007.

I challenge you to figure out how, before DirecTV switched to the leased business plan, even doing the complete installation yourself, you could get all that I've gotten for $150.

As I said in my first post, DirecTV may not be for you. Even with Sunday Ticket, which seems to be the reason you are a subscriber, you might be best to drop DirecTV and go with another provider. This is just television, after all. It isn't worth getting all ramped up over TV. And you can always go to a sports bar which has DirecTV to find the game you want to see for the third of the year that is football season.

Drivingrain, let me give you an option: You can keep DirecTV and be royally pissed for 52 weeks out of the year, or you can drop DirecTV and drink beer in public for 17 weeks of the year. If I had your mindset, I know which way I'd go.

Bartender, can I have another?

Edited by Carl Spock, 31 August 2012 - 07:47 AM.

hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#11 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 07:54 AM

Well said. I can confirm that the component price on these boxes is more than DIRECTV charges to dealers, in other words yes they lose money. This is true on almost every box DIRECTV currently offers.

In the past DIRECTV employees were permitted to have one owned piece of equipment per year, meaning that there was a stream of used, owned boxes on eBay. However, due to theft and other issues, DIRECTV has been cracking down on even putting owned equipment on in the first place
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#12 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:10 AM

Well said. I can confirm that the component price on these boxes is more than DIRECTV charges to dealers, in other words yes they lose money. This is true on almost every box DIRECTV currently offers.


It doesn't account for the $199 HD DVR which is "sold" multiple times to different customers. Customer one "buys" the receiver for $199, leaves Directv for whatever reason. Customer two "buys" the same receiver, again for $199. Same reciever has been "sold" twice. How often does that cycle continue? Until recently they were still sending out 5 year old HR20s.

All of that doesn't even factor in the $6.99 monthly fee. IMO, there is no way they are losing money on equipment

(Notwithstanding the above, I'm also skeptical that component cost is greater thant he dealer cost - I'm not skeptical that you were told that, just skeptical whether it is true).
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#13 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:22 AM

I understand...though the market didnt seem to play out this way before DTV reigned in the hardware availability.

Back then I could go to Best Buy and get an open box receiver for peanuts. So hardware breakage risk was minimal as the replacement cost was so low.


Not to beat a dead horse, but back then DirecTV was battling extensive signal theft as well. One of the contributing factors was that a hacker could go to big box retailer and for "peanuts" get a virgin access card, pay cash and be utterly untraceable. So, DirecTV was forced to lock down access card distribution. So then they had to decide if they wanted a customer to be able to buy a receiver, bring it home and then wait 3 to 5 days for an access card to arrive, or to keep the card and receiver together and lock down the entire distribution channel. They chose the latter.

Also, back then, it took DirecTV more than 2 years to break even on a subscribers acquisition costs. If they were running the same model now, it would take over 3 years. By moving to a leased model and recycling receivers, they have kept the hardware costs down a bit and kept the break-even point at around 18 months or so.

As I said earlier, this is not unique to DirecTV - most providers have some variation of the same policy.

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DirecTV: HR34-700 (1TB) / HR24-100 (1TB) / HR24-500 (1TB) / HR21-700 (320GB) / HR21-100 (1TB) / 2 H25s / C41-500 / SWiM16 / Nomad / CCK

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#14 OFFLINE   peano

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:45 AM

Drivingrain, the Buy Sell forum here is your best bet. I just bought an OWNED HR24 from a member here.

Had no problems activating it and it did not start a new 2 year commitment.

#15 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:53 AM

Drivingrain, the Buy Sell forum here is your best bet. I just bought an OWNED HR24 from a member here.

Had no problems activating it and it did not start a new 2 year commitment.


Yes, if you buy a truley owned receiver you can add it your account without extending your contract. Just make sure the used receiver is really owned and not a lease that someone didn't send back.

#16 OFFLINE   Mike Greer

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:05 AM

Well said. I can confirm that the component price on these boxes is more than DIRECTV charges to dealers, in other words yes they lose money. This is true on almost every box DIRECTV currently offers.


Wow - if that's true then DirecTV needs a new purchasing department!

With Dish Network I can buy (actually own) a DVR that is multiple times faster than anything DirecTV has for $299 and it is mine - not a lease for $199.

I'd like to see the numbers on 'leased' receivers. I once received an old HR20 to replaced a failed HR22. It looked like it had been leased to at least 50 people! I wonder how many times they collected $$$ on it?

I'm not a fan of the 'lease' model. I don't like being 'tied' to any provider.

With Comcast I can sign up for service and not pay for a 'lease'. I can then cancel two months later and then sign up again in 3 months... All without wasting cash on a 'lease'.

If I buy a Dish Network receiver I can do the same with them.

I suspect that DirecTV uses their twisted form of a 'lease' model because it makes them serious cash... Not because it costs them anything....

#17 OFFLINE   Drivingrain

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:07 AM

As I said in my first post, DirecTV may not be for you. Even with Sunday Ticket, which seems to be the reason you are a subscriber, you might be best to drop DirecTV and go with another provider. This is just television, after all. It isn't worth getting all ramped up over TV. And you can always go to a sports bar which has DirecTV to find the game you want to see for the third of the year that is football season.

Drivingrain, let me give you an option: You can keep DirecTV and be royally pissed for 52 weeks out of the year, or you can drop DirecTV and drink beer in public for 17 weeks of the year. If I had your mindset, I know which way I'd go.

Bartender, can I have another?


I generally agree with your post. They bought a fairly iron-clad exclusivity to a product I want and, therefore, I am willing to suck it up at times and deal with customer issues that I might not otherwise put up with. OK, we're in agreement there. And, as you imply, each one of us has some sort of limit to what we'll put up with. I'm questioning whether I'm there for what I think are legit reasons

(1) The misinformation from the agents (plural) was excessive and cost me time & money
(2) The concept of wanting to improve your system and invest in it, and then at the same time as that positive event is occurring...forcing that same customer into a locked-in 2 year extension is counter-intuitive to me as a way to drive customer heart-share. There are better ways and times to try to do that. Just one man's opinion.

And here I am still a customer, well, for at least another year after the little bait and switch yesterday.

#18 ONLINE   jimmie57

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:09 AM

Thoughts / Questions:
I just looked at my last bill online.
They in fact changed the wording on the bills now to say " Additional TV ".
In that line of thought isn't the leased / owned receiver discussion irrelavent now ?

Question 2:
If you are looking to add another receiver you must be satisfied with the service so why would you care about a 24 month contract unless you were in an apartment and might move to another one that does not have DirecTV service ?

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#19 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:11 AM

Wow - if that's true then DirecTV needs a new purchasing department!

With Dish Network I can buy (actually own) a DVR that is multiple times faster than anything DirecTV has for $299 and it is mine - not a lease for $199....


Dish Network, and Comcast, have significantly higher monthly "extra outlet" fees to help defray their costs. While I can't speak to Comcast where you live, Cablevision here, and Verizon, and Dish Network, all have early termination fees if you cancel before the initial one or two year commitment.

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Current setup:
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FiOS: 2 Tivo Roamio Pros (6 TB total) / 5 Tivo Minis attached via MOCA


#20 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:13 AM

And here I am still a customer, well, for at least another year after the little bait and switch yesterday.

So the real question/issue here is whether it's worth another year to get the hardware you want. "right?"
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