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Leaving AT&T for DirecTV


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164 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

I'd think a lot of the code would be shared, so any improvements would happen on both.

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#22 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

I have a good Sony TV, which can make a fairly poor picture look "not that bad", so my first impression of U-Who was it "wasn't that bad", which surprised me because I know they have a bandwidth limitation that DirecTV doesn't.
I'm only 200' from their VRAD, so I get full bandwidth, but was still limited to recording 3 HD shows while being able to watch a fourth live.
The thing that I noticed the most between U-Who & DirecTV was U-Who dropped frames, that DirecTV didn't. This causes jumping in the image.

There is another difference which is DirecTV has a native mode, which simply sends the decoded signal to the TV and lets the TV scale it to fit the screen.
U-Who doesn't and you select one resolution, but HD uses 2, 1080i & 720p.
With U-Who, if you're watching a 720p HD channel, and you've set the box for 1080i, then the box is changing this to 1080i.
Since my Sony does a better job, I'd rather it do this than the receiver.

PQ simply comes down to what the viewer sees [or not], so it's hard to give a meaningful answer for you.
The bit-rates are a fact, but everyone has spent a lot of money & time to see how much can be removed from an image before "the average" viewer notices/complains.
U-Who [from talking with them] is targeting to be better than cable, but not trying to match SAT service.


The setting comment is spot on, I tried to do that and have since just set it on 1080i and left it there. I did some testing with changing it to 720p and watching ESPN HD which is 720p, and well I didn't see much a difference, but it would be nice to have the TV do the job instead of telling the box what to set it at. So the native feature is nice.

At this point I think my only real hang up is the fear of losing the signal during heavy storms here in Oklahoma. The plan I guess would be to have an OTA installed in the attic as my fail over back up source for local stations during the bad weather, which doesn't seem to be a big deal.

I'm excited to experience the GUI Menu and see how the UX is there, wished I could play with it in person before I signed up, but they don't seem to be in any retail stores in OK right now. Channel wise I think we're good with DTV too, there are no big issues with any channels I have to have that are missing from moving off of UVerse to DTV.

I wonder about the install, I have coax running from the box in the neighbors yard, along the eve of my house, two lines actually, one is Cox and one is AT&T. Then there are the feeds in the attic to the walls around the house in my rooms. I'm guessing the DTV installer will use his own coax and drop the 4 cables in the rooms I want? Leaving the AT&T and COX in place?

#23 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

Ok, and thats about what I figured. Something new like this to me, I'm actually the one who channel surfs and goes through the menu, there is so much in there and thats just how I do it. My wife is the more organized one who learns how to better search for exactly what she wants etc, because I guess I never know what I like to watch, sometimes I just like to come across something and stop, etc...she's direct and to the show.

I won't be using WiFi as I have a switch behind the tv there and will be hard wired into my network, as all my entertainment devices are; TV, BluRay, XBox, AppleTV and STB.

Some other questions I had are about DirecTV vs. Dish and why those here chose DTV over DISH. I know its a very personalized question to answer, so looking for those personal reasons. My early and somewhat informed and educated reasons to lean towards DTV over DISH was PQ.

I just got a new Samsung UN60ES8000 LED TV and am not real happy with UVerse pictures I'm getting, they are grainy, pixelated, and washed out. Can I tell its HD, yeah, but I think it could be better. So I went looking around and hear DTV has the best quality picture of all the options I have, is this true? A nice HD GUI Menu, the better compression and signal of my options (UVerse, COX, Dish and DTV)?

The 1080i and 1080p signals would be nice to have. Does Dish not have these?


I had Uverse and was HORRID!

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#24 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:32 AM

I had a test drive with U verse and overall it's not bad, DTV has a better HD picture and you can record more programs at the same time. The best part of u verse is the Internet witch I kept and the very fast channel changes.


Funny you mention this, because while I'm breaking up with AT&T and the bundle I've had, I also am probably going to move my internet to COX. Not that the internet has been bad with AT&T, but I'm paying $65/month for their top Ultimate Turbo package, that supposedly gets 24mbps down, and I usually test out around 19mbps down, occasionally late at night I get 21mbps down.

Cox has a $75/month for 6 months then $99/month for 55mpbs down with speed boost. A co-worker can do a speed test on demand, anytime, he showed me via his iPad, logging into his PC from home, and was getting 62mpbs down. So I'd rather pay $75/$99 for that and have the fastest I can get without buying a T1 or T3 line. This would help me in the house with all the iPads and iPhones on wireless and all the other devices on the network. So I've decided to really break up with AT&T and just have their home phone and cell phone. Let DTV do what it does best and give me the best TV experience and Cox give me the fastest internet...3 bills but 3 of the best I can get.

#25 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

Another thing to consider is that all new equipment goes through growing pains.
These are fixed through software upgrades. Reading these threads you can see what's happening with the HR34.

So the HR44 will also have problems which will also go through software upgrades. I'd hope that by the time HR44 is widely available, the HR34 will be a lot more stable.


Yes I totally understand this as an IT System Engineer, I know all this. If the HR-34 were rampid with bugs, maybe it is, I might not consider it, but I'm also one who upgrades to the new iPhone/iPad when a new one is released, always on the bleeding edge, so the HR-44 caught my eye from the CES blog posts about it.

I figure I can't go wrong going now or waiting, either way a better experience surely is headed my way...

#26 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

As someone who has both, I can definitely say DirecTV is better and my main viewing. Like VOS, the PQ on Uverse wasn't that bad at first, but after watching sports on it...my opinion changed - DirecTV wins easily.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#27 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

Another thing:
Not sure if this works coming from U-Who to DirecTV, but coming from DirecTV and trying to use U-Who, their DVR sucks!
I seriously had to fight not throwing their remote at my TV. :lol:
A.K.A VOS

#28 OFFLINE   dettxw

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

Welcome to DBSTalk!
Always good to have another local guy on the forum.

They're making you wait until the 27th for your install or that's a date that you picked?
Installers are pretty good around here since DirecTV took over the local contractor a few years ago.

So are you getting an HR34 plus 3 C31 clients? If so you can get away with a SWiM LNB and a single coax into the house, then split (single coaxs) to individual rooms. They usually want more $$ to fish line through the walls from the attic, otherwise they'll want to drill in from outside. If you want more than 8 tuners (5 for an HR34, 2 for each standard DVR, 1 for a receiver, none for a C31 client (uses an HR34 tuner)) then they'll install a standard LNB and run 4 coaxs to a SWiM16, usually mounted in your attic.

Get an AM21 for OTA tuning/recording with the HR34. Besides giving an alternative to the DirecTV Local-into-Local stations you can get the subchannels on 4 & 5 with the old shows. How far away are you from the antenna farm in the north-central part of town?

Edited by dettxw, 17 January 2013 - 12:24 PM.

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#29 OFFLINE   prushing

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

As someone who has both, I can definitely say DirecTV is better and my main viewing. Like VOS, the PQ on Uverse wasn't that bad at first, but after watching sports on it...my opinion changed - DirecTV wins easily.


Sports can be down right terrible. Anything with fast movement looks bad.

#30 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:01 PM

As someone who has both, I can definitely say DirecTV is better and my main viewing. Like VOS, the PQ on Uverse wasn't that bad at first, but after watching sports on it...my opinion changed - DirecTV wins easily.


This is refreshing, thats 95% of what I watch on TV today, SPORTS. So good to know, and really the biggest reason I've even questioned UVerse.

#31 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:05 PM

This is refreshing, thats 95% of what I watch on TV today, SPORTS. So good to know, and really the biggest reason I've even questioned UVerse.

The lower bit-rate is most likely the reason.
MPEG-4 strips out the repeated bits to save bandwidth, "but" if there is a lot of change in each frame, there are less repeated bits, so more bandwidth is needed. DirecTV will use more bandwidth, while U-Who doesn't/can't.
A.K.A VOS

#32 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:23 PM

Welcome to DBSTalk!
Always good to have another local guy on the forum.

They're making you wait until the 27th for your install or that's a date that you picked?
Installers are pretty good around here since DirecTV took over the local contractor a few years ago.

So are you getting an HR34 plus 3 C31 clients? If so you can get away with a SWiM LNB and a single coax into the house, then split (single coaxs) to individual rooms. They usually want more $$ to fish line through the walls from the attic, otherwise they'll want to drill in from outside. If you want more than 8 tuners (5 for an HR34, 2 for each standard DVR, 1 for a receiver, none for a C31 client (uses an HR34 tuner)) then they'll install a standard LNB and run 4 coaxs to a SWiM16, usually mounted in your attic.

Get an AM21 for OTA tuning/recording with the HR34. Besides giving an alternative to the DirecTV Local-into-Local stations you can get the subchannels on 4 & 5 with the old shows. How far away are you from the antenna farm in the north-central part of town?


Awesome and OKIE!! Yay! lol...need an Okies opinion on the signal and loss of signal during our famous weather days...how does DTV hold up? Its really my only hang up with DTV, weather issues and worries.

Also, I chose the 27th, to give myself some padding to cancel the install if I had 2nd thoughts or my wife wasn't happy with the move. So far she seems open to it so I'm out here trying to make any buyers remorse go away.

Sounds to me like you want me to call back and get a "custom install" done not the standard which is what I think I chose? I might have to print that stuff out so I remember what to have him do.

I asked the sales rep for the 4 room install, the living room being my main install for the DVR and my bedroom with 1 client. While I wanted 2 other rooms installed with clients for future use, but not activated, but looking at my ticket I see only 2 rooms with the Genie and 1 client, so I think I need to call back to fix that?

I think there is a "SWiM LNB and a single coax" in my attic now that Cox installed, but again, not sure if they will use other peoples equipment/hardware up there? What is a SWiM LNB? I don't think I need more than 5 tuners from the (HR-34), I mean 5 shows at once is probably plenty? Seems like a lot of people have 8 or more in the house, but why does one need more than the 5 tuners in the Genie?

Where is the Antenna farm, where all the TV/Radio stations are off Broadway? I'm just a few miles west...I'm off 122nd and Rockwell/Council, so not real far. I've picked up the OTA before with a cheap old OTA antenna, back when I had TiVO.

So explain again to me what I need to have installed or ask the installer to do. I guess I'm going custom install now. I want the dish on the back side of the house that faces east. My house sits east/west (front porch/back porch) and if its on the back side (east) it has a clear sight to the south, no trees nothing in the way, its a newer sub division. Will he mount it there and just drill into my attic and run the cable and drop down into the wall where my TV is? How should I have him set it up?

#33 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:24 PM

The lower bit-rate is most likely the reason.
MPEG-4 strips out the repeated bits to save bandwidth, "but" if there is a lot of change in each frame, there are less repeated bits, so more bandwidth is needed. DirecTV will use more bandwidth, while U-Who doesn't/can't.


Ok that kind of makes some sense now. I hope I see the difference right away, probably will, I'm pretty picky with visuals like that. My wife doesn't see the difference in the Retina dislplays on iPads and iPhones, but boy I do.

#34 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 01:25 PM

Get an AM21 for OTA tuning/recording with the HR34. Besides giving an alternative to the DirecTV Local-into-Local stations you can get the subchannels on 4 & 5 with the old shows. How far away are you from the antenna farm in the north-central part of town?


Would a DirecTV installer run the line for me and set this up in the attic if I paid some extra to him?
What does the AM21 or AM21N cost? Is it just the box inside the house, what goes in the attic? Or does it tie into the dish and the dish acts like the antenna?
Again, is this part of the DirecTV install?

Edited by chrisjmccord, 17 January 2013 - 01:40 PM.


#35 OFFLINE   Singe0255

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

Some quick info on the Protection Plans:

The basic Protection Plan ($5.99/mo) covers the D* hardware for technical issues, and normal wear & tear.

The Premier Protection Plan ($19.99/mo) includes the basic coverage but also extends this coverage to select non-D* devices in your home. This coverage provides warranty support for flat panel TVs, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, home theater, and network accessories.

There is an add-on for the Premier coverage to handle Accidental Damage from Handling on mobile devices. This covers damage to laptops and tablets, including cracked screens and spills. This feature is available for an additional $4.99 a month.

Each device is covered for up to $2,000 worth or repairs/services and replacements/reimbursements. There is no limit to the number of devices that can be covered under this plan.
All opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of DIRECTV, National Electronics Warranty, or any other entity that I share affiliation with.

#36 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

Some quick info on the Protection Plans:

The basic Protection Plan ($5.99/mo) covers the D* hardware for technical issues, and normal wear & tear.

The Premier Protection Plan ($19.99/mo) includes the basic coverage but also extends this coverage to select non-D* devices in your home. This coverage provides warranty support for flat panel TVs, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, home theater, and network accessories.

There is an add-on for the Premier coverage to handle Accidental Damage from Handling on mobile devices. This covers damage to laptops and tablets, including cracked screens and spills. This feature is available for an additional $4.99 a month.

Each device is covered for up to $2,000 worth or repairs/services and replacements/reimbursements. There is no limit to the number of devices that can be covered under this plan.


Thanks for the info! I think the $5.99/month might be good.

#37 OFFLINE   Scott Kocourek

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

Would a DirecTV installer run the line for me and set this up in the attic if I paid some extra to him?
What does the AM21 or AM21N cost? Is it just the box inside the house, what goes in the attic? Or does it tie into the dish and the dish acts like the antenna?
Again, is this part of the DirecTV install?


The installer may run the wire, that would be between you and him/her.

The AM21 connects to the HR34 via USB and your antenna wire connects to that. It will not come with your order, you will need to order from DIRECTV after the install or get it from Solidsignal.com.

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#38 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

Oh great, I just watch a demo on Dish Networks Hopper and saw how it worked and the Prime Time Anytime feature too, plus it showed me that Dish has SiriusXM as their music stations...wow, I'm very torn now...Dish or DTV.

#39 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

The installer may run the wire, that would be between you and him/her.

The AM21 connects to the HR34 via USB and your antenna wire connects to that. It will not come with your order, you will need to order from DIRECTV after the install or get it from Solidsignal.com.


I see, but it allows me to then record even on that antenna? So say I wanted to record something on ABC on that channel, since its hooked to the HR34 it will, is that the main purpose behind it? Do the OTA channels show up in the menu through the HR34 listed with all the others? OR do I have to flip my TV to a different input etc...?

#40 OFFLINE   chrisjmccord

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

I'm assuming the PiP features work the same from DTV and DISH? Such as the demo on Dish I just saw had a screen where you could see what all tuners were watching and they were labled (bedroom 1, home theater, kitchen etc) and so he had 3 tuners used up (I think that was the max for the hopper?) and he chose to join the show that bedroom 1 was watching and it freed up a tuner...is that the same concept with DTV?




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