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Help with DirecTV HD Solution


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Skates

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 11:32 AM

Due to the fiasco going on with the E* 921 unit, I'm seriously considering switching to D* and getting the HD Tivo instead.

Since I've been an E* customer for six years and really have no experience with D*, I was wondering if someone might be able to give me a ball park estimate of my costs if I were to purchase a D* system that includes:

1 HD Tivo receiver
2 basic receivers
All the hardware to make it work...(triple-LNB dish, switches, etc.)

Thanks- I figure if I'm going to shell out around a grand anyway, maybe it's time to switch.

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#2 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 11:42 AM

If you've never been a DirecTV customer, the installation, satellite dish, and basic receivers would be free. I'd actually suggest you consider SD DVR's instead as that will give you more flexibility and a common TiVo user interface among all your receivers. But it would cost you $49 for the first one and $99 for the second one. One time cost though. Since you'll have a HD DVR too, you're already paying the $4.99 monthly TiVo fee (which is per-account not per-receiver), and 2 $4.99 monthly mirroring fees (the first receiver is covered by your programming packages), so no monthly costs would change using SD DVR's instead of standard receivers.

The HD DVR will cost you $999. And it's not out yet, but is looking like next week has real possibilities. Who knows, though. But there'd be no discount involved right now, and they may be in short supply for the next month, so you might have to do some hard searching to find an obscure retailer who might have one once they start shipping, or wait till a local store or mail order retailer has stock (or get on a pre-order list so you're in line, at least).

Personally, I'd recommend www.valueelectronics.com though there certainly are other online dealers with good reputations floating around.
Doug Swallow
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#3 OFFLINE   Skates

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:20 PM

Thanks - I would consider one SD Tivo, but I really don't need more, since I live alone.

I'm not necessarily going to run out and do this right away, so waiting for the HD Tivo unit is no big deal. After all, I've waited this long for a 921 and where did that get me?

Also, I thought I read something about an $899 price on the HD Tivo...

#4 OFFLINE   Chris Blount

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:21 PM

By the way Skates, Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s

#5 OFFLINE   Skates

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:29 PM

By the way Skates, Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s


Thank you.

I've been reading this board for a long time, but that whole 921 mess finally got me angry enough to sign up and post something!

#6 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:34 PM

Thanks - I would consider one SD Tivo, but I really don't need more, since I live alone.

I'm not necessarily going to run out and do this right away, so waiting for the HD Tivo unit is no big deal. After all, I've waited this long for a 921 and where did that get me?

Also, I thought I read something about an $899 price on the HD Tivo...

DirecTV on 4/4/2004 told its dealers it's enforcing a $999 minimum advertised price and anyone violating it would be penalized in some manner in their relationship.

Value Electronics is giving a $50 gift certificate with purchase (though you have to use a special link when you place your order, not the general one from their main site). But otherwise nobody's going to be discounting it for awhile; though you might find things tossed into the deal instead.

So everyone who pre-ordered at $899 on 4/4 or earlier is fine; but nobody new at that price.
Doug Swallow
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#7 OFFLINE   Skates

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Posted 17 April 2004 - 11:39 AM

Great! That gives me all the info I need. I'm going to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

In a perfect world, I'd like to wait until some users have received and tested their HD Tivos for a while to make sure I'm not trading one disaster for another.

Sorry to be cynical, but after six years with E*...

#8 OFFLINE   jcd4878

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Posted 18 April 2004 - 09:21 AM

Same situation here. I am also a long term Dish sub for over 5 years, but this 921 thing and the failed SuperDish has really pissed me off. Nothing but false advertising. The firewire ports being pulled really is the last straw, and quite honestly I really hate the DVR software on the 921. Its the first and last non-TiVo DVR I will ever buy. Currently have 3 TiVos connected to Dish basic receivers in the family, what better thing to do and just get the sat box with the TiVos allready built in? The only reason I stuck with Dish is cause I had been a sub for so long and figured I'd give the first HD DVR to market a chance. Boy, wrong move on my part.

I'm going to wait for a month to see what people say about the HD TiVos they get, but I'm guessing from current experience on the stability of TiVo software that the HD TiVo will be leaps and bounds ahead of the 921. If people are happy with it I'm dumping my extensive investment in Dish hardware onto ebay, and subbing to DirecTV.

#9 OFFLINE   OmarG

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 10:31 AM

I've shied away from TiVo in the past because I don't have a land-line phone in my house (I only use a cell phone and cable modem) -- I understand the new box downloads programming info through the satellite, but do I absolutely need a phone line for software updates? Is it possible to get those updates through the satellite? Is a land line absolutely necessary to run this box?

#10 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 22 April 2004 - 01:16 PM

I've shied away from TiVo in the past because I don't have a land-line phone in my house (I only use a cell phone and cable modem) -- I understand the new box downloads programming info through the satellite, but do I absolutely need a phone line for software updates? Is it possible to get those updates through the satellite? Is a land line absolutely necessary to run this box?

Someone has just reported that the PPP over serial connection works out of the box, so with your computer hooked up to it and providing the PPP connection, you should be able to do everything except order PPV's via remote without a phone line.
Doug Swallow
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#11 OFFLINE   CAL7

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 12:19 PM

Someone has just reported that the PPP over serial connection works out of the box, so with your computer hooked up to it and providing the PPP connection, you should be able to do everything except order PPV's via remote without a phone line.

Doug- can you elaborate? Does the HR10-250 allow use of its serial port for functions normally performed over the phone line?

#12 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 03:38 PM

Doug- can you elaborate? Does the HR10-250 allow use of its serial port for functions normally performed over the phone line?

Everything done over the phone except the PPV accounting calls to DirecTV can be done via the internet by connecting the serial port on the unit to your computer and configuring your computer to provide PPP over serial support. Instructions can be found.

Here's some info on configuring Windows XP to handle it: http://www.b-lan.com/otto/tivo3xp/

You can get the necessary cable from 9th Tee: http://www.9thtee.com/tivo-dthd.htm

It's been confirmed by someone who set up their HR10-250 out-of-the-box this way, without ever connecting a phone line.
Doug Swallow
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#13 OFFLINE   CAL7

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 08:10 AM

Thanks, Doug. Those were great links.

On a related topic, with any DirecTivo (I think the question applies equally to older SD units as well as the HD), how many calls are going out from the unit? Using the serial PPP option for the TIVO functions, but not for PPV, leads me to guess that it has call-outs for both DirecTV and for Tivo.

The manual shows a setup procedure that requires setting a local access number, which I think must be for Tivo. And, I guess there is a separate 800 number that goes to DirecTV. If the local access number were used for everything, I don't think DirecTV would be able to use ANI to determine location. Can someone fill-in the blanks for me?

#14 OFFLINE   dswallow

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 10:47 AM

You have it right; DirecTV uses ANI on the call to their 800 number. That call is initiated by info received from the satellite, so it's not something you can explicitly control. The local access number is the TiVo call, primarily for software updates and providing anonymous usage info back to TiVo/DirecTV, and that's theone that can happen over the internet.
Doug Swallow
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