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Phase III Multiswitch Help


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22 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mister Cooper

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 10:29 PM

Hello everyone,
I've been surfing for a definitive answer to a problem I've got. I hope someone here can help, and apologize if mine is a recurring question.
A DirecTV installer was at my house last week to install a Phase III dish so I could finally take advantage of my Zenith 520 HD receiver and soon-to-arrive local channels. At first glance, my Zenith and two other standard definition receivers were working fine. However, once the installer left I noticed that it was not possible to obtain a signal on all three receivers on both odd and even transponders at the same time if I tried to change the channel(transponder) on any individual receiver.
I went up on the roof and noticed that the replacement multiswitch (3x4) the installer provided had only two connections from the dish. A third input connection came from the off-air, roof-mounted antenna. Three lines from the multiswitch ran to each of my three receivers.
My question is this. Should there be 4 lines running from the integrated multiswitch on the Phase III dish plugged into a 5x8 multiswitch to correct my problem? Thanks for any help.

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#2 OFFLINE   Tusk

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:38 AM

The Phase III dish has a built in multiswitch with 4 lines running from the lnb. If the installer used a 3x4 multiswitch, then you will not get signal from all 3 sats. If you have three receivers with one line to each, then you do not need an additional multiswitch as the Phase III dish can support 4 lines. You need a 4x8 or 5x8 multiswitch (depending on antennae needs) if you need more than 4 lines.

Call the installer and have him come fix it.

#3 OFFLINE   PSB

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:58 AM

We should be printing the names of these compaines who are putting customers through this kind of hassle! Its just going to get worse now thats the schools are out, they will be sending school kids next to do the installs.

Demand to see your installers....
SBCA 1+2 certification card
Photo ID
License if needed in your state, or the name of the person in the company who is licensed, if you inform the installation company at time of booking your install that you will be checking all of the above.......... you will find they will take a lot better care of you, the people who pay their wages............THE CUSTOMER!!!!!!!!!!!!

#4 OFFLINE   Mister Cooper

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for the help. I've actually called DirecTV and visited a couple of retailers looking for an answer but they know much less than I do. I'm going to call the installer to come back and put in a 5x8 multiswitch. In the meantime, I'll just wire everything straight to the dish and use my rabbit ears for off-air.
As far as making public the names of less-than-reliable installers, I'm all for it. I asked the installer when he was over how much experience he had. He replied that he had been installing DirecTV for one year after completing some kind of installation course that cost $3,500. I pity the victims.

#5 OFFLINE   OmarG

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 03:18 PM

Thanks for the help. I've actually called DirecTV and visited a couple of retailers looking for an answer but they know much less than I do. I'm going to call the installer to come back and put in a 5x8 multiswitch. In the meantime, I'll just wire everything straight to the dish and use my rabbit ears for off-air.
As far as making public the names of less-than-reliable installers, I'm all for it. I asked the installer when he was over how much experience he had. He replied that he had been installing DirecTV for one year after completing some kind of installation course that cost $3,500. I pity the victims.


The installer may charge you for that multiswitch -- I'd talk to DirectTV about getting a credit on it if they do. My installer wanted to charge $260 for a switch! I ended up getting it for free (or free not counting the $49 HD installation option) from Circuit City.

#6 OFFLINE   Mister Cooper

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 05:18 PM

Thanks Omar. I actually talked to some helpful people at DirecTV this afternoon and they're sending another installer over the day after tomorrow. I'll make sure I don't pay for anything new, and I'll ask more questions this time. I love my technology but sometimes it hurts. Do you guys ever question the amount of time you spend researching gear, installation, repair, and improvements to your system?

#7 OFFLINE   OmarG

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 02:41 PM

Thanks Omar. I actually talked to some helpful people at DirecTV this afternoon and they're sending another installer over the day after tomorrow. I'll make sure I don't pay for anything new, and I'll ask more questions this time. I love my technology but sometimes it hurts. Do you guys ever question the amount of time you spend researching gear, installation, repair, and improvements to your system?


That's actually part of the fun, I think. I don't think I could have justified spending what I did on the HD-TiVo if I hadn't felt I researched the hell out of it and got a really good sense of what people thought of it when it arrived. I did the same thing when I bought my Toshiba TV. I don't feel comfortable making major purchases (anything over $1k) without at least doing some online research to make sure I'm making a good buy.

Otherwise, I might have ended up with a Dish 901 and would be a lot more frustrated right now.

#8 OFFLINE   Mister Cooper

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 06:13 PM

I agree that the research involved with purchasing technology like this contributes to my overall satisfaction and enjoyment. However, I often feel as though people see me as an overly obsessive geek when I talk to them about how television works, why high definition is so great, and why I have so much equipment. I know I shouldn't take it seriously, but it's tough not to when even the people who sell the stuff don't know how it works. Know what I mean?

#9 OFFLINE   Mike500

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 08:00 PM

The best multiswitch on the market is the powered 4x8 made by Zinwell. It was introduced a year ago.

I am a technical consultant to a lot of satellite dealers in my area. Forget what Perfect 10 makes and the Terk 5x8 powered switches. Many dealers have problems with them, when the use more than 5 receivers. They are often missing channels and transponders.

I replace them with the Zinwell 4x8, and they work perfectly from then on.

The OTA diplexor pass through to 8 ports is a crock. It degrades the signal and often times make the signal unusable. It often conflicts, if the antenna is amplified.

Professionally, I always install separate OTA cable runs.

#10 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 08:40 PM

Also, make sure the switch is *cascadable*. If it's not, it won't work with the Phase III dish and it's built in multiswitch.

#11 OFFLINE   Mike500

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 09:14 PM

The Zinwell Sam 4803 4x8 is the only one that I know works with everything, including Plase I, Phase II and Phase III dishes. It cascases with all built in and all 4x4 dishes, two separate lnb's and the Sat C kit.

It is also made for JVI under a differnet model number. The Zinwell is not much larger tha a standard 3x4 switch.

#12 OFFLINE   Mister Cooper

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 10:26 PM

Should the installer coming over to fix my DirecTV tomorrow know about the switches you guys are talking about and would he even use them in his installations? Or, should I spend the money and install it myself? Does the switch make that much difference with with HD receivers? Thanks for the advice. I'm going to really watch the installer tomorrow and talk to him about the gear he uses. Hey, maybe I shouldn't assume all installers are men. Have you ever seen a female installer?

#13 OFFLINE   Tusk

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 08:25 AM

The Zinwell Sam 4803 4x8 is the only one that I know works with everything, including Plase I, Phase II and Phase III dishes. It cascases with all built in and all 4x4 dishes, two separate lnb's and the Sat C kit.

It is also made for JVI under a differnet model number. The Zinwell is not much larger tha a standard 3x4 switch.


Is it the same as the JVI 35TRDTV48? I bought this one on Ebay for $35. Works great.

Posted Image

#14 OFFLINE   Mister Cooper

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 06:21 PM

Another DirecTV installer came over this morning to fix whatever was wrong with my system. He confirmed that the 3x4 multiswitch the first installer hooked to two leads from my phase III dish was not going to work. However, he said the only way he could connect all three of my receivers with satellite and off-air would be to use spiltters for the off-air antenna and diplexers from there. The connections look strange but it all works just fine and I've got good strong signals. I still think a 5x8 switch would be a better connection for the future and would look much cleaner. Thanks for all your help everyone. By the way, I saw locals on my DirecTV for the first time today. Woo hoo!

#15 OFFLINE   Tusk

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 06:44 PM

Another DirecTV installer came over this morning to fix whatever was wrong with my system. He confirmed that the 3x4 multiswitch the first installer hooked to two leads from my phase III dish was not going to work. However, he said the only way he could connect all three of my receivers with satellite and off-air would be to use spiltters for the off-air antenna and diplexers from there. The connections look strange but it all works just fine and I've got good strong signals. I still think a 5x8 switch would be a better connection for the future and would look much cleaner. Thanks for all your help everyone. By the way, I saw locals on my DirecTV for the first time today. Woo hoo!


The way he set up your off air will give you the best signal. A 5x8 switch will effectively split the off air signal 8 times and I have read that only 1-2% of the original signal actually makes it to your equipment. Just enjoy :)

#16 OFFLINE   Flyboy917

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 11:39 PM

I just bought a Spaun SMS 5802 NF 5x8 switch for my new house. Anyone have one or any experience with one? For the $$$ I paid, I would love to hear that my money was well spent!

Flyboy

#17 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 06:11 AM

If I'm understanding the discussion correctly, if I'm installing a Phase III dish for the HD Tivo and will be running just two lines from the dish directly to the HR10-250, I do not need any type of multi-switch, right? Is there any particular way the cables should be connected to the LNB's (any certain configuration?)?Thanks for your help!

#18 OFFLINE   Mike500

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 07:37 AM

Is it the same as the JVI 35TRDTV48? I bought this one on Ebay for $35. Works great.

Posted Image



Yes, Zinwell holds the patent and makes it for them. It is, however, a little larger than the Zinwell. The Zinwell SAM4803 has the smallest form factor of these on the market.

I've found these to be the best from experience, yet people, with wishful thinking, still insist on having me install a 5x8 with disasterous results to the OTA signal. They end up paying for the 5x8, installation, removal, and pay again for the Zinwell 4x8 and re-installation. They are then left with an expensive door stop. When I install the original 5x8 that they insist on, I clearly inform them that there are no refunds and no trade-in's. That's what they pay for having it their way.

According to a new New York Times article, HD OTA signals are tough enough to receive already;

http://www.nytimes.c...012000ms4tbs4o5

Split 8 ways? It's gets really weak.

#19 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:12 AM

If I'm understanding the discussion correctly, if I'm installing a Phase III dish for the HD Tivo and will be running just two lines from the dish directly to the HR10-250, I do not need any type of multi-switch, right? Is there any particular way the cables should be connected to the LNB's (any certain configuration?)?Thanks for your help!


The Phase III has a 4 output multiswitch built into the LNB assembly. Thus so long as you need 4 or less cables you don't need anything additional. And it doesn't matter what outputs you use, all 4 are the same.

The only time you would need an additional cascadable multiswitch is if you need more then 4 outputs.

#20 OFFLINE   Starrbuck

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 11:53 AM

People still insist on having me install a 5x8 with disasterous results to the OTA signal. They end up paying for the 5x8, installation, removal, and pay again for the Zinwell 4x8 and re-installation. They are then left with an expensive door stop. When I install the original 5x8 that they insist on, I clearly inform them that there are no refunds and no trade-in's. That's what they pay for having it their way.

Split 8 ways? It's gets really weak.

I have an antenna in my attic split eight ways through my Terk 5x8 and I still get 85-95% signal strength on my HR10-250 digital channels as well as decent-looking analog signals on the other TVs. I have six of the eight outputs connected to satellite receivers and never experience any lost channels or transponders.




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