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MPEG4 in D.C. area


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#61 OFFLINE   signal34

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 07:37 PM

Well, I had my install with Mastec and I have to admit...it went great. The tech (Jorge) arrived at about 1:45. I met him at his work van to ensure he had everything (dish, 6x8) which he did. He said that I was his seventh install today, third 5-lnb. He admitted he didn't have the new signal meter (his boss only bought one and he shared it amongst the other techs) so I was a bit skeptical whether he could find a strong signal. But after reading this and so many other sites about the new installs, I asked him various questions (quizzed him) and he rattled the answers off without skipping a beat.

He shimmied up on the roof and had the dish installed in 30 minutes. I took the time to help him out by installing the new 6x8 and receiver. We would have been up and running withing the hour, but I accidentally hooked up the OTA cable in the SAT IN, and vice versa. :sure: Once we figured that out (after changing multiswitches and LNBs) he had an 85-90 signal on all sats...remember, that's WITHOUT the signal meter.

The last hassle was D* was having problems adding the new receiver, so that took another 25-30 minutes. If it weren't for the cable mishap and the problem adding the receiver, I would have to say the whole install would have been 1 hour.

The only question I have: He said I don't need the monopole installed on the roof since the dish was installed in a stud. Should I call back and have someone install it? I hadn't seen anything definitive on whether it should be installed or not.

____________________

This receiver is great. My wife was not thrilled with having to go through the hassle of new equipment, but even she said "Wow...the picture looks ten times better." The pq is awesome, I now get over 25 OTA channels (opposed to 7 with my HTL-HD) since its more sensitive, and I can put up with the slow guide. I don't use many of the advanced features so many of the quirks others have issues about aren't a problem for me.

The remote is another issue though. It's clunky, bottom heavy, the buttons aren't laid out well, and I can't believe its not backlit! I'll have to look for another solution.

____________________

So to sum up, my install with Mastec was great, the receiver is definitely worth it (everything was free anyway), and if someone would be kind enough to answer the monopole question, I'd appreciate any comments.


PS -- no photos like promised since there's nothing spectacular about the roof mount.

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#62 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 07:43 PM

Congratulations.
Kind of funny about the signal meter, aren't those things only about 120.00
Supposedly, if it's mounted properly with the right lag bolts it's supposed to be sufficient. However, I have never roof mounted any of my dishes, so my opinions on that are pretty much useless.

Get a Harmony 880 remote, they're pretty slick. Expensive, but IMHO worth it.
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#63 OFFLINE   WMSDSS

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 08:19 PM

I have roof mount without mono pole. No problems forseen as existing install was roof mount. Neighbor has roof mount also!!

#64 OFFLINE   dsanbo

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 01:22 PM

Signal34......
My AT9 was installed without the monopoles; they had been ordered, but didn't arrive until 2 days after the install.....The installers said they used 6 carriage bolts directly into a 2X6 stud, and that should be sufficient. They DID say if I felt more comfortable, they'd come back and put the monopoles in (for a nominal fee, of course....;) )

#65 OFFLINE   signal34

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:26 PM

Thanks for all the replies. :D I'll mull it over a little bit and see which side the coin drops for both the monopoles and the remote.

#66 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:55 PM

I had my new 5 LNB dish installed a week ago today. The tech. recommended a mononpole, so I agreed. He dug a hole 3ft deep and set the pole with 1 bag of concrete--I suggested 2 bags, but he declined and said 1 was enough. For the next several days the wind blew and the dish moved around a bit. Called the tech. back and he said it would firm up in a few days when the concrete set. Waited a couple of more days and things were still moving around, so I went to Home Depot, got some half-inch copper water pipe, a pipe collar, etc. and fasioned a couple of struts to attach to the house together together with the collar. Now I've got an installation that doesn't move!!

This is the 1st time I've had a DirecTV tech out to do anything--I've had service since the beginning and always did the antenna installation/pointing, cabling, etc. myself. If I could have installed this antenna myself without paying any $'s I would have. The tech I had was knowledgeable, but so overwhelmed with appts. that he just didn't have the time to do the job correctly. He didn't even bother to go through the precision alignment routine for the dish (as described in the antenna's instructions)--I asked him why not and he said "it's not necessary". He just hooked his meter up and did the rough Az, El, Tilt alignment and called it close enough.

The tech. said he was from NC and was called up to Northern VA. to handle the overflow with all the upgrades. He said in NC, it was against most of the local building codes to mount this new dish to the roof/wall--all the installs he's done down there have been monopoles. I asked him what he got paid for one of the 5 LNB installs and he said $27 each!!!--unbelievable.

Here's a couple of pics. of my pole mount after I added the extra support/bracing--comments?

P1070005.JPG

P1070006.JPG

P1070007.JPG

#67 OFFLINE   redskin9

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 02:43 PM

Update to 1/7 install.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

MASTEC showed up at 9:30 am. Subcontractor with van and ladder rack/ladder , no D* logo but not a rust bucket.
Proceeded to swap out dish after "eyeballing" for reception. Preassembled new 5 LNB dish at his van and attempted to install on existing pole mount that the 3 LNB had been on. Surprise !!! The new dish requires a larger diameter pole. The tech tried wrapping the pole with a couple of rounds of electrical tape to build it out , which I knew wouldn't and didn't work. Stand back and scratch his head.

Next attempt was to U-bolt a roof mount to the existing pole. Looked like this might work until he mounted the new dish to it. Pole visably swayed with light touch, let alone any wind. Pointed out to tech that this probably occured while he was trying to hammer the U-bolts over the pole to go thru the roof mount(they were a hair too small) and broke it free of the concrete it was set in (obviously not done well by E* installation before D* but ok for smaller dish). His solution was to try and stomp on ground to compact around the pole. Then tried to hammer a couple of rocks around base of pole to sturdy it. I pointed out that this was not going to work at all. His response was " new dish more heavy" ( this was the beginning of the trouble with communication between us). I pointed out that I had made multiple calls to Advanced Technologies and the MASTEC local dispatch to indicate that I had a pole mount and wanted the same for the upgrade so they could have material on hand when they arrived. Even pointed out that his work order indicated pole mount. "Yes" was his reply.

"Home Depot no have bigger pole" was the next thing out of his mouth. I got a tape measure and checked the required diameter and found it to be 2 inches. At this time I was beginning to steam. After going back and forth over this issue he agreed to "get pole and come back" , then began to reinstall my original 3 LNB back on the wobbly pole he had broken loose (meaning SEE YA !!!). This was when I lost it and told him there was no way in HELL he was leaving me like this, so I called MASTEC who informed me that I would have to speak to this techs supervisor to resolve any complaints I had. All during my call the tech was frantically talking to his super in Spanish (I have no idea what was said but got the general gist, and it appeared that he was going to pack up). The supers response to me was "new dish more heavy" and "need bigger pole". I can see why he was selected as management material.

I told the super to tell his tech to install the new dish on a nearby 4x4 fence post and activate the new H20 before he left, which was done. Tech throws meter on new dish and gets signal in a minute or so and locks everything down. Didn't look as complicated as what the instructional videos and everyones postings made it out to be.

Now comes the good part !!!!

Later that night I lost my local HD feeds around 9 :30 pm. No clue as to the cause but they came back on Sunday morning when I checked them out. Thought that maybe something to do with new rcvr and software upgrades. Then I lost them again around 7 pm Sunday night (maybe the H20 doesn't like nightime). Went thru diagnostics and discovered 0 signal levels on 103 Sat and many low (40-50) range on many other transponders on multiple SATS. Talk to tier 2 Tech support at D* and they tell what I suspect and that levels are way too low and will need to schedule a service call to align the dish properly. Scheduled for 1/11 am.

Contacted MASTEC this morning to tell my sad story and register complaints.
Informed them, that under no circumstances to send the same tech as last time. Also requested that they schedule me on the early (8 am) side of the time slot to minimize the time that I must now take off from work because of the quality job that was done on 1/7. I am told it will be done. We'll see , stay tuned.

#68 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 06:28 PM

Hey Redskin9, Sorry you had some problems.

I hate to say it but mine when alot smoother this afternoon.

Well, he was here about 45 minutes. While he set the dish up iI replaced the older 5x8 switch with the new 6x8and setup the H20. I already had the pole set-up as alot of you guys that have been following the thread knew.

I have a few more pics withbetter res and more light. I did take one this evening , at night, that I wanted to post because in the left hand side of the pic you'll see the old 3-LNB that is literally mounted to the porch's floor (w/base). On the right hand side you'll see the new. I haven't had a lot of time to look things over closely or finish dressing the cables (I'll do that this weekend). But what i noticed is the two dishes don't seem to be pointing or titled exactly the same way. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but there is some noticeable difference. I seem to have strong signals, so Ill just wait and see.

I posted a couple of other pics as well. One shows the bottom of the pole where I can remove the bolt and raise the whole dish as or when needed (Yea I know, gotta be careful). Another is just showing the trees across the street that gave me the idea of wanting to be able to rasie the dish if/when needed.

It's funny redskin9 mentioned black tape. If you notice in one of the pics I have attached, about a foot long, the "standard" 2" pipe on top of the 80 guage steel pipe. Well, the base wouldn't fit. He took it off and started to use black tape as well. I said hang on buddy, I had some real thin sheet metal that we wrapped around the top, then used a couple pieces of tape to keep it in place then put the base on.

All is well now. We'll see how it goes.

Attached Thumbnails

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#69 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:41 AM

Update to 1/7 install.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

MASTEC showed up at 9:30 am. Subcontractor with van and ladder rack/ladder , no D* logo but not a rust bucket.
Proceeded to swap out dish after "eyeballing" for reception. Preassembled new 5 LNB dish at his van and attempted to install on existing pole mount that the 3 LNB had been on. Surprise !!! The new dish requires a larger diameter pole. The tech tried wrapping the pole with a couple of rounds of electrical tape to build it out , which I knew wouldn't and didn't work. Stand back and scratch his head.

Next attempt was to U-bolt a roof mount to the existing pole. Looked like this might work until he mounted the new dish to it. Pole visably swayed with light touch, let alone any wind. Pointed out to tech that this probably occured while he was trying to hammer the U-bolts over the pole to go thru the roof mount(they were a hair too small) and broke it free of the concrete it was set in (obviously not done well by E* installation before D* but ok for smaller dish). His solution was to try and stomp on ground to compact around the pole. Then tried to hammer a couple of rocks around base of pole to sturdy it. I pointed out that this was not going to work at all. His response was " new dish more heavy" ( this was the beginning of the trouble with communication between us). I pointed out that I had made multiple calls to Advanced Technologies and the MASTEC local dispatch to indicate that I had a pole mount and wanted the same for the upgrade so they could have material on hand when they arrived. Even pointed out that his work order indicated pole mount. "Yes" was his reply.

"Home Depot no have bigger pole" was the next thing out of his mouth. I got a tape measure and checked the required diameter and found it to be 2 inches. At this time I was beginning to steam. After going back and forth over this issue he agreed to "get pole and come back" , then began to reinstall my original 3 LNB back on the wobbly pole he had broken loose (meaning SEE YA !!!). This was when I lost it and told him there was no way in HELL he was leaving me like this, so I called MASTEC who informed me that I would have to speak to this techs supervisor to resolve any complaints I had. All during my call the tech was frantically talking to his super in Spanish (I have no idea what was said but got the general gist, and it appeared that he was going to pack up). The supers response to me was "new dish more heavy" and "need bigger pole". I can see why he was selected as management material.

I told the super to tell his tech to install the new dish on a nearby 4x4 fence post and activate the new H20 before he left, which was done. Tech throws meter on new dish and gets signal in a minute or so and locks everything down. Didn't look as complicated as what the instructional videos and everyones postings made it out to be.

Now comes the good part !!!!

Later that night I lost my local HD feeds around 9 :30 pm. No clue as to the cause but they came back on Sunday morning when I checked them out. Thought that maybe something to do with new rcvr and software upgrades. Then I lost them again around 7 pm Sunday night (maybe the H20 doesn't like nightime). Went thru diagnostics and discovered 0 signal levels on 103 Sat and many low (40-50) range on many other transponders on multiple SATS. Talk to tier 2 Tech support at D* and they tell what I suspect and that levels are way too low and will need to schedule a service call to align the dish properly. Scheduled for 1/11 am.

Contacted MASTEC this morning to tell my sad story and register complaints.
Informed them, that under no circumstances to send the same tech as last time. Also requested that they schedule me on the early (8 am) side of the time slot to minimize the time that I must now take off from work because of the quality job that was done on 1/7. I am told it will be done. We'll see , stay tuned.


Man I feel your pain and frustration. I feel so bad for you and I know how frustrated you must feel. Like many I have had very similar experiences with techs and have posted on the forum about my nightmarish experience. I can't believe how lousy the techs are and I honestly think it comes from the top down, as you mentioned in your post, the supervisors are pretty bad and this shows you how poorly they manage things. Honestly, I don't think there is anything that can be done about it, and you pretty much have to put up with it if you want DTV. Mastec surely is not gonna do anything about it, they have been like this for years and DirecTV isn't doing anything about it. I don't think enuf people compalin about it, once their service is finally working. I assume people must complain but maybe not enuf or maybe DTV just doens't give a crap.

It sucks that we live in area where installers are so horrible. I'm sure in other parts of the country people have much better experiences. I'm sure in our area there are a few good installers, but most of them are pretty bad. I think the only way to get a smooth installation is if the stars line up perfectly. Firstly, you have to have a fairly easy and straightforward installation, things have to go relatively smoothly, and most importantly you have a good installer who brings all proper equipment and is fully prepared. Thats alot of stuff that has to work out for you to have a smooth installation and in most instances none of these things are aligned. Most of the techs are just not properly trained, prepared, or even willing to do the job right. As has been noted in several other posts, they often look for a reason to just abandon the installation and have someone else do it. And now with the new 5 lnb dishes and more complicated installations, I think there are many soon to be pissed off clients.

I really want to stay with DTV but I am seriously considering leaving and going to cable. I know the installation is gonna be hell and i just don't want to ge thru with it. But I have to say you were very smart in paying attention to the tech because they will cut as many corners as possible and try to sneak away after doing a crappy installation. Then your stuck with calling up DTV, waiting on hold, rescheduling another appt, and sitting around all day only to go thru the annoying process again with another incompetent tech.

I hope things pick up for you and it all goes well, just remember to stay on them.

#70 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 12:48 PM

Here's a couple of pics. of my pole mount after I added the extra support/bracing--comments?


Interesting. Hopefully it will continue to work for you. My first thought was that it looked like your pole mount was 1-2 feet taller than alot of the other pics I've seen. Not being critical.:) I've got my own giration.

BTW. You need to remove your XMAS lights.
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#71 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:43 PM

Don't know about the 1-2 ft. taller--if it was too much shorter then people walking by it would disrupt the signal. Seems to me that just about any pole type mount is going to have movement at the top of the pole unless it's braced or you use wires down to the ground. I was voting for the the wall mount (the old 3 LNB antenna is directly above mounted on the corner of the garage wall as was the predecessor 18" round version), but the tech. voted for the pole mount even though it was more work. I'm still going to go through the precision alignment routine even though the tech. claimed it wasn't necessary.

Hmm yes--X-Mas lights do need to come down soon--

#72 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:07 PM

Don't know about the 1-2 ft. taller--if it was too much shorter then people walking by it would disrupt the signal. Seems to me that just about any pole type mount is going to have movement at the top of the pole unless it's braced or you use wires down to the ground. I was voting for the the wall mount (the old 3 LNB antenna is directly above mounted on the corner of the garage wall as was the predecessor 18" round version), but the tech. voted for the pole mount even though it was more work. I'm still going to go through the precision alignment routine even though the tech. claimed it wasn't necessary.

Hmm yes--X-Mas lights do need to come down soon--


That's true about people possibly walking by. I thought about that too, I don't know if you saw my pics in the earlier posts, mine's only about four feet high. I was going more for keeping t "hidden" more than anything. My wife has been good about this, but it is noticeably bigger.

I've never wall mounted before. I think pole is better all the way around.
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#73 OFFLINE   redskin9

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:30 AM

update to service call 1/11/06.

Rcvd call from MASTEC tech at 8:20 saying he was on the way and would be here in 20 min. Showed up 8:35 am (good start). Inquired about what trouble was I experiencing and explained all to him (at that time I had absolutely no signal on 103 sat transponders) including many signal levels in 40-50 on other sats but no noticable reception problems. He informed me that the highest signal level that I would see with the new H20 rcvr would be around 82 %. Said that he would get tools and align dish.

His procedure was to check signal on 101 sat transponder 1. He then went to dish and asked me to go inside so he could call on his cell and have me tell him when signal was 82 %??? He tweeked until signal fell there. When I was talking to him about the issues with D* and installations he informed me that he wasn't even properly trained in the new setup. Just had been told to do such and such,didn't even have a meter for alignment procedure. When finished I now have signals at 80-90 % for 103 sat and local HD feeds. Checked other sats and transponders and levels are as high as 93 % on a couple (there goes the 82 % theory). Couple are still on the lower side 60 % but no problems noted yet.

It's amazing that D* won't sell you all the equipment and allow a self install, but will allow the companies providing their installation support to send guys out not trained and without test equipment. I have been told by them that it is to insure that the system is installed properly and eliminate the need to send someone out afterwards. Would it be so bad to have the subscriber sign a waiver and let him do it himself ? I could have done all this on my own and will in the future when I put in a new pole and relocate the dish in the spring.

I had similar issues with E* that caused me to switch to D* I thought that it was all VIA Satellite(E* contractor) but now see it is an across the board problem. If you want to have something done right you have to do it yourself. Hopefully I won't have to depend on MASTEC ever again. I've got my fingers crossed.

#74 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:45 AM

update to service call 1/11/06.

Rcvd call from MASTEC tech at 8:20 saying he was on the way and would be here in 20 min. Showed up 8:35 am (good start). Inquired about what trouble was I experiencing and explained all to him (at that time I had absolutely no signal on 103 sat transponders) including many signal levels in 40-50 on other sats but no noticable reception problems. He informed me that the highest signal level that I would see with the new H20 rcvr would be around 82 %. Said that he would get tools and align dish.

His procedure was to check signal on 101 sat transponder 1. He then went to dish and asked me to go inside so he could call on his cell and have me tell him when signal was 82 %??? He tweeked until signal fell there. When I was talking to him about the issues with D* and installations he informed me that he wasn't even properly trained in the new setup. Just had been told to do such and such,didn't even have a meter for alignment procedure. When finished I now have signals at 80-90 % for 103 sat and local HD feeds. Checked other sats and transponders and levels are as high as 93 % on a couple (there goes the 82 % theory). Couple are still on the lower side 60 % but no problems noted yet.

It's amazing that D* won't sell you all the equipment and allow a self install, but will allow the companies providing their installation support to send guys out not trained and without test equipment


Same experience that I had--tech. had a meter in my case, but didn't bother with the precision alignment settings on the dish at all. Given these experineces, I see no reason why this dish is not a "self-install". I have the installation instructions for the dish and it clearly says "Use of a DirecTV receiver as a signal meter for antenna alignment is not an acceptable method for peaking the antenna."

#75 OFFLINE   dsanbo

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 12:29 PM

It's my opinion that ANY installation outfit - small OR large -worth its salt should have at LEAST the minimum basic tools necessary to satisfactorily - and PROFESSIONALLY - complete a job.....regardlesss of cost. Saying, (Well...I'm just a poor Ma&Pa op....cant afford_________...." doesn't cut it!!! IF you're in business to make money and keep a solid customer base....you gotta expect to put some bling up front...or GET OUTTA the BIZ!!!!
In the case of AT9 installs....a $3500 spectrum analyzer is the IDEAL tool for the job. Yes, not everyone can afford to BUY one...but ANY reputable business SHOULD be able to successfully negotiate a lease/rental of such equipment....
Would a trucking company try to start in business without mechanic(s) with the proper tools to maintain the fleet.....???;)
(Exits soapbox, much to the pleasure of other forum participants.....)

#76 OFFLINE   redskin9

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 02:58 PM

Same experience that I had--tech. had a meter in my case, but didn't bother with the precision alignment settings on the dish at all. Given these experineces, I see no reason why this dish is not a "self-install". I have the installation instructions for the dish and it clearly says "Use of a DirecTV receiver as a signal meter for antenna alignment is not an acceptable method for peaking the antenna."


Just finished registering a complaint with D* about the shoddy support being provided by MASTEC. Explained my concerns about training, equipment and poor service in general and not the way to start off a relationship as a new customer. I was assured that these are very valid concerns and would not be glossed over. Brought up the subject of self install and was told " but then the system would not be warranted for 90 days as it is now". DUH ??? Like I have all the time in the world to take off from work to get something corrected that shouldn't have occured in the first place ?

Everyone who experiences less than professional work from MASTEC (or any other
company providing D* support) should make it a point to register a complaint with D*. Contact Technical Support (yea I know it can be a pain to get thru the IVR system) and ask to speak to a senior tech rep. Voice your concerns and displeasure. If they don't know, then nothing will ever be done to correct the problem. I know that it sounds like a waste of time but what have you got to loose? I for one am tired of the run around.

For all those who are inclined there is a good instructional video on new 5 LNB installation and alignment at www.solidsignal.com. I plan on purchasing the Acutrac22 Pro signal meter for my own use in the future and follow the video instuctions. It has to be cheaper in the long run vice missing work or using vacation time for these idiots.
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#77 OFFLINE   HDTVsportsfan

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 05:24 PM

Just finished registering a complaint with D* about the shoddy support being provided by MASTEC. Explained my concerns about training, equipment and poor service in general and not the way to start off a relationship as a new customer. I was assured that these are very valid concerns and would not be glossed over. Brought up the subject of self install and was told " but then the system would not be warranted for 90 days as it is now". DUH ??? Like I have all the time in the world to take off from work to get something corrected that shouldn't have occured in the first place ?

Everyone who experiences less than professional work from MASTEC (or any other
company providing D* support) should make it a point to register a complaint with D*. Contact Technical Support (yea I know it can be a pain to get thru the IVR system) and ask to speak to a senior tech rep. Voice your concerns and displeasure. If they don't know, then nothing will ever be done to correct the problem. I know that it sounds like a waste of time but what have you got to loose? I for one am tired of the run around.

For all those who are inclined there is a good instructional video on new 5 LNB installation and alignment at www.solidsignal.com. I plan on purchasing the Acutrac22 Pro signal meter for my own use in the future and follow the video instuctions. It has to be cheaper in the long run vice missing work or using vacation time for these idiots.
____________________________________________

" I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! "

Peter Finch in Network


Deep Breath......Deep Breath......Redskin9 ;).

I was thinking about buying one of the testers as well.

I lost SAT C - 0 Signal, 5 hours after the initial setup(Monday Eve).
Tonight I went out and checked some things. I noticed guided setup said the tilt should be 62, it was 68. All is working now. I'll probably finish "tightning" everything up this weekend.

Hope all continues to work for you.
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#78 OFFLINE   hamltnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 05:36 PM

Just finished registering a complaint with D* about the shoddy support being provided by MASTEC. Explained my concerns about training, equipment and poor service in general and not the way to start off a relationship as a new customer. I was assured that these are very valid concerns and would not be glossed over. Brought up the subject of self install and was told " but then the system would not be warranted for 90 days as it is now". DUH ??? Like I have all the time in the world to take off from work to get something corrected that shouldn't have occured in the first place ?

Everyone who experiences less than professional work from MASTEC (or any other
company providing D* support) should make it a point to register a complaint with D*. Contact Technical Support (yea I know it can be a pain to get thru the IVR system) and ask to speak to a senior tech rep. Voice your concerns and displeasure. If they don't know, then nothing will ever be done to correct the problem. I know that it sounds like a waste of time but what have you got to loose? I for one am tired of the run around.

For all those who are inclined there is a good instructional video on new 5 LNB installation and alignment at solidsignal.com. I plan on purchasing the Acutrac22 Pro signal meter for my own use in the future and follow the video instuctions. It has to be cheaper in the long run vice missing work or using vacation time for these idiots.
____________________________________________

" I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! "

Peter Finch in Network



I looked at that video and it's very good--I also retrieved the instructions from the box that the new antenna came in. I also made a very, very small investment ($10) in a SF-95 Satellite Signal Finder (nothing fancy, but it works). I went through the precision alignment instructions with the SF-95 and improved my signal levels a few points (the tilt was off a couple of degrees). I too called DirecTV and complained about the quality of the install and got another $10 per month off for 6 months. As for the 90 day warranty--if you have the protection plan, the 90 day warranty is kind of pointless. I agree with you, you get a better install and less aggravation doing it yourself, and you save DirecTV $'s also.

#79 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 09:48 PM

I guess it's a good idea to register complaints but I don't think its gonna do much. I registered complaints with DirecTV about Mastec twice, a few years ago and then again about a year ago. It made absolutely no difference and I basicallly got lip service from the CSR, who offered to take a few bucks off my bill and said the complaint would be noted. On both occasions it sounded like they were just going thru the motions. When I spoke to a tech who had come up to the area to handle some of the excess, he mentioned to me that he was really blown away by what he had seen in terms of the poor quality of the installers and their level of knowledge about the basics. This guy was excellent and did an amazing install and I asked him why he didn't start his own company and start doing installs himself? He pointed out that he had been trying for years but that DTV is not very competitive in assigning contractors and makes it very difficult for new and better companies to move in. This makes a lot of sense considering the horrendous level of service many of us have received. He also mentioned that DTV is very reluctant to re-assign contractors or dump them all together especially when they have so many installations in the pipelien-its a matter of logistics. This is pretty stupid on DTV's part because this is a pretty bad reason to continue delivering poor service, especially at the point of initial contact with customers. The fact that there is little or no competition creates absoultely no incentive for contractors to deliver good service. They know no matter what they do they won't lose the contract. This is DTV's fault, if they were much stricter and held contractors to a very high standard, none of these horror stories would be occuring. I don't think any of this will change, at least anytime soon.

The thing that absolutely gets me is that DTV, well all these tv providers brag about how many subscribers they have and how much they will grow. Has DTV considered that they could potentially have 1 or 2 million more customers by now if they just improved the installation process. I really just don't get it, how hard is this too understand? I have heard DTV execs (even Murdoch himself) mention the very high churn rate that is eating into DTV's business. They blame high-risk customers for this and although there is some truth to it, I think they overestimate it and underestimate the impact of the poor level of service and dreadful installation process. I mean think about it, if you are about to move and you have had the unfortunate experience of a horrible DTV install, then why would you want to go thru it again. Also now that many people will be needing upgardes, why would you want to go thru the process again. I absoultely love my DTV service but now that I have to upgrade my equipment to get HD, I am seriously consdiering moving back to cable although thats not exactly the best option for me, but I'm really dreading the nightmare of another DTV install.

Others have mentiond the issues of sself-installs and DTV's relectance to allow them. Again this makes no sense. They maintain that a tech is required to do the job right, yeah right give me a break!!! Many of the so-called installers are absolutely oblivious to the process. And how does it help when customers often have to miss work several times to sit around for several different installers to come out and try to do the job right. And this whole issue with warranty is ridiculous and just a lame excuse, why not just extend self-installers the same warranty. Why not allow customers who want to do self installs do them. Surely only a fraction of customers will choose this option but wouldn't this lessen the load on installers who often have too many appointments in a single day. Wouldn't it also allow contractors to hire better trained techs because they wouldn't need so many of them. Those who choose to do self installs can have the equipment shipped directly to them with an installation video and some detailed instructions and they could even have a tech support line to help with minor issues. Actually they could even send the equipment directly to all customers and the installers would only need a signal meter, some wiring, and tools. Too often the techs use the lack of equipment as a reason to weasle out of appointments. I mean I don't understand why they don't streamline this entire process. Boy if I could just get five minutes with the DTV execs!!!!

#80 OFFLINE   deraz

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 09:59 PM

Sorry that I have been away. I decided to go ahead with the 5lnb and H20. Called D*, they actually set up an appointment for last Sun. I received a call from the installer in the morning and said he would be here 12:30 to 1. He arrived about 12:40. I told him I would switch the box while he did the dish. He finished the dish before I even had a chance to switch the box. Everything works perfectly. He didn't ask for my old box. I couldn't be happier. I wish I knew his name to be able to refer others to him.
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