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Beginners FAQ

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Tips and Resources' started by Greg Alsobrook, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    This thread was created to help those new to DirecTV (and DBSTalk) get a little direction when navigating the forums and to answer the questions we frequently see asked by those new to the service. You're welcome to start a new thread if you can't find the answer to your question.

    Your first stop after this thread should be the "Sticky" threads (threads which have been permanently "stuck" at the top of a particular forum) in this forum, which are contain a wealth of information on topics that needed their own dedicated threads. Additionally, there are other sticky threads in the Programming & Services Forum Forum that you may find useful.

    Thanks to tcusta00 for his contributions.
  2. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    General Questions

    Q. What the heck does that acronym mean?
    A. Yep, we're a little acronym crazy around here! There is a link on the front page of DBSTalk.com under the "DBSTalk Links" heading with a list of frequently-used acronyms: DBSTalk Acronyms

    Q. Can I do my own installation?
    A. Due to the complexity of the setup, professional installation is recommended. If you choose to attempt installation yourself, here are some threads that may help you along the way:
    -DIY Satellite Installation
    -Single Wire Multiswitch (SWM) Installation

    Q. Why would I need a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)?
    A. Receivers (especially DVRs, which contain hard drives) can be very sensitive to even the slightest variations in power. A one-second outage will cause your receiver to reboot, which takes several minutes. For a minimal investment, you can protect your hardware and likely spare yourself an inconvenience in the middle of your favorite show. For more discussion, see this thread: UPS: Protect Yourself From Voltage Dips, Spikes, Surges, and Outages.

    Q. Where can I get help with my Remote Control?
    A. For all things Remote Control, see this thread: Remote Control FAQ.
  3. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    Receiver Questions

    Q. What are the technical differences in all of the receivers?
    A. A comprehensive comparison chart can be found in this thread.

    Q. What is the best way to reboot or shut down my receiver?
    A. The recommended method is to perform a menu reset. On your remote control, press "Menu>Parental, Fav's & Setup>System Setup>Reset>Restart Receiver>Dash Key. If you would like to shut down the receiver, follow the above commands, wait for the blue lights on the front of the receiver to turn off, and pull the power plug. If your receiver is not responsive, open the access card door on the front right corner and press the Red Reset Button.

    Q. How do I turn off the lighted blue ring on the front panel of my receiver?
    A. On the front of the receiver, press the left and right arrow buttons simultaneously. Each time you do this it will dim one level until it finally goes out. Repeat to turn it back on. Additionally, when the receiver resets the ring will revert to it's "on" state and you'll have to repeat.

    Q. Do I need a phone line connected to my receiver?
    A. The only reason you'd need a phone line connected to your receiver is if you'd like to use the caller ID feature (incoming calls show on screen) or if you'd like to order PPV movies with your remote. Otherwise you can order PPV either by calling DirecTV (extra charge) or by ordering online (no extra charge). By hooking your receiver up to your home network you will also be able to order PPV using your remote. It is not possible to "share" the phone connection by having one receiver hooked up to the phone line and networking the rest of the receivers.

    Q. Where can I get the HR2X receiver?
    A. It's very rare that you can request and receiver a specific model number of a receiver. For instance, if you order an HD DVR you may get the HR20, HR21, HR22, or HR23. There are many variables involved and even if a CSR says they can get it for you, it's unlikely the request will be honored. If you want to guarantee that you get a specific model number the best idea is to go to a local store like Best Buy or Costco and pick one up yourself.

    Q. Is my receiver leased or owned?
    A. Most receivers being issued today are leased. There are few exceptions to this rule, like owned legacy receivers being replaced under the protection plan, but generally most receivers are leased.

    Q. Should I buy a receiver on eBay or Craigslist?
    A. Like anything on eBay, buyer beware. Check seller feedback and make sure you know what you're buying. There are reputable sellers that are authorized DirecTV retailers but DBSTalk will not keep a list. 99.9% of receivers sold on eBay are leases, regardless of what they say in the auction. To best protect yourself when buying online you should ask for the RID (Receiver ID) number and call DirecTV to ask if the receiver is clear.

    Q. Can I still use my old HR10-250 HD Tivo?
    A. Sure, but be aware that it will only receive the MPEG2 HD channels, which are few compared to the newer MPEG4 channels that the newer HR2x receivers can see. Later in 2009 the MPEG2 channels will be shut down. If you want to use it for SD only you shouldn't run into any issues.

    Q. Will getting a new receiver or replacing my broken receiver trigger a new commitment?
    A. Short answer: Maybe. Long answer: Make sure you ask and document your conversation, but here is the rule of thumb: If you're starting a new lease you will generally get a new commitment. Ask the CSR what the length of the commitment is. If you're getting a broken receiver replaced under the protection plan your existing commitment shouldn't be extended. If you're getting a broken receiver replaced and are past the first 90 days then your commitment may be extended. YMMV.

    Q. Where can I get more information on using my HD-DVR?
    A. Most of the basic questions can be found in the HD DVR FAQ. Some more advanced, "power user", type of help can be found in the Undocumented HD-DVR+ Tips & Tricks thread.

    Q. Where can I get help with Closed Captioning issues?
    A. Capmeister has compiled some excellent troubleshooting steps here.

    Q. Should I turn "Native" 'On' of 'Off' in the display settings?
    A. This is a question that has no concise answer. It is all a matter of opinion. The best suggestion is for you to test out each way, and see which works best for you.
  4. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007

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