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DirecTV is becoming a horrible company (opinion of a long time fan)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by ajiuO, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    Can tell you how many times I have swapped HR24s with something lower, and yes even with HR21s. 99% of folks have no clue that there is a difference. the only question I get (due to the aesthetic difference) is "is that an HDDVR?"

    Off topic, but I feel that when DirecTV deals with installation companies such as MDUs operators, and HSP, they ( DirecTV ) never takes any risk)

    I wonder if there is any benefit for the MDU to really try and "make it right" since their tenants have no other options as far as their TV services is concerned.
     
  2. rsonnens

    rsonnens Legend

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    Well, I am remodeling my house and had to move out, and I had no choice but Comcast for 6 months. All I can say is that they are the worst. The DVR is a POS, I am not talking about the hardware but the software UI and the remote is just horrible. In the three weeks I've had it my wife has thrown the remote as me in frustration 4 times. I've gone to there iPad app to do everything on my TV except I still often have to press OK on the remote even then-which seems rather odd to me.

    If I was sticking with comcast I'd go out and buy a TIVO--which would add and additional month subscription expense.

    Also Comcast support is far worse than any support I have ever gotten from any company. I was using this also as a test for internet. While the internet speed is fine the support too was horrible, especially with their phone service. The support is also unprofessional and insincere.

    I also had the luxury of helping my in-laws get comcast and in that case an installer came out and all I can say is that he was the rudest installer I ever met. I won't go into any of the details but when it came to my service I did a self install which worked OK except for phone and internet service where I got to experience their support.

    I've decided when I move back into my house it is DirectTV and ATT UVerse (internet/Phone no TV)
     
  3. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    I guess its not popularly referred to as "Comcrap" for nothing ... :)
     
  4. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    But how is an MFH-2 type system practical for the large high rise complexes with maybe over say 200+ units?

    Even using SWiM-32s as the backbone for satellite signal distribution, aren't you still talking about dozens of them along with a very large number of taps, splitters and amplifiers?
     
  5. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Why wouldn't it be practical? You take your signal, amplify it to some high (but known) quantity with a gain controlled amp, then tap off a bit of signal that gets split 8 ways to feed 8 SWM8s in a chassis to serve 8 units. If necessary you can amp it up again and start tapping again. Yeah, I'm sure it is expensive to do, but the cost divided by the number of units wouldn't be that bad. Keeps people from having dishes on the balcony of your nice building (at least those who aren't on the north side of the building ;))


    I suppose the really big high rises with thousands of units probably can't keep re-amplifying the signal forever as they'd introduce too much noise at some point. Those really big buildings could use fiber, since it is easier to amplify an optical signal without adding as much noise.
     
  6. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

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    Well isn't there some practical limitation to the MFH-2 system approach which is why MFH-3 was designed in the first place?

    Or is their something maybe new about "D2" over the former SWiM multiswtich based MFH-2 system that allows for covering the very large apartment complexes?
     
  7. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    If you look into how it'd done, you'll find it is "practical".
    "Basically" they use a trunk line drop to feed the floors through taps.
    Each floor then amplifies as needed to feed the SWiMs.
    When the trunk line levels drop too much, they add a trunk line amp.
    When it's done right, the CNR doesn't degrade.
     
  8. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe MFH3 was designed because it was cheaper for very large installs than MFH2, or at least was planned to be?

    I don't know a lot about MFH3, but from the sound of it there was a very expensive head end that essentially tuned very many (or maybe all?) channels simultaneously, so the MPEG streams could be sent out over ethernet to the receivers. A high end DSP could trivially 'tune' an entire transponder's worth of channels, so you just need a box full of them to tune everything (but I have no idea if that's how they implemented it) The receivers had nowhere to plug in coax, only ethernet, and had no tuner. If you made them in similar quantities, they'd be less expensive to make than a regular receiver because there would be fewer parts. It sounds like the H20i was similar in many ways to a Genie client using RVU.

    Since any modern building is going to have ethernet running everywhere anyway, if your building is large enough it is probably cheaper to have one really expensive head end and that's it. You're using the ethernet infrastructure you already have in the building. There's no coax running anywhere, no amps, no switches, no worries about tuner limits in the units. If they did it today you wouldn't even need receivers if it could be made compatible with RVU, though you'd need RVU clients capable of recording unless you connected that head end with a deduplicating disk array so it could act as a DVR for the entire building. Gigabit ethernet could carry 500-1000 HD channels, and 10Gb ethernet is very affordable as a backbone these days. If they used multicast, which I assume they would, you'd only need to carry each channel once no matter how many people were watching it.

    It really makes me wonder why they abandoned MFH3, but if I had to guess either they couldn't make it as cheap as they planned, or maybe the point where that become cheaper limited its market so much that it couldn't support the cost of continued development. Perhaps if they'd held out long enough to make it compatible with RVU so they didn't need specialized receivers MFH3 could have become more competitive over time as technology drove down the price of that head end.
     
  9. Blackhawks

    Blackhawks New Member

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    Better not go to Dish Network, been there and done that. Customer Service is bad, unless you strike gold.


    Sent from my iPhone using DBSTalk
     
  10. AMike

    AMike Godfather

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    Over the years, I have had more success than not with DirecTV customer service. I have had issues with some of the local contractors who didn't want to do the work and tell me it can't be done, but yet have others give me a 180 on that.

    But, I also speak as a current Comcast customer as well. The difference between the 2 companies in terms of customer service is night and day. It's always an adventure either going to the local Comcast store, or spending time on hold dealing with the worst lot of CSRs known to man.
     
  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Yes because when people call DIRECTV to complain and DIRECTV finds out the MDU operator is reponsible they often take swift punitive action.

    I can't tell you why MFH3 was designed but the bottom line is, at least in 2013, that coaxial cable is a much more robust transport mechanism for audio and video. Not only is it designed for smooth transport but it's much more durable. DIRECTV found that people were not buying MFH3 systems and the burden of maintaining them was huge.

    D2 Advantage is almost infinitely scalable with the correct equipment. I have been told of installations with 500 receivers running off one dish. As for the cost of maintaining intermediate closets full of SWMs, apparently it's manageable, that's all I can say. I don't know how MFH3 scaled up but apparently any advantages that you got were far offset by the issues revolving around putting that much category cable in the walls and having it maintained by non-computer-techs.
     
  12. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

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    One major advantage I would assume MFH2 has over MFH3 is that building owners/developers are probably way more favorable to running coax to every unit rather than fiber/ethernet only. By running coax, the unit theoretically has the flexibility to switch between DirecTV or cable as the customer desires, should the building set themselves up that way, or, should the building switch providers when their DirecTV contract runs out.

    Plus, it simplifies the supply chain for DirecTV (no need to have the IP-enabled receivers, use standard switches, only special equipment are the racks and amps) plus (and this one was probably one of the biggest factors) the MDU customers get the exact same experience, immediately, as any other DirecTV customer. Each unit has their own SWM/DECA network and can get a Genie, Genie Go, use the mobile apps, Whole Home, everything. All of that means more revenue per MDU subscriber over the MFH3 system which precluded most if not all of that.

    From what I've seen of the hardware online, it doesn't look like the rack of SWMs would take up that much room. There's going to be a wiring closet on each floor anyway, or reasonably close, even if they are using ethernet because of distance limits so space probably wouldn't be an issue.
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    We don't have a clue as to where you live, but here in Central NJ our contractor (Multi-Band) is very professional. We used to get service such as you posted, but that's been over for quite some time. They're still not as well trained as they should be and they're still fed misinformation, but that's not really their fault. All in all, I've been very satisfied with them for the last four years. Hopefully, you'll get an upgrade in service in the future.

    Rich
     
  14. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    Actually is their fault. as employee retention on this business is very, very low. there are very very few of us left over with many years of experience.
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'd think of an installer or tech as sort of an "Instrument Man". Not a well known trade, but we had them and they only dealt with really low voltages and coax. And, of course, various instruments that needed constant calibrations. I don't really see much difference in what they did and what you do. There's nothing that can compare to many years of experience, of course. I know the churn rate in your job is high and I also know how hard it is to teach what seems simple to you and I. That's one of the problems teachers face. They want to teach, but can't get their message across. Kinda like Mickey or Willie becoming batting instructors. They couldn't possibly teach someone to hit a ball as well as they could and that really frustrated Mickey (don't know if Willie ever gave that a try.)

    Rich
     
  16. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

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    I'd think of an installer or tech as sort of an "Instrument Man". Not a well known trade, but we had them and they only dealt with really low voltages and coax. And, of course, various instruments that needed constant calibrations. I don't really see much difference in what they did and what you do. There's nothing that can compare to many years of experience, of course. I know the churn rate in your job is high and I also know how hard it is to teach what seems simple to you and I. That's one of the problems teachers face. They want to teach, but can't get their message across. Kinda like Mickey or Willie becoming batting instructors. They couldn't possibly teach someone to hit a ball as well as they could and that really frustrated Mickey (don't know if Willie ever gave that a try.)

    Rich
    of course this job appears to be easy. Mount a dish, run cable, connect receivers. But there is more to this than meets the eye....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

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    I think what really confuses me the most is the inconsistency of DirecTV's service. By way of comparison, I had a DVR give up about two weeks ago. I called D* and they ran me through a series of tests to verify that there was, in fact, a problem. When the receiver failed the tests they told me that would authorize a replacement. As the OP stated, they said they would try to replace with the same unit, but could not guarantee it. I really did not like that option, but said OK. The next day the postman delivered replacement receiver of exactly the same type and all I had to do was put my bad receiver in the box, change the labels and drop it off at the post office for the return, Nothing could have been easier.

    So, what has me confused is just how different our experiences could be. How I got such outstanding service while the OP got such crappy service is just crazy to me. It is like we were dealing with two distinctly separate companies. Maybe it has to do with the setup the OP had, but D* needs to have a "second tier" support level where problems can be handled in a much better way than they are doing today.

    My heart goes out to the OP, because it certainly appears to me that he got really bad support from D* in this case. And I am sure that my story about the great service I got will fall on deaf ears by those who have not received good service. Consistency is what D* really needs to focus on if they want to keep growing their business.
     
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  18. crkeehn

    crkeehn Godfather

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    You've been very fortunate. ATT technical support can be very good, their billing can be a nightmare. The transition from ATT DSL to U-verse was a constant series of phone calls, required to get the billing issues straightened out. I was even instructed by ATT not to pay a bill I was just issued for DSL but to wait for the final bill so I pay the proper final balance. They then turned me in to collections.
     
  19. gov

    gov Legend

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    Indeed.

    But maybe it is not seen by management as much of a goal to strive for. MOST people sign up for service, get installed (or switched over) and hopefully not much more than once every several years they might need to call in or have a truck roll. There is just not that many opportunities for a huge cluster pluck for most of the people in the system.

    Those who post here, on the other hand, doing installs, antenna work, MDUs, custom home theater work etc. might be calling DirecTV and DISH and cable TV companies daily.

    We have many more chances in the CSR lottery to catch a 'bozo' on a bad day, and really get in a pickle. Just some of the weirdness I've encountered, nonreturn fees charged on active receivers, missed service calls, weird prepaid mailer adventures, bizarre receiver failures, wonky installs, and it is easy to get the impression the companies are managed by meth addicted chimpanzees.

    Or on a really bad day, that meth addicted chimps would be an improvement!

    :coffee
     
  20. inf0z

    inf0z Legend

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    Sure you own it - but you still pay a monthly fee for it. What are you going to do after? Keep a deactivated phone? Sell it for $50?



     

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