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DirecTV with a Generator

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by llupin, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Nov 7, 2012 #81 of 369
    KyL416

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    Maybe ten years ago that would have been the case, but these days radio is only good if you live in an area with a decent nightime signal or have a local staff that wasn't let go in favor of a satellite format from Clear Channel where the few local news breaks are taped in advanced and voicetracked by someone in San Antonio who can't pronounce any of the local names correctly. The AM stations here in Northeast PA have nighttime signals that barely make it outside of the city limits, and instead of doing the smart thing and having the FM stations simulcast their sister AM station that actually had news like NYC and Philly did, they just aired their regular playlist. Then of course the owner of the only local station in the Poconos is in a bankruptcy auction with a barebones staff, so in previous years where they were the station to turn to during storms, they were useless.

    On the otherhand, the TV stations stepped up to the game and provided regular updates during the day and had emergency info on a ticker when needed.
     
  2. Nov 7, 2012 #82 of 369
    dpeters11

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    Yikes, makes me glad to have WLW. The government forced them to reduce power, but still has a large range.
     
  3. Nov 7, 2012 #83 of 369
    dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

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    I'm guessing you meant 5500 watt ;)
     
  4. Nov 7, 2012 #84 of 369
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    TV is not perfect, but radio has gone downhill to the point where it is not as useful as it once was. The digital TV conversion helped radio (less portable devices that could tune a usable signal) but TV can get a lot more information across in a limited amount of time.

    If one is to the point in a disaster where one CAN set up a generator then the portability drawbacks of DTV are reduced.

    As an example - the last major weather event that hit my home we lost satellite due to the extreme cloud cover and torrential rain. (It was one of those rain storms where the cable company loses their satellite reception on their big dishes.) We had power and internet so I was watching NWS weather radar on my laptop with TV streamed from an OTA tuner (HD Homerun) to see the weather warnings and progress of the storm.

    I never considered turning on a radio ... most the local stations are automated and the only information they would broadcast would be the Emergency Alerts I was seeing online and repeated on TV. (On radio, if one misses the EAS broadcast the information is missed ... back to Otto Mation and the music machine!)

    The last major power outage where I am was an ice storm. Once the immediate danger of the storm passed and we waited for the power crews to restore power, cranking up the generator and watching TV made perfect sense. Satellite TV even more so as the cable system was down (since they relied on commercial power).

    I have the generator so I can run the water pump (flush toilets! yay!), run the gas furnace (heat! yay!) and fridge (keep food safe! yay!) and have a few lights on (no candles, no fires). But if I can also run a TV and satellite receiver why not?
     
  5. Nov 7, 2012 #85 of 369
    JeffBowser

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    A major hurricane takes down broadcast towers and distribution centers. In my area, after Wilma, local radio survived oddly enough, and the local TV stations utilized that resource and provided local news until their towers and broadcasting ability was restored. I'm not sure how many of you have actually been through a real disaster. I have been, Andrew was my first - I'm not talking run of the mill winter storms, even nor' easters - I'm talking real destructive events that disable large swaths of a state for large periods of a time. In such an event, TV pales in comparison to real life and real life struggle. Mind you, I'm not arguing TV is useless. I am, and have always, argued that TV takes a far too elevated a position in modern society, (and certainly up here :D ). It's nice to have sure, but one can never sell me that it's "essential"
     
  6. Nov 7, 2012 #86 of 369
    loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    Watch this video and you will see a good reason for having a back up generator, to keep you informed during a storm. This hurricane was my first experience with owning one. I will never go without one again. Some of you may recognize Brian Norcross, who is now with the Weather Channel.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma3r-zhny3k
     
  7. Nov 7, 2012 #87 of 369
    jimmie57

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    Yes, thanks. I fixed it.
     
  8. Nov 7, 2012 #88 of 369
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Radio uses towers too!

    Crank up the generator and tune to The Weather Channel or national news network of your choice. Hurricanes rarely take those down. (And when you are bored with the news, watch ESPN or something else as a diversion.)

    If the kids want disaster coverage they can look out the window ... if they want Spongebob (and you want The Daily Show) you are going to need satellite. :D
     
  9. Nov 8, 2012 #89 of 369
    trainman

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    Sherman...
    They're still operating a nondirectional signal at 50,000 watts, the most an AM station is allowed -- or are you referring to 70 years ago, when their temporary authorization for 500,000 watts was not renewed?
     
  10. Nov 9, 2012 #90 of 369
    Ed Campbell

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    You must live somewhere with local radio choices. Aside from a college FM station, likely to be off the air, the TV stations 50 miles away are more likely to show what's going on in my county - than their radio stations are to even know what's happening.
     
  11. Nov 9, 2012 #91 of 369
    harsh

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    My local radio stations are substantially automated outside of business day hours so they're not a whole lot of use. The stations further away are a mix of automation, pre-recorded programs (including syndicated offerings) and live.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2012 #92 of 369
    BlackDynamite

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    I would say tv is essential after a disaster like a hurricane. Is there a less effective alternative? Sure, in some cases radio can be used instead.

    Which brings us to the question, what is really essential? Would you say water is essential? Even though you could technically get by with diet Pepsi?

    Is a fridge essential? Even though you could technically get by with a cooler?

    Is a furnace essential? Even though you can technically get by with a sleeping bag?

    My opinion is, yes, these things are essential. Even though there are some less effective alternatives.
     
  13. Nov 9, 2012 #93 of 369
    JeffBowser

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    Correct, but in my example after Wilma, the radio remained broadcasting. TV, no.

    And I'll reiterate to the others - TV does not elevate to essential. Essential is air, water, food, shelter.... Of course, me saying this on this website, well.... that's a fairly useless thing to do :lol:

     
  14. Nov 9, 2012 #94 of 369
    KyL416

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    Yeah, both of my local college stations were broadcasting dead air during the brunt of Sandy.
     
  15. Nov 9, 2012 #95 of 369
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    And I'm sure one could list examples that went either way ...
    I approached the question with the premise "I cranked up my generator to watch TV". At the point in the weather inconveniences I have suffered that I got to the point of turning on the generator pretty much the entire broadcast community had already done so (or never lost the ability to transmit). So I had the choice of TV or radio or satellite.

    Given the choice of all that and the ability to run a generator powering satellite TV isn't a bad choice. But if I had to choose between watching satellite and flushing the toilets (I'm not connected to city water) the toilets come first.
     
  16. Nov 9, 2012 #96 of 369
    loudo

    loudo Well-Known Member

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    Ok, this discussion thread has got to me. Today I called 3 places to get estimates on the installation of a whole house system, to replace the manual switches and portable 5600 watt generator I now have. I started thinking of one storm last winter when we had a foot of snow and lost power. I had to shovel the pad and hook the generator up in the dark. Then every so often go back outside and take down the table I had over the generator for protection and fill the gas tank.

    They are coming for the estimates next week.
     
  17. Nov 9, 2012 #97 of 369
    alnielsen

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    If you have a source of power, why not run a TV. A picture is worth a thousand words.
     
  18. Nov 10, 2012 #98 of 369
    palmgrower

    palmgrower AllStar

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    loudo, you will never regret that decision
     
  19. Nov 10, 2012 #99 of 369
    JeffBowser

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    :righton::righton: Agreed

     
  20. davring

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    Agree on the water for sure Our city water was out for several days so i rigged a couple of hoses and fed our house from the sprinkler pump. Didn't realize how good our well was, softer water than the city's:)
     

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