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Excuse my HD Lack of Knowledge, pls! ...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by msanto, Apr 11, 2004.

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  1. msanto

    msanto Mentor

    Mar 14, 2003
    but I have some q's.

    Apparently DirecTV doesn't supply HD programming for locals. Meaning if I want things like CBS-HD, etc. etc. I have to have an OTA antenna.

    1) Now, I assume these antennas are not like those my parents used in the days before cable TV. The ones that pulled in weak, fuzzy pics.

    2) I'm also wondering just how complex the setup will be if I have to use Satellite for some stations and OTA for others for an HD-DirecTivo. I mean, how many cables, inputs will I need? I sep. input for OTA stuff to the TV as well as from the sat receiver? I have a Mitsubishi 65611, BTW.

    3) If I get a multi-room system, I assume the other rooms (if they don't have an HD-DirecTivo) will just get the feeds from the sat (like my Dish does now).

    4) Will 1 Dish be able to supply enough lines for a 3 room setup, with 1 room HD-DirecTivo, 1 room DirecTivo, and 1 just a receiver? (note: a satellite neophyte as well as an HD neophyte, though I do have Dish and a 721 right now). Please be kind! :)

    Anything else that can help me decide what to do would be helpful. I was leaning toward switching to DirecTV and HD-DirecTivo away from Dish, but maybe I should just stay put. I assume someday all HD stations will be available on sat feed anyway.
  2. dswallow

    dswallow Godfather

    Mar 31, 2003
    If you live in an area served by a CBS owned & operated station, you may likely qualify to receive CBS-HD via DirecTV. FOX HD would similarly be available tthis fall if you live in an Fox owned & operated market.

    Nope, same antennas, though there are some more advanced antenn designs these days, too. But a regular old antenna can work just as well. The Digital ATSC signal isn't like your parents analog signal. If the receiver gets the signal well enough, you have a perfect picture; if it doesn't, you have no picture.

    The HR10-250 (which people call the HD DirecTiVo, and DirecTV calls an HD DVR) is connected to two satellite inputs and to an antenna signal. The antenna signal is split internlly feeding both over-the-air tuners. Presuming you can aim an antenna such that you can get all your over-the-air channels sufficiently, the HD DVR makes the whole operation seamless; you'll tune to over-the-air channels in the same way you tune to satellite channels, and everything will be listed in your program guide.

    The antenna signal can share the cable delivering the satellite signal and you would use a device called a diplexer to combine them on one end and to separate them on the other.

    Many multiplexers handle amplifying the antenna signal, splitting it to the number of multiswitch outputs and diplexing onto each output so you don't need separate diplexers.

    Yes, or you can also feed the antenna signal to another tuner by using a diplexer (if the antenna signal is on all the satellite outputs, which it would be going through a multiswitch that handled that for you, as I mentioned earlier).

    Otherwise you'd get your local channels in standard definition via DirecTV. Actually even on the HD DVR you get the channels this way too, in addition to over-the-air HD versions, if available.

    The dish you would get is the Phase III dish. This has 3 LNB's and receives signals from the satellites at 101 degrees, 110 degrees and 119 degrees. It has a built-in multiswitch that provides 4 outputs. In the scenario you describe, you need 5 outputs. So the 4 outputs of the dish would be connected to a cascadable 5x8 multiswitch, giving you 8 total outputs. You'd connect your antenna to this multiswitch too. The multiswitch is powered via a coax cable that's connected to a power adapter.

    So all told, you have the 4 satellite outputs, the antenna, and a coax power cable connected to the multiswitch, and then every tuner of a receiver (the HD DVR and SD DVR each having 2 tuners) is connected to an output of the multiswitch.

    As a new DirecTV HD customer, all this equipment would be provided to you by DirecTV at the time of installation, your only cost being whatever is charged for the receivers, which except for the HD DVR is pretty minimal these days; probably $50 for the SD DVR and a free regular receiver. So the HD DVR is your major expense. The satellite dish and multiswitch would be provided as part of the install (you would need to let them know you're also buying the HD DVR and thus need the 5x8 multiswitch).

    In some markets DirecTV also is providing an antenna as part of the installation, but not all. So that might be an additional expense depending on what DirecTV is offering in your area. It also may not be the best antenna, so might not really be perfect for you specific situation.

    DirecTV has stated plans to being testing the use of the SpaceWay satellites (a new Ka-band design that's rather powerful and flexible in how it receives and retransmits data) to deliver local HD programming. In theory DirecTV's 3 SpaceWay satellites could deliver every local HD station in the entire US. In practice, we can only wait and see.

    Dish Network has said nothing about local HD.

    In either case, I would generally not hold my breath waiting for local HD via satellite. :)

    Unless you have some specific need for a regular receiver, I'd get 2 SD DVR's and the HD DVR. That'll be much more flexible giving you some backup on recording shows, the extra tuner, and a consistent user interface across all your receivers, and really won't cost you but another $99 up front.
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