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HD Package Questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Programming' started by glparker4, Dec 5, 2007.

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  1. glparker4

    glparker4 Cool Member

    Jun 10, 2007
    I am a DirecTV subscriber through DirecPath. My current bill:

    Choice Xtra (still known as Total Choice Plus to DirecPath) $49.95
    HD Access $9.95
    PrimeTime 24 (HD/SD versions of Atlanta local affiliates, New York locals, LA locals) $0.00
    Additional SD receiver $5

    I am considering removing the additional receiver and downgrading to Choice. The only channels that I care about in Choice Xtra are Science Channel, Discovery Times, National Geographic, Chiller, and Logo. Since many of these channels have or will have HD counterparts, would I still receive the HD versions of these channels if I downgrade to Choice and keep the HD Access package on my account?? I don't care about paying for and watching the SD version of a channel when there is an HD simulcast!

    Now the confusing part...

    I contacted DirecTV and they stated that I am on a old package (even though I signed up in June) that is no longer available. And, if I downgrade I will lose HD and SD versions of the Choice Xtra (or Plus) channels. DirecTV also stated that I would lose the $5 discount on the Xtra package making the change useless. DirecPath states that the HD Access Package includes ALL HD channels except premiums and is independent of whatever basic SD package I am subscribed to (i.e. Choice, Plus, Xtra, etc). DirecPath also states that I would still have a discount on the Choice Package ($44.99).

    Also, I never ordered or requested to receive the network affiliates from New York or LA. The DirecPath tech must have activated them when he installed my service. At first, I didn't care since I also got the Atlanta locals in HD/SD through DirecTV as well. However, I especially like the LA locals because of the time delay and I don't have a DVR. I also like having the NY locals because our local ABC affiliate likes to preempt popular programs. But, during the same phone call DirecTV stated that I should not be receiving these channels since I am receiving Atlanta locals. The CSR told me that if I downgrade, I will lose access to the NY and LA locals unless I get a waiver from each local station (which sounds impossible). I asked DirecPath about this and they confirmed that I should only receive Atlanta locals. How does changing from Choice Xtra to Choice have anything to do with local channels???

    DirecPath also states that I will get HDNet, Universal, and all of the existing HD channels in the regular HD Access Package without having to upgrade to HD Xtra. The CSR reiterated that there is only one HD package. The DirecPath website only shows 4 channels in the HD Access Package but I get everything DirecTV offers now. Does anybody know if this is the case?

    I have read conflicting information on this board and I have not yet found a clear answer. I think part of the problem is that DirecPath uses the old names and channel lineups for the packages but makes us go through DirecTV to order them. I am starting to think that I should my service alone as I may end up paying more money for fewer channels. Either way, I can live with losing NY and LA locals if I have no other choice but I would like to keep all of the HD channels that I receive now.
  2. Xing

    Xing Legend

    Oct 1, 2007
    The $9.99 price for HD Access includes any channels included in your base package and no more or less. The HD xtra pack is for the 24 hour HD channels not included in any base package and will go to $4.99 on 12/15, has a free preview until then.
    You can not get the LA/NY feeds if D* offers locals in your area unless you are grandfathered in and do not subscribe to locals. The FCC passed a regulation keeping D* or any other company from doing this without some waiver from the affiliate in your area.
    Lastly, you should not lose the $5 off when you change your package unless you go below choice.
  3. glparker4

    glparker4 Cool Member

    Jun 10, 2007
    Thanks Xing. I did some research and found some information about the Satellite Home Viewing Act that you must be referring. I don't think I am grandfathered since I started receiving the channels in June and the act was passed several years ago. So I might lose these channels if I downgrade to choice. Nice to have but not the end of the world if I lose them since I still have the Atlanta locals. Thanks for your help.
  4. blc

    blc Legend

    Sep 29, 2007
    Directv reps usually takes the "No" approach first without spending the time to actually learn what the FCC allows. If you are already receiving the distant networks, there is a good chance you have waivers. Some local affiliates have standing waivers with Directv and they are easily granted when requested. Most, however, do not. The fact that you have been receiving them may imply that you were granted waivers.

    I found this at http://www.wagtv.com/shvera.pdf

    The FCC has determined that if you have valid waivers, you can receive both:

    c) As a third alternative, you may be receiving distant analog signals because you
    received a waiver from one or more television stations that are predicted to serve your household. If you have such a waiver, you may continue to receive distant analog signals and you also may subscribe to local-into-local service.

    Also, the FCC states essentially the same thing on their website at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/shvera.pdf

    You may be receiving distant analog
    signals because you received a waiver
    from one or more television stations
    that are predicted to serve your
    household. If you have such a waiver,
    you may continue to receive distant
    analog signals and you also may
    subscribe to local-into-local service.

    Its time Directv learns and actually spends the time to instruct their customer service reps on the SHVERA rules and what the FCC has determined is allowed.
  5. Ken984

    Ken984 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2005
    Waivers are history, and can be revoked at any time, do not rely on that. The fact that you have HD/SD locals available to you from Atlanta and are still getting the NY/LA feeds as well is probably an oversight by DirecTV, the only exceptions are if your local stations are O&O(owned and operated by the network, ABC, CBS etc.).

    The way things usually go is if you make ANY changes to your account you will lose your distant feeds, or if the rep makes a mistake and accidentally removes them you will not get them back, is it worth the risk to try and save a cpl $?

    I would not chance it if you really like the channels you have now, no matter what the FCC rules are, nobody at DirecTV can fix it once they remove the services.

    The SD and HD channels are tied together, you cannot get the HD channel for free, it is piggybacked on the fact that you are paying for the SD channel, so if you drop the SD you lose the HD.
  6. Xing

    Xing Legend

    Oct 1, 2007
    You would not necessarily lose the HD feed because they have seperate laws. With the HD feed you can also get a waiver if you have SD local and no HD. You can get the waiver for the HD with either local or DNS HD feeds. Although if you have SD locals in your area you have to subscribe to those in order to get the HD DNS feed. No matter wich way you go the HD feed is included in what price you already pay, it is $0 to add.
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