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Installer states no LOS. Should I pursue further?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Tusin, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Tusin

    Tusin Cool Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Not just losing out on the great deal with Sunday Ticket, but also we did the BestBuy deal. So I kind of want to feel like all avenues have been taken before I "give" up, but I could be pulling at straws.

    I wasn't home when the tech came today (kind of irritated, as we asked them to call 45-30 minutes before they showed up so I could be home, which they agreed to). So it was left in the wife's hands. According to her (and she didn't ask any questions), he was up on the roof for about 5 minutes, and said "we could maybe do it, but cannot guarantee service), and then told her that if he installs and it doesn't work you are stuck for 2 years.....

    After I speak with my wife, she called the local installers company, and the gal told her that he will try to call her in the next couple of days but is in no way obligated to.

    Yes there are some trees around my house. I downloaded the "DishPointer" app for the iphone. And even though I cannot get on the roof, according to the app, with some creative placement it could be done. But then again, I am NO expert.

    Should we contact the local place that Direc contracted? Or just contact DirecTV again and ask for a second opinion?

    Thank you in advance!
  2. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    Contact the people that did the evaluation. Let them know of your displeasure for not calling before arriving as agreed to. Then ask your questions. "Maybe" does'nt cut it. It's either you can or you can't. There's no gray area. You have to have a clear line of sight at the satellites. Trees continue to grow and their branches move in high wind. They can be trimmed or felled but both are costly. Good luck.
  3. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    Welcome to DBSTalk Tusin. :welcome_s

    I would call the local place and ask them if they would try again. IIUC, if he/she can’t get LOS it won’t activate and you are not on the hook for two years. That doesn’t mean the tech isn’t concerned about potential problems in the future with LOS...e.g. your terrain and tree growth. After doing the site survey the tech may still tell you it's no good but at least you'll have a second opinion.

    Find out if they’ll come out before you bring up about not being called the first time. Let them know it’s important for them to make that call. Be courteous and calm and it should all work out.

  4. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    if trees on your land then fell them.
    second opinion, in my opinion, cannot hurt.
    if you were there and could be told what needs to be cleared you may be able to correct situation in moments with chainsaw if you have one.
  5. doctor j

    doctor j Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jun 14, 2006
    Birmingham, Al.
    Who doesn't have a chainsaw?!:D
  6. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    And don't forget the dish doesn't have to be on your roof. Also Dishpointer.com on a larger PC screen may help you find a good spot with more precision than the smaller iPhone screen.
  7. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    As an installer I've been there.

    The word "no" means "not me."
    Installations are paid on a piece work basis and installers are responsible for damage to buildings and or themselves. Sometimes a tower or a dish over a living space will work but because these are potential problems installers just say no.

    And often it is neighbors trees that block the line of sight to the satellite, in which case you are screwed.

    There was a time when the installation companies paid twenty five dollars for a sight survey because there would be a customer consultation that could shoot an hour. That money vanished without explanation years ago. Now they phone in the obvious NLOS addresses and let the office send the bad news.

    Good luck,

  8. davejacobson

    davejacobson Legend

    Mar 14, 2005
    Contact the local place.Advise them of the possible LOS issues. Set up a time when you can be there when they are there.And most importantly offer to PAY them for time and material if LOS cannot be obtained.Any roof damage if there is no LOS is repaired on your dime also. Do not expect anyone to "try" to get you signal on there $$$ when it has already been determined no LOS. Its all on your $$$ now.
  9. tenpins

    tenpins AllStar

    Jan 19, 2010
    Seeing that Tusin lives up in Alaska, could this be an issue? Also would a 1.2 meter dish be required or would a slimline dish work?
  10. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    The problem with Alaska is the satellite look angle is very low, hence you need a long distance between the dish and any trees. A 1.2M dish is probably required (cant hurt), but even that wont help if the satellite is only a few degrees above the horizon. If might even be mountains blocking it, depending where he lives. Alaska is kind of general, since it is so big. The farther north, the harder it is going to be.
  11. Tusin

    Tusin Cool Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hey guys. Thank you for the responses.

    To me personally, if it is "iffy" am I out of line to request them throw up the dish and connect one box to see how "iffy" it really is? Honest questions, not wanting to sound unreasonable.

    As I wasn't there and my wife was, I am working on 3rd party info (which is a pita). But according to her, he just seemed to busy. i.e. he couldn't get out of the driveway fast enough. She did say he was nice enough though.

    My wife did call the local shop to ask for someone else to come out, but they told her he is the only person that services our area. And even then he is not obligated to come back.

    After doing some searching here, I am not sure if I should contact DirecTV and ask them to have the local company send a supervisor/manager out etc....

    I did try Dishpointer.com, which pretty much gave me the same info as the iphone app. There is an decent size opening between the trees (and right now they are fully grown and will start shedding soon). And it seems that right in that opening, with careful placement it is possible.

    With that being said, can someone tell me or tell me where to find exactly which Sat's service Alaska? It is very possible I am making a "you know what" of my self, as I am scanning for the wrong sat's:) But that is why I posted here, before causing any more of a stink.
  12. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Try this. Easy to do yourself. Find the exact azimuth and elevation for the three DirecTv satellites at 99, 101, and 103 West using this online app: http://www.sadoun.com/Sat/Installation/Satellite-Heading-Calculator.htm

    Get a cheap compass, and a slightly more expensive inclinometer. Go to the location you think you can see the satellites through the trees from. Tape the inclinometer to a 2x4, and tape a toilet paper roll to the side of the 2x4 under the inclinometer. Point the 2x4 with the compass to the direction of the middle satellite. Raise the south end of the 2x4 until the inclinometer reads the correct elevation. Now for the technical part...lay on the ground and look up the toilet paper roll on the side of the 2x4. If you see anything green, you are out of luck. Try another spot.

    I doubt you will get a tech to do a site survey for free, but you can try. If you do the site survey yourself, using the above method and find a good spot, then you can call DirecTv and request they send him back out, and show him the site.

    Since self installs are no longer allowed for new customers, if he refuses to do the install, there is not much you can do except have the account opened by a relative at a different location, and once the account is set up and activate, move it to your current location, and install it yourself.

    Another option if you have any ham radio operators close by, would be to contact the local ham club for help in installing. They love that kind of stuff, usually.

    I see you updated your location.. I show these to be your settings for the above site survey:
    Elevation: 10.0°
    Azimuth (true): 127.8°
    Azimuth (mag.): 108.8° using Compass
  13. ciurca

    ciurca Godfather

    Apr 14, 2009
    Hey Joe, that's just what I thought when I ordered directv for my dad in Ocean Pines. According to my compass, a LOS could split some trees from the front roof peak on my dad's house.

    Today, the installer said no LOS. I'm thinking he isn't getting paid enough for the job. I called a directv reseller and am having him come out. The work matters to that guy.
  14. Tusin

    Tusin Cool Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hmmm ok I may have to try that.

    But what I am confused about, is not getting the site survey for free. Since he didn't call in advance like they agreed they would, I was not there. My wife was. My wife is not technical. She sat inside while he did the "survey". He came back to her and said it was "iffy", sign this and I will be on my way. And I am not kidding, when she was dialing me he was already in his truck driving away and he tried to flag him down (didn't work).
  15. Tusin

    Tusin Cool Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    I am curious. How does it work, if I wanted to have a reseller come out? Do I still get the deal I signed up for originally? Or do I have to order the service through the reseller?
  16. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    No you pretty much have to start anew with a reseller for all services. Site surveys, installation, any discounts, etc. Though sometimes they have similar or even better deals than dealing straight with DIRECTV.

    What's more they a usually much more flexible in their willingness to take risks and aren't chained to "work orders" written in stone to which they cannot deviate much from as are formal DIRECTV installs.
  17. Tusin

    Tusin Cool Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ah got ya. Well one of the big kickers (other than football of course) was the BestBuy deal with the $250 in GC's.....

    The installer didn't say it was a dangerous install, didn't say he needed to something "out of scope" etc.... Just said it was "50/50" (his exact words). And told my wife, if we had him install it and it didn't work we would still be on the hook for the 2 years.

    So back to the DirecTV contracted installer/s. Are they allowed to just say "iffy" and walk away? Aren't they contracted by DirecTV to try everything within "scope" to provide service? Or does common business sense not apply here?
  18. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    He might just be saying he can set service now, but in a year, you will lose your LOS, hence 50/50.
  19. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    Hope it works,

    I have been through Ocean Pines and while it is a beautiful tree lined community the biggest problem with Directv installations is...they carved the place out of a pine forest. You got a case of "the trees."

    Some considerations = The LOS (Line of Sight) azimuth is published for the 110 W log sat.*Directv uses satellites from 99 to 119. Most of the SD programming is from the 101 W log and all the HD programming is from either the 99 or 103. So the "line" is actually a pretty wide direction about forty degrees up from where you look at the horizon (elevation).

    I might add that in some markets an LNB & dish that only "sees" the 99, 101 & 103 is used, making the "window" narrower. The LOS is centered on the 101 satellite as are the slimline dishes.

    The signal is focused on a line between the top of the dish and the tip of the arm (LNB) and not at the elevation the arm is pointing.

    So let him work...could succeed,


    *I forget whether that is magnetic or true...the compass az needs a local deviation + / -...I just marked my compass after hitting the signal with a meter.

    The good news = IF you get the rig going in Ocean Pines you now get ch6 in Salisbury
  20. Tusin

    Tusin Cool Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Which if that is what he would have said, (i.e. we can get it now, but in a year I cannot guarantee anything), I would have told him lets install it. We are moving in a year.... ;)

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