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Long-time D* subscriber getting new equipment...

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by ecrabb, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. ecrabb

    ecrabb Cool Member

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    Aug 5, 2003
    Guys,

    Long-time D* sub'er, here - since back when the SD picture quality was awesome (I had Sony SAT-B1's! Remember those?). Anyway, I'm getting all new stuff in a few weeks and I have a couple of questions... I've tried searching, but I'm a little overwhelmed. I haven't seen any "FAQs" on all the new equipment... Feel free to post a terse response and link to the info if I just overlooked it... ;)

    I'm getting a couple free HR22's (plus AM21's :rolleyes:) to replace my HR10-250's, and buying a couple HR22's to replace my TS360's.

    Here's my questions:
    1) I assume they'll also be replacing my ChannelMaster GainMaster and 5x8 EagleAspen multi-switch. Is what they'll replace it with as good/better?

    2) Is there any way I can continue to use the GainMaster for 101/110/119, and just add the slimline for 99/103? Even if I can, is that a good idea? Bad?

    3) If I just use the slimline, are the 5 runs of RG6 from dish to multiswitch in basement adequate?

    4) I've never done anything but self-install - now I can't - with the free equipment, at least... So, when he gets here, can I just offer the installer $20 for lunch and put the stuff in myself, or do they HAVE to install? ALL the boxes? Dish? (I'm moving the dish, finishing basement, and re-wiring almost everything, so I don't want anything permanent).

    THANKS in advance for the help and advice - I used to feel so knowledgeable - now I'm just a babe in the woods. I'm sure I'll have a couple more questions.

    SC
     
  2. mjones73

    mjones73 Icon

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    Jun 20, 2006
    How many tuners are you going to have total? I'm guessing 8 (4 HR22s x 2) total.

    1) Yes, they will need to give you a Zinwell WB68.

    2) No, can't combine the two

    3) Need 4 runs from the dish to the basement

    4) No idea though I'd let them deal with installing and aiming the dish.
     
  3. ecrabb

    ecrabb Cool Member

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    Aug 5, 2003
    Thanks! Now I know. I wonder if there's any resale value for the GainMaster. I guess if somebody had all old hardware and no interest in HD?!!?

    How's the rain fade with the new dish? I hardly ever get any with the GainMaster and it's very short lived if it does happen... usually right before a massive downpour.

    Yep - 8 tuners total... probably. I wonder what they'd have to install if I kept an SD box or two for kitchen and/or office?!?!?

    Good plan on letting them install the dish. Hitting 5 satellites doesn't sound like any fun. Maybe I can be installing hardware inside while the installer is setting up the dish.

    SC
     
  4. dshu82

    dshu82 Icon

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    Jul 6, 2007
    The key to limiting rain fade is a properly peaked dish.

    Make sure you check your signal strengths on at least one of the HR's on the TV (might not be a bad idea to check all as he moves around the house) after they are done and before you sign anything. 99c and 103c need to be at 90+ to minimize rain fade, and the signals are more precise than SD signals from 101
     
  5. mjones73

    mjones73 Icon

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    Jun 20, 2006
    If you need more then 8 feeds they can use multiple WB68's.
     
  6. DishCSR

    DishCSR Godfather

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    Jan 14, 2004

    You'll get whatever hd-dvr's the tech's warehouse has in stock, no one at dtv can order specific receivers and don't let anyone there lead you to believe otherwise.
     
  7. 2dogz

    2dogz Godfather

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    Jun 14, 2008
    If you're a DIYer that has put up a 3 LNB dish, the 5 LNB dish is not much harder. Just has additional step of fine tuning the Ka sats at 99 and 103 because their bullseye in the sky is much smaller that the older Ku sats.

    Because the signal quality meters on the various model receivers from the various manufactures differ in their reading (plus/minus 10 points) for the same signal, it's hard to tell you exactly where your Ka signal strength peak will be. Be happy with numbers for the Ka sats, 99c and 103c, in the mid 80s and higher, for now. Later you can try to maximize the signal (in the low/mid 90s in some cases). Plenty of help here on learning that task. It not hard at all if you take your time and are not risking your life while on the ladder.
     
  8. ecrabb

    ecrabb Cool Member

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    Aug 5, 2003
    Thanks for all the help, guys. The dish is 3' off the ground on a post, so that part will be easy!

    Just got off the phone with D*. The gave me a "loyal customer incentive" upgrade on one of the HD receivers to make it a HD DVR - for half price - $99. So, that's cool.

    Then, I asked about the AM21. They're $50/ea... I can tolerate that - I am getting a bunch of free equipment after all (of course, since you don't own it, why wouldn't it be free?!?!!?). Anyway, supposedly he couldn't order the AM21's until the new hardware is on my account. So, now I have to wait until everything is installed, and only then call and order the AM21's... and go without OTA HD in the mean time.

    I was thinking about just ordering the AM21's from Solid Signal, but they're $10 higher, plus shipping.

    It's always something!

    SC
     
  9. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    Aug 2, 2008
    Ecrabb, you might want to call the HSP direct and see if you can get the latest technology, the SWM LNB and HR22's. I was a new cistomer and a manager with Mastec (HSP) approved it. D* usually requires 6 or more tuners and you have to be a new customer, before they will do it. It is worth a try, because the HSP can pick and choose the equipment from the warehouse. Here is a link to the SWM LNB document that smiddy put together to explain it.

    http://hr20.dbstalk.com/Slimline%20SWM%20ODU%20LNB%20First%20Look.pdf
     
  10. mcbeevee

    mcbeevee 97% Complete

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    Sep 18, 2006
    If I remember correctly, the AM21 will only work with the HR21 (does not work with the HR22). Maybe one of the experts can verify this.

    :)
     
  11. 2dogz

    2dogz Godfather

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Yes, it works w/ HR22. Only difference between HR21 and HR22 is the size of the disk drive.
     
  12. ecrabb

    ecrabb Cool Member

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    Aug 5, 2003
    Thanks for the additional info, guys.

    OK, I was pretty surprised at how smoothly things were going. Shouldn't have gotten my hopes up.

    <rant>
    So, a little over a week ago, I had the install scheduled out just over two weeks - for Monday 9/29. When I was on the phone with the CSR, I asked to get an additional HD DVR to replace an older SD box. "Oh, you'll have to call back and order that separately - I can't do that on this order because this is a promotional order and I'm in the promo department," was the response. OK, fine. I can do that.

    So, I don't want to rock the boat... I call back - a few days later - and I order the separate HD DVR on a completely separate order. "Oh, we'll be out to install that Monday, the 22nd." "No, no," I say. "There's already an install set up for Monday the 29th - I'll get a new dish and other equipment then, so there's no reason whatsoever to bring new equipment on the 22nd." "Good point," she says. "We'll move it out to the 29th, then." Sounds good, eh?

    So, yesterday, my wife calls and tells me there's a hang tag on the door. The installer has come and gone. WTF? I look at my account online and now the order for all the new equipment - the ORIGINAL order - is now CANCELLED. GGGGrrrrrrrr....

    So, today I call back and ask about rescheduling... "Looks like the 8th of October is the earliest we can install." Now, I SPECIFICALLY took the week off work next to deal with this crap, as well as some other stuff. I just happened to have a rare break at work between projects and decided to take a "sta-cation" to get some stuff done around the house. Son of a...

    I think I'm going to call DirecTV back and demand they just ship the stuff to me and I'll install it myself - just to see what happens. I don't want anybody in my damn house, anyway. What a pain in the ass.

    Sorry. There, I feel a little better now. Just a little, though.
    </rant>

    SC

    PS - Don't bother trying to order AM21's before they new equipment is installed, either. It's apparently impossible to do so. I have to wait until AFTER all the new equipment is installed and only THEN can I call and order the AM21's... and presumably wait another week for them to show up on Ground UPS or whatever. Arrrgggghhhhh...
     
  13. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    They won't do that. You'd need to buy your equipment to do your own install. If you want them to provide it, and give you the deals, they have to do the install.

    Since you have your account number, you should be following everything on DirecTV's website.
     
  14. ecrabb

    ecrabb Cool Member

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    Aug 5, 2003
    Yeah, I know that... NOW. I was under the assumption that when the CSR tells you you have an appointment on a certain date, that it would remain on that date. I wasn't aware that I have to keep "following everything". Rest assured I will, now. From the sounds of it, it wouldn't have mattered, anyway. My order still would have gotten screwed, and I still would have had to get back in the queue further back than I was.

    Buy the equipment... Hmmm... Good idea. Would that be anything like the cool grand worth of HR10-250's I ALREADY OWN? The receivers that are a whopping two years old that will soon be worthless for HD?

    I was also under the understanding that there WAS no such thing as owning your equipment anymore - that ANY equipment you added now would be leased and have to be returned. In that case, it would make no sense to buy anything - ever. But, after jumping back in and reading the forum, it seems that isn't true.

    Whatever. Sorry, I'm a little annoyed about the whole thing. It seems like with these big companies, it always has to be a gigantic pain in the ass in one way or another.

    Oh well, I got the install moved up to the 10/1 - just two days after my original install appointment. I'll wait until after that install is finished before I order anything else.... I don't want to confuse anybody! :rolleyes: THEN, I'll call and order the AM21's. I should have this upgrade stuff all wrapped up by Thanksgiving. I think.

    SC
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    This would appear to be your lucky day. The Gainmaster mast is the same outer diameter as the Slimline mast. The Slimline is aimed at 101W instead of 110W. The Slimline is about two inches smaller (both width and height).
     
  16. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    21,192
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    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    This might be a nasty limitation for someone who already has all eight tuners spoken for going in.
     
  17. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    Okay, by "buy" I really meant you would have to buy your dish and switches and lease your equipment from a retailer.

    And DirecTV's system is set up only to let them order AM21s once you already have a compatible HD-DVR on your account. The reason is that there's no way to know what HD-DVR you will get; you could still get an HR-20, which has OTA built-in and isn't compatible with the AM21 anyway. They don't want people to pay for something they can't use.
     

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