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Need help: Directv month-to-month?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by VideoDog, May 1, 2012.

  1. May 1, 2012 #1 of 24

    VideoDog Cool Member

    May 1, 2012
    This may sound a little strange here on the Directv forum but... A few months ago I bought the new TiVo Premier Elite (2TB drive, 4 tuners) for $500 to connect to TWC. I'm mostly happy with the setup and I don't have any contract with TWC. I love the TiVo's DVR and guide software. It even pulls down web videos and they behave just like a regular recording with FF/RW/Play/Pause/Slow.

    Here's the problem: being in San Diego I'd like to watch Padres baseball which is only available to me thru Directv. Starting this season the rights were purchased by Fox and are on a new channel called FoxSports San Diego. TWC refuses to pay Fox what they demand for this channel and I'm stuck in in the middle of their fight.

    I don't have any problem with TWC's signal. I like the quality of their HD channels. Occasionally the Tuning Adapter and/or the TiVo don't behave and I'll miss a recording--so it ain't perfect.

    Generally I don't like 24 month contracts. Can I avoid a contract with Directv if I buy a receiver and dish? I asked Directv and they told me no. But I figure they want me to sign up for a lengthy contract.

    I would like keep TWC and my new TiVo but also be able to get an old non-DVR Directv receiver (for cheap) if I can get Directv to sell me "Choice programming" service on a month-to-month agreement. Can I buy old hardware and go with month-to-month?

    I could make the jump to Directv and get the new 5 tuner HR-34 but I just paid $500 for TiVo. And last month TiVo dropped the price to $400 so I'm already out over $100 if I try to sell my TiVo.

    Do you guys have any thoughts? Please?
  2. May 1, 2012 #2 of 24

    cariera Icon

    Oct 27, 2006
    Try again because the short answer is yes. You will be limited in the number and type of receivers and won't be eligible for the new customer programming discounts. I am not sure what the cost at this time, but it is an option.
  3. May 1, 2012 #3 of 24

    VideoDog Cool Member

    May 1, 2012
    Thanks...I will ask them again. Their reply seemed like standard boiler-plate: 'equipment and installation are discounted...blah...blah' -- even though I asked about using existing equipment! Maybe I'll get a different answer if I ask it a little differently. But they seemed pretty adamant the first time. At least they do admit the have a 12 month contract which doesn't appeal to me.

    Here is what I previously asked DIRECTV via email and also their reply:

    My Question:
    I'm interested in hooking up existing equipment to receive Directv without having to commit to a 2 year contract. Do you offer month-to-month accounts? In other words, If I don't get any new equipment and use existing equipment can I get it without a contract? What is the shortest contract you offer if I use existing equipment? Month-to-Month?

    DIRECTV Response:
    We significantly discount the price of equipment and installation, so we ask you to agree to a programming commitment of 12 or 24 months effective when you accept and activate service.
  4. May 1, 2012 #4 of 24
    Combat Medic

    Combat Medic Legend

    Jul 27, 2007
    Where are you planning on getting this non-discounted equipment?
  5. May 1, 2012 #5 of 24

    VideoDog Cool Member

    May 1, 2012
    I'd like to buy owned equipment off someone who is selling it.
    Is it possible to get an older HD receiver and dish antenna to allow me to get programming? I've never been a DirecTV subscriber before.
  6. May 1, 2012 #6 of 24

    studechip Godfather

    Apr 16, 2012
    Even if you can purchase the equipment, you will be locked into a two year commitment because you are activating a new account.
  7. May 1, 2012 #7 of 24
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    Not true. The commitment comes as part of the lease agreement addendum to the terms of service.

    The issue though is that you will find it difficult to create a new account using owned equipment. DirecTV is going to want to come out and perform the installation to make sure that the installation is set up properly. If you can get them to create a new account using owned equipment, you'll be good to go.

    Even if DirecTV insists on coming out to set up the dish, you should still be fine. While they might charge you for the installation, as long as you are activating owned equipment, there will be no commitment.

    - Merg
  8. May 1, 2012 #8 of 24

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Do be very careful in buying equipment. Get the Receiver Identification Number (RID) off each unit you want to purchase, then call DirecTV and confirm that the receiver is in fact owned, and that it is coming from a "clean" account (not past due in billing, etc.). Most used equipment is leased, and as such cannot be purchased and activated (but people still try to sell it).

    You can arrange to purchase new equipment to own from DirecTV, however the cost to do so will exceed the cost of the early termination fee associated with the 2 year commitment. New, owned, equipment is several times more expensive than the up-front lease price.

    As The Merg noted, it is often times difficult to activate a new account using owned equipment.

    If you look at the cost of becoming a new, leased, customer from DirecTV (getting all the new customer promotions you can) versus the cost of buying equipment and paying installation fees to avoid the commitment, you may well find that it would be less costly to take the commitment and pay the early termination fee if you chose to quit after say one year (I think it is $20 per month pro-rated, so $240 for 12 months).
  9. May 1, 2012 #9 of 24

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    You can order owned equipment as a new customer with DIRECTV just call them up and explain you want to do owned equipment and not have an agreement. You'll have some options and some upfront costs but it will all be owned and installed.
  10. lesz

    lesz Legend

    Aug 3, 2010
    I would think that getting new equipment and installation from DIRECTV, even with a 2 year service commitment would still be the less costly way to go. Even if the OP decided to leave DIRECTV before the end of the service commitment, the money saved by not having to pay for the equipment and the lower promotional programming costs should more than offset any early termination fees.
  11. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    True but with owned equipment he could keep it and then reactivate it later if he wanted. With leased equipment it would be required to be sent back. He could also sell the owned equipment if he chose to not reactivate to help recoup some of the costs.
  12. MattScahum

    MattScahum Legend

    Oct 26, 2010
    Shades is correct. There is a purchase option which requires 2 receivers to be purchased( can't do less and I don't believe you can do more though I'm not sure) and you pay regular retail pricing on the tv system. No discount for ABP if you are doing HD. Here is a breakdown...
    2 standard receivers-$199 plus tax...that includes activation/install/receiver fees/etc.
    1 standard/1 HD/DVR/HD DVR-$299 plus tax...

    I'm not sure if you can currently do a Tivo Directv/HMC receiver with this option since those receivers are obviously newer.

    I have heard of some people buying owned equipment and getting it done by the access card distribution team in customer service, but from the stories that I've heard about buying owned equipment online your sanity is probably worth ordering through sales. Best of luck with the decision though.
  13. kaminar

    kaminar Mentor

    Mar 25, 2012
    Matt is correct. Purchase option, month-to-month, retail pricing on programming, no discount offers, 2 receivers only at POS (install/rcvr pricing above is correct too). However, there is the option to add receivers after activation.

    Consider purchasing the equipment from D* instead of 3rd party, because if you decide to leave, it is yours to resell (recoup some $$). You may be able to purchase from reseller (solidsignal.com) and have D* authorize as purchased vs. leased.

    If you have an issue at first, simply sign up for 2yr promo (either call in or order online), then call back to Sales Support at 800-531-5000 and replace the order with purchase option. Although uncommon, agents will assist with this.

    Good luck!

  14. studechip

    studechip Godfather

    Apr 16, 2012
    Sorry for the wrong info. I thought all new customers got a commitment regardless.
  15. dogbreath

    dogbreath AllStar

    Apr 26, 2006
    I have had no problems buying owned equipment through ebay. Just check the RID before buying.
  16. VideoDog

    VideoDog Cool Member

    May 1, 2012
    Thanks for all the great advice.

    I have decided to go with a new 2 year contract and make the switch to DirecTV. It sounds like a hassle and would be rather expensive to get this setup without a contract.

    But it just feels weird agreeing to pay for something for 2 years without trying it out. I went to BestBuy to try out the service but they said there is no receiver for me to use. But hey, I guess if you all are subscribers and are mostly happy I will be happy too.

    Installation is tomorrow morning!

    My order:
    • 5 tuner HMC HR34 ($99)
    • HD Receiver H25 ($0)
    • Cinema Connection Kit ($0)
    • Slimline dish ($0)
    • Free installation ($0)
    • Delivery and handling fee is waived ($0)
    • Choice Xxtr package months 01-12 ($68.99 - $29 = $39.99/mo)
    • Choice Xtra package months 13-24 ($68.99 - $10 = $58.99/mo)
    • Advanced Receiver ($20.00/mo - $10 for 24 mo with auto bill pay)
    • Leased Receiver for H25 ($6/mo)
    • HBO STARZ SHOWTIME & CINEMAX ($45/mo free for 3 months)

    So basically it will be $55.99/mo for first year
    and $74.99/mo for 2nd year.

    Thanks again for all the help.
  17. VideoDog

    VideoDog Cool Member

    May 1, 2012
    What do you guys think of the setup I've ordered for installation tomorrow morning?

    HMC HR34, H25, & CCK.

    The HMC will go into living room and H25 is for bedroom. The bedroom doesn't have any cable at all. There are 5 tuners on the HMC so I plan to do all the DVRing on it. The H25 can stream from the HMC HR34, correct? Can I start streaming shows on the H25 that haven't finished recording on the HR34? Any other considerations?

    Are there any things I should change in my order? Anything I should ask of the installer while he is here? Any tests or updates to do while he is here?

  18. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

    Aug 5, 2002
    I say if you can afford the extra $'s get a HD DVR for the bedroom vs the H25. That way you can pause/RW/etc live TV which you can't with the H25, always better to get what you can as the new customer since they get the best deals.

    As for your question about streaming, yes as soon as it starts recording n the HR34 you can start to view it on the H25.

    For tests, make sure that the network connection test code starts with a 88-??? and that the signal readings on the sats are in the 90's, especially the 99(c) and 103(ca and cb) signals.
  19. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, you can stream recordings that are in progress. That gives you a workaround for the lack of trick play on non DVR receivers (for "live" viewing). The H25 can stream from the HR34.
  20. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Doesn't necessarily work out for some people. If someone is a light sleeper for example, the hard drive noise can bother them. Plus wasn't fun when the power went out for a bit to have a blazing blue ring.

    The H25 is nice and small, not much light and extremely silent.

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