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New customer, install questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by higgins, Aug 13, 2006.

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  1. higgins

    higgins New Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    I'm dumping Cablevision because they raised my bill again, and I'm sick of them.

    Thinking of switching to D* and have been snooping around here for info. But I have a few questions. I live in a Hoboken NJ condo and control the roof. That means I have a great view of the south and of the mast on the Empire State Building most broadcasters use. I have no interest in HD; I have no interest sports. I alread own 2 standalone tivos; I will be hooking up 2 rooms.

    --What questions should I be asking to get the best deal?
    --From whom should I buy service? DirectTV, Verizon, an indie dealer or a chain like Best Buy? I need DSL service, too, so I'll be buying SOMETHING through them anyway.
    --Should I save $5 and not get the local brodacast tier? If I do that, will the broadcast channels map in the receiver normally?
    --What kind off dish should I demand?
    --I LOVE my Tivos. On has a lifetime subscription; the other is a monthly, $6/plan. My inclination is to keep them, but am I missing out on anything if I don't go to D*'s DVRs?

    Any advice on any of these issues is welcome. Thanks!
  2. morgantown

    morgantown Icon

    Nov 15, 2005
    In terms of the place buy the service definately check out Verizon. As a new DTV customer they give a discount off the monthly price that should cover the locals. Verizon also has a $14.95 DSL plan that provides very good speed.

    You'll get whatever dish that your programming requires... As far as the DirecTiVo vs. R15 the DirecTivo is a much more mature and stable product. Some R15 owners love it and others strongly dislike it...the rest are in the middle somewhere. My R15 is inactive untill more of the bugs are thoroughly worked out.

    DTV is moving its HD package to MPEG4 which they do not provide a TiVo based DVR. If you want your locals in HD and can't get them via OTA (I would think you can easily based on your location) then you'd be looking at the HR20 if you want a DVR for the MPEG4 locals off the dish. Or just get the TiVo HR10-250 and use the OTA feed to record your locals that way.

    Eventually DTV says they will have 150 national HD channels (at least the capacity for them) in MPEG4...so that is worth considering when picking what HD DVR from DTV you go with. Again, the TiVo HD DVR does not support MPEG4.

    Hope that helps.
  3. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    With standard definition receivers/tuners, there is no way to integrate local OTA channels into the DirecTV guide, etc. You can do that with the HR10-250 as noted above.

    You will find the convenience of using the integrated receiver/dvr with dual tuners (record 2 shows at a time, or watch one record another) to be pretty nice. You can't get that with your standalone units (unless you have two separate receivers).

    DirecTV will charge you a $5.99 (I think) DVR fee if you use their dvr. That covers one or multiple - you only pay the dvr fee once per account. You do have to pay additional receiver fee for each additional dvr or standard receiver.

    If you decide to get standard receivers (and not DirecTV dvr), then you will need a receiver for each of your standalone tivos. Also, you will most likely have to control the receivers using IR blasters from the tivo - I'm not sure you can set up a serial interface from the current reciever model (D11). Someone else may be able to provide more information on that.

    As Morgantown noted, the R15 is truly different than tivo - different look and feel, user interface, menu structure, etc. Getting used to it when you are already used to tivo takes a bit of effort and time. Once you are used to it, it is fine - just different. Overall, the R15 (standard def DVR) should work for you unless you do a LOT of recording. In that case, you may run into stability problems with it. A "lot" is defined as roughly more than 15 to 20 series links, although there is no exact threshold where people start having problems.

    You might also look into getting a used R10 DVR, which is a tivo based, dual tuner, integrated DirecTV unit. You will probably be happier with that.

  4. higgins

    higgins New Member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Thx for the guidance. I don't need HD at all. Maybe I'll take whatever they give me and simply continue to use my standalone tivos unti they fail.
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