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Newbie has installation questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by patchs, Jan 22, 2006.

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  1. patchs

    patchs AllStar

    Jan 22, 2006
    Hi, I've had regular DirecTV for more than 6 years.
    I ordered a new DTV HDTV system for my new HDTV and the installer comes on Tuesday.
    I have some questions for others who have upgraded.
    First, can the existing wiring from the dish be used?
    The last time, the installer wouldn't go the extra yard to run it into my attic and drop the cable into a wall behind the TV. I had to hire another person to do it.
    Second, what connections from the DTV HDTV box to the HDTV provide the best picture/sound?
    Right now, it's just cable, not RCA jacks.
    I also have a DTV box for another TV. That one is not HDTV. Can you have 1 HDTV setup and another analog from the HDTV dish, or do I have to leave the original dish up?
    The system I bought also came with a HDTV antenna for OTA. I live about 20 miles directly west of the towers but live on a lake which is 2/10ths of a mile down a hill.
    I have a feeling the trees will block the signal.
    Is the antenna provided a powerful one or is it weak?
    I know my terms may not be correct but any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I can answer some of your questions, hopefully others will fill in the blanks.

    DirecTV has specified solid copper coax for HD installs. Almost certainly your existing wire is copper clad steel. So technically the coax should be replaced, and it is certainly recommended that it be replaced. How you get that done is between you and the installer.

    The new dish can support both HD and SD receivers. You don't need to have 2 separate dishes.

    You will most likely need a separate cable for the OTA antenna. If you get the new AT9 5-LNB dish, you can't diplex OTA signals over the same coax. If you get the 3-LNB dish, you can. Assume that you will get the AT9. So you will need to have a second line run to your tv location for the OTA antenna. However, if you are getting the AT9 and MPEG4 receiver, you shouldn't need OTA (at least for the 4 major networks). If you elect to get an HD DVR at some future time, you will end up needing 3 coax lines to that area, 2 for the dvr, and 1 for OTA. If you end up having to hire someone to fish new coax in your wall, have them do 3 runs.

    As for how the trees effect your OTA signal, you won't really know until you put up the antenna and try it. They can have an impact, but it is normally not as severe as with the satellite signal.

  3. jimisham

    jimisham Legend

    Jun 24, 2003
    I think it's just the 5 LNB dish that Directv is recommending coax with solid copper conductor.
    It will depend on the distance of your runs.
    Although I'm not using it for HD, I've had the 3LNB dish for a year and the HR10-250 since August, using coax with copper clad steel for the center conductor, and there have been no problems. My longest run is about 75 feet.
  4. ScoB

    ScoB Banned User

    Dec 25, 2005
    patchs - looks like you live in Auburn, I believe you get the Syracuse, NY stations. If so, you're not gonna get the 4 networks in HD (at least not yet). I don't think any of your big 4 network stations is an O&O, so you're not eligible for the MPEG2 feeds - and MPEG4 is not there yet.

    Syracuse is #76 on the DMA list, could be a while before you can ger HD locals.
  5. patchs

    patchs AllStar

    Jan 22, 2006
    I know it's going to be a while before DTV offers the Syr. channels in HD, but all four are broadcasting in HD OTA.
    I'm just hoping the antenna they install next to the dish does the job in picking up the HD OTA signals. Living at the bottom of the hill will make it tough. There is about 50 yards between my house and the woods. My house is three stories high so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    Luckily, I have a very clear view of the south to get DirecTV no problems.
    Thanks for the help folks, it is appreciated.
  6. patchs

    patchs AllStar

    Jan 22, 2006
    It was a "fun" experience.
    First, they didn't bring a OTA antenna, said it wasn't on the order. I called DTV later and they confirmed it. I'm like, what the heck?
    Then, one of the guy says, "I'm going to use the S-Video which gives you the best HDTV picture."
    I say, OK.
    After they leave, I start reading the manual and it says S-Video is not compatible with HDTV.
    Now, I'm getting POed.
    I had to reconnect using the component cables, then had no clue how to get DTV back.
    I finally figured it out, had to push the component button on my TV remote, not the Video 1, etc. buttons.
    The HDTV stations look good but I wonder, does a HDMI cable make that much of a difference and do I have to spend more than $100 for a good one.
    Now, I have to figure out, do I a) get an OTA antenna and hire someone to install it and pray I can pick up local HDTV at the bottom of a hill or b) call Adelphia and have their HDTV local package installed?
    Fun, fun, fun.
  7. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    I thought that when you upgraded to HD from standard service that D* included the OTA antenna with it? Does that no longer apply?

    I would first call D* and find out why an OTA antenna was not included. You would need another install appointment, but if I remember right, you should get it from D* free.

    My apologies if I'm wrong or if I'm missing some aspect of your upgrade that would mean you wouldn't get an antenna.
  8. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Check D*'s website, if you go to order a replacement receiver, like replacing a standard D* receiver with a HiDef model, the package that includes the OTA antenna is about $50 more, so I'd say the OTA antenna isnt actually free...
  9. frogg

    frogg Legend

    Nov 18, 2005
    I've had D* hd for over a year. In my experience, the HD picture quality with my TV, a Mits DLP, is much better with component than with HDMI. However, reports in many forums state that this varies from TV to TV, and from manuacturer to manufacturer. FWIW, I wouldn't advise paying over $25 for an HDMI cable as they are available for that or less on the internet, and most folks would say there's negligible difference between that and a $100 cable. Try to borrow one, or buy it from somewhere you can return it, as the odds are good you won't see much if any difference, and don't want to get stuck with something you won't use.;)
  10. patchs

    patchs AllStar

    Jan 22, 2006
    DTV gave me a refund for the OTA antenna.
    I'm going to ponder the HDMI cable and whether to get a OTA antenna vs. Adelphia's HDTV package (only 2 local stations).
  11. KevetS

    KevetS Mentor

    Jan 29, 2006
    Read as many reviews and opinions as you can on OTA antennas. Assuming you got the H20 you might be surprised how well a mediocre OTA setup might work.
  12. patchs

    patchs AllStar

    Jan 22, 2006
    My HDTV has a built-in receiver. Do I have to run the cable from the antenna into the DirecTV box, then into the TV, or just straight from the antenna into the TV?
  13. stupid0g

    stupid0g AllStar

    Nov 24, 2005
    patchs- You can do it either way, runnning the antenna thru the rcvr measn you can scan the programs into your on screen guide, using the tuner on the tv itself means you'll need to tune to those stations by changing the tv itself to the correct channel.

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