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Newbie need advice

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Grainraiser, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Grainraiser

    Grainraiser New Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    This is my first post so be nice :D . I have been a Direct TV customer since 1996 and have been happy with the service I recieved. I just purchased a HD definition TV so it is time to upgrade. Direct TV current offer is a HD-DVR for $199 with a upgraded dish and free install. This will also require a new 2yr commitment :nono2:.

    My parents switched to cable sometime a year ago and they still have their HD Direct TV equipment. This includes 2 HD-DVR's and 1 HD reciever and the Dish. I am assuming installing the Dish is as straight forward as installing my original dish. I should be able to use either of the DVR's for the new set. I am not opposed to paying for a new reciever but I do want to avoid having to sign up for a 2 year commitment. I want to be able to switch services if I choose to at a later date. What is the best way for me to proceed to avoid the commitment. I'm thinking I should install the dish myself and have them send me a new card to activate the HD-DVR unit I already own (old acct has zero balance & I know there is a $20 fee for card). This should excuse me from having to accept a 2 year commitment. Is my plan flawed or am I missing something. Thanks in advance for your advice.

  2. Indiana627

    Indiana627 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 18, 2005
    First, I think the Slimline is much harder to install than any of the previous dishes. I cannot speak to this from first hand experience, but you are trying to zero in on 5 satellites instead of just 1 or 3.

    Second, I think anytime you activate an HD-DVR on your account, it automatically starts a new 2 year agreement.

    I could be wrong about both things. Good luck.
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    You generally cannot just move equipment from one account to another. At best, you'd need to pay DirecTV for new access cards, as the old ones (and any charges on them) are linked to the old account. New cards are $20 each.

    Are you sure those receivers are HR20s? If so, nearly all of them are leased, and have to be returned to DirecTV upon deactivation. If not, then it's likely a TiVo-based HR10-250, and that won't get any of the current MPEG4 HD signals.

    And, yes, the new HD dish is larger, heavier and considerably more difficult to install and align than the older dishes. If you're handy and have some basic tools, it can certainly be done, but it will be somewhat challenging. There are posts here with links to training videos, and pictures of people's own installs, that may help you out. Or, you can ask specific questions here and we can tell you what you need to do.

    Honestly, though, the upgrade price from DirecTV, especially if it includes installation of the dish and possibly a multiswitch, is a much better deal. Many folks have spent $100 or more just to mount their dish, plus had to buy their own switch and some specialty tools. Just something to think about.
  4. Grainraiser

    Grainraiser New Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    well I just called my dad and one of the units is a HR20 while the other is HR10. I really don't mind spending the money on a install if need be. My main objective is to avoid being held to a 2 yr commitment.

  5. jasonki32

    jasonki32 Godfather

    Jan 29, 2008
    It is going to be pretty hard if not impossible to get around the two year agreement. Since all the newer receivers are leased. Once you activate one of those units that is leased by Directv, it will lock you into a two year agreement.
  6. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    The part about having an old account.........they may therefore say you must pay for the new FREE installation........or not.....just do not know but it may come up.

    IF your parent's account is on the same property.........rural addresses are big. You maybe able to reopen your parent's account at your residence and just pick up with their equipment.

    As a last resort you could hang a 5 LNB dish yourself. You got an earlier model working. You tune one sat and the others follow. Try everything else first.

    If you do call DTV and the CSR (call center representative) tells you something that doesn't work for you.........call back later and restate your situation. You may get a different answer.

    It is only TV.

  7. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    Any leased receiver added to your account is going to trigger a 2 year commitment, regardless of its source. Your dad's HR20 is almost certainly a leased receiver, and would be considered leased if added to your account (but will probably not be able to be in any event).

    In order to avoid a commitment, you'd need to be adding OWNED equipment. That either means buying an HR21 Pro for $600, or buying a standard HD-DVR from DirecTV directly, for $500 unless things have changed. You'd then be on the hook to pay for the installation/dish upgrade costs as well. So, going without a commitment can be done, but it is rarely a money-saver.

    In most cases, even if you had to cancel after only a month, and had to pay 23 x $20 for the remaining months as the ETF (early termination fee), that $460 plus the $200 lease fee is still less than your costs to buy a receiver outright and pay for installation. And every month you keep the system, going the "owned" route becomes a worse deal.
  8. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    First of all, Grainraiser, Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s

    If you are really that close to a situation where a forced switch would be imminent, making a two-year commitment a problem, then maybe it's not such a great idea to upgrade right now.

    Having said that, I have a couple of HR20s that are actually owned, so your Dad's HR20 may actually be owned (and that seems more likely if they've had it disconnected for a while and not been charged a Non-Return Fee on it). You could always get the card number and receiver ID number and call DirecTV to confirm it's ownership versus lease status. As has been mentioned, the HR10-250 really won't do you any good for HD Satellite reception - it's a good unit for SD satellite and OTA HD, but it's pretty much limited to that.

    If his HR20 really is owned, you may be able to add it to your account and just have to possibly get a new access card for it. That, in itself, should not trigger a commitment, I believe.

    What would trigger one, even if you can work something out with the DVR, is if DirecTV installs the new dish. The way around that would be purchasing a dish yourself (DirecTV doesn't sell the dishes, though) and either install it yourself or hire a local outfit to install it. Both of those things will cost you some money, though.

    If there really isn't a switch imminent (possible move, FiOS coming into the area and you plan to switch or something like that), then I wouldn't worry too much about the two-year commitment. All depends on your situation and what you're comfortable with, though.

    Finally, if you don't currently have some kind of DVR on your account, there would be a $5.99 per month DVR Service fee added to your account. Also, there is a $9.99 HD Access fee that would be required as well once you add HD equipment. You may already know about those fees, but if you don't it helps to get that info beforehand.

    Good luck with whatever you are able to do. And don't hesitate to ask many questions - the folks here are very knowledgeable, and more often than not, helpful! ;)

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