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"No Commitent" HD Upgrade Installation Questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by BNut, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. BNut

    BNut Cool Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    I am a current D* customer with a 3LNB dish, HR10-250 DVR and Hughes HTL-HD receiver. After purchasing a HDTV I fully understood why D* sent me a letter about my current equipment no longer working to receive HD channels (well except for HDNet).

    After talking to a local D* installer at a Christmas party I discovered that my original D* install was pretty much a hack job. ie. Made me purchase the dish as well as no multi-switch or ground wire used for the install. (Unless this was standard practice in 2003) See attached pictures for how the wires are run from the dish. The cables run directly from the dish to my HR10 DVR and HTL-HD receiver. There are no multi switches or ground wires in the attic either but they did at least use RG6 cable since my home was built with RG59.

    I just scheduled an install for the "No Commitment" upgrade through D* customer support and want to make sure I have everything squared away on my order # BEFORE the installer arrives. The installer I talked to at the party mentioned I might see somthing like "ODU" or "ODUK" on the work order if they were supposed to replace the dish which I don't see below. He mentioned ODU stands for "OutDoor Unit" or something like that.

    Here is what my current order # looks like on D*'s website:

    Item Description                                         Price Qty. Total 
    Swap Replace DIRECTV HD Rec. (Expanded HD Prog. Capable) Free  1    Free 
    Swap Replace HR20 IRD                                    Free  1    Free 
    Relocate Existing HDDVR IRD                              Free  1    Free 
    Professional Installation                                Free  1    Free 
    Standard Professional Install                                       Free 
    Handling                                                            Free 
    Tax                                                                 $0.00

    1) Will/Should the next installer add the multi switch and ground wires that I am I currently missing?

    2) Will/Should the next installer replace my current dish with one that will receive HD channels? (How do I confirm if this was put on my order #?)

    3) I requested that my current HR10-250 be relocated to a spare bedroom that current only has a single cable drop. Will/Should the installer run a second cable to that bedroom so I can use both tuners on the HR10?

    4) Equipment Wise: Am I at the mercy of the installer concerning if I receive an HR21, 22 or 23 DVR? (The D* customer rep indicated that the majority of activated DVR right now are HR22's when I asked)

    5) My total cost for this should be $0 with no contract extension, right? (I fulfilled my last contract commitent several years ago)

    6) If I decide to leave D* because I can't get my locals in HD via the dish (zip code 70506) I should not be charged any termination fees as long as I surrender the new HR2X DVR back to D*, right?

    If there is any other general information I need to know I'd appreciate any help you can provide.

    Thanks in advance,

    Attached Files:

  2. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    If you need a multiswitch, yes. You only need a multiswitch if you have more than four tuners total.
    Yes, this would be necessary.
    You might have to pay extra for the extra coax run.
    You are at the mercy of what the installer has. As far as DirecTV is concerned, HR20/HR21/HR22/HR23 are all equivalent.
    YOU WILL HAVE A NEW 2 YEAR CONTRACT! I don't care what any CSR tells you, expect a new committment.
    Wrong. I would bet dollars to donut holes you will have a committment with a $20 per month pro-rated buy out for early termination.
  3. BNut

    BNut Cool Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Thanks for the quick reply! After reading the forums its my understanding that the dish/wiring should be grounded. Am I correct that based upon the pictures of my setup nothing is grounded like it should be? I originally thought the multiswitch and grounding went together but thanks for clarifying that for me.

    Is there any risk of getting a dish that would not allow me to use my HR10 as an SD DVR or should the installer choose the appropriate dish based on the equipment I have and will be getting?

    Gotcha. I already purchased a 500' spool of RG6 when my brother-in-law and I did a new cable run to the spare bedroom so it wouldn't be the end of the world for me to run another cable there.

    I'm prepared to deal with D* in the event this happens. Fortunately I retained the promotional letter from D* that states there is "NO COMMITMENT required" and they can speak with Mr. Randy Satterburg of D* if they wish do otherwise. :)

    Thanks again for all the information!
  4. randyk47

    randyk47 Icon

    Aug 21, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Bottom line up front I'd say you pretty much need a complete overhaul of your present installation. I'll be nice because I don't know how your dish got installed in the first place or what might have been done with it since installation but "hack job" would be kind wording. For sure there's no way a Slimline can be mounted on the existing fascia without some work. The 3 LNB you've got right now looks like it's barely holding on but obviously it's been there for awhile so miracles do happen. The Slimline has a much bigger mounting base not to mention a lot more weight, wind load, etc., so be prepared for some work to use the present location or moving of the location for a new dish. Might add that from my understanding your HR10 would not work with a Slimline dish with the SWM LNB but would work with the Slimline with the 5 LNB so you'd want to make sure you don't get the SWM version. Have to also say the way I'm reading your list of upgrades there's no dish mentioned as it's all basically upgrading receivers and that's not going to get you the new HD programming with your present dish.
  5. BNut

    BNut Cool Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Here is the amazing thing... that dish setup survived 2 recent hurricanes. Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Gustav this year. For both hurricanes I saw winds in excess of 100mph. Its also not uncommon in the South to have thunderstorms with wind speeds in the 40 to 60mph range.

    Thanks for the additional information concerning the dish and the work order. I'm going to call D* again to make sure my work order clearly states I need a new dish and if possible have them specify the slimline 5 LNB model you mentioned so I can continue using the HR10.

    I talked with a co-worker who has D* and he mentioned that he has a slimline 5LNB dish but that his is mounted on the roof near the edge. What does D* do when you need to replace your shingles and the roofing people rip the dish off the roof? lol

    Thanks again for the help!
  6. randyk47

    randyk47 Icon

    Aug 21, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    BNut - While I now live in sunny San Antonio, TX, I grew up in the Seattle-Tacoma area in Washington state. The local joke up there was the Washington Rain Festival started on 1 January and ran through 31 December. Because of that I'm kind of naturally opposed to roof mounts because up there it wasn't so much if it was going to leak as it was when was it going to leak. Now I know I'm going to catch all sorts of flak for that but that's just me and there are lots of folks here with roof mounts and absolutely no problems. You can, with some engineering or one of the pre-manufactured mounts, still mount a new dish where your present dish is mounted assuming there are no line-of-sight and grounding issues. As for moving or replacing the dish after roof repair or replacement I'll defer to somebody here who's gone through that. All four of my dishes have been fascia mounted so that's never been an issue for me.
  7. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    There was an earlier thread where someone was seeking a copy of such a letter to have the committment removed from their account after just such an upgrade.


    Can you post a copy of that letter?

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