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Quick SWM Questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by LipschitzWrath, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Jul 4, 2009 #1 of 33

    LipschitzWrath New Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Okay, gents, here's the deal. My tech stopped by yesterday to do my pole mount (back on Monday to do the rest) for my new townhouse. The townhouses are brand new and my landlord is VERY picky about what we can do for this install. He prefers cable (single-line) because it is cleaner, but it can't even compare in terms of price to DirecTV around here.

    The townhouse is pre-wired as follows: A single line is in a box on the outside of the house, ready for service to be hooked to it. This single line runs into a junction box in my laundry room. In this box you have 5 wires - the one coming in from the outside, and 4 going out to the living room and 3 bedrooms.

    Right now, I will have an HR22 in the living room, and that's it. But I eventually plan on putting receivers in each of the bedrooms, too. So I realize a SWM may be overkill right now, but my landlord basically said no drilling holes. Besides, the installer wants to charge me all sorts of fees for doing anything other than just drilling a hole into the wall on the outside of the living room to get the second coax to the HR22.

    To me, this seems like a perfect case for a SWM with a 4-way splitter. However, the installer said (and I quote), "My boss told us he'd fire us if he caught any of us doing a SWM installation." So I called DirecTV and they are saying pretty much tough sh!t. They even said a SWM won't work in my application because you need a minimum of 5 tuners in the system and I am only using 2 (HR22).

    So first, can anyone confirm or refute this fact? Do I really need to have 5 tuners in the system? I'm 99% sure the answer is no, but I thought it best to ask. I just need to put 75-ohm terminators on all unused ports, right?

    Which brings me to my next question: Do I have to put the terminators on right there at the splitter, or can I hook up the cables that run to each room and put the terminator on at the wall plate in each room?

    Anything else I need to remember when doing the install? I am going to get the SWMLine LNB and a PI-21 Power Inserter and a 4-way splitter that is compatible with the SWM - anything else I need (besides terminators)?

    Any other things I need to consider here?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Jul 4, 2009 #2 of 33

    Teronzhul Godfather

    Sep 20, 2006
    SWM will work perfectly fine with only one receiver. People at DirecTV just can't make a work order for an installation with fewer than 5 tuners because it isn't cost effective for them to do an install with SWM on a single box.
  3. Jul 4, 2009 #3 of 33

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    SWM installations don't need 5 tuners to work, but apparently the guidelines given to installers indicate that they are not to be used UNLESS 5 or more tuners are required.

    Since your landlord won't allow additional lines into the place, you would need an SWM LNB and power inserter. That will feed anything from 1 - 8 tuners through the appropriate splitter(s). As you already know, cap any unused ports on the splitters with 75 ohm terminators.
  4. Jul 4, 2009 #4 of 33

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    A SWM will work with one receiver, but you'll never get it with only one [the 5 rule is true].
    Buy it on your own is about the only option.
    Yes you can terminate at the cable ends.
  5. Jul 4, 2009 #5 of 33

    LipschitzWrath New Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    You guys are the greatest. That's what I figured that they meant. They can't make a work order for less than 5 tuners. But the lady was trying to tell me that even if I bought the stuff myself, it wouldn't work in my setup.

    Alright, SolidSignal, here I come!

    Confirm, I can terminate with 75-ohm terminators at the wall plate in each room?
  6. Jul 4, 2009 #6 of 33

    dave29 New Member

    Feb 18, 2007
  7. Jul 4, 2009 #7 of 33
    David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    with that length of coax going to each room would you even need the physical terminators? iirc 15 feet of coax acted like a terminator to the swm system.
  8. Jul 4, 2009 #8 of 33

    dsw2112 Always Searching

    Jun 12, 2009
    It will probably not make a big difference in your setup, but just keep in mind that by using a SWM LNB you are limiting yourself to 8 total tuners (you mentioned 4 coax room runs so this will probably suit you just fine), and legacy receivers are not supported on a SWM LNB system (sounds like this will also not affect you.) Otherwise you are certainly on the right track!
  9. Jul 4, 2009 #9 of 33

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    What is your timeframe for putting receivers in the other rooms?

    Something to consider. Installation rules require 5+ tuners for a SWM LNB. So have the 5 tuners installed. Get your HD DVR, and a regular box for each bedroom. There shouldn't be any additional upfront costs.

    Doing so should trigger the provisioning system to move you to a SWM.
    Back to your timeframe for the other boxes, if it's near term, you'll already have the boxes and won't have to pay to aquire them later or to have them installed. You'll also be able to verify that the lines to those rooms work now rather than later.

    If the timeframe is farther out, I'd still have the other rooms installed, then shut them off a few days later. You end up with the swm with no out of pocket expense.

  10. MIMOTech

    MIMOTech Legend

    Sep 11, 2006
    How ever you install the SWM. Terminators are required for each unused output and it does not matter if the termination is done at the splitter or at the wall plate. If you can't get them to install due to the 5 tuner rull (2 Dvrs, and one Std receiver) then buy your own antenna and have the installer do the work. Get the 4 way SWM splitter since you only have 4 lines. www.solidsignal.com will have what you need.
  11. LipschitzWrath

    LipschitzWrath New Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    Guys, thanks for all your help. Unfortunately, the order had already been placed and the installer had already been out here the first time to do my pole mount by the time I started this thread. With that, I think it's too late to add receivers. I actually thought about doing that and I would have once I found out that even a standard receiver is now gonna cost me $69 to get. I guess I was operating under the assumption that std receivers were free to add later. That's what you get for assuming.

    I already bought the SWM hardware. I actually talked to the installer about it and he said he would come back to help me install it if I need him to. I don't think I will need that though. I think he aimed the dish pretty good because I am getting a signal strength of 86 on my hi-def satellites. So, I'll just throw the SWMLine LNB on there, put the splitter in the junction box, and run the power inserter behind the DVR in the living room. And the power inserter needs to be hooked to port #1 (the one with the power pass-thru) on the splitter, right?

    I wish there was some way I could get my hands on some additional receivers for free. I sure would have done it differently, knowing what I know now. I would've ordered 2 DVR's and a std receiver and got my SWM installation for free. Nothing I can do about it now, tho. Is there anyway to talk DirecTV outta some more receivers for free?

    I'm a little bummed that they gave me an HR22 instead of an HR23 receiver. Now I'll have to drop $200 to get one so I can watch 1080p on my new Sony 52".
  12. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    The HR22 works for 1080p just the same as the HR23, in fact all the HR2x DVRs support 1080p.
  13. LipschitzWrath

    LipschitzWrath New Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    I did not know that. Thanks for that.

    I'll have to get another HD DVR anyways because I was unaware that my Polaroid (yeah yeah, I know) 32" was capable of supporting 1080i (manual even claims 1080p, TV says "not supported" when I try to go to 1080p on HD channels). I figure I might as well step up to the best (HR23) if I am gonna get another one.

    What is my best option for getting my hands on an HR23? SolidSignal, DirecTV, and Ebay all want roughly $200 + shipping to get one. Any place that I am unaware of where I can get them for cheaper? If I buy it from SolidSignal (or similar), can I "activate" the receiver myself? Or am I gonna have to have my tech come out again?
  14. jpitlick

    jpitlick Icon

    Apr 19, 2007
    Costco sells D* DVRs for $169.
  15. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    I'd double check the specs on that Polaroid. Supporting 1080i is different from actually being able to display 1080i. Check the manual to see what the native resolution is. It most likely is yyyy X 768. Which would be a 720 native set. Many 720 sets will accept a 1080 signal and downconvert it to 720.
  16. LipschitzWrath

    LipschitzWrath New Member

    Jul 3, 2009
    I believe this is the price listed for an HR22, right? I'm looking for the HR23.

    You're probably right on that. I haven't seen many 32" TV's out there that can actually display 1080x either. So, best case, it can probably do 720p. Which is still better than SD. SO I think I wanna get another HD DVR for my new Sony 52" that is coming in later this week.

    BTW, if I add another HD DVR, I only have to pay the add'l $5/month to add the receiver, right? I don't have to pay another $10/month for HD access or $6/month for DVR, correct?
  17. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    It's for whatever Costco happens to have in stock. All HR2x series DVRs are considered to be "the same" and interchangeable as far as DirecTV and retail distribution are concerned.

  18. boxster99t

    boxster99t AllStar

    Mar 9, 2008
    Truthfully, I always try Directv first over the phone. If you catch the right CSR or may be any of them, you should be able to get another HR22 or HR23 for $99.00 plus the shipping charge of $19.99 which would be less than I've seen Costco, SolidSignal or other sellers. Just tell them you goofed and should have had two DVR's installed last time.
  19. gzaboji

    gzaboji New Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    I have just completed slimlne 3 swm install for an hr20-700 and h20-600.Both receivers have had the latest firmware updates forced after the install.The hr20 works flawlessly.The H20 is another story.It shows the swm firmware and swm library same as the HR20 it does not recognize the AU9 SL3 SWM ANTENNA.The closest option is the 5nb slimline which works but the tuning behavior is erratic and slow.Often i get a message that the channel is not subsrcibed or it thinks msnbc is payperview.Generarlly tuning to a lower channel and backup allows reception.
    I have tried all the resets,powerdowns and forced software downloads.The present software version is 0410a.
    Finally I replaced the h20-600 with another H20-600 that has the latest CE update installed and this receiver works flawlessly.It appears that the national release does not support this swm antenna.
  20. jpitlick

    jpitlick Icon

    Apr 19, 2007
    I had an H20-100 that behaved erradically on my SWM system. I talked D* into swapping it for an H21-100. I was able to get them to give me a service credit of $10 a month for 12 months and return the H20 and I picked up an H21 at BB.

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