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R22 & AM21 without HD access?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Spicoli, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Mar 7, 2010 #1 of 46
    Spicoli

    Spicoli This is only a test...

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    Instead of getting a digital converter box from a local retailer I was looking at getting the AM21 to integrate all the local channels thar DirecTV doesn't supply. I was looking at DirecTV's web site for info and found this info:

    Thin and lightweight, the DIRECTV® AM21 Off-Air Tuner is designed to fit perfectly on top of a DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR receiver (HR21) or a DIRECTV Plus® DVR (R22). Just connect it to your receiver via a USB port and enjoy your favorite digital off-air local networks. Keep in mind that you will need a DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR to view the digital off-air locals in HD.

    Then I found this at the and of the atricle:

    Note: Use of the DIRECTV® AM21 Off-Air Tuner to receive off-air HD local programming can only be accessed if the subscriber has a 5-LNB or Slimline Dish, a DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR Receiver, HD television equipment and HD Access fee

    Now I don't have HD access, 5lnb or slimline dish. But I DO have 3 R22's. Is it possible for me to still use the AM21?
     
  2. Mar 7, 2010 #2 of 46
    jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    I think that second note is quite definitive.

    You need HD access.
     
  3. Mar 7, 2010 #3 of 46
    AntonyB

    AntonyB Legend

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    Why does it say that you need a Slimline dish to use AM21? Can't you just connect a standard terrestrial antenna (not integrated with the dish)?
     
  4. Mar 7, 2010 #4 of 46
    Spicoli

    Spicoli This is only a test...

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    I think the type of dish comes into play because of the HD equipment. It's my understanding that you do need a standard antenna to get the signal. Now that's where I'm confused... Does the AM21 take the place of a digital converter? If it does, then why would you have to subscribe to HD access.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2010 #5 of 46
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'd guess it doesn't take place of a digital converter, but instead adds OTA tuners to the HD DVR.
     
  6. Mar 7, 2010 #6 of 46
    Spicoli

    Spicoli This is only a test...

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    But would I still need to pay for HD access? Even though I have R22's and don't need HD access for them to operate properly. If the AM21 gets the signal from OTA does it also get the programming info OTA? Or is that info supplied by DirecTV along with the HD access package?
     
  7. Mar 7, 2010 #7 of 46
    veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The programing info comes off the SAT, and not OTA.
    The R22 is basically a HR21, locked to SD output. Part of this "locking" may also lock out the OTA setup, if you had an AM21 connected through the USB port.
    The R22 can be unlocked, if you have an HD receiver and the HD package on your account. Then the R22 is a fully functioning HR21.
     
  8. Mar 7, 2010 #8 of 46
    BattleZone

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    First, that note is a bit outdated; the AM21 works on a few additional models, and there are other compatible dishes that allow you to get DirecTV HD.

    The other part of the note means that you won't get *HD* output on your AM21-tuned locals unless you have HD, because the AM21's signals get sent back to the DirecTV receiver (R22 in this case), and the receiver won't output *anything* in HD unless you have HD access. You can use the AM21, but any HD will get down-converted to SD by the R22.

    Another thing to be aware of is that if the receiver loses sat signal (say in a storm/emergency), you won't be able to watch the AM21 either until sat signal is restored, so don't count on the AM21 as an "outage"/"emergency backup" device. Use your TV's built-in ATSC tuner, or an external ATSC converter, for that.
     
  9. Mar 7, 2010 #9 of 46
    Spicoli

    Spicoli This is only a test...

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    First off, I want to thank all of you that have responded to my questions.

    I don't have an HD tv much less HD equipment, other than the R22's as I stated. I was hoping to add the AM21 to the R22's to get the other digital broadcast channels in my area, instead of using digital converter boxes.
     
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    For that purpose they will certainly work and you'll have the added benefit of being able to record the content.

    Note that any OTA HD channels will be recorded in MPEG2 HD and will consume considerably more space on the hard drive than the SD recordings that you're accustomed to.
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    As a Dish sub, and not having any DirecTV service, how do you know this will work? :confused:
    I don't remember reading any posting here where this has been done, or has come up before.
     
  12. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    The DVR records the stream from the tuner. There's nothing in any current DIRECTV DVR nor the AM21 that can downconvert the broadcast stream.

    You don't have to subscribe to DIRECTV to figure out this and many, many other things.
     
  13. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    You do need to have a R22 without HD service to KNOW what doesn't work in them due to software limitations.
    Unless you know for a fact that the AM21 can be setup on a R22 without HD service, you're doing the poster a grave disservice by telling them this will work. :nono:
     
  14. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    So you're suggesting that the AM21 is not an option with the R22 if you don't/can't subscribe to HD Access?
     
  15. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    what he is saying unless someone has specifically tried this very scenario we do NOT know for sure and are hesitant to tell someone to possibly waste 50+ dollars.
    and we know you have not tried this scenario, are you going to front the money for the person? no? then back out.
     
  16. kevinturcotte

    kevinturcotte Active Member

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    It *SHOULD* work, just everything will be downrezzed to SD. Call Directv and ask them. Find out if you can return the AM21 if it doesn't work the way you want it to.
     
  17. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    I ran an HR20-100 of older 3 lnb dish with no hd access for 2 weeks or so when I first got it. I was able to get ota, but as expected it was SD only.
    I would think the r22/am21 might work the same way but I have no way to actually verify.
     
  18. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    What you don't know is the R22 is fairly unique compared to the other DVRs, since it is a HR21 that is limited by software. This limitation causes several menu items to not be available. For instance there is no format option.
    The menu for the OTA setup "may" also not be active/available if the AM21 is connected.
    These missing features become active if the HD service is added to the account.

    As posted ^ if you want to offer the poster their money back if this doesn't work, then fine, otherwise you shouldn't say something you don't know will work.
     
  19. Spicoli

    Spicoli This is only a test...

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    Well, if someone hasn't done this setup before I will give it a try.
     
  20. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Just buy it from somewhere you can return it if it doesn't.
    Also then let us know if it works or not.
    I don't think DirecTV will let you return it, so you could be screwed.

    Also know [if it works] that the channels will be in letterbox format, and you won't have the option to change.
     

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