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Replacing a D12 receiver

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by AntAltMike, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Oct 2, 2018 #1 of 21
    AntAltMike

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    Today, I am going to be servicing a standard definition DirecTV headend that uses D12s. I suspect that at least two of those receivers are malfunctioning.

    I have a lot of D12 receivers lying around from old, decommissioned headends, but someone told me that he thinks DirecTV will not activate them, even as one-for-one replacements. Does anyone have any current experience with trying to get them activated as replacements?
     
  2. Oct 2, 2018 #2 of 21
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The D12s in that headend will be obsolete in less than a year. I think you should call Directv and figure out how long those D12s will continue to function where that headend is located - they are going to start shutting off standard definition locals early next year (apparently not all at once but it varies somewhat by location, though information is hard to come by so we're not even certain of that)

    Presumably they should have some sort of trade in program for commercial setups like that headend to replace the D12s with either H24s or H25s. The H24 directly outputs composite video, the H25 requires a dongle to do so but it is physical smaller (if space is at a premium for your headend)

    Let us know what Directv tells you about the schedule for when the D12 will no longer be able to receive locals and when it will no longer function at all. For whatever reason Directv isn't very forthcoming about their plans, so any new scraps of information will help us put the picture together. You would think they'd have something on their web site detailing exactly what happens when and where, instead of treating this like a state secret. Even dealers like Solid Signal don't really know what is going on...it is crazy!
     
  3. Oct 2, 2018 #3 of 21
    AntAltMike

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    I will be at the jobsite in a few hours. I just found one D12 in my "storage van".

    This customer has no interest whatsoever in committing to a contractual obligation that would get them any kind of subsidy. This company has purchased half a dozen headends from me over the years, paying as much as $170 per receiver a decade and a half ago, down to $56 per receiver maybe eight years ago, because they would not commit beyond one year, and they need this amenity now less than ever,.

    It looks like they will be able to buy H24s for $125 each times 40 if they decide to keep this headend running next year, and if I cannot get a D12 replacement activated today, then I either can furnish them with H24s for $125 each, which I can pick up locally, or they will simply have one or two fewer channels in the immediate future.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  4. Oct 5, 2018 #4 of 21
    AntAltMike

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    I got lucky. The three channels with no sound were restored by unplugging and rebooting, and the other two had bad modulators.
     
  5. Oct 5, 2018 #5 of 21
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    I would spend some money to install remotely controlled power switch for prophylactic reboots.
     
  6. Oct 5, 2018 #6 of 21
    AntAltMike

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    When money grows on trees, maybe. This was their first service call in a couple of years, and if they had told me that was one of the symptoms, I would have told them to have one of their <s>engineers</s> janitors do it.
     
  7. Oct 5, 2018 #7 of 21
    P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    well, you are lucky - no DVRs sit in that racks … else the remote power switch cost would be appreciated
     
  8. Oct 5, 2018 #8 of 21
    AntAltMike

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    In the late 1990s, I used to do service for a small PPV company that had bought the junk that Spectravision had gotten rid of, and they had racks of dozens of VCP(player)s, and the way their primitive system worked, they taped LEDs to the front of each receiver and covered them with tinfoil, because otherwise... well, you know what happens when you try to control a DirecTV receiver in a headend rack with a remote control... but those always got out of sync, so they had a purge cycle that they ran them through remotely. I think they did it automatically once a night at maybe 3:00 AM, and they also could trigger them from their headquarters if the hotel reported having chronic problems.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  9. Oct 5, 2018 #9 of 21
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    No need to get something with remote IP access, he already has a way to remotely power cycle things - the janitor!

    If you wanted to do preventative reboots you can buy cheap electronic timers that control on/off on a daily/weekly schedule for next to nothing. You could schedule it to automatically power off at some late hour on a weeknight once a week and power on a minute later.
     
  10. Ken Stomski

    Ken Stomski Mentor

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    Directv will not activate a D12 to replace a defective D12. There is currently an EOL option in the SD-HD analog upgrade agreement that carries no term commitment, so long as you document you have defective D12 receivers or are in a DMA that has SD locals ceasing. You would be replacing multiswitches with SWM30 modules and D12s for H25s. I am assuming you are an l&i dealer or this is an MSO account, by now you should be up to speed on this, the upgrade is MANDATORY.
     
  11. AntAltMike

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    It sounds like you are talking about user or guest room receivers. This is a headend SMATV system. The only multiswitches are voltage controlled, 2x16 rack mounted, 950-1,450MHz.

    This hotel customer owns a dozen hotels and has bought half a dozen of these systems from me over the last decade and a half. The dealer of record is a large DirecTV dealer who has every class of dealership except for multiple dwelling residential.

    That dealer told me last week that at present, there is no deal on the headend receivers for customers that are not under contract, and this customer will not allow any managers to commit to any service for over one year, which is why they buy from me instead of from someone else.

    DirecTV stopped charging us for replacements for defective headend receivers maybe close to a decade ago, with the catch that any receivers they sent us, we had to activate within 90 days or the dealer would get charged $56 per non-activated unit. The last couple of shipments that I rode herd on, the customer had maybe three bad receivers each time so we ordered six and then swapped out the three bad plus three others, and that left them with three, in-house spares each time.

    The dealer says that to do the swap today, with no contract, he'd get charged $125 per receiver, or $5,000 for the whole, forty channel headend. This hotel customer has no trouble digesting a bill that size. They've bought $25,000 headends from me at the drop of a hat. But DISH Network receivers cost less than that, so if we wait until D-Day, or 30 days to go, and then say that unless there is a comparable deal on the receivers, they are switching, that some accommodation will be made. Under those circumstances, I'm sure I could get this customer, who is now on month-to-month, to commit to one year to save a couple thousand on the receivers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  12. Ken Stomski

    Ken Stomski Mentor

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    I am definitely talking about D12 headends. In fact, the same rules now exist for both D12 headend and L-band systems.

    Yes, that $56 got charged if they were not activated within 90 days, because there was likely a "buy down" agreement in place. We had the same thing.

    If there is a D12 headend in place, it NEEDS to be replaced with an H25 analog system. You use the same rack, same modulators. You replace the old mulitswitches with SWM modules because the H25 receivers are only SWM.

    There are multiple options for the upgrade available. If you are in an EOL DMA there is a non commitment option, and Directv pays for the equipment, including receivers, needed to perform the upgrade, and pays you labor for completing it. If you are not in an EOL DMA there is a five year commitment but Directv still pays for the labor and equipment. Both of these options are at zero cost to the customer.

    You really should reach out to your ASM or distributor to get up to speed on the latest business rules for smatv dealers. If you are not a dealer who is dealing directly with a distributor or Directv ASM I urge you to find a way to look into this. Directv is becoming very aggressive with these upgrades right now.


    am definitely

    I am a
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Why is Directv only willing to pay if you are in a DMA that currently gets MPEG2 SD locals from 101 or 119? Did they offer to upgrade the rest back when the 72.7 satellite went away and they lost their MPEG2 SD locals?

    If they kept selling and activating D1x receivers in MPEG4 only markets for commercial customers (assuming they were getting their locals via other means in their headend) they should have been telling them about this for years, so they could make an informed decision. Seems like they're getting a raw deal.

    A few years ago when I was going through some stuff in storage I found my old D1x and H10 receivers I had replaced nearly a decade ago. They were all still active on my account. AFAIK Directv had never contacted me about replacing them with MPEG4 capable receivers when my market's MPEG2 SD local service went away when the 72.7 satellite was shut down. If I still had a bunch of SD TVs and was using them, I'd be pissed if Directv made me pay to replace them, or required a FIVE YEAR commitment, while people in markets with MPEG2 SD locals from 101/119 were getting them for free without commitment.
     
  14. AntAltMike

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    What is EOL? End Of Life? This customer signed a one year agreement in 2011 and is on month to month. They will not under any circumstances sign beyond one year.

    I just spoke with a salesman at what I think is the biggest MSO Distributor (I'd rather not name them here, lest I piss someone off), and he said that while he'd have to check and get back to me, based on what he has seen and been told, this account would have to pay $99 per receiver with no commitment, and they'd have to buy the splitters and SWiMs. He admittedly is a new employee, having been hired just a few months ago, but has been in the business for several years. He called me two weeks ago out of the blue, I guess because he got stuck with the dormant accounts.
     
  15. Ken Stomski

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    If you read the entire post, I never said they would only pay only if you are in a DMA with MPEG2 SD locals. The upgrade is free if you aren't in one of those DMAs, you just commit to 5 years. But here is something additional - soon ALL of the DMAs will be EOL for D12s. New York and Los Angeles is next. Within a few months this will not be an issue - the upgrade will be free for EVERYONE without a commitment. If you are indeed a DTV L&I dealer and you are not aware of this, you have a lot of catching up to do.

    Commercial, non-smatv accounts are next for this. there is so much SD equipment out there they need to do this in stages. just like years ago when they got rid of the EPG receivers.
     
  16. Ken Stomski

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    Yes, end of life. EVERY account that has D12s on it will eventually be in an EOL market - there is a lot to replace, and they are doing this is stages. I have a VERY firm grip on this, as we have been doing this upgrades for a year and a half when they first announced them. Once that account gets into an EOL market the upgrade will be free without commitment. I assume you are talking about a distributor based in little rock. they are good. i deal with them. only some of them over there have a handle on these upgrades. directv changes the program every few weeks. and the forms the distributor has on their website are outdated. please, contact your directv ASM for the latest information. i would share a bunch of pdfs but they are intellectual property. once you see the program outline, you will understand much better.
     
  17. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a Directv dealer or installer or anything like that just a (commercial) customer. I don't have any SD equipment, so this doesn't affect me, I'm just curious about their plans since Directv seems to treat all this like a state secret.

    If I understand what you're saying correctly, it sounds like this is being done in stages for different markets and different customer types over a fairly long time scale. Do you have any visibility into when the 'end date' is - i.e. the drop dead date for the last D1x receiver to be deactivated and Directv to shut off MPEG2 SD service entirely?

    The only clues we have are the letters they've been sending some residential customers who have SD equipment, and the changes they've been making with satellites (like moving T15 from 103 to 101) It seems strange to me that Directv doesn't just publish a schedule on their website somewhere.
     
  18. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    MPG actually …
    EPG itself is presenting before that and after, just by different protocol: old [MPG] version before and new [APG] now.
     
  19. AntAltMike

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    The category of receivers that they got rid of was, I thought, the pre- or non-RID receivers, and I thought that the inadequacy of those was that they could not support the more robust version of the programming guide.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018 at 3:27 PM
  20. Ken Stomski

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    As far as L&I goes, it was supposed to be april 2019 at some point, that is what we were told a year ago. pretty sure they will be extending that if they havent already. direct communication from directv on ANYTHING the past two years has been extremely spotty - they are even vague when questioned at revolution. Supposedly they are going after COM SD receivers next. For RES I know they already hit my DMA up to replace all SD receivers.
     

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