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Single coax - DVR - SWIM Box???

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by ClubSteeler, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. ClubSteeler

    ClubSteeler Godfather

    Sep 27, 2005
    So I had a service call yesterday to finally (I hope) fix my Sunday Ticket blackout issues. So far so good. (The solution was simply a new box to replace my 10 year old box, but hey it worked... so far).

    The tech was a very nice guy, and seemed to be a knowledgeable guy.

    Anyway.. The tech was asking me why I never fully switched to DirecTV and was still with cable. I didn't want to get too in depth with my personal reasons such as 2 year commitments and "buying" leased equipment, etc... So I told him one of my biggest reasons was that I wanted a DVR and how incredibly difficult it was to fish a second coax down my wall due to the roof pitch and little room in the attic.

    He said, "We don't do that any more. If you have a 5LNB dish, you can run DVRs in up to 4 rooms with only a single coax going to each room."


    Now he spoke with a bit of an accent, but I think he called it a SWIM box...???

    So... experts... tell me. Is this true? Is the technology reliable? What are the pros and cons? 1 coax for a DVR....

  2. say-what

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    There is a new dish with a built-in SWM unit. It's the SWMLine. You can run one line to the new dvr's.

    I have a separate SWM8 module that works like a charm.
  3. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    There is one caveat for those that may read this thread.
    SWM only works with the newer DirecTV receivers.
  4. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    Such as, for instance, the HR2x and R22 models and the H2x models.
  5. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'd recommend reading the many swm topics in the install forum. that forum is an excellent source of info for anything related to installation.
    I'd never seen a swm-8 but by asking some questions I was able to install it and be running within an hour, I upgraded a multi-switch setup.
  6. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    SWM = Single Wire Multiswitch.

    It's a totally new way of distributing satellite signals, and allows 8 SWM-compatible tuners to be fed off of a single cable coming from the dish. The cable is split as needed with high-quality cable splitters in order to get a single cable to each receiver. SWM-compatible DVRs will get signal for both tuners from a single cable connected to the SAT 1 port. This technology even allows RG59 to be used in many cases, making it possible to deliver HD into many older buildings where running new cable isn't allowed or practical.

    There ARE a number of restrictions currently, several of which will be relaxed over time:

    - Currently, SWM dishes are used for NEW customers ONLY, primarily because:
    - SWM only works with modern receivers: D12 or higher, R16 or higher, H20 or higher, and HR20 or higher.
    - Currently, a new customer must order an HD-DVR and must be getting 5-8 tuners. The SWM dish only supports up to 8 tuners, and cannot be expanded further.
    - Soon that will be relaxed to any HD receiver and 1-8 tuners.

    DirecTV is NOT changing out old receivers for new ones for SWM compatibility reasons, and has no immediate plans to do so. You can upgrade your receivers to SWM-compatible ones at your cost, of course. You can also have parallel systems; legacy to support your old stuff and a second, SWM dish for the newer components, if you don't mind a second dish on the house.

    Finally, at this time, the SWM dish cannot be "ordered"; if you are a new customer and the system determines you are eligable, it will specify a SWM dish on your work order (subject to replacement with legacy equipment if SWM isn't available in your area). A few areas are starting to give their installers a little more leeway, but most aren't getting enough inventory to go beyond the current DirecTV restrictions. As production ramps up, those restrictions will be relaxed and installers will be given the leeway to use SWM where it makes sense to do so.
  7. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    forgot to mention I bought my items and did not deal with DirecTV.
  8. scm

    scm Mentor

    Jan 21, 2007
    I wish I had seen this BEFORE I accepted a two year committment with a new HR 22. Called DTV to get a DVR because of two advances -- HD LILs lit up in my market, and SWM made full DVR ops (watch + record) available in my single wire outlet house. Made it perfectly clear to the CSR when I ordered it that was my goal -- SWM to a diplexer to the HD DVR.

    FF to today, and my out of body experience. Mastec guy shows up, give him the brief -- he says, I've got the DVR, but I don't have a SWM, since it isn't on the work order. You have to call and re-sked this. Call -- thirty minutes, and four reps later, get to Retention, and am told: We have no way to schedule this, you can't cancel because you have a two year committment with the HR 22, have a nice day. :confused:

    Two COAs -- first, nice e-mail to Ellen Filipiak saying "you can do this for a new customer, but not an existing one?" Second, call back to get another retention rep -- same song -- no way to place an order for what you need. I asked her, do you understand how ridiculous this sounds from this side of the desk? She was nice enough to give me free HD DVR for a year as compensation. I appreciated that, but what does it say when they understand perfectly what you want, sell you a new HD DVR that won't be able to do everything you want, lock you in to a new committment, then tell you pack sand -- we have you by the short and curleys?

    OK, I feel better now...:hurah: Be interesting to see how this plays out over time -- I have nothing but H20s and the HR22, so I have the receivers -- just need the SWM that is impossible to place an order for, unless you are a new customer. Maybe time will play out, but for now DTV just looks stupid.
  9. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    I know it should be doable, but things aren't working that way. The easiest way might be to buy a SWM LNB assembly which the installer can use in place of the one supplied.
  10. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    And if this is what you do, e-mail Ellen back and request a credit for the price of the SWM LNB plus any installation charges.
  11. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    That's one of the reasons I've been posting it over and over and over.

    Lots of well-intentioned people here are constantly referring people to look at SWM technology, but rarely does anyone bother to mention the business rules that currently apply and the overall limited availability of SWM through DirecTV. Naturally, most folks read about SWM here and just assume that all they need to do is call DirecTV and ask for it and they're good to go. In reality, getting a SWM is still very much an exception right now, and likely to be the case well into next year. I would expect greater availability and more relaxed rules by spring 2009.

    As others have mentioned, your best bet is to buy your own SWM equipment, because the chances of getting it through DirecTV are slim and none.

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