Thinking about going to DirecTV - some questions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by ormandj, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. ormandj

    ormandj New Member

    Jan 17, 2008

    I've been a long-time cable subscriber, and I'm very disappointed with the HD programming. I've got an HD front-projection system (120") setup, and SD programming is ... enough said.

    Well, I'm moving to a new place tomorrow, and I need to schedule installation for whatever services I want, soon. :) I'm located in an area where Comcast is the cable provider (and I will likely go with them for internet, I can only get 8mbit/s with ADSL2, and the difference in latency isn't worth the 100/month difference in price!)

    Well, my balcony faces south (supposedly); tomorrow I'll be going to take photos of the "view" from it, to hopefully assist.

    That said, I'm very interested in DirecTV due to the much larger # of HD channels.

    I've read a fair amount on AVS Forum, and saw a link to here - so here I am. Now, as to my questions for those who feel like humoring a newbie. :)

    #1 - How much am I looking at to get DirecTV, including equipment costs, installed. I'm willing to do self-installation if it's an option that makes sense, I'm quite sound when it comes to operating power tools, and cabling isn't much of a problem either. That said, if the professionals do a great job for a decent price, I'm willing to go that route too.

    #2 - How can I actually *know* I can get DirecTV based on location? If I order DirecTV, and for whatever reason it won't work, is it going to be a big deal? Is there some way I can check ahead of time instead of wasting time/money? Or - is it better to pay for professional installation - and let them figure it out?

    #3 - What are the contract terms? I'm likely only at my new place for a year, I don't want to be stuck in a 10 year contract.

    #4 - Well, I can't think of a #4. I'm sure I will come up with more questions, but these are the most important I need to deal with before I even place an order. :) I get my keys tomorrow, so I'll snap the photos and come back to this thread and post them (assuming I don't muck up and forget!)

    To help, here's a google map of my location:
    [Tried posting Google Map URL, but was told I have to have 5 posts first.]
    Look for 391 17th Street, Atlanta, GA 30363 - if so inclined. :)

    I'm told my apartment faces south. I've not actually seen *my* unit, so I'm not sure if this is absolutely accurate or not, again - I'll know more tomorrow. It may or may not. With DTV, am I looking for SW, S, SE? I've read SW in a few places, but just want to verify before throwing money away.

    Thank you for all of your help (in advance) and my apologies for not having all the information up front. I just want to figure out the basics, so tomorrow when I go visit, I can get the proper information - and hopefully make an order in the near future. :)


    PS - I've figured out a #4. Telephone line! Is it necessary? If I provide network connectivity to the HD-DVR, does it still need a dial-up line? I've not had a land line in 7 years, and have no intention of going back.
  2. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    1. No real answer there; it depends on too many factors. In an apartment, your dish will usually need to be mounted on a tripod. The HD dish is pretty big, and needs a 2" OD pole (which don't fit in standard antenna tripods, so an adapter will be needed), and the tripod needs to be secured so it cannot move at all. Usually the feet can be screwed into the base of the balcony. Tripods/poles/adapters are NOT standard and are payable to the installer at the time of installation, or you can provide them yourself. Make sure you are VERY clear about the restrictions in your apartments; tripods are allowed under federal law, but they can prevent you from having anything attached to the building/railing and drilling holes. Find out.

    2. You need to see 99, 101, 103, 110, 119.

    3. For any DVR or HD equipment, there is a 2-year lease contract. DirecTV will give you a free (limited to a "standard" installation) "Mover's Connection" if you move, and will install a new dish for you at your new location. If you cannot get line-of-site at your new location, they will let you out of your contract AFAIK.

    4. Phone line is not necessary, and you'll get all the benefits, aside from Caller ID display, by hooking it up to your network.
  3. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    #3 would not since you are a new customer. It may be something you could take advantage of if you move in a year, but Mover's Connection would not apply to you now.
  4. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    I would use the dishpointer link that IIP posted and remove your address from your post (you can edit that post using the "edit" button on the bottom right).

    I moved into an aprtment in April. It was a three story and I got permssion to have the dish (5LNB) mounted on the roof using a non-penetrating roof mount (my aprtment is on the first floor). The important thing is to talk to the management, find out what options you have for putting up a dish, and I believe most install companies require something in writing with the manager's signature allowing the work before they can start.

    If you do attempt to do the dish yourself (DirecTV most likely will not even give that option), be aware that it's quite different than the standard round dishes of old. Lots of posts on here about self-installs using the 5LNB dish.

    Oh, and I forgot in my haste on that first post, but:

    Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s
  5. gnahc79

    gnahc79 Godfather

    Jan 11, 2008
    #2 In addition to dishpointer you can check to see if your neighbors facing the same way have satellite dishes. That's what I did before leaving (soon hopefully) from Comcast :).
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