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Upgrading equipment & adding Whole Home DVR

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by OTAHDFORME, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. OTAHDFORME

    OTAHDFORME New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    After years of Directv nagging me to upgrade my equipment, we have finally moved in that direction.

    We currently have the original RCA dish from 2004 and our original receivers:
    1 Hughes HTL-HD
    3 RCA DRD435RH (1 enabled, 2 currently disabled)

    We will be getting a new dish, an HD-DVR and a non-DVR HD receiver, whole home DVR and the internet connection kit. We were supposed to get an additional Standard DVR (for when my daughter and her husband moves back in a few months from now), but that never made it onto the order. Instead of cancelling the order and having to create a new order, the second CSR made a note that we were supposed to be able to get an additional receiver free of charge, later on down the line.

    When the installer was out last week (just to tell me that they didn't have the equipment for the install) he indicated that we would be getting the SWM LNB with the single line coming into the house.

    Have I understood correctly that with this setup, we will not be able to have our OTA access in these downstairs rooms (since we cannot get an additional coax to these areas and will no longer be able to diplex?)

    If so ... that's a real bummer as my husband's audio receiver, that I use to listen to the radio all day, is connected to that rooftop antenna as well. In addition, there is a local channel, on which he watches Frazier re-runs every night, that we cannot get through Directv.

    We can run additional coax in the upstairs rooms (or use one of those existing lines to connect a TV to the roof-top antenna) so that we have a OTA backup for days like yesterday, when the satellite was out for at least 30 minutes because of cloud cover. However, we would still like the option of being able to get OTA downstairs. Should I forget about that possibility?

    Of course, we will adjust without the OTA downstairs ... but still ... Directv has nagged us for 2 years to do this, and now my head is spinning as I try to sort out the different scenarios and what we will have to do to recreate the capabilities that we currently have. I'm not sure what we are going to need to do for decent radio access downstairs. Twenty year old equipment does have its limitations. :rolleyes:
     
  2. mechman

    mechman Legend

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Don't you get your locals through DirecTV?
     
  3. OTAHDFORME

    OTAHDFORME New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    I can get locals through Directv ... but it's annoying when the clouds come rolling in and we don't have satellite signal to view them. That's where the OTA comes in handy. We've never lost OTA access when we lose satellite access.

    Edit: The local channel that my husband watches every night from 9pm-10pm ... is not available through Directv. All the others that we watch are available (except when the pesky clouds arrive.)
     
  4. DogLover

    DogLover Hall Of Fame

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    You could also check with a local home improvement or home theater contractor to determine options for running extra cable. It might cost more than you want to pay, but that way you'd know the exact cost/benefit of keeping OTA in the basement.

    If you put the DVR upstairs, you can add a AM21 to record the OTA channels on the DVR. With MRV, you can watch them on any HD receiver or DVR in the house. That might solve the one channel that you can't get through satellite.
     
  5. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    First of all, I *strongly* advise you to cancel your current work order and get the new one build with ALL of your receivers at the same time. Do *not* rely on CSR notes to get you anything, or you're likely to be disappointed/angry.

    Second, there is always a way to get cable where you need it. The question becomes: what is more acceptable? Paying a pro to run the cable and/or putting some holes in the wall that need to be repaired, or living without the signals you like?
     
  6. Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Jun 22, 2001
    Just clouds rolling in should not affect your satellite signal. When you get your new dish, you will probably not have that issue. Usually only strong thunderstorms will knock out satellite.

    As noted above, the AM21 should help you with OTA.
     
  7. OTAHDFORME

    OTAHDFORME New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    If clouds should not affect my signal ... does that mean that problem could have been resolved with a service call 6 years ago? Amazingly, we have had clouds knock out the signal when the storms weren't local to our neighborhood, yet during some pretty vicious storms, we have maintained access.

    Placing the DVR (with an AM21) upstairs could be a possibility, although that will mean getting another non-DVR HD receiver for downstairs. As DogLover mentioned, it might be worthwhile to find out the cost for running a cable downstairs (and repairing the subsequent damage to multiple areas to achieve that).

    However, it sounds like we may choose to opt for just hooking a TV upstairs to the OTA antenna and heading up there when necessary. I suppose if the new dish should prevent the cloud cover issues, that might not even be necessary.

    I could also see if I can purchase all the old Frazier episodes on DVD, if my husband is reluctant to pay $5 per month for an extra receiver for the ability to watch endless episodes of Frazier from the comfort of his favorite chair. :)

    Now ... to consider BattleZone's suggestion to cancel the current work order and add more equipment.
     
  8. mechman

    mechman Legend

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Clouds should not affect your signal. Thunderstorms will, but not just any old cloud. What are/were your signal levels for a cloud to affect your picture?
     
  9. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    I think there may be a disconnect here.

    It is *very* possible to have thick storm clouds to your south (i.e., in the line of sight between the dish and the satellite) to knock out your signal, even if there is no rain where you are.

    It is also very possible to have storms right on top of you, but a clearer view to your south, and maintain a perfectly good signal.

    What matters isn't the weather right over you, but rather what's in the dish's line-of-sight. Plenty of people get "rain fade" with no actual rains due to thick storm clouds to their south.
     
  10. OTAHDFORME

    OTAHDFORME New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Obviously, I haven't adequately described the situation. I realize that normal, everyday clouds do not block the signal. What we experience are heavy storm clouds (even when the storm is not in the immediate area) knocking the signal out.

    I never bothered to check signals when it happens. I had just accepted it and switched to OTA until we got the satellite back.
     
  11. mechman

    mechman Legend

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    Apr 29, 2006
    What are your normal signal levels?

    I rarely lose my signal to storms. And when I do it doesn't last very long. If I were to guess I'd say maybe four or five times a year at most. I can recall once so far this year. Anyways, if your signal is low, you'd be more susceptible to rain fade. That's why I asked what your signal level was.
     
  12. OTAHDFORME

    OTAHDFORME New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Since it has taken 3 weeks to get this far (after being rescheduled twice) I chose to leave the current workorder as is. The installer is here now with the new SWM dish and supposedly an HR24 and H24.

    Accepting that I may very well have to pay for any additional receivers as our needs change, I asked him if his install would leave us in a position of being able to just connect those receivers when we acquire them and call Directv to activate them.

    He said that because he would have to use a bigger splitter for the extra receivers that it would be an additional charge of $30 for each one.

    I am not opposed to paying the installer for extra work, but need to know if $30 per future receiver (just to install a larger splitter) is reasonable. If not, my husband is perfectly capable of obtaining the larger splitter and swapping them out himself, when we get ready to expand.

    BTW ... the coax is all already available in 6 rooms and accessible in the On Q box in the upstairs closet. The most we would be adding would be an additional HD-DVR and non-DVR HD Receiver.
     
  13. azarby

    azarby Hall Of Fame

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    There is a solution to not being able to have OTA downstairs. First of all you would need to run the ota coax to the upstairs bedroom. Make sure that the receiver in the upstairs bedroom is a recorder. Set the recorder to record his favorite OTA program. Using MRV, he can then watch the OTA recording on the downstairs receiver and TV. You can start to watch the recording any time after it starts recording on the upstairs receiver. I would give it a couple of minutes to buffer so you can watch essentially uninterrupted.
     
  14. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    The $30 charge is to run a line to each additional room. If the cabling is already there, then you may just need to buy and replace your own splitter.

    Remember that a SWM module (LNB or SWM8) will feed a maximum of 8 tuners (not 8 receivers, 8 tuners, with DVRs using 2 each).
     
  15. OTAHDFORME

    OTAHDFORME New Member

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    Jul 13, 2010
    What I ended up with today was a four port splitter used for 1 HD-DVR, 1 non-DVR HD Receiver, 1 Internet Connection, 1 future receiver.

    Am I going to be able to use that "future receiver" connection for an HD-DVR? Or will I only be able to use it for a non-DVR HD receiver?
     
  16. azarby

    azarby Hall Of Fame

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    You can use it for either.
     

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