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Where to start - considering moving to DIRECTV

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by SVTarHeel, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    Thanks again for the earlier replies. I've had to table this for a couple of months but am now strongly considering pulling the trigger before the holidays.

    Here's where you can help me:
    We regularly get a mailing that offers a $5/mo cheaper price. Unfortunately, SolidSignal can't match that DirecTV-only offer. The D* website has a holiday rate of $5 off for a year, so that may be match-able if we go via SolidSignal.

    Now, I'm weighing the alternate possibility of bundling with AT&T, rejoining AAA and how to couple that with the $10/mo referral fom a good friend who's also a recent DirecTV subscriber. (He told me he scheduled his install online and selected the HR24, no problem, so I'm hopeful there.) I'm not interested in the CostCo option.

    From reading what people have said above, it looks like I can contact D* directly and get the $10 referral credit and $5 holiday promo, then potentially contact AT&T to get an additional $5 off. If I go through AAA first, I'm wondering if I can still do all of the above. If so, I wonder what order to add the discounts. Any thoughts on how to save the most money?

    And, I have a leftover question from my earlier posts:
    With my simple system of two TVs (one HD, one SD), do I need to worry about any additions? Since I'm just starting, I haven't looked at a ton of the info on SWiM LNBs, BBCs, etc. I was thinking that, with 1 DVR and receiver (maybe even 2 DVRs), the basic dish and accessories would be enough.

    One other random question. I think I read something about using an external hard drive deactivates the receiver's internal HDD - is that correct? Do I lose 500GB by adding 1TB?
     
  2. mobandit

    mobandit Hall Of Fame

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    If you order the Whole House DVR setup, your STB's will be connected via coax, no ethernet cables needed.

    Most people who use the Harmony remotes report no problems with the D* boxes.
     
  3. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    Just my 2 cents but I'd get two HR2x. . . even though you had one SD TV. . . With MRV you can burn anything from either HR to your DVD - typically connected via component.

    Adding an external HD doesn't power down the internal HD, but you do lose the space. With 2 HR24s (or 22) you'd have 1 TB of total space - 800 Gb for your recordings.
     
  4. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    I would start by calling the AAA number and asking about the referral. I was able to do both back when the referral was only $50. Since it went to $100, some have said they couldn't get it with the AAA discount.

    I recommend that you do go with 2 DVR's and whole house (MRV). You then have the capability of recording more then 2 shows in the same time slot. With MRV, you can watch the recordings from any receiver.

    If you add a 1TB external drive, you only get 1TB of storage total. The internal drive isn't used. So you only gain 500 GB by adding the external drive. The other reason to go with 2 DVR's and MRV, is it might not be necessary to add any external drives. You will get your full 1TB of storage between the 2 DVR's.
     
  5. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Northern VA
    DirecTV is pretty strict nowadays that in order to get the referral credit you need to call the specific number for the referral. In order to get the AAA discount, you need to call a specific AAA number. Since they are different, you cannot combine those anymore. It should be possible to do the AT&T bundling though as long as you wait until after you have your account set up. That way you can take advantage of the referral or AAA discounts first.

    I would also recommend going with 2 HD-DVRs and the WHDVR setup. Along with having additional storage space, access to recordings on either TV, and not having to worry about upgrading the one receiver to HD down the road, you will get a better picture on the SDTV and there is a greater chance that you will get HR24's.

    - Merg
     
  6. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    I ran some early errands and, while waiting for the bank to open, I called the AAA number - no specials, not even the holiday promo of an additional $5 off for 12 months. Since I'm not a member anymore, spending ~$65 to save an extra $100 might be a bit overboard.

    I also called the DirecTV # on a mailer we got re: an extra $5 off. He said I could sign up it via that offer or thru the holiday promotion - same cost. I asked about AT&T DSL and he said he'd be transferring me to find out more about that, so I declined. I want to make sure I have my stuff lined up before I contact either D* or AT&T for that part.

    My current thinking is to go with 2 DVRs. That gives me 4 tuners, right? How does the scheduler work? Currently, I have about 45 series scheduled on my Time Warner DVR (many of which are 'out of season' currently). I have the network shows with higher priority and the cable shows (which get repeated) set to a lower priority. After new shows start in January, there's one time when there are 5 things on at once that I want to record. Can I set them all from one DVR and let it make up its mind which is which or do I need to divide things up myself per DVR?

    With just 2 DVRs and 2 TVs do I need to consider any of the 'advanced' topics like SWiM, etc.?
     
  7. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    I forgot to mention the procedure, so I thought I'd post separately. As I see it, here's what I need to do, in order:

    1) get my friend's account number

    2) go to the website and place the order with all the details, schedule an install, etc. I presume I'll be getting $10/mo. off for the referral and $5/mo. for the holiday promo

    3) (shouldn't I do all the rebate stuff here, after I place the order but before the install?)

    4) contact AT&T re: DSL (the one hesitancy about waiting til this point is the D* offer of $10 off/10 mos. if I bundle DSL with satellite service. I don't know if that's 'combinable' with the above discounts or not.)

    I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice on the above.
     
  8. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    Not sure about your AAA discount comment. You should get $10/mo for 20 mo's for a total of $200. Then they usual have introductory offers for about $50 to join AAA.

    The 2 DVR's will give you the capability of recording on 4 different tuners simultaneously. If you have a fifth program, at the same time, it won't record. The scheduling for each DVR is separate. So you have to make the decision on which DVR you want to record the programs. No logic built into the WHDVR.

    On the priority of programs, you have a series manager per DVR. You set them up from 1 to 50, with 1 having the highest priority. I believe the max is 50, although I don't have that many set up.
     
  9. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    Sorry for the confusion - since I can't combine the offers, I can get $100 for the referral (and my friend gets the same) or I can get $200 via AAA. So, I'd be spending money to save the extra $100 and cut him out of the savings as well, so probably not worth it.
     
  10. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    OK, that makes more sense now. Although you would be getting AAA service as well, but I understand about cutting your friend out. If you are doing the ordering online, be sure you start on this referral page [link] or you might not be eligible. If you start from the normal order page, it may not ask for the referral. Then if you call in, they could tell you its too late, you have to cancel and start over.
     
  11. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Northern VA
    One other thing to point out about having 5 things scheduled at once. DirecTV handles priorities pretty well, so if you do what you have done with putting cable shows lower than the network shows, the receiver will pick up that show #5 is being reaired at a later time and will record it then since it can't record it during its first airing.

    Each receiver can have up to 50 series links. You have to set up the SL's on each receiver independently. For us, I use one receiver for all of my SL's and the other is used for the kids and wife.

    - Merg
     
  12. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    Excellent. I was hoping there were some smarts built-in. I went to my friend's house last Sunday to audition the system but he uses his TV about as differently as possible from what I do, so he wasn't familiar with the stuff I wanted to know.

    As an update, I talked to the Solid Signal folks - since they can match the referral $10/mo and holiday $5/mo, I think I'll go thru them to guarantee HR24s.
     
  13. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    I think I may be down to my final new question ::fingers crossed::

    How easy is it to make package changes? For example, until I see how I like everything, should I start with the low end channel lineup and then move up if needed? Or start at the top and work down? I'm not necessarily thinking of changing several times a year - I just didn't know how easy it was to adjust things up or down and, therefore, how much time I should spend making sure I had everything I wanted from the outset.

    My initial thought was to go with Choice Extra, but thought I might bump it up if changing later would be a pain. Or, go down to Choice while we got used to the changes and then upgrading later on if it was pretty easy.

    Thanks for the pointers so far - you all have taken a lot of the stress and guesswork out of the decision.
     
  14. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    Its easy to change packages, so go with the one that you like the best. The only thing you have to consider is the promo requires a minimum package of Choice Xtra in order to continue getting the free HD. Also, they do come out with new packages and then some of the old ones are no longer available.

     
  15. TBoneit

    TBoneit Hall Of Fame

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    Did I miss it or did no one mention the Early termination fee charged by both DirecTV and Dishnetwork?

    I only mention it because the OP said "Will a satellite installation affect any of my existing TWC lines? Since we've never dabbled with satellite, I'm not 100% committed yet, so I'd like the option to easily go back to cable internet if we encounter a horrible situation of some kind."
     
  16. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Good point. With the activation of new equipment there is a 24 month commitment. Canceling service prior to the end of the commitment will result in a $20 fee per month remaining on the commitment. There is no grace period unless specified in your state's law.

    - Merg
     
  17. SVTarHeel

    SVTarHeel Mentor DBSTalk Club

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Winston-Sale...
    While I'm thinking about it, does it matter to the system which airing I schedule? If I schedule a recording for Thursday at midnight and it's shown 3 hours earlier, at 9pm, with no conflict the next week, which one will it pick up?

    How about missed or incomplete recordings? If the station is unavailable for some reason or something hiccups 10 minutes into the recording, does it get rescheduled automagically?
     
  18. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Except for the airing that you use to create the SL, the receiver will always try to record the first instance of an episode. If it can't and there are other airings, it will try to grab one of those.

    - Merg
     
  19. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    And it will re record something if it was cut short due to power outage or something like that..

    And for scheduling on your dvrs, especially if you have WHDVR, what I recommend is split up all your networks, and then all shows on networks x and y, put on one dvr, all on o and f on another...

    For example, for my folks, I set up one of their dvrs to record all their cbs and nbc shows, and another to record all their abc and fox shows.. and then i split up their cable shows, 3 or 4 networks on one, the rest on the other... That way there will be the least conflicts possible, and none on the networks, which don;t run repeats of shows very often or consistently... And when new shows come on, its easy to remember where to set them to record without thinking about it because you already know which recorder to use... Just remember to set them in the priority list in the right spot.. network shows on top of cable shows...

    I have way to many dvrs.. I actually set up one network, and one sports team for my main 4 dvrs, then catch all the cable shows on the others.. I never run into a tuner shortage or a conflict on my main dvrs, and the dvrs do a fantastic job of dealing with conflicts on cable shows for me, which it does all the time...

    For you, I'd suggest you do what I did for my folks... Also, make use of the keep at most and keep until i delete featureless.. I love shows like build it bigger, but i always let those be deleted as space is needed where as my network tv shows i set to keep until i delete, so i never loose any of them to a show like build it bigger, because i know build it bigger will be on again, and I watch them when they are convenient, even if its not the same episode for another six months... my tv show though, maybe not on again for years.. lol
     
  20. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

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    One other thing to note. What happens if in the middle of a recording, you have a power outage? It will stop recording your show, but will start recording again when the power comes back on. So you end up with 2 listings of that program. One with the recording before the outage and one with the rest of the program after the outage.

    One thing I recommend is that you put your DVR's on a UPS. Where I live, there are a lot of brown outs in the summer. They can cause issues with the DVR and recordings. A UPS helps ensure you are able to watch the recording that you planned on.
     

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