Whole Home Activation Nonsense

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by Anonuser, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Dec 6, 2018 #1 of 36
    Anonuser

    Anonuser AllStar

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    DirecTV customer for 20-plus years. My current configuration is an HR21-700, HR23-700 and 2 H24s.

    I recently decided I needed whole home service. I installed first generation DECAs on the HR21 and HR23. I also had to update my 4 port splitter from an old legacy DirecTV splitter to a Green Label. I verified I had good connectivity via the physical mesh test on both H24s. Once I confirmed my equipment was properly configured, it was simply a phone call away.... NOT!!!

    When I called DirecTV (AT&T) to activate the whole home DVR service, the representative started to initiate a Genie upgrade. Since I have many recordings on my HR21 & HR23, coupled with the fact I didn't want DirecTV tech working on my system, I stopped the Genie upgrade, and asked to simply have whole home activated on my existing configuration. I was told that they were unable to grant my request, since my existing equipment was not capable of whole home. Further, they stated I MUST upgrade to a Genie configuration to receive whole home service. I requested to speak with a supervisor and was told the same thing. I politely finished the telecon and immediately called back to speak with a technical support representative.

    The first level technical support representative I spoke with told me the same story. I asked to speak to a technical support supervisor, and I was told the same story again - My existing equipment was simply incapable of supporting whole home. I pointed out that whole home had been available to DirecTV customers with my equipment configuration long before the Genie was ever conceived. After considerable discussion with the technical support supervisor, I discovered the real reason. The new AT&T system, which my account has been migrated to, was incapable of activating whole home on any account that does not contain a Genie.

    If anyone knows the secret handshake or phone number I can call to have whole home activated on my legacy system, please let me know.

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  2. Dec 7, 2018 #2 of 36
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    I doubt you will find a way around this issue..

    I’d suggest upgrading to a genie... but...

    Are the recordings things you are just behind on and how long before you could catch up? You have a couple options from my point of view...

    One... dump the entire system after you’ve watched down all the stuff recorded and get the latest genie hs17 system.

    Two, watch down your HR21 (can’t believe anyone still has these they are so slow) and then upgrade just that one unit to a hr54 genie.

    Third option, upgrade one of your h24s to a hr54. Then you keep both your current DVRs and gain a third. You can record everything from then on out on the genie and take your time watching all the stuff off the other DVR. Eventually they will be empty and you can upgrade them to an h24 or client... whenever you feel like it, or just keep three DVRs...

    Your monthly costs would be the same no matter which of these solutions you could chose. Just don’t let them ever install a hs17 genie two and all clients if you want to keep your current DVRs for a while too.
     
  3. Dec 7, 2018 #3 of 36
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'd do what Inky suggests. Or you will have to wait until ATT gets their...stuff...together. This is not the only thing their system prevents.

    Rich
     
  4. Dec 7, 2018 #4 of 36
    Anonuser

    Anonuser AllStar

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    The recordings I have are recorded sporting events I haven't had a chance to roll off to my computer.

    There is also an additional reason why I don't want to upgrade. I'm currently out of contract and I have been able to negotiate a monthly credit for the past few years. I have to call annually to renew the credit, but it has been a worthwhile phone call. If I upgrade, I'm going to be tied to a new 2 year commitment. My guess is once I'm under contract as a result of the upgrade, my monthly credit negotiating power will disappear.

    There's an additional reason why I don't want to lose my HR21, in spite of the fact that it's painfully slow. I don't want to lose my over-the-air tuner. I know I can get an AM21 to perform that function, but I understand the AM21 is currently in some type of upgrade cycle.

    A couple of follow-up questions regarding the Genie upgrade.

    1. Including my initial install 20+ years ago, I have never had a DirecTV installer perform any work on my setup. I have performed all installs/upgrades myself. After reading "professional installation" horror stories, I would prefer to perform any/all upgrades myself. I have talked with DirecTV in the past about upgrading to 4K Genie & DirecTV stated it would require a truck roll and professional installation. Not negotiable.

    Solid Signal has all of the components required. My question is whether or not I could purchase the necessary components directly from Solid Signal and perform the install/upgrade myself. If I chose that route, which I know is more expensive, can I get around having a "professional installer" mucking around with my installation?

    2. If I selected the HR54 for an H24 swap option, what are my chances that I would get an HS17 instead of an HR54 (DirecTV discretion)? I have space restrictions that simply won't allow an HS17.

    Thanks for your feedback!!
     
  5. Dec 7, 2018 #5 of 36
    WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    If you Get a Hr54 - You can keep your other receivers on your account -SHould also upgrade to 4k Yu will need a C61K-700 Mini connected to the 4K tv.

    If you Get a HS-17 all you old equipment will be removed from your account - The HS-17 is a Stand alone Server (doens Not Output Video direct to any TV-NO Hdmi port) Then you will Mini's at all your other locations.

    Since your Account has been Moved to AT&T - Call SS and ask about Activation if you order receivers from them - It's been reported that they can not longer (get access) to AT&T Accounts, Just FYI
     
  6. Dec 7, 2018 #6 of 36
    Anonuser

    Anonuser AllStar

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    I emailed Solid Signal. This is their reply:

    "Yes we can definitely help you get the correct equipment for 4k service and you will be able to install yourself.. If you need to create an account, we will be able to do the activations. If you are an existing account, you would still need to activate your receivers through DirecTV."

    Therein lies the rub. I have an existing account. To activate, I need to go through DirecTV. They likely will require a truck roll, regardless of the fact that I have completed the upgrade on my own.

    I'm going to have to think a bit about this before I take any action.
     
    WestDC likes this.
  7. Dec 9, 2018 #7 of 36
    inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    You are going to have to have a truck roll. You’ll need to get past that. Personally, I always have everything ready to go when they get there if i need something they require a truck roll for, so all they really do is plug in the box and they are done. I prepare everything. I see no reason to not do that, and frankly, there’s lot more good installers than bad, you only hear about bad ones though... you could easily have a great experience with tan installer, the key is to be friendly, and to know what needs to be done before they get there. The key is being more knowledgeable than them, and then you can easily control what they are going to do.

    The sad part is, they are often told to say things that aren’t actually true, like swapping wired boxes for wireless ones because that’s better. We know it’s not... so as long as you know how to control the situation and make sure they give Yugin what you want, you shouldn’t have an issue...

    HR21 doesn’t have an over the air tuner in it,so you have an am21 now?
     
  8. Dec 9, 2018 #8 of 36
    Anonuser

    Anonuser AllStar

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    Brain fart on my end. I have an HR20, not HR21.

    If I swap/upgrade one of my H24s for an HR54, and swap my current LNB for either an SWM-13 or RBLNB (myself) to support all my tuners, any idea if DirecTV will ship the HR54 to me to perform the swap myself? Or is there something special about the Genie install (H24 swap) that requires the truck roll?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  9. Dec 9, 2018 #9 of 36
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I wondered about that when I read the post.

    Rich
     
  10. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    First only go Rblnb imho. Especially for 4K down the road...

    I doubt they will because they likely won’t show you even having swim and therefore it requires a truck roll and that is automaticity generated the system because they don’t trust people to know their equipment which, lets be honest, is generally true.

    You might want to hold out a little longer and get the new over the air runner when it’s released with a genie. That will likely be self install... and then you can kill off that heater of an HR20. Great machines but such power mongers. And so hot...
     
    ericknolls likes this.
  11. sanpablo

    sanpablo New Member

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    It is my experience that since the AT & T takeover they will only ship
    replacement receivers if you have a bad receiver that needs to be replaced. If you want a new receiver to add to your system they will insist on a truck roll. Like another post said, i always have everything ready for the installer so he simply needs to plug in the new receiver and activate it.
     
  12. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

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    I suggest you keep calling and escalating the issue. I'm fairly certain that you don't have to have a Genie on the account. They just have a really hard time figuring out how to turn on Whole Home DVR as a separate service on old accounts with the new AT&T system.

    I say this because I had a similar issue a couple months ago. I recently bought a house and moved. It just so happened that my move took place at approximately the same time they migrated my account from DirecTV to AT&T, and it ended up causing all kinds of issues.

    First I was told I had to pay $200 for the move. I argued with the CSR and told them I would cancel my service before I paid for the move when their own website says it is free with a 1 year service agreement. I think the issue was my account migration showed me as a brand new customer, so it wouldn't let them set up the free mover's deal since I hadn't been at my old address for a year. I finally got her to talk to her supervisor and they agreed to give me a $200 credit to offset the charge. I wasn't happy about it, but I accepted.

    The installer came and did a great job setting up the new dish, and working with me to get all the receivers hooked up. We got it all hooked up and everything was working fine. Then he closed his WO and the fun began. When he closed the WO for some reason the new AT&T system removed everything from my account, and everything stopped working. He had to call back in and add all of my receivers back on the account. That got my service working again, but then we realized that we couldn't see recordings on any of my DVRs because they had turned off DVR service on my account. He had to call back in again and spent about 2 hours on the phone getting transferred around trying to get DVR service activated again. He finally got that working and I thanked him, and he left.

    The next night I noticed that I was only seeing the local recordings on each DVR. I went into the whole home DVR settings and found that I was not authorized for it. I tried chatting online with a CSR and they were no help and finally told me to call in. I called in and spent about 2 hours on the phone myself trying to get Whole Home DVR service turned back on. Finally after about the third escalation I got someone who told me the issue was they could see Whole Home DVR service active on my old DirecTV account and they could turn it on and off there easily, but it was not active in the new AT&T system and nobody knew how to turn it on in the new system. They took my phone number and promised to call me back later after the team they were putting together to work on the issue was able to figure it out. I got a phone call about 2 hours later saying they thought they had figured it out, and they asked me to check if it was working. It was, and I haven't had any issues since.

    So long story short, I think the people you have been dealing with just don't know how to turn the service on in the new AT&T system, and they haven't dug as deep as the people I ended up working with did. Keep trying and hopefully you can find someone willing to dig deep enough to find the answer.

    The only reason I am not 100% sure is that I do have a Genie on my account. However, I am an old account that has the separate HD Acess Fee, DVR Access Fee, and Whole Home DVR Access Fee, so that is three separate services. The AT&T system and workers are probably used to just working on newer accounts that have all those fees bundled together as one.
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Did YOU upgrade your system to SWM or did Directv? Directv has always tracked who has SWM, and it is based on an installer flagging the system as SWM when he upgrades it. There never was a way for a CSR to make that change, it had to be an installer. So if you upgraded it yourself there is no way you'll get them to do this.

    If they upgraded you, it should be in the system as SWM, and as others suggest is probably some issue with the new system not being as flexible for corner cases like yours. There are very very few people without whole home and Genie who would want to enable just whole home, so putting that capability in the new system wouldn't be a priority. You're probably going to have to have an installer visit. If nothing else, watch down the HR21 and take the Genie upgrade if it is free. Why would you want such an old/slow DVR?
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    The ATT CSRs know very little about D* and how it works. That becomes more obvious every time I call them. Taking 5 days to activate a refurb was a big clue. When they finally transferred me to a D* person he told me they had everything so screwed up he could not fix and had to send out an installer. That finally worked. 5 days to do something that shouldn't have taken but a few minutes. This was not an isolated incident, something happens every time I call them.

    The ATT Retention CSRs seem to be able to give us credits but they can do little else. Anything else they have to send you to what is fancifully called "tech support". What you get is some poor soul who has to research everything before doing anything. I can hear the pages turning on the scripts they have to read to get somewhere in the vicinity of an answer.

    First time I called ATT Retention I got a guy that kept me on the phone for quite some time. He gave me a whole bunch of money off my monthly with no comittment renewal. I was seduced and thought ATT was gonna be a plus for us. No, it's not. What we have now is awful and chaotic. ATT at it's best, no doubt.

    Rich
     
  15. Delroy E Walleye

    Delroy E Walleye AllStar

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    I have to take issue with the highlighted sentences (although I don't disagree with the most of the rest of that post).

    Back when DirecTV had a direct number to the "Card-Access Group" or whatever it was called they "happily" turned on whole-home for me when I asked them to, after activating an H25 receiver on a previously-upgraded, self-installed SWiM system.

    The only thing they wanted to make sure of was that I understood it was going to cost me an extra $3.00 a month before they would turn it on.

    (Obviously, though, they would've known somehow that I had SWiM if for no other reason than that the H25 would not have activated while they had me on the phone.)

    I suppose it's possible data about my SWiM system could've been previously "transmitted" through a net connection or the phone line...

    Point is, I've never had a tech visit. Ever.

    (I guess those "Good Old Days" are gone...)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    tecnicoloco likes this.
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Well, the access card group isn’t at all a regular csr either. Not at all, and they are missed at times.
     
  17. Anonuser

    Anonuser AllStar

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    I upgraded to SWM myself. I have never had a D* installer/tech at my residence.

    I am currently receiving monthly credits - renewed annually. My fear is if I take the free upgrade, and enter into a new contract, my monthly credits will disappear. I also don't want an installer messing with my installation.
     
  18. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    You can upgrade to SWM yourself, but it isn't flagged in Directv's system as SWM so if you want to add a SWM only box like H25 or Genie they'll tell you they need to send an installer.
     
  19. Anonuser

    Anonuser AllStar

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    I really don't need (nor want) a Genie. I simply want whole home service with my current whole home capable installation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  20. BrendanJ

    BrendanJ New Member

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    Imagine dealing with this same bs during the beta test of whole home dvr, but they're all networked together through my router with cat5e cable. "That won't work" It actually seemed easier to have it activated back then.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019

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