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After 6 weeks of back-and-forth with DirecTV and a barely-cooperative local installer, my parents finally have HDTV, courtesy the new SL3 dish. Their very wooded location did not support seeing the 110 & 119, so this was their only option for reliable reception (although they did have a 'temporary' 5-lnb feed a few days prior).

Thanks to DirecTV higher-tier customer service for making this happen and shipping the SL3. But it was torture dealing with the local installer, where some combination of ignorance/laziness/not-getting-paid made getting this dish installed correctly almost impossible. The stories my folks were told about this dish not existing, not being able to see the satellites, not being able to find a good location (that was actually easy), still needing to see 110, 119 ..., and then they still left the wires above ground and left off a screw on the feed arm. %&@*)!#$

Here are some pics!
 

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Amazing, I was also told that the Slimline 3 did not exist, wasn't out yet, didn't even know what it was, so I actually purchased the LNB online and am finally awaiting my 4th install for this Friday....lets hope it works out, and of course congrats.....by the way, how is the reception, signal strength, picture quality?
 

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skylox said:
Amazing, I was also told that the Slimline 3 did not exist, wasn't out yet, didn't even know what it was, ...
Yep, that's the common answer. Although I'm 600 miles away from my folk's place, I actually talked to a higher-tier CSR (the so-called "CEO office") who also wasn't aware of the SL3, but believed me enough to look into it harder. He called back a week later and said they were going to ship one. There were multiple problems with service before this point, so that had helped to escalate this whole thing to higher CSR.
... of course congrats.....by the way, how is the reception, signal strength, picture quality?
Thanks, they are happy. I'm not able to read off the signal strength from a distance, but reception is solid so far, and picture quality is whatever D* sends to everyone - the SL3 itself doesn't affect that, of course.
 

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jhillestad said:
What is the benefit of this new LNB anyway ?
It only sees 99/101/103 so if you cannot get line of sight for 110/119 (which the SL5 requires), you can still get service. 110 and 119 are usually the issues for people since they are so much more spaced out from the now main grouping of 99/101/103.

Especially since now most do not need 110 or 119 since they are just for a few locals and soon to be international channels.
 

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jhillestad said:
What is the benefit of this new LNB anyway ?
If you live in a market that does not get SD locals off of 119 (many/most do not), nor subscribe to the latino programming, then the SL3 LNB means you don't need line of sight to 110 and 119 to qualify for a Slimline Dish installation. You only need line of sight to 99/101/103, which is where all the national mainline SD and HD programming and HD locals come from. This is a big issue for many of us in the eastern U.S. due to lower evelations of the 110 and 119 satellites, plus we tend to have a lot more wooded lots with trees close enough to the houses to make the simultaneous seeing of 99/101/103 and 110 and 119 nearly impossible without a lot of chainsawing. The SL3 means a LOT more people will be able to use DirecTV services than if there were not one. I do not know why DTV is being so slow to get this dish to market more widely. DirecTV will not install a SL5 "slimline 5" and activate a new customer with it if you cannot see all 5 locations. With the SL3, you only need the narrower window to the higher-in-the-sky (in the eastern U.S.) 99/101/103.
 

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tkrandall said:
This is a big issue for many of us in the eastern U.S. due to lower evelations of the 110 and 119 satellites, plus we tend to have a lot more wooded lots with trees close enough to the houses to make the simultaneous seeing of 99/101/103 and 110 and 119 nearly impossible without a lot of chainsawing.
Tall neighborhood trees are not unique to the East Coast and they certainly don't grow naturally with openings so you're guaranteed a view of the 101W region slots.
 

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skylox said:
Amazing, I was also told that the Slimline 3 did not exist, wasn't out yet, didn't even know what it was,
Keep in mind that before the national rollout of any new product, it does NOT "officially" exist, the vast majority of DirecTV employees will have never even heard of it, much less had training on it, and it won't be physically present in the warehouse in most areas.

This is true of ALL new products.

People here constantly "recommend" these brand new components to people before they've been released and set very unrealistic expectations for people.

The SL3 has still not reached national rollout, so the fact that no one knows what you're talking about should be competely expected. If it wasn't for a few folks on this website sharing information about new products EARLY in their development cycle, you wouldn't even know it existed. DirecTV never promised you these parts. Just keep that in mind before you imply that everyone is incompetent or apathetic.
 

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Of courseI always take into consideration that not everyone from D* knows about upcoming products, but since it released in certain markets, i believe that everyone at D* should have some sort of mass email or something that lets them know.....for example, I work for a major cell phone company, and we all get emails and communications about upcoming products....wether or not they are in are area, and yes due to this great site I have learned alot about D*....I just think that D* should be a little more proactive
 

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harsh said:
Tall neighborhood trees are not unique to the East Coast and they certainly don't grow naturally with openings so you're guaranteed a view of the 101W region slots.
While 101w isn't a magical spot that everyone will be able to get this is true of any sat location. It's hard to argue that 99/101/103 isn't a major step forward for DirecTV in it's availability to customers. A 20 degree arc from 99 to 119 isn't easy in many places and is harder on the east coast where 119 is lower on the horizon. With the locals being moved off 72.5 and international content presumably going to 110/119 once the Mpeg2hd channels are shut down DirecTV will be able to service all of it's customers with a single dish with most only needing LOS to 99/101/103. Thats not a bad setup.

You can and I'm sure will argue that Dish's east and west arcs is a better way to go. It does have it's advantages but I think maintaining a signal fleet of sats is a much bigger benefit.
 

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IIP said:
Keep in mind that before the national rollout of any new product, it does NOT "officially" exist, the vast majority of DirecTV employees will have never even heard of it, much less had training on it, and it won't be physically present in the warehouse in most areas.

This is true of ALL new products.

People here constantly "recommend" these brand new components to people before they've been released and set very unrealistic expectations for people.

The SL3 has still not reached national rollout, so the fact that no one knows what you're talking about should be competely expected. If it wasn't for a few folks on this website sharing information about new products EARLY in their development cycle, you wouldn't even know it existed. DirecTV never promised you these parts. Just keep that in mind before you imply that everyone is incompetent or apathetic.
I guess it depends on the definition of "rollout". To me, if it has begun to be available and the software on the boxes has been revised for it (dish setup), that constitutes a rollout and there should be plenty of communication and training info to to field on it's existense.
 

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tkrandall said:
I guess it depends on the definition of "rollout". To me, if it has begun to be available and the software on the boxes has been revised for it (dish setup), that constitutes a rollout and there should be plenty of communication and training info to to field on it's existense.
They can't train until the hardware is readily available, and in most areas, it isn't. SL3 is still in very low volume production (true of virtually any new product during the first few months of its production), and only being sent to a few initial markets. As production ramps up, additional markets are added, and once production reaches a certain threshold, an official "national rollout" date is chosen.

If it goes like most other rollouts, half of the DMAs will see their first example a month or two after the official rollout. In-house techs will usually get a brief training session, and usually only the senior techs get the new item for a month or so, as they are more likely to be able to identify and solve problems in the field. Assuming all goes well, the part is rolled out to all in-house techs, and a few months later, to subcontractors. Yes, that means subs may not have any for 2-4 months after the "national rollout".

The real issue is that folks here find out that some new piece of gear is forthcoming, and talk about it for a couple of months, and then as soon as someone reports seeing one "in the wild," a bunch of folks from here start calling DirecTV wanting that part installed ASAP. That's just not how it works. From "first sighting" to "commonly available" usually takes at least 6 months.

It only takes a few folks here making the slightest mention of something and soon there are people here, trying to be helpful, who tell newbies "you need to ask for a SWM" or "make them give you an SL3", which sets the expectation that you can just call and it will be done. No one ever mentions "oh, they might not be available in your area for 4-6 months." It sets a lot of false expectations and results in a lot of angry phone calls to DirecTV, HSPs, and subs, and angry posts here and elsewhere. People get all worked up, when the facts are that DirecTV never promised this stuff to anyone, and isn't officially prepared to deal with them (and has the right to be unprepared BEFORE their own program is in place).

It's wonderful that there are these new parts that solve problems for customers, and folks are naturally anxious to get things working, but people, especially newbies who don't know any of the background info, really need to be given some context when they are given a recommendation to get new stuff that isn't commonly available yet.
 

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IIP said:
They can't train until the hardware is readily available, and in most areas, it isn't. SL3 is still in very low volume production (true of virtually any new product during the first few months of its production), and only being sent to a few initial markets. As production ramps up, additional markets are added, and once production reaches a certain threshold, an official "national rollout" date is chosen.

If it goes like most other rollouts, half of the DMAs will see their first example a month or two after the official rollout. In-house techs will usually get a brief training session, and usually only the senior techs get the new item for a month or so, as they are more likely to be able to identify and solve problems in the field. Assuming all goes well, the part is rolled out to all in-house techs, and a few months later, to subcontractors. Yes, that means subs may not have any for 2-4 months after the "national rollout".

The real issue is that folks here find out that some new piece of gear is forthcoming, and talk about it for a couple of months, and then as soon as someone reports seeing one "in the wild," a bunch of folks from here start calling DirecTV wanting that part installed ASAP. That's just not how it works. From "first sighting" to "commonly available" usually takes at least 6 months.

It only takes a few folks here making the slightest mention of something and soon there are people here, trying to be helpful, who tell newbies "you need to ask for a SWM" or "make them give you an SL3", which sets the expectation that you can just call and it will be done. No one ever mentions "oh, they might not be available in your area for 4-6 months." It sets a lot of false expectations and results in a lot of angry phone calls to DirecTV, HSPs, and subs, and angry posts here and elsewhere. People get all worked up, when the facts are that DirecTV never promised this stuff to anyone, and isn't officially prepared to deal with them (and has the right to be unprepared BEFORE their own program is in place).

It's wonderful that there are these new parts that solve problems for customers, and folks are naturally anxious to get things working, but people, especially newbies who don't know any of the background info, really need to be given some context when they are given a recommendation to get new stuff that isn't commonly available yet.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Also keep in mind, when your talking to a CSR, you stand a very, very good chance of talking to someone, who for them it's just a job. They may not care the least about the technical nerdy details. So when you ask for a 3 LNB or SL3 they have zero clue what you are talking about. If it's not on their script, you get a blank stare (if you could get blank stares over the phone).

Anyway, as IIP said, it's great that we get info early. Heck, I've spilled the beans on some stuff myself. :p

But let's be honest here, we as a community, shouldn't be advising people to ask for xxx that is going to or just was released. We are setting unrealistic expectations which just lead to a poor experience.

Let's keep our recommendations in check shall we.
 

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But let's be honest here, we as a community, shouldn't be advising people to ask for xxx that is going to or just was released. We are setting unrealistic expectations which just lead to a poor experience
I have to object to what you are saying.....here is why
If it were not for this forum, I would not know half as much as I do
If it were not for this forum, I would not be getting D* installed this morning
If it were not for this forum, I would not have known about the new SL3, and therefore would not have purchased one online, and therefore goes back to I would not have D* installed this morning.

So, my point is just that thanks to this site, I will be able to enjoy D* just like millions of others.....finally
 

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Hi Noremac, thanks for sharing the pics. I used to live in New Hampshire and it was tough to get a decent South view that covered 20 degrees. I would figure since this Slimline 3 is so new that it brings some confusion on to those it has yet to be socialized with. It sounds like your folks did get it all working happily which is great. Again thanks for sharing the pics...
 

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skylox said:
If it were not for this forum, I would not have known about the new SL3, and therefore would not have purchased one online,
In a way, you are agreeing with RobertE here. YOU purchased your SL3, you didn't demand that Directv give you one (as some others do) when they are probably not even in the pipeline in you area yet. I have purchased quite a bit of hardware myself over the last 10 years (SWM-8 as my latest purchase...I know the HSP's don't even use it...I wanted one, so I bought it and installed it myself. Never called Directv to beg or complain)...it's worth it to me to have the best TV service...IMHO.

You're going to love your new HD. Hope all goes well today.
 

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So, as I previously said, just my luck, looks like there will a 5th install date....The installers on the phone told me that I would be the first install of the day, so at 10am I call, and they say, "oh, the installer is running late on another install, so he will be there between now and 1pm"..........are you freakin kidding me!! Then, I just double check everything and make sure that the tech they are sending is trained on installing an SL3....the idiot on the phone says, no your getting a high def dish!, wtf!!! Does anybody know what they are doing! Anywhere.....So i am just waiting now for the tech who comes out to tell me that he doesnt know how to install an SL3 and that they will have to reschedule again......i'm going to go crazy.....do they not think that people have jobs that they cannot always take extra time off!!
 

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evan_s said:
With the locals being moved off 72.5 and international content presumably going to 110/119 once the Mpeg2hd channels are shut down DirecTV will be able to service all of it's customers with a single dish with most only needing LOS to 99/101/103. Thats not a bad setup.
You can't have it both ways.

There remains a significant amount of SD LIL at 119W in addition to anything that they move to the existing MPEG2 HD occupied space. I'm guessing that they don't want to give up 110W, but they may be forced to if they don't use it. Isn't a certain amount of PI programming required to hold a slot license?

DIRECTV doesn't offer an HD-only package and everyone is going to need the SD LIL until such time as D* fleshes out the HD LIL offerings.
You can and I'm sure will argue that Dish's east and west arcs is a better way to go. It does have it's advantages but I think maintaining a signal fleet of sats is a much bigger benefit.
Two shots at LOS are MUCH better than one.

The point was raised in another thread that E* doesn't have any backup plan, but it is D* that doesn't have a backup plan nor any way to put one together should D10 or D11 substantially fail in the SL3 configuration. Even with an emergency launch of D12 they're still in trouble for months should something horrible happen. I'm of a mind that this is why they chose to launch D12 rather than keeping with the "on-ground spare" policy.

Ku bandwidth suitable for DBS use is up there (including DirecTV5). Ka bandwidth with the necessary uplink gear is not as easy to come by. The minimalistic approach is only as good as its backup plan.
 
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