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· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never had satellite before and am a bit wary of the whole deal for a number of reasons but maybe some of you can clear them up.

What is drawing me to Dish from cable is their International package, particularly their Arabic programming.

I would be interested in having turbo HD bronze (24.99?) plus Arabic elite pack (34.99) and that's about it really.

I would be interested in a DVR too.

For local programming I'd ideally like to just get it OTA but - is this an easy option when installing Dish? Can you get the guy to hook everything up and then just be able to simply turn the dish dvr off and get the OTA channels?

Will the DVR work for OTA (this might be a dumb question, I assume the answer is no but could it work for it somehow?).

What would the costs be? Do I just call Dish and then a Dish guy comes out and installs everything?

Do I have to buy the DVR? Or is it included in the package/service?

Thanks!

Stan

:confused: :confused:
 

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stangoldsmith said:
For local programming I'd ideally like to just get it OTA but - is this an easy option when installing Dish? Can you get the guy to hook everything up and then just be able to simply turn the dish dvr off and get the OTA channels?
You can in fact thats what I used to do before we moved, but over here the reception is bad with OTA so we payed for Locals.

stangoldsmith said:
Will the DVR work for OTA (this might be a dumb question, I assume the answer is no but could it work for it somehow?).
It will not work with anything else other than the channels that Dish gives you.

stangoldsmith said:
What would the costs be? Do I just call Dish and then a Dish guy comes out and installs everything?
Yeah pretty much. You get free installation for new customers.

stangoldsmith said:
Do I have to buy the DVR? Or is it included in the package/service?
You can either buy it or have it leased.

Hope this Helps :)
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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stangoldsmith said:
For local programming I'd ideally like to just get it OTA but - is this an easy option when installing Dish?
You may be required to subscribe to locals to get OTA now.
Can you get the guy to hook everything up and then just be able to simply turn the dish dvr off and get the OTA channels?
"The guy" won't do the OTA part for you unless you pay him on the side. You're on your own for the antenna and cabling for OTA.
Will the DVR work for OTA (this might be a dumb question, I assume the answer is no but could it work for it somehow?).
It will work for your digital OTA channels that the internal tuner can receive with the caveat about possibly being tied to subscribing to locals. If subscribing to locals isn't required and you don't subscribe, you'll have to set the programs manually and there won't be any guide information for the locals.
What would the costs be? Do I just call Dish and then a Dish guy comes out and installs everything?
The OTA part is on you. The rest can be approximated on the DISH Network website. The final numbers will require you to do an order.
Do I have to buy the DVR? Or is it included in the package/service?
Depending on what you qualify for (after they do a credit check), you may be able to get everything but the OTA part for a net $0 with rebates and programming commitments. The HD DVR will be a lease and the first one is included with the programming package. There will likely be a $5.98/month DVR fee; depending on programming package.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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HDftw said:
It will not work with anything else other than the channels that Dish gives you.
This is wrong. The ViP series DVRs will record DTV OTA as well as satellite delivered content.
 

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If you already have the antenna setup for OTA, the installer will screw the coax into the box for you and will scan the channels for you but, will not install an antenna for you. As far as it is right now, the box will scan the OTA channels and you can watch them but to get the guide data for the channels you have to subscribe to a local package.
 

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If you have a local place that sells Dish and does installs ask them. Here there are two Dish sellers that sell TVs and will also install antennas, of course you will pay for the extras. If you get the locals from the antenna, I would get the Dish locals for the guide data and the ease of recording.
 

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To clarify the OTA issue a little bit:

Standard-Def receivers do NOT have any OTA capability built-in. They do have a pass-through input so that if you're using your TV's coax input to get signal from the sat DVR, you can plug the OTA antenna into the "antenna in" port on the DVR, and whenever the DVR is powered off, a switch inside the DVR routes the antenna signal to the TV's built-in tuner. Of course, analog OTA won't be with us much longer.

Dish's HD receivers include an ATSC (i.e., digital) OTA tuner, and it is integrated into the DVR, so you can record off the OTA tuner. While it will work without a subscription to local channels (you can record), you only get guide data, and the ability to record "by name", if you are paying for locals. Otherwise, you will not have guide data and will have to record manually by time/channel, like you used to with a VCR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies

I guess I should call Dish or a local installer and they can fill me in on the potential for recording OTA TV but I am pretty clueless when it comes to the technology (or any technology for that matter) so I wanted to see if it was possible here before calling.

So the system is sold to me and installed via a Dish retailer, not Dish Networks itself (unlike Cox Cable which I have now)? Should I go with any Dish-qualified retailer? What should I watch out for?

Also, there are other Free-To-Air satellites in the sky, is there any way to install the Dish to where I could get those if I wanted to? Or is it Dish-Only satellite programming.

And,,, how is Dish in terms of customer service? Cox has actually been decent and the times the cable guys have come to the house they were for no-charge. Will Dish charge for customer service calls and/or visits to the house?

Thanks for your help everyone,

SG
 

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Here is something that no one seems to ever talk about. When you use an antenna to get locals, you will likely get extra digital channels. For example, our PBS station puts up two local channels in digital. When we lived in Oregon, we got 4 pbs feeds from a single OPB digital station. Very nice.

Dish, Direc and even the local cable company almost NEVER include those extra locals, even though they charge you extra for the local channels. All you will get is the primary, or main channel, not any of the extra channels.

Now of course, somone is going to reply that they live in some huge city like downtown NY or something and how they get the secondary channels on their service....but for the other 99.999999% of us who don't live in a city with a population density that rivals Hong Kong, we can only get the secondary channels with a plain old off air antenna.

Just my two cents.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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stangoldsmith said:
So the system is sold to me and installed via a Dish retailer, not Dish Networks itself (unlike Cox Cable which I have now)?
The installer may represent a retailer or a service company that just does installations. Installations by DISH Network employees are rare in most areas.

Don't assume that your local Cox franchise doesn't use subcontractors. In my market, all of Comcast's installs are done by subcontractors. The "plumbing" to string up and/or bury the fiber is also usually done by subcontractors.
 

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stangoldsmith said:
So the system is sold to me and installed via a Dish retailer, not Dish Networks itself (unlike Cox Cable which I have now)? Should I go with any Dish-qualified retailer? What should I watch out for?
You can order directly from Dish if you choose. Your install will be done by the Dish Network Service system, which means it may be done by a Dish employee, or by a DNS subcontractor like me. In my area, the contractors do better work than the internal techs (most of whom are brand new, as there is very high turnover for internal techs here). That may be different in other areas, depending on market conditions and how things are managed.

If you go to a local retailer, most have their own installers, and the retailer will be responsible for keeping your system working for you for a year. In many areas, retailers will have a much better idea of what's going on as far as OTA antennas and other issues that may be important to you. Some retailers may be clueless; if you encounter that, hang up and move on to the next one.

One thing I will caution you, though; some retailers may be scared off if you ask too many technical questions of them, as you'll be perceived as a "picky" customer. Retailers stand to lose a LOT of money if you cancel early or if you constantly need service calls, due to the way Dish's system is set up, so some retailers will be very wary of customers who they think may be "trouble" for them. Since you can get your Dish-related questions answered HERE, do so as much as you can. That way, you'll understand what you want/need from Dish, and can limit your questions to other areas.

Also, there are other Free-To-Air satellites in the sky, is there any way to install the Dish to where I could get those if I wanted to? Or is it Dish-Only satellite programming.
Your Dish receivers will not pick up non-Dish programming. Dish dishes and LNBs can be used to pick up some FTA channels available on other satellites (mostly foreign-language channels and a few other non-mainstream channels), but that would have to be a whole separate system. Again, be wary about mentioning FTA, as some customers try to get Dish to install a system for them, then cancel, intending to use the Dish install with an FTA receiver to pirate Dish signals. Dish is in the process of changing to a new encryption system, which is expected to kill that market soon. Most retailers will want nothing to do with you if they think you're going to try to use their equipment to pirate Dish signals.

And,,, how is Dish in terms of customer service? Cox has actually been decent and the times the cable guys have come to the house they were for no-charge. Will Dish charge for customer service calls and/or visits to the house?
Sat systems are more complicated than cable, with far more components, and more things that a customer can do to "break" it. Dish gives you a 90 day warranty from your activation date. After that, you'll pay for service calls. Getting the Protection Plan will reduce the cost of service calls and cover a lot of items that you'd have to pay out-of-pocket for otherwise.

Your receivers will be leased, but bad ones may cost you a shipping fee to replace; I believe that's waived if you have the PP. You will pay for service calls for things like "I got a new TV and need it set up", "I moved my receiver into another room and it doesn't work here", or "I pressed a button and now my picture is gone, and I don't want to troubleshoot over the phone; send a tech." (Those are our most common service calls, BTW).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your replies and I will ask away here before calling someone, I appreciate your time.

IIP said:
To clarify the OTA issue a little bit:
Dish's HD receivers include an ATSC (i.e., digital) OTA tuner, and it is integrated into the DVR, so you can record off the OTA tuner. While it will work without a subscription to local channels (you can record), you only get guide data, and the ability to record "by name", if you are paying for locals. Otherwise, you will not have guide data and will have to record manually by time/channel, like you used to with a VCR.
So - I live in an urban area with lots of HD channels that I can get just using my antenna. So if I understand correctly I can record them with my Dish HD receiver DVR (but without channel information on the DVR itself)?

And this is something that the person who is installing the satellite system in my house would know how to set up? Or should I ask the retailer that I order from on the phone?

How much extra should I pay the person (is it cash? "off the books"?) who is setting it up to fix up the local channels via antenna and do I need to go buy anything from Radioshack before he comes over?

Why would I ever want to pay for local channels if I can get them free this way?

Also if service calls cost money, the DVR costs additional money and other things cost extra money per month why is it better than cable? If it is that is.

I just want it for one TV in one room no moving it or anything like that.

I'm asking all these questions sincerely BTW! And thank you ! :)
 

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stangoldsmith said:
Thanks everyone for your replies and I will ask away here before calling someone, I appreciate your time.

So - I live in an urban area with lots of HD channels that I can get just using my antenna. So if I understand correctly I can record them with my Dish HD receiver DVR (but without channel information on the DVR itself)?
correct
And this is something that the person who is installing the satellite system in my house would know how to set up? Or should I ask the retailer that I order from on the phone?
assuming you ALREADY have an OTA and a coaxial cable comes down from it to your TV location.
How much extra should I pay the person (is it cash? "off the books"?) who is setting it up to fix up the local channels via antenna and do I need to go buy anything from Radioshack before he comes over?
not sure, can someone else answer this?
Why would I ever want to pay for local channels if I can get them free this way?
thats what I used to think!
Also if service calls cost money, the DVR costs additional money and other things cost extra money per month why is it better than cable? If it is that is.
Service calls w/ the "Protection plan" are (someone correct me if I'm wrong) $25? The "PP" btw is an extra $5 a month, roughly (I have it and *I* dont even know the exact price), and the DVR fee is $5.98, as stated earlier.

The benefit from cable is picture quality and additional programming. I switched (#1) becuz my cable company only offered me ONE regional sports network. With dish I get 25. So now if my local R.S.N. decides NOT to show the game I want to see, I still watch it on 1 of the others. (#2) Having east and west feeds, but cable NOW offers these at least for the premuim channels (they did not when I switched). (#3) downtime, Satv almost NEVER has an outage, and usually thats because your dish is getting blocked by a strong T-storm (which can be fixed by getting a larger dish), but they only last a few mins. Cable had too many outages for my taste. (#4) picture quality. Every channel is crystal clear. With cable, thats a crap shoot.........literaly.
 

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stangoldsmith said:
So - I live in an urban area with lots of HD channels that I can get just using my antenna. So if I understand correctly I can record them with my Dish HD receiver DVR (but without channel information on the DVR itself)?
If you don't pay Dish for local channels, Dish won't send your receiver ANY guide data for local channels, whether they are from the sat or from the OTA antenna. You can still record OTA locals on the HD-DVR, but you'll have no guide data and will have to set up your recordings manually. Meaning, instead of "record CSI:Miami" you'll have to tell your DVR "record channel 5 from 7pm to 8pm".

If you pay the extra $5 for locals, Dish will send you guide data, and you can set up 2 different DMA's guide (based on zip code), so if you're in between two cities, and can get both signals, you can get guide data for both.

And this is something that the person who is installing the satellite system in my house would know how to set up? Or should I ask the retailer that I order from on the phone?

How much extra should I pay the person (is it cash? "off the books"?) who is setting it up to fix up the local channels via antenna and do I need to go buy anything from Radioshack before he comes over?
Dish themselves, and Dish's internal techs, do not install OTA antennas as a rule. If you had one already installed, and the coax running to your receiver location, they would connect the coax to the receiver, but setting up and using the OTA functions is not supported by techs (it's easy to do, but not part of their job).

Many retailers do other things besides just Dish sales/installations, and will offer OTA antenna installations. Not all will. You'll have to call around and find out who does what and what they charge. OTA signals arrive differently at each house, so what works well for you may not work well for your neighbor across the street. Thus, price could vary far too much for anyone here to say for sure. I would say expect to pay $100 and up.

Why would I ever want to pay for local channels if I can get them free this way?
If you just want to WATCH OTA, all you need to do is plug the antenna into your ATSC-tuner-equipped TV and watch.

Many, many folks don't want an OTA antenna on their house, or go through the hassle of getting one installed, and want their locals via the dish. Many people can't have an OTA installed because of their landlord, etc, or it won't work because of local signal conditions.

Also, paying for locals gives you the ability to integrate those signals into your DVR, for guide data and recording.

Also if service calls cost money, the DVR costs additional money and other things cost extra money per month why is it better than cable? If it is that is.
Nothing worth having is free. Satellite TV is usually cheaper than cable, sometimes considerably so, WHEN YOU COMPARE EQUIVALENT SERVICES. If you have basic cable, and you want satellite with an HD-DVR and HD movie channels, of course you're going to pay more with sat, because you're GETTING a lot more. Still, satellite is not for everyone. IMO, sat delivers the most TV, the best DVR experience, and several other features that would make it "worth it" at double the price. The fact that it costs me less than what similar-but-lesser service from Comcast would charge me is only icing on the cake. YMMV.

As mentioned, assuming you have your system installed well, satellite TV is very, very reliable. Aside from a handful of <10 second interruptions during huge storm wind gusts, I've not lost satellite signal over the last 10 years except when I also lose power. Can't fault DirecTV for that.

My Comcat cable modem, on the other hand, and the Comcast TV service that some of my neighbors have, seems to go down all the time, and during storms, can be out for days at a time.

So, I have no trouble finding value in satellite for ME. Again, YMMV, and only you can decide if it is the best option for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
IIP said:
Many, many folks don't want an OTA antenna on their house, or go through the hassle of getting one installed, and want their locals via the dish. Many people can't have an OTA installed because of their landlord, etc, or it won't work because of local signal conditions.
Just to clarify: Before we got cable hooked up we plugged in our little rabbit-ears radioshack antenna into the back of our television and got a bunch (like 7-9) of HD channels. The rabbit ears stayed behind the tv (we didn't see them, nor did we expand the antennas).

Once we got cable we can't watch them for some reason (but have the channels on our cable - dvr anyway).

So, I guess we officially do have an OTA antenna but it's not on the house, just hiding behind the tv. Does that work too?

Thanks,

SG
 

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I can state that no one could approach the price and equipment for me as a new customer for TurboHD Gold + Locals and my 722 HD DVR.

I've had it for a couple weeks and I'm very happy. The Bronze package will be even cheaper for you.

I suspect you'll be quite happy, especially as I don't believe anyone is better at international channels than DISH yet.
 

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stangoldsmith said:
So, I guess we officially do have an OTA antenna but it's not on the house, just hiding behind the tv. Does that work too?

Thanks,

SG
You must be close to the broadcast towers to have that much signal strength, but, sure, if that little indoor antenna can pick up the stations you want, then you're good to go with it.

Most folks can't get much from a set-top antenna.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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stangoldsmith said:
Once we got cable we can't watch them for some reason (but have the channels on our cable - dvr anyway).
Because you have CATV, the CATV installer switched your TV to CATV mode instead of AIR mode. If you switch back to the rabbit ears, you have to switch to AIR mode.

Don't forget to switch it back when you return to CATV.
 
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