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· AllStar
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, finally pulled the trigger and walked the walk. With the announcement of the return of TiVo to DirecTV I called and re-activated my account and used the Movers Connection to have them come out and install at my new home. They are due on Saturday, October 18th. Zip Code 21629.

I brought this up a year ago at this thread here: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=106825

Well, I am going to have them re-install my 2 DirecTiVo's, AND add a current generation SD DVR (they offered it for free), for a total of 6 tuners (hopefully).

The new house is pre-wired for RG-6 in a home run to a structured wiring box in the garage. We have a single coax entering the house in the front for Comcast that ties into the box. We are firing Comcast and keeping DSL as our sole broadband service (wife used to keep both DSL and Cable for redundancy for work). There is a single wire running to each bedroom on the second floor, and no way to expand that to dual runs.

On the main floor, there is a single line run to the master suite and the great room. We have a crawl space under the house, so I can add a dual run to each location and get them back to the structured wiring box.

Let's start with the dish. My neighbor down the street just got DirecTV installed, and quite frankly, it looks a heck of a of larger than our old 18" dual LNB at our old house. So, I am thinking about doing a pole mount in the front landscaping near the utility equipment area for electric, cable and phone. To start the questions:

1. What is the dish identified as right now? Would there be a difference since I did not order an HD setup?
2. Is 2" O.D. the correct size now for a pole mount? Is this available at typical hardware stores, or should I try a fence company?
3. Typical depth to dig for the pole? 24"? How high above the ground should it extend? Is 24" enough, or 30" - 36" be easier. I guess I can cut it shorter later if needed.

Now, for receivers.

I plan on having the 2 DirecTiVo's deployed on the main level, and the DirecTV DVR deployed upstairs in the bonus room (where there is only a single run of coax). Additional questions:

4. What are the chances of getting a SWM or a dish that has the SWM integrated?
5. What is the current SD DVR that DirecTV is currently shipping? Is it SWM capable?
6. Will DirecTV installers typically be willing to enter a crawlspace to pull a cable run? I will be home and willing to do the pulls myself if needed while he is installing the dish.
7. The DirecTiVo's have been out of the datastream for more than 18 months. Any issues to watch out for during activation?

That is about it for now. I would have bumped the older thread, but it is closed, and I did not get a response from the mods for more than 24 hours.
 

· Registered
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1. What is the dish identified as right now? Would there be a difference since I did not order an HD setup?
Should be just the old 3lnb

2. Is 2” O.D. the correct size now for a pole mount? Is this available at typical hardware stores, or should I try a fence company?
Think it's 1.75 for ols 3lnb

3. Typical depth to dig for the pole? 24”? How high above the ground should it extend? Is 24” enough, or 30” – 36” be easier. I guess I can cut it shorter later if needed.
I would get it 48" down.. top can always be cut off..

Now, for receivers.

I plan on having the 2 DirecTiVo’s deployed on the main level, and the DirecTV DVR deployed upstairs in the bonus room (where there is only a single run of coax). Additional questions:

4. What are the chances of getting a SWM or a dish that has the SWM integrated?
0%.. only your new reciever is compatible with swm

5. What is the current SD DVR that DirecTV is currently shipping? Is it SWM capable?
Not sure on this one, all HD here :)

6. Will DirecTV installers typically be willing to enter a crawlspace to pull a cable run? I will be home and willing to do the pulls myself if needed while he is installing the dish.
If it's accessible they will run the additional cables.. wall runs may be extra tho..

7. The DirecTiVo’s have been out of the datastream for more than 18 months. Any issues to watch out for during activation?
should work..
 

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Win Joy Jr said:
1. What is the dish identified as right now? Would there be a difference since I did not order an HD setup?
houskamp said:
Should be just the old 3lnb
Agree here as you are not getting HD installed.
Win Joy Jr said:
2. Is 2" O.D. the correct size now for a pole mount? Is this available at typical hardware stores, or should I try a fence company?
houskamp said:
Think it's 1.75 for ols 3lnb
1 5/8 OD for the old 3LNB dish.
Win Joy Jr said:
3. Typical depth to dig for the pole? 24"? How high above the ground should it extend? Is 24" enough, or 30" - 36" be easier. I guess I can cut it shorter later if needed.
houskamp said:
I would get it 48" down.. top can always be cut off..
houskamp's 48" down seems a bit extreme to me. I would probably go 24-30 and dump a bag of concrete in with it to hold it.

Win Joy Jr said:
Now, for receivers.

I plan on having the 2 DirecTiVo's deployed on the main level, and the DirecTV DVR deployed upstairs in the bonus room (where there is only a single run of coax). Additional questions:

4. What are the chances of getting a SWM or a dish that has the SWM integrated?
houskamp said:
0%.. only your new reciever is compatible with swm
Because your current receivers are not SWM compatible you won't get one.

Win Joy Jr said:
5. What is the current SD DVR that DirecTV is currently shipping? Is it SWM capable?
houskamp said:
Not sure on this one, all HD here :)
I'm in the same boat as houskamp and can't be sure, but I believe that the three SD DVRs are th R15, R16 and R22. The R16 and R22 are SWM compatible and the R15 is not. I do not know which of the three are currently being installed.

Win Joy Jr said:
6. Will DirecTV installers typically be willing to enter a crawlspace to pull a cable run? I will be home and willing to do the pulls myself if needed while he is installing the dish.
houskamp said:
If it's accessible they will run the additional cables.. wall runs may be extra tho..
That depends a lot on how easily accessable the crawlspace is and how amenable the installer is.

Win Joy Jr said:
7. The DirecTiVo's have been out of the datastream for more than 18 months. Any issues to watch out for during activation?
houskamp said:
should work..
They should work fine, however, there might be a software load for them. To get the software load on the DirecTIVOS you will need to plug them into a phone line. Depending on when you shut them down there was a software load that updated the Tivos for the new daylight savings dates.
 

· Godfather
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367 Posts
If they've been out of the stream for 18 months I wouldn't be surprised if they won't reactivate the cards. They may require you order new cards at $20 each. This is not something the installer will be able to do for you as they don't carry extra access cards.
 

· Godfather
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291 Posts
Not true. I had a pair of UTV's that I had out-of-service for about the same amount of time. They will reactivate the cards. I believe they only require new cards when the ownership of the hardware changes hands.
 

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66stang351 said:
Agree here as you are not getting HD installed.

1 5/8 OD for the old 3LNB dish.
houskamp's 48" down seems a bit extreme to me. I would probably go 24-30 and dump a bag of concrete in with it to hold it.
Up here the frost zone is pretty deep, You wnt to be at least lower than frost zone or it the ground will heave :)
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Cmnore said:
Not true. I had a pair of UTV's that I had out-of-service for about the same amount of time. They will reactivate the cards. I believe they only require new cards when the ownership of the hardware changes hands.
Or if they have come out with new generation access cards, but that hasn't happened in well over two years.
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
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26,461 Posts
SWM technology requires the big Ka/Ku dish (22.5" x 32.5").

SWMLine is out of the question as it offers no "legacy" support

SWM8 won't meet needs for DirecTiVos unless you can be happy with only one tuner active on at least one of the receivers. :nono:

Don't wait until the installer gets there to run extra cable.

Any way you stack it, you'll need four cables coming down from the roof into the house.

Unless you can run a second cable everywhere, I'm pretty sure the best you can hope for is five of six tuners. If you can run the second cable everywhere, you can get all six tuners with a legacy dish and multiswitch.
 

· Legend
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143 Posts
Regarding the pole installation. I've seen two recommendations that sound prudent and wanted to mention them.

1. Make sure the pole is plumb.
2. Install some bolts or rods protruding from the side of the pole that will be covered by the concrete. This will prevent the pole from spinning.
 

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5,915 Posts
Why do you guys all say he will get a 3LNB?

For all SD receivers they could easily give him a standard SD dish. Unless of course his locals are on 110 or 119, is that why you guys are saying 3LNB?

You will probably get an R16 or R22 for your new SD DVR, but it depends what the install company has.
 

· AllStar
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the inputs.

I am planning on 1 5/8" OD pole mount. Will install next weekend, and run the coax thru the crawlspace. I am assuming that they will install a 4x8 multiswitch to feed the 5 lines, unless a SWM is available with a SWM enabled SD DVR. No, I am not holding my breath...

Anyone have a link for pointing info for DirecTV? I will check line of sight before installing the pole.

BTW, I did the install and re-install at my old house, so I am somewhat knowledgable of the typical DirecTV installations.
 

· AllStar
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81 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, install date was last Saturday. Unfortunately, life / work got in the way and I was WAY behind in my prep (no pole, had not run the extra lines), so I had resigned myself to single tuners everywhere.

Got a confirmation call the day before and we were the first job on his schedule. Second job was the next door neighbors. Hey, at least there was some logic in scheduling on DirecTV's part.

Installer called around 7:45 and said he was on his way, but could not find out address on MapQuest or in his GPS. Known issue here, neighborhood is too new (although, construction started in 2006). Told him to punch in our cross-street (that has been there for 30 years), and then follow it in a mile and we were on the right. Installer showed up around 8:30, He worked for an independent company, Such and Such Electronics (I don’t remember the actual name, but he left a card). He reviewed the order and said “I am re-installing 3 standard receivers”. Uh, no. Re-install 2 existing DVR’s and add in 1 new DVR. Work order is incorrect, he needs to call in and fix it.

We walked around the house, assessing options. Showed him spouse approved location #1, then easiest location (spouse non-approved), and a fascia mount on the end of the garage (spouse neutral). He suggested the back yard and a pole mount. He stated that if he attached it to the house, the base plate would need to be replaced when we went to HD, so there would be holes. A pole mount would be easier to upgrade to HD with. Conferred with spouse and agreed. Quoted $125 for the pole mount. The DirecTV rep on the phone when I re-ordered service stated that additional services had to be negotiated with the installer. I remember that, at least from my reading here, that pole mounts were going for about $75.00. Since I looked at the amount of coax needed to get 4 runs from the pole location to the distribution box, I thought it was a fair, not great, deal. I reminded myself of my wife’s and my policy since moving to the Eastern Shore, support the local economy. Oh, the guy said that he warranties the pole mount himself. If it goes out of alignment, call him direct and he will correct the issue.

We then talked about the additional lines for the DVR’s, my beloved DirecTiVo’s. He quoted $75.00 for each wall fish (which is what seems to be the going price from my research), but told him to just leave me the coax and I would run them myself later. Installer got to work on the pole, and spouse called me over and gave me a reality check. “Are you nuts? How may hours, and how much aggravation will it be to do it yourself? Get the installer to do the fish / drops”. OK boss…

We also talked about the Bonus Room hook-up with the new DVR (R16). I asked if he had a SWM-8 available, and he said he has never seen one. He also went on how the changes are a problem, since his $300 signal meter will not work with the new SWMLine dish. Anyway, since that room is on the second floor, and the wiring is embedded in the walls and not accessable via the attic, we will leave the new DVR with a single tuner. But, I have a plan.

The installer was professional and kept at it, in his own Delmarva pace. Things go a whole lot slower here on the Eastern Shore. A few smokes later, the pole was up, dish mounted (3 LNB), and it was time to start pulling coax, so off to the crawl-space we go.

Ok, the crawl space is a little more than 48” tall. I am 6’ tall and can sit in the crawl and not hit my head on the joists. The builder poured a concrete slab in the crawl instead of the customary gravel dump. So it is a solid surface, but tough on the knees. Also, during construction (before final grading), they had issues with drainage slopes that left a bunch of dirt in the crawl. The builder got most of it out before delivery, but there is still a fine layer of dirt on the floor of the crawl. Put it to you this way, I hate going under there to change the furnace filters every other month. I am slowly cleaning up the dirt, but it is not on the top of my list.

Anyway, back to the story. He pointed out where he was going to drill for entry into the crawl space and asked for my approval. He then drilled from the crawl to the garage. He pulled the 4 runs of coax into the house and over to the panel. Next, the wall fish.

Ok, wall fish #1 is about 5’-9” off the floor (builder assumed anyone buying these homes have flat panel TV’s already. Uh, no, not yet. The installer had rigid orange fish rod, and his drill bit extension was too short for this one. So, he drilled a hole next to the existing cable and tried to fish upward. No joy. We ended up cutting a small hole near the baseboard and fished the coax from the upper box, down to this hole and then to the hole in the sill plate into the crawl. The bedroom fish was much closer to the floor, but still a pain. But the cost was worth me not having to do it myself. We are preparing to paint the Great Room, so fixing the hole is no big deal for me.

Returning to the structured wiring box, the Comcast splitters were removed (except for the cable modem connection that goes away today). He installed a 5X8 multiswitch and hooked up power (and I note that I REALLY need to get the electrician out to install a garage circuit or 2. The builder only gave 1 outlet in the entire garage). During his work in the box, I unboxed the R16 and installed it in the bonus room and started it up. I had already had the DirecTiVo’s in place.

He returned and built 2 additional inside cables, and interfaced them with the new coax runs. We rebooted all boxes and let them run. The Great Room box (Phillips DSR7000) came up great the first time. He Master Bedroom Hughes HDRV2 had issues with not taking remote inputs or front panel inputs. Rebooted and it came up fine. Funny thing, it seems that the Hughes box has a different Serial number structure, since the installer said “That ain’t right” when I read it off the receiver to him. He called to activate the receivers, and the DirecTiVo’s got the activation hit and returned to service.

We went upstairs and found that the R16 did not get the activation hit. The gut on the phone sent a second hit when the R16 went into “Receiving Software” mode. We waited about 10 minutes for that to complete, then it rebooted. Once it was back up, they sent another activation hit, and the R16 was in service.

We wrapped up the install, I cur the installer a check for the additional services, and he drove next door. Total time on site, close to 5 hours. I did give him a tip since he had to deal with the crawlspace.

But, the install is not perfect. I am waiting to see if DirecTV comes to do a QC audit. The installer did not install a ground block before the lines entered the crawlspace, nor is there a ground for the pole itself. It is not a huge deal to me, since I will retrofit the install to add a box where the cables enter the house, and replace the direct burial cable with a conduit. I can drive a ground rod and bond the dish and the ground block. My biggest question is unifying the grounds, since my main house ground is on the other side of the house, and the only way to get a ground wire over there is to run thru the crawl space (or bore under a sidewalk or driveway).

Also, there is the issue of the new DVR only having 1 tuner active (and by getting that DVR, extended my commitment from 18 months to 24 months). I may write a polite letter to DirecTV and ask for a SWM to allow the second tuner to be active on the R16. If they decline, I’ll just buy one and install it.

The biggest error on DirecTV’s part (after the work order error) is that they failed to update my service address in the system, so I am still getting Washington DC locals instead of Baltimore locals. Not a big deal to us, since we can now get all of the ******* games. That may drive me just buying the SWM-8 myself, or wait until after football season.

Ok, now for the experience. Picture was WAY better than Comcast. When I hit the TiVo Central button, I said “Welcome back, old friend”…

I have spent all of 1 hour wit the R16, setting up the kids Season Passes, er, Series Links.

Future plans now include replacing the stock harddrive in the DSR7000 so we can keep more stuff. That is the only thing we miss from the Comcast DVR or the FIOS DVR.

So, I have now rejoined the TiVolution! Come on DirecTV / TiVo, let’s get that new unit right next year!
 

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DirecTV does NOT supply SWM-8s for residential use.

Once again, we have way too many people "recommending" them as solutions for people without bothering to mention that they are a private-purchase item only.
 

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IIP said:
DirecTV does NOT supply SWM-8s for residential use.

Once again, we have way too many people "recommending" them as solutions for people without bothering to mention that they are a private-purchase item only.
That is what I recommended - that the poster buy it himself. There have been reports from others that D* has reimbursed customers when they buy and install their own equipment like this. I do agree that we need to be careful setting expectations for "lay" customers who leave everything to the installers, but for those DIY'ers, there is absolutely no reason not to recommend SWM LNB's and SWM8's.
 
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