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will SWMLine dish fix my problem?

1947 Views 25 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  webby_s
I moved into a new townhouse in Atlanta 5 months ago, and had Directv come out to do an install. Desired set-up was a total of 5 lines:

1 HD-DVR downstairs
1 HD-DVR upstairs
1 SD downstairs

However, the installer said he couldn't do anything because I only had one cable coming into the house. This one line feeds a structured wiring box (which is on the main floor in a coat closet), which then feeds all the other rooms. The installer said I would need 5 cables running into the house for all my desired lines. I was disappointed and ended up getting Comcast.

Now that the NFL season is starting up, I'd like to try again to get DirecTV. Based on some posts I've read, it looks like I'd be a candidate for the SWMLine Dish. Is that correct? Also, will this piece of equipment solve my problem? If so, how does it work exactly...will the one line from the SWMLine dish come into the house and feed the structured wiring box, which will then feed all the rooms? Will I need any special equipment at the wiring box?

Also, I understand the customer service rep cannot guarantee an SWMLine Dish when taking my order. The unfortunate part of the ordering process is that they charge you immediately, and if the install can't be done, it takes a few months to get a refund (with my failed install 5 months ago, it took 2.5 months to get my $400 equipment fees refunded back to me). Is there any way to get around this? I would hate to get charged every time I put in an install order and hope that I get the new dish.

Any other things I should ask DirecTV about or be aware of? I appreciate any insight, thanks.
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I would call Directv and get the local install company's number.. give them a call and see if they have the SWMLine LNB in stock yet.. technicaly you qualify for one if it's availible (5 tuners/new install)..
Good luck :)
According to the tech which was at my home last week, The techs are just now getting trained on the SWMline and did not think they would have the LNB units for at least another couple of months.

If the OP really wants to be sure he gets a SWMline LNB, he might need to purchase it from an alternate source and have it waiting for the tech when he arrives.
I would say you would want one but as FluffyBear said it may be tough getting one from your installer. You may want to look at ebay, or solid signal. I got mine from ebay. Also I have had a great experience with the HR21 with the SWMLine but horrible experience with a standered HD (H21) reciever. So tonight I plan on calling CSR and just upgrading my H21 to a DVR.

You need to make sure to have a 4 or 8 way splitter in the 5-2300mhz range. I had one in the 2-2100mhz range and it failed on me. Now no problems with the new one.

Also read up one some of the other post to get info on how the basic install is just incase you do have to do it yourself. That and what else you may need.

Don't fret. If you are determined to have D* like I was, the install was pretty simple. But for me, I had them come and install the whole dish and such then just replaced the LNB ODU and rewired EVERYTHING from the ground up. Took about three hours the first time around.
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I think that your situation is exactly what the SWMLine was made for. The single wire from the LNB will connect to the single wire running into the house, carrying the unsplit signal inside your house. Then, in your wiring box inside, you'll need the SWS4 splitter (I think this is the correct model #) to separate the signal into individual wires. You will only need to use 3 of the 4 outputs on the splitter and terminate the 4th unused output. The SWM technology allows you to use only one cable to connect to the HD DVRs, so you don't need two wires going to each HD DVR. The HD DVR is capable of splitting the signal from the SWMLine into two tuners internally, so there is no need for 2 physical wires connecting to the HD DVRs. The only problem might be your SD receiver. The HD DVR (HR20, HR21, etc) should be compatible, but I'm not sure what SD receiver you are using. Check out the SWM and SWMLine main thread for a list of the SWM compatible receivers.

I had the same experience with an installer about 5 years ago, because my house is set up the same way. I almost choked when he said "you probably just need to stick with cable". I'm sure D* would love to know that they've got installers doing that! Anyway, I personally figured out a way to make it work and have been enjoying my service ever since.

As another posted suggested, if the CSR can't guarantee you a SWMLine for your install, you might want to schedule the 5LNB, check ebay and just buy the SWMLine LNB there. I just got one for $95 shipped and am going to swap out the LNBs later this week. If you can't get one guaranteed from the CSR, it would probably be worth that just to save you the headaches that you mentioned above.

Another option would be to just allow the 5LNB install and then put a SWM in the setup. That would work the same way, but would use the SWM multiswitch instead of having it built into the SWMLine LNB. The SWM switch has legacy ports for older non-SWM receivers, so that would work if your SD receiver is not SWM compatible.

Hope this helps!
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I wonder how many installs have gotten the SWMLine? :scratchin

Mike
Thanks for the replies everyone. I'm going to call my local installer tomorrow to see if they have the SWMLine dish.

Assuming they don't have it, and I don't buy it or an SWM online, is getting DirecTV even an option for me with my desired set-up (5 lines but only one line running into home)? Would it involve drilling holes in the attic and running lines through-out the home? Would a dual-tuner HD DVR function with only one line from a standard dish?
Yes a dual tuner does work with one tuner from the standard dish.

Being in Atlanta you may find some installers that may have the new LNB. But one never knows without calling! Good luck and keep us informed.
Can you control what is on the on the end of that single cable? In other words, if you are allotted only a single tap off a shared dish, SWM technology will not help (you'd have to get the other users of the dish to upgrade to boxes that can use SWM and all agree to stay under 9 tuners).

If the only problem is that there is a cable passing through a space you don't own and you aren't allowed to replace it with 4 or 5, then SWM will fix you up.

However, there are some limitations still. One is, with this single cable limit, even with SWM technology you're going to be limited to 8 tuners forever. The second is that you can't use any non-SWM-capable receiver. But those may not be a problem for you.

I hope you can get an install, I read on here that D* isn't really hot on installers putting in systems that take advantage of SWM in this way. That is, they want there to be the wiring to support a non-SWM system in there even if you're using an SWM. I hope you can convince them otherwise, or perhaps just get a custom install.
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If you can not get your hands on a SWMline dish, you might want to consider a SWM-8. The SWMline is neater looking as you only have one wire coming from the dish itself but an SWM-8 will do the same thing except you will need 4 cables from the dish going to the SWM Module.

A SWM-8 could be mounted outside with just one or two cables coming inside and being split from there to each receiver. If you SWM compatible receivers, you would only need 1 wire for each receiver.

If the local installer doesn't have either, contact dave29 (here at DBSTalk) as he should have the SWM-8's on hand and is offering a slightly better price than other sources.
webby_s said:
You need to make sure to have a 4 or 8 way splitter in the 5-2300mhz range. I had one in the 2-2100mhz range and it failed on me. Now no problems with the new one...
The SWM downstream frequencies run from about 950 MHz to 1,800 MHz, and the upstream frequency is 2.3 MHz. I haven't scoped out any high frequency splitters to see if there is any discernible roll-off as they approach 5 MHz, but if I had to buy a splitter for SWM use without the benefit of the test equipment I have, I would probably buy either a Sonora or NAS splitter that was rated for SWM use.

What manufacturer is rating their splitters 2-2,100? It would seem that such a designation exists for the sole purpose of certifying a splitter to work in an SWM circuit, since no one else that I know of uses sub-band return frequencies below 5 MHz.

You might also fare better with a splitter that is designed to pass power on all ports, as that would assure some pretty low frequency paths on all ports, which might help.
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fluffybear said:
If you can not get your hands on a SWMline dish, you might want to consider a SWM-8. The SWMline is neater looking as you only have one wire coming from the dish itself but an SWM-8 will do the same thing except you will need 4 cables from the dish going to the SWM Module.

A SWM-8 could be mounted outside with just one or two cables coming inside and being split from there to each receiver.
Can you do that - split the signals off of a single (or more) individual output ports from a SWM-8? In other words, are all 8 feed channels present on every output from the switch, but the receiver only listens for a certain one, depending on which channel each tuner is assigned?
tkrandall said:
Can you do that - split the signals off of a single (or more) individual output ports from a SWM-8? In other words, are all 8 feed channels present on every output from the switch, but the receiver only listens for a certain one, depending on which channel each tuner is assigned?
Yep, thats how all the SWM stuff is designed to work..
AntAltMike said:
You might also fare better with a splitter that is designed to pass power on all ports, as that would assure some pretty low frequency paths on all ports, which might help.
Depending on the placement of the PI in relationship to the splitter, power passing on all ports could be a non-issue or it could be very, very bad for the equipment.
MicroBeta said:
I wonder how many installs have gotten the SWMLine? :scratchin

Mike
I've done three. One about as far from textbook as you can get. :D
AntAltMike said:
What manufacturer is rating their splitters 2-2,100? It would seem that such a designation exists for the sole purpose of certifying a splitter to work in an SWM circuit, since no one else that I know of uses sub-band return frequencies below 5 MHz.

Here is a poor image with my cellphone of the splitter I DID have. If you look closely on the top right side of the splitter is where is says 2-2100mzh. If you would like I can take a better picture.

As for the maker, I guess I don't know other then it was a SWS-4.

The new splitter I have, I guess I really don't know the brand of it either, I just wanted to make sure it look high quality and 5-2300mhz when I bought it.

Thanks for the info!
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tkrandall said:
Can you do that - split the signals off of a single (or more) individual output ports from a SWM-8? In other words, are all 8 feed channels present on every output from the switch, but the receiver only listens for a certain one, depending on which channel each tuner is assigned?
in short, YES!

A benefit to using the SWM-8 module is that you also have 3 legacy ports (for use with unsupported SWM equipment) and 2 flex ports (for use with 72.5 and 95). The SWMline system does not offer either.
MicroBeta said:
I wonder how many installs have gotten the SWMLine? :scratchin

Mike
I just got one done. SWMLine was used for it. (I moved) Now I have a ground spare.
Hi all;
From Seaford, NY... installed a SL5S WNC Lnb from ebay, did it myself feeding
an HR21-100, HR21-700 & D12. Using pi-21V inserter and 4 way splitter SWM-4
from tech tool supply. Install was done in about an hour. Swapped lnb's and remember if using three receivers total why i don't know but do 1 receiver at a time. hit re-set and the box will recognize the swm lnb s/w. and presto you have 2channels (if using dvr) and 1 channel (d12). notice ss increased by 5 points. All possible of one cable to each receiver.......This will reduce setup issues from the dish to the receivers......rolou21.
MIAMI1683 said:
I just got one done. SWMLine was used for it. (I moved) Now I have a ground spare.
Did you have SWM prior to this or is the first one?

Under what conditions did Directv determine you needed/qualified for/could get a SWM?

Mike
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