PDA

View Full Version : hr20, network daily call, the satellite, multiswitches



davel
03-26-2007, 04:12 PM
I think I am ready to make the jump to HD. I have had several series 1's that have had their run (and are still running)... I have been doing some reading and was wondering if the good people can help me out with some questions.

About the unit...

1. I understand that you can hook the unit up without a phone line. I really don't care about the phone line and don't want to run another cord to where my current unit is. Has anyone successfully used the network card to do their daily call? Also is the daily call even required? I know to order PPV it is, but the original Tivo's (not this DVR) required it to keep the subscription active but I am not sure of the current requirement with teh DVR service.

2. What size hard drive is in the unit? I was planning on doing an upgrade but may just plug in an external drive when I see how easy that is. Did anyone do an upgrade of the internal drive? If so, was anything special required (like setting the drive to 150gb/sec)? Is it just recommended to buy an external drive and do it that way? Is there a max size the unit willl take?

About the satellite...

1. I have been reading that to get the mp4 HD locals I need a 5 lnb satellite. Is that true? I currently have the multiplexed 3 lnb unit.

2. If I do need a new dish, can I use my current household setup of 2 4X8 multiplexor with it (Eagle Aspen DTV4X8)? I really don't want to get into upgrading the 2 switches I have in the house if I don't need to.


About getting the best deal for customers....

1. What is the best deal (price and how) that you got on the new unit (and dish). I am an existing customer without a contract so if I have to threaten to quit or whatever. I really don't care about the install, because I will probably do it myself.

Thanks

PlainBill
03-27-2007, 02:18 AM
I think I am ready to make the jump to HD. I have had several series 1's that have had their run (and are still running)... I have been doing some reading and was wondering if the good people can help me out with some questions.

About the unit...

1. I understand that you can hook the unit up without a phone line. I really don't care about the phone line and don't want to run another cord to where my current unit is. Has anyone successfully used the network card to do their daily call? Also is the daily call even required? I know to order PPV it is, but the original Tivo's (not this DVR) required it to keep the subscription active but I am not sure of the current requirement with teh DVR service.
A daily call has never been essential to operation of DirecTiVos. This tradition is enhanced with the HR20. You don't even get a nag message. Again, ALL DirecTV receivers ('dumb' receivers, DirecTiVos, and their DVRs) get their guide information from the satellite; always have, and always will. It DOES have an ethernet jack, activating it is easy - just hook it up to a router.


2. What size hard drive is in the unit? I was planning on doing an upgrade but may just plug in an external drive when I see how easy that is. Did anyone do an upgrade of the internal drive? If so, was anything special required (like setting the drive to 150gb/sec)? Is it just recommended to buy an external drive and do it that way? Is there a max size the unit willl take?
It has a 300 Gig hard drive. I haven't tried it, but reports are upgrading is (almost) id10t proof. Just drop in a new hard drive. Or and external SATA hard drive can be hooked up.


About the satellite...

1. I have been reading that to get the mp4 HD locals I need a 5 lnb satellite. Is that true? I currently have the multiplexed 3 lnb unit.
No, you need a 5 lnb DISH. The satellites are 22,500 miles up.


2. If I do need a new dish, can I use my current household setup of 2 4X8 multiplexor with it (Eagle Aspen DTV4X8)? I really don't want to get into upgrading the 2 switches I have in the house if I don't need to.
You will need wide band multiswitches. Multiplexors don't work. Standard multiswitches don't work.


About getting the best deal for customers....

1. What is the best deal (price and how) that you got on the new unit (and dish). I am an existing customer without a contract so if I have to threaten to quit or whatever. I really don't care about the install, because I will probably do it myself.

Thanks
A few points have been discussed in other threads. You have two choices.
1. Call DirecTV, order a HR20; remind them you have 2 4x8 multiswitches. If you are an "A" list customer, they will offer you an HR20, a 5 LNB dish, new multiswitches, and free installation for about $220 + taxes. You will also get 4 months of free HD programming. Some people have reported calling back, threatening to quit, crying, etc. and getting it for $120 + taxes, or $20 + taxes. One guy swore he was so persuasive they paid him $200, gave him the titanium package free for one year, and Tanya Memme came out in person to clean up after the installers.

2. Buy an HR20 on eBay ($250 + shipping), a 5 LNB dish ($70), and two WB68's ($50), then install it yourself.

Personally, I ordered it from DirecTV, then after the installers finished demonstrating how incompetent / lazy they were, I finished it properly.

PlainBill

mateom199
03-27-2007, 03:33 AM
Personally, I ordered it from DirecTV, then after the installers finished demonstrating how incompetent / lazy they were, I finished it properly.

I feel your pain. D* sent a single tech to install the new 5 LNB dish and set up the HR20. He showed up at 10am, and didn't leave until 6:30pm. Oh, did I mention I had practically zero reception on any transponders when he left?

I got my ladder out, 10 minutes later I had all sat's coming in. Where do they get these installation people? (It was done by DirecTech East in case anyone's wondering)

As far as the cost, D* refused to budge below the standard $299 for me, even though I'm a longtime and "A" customer. Guess I just got the wrong CSR/Retention person. I ended up selling my HR10 on ebay for over $400...sweet at the time, but now I'm regretting it -- had I known how flaky the HR20 was, I never would have sold the HR10.

davel
03-27-2007, 10:32 AM
Plainbill, Thanks for the reply. It was very helpful. I agree with your assessment on the D* installers, they are worthless and do a crappy job. I tell them don't even bother coming out.

I have heard of people getting the deal for about $200 which is what you confirmed. If I can get the unit and the dish for that price (basically the standard new customer price), I'll be happy even if I have to fork out for the multiswitches my self.

Looking at the multiswitch recommended, I take it the DISH :) has 6 connections coming from it. Is that true?

On a side note, it is annoying that every couple of years the DISH and multiswitches need to be replaced. D* shoule be able to forcast technology and bandwidth changes to some degree of accuracy so you don't have to change all your stuff along with every upgrade. Figure it would save them a fortune in installer fees if they coudl just send a new box.

PlainBill
03-27-2007, 02:09 PM
Plainbill, Thanks for the reply. It was very helpful. I agree with your assessment on the D* installers, they are worthless and do a crappy job. I tell them don't even bother coming out.

I have heard of people getting the deal for about $200 which is what you confirmed. If I can get the unit and the dish for that price (basically the standard new customer price), I'll be happy even if I have to fork out for the multiswitches my self.

Looking at the multiswitch recommended, I take it the DISH :) has 6 connections coming from it. Is that true?

On a side note, it is annoying that every couple of years the DISH and multiswitches need to be replaced. D* shoule be able to forcast technology and bandwidth changes to some degree of accuracy so you don't have to change all your stuff along with every upgrade. Figure it would save them a fortune in installer fees if they coudl just send a new box.

The 'slimline' dish has an integrated multiswitch and only 4 outputs. The LNB assembly has space for a 6th lnb which can presumably be used for the existing bird at 93 (95?).

I hate to burst your bubble, but about the only way you can get the dish, multiswitch, AND receiver from DirecTV is by allowing the installer to come out. I suggest having a fight with your wife, then stubbing your toe before they come out. This will put you in the proper frame of mind to micromanage them so they do a decent job. Note that the slimline dish is much larger than the phase three dish, and mounts on a 2" (not 1.66") post. Don't let them try to mount it on the fascia.

I find it hilarious when someone wants new technology, but can't understand that new features also require new equipment. I think DirecTV does pretty good. I bought my first DirecTV receiver in 1998, an RCA DRD503RBC. I paid over $300 for it; installation was extra. That same receiver and dish will still receive most of DirecTV's standard channels today. Given the limited number of orbital slots, the cost and bandwidth limitations of satellites, etc, I think they do pretty good.

As far as 'do it yourself' upgrades go, DirecTV wouldn't be saving that much. Which is exactly why the installers do such lousy work. I've known many people who are not capable of hooking up rabbit ears to a TV. Heck, a few years ago someone on this forum was using the RF output from his DirecTiVo and couldn't understand why he was getting such a crappy picture. Can you imagine one of them getting an HR20-700? He'd hook the inputs up to a splitter, then to a single lnb dish, and the RF output of the receiver to the tuner of his HD TV.

PlainBill

n7xy
03-28-2007, 04:44 PM
Plainbill, Thanks for the reply. It was very helpful. I agree with your assessment on the D* installers, they are worthless and do a crappy job. I tell them don't even bother coming out.

I have heard of people getting the deal for about $200 which is what you confirmed. If I can get the unit and the dish for that price (basically the standard new customer price), I'll be happy even if I have to fork out for the multiswitches my self.

Looking at the multiswitch recommended, I take it the DISH :) has 6 connections coming from it. Is that true?



The 5 LNB dish has 4 outputs. The extra 2 inputs on the WB68 multiswitch are for the 72.5 (SD locals in some areas) and 95 (international programming) satellites, which require separate dishe.

If you have more than 4 tuners, Directv will supply the proper multiswitch as part of the free dish installation. If you buy and install everything yourself, you may possibly get some sort of compensation, but you might not. I let the installer put up the dish and figured I could fix any errors myself--I didn't have to. When I later got the HR20, they wouldn't send it to me and had an installer bring it out. Since I got it for $100 less than I would have paid at Best Buy, I agreed. I hooked it up while the installer called in to activate it. He was gone within 20 minutes.

davel
04-16-2007, 08:49 AM
They are coming out today to install the unit. My deals were as follows:

I am an A list customer with Total Choice Plus and HBO. I threatened to move to Dish quoting some of the offers right on dishes site (keep in mind that Dish needs an 18 month commitment)

What I got:

HR20 for $199+tax charged to the credit card (standard deal)
installiation and supplies.
1 time credit on the bill for $100.00 (because I complained that Dish had a free upgrade) for the unit
6 month of $10 off HBO
12 months of free HD tier
3 months of showtime and Stars that I do not have to call and cancel

I had to sign up for a 24 month commitment but who cares because each month that you cancel early it is only $12.00 and they won't let you cancel because new customer acquisition is way harder than keeping a current customer.

Thanks for the help and I hope this helps some others out.

jehancoc
05-17-2007, 11:27 AM
They are coming out to install my hr20-700 today. Including the 5 lnb upgrade, installation, etc. my total cost was $21.50 for shipping.

I am an 'A' list customer. They also told me I can get a second one this year to replace my hr10-250 if I like, again for the cost of shipping, $21.50. Otherwise I won't be able to get HD programming after Christmas.

vurbano
05-23-2007, 01:35 PM
A daily call has never been essential to operation of DirecTiVos. This tradition is enhanced with the HR20. You don't even get a nag message. The HR10-250 still required an initial phone call. Many VOIP users had to get a serial cable and a modem to make it. Does the HR20 require this initial phone call?

stevel
05-23-2007, 06:36 PM
My understanding is that it does not.

davidjplatt
05-30-2007, 09:17 AM
I am an 'A' list customer. They also told me I can get a second one this year to replace my hr10-250 if I like, again for the cost of shipping, $21.50. Otherwise I won't be able to get HD programming after Christmas.

What? Are you trying to say that HD won't be available after Christmas on the HR10-250? I don't think so and if a DirecTV rep told you that they are probably misinformed. I'm sure the current HD content on the HR10-250 will continue for quite a while.

PlainBill
05-30-2007, 02:37 PM
What? Are you trying to say that HD won't be available after Christmas on the HR10-250? I don't think so and if a DirecTV rep told you that they are probably misinformed. I'm sure the current HD content on the HR10-250 will continue for quite a while.
Mpeg4 gives a significant compression advantage over mpeg2. It's been pretty well established the new HD channels DirecTV will be adding in the next 7 months will all be using mpeg4.

To me, it seems unlikely that DirecTV will be switching to mpeg4 for the HD channels on the 110 bird until the 99 and 103 transponders are fully utilized. However, at least one expert has indicated he feels DirecTV will no longer be using mpeg2 on ANY channels (SD and HD) in two years. He feels the lure of extra channels will be to great to resist.

PlainBill

davidjplatt
06-01-2007, 01:04 AM
Mpeg4 gives a significant compression advantage over mpeg2. It's been pretty well established the new HD channels DirecTV will be adding in the next 7 months will all be using mpeg4.

To me, it seems unlikely that DirecTV will be switching to mpeg4 for the HD channels on the 110 bird until the 99 and 103 transponders are fully utilized. However, at least one expert has indicated he feels DirecTV will no longer be using mpeg2 on ANY channels (SD and HD) in two years. He feels the lure of extra channels will be to great to resist.

PlainBill

I would tend to think that MPEG 2 will be around for quite a while, more than two years. The lure of extra channels may be there, but the expense they would have to go to in replacing all MPEG 2 receivers and DVRs would probably be prohibitive to do in a very short period of time.

VaBeachGuy
07-15-2007, 05:02 PM
It's funny reading about the installers, I had a new dish and HR20 installed on Thursday. The installer got here at about 5pm and didn't leave until 9:15pm.

I have 8 TiVo's set up, using 2 4x8's. The installer had never seen such a setup and was really confused.

Anyway, he had to replace the 4x8's with 6x8's and when he went to hook up the boxes (2 HR20's) none of my other boxes were getting a signal. When it started getting late I told him to just make sure the 2 HR20's would work and I'd worry about the rest later. 10 minutes after he left I had all my boxes working perfectly.

One good thing about him being here so late was that when he left it was so dark outside that he didn't see the 2 spools of RF cable he had set in the yard and he left them. In all they contain about 1,100 ft. of cable so now I can run a couple more lines if I want to.

As for HD on the HR10 going away, 2 different CSR's told me that they were switching to MPEG4 by August or September of this year. If that's true then that means no HD at all on the HR10 (aside from OTA HD).

vurbano
07-15-2007, 05:27 PM
I got the HR20 and 5lnb dish for $20.50 with a lease. No haggling at all. It gets installed later this month.

johnnytaco2
07-16-2007, 08:38 AM
Instead of the standard $199 upgrade (for existing users), I too got the HR20 for $19.99 (shipping/handling) but also got the HD package ($9.99/mo) for free for 3 months to offset the cost. It took going through several people in customer service, but the trick was to tell them about another offer I had received (in my case Fios). I threatened to leave but said I wanted to stay, but the deal was so good I didn't have a choice. Anyway, point is, get to the retention folks and threaten to leave - mean it though. ;)

I like the HR20, but really miss the "hackability" of the Tivo and the dual buffers. I need to upgrade the hard drive - sounds like this is really easy though.

jt

vurbano
07-17-2007, 04:19 PM
Instead of the standard $199 upgrade (for existing users), I too got the HR20 for $19.99 (shipping/handling) but also got the HD package ($9.99/mo) for free for 3 months to offset the cost. It took going through several people in customer service, but the trick was to tell them about another offer I had received (in my case Fios). I threatened to leave but said I wanted to stay, but the deal was so good I didn't have a choice. Anyway, point is, get to the retention folks and threaten to leave - mean it though. ;)

I like the HR20, but really miss the "hackability" of the Tivo and the dual buffers. I need to upgrade the hard drive - sounds like this is really easy though.

jt
I was offered the 20 dollar deal right off the bat from the first person I spoke too. It shouldnt be hard to get at all.

TivoScott
09-14-2007, 12:00 PM
I am getting the HR-20. They are shipping it direct to me because of the current DVR is DOA.

I think they are shipping the whole thing with the new dish but I am not sure. The install date is more than 2 weeks out so I am thinking of installing it myself.

I have RG6 cable from the dish now (3 LNB's). I think there is 4 lines comeing from the dish to the switch. I think i just need to swap the dish and the switch and be done? Of course align it. Any tricks on doing this swap out and aligning the dish?

Looking forward to HD :D

thx

PlainBill
09-14-2007, 01:26 PM
I am getting the HR-20. They are shipping it direct to me because of the current DVR is DOA.

I think they are shipping the whole thing with the new dish but I am not sure. The install date is more than 2 weeks out so I am thinking of installing it myself.

I have RG6 cable from the dish now (3 LNB's). I think there is 4 lines comeing from the dish to the switch. I think i just need to swap the dish and the switch and be done? Of course align it. Any tricks on doing this swap out and aligning the dish?

Looking forward to HD :D

thx

Sorry, I can't give you a link. Try searching on 'DirecTV Slimline'; one of the sites selling them has the installation instructions.

Note that if you are currently using a multiswitch it will have to be replaced with a WB68 multiswitch. Also, don't be fooled by the 'Slimline' designation. It is huge, and requires a larger mount.

PlainBill

av8rdude
09-14-2007, 05:02 PM
Here's a link: http://www.solidsignal.com/satellite/at9_install_videos.asp
My installer didn't do anything like this. He just hooked up a big meter so I hope that I get good signals on the new sat.

TivoScott
09-14-2007, 06:40 PM
Thx guys

I hope it comes tomorrow.

TivoScott
09-17-2007, 10:59 AM
I took a look at the install instructions and I am thinking that I might have to start over with my system. It is about 8 to 10 years old RG6 and there might be more bends in the system then they would like (according to the video).

The alignment of this dish was also done with a meter at the dish. I set it up with the receiver before. It looks like a meter is required in this install?

Has anyone installed one without this meter?

Also I am thinking of just using it on my current system (3 LNB) and wait for the install. If I do this do I need to hook up anything in the system other than the DVR? Is there HD on these 3 sats?

PlainBill
09-17-2007, 11:47 AM
I took a look at the install instructions and I am thinking that I might have to start over with my system. It is about 8 to 10 years old RG6 and there might be more bends in the system then they would like (according to the video).

The alignment of this dish was also done with a meter at the dish. I set it up with the receiver before. It looks like a meter is required in this install?

Has anyone installed one without this meter?

Also I am thinking of just using it on my current system (3 LNB) and wait for the install. If I do this do I need to hook up anything in the system other than the DVR? Is there HD on these 3 sats?

The number of bends in the coax shouldn't affect the signal strength; poorly done connections, splices, crushed or kinked spots in the cable will. Also, while age isn't important, small problems CAN accumulate in older cable. The easiest way to determine this is what are your signal levels now? If they're 90% + you're fine; if they're down in the 60% level recheck the aiming, then pull new cables if it doesn't boost the signal level.

Installation of the Slimline dish has been done without a signal meter; just remember to check and peak the signal on the 99 and 103 satellites after doing the crude aiming on the 101 and 119 birds. Note that the dish is MUCH heavier; locate a very solid mount point.

PlainBill