Indianapolis, IN switching from Comcast to Directv...

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DSquared99

Member
Oct 15, 2007
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I have a couple of questions...I tried to get the questions across to the guy that I talked to from Directv, but everytime I would ask him something, he came at me with the sales pitch of everthing is the best, and now is the only time for these discounts (althought the discount he was offering was the same as the website for the past 2 months)...I don't think he even heard some of my questions since he was more worried about getting me to sign up.

I am in Indianapolis, IN (zip code 46113).

Currently, Directv is offering NBC (Channel 13, WTHR), FOX (Channel 59, WXIN), and ABC (Channel 6, ) HD Locals but not CBS (Channel 8, WISH). Of course the guy on the phone said they are getting it by the end of the year, but I know that he has no idea.

First of all, does anyone know if the local CBS channel will be available in HD anytime soon?

Secondly, in Indianapolis, do I get the national ABC, CBS, NBC channels? I think they are in the 80's? The guy said I did, but I am not sure I believe him...but if I can get the CBS national channel in HD, I don't have that big of a problem not getting it local.

Also, I have a Sharp 52" and 32" Aquos (both full 1080P ready). Do I need to get the mpeg-4 for the best quality picture? Are the HR-20 and the HR-21 mpeg-4? Which receivers are those, and how do I make sure the installer will have the right receivers?

Lastly, should I sign up online, or go to Best Buy? What are the pros/cons to each?

I have seen some great answers to other questions on here and believe I will probably get better and more accurate answers from this forum than from the salesman on the other line!

Thanks to anyone who has any knowledge on these questions!:)
 

ONUOsFan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2007
2,160
0
Fishers, IN
First of all, does anyone know if the local CBS channel will be available in HD anytime soon?

Don't count on it. It's owned by LIN which is not playing ball with either of the Satellite providers for any of their stations (they own several across the country). I finally gave up and went OTA when I figured out I was going to be missing Colts games in HD. It (OTA) has a nice bonus of also giving you the local news/weather stations and channels 4, 20 (multiple channels) and 23 in HD.

Secondly, in Indianapolis, do I get the national ABC, CBS, NBC channels? I think they are in the 80's? The guy said I did, but I am not sure I believe him...but if I can get the CBS national channel in HD, I don't have that big of a problem not getting it local.

Sorry, but no. The only way to get these is to get a waiver from the local station, which you won't get. The Indianapolis area also doesn't qualify for DNS, which would be your other avenue to get the national feeds.

Also, I have a Sharp 52" and 32" Aquos (both full 1080P ready). Do I need to get the mpeg-4 for the best quality picture? Are the HR-20 and the HR-21 mpeg-4? Which receivers are those, and how do I make sure the installer will have the right receivers?

You're going to get it whether you want it or not. All of the new HD channels and the HD locals are MPEG4, and yes, the HR-20 and HR-21 are both MPEG4 capable. Only the National HD channels that were there before October of this year (ESPN, ESPN2, HD Theater, UHD, etc.) are in MPEG2 and they will (thankfully) be switched over to MPEG4 sometime next year.

Lastly, should I sign up online, or go to Best Buy? What are the pros/cons to each?

If you think you're going to consider going the OTA route, go to BB or Circuit City so you can make sure you get an HR-20. The HR-21 does not currently have an OTA tuner in it, so you'd have to just plug it into your TV, meaning you wouldn't get the guide data and couldn't record it. You can request an HR-20 from DirecTV when you call to sign up, but you might have some problems with that, as they are pretty much just sending what they send at this point, and you would likely get stuck with a -21.

Other than that, I don't think there is much difference in where you sign up - it doesn't seem like they're giving much more than the "stock" deal these days regardless... so unless you're buying a new TV or something where you can get the extra $300 off, just do whatever you're comfortable with. You still have to call D* to sign up at some point anyway, even if you pick up the receiver in a store.

I have seen some great answers to other questions on here and believe I will probably get better and more accurate answers from this forum than from the salesman on the other line!

That is definitely true. :)
 

Boiler_81

New Member
Dec 11, 2004
2
0
Don't count on getting Channel 8 in HD by the end of the year. Directv is still negotiating with them.

You will not get the nationals in your area.

HR-20 and HR-21 are MPEG 4. All of the new DTV recievers are MPEG 4. Since you can not get CBS in HD you will want to request a HD20. It has the capability to get HD over the air. The best way to insure you get this unit is to buy it at a retail store. If you go direct to DTV you are rolling the dice. Many have reported HR20s in stock at Costco.



I have a couple of questions...I tried to get the questions across to the guy that I talked to from Directv, but everytime I would ask him something, he came at me with the sales pitch of everthing is the best, and now is the only time for these discounts (althought the discount he was offering was the same as the website for the past 2 months)...I don't think he even heard some of my questions since he was more worried about getting me to sign up.

I am in Indianapolis, IN (zip code 46113).

Currently, Directv is offering NBC (Channel 13, WTHR), FOX (Channel 59, WXIN), and ABC (Channel 6, ) HD Locals but not CBS (Channel 8, WISH). Of course the guy on the phone said they are getting it by the end of the year, but I know that he has no idea.

First of all, does anyone know if the local CBS channel will be available in HD anytime soon?

Secondly, in Indianapolis, do I get the national ABC, CBS, NBC channels? I think they are in the 80's? The guy said I did, but I am not sure I believe him...but if I can get the CBS national channel in HD, I don't have that big of a problem not getting it local.

Also, I have a Sharp 52" and 32" Aquos (both full 1080P ready). Do I need to get the mpeg-4 for the best quality picture? Are the HR-20 and the HR-21 mpeg-4? Which receivers are those, and how do I make sure the installer will have the right receivers?

Lastly, should I sign up online, or go to Best Buy? What are the pros/cons to each?

I have seen some great answers to other questions on here and believe I will probably get better and more accurate answers from this forum than from the salesman on the other line!

Thanks to anyone who has any knowledge on these questions!:)
 
Last edited:

ONUOsFan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2007
2,160
0
Fishers, IN
By the way, just looked and figured out where 46113 is... you'll need a good antenna if you're going to do OTA - all of the transmitters are on the northwest side of Indianapolis, around the Pyramids (465 & Michigan Rd.) area, which is a pretty good distance from you. Antennaweb.org is a good resource for that.
 

DSquared99

Member
Oct 15, 2007
7
0
Thank you for the info!! That helps tremendously...

I have just a couple more questions now...

OTA i am assuming means 'over the air'? Will the installer install an OTA antenna? If so, is it a small antenna that can be placed behind the TV? Can I buy that at a retail store or will the installer have it to purchase?

Again, thank you for the info! I got more ACCURATE information here! I figured that would be the case...

By the way, is there any big difference between the HR-20 and the HR-21? I was just figuring if the HR-21 is better, maybe I should wait until they produce the 21 with the OTA availability? Any thoughts?
 

DSquared99

Member
Oct 15, 2007
7
0
By the way, just looked and figured out where 46113 is... you'll need a good antenna if you're going to do OTA - all of the transmitters are on the northwest side of Indianapolis, around the Pyramids (465 & Michigan Rd.) area, which is a pretty good distance from you. Antennaweb.org is a good resource for that.

I just mapquested it to my house from the pyramids and it is about 22 miles? What kind of OTA should I get?

Antennaweb shows all the stations i need in yellow uhf and vhf...
 
Last edited:

ONUOsFan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2007
2,160
0
Fishers, IN
OTA i am assuming means 'over the air'?

Yes

Will the installer install an OTA antenna?

There is one that DTV sells and will install, and I think it hooks onto the dish itself, but I have no idea how good it is. You might have a problem with this since the dish will need to face south and your antenna will need to face north, unless you put both right at the top of your house....

If so, is it a small antenna that can be placed behind the TV? Can I buy that at a retail store or will the installer have it to purchase?

I definitely would not recommend an indoor antenna. I live in Fishers and am at least 5-10 miles closer than you to the antennas and couldn't get ANY reception on the one I tried... I got a pretty big one from a store (Lowe's, I think) and put it up in the attic and it works great. The only station I have some problem with is channel 4, but from what I hear that's a tough one to get in from anywhere...

If you go to antennaweb.org and put in your address it will tell you what kind of antenna you need and which direction all of the towers are in from your house, along with the distance (although you have the basic idea already). The bad part about that site is that I think it's assuming you're getting an outdoor antenna, so you may have to make some adjustments if you're putting it in an attic or somewhere else. I think mine is rated up to 50 miles and it works fine in my attic.

By the way, is there any big difference between the HR-20 and the HR-21? I was just figuring if the HR-21 is better, maybe I should wait until they produce the 21 with the OTA availability? Any thoughts?

The HR-21 is black instead of grey and may run a little cooler, but apart from that I'm not sure there's a big difference, other than the OTA. They are making an OTA "adapter" of some kind for the 21, but no real good word yet on whether it will have two tuners like the -20 or just one, or what the quality will be... it will probably be out sometime Q1 next year. And it will be an external add-on that you will probably have to purchase separately, rather than it being built into the box like the 20. If you want OTA I'd definitely go with the 20 if you can find one.
 

ONUOsFan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2007
2,160
0
Fishers, IN
There's probably more information in the OTA forum on this site if you want help picking an antenna....

One other thing to keep in mind, even though it's a little off topic: You will need two cable runs from the satellite dish to the receiver for the HR20 or -21, plus a third for the OTA feed. This is something I didn't think about when I switched from cable and it caused a few problems initially....

They are coming out with a single wire solution, but you'll still need a separate run for the OTA and I'm not sure when that single wire thing is coming out - probably within the next few months.
 

DSquared99

Member
Oct 15, 2007
7
0
One other thing to keep in mind, even though it's a little off topic: You will need two cable runs from the satellite dish to the receiver for the HR20 or -21, plus a third for the OTA feed. This is something I didn't think about when I switched from cable and it caused a few problems initially....

They are coming out with a single wire solution, but you'll still need a separate run for the OTA and I'm not sure when that single wire thing is coming out - probably within the next few months.

Okay, now I am confused (which is pretty easy to do!!:D)

For example, I have one cable outlet right now that connects to my cable box. It is one RG6 cable that goes from the wall to the box. If I am reading this correctly, does this mean that I will need a double cable outlet for each of my receivers, thus requiring the installer to drill holes in the side of my house to get a double line in? I guess the reason I am confused is DISH and Comcast both can run HD channels on one cable line. Does Directv require 2?

Thanks again for your help!
 

TulsaCoker

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 15, 2006
579
0
Tulsa, Ok
You need two seperate cables comming out from your wall only if you want the DVR's dual recording. Both E* and D* requires that. Cable I'm not sure about. D* is supposed to be comming out with a single cable multiswitch for DVR's but I'm not positive. Someone else can comment on that.
 

ONUOsFan

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 14, 2007
2,160
0
Fishers, IN
Okay, now I am confused (which is pretty easy to do!!:D)

For example, I have one cable outlet right now that connects to my cable box. It is one RG6 cable that goes from the wall to the box. If I am reading this correctly, does this mean that I will need a double cable outlet for each of my receivers, thus requiring the installer to drill holes in the side of my house to get a double line in? I guess the reason I am confused is DISH and Comcast both can run HD channels on one cable line. Does Directv require 2?

Thanks again for your help!

Actually, a triple outlet, if you want OTA - unless you want to wait until the SWM (single-wire multiswitch) comes out, and then you'll need a double, unles you don't want OTA, in which case you could then get by with a single. :)

It's not that they need it to provide HD. They need one cable for each SAT tuner on the DVR - otherwise you won't be able to watch/record two shows at once. You'd be limited to only having one active tuner, meaning that if you were recording one thing, you wouldn't be able to record something else a the same time, and you could only watch the show being recorded or something you had previously recorded - not something else from live TV.

That changes if you have OTA, because the OTA input does have dual tuners with only one cable. So if you ran one cable for satellite and one for OTA, as of right now you could be doing two OTA feeds, or one OTA and one SAT, but not two SAT, at least until the SWM comes out. If you want to do OTA and would be ok with only one SAT tuner for the short term, I'd recommend running your own cables for the OTA and just going with one feed from the SAT - then you can get the SWM when it comes out and you'll be all good.

The D* installer will run extra cables if needed, but only around the house and through an outside wall, unless you are willing to pay extra for a premium installation to get the wires run through walls, etc - if that's possible at your house.

You're correct that cable only uses one cable run for their DVR's - not sure about Dish, to be honest...
 

DSquared99

Member
Oct 15, 2007
7
0
Actually, a triple outlet, if you want OTA - unless you want to wait until the SWM (single-wire multiswitch) comes out, and then you'll need a double, unles you don't want OTA, in which case you could then get by with a single. :)

It's not that they need it to provide HD. They need one cable for each SAT tuner on the DVR - otherwise you won't be able to watch/record two shows at once. You'd be limited to only having one active tuner, meaning that if you were recording one thing, you wouldn't be able to record something else a the same time, and you could only watch the show being recorded or something you had previously recorded - not something else from live TV.

That changes if you have OTA, because the OTA input does have dual tuners with only one cable. So if you ran one cable for satellite and one for OTA, as of right now you could be doing two OTA feeds, or one OTA and one SAT, but not two SAT, at least until the SWM comes out. If you want to do OTA and would be ok with only one SAT tuner for the short term, I'd recommend running your own cables for the OTA and just going with one feed from the SAT - then you can get the SWM when it comes out and you'll be all good.

The D* installer will run extra cables if needed, but only around the house and through an outside wall, unless you are willing to pay extra for a premium installation to get the wires run through walls, etc - if that's possible at your house.

You're correct that cable only uses one cable run for their DVR's - not sure about Dish, to be honest...

Thank you for your help here! When I had DISH, I had a dual tuner that recorded 2 shows at the same time? Same thing with my Comcast dual tuner box. It seems weird to me, that DISH and Comcast would only need one cable, but Directv would need 2 to do the same thing DISH and Comcast can do on one?

Oh well...I think with this info, I am going to stick with Comcast until I build my new house (3 years from now). I know now that i will have a big outside antenna to bring in the HD locals!

Thanks again for your help!
 
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