Need some advice in light of all the upcoming changes



Original poster
This is my first post so let me beg pardon that it will be so long. Here's my situation. I don't so much have specific questions as much as I want to throw some stuff on the table and get any general advice anyone could give me.

I have been a longtime (1997) Dish customer. Never had a problem. I have always bought and installed my own stuff. I started with a 3000 and a 4000. Later, when I built a theater room with a 1080i capable LCD projector, I bought a 6000, and have since upgraded it with the modules. I use the 4000 in my den on the regular TV; I also distribute the signal from that one to a kitchen TV and an office TV via the RF output. (The theater room doesn't usually get fired up except for movies -- mostly DVDs -- and big sporting events.) I don't purchase PPVs. I also have (and this is where it gets complicated) a cabin about 300 miles from home. I installed another dish there. In fact, the initial reason I switched to satellite TV (well, putting aside my disdain for crappy cable service) was so that I could have TV service when I was at my cabin. Originally I hauled my 3000 back and forth, but since buying the 6000 I have just left the 3000 there. I don't know if Dish "officially" approves such two location installations on one account, but when I first bought my system the very reputable dealer (still there today) knew exactly what I planned to do and assured me Dish had no problem with it. I see it as no different than having an extra receiver and mobile dish for an RV. I can only be in one place at one time, so why should Dish care where I'm watching on my account?

A few years ago I upgraded my home dish to a Dish 500, even though I still just subscribe to AT100. (I get the HBO package so the 500 gets me an extra channel or two, and figured eventually I'd go to 150, but just never have.) (I also put up a second single dish to catch the HD signals from 61.5 when I got the 6000.) I do NOT get locals, because they have never been offered in my city. I always planned to get them when they were offered, not because I need them at home, where I get good OTA reception, but because it would be very nice to have them at my cabin. Unfortunately, according to a post I saw yesterday it looks as though when they go online later this year, they will be on 105. This seems to create several problems for me. First, I would have to install a Superdish at my cabin. Putting aside the cost, my understanding is that Dish is not going to allow DIY installations. Second, as I understand that neither the 3000 nor the 4000 will ever work with the Superdish. More expense.

Now I also plan to upgrade my den TV to an HD capable monitor later this year. The proposed 811 sounds like a good candidate, but again, as I understand it that means I'll need a Superdish. Now not to be paranoid, but if I get an 811/Superdish installation, do I need to worry that the installer will say "where's your third receiver?", and Dish will send me a nastygram or worse? (Okay, I guess that is a specific question.)

Meanwhile, while I still might not upgrade to 150, I do want to subscribe to a sports package this winter which uses a lot of channels thrown off 110. So if I want to see those events while I'm at my cabin, I either need to put up a second single dish and tie in a switch or replace my dish there with a Dish 500 with a twin LNB. Okay, fine, but I'm loathe to go to Ebay or someplace and plunk down $60-70 for another Dish 500, etc., if I'm shortly going to get a Superdish at home and will have an extra Dish 500 lying around. (I already have an extra single dish and LNB from my switchout to the 500, but I'd need to get a switch; moreover, my dish at my cabin is on a post I planted almost 150' away from my cabin -- had to get past the tree line; a long trench to say the least. So I'd need to bury another post. Ugh. The distance of the cable run also gives me a little concern as to whether my signals could be so attenuated that I would need a DishPro to reliably get both birds.) So, are there REALLY going to be Superdish installations this October, or is this vaporware that won't show up until spring? Because I really want those sports packages available at my cabin this winter. If I knew I could get a Superdish installed at home in October/early November, I'd wait. If I knew it would take until Spring, I'd bite the bullet and buy another 500 (or buy a switch and start digging another post hole).

And speaking of posts, I understand the Superdish won't even fit on a standard size post. There's no way in **** you can get a signal at either of my places without using a freestanding post. So if the installer shows up and realizes this, am I now looking at a substantial additional charge? I just haven't been through any of this as I've always done this stuff myself. I enjoy doing it, in fact.

So that's a lot of stuff. Here's sort of what I'm coming down to. Given all the uncertainty and the technological changeover, am I reaching the end of the line with Dish? Would it be easier to scrap it all and go with DTV? They do offer locals fore my city. The 3000 and 4000 seem to be nearing obsolescence, and both my dishes need changing. Is DTV better or worse about vacation home installations? Will I get everything I need from DTV off two satellites?

This used to be so easy, sigh.

Well, sorry for how long this was. Any advice at all is welcome. Thanks.
I have also always done all my own installs including pulling cable. I think once the superdish becomes a tangible commodity and dealers get their hands on them, you will see some "other" options become available. That may take some time though. Better get the posthole digger ready!

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