Need to upgrade dish and receiver (1 Viewer)

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OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
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OK ... I held out for three years and it's time to do something now before our current equipment kicks the bucket. Our HD Receiver reboots several times every evening ... and the Standard Receiver has to be rebooted almost every time we turn the TV on.

So ... we are upgrading from the original equipment we started with 6 years ago. Hughes HTL-HD receiver and RCA DRD435RH dish We have one cable coming down the wall and because of the way the house/walls are constructed, there is no option to add additional cables. We currently use OTA to view HD locals. This is important because every time a storm passes through we tend to lose satellite access.

I apparently missed the boat when they were pushing free equipment upgrades and nagged me about it for at least 18 months. Seems they aren't offering this as a free upgrade at this point, which may drive me to another provider in order to get new subscriber benefits. Since my satellite has to be upgraded, what are my chances of getting the free equipment upgrade that I bypassed in the past?

We have never paid for HD access (the HD Locals were enough for us). Now that there are a number of channels in our ChoicePlus package that provide HD options, I am willing to bite the bullet and pay the darned HD access fee. I think.

Makes me kind of sick to think that the one thing that held me back from upgrading my equipment earlier was that I was going to be forced to pay that HD access fee even at a time when there were no other channels we were interested in. Now, I see that new subscribers get free HD access for life?!? If they had offered that to me for all the time they nagged me about upgrading, I would have upgraded 18 months ago!

However, if I stick with D* what do I need to know? What do I need to ask for? If I decide to get a DVR am I now going to be able to have that (with my single cable) and still keep my OTA HD access for locals?
 
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Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
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Jul 14, 2005
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Your using 2 different lines now right ?
1 for the Sat from the dish and one from the OTA antenna ?

They did not offer the free HD till a few months ago, so if you had got the HD Free back then, it would have been magic.

IF you have 1 line going from the Dish to the recvr (ground block as well) , you can look to get into the SWM set up, it only uses 1 line into the home as well and allows you to access both tuners on the HD DVR's.

I would definitely call them and ask them what they can do for you,tell them what you have and that you would like to move to HD equipment and see what they will do for you.
 

OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
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Oops ... ended up with a duplicate post and deleted the text here.
 
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OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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OK ... I get a "free" HD-DVR and HD Receiver and a new dish installed for "free."

Once the receivers are activated I can call back in and get 24 months of free HD Access.

Now that I have an install scheduled, for the new dish, I am getting nervous about the install. Obviously the original installer did a good job since we've never had a problem with the dish getting knocked out of position (even during Hurricane Ike) and had no problems with roof leaks.

However, I was totally oblivious to whether or not the installer did a good job when I went through this six years ago. I just assumed that he knew what he was doing. Unfortunately, I had an installer out here, years later, to hook my system back up after I had switched to cable for one day. This guy did not inspire confidence. He couldn't even hook our diplexers back up properly. We had to figure out for ourselves why our OTA antenna would no longer work. He had even talked to a supervisor while he was here and couldn't figure it out.

Anyway, I know that the roof-top install is a different situation, but my experience with this guy made me question how effectively some of the installers are trained and whether or not they know what they are doing.

How often does someone have a problem with their roof leaking after a removal/install? If that happens, does Directv handle the expenses related to any repairs? Or are we stuck with that?

On another note, if I end up with an HR20 so that I can use my OTA antenna as backup when the storms roll in, I assume it will be refurbished and may not be the most dependable piece of equipment out there. How long would we get that equipment replaced without charge if there is a problem with it? Until now, we've never had a problem with the receivers that we own, that were purchased 6 years ago. Should I expect that type of longevity from a refurbished unit?
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,271
4,442
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
OK ... I get a "free" HD-DVR and HD Receiver and a new dish installed for "free."

Once the receivers are activated I can call back in and get 24 months of free HD Access.

Now that I have an install scheduled, for the new dish, I am getting nervous about the install. Obviously the original installer did a good job since we've never had a problem with the dish getting knocked out of position (even during Hurricane Ike) and had no problems with roof leaks.

However, I was totally oblivious to whether or not the installer did a good job when I went through this six years ago. I just assumed that he knew what he was doing. Unfortunately, I had an installer out here, years later, to hook my system back up after I had switched to cable for one day. This guy did not inspire confidence. He couldn't even hook our diplexers back up properly. We had to figure out for ourselves why our OTA antenna would no longer work. He had even talked to a supervisor while he was here and couldn't figure it out.

Anyway, I know that the roof-top install is a different situation, but my experience with this guy made me question how effectively some of the installers are trained and whether or not they know what they are doing.

How often does someone have a problem with their roof leaking after a removal/install? If that happens, does Directv handle the expenses related to any repairs? Or are we stuck with that?

On another note, if I end up with an HR20 so that I can use my OTA antenna as backup when the storms roll in, I assume it will be refurbished and may not be the most dependable piece of equipment out there. How long would we get that equipment replaced without charge if there is a problem with it? Until now, we've never had a problem with the receivers that we own, that were purchased 6 years ago. Should I expect that type of longevity from a refurbished unit?

My experience with the HR20's has been very good.
I do have a Referbed HR20 that I am using at the moment. I have 2 HR20-700's that I am still using, I KNOW at least one of them is a referbed one, no problems at all.
 

OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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I don't understand SWM

IF you have 1 line going from the Dish to the recvr (ground block as well) , you can look to get into the SWM set up, it only uses 1 line into the home as well and allows you to access both tuners on the HD DVR's.

I called D* back today to make sure that the installer would know/understand that our main TV (where we want to upgrade from a HD Receiver to an HD DVR) only has one cable coming down the wall. It is not possible to run another cable down that wall. At the present time, we use a diplexer on that cable so that we can also use our OTA antenna for HD locals (and as a backup when we lose satellite service during storms ... it happens ... a lot.)

I'm willing to give up the OTA access on this location (can run another antenna cable to any other TV location in the house ... just not this one) ... but I really would like to get full functionality out of the DVR at this location. Is this not possible with a single cable?

I just spoke with D* again and was transferred to tech support and they now tell me that if it is not possible to get a second cable in the wall where we want the HD DVR, that we will not be able to watch a live channel while recording. We will only be able to watch a pre-recorded program or the program we are recording. That just isn't gonna fly.

The guy I just talked to in technical support said that even if I got SWM I would still have to run an extra cable down the wall in order to get the full functionality of the DVR. Then ... on top of that, he informed me that only NEW installs could get SWM installations ... that they would not do them for upgrades. Although, from what he is telling me, even if I had a SWM I would still not be able to access both tuners on the DVR since I only have access to one cable for that particular location.

Please help me understand how this works. Is there a resource document somewhere that I could read that would help me understand? Have I misunderstood what can be accomplished with a single cable and a DVR? If we can split the signal between satellite and OTA antenna, can we not split that single cable so that it can feed both tuners on the DVR instead of one tuner and the OTA antenna connection?

I don't know if I was not adequately explaining the situation to the D* technician or if I have just missed something somewhere and need to accept that I am going to have to select another room in my house to install the HD DVR, even though my main room is where I would want to watch the recorded programs. Why do the builders have to be so "cheap" when they pre-wire houses. I realize this was done 7 years ago, but even then ... why would they limit future capabilities by only doing single cable drops?!?

FWIW ... I don't know how much this matters in the grand scheme of things, but the technician said they wouldn't do SWM on an upgrade because they would have to replace all the cables in the house. I don't understand why. The house was pre-wired from an equipment box in an upstairs closet, to six different rooms. When D* installed the original dish, they ran cables from the roof to that equipment box in the closet. They did not run any cables down all the rest of the walls in the house, so why would they need to replace all the cables in my house?
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,271
4,442
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
I called D* back today to make sure that the installer would know/understand that our main TV (where we want to upgrade from a HD Receiver to an HD DVR) only has one cable coming down the wall. It is not possible to run another cable down that wall. At the present time, we use a diplexer on that cable so that we can also use our OTA antenna for HD locals (and as a backup when we lose satellite service during storms ... it happens ... a lot.)

I'm willing to give up the OTA access on this location (can run another antenna cable to any other TV location in the house ... just not this one) ... but I really would like to get full functionality out of the DVR at this location. Is this not possible with a single cable?

I just spoke with D* again and was transferred to tech support and they now tell me that if it is not possible to get a second cable in the wall where we want the HD DVR, that we will not be able to watch a live channel while recording. We will only be able to watch a pre-recorded program or the program we are recording. That just isn't gonna fly.

The guy I just talked to in technical support said that even if I got SWM I would still have to run an extra cable down the wall in order to get the full functionality of the DVR. Then ... on top of that, he informed me that only NEW installs could get SWM installations ... that they would not do them for upgrades. Although, from what he is telling me, even if I had a SWM I would still not be able to access both tuners on the DVR since I only have access to one cable for that particular location.

Please help me understand how this works. Is there a resource document somewhere that I could read that would help me understand? Have I misunderstood what can be accomplished with a single cable and a DVR? If we can split the signal between satellite and OTA antenna, can we not split that single cable so that it can feed both tuners on the DVR instead of one tuner and the OTA antenna connection?

I don't know if I was not adequately explaining the situation to the D* technician or if I have just missed something somewhere and need to accept that I am going to have to select another room in my house to install the HD DVR, even though my main room is where I would want to watch the recorded programs. Why do the builders have to be so "cheap" when they pre-wire houses. I realize this was done 7 years ago, but even then ... why would they limit future capabilities by only doing single cable drops?!?

FWIW ... I don't know how much this matters in the grand scheme of things, but the technician said they wouldn't do SWM on an upgrade because they would have to replace all the cables in the house. I don't understand why. The house was pre-wired from an equipment box in an upstairs closet, to six different rooms. When D* installed the original dish, they ran cables from the roof to that equipment box in the closet. They did not run any cables down all the rest of the walls in the house, so why would they need to replace all the cables in my house?

The guy you talked to has NO CLUE ...

The REASON I went to the SWM set up is specifically because I can't get another cable to the bed room. (I could, just don't have the time to deal with it at the moment.)

YES you will have FULL functioning HD DVR with the SWiM set up with only one wire going to the recvr.

Call back and set up your upgrade and let them know you'll need a SWiM set up this time and go from there.

Worst case scenario is you buy your own SWiM set up, but you really shouldn't have to.

Splitting the signal the way your thinking will NOT work. Sorry, voltage differences would prevent this from working the simple put a splitter in the line trick.

Why are builders so cheap ?
They Are not, but thats what is generally placed when the wiring is done in new homes.
Obviously , had YOU built the home, you could have put more in, but the electricians are the ones generally placing the Coax as they have to pretty much make the same runs with the electric lines.

You rarely have a Cable company come out to do a pre installation, sometimes, but usually it's 1 in a 100.
Same goes for the phone lines, the phone company doesn't do pre wire anymore either.

As for the cables in your house, if they are RG6 they should be fine.

It's really to bad that you cannot get the second coax to your TV as thats how you could address the OTA issue.
 
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OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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Worst case scenario is you buy your own SWiM set up, but you really shouldn't have to.

Well ... that's two people I talked to today who have no clue. They both insisted that I had to have two cables. I'm getting totally stressed out. I don't want this guy to get out here and not have what is necessary to do the job and have to wait for him to come back once he finds out what we really need.

Back to the phone calls again to see if I can get someone to agree to set up a SWM install for me.

PS ... what is involved in buying my own SWiM setup? Do you mean paying them for it ... or getting it elsewhere and finding someone else to install it?
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,271
4,442
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
Well ... that's two people I talked to today who have no clue. They both insisted that I had to have two cables. I'm getting totally stressed out. I don't want this guy to get out here and not have what is necessary to do the job and have to wait for him to come back once he finds out what we really need.

Back to the phone calls again to see if I can get someone to agree to set up a SWM install for me.

PS ... what is involved in buying my own SWiM setup? Do you mean paying them for it ... or getting it elsewhere and finding someone else to install it?

You can do all of it if you want.
You'll need access to the dish, so if it's on the roof, keep that in mind.

edit: I'm not finding just the SWM LNB , PI and switch for some reason, I'm sure it's out there, I'm just not finding it.
You could always talk to the D* tech and see what he recommends.
Personally, when he gets there I would go thru everything that you need to have done before hand and make sure he knows what you need to be done.
Most of the time when a tech has your situation and cannot get another line to a room the suggest going to the other set up as it's easier to set up than trying to make a cable go where it can't.
 
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OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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Why are builders so cheap ?
They Are not, but thats what is generally placed when the wiring is done in new homes.
Obviously , had YOU built the home, you could have put more in, but the electricians are the ones generally placing the Coax as they have to pretty much make the same runs with the electric lines.

FWIW ... we didn't have the home built. It was a spec home that had been sitting vacant for a year before we bought it. The electricians didn't run the coax. The builder used a company that does their pre-wiring for the telephone lines, network cable, security systems, audio and video stuff. The owner of that company told me years ago that the builder refused to run more cable, even when it was recommended.

Unfortunately, this particular location would requirerunning cable through one wall, between the floors, and down a separate wall. There is no straight shot from attic to outlet. A major PITA.

At least this time, I got someone who did not insist that I had to have two cables to get the full functionality of the DVR. But, they said that there was no way to place the order for SWM on an upgrade and that he had no way of knowing whether or not the installer would choose to do so on his own. The only guarantee I have is if I order MRV and pay the $99 installation for that.

I will have to sleep on it and decide if I want to pay for that as well as the $3 per month extra for MRV ... or if I want to go back to the drawing board as far as where I want the DVR installed.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,271
4,442
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
FWIW ... we didn't have the home built. It was a spec home that had been sitting vacant for a year before we bought it. The electricians didn't run the coax. The builder used a company that does their pre-wiring for the telephone lines, network cable, security systems, audio and video stuff. The owner of that company told me years ago that the builder refused to run more cable, even when it was recommended.

Unfortunately, this particular location would requirerunning cable through one wall, between the floors, and down a separate wall. There is no straight shot from attic to outlet. A major PITA.

At least this time, I got someone who did not insist that I had to have two cables to get the full functionality of the DVR. But, they said that there was no way to place the order for SWM on an upgrade and that he had no way of knowing whether or not the installer would choose to do so on his own. The only guarantee I have is if I order MRV and pay the $99 installation for that.

I will have to sleep on it and decide if I want to pay for that as well as the $3 per month extra for MRV ... or if I want to go back to the drawing board as far as where I want the DVR installed.

What recvrs are you running in the home ?

I had heard awhile back that if you require more than 4 tuners that they would set up a SWM, IIRC.
 

OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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I used to run a Hughes HTL-HD and three RCA standard DRD435RH.

Now, after the kids moved out, I only use the HTL-HD and one DRD435RH. I deactivated the other (owned) standard receivers.

The two I use now are to be replaced with an HD-DVR and an HD Receiver for the new HD TV in the bedroom.
 

Jimbo

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 14, 2005
64,271
4,442
NW Ohio - Buckeye Country
I used to run a Hughes HTL-HD and three RCA standard DRD435RH.

Now, after the kids moved out, I only use the HTL-HD and one DRD435RH. I deactivated the other (owned) standard receivers.

The two I use now are to be replaced with an HD-DVR and an HD Receiver for the new HD TV in the bedroom.

So, you've only really got 3 tuners to deal with, I was hoping you were gonna total more than 4 and that could be a reason to get the SWM, hopefully they will listen to you about it, I would talk with the installer and see what he says.
 

OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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SWM training and diagrams

I'm still trying to absorb this, but it's a start to my possibly understanding what has to happen to make this work.

SWM training and diagrams
**SWM TRAINING & DIAGRAMS** | Field Announcements (INSTALLER | DIRECTV Technical Help Forums

My husband was going to run an extra cable in the Master Bedroom in case Plan A absolutely doesn't work out, but he can't do it. The original hole in the top plate in the attic, that they ran the cable through, is too small and when he tried to drill a new path, he ran into problems.

If D* doesn't cooperate (or I don't break down and pay for MRV that I don't even want) it looks like we either forget about a DVR, or buy a spare TV for upstairs (where we can run extra cables), or ditch D* and go to Dish which I don't really want to do.
 

OTAHDFORME

SatelliteGuys Family
Jun 6, 2007
63
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Well ... I was about ready to switch providers and called one more time and went through the retention line.

I'm now set up for Whole Home DVR free SWM install with free upgrades to an HD DVR and an HD Receiver. I just wish cancelling the first order and re-writing a new one had not caused my install to be rescheduled. I have to wait an additional 5 days now. Of course, I'm stuck with the $3 per month MRV fee, but I will live over that.
 
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