New DIRECTV Customer with Questions

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Original poster
Oct 9, 2006
I just ordered DIRECTV service and the installer will be coming Wednesday morning with 4 regular receivers and the dish. I had a few questions and wanted to see if I could get a straight answer:

1) If I pick up a 5th receiver on CraigsList will there be an extra charge to have it installed? DIRECTV offered a 5th receiver for $49, but I thought if I could pick up a used one for $15 or $20 why not.

2) Is there going to be a problem that we don't have a standard phone line, only Vonage?

3) How long should I anticipate installation taking for a 4-5 room set-up?

4) All rooms are currently wired for cable, so will that cut down on the time needed for installation?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
1) You may have to pay $20 for a new access card, supposedly DirecTV refunds this when you call to activate.

2) Can't help you here, don't know.

3-4) For a 4-5 room setup and with existing cables(assuming the installer uses them) should only take 2 hours or so. Maybe tack on an hour if he needs to run new coax. Not an installer so these are my guesses from previous installs etc.
You can only add used gear after you become a subscriber, so doing it that same day will not work. As well as Tonedeaf said you are going to need a new access card for it anyway which will take at least 1.5 days to get. If all 5 receiver locations are going to be hot, then you can connect it yourself and call into activate it a day or two later to add it once the new card arrives.

As far as the current cabling; there might just be some cable rated splitter or distribution point in the attic, a closet or something and then it will not work for your DBS; however you need to discuss all this upfront with your installer before he really even unloads his gear to start. That way you are both on the exact same page about what to expect versus what you want. This is the best way to handle it.
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The tech might charge you for the 5th outlet if it is not on the work order. We are paid by the job, so hooking up extra outlets is not really against the rules, but it depends on the tech. If it were me I would be more than happy to do it if the cust offered my 5-10 dollars since its already wired. My company has serial numbers on all its multi-switches and five rooms would need a 4x8 in my area. (Directv banned our 3x8's) so I would have to write that off on a service call down the road. Also some of these old timers get upset because they see me hooking up that outlet as taking food out of a techs mouth down the road. Another thing to consider is this, do you live in a condo? Is your roof steeper than a tech would want to walk to pop lines into your attic?(Depends on tech/contract company) As far as the phone lines, I personally hate phone lines. Directv is going crazy about them. Every box put in without a phone line Directv charges a $5 penalty. Does not matter if cust has phone service or not. This is a major fight for us and Directv right now. My company has had to create 3 different pay scales, base, Quality 1 and Quality 2. If you hit less than 85% of your phone lines you get bumped to base pay. This means you lose about 10-15% pay on every job you do. I work in a very rural area, although it is called "the Chicago market" I am about 3 hours from there. Alot of the lower middle class farmers/blue collar here dont want to pay $50+ to have a home phone they never use. Sorry for ranting. Hope this helps some.
Also, you will need an eight port switch installed.

Markets with round dishes use a 2x4 switch, PhaseIII dish markets already have four ports. To add a fifth port will require either a 2x8 or 4x8 which adds $$$. Probably better off popping dot eh extra $49 from D*
jdavid said:
Is there going to be a problem that we don't have a standard phone line, only Vonage?

I rock Vonage. No problems. Just saving a crap load of money.

I noticed on Vonage's website that they only mention that DirecTV is good to go. Don't know about Dish. But it's not our problem. :cool:
shouldnt take more than 1 1/2 hours if hes fast.and all lines run to the cable box without any splitters inbetween the lines.and doesnt need to get into the atic.for the fifth box though he might tell you that it may cost extra to run a line if that room does not run to the cable box.its not on his work order so hes not getting payed to do the extra work.if its just a wire at the box he can hookit up in 2 seconds.
Don't have Vonage, but do have digital phone service through my cableco, & have no problems regarding the D* phone line.

I just put a splitter in and ran a line to each receiver--to avoid the nag screen about not being able to make the call to D* each week or so.
4 to 5 recievers with DirecTV.... lets see. With DirecTV not paying anything to the installers...probably will take the guy 6 to 8 hrs due to the fact that he will probably have about a week of experience. Call a local retailr and someonethat knows what they are doing. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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