newbie questions

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zigmund555

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Dec 2, 2003
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Hi folks,

Trying to wrap my brain around all the ins and outs of satellite. Currently a cable subscriber, but I want to switch to satellite when we move in early Feb.

So, here's a few questions:

1. I noticed DirectTV is offering a free install up to 3 rooms. Does that mean they provide the hardware (dish + receivers) or do I purchase those myself?

2. I'm interested in PVR. In order to watch one show and record another do I need a 2 tuner unit?

3. Let's say I go with a PVR setup, Non-HD. If I decide to buy a HD receiver down the line do I just buy one and swap it out with another reciever? When I'm done with the old receiver can I just sell it online?

4. If I buy hardware from somewhere other than DirectTV do I still get the free install?

5. Is there a popular unit to purchase?

Thanks.
 
G

Guest

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My answers are based on my observations and experience but should not be considered definitive:

1. I noticed DirectTV is offering a free install up to 3 rooms. Does that mean they provide the hardware (dish + receivers) or do I purchase those myself?

The current promo (upto 5 rooms, depending on where you "purchase") supplies the equipment. DishNetwork (aka E*) has a plan where you lease the equipment but I've not heard of a similar plan from DirecTV (aka D*).

2. I'm interested in PVR. In order to watch one show and record another do I need a 2 tuner unit?

One tuner will tune one channel. If you want to record one channel but watch another simultaneously, you need 2 tuners. You can do this with a dual-tuner PVR or you can do it with two separate tuner boxes and a VCR. If you want to watch one channel, Significant Other wants to watch a channel, Junior Moppet wants to watch a channel, and you all agree to record the latest edition of "Stupid Survivor Tricks" all at the same time, you will need 4 tuners. Currently D* is offering 2 tuner DirecTivos (aka DTivos) at crazy prices. I bought my first one for $49 and the second for $99. Note that while the DTivos have 2 tuners, they only output one tuner (or recorded program) at a time. Same with E*'s Model 721. E* is coming out with a Model 522 which has 2 tuners and 2 distinct outputs but it is in very limited quantity at this time.

3. Let's say I go with a PVR setup, Non-HD. If I decide to buy a HD receiver down the line do I just buy one and swap it out with another reciever? When I'm done with the old receiver can I just sell it online?

Be careful on this one. Some places that sell you the equipment also require you to keep that specific equipment active for one full year. If this is not the case where you purchase your equipment, probably yes. I say "probably" because the HD equipment you may someday purchase might need multiple inputs from the dish. If you are swapping a DTivo, they already have two inputs so it shouldn't be an issue. It you are swapping a plan-jane receiver, it will only have one input and you might need to run a second to get full use of your new HD toy *IF* it needs two inputs.

4. If I buy hardware from somewhere other than DirectTV do I still get the free install?

I did. Just ask. The answer will most probably be yes. Another caveat, the free install will probably be a very simple install. If you want lines run in the attic or through interior walls, it will likely co$t extra.

5. Is there a popular unit to purchase?

THIS you ask in the Tivo forum? :superlol: Seriously, try to find someone who doesn't like the Tivo. (I did but I really had to look!) The downside is that you have to pay D* an extra $4.99/month to activate the Tivo functions (assuming that you are subscribing to D*; E* is $4.95/month per DVR unless you get ahold of one of the discontinued 721s, 508s, or 501s). The upside is that it covers all the Tivos on your account. There are different brand names of DTivos but I understand that the hardware is all the same, just different names on the outside. Of course, the harddrive sizes change if you buy the big honkin' Tivos with lotsa hours of recording.


T'weren't nuttin.
 
silversurfer

silversurfer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
1,147
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Be careful on this one. Some places that sell you the equipment also require you to keep that specific equipment active for one full year

I believe this is incorrect. You do not have to keep that specific receiver active but you must keep you D* account active. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
 
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beejaycee

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2003
72
0
silversurfer01973 said:
Be careful on this one. Some places that sell you the equipment also require you to keep that specific equipment active for one full year

I believe this is incorrect. You do not have to keep that specific receiver active but you must keep you D* account active. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Where I came across this was from another poster (I don't remember if it was in this forum but I'll look) who purchased equipment from an online retailer. The customer wanted to replace a receiver and, while it was okay with D*, the retailer mandated that the customer buy the new receiver from them and return the old one or be charged a fee. There were several posts about how the retailer was not allowed to make this stipulation but I don't have a definitive answer so I posted the caution. However, I could happily be wrong.

Oh, and that was me who made the original post but I forgot to login. The "auto-login every time" doesn't work for me.
 
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beejaycee

SatelliteGuys Family
Oct 3, 2003
72
0
The post was on a different board. I'm not sure on the etiquette for referring to another board's forum so forgive me if I'm doing some major faux pas.

The link is:
http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=20643&highlight=expert+satellite

The sentiment seemed to indicate that swapping would not be a problem but forewarned is forearmed. Thanks for highlighting the issue so I could clarify what I was trying to say.
 
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